Part 17: A Demon is BornAnd we're back.
Karen's Glasgow is an absolutely awful machine. She will be upgrading into a different one which will take its upgrades from the Glasgow.
Chirico's Scopedog is an absolutely awful machine. He won't be upgrading for a very long time, and if he does get another AT it'll just be a better version of the Scopedog. Fortunately, Chirico is fantastic, if you didn't notice. (The Scopedog can be enhanced though.)
In terms of PP, Chirico's high Skill makes him a natural fit for Attack Again, which will in turn make me want to continue increasing his Skill later in the game. Until then, he should do well with Ammo Save to keep his longevity up and Ignore Size so he can push more damage.
The Red Devil is playing a very different game. She will be using E Save, and while I'm trying not to abuse Chain Actions this round, the destructive power she promises and the fact that she already starts at the requisite 115 Will makes it hard for me to pass up. Ignore Size is helpful but won't be required, and her Melee stat is very valuable.
There's one Muscle Cylinder to go around. I'll stick it to the Glasgow.
Ohgi's brought his rebels to Gotho's warehouse, now their base. They're talking about all the impressive new help they've gained - two Gundams, an Axion prototype, and an AT veteran, for starters. Mr. Ohgi is worried about his ability to lead the new force...
He's certainly trying to keep up with them, though. Tamaki and Karen are a little suspicious of Crowe for technically being a Britannian, but for Crowe, it's not about patriotism. He argues that he's fundamentally fighting for his own freedom, just like the rebels.
In fact, Tamaki joins Aoyama in Japan and Lockon in Africa as someone who can understand Crowe's constant misfortune. They could form a club at this point. Unfortunately, this line of thought gets him into a fight with Vanilla where he accuses Vanilla of swindling him.
Ohgi is quickly losing his grip on the team, and it's obvious to anyone reading the mood that he isn't up to leading the revolution on his own.
Tamaki thinks they've got enough power to charge Britannia head on right now, but everyone in the room shoots that plan down instantly. Ignoring the obvious problems, taking out Viceroy Clovis la Britannia alone won't free Japan by a long shot when Britannia can just send a new one. On the other hand, if they fail, it's the lives of everyone in the Ghetto on the line.
Crowe's thinking more strategically: spin a story of a liberated and happy Japan and you've got a symbol for people to rally behind, which is important for a rebellion. And without a real vision of Japan's future, you're just a gang of thugs like the WLF. For now, the rebellion will have to move in terms of morale and uniting the Japanese, not through force of arms.
Coconut has what sounds like a helpful tip. Word on the street's that Britannia is transporting some poisonous gas, and her idea is that the Ohgi Group can snag it. Maybe it'll come in handy for the Ohgi group.
It's a meeting of the "student council" at Ashford, but Lelouche has gone off somewhere with Rivalz. The girls are guessing that Rivalz wants Lelouche as his backup at a game over cash, probably chess or poker. Lelouche is brilliant at those games - brilliant in general, really, but Shirley wishes he'd turn his intelligence to something more wholesome. Milly assures her that Lelouche will take care of himself at least for his sister's sake. (Darkly, Milly reflects that while Lelouche would give it all for his sister, his feelings for the rest of his family are not quite so fond.)
The Britannian nobility is still talking about the incident in Shinjuku - Viletta Nu thinks the Enforcers were a bad idea from the start, but Jeremiah Gottwald says "We may as well guard the Elevens with the Astragius dogs." But now that the Gundams have joined the resistance, "we will show the dishonorable terrorists how true knights do battle."
Jeremiah is the best, by the way. As far as I'm concerned, this entire scene is about Viletta setting him up to say ridiculously overblown things.
He gets a call notifying him that the poison gas has been stolen by rebels. That was fast! Prince Clovis himself will be leading the recovery personally, and Jeremiah expects that he and Viletta will be there too. "We must show his Highness our noble loyalty and might."
I'm serious, Jeremiah is awesome.
Chapter 6: A Demon Is Born
(Area 11 route)
In the Ghetto, Lelouche and Rivalz are on their way back to school. Lelouche has just won 50 games of chess in a row (!) against the supposed best Britannian fat cats in the area, though Lulu doesn't think much of their skills. Rivalz suggests trying his hand against Elevens, who should be hungry compared to the Britannians, setting up Lelouch to retort that most of the Elevens are long defanged.
Oh, one more establishing point for Lelouche. Rivalz asks why he led with his king (I'm pretty sure you can't do that in chess but whatever). Lelouche responds: "If I don't move the king, his subjects won't follow."
Suddenly, a truck falls off the highway. Ignoring Rivalz' plea, Lelouche goes down to check it out.
As he does, a fight breaks out between Ohgi's machines and the Enforcers. Thanks to the Enforcers' interference, the truck carrying the gas was thrown off the highway along with Ohgi's collection team. Crowe, Heero, Duo, and Chirico will have to swat away the Enforcers buzzing around to protect Ohgi and Karen as they sort things out.
The stage starts with your average "defeat enemies and don't die" condition.
But we know the Enforcers aren't very tough, or smart.
Let's start it off right.
None of the others can reach an enemy yet, but keeping them bunched up lets them benefit from Deathscythe's Jamming Unit, which increases the accuracy and evasion of units within two tiles by 10%.
Now let's see them start dropping.
Heero knocks several down.
There are three enemies left when the player phase rolls around.
They are quickly dispatched.
But the pilots suspect the Britannian forces are on their way, and there's a real chance they could be taken out in a straight fight with Clovis' army. Better hurry, Karen.
In lower Shinjuku, Lelouche is investigating the crashed truck. He finds a dropped communicator and the payload, some sort of large container, presumably the poison gas.
But as he approaches it, a voice flows into his head. "I found... my..."
He moves to open the box, curious if the source of the voice is inside, but a Britannian soldier stops him.
The soldier accuses him of being the terrorist who wants to abuse that poison gas and starts beating him.
But then the soldier recognizes him and reveals himself to be Lelouche's friend Suzaku Kururugi, one of the "honorary Britannians." But he still thinks Lelouche is part of the resistance despite Lelouche's protests. Just then, the box of poison gas opens, and Suzaku takes off his own gas mask and pushes it onto Lelouche. "Don't worry about me," he says ominously afterwards.
It doesn't matter though, because the box didn't contain poison gas, but a girl!
Suzaku's superior runs in and berates Suzaku for opening the box (calling him a "monkey" while he's at it) while Lelouche thinks frantically about how to handle the situation. The Britannian captain orders Suzaku to shoot the "terrorist" to prove his loyalty to Britannia. When Suzaku refuses, the soldier shoots Suzaku himself. Then he orders his other soldiers to take the girl and shoot Lelouche.
Luckily, the battle up above rocks the area and allows Lelouche and the girl to get away. The captain orders the soldiers to find them and fire at will.
Lelouche and the girl find themselves in an old resistance hideout (the graffiti on the wall reads "Free Japan!"), where Lelouche accuses the girl of being to blame for this whole mess, not to mention Suzaku's death.
The knight captain tracks them down and is still set on shooting Lelouche, but the girl leaps in front of him and takes the bullet.
The knight seems more concerned about the paperwork than all the blood spilled, and as Lelouche panics at the thought of his own demise, the girl's voice comes into his head again. "You don't want this to end right now, do you?"
You don't want this to end right now, do you?
What's going on?
You have a reason to live.
Are you the same girl? How?
Could you live if you had power?
Let's make a contract. I will give you power, and in exchange, you will grant me one wish.
If you accept the contract, you will return to live in the world of man, yet you will live a different life than man.
A different fortune, a different timeline, a different existence. The power of the King will isolate you. Are you prepared for that?
I am. Make the contract!
When Lelouche returns to the real world, his demeanor is very different.
With that sick grin on his face, he asks the soldier how he should live as a Britannian who hates Britannia.
Then he asks why he can't shoot a mere student. "Have you realized the truth? Only those should shoot who are prepared to be shot themselves!"
"Lelouche vi Britannia commands you... all of you die!"
And with an insane laugh and a "Yes, Your Highness!" the soldiers do just that, putting their guns to each other's heads.
Lelouche is in wonder, but is it just because of his new power? "I've been living one big lie. The fact that I was alive was a lie. My name, my history, all lies. I lived my life, but I could never forget that it was all false... But now I have power. And power..."
Then he makes this face again.
Viletta arrives to a scene of carnage and wonders what the hell is going on.
Lelouche figures out that his power doesn't work over long distances. He lures Viletta over to him, then orders her to give him her Knightmare. She does so very helpfully. Now that Lelouche has a KMF and a way to talk to the Resistance...
Meanwhile, outside, Britannia's MSs and KMFs have arrived.
Clovis orders them to destroy the entire Ghetto!
They begin to carry it out.
We have to stop them, but the conditions haven't changed.
Duo said they sent out quite a few. Not in my book, but then again, considering our current forces...
Our boss for this stage will be the awesome Sir Jeremiah Gottwald in his custom Southerland.
The only usable pilot is Chirico.
I'll leave him on a building square for a bump to evasion and defense - perhaps simulating the effect of urban AT/KMF fighting, which I'll have to leave to your imagination. (If you haven't seen Code Geass, the early urban KMF warfare was pretty good.)
Two KMF squads advance.
Jeremiah's Flag team is next. One attacks Chirico.
Who isn't Focused because I want him to get hit first.
Each Southerland stays put.
At the beginning of the next turn...
Karen returns from the wreck, reporting that she failed to secure the poison gas.
A "mysterious figure" orders her to shoot at 2:00.
She does so, and hits two hidden Glasgows. The team wonders who that mysterious man was.
He orders the rebel "infantry" to jack those Glasgows, since their pilots have fled.
Tamaki reports that his new KMF is equipped with a supply part. Ohgi's has a repair device. Convenient, no?
Unknown Commander orders Wing to shoot the northern building in five seconds.
Heero does so, taking out another KMF team.
Same with Deathscythe.
Finally, he orders the rebels to regroup.
Clovis can't figure out how the enemy knew his plans. It's because Lelouche knows Clovis.
Clovis sends out more reserve KMFs, but the rebels are heartened by their new secret weapon.
The SR Point is now to win within three turns.
Glasgow (Kaname Ohgi)
Defensive Support L2
Slash Harken (6 ammo)
Assault Rifle (24 ammo)
Heavy Cannon (6 ammo)
Ace Bonus: Takes 0.5x damage during Defensive Support.
Glasgow (Shinichiro Tamaki)
Offensive Support L2
Slash Harken (4 ammo)
Assault Rifle (16 ammo)
Heavy Cannon (4 ammo)
Ace Bonus: The SP cost of the Spirit command "Luck" becomes 20.
The Code Geass support units arrive! Ohgi is the defensive one, shielding his allies and restoring their HP with not only his Repair command, but his Trust spirit. Tamaki is aggressive, keeping allies rolling in energy and lending a little bit of damage... while making a ton of money, I guess?
(Neither of them are actually very good in a fight, and Glasgows are still absolutely awful.)
Note how the Glasgows actually have the same weapon stats, but Ohgi's ammo clips are increased by his Ammo Save skill.
In addition to being weak, their speed is only average and they're groundbound. Taking advantage of their Support features would mean slowing myself down, and I don't make a habit of that, especially not when the SR Point is one of the ubiquitous "kill the bad guys really fast" types.
(If you didn't notice before, note that Tamaki and Crowe have indicators over their mechs when other mechs are moving to show that they could Support an attack.)
Viceroy Clovis is supposed to be pretty gifted at smarts and art, but they say his tactical skill is something else.
It can't be easy to read his moves. But that guy did it. He's on another level.
Having Duo lead the ground team means we can engage in his Jammer.
We won't bow to Britannia! We'll kick you out and take back our Japan!
Like Setsuna, Karen gets another turn.
Turn enough to charge into the new squad. I wonder if I'll regret that?
With his bigger machine, Crowe will clean up the stragglers down south.
Along with Heero, a mobile cannon, though his distance and the enemies' cover is making it hard to hit.
But when that cannon hits, it hits hard.
With all those Knightmares out of the way, it's time for Suzaku to come to, to the faces of Count Lloyd Asplund and his assistant Cecille. A watch in his pocket took the bullet for him (hooray!). The watch, of course, is a memento of his dead father. The Count fills him in on the situation, then asks an odd question: "Can you pilot a KMF?"
Lloyd informs him that despite being an Eleven, Suzaku is going to be a Britannian Knight - and not just any knight, but the pilot of a one-of-a-kind Knightmare. "If you get on, things will change. You'll change, and your world will change." Cecille adds, "Whether you want it or not."
Meanwhile, Lelouche is gloating about his imminent victory. Clovis wonders if the commander is "Todo the Miracle-Worker," and orders Lloyd to use his new weapon. Lloyd insists it's to be called the Lancelot, but complies.
Lancelot is the world's one and only seventh generation Knightmare Frame. Suzaku immediately takes the thing into the battle.
The new victory condition is an odd one: defeat all enemies except Lancelot. I can take it out if I really want, I suppose, but not necessary to making it out with or without the SR Point.
Suzaku cast Focus. Enemies use Spirits at times, but only as a matter of plot. When they do, those Spirits act just as you'd expect. Suzaku will refresh his Focus at the beginning of each turn, effectively gaining the effect constantly.
I'll move Chirico and the Wonder Twins to finish off my turn. It's about to be a long, dull enemy phase.
Crowe takes out a couple Knightmares.
Karen takes out a weakened one, but her Southerland is too terrible to finish off the other in one hit.
Back to Crowe, who takes out the whole Flag squad.
Chirico finally gets hit.
Jeremiah makes his move.
Karen takes a hit...
But the even more damaged Chirico is drawing some of the enemy heat away from her.
And so it goes on.
But then Karen runs into the zone's third boss, Kewell. I'll switch her to defense, though I wouldn't mind if she dodged.
(Who is this again?)
Oh double shit.
Sometimes, you just have to turn on the Evade and pray.
Don't you see? Terrorism is not the way!
That's why I joined the Britannian army! To change Britannia from the inside!
After Suzaku's attack, all the pilots are in awe of its specs. Lelouche is worried that it may be a thorn in his side. He orders his forces to ignore the Lancelot for now.
Now that it's my turn again, let's take stock.
Lancelot is not exactly unbeatable, but it can stand a few hits and is extremely quick, especially with Suzaku using Focus every round.
Defeating Suzaku will yield probably a decent sum of experience and cash, as well as a Land Module.
Karen spends her first turn taking out a Knightmare.
Then Ohgi repairs her Glasgow. With that HP and Ohgi's Support, she should be safe for a while.
Come on, Buttannians! We've got Knightmares now, we'll kick your asses!
We're fighting for the Japanese future here! We'll beat you as much as it takes!
Tamaki picks off a weakened grunt.
Now for the matter of Suzaku.
Duo's Hyper Jammer Slash is his most powerful move that just happens to reduce enemy accuracy if it hits, for all the good that will do.
Stacking Focus and Alert means he'll have a reasonable chance to hit and will not be struck by, at least, Suzaku's counterattack against him.
This is why Duo is one of our main hitters.
He dodges from Alert.
Chirico's Sense is an ideal way of taking on enemies like Suzaku. For a low price, it guarantees a hit and dodge for a single fight (and as a bonus, throws in Strike for the whole turn as well).
At just shy of 130 Will, Chirico does all right but not great. Still, Sense is a risk-free attack so no complaints.
Now Karen with Strike should finish him off.
Spinkicking shouldn't work on the spinkick master.
But Karen gained a decent chunk of her next level, plus some nice cash and the drop.
Still, the Lancelot gets right back up.
Lelouche reminds us to ignore it. Damn. (This is why you don't have to defeat Suzaku. The game won't let you.)
I cannot allow Prince Clovis to see me fight inelegantly.
Come, you Eleven ruffians! I, Jeremiah Gottwald, will deliver you your punishment!
The Southerlands are not as dangerous as the Lancelot.
Aww, Jeremiah... you blinked!
Heero attacks that other guy.
Seriously, who is this guy? He's sure not important enough to get a cut-in or anything.
It's pretty much the end of the turn, and there's only a handful of enemies left (and Suzaku).
The counterslaughter commences.
Heero takes out Jeremiah!
How could I, Jeremiah Gottwald, be defeated by a terrorist dog?!
My apologies, Prince Clovis! Please forgive my retreat!
(Yes, I'm going to write out everything Jeremiah says and there's nothing you can do about it.)
The slaughter resumes.
Heero wounds Sir No-Name McDontcare,
and the turn turns over.
It's the last turn on the timer, but all that's really at stake is finishing off one random soldier and Sir NPCahad.
Defeating Suzaku again actually gets you the rewards one more time, but the Land Module is a one time deal.
He doesn't die permanently this time, either.
Let's see what Ohgi has to say.
Hearing that confident voice makes me feel like we can win this. No, I think we really can win.
But just who is he?
He hits, but if he hadn't, Crowe would have on the support.
That one guy doesn't even retreat, just explodes. Good stage, everybody.
As his final piece of aid, Lelouche instructs the pilots on what route to take to flee the scene. Tamaki wants to keep pressing, but Lelouche tells him off.
"(And while the army's eyes are focused on the Resistance, I'll take my opportunity...)"
Suzaku wants to pursue the escaping Resistance, but Lloyd tells him to wait for orders.
Those orders are not long coming. Clovis orders all his forces to stand by and wait for the second wave.
In his base, a lone man has - somehow - made it past all his bodyguards and pointed a gun at him. First he made Clovis give that order, and now it seems he wants to talk.
Clovis asks what he's supposed to do now - sing? Game of chess? The figure reminisces about how they used to play chess, and he (the masked man) would always win, though Clovis seems not to remember it.
He unmasks to reveal himself to be Lelouche, who Clovis thought to be dead. The truth is that when Britannia took Area 11, Lelouche and Nunnally were made out to be dead, but actually, their mother was killed (Lelouche suspects because the Emperor's other consorts didn't like her) and her children given to Area 11 as something like hostages to be used as pawns in foreign relations. The trauma of the incident is what caused Nunnally to lose her sight and legs, as well.
Clovis insists that he had nothing to do with it, so Lelouche uses his power to force Clovis to talk. "Who killed her?"
The scariest thing about the Geass is how honestly helpful people become when under its spell. Clovis says that Prince Schneizel and Princess Cornelia know something, but can't tell if they were actually responsible.
With no orders, Clovis goes back to screaming that he had nothing to do with the murder.
And with no more business with his brother, Lelouche pulls the trigger.
The next day, the rebels are debriefing. Despite losing the gas and having to deal with Clovis' forces, it was actually a pretty good job, and they even got two new Knightmares in the bargain.
Karen has gone to school. Crowe correctly pegs her at high school, and wonders about letting a high school girl participate in rebel warfare.
Tamaki's got a new plan though - Operation Kidnap Ambassador Dorian's Daughter. He knows she's studying here in Area 11, and he figures if they snag her, Foreign Minister Dorian will have to listen to their demands. Crowe thinks it's a bad idea, but when Heero recognizes her picture and hears she's going to Ashford, he takes it upon himself to infiltrate the school. Duo's joining him - out of all the rebels, he and Heero are the only ones who can pass for high schoolers.
Heero tells himself that he can't let Relena go now that she's seen his face, but...
Coconut runs in yelling that Viceroy Clovis has been assassinated! Everyone's wondering just who it could be, but one thing's for sure: something big is about to happen.
See you next chapter.