Part 21: Pierce the Heavens With Your Drill!I guess nobody really took to the Gekko. I understand. Let's move onto the new adventure.
Now that we have a real army, note that the intermission screen has taken to warning us how many units we will be able to choose to deploy in the upcoming stage. This time, it offers us 12, but we have two too many! Someone is going to have to stay behind.
Sumeragi is introducing the Ptolemaios crew to the Crushers as they fly towards their destination. They're surprised to find that the infamous Celestial Being is just a handful of people, but don't forget about all their agents, spies, and supporters, a network so big even Sumeragi doesn't know them all. Shirota, the Crushers' tactical commander, seems cordial with Sumeragi, but the staffers can see the invisible sparks flying between them.
A text scroll re-summarizes that the Dark Continent is a landmass just off Africa that was made impassable by a powerful dimensional distortion, but has now opened up. In his capacity as head of the World Peacekeeping Council, Elgan Roddick has sent our team to investigate it. "He knew... that a war was about to begin there." (I do love how all of these end with one ominous line.)
In the dark, a boy muses. "My job is to dig, day in and day out. Digging is how the village expands. If I do it well, the elder will give me pigmole steak. But I'm not digging just for the steak."
"I dig for treasure."
The Dark Continent itself.
The Dark Continent is a deadly place where everyone lives underground and the only way to expand is to dig. Simon is a shy young boy living in the village of Jeeha, and he's down because the girls don't like him because he's a nasty dirty digger. Fortunately, his "bro" ("But we're not brothers." "We're not blood related! But we're brothers in our souls!") Kamina is always there to pick him up. His goal is to break through the stone sky of the village and see the surface, and he needs Simon to help him. He knows just how to encourage the kid, too.
Simon! Your drill doesn't belong to the elder! It belongs to you! Your drill is the drill that will pierce the heavens!
What does that mean?
I dunno, but I know it!
That doesn't help.
Don't care! We're the Gurren Gang and nobody's gonna stop us!
Simon has something to show Kamina, but the Elder wants to keep Kamina's bad influence away from his digger. He doesn't believe in the surface world, either, and doesn't want Kamina spreading his lies about an open blue sky beyond the roof.
And we find out what Kamina's so worked up about. His dad took him to the surface once and came back with stories, which the elder wrote off as the ramblings of a crazy man. That father's attempts to get back up rewarded him with death by falling rocks. The Elder affirms his faith in the traditions of the village, that only the village matters and the outside is heresy. He wants to have Kamina locked away in the village jail without food for his foolishness and reminds Simon that the village needs him to stay focused on digging.
But first, a huge earthquake rocks the village. Simon urges Kamina to get to safety, but Kamina insists that neither of them is going to die. Not until they see the surface world!
Then the village shakes even harder, and a huge head falls through the roof...
Chapter 10: Pierce the Heavens With Your Drill!
(Dark Continent route)
A robot with a huge face falls into the village.
Far from being frightened, Kamina is delighted that this is proof that the surface really exists. He ditches the terrified Simon and gibbering elder to go "say hello."
: Hey! Hey hey hey! You got a lotta nerve, dropping into our village with that bigass face of yours! You're gonna have to answer to me!
The face talks! But mostly it sounds confused, and maybe piteous.
: Hey hey hey! I know you can hear me with those bigass ears of yours, so listen up! The Gurren Gang is feared through all of Jeeha! And this is the unbeatable, immortal Chief Badass with the roaring manly spirit - His Awesomeness Kamina!
The face just laughs at the tiny, puny human and attacks.
Just then, a girl yells at him to get back, and...
Both boys are shocked to see a girl from the surfact, but there's no time to marvel.
The face starts going nuts again. She urges them to get behind her, but Kamina is fascinated by her weapon and the fact that she's from the surface - also, her tits - and offers to lend her a hand.
It comes out that she's actually from underground too, the next village over in fact.
Once Kamina realizes she's not actually from the surface, he changes his tune. "Move your giant butt!" Simon interrupts their fight by offering a place to run to - a giant face, what the girl calls a "Ganmen." The intruder is one of those, too.
It gets mad again because it can't find its prey. Simon shows Kamina the huge face he found and offers it, but Kamina tells Simon to use it instead because he's the one who dug it up. Simon insists that it's impossible for him.
: What's wrong with you? Go beyond the impossible! Kick reason to the curb! That's how we roll in the Gurren Gang! Believe in yourself! Believe in me! Believe in me believing in you!
It makes no sense, but it seems to inspire Simon. Kamina somehow figures out that the drill Simon found is the key to the Ganmen. He sticks it in...
and the robot activates!
As the enemy sees them and charges in, Simon's machine slams it away. Out of nowhere, Kamina names the machine "Lagann" and encourages Simon to use it to kick the thing's ass!
And the battle begins!
Spiral Power L2
Break Will Limit
Hit (10 EN)
Lagann Impact (20 EN, 110 Will, pierce barrier)
Ace Bonus: Deploys with +30 Will.
Simon's Ace Bonus is hilarigood. When he deploys, he gets what is essentially a 30% boost in attack, defense, and everything else, automatically has Guard, Predict, Chain Actions, and so on if he's learned any of them, can use pretty much all his weapons, and automatically activates the Lagann's Spiral Drive. (Not to keep talking about Restoration, but it has a series of items that pile buffs on at 130 Will which, with Simon, are positively cheating.)
By itself, Spiral Power increases hit rate and reduces incoming damage automatically. Paired with a robot that can use it like the Lagann, it also amplifies outgoing damage and regenerates HP at 10% max per turn, once the pilot is at 130 Will. Which, again, Simon is always.
Lagann is also pretty goddamn tough, and Simon's natural Prevail will only make it more tenacious. Also, like Getter-2, it can burrow underground.
Lagann may be unupgraded, sure, but Simon's intense Ace-based motivation and Prevail should pull it through.
Go get 'im, Simon! Get right in there and hit him right in that bigass face!
Are you stupid? He's way bigger than us! Get around and use your agility!
Shut your yap! That's no way for a man to fight!
But I'm a woman!
Then let us men fight our way!
I'm right here and I'm fighting too!
That's what I wanna hear! I like you, lady!
W-what do I do, bro?
That's up to you now!
I told you to believe in me believing in you! You can do it, Simon!
But I want to finish it with Gain so Simon gets free experience.
Kamina and Simon are pretty pleased with themselves. Well, Kamina is pleased with Simon.
But the enemy takes off - back up towards the surface!
Kamina yells to follow him, and drops the title - "Go, Simon! Pierce the heavens with your drill!"
Simon drills right through the enemy and emerges on the surface!
The three finally introduce themselves - the new girl is Yoko.
Also, they have a pigmole passenger named Boota.
But before they can get comfortable, an army of Ganmen attacks!
Simon freaks out and starts driving back to the village, but Kamina pops the top and threatens to leap out.
For his trouble, the Ganmen open fire. This doesn't deter Kamina, who keeps berating Simon not to keep running away. "We're finally out! Now's the time to get rid of all you were before! You're not gonna get another chance!"
SR Point involves wiping out all the enemy Ganmen in four turns!
Fortunately, Lagann is repaired and Simon is back up to full SP too.
Unfortunately, it's plainly outnumbered.
Simon might have had the right idea. Flee!
For the most part, they give chase. The three red ones in the back stay, though.
At the beginning of the next turn, Simon's in trouble and seriously frightened.
Fortunately, the Ptolemy is here!
The trio has never seen an airship before. For our team, this is also their first encounter with Ganmen.
The opposing army opens fire on the Ptolemy. Feldt tries to call a cease fire, but the Ganmen refuse and continue attacking. Shirota and Sumeragi call for a sortie!
From here, we can make any last-minute upgrades (not to ships or event units, though!) and choose our army.
We're going to need fast strikers to hit all those Ganmen in the next three turns.
In fact, sorting by movement, this pretty much puts Aphrodite and Dai-Guard in last place. But don't forget the slow Virtue and the skirmish-unfriendly Shuttle. At least Dai-Guard has a single use of Accel.
Now we can rearrange the units freely within the given spots. With this, we have fast units that can rush through the enemy line and a a second line that can sweep up the grunts.
Kouji is surprised to be in a fight right out of the gate. Ryoma is glad he has something to do. Kenji is worried about the situation. But everyone can agree that it's time for business. Simon is thankful for help, but Kamina thinks it's super unmanly.
So now in addition to Lagann not being allowed to die, we also have a mothership to take care of.
To begin with, I'll use the ranged guys in the back.
These ones are stronger than the one that fell into Jeeha.
Did that furball just say "Gundam"?
These guys do not have range.
Next, we'll send Aoi and Allelujah down to deal with the first boss Ganmen.
Hayato for the second.
The beastmen react differently to larger and smaller units. This one taunts Getter-2 for being a big lug.
Kouji, who can accelerate, goes out too.
Should let Simon do some things.
We should get out of here while those guys take care of this, bro.
We don't need anyone to help us! You know who's going to help you? Me and you!
I don't know what that means!
Just remember this, Simon! I'll be there to help you! So you'd better help me help you!
That's how our Gurren Gang rolls! C'mon, Simon!
Crowe's Skill is getting outdated...
And here I was thinking there's no money in exploration.
Looks like I'll be getting some real exclusive combat data. Not that it'll be a stroll in the park.
Gaia's low mobile range is an eternal annoyance.
The enemy round is uneventful. Being able to deploy marks a milestone in the growth of this army, and that also heralds the coming of long phases where tens of units do nothing particularly interesting (you've seen something like that in the Area 11 split with the swarms of Enforcers). So what this means is I'm going to have to stop showing every unit's action - probably on both sides. In exchange, the events are going to pile on and the enemy units will get more varied over time, so I'll stop and show off whenever anything interesting happens or there's something to say. And obviously chatter and important events are still going to be big parts of the experience. I just want to avoid a lot of "and then a bunch of things deal damage and die" static before it gets bad.
Here's the main thing that happened this turn: after all the grunts go, the leader Ganza Ganmen in the back finally start approaching.
They're fairly tough, but not as bad as, say, the Damons.
With easily a turn to spare, we're down to a handful of thugs (a couple attacks each, I'd say) and the Ganza.
Tieria weakens an enemy Ganmen...
for the improved, newly themed Lagann Impact!
So basically, drills.
Another weakening for another video. Because we have some Getter-3 fans in the house and you know what? I've got the time/turns to spare.
I'll get Getter-2 in there sometime!
Kouji doesn't even need to move.
"I'll let you off this time."
Perpetually behind in levels, Akagi and Watta take kills.
Soon, it's only Ganza left.
Dancouga, which can finally be, um, Dancouga, takes out the first Ganza.
Sayaka spots a creature running away from the wreck!
This is everyone's first sight of the Ganmens' pilots, and they're ugly little hairballs which the crew decide to call beastmen. Just another mystery of this weird place.
This should end both Ganza in the counter round.
Long story short: it does.
Simon and Yoko are thankful for our help, but Kamina still wanted to take care of it himself.
Our forces still don't know what to make of the Beastmen, Lagann, or the humans coming in from the east. Wait, what?
Their names are Dayakka and Leeron and they certainly know Yoko at least. They're from her village, Litna, but it was accidentally flooded with poison gas, so they had to evacuate and come to the surface. Seems like there are a lot of introductions to go around.
10 PP, but no snacks! Because the shuttle was left behind.
Everyone is debriefing near where Jeeha was. The exploration team introduces itself to Dayakka, and he fills us in on the situation here on the Dark Continent. The surface is ruled by the beastmen and their Ganmen, and the humans are forced to live underground. He corrects Sumeragi's referring to the situation as a fight - the beastmen hunt humans that dare come to the surface. Fortunately, Litna had weapons from the distant past and they've been defending themselves with those.
(Sumeragi can't figure out whether to call Leeron Mr. or Ms.)
The beastmen refuse to talk about anything other than killing all humans, so there seems to be no hope of a peaceful settlement. As for Lagann, it's as new to Leeron as anyone else. We came as explorers, but figuring out what's going on could take a while. Sumeragi and Dayakka make an alliance, exchanging knowledge for power.
Speaking of knowledge, Kamina wants Leeron's help. Leeron's willing and, ah, "interested." No, not in Kamina, but in Lagann and its pilot. Unlike Sumeragi, Simon goes ahead and asks Leeron straight, but s/he just smiles and replies, "I'm like a boy and like a girl, too."
But Kamina has business to get down to. He wants Leeron to help him fix up a Ganmen from some of the salvage lying around the battlefield. Leeron agrees...
but Sumeragi wants to talk to Kamina first, and Kamina likes what he sees - a real live surface woman this time, "and what'd I tell you, damn hot!" Sumeragi tries not to be bothered by this, because we really do need Kamina's help, and that makes him extremely happy.
Then let me introduce myself! Crack your ears open and listen up!
Sit down, Simon! A man helps those in need, don't you know!
Hey hey hey! Attention, friends from distant lands!
The Gurren Gang is feared through all of Jeeha! And this is the unbeatable, immortal Chief Badass and his Little Bro with the roaring manly spirits...
His Awesomeness Kamina and His Braveness Simon! You can rest easy with us here!
He's going to be like this for a while.
We've gained Lagann, who will autodeploy next chapter (note the EV, for Event). Other than Lagann and the Ptolemy, we still have twelve slots for next mission and fourteen available units. Which two will be left behind? I'd like to take Dai-Guard for secret reasons and Getter-2 because drills .