Part 27: The Black Knights
Like all stereotypical rich, eccentric geniuses, Carlos Axion Jr. plays chess, and his opponent is the young Lelouche Lamperouge. He wonders how the mere schoolboy managed to score that, but Lelouche refuses to say. The stakes of the game are Carlos' personal bank card... against Lelouche's very life. He almost wouldn't have taken the wager. "Because you can't put a value on a human life?" asks Lelouche. "Quite the opposite. I don't think your life is worth nearly as much as my account," replies Carlos.
On the other hand, the moron has no intention of losing. He claims that the only man ever to beat him in chess is Prince Schneizel, who he explains is the second prince of the Holy Britannian Empire.
Little does Carlos know that Lelouche knows Schneizel very well, and if Carlos can't beat the Prince, he hasn't a chance in hell against Lulu. As promised, Carlos hands over his card, but smirks and says he never promised to tell Lelouche the PIN as well.
Fed up with his games, Lelouche places a Geass on Carlos to "Answer all of my questions" and gets the code he needs.
Satisfied that the Geass will wipe all of Carlos' memories of himself, Lelouche bails. He's caught by C. C., who had as little trouble getting into the office as he did since he Geassed all the guards out of his way. She considers the two partners in crime, so she wants to keep tabs on his shenanigans - and keep him out of trouble. Lelouche doesn't thank her for the favor.
The two recap the plot of Geass for those who came in late, or from the wrong path split. The princes and princesses of Britannia are already fighting over the throne, and the hand of Emperor Charles zi Britannia is behind it all. Charles uses this survival-of-the-fittest philosophy to keep Britannia's ruling class strong by culling the weak. Lelouche is driven by the knowledge that this philosophy is what killed his mother and destroyed his and his sister's lives. Destroying Britannia is his path to freedom, and the power of absolute obedience is the key.
C. C. still expects Lelouche to fulfill his side of the pact between them somewhere in there. But no matter how many times he asks, she won't tell him the conditions of that pact until "the time is right." The Geass won't work on her, either. And she's recovered from fatal wounds. All considered, Lelouche calls her a witch. But he still owes her for giving him the power to do something with his life.
And he's moving, all right. With Carlos' money and a tip from Boatman, he can get his hands on brand new Knightmares from Kyoto. That means big things are about to happen, maybe big enough to change the world - according to Zero's plan.
In the meantime, the gang's all together at Dragon's Hive. Introductions are had all around, Ozma explains the Macross, and...
Watta giggles like a twelve year old (isn't he actually a twelve year old?) when Klan explains human/Zentraedi interbreeding. Everybody makes fun of her, again, and she pretty much has this face the whole time. I'd be sensitive about it too!
These are Klan's subordinates. They don't get real lines. You'll have to play L to see them in battle.
Alto, silent in the corner, gets mistaken for a lady until he opens his mouth.
The Getter team is surprised to learn that in the Macross universe, "Saotome" is the name of an old kabuki legacy. Afterwards, the catchup course continues as Heero and Duo, the only representatives of the Resistance in the area, fill us in on the happenings in Area 11.
If Simon's mind wasn't blown enough to find out there's stuff on the surface, it's totally blown to realize that there are people living beyond the fucking sky.
Kamina has no idea what's going on, and doesn't care. Yoko has no idea what's going on and resolves to do her homework to figure it out, which blows Kamina's mind ("Stuh-dee? Th' hell's that?").
Ru delivers the bad news (SRW is a fan of shit going down to interrupt conversation). The WLF and Japanese Liberation Front are moving on the Area 11 Mt. Fuji base, and any team-up of Japan's biggest and rowdiest rebellion and the douchebags of the WLF spells trouble. Sure enough, they've made hostages of a Sakuradite production summit.
Among the civilians at the site are our very own student club. They're not even Sakuradite-related, they were just hiking on the mountain and got rounded up by the terrorists. For some reason, this sets off their guards ranting about how the world is full of sheeple like them and it's all their fault.
Relena makes the point on everyone's minds: they may be playing at changing the world, but swinging power around blindly just causes the violence to spread. The terrorist asks her if she's trying to be Heero Yui or something, so she wonders what he's up to.
Meanwhile, Nina accidentally calls a JIM soldier an Eleven.
It's Euphemia who steps in to defend her when the soldier threatens to give her a piece of his mind. (In Code Geass, this was a setup to a very creepy scene about Nina which is mercifully absent from the game.) She demands to speak to their leader.
Back in Shinjuku, Zero is handing out the Resistance's new uniforms. The Astragians all pass, which Zero is okay with, but he still demands Chirico come along for the fight. Zero even has a present for him: a new, slightly better Scopedog (in game terms, the Scopedog would have all its upgrades if that path had stuck, but its stats have been slightly increased).
The uniforms are to "make the world notice us," claims Zero. Tamaki figures that means they're going to hook up with the JIM at Fuji, and he's half right. Zero and his crew are going to Fuji, all right, but not to join with the WLF and JIM, but to take them down. "Because we are not a resistance. We are crusaders for justice."
And back at Dragon's Hive, Ohtsuka is explaining that the World Peacekeeping Council has proposed the founding of a new task force, to include Celestial Being, the S. M. S. squad, and the original Crushers. Sumeragi isn't sure that Celestial Being working for the U. N. will go well with either side, but Ohtsuka just says that Elgan Roddick has a plan. (She lets slip that CB doesn't want to cause any "unnecessary disturbance," and Jeffrey immediately grabs the implication that they've caused necessary disturbance.)
On the subject of which, it's clear that the catalyst for this business is what's going on at Fuji-11, and Chairman Roddick has asked the new squad to go deal with it. It's pretty rough considering it's our very first mission as a team, but as the commanders start to plot, a transmission arrives via Boatman - from Zero. We're left in suspense as to what his message is, though...
Later, Zero contacts Cornelia at the Britannian base. She reminds him through clenched teeth that he has some nerve to call her while being not only public enemy #1, but the murderer of her own brother. He only responds, "Cornelia, who would you choose? Clovis, who's dead... or Euphemia, who's alive?" Her reaction speaks volumes, and one of them is labelled "Why Cornelia Won't Mount An Attack." As a prince himself, Lelouche knows how long Euphemia has been Corny's weakness, and offers to save Euphie himself.
Chapter 13: The Black Knights
With the Fuji vicinity crawling with cheap terrorbots and Genocidron, the story is heating up. Count Lloyd, on the scene, can't help but be surprised at all the resources the JIM has pulled together. His goal is to get the hostages free so that Corny can make her move. Suzaku, their ace in the hole, has noticed his friends on the list of hostages.
But just as he's about to move, Zero appears at the entrance to the facility. Lelouche wonders whether the terrorists will assume he's one of them or try to take him out, but predicts that they won't be able to resist at least meeting the legendary Zero.
All the newsmen go wild, especially Diethard, who is at the edge of his metaphorical seat.
As Lelouche predicted, the JIM leader Kusakabe meets with him. Zero bluntly says that the JIM's methods go against his goals. Kusakabe argues that he's not really into the WLF's "ideals", but power is power. So Zero counters by asking if Kusakabe will join him, and Kusakabe cross-counters by demanding Zero remove his mask first. Zero puts one last thing on the counter stack, a question: "What do you see at the end of your path?"
Kusakabe's answer is "to make them realize that the Japanese aren't down yet." A romantic answer, but Zero calls it outdated.
When the outraged JIM moves in on him, Zero drops a Geass to die on the lot of them.
The moment he does, the Resistance move in with their new Knightmares. Zero reports that he's freed the hostages and gives orders to get them out.
Some of the Britannians refuse to follow instructions from Elevens, but Milly and Relena talk sense into them.
Euphemia encounters Zero on the way out. He lets slip a "you haven't changed" but covers by saying he spoke with Cornelia. As Zero, Lelouche boasts that he killed her brother Clovis, and that he went out begging for his life with the same mouth he used to order the deaths of Elevens. But no, that's not why he killed Clovis. "I killed him because he was a child of Britannia. Speaking of which, aren't you one too? But I won't hurt you just now. Go."
Then he turns to the confused WLF. "Attention, WLF terrorists. Commander Kusakabe and his men have taken their lives. I believe they realized their own foolishness. Have you?"
As if to punctuate his point, the Lancelot deploys and opens fire. Zero continues. "Welcome, white knight of Britannia. I see you found a cue to enter on. But I'm afraid there is no role for you on my stage. There is already a rook to protect the king."
And Elgan's team arrives almost like Zero planned them here.
Ohtsuka is field commanding personally and asks the terrorists to surrender, but his presence here is part of Elgan's plan. Showing himself makes our whole operation fall under the Peacekeeping Council's jurisdiction, meaning Britannia can't move against us, but the U. N. can claim plausible deniability by saying Celestial Being just showed up. But the real genius here is still Zero. No one thought he would actually be able to free the hostages as he claimed.
Zero brings in his own new Knightmare and orders Ohgi and Tamaki to secure the hostages' escape.
Sure enough, Suzaku's orders are to work with the U. N., ignore CB and the Resistance, and focus purely on the WLF.
Not much to see here. Just wipe up the enemies within three turns.
But first, let's check in with the Red Devil.
Guren Type-02 (Karen Koutsuki)
Radiation Wave (barrier)
Hiensouga Flying Fang (6 ammo)
Grenade Launcher (10 ammo)
Rogo-Otsugata Tokuzantou Class 2 Type 2 Cutter (15 EN)
Fukusha Hadou Kikou Radiation Wave Emitter (35 EN)
Ace Bonus: 1.1x damage using Melee weapons.
It's in Japanese because this is a Japanese mech, not an Eleven mech!
So apparently the Type-01 is the Burai (the junk heaps Zero, Ohgi, and Tamaki are using) and the 03 is later. Anyway, the key element to the Guren is its Radiation Wave Emitter on its right arm, which both acts as a buffer against projectiles - reducing all damage by 1500! - and can be used as a point blank offensive device. The Guren is fast, scrappy, and very destructive, a perfect machine for Karen. The downside is that it goes through energy like it's going out of style, with a quarter of its power feeding each blast of radiation and another 10 EN draining each time it has to use the emitter to defend.
Still, it was literally made for Karen. You'll see how it performs.
Oh, and this is the Burai Type-01, the basic Japanese Knightmare. Zero's has little horns so you can tell it's the leader. He's still as Zero as you may remember.
I tuned the Resistance to Colors. I just like it more.
We have the use of Suzaku and we have the WLF nicely surrounded. I'm pretty sure WLF chapters are the "relax and see how awesome your army is" stages in this game, especially since we have just gathered together our full force.
If the king doesn't lead, his men won't follow!
(Everything is going exactly as planned. And if we win this, my plan will advance to the next phase.)
(Wait for me, Nunally. I will make this world one where you can live in peace.)
"The enemy has five options."
You know who has the cheapest Trust? Kamina. He believes in you believing in you. (This is gonna be ironic next chapter.)
Karen, of course, is sticking to Zero.
I'm not scared of anything now that I have the Guren.
I'll fight with Zero! To take back Japan from Britannia!
Chirico's Scopedog may have gotten an upgrade, but its weapons are still a bit, let's say, lacking.
At least Suzaku's can hit targets in the air. Unfortunately, any experience he gains on this stage is wasted.
(Zero... assassinated Prince Clovis and led the resistance against Britannia.)
(But he's also fighting the JIM and WLF. What is he playing at?)
(What is he planning? And most importantly, what does he want?)
The WLF's Axios can't even do significant damage to a tiny Knightmare. I mean, other than Zero's, because Lelouche is a pretty bad pilot.
(Relena was one of the hostages.)
(I have nothing to do with her. What's affecting me like this?)
(The Earth's sky is wide, but I don't want to fly it to fight like this.)
Damn it! What's the matter with me?
The WLF... has more power in reserve now than we could have imagined a year ago.
Power and funds to spare. Could some other group be backing them?
By the way, if you forgot, the big weakness of the Tieren Long-Range is its complete inability to counterattack at one square.
Maybe you just want to make your voice heard, but this will only make you enemies!
If you can't understand that, I'll make you understand!
Also, the facilities on the base give defense and evasion kicks, but also regenerate HP and EN slowly.
Dai-Guard's a Heterodyne fighting system, but we've gotten to the point where the U. N. is making us fight terrorists.
If this keeps up, who knows what we'll find ourselves fighting?
It doesn't matter to me! Our job is protect the people, no matter what we have to fight for it!
How do you stay so positive?
We've been putting up with it, but it's getting old.
Come on, Aoyama. We have to do it, so we might as well have fun! Get ready!
Aoyama learned Focus. Who knows, maybe it'll help Dai-Guard hit some things.
You want people to pay attention? Do it right!
But if you're gonna take hostages, I'm not listening! That's as bad as Dr. Hell taking over the world!
Look at what you're doing! You think you have any right to talk about justice?
I'm gonna beat this twisted crusade right out of your head!
They're just sad little terrorists. No playing nice.
I'm gonna go wild all over you!
I obviously saved the best for last.
Um, bro? They're not Ganmen, but they sure look strong!
Don't chicken out now, Simon! We're ready for anything this great wide world throws at us!
What you gotta do is get your energy deep in your gut and break whatever's down there! I'll show you how!
Hey hey hey! I don't care what's up, you monkeys can't play dirty and get away with it!
We're the Gurren Gang! Chief Badass Kamina and his little bro Simon!
And you're done now that we're here! Come at me if you're ready for it!
Kamina always has time to pose.
So here's what we've got at the end of round 1. Most of the events are triggered.
Then Zero comes under fire.
I choose to defend for safety.
The real counter phase begins, though it's a pity some of the xp had to go to Suzaku.
Eventually, the game goes back to being interactive.
It's finally Crowe's turn to snap off an attack of his own.
And look, he can double attack again!
WLF. Japan Independence Movement. I figured the only thing impressive about them was their names.
But where are they getting all this firepower?
Are they getting money from somewhere? This is pissing me off!
Anyway, that's almost all interesting that's going to happen this turn.
Other than that, I'll be pushing the quick units forward into the base...
to join the resistance's own charge.
While the slower units clean up behind them. This is basically my SRW strategy, the shock wave and cleanup wave. Screw holding back with support and taking terrain.
Setsuna re-learns Alert.
With the extra action, he can join the forward crew as well.
These are all the enemies left at the end of all my actions.
Beginning of turn 2 enemy phase.
Two down on the counter. Just three left.
But before I clean them out, those eagle-eyed of you probably noticed this glowing square. I put the glow there (marking squares is a neat little feature), and now it is time to demonstrate why.
Well, after dealing with this yahoo.
Level 15 and still only one Spirit!
Whoa, whoa there!
Are you okay? You need to get out of here!
Sorry 'bout that. I was lookin' for some parts down here and got myself stuck.
At least you're all right. I'll cover you while you escape.
Thanks, buddy. Tell you what, this one's on the house. My thanks.
And he hands over an Auto Repair Machine, which gradually restores an equipped unit's HP for free. Woo!
I guess this thing means he's a repairman.
But working in this burning wreck? He must be crazy about his job.
At this point, you're thinking either "Who the hell was that?" or "So that's where he went." Maybe "nice 'stache."
Just a couple of kills later, the mission is over.
It's easily turn 3, so, SR Point.
The team thinks about the sheer power they must have flying under one flag to be able to take out as much power as the WLF had. Takeru is the first one to say they must use their might for good, not evil.
With the civilians out of sight and the cameras still rolling, Lelouche moves on to the next phase of his plan.
"Citizens! Fear us, and pray to us! We are the Black Knights!" (Lloyd notes here how people will take terrorists calling themselves knights.) "We, the Black Knights, will fight in place of the powerless - whether they be Britannian or Eleven! The JIM took Britannian citizens hostage, and threatened to kill them. It was a foolish act, so we passed judgment on them. And the former Viceroy Clovis was no different. He ordered the slaughter of powerless Elevens. We will not allow such villainy to stand. So we passed judgment on him.
"I do not desire to fight. But when the strong slaughter the weak, we must act! Only those should shoot, who are prepared to be shot themselves! We will come again when the strong oppress the weak. No matter how powerful our enemy should be. And not only in Japan, but anywhere on the planet. So let the strong fear us! And let the weak pray to us! We, the Black Knights, pass judgment on all the world!"
Obviously, not a single part of that speech went without someone expressing surprise, awe, or just plain bafflement. And that's just among our ranks - that message went out to all the world. (And note that the Black Knights' credo, fake or not, is pretty much directly opposed to Charles' ideals of competition.)
Zero brags to Ohtsuka that while he can't reveal how he freed the terrorists, it was no feat for him. But the point here is that he wants to work with the Council's task force. It's all part of his goal to be the good guys. But this works for us. We'll be tied to the U. N. for official backing while having Boatman to deal with the shady business, and we'll have plenty of physical power to throw around on both sides.
The commanders are having doubts, but that's all right. A higher power has come to make the decision for them. Not the mysterious commander of Dragon's Hive, but...
Chairman Elgan Roddick in the flesh. Circumstances have forced his hand. Zero guesses, correctly, that Elgan Roddick himself is Boatman, to Ohtsuka's surprise. But it makes perfect sense. Roddick had to orchestrate everything that happened so far, and to get all the terrorists, office workers, and everyone else onto the same team - but to let anyone know that a U. N. councilman had reached out to Celestial Being would be political dynamite, so Roddick kept Zero, Ohtsuka, and Sumeragi all in the dark. He apologizes like a gentleman.
Roddick says he wants the same thing as Zero - to do the right thing. "Everyone has their own idea of what that is," he says. "Mine is peace and prosperity for all of humanity." But on the road to that is still, ultimately, power. And so he's gathered all of this power together to work under the Council.
Zero asks what his real game is, and Roddick just looks straight at him and asks, "Is that so hard to believe, Zero? Or is your idea of right just an illusion, so you can't believe anyone else would honestly want to pursue it?" One by one, all the commanders agree to help Roddick with his great mission. They had to.
And the name of the new unit of heroes and soldiers of good is ZEXIS. (This is customizable, but ZEXIS will do for now.) I finally have one thing to call all of our army!
It stands for this. Don't... don't question it. He says the Z stands for the axis that is neither X nor Y, but neutral.
He actually pushes on the fourth wall and asks "Does anyone have a better idea?" There are other preprogrammed alternatives, like "Strike Team Z," "ZEPHYRS," "ZAX," "Project Z," and a cute joke in Japanese I don't care enough to reproduce. I'm still sticking to ZEXIS, but like Roddick, I'm open to suggestions.
Afterwards, Roddick mutters that the future of humanity is in ZEXIS' hands.
At an unknown location, Alejandro reports to unknown Observers. They have learned that Celestial Being, Zero, and the alternate Earthlings have joined the Council. "An alliance of the embers of war," Alejandro calls them. The faceless Observers are surprised that Veda went along with the plan, though their guess is just that Veda can't always be right. Still, as Observers they can only watch. Each of them approves Celestial Being's plan, whatever that is and for whatever good it'll do them. But Alejandro decides to put his own plans into motion, "to guide the world on the right path..."
Loot! Some money, Cartridge, Muscle Cylinder, Aiming Lens, E-Carbon Armor, High Power Radar, External ISC, A-Adapter, (deep breath) a Screw Module, a Land Module, a Thruster Module, and Ikue's Snacks.
Okay. There are two things I need now. First is twelve names, same as before only Zero, Ohgi, Tamaki, and Karen's Guren are added to the pool.
And the second is that new feature I mentioned way back at the beginning of the LP. The Sub-Order menu option lets you send pilots out on little missions between chapters, up to five per order type. In order: Training nets each participant 20 pilot points, Patrol gives them two kills, the Simulator gives them exactly one level, and Fundraisers give us 500 G per level per each pilot. The catch is, only pilots who didn't deploy on the previous mission are allowed to go on Sub-Orders. There are a couple of catches to that, but they'll come up later. Anyway, you're free to pitch Sub-Orders if you care, and pilot info is available on request because I don't so much want to list them all out now. Which reminds me, if you care you can also talk about pilot training and equipping mech parts. I'm trying not to just give everybody Chain Actions this time.
Anyway, see you next chapter.
EDIT: I forgot the extremely important information that Zero's Burai, Karen's Guren, and Gurren-Lagann are automatically deploying for free next chapter. Whoops.