The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z2: Destruction

by Caphi

Part 52: The Hunter in Black

We are back in Paris, where business lord and Celestial Being Observer Laguna Harvey asks why the hell the oddly named Vladimir ordered R-Daigun to break off from the Trinities. She replies that she never gave him any illusions that her own agenda would be her top priority. He argues that without the Daigun, the Trinities won't complete their upcoming mission, but Johan has already assured her that the three Thrones will be plenty. Or doesn't he trust his own subordinates?

He growls that he owns her company, Zolbrain, and that makes him her employer. Well, that changes things, but while Vladimir will have to march to his tune for now, she can't let this arrogant bastard hold on to the reins of the world in the long run. "The world is accelerating, Dragon's Hive," she thinks. "How will you react?"

Dragon's Hive has no sign of Shinobu, F. S., or Sandman when Tanaka welcomes the returning soldiers home. Jeffrey asks what intel they have on the Imperium, but is taken aback when WILL answers. That's right - it's the Frontier's first time in Dragon's Hive, isn't it? Anyway, WILL reports that the Imperium is holding over the east coast of North America - uncomfortably close to the Britannian capitol of Pendragon. But now that they mention it, they must be there for Chairman Roddick's peace talks. Surely the U. N. isn't thinking of accepting the Imperium as a sovereign nation?

It's ZEUTH's first time meeting WILL too, and Touga asks him if he knows of a way back to their own world. But WILL can only offer the same answer Jeffrey did: our researchers have been hammering at the dimensional walls since the first quake 20 years ago, and only Project Uzume succeeded. Well, almost. There was a successful attempt to cause a dimensional quake a few years ago, but only that, and the experiment backfired and took out the entire laboratory.

This is the first Crowe's heard of it, and for good reason - it was covered up as a failed experiment in energy conversion. We might know it as the Agony of Doha (look it up). The event is well-known in this universe, but the backstory is new to our heroes. WILL, on the other hand, says that these types of secret experiments on dimensional quakes are quite common. So it's not as though humanity has been sitting on its hands for the last twenty years, though there hasn't been much actual progress.

(Tieria knows that Veda knew about all this, but wonders how WILL does too. But then, WILL was good enough to crack Veda's firewalls, so...)

Back on topic, Crowe knows one person who can safely trigger a quake at will. For ZEUTH, getting to him means fighting the Imperium, and either way, that means sticking by us. Besides, Ime Liard is after Crowe's head. ZEUTH asks why, but Crowe doesn't know or care. If they want to find their friends, they'd best stay with us too, since the branch of GOONZ that went to the Dark Continent has the rest of ZEUTH with them. Again, no word on the team from Area 11.

Speaking of the rest of ZEUTH, there's this one black robot... this ZEUTH, too, is shocked to hear that Asakim is alive. Again, the obvious question is if he's an enemy of ZEUTH, but they say the answer is more complicated than that. Asakim switches sides as he sees fit according to his own mysterious goals, and all we can say for sure is that he is one shady asshole. There's a good chance that whyever he's back and whatever he's up to is closely connected to the freakish dimension quakes that swallowed ZEUTH into this world.

WILL interrupts to inform us that a dimensional quake has occurred just off the island, and he can confirm some unknowns at the location. It may be ZEUTH, and it's definitely worth checking out. GOONZ away!

Well, I have no better way to introduce all these fuckers at once. Also, it's Aquarion. Please don't expect me to do this all the time.

Where are we?
Dunno why you're asking me.
At minimum, we may safely assume that it is not our universe.
We musta been sucked into that dimensional quake that ate the DEAVA base.
But that quake was highly irregular!
You mean how we were the only ones warped when the base was full of people?
And Aquarion came too...
Almost as if we were hand-picked by some intelligence.
Yeah, yeah, no point sitting around blabbing. Let's dig up some food first.
Is now really the time to be thinking about food?
You need food to live! That's not gonna change if we warp universes!
No, let us seek shelter first. We will only draw danger if we leave Aquarion exposed in the open.
I agree with Sirius. Let's find a place to hide.
Hide? Where? We don't even know where this is.
Then we'll have to search on foot. But let's do it fast.
But I... I'm hungry...
See, toldja. Food first.
And what if someone finds us while we're looking?
I'll deal with it when it happens! I'm going hunting!
Enough, Apollo! I won't allow you to go off alone!
Aw, shut it! I don't have to take your orders!
You have learned nothing.
So the story repeats itself...
Commander Fudo!
I see you were brought with us, Commander.
Yo, pops! Don't scare me like that!
When one stands at the edge, his true character is revealed.
What is yours?
You lack discipline. You will have to begin anew here.
Commander Fudo, do you know where we are?
Then why are you so calm?
What are you doing right now?
What are we doing? What does that even mean?
Are you living? Or dying?
Living, duh! Can't you see?
You are living. In other words, your answer is that this is where you are living.
Do you need any more?
Wherever you are is where you are living...
You trying to mess with my head again?
You have a long way to go before you can understand the answer.
Let me introduce your guest.

Okay never doing that again. I was going to just introduce the new cast, but then Fudo showed up and . Speaking of the incomparable Gen, who's his guest?

Oh, it's this fucker! Asakim says he is cursed with such an existence that he is not even allowed to die. It seems Gen didn't meet Asakim until after he got here, to which Asakim just smirks that he's "an Accursed Wanderer like me... and so are all of you."

Once again, Ime butts in to steal Asakim. Once again, Ime wants something from Asakim, and Asakim from Ime. Time for a douche-off!

Chapter 27: The Hunter in Black
(space route)

Ime summons his DAMons, shocking the Aquarion crew.

As Asakim says his cryptic thing again about how the twisted dead are no match for him, Apollo and pals boot up Aquarion.

You said your name is Ime? You stink! You stink just like Asakim!
How rude. To associate me with one branded with the Stigma of a sin against the taiji.
Do you wish to anger me?
And what are you going to do, sic your DAMon things on us too?
Well, now. You have read me like a book.

Asakim isn't interested in Aquarion, but he's glad Apollo knows who to bare his fangs at. Apollo snaps back that it's not over between him and Asakim, and he's still prepared to end Asakim himself. Asakim smirks and replies that he'd truly, honestly love for that to happen, if Apollo is even capable. But Sirius reminds him to focus on the problem at hand. Besides, Fudo called Asakim their guest, and he always has his reasons.

Same shit as the Orguss chapter - take out Damons, hold out for GOONZ, and kill MD, who flees on turn 4 or at 5000 HP.

This is Aquarion. I'm not going to go into detail on it just yet, because it's interesting and very complicated and I'm going to give it its own sidebar at some point before the Area 11 route. A few things of note is that yes, the pilots do have Psychic as a skill, and fuck yes, that is totally an attack with a range of 1-14.

If you don't love the Infinity Punch, you have no soul.

But for getting places fast, we use Aquarion Mars. Unlike with Getter-2 and 3, Luna is as fast as Mars, but it's a shooting Aquarion and Mars has better weapons to close in with.

We can't die before we even find out where this is!
Indeed, Silvia! We must not be cowed by their brutish threats!
Open up, freaks! You're about to get a taste of team Aquarion!

I am the Accursed Wanderer. But I know where to find the key to my salvation.
And this world holds a clue to the Taiji, font of all evil.
I will find... the power to break free of the chains of destiny!

Asakim can have one kill. He is, after all, our guest.

The enemy phase goes as it always does with regular DAMons: lots of pointless moving, and the elites stay put.

And on the second turn, GOONZ arrives!

ZEUTH recognizes Aquarion and its pilots, but wishes it were under better circumstances. And once again, they see that their allies have been forced to join forces with one of their most annoying enemies. Sirius snaps that they have greater concerns at the moment, and Sumeragi orders GOONZ to defend Asakim. Touga and Shinn are absolutely against it, but it's Camille who takes the longer view - whatever else Asakim did to ZEUTH (and to Setsuko Ohara, in particular), he might be their only hope of getting back home.

Speaking of GOONZ, they've noticed that ZEUTH is an alliance of Gundams and a couple of equally weird super robots - basically, a hastily cobbled-together patchwork, much like us.

Crowe has his crosshairs on MD. Apollo claims he was here first and tries to take MD as his own prey, but one look at the fire in Crowe's eyes makes him back off.

But first, Asakim is going to take advantage of that one fed kill by blowing a hole in the DAMon forces. Embrace The Inferno is reasonably priced EN-wise, is huge and powerful, and comes online at only 110 Will. The downside is that it hits allies, too, but there aren't any of those nearby right now.

Combat summarily ensues, and fairly soon, Aquarion's special Element System trait activates. Again, there are several factors to explain what this all means. I'll get to it later.


How've you been, MD? Looks like you waited so long you've gone old and white.
I don't know or care if you're the King of Destruction's champion or something Ime Liard brought in...
But I'm ending this right here, MD! For my promise to Esther, and for myself too!

In a couple of turns, MD has come out to engage GOONZ, and GOONZ responds with all force. It's nice because in these chapters, you don't have to kill all the soldiers first.

Oh right that's because this happens --


Same thing happens: Marguerite declares she'll fight in place of Rhinodamon MD, and Ime grants her the privilege.

But, having lost patience with Crowe's failure to do whatever he was planning, he also sends another DAMon to finish the job Marguerite couldn't. Crowe's badly damaged Brasta can't escape...

Hey, you're not done yet, are you?
I thought you and that white thing had business! You gonna die before you can do that?

And out of nowhere, the Brasta recovers.

Wha... how did he do that? The Brasta was just dying!
This is...
The energy of the fight for survival... the fundamental power of life! The will to carry on through the greatest of hardships!
And we've got some more for you! Our own power... Aquarion's power!

You have brought the flower of life to bloom. Well done.
Yay! Aquarion did it again!
Another totally crazy trick from the Elements!
Wha... what was that? How did it work?
That's just Aquarion. It's hard to explain.
That is not a sensical answer!
But it still happened right before our eyes.
Thanks, uh, Aquarion. I'm back in the game.
If you wanna thank us, just treat us to a meal.
Um... about that...

No but seriously, the Brasta has been restored. Thanks, Aquarion!

Marguerite isn't playing ball, though, so while I'm waiting for her to come over, I decided to take down the Rhinodamons.

Of course, Aquarion can reach Marguerite, so let's make her a little mad.

(This world is my new battlefield.)
(I have already been stripped of my honor and all I was bound to protect. I have nothing left to lose, so let me fall and become a monster.)

And on her next turn, she comes out to the front lines.

That really hurt, you know.
You survived! You stubborn oaf!
Sorry about that. I've got too much money on the line to die here.
Money?! Is that why you fight?
That's about the size of it. I'm not proud of that, but there it is.
You... why must my opponent be such a cur?
Look, I don't know what I did to offend you, but don't forget this is a battlefield! And I don't go easy on women!
Silence! By the pride of an Archsabre, I will not be bested by a wretch like you!

But there's only one way it can ultimately end. She leaves, and so do Asakim and Ime as the same scenario plays out between them. "I will await your awakening, Wavering Scales," says Asakim cryptically on his way out.

The Elements get the summary - of the Birth of Calamity and the dimensional explosion that has been summoning ZEUTH's heroes. And of the Imperium and how its shadow hangs over the entire world. But again, it seems like Ime has forgotten all about Crowe and shifted his attention to Asakim. There's a lot no one knows about Asakim, but there's something ZEUTH knows about his interest in Ime that they aren't telling us, and it has to do with Crowe...

Right now, GOONZ is to rendezvous, and the other members of ZEUTH will be there as well. Ours are looking forward to seeing their friends again, and more importantly, they have a lot to plan for their future in this world.

The Elements introduce themselves, but I'll put that off to go with the rest of Aquarion. But ZEUTH is concerned that out of all of DEAVA, Aquarion's host organization, only those who can pilot the machine - and Fudo Gen - have been transported. But Fudo has disappeared! The man seems to come and go as he pleases in the blink of an eye, so the Elements are certain he's safe, just off taking care of his own business. Maybe he's doing something about Asakim? There's still that "guest" thing, and what Asakim called us - Accursed Wanderers, just like him...

Like ZEUTH, Crowe knows that he's only going to get any answers to the mountain of questions weighing on him - about MD, and about Marguerite - from the Imperium itself.

As he did with Ohtsuka, Elgan orders Tanaka to rendezvous GOONZ in Europe, far away from the summit with Imperium, and warns him not to put any pressure on ZEUTH. He meets with Asakim and hears of the Gundam attack on the Overflag base.

Which also happens.

And Alejandro and Ribbons plot about what to do about GOONZ.

And that's it. We'll meet Aquarion, do Area 11, and then we'll look into just what the deal is with ZEUTH.