The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z2: Destruction

by Caphi

Part 68: The Father I Remember

Our second time-stop will be to Japan; per norm with Japan routes, Crowe's reasoning is that the island is in trouble. "Not that I'm trying to be a hero, but I don't exactly want to play the villain." The same scene plays out between Crowe and his crew, with the upshot that his debt still sits at an even 1.5 million.

Give me back my 10,010 G!

And Saji is delivered the bad news, of course.

Let's begin the chapter proper with Kitan subjecting Nia to what I suppose passes for an interrogation:

Let's start with your name.
I am Nia. What is your name?
I'm friggin' Kitan, oldest in the Black Family and assault leader of GOONZ and the Great Gurren Gang!
I'm Gimmy!
I'm Darry...
I'm Tohachiro Kinoshita, COO of Takeo General company!
Get outta here! You're messing me up!
But, Kitan, this is the mess hall.
Yeah, and it's sorta lunchtime.
Eat your fill, Kappei. There's always more.
Thanks, Ms. Ikue!
Come on, you guys, be serious...
You realize, Kitan, you're the last one on the boat treating her like a POW.

It's true! Nia's won the hearts of all of GOONZ with her little speech to Simon, and only Kitan still thinks she's an enemy.

I'm an enemy?
Of course you are! You're the bad guy! We're supposed to beat you up!
How does one "beat one up"?
Well, you... I mean, we hit you with our fists...
What is a fist?

This is clearly unproductive. Eventually, Simon himself tells Kitan so, and while he doesn't have to like it, Kitan can't say no to his chief. Renton backs Simon up, and for some reason, Simon suspects that Renton is hiding a lot of pain, though Eureka gives him the strength to fight despite it. (If there's one thing I don't get about E7's showing in this game, it's that everything about Renton and Eureka is aggressively standardized Hero/Rescuee romance.)

In the background, GOONZ sees Kitan's clearly not the best choice to interrogate a girl like Nia, but who would be? Juri's in the running because of his cool, logical demeanor, but the man himself insists that that actually makes him worse for the job: logic isn't what you need to level at a girl like Nia. Aoyama's actually scared that he'll make her run off to her daddy, the king of the beastmen.

What's the beastman king like, anyway? Kouji predicts something leonine, Sayaka imagines he's big like an elephant, and Tanigawa's hoping he's the cutest, like a panda. As long as we're bringing up all these animals, though, it's be good to remember that his daugher, Nia, looks 100% human. The Spiral King is probably fairly human too, at least on the outside. They do say daughters look like fathers.

Crowe, again, gripes that all his dad did was drop a mountain of debt on him - in contrast to Watta's, who left him Trider and his own company. Kappei's dad leads a fishing outfit, and Kappei wonders if he's still pulling in big hauls. Toshiya's dad lead a research team to Jupiter's moon Io, and Marin's was a chief of research on S-1, much like Sayaka's own father. And Marin's dad's life was taken as he sent Marin to Earth. Kouji's lost his too, dead in an experiment gone bad, though he was always in the lab even when he was alive, so Kouji doesn't really remember him. Takeru has lost two fathers, both at the hand of Emperor Zuul, and he wants to avenge them, just like Jiron wants to take down Timp.

Fathers, right?

Ibuki glares at Akagi, warns him not to say a word, and leaves. That's suspicious, and she and Akagi have been seen whispering to each other for a while. Akagi swears they're not going out, and Aoyama can believe it - Ibuki's too serious to go out with this idiot. "And if you want us to believe you're not, go a single battle without her yelling at you."

Anyway, we're back home in good old Japan, and what should be waiting for 21st Century but a hot dish of report forms? They're necessary to uphold the contract between GOONZ and 21st Century, and Takeo has to do them too... though it's probably much less intense the smaller company you are, and besides, Takeo is actually in the black for once.

Crowe is lending 21st a hand - for pocket money, of course. He's already wrung a bit out of the company for that Damon data. Wonder what they're using it for? Crowe doesn't care - he's always happy to cut a deal with a megacorp and they paid him quite a lot on R&D's budget.

Let's talk about R&D! Specifically, let's talk about little Rika Domeki, prodigy head of R&D, who's dragged Ibuki out to a private conference...

And unfortunately, Domeki absolutely wants to talk about Ibuki's dad. Eijiro Sakurai authored "Introductory Notes on Dimensional Confluence Events," and in doing so revolutionized scientific understanding of the physics behind dimensional quakes. Now this little (self-described) genius girl is using it to look into Heterodynes. Why? "'cause, I've understood everything since I was little. The world is boring. But Heterodynes and the interdimensional physics behind them are new. No one understands one bit about them. I gotta know! I had to know! I want to strip the Heterodynes naked!"

Once Domeki calms down, she has another question for Ibuki - it was in Dr. Sakurai's file that he had a daughter named Ibuki, but why is Ibuki's surname Momoi? Well, Ibuki's mom just remarried after Sakurai was killed, but Ibuki actually wants to say something about her given name. This isn't something Ibuki has ever told anyone before, but Sakurai's unit of energy in fractal particle physics is named the Breath after her. Her dad called her "Ibuki," meaning "breath," so she would breathe new hope into the coming generation. Of course, half the reason she's in Dai-Guard is to avenge her dad's death at Heterodyne hands, so she's not doing a great job living up to it. On the other hand, the other half is that her dad was the only one who realized the danger of Heterodynes and the one person who ultimately had to give his own life to prove that to the world. As his daughter, she has to protect innocents from the Heterodyne menace - to make sure he didn't die in vain.

Really? Domeki thinks he had a more selfish motive in mind. Did Ibuki even read his book? She did, but then why would she still think that? Dimensional particle theory was the theoretical basis for attempts to trigger quakes, and Sakurai was very aware of that - it would have led to the ability to pass into parallel universes, and he would have been eager to try to make that a reality. In fact, he could have been first in line to turn the results from Warsaw into a practical experiment. In short, Dr. Sakurai was researching dimensional quakes to rewrite all of particle physics singlehandedly!

What, he just wanted fame and fortune? Not exactly. Domeki admits that scientists aren't necessarily doing things like that out of greed - really, they just want to solve puzzles and learn about reality. In a sense, he was playing the game he wanted to play. Heterodynes to him were research subjects, and all he wanted the world to do was accept his theories and recognize his accomplishments. Scientists aren't heroes. They're basically kids with the world as their playground.

And to show Ibuki what she means, she's got something she wants her to watch - a video of the Heterodyne attack twelve years ago...

with Eijiro's face in a corner, overcome with glee.

Domeki insists Ibuki must have realized this as soon as she read his book; she just suppressed the knowledge so she could keep convincing herself her dad was a hero. If she ever learned the truth, she would have no idea what she was fighting for. The father she remembers is a construct of false memories she created to hide the truth from herself.

Welp, that's all the talking she feels like doing today. The only thing she wants to leave Ibuki with is: "If you don't drop your illusions already, you'll never really be Ibuki Momoi."

But when Domeki leaves, this fucker enters. He dearly wants to meet the great Eijiro Sakurai's daughter. He wants to say that Ibuki's right - Eijiro was a hero. What's more, the reason he, Ime Liard, is with the Imperium is to carry on Eijiro's research.

Ibuki doesn't believe him, but he knows she wants to - Eijiro was not only a hero, he was a saint, and his work is what gave Ime the power to cleanse the world of taint. Ibuki definitely doesn't want to believe that her father is ultimately responsible for summoning Gaioh...

She screams, and the rest of GOONZ rushes in to find Ime very full of himself and Ibuki depressed. Ime just says he told Ibuki "the truth" about her father, and naturally, the reason he did it: to cause Crowe's scales to waver!

Chapter 34: The Father I Remember
(Japan route)

Ime calls his Damons and GOONZ deploys to intercept. Nia's joined the Great Gurren's bridge crew, and Trider's gotten an upgrade - two new weapons (Trider Beam Canon and Trider Saber), increased HP and EN, and an across-the-board weapon powerup. Neat, I guess. (There's a reason Renton's been allowed out of his cage.)

Iizuka and Kokubougar have also come to back us up, which is good, because Dai-Guard isn't quite read to launch just yet. Iizuka's pretty sure he can take down the Damon army by the time Akagi shows up.

Ime Liard, meanwhile, is very proud of his job, and as before, he's also looking forward to the showdown between Crowe and the newly enraged Marguerite.

In a reversal from the CB route, this time our goal is to focus on Pearlnail first of all, taking her down within three turns. For once we're free to ignore

the horde of annoying Bulldamon mooks. Argh!

Nia's low-level, but that just means she'll level fast. She starts with Trust and Exhaust (which she can't use even once).

Let's demonstrate some basic moves for Redpen and those two amateurs.
Don't you forget, Imperium! Kokubougar is one of the defenders of Japan!

Having to deal with an unupgraded unit always sucks.

Ime Liard has the power to cause dimensional quakes...
Is that what Holland's trying to do with me and Eureka?

That's it, I'm putting Renton away again. (To clarify, that was null damage on a wounded Damon - at this point in the game, it's not easy to fail to break the D-Fault's flat limit.)

Fight hard, everyone!
That's nice! She's raising the crew's spirits!
If Simon's the Chief of the Great Gurren Gang, she can be the mascot!
Needless to say, I'm the queen.
Put your backs into it, men! Nia's cheering us on!

The Great Gurren is never to scale.

I like when bosses put in some effort - Pearlnail goes for the Brasta immediately.

En guarde, Crowe Brust!
I think she's serious this time... she wants my blood, huh?!
You took from me the last thing I had! You will pay!
...I don't care if you're some fancy honorable knight, you gotta stay frosty on the battlefield.
If I'm fighting for my life, I fight like I want to live. That means giving it all I've got...

Crowe has Assail again.

Dai-Guard deploys at the beginning of the turn; the others insist the pilots can take it easy, but Ibuki claims she's worked up her resolve. Ime decides that if she really wants to fight, he'll give her a proper challenger...

The first Heterodyne from twelve years ago - the same type that killed Dr. Sakurai! He says the underlying principles between the quakes that call Damons and the ones that spawn Heterodynes are basically the same; all he had to do was duplicate the conditions from twelve years ago and it creates the same type of Heterodyne. Basically, he was only able to do this by following Ibuki's father's, Dr. Sakurai's, work.

While GOONZ wonders how Dr. Sakurai can be Ibuki Momoi's dad, Ibuki is just spurred on by the thought that his work is being used for evil.

So we have to take down that Heterodyne!

But first, let's clear Renton out.

Pearlnail is tough.

Like, seriously. I'm gonna have to start summarizing individual bosses at this rate.

Something like this: a bunch of GOONZ wears down Marguerite, and Crowe finishes her off. He gets a Vernier, the SR Point, and a mysterious line about how Marguerite couldn't avenge her brother.

Anyway, back to our show - fighting through Bulldamons towards the Heterodyne Insectos R.

We're moving in, Ibuki!
(Dad didn't fly at that Heterodyne to help the world. He just did it for himself...)
(Then why am I here?)
Ibuki? What's the matter, Ibuki?

Are you feeling okay?
I'm fine... it's nothing...

So, Ibuki.

Also, it's the end of round 2 and aaaaaahhh.

God, it looks so miserable.

It looks like breath is a pretty big deal in the life of Sakurai.

By the way, if you want to see what's so shitty about Bulldamons in one shot, pick one of these. The Morale curve puts us around 120 at this point. It's turn 3 and these two are still at 100, not only because of Shocking Horns but also because Bulldamons are ridiculously high-spec for shock troops and only four of them are actually dead (though that's partly because focusing on Pearlnail meant not setting aside time for a lot of dedicated extermination).

For instance, if I stop to put my secondaries to work cleaning up, I find seven more weakened and waiting to be slain. Of course, usually the better strategy is to focus on the healthy ones, and let the weakened ones take counterattacks on their own turn, but in this case I need some quick Will, especially with all the Will drain I've had to deal with, before I start hammering Insectos. Plus, it's always good to take Bulldamons off the board before they shock you.

So, this shouldn't be too hard, unless...

The Heterodyne, weakened, attempts to crawl away. Dai-Guard gives pursuit, preparing the Knot Punisher.


Dammit! It regenerated!
Ibuki! I need range data!
(Dad really wanted to help people. I'm not just fooling myself...)
(If I was, all the times I've fought Heterodyne, all the times I've tried to help people...)
(Might as well have been for nothing...)

The Heterodyne's attack damages Dai-Guard's generator, and it returns to the Great-Gurren for repairs. It's not just the robot that's damaged, either...

Ime gloats that he'll take everything Crowe holds dear one by one, just like this, and when Crowe has nothing left to live for, he'll be there to take his life. But GOONZ, including Crowe, know Dai-Guard isn't down for the count yet...

As Dai-Guard's pit crew rushes an emergency repair job, Akagi explains what he knows of Ibuki's past that he's kept secret all this time. There doesn't seem to be anything they can really say to her, and without her, Dai-Guard's going nowhere even with its guts patched up.

Domeki pops up to reveal what Ibuki learned before Ime stuck his nose in it, about how Sakurai was just a scientist, not a good guy. But she quickly adds that you can't fault the scientist if his theories are applied for evil. Science isn't good or evil, it just is, and how it's used is a totally different matter.

But she almost left out the most important part: who told her all that! The rest of 21st Century lets her have it, since they know about this little thing called "tact," but unfortunately, what's done is done. Also, Dai-Guard's patched up, and Akagi's taking Dai-Guard out - with both Aoyama and Ibuki, ready or not!

Okay, Ibuki! We're good to go, right?
I don't know what you're going through! I can't even pretend I have a clue!
But your dad is just your dad, and you're still you!
Don't worry about him! Fight for what you believe in!
What I...?
You're not Ibuki Sakurai or Ibuki Momoi! You're Ibuki, employee of 21st Century Security!
...I'm just going to drag you guys down!
I have no idea what to do! I... I can't...
Well, join the club!

I've been there, and everyone helped me out!
Everyone messes up sometimes! But we're still here, aren't we?
So it's our turn to back you up!
That's how we got this far as a team!
You guys...
No one can do everything by themselves! Everyone has to depend on someone else sometime!
That's why we're together! If you're having trouble, let me help!
I think you mean let us help, jerk!
I've got your back, Ibuki! You can do it!
It's not even just us! You've got all of GOONZ!
And you've got... Dai-Guard!
Well, Ibuki? I think you know who to trust over that liar.
Yeah, I do...
Here we go, Akagi! Aoyama!
Roger. Output stable. All yours, Akagi!
Right! Let's stop that Heterodyne!


Double attacks!

Single really really good attack! (That's not with Valor, folks.)

Heterodyne's at 200 and moving in!
It's good to have you back, Ibuki!
Celebrate later, Akagi! Here comes the Heterodyne!
100 now! That's your range, Akagi!
About time! Here I go, Ibuki!
Dai-Guard didn't exist twelve years ago, but now we're here and so is he! We can deal with any Heterodyne!

Having defeated Insectos and Ibuki's inner demons, we've also defeated Ime Liard for now. But again, Ime is proud that "though your scales wavered, your fulcrum did not break." He takes his Damons and goes, but now we know that whatever pranks he tries to pull on Crowe, we can get through it together.

Later, Watta wants to tell Ibuki he doesn't think her dad regretted what he'd done. When his own dad was injured on the job, he'd tell Watta, "A man stakes his life on his job. A scratch like this isn't gonna stop me." Ibuki knows she'll never understand exactly why her dad flew at that Heterodyne, but at least she knows it's what he really wanted to do. If she's going to follow his example, it'll be by finding out what she really wants to do and doing it - and, at least for now, that way lies with Dai-Guard and GOONZ. Office girls can fight for peace, too.

Crowe wonders if she's had her illusions of her dad shattered; Ibuki replies that every child can't help but love their parents. Even Crowe's piece of crap deadbeat dad, he admits. Maybe that's why he's choosing to pay back his old man's debt instead of skipping it. But he gets her to promise not to share that - he's got an image to maintain.

Anyway, Sayaka has breaking news - Baron Ashura is declaring war on all of Japan!

On Dr. Hell's order, Mechabeasts will overrun Japan in twenty-four hours - unless both Japan and GOONZ surrender unconditionally. Being GOONZ, of course, we have a much better solution...