Part 69: Onslaught! The Mechabeast Stratagem!
Tsubasa is talking with Profs. Nossori, Sewashi, and Morimori about the attacks on Atami. They're concerned that her business is suffering with the citizens trying to escape the carnage - but if she ever needs help, they're there for her.
Tsubasa doesn't give a shit, she wants to know how they're doing on the thing she asked them for. They're almost done with it, and all they've asked in exchange is a home-cooked feast at the Kurogane. Whatever, as long as they make it quick; what they're making is going to be vital in the upcoming conflicts.
Well, they'll get it done, all right, but they can't guarantee how quickly. Tsubasa will have to make do in the meantime...
And as it happens, a certain man owes her a lot of back room and board.
Meanwhile, Dr. Hell is making his own plans. The only way Ashura will make up for his/her failures is to crush GOONZ and capture Mazinger Z for himself. Ashura swears s/he'll get the job done this time.
Then Dr. Hell receives a data dump he requested from the Gishin. And it confirms whatever suspicions he had about the Imperium, and that he has no time to waste.
"Ashura, you must claim Mazinger Z. The future of our planet, of our race depends on it."
Soldiers, including Kokubougar, have been deployed across Japan in anticipation of Dr. Hell's charge, but outside of Kokubougar, it's highly doubtful that they'll be able to handle a Mechabeast - certainly not without heavy casualties. So we're spreading out across Japan to help out. Crowe will be on the team headed southward with Kouji and Sayaka, and quips that whoever runs into that team must have drawn the short straw. Kouji's already psyching himself up, a reminder that it was by Ashura's hand that his grandfather died.
Gainer offers to transfer to Kouji's team, but Shirota shoots him down; his own team needs King Gainer's abilities too much. Still, Crowe and Sayaka see why - Kouji's emotions are too high, and while they can't blame him for feeling that way, losing his cool in combat is going to take him straight into a trap. That's probably why Shirota assigned Crowe to watch these kids' back, and he's going to do the job.
Chapter 35: Onslaught! The Mechabeast Stratagem!
None of these mooks have Ashura leading them. Sayaka reports that there are three nearby ongoing firefights, and Kouji asks if Ashura's in any of those. Wherever Ashura is, he'll chase him/her down!
That won't be necessary! Ashura dares Kouji to catch him/her and bolts.
In a development absolutely everybody saw coming, Kouji goes after him/her. Crowe tries to stop him...
But as it turns out, Crowe going after Kouji was part of the trap - Kingdon X10 jumps Aphrodite from the other side! Ashura is still too terrified of Mazinger Z to make a direct move, but now s/he has his/her hands on Sayaka, and delivers Kouji his/her ultimatum - surrender himself and Mazinger Z to be taken back to Dr. Hell, or Sayaka Yumi's life is forfeit!
Mazinger is Kouji's memento of his grandfather and his inheritance of Juuzou's will. But... avenging his grandfather wouldn't mean anything if he had to sacrifice Sayaka in the process! Ashura laughs and leads Kouji and Sayaka away to the Seafloor Fortress Salud, leaving Crowe to wonder what's so great about Mazinger Z that Dr. Hell would take on all of Japan to claim it. Ashura shoos him away with no answer, but a message for GOONZ' leaders - their time is coming.
But Crowe knows that GOONZ won't just lie down and take it - and, even now, neither will Kouji Kabuto.
Of course, Ashura's not letting Sayaka or Kouji free. Just seeing Ashura before his eyes, but powerless to do anything about it, is torture enough for Kouji, and Ashura is enjoying him/herself enough to just let him rot in his cell until Dr. Hell passes judgment. In the meantime, Ashura is going to savor every second of Kouji's rage.
Kouji still has faith that GOONZ will come for him, but Ashura is certain they've already met their untimely end at the claws of the Mechabeasts. Unfortunately, as much as s/he'd like to continue enjoying Kouji's company, s/he has places to be.
Kouji knows just how badly he screwed up. If only he could pass his coordinates to GOONZ...
He'll get the chance to do more than that; this Iron Mask is breaking him out, and his boys are already doing the same to Sayaka.
It's no Iron Mask - it's this guy!
Crowe may have screwed up protecting Kouji and Sayaka, but he hasn't come back to GOONZ emptyhanded. He's left another tracer on Mazinger, and it'll take them straight to the Seafloor Fortress - but it doesn't help them while Kouji and Sayaka are trapped inside underneath all that water. There doesn't seem to be any way to save them...
Actually, Crowe suggests there's a way, but it's taking a gamble - because it involves Kouji breaking himself out first. Kappei and Watta vote we just bet on Kouji and move out, but Hayato doesn't think so; if we get there and Kouji's still inside, they're as good as dead. We might as well just write those two off.
Gainer's musing; the reason he predicted Kouji would walk into a trap was because he's been there himself; that's what the Overdevil will do to a guy. The way he escaped the Overdevil's influence was being reminded that he wasn't alone. Could it work for Kouji?
Unfortunately, we've got more immediate problems to worry about : a quartet of killer Gamia Q robots disguised as beautiful women! Luckily, Gain saw through the ruse in time. But don't worry; we've seen how good GOONZ is at straight combat with our without their robots, and they don't take kindly to assassination plots.
Meanwhile, back on the Salud...
Gh... how does this Pilder machine work?
It looks so harmless, yet if I attempt to pilot it...
How it bucks and shakes! How does Kouji Kabuto control it?
Curses! Once Mazinger Z is in Dr. Hell's hands, I will destroy this thing!
Ashura gives up and storms out, so Kouji, Sayaka, Boss, and his minions Mucha and Nuke creep out. Boss's crew's been staying at the Kurogane since the Mechabeasts started their rampage, and she's been putting them to work. Now she's predicted that Ashura's plan would involve Salud and got them to slip in before the plan even went off.
Well, we do owe Boss, all right, and Kouji wants to do something to thank him - even be one of Boss's minions himself. Boss tells him not to be stupid. He doesn't want Kouji to be his minion. He wants Kouji to fight him again, after this whole thing is over. Getting a free minion would be boring, but a rematch would be awesome! Kouji can't turn down those terms!
The Iron Masks discover them, but Mucha and Nuke have a few tricks up their sleeve - they're masters at the slingshot and drunken boxing, respectively, and it's more than enough to handle the Masks! Boss just watches, having had no idea his minions were, well, competent.
Unfortunately, even they can't handle the fifth Gamia Q. Kouji yells at them to escape in Aphrodite while he goes for Mazinger. Boss tosses him a photon raygun - a gift from the landlady - so he can hold off Gamia...
You know what's awesome? Water stages. Mazinger and Aphrodite blow their way out of the Salud just in time, since Ashura was about to set sail for Bardos. Ashura is shocked that Kouji managed to take down Gamia, but shouldn't be. Don't forget who he's been training under - he's learned piloting from Akagi and Watta and brawling with Takeru and the Getter Team. The strength of GOONZ is always with him, even when they're not! This isn't going to stop Ashura, though - s/he'll capture Mazinger Z if s/he has to shoot it down by force.
That said, Kouji's not being an idiot this time, and he knows that Mazinger and Aphrodite can't stand up to the Salud in the water. So he wants Sayaka to get to the island while he holds it off in his stronger robot. She's signaled GOONZ, and they're already on their way.
The SR Point is to complete the stage in 6 turns. Just noting it.
Aphrodite's shit in water.
Kouji is standing his ground - he refuses to move a single square.
The best move right now is to cast Invicible and absorb the Salud's attack.
The Salud is invicible under the water! You're done for, Kouji Kabuto!
Hang on, Mazinger! We have to win - no matter who, no matter what!
You're my grandpa's Mazinger Z! You can't break!
Units highly not to scale.
Mazinger can't put up a good fight under water - all he can do is not die.
With Aphrodite on land at last, Mazinger tanks the next hit. As Ashura says, Mazinger doesn't handle well in the water, but Kouji has to protect Sayaka and Boss. It's all up to him!
The cavalry's arrived!
Just as Crowe said, they came early, having faith that Kouji would pull something off and escape - which wasn't easy, even with Boss's help. Ashura is, again, absolutely shocked that we survived the four Gamias, but what are you going to do?
As for Kouji's water difficulties, Gainer will take care of that!
Stay away, Gainer! They'll get you too!
You're not fighting by yourself, okay?
Have some faith in us! What have we fought together all this time for?
Do this later! You've gotta get away from the enemy!
You won't get the chance! Salud will crush you first!
Damn it! Mazinger doesn't move right in the water!
I'll take care of that!
Here we go! Kiiiing! Gaineeeeer!
There's a pillar of ice coming up out of the water!
I-impossible! How could this be?
That'd be King Gainer's Overskill!
Kouji! Climb that pillar!
Okay! Thanks, Gainer!
If he breaks through the surface...
Kouji! Over here!
What's that in the Great Gurren's hand?
Aim for Mazinger Z!
Vector, range, check!
Great Gurren, wind up!
Now fly, Jet Scrander!
What did the Great Gurren just throw?
Now shout, Kouji! Its name is...
Its name is?
Its name is?
All right! First try!
This is the... Jet Scrander!
That's right, Kouji!
How'd you like our masterpiece?
We didn't get it done in time, but all's well that end's well, right?
Who are you?
They're the three Photon Labs professors.
We're old friends of Juuzou, since way back when we were tykes.
You knew my grandpa?
We did fight a lot, but there wasn't any better at robotics!
He taught us all we know!
Ashura, petrified, unleashes the Talos, as well as all four Mechabeasts s/he's used on Japan thus far - Kingdon, Ghostfire, Vargas, and Taurus. With his new wings, Kouji's ready to take on Ashura personally; we can have the Mechabeasts!
Kouji! Now that he wears the Jet Scrander, Mazinger Z is invicible!
He screams at mach 3, at heights of up to 20,000 meters! With the Jet Scrander, Mazinger Z will fly!
High, fleet, and powerful! He is a perfect, mighty super robot!
Jet Scrander, flyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!
An extra bonus is that Sayaka has something worthwhile to attack.
H-hey! You can't touch me there!
We can't help it!
Your cockpit's too cramped!
Nothing we can do about it.
Seriously! I can't believe I felt grateful to these creeps for anything!
It's sure been a while since we saw the tit missiles!
Oh, and Mazinger doesn't just fly - he also has a useful new Scrander-based attack!
Other than that, does anyone actually care about the Talos? No?
The Mechabeasts still have a pile of HP though.
I spent a while thinking how to deal with them, and more generally, the still steadily ballooning amount of HP in any given stage (it will be hundreds of thousands by the end of the game), and decided I don't want to show every HP damaged for every boss. It may be gameplay, but it's not too interesting; this is just another milestone where the game gets too big for its content and I have to pack it down. Sorry if this bothers you.
Rossiu learns Analyze.
With the extra power from the Jet Scrander, I'm not afraid of fighting underwater!
Damn you, Mazinger Z! You truly are invincible now!
Get ready, Baron Ashura! This is for that dirty trick you played on me... and for everyone in Japan you've hurt!
Same thing, now with wings.
Gainer loots a Muscle Cylinder from Kingdon.
It is the bottom of turn 5; one turn left for the showdown with Baron Ashura!
You're gonna regret sending your goons into our HQ!
You drove away my Gamia robots? What kind of creatures are you?
You wanna see a freaky creature? Check a mirror, Ashura!
Tell you what, why don't I cut you in two and put you back the way you belong!
Curses! Hold still, you pest!
Come on, Nirvash! We'll get in quickly and hit them in the weak point!
We'll find Eureka! We can't go down yet!
Rossiu! We'll use Gurren-Lagann's drills as propellers!
Wow! Now Gurren-Lagann can move perfectly in the water!
Blast! They're getting clever!
We'll drill a hole in that ship and sink you into the ocean!
H-hold on, Akagi! We can't operate underwater!
I'll adjust for it! Dai-Guard'll work fine in water or in space!
Seriously? You realize if the chassis breaches, we're dead?
Then let me open that breach and send you to a watery grave!
You won't get the chance! We've seen a lot of graves dug, but we're not going to ours today!
It's finally my time to shine! When we get underwater, that's Getter-3's job!
Fool! Even you have no chance against the Salud beneath the surface!
Heh. Looks like you're in the same boat! But Getter-3 and I don't get center stage much, and I'm not going to screw this up!
Baron Ashura! Why are you working with the Gishin?
There's no need for you to know... just know that we no longer need them!
I will destroy all of Dr. Hell's enemies! First I'll weaken you, then toss you out into deep space!
You're hurting the people of Japan! You won't get away with that!
It's only a matter of time before this country belongs to Dr. Hell! It is his to do with as he pleases!
That's stupid! Besides, by your stupid logic, you're gonna lose, so you might as well just crawl away now!
Impertinent little brat!
You jerk! Your big stupid ship is scaring away all the fish!
What are you talking about?
My dad's a fisherman! I won't let you mess up the ocean!
This world has its own beautiful blue ocean...
He's concerned about that in the middle of a battle?
You have no right to abuse this shining ocean for your own cowardice!
Curse you! I will not let someone from another dimension defeat me!
It doesn't matter what dimension or what planet I'm from! I fight for what I believe in!
You hurt all those people, you take hostages... you're the worst of the worst!
Silence! I will do anything and use any means in my service of Dr. Hell!
I admire your loyalty, so tell your big bad boss...
That we will stop him!
Insignificant insect! If not for you, Kouji Kabuto would be dead!
I'll crush you into flotsam!
I can handle underwater combat! A champion has to be ready for anything, anytime, anywhere!
King Gainer, let's own this coward!
Jiron! If we get hit underwater, we're in trouble!
No problem! We'll hold our breath if we have to!
We'll see who's the fool! You're the one who had to take a hostage!
The battlefield is a harsh and unforgiving place. There's no room for good and bad guys.
H-he's not as he normally is.
But you definitely crossed a line. You attacked bystanders, you took hostages... those are both lower than low.
And I hate that I let it happen. So sorry, but this isn't going to be pretty...
Okay, I just gotta point out - all of those attacks connected. None of them were saved out to demo or anything. Salud did take nearly all of this branch of GOONZ to knock down.
That explains it! Ashura was equipped with Super Alloy Z the whole time! (Kouji's also the second one to learn Valor after Kamina, so woo!)
Ashura decides that his/her last resort is to ram Mazinger, as if that's worked so far...
But Dr. Hell stops him/her and tells him/her to return to Bardos. S/he's gained valuable data on Mazinger, and that data is too valuable to let Ashura die. So Ashura ejects, leaving the Salud to explode, and escapes.
Boss thought s/he died. Luckily, Kouji's not going to run off after him/her, flying or not; his job is to GOONZ now. And he owes GOONZ thanks for bailing him out. He knows not to lose his cool and be stupid anymore.
Oh, and turn 6, so point!
The gang celebrates with that feast at the Kurogane house, meal courtesy of the Master, of course. And, you know, it's still a bathhouse, right there, so we know what we're doing right after. It's a good time!
But the Getter Team doesn't have the luxury of enjoying it for long. Saotome's called them home to test-drive a new Getter model; they figure the doc wants some insurance, since the Invader attacks haven't let up. Kouji tells them, before they go, about how he fought that Gamia, and they're proud of him, but he still has a ways to go; now that Mazinger can fly, Ryoma's got to show him the ropes of flying super robots.
Speaking of the Scrander, where did the landlady go? Sayaka says she saw her talking with her dad...
...about the origin of the Gamia Q bots. Both of them have examined the remains and concluded the same thing: there have only ever been two people who could have constructed a piece of work like that, and Tsubasa saw one of them die with her own eyes. She'll have to go visit the other one personally: Stroheim Heimlich, in Germany...
Dr. Hell assures Ashura that s/he did nothing wrong; in fact, his suspicions have again been confirmed. The key to Mazinger's power was the Super Alloy Z that both makes up its body and powers its photonic reactor, but now he knows that Juuzou Kabuto didn't use all of his metal on Mazinger. The rest is hidden somewhere, and his new quest is to find it... before the end of the world comes to pass.
Zuul, just projected in without so much as a knock, agrees - the end times are nigh. Zuul is one who has seen the end, and he predicts that Dr. Hell will learn what that means in time if he remains on Bardos. And he has another thing to tease Dr. Hell with: "Black Revelations." Just the word, but it's enough to throw Dr. Hell off balance. And Zuul assures him that he doesn't even know the full meaning of them yet... though he will, and when he does, he and Zuul will be equals.
Ashura is having one of his/her panic attacks at the sight of Emperor Zuul, and as with Mazinger, doesn't clearly remember why. Dr. Hell, meanwhile, has changed tack entirely - he needs to know what the Black Revelations are, and in such pursuit, he is going to the deepest part of the island. Something down there is dangerous enough to make Ashura and Blocken terrified for his life, and theirs, but Dr. Hell is sure that he'll return with a new power, power enough to seize Juuzou's legacy for himself. What he doesn't tell his subordinates is what Juuzou really hid that he's looking for, the Arm of Zeus, and that he has to find it before they rise again...
Tune in next week for Getter.