The Let's Play Archive

Super Robot Wars Z2: Destruction

by Caphi

Part 87: Little Queen

Before I start this week, I'd like to do what I promised and go over a few hero units so we can see how far they've come - and finish upgrading them for the battle still ahead. Personally, I feel that the best place to begin is the new versions of the classics that ZEXIS offers to the franchise.

Mazinger Z (Kouji Kabuto)

Prevail L6+3
Will+ (Damage)
EN Save
Off. Support L+4
Chain Attack
Strike - 20
Accel - 15
Invincible - 15
Guard - 15
Valor - 35
Assail - 30
EN Regen (M)
Strike (8 EN)
Rocket Punch (6 ammo)
Rust Hurricane (20 EN, armor)
Scrander Cutter (12 EN)
Breast Fire (32 EN, 110 Will)
Photon Beam (56 EN, 120 Will, barrier, size)
Ace Bonus: Deals 1.2x damage above 130 Will.
Full Upgrade Bonus: Weapon Range +1.
Custom Bonus: The EN Regen (S) trait becomes EN Regen (M).

Way back when, I said you can pick a full upgrade bonus and each machine gets its own custom one; the custom ones are the interesting ones. Mazinger gets enhanced EN regen, making him even more able to shoot things over and over again. In this playthrough, this is definitely true, as he's become a photonic death platform that can hit enemies multiple times a turn.

Omega Getter (Ryoma Nagare, Hayato Jin, Musashi Tomoe)

Prevail L7+2
Break Will Limit
Will+ (Destroy)
EN Save
Prevail L3+6
Counter L6
EN Save
Prevail L8
Will+ (Damage)
Def. Support L1
SP Up L9
Vigor - 20
Strike - 15
Trust - 25
Invincible - 15
Valor - 40
Mercy - 10
Alert - 15
Accel - 15
Analyze - 30
Sense - 25
Fury - 30
Guts - 30
Gain - 20
Drive - 40
Luck - 35
Guard - 25
Faith - 50
Ace Bonus (Ryoma): Deals 1.3x damage above 150 Will.
Ace Bonus (Hayato): Trigger rate of Getter Vision-like traits increased by +20%.
Ace Bonus (Musashi): The "Spirit" Spirit is replaced by "Drive."
Full Upgrade Bonus: Weapon Range +1.
Custom Bonus: Can Transform after moving.

The traits and weapons don't interest me too much right now, but Getter-1 does have some range issues. I think it's pretty good that Getter's custom bonus just makes Getter-2 as likely to get in a fight as Getter-3, though. It's the same thing Alto has with his Ace Bonus - rush in with the quick form and then switch to battle mode, getting the benefits of both.

Moving on to the Gundams!

Gundam Exia (Setsuna F. Seiei)

Counter L5
Chain Actions
EN Save
Focus - 15
Strike - 20
Alert - 10
Spirit - 35
Soul - 50
EN Regen (S)
GN Vulcan (8 ammo)
GN Sword Rifle Mode (6 ammo)
GN Sword (8 EN)
GN Beam Saber (16 EN, 110 Will)
Seven Sword Combination (32 EN, 120 Will, barrier)
Trans-Am (64 EN, 140 Will, size)
Ace Bonus: 1.5x damage to Gundams or mechs equipped with solar furnaces.
Full Upgrade Bonus: Jammer Unit.
Custom Bonus: +400 attack to all melee weapons.

In case you thought Setsuna needed to cut harder, I guess.

In general, I feel that jammers and range upgrades are useful on any robot, so I'll probably favor them unless someone has a particular call for one (for instance, Chirico and critical rate). Jammers are better on the ones that depend on dodging.

Wing Gundam (Heero Yuy)
Prevail L7
Hit & Away
EN Save
Attack Again
Accel - 10
Focus - 15
Sense - 20
Assail - 30
Drive - 50
Ace Bonus: Evasion +20%. Movement +1.
Full Upgrade Bonus: Weapon Range.
Custom Bonus: +2 ammo to the Buster Rifle (MAP).

This puts the MAP buster's ammo up to 5 shots per map. Heero's gimmick is a cannon, so I thought the range was more appropriate. Besides, Wing's Gundams are tanky, though since Heero has maxed ranks in both evasion and armor...

There's one more unit I want to finish upgrading, since its his chapter coming up now.

VF-25F Messiah SP (Alto Saotome)
Prevail L6
Focus - 15
Vigor - 20
Luck - 30
Sense - 20
Assail - 25
Shield (Battleroid)
Beam Machine Gun (5 EN)
Assault Knife (20 EN, barrier)
Gunpod (10 ammo)
Micro Missiles (8 ammo)
ISC Maneuver (4 ammo, 120 Will, size)
Ace Bonus: Can Transform after moving.
Full Upgrade Bonus: Jammer Unit.
Custom Bonus: +300 attack to all weapons.

Another straight damage upgrade! But at this stage, I think personally, a welcome one.

That's all the upgrading for now. There's still about five million G to spend, several more chapters to earn more in, and a lot more robots to spend it on.

One last thing before the chapter begins, though. The game knows we're going into space, so if you don't have the ISS Scopedog secret, you'll still always go into this stage with a backup plan in the form of the Round Mover expansion for the normal Scopedog. It's as good as the LRS apart from being extremely lightly armed, but I prefer the ISS for space missions either way.

Gaioh has returned to the place of his birth (of calamity) to meditate.

Ime finds him and reports on the success of the Imperium's campaign of global destruction. But Gaioh doesn't care about that anymore. He's realized what his real target is. "Have your memories returned to you, my lord?" simpers Ime.

Gaioh grins wickedly. "Ime, I don't know what you were trying to do by taking advantage of my power. But if you get in my way, you're dead meat."

As for GOONZ, Gaioh knows that we defeated WILL and the Spiral Warrior. But how will we fare against the galactic wanderers and the herald of darkness? And if we do return victorious... well, that's when the fun starts.

Ribbons has returned from the show he helped Grace put on. It's a masterpiece, even for her, but Ribbons says that only the chosen can even attempt such a feat of manipulation. He believes Alejandro is up to it, though. Alejandro replies that despite all his skill and influence, his greatest asset is Ribbons himself. It was thanks to Ribbons that he was able to take command of Veda and clip Celestial Beings' wings, and even now, the flood of information everything happening in the world is still invaluable. All the great movers in the world - Treize Kushrinada, Schneizel el Britannia, Leon Mishima, and even Elgan Roddick - are in the palm of his hand. The only remaining obstacles are the Vajra hive and the Gishin invaders. As for the Imperium, he just needs to reach Shioni Regis. The Damons are mere force and, not being infinite, can be met in kind. And there's always the strategic weapon he knows Treize and Schneizel already have. If he has it in hand, no one will oppose him.

The final obstacle to his plan is GOONZ and Celestial Being. But then, the U. N. Forces serve him personally, don't they? They'll pay the GOONZ a visit once they're done doing his dirty work. "And then the curtain will rise on a new world."

Ribbons chuckles under his breath.

Once again, the GOONZ catch each other up on the story of Final, Nova, and Moon WILL; ours are surprised to see Eida Rossa and more surprised to learn she was the Daigun's pilot all along. Rose is also with us now, and Takeru has to defend her from the anger of Kouji, who wasn't there to see how tortured she was at the end. Rose affirms her decision to fight beside Takeru for peace across the galaxy.

And there's the Super and Armor Packs, but Ozma isn't in the mood to talk about them. He's back from a meeting with Cathy, where he learned from a message from Grace that Ranka and Sheryl have been kidnapped by mysterious assailants! They're demanding some outrageous sum in ransom from the Frontier's government.

Right now, however, we have to brief for the assault on the Vajra hive, with a special introduction from President Leon Mishima. Apollo doesn't like his hair, or the rest of him for that matter. Silvia agrees; she loves his voice, but there's something off about him. Athena says she's heard that he's engaged to Cathy; at the very least, that explains the weird vibe Kei got between her and Ozma.

Now we can move to the actual briefing. Cathy explains that it seems the Vajra's Fold abilities aren't limited to mere spatial travel, as the Frontier's fold system is, but can actually break through the dimensional veil to an extent. The Birth of Calamity weakened the barrier in and around this solar system, which is how the Vajra have been Folding through since then. An angry organism that can travel between planes of existence doesn't sound good, but there's more. The Vajra are hive creatures, like bees or ants, who move as a unit and share information between them.

What? Cathy continues that it's not clear how intelligent the Vajra are, but they communicate with each other somehow and it's clear that they can learn. Whatever any one of them experiences is sent back to the hive; in the case of the ones we've fought, this applies to their combat ability and the techniques we use against them. The more we fight, the stronger they get; if we don't do something soon, their advancement will outpace our ability to adapt, and humanity itself will be doomed. If we want to have any hope of defending ourselves, we have to strike at the heart of their bug society - the queen.

And that's where Leon comes in. The Frontier believes they have discovered the Vajra's equivalent of a hive in outer space, not that far from where the Gishin base resides. They believe the creature that controls all the Vajra of the hive, what you'd call the queen, is hiding there. If they defeat that Vajra, the rest of them will be simple to handle.

Surprisingly, Ozma seems to be reassuring Alto that Sheryl and Ranka will be just fine; the Frontier will take care of them. He's obviously concerned too, but right now he's trying as hard as he can to pour all of his focus into the mission at hand.

In fact, Leon Mishima says that they have another, top secret mission - rescuing the fleet ambassador Sheryl Nome and her companion. He claims that the group that kidnapped them for ransom was attacked by Vajra as they fled the planet, and the Vajra kidnapped Sheryl and Ranka for themselves. The companion, of course, to Alto and Ozma's worst fears, is Ranka Lee.

Now, the witness who escaped claims that the Vajra are keeping the two women captive, and Mishima suspects they're being held in the hive itself. As we carry out our attack, we are tasked with their rescue.

And that's the story. Someone's going to have to dive into the hive and rescue Ranka and Sheryl. Ozma would love to do it, but Sumeragi reminds him that he has to command the squadron. On the other hand, Alto is also eager to carry out this mission, knowing the great danger it will place him in. If anything happens to Ranka, Ozma swears he'll kill him, but that's also a risk Alto's willing to take...

Chapter 45: Little Queen

Incidentally, did you know that Karen isn't considered a main character unit? That would be Zero's Gawain.

Of the thirty-three main machines featured in the last episode, only thirty star in this one, and there are only twenty actual deploy slots in this particular stage. Add Alto, subtract Chirico (who speaks in the last stage, but not this one, for some reason) and Karen, and... boy, this game does not like my sanity.

Oh, and Chirico is occupying the ISS for now for all the reasons you'll expect.

Anyway, the Vajra hive is occupying this asteroid. Somewhere inside that rock is the queen, but also Sheryl and Ranka.

The Vajra come out in numbers we've never seen before, along with one of the big ones we fought last time, the so-called Knight. This doesn't change the plan, though. Alto's going on, and we have to cover him.

(Ranka, the captain's putting his life on the line for you.)
(Sheryl, I swear on your good-luck charm that I won't fail.)7

Five turns to wipe out all the enemies and complete the victory conditions? How bad could it be?


This might take a while.

I mean, the main thing is that the Vajra are incredibly tough for their level, especially for enemies meant to fight VF units. They've got Prevail, they support (though the AI is probably not smart enough to use it correctly), and, well, all that talk about them learning and getting stronger? That was not empty. Vajra have hidden evolution levels that make them quietly stronger over the course of the game and they're an extra leg up if you're on Hard mode. Normal mode Vajra have much lower stats including HP, attack with lower range and power, come with a lower level of Prevail, and lack the supports.

Half of the smaller Vajra are also going to go straight for Alto's VF-25, of course.

The first wave of Vajra are getting thinned out pretty effectively.

But there are a lot more where they came from...

And that's just the little ones. (Ryoma's just going around doing 11000 damage, though, which is nice. Getter's energy consumption is going to become a problem, though.)

Defending himself from the onslaught of Vajra that are definitely focused on him personally, Alto learns Soul.

And look, the Knights are actually closing in! I appreciate it.

Once Alto begins to close in on the hive, though...

Another Knight Vajra appears right where he was supposed to break through and fires on him.

And suddenly, he hears Ranka's song through the earring.

The giant Vajra is about to fire again, but another shot intercepts it from the side. Brela says he's here to help; the Skull Squad recognizes his machine, at least. We don't know whether he's trustworthy, but we could certainly do with a hand.

We are still tasked with getting Alto to that spot, but the Knight's in the way. Guess we'll have to clear it out!

Who put like six of these things here, though?

With Getter's new ability to move as Getter-2, Ryoma's the first one to get a shot at the problem Knight.

Heero also learns Soul. (Soul is more common with the machines that don't have ridiculous base damage output, like Reals, to make up for it.)

Since I missed it in the last split, Eiji gets Valor. (This seems to be happening a lot this chapter?) Eina also learns Exhaust, which will be useful.

Next is Chirico, whose ISS is extremely fast...

He gets hit, which is nice, but gets Immobilized as a result. Because Knight class Vajra can do that.


It's basically this story for all the large Vajra, though. They're on their way out.

The Knights have a habit of serious sniping.

Let's get this one over with please.

Wait a minute, that was different! It's good to see Simon getting into the Macross spirit, I guess.

Alto dives into the asteroid, and Brela goes in after him.

It's an interesting place inside; Sheryl is trying to keep Ranka from freaking out. She reminds Ranka of the one thing either of them can do to help us win our battle: sing.

Alto flies in, but before he can load the girls into his jet, the huge Vajra notices his Valkyrie.

Brela brings his own Valkyrie into cover their escape. Ranka, too, remembers him from the Bird-Human shoot, when he saved her on the cliff. Alto tries to get both Ranka and Sheryl on board again, but Ranka's having a panic attack, remembering that fateful day at last - the Vajra, her mother... her song...

Alto makes it out with both of them, and Brela's Lucifer, but...

An even bigger Vajra rises out of the asteroid! This one has to be the queen.

Like all the other Vajra, it shoots at Alto. Ranka's panicking again, and...

Alto! Listen to my song!!

(Alto, you have to fly! Fly to protect whatever's precious to you!)
(Ranka... all you and I can do... is sing!)
All right, Sheryl! Hold on tight!

Alto docks with the Quarter to drop off Sheryl and Ranka, and Jeffrey orders him to deploy again immediately - this time in the Valkyrie of a true ace, the Armor Pack!

Did I say the Armor Pack? Because having picked the same singer twice, Alto receives authorization from Captain Jeffrey to use the Tornado Pack! It's an enhanced firepower pack, but rather than being heavy armor, the Tornado Pack is a mobility upgrade, far swifter than the Super Pack while packing even more explosives. It's just out of the prototype phase, and Ozma warns Alto that it'll take all his focus to keep control of.

Ranka! Sheryl! Here I go!
I'll fly to protect you two!

Now we just have to knock out the Bishop Vajra (not much of a queen after all, as it turns out), but again, after taking down all the other Vajra first.

VF-25F Messiah TP (Alto Saotome)
Prevail L6
Focus - 15
Vigor - 20
Luck - 30
Sense - 20
Assail - 25
Soul - 55
Shield (Battleroid)
Beam Machine Gun (5 EN)
Assault Knife (20 EN, barrier)
Gunpod (10 ammo)
Micro Missiles (8 ammo)
Beam Cannon (30 EN)
ISC Maneuver (4 ammo, 125 Will, size)
Ace Bonus: Can Transform after moving.
Full Upgrade Bonus: Jammer Unit.
Custom Bonus: +300 attack to all weapons.

Being the same mech as the VF-25 with a different pack, much like the SP, it's got all the same customizations and everything. In practice, it is only slightly faster than the Super Pack and trades a sliver of armor for it, but I still like it more than the Armor Pack. Largely due to swiveling wingtip thrusters .

I have some tastes.

Being a Super Pack upgrade, neither the Tornado Pack nor the Armor Pack function in atmosphere. (Alto's VF should be able to switch between all three packs after the mission. In case you even wanted the Super Pack anymore; both the Armor Pack and Tornado Pack are straight upgrades over it.)

Alto's turn has been reset, and his SP has been refilled, as well as his VF being completely refreshed.

I should also mention that Brela's VF-27 shares all of its customizations with Alto's VF-25, including the same jamming system. However, its unique bonus is a massive boost to its Maneuverability rather than Alto's increase to weapon power.

The Bishop is quite powerful, with Prevail L9, Guard, over 100k of regenerating HP, a MAP attack, a bigger version of the Knights' immobilizing Vajra Swarm, an S rank in space, and of course, an Ace bonus. This one gives every Vajra on the field a +30% bonus to both accuracy and evasion.

Oh boy.

Speaking of accuracy and evasion, we do have quite a few Panics available. It would probably be a good time to start using them.

I'll put the Bishop itself off this turn, though. As usual with regenerating enemies, it's best to pile on that damage all at once.

With the Vajra shooting with a range of 9, it would probably be most efficient to let this one come to me. And since they, well, have a shooting range of 9, they're the ones I can't count on being able to counter, so the ones in range are the ones to focus on during the player turn.

And just to remind all of us, Gurren-Lagann can use Valor seven times in one stage if it wants to. Simon's SP is being used on Strike (and probably, at some point, on Courage), but Rossiu alone still has enough Valor to pound away at those Knights just about every round.

Actually, one more rude thing to do. The highlighted squares are the ones at the maximum cannon range of this Knight here. All of GOONZ has evacuated so it has no choice to move. But if one were to get near it...

Say, a Getter Robo with Guard and Valor...

It'd probably have to attack that Getter on its turn.

This is really just to add insult to injury.

End of turn 3.

Apollo learns Valor. Just in time.

And I guess Gurren-Lagann is immobilized now. Damn.

Those Knights continue being mean and shooting as far away as they can...

While Operation Getter pays dividends.

Phew... what's going on here? It's like I... it's like Aquarion knows the Vajra...
But who cares? If they're attacking people, we'll fight them off!

Uh oh.

On the plus side, Pierre also gains Valor. As long as Aquarion's not shot down, it can still fight!

(Keep fighting, Alto. We'll sing so you can hear.)
I can hear Sheryl's song...
I couldn't face her if I got shot down with her lucky charm on me.

One down.

Two (Rossiu uses his third Valor).

One left.

(Getter is running out of power, of course, but if there's always the Change Attack, and that's got its own energy reserve - one made of fellowship, cameraderie, and shared indignation.)

Knocking out the last Knight is Chirico's job. There are some large Vajra drones left, but let's start on the Bishop!

This Vajra is definitely sending orders to the ones around it, but...
Something's not quite right. Do the Vajra have a completely different concept of communication from us?

The Gran Knights are a fang that bites in defense of humanity! No matter what we must face!
Vajra Queen! You face Sol Gravion!

And I still don't have its HP?

Its immobilization move summons big Vajra instead of little ones. Luckily, Touga has sense. I mean, Touga has Sense.

If the Vajra keep evolving, humanity won't be able to fight them off forever!
Before that happens, we have to defeat the queen and exterminate them!


Of course, after he'd use it, Camille learns Soul.

It's kill or be killed... we can't afford to doubt ourselves!
We have to destroy the queen and stop the Vajra's invasion of Earth!

It may be a tremendous swarm, but it will cease if we destroy its leader.
Locked on. Target - Vajra queen!

It doesn't matter what it is. If it's a threat to humanity, we will fight against it.
Exia, eliminating the enemy queen!

Anyone who causes violence has to deal with us, whether they're human or bug!
Vajra queen, we'll take you down and stop the Vajra!

If we take out the queen, the war with the Vajra's over. Meaning all this data turns useless. Still...
That doesn't matter to me! I'll find somewhere to sell footage of this crazy battle!

We're not the type to squeal and hide when we see a bug!
We'll fight anything that comes at us, whether it's evil or not!

It's our wildness against your instincts!
If it's humans versus Vajra in a fight for survival, we're not backing down, Vajra queen!

I'm gonna have to start holding back to finish off the conversations, huh. Not by that much, though.

It always uses the swarm on the ones with Alert! Honestly.

You may be struggling to survive, but so are we!
If you attack humans, we'll fight with everything we've got!

Well, that wasn't with Valor, but I think it's still impressive.

Seriously, though, Rossiu has Alert too.

Just some last minute cleanup.

Lots of damage, but not many destroyed. Just...


(Alto... listen to my song.)
Now it's Ranka singing?
Just hold on... I'll keep my promise! I'll come back alive!

That's a lot of regeneration!

Vajra queen! If destroying you will stop this war, there are no doubts in my mind!
Daitarn 3 and I will fight you for humanity's future!

Mom's made me kill bugs lots of times!
Get ready, Vajra queen! Today's pesticide is Zambot 3!

Pest control is one of our duties as a security company! Here we go!
Wait! This isn't anything like knocking down a wasp's nest!
I don't know why you bother, Ibuki. As far as he's concerned, they're the same thing. They both make peoples' lives harder.
That's right, Aoyama! Nothing personal with the Vajra, but we've got a job to do!

That was with Soul...

The Bishop itself finally sticks a stun on something, but it doesn't matter anymore, does it?

It's elementary to target the commander. We aim for the Vajra queen!
We'll take you down quickly and exterminate all the Vajra around the planet!

We've fought the Invaders, so we're used to freaks like you!
I'll smash your face in, Vajra queen!

So we have to take out the queen to stop you? Just like an ant or a bee!
So it's us or you! We'll take you out and put a stop to this war!

One more, I mean it this time.

We have people waiting for us to return victorious!
You won't defeat us humans, Vajra!

The Vajra queen is worth a lot. The money comes from Luck, but it also drops CDs from both Sheryl and Ranka.

And that's it for the chapter. My GOONZ are still pretty overpowered, I guess.

But just when Alto is about to go for the kill, Ranka screams for him to stop.

But it's too late. The Quarter crew hopes they're right that this will end the invasion. But Ranka felt something inside her the moment that Vajra died...

Brela introduces himself as a member of the Macross Galaxy Fleet's Antares Squadron, Brela Stern. He must have been carried with the Frontier Fleet on that warp. But he has only one thing to say to Alto: "You aren't worthy of her. Of Ranka Lee."

He flies away. What a jerk.

Roger wasn't in this one, but the Scopedog is still cheap to repair.

Oh, look who else knows about the "galactic travelers." V. V. envies them, but Charles is sure they, too, will soon be able to inhabit "a world without lies." That's the promise they share...

Alto warns Sheryl not to push herself, but what did he do in the operation, again? Anyway, she says he should be with Ranka instead. Something happened to her back there. Alto insists on taking her with him, on his shoulder if necessary - just to get her checked up by Canaria, of course.

Amuro hates to interrupt the moment, but he has an important message from Ozma to Sheryl. "If you want an autograph," says Sheryl breezily, "you'll have to wait." It's a good thing she's in a good mood for Amuro, though, since the news isn't going to be nice. We're headed to the Gishin outpost directly, and they won't be able to send her back to the Frontier before they leave. In short, she'll be with GOONZ.

Sheryl's not too worried, though. She's sure Alto will protect her... or doesn't he think he can? "Of course I can," says Alto. "That's why I fly."

And if all those other rewards weren't enough, the chapter also rewards us with Nyan-Nyan's Famous Tuna Bun and a Fire Bomber CD.

Next week: the final showdown with the Gishin!