Part 44: Moon Door 1: Orbal Gear Project Part 2 - The Testing-Factory City of Zeiss-
I guess this is the place...?
W-Wait! Is that it?!
That's all the checks on the legs complete!
I guess I'll check the settings one more time, too. I've got nothing to do till Mom and Dad come back, so I should make the most of it.
Can't believe you're makin' a robot as nuts as this.
A-Agate?! What are you doing here?
Is it because of Mom?! Did she ask you to come here?!
Mom and Dad seem to've got you all wrong...
I keep trying to explain to them what you're really like, but they never listen to me.
It's not a big deal. I ain't here because your mom asked me to come, anyway.
I... Well... I heard you were working pretty hard down here. Like, as a proper engineer.
So I figured I'd come and join you as my way of showing my support, I guess. Helping with these tests is an official request anyway, so it works out.
Okay. Let me give you a brief rundown of the Orbal Gear, then. The prototype's most distinguishing characteristic is that the pilot can climb inside and operate it directly from within.
It hasn't been decided for sure the final model will necessarily be like this, though. Oh, and then there's how it reaches its maximum mobility...
Come over here for a minute.
M-Mom?! How long have you been there?!
So you've decided to assist with the tests, have you, Agate Crosner? You're so sweet. Does that mean you've finally accepted your sins and have come to repent?
I have no frickin' clue what you're talking about...
You were trying to get close to Tita thinking I wasn't here, weren't you?! Admit your sins and REPENT!
I finally have firsthand evidence!
For cryin' out loud, will you quit with the eyes? It's giving me the creeps.
Elderly Man's Voice: He might be completely useless when it comes to technology... but he's got potential, don't you think?
Man's Voice: You might just be right. I have to admit, there were concerns...
...but I can appreciate that he at least tries to follow subjects he doesn't understand instead of outright refusing to listen to them.
What're you two doing up there?! Especially you, Dan! You were just up on the roof with me a minute ago!
I did tell you I was going to watch the tests, didn't I?
Well, here I am!
(I-I can't work out what he's thinking any more than I can his wife...)
Don't you dare ignore me, Agate Crosner!
I suppose it's time for us to begin.
U-Umm... Err, what are we doing? I've finished all of the necessary final checks...
Good girl, Tita.
Let the testing begin!
What is wrong with this family?
-We Are the Capua Family!-
Well, Tita? Do you think you'll be able to operate it all right?
Yup! I'll be fine. I've had plenty of practice. I'm ready to go as soon as everyone else is!
Beginning monitoring. No problems in the data link!
Looks like we're good to go.
Okay, Agate. We're now going to begin testing on the Orbal Gear Ver. 0.5. You sure you're ready for this?
...Yeah, I am.
I've come this far. I'm not gonna turn tail now.
I want you to promise one thing before we begin, though.
The final test will be a mock battle between yourself and the Orbal Gear.
If you cause Tita to have so much as the ti-ni-est scratch on her...
...I'll be sending you up to the Goddess personally!
I wouldn't go quite that far, but you get the idea. Don't hurt her, all right?
I know, I know.
I ain't gonna hold back, but I ain't gonna hurt her, either.
That's all I wanted to hear.
Okay! For starters...
Dan went around Agate and began attaching small quartz to various points on his body.
Wh-What're you doing?
Those are so that we can collect data from your body in real time during the testing process. This prototype's mobility should be about equal to your own, if not a little above what you're capable of.
So this should be the perfect way to test what it can really do.
Well, if that's your reason...
You sure this isn't some form of harassment?
Haha. Of course not.
...Right. Erika, if you would?
...What am I even watching here?
That's Erika's Success Dance. She always does it before every big test or experiment.
needs zombies imho
Shaaaaaa! All righty! I'm ready!
I-I can't believe you still do that after all this time...
Hmph. It's not like it actually has any practical effect, either.
If you look at the data from all the tests she's done collectively, there's no difference in the odds of success whether she does it or not. Here. Let me take care of that...
As you can see, it's best to leave her alone when she gets all fired up like this.
(I'm feeling exhausted already, and we haven't even started yet...)
There are obstacles in the way, too, just so you know. Be careful of those. Are you ready, Agate?
Ready as I'll ever be. Let's get this started.
I'm here for work, not to play.
Haha. So you are.
Well, take your positions.
What just HAPPENED?! It flew!
I-I'm sorry, Agate... But Mom told me I had to finish the race by jumping over the finishing line all of a sudden.
(I should've known...)
Mind you, it's not like jumping was against the rules of the race. And we wanted to collect the data from it, too.
I'd say you've only got yourself to blame for getting cocky, wouldn't you?
Yes. The Russells are this petty.
This is a test of the Orbal Gear's precision. What I want you to do is to place the four colored drum cans on their corresponding tiles on the floor.
It'll be harder than it looks. Don't assume this is going to be a snap.
(If I lose this, I'm never going to hear the end of how I'm a clumsy excuse for a human, am I?)
All right. Let's get started, then.
The adjustments Dad made made all the difference, really. His tuning of the actuators was perfect.
I don't doubt that. He's always been good at handling these things.
The arms have acceleration control now, too.
Man, was there even any point in me being here if you're just gonna ignore me?
Well, that test was just about collecting data. It didn't really matter who won.
...that's not true for the next one.
Now the REAL fun begins!
The last test we're going to be performing is a mock battle to test the Orbal Gear's overall capabilities.
Take your positions, both of you.
We've been through this once before, but it bears repeating: only aim for the Orbal Gear. If I find so much as a hair out of place on Tita...
...you will be very painfully executed on the spot.
I know, I know. You don't need to keep stating the obvious.
Are you ready?
Bring it on!
-Heartless Surprise Attack-
If only there was some way to tag Ries in for this battle.
Wild Rage is actually a real risk at higher difficulties.
Just like with Richard, Tita can only be AT-Delayed some of the time.
And she's immune to knockback.
Tita does have a positioning advantage with all her ranged attacks, but there's always Draguna Edge.
Try and end the fight with high CP.
You don't have to win this one, but it's not difficult and Erika is even more obnoxious if you lose.
Don't worry, that's just a stun explosion.
-This Is Our Real Power!-
Care for a rematch?
-We Are the Capua Family!-
...Heh. That wraps that up.
You cheated! You totally, totally cheated!
Cheated, how? You're full of shit.
I am not! You used some kind of invisible special power. You must have!
L-Like hell, I did!
Wild Rage and Forte are anything but invisible.
All right, all right.
Well, I think it's only fair to call this Agate's victory.
That was the last of the tests, right? Request fulfilled, then. My work here's done.
Silly me! I nearly forgot, Dan.
Didn't you say you wanted a one-on-one fight against this redheaded ruffian yesterday?
Oh, right... I did.
Cassius told me a little about him, so I'd like the opportunity at some point.
(I have a bad, bad feeling about this...)
Heh. You're the best.
Go get your weapon!
It doesn't necessarily have to be now...
No! You're doing it NOW. No time to waste!
I'll leave things here to you, Erika.
He's the one who taught Cassius the basics of fighting with a staff ten years ago, even.
Cassius then went on to perfect the art of using one to fight himself, admittedly...
...but that should give you an idea of just how strong my awesome hubby is, surely.
Heh. Now I really don't wanna back down.
...Hey, wait a sec! The tests are over! My work is done! Why am I stuck doin' another completely unrelated fight?!
Your work's not done until I say it is, bucko!
Oh, yeah. While we're waiting for Dan, I need to check Tita hasn't got any injuries.
Because if she has, you know what's gonna happen...
Come on down, Tita!
What's wrong, sweetie?
I...kinda can't. Some weird error's come up and I don't know what to do...
-Close to the Brink-
Damn it! No!
Agh... No matter what commands I try to give it, it just won't respond! Shut it down, Tita!
I-I can't! It won't do anything I tell it to!
H-Hey... What's going on here?
Explain this in a way I can understand!
Have you lost control of it?!
The 'Orrible Gear.
Its moves are the same in PC LOAD LETTER mode, but it's quite a bit faster.
Anyway, you know what to do here.
GO! DRAGON DIVE!!
You doin' okay?! I've stopped it moving! Come on out!
I-I can't... The seatbelt's stuck...
it was actually like three times too late but who's counting
Tita and I are fine... but...
-Within the Heart-
...No... N-No... This is all my fault... All because of me, you...
I-I'm so...sorry... I'm always causing you nothing but trouble with my selfishness...
If I'd just kept quiet, none of this would've happened... This is all my fault... All of it... If I hadn't said I wanted to get closer to Renne...
I knew I couldn't really do anything for her... I knew this was just for my own satisfaction...
This wasn't what I wanted to happen at all... I swear, this wasn't what I was trying to do by getting involved in this project...
G-Give it a rest, will you? My head's poundin' enough without you crying...
It'll take more than that to finish me off. I figured you knew that...
Damn, though. That thing packs a punch. I'm lucky I was able to block the brunt of the impact with my sword...
Heh. If I hadn't, I'd probably have a date with the Goddess right about now.
H-Hey! I said I'm fine, all right? This is nothing! So stop your crying, all right?
B-But this is all because of me...
*sob* I'm so sorry! I'm so sorry! I... I... I'm not going to do this any more. I quit... S-So...
Don't you dare give up, Tita!
You heard me. Don't you dare just throw in the towel over something this small. You wanna get closer to Renne, right? You wanna understand her better, right?
Then try and do it. Don't just give up at the first hurdle you come across.
Even when you get hurt...?
I've had a worthless ten years, Tita. I'm not gonna deny that...but there was one thing I could never bring myself to do, and that was to throw this away. Never.
...But that's fine. Because this is why I'm the bracer that I am now.
Plenty of folks have things that become such a big part of them, they can't bear to throw them away or leave them behind. Things that, no matter how much they try to forget, they just can't.
I've got something like that. And I'm pretty sure you've found something like that, too. Don't you?
(He's right... I... I really do.)
I changed my mind! I won't give up!
I don't have time to stand around crying. Not when I've got things I need to do. I'll think about what I can do, and I'm going to do it! Because just like you're a bracer, I'm now a researcher!
It's all starting to make sense now...
See? I told you. He's rude, he's thickheaded, he's got all the tact of a wrench to the groin...
...but there's promise in him. That there is.
The preparations for it aren't quite finished...
...but I think it's time we get to the second phase of testing our redheaded friend right away!
Th-The hell are you talking about?
Tita seems to have come out of this unharmed, just as you promised.
I'd like you to come to our house this evening.
...Huh? I thought coming over for dinner was why I was here in Zeiss to begin with?
...You'll be MORE than welcome.
(What's goin' on with him all of a sudden?)
Umm... Thank you very much again for earlier. You ended up having to protect me again...
It's fine. It doesn't bother me!
S-Still, sorry, but I think I'm gonna have to pass on dinn--
Today we're having a hotpot full of mushrooms and wild plants, and a soup with lots of seaweed!
Mom and Dad finally seem to understand you better, too, so this should be really fun!
Heehee. Now we all get to enjoy a nice hotpot together!
Haha... I can hardly wait...
-A Cat Relaxing in the Sun-
So that's what it was... I can't believe I didn't notice that when I was doing the final checks... This is all my fault...
We don't know that for sure, Tita.
Let's not jump to conclusions. No good comes from blaming yourself or feeling responsible before we know if you even had anything to do with it.
'Just take it from me! I never own up to faults or mistakes, and I couldn't be happier.'
Young Man's Voice: Gaaah! Wh-Where the hell did this hammer come from! What's wrong with this place...?
Huh? That sounded like Agate...
Really? Probably just your imagination.
That reminds me! He should be here any minute now. I'd better go and warm up the food!
Young Man's Voice: Whoa! Why'd a bunch of lances pop outta the ground!
I think lances may have been overdoing it a tad.
At least stick with concealed holes in the ground, won't you?
*klunk trundleundleundleundle KLUDD*
Young Man's Voice: Gaaaaaah!
Umm... How long are we looking at before he's able to make it here, might I ask? I was hoping to have this chance to have a man-to-man talk with him.
Heehee... That, only the Goddess knows.
Seems like he's putting up a good fight.
But make no mistake, Agate Crosner...
Our testing process has only just begun!
She used to want him dead, but now she only wants him gone.
Side Story [Orbal Gear Project Part 2] finished!
Tita learned the craft Orbal Gear.
So that sure was Erika. But the reward is fantastic.
Tita can now call on the Orbal Gear whenever you choose.
Her HP is doubled in Orbal Gear mode. Her STR, DEF, SPD, and MOV all shoot right up as well.
Tita fields the same vicious power axe, machine guns, smoke missiles, and ramming jets that she did in the test battles.
There are a few tradeoffs. Tita can't use any arts while piloting the Orbal Gear, and she loses access to her regular crafts, including Chain Crafts and S-Crafts. She also loses the effects of any accessories she was wearing. The Orbal Gear is shielded against some of the nastier ailments but can still be Sealed, and since Tita can't even climb out if that happens she'll be in some strife. Keep a few Seal cures handy just in case, and Tita will be one of your top ass kickers from this point forward.