Part 23: Chapter #12: The Deadliest ATAC, Part 1It's time....
Chapter #12: The Deadliest ATAC
: If the entrance guards spot us, they will immediately notify the others.
: Mmmmm. We'll have to plan our approach carefully, then.
: I hope my little brothers are doing alright, Bastion. I hope they miss me as much as I miss them...
: I asked Reyna if she would date me...and she laughed so hard that milk came out of her nose!
: Bastion, we've run out of snack food! I need my daily fix of chocolate, man! I NEED IT!!
: ... ... ... Nice try, Bastion, but I never lose a staring contest.
: Thomson was a great man, Your Highness. His soul will guide us as we destroy the Empire...
: Bastion, why is a beer better than a woman? Because a beer doesn't mind if you have another beer.
: When we get married, Bastion, I'm going to make you play with me and Kyu-Kyu every single day.
My entire team is insane. Spectacular.
I'm not sure that we should be winging it when it comes to a delicate hostage-rescue situation. But hey, what do I know, I don't even like Diehard...
: We have to defeat the two ATACs at the entrance before they can signal the others.
: But it don't matter how quickly we defeat them, because the others will the fighting anyway.
It's the triumphant return of Zeira's on-again, off-again regional dialect!
: Alright. We'll lure the guards away from the gates...giving Andrew and Zeira adequate time to sneak into the town ahead of us and liberate the hostages. How does that sound?
: Like a plan of action. But now we must decide what to use as a lure!
: That was the obvious flaw in my plan. There must be a way...
: Don't worry, Bastion! I'll take care of the guards!
: And how will you do that, Devlin?
: With my unparalleled trash-talking. And while they're busy with me, Zeira and Andrew can sneak in!
: Are you sure, Devlin? I don't think you're a very smooth talker.
: You just haven't seen me at work, Reyna! Trust me, I'm an expert.
I am willing to let Devlin put his life on the line for this operation, it's a no-lose situation!
: If...you...say so, Devlin.
: Wish me luck!
: Identify yourself or be destroyed!
: That's a Kingdom ATAC, isn't it?
: Hmmmm? That was strange. I thought I heard an extremely effeminate voice calling out to me. Perhaps this part of the Continent is populated with fairies!
Lame insult or gay slur? You decide!
: What?! Cease your stupidity and tell us who you are before we beat you senseless!
: Oh, Imperial soldiers! How cute! Not that I'm an expert on Imperial policy, but aren't you guys standing unusually close to each other?
: Actually, we both just graduated from the Imperial Academy. Do you think we're standing too close?
: I think you're in just the right place...For me to POOP ON! Heh, heh, heh!
Hey, Triumph the Comic Insult Dog was big back in 2000.
: The bastard is mocking us!
: Did I make you angry? I'm amazed that you have a large enough intellect to understand my insults at all!
: You just doomed yourself to death with that comment, you fool!
: Oh, really? Let's see if you know how to pilot those ATACs, rookies! Now's your chance! Go!
: You ARE a Kingdom soldier!
: And you're even bigger suckers than the ones Barlow gnaws on!
Two weak Imperials against the bulk of our forces...
But, then again, that's not the part of this mission that everyone's so worked up about, is it?
: I wonder how it's going inside. I hope Zeira and Andrew were able to handle the other Imperials.
Its hour come around at last...
: It does not matter, uff course, now dhat I control dhe Sharking. I vill kill the Prince, ant his army, ant the hostages, ant anyone else I veel like killing!
: Have any of you seen an ATAC like that before?! It's...horrible!
The Sharking....There are a lot of scary numbers on this screen, and if you could see how its attacks worked, there'd be even more. Still, there's only one number that really matters when you're facing a Sharking, and that's FP. It still can only take on 100 FP before it's dizzied. I cannot stress how important that fact is to winning this game.
Now, the other Imperial ATACs are much weaker than Zakov. You can, if effect, use them as a human shield to protect yourself against the Sharking. This shouldn't work. The Sharking has a devastating attack called Cutting Wheel that has a range of 4, and can mess you up. As a rule, however, the AI for Sharkings will almost never use that attack. We'll see this glitch exploited to its full potential in a few missions, but, at the moment, the important thing to remember is that Zakov will only attack ATACs that he's right next to.
: There he is!
: You have blatantly disobeyed the will of the Imperial Princess, and you shall be punished for it!
: (Damn it! Dhe little vench had fount me already?!)
: Sadira?! What's SHE doing here?
: Uh...it is a great honor to have you grace dhe fielt of battle, Princess.
: You ignored my orders, Zakov, and your insincere compliments won't make me forget that! Retreat now or I will use force to repel you!
: Vhat?! You voult attack me?! You voult...Heh, heh, heh! By all means, Sadira! I velcome your assault upon me! Strike me and declare your alliance vith the Kingdom!
: I am attacking the Kingdom Army. Attack me, and you haff sided with dhe Kingdom. Is dhat not obvious? Dhe people or dhe Empire vill be shocked to learn of dhe betrayal of dhe Imperial Princess.
: He's right...
Uh...what? No, he's not. Sadira is a princess. That outranks Zakov by quite a bit. She ordered him to not use the Sharking. He disobeyed. She ordered him to stop using the Sharking. He disobeyed. But somehow stopping his effective mutiny counts as treason? I don't think that's how it works.
: Vhy don't you stand over dhere ant watch our glorious wictory instead? You vill be wery impressed vith dhe speed and power of dhe Sharking! And perhaps you vill realize vhere your loyalties should lie.
: I'm sorry, Princess Sadira.
: ... ... ... Heed my words, Zakov! I will not state my warning again! Retreat now or be destroyed!
: Aargh! I vill defeat dhese Kingdom fools, and dhen I vill defeat YOU!
Barlow shows us all how to deal with Sharkings, hit him with Turbulences until they're over 60 FP, and then laugh as he's forced to skip turn after turn trying to keep up. This mission is a bit tricky because you don't have Zeira or Andrew, who would be very helpful in that regard.
As long as you can keep Zakov from doing much, it's just a matter of cleaning up the other troops, which aren't much of a concern. I didn't get a screenshot of it, but I mess up for a second and Zakov manages to ice Galvas.
This is what an attack from the Sharking looks like. And note that the Cutting Wheel does the least damage of the Sharking's three attacks. So, Sharkings aren't anything to freak out over, but, well, you can't pretend they're just another enemy either.
Anyway, during the battle, I also finish converting Nana from deadweight into a top-half member of the team, as shown by her unlocking Terra Shock, her most powerful attack.
I celebrate my flinging my troops against Zakov until they finally dizzy and subsequently kill him. It's probably best to leave Zakov for last, as while immobilizing him is fairly easy, killing him is going to require a more coordinated effort. Remember, the only reason that Zakov doesn't counter-attack Turbulence is because it's a knockdown attack, which the AI is hardwired to defend against. Other types of attacks are apt to be avoided at a lower FP cost, or counter-attacked.
Franco and Sadira hang around during the battle, but neither are strong enough to provide much except for kill-stealing. In this playthrough, Franco managed to engage in a duel with an enemy grunt for the entire battle. In fact, I've already killed everyone else, but he is still trying to fend off the same ATAC.
: What have I done?
Nest Time: A terrifying sneak peek into the soul-shattering Empire Branch!