Part 113: Episode CX: Teen Girl Squad
Episode CX: Teen Girl Squad
Is that the right music youve got playing here...? Eh... Whatever...
We then began to search for the 'Anima Relics'... the catalyst to transform Gears into Omnigears. In the past, ten Relics had been recovered... It is said that about half of those are in the hands of the Ministry. According to Zephyr, there should be several more Relics hidden in the land. We knew then that Solaris would most certainly be searching for them. There was no way we could allow Solaris to have them. We visited the place where, using archaic records, Zephyr and her people had been able to get clues on the whereabouts of the Relics. Following the information we obtained from there, we headed towards the ruins of what seemed to be an ancient civilization.
Guess what? We actually get to play a segment of Disc 2! Elly is probably a bit busy with that whole Messiah thing she has going on lately, so she can take a breather. Citan skipped out of that Mass Driver dungeon like a punk, so hes coming this time. And poor Emeralda has gotten snubbed on being in an active party like ten times now. So lets give the kid a chance.
Welcome to the first Anima Dungeon! Surprise: It sucks! The opening area looks kind of neat, as it is some rather well intact sci-fi looking ancient Zeboim city. But, theres nothing to do out here but to collect a few treasure chests before heading into the actual dungeon.
Oh yeah, Citan finally got off his ass and fetched his Omnigear, Fenrir. Theres absolutely no fanfare or even an announcement about the upgrade. If you didnt bring Citan along to this segment, you probably wouldnt even notice. Not that it makes too much of a difference here. This is one of the last on-foot dungeons of the game.
To the left of where we begin is Shopkeep Johnny. He claims his family has been merchants for generations. Not sure how hes stayed afloat in ancient ruins. But in any case, he serves as the only store for items, equipment, and Gear upgrades for the bulk of Disc 2.
Hes got a full set of weapons and equipment upgrades for the party, so its best to at least update our current partys gear.
He also runs a Gear Shop where we can upgrade Crescens and Weltall-2s frames. Fenrir is a brand new Omnigear, so it already has equipment a few levels ahead of what is currently available. Just to further the fact that Citan is a dick holding back all the time.
Anyhow, a quick jog up the derelict highway will land us in the dungeon proper. I hope you liked that semi-detailed exterior establishing shots.
The rest of the dungeon is a bunch of good ol Xenogears endless corridors lined with blue LEDs brand dungeon crawling. Joy of joys.
Music: Stage of Death ~ Orchestral Version
There are only two random battle mobs in this entire (mercifully short) area. Death Eaters (not to be confused with the hammy goth losers from Harry Potter) are mutants that attack by munching on people. Getting munched on only hurts for 100+ HP of damage. However, performing any sort of Deathblows on a Death Eater and, as the name suggests, it will straight up devour that part member killing them and causing the character in question to be out of the rest of the battle. Other than that, theyre punching bags with tons of HP and seldom attack, making em great for Deathblow grinding.
The second mob is the much more assholish Defencer drones. When fighting more than one of these, youre pretty much guaranteed to come out of the fight full of bumps and bruises. All their attacks are total pains in the ass. They can explode, hitting everyone (enemy and ally) down by 50% HP. Theyve got a laser attack that does 50-150 damage depending on the characters Ether defense. Defencers get to do that attack twice in a row. And lastly, theyve got a huge Fuck you, youre dead ability in which the robot shoots a laser which does 10x the party members current EP. Considering theres no reason to use any magic at the time, which means that will probably hit for well over the characters max health, killing them instantly.
But hey, while were in the neighborhood lets give Emeralda a whirl. Shes been in the party for 18 update now but never seems to get a chance to fight. Which is a shame seeing as Emeralda is, while not the strongest stats wise, is otherwise fucking INSANE in battle if just for the way she attacks. Remember how Emeralda is a nanomachine colony? This basically means shes a cute little T-1000 that can mold her machine body into all manner of murder tools on a whim.
For instance, she can turn her hair into a gigantic drill...or a scythe...or a whip...
Emeralda can also morph her legs into an axe or her arms into saw blades and swords...
Or hell, she can just shift her entire body into a giant spiky wrecking ball...
...or maybe just a giant fuck-off hammer. Since, why not? If I could turn into a giant hammer and brain people pissing me off, I sure as hell would.
The kiddo can also do all kinds of crazy stuff in her Deathblows like turning her hands into giant fans to create tornados or breaking her body down into its core components so she can shift through an enemy, liquefying their innards in the process, before re-forming on the other side.
But thats not all. Emeralda also comes equipped with the same type of elemental offensive magic Ether spells that Elly has. Only Emeralda is a way better mage. There is pretty much never a reason to use Elly over Emeralda for any reason. And were not even getting into Crescens being the fastest Gear in the game and having great damage output.
So in summary: Emeralda is awesome.
But, what is not awesome is this dungeon. I reckon the reason we just didnt get any abridged summary of this one is that it took all of a day to hack together from re-used assets from the less interesting sections of Krelians Lab and the Ethos Dig Site.
There are locked doors that need to be opened via computer consoles and computer consoles that need to be powered up with missing fuses and fetch quests to find those missing fuses (which are just down the hall past 10 random battles.)
And theres a couple dopey puzzles involving inputting codes corresponding to lit LED lights and it is all amazingly forgettable. So lets just cut to the chase.
After several elevator rides downward through the complex and another dumb, poorly explained math puzzle everyone just looked up on GameFAQs, we come to the bottom of the facility.
Well...eventually we do... Theres a long hallway with fancy sci-fi bolt sealed hallways. Someone was really impressed with the animation of the bolts blasting un-done and the gate unscrewing open, as they make us sit through it four times before the next room.
Everyone shuffles into the central room of the Anima Dungeon. Elly and Billy decide to show up too for some reason...
"The Anima Relic..."
Fei fiddles with the control panel at the end of the walkway...
Huh. So thats an Anima Relic, huh? I feel like Ive seen that somewhere before...
Everything alright over there Jerry?
I don't know. I don't know... What should I do...? You were waiting? For me...?"
That looked nothing at all like your Gear...
Do you even remember what my Gear looks like, Fei?
Sure...its the one with the...
*looks Billy over* ...The guns. And its umm...? Blue!
*narrows eyes* ...You win this round.
"Maybe something has happened to your Gear. Let's head for the exit and see if any change has taken place."
A short while later. Thankfully, they dont pull an Ethos Dig Site on us with the backtracking...
Music: Knight of Fire
"I see you've gained a new Gear that has been aligned with an Anima Relic."
Not sure how you know that when we are still checking out if it did anything. Besides, how did you even find us?!
Youve got the only flying sandcruiser submarine around. It kinda sticks out...
*looks over right shoulder*
...Not even gonna ask.
"You know that we should have been the ones to have it... We need stronger powers in order for Commander Ramsus to realize his long-cherished desires."
"Yes, for the building of our ideal country, we can't allow you to take it."
"So, c'mon... let us have it!"
"You knew what Solaris was doing to the surface dwellers... And you know what the situation is like now on the earth... And yet you..."
"What the Gazel do or whatever happens to the Lambs, are not my concerns. Each of us have our own obligations to fulfill. We don't have time to deal with affairs concerning you weak and inferior people."
"Dominia... Do you truly believe that?"
"Yes. Look at yourselves, for instance... You, the strong and the superior, were the first to preserve yourselves, without any mutations. Is that not right?"
It was pure coincidence that we didn't mutate."
Coincidence and character portraits.
"People are people. Nothing more or less. I admit that there are the weak and powerless. But that's no reason for us to forsake them. We are all the same human beings!"
Im 90% machine.
Im an elf.
Im a bunny!
I keep bumping into things.
Im made out of nanomachines.
Yeah...whatever... Elly is a reincarnated saint and I am like two or three different people from the past or some crap. It still doesnt mean we need to be dicks to one another.
...Unless youre doc.
I prefer to call it tactically compassionate myself.
"So... You wish to give a hand to those who would be saved?"
*tears up and shakes head* "You're so ni~ce and ki~nd!"
"How commendable. But... is that really what's best for mankind?"
"You were all once surface dwellers. Weren't you all forced to live under the oppression of Solaris? I KNOW that you know how it feels to be a 'have-not', so why do you...?"
"People must be able to stand on their own in any circumstances they are in. Overprotection only stunts the will to be independent. This stunts the growth of the people and the world. We've experienced that first hand. Live by one's own strength, stand on one's own feet! It's sad but true that the weak will be weeded out... But we cannot look back. That is the providence of human existence."
...We did kind of turn a third of the population into zombies last time we tried to help the masses...
"That is just the providence of those who are the 'haves'!"
"Hmph. So be it then, show me this providence of yours that wishes to save the meager 'have-nots'!"
Ugh... Did you both take drama together back in high school...?
"Here I come!"
Alright, time to take on all four of the Elements. Billy has scurried off to go check out his sweet new Omnigear. And Elly is getting really fucking annoying with her have/have-not business so she can bugger off.
Anyhow, there are a few gimmicks to this boss battle. Being the Elements and all, most of Teen Girl Squad here absorbs elemental attacks. Dominia is the only exception. But she possesses the gimmick of being invincible until we defeat the other three girls. Well, not invincible. But she auto-heals 5000 HP when attacked until her comrades are beaten. So well worry about her last.
Tolone and Seraphita we already fought back in Zeboim and theyve really not changed at all, other than having more HP and a bit more attack power. Though Tolones wind based attacks arent remotely as effective this go around.
Seraphita still has the annoying ability to steal all the EP from a character. But thats not too much of a burden in our current party. Lets take a look at the two new on-foot battlers.
Dominia doesnt bother with any magic spells. Shes all about running over and slashing a single character with her sword. Elf-girl has two variations of said melee attacks but theyre both lucky to do triple digit damage.
Kelvena, on the other hand, doesnt attack at all. She is the Elements White Mage and will heal injured teammates every turn (or dispel status effects then heal.) As such, shes target number one for this fight.
But thats what we tolerate Citan Uzukis dickery as, with all his Deathblows unlocked off-screen, he can easily one-shot the first three Elements in three turns. While the Elements absorb most elemental attacks, they are EXTREMELY WEAK against their opposing element. So Kelvena gets her shit wrecked by fire. Indeed, we can take her out within ten seconds into the fight given there is never a time Citan doesnt get the initiative in a battle. An invisible ninja that can stop time using dark arts could sneak up on a sleeping Citan wearing earplugs and the doc would still get the first turn in that battle.
Seraphita is the next one to get her parade rained on, since she steals EP like a jerk and thats mildly irritating. Plus she is just way too anime for her own good.
And Tolone brings up the rear since shes mostly harmless but still in the way. And she looks like a Cyborg Fem-Billy and that never stops being creepy.
After the first three Elements are down for the count, Dominia stops using her insta-heal ability in exchange for an overly long teleporting multi-slash melee that still only does around 200 HP of damage and only hits a single character. Dominia lacks elemental absorption powers (but still has a weakness to wind) so the party can just lay into her with whatever 7AP Deathblows suits their fancy. Or Citan could just kill her in a whole THREE turns, since she is extra tough.
We get almost no experience or gold for beating up a bunch of anime girls. But they do drop a fine assortment of narcotics for instant stat upgrades. Remember when Elly was a drugged up villain that one time from this stuff? Man that feels like a lifetime ago.
After the battle...
We may have fared poorly when we fought in the flesh, but we will finish you off in our Gears!"
...Ramsus did tell you that I completely owned him in like half a minute last time he fought me in my upgraded Gear, right?
"Come! Follow me!"
Everyone piles into their Gears and follows for the next leg of the boss rush...
"What meaning is there in fighting again!?"
I mean come on, youre collectively like 0-10 against us. Thats worse than Ramsus... Ramsus! Just give it up already.
"Silence! Now we have no choice but to fight. Now we will show you the true power of the Elements! Get ready... because here we come!"
So, screen shots cannot do the next sequence justice. So just go ahead and click the link before and enjoy.
Click to view cutscene ( You should definitely watch this. )
Elements Concept Art