Part 39: Episode XXXVII: Fei Fong Wong and the C Block Battlers
Episode XXXVII: Fei Fong Wong and the C Block Battlers
"Gee...that was quick! Is it really that easy?"
"Normally it isn't so easy! But a woman called Rue from the Battling Committee seems to have done some pushing and pulling on your behalf!"
"The Battling Committee...? Oh, you mean those three?"
No, the alley beat down Battling Committee... Come on, bro. Keep up!
"Well, anyway, thanks to them, the enrolling process went like a breeze! Hey hey! This means you can start Battling whenever you want to, bro!"
Is there something strange going on behind the scenes that I don't know about?"
"... Huh? N, n, no! N, nothing! N, n, nothing at all! The mechanic of champions, me, has had his sins wiped clean so there is nothing to be suspect of! Hahaha!"
"What do you mean? I told you there is nothing at all!
What, dont you trust me, bro? Thats cold, bro. Cold as ice.
Eh...sorry. Dunno why I would trust a black market merchant from the walled off criminal section of town, that I met yesterday, to not be on the level.
Oooh! I've got a lot to do, so I'll go on ahead of you!"
Hammer runs off...
"What are you up to. Not saying where you're going to..."
Man, why doesnt anyone give directions in this city...?
Hammer charges back in...
The Battling Arena is on the outskirts of D-Block. Talk to the guard and he should let you pass. Bye!"
"...The outskirts of D-Block?"
Hammer runs off again...
"Fei! Hold on a second!"
Citan trots upstairs...
I dont recall saying anything of that sort...
There is something that I am curious about! I shall join you in going to the Battling Arena. Is it not too late to split up after that?"
Dont you have like...duties as a doctor for the slums?
Indeed. My first order of business is to declare everyone in the D Block has a clean bill of health. Well then, shall we depart?
"...? Well...whatever! Anyway, let's get going!"
We can now pass that guard that early stopped us with info about the Battling Committee skulking about looking for Fei. So, lets head to the Nortune world map.
Welcome to the scenic metropolis of Nortune. Population 1 million. At the moment we have very little freedom to move about the city. I am curious about the big reddish purple ship in the center of town...
But for now, off to C Block for some Battling.
Music: Stage of Death
"...Or the reception area to be exact."
Thanks, Doc. Couldnt figure that out on my own...
"Welcome to the Battling Arena... Fei, Sir...
Rue and her subordinates walk out from a side room...
Has something happened in the last few days to make you change your mind in such a large way?"
"Well, I have my reasons. For starters, you can't say prison life is that easy. ...And then there's the matter of personal safety!"
...Got a D Block Handshake, did you?
What does that even mean...?
Bro, its where someone... *whisper* ...and twist... *mutter* ...and they make them take their tongue and... *whisper* ...and then you shake it.
...Eww. EWW! No, I didnt get one of those!
If you say so...
"Then there's this collar! It gets in the way so much!"
"Your collar...? Hahahmm... You're amusing! Are you intending to aim for victory despite it being your first try at Battling?"
"...Is that strange?"
I am the protagonist, aint I?
"No, no! Not the least... Please excuse me! You seem to have quite some confidence in fighting with Gears... I'm looking forward to..."
*stops* "Oops...excuse me! Well, I guess I'll show you the way to the paddocks. We don't have much time..."
"What, you're thinking that you're going to fight with flesh and blood? ...Hahahmm, not that I wouldn't mind seeing it, but..."
Make a note to look into the costs of human on Gear Battling matches...
"We told you before that the committee would prepare a machine for you... What did you forget?"
*nods* "Oh, err... The Gear I'm going to pilot will be, er..."
"Well, come on now. Walk this way..."
Citan asks to take a time out before we begin. Were given time to save up, buy some crap from Hammer, or do a tutorial or two on Battling. But meh. Well figure it out as we go along. Lets bite the bullet.
"Beyond there is the Gear paddock... Not much time till the first bout. You had better hurry..."
Fei, Citan, and Hammer head for the paddock...
"Report to the officials. Pilot confirmation complete. Suggest first bout opponent to be the black Gear..."
A short while later...
...Really a surprise to anyone?
"This must be the Gear that was furnished by the committee!"
...Gimme a break. I think I could dump this thing down an erupting volcano and move out into the middle of the woods somewhere and Id still somehow have it end up in my backyard one day.
"...Hmmm. I do not think this is coincidental... I am simply assuming, but they probably intentionally furnished you with Weltall to collect some data."
*nods* "Battling itself serves as one of Kislev's plans. From Battling, they can obtain the various combat data...and talented Battlers which can be used for the military."
"Exactly what kind of data could they get outta him and I...?"
"I would not know."
Scientists just seem to have some manner of obsession with battle data. I recall an old colleague of mine once boasted about the mountains of combat data he gathered by tricking his team to all get killed by monsters in some old manor.
...What in the hell would that achieve?
I have no idea. But the next time I saw him he could dodge bullets from point blank range and lift missiles with his bare hands. So perhaps he was on to something... In any case...
"I can assure you that this has something to do with that incident with Aveh..."
"You are able to get the Gear you are most used to."
Man, I am gonna be ticked off if they messed with my radio settings. I had that bass JUST perfect.
"If you think about it, this just enhanced our probability of escaping..."
Music: Steel Giant
Welp, time for some Battling. We can play the tutorial or have a practice match before the main event. But, lets just jump right in...
- Beginning Bout
Hey, did I mention Battling wasnt at all like normal combat? No? Well have a cheesy fighting game versus loading screen (yes this is real) and hang on for some bad mini-game action.
Welcome to Battling: A real-time one-on-one fighter combat mini-game! Heaven or Hell?! Lets rock!
Battling involves combating an enemy gear in a massive arena. The object of the game is to beat the hell out of the other Gear before it beats the hell out of us. This translates into depleting the health gauge of our opponent. Simple enough. Weve got very different tools at our disposal for this task. Our available options are:
- Running around like a spaz.
- Jumping around like a spaz.
- Blocking. - Enemy attacks do 50% damage. Fei must remain stationary while blocking.
- Dashing. Weltall gets a boost of speed to zoom around the area at double time.
- Light and Heavy attacks Basic robot kung fu. Attacks can be strung together to perform combos. Theres no move list or anything. So just mash and hope for the best!
- Charge Shots Weltall can now fire Hadokens. Sure, why not?
Thats about it. Now, lets look at some annoying new features...
Gears seem to operate completely differently in Battling Arenas. Gears now have infinite fuel. So were free to attack as much as we please. Standard robot kung fu can now be performed until the cows come home. In exchange for this unlimited Fuel supply, they apparently removed the Gears air conditioning. As such, Gears now overheat all the damn time.
Standard attacking can be done to our hearts content, since doing a giant robot Shoryuken is apparently not at all taxing to a Gears system. But dashing and fireballs will both raise the Heat Gauge. Thats the meter below the characters portraits. If the Heat Gauge reaches maximum, then any subsequent uses of Dash or Projectiles will cause immediate damage to Weltall. That is a bad thing.
We can reduce Heat by sticking to normal attacks or just running around (not DASHING though, you fool!) And...well, thats about all there is to Battling. Theres not much strategy. Its pretty much just a game of running over and mashing buttons in hopes that our giant robot beats up the other giant robot first. It is not particularly exciting...
Weltall beats on Ganador for a while...
Have it your way then... Playtime is now over! Let's get serious..."
Dammit. They DID mess with the radio...
Weltall then explodes. Welp!
Later that evening...
Oh good. It seems exploding has just landed Fei back in the hospital. Well, at least the Kislev Empire got valuable combo data stating Taking the cooling unit out of Gears...probably a bad idea...
Meanwhile...in a dark place...
"Wasn't that a bit too much? If Champ finds out, we're done for!"
"Hmph, I don't get it. Let's just get this over with. Tonight's creepy, the rats are restless."
"What, this isn't like you... Alright, then you take that one..."
The first one to find a dead cat down here wins the bet.
Man...aint nothing like the smell of raw sewage to make ya feel alive.
Heinrich wanders off further into the sewer...
The hairs on the back of my neck are all standin' up. Something weird's out there."
Some time later...
"...Huh? Hmm... must just be my imagination."
Oh hey, Predator. What are you doing down here?
Oh...gonna go kill that redshirt from the first person view, are ya? Thats cool. I mean, I guess EVERYONE is a red shirt when you only see that one color. But hey...
Poor Heinrich. Where the heck is Rico going to find another guy in Cyclops glasses that can shape shift into an albino Forest Elf?
Well...that was a thing. You know what this game hasnt had enough of lately...? People standing around the dorms and talking. Lets go back to that to top off the chapter.
The next morning...
This is getting embarrassing...
Citan wanders back into the room...
"Doc... What happened to me...? How did I get here...?"
"During the Battling match...there was a sudden explosion...remember?"
Kinda... I was pretty busy exploding...
"...That's right... In that explosion... I lost consciousness!?"
"It was a large explosion, but you were fortunate the Gear was Weltall...! Any other Gear and I would hate to think...
I mean...what if they had given you a non-plot related Gear out of the spare units heap? We would still be scrapping pieces of you from the floor.
Anyway, you are safe, that is what matters!"
"Thanks to... Weltall, huh? ...Doc. How many days have passed since then?"
"Only a day has elapsed since the accident. Your injuries were relatively minor, so..."
"Only one day..."
So whats that make it...? Like a month since Lahan...?
It has barely been over two weeks.
...Youre kidding me. This has been the WORST two weeks ever.
"What is the matter, Fei...?"
Yeah...a really weird one. I didnt even flashback to anything. Is that normal?
"...It was nothing, I guess. Don't worry about it, doc."
"Doc, I've got to get back to the Battling. I want to get this explosive collar off of me as soon as I can."
"Fei, how is your health holding up? I do not want you to push yourself..."
Considering I exploded yesterday...not bad. Besides...
"There's no use saying that. Time is not going to wait! I can't just do nothing..."
"...I suppose you are right. I understand what you mean, Fei. We have got to try and get out of here as soon as we possibly can. But that does not mean you have to over-exert yourself again, straight away! Take time to rest up a little more..."
Yeah, wed all better rest up. The worst sewer level ever looms in the distance...
Fei Concept Art