Robot 101 is essential curriculum - Let's Play Super Robot Wars L

What game is this?
Super Robot Wars (SRW) L was the last game of the series to be released on the Nintendo DS and, while the series has a couple of games released in the west (plus a few patches or, recently, Singapore-based English releases), it is completely understandable if you’ve never heard of it.
SRW games are, essentially, massive crossovers of mecha anime that have been built around a solid strategy game – all the different stories are tied together by an original plot.
L tends to be the less famous of the three DS games; most people have played W and it’s regarded as the best, K is infamous for its many problems (including, but not limited to, plagiarized music and a MC whose biggest achievement was becoming the SRW meme) but L never really garnered a lot of attention.
Mechanically, though, it follows in K’s footsteps but gives it a few needed tweaks.

Why LP this game?
As I said, L isn’t that well-known (I confess that I haven’t beaten it myself) and that leads to the lack of available summaries. It doesn’t have a MNeidengard guide, which is a rarity, and the only one available is, by the author’s own admittance, lacking a lot of plot detail.
I wanted to play this one for a while, so I figured I’d do an in-depth guide for it along the way.

What series can be found here?
L’s list borrows a lot from K’s, though it also adds some old veterans and newcomers:

  • Rebuild of Evangelion – 1.0 and some of 2.0
  • Fight, Iczer-1!
  • Iczer Reborn/Adventure! Iczer-3!
  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
  • New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz
  • Super Electromagnetic Robo Combattler V
  • Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V
  • Gaiking – Legend of Daiku Maryu
  • Koutetsushin Jeeg
  • Beast Machine Armor Dancouga Nova
  • Mazinkaiser – Showdown with the Great General of Darkness!
  • Marriage of God and Soul – Godannar
  • Macross Frontier
  • Linebarrels of Iron (the anime, not the manga)

Shows making their debut in L are both Iczers, Dancouga Nova, Linebarrel and Macross Frontier (which went on to be in everything for a good many years).

How will you play this game?
Well, since there’re almost no summaries available, I’ll just have to cook one up from scratch. I’ll try to follow whatever names find in wikis to keep in line with previous translation works, unless I see something being horribly mistranslated. Don’t think that’ll happen, though.

I will TRY to post regularly but I can’t specify a firm schedule. As I often said during the MX LP, my free time has been about cut in half, so things will be posted whenever possible. Barring something going horribly wrong, I will absolutely finish this but don’t expect another six-month clear like before.

:siren: And, as always, series spoilers are allowed as long as they are tagged but original story spoilers are OFF LIMITS. :siren:

Mission list:

Prologue 1 - Another Encounter

Prologue 2 - Galaxy Chase

Mission 1 - The Youth Drawn to Iron

Mission 2 - Special Training: Mach Drills!

Mission 3 - The Woman Who Fights, The Woman Who Won’t Fight, The Woman Who Can’t Fight

Mission 4 - Enter the Giant of Flames

Mission 5 - Red Impact, Blue Terror

Mission 6 - The Day the Sky Fell

Mission 6 - Route Split

Mission 7 (Rescue Route) - Chaotic World

Mission 8 (Rescue Route) - The Price of Justice

Mission 9 (Rescue Route) - A Will to Fight

Mission 10 (Rescue Route) - Engage, Godannar!

Mission 7 (Retreat Route) - The Wind Blowing Through the Proud Fang

Mission 8 (Retreat Route) - The Legend of Daiku Maryu

Mission 9 (Retreat Route) - Operation Carnival

Mission 10 (Retreat Route) - At the Tip of the Muzzle

Mission 11 - Prelude to Battle

Mission 12 - Prologue
Mission 12 - After-School Visitor

Mission 13 - A Reason to Fight - Part 1
Mission 13 - A Reason to Fight - Part 2

Mission 14 - Nighttime Deathmatch

Mission 14 - Route Split

Mission 15 (Alliance Route) - Our Path

Mission 16 (Alliance Route) - Intervention

Mission 15 (JUDA Route) - Traitorous Blue - Part 1
Mission 15 (JUDA Route) - Traitorous Blue - Part 2

Mission 16 (JUDA Route) - Operation JUDA Reclamation - Part 1
Mission 16 (JUDA Route) - Operation JUDA Reclamation - Part 2

Mission 17 - Entrusted Hope

Mission 18 - Hoping for Retrieval

Mission 19 - Assault at Aso

Mission 19 - Route Split

Mission 20 (Minerva Route) - Descending Angels

Mission 21 (Minerva Route) - The Dannar Base, Hanging By a Thread

Mission 22 (Minerva Route) - Heart Break

Mission 20 (Himika Route) - Contact With the Unknown

Mission 21 (Himika Route) - Langoon’s Revival! Reclaim the Bronze Bells!

Mission 22 (Himika Route) - The Blade of the Soul, Piercing Through Evil

Mission 23 - The Warriors’ Encounter

Mission 24 - When the Great Power Cleaves the Sky

Mission 25 - A God to Bring Woe and Grief to an End

Mission 26 - Individual Wishes

Mission 27 - The Enemy We’re to Fight

Mission 28 - A Broken Promise

Mission 28 - Route Split

Mission 29 (Space Route) - Triangular

Mission 30 (Space Route) - Little Queen, Little Sister

Mission 31 (Space Route) - Set Out on an Interstellar Flight…

Mission 29 (Earth Route) - The Awakening of the God Beast

Mission 30 (Earth Route) - Transcendent Evolution

Mission 31 (Earth Route) - The Demon-Eater

Mission 32 - The Song That Was Played

Mission 33 - The Chosen Future

Mission 34 - The Light of the Iczelio

Mission 35 - The Eternal Soldier - Part 1
Mission 35 - The Eternal Soldier - Part 2

Mission 36 - In the Name of Justice

Mission 37 - Flower of Steel

Mission 38 - True Begin

Mission 39 - Journey’s End

Mission 40 - Wings of Time

Mission 41 - The Light of Hope

Ye Olde Super Robot Discotheque

1) Macross Frontier

  1. Alto, Ozma, Jeffrey, Klan, Canaria, Luca and Michel’s theme - Triangular

  2. Sheryl’s Song #1 - Sagittarius☆9pm ~ Don’t be late

  3. Sheryl’s Song #2 (from Z2.2) - Diamond Crevasse

  4. Sheryl’s Song #3 - Northern Cross

  5. Ranka’s Song #1 - Aimo

  6. Ranka’s Song #2 - Interstellar Flight

  7. Macross F OST - Do You Remember Love? ~ Bless the Little Queen

  8. Sheryl and Ranka’s Duet - Lion

  9. May’n & Megumi Nakajima - Lion

2) Super Electromagnetic Machine Voltes V

  1. Voltes’ battle theme - The Song of Voltes V

3) Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny

  1. Shinn, Rey, Lunamaria, Heine, Athrun and Talia’s theme - Ignited

  2. Kira, Waltfeld, Cagalli and Murrue’s theme - Follow Your Heart, Kira

  3. T.M. Revolution - Ignited

  4. T.M. Revolution - Vestige

4) Banpresto Originals

  1. Ichitaka/Alice’s theme - Head To the Blue Skies

  2. Pre-asskicking theme - Hope’s Blossom

  3. Yuu/Haruno’s theme - Feathers Fluttering in the Night Sky

  4. Bad Guys’ theme - Potential for Glory

  5. Rushbird’s special attack theme - In Front of a New Door

  6. Straybird’s special attack theme - You Can Be Sincere

  7. Very special attack theme - Wings of Time

  8. Final Boss theme - Great Throne

  9. Final stage theme - The Light of Hope

  10. Ending theme

  11. Appropriately hype theme for the final beatdown - JAM Project - Savior in the Dark

5) Linebarrels of Iron

  1. Kouichi, Yamashita, Reiji, Miu and Jack, Sawatari and Yulianne’s theme - Sword of the Demon Emperor

  2. Event theme - PROUD

  3. Ali Project - Sword Of The Demon Emperor

  4. Lisa Komine - PROUD

6) Beast Machine Armor Dancouga Nova

  1. Dancouga Nova’s theme - A Bird’s Song

  2. Senri Manaka - A Bird’s Song

8) Koutetsushin Jeeg

  1. Kenji, Kyo, Tsubaki, Yagyuu and Micchi’s theme - Stormbringer

  2. Big Goddamn Heroes theme - Dead or Alive

  3. JAM Project - Dead or Alive

  4. JAM Project - Stormbringer

  5. SRW Alpha 3 - The Song of Steel Jeeg

9) Mazinkaiser OVA

  1. Kouji, Tetsuya, Jun, Boss and Sayaka’s theme - Fire Wars

  2. Upgrade theme - Enter the Devil

10) Fight, Iczer-1!

  1. Iczer-1 and Iczer Robo’s theme - Iczer Robo

  2. Iczer-1’s event theme - The Eternal Iczer-1

  3. Iczer-2’s theme - The Unbeatable Iczer-2

  4. Iczer-1 OST - My Target

  5. Iczer-1 OST - Iczer Robo

11) Super Electromagnetic Robo Combattler V

  1. Combattler’s theme - The Theme of Combattler V

12) Marriage of God and Soul Godannar

  1. Goh, Anna, Mira, Shizuru, Tetsuya, Ken and Lou’s theme - Marriage of God and Soul Godannar

  2. Godannar’s event theme - Engage, Godannar!

  3. Akira Kushida - Marriage of God and Soul Godannar

  4. Mitsuko Horie & Ichiro Mizuki - Engage, Godannar!

13) Gaiking - Legend of Daiku Maryu

  1. Daiya, Lulu, Yanma, Dick, Norza, Lee, Kain, Vestanu and Puria’s theme - Gaiking

  2. Proist’s theme - Dvorak ~ From the New World

  3. Dvořák - Symphony №9, 4th Movement, Allegro Con Fuoco

  4. Psychic Lover - Gaiking

  5. Ultimate power theme - Its Name is Gaiking the Great

  6. Akira Kushida - Its Name is Gaiking the Great

14) New Mobile Report Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz

  1. Heero, Quatre, Zechs, Duo, Hilde, Wufei and Noin’s theme - Last Impression

15) Rebuild of Evangelion

  1. Shinji’s theme - Decisive Battle

  2. Berserk EVA-01’s theme - The Beast

  3. Asuka’s theme - Red Ambassador

16) Iczer Reborn/Adventure! Iczer-3!

  1. Iczer-3 and Iczer Robo’s theme - Oath ~ Iczer-3… With You

  2. Maiko Yoshino - Oath ~ Iczer-3… With You

Click to see the mission!

Space – the final frontier of mankind.

No one knows the myriad mysteries it’s concealed from its onset or what events may be occurring throughout its reaches.

Lost galactic civilizations… recurring histories… parallel worlds… all possibilities lie here, hitherto untouched by human hands.

We open with a New United Nations Spacy (NUNS) soldier reporting to his superior a gravitational distortion up head – he figures it’s a Fold Out, but quickly changes his opinion and reports a Warp.
Quickly, something emerges before them: a bird-shaped ship or fortress or something. The NUNS officer sounds the alarm across the fleet and orders someone get in touch with the president’s office.

Leon Mishima, over by said office, hears the alarm signaling an encounter with an unknown entity – sooner than he expected.
When he gets in touch with the NUNS officer, the guy reports the unidentified vessel up ahead. Is it a derelict Zentradi ship? They’re still investigating but, by the looks of it, the thing appears Earth-made and, furthermore, it doesn’t appear hostile.

Howard, the president, says protecting the fleet is the top priority right now and orders both the NUNS troops and SMS Squad ready to roll out – that said, he doesn’t want anyone to attack until further notice.
Right then, the officer gets confirmation on what the thing is: the Solar Falcon. That surprises Howard and, plus, we’re detecting faint life signs aboard – no answer to our hails, though. Mishima remembers the Solar Falcon, a legendary ship said to have protected Earth from invaders of Planet Boazan before the Unification Wars.
Said ship, Howard says, supposedly went missing sixty years ago during its return voyage from Boazan. Why did it show up now and here of all places? Regardless, he won’t leave them out there and orders the ship brought into Island 1, with a medical team sent over after they’ve ran their checks.

Later, by Howard’s office, part of the Solar Falcon’s crew has been brought over. Kentarou (stache) has come to grips with the fact that they’re sixty years into the future – as unbelievable as it sounds – but Sakonji doesn’t understand why it happened in the first place.
The Solar Falcon’s warp travel shouldn’t have seen any time dilation between them and Earth.
Mishima might have an idea of what happened, saying that their warp travel likely has the same issue as their Fold method. See, Folding means essentially warping into a higher dimension; as such, there’s an inherent risk for folks to get stranded when they’re breaking through the proverbial fold in the dimensions.
So, Sakonji asks, they’ve been adrift between the dimensions for these sixty years? Perhaps, though Mishima admits that they’ve never seen anyone survive such incidents, so we can’t say for sure.

Kentarou admits that this would explain their current situation, though Sakonji groans that the warp TO Boazan went swimmingly. Regardless, Mishima reports that there was no further contact with the Boazanians ever since the Solar Falcon set sail and, more, the warp route leading there is likely long gone. For all those reasons and more, humanity has pretty much lost all material we had on the Boazanian’s tech during the Unification Wars. All in all, it’ll take a while to figure out what happened with Kentarou’s ship.
When Howard asks, Kentarou says he and his team would rather head back to Earth but it’d be too dangerous to attempt another warp without knowing what caused the problem. So, Howard suggests they stay with the Frontier Fleet – surely famous heroes like them would be welcomed. Plus, the data stored on the Solar Falcon about their stay inside the Fold will be very useful to the Frontier Fleet.

In exchange, Kentarou – and the Voltes Team – agrees to cooperate with Howard in whatever’s needed. Rather than having them assigned to the NUNS, however, Howard asks Mishima to get them set up with the SMS crew (Mishima quietly sees his finger behind them taking in the Solar Falcon).
Upon Kentarou’s request, Mishima explains that the SMS are a civilian military provider with pilots known for their excellence. They’re mercs, Sakonji surmises, and figures Howard wants the Voltes Team to help them in case any threats emerge to the Frontier Fleet, yes? Indeed.
Well, Sakonji figures they’re all glad to stand against mankind’s enemies and, with that, everyone but Howard leaves to get things set up. “That day’ll soon be upon us… we’d best bolster our forces,” he thinks.

A call comes in right then, with a mysterious man asking Howard about the Solar Falcon. He reports their assignment to the SMS and the man is pleased to have their cooperation secured, including in scientific matters.
Hopefully, by applying the Boazan tech, they’ll be able to transition between the dimensional folds without having to deal with “them”. As for whatever left the Solar Falcon stranded, Mishima’ll handle that research and the man is eagerly awaiting the results.

Aboard the SMS’ Macross Quarter, Sakonji is informing the Voltes pilots about what happened and their new assignments. Kenichi (top portrait) and Ippei are rather blown away at being sixty years in the future but Sakonji says they all need to accept this.
When Hiyoshi (the kid) asks, he says Kentarou is with Mishima visiting a certain L.A.I. Company to investigate the incident with their warp.

Megumi’s never heard of the company, obviously, so Luca walks in and says it’s one of the largest researchers and manufacturers of various techs around here. Michel (glasses) is quick to also add that Luca’s the heir apparent to said company.
As the kid blushes, they introduce themselves as Luca Angeloni and Mikhail “Michel” Blanc, SMS pilots. Michel eagerly heads up to Megumi and, upon getting her name, asks her out – Ippei is not amused.

Another man, Henry Gilliam, apologizes on behalf of his teammate and figures Ippei and co are the new recruits. Ippei doesn’t appreciate the title, figuring he’s got more skill and experience than playboy there; when Michel sniffs that “the weakest dogs bark the loudest”, Ippei is all but about to jump him.
Gilliam cuts in and yells at both to cut that crap out – that’s fifty laps around the hangar as punishment and if they still have the energy for a brawl after that, then they can go for it. Both men are stunned but they better not complain, lest he add another ten laps. At least Ippei figures he can put Michel in his place in a race…

As they go, Daijiro apologizes for Ippei and both Luca and Hiyoshi wonder what’s up with the two men – they’re not usually that incensed.
Gilliam apologizes to Sakonji but says that the SMS are a professional mercenary company, so they can’t well tolerate internal brawls lest it affect morale. Sakonji actually likes to see that this group’s got a firm grasp on discipline.

Ozma, the SMS flight lead, and Jeffrey, the Quarter’s captain, enter the room right then, having seen Michel running around. They can assume what happened and quickly introduce themselves to the newcomers. Sakonji looks forward to working with them, though it’s Jeffrey that confesses to be a bit nervous with meeting such famous heroes.
Ozma is also familiar with Sakonji from what he read at the army’s libraries: apparently, the guy was known for being an even tougher trainer than anything the SMS or the NUNS have. Well, you can’t survive against the Boazanians with lackluster training. With that in mind, Ozma has an idea: why not leave Sakonji in charge of training the younger SMS members?
Sounds great to Jeffrey, wanting everyone to be at their best for the future and Sakonji eagerly accepts. While the battle with the Boazan Empire may be over, he’ll still be making sure the Voltes Team isn’t slacking off.

Hiyoshiy sighs at the thought, but Kenichi and Gilliam tell him that there’ll be other battles to be fought to protect the Frontier Fleet. Folks who can’t handle their training ain’t got a place with the SMS.
Hiyoshi acquiesces, so Sakonji beckons Gilliam over – time to get the training started.

Several days later, by Mihoshi Academy, Alto Saotome wants to know what the hell is up with that crazy new coach – is he trying to work them to death? Michel can’t say much, being yet another victim of the guy.
Kenichi and the others swear by Sakonji’s tortuous training, though. You just have to grin and bear it! Alto sighs that maybe THEY are used to that but not him. “Well, if you can’t keep up, how about going back to the good, ol’ theater?” Michel prods him. Alto quickly bristles, so Michel suggests he stop grumbling and take the training like a man… Oh, sorry, Alto’s a “Princess”, right?
Alto’s already frothing, though Megumi is forced to admit that he’s got this princessly beauty to him – which is why, Luca adds, he always played female roles in his plays. In truth, the Saotome family is quite famous in the kabuki theater.
Alto yells at Luca for this violation of his privacy but, as Michel notes, it’s not like everyone at school doesn’t already know of his past career. That’s hardly the point, though!

Nagisa and Nanase (purple) come on over, having been looking for our folks. They’ve some big news to tell us: their teacher has just told them that the pilot course trainees have received an offer to perform some aerial acrobatics during a Sheryl Nome – the famous Galactic Fairy – concert!
That’s some big news, alright, but Alto is neither impressed nor interested. “Not interested… or not confident?” Michel snickers. Hell, no! Alto’ll go out there and show him a triple… no, a quintuple loop!
That’s a rather high-risk maneuver for a concert but Alto’s sure he can pull it off easy… though Michel figures, like Ippei, that “Princess Alto” is all talk. That gets both Alto and Ippei crying for blood and it falls on Kenichi to keep them at bay. Michel huffs that the two boys need to grow some thicker skin, though Kenichi also chides him for his attitude – it’s neither needed nor wanted.

All that’s interrupted with Sakonji stomps over and proclaims that they obviously must have plenty of energy if they’re still fighting!
Michel stammers that this is just friends talking— and he’s also got energy to complain?! WELL, then they better put all that gas to use tempering their bodies and minds! Nanase’s rather amazed with the guy, though he tells both her and Nagisa to run off – the pilot trainees have work to do! Both girls stammer a confirmation and off they all go.

Back at the Quarter, Mina (also purple) and Monica, the resident bridge bunnies, see Sheryl’s add on TV yet again – she’ll be arriving at the Macross Frontier tomorrow and pretty much the entire fleet’s waiting with bated breath.
From what Lam, the last bunny, has heard, the entire concert is already sold out – now that’s popularity. Hiyoshi is already a fan of hers and Megumi’s rather taken with the idea of a space-travelling singer, so they’d very much like to go… if there were tickets.

In comes Bobby with good news, though: he’s got three tickets for the Voltes team’s fans; these were, originally, for some other folks but they don’t need it anymore.
Gilliam sighs that had he known Bobby had some, he wouldn’t have needed to bust his ass getting the stuff for Ozma. Still, it’s all for the best: with Gilliam getting the tickets for the guy, the Voltes crew can now go check the show out. Sounds good to him, though Ippei’s a bit surprised that their squadron leader’s a fan of an idol singer.

Ozma walks in, “apologizing” for his surprising behavior. By the by, dissing a superior officer is a no-no, as it might have consequences at Ippei’s performance evaluation. Nah, not really. The guy’s just messing with him – he won’t expect them to be all formal when off-duty.
But never mind that, Monica wants some info on Ozma’s apparent liking for Sheryl’s songs but the guy sighs and explains that the tickets were a favor to Ranka. His girlfriend, Megumi wonders. Hardly – she’s his little sister, a student of the Frontier’s premier all-girl’s school.
Regardless, he was adamant that he needed to get some tickets, so Gilliam called in some favors to get a few VIP ones. Ozma would’ve asked Bobby but he figures he couldn’t always be asking so many favors of him (not that Bobby minds). Ozma owes Gilliam some Galactic Ramen for this, though.

With that done, Ozma puts in a call to Ranka and gives her the good news – there’s nothing impossible for her big brother! The girl’s beside herself with joy (“Deculture!”) and tells Nagisa of Ozma’s exploits.
That’s great as Nagisa and her friend Kawai (no, really) had also gotten their hands on some – looks like the three girls’ll be going together. Yaaaaay!
Nanase pokes Ranka and Nagisa, telling that the manager is glaring their way… looks like they got a bit too excited there. Still, tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

At the Frontier’s air dock, Sheryl (pink) and her manager, Grace, have just arrived. The singer’s a bit woozy, getting a double-whammy of both jet-lag and Fold sickness but quickly refuses to cancel the show – who does Grace thinks she’s talking to?
Cathy, Howard’s daughter, walks over to welcome Sheryl to the Frontier; the idol passes on the formality, though, wanting to go wrap up the upcoming press conference ASAP and head straight to rehearsal. Cathy is taken aback but shows the way.

The next day, at the park, Luca’s annoyed by the fact that, one, they haven’t even been giving a dressing room and, two, the powers that be scrapped the whole routine they were going to use. Still, the client’s always right and all that – no dangerous maneuvers allowed.
Luca doesn’t like that they nixed Alto’s corkscrew maneuver but Michel’s in charge here, so that’s the end of that. Alto’s sulking nearby, and Michel warns that it’ll wreck his girlish good looks – if he doesn’t like Michel’s decisions, then he oughta get the top scores next time.
Before Alto gets in his face, Kenichi walks over and asks if they’re actually fighting right before their big gig. Seems like he’s accompanying Hiyoshi and Megumi, not having anything better to do – plus, he figured he shouldn’t pass on the opportunity to see a singer famous on a galactic scale.
Regardless, when Kenichi asks, Michel says Alto’s pissy that the concert folk took out his corkscrew maneuver. No, Alto’s pissed at his attitude since he never cared about this gig to begin with! Still, Luca and the Voltes Team are disappointed as they wanted to see his trick – Megumi’s sure he’ll make a great pilot someday.

Alto has to wonder about that, considering the Island’s ceiling is only so high – what point is there to flying in such cramped spaces? To say nothing of the fact that he’s stuck in this crummy EX-Gear flight suit and not in a proper Valkyrie.
The concert’s doors will be opening soon, though, so Kenichi and co have to get going. Wishing everyone good luck, they set out, while Michel tells everyone to go get in position (and Alto’s moodiness won’t get him a free pass if he’s late).

As Alto gets to wearing his EX-Gear, Ranka hops on over and trips right nearby. He checks up on her, though Ranka’s more impressed with how pretty he is – he’s like a beautiful girl. “WHO are you calling a girl?!” Alto flips out.
But he quickly takes a breath a recomposes himself, asking what she’s doing here. Well, she was headed to the concert but got lost from her friends; her plan was to climb a tree and get her bearings but, yeah…
Well, Alto’s also got business at the concert, so he’ll get her over there.

Fast forward a bit, Alto’s got Ranka close enough that she can find her way. She thanks him and asks Alto to stop by Nyan-Nyan – the restaurant she works at – sometime and she’ll fix him up with something.
Alto’s never heard of the place but never mind that, Nagisa and Kawai run over after Ranka – they’d been worried sick. Show’s almost starting, so they need to get in there with now. As they run off, Ranka says she’ll be waiting for Alto to stop by the restaurant.
With them gone, Alto sighs at the strange girl and gets ready to get to work.

Off goes Sheryl’s show (“Listen to my song!”) and the flying acrobatics are going fine. That is, until Alto starts getting a bit too uppity; he figures the audience is loving it, so he’ll go for his big corkscrew maneuver regardless of what the routine plan says.
Turns out concerts really aren’t the best place for high-risk tricks, as Alto loses control and flies straight at Sheryl, knocking her off the tall, tall stage. It falls on him to step on the gas and catch her in the air (Hiyoshi’s impressed).
“Whew… Sorry, I’ll get you back to—“ Alto says, but Sheryl interrupts him. “Just keep flying! If they notice it was an accident, there goes the whole show! The bridge’s almost over, so keep flying!”

Alto can’t well do anything now, so he obeys and Michel and Luca are forced to play along. If anything, Ranka, Nagisa and Megumi are blown away by the beautiful acrobatics Alto’s pulling, with Sheryl in his arms.
Alto himself is impressed with how she turned an accident into a show piece. “Of course. Who do you think I am?” Sheryl huffs.

Things are going less swimmingly by Howard’s office, however. Some unknown creatures have shown up outside the Fleet and have just broken past their first defensive perimeter.
He commands the NUNS officer to keep them at bay while they sound the alarm across the ships, telling the civs to find shelter. As the mook ends the call, Howard and Mishima knows the troops won’t be able to hold the line. “It’s me, Mr. Birler,” Howard gets on the phone, “they’ve finally come.”

Back at the Quarter, Bobby reports a request from the president’s office for the SMS to scramble – code: Victor 3. Gilliam is taken aback with the code but Jeffrey proclaims that this is not a drill and orders all units equipped with their Super Packs (Armored Pack for Ozma). As Gilliam moves to call in Michel’s crew, Ozma’s also thinking to Ranka that THEY have come.
Sakonji wants the Voltes Team to sortie as well but, of course, Ippei relates that many of them are at Sheryl’s show. They’ll have to wait for their return, too, which sucks for Ippei as this would’ve been the perfect chance to show Michel what’s what.
Gilliam suggests he lay off with his “rivalry” with the guy, though he understands why Ippei wouldn’t like Michel flirting with his girlfriend; Ippei says he and Megumi aren’t like that. In that case, Gilliam figures he and Michel are at each other’s throats because they acknowledge each other’s skill and see something the other lacks.

A rivalry can be a good thing, helping both sides grow stronger, but they can’t let that control them when there are actual enemies nearby. “You two gotta learn to trust and help each other, or you’ll both find yourselves an early grave,” Gilliam warns. “Plus, if you still wanna keep that rivalry going, then you both need to make it back in one piece.”
Ippei agrees with his point and while we’re waiting for the others to show up, Gilliam’ll be heading out there. Ippei better get his team here pronto or there’ll soon be no more game for him to chase after!

Back at Sheryl’s concert, the whole thing suddenly shuts down as the general alert rings across the Island: everyone’s to head to the nearest shelter. Sheryl isn’t happy at having to stop things halfway through but Cathy grabs her and sets out to a shelter.
Nagisa and Kawai also grab hold of Ranka (to make sure she won’t get lost again) and leave with her; Kenichi and Michel have just been summoned back by their teams, so off they go, leaving a confused Alto to wonder what’s going on.

Outside, the generic NUNS soldiers are getting their asses whooped by the unknown enemies.
Ozma and Gilliam deploy right then and there, telling them to leave this area to us. The mooks run off with nary a complaint, Ozma sniffing that these ain’t enemies cowards’ll be able to win against. Indeed, Code Victor tells Gilliam what these creatures are: Vajra. One of said Vajra charges Ozma at blinding speed and goes right by him, into Island 1. Gilliam flies in pursuit.

At the Quarter’s bridge, Monica and Mina’re receiving reports of the Vajra bypassing the defensive perimeter and into Island 1; Jeffrey’s in awe at how easily they transposed the Frontier’s defenses.
Michel and Luca – Skull 2 and 3 – have arrived with the rest of the Voltes Team, all ready to deploy. Sakonji fumes at their delay but Kenichi tells him to save the yelling for later. Jeffrey’s orders are for the Voltes, Michel and Luca to rendezvous with Ozma inside Island 1 and intercept the enemy.
Ippei calls up Michel and prods him onward – Gilliam’s waiting for them!

[b]Prologue 1 – Another Encounter[/b]

: Ranka, where are you?! Ranka!!
: I don’t see her anywhere…! What do we do, Kawai?!
: I don’t think we can do anything, Nagisa. No way we’ll find her with this crowd running about.
: Shyaaaaaaa!
: Aaah!
: Wh-what kind of monster is that?! A giant bug?!
: Nagisa… we have to get to the shelter right now. We’ll die if we stay here!
: But what about Ranka—?!
: Shyaaaaaaa!

: Yaah!
: I’m sure she’s already at the shelter – we have to go!
: O-OK…


: Get in the car, Ms. Sheryl… it’s dangerous for you to be here.
: (An armed escort and everything… things are pretty serious, it seems.)
: Hey! What the hell are you doing?!
: You…! You’re that amateur…?
: Just what are you—
: There’re still people around here! Are you two just gonna bail on them?!
: (Does this boy not understand that Sheryl’s life takes precedence over anyone else?)
: The professionals will handle this now – it’s nothing amateurs should bother with.
: What did you say?! All of these people came here to see you and you’re gonna run off by yourself?! Who are you to speak of professionalism?!
: …Idiot.
: We’ve no time for this – get in the car!

Sheryl’s car runs off.

: Hey, wait! Rrgh…damn it!
: Shyaaaaaaa!
: That monster’s running amuck through city! What the hell is it… a weapon?

: Aaargh!
: Aaah!
: Huh?! You’re…!
: Nagisa… Kawai… help me…!
: Damn it, she’s gonna get trampled by that thing!

: That bugger… he’s tearing the whole city apart!
: A VF-25?! They’re already fielding those…?
: Hrm?! Is that an EX-Gear? But those aren’t the army’s colors… a student?!
: Hey, you there!
: Huh?!
: Yeah, you! Get outta here – you’re only gonna get in the way!
: I can’t! There’s a girl that got left behind!
: What?!
: H-Help…!
: That’s… Ranka?! Urk!

Gilliam gets right in the Vajra’s path.

: You’re not going anywhere! I’m keeping her safe ‘til the captain gets here!
: Shyaaaaaaa!

: Gwaaah!
: Hey! You OK?!
: I-I told you to run off, didn’t I?! Leave this… to the pros!
: B-But…
: A-And it’s our… our job to keep this ship… and the civs safe. And that girl’s… the captain’s…!
: You’re…
: I’m not getting dropped… not by this thing!

: Aah! The cockpit!
: Hrgh…gaargh…

: Stop! STOP!!

: AAAH!!
: !!

The Vajra starts heading towards Ranka.

: A-Aah…
: I-I gotta do something or…!
: Oh!

Alto looks at Gilliam’s Valkyrie.

: (This EX-Gear’s the same as the standard army model. Maybe I can get that VF-25 to work with it… But could I actually fly the thing…?)
: N-No… stay away…
: Damn it… No time to think about it!

[b]Alto jumps inside the VF-25[/b]*

: EX-Gear Contact… initializing systems!

Beep, beep!

: …Here goes!

: Gwooooo!
: N-Nooo!
: Raaaaargh!!

The Vajra’s tossed back.

: Gilliam! No… it’s not him! Who’s that?
: N-No…!
: Ranka?! What’s she doing there?!
: You goddamn monster…!

: Rgh! This is bad…!
: Gwoooo!
: Stop…!
“You’re not getting even one of your claws on Ranka!”

: A-An Armored—!
: Who the hell are you?! What happened to Gilliam?!
: I-I’m…
: No, never mind me. What the hell is that monster?!

: Captain! Lt. Gilliam!
: That you, Michel? It’s a greenhorn in that Valkyrie, not Gilliam!
: What?!
: What about the Lt.?! Where is he?!
: I don’t know, but the priority now is taking out that Vajra!
: Lt. Gilliam… he couldn’t have…!
: What is it, Ippei? Something bugging you?
: N-No. Never mind me, Kenichi.
: Ippei…?
: Hey, greenie! Leave the monster to us – grab the girl and bail outta here!
: O-OK!
: “Girl”…? Ranka!
: Hey, you there!
: Huh?!
: Get in the Valkyrie’s hand! Hurry!
: O-OK…
: We’re gonna be flying outta here, so hold on tight.
: A-Alright!
: You better not let her get so much as a scratch or I’ll find and vaporize your ass!
: Captain! We’ve got enemy reinforcements inbound!

: The thing called its buddies over?!
: We can’t let them cause any more damage – engage and destroy them quick!
: Roger that!
: And what the hell are you still doing here, greenie?! Get going already!
: I’m on it!

Alto walks off with Ranka but…

: More of them?!

: Huh, is that really a rookie? He’s not half bad.
: Still, those’re some very dangerous moves he’s doing. We need to wreck those things and back him up!

Alto gets hit!

: Urk, they got my arm…! The girl!


: Damn it, can I make it to her…?! No, I have to! Haaaaaaah!!

Alto flies over to the falling Ranka!

: Grab my hand!!

: Aah!
: There – got you! You alright? Stay with me!
: Haah, haah… I-I was… so scared…
: You’re safe. Everything’ll be fine.
: Brother… brother…!
: Hey, get a hold of yourself! Do you see who I am?!
: …! Wh-What…
: Can you walk? I’ll set you down.
: Y-Yes…
: There… we should be safe.

: Rrgh, crap—

: A-Aah…
: Whew, got it… What was that moron thinking…?
: (H-He got a bullseye from that far away…! The pilot of that blue Valkyrie’s real good…)
: Pretty fancy gunslinging there, Mikhail.
: Well, I figured I should talk the talk AND walk the walk.
: (Did that transmission just say “Mikhail”…? No…)

Alto flies further away.

: Stay here; I’ll come pick you up once the battle’s done.
: A-Are you going to fight?
: Yeah, I’ve got cause enough to. I’m off!

And he flies back into the fray.

: Captain, Ranka’s safe and out of the battle-zone!
: Alright, then that means all civs are in the shelters.
: As for you bugs… I’ll make you pay for attacking Ranka!
: (I’ll help keep our ship safe… That’s the best I can do for that pilot who sacrificed himself for us…!)

I guess someone at Banpresto really likes Frontier for them to make the very first mission pretty much the first few Macross Frontier Episodes (featuring Voltes). But I digress, our objective here is to kill everything without losing anyone.
Not difficult as you might imagine, though the Vajras can be decently accurate if your guys aren’t prepared.

Quick overview of our available units, starting with the bulkiest (for consistency’s sake, I’ll stick with either the Atlus’ localized terms or whatever the folks at Akurasu use):

Voltes V (Kenichi Go, Ippei Mine, Hiyoshi Go, Daijiro Go, Megumi Oka)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut – Requires an equipped sword. Chance to parry incoming blade or missile attacks, determined by the difference between your pilot’s Skill (技量) stat with the enemy’s plus a fixed % equivalent to the skill level.
Predict – activates at 130 morale (気力), granting a +10% chance to hit, dodge and crit.
Prevail L3 – stats go up as HP goes down, point of activation depends on the skill level (L3 = +5% stats with 30% HP remaining, 10% with 20%, 15% with 10%, etc.).

Spirit Commands – Kenichi:
[Strike (必中) – 100% chance to hit for a turn
Snipe (狙撃) – +2 range to all non-MAPW, non-point blank attacks.
Accelerate (加速) - +2 movement range for a turn.
Mercy (てかげん) – if pilot’s Skill stat is reater than the enemy’s, it’ll survive a killing blow with 10 HP.
Spirit (気合) – +10 morale to the main pilot.
Gain (努力) – earn double exp from the next battle.
Alert (ひらめき) – 100% chance to dodge the next attack.
Vigor (根性) – unit recovers 30% of max HP.[
Scan (偵察) – display targeted enemy’s stats.
Luck (幸運) – earn double money from the next battle.
Squad Bonus (these effects increase as you upgrade a unit): HP +1000

Big, bulky Super Robot filled to the brim with pilots. I’m not a big fan of the thing but I can’t well argue against what it brings to the table.
Its range dips sharply as you get into its better weapons but it can handle itself decently still. Enemies will also have a hard time killing it with all those spirit commands on its side – as a Super, though, you’ll want to boost its EN pool as it likes to chug.
That squad bonus makes it a nice fit for any Super squad and, plus, it’ll only get stronger once we meet up with its sibling bot.

VF-25 Messiah Valkyrie (Alto Saotome)
Pilot Skills – Alto:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down (撃ち落とし) – same deal as Sword Cut, only requires an equipped gun and only intercepts missiles.
Shield Defense (シールド防御) – requires a shield. If triggered, blocks and reduce incoming damage. Activation % calculated in the same way as the other damage reducing skills, though this one will activate 100% of the time if you have your unit set to defend an upcoming attack.
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1 (援護攻撃) – if an allied unit attacks while adjacent to one with this skill, the other will follow up said attack with another one. Morale and range limitations still apply, the support attack will have boosted accuracy but reduced damage.
Spirit Commands:
Focus (集中) - +30% chance to hit and evade for a turn
Mech Features:
Pinpoint Barrier (ピンポイントバリア) – reduces all incoming damage by 1000.
Squad Bonus: Dodge + 5, Critical + 10

VF-25S Armored Messiah Valkyrie (Ozma Lee)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Guard (ガード) – activates at 130 morale, reduce all incoming damage by 20%.
Commander L1 (指揮) – projects a command aura, boosting hit and evade rates to anyone inside. Size of aura and effect increase with skill level.
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1 – same as attack, only this unit will pop in to defend an adjacent ally under attack.
Attack Combo L1 (アタックコンボ) – attacks marked with a “C” can strike both units in a partner squad. Higher levels allow additional squads to be targeted, at the cost of one extra ammunition/EN cost per extra squad targeted.
Spirit Commands:
Invincible (不屈) – next incoming attack deals 10 damage.
Mech Features:
Pinpoint Barrier
Squad Bonus: Armor + 100, HP + 500

VF-25G Super Messiah Valkyrie (Mikhail “Michel” Blanc)
Pilot Skills:
Sword cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Hit & Away – able to attack and move after.
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Pinpoint Barrier
Squad Bonus: Accuracy + 5, Ranged weapons damage + 100

RVF-25 Super Messiah Valkyrie (Luca Angeloni
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Prevail L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Repair Module – can use move to restore the HP of an adjacent unit. Grants 10% HP regen to squad and it stacks.
Pinpoint Barrier
Squad Bonus: Money+ 10%, EN + 50, Debuff Immunity

Alto’s the Magikarp kind of protagonist, in that he starts out average but will be kicking ass by the time we’re done. He’s still decent right off the box and the plot will all but dictate you use him, so you might as well.
Ozma’s Alto but better in every way. He’s a great pilot, his attacks carry a hefty punch and he’s even surprisingly bulky with him stacking the Armored Pack, big Prevail and that squad bonus. His Command aura is worth noting, mind, as only select people get it and its bonus is very much welcome – especially against dodgy/accurate enemies like the Vajra.
Michel’s the least impressive of the bunch as SRW tends to be a very aggressive game, thus penalizing sniper types. Lacking Focus, you shouldn’t risk sending him too far ahead either if he’s not hanging right by Ozma. That +ranged power will make him a good squaddie for ranged-oriented protagonists, though.
And Luca’s a support through and through, making him a great squaddie. The HP Regen is nice but that squad bonus as a whole will make him very desirable for a lot of people – especially those with big MAPWs.

With our homework done, let’s get to it. Select a unit and the options are, in order, Move, Spirit Commands, Stats.

The Small Vajras are easy enough that Alto’s got no problem getting perfect numbers on them.[/i]

: You monsters…! Get off our ship!
: The hell are you doing, greenie?! Get outta here!
: No, that pilot gave his life to protect this ship so I’ll help take ‘em out for him!
: …
: Fine, I’ll allow it as a favor to Gilliam. But you better not get dropped!
: Aye, aye! I won’t be!

Numbers aside, he’s not too strong – that was about 65% HP on a crit.

We’ll have Ozma lead the offensive to spread that command aura.

: I swore to never let Ranka suffer again! None of you monsters are getting out of here alive!

Large Vajras are bulkier and more accurate, so watch it.

Kenichi can take it.

: Our first battle since the showdown at Planet Boazan. Keep your heads in the game, folks!
: Roger that, Ken!
: We’re ready to go whenever and wherever thanks to Sakonji’s training!
: And we’ll give these buggers a taste of everything the Voltes’ got!
: I made a promise to Lt. Gilliam to come back in one piece, so we can’t screw this up!
: Right on! Here we go!
Everyone else moves onward.

Enemy Phase!
Kenichi gets pestered a couple of times but not a lot of Vajra move to attack. Alto is still busy.

Player Phase!

As Alto wraps that up, Ozma and Michel set their sights on a Large Vajra that Kenichi weakened.

: Their armor and agility are an even match to the Valkyries… So that’s how the Vajras are like, huh?


Not gonna kill but we can leave that to the Voltes.

: These Vajra are living creatures but they’re likely equipped with Jamming devices to counter our Ghost drones…
: I might need to equip Simon, John and Peter with characterized AIs…

And that it does.

Enemy Phase!

Kenichi gets harassed by a mob of Vajras but it’s nothing he can’t handle.

Behold, the Itano Circus.

Player Phase!

And you’ve got the gist of it. The Vajras, thankfully, come in in waves, so you’re at no risk of being overwhelmed; keep your guys closed, Kenichi with a decent enough stack of HP just in case, and take them down one at a time. No enemies here survive two clean hits from anyone (except Alto).

Of note:
It’s a sniper rifle that’s also an automatic rifle!
Ozma’s strongest weapon, a.k.a., firing EVERYTHING.
And the Voltes’ second best weapon. Look at those vintage explosions.

: And the radar’s clear. I think that’s all of them.
: Don’t relax yet, Megumi. If those things really were living weapons, you never know what might happen next.
: He’s right. Skull 2 and Skull 3, go and patrol Island 1’s perimeter just in case – we might have Vajra stragglers hanging about.
: Yes, sir. Come on, Luca!
: Roger!

Off they go.

: (He said Luca? He’s also here…?)
: Hey, greenie! Where’s the girl?!
: Oh, that’s right!

Alto flies over to where he left Ranka.

: Sorry for the delay. Have you calmed down?
: Yes, I’m good!
: Huh… you got a stiffer upper lip than I expected.
: Heheh… Well, I am 25% Zentradi.
: Ah… So you’re made of tougher stuff than you appear.
: Still, I’m only safe thanks to you. So thank you… thank you so much!
: Y-Yeah, no problem…
: Greenie, quit yacking and get her to the hospital! And when you get there, leave the mech!
: Why do I gotta do all that, huh? If you’re worried about her, go and take her yourself!
: If I could do that, I wouldn’t have told you to, dumbass!
: (That angry voice sounds so much like my brother’s… but he’s a businessman, so it’s got to be someone else.)
: Huh? What’s this…?
: Something up, Hiyoshi?
: Weird… It’s pretty faint, so I can’t get a bead on it but I’m pinging an enemy on radar…
: Hey, Cpt. Ozma! Can your Valkyrie find the thing?!
: Huuh?!
: D-Don’t call out my name, idiot!
: No way… is that you, brother?
: N-No! I’m not, Ranka! … Ack!
: I knew it – it IS you!
: Why are you working as a pilot? Weren’t you a businessman? And didn’t you promise me that you’d never do anything dangerous again?!
: …

: Gwoooo!
: The Vajra’s come back to life!
: That’s what I was picking up on the radar!
: You goddamn cockroach!
: Gwoooo!

The Vajra rushes Ranka down!


: Cpt. Ozma?! Hrm, that monster…!

: Cpt. Ozma!
: Y-You… alright, Ranka…?
: Brother! Don’t die! Please!
: Why? Why would you do something like this?! I…I never told anyone what happened and… and…!
: Hey, calm down!
: This is Voltes V, calling Delta 1! Skull 1’s down and needs immediate evac!
: …

At the Quarter’s hangar, Kenichi’s just as surprised to find that Alto was flying that VF-25 as the guy is to find that Kenichi’s group, Michel and Luca were legit pilots.
Megumi explains that they were all sworn to confidentiality, so they couldn’t say anything – Michel and Luca probably had a hard time keeping that secret, Kenichi figures. Alto doesn’t seem to sure.
Regardless, Kenichi asks what happened to Gilliam and explains to Alto who that was. Before he can tell what happened, Ozma (!) walks in and asks him to wait until everyone’s here.

Hiyoshi’s shocked he’s not at the hospital but Ozma laughs that he wouldn’t get bedridden over nonsense like that – plus, Canaria, tagging along, has given him the go-ahead to get back to work. Mind, she does warn him to take it easy unless he fancies reopening those wounds.
When Megumi asks, Ozma relates that Ranka calmed down, so he had her sent home… without seeing him. Hiyoshi apologizes for his big mouth but Ozma tells him not to sweat it, as it was his own fault for not telling us what was up. So, why DID she freak out as badly as she did?
Ozma and Canaria explain that she reacts violently when faced with friends and family being harmed. In essence, she has Dissociative Amnesia, stress and physical trauma leading to her being incapable of processing a certain experience she had; whenever something causes her to remember said experience, it triggers a terrified outburst.

Alto asks what kind of experience it was and Ozma says Ranka lost her entire family eleven years ago. Her “entire” family? Yeah, Ozma isn’t her real brother – rather, he was the worthless pilot who failed in his mission to protect her family. Granted, Ranka’s forgotten everything about that event.
And despite having his “sister” in that state, Ozma still went on piloting? That’s what set her off last battle, Alto protests. Ozma says he’s doing it all to protect her, though Alto asks how he can say he’s protecting Ranka by hiding so much.
“What the hell are you getting at, then? That I should walk up to Ranka and say ‘hey, your family was torn apart by Vajra and that left your mind a mess’?!” Ozma explodes.
If anything, Alto says he’d want to know it all – he doesn’t like the thought of others deciding what’s what in his life. And, on that note, he wants Ozma to explain just what those Vajras are. Ozma warns that there’ll be no going back if he hears the truth but Alto is undaunted.

In that case, Ozma tells him to wait 24 hours and think things through: what does Alto want to do? What would he fight for? “I don’t need 24 hours! Just let me on the Valkyrie!” he yells, eliciting an angry punch from Ozma. Alto’s got his head running wild on adrenaline so calm the hell down and think things through!
As Alto grunts in submission, Ozma requests everyone called over to tell what happened to Gilliam. And, as the one who saw the guy’s last moments, it’s up to Alto to relay his account to the survivors – that’s how things work here…
Alto’s not too happy but the Quarter’s crew starts coming in (Mina thinks he’s cute). Along with them are Michel and Luca, who’re blown away to see Alto as the mystery pilot.

Luca apologizes for the two of them keeping their work at SMS a secret but, you know, confidential. But, hey, if Alto joins the crew, they’ll be able to fly together as teammates and not just at school.
Michel isn’t too sure about that and questions if Alto would eventually run out of them as he did with his family. He’s flown with Alto for almost a year and can tell that he’s not ready; if he goes at it the way he is, then he’ll end up either dying or getting someone else killed. And Michel is in no way interested in being the victim, so Alto oughta take this as a friendly warning.

By Griffith Park, Alto’s inwardly denying Michel’s accusations when he hears Ranka singing from a nearby hill. She spots and thanks him for the help today… though only now she gets a chance to ask his name. Alto asks if she’s feeling better and, indeed, she is – as scared as she got, her brother’s injuries weren’t too serious.
As for the song, it’s something she remembers from her childhood – the only thing she remembers, even – and she’s rather fond of climbing this hill to sing where no one can hear her. Is she actually alright with that, not having anyone hearing?
In truth, Ranka’s never actually considered that before but… “I was so scared when I got attacked by that monster. I thought ‘I’m going to die here, never having done anything with myself and without anyone knowing I existed… but what if I could let everyone know that I’m here – that I exist’?”
Alto says it’s impossible and Ranka agrees: “Yes, someone like me could never—” but she doesn’t get to finish. “Or, at least, it’ll be impossible if you keep getting stuck on ‘what ifs’ or thinking you’re not good enough,” he amends his statement. Ranka huffs that he’s so very mean (he gets that a lot) but, then, she decides that she WILL make herself known to others – just like her beloved Sheryl. And Alto, nonchalantly, agrees to be her very first spectator as Ranka starts singing again.

As luck would have it, Sheryl was around and heard her – she’s rather impressed. Ranka freaks out, though Alto’s more startled than star-struck. Sheryl’s got business with him but that’s low priority now – she asks/tells Alto to shuffle away. He wants to know how Sheryl knows his name but, again, she shoos him off.
With him fuming in the distance, she prods Ranka about being her “beloved Sheryl”; the girl starts clamming up in embarrassment but Sheryl yells against it. Just come out and say what’s on her mind!

Well, Sheryl’s just lovely and she sings and dances so well and she’s got this aura of talent and self-confidence, etc, etc. Ranka’s long been a huge fan and wondered if she could potentially come to be like her; while it may be impossible for someone like her, Ranka’s still willing to give it her all.
Sheryl likes hearing that, as you can’t well do anything if you haven’t, at least, the willingness to put in the effort – that’s a good first step for her. Now, does Ranka love to sing? Absolutely! Then she’ll need to start making waves and chances always present themselves.

Is the girl talk done? Yes, so Sheryl turns her sighs back to Alto: “give me back my earring.” What? She knows he’s got it, so no playing dumb! Alto yells that he’s no idea what she’s going on about… but is interrupted with Nagisa runs over, looking for Ranka. She was so worried and— “AAAAAH! It’s Sheryl! What’s Sheryl Nome doing somewhere like this?!”
Ranka begs her to keep quiet but, too late, people around heard her yelling and the fans are rushing over. Nagisa faints and, meanwhile, Alto’s conscripted into service when Sheryl demands him come with her before the mob comes over; as Alto groans, Sheryl wishes Ranka good luck as she runs off.

Nagisa comes to, wondering where Sheryl went. Ranka waves it off as a dream, as didn’t Nagisa say she’d been having some strangely realistic dreams nowadays? Still, Nagisa’s a bit confused as she never outright fainted like that.
But never mind that, Nagisa wants to know why Ranka didn’t get in touch with her and Kawai to let them know she was safe – they were worried sick! Ranka apologizes, saying she was at the hospital and that’s all the more reason why Nagisa wants her to get home and rest ASAP. Off they go!

Cut to downtown Island 1, Alto figures they’ve lost the fans though Sheryl asks if he should’ve left Ranka back there. But she’s the one who dragged him away in the first place! And, plus, he barely even knows the girl. She’s not his girlfriend? “No! Absolutely not!”
And, on that subject, should a famous person like Sheryl be wandering around town? What, doesn’t he like accompanying her? Nope. Well, tough luck because she’ll be returning to the Macross Galaxy next week, so today’s her only chance to find her earring – it’s very important to her.
Well, the thing dropped into Alto’s EX-Gear as he carried her, so he tries making a call to the school’s Lost and Found. No one answers, though, prompting Sheryl to try yanking the phone off his hands to try it herself. Alto tells her to back off and he’ll try again first thing tomorrow.

As for how she knew said earring was with him, her manager – Grace – has some bits of tech implanted into her own brain, so she went through the recorded visual data and saw what happened.
Said brain implants are also very illegal in the Frontier but Sheryl says they’re pretty commonplace at the Galaxy; not Sheryl though, one of her selling points is that she’s all human. Still, that’s a subject for another time as she’s got to get going – Alto promises to have the earring delivered as soon as it’s found.

At Ranka and Ozma’s place, she’s trying to wrap her head around everything that’s happened today.
Sheryl and Alto’s words about not getting stuck on just “what ifs” and to take her chance when it presents itself. And Ranka might have something in mind…

The SMS Team has moved over to Island 1’s cemetery to have Gilliam’s funeral: “He was the bravest of soldiers. With neither fear nor hesitation, he fought to his last to defend his fellow man… Still, this is far from the end. One day, his mortal shell will become our flesh and blood as we burn away our souls amid the sky. So rest, my friend; farewell… and see you soon,” Jeffrey says.
Ippei’s taking it badly and Michel, speaking frankly, says he’s a bit envious: Ippei’s lost important people to him before but he managed to rise above that and keep going. Meanwhile, Michel finds himself constantly hounded by his past, always on edge.
He apologizes for being an ass and Ippei does the same. He’s surprised Michel’s also got that kind of history but, truth be told, it’s not that uncommon among the SMS folk – he just doesn’t like talking about it. Michel figured it was only a matter of time before Ippei found out, so he decided to say it himself; a decent bunch of people know, too, but he does ask it kept a secret from Alto.
Ippei swears to honor his wish and, exchanging a handshake, Michel proclaims himself to be eager to have more scuffles with him. Inwardly, Ippei swears to Gilliam that all of them will survive through this.

Ozma’s met up with Alto at the graveyard’s outskirts, telling him that, as civilian military providers, none of the SMS crew will officially be tagged as having died in combat – it’s always treated as accidental deaths. They get no proper funeral services and their families won’t even be informed the particulars about their deaths.
Alto sees no problem with this, as he lives life through his strength alone and will die by it as well. So, he’s willing to join the SMS. Ozma objects that those 24 hours aren’t over yet, but Alto says he doesn’t need to think any more than he’s already done – he won’t change his mind.
Ozma doesn’t like that he’s keeping with that idiocy and moves to punch him… though stops just short. Alto didn’t even try to dodge and Ozma asks why. “Because I figured you wouldn’t actually punch me,” he says. “I only came here because I was committed to doing this – and you don’t seem the type to not notice that.”

Ozma’s chuckle indicates a bullseye and he tells Alto to present himself tomorrow at 0800. Michel, Luca and the Voltes Team were spying from afar and run in to welcome Alto to the job – starting tomorrow, they’re comrades-in-arms!
Alto’s also looking forward to fighting with them, all in the name of keeping Ranka and the Frontier Fleet safe from the Vajra.

Finally, at the Miss Macross Contest, we’re getting introduced to the 7th contestant to take to the stage: Ranka Lee!
Her over enthusiastic bow slams her forehead against her mic (Nanase, from the crowd, is worried). Still, she soldiers on: “I-I love music, so I figured I’d come and sing for you! The song is… ‘My Boyfriend is a Pilot!’”


I’ve always been interested in checking this series out … I don’t actually need to know anything about the plot of the previous games right?

most of these games are singular standalone entries, previous games plot isn’t neccesary, but it can lead to some fun comparisons like with how many different ways they’ve rewritten gundam seed destiny into something enjoyable

Pretty much what Nekomajokko said. There ARE a few SRWs which are full on series - OGs, Z, Alpha, for instance - but all of the DS games are standalone.

Mind you, this game does have a few series being post-plot (like Voltes), so either knowledge about the show or having played an older game with them in it will give you some extra insight. The game usually does take the time to give you a basic rundown of stuff that’s already happened, though.

I have no idea what’s going on, but that was a good read.

Big colony ship out in space, thought-MIA heroes warp right in front without even realizing 60 years have passed. Weird alien bug things attack said ship, protagonist guy really wants a plane-bot of his own and gets one after the previous owner gets squished. He’s a merc now.

Oh, and there are pop singers around.

It might get a little… a LOT more complicated as the game goes on, but if an SRW plot doesn’t require an intricate chart the follow, it’s not a good SRW!

Click to see the mission!

And here we are, at the intermission menu. There’s plenty to do here, but since we’re still at the prologue, I’ll save it for later. Of note are the three characters at the upper screen – these are your Top Aces and they get a few bonuses.
While this game hasn’t Ace bonuses like others do, anyone who gets 50+ kills will get +5 to their starting morale. Your top 3rd and 2nd aces will get another +5, while your absolute highest scorer will get +10.
Ozma and Kenichi are currently tied at 17 kills, but since Kenichi has the higher level, he’s our top ace. Michel’s right there, though.

Off we go to another huge prologue.

We open up somewhat close to Earth, at the port of Armory One. Athrun Alex is wondering if Cagalli shouldn’t be switching into that dress she brought.
She figures her suit is more than good enough, though he argues that she needs to act and look appropriate to her position as Orb’s Representative. Not huffing and puffing like an idiot, of course, but at least like someone important.

Soon, she heads into a meeting with Gilbert Durandal, Chairman of the PLANTs’ Supreme Council. He apologizes for the current state of affairs forcing her to come over incognito but, really, it was Cagalli who first suggested the meeting so she won’t complain.
Which brings her to the reason why she’s here: she took a look at the preparations being made for the Minerva’s maiden voyage tomorrow and noticed it was loaded with some undocumented prototype Mobile Suits. Are those anti-Darius weapons? Durandal apologizes to the princess and admits to it (she asks him to drop that princess title – he doesn’t).
The PLANTs, as a member nation of the UN, signed an agreement of full disclosure regarding the development of any weapons made to fight the Darius. Durandal asks her to consider where they’re coming from: humanity, under the UN’s banner, has been constantly fighting the Darius and Mimetic Beasts, and the PLANTs, their armies exhausted after the battle with the Mechabeasts a year ago, have taken leave of the front lines.
Durandal’s also noticed a surge of antagonism towards the PLANTs lately and, thus, he figured it’d be wise for them to start their own, independent, production of anti-Darius weaponry. Cagalli sees that but it doesn’t explain the secrecy. Durandal argues that these are needed political measures and asks what’s worrying her about this.

He cites Orb’s founding principle of nonaggression to all nations and nonintervention in any nation’s conflicts… “Yet, wasn’t it you who proclaimed that Orb engaging in joint military operations with other countries against a common enemy of mankind didn’t run counter to that principle?”
Cagalli fires back that Durandal can’t well speak of cooperation if he can’t keep things transparent; and, in her case, she sees no need for “political measures”. Too much strength beckons nothing but conflict and Durandal’s poorly disguised military expansionism is headed just that way.
Still, Durandal says that strength IS needed as war is a constant in this world. Even if they managed to fully repel the invaders, eventually they’d have another conflict happening – Cagalli should know well that ideals can’t do much without strength to support them. She can’t think of a retort to that.

By Hangar #6, stuff is going down. Stella, Sting and Auel (blue) are blasting the local ZAFT soldiers and getting to work.

Durandal’s still going at it, saying that, in the past, the space colonies were heavily oppressed by Earth. Indeed, the people are very doubtful about the current state of things: quite a few don’t believe that the current peace will last or that the UN is capable of protecting them.
Thus, Durandal saw the need to bolster the PLANTs’ strength as a way to give those people some peace of mind. Still, Alex argues that Blue Cosmos’ anti-PLANTs rhetoric is gaining more and more traction with each day and this isn’t the sort of stuff that’d help; Durandal chuckles at Athrun’s lecturing tone… but he’s just Alex Dino, of course.
Cagalli apologizes for her bodyguard but, regardless, Durandal is willing to make arrangements for the release of the new MS data. This’ll all have to wait, though, as the alarms start blaring – someone’s jacked the prototypes!

It’s the three kids and they begin blasting their way out the colony. Durandal orders a ZAFT soldier to take Cagalli into shelter, request help from the Minerva and recover the stolen units.
Stray fire starts hitting over by Athrun (let’s be serious here) and Cagalli’s escape route, though they do spot a lone MS docked nearby. He calls her aboard as he sure as hell won’t let her die here.
As Athrun steps onto the field in a piddly ZAKU, Auel has a laugh at the lone guy apparently coming to fight them all. Indeed, Sting starts sniping him down and Athrun can’t do jack against them (Cagalli gets a bit scratched up but says it’s nothing). Things are looking really bad.

: What?!
: You bastards… You trying to start another war?! (His name’s Shinn.)

Shinn charges after Stella!

: Wh-What’s this thing?!
: The hell, another one?! Intel didn’t say anything about that…!
: Weren’t there supposed to be only three prototypes, Sting?!
: You’re asking me?!
: Haaaaaah!!

: Damn it…!

Beep, beep!

: Shinn, our orders are to recover them, understood?! They’re the army’s property! (Arthur)
: I know that! Whether we can actually pull it off is the question, though!
: And how the hell did this even happen?! How did they enemy jack the prototypes this easy?!
: We can wonder about that later! Focus on the problem at hand! (Talia)
: They can’t leave here or it’ll be all over! Do whatever it takes to capture them before that! (Rey)
: Think you three’re going to walk all over us, huh? Well, think again! You’re not going anywhere! (Lunamaria)
: What’s the status on the three units? Report!
: Chairman, wait! It’s too dangerous for you to stay here – we’re detecting poison gas being released! Please head to the shelter!
: I’ll do no such thing! We still don’t know what’s going on!
: But… Then, please, at least board the Minerva!
: Hrm!

: What the?!
: We’re being attacked from the outside! They’ve hit the port?!
: Sting, those explosions…
: Yeah. Our ride’s here, I think.
: We’re running late; gonna miss our bus if we don’t hurry.
: Stella, we’re pulling out. Don’t want our chauffer getting mad.
: OK…

: Ah!
: Get back here!
: After them!

Beep, beep!

: Hold, you needn’t follow.
: What?! Are we just gonna let them run off?!
: The thieves likely have a battleship waiting outside. We’ll launch the Minerva and then pursue them. Return at once, you three.
: And I’ll be accompanying you on this.
: Chairman! I’m sorry, sir, but it is too dangerous – please disembark.
: Talia, this is hardly a situation where I could sit back and await a report.
: But…
: My authority comes with responsibility. I’m coming with you – please.
: …Understood.
: Thank you, Talia.
: (Gil… thank goodness you’re safe.)
: Shinn, Lunamaria, back to the Minerva.
: Roger that!
: Wait up; please let us come with you!
: Huh, who are you two? And you’re not with the army, so why are you in that MS?!
: She is Cagalli Yula Athha, Representative of the United Emirates of Orb. I’m Alex Dino, her assistant…
: Rep. Athha, from Orb…?
: …?! Did you say Athha…?!
: We were in the middle of a meeting with Chairman Durandal when hell broke loose. We couldn’t make it to a shelter, so we borrowed this unit.
: Please help! The Representative is wounded!
: So, what… Orb’s Rep decided to just stick her nose in other people’s battle? What happened to the family’s trademark idealism?
: No, we just took shelter inside this unit! We’ve no intention of fighting…
: Always with an excuse at the ready…! This is why neither the Athhas nor Orb can be trusted!
: Wha…!
: Pipe down, Shinn
: Rrgh…!

: What’s the matter with him…?
: Shinn’s an Orb emigrant. He lost his family during the last war…
: Huh…
: We beg your pardon, Rep. Athha. We’ll see that he’s disciplined later… Come. I’ll escort you into the Minerva.
: …

Cut back to the Quarter, way the hell out in the galaxy’s rim, and Alto’s having a hard time with the flight sim. Sakonji is putting him through the paces and orders the amateur to step outside.
This was Alto’s twenty-fifth crash and Sakonji asks if he’s not taking this seriously because it’s a sim. Of course he’s serious, Alto protests… in which case, should Sakonji assume that THAT is the best he can do? “You pitiful wretch… That’s exactly why others call you ‘princess’!” he yells, immediately triggering Alto. If he doesn’t like others calling him that, then he better grow the hell up into a man.
Sakonji tells Alto to give him twenty five laps around the hangar WITH his heavy-as-hell EX-Gear on. Begrudgingly, Alto starts running, fuming with each step.

Luca and Michel come over, wondering if Sakonji didn’t set the simulator’s difficulty a bit too high – no way Alto would stand a chance against that. As a matter of fact, it was Michel who suggested that, figuring it’d be good to take that arrogant kid down a peg or two.
Moreover, Sakonji also wanted to see the limits of Alto’s skill with the VF-25 – he knows that, were the sim running at the standard difficulty, he wouldn’t have had any problem. Despite it all, the guy’s a damn good pilot.
Either way, Gilliam’s left some big shoes to fill and Sakonji’s determined to get Alto in shape to do exactly that. Ippei doesn’t think Alto’ll be too happy once he realizes they’re intentionally setting him up to fail as an excuse for extra-tough training, but Michel’s sure he’ll understand that that’s how we show that we care!
If anything, Kenichi sees a bit of sense here: one needs actual power to be able to protect what’s dear to them. And the only way to get powerful is by putting in the effort. As he says that, the screaming mad Alto completes his first lap, stomping all over the floor.

And, at that, Kenichi has an idea: “We should go and join in too, Ippei, Michel. It’ll help him and us as well.” The hell? Ippei cries that they just finished their own training regimen… Still, there’s no such thing as putting in TOO much effort into something that’s worth it! Or did Ippei already break under the previous regimen?
Sakonji likes Kenichi’s spirit and commands: him, Ippei and Michel will also run twenty five laps around the hangar! Ippei groans at Kenichi and his big mouth and Michel’s forced to admit that the guy’s got it way worse in terms of team leader. As Sakonji starts yelling at them to quit yacking and starting running, off they go.

Some time later, they’ve finally finished their laps. While Ippei catches his breath, Michel wonders if Kenichi’s always like that and, indeed, he is. That said, Megumi and Hiyoshi admit that the guy’s lead them through hell and back, so they can’t complain.
Luca runs in right then with some news he heard from Nanase: apparently Ranka’s went on the Miss Macross contest. Alto inwardly figures that’s her making good on her previous words, as well as Sheryl’s prediction of chances presenting themselves.
Hiyoshi isn’t familiar with the Idol contest, so Luca explains that it’s something that was created by legendary singer Lynn Minmei herself – a tradition that’s carried on for decades now. So, how did Ranka do? Well, she made it through the qualifiers but, unfortunately, wasn’t crowned the winner.

With that in mind, Luca suggests Alto could give her a call or send her a message or something to cheer her up. This request is coming from Nanase, too, what with big impact Alto made on Ranka. “No, thanks. Why do I need to do any of that?” he sniffs. Regardless, Kenichi’s rather impressed with Ozma for giving Ranka the go-ahead to take part in a big contest like that, though Megumi figures he’d be glad to agree to his sister’s request.
Yeah, about that… Luca says that Ranka might not have told him about it. It’d be pretty bad for her if word of this reached Ozma’s ears, huh?

Which is why they quickly bite their tongues as the guy walks in, asking what they’re discussing about the contest. Ozma isn’t fan, as it turns out – tradition or not, it is so very vulgar and he’s no idea what drives so many girls to take part in it! R-Right, totally…
As everyone exchanges awkward glances, Ozma asks greenie how she’s settling in (well enough). He’s heard that Sakonji wanted to get him in proper flying shape and ready to take to the field ASAP. That’s gone on for a while now, so it’s time to see if he’s ready to become an official SMS member: Alto’s final test will be to face the Pixie Squad in a mock battle.
That’s Klan’s cue to enter the room and she hopes Alto isn’t expecting her to pull her punches simply because he’s friends with Michel and Luca. He easily sees he’s going up against a Zentradi giant – a tough opponent, indeed.

Cut to Nyan-Nyan, there’s cheering all around (except Michel, of course) as Alto’s passed his test! Kenichi had no doubt he’d succeed, though Sakonji tells him to be ready for the merciless training that awaits him now. What, was the training to this point supposed to be merciful? Yes and he suggests Alto go on making jokes while he still can.
A little girl also welcomes Alto aboard, though he wonders who the kid is. Oh, it’s actually Klan – same one from the mock battle. Klan, for some reason, turns into a little girl when she gets micronized to fit in human spaces.
Michel figures it’s some sort of genetic defect as all Zentrans look the same regardless of size. Klan doesn’t appreciate his glibness on the scant few moments where he gets to literally look down on her and moves to whoop his ass.
As Michel runs off, little girl in pursuit, Luca says the two are actually childhood friends (though, despite appearances, Klan’s a bit older).

Lalamia (red) and Nene are the other two Meltrans who make up the Pixie Squad with Klan, happy to fight with Alto in many battles to come. Ranka and Nagisa walk on over, bringing in the appetizers for the meal. The fried dragon chicken Nagisa serves is looking a bit odd for Alto, though Daijiro points out that a real man will eat whatever’s served without any complaints.
Alto relents and, surprisingly, the weird sauce served with the thing isn’t half bad. One thing both Nagisa and Kenichi noticed is how poised he looks even when eating everyday food – so lady-like. Alto groans that old habits die hard, despite how long he’s stopped playing women characters at the theater.
When Ranka asks, he reports that Ozma isn’t here – he’s gone somewhere with Jeffrey, apparently, due to some urgent summons from the SMS’ owner. His absence might actually be a good thing, as Ranka wants to tell Alto about something she did the other day. The Miss Macross thing? How did Alto find out about that?! Well, Nanase saw Ranka and she told Luca and he told Alto, so the cat’s way out of the bag.
But that’s not what’s important. Ranka tells him that she found the whole thing quite difficult – she was nervous the second she stepped on stage. Maybe this really is too crazy a dream for her…

Alto prods her to remember what he said before, about stuff really being impossible if she starts thinking she’s not good enough. She shouldn’t call it quits just because she failed once – wasn’t she the one who wanted everyone to know who she is?
Ranka immediately perks up at his words (Luca knew Alto really was worried about her) but is a bit curious on the news that he’s joined SMS; isn’t it a very difficult and dangerous job? It is but it is also his chance to make it to the skies. That’s a talk for another time, though, as Nagisa points out that the manager is glaring at them, so they need to get back to work.
Klan and Michel run over, still in their game of cat and mouse, but before Sakonji can take them both to task, they get a call. The SMS crew’s being ordered back to the ship and to get ready to deploy on the double.

[b]Prologue 2 - Galaxy Chase[/b]

The Quarter detects a Fold signal up ahead, with a bevy of Vajra warping over. Two lone ships also come in, the Dulfim and Kaitos. They’re calling in mayday, saying they’re from the Macross Galaxy Fleet, which has come under attack and wrecked by the Vajra. They request our help in dealing with the pursuers.
There’s no time, though, as the Vajra home in on the Kaitos and destroy it. The Frontier Fleet’s at our rear, so Jeffrey puts in a call and tells that, after the Dulfim’s rescued, everyone needs to Fold straight out of here. Cathy is appalled, saying he needs presidential permission to Fold but Bobby tells her to shush. She may have been assigned here by the executive branch but that doesn’t meant she gets to drown us in red tape.
Jeffrey says that his top priority is the protection of the Frontier Fleet, so he tells Bobby to get to it. The Quarter flies close enough to the Dulfim and all ships Fold immediately.

Later, we De-Fold safely and Mina confirms that the Frontier Fleet has made it as well. As for the Dulfim, it’s safe and currently being dealt with by the Fleet. But, hey, what’s that over there?
An A-class habitable planet? No, Jeffrey quickly realizes something and asks Mina to confirm our position. They’ve just warped to Earth.
No time to gasp, though, as Monica immediately detects another Fold: the Vajra are coming after us. Jeffrey tells his crew to get ready for battle and sends the SMS Team out to fight.

As the units deploy, Cathy reminds Jeffrey that they’re under orders to gather as much data as possible on the Vajra – and he ought to consider this as an order from the president himself. The best he can tell her is that we’ll keep that in mind.
Ozma hails everyone and says that the NUNS troops will be hanging back to cover the Frontier Fleet, so it’s up to us to deal with these ones (collecting data, if possible). Furthermore, he wants Alto to hang back but, of course, the hotshot is certain he can handle jumping in the fray.
Fair enough, so Ozma tells him to get on his six and stay glued to him. Formation Planet Dance!

Kill everything, don’t lose the Quarter, Ozma, Alto or Luca. Still pretty easy, just keep your guys bunched up inside Ozma or Jeffrey’s command auras for some extra leeway.
And we’ve gotten some new unit, so let’s go over them quickly:

VB-6 König Monster (Canaria Berstein)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Resupply Module – same as Luca’s Repair Module, only it’ll restore the target’s EN and ammo at the expense of 10 morale. Mind you, it cannot be used after moving without a certain skill learned. Grants the squad 10% EN Regen.
Canaria’s Squad Bonus: HP+500, 1000 Barrier, Accuracy +5

Big, bulky artillery unit with two forms: the shuttle, up above, and the actual artillery form with all the big guns. The König Monster’s a pretty dang good squaddie for a Super Robot – especially range-oriented ones. If you want to deploy it as the main unit, I’d say it’ll want to hang by long-range attackers provide support in artillery mode. Otherwise, you’ll likely want to keep it as the shuttle for the flight it provides.

Queadluun-Rhea (Klan Klang)
Pilot Skills:
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Counter (カウンター) – allows the pilot to attack first when the enemy targets the pilot. Activation % depends on Skill stat difference with enemy.
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Attack Combo L1
Spirit Commands:
Klan’s Squad Bonus: Crit ratio +10, Mobility +5, Exp earned +10%

Eeeh, she’s fine. Good range coverage and stats means you can definitely field her but she’ll likely only ever amount to a squaddie. And even then, she’ll have a lot of competition.

Macross Quarter (Jeffrey Wilder, Bobby Margot)
Pilot Skills:
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Commander L1
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands – Jeffrey:
Trust (信頼) – restores 30% HP of the target unit.
Spirit Commands – Bobby:
Mech Features:
Load - A battleship-exclusive ability that allows the ship to load an adjacent unit onto itself during its turn. Loaded units will have their HP and EN restored, at the cost of 10 morale for every turn inside.
Pinpoint Barrier
Jeffrey’s Squad Bonus: HP+500

Macross ships are always great and the Quarter is no exception. Resilient, strong and with a lot range means you can easily have it lead the offensive with our units. It’s large size means its accuracy will take a hit against smaller units but that’s nothing that can’t be fixed with upgrades and Strike.
The Quarter also has another trick which we’ll see later but, really, you’ll want to take good care of it. The plot will often force you to.

With that finally done, we’re going in.

Ozma’ll lead the offensive to get that command aura set up.

Everyone else moves forward.

Enemy Phase!

And Ozma gets swarmed, eating a couple of hits but downing two small Vajras.

Michel’s also a priority target, it seems.

No kills for him, though.

Player Phase!

Now it’s cleanup time, as folks start tearing through all the weakened Vajra. Canaria spots this big one just within range.

: I’ve to help treat the survivors, so this needs to get wrapped up on the double!
And the RNG’s a bit sassy today, as she whiffs an 87% hit. At least Klan was there.

This one’s all on me, though… as I didn’t see that Jeffrey’s hit % was 51% there.

: Don’t let the Vajra head after the Fleet. Fire at will and keep them at bay!
: OK, boss!

Jeffrey: “We’ll show the Vajra the full might of the SMS.”
… Whoops.

Fine. Screw you, then.

: A Zentran can’t well let a bunch of brainless monsters get the better of us!

With some backup from Michel, it’s an easy kill.

Enemy Phase!

And the two surviving Vajras kill themselves against Voltes.

No sooner do all enemies go down, Monica detects a much bigger De-Fold signal – it’s a huge Vajra and it starts spawning a bunch more of the little guys. Ozma realizes we’re dealing with something of a mothership type and Luca moves in to collect data on it.
Ozma yells that he’s going too far ahead but Luca’s appalled at the numbers he’s getting: it looks like the big Vajra’s being powered by Fold Reactors. But he doesn’t get to investigate further, as a little Vajra latches onto him.
His Valkyrie gets gobbled up by the big Vajra ship – at least it stands to reason that he’s alive in there. Kenichi and Hiyoshi want to go rescue him immediately, unwilling to lose another friend like Gilliam, but Alto tells them to wait: he’ll do it.

He argues that his VF-25 is a lot more nimble than the Voltes, so it’s better suited for this. Ozma and Kenichi tell him that’s too crazy a stunt for him to pull but Alto’s undaunted: “I can’t just sit back and watch as one of my friends gets kidnapped! And I’ve also had enough of seeing people die!”
Fine, fine, Ozma says that the Voltes will carve a path to the Vajra ship and Alto’ll use that opening to get in there and rescue Luca. Everyone else is to provide support.

These four marked spots are where we need to get Alto to and destroying the Knight-Class Vajra (the ship) is an instant game over.

The new Vajra move right in but failing to do much outside of getting zapped by Alto.

Player Phase!

Let’s go toy with them some and show off Klan’s strongest weapon: the Pixie Formation Attack.
After that, Alto, Ozma and Kenichi wreck a weakened bugger.

Take out enough enemies, though, and the ship spawns more. Kenichi isn’t intimidated, willing to take on as many as need be to win this. That said, Ozma tells Alto to hurry as the worse off we’ll be the longer we let this drag on.

Yeah, the Vajra will just keep coming. I don’t know if there’s a limit to the respawns, so you could farm them a bit for some extra cash (though they don’t yield much).

Enemy Phase!

Michel’s decided that he wants to be Top Ace, and goads a bevy of small Vajras to gun for him. That’s four kills.

Fast forward a turn of me getting Alto closer to the ship, with the Vajra failing to do any lasting damage.
I did show the König Monster’s strongest attack, though:

Player Phase!

Look at this guy, trying to block Alto’s passage.
Michel’s so dreamy, you guys.

And we’re in!

: Alright, I’m going in! Hold on, Luca!

: Huh…?
: Something happen?
: No. I thought I pinged something De-Folding but I guess it was nothing.
: OK, now we’ll start setting up for Alto’s escape. All units—


: We’ve new heat sources on approach!
: Damn it, more?!

: Are those NUNS troops? Wait, no, I don’t think so…
: Who’re they working with? They don’t look like Galaxy troops… you don’t think they’re with the Anti-Unification League, do you?
: We’ll try getting in touch with them. Stay on your toes in the meantime, Ozma.
: Roger that, Captain.
: C-Captain, that’s not Bogey One!
: I can see that. Meyrin, have we any data on them?
: None. The ship, the units and their affiliations are unknown!
: And there are these weird bug-looking things, too!
: Could they be Mimetic Beasts?
: No, they are not.
: No data found between those and the Mimetic Beasts. And, just in case, I’ve also compared them to the Mechabeast database and got no results.
: One of their mobile weapons kind of looks like the Combattler…
: It can’t be. The Combattler V is taking part in operations in Japan!
: Despite the similar design, our database search came back negative. That’s not the Combattler.
: So it’s a totally unknown group, huh?
: Some of their units are transformable… and incredibly mobile, while at it.
: Whose country are they from…? Have you anything to say, Chairman?
: I am not all-knowing, Rep. Athha. And, of course, these do not belong to the PLANTs.
: What do we do, Captain? We’re short on time as is…
: Indeed, we are. Our priority is giving chase to Bogey One. Relay this intel to the PLANTs and—
: Captain! Unknown units approaching at high speed!
: What?!

: The Minerva!
: Luna, Rey, cover them!
: Hold on, we’ve another unit incoming!
“No idea who these folks are but I can’t just let the Vajra take ‘em!”

: H-How the hell is he so fast…?!
: This is Cpt. Talia Gladys of the ZAFT battleship Minerva; our thanks for your help.
: LtCmdr. Ozma Lee, flight lead of SMS’ Skull Squadron. We were engaged by the Vajra immediately after we De-Folded.
: By Vajra, you mean those creatures you destroyed?
: Right. As far as we can tell, they’re living weapons.
: Captain, multiple unknown units on approach!

: Not good – they’ve got us surrounded!
: Talia, I don’t think we’ll be able to continue our pursuit for Bogey One.
: Hm. And while I’ve never heard of a group called SMS before, they at least don’t appear hostile. We don’t know how trustworthy they are but, looking at our situation, I believe we’ll need their help to get through this.
: Indeed, to say nothing of that fact that we’ve no idea the fire these embers could cause if ignored. We’ve to adjust our priorities.
: LtCmdr., could you get us in touch with your mothership?
: Alright. Hold on while I relay you.
: This is Jeffrey Wilder, captain of the SMS battleship Macross Quarter. We’re in the middle of a battle, so please make this quick.
: Cpt. Talia Gladys of the ZAFT battleship Minerva. We’ll provide support to your troops.
: Much appreciated, captain. One of our own is being kept inside the enemy ship and we’re executing a rescue operation right now. Be careful not to destroy that ship until they’re out, alright?
: Understood. Shinn, Rey, Lunamaria, did you get all that?
: Aye, aye! Let’s deal with these Mimetic Beast-looking things quick and get back to chasing Bogey One!
: Relay this to all SMS units: the new battleship’s called the Minerva and they’re friendlies! Work with them and repel the Vajra!
: Roger!
: Hurry up and get outta there, Alto. The role of a captured princess doesn’t really suit you…
: First things first: let’s go and get that Vajra ship disabled!

Now we need to get the Knight-Class Vajra under 30% HP. Before that, we’ve more new arrivals:

Force Impulse Gundam (Shinn Asuka)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Support Attack L1
Attack Combo L1
Spirit Commands:
Fighting Spirit (闘志) – guarantees that the next attack will be a critical hit.
Mech Features:
Anti-Beam Shield – triggering a shield defense against beam-type weapons will grant additional damage mitigation.
Variable Phase Shift (VPS) Armor – reduces non-beam damage by 2000.
Shinn’s Squad Bonus: Mobility and Accuracy +5

Shinn’s SEED Destiny’s protagonist (kinda) and is appropriately good all-around. The Impulse packs some nice firepower and is surprisingly resilient with all those defensive features. Unlike in Z1, you can’t switch frames outright but they’re still there in the form of attacks (the Cerberus blasters in particular cover the major weakness of the Force Impuse which was its range).
Shinn’s already good and he’ll only get better as we go along, so he gets an easy recommendation.

Gunner ZAKU Warrior (Lunamaria Hawke)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands
Mech Features:
Anti-Beam Shield
Luna’s Squad Bonus: Money earned +10%, HP+500, EN+50

Blaze ZAKU Phantom (Rey Za Burrel)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Shield Defense
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Sense (直感) – grants the effect of Strike and Alert
Mech Features:
Anti-Beam Shield
Rey’s Squad Bonus: Armor +100, EN+50, Crit ratio +10

Can you say squaddies? The ZAKUs are decent enough at this point of the game but they’re already being outclassed by the Valkyries. If you want one of them to lead, Rey is objectively the better pilot as Luna’s a notoriously bad shot (and most of the ZAKU’s weapons are ranged).
Regardless, those squad bonuses are nice.

Minerva (Talia Gladys, Arthur Trine)
Pilot Skills:
Shoot Down
Commander L1
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Attack L1
Spirit Commands – Talia:
Spirit Commands – Arthur:
Minerva’s Squad Bonus: Accuracy rate +5, ranged weapon power +100

Another pretty good battleship, though, for whatever reason, it’s lacking its Laminated Armor; so it won’t be quite as bulky as the Quarter. Still, it’s got some good offense going on and its big Tannhäuser cannon comes in both single-target and MAPW flavors.
Availability made Talia one of Doc’s top killers in Z1, so we’ll see if she’ll fly just as nicely over here.

Let’s get to work, then.

: Not once did I expect the Minerva’s first battle to be against foes like these… Keep your heads on a swivel, crew!

Pew, pew.

Ozma’s getting back to the Knight Vajra, weakening whatever’s close.

Let’s have the ZAFT folks hang by their ship, just to be safe.

: This world really can’t free itself from chaos… And, in that case, there’s only one thing for me to do!
And here’s Rey’s best attack while we’re at it.

Luna and Shinn’ll handle this one together.

: These things sure don’t look like Mimetic Beasts… Urgh, and I really don’t think it’ll be easy to land a hit on them!

: The Second Stage units get jacked and, right after, these things start showing up… What the hell is going on with this world?!


Enemy Phase!

The Voltes is getting a big dinged up but Klan’s nearby.

Klan, support defending: “It’s gunning for you, Voltes V!”
And that’s a cool 6.2k damage on the thing. The other nearby Vajra can’t do much more than explode, while the ones by ZAFT’s corner lose a chunk of their HP.

Player Phase!

Another V Slash comboed into Pixie Formation gets us where we need to be.

Inside the Knight-Class Vajra, Alto looks around and eventually finds Luca’s plane all tied up by some tentacle things. He’s out cold inside, so Alto moves in and starts tearing stuff up to set him loose. He gets Luca back just fine but before Alto can wake him up, the ticked-off tentacles go and tie his Valkyrie up; that is, until a mysterious man saves him!
Alto spots the guy’s red Valkyrie – not a model he’s seen before – but his attention is diverted by Ozma getting in touch. He explains that we’re moving to immobilize the ship, so he better use that chance to get out pronto.
Sounds good and, as Luca comes to, they both start flying to the exit.

Outside, the red Valkyrie’s quickly left the area with Alto and Luca emerging from the Knight Vajra right after.
They’re still good to fight and with nothing else for us to worry about, Ozma gives the word to blow the enemy to kingdom come. Talia sees that our rescue operation was a success and gives the same order to Shinn and co.
Durandal’s especially supportive of Rey, who vows to fight to the fullest.

And now to wrap things up, let’s show off some other stuff.

: You goddamned bugs! This is payback for before!
If you kill something on the first Vajra batch with this attack, you get a special convo:

: Skull 4, splash one!
: Wow… his kabuki moves are so ingrained in his head that they show even in his flying!
: Fly like a butterfly, sting like a bee. He’s not bad at all, eh?
: Psh, that dumbass… I told him to look for another target as soon as he finished his attack run.
: He reminds me of a certain someone when he was young.
: Hrm…
Here’s the Minerva’s main gun.
Shinn’s Blast Silhouette in action.

And Luca getting revenge:

: I’ve gathered more than enough data – only thing left now is taking them down!

: Did we get ‘im?!

: No, the enemy ship’s coming back online!
: Captain!
: …What are our odds?
: This thing’s as stupid as they come, right, Lam?
: Right. We’ve run a simulation based on the data compiled by Skull 3 and we’ve the advantage in terms of top speed.
: Mina?
: All sections are ready and good to go.
: Monica?
: Firing pattern and evasion programs are already in place. Leave the navigation to me, sir.
: C-Captain, wait just a minute! What are you up to…?
: Inform the deployed units that the Quarter will now engage the Vajra battleship at close range!
: Close range?!
: You’re actually going with “that”, eh?
: Sorry, but I’m afraid I’ll be bagging this largest of games! Transformation, engage!
: Macross Quarter engaging transformation! Main reactor output rising! Fractal Module System activating!

: Whoa…! The ship really did transform!
: So that’s the Storm Attacker Mode…!
: Bobby, show them how this 400-meter long vessel was still crowned with the Macross name!
: OK, Boss!

The Quarter blasts off towards the Knight-Class Vajra!

: Yaaah!

: How d’ya like that? This is how the SMS does things!
: Regardless, I have some questions over the necessity of such extreme steering of the Quarter… urk…
: (That insane maneuver was just… Oh, god, I’m gonna be sick…!)

Cathy runs off to find a bag.

: Oho, guess I blew her away. Ahahahahaa!

That’s all enemies dealt with and Monica isn’t detecting any other De-Fold signals. Luca thanks everyone, especially Alto, for the rescue but he tells him not to worry – no big deal. More important is figuring out who those “ZAFT” guys are.
Jeffrey’s just received some intel over the survey of the area and asks everyone to calm down and listen: it’s looking like the we, and the Frontier Fleet, De-Folded in parallel world. Sounds crazy as all get-out but it’s true; Sakonji explains that despite L.A.I. and Kentarou’s joint research into the matter, whatever accident struck the Solar Falcon before has apparently happened again during our last Fold.
But how are we sure this really is a parallel world? First off, because we can see more stuff floating around space than just the Earth and Moon; moreover, after analysis, our folks have found several differences like, for instance, the fact that there’s no Macross City on this Earth.

So, Kenichi sees, we didn’t transcend time today but, rather, the dimensions themselves. Damn. Well, Jeffrey calls everyone back aboard to wait and see what the president decides to do now.
The Coordinators watch as everyone returns, Luna sighing that some words of gratitude would’ve been nice. Inwardly, Rey ponders that, if Durandal’s conjecture is correct, then those living weapons are… we don’t get to know.
Regardless, Talia calls everyone back. Durandal’ll be getting in touch with the newcomers’ leader and then, hopefully, they’ll know who we are.

Later, Durandal informs Talia that another team’s being assigned to chasing Bogey One. While the recovery, or destruction, of the Second Stage units was the Minerva’s top priority, that’s changed – they’ll now be assisting the Frontier Fleet and the Supreme Council has already approved of this.
Howard puts in a call to the ship and, having reviewed the PLANTs proposal, agrees to welcome them aboard and relay intel on the Vajra; in exchange, they’d like the colonies’ consent to remain stationed in their air space while they repair their ships.
Durandal readily agrees, even offering the PLANTs assistance in any way necessary. Howard is very thankful and invites the Minerva into Island 1.

By Howard’s office, he asks Mishima if he thinks these people to be trustworthy. He can’t say for certain yet but does make note of how easily Durandal accepted our outrageous story – could it be that this isn’t the first time people have come here from another world?
If anything, Mishima figures we ought to play nice with them while we try to figure out what’s up and what we’re going to do. And, on the subject, Mishima asks what “that one’s” thoughts on this event are. Howard says he/she is quite curious about the whole thing and wants us to be as proactive in stablishing connections to the PLANTs as can be.
If we can pin down the cause of this phenomenon by cooperating with them, a lot of new possibilities will open up. A NUNS officer calls in, reporting the Minerva’s approach. Howard asks Mishima to welcome them at Island 1’s port, though he asks for a few minutes in order to tighten security around the area.

At his office, Mishima’s gotten in touch with some guy in sunglasses, who’s rather amazed by the Frontier Fleet ending up in another universe. Mishima figured his group didn’t plan for this, figuring they would’ve preferred if we hadn’t gotten in touch with another civilization.
Sunglasses says they always knew there was a risk of a transdimensional warp, though it was deemed extremely unlikely. But never mind that now, Mishima asks if Sunglasses was able to grab the data on “that” and he says that they’re already collecting it from the Dulfim. As for Mishima, Sunglasses tells him to go about his usual business. His side is focusing on revising the plan at the moment.
As he signs off, Mishima’s already scheming: “a parallel world, hm…? If we play our cards right, then…”

The situation’s a lot more critical at Ozma’s place, who’s just found out of Ranka entering Miss Macross without running it by him first. To make it worse, those shenanigans got her suspended from her big shot school – and getting her enrolled in there was a whole lot of trouble for Ozma.
Ranka stomps that this is her dream – she really wants to be a singer – and Ozma calls bull: “how the hell could a shy girl like you make it as a singer?!”
That does it. Ranka explodes, calling him an idiot a bunch of times and throwing everything in arms reach. At length, she runs off.

Out in the streets, Ranka’s sending a message to Alto explaining what happened and asking for his advice on how to reconcile her wishes with Ozma’s stubbornness. He doesn’t answer right away but she quickly runs into Michel, Ippei and Megumi.
They’ve heard from Nanase about her suspension and the girl is really worried about her – Ranka figures she’ll need to apologize later. As a matter of fact, Ozma had already gotten in touch with everyone, including Alto… and Michel says he asked the three of them to handle it as he had something else to do. What an insensitive fella.
As Ranka pouts, Megumi asks her to come home as Ozma’s really worried but she outright refuses to do so until he accepts what she wants. Where will she go, then? Anywhere – it doesn’t matter.
Ranka runs off, leaving Michel to sigh that they can’t well let the girl leave like that. Time to chase after.

Alto’s other business is over by Sheryl’s stage, where he was roughed up a bit when folks mistook him for a stalker (Grace hadn’t told the staff about him, see). And he’d gone through all this trouble to come and bring her earring back in person!
Sheryl apologizes but is also grateful. These earrings are a lucky charm and a memento from her mother, someone whose face she can’t even remember anymore. And that’s a secret, mind!
Yeah, yeah, Alto won’t tell anyone. More importantly, he tells Sheryl not to lose hope on the Galaxy Fleet yet – not until we’ve gotten back to our world and confirmed what’s what. Sheryl’s a bit amused at him trying to console her but figures everyone knows the feeling of caring for their hometown. Alto himself has got to have an attachment to this place, no?

Actually, no, he doesn’t particularly care that much for the residential ships. Why? “There’s no sky here,” he says. Sheryl’s not surprised by that answer but Alto says that he IS a pilot, after all. Isn’t he still in school? Yeah but he’s been officially recruited into the SMS, so he’s a fully-fledged pilot now.
“Ooh, look at you, the big bad ace,” Sheryl quips, “But if you’ve just been recruited into the team, wouldn’t that make you just a little nugget?”

As Alto frowns, Sheryl admits that she doesn’t like the Galaxy Fleet either. In fact, lacking any living relatives, living there was about her least favorite thing in the world. But now… Alto tells her to pull herself together as it ain’t like her to look so bummed out.
Now it’s Sheryl’s turn to frown at his attitude, though she quickly composes herself. She’s got one question: since Alto’s joined the SMS, does that mean he’ll be fighting the Vajra? Probably, though who knows what we’ll actually have to fight in another dimension.
In that case, Sheryl wants him to keep the earring – like she said, it’s a lucky charm. Mind, she’s only letting him BORROW it and expects to have it back later. Alto accepts and, with the show starting soon, wishes her good luck out there.

The Minerva crewmates are taking the time to check out Island 1, being especially blown away by the Zentradi Mall and its giant everything. None of this looks CG to Shinn and Luna’s having a hard time believing this to be real.
Luca’s showing the around and having a laugh: “Blown away, are you? Then you ought to try shouting ‘Deculture!’”
De-what now? A Zentradi expression for when they’re shocked or excited about something. Though their language is pretty much unused now, the expression itself still lives on. Sounds good to Meyrin, who cries a hearty Deculture.
Shinn and Luna find it incredible to see both humans and the ginormous Zentrans living side-by-side like it’s no big deal – especially considering how they all but destroyed Earth in the past. Indeed, Luca won’t deny the ravages of the old interstellar conflict but that’s all in the past now.

After a quick round of introductions from everyone, Luna thanks Luca for playing tour guide to them – of course, no thanks are needed. Luca’s doing this both as an apology for not assisting them during the quarantine and because the SMS owner told him to.
Seems the Minerva crew had to undergo both blood tests and sterilization before coming aboard. Can they blame us, though? This is a different dimension, so we had no idea what kind of germs and viruses could exist here.
Meyrin’s fine with that but what annoyed her was getting a reminder of how lacking her figure is compared to her sister’s. Luca lets out an awkward laugh but apologizes for any inconvenience. With that said, they should hurry along as there’s still plenty more to see!

Elsewhere in the mall, Michel’s finally caught up with Ranka and begs her to stop running. He yields! Now how about a small truce, they go and get some ice cream and relax for a bit? Michel swears he knows a good place, so Ranka accepts.
Cut to a bit later and Ranka’s feeling better with her ice cream. Michel’s bought some to the Voltes Team as well, considering it was his captain who got them tangled up in all this. But with that done, he asks Ranka to go home – Ozma’s really worried.
The answer’s still no. Ozma’s always treating her like a child and he kept his pilot gig a secret for who knows how long. So Ranka’s entitled to go and do her own thing, too! Michel says she’s acting like a spoiled kid without an ounce of consideration for Ozma’s feelings.

Moreover, he figures the reason Ranka doesn’t want to go home is that she knows she won’t be able to persuade him to change his mind. She won’t make it in the singing business with that kind of attitude, FYI. Hell, could she even handle singing in front of a bunch of people?
Ranka says she absolutely can, like how she sang for the audience at Miss Macross. That was then, though – could she do it right here, in front of all these mall-goers? Is she capable of placing herself in front of all these people who didn’t come here expressly to see her and sing for them?
The girl falls silent and Megumi chides Michel for his sharp tongue. Still, he figures Ranka needs to realize how childish she’s being; someone lacking commitment shouldn’t speak of being a singer. Ranka perks up right then.

: You’re wrong… I do want as many people as possible to listen to my song…!
: (You shouldn’t call it quits just because you failed once.)
: Alto… here goes…!

: Kimi wa dare to kisu o suru… ♪
: !!
: What a lovely song…
: Yow, who’d have thought the little girl had a voice like that…!
: Hey, do you hear that song? It’s coming from around here…
: Yeah, I think so… and it’s a good one, too. You can feel a whole lotta heart behind those lyrics.
: Huh…? Isn’t that Ranka singing? Michel and the others are there too…
: Whoever she is, her song’s got a lot more feeling than Lacus’ recent work.
: De-Deculture!!

:bravo: :bravo: :bravo:

: Wow… look at how quick she drew a crowd.
: OK, I know when to throw in the towel…
: That’s what’s called natural talent, I guess.


: Alright. I have to admit that you were pretty amazing there.
: Yes, it was beautiful.
: Aw, n-no, that…
: You managed to get us all hooked, too.
: Luca! What’re you doing here?
: I was showing the ZAFT pilots around the Frontier and we wound up hearing Ranka.
: H-Hey. Your singing wasn’t half bad… Actually, it was pretty good.
: Absolutely. It gave me a real nostalgia rush, even.
: Th-Thank you very much!
: Y-y-you there!
: Huh? Me?
: And who exactly are you?
: M-My name is Elmo Kridanik, I’m the head of a talent agency! Young lady, would you please sign up with me? You’re going to be a star!
: Aah?

Back at Ozma’s place, Elmo’s desperately trying to convince the man. He remembers the dreadful Space War I between humans and Zentrandi – something that could’ve been completely avoided had they tried to understand each other with song instead of resorting to violence.
Song is culture, culture is love and, thus, song is love! And Ranka has the capacity of relaying that love to the people, so please let him sign her up!
Megumi and Michel are looking from afar, seeing Ozma’s angry face and realizing a storm is coming. Ozma raises his voice, Elmo immediately flinching… “Take care of my little sister please,” he says. He even bows to Elmo, everyone else gaping in surprise.

Back to Mihoshi Academy, it’s been one week since the Frontier Fleet’s been brought to this world. Things have been relatively calm following a speech from Howard but Luca still doesn’t know what we’re going to do. Michel figures our priority will be to gather intel, though he’s got a bad feeling.
When Alto asks, Luca says info on the Dulfim and its crew are being tagged highly classified, so we’ve no way of knowing what happened to them. Ippei doesn’t like the dreary conversation and asks Nanase how Ranka’s doing. Working pretty hard in preparation for her singing debut, it seems, though she didn’t tell her what exactly that involves.

Nagisa adds that she’s taking some time off from Nyan-Nyan and hasn’t even been answering their calls. Luca does relay a rumor that someone looking like her was spotted singing on the street. Should we go and cheer on the future superstar, Kenichi wonders, but Luca isn’t so sure it was Ranka. For one, the singer was supposedly dressed like a carrot…
Yeah, Ranka wanted to be a big time singer, so no way she’d dress up like that – must’ve been someone else. Either way, Nagisa’s heard that we’ve got a new transfer student coming and Michel’s always ready to give a warm welcome… provided it’s a girl.

And the door opens up, revealing the new student: Ranka!

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You know, the thing that always got me about L is that it had an Evangelion (the first two Rebuild movies, they debuted here), and a central aspect of the plot was the Frontier, Voltes V, and a few Iczer 3 characters popping in from another universe… (well, them and the Linebarrel villains, but we’ll get to the shitheap that is the Linebarrel anime soon enough.)

…but it didn’t have Dual! Parallel Trouble Adventures.

I feel like this was either an oversight or a case of “couldn’t get the license” because that’s one of the easiest series inclusions in any SRW ever.

Click to see the mission!

It is one century after mankind ventured into space. It has been no easy voyage, as nuclear warfare has redrawn the map of the world’s nations and conflict with Earth’s ancient nemesis the “Jama Kingdom” raised the specter of global famine. The colonies’ exploitation of their dominance over agricultural exports only served to heighten tensions between the two sides.

Conditions worsened greatly fifteen years ago, with the unprecedented calamity known as the “Second Impact”. The chaotic state of the world in its aftermath allowed such mysterious forces as the “Darius Army”, the “Katou Organization” and “Dancouga” to commence operations.

To counter this, the nations of the world embarked on a military buildup and changes in policies. However, this had the indirect effect of antagonizing the space colonists. Tensions between Earth and the Space Colonies rose greatly.

Five years ago marked the outbreak of the so-called “War of the Giants” with the massive life forms known as “Mimetic Beasts”. Sadly, mankind’s narrow victory did not result in a cessation of hostilities between fellow men, and, three years ago, terrorist acts by the colonies sparked an all-out war between the Space Colonies and Earth.

The war lasted a year and several months, Earth’s victory coming at the cost of depleting the defenses of all its nations. This presented an opening for the “Mechabeast Army” and the “Mycenae Empire”, and it would be another year before the ad-hoc establishment of the New UN, containing representatives of both Earth and the Colonies, managed to repulse them.

The resulting peace was short-lived, as the Darius Army started a full-blown invasion and the resurgent Jama Kingdom (free from its Seal) triggered a new round of militarization, precluding any chance of total peace for mankind.

And now, contact with visitors from parallel world has raised the curtain on a new era of warfare…

And now for something completely different: we open up in a classroom in Japan, Misaki Middle School, with Kouichi calling Ichitaka (orange shirt) to check this new Dancouga vid he found online.
Seems like the thing was last sighted north of the Republic of East Asia, where it intervened in an ongoing battle with the Darius Army and the government forces. As usual, it took the side of whoever was losing – meaning the government.
Kouichi figures that goes without saying, as everyone knows the Dancouga’s a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE. There’s no way in hell it’d buddy up with the Darius forces.

Yajima isn’t so sure, having heard rumors that it’s been fighting to prolong conflict prior even to the War of the Giants. Kouichi poo-poos at the story, saying those are obviously hoaxes but, more importantly, he and Ichitaka still wanna watch the vid.
Ichitaka at least is also a Dancouga fan, really digging its somewhat different style compared to the Godannar, Gaiking and Combattler. “Yeaaaah! And there’s the Dancouga’s deadly beam attack! Boom, oneshotted!” Kouchi raves beside him.
Ichitaka can’t help but be impressed at the fine work Isabelle Cronkite, the reporter who got this scoop, does.

Risako steps over and ask what’s gotten the boys so hyped, only to quickly lose interest when she’s told. Yesterday it was Jeeg, today it’s Dancouga – Kouichi does nothing but watch news on those bots and she’s at her breaking point with that.
Hey, now, it’s only because Japan’s got these champions around that the place has taken so little damage despite the ongoing war. Complaining about it is gonna bring her bad luck! That said, Yajima figures it goes to show how peaceful things are around here that we can take it for granted like that.

Kouichi and Ichitaka aren’t listening, cheering as the Arma Squadron in the video repels the Darius forces and scores a win for the government. Risako sighs, unable to understand why the boys like robots so much. “It’s a guy thing – you wouldn’t get it,” Kouichi proclaims and Ichitaka readily agrees, before realizing he’s late for meeting with “the professor”.
What, he’s gonna skip class? That’s not a very CHAMPION OF JUSTICE thing to do, Kouichi points out; Ichitaka concedes that but says keeping promises is even more important. The professor said he had something to show him, so it shouldn’t take too long to wrap it up and get back. Yajima will answer his name at rollcall, so he better return quick.

As he leaves, Yajima sees that the guy really likes Prof. Grife… though, Risako notes, the title’s actually self-appointed, as he’s just an old man who likes to invent stuff at home. Well, Yajima and co. don’t know enough about professor to question that.
Risako’s mom has deemed the guy a weirdo but if he’s really impressive enough to warrant that kind of admiration from Ichitaka, then maybe she’d like to meet him sometime. Kouichi groans at how she’s always sticking her nose in their business, but is interrupted when Furuya, an upperclassman, grabs one Shinji Ikari and drags him off.
Kouichi quickly says he needs to go to the bathroom and goes after.

And Furuya’s taken Shinji up to the roof, where the kid was supposed to have come ASAP after recess started. Is he shirking his responsibilities?! No, Shinji says he got called up by his teacher but that’s hardly any excuse for Furuya’s empty stomach. Shinji better hustle and get him some curry bread and none of that school store junk – Furuya wants some from Hama Bakery and it better be ready in ten minutes!
Shinji stammers that it’s impossible to make it there and back in that time but, before Furuya can get in his face, Kouichi steps in to help. Furuya’s surprised to see him here, as him “recruiting” Shinji would’ve meant Kouichi didn’t need to play gofer anymore.

Still, he’s not gonna sit by as they harass the new junior classman and offers to go and buy the damn curry bread in his stead. That is, until Risako steps in and orders everyone to stop right there – she figured something was up with Kouichi and, what do you know, it’s Furuya harassing him again.
Furuya sniffs that he was just asking him a favor but that’s hardly an excuse for her: “there’s nothing worse than those who pick on the weak!” That seems to have an impact with Kouichi; he tells her to let it go and heads out to buy the thing (again, ten minutes!). As he leaves, with Risako in pursuit, Shinji wonders why Kouichi covered for him.

Risako catches up to Kouichi by the bike area, warning that he’ll be late for class if he goes all the way to Hama Bakery. Maybe not, he oughta make it in time if he cuts through the forest by the Shinto shrine. But why does he care so much? Why is he playing Furuya’s gofer in that junior’s stead?
“Gotta help those who are weak, right?” he answers. “That’s what’s just and you know I’m all about justice!” Risako sighs at him starting with that again but Kouichi’s 100% confident: “I know I got a whole lotta power in me… it’s just not awakened yet, ya know.”

Risako objects that his daydreaming won’t amount to anything – and he wasn’t like this when they were kids. Well, he doesn’t care about how he was or wasn’t way back when. Yajima shows up and asks what’s up. Risako explains, making note of Kouichi’s inane ranting on justice and how he’s willingly signed up for this, and asks Yajima to talk some sense into him.
Yajima points out that he’s gotta stand up to Furuya and if he can’t do it alone, then they’ll tackle it together. What, so Yajima’s trying to be the mighty champion now? No, Kouichi insists he can do this alone and runs off. Risako doesn’t understand why he’s pushing them away, especially when the three of them used to be such good friends before.

We cut to the JUDA Corporation, the president’s office, where Yui Ogawa (the secretary) is reporting the “Linebarrel’” flight – it’s descending pretty much as expected. When president Kunio Ishigami asks, Reiji Moritsugu, over the comm, reports that they’ve already evacuated the city that’s the first projected landing point.

Miu Kujo’s (brown hair) by the second landing point and it’s also clear. Finally, Satoru Yamashita reports that visual conditions are A-OK.
It’s T-minus five minutes until the Linebarrel breaks into the atmosphere… but a problem crops up. Yui reports that it’s being attacked by satellite weapons and that quickly causes it to divert from the projected descent course.
How strange, Ishigami thinks, as he’s sure they called every country out there to warn about what they were doing.

In a hidden area, it’s two folks who are behind this: “Satellite weapons hacked and under control. The target’s switched to the specified course.”

And, indeed, the Linebarrel is now going to land in a completely different place. Yui runs the numbers and says it’s headed for Miura, in the Kanagawa Prefecture.
That’s not too good, Ishigami sighs, but it beats it landing in Hakone. Meanwhile, the Linebarrel has just broken into the atmosphere.

Ichitaka arrives at Prof. Grife’s house, greeted at the door by Alice.
When he asks, she tells Ichitaka that the professor’s mood is the same as usual and points him over to the lab. Good to hear, because the guy’s hard to calm down once he gets cranky.

Inside the lab, both Prof. Grife and Yuu, his son, are waiting. Ichitaka’s surprised to see his “bro” here, asking when he came back; Yuu doesn’t answer, though his taciturn nature is hardly a surprise. Grife says that maybe it’d help if Ichitaka acted his age and stopped calling him “bro”, though the kid argues that, however old they are, Yuu will always be his big bro to him.
If anything, Alice is on Ichitaka’s side: “There are plenty of examples of people who aren’t blood-related referring to one another as ‘bro’. So I see no problems at all with that”. Fine, fine, Grife won’t beat on this dead horse further.

More important than that, Ichitaka’s a bit miffed that the professor didn’t give him a call to tell that Yuu was back in town; problem is, while he’s been here a week, they’ve spent most of their time working in the underground.
From what Ichitaka remembers, said underground is where the professor dumps his failed knick-knacks but details will have to wait. First and foremost, Grife wants him to check something out at this pod.

Inside is someone who Ichitaka recognizes, though he hasn’t seen in a while: HL-0 Haruno, a helper robot. She was originally Alice’s sister model, though Grife says he and Yuu have given her a new lot in life. When they activate Haruno, however, her speech is a bit wonky.
Grife figures her specialization into a combat AI has hampered her other thought processes; she won’t be able to function in maid mode like this. Alice argues that her odd pattern isn’t UNUSED nowadays – no problems at all there – but Grife isn’t having it. He figures it can be fixed if they reboot her AI straight into combat mode.
So, they push a few buttons and it’s done: Haruno greets Ichitaka with a more soldier-like manner (think Lamia, minus the bugs). He’s a bit surprised at the change in attitude but Grife explains that Haruno’s been reborn as a proper combat-oriented Android.

Why? What’s the professor going to be fighting against? Grife chuckles and asks if Ichitaka remembers his dream. Indeed, he does: “‘Course, you wanted to build a giant robot… wait, Haruno isn’t gonna grow thirty meters tall or something, right?”
Hardly. Remember what Grife said about him and Yuu being working at the underground? Well, there just might be something there besides trash. Yuu beckons Ichitaka over to a wall and, upon command, Alice flicks a switch and causes it to open. This here’s Grife secret elevator to his underground lab!
The thing can’t handle a lot of folks inside, though, so Alice will stay up top while they descend.

As the elevator goes, Ichitaka’s pretty surprised this house had something like this tucked away. He thought he knew every corner of it! Of course, it wouldn’t be Grife’s secret elevator if he knew about it.
The thing’s going reeaally deep but eventually they arrive. Grife tells Ichitaka to opens his eyes up real good and take a look at what’s ahead. But it’s pitch black…

As soon as the lights come on, however, the kid freaks out. Grife has a huge laugh: “WAHAHAHA! Surprised, are you? This is my greatest creation: the Rushbird!”
Ichitaka really is surprised – dumbstruck, he says – but this ain’t all Grife has to show. Pressing another button, stuff starts moving around in the underground hangar and brings out another mech, which Grife introduces as the Straybird. “Cool, don’tcha think? I’d also liken this one to being a masterpiece of mine.”
Ichitaka’s fanboyism is in overdrive now: “Whoooaaa! This is SO AWESOME! You got two mechs?!” Yuu doesn’t appreciate the yelling, though, pointing out that the difficult part is yet to come. Indeed, Grife says they’ll now be running start-up tests. If those are successful, Grife would like to…
Never mind that – the whole area starts shaking then and there. An earthquake? Haruno runs an analysis and says no: it’s an explosion. Alice runs over and she’s got bad news: someone’s bombarding the lab!

[b]Mission 1 – The Youth Drawn To Iron[/b]

: Hurry, all of you! Get in the elevator!
: We can’t! The safety lock isn’t working due to the tremors!

: Gwaargh!
: G-Gramps?!

: Target has been silenced. Moving to capture via pattern G.
: Initiating descent.

The three units land.

: Target secured. We’ve also found two units, about forty meters tall.
: Disregard those. The “new potential” is all that matters.
: Roger.

: The Linebarrel hasn’t come down yet… (Dmitri)
: Hey, boss! There’s something over there! (Sawatari)
: Hm? But the radar is clear…
: Are your eyes just a piece of décor? Use them. (Wufei)
: Hmph. I don’t recall asking your opinion, newbie.
: Analyzing visual data… no known matches.
: What’re those things, then?!
: Target recovery confirmed. Retreating.
: …

All three units leave.

: You ain’t going anywhere!

Ring, ring!

: Do you copy, Sawatari?
: Cmdr. Katou?!
: You can let those small units go.
: What the hell for, Hisataka?!
: Because they are not the enemy. Your imagination is a bit lacking, Sawatari.
: Oh, come on. You didn’t say anything about that before—

: …
: Hey, now, we got a newcomer coming in!
: All within the scope of my imagination. If he’ll be a nuisance, then feel free to play with him; if not…
: Then we let him go?
: Correct.
: Roger that. Our primary objective is still the Linebarrel, of course.
: Hold up, bro! Lemme come with!
: No, I’ll go and save gramps.
: I wanna help him too, you know!
: You’re an outsider and this is none of your business. Back off!
: “O-Outsider”…?
: …The link’s looking good. We’re leaving, Haruno!
: Ready when you are.


: Bro! Yuu!
: And there it goes…
: Got a hit on radar! SDF Armas!

: That’s where we detected the explosions? (Igarashi)
: Yes, sir. But we’re receiving intel that it wasn’t the Katou Organization Armas who did it…
: We’ll handle the Irregulars later. First off, we’ll beat the snot outta these guys and drive them outta town!
: Roger!

Machine gun fire!

: Hah, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Let’s get to it, boss, newbie!
: I suppose we must. Imagine! O, powerless people!
: Yeah, imagine good! Imagine what’s gonna be left of your corpses after I’m done!
: …

: Hrrrm! Don’t give ‘em an inch! Keep firing!

: “None of my business”… What an awful thing to say, bro…
: Ichitaka…
: Hey, Alice. Think you can get this thing moving like Haruno did?
: I’m sorry, Ichitaka… I haven’t either combat-oriented thought patterns or the necessary functionalities to work as a copilot.
: Hey, that’s nothing to apologize for. Blah… That’s how it’s gonna be, huh? Screw it, then!

*Ichitaka jumps into the Rushbird.

: If you can’t get it moving, then I’ll do it! Hop aboard, Alice!
: Huuh?! You can actually operate it?!
: No idea but I figure it’s safer inside this cockpit than sitting here, waiting to be rescued! Come on!
: O-OK!

In she goes.

: H-Hey… this kinda looks like that simulator the professor made…! Alright, I think I can manage this!

Wiiiirrrrrr! Stomp!

: And we’re moving! So next would be…
: Alice, you see that panel over there? Press all buttons from left to right, would you? After that, pull the lever overhead and bring out that control panel under your seat – that’ll shift our mode!
: A-Alright!
: I think we’re good. Trust me on this one!
: Here goes!!

: Another one?!
: Ooow… The sim sure didn’t pull Gs like this thing…!
: Yo, who’re you?! You friends with that guy from before?!
: Alice, think you can get a bead on Yuu’s mech?
: Um… Maybe if I press a few buttons here and there we might get something?
: … Ah, no, never mind. We’re good.
: Who the hell are you? Civs?
: You’re with the SDF? The name’s Ichitaka Nagumo, 3rd year student of Misaki Middle School!
: And who’re those guys? They’re making a mess of our town!
: I can’t tell you that. If you’re a civ, then get outta here!
: Hey, I’ve got my own reasons for being here, alright? I can’t just go ‘Yeah, OK!’ and back off!
: …
: Are you done talking?
: Then, die!
: Urgh!
: Work that imagination and figure out if this’ll hit or not!

: Gyaaaaaaargh!!

: And you’re next in line, moron.
: Tch, no way we’re going down here! Back me up, Alice!
: I’ll do whatever I can!

And we finally have our originals, having to take on a bevy of Katou units. Gotta take them all down, so we’ll want to take it nice and easy.

Rushbird (Ichitaka Nagumo, AL-3 Alice)
Pilot Skills:
Shield Defense
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Attack Combo L1
Spirit Commands – Ichitaka:
Spirit Commands – Alice:
Mech Features:
Laplace Wall – Damage from Beam and Energy-type weapons reduced by 2000. If Laplace Wall reduces the damage to 0, Rushbird will regenerate 15 EN.
Squad Bonus: Armor +150, HP+1000, Land terrain rating: A

The Rushbird may kinda look like a Real but it’s very much a Super Robot. It won’t be dodging anything but it can take a good hit – especially against stuff that’s got energy weapons. And while it also packs a hefty punch, you’ll find its current weapon selection to be lacking in range – the best he has for a post-movement attack is 1-2! The range in its other weapons make it a good Support Attacker, though, and Ichitaka’s a good enough pilot.
All in all, you can easily fit it in any group.

The Katou mooks can be decently dodgy (though Wufei is by far the dodgiest) and accurate, so setting Ichitaka on a positive terrain for some defense/evasion bonus will help.

: We’re gonna have to wreck these guys before we can go after the professor and my bro!
: I dunno how much that sim experience’ll help here but I’ll go with whatever works! Alice, you do as I tell you, alright?
: OK!
Ichitaka: “While I’m off doing this, my bro and the professor are…!”
Alice: “Aah? We’re jumping right in there?!"
Ichitaka: “We gotta or we’re dead meat!”
Alice: “Oh, wow! You hit him!”
Ichitaka: “And here’s the follow-up!”

Enemy Phase!

Named folks are hanging back but not the mooks.
Ichitaka: “Alice, know that thing in the sim? We’re gonna try that!
Alice: “But I wasn’t allowed near any of that research!”
Ichitaka: “What’s the enemy up to, Alice?”
Alice: “He’s rushing us down!”
Ichitaka: “Ah, craaap!”

The one we weakened before gets wrecked.

Player Phase!

By the Shinto shrine to the NW

: Damn, a buncha Armas pop up outta nowhere, the place turns into a warzone… what’s going on here?! I-I gotta get back right the hell now!
: Huh? What’s that noise…? A-Ack! Something’s falling this way!!

: It’s here! Commander, we’ve confirmed of the Linebarrel’s landing!
: So did we. A shame that it didn’t crash right on top of JUDA but this will do. Execute the plan right away.
: Roger. Sawatari, keep the Irregular busy.
: You got it, boss!

As Sawatari starts heading for Ichitaka, we cut back to Kouichi.

: Hrm…? Why am I…? Aah, right… there was something falling and…
: Oh, crap, the bread! Aah! It’s all smooshed up! Noooo…
: What?! And my cell broke too?! This day just keeps getting worse… huh? What the…?
: …
: A girl? Why’s she right next to me?

Looks at the Linebarrel.

: A-Aah! An Arma?! Where’d that come from?!
: …Hm…
: Hey, come on, get up! We gotta book it – this is getting real dangerous!
: Huh…? What… Why am I here…?
: You’re awake, yeah? Good, good.
: Listen, can you run? We need to get out of here right now!
: Did you… help me? Thanks.
: I guess I did, huh? Heheheh… Wait, this ain’t the time for that! Come on – we gotta get going!
: What’s your name, even?
: …I don’t know.
: Huh?
: Kouichi!
: Yajima?!
: Thank god, you’re safe. Risako went, like, white as a sheet when she couldn’t call your cell.
: Yeah, the thing’s busted… But why’re you here?
: Well, she told me to come look for you, so I did. You really shouldn’t make her worry so much, you know.
: …And, also, who’s the girl? And what’s that Arma, even?
: Don’t ask me, ‘cause I’ve no clue.
: Alright, alright; you can save the story for later. Right now we need to get back to school and find shelter!
: Right…
: And you can relax, too – it’s all good now. Come on!
: Y-Yes…

They start going down the path into town.

: This way, Kouichi! Hurry!
: Go and surround the Linebarrel!

: Yes, sir!
: Aah! They’re coming this way!
: Those are…
: Hey, you! We gotta hide!
: Those are… my enemy…
: Huh?!

The Katou mooks start stomping over.

: Waaah!!
: Aaah!
: This ain’t looking good… Kouichi, I’ll draw their attention! Take the girl and run!
: But you’ll—
: It’s no biggie. Same ol’ song and dance between us, eh?
: But…
: Get outta here already!
: Why…
: Huh?!
: I… I don’t need your help anymore! I can take care of myself, damn it!

Kouichi punches a tree and it falls right over!

: !!
: Th-The hell?! I knocked this huge tree down… with my bare hands…?
: Ko-Kouichi… When did you get so strong…?
: I remembered… my name… It’s Kizaki… Emi Kizaki!
: Emi Kizaki…
: You… Will you fight with me?
: Huh?
: If you’ve the will to fight, the call out the Linebarrel…!
: Line… barrel?
: Put your hand on my chest.
: Wait, what?!
: Hurry up…!
: A-Alright, then. Come here, Linebarrel!!

: It’s… that Arma from before?! It flew here in the blink of an eye… What’s going on?!
: This is the Linebarrel…! I can fight with it?
: Yes.
: Alright, Yajima, find someplace to hide out!
: What?!
: I’ll handle this mess! Let’s do this, Emi!
: Do you know what to do?
: Hmhmm. Linebarrel… Yeah, I can handle this guy! Haaaaaaah!!
Katou mook: “The Linebarrel belongs to us!”

: Is that the Arma that fell back there? It can move?!
: Looks like it, yes!
: It can’t be… How is the Linebarrel active?!
: I thought it didn’t have a Factor?
: Are you seeing this, Commander? Looks like the thing’s already picked up a Factor.
: Hm. The Factor may be a newbie but you’re still up against an original Machina. Don’t let your guard down.
: Whoa… And this power’s mine now?
: Yes.
: Heheheh…! Well, things are looking up already!

Dmitri moves up to him.

: I am Dmitri Magarov, Captain of the Katou Organization’s 3rd Unit. Are you one of JUDA’s Factors?
: JUDA? Factors? Hell if I know, man! I’m Kouichi Hayase – a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE!
: D-Did he says Kouichi Hayase?! Why would he—?!
: And if you’re picking a fight with a champion of justice that makes you the bad guy! Meaning you’re all going down!
: Heh, we’ve got a real loudmouth crashing our party now! Come on, boss – get rid of him quick!
: I’m on it!
: Kouichi… It’s you…?
: Ichitaka, you must focus on the Armas!
: Y-Yeah, you’re right!

: Ah? The target Machina’s up and about. Things are a bit different from advertised – what do we do, Tanaka? (Aoi)


: Sorry; give me a minute on this one. I didn’t think this would happen.

Looks at the Rushbird.

: And there’s that guy, too. He’s about as big as the Dancouga. (Sakuya)
: That’s not any mech I’ve seen in “Men’s Super Robots Monthly”. (Johnny)
: But how reliable is that magazine exactly? (Kurara)
: Yo… Isn’t that the Dancouga?!
: The D-Dancouga?! And what’re those things there?!
: Oh, thank goodness! The Linebarrel’s safe!
: I’d no idea what we were gonna do when the thing changed its drop point but we still managed to make it in time.
: It finding a Factor already wasn’t in the plans, though.
: Psh, now the Dancouga and JUDA’s Machinas decided to turn up.
: Can you hear us, Kouichi Hayase? We’re here to pick you up!
: Yeah, come with us to JUDA!
: The hell… how do you two know my name?!
: Weren’t you the one yelling your name just a minute ago? You were pretty dang loud, too.
: O-Oh, I was?
: Are you stupid or something?
: Don’t call me that! I’m a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE, OK?!
: Everyone here except me and the Dancouga is evil, so my justice’ll trash you all good!
: ?! You’re…!
: Huh… Is that really Kouichi in there?
: Oi, where’d he get the idea we’re his buddies…?
: What, then, Tanaka? Figured out how we’ll deal with this?
: I have: stick to the original plan and move to capture the Linebarrel. Way its pilot’s looking, we’d be risking even more unnecessary damage by letting him be.
: And the unknown unit?
: You should be alright to ignore it – it doesn’t seem hostile, I think.
: The Dancouga… didn’t think it’d intrude on this battle.
: Hrm…! It’s on the move!
: Sorry, “Champ”!
Kurara: “Who goes and proclaims himself a Champion of Justice? What a sad kid…”
Johnny: “Middle schoolers, you know how they are.”
Sakuya: “What’d you mean…?”
Aoi: “Never mind that – let’s bring this guy in quick!”

: Whaa?! Why’d the Dancouga attack me?!
: I’m justice incarnate! A champion! A CHAMPION OF JUSTICE!
: Why… why doesn’t anyone get my justice?!
: Fine, then…
: You’re evil, too, Dancouga! You’re my enemy!!

: Oh, dear… We’ve gone and poked the bear.
: Tanaka?!
: Sorry, kids. I’ll go and write an apology to JUDA.
: Sawatari, Dmitri, Wufei. The mission may have failed but carry on fighting.
: Not to the death, of course – wait for an opportunity and pull back.
: Chill out, Hisataka. Barring the Dancouga, the others ain’t all that.
: That was an order.
: Psh, fine. We’ll get ready to back off.
: You there. Can you fight?
: Kinda, I think!
: The two of us and the Dancouga are on your side. First order of business is to deal with the enemy Armas, alright?
: I don’t really know what’s going on, but OK!
: Let’s get to it, then…!

Still can’t lose anyone but we’re not in a whole lot of danger: everyone we’ve got can take care of themselves.

Dancouga Nova (Aoi Hidaka, Kurara Tachibana, Sakuya Kamon, Johnny Burnette)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Prevail L2
Spirit Commands – Aoi:
Fighting Spirit
Spirit Commands – Kurara:
Spirit Commands – Sakuya:
Guts (ド根性) – fully restores unit’s HP
Spirit Commands – Johnny:
Iron Wall (鉄壁) – reduces all incoming damage to 1/4 for the next turn.
Squad Bonus: Crit Ratio +10, Armor +100, Accuracy Rate +5

The Dancouga’s often known as a glass cannon but maybe they decided, since it was its debut, to skip the glass part. In truth, the thing has a fine amount of defenses and packs a hefty punch – it’s by far our strongest unit on the field.
And, as you might expect, having four pilots’ worth of spirit commands will only make it better.

Hind-Kind (Satoru Yamashita)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Squad Bonus: Armor +100, Accuracy Rate+5

Yamashita knows what he wants to be and that’s an artillery wall. He’s pretty tough and has a lot of range in his attacks, his skills also making him a very nice support unit. He’ll very likely be relegated to being a squaddie but he’ll do the job well.
Oh and if you’re facing a particularly dodgy enemy, his Reflector Cores will apply the Mobility Down debuff to make things easier.

Painkiller (Miu Kujo)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Repair Module
Squad Bonus: Money Earned +10%, EN +50, 1000 Barrier

Even more of a squaddie than Yamashita, Miu would kinda make a good fit for a long-range robot like the Rushbird (especially with that extra Barrier). She only has two attacks, her better one being pre-movement, so she won’t be hitting too nicely for now.
But with that Repair module, she’s pretty much our main source of healing right now (without having to spend Alice’s SP) and Focus means she’s one of the more accurate folks here.

By the by, Kouichi’s a neutral unit. You could attack him but I’m all but sure he’d just heal up like he did with Aoi’s punch.

Off to work we go.

: Reiji’s not around today, so I better bring my A-game! Come on!
Not bad.

Small help from Ichitaka and Miu’s got a kill in sight.

: The town’ll end up in ruins if this doesn’t stop…! We have to give this one 110%!

And since attacking Kouichi isn’t on the menu today, Aoi’ll finish off some of Ichitaka’s previous buddies.

: Three commander-class mechs, huh? Today’s gonna be a good one, folks.
: Takurou Sawatari, Dmitri Magarov and Wufei Chang with his Altron Gundam… All of them are certified tough cookies.
: Well, aren’t we well-informed.
: “Men’s Underworld Monthly” had an article on the Katou Organization, you see.
: Whatever, we eat tough cookies for breakfast! Let’s go wild!
Shame we can’t hear Sakuya yelling.

Enemy Phase!

Stuff is still coming in, with this Arma just barely surviving his bout with Yamashita.
Sawatari and Wufei are going after Kouichi.

Player Phase!

Now we’re off to get rid of the little guys. Miu takes one and Yamashita will slap this one into oblivion.
The last one’ll fall eventually – he’s still healthy.

Meanwhile, Aoi’s helping Kouichi with Dmitri. We won’t let the kid have this kill, of course.

Enemy Phase!

Along the way, Sawatari decides to take a swing at Yamashita.
He’s a good candidate to having his mobility debuffed.

Over here, Dmitri’s gotten close enough for Kouichi to bust out his better attack.

: If you think an amateur can win against the captain of the Katou Organization’s 3rd Unit, think again!
: Justice always wins, even kids know that!
Dmitri: “We, the Katou Organization, will be taking the Linebarrel!”
And taking damage:
Emi: “Our regeneration will take care of that very soon.”
Kouichi: “Yow, Linebarrel! You’re pretty awesome!”
Emi: “Go, counterattack…!”
Kouichi: “Yup, I was JUST thinking about that!”

And Miu almost oneshotted the last Arma.

Player Phase!

Alright, let’s take out Dmitri after Kouichi was kind enough to leave him in the red.

: And here’s the order to withdraw. Pulling back!

Over by Sawatari, Yamashita gets parried so only Miu gets any damage done. We’re not killing him this turn, so Ichitaka takes out the last Arma mook.

With that, it’s only a matter of taking one miniboss out per turn.

: I don’t pull my punches even against rookies! Why don’t ya go and imagine the miserable death you’re gonna get?!
: No way, no how! If I’m gonna be imagining anything, it’ll be my teary reunion with the professor and my bro!

Alice: “S-Something just lit up!”
Ichitaka: “That can be good or bad! What color is it?!”
Ichitaka: “Alright, the book says getting closer makes it easier to hit stuff!”
Alice: “U-Um, some gauge is rising!”
Ichitaka: “Let’s try out this ‘Lightning Fist’!”
Ichitaka: “Hey, it worked?! In that case!”

: I’m justice incarnate! Anyone who fights me is evil!
: Fine. If you’d paint justice as your own, then show me what you’ve got!

: I reckon this is good enough. Next time, though, you’re dead!

: Katou Hisataka… You say all of this is in the name of true justice, hm?
: That’s right.
: Very well. I’ll trust your vision one more time.
: …
: (I have to figure out what, exactly, the world needs right now…)

Damn it!

: A righteous man needs to be strong. Do you understand what that means?
: I don’t and I’ve no time to think about it! I’ve already got my hands full here!
: Then it’s up to me to educate you. But this lesson’ll come at the tip of Nataku’s fangs!
And here’s Ichitaka’s strongest attack.

: A Champion of Justice, huh…? Then, I’ll…!

That’s all of the Katou enemies down, so the battle might be over but there’s still the matter of Kouichi. He’s a bit woozy, so Ichitaka, Aoi, Yamashita and Miu move in to try and pin him down.
It doesn’t work and Kouichi starts flying away but not before busting out a speech: “I’ll give you folks some time to think things over! Power isn’t just, alright? Justice is power! And if you guys decide to accept my justice, then we’re good! But if you don’t… then, next time, I’ll be playing for keeps! (Nailed it…!)”
And off he goes, immediately vanishing from Miu’s sensors; seems to her the thing shifted inside a warp field. Ishigami phones in right then and tells them to come back – and to bring the mystery robot along for the ride.

Ichitaka’s a bit surprised but Yamashita asks that he follow them to JUDA as they’ve some questions to ask. Wait, isn’t JUDA supposed to be this company that makes medical equipment and the sort? Why do they have combat Armas?
Alice, ever informative, argues that even the civilian-owned Photon Lab has the Mazinger Z, so she sees no problems at all with JUDA having some Armas tucked away. Ichitaka sees plenty of problems but, regardless, Miu and Yamashita say their group’ll want to know about his bot and what happened here.

Ichitaka concedes and tells them to lead the way. He tells Alice that, with the Rushbird being unable to fly, they’re gonna have a real hard time catching up to the Straybird; and if they ran into Darius monsters or Haniwas along the way, that’d be it.
With that said, Ichitaka’s happy to be working with Alice and hopes she’s keep helping – he’s nowhere good enough to fly this thing without her as his subpilot. She’s rather startled by his suggestion: “No, no, no, no! I’m just a basic helper model! I haven’t any of the knowledge or thought processes required for combat!”
Sure but didn’t he show her to what to do to HELP him pilot? She just needs to keep that in mind. Alice isn’t sure she can pull that off but, if he insists, she’ll give it a try.

As for the Dancouga, they’ve another mission waiting so they gotta bolt. Aoi hopes the kids’ll have grown stronger the next time we meet. Ichitaka’s a bit sad that he couldn’t thank them or shake their hands but Yamashita’s sure they’ll run into each other again.
Before that, though, they’re off to JUDA.

And here are all the convos we didn’t get. Most are with Kouichi since I didn’t waste time and resources going after him:

: Stop, Kouichi! What’re you even doing inside that Arma?!
: I dunno who you think you are but you’re light years away from being able to tangle with this Super Robot of Justice!
: I’m a Champion of Justice and I’ll protect peace in this town!
: It’s me! Ichitaka!
: Yeah, right! You’re gonna have to think of a better lie than that, dude!
: Crap, he’s not leaving me any choice here!

: You’re going a bit too crazy here, pal!
: You wanna take me on? Then the Dancouga really isn’t a robot of JUSTICE!
: Welp, so much for that heroic streak we’ve been having…
: I’m kind of bummed out now…
: Save that for later, Kurara! We’re busy!

: That total rookie went and got a whole lot stronger like it ain’t no thing!
: I tell ya, Factors are a royal pain-in-the-ass!
: Damn straight, I got stronger – this here’s the power of justice! Take a look!

: I’m not that guy who could only cry! I’m not worthless anymore!
: From this glorious day onwards, I’m a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE! And I’m not letting anyone get the better of me – not today, not ever!
: …

: Kouichi Hayase! Quit wasting our time and do as we ask!
: Zip it! You think I’m gonna listen to anyone who calls people stupid?!
: I called you stupid because you’re being stupid as hell, stupid!
: Alright, that does it! You’re going down!

: Stop attacking, Kouichi, and come with us to JUDA!
: Don’t tell me what to do! I won’t go easy on you just ‘cause you’re a girl, you hear?!

By JUDA, Ichitaka’s just told Ishigami about the Rushbird and Alice (she’s not a robot but it’s simpler to just leave it at that). And Ishigami confirms that, like Ichitaka said, JUDA is known as a medical equipment company but that’s just a front – in truth, they can actually be dubbed a group of champions of justice. Really.
Well, Ichitaka thinks Ishigami’s trustworthy enough to tell the story of what happened. Fast forward a nondescript time later and he’s done; despite Yuu telling him to keep off, Ichitaka’s still determined to go and save Grife.
Ishigami’s a bit amazed that the mysterious assailants managed to hit the lab right under JUDA’s nose. Alice’s got a bunch of pictures of the guys stored in her memory banks and, with Ishigami’s permission, finds a terminal and starts uploading them. She’s quite handy but, then again, it’s her purpose to make everyone’s life easier.

As the finishes, Yui runs a check and comes up empty – whatever group those guys work for, JUDA has nothing on them. Ishigami ponders that they might be connected to the Katou Organization and Yui explains to Ichitaka that they’re one of the foes JUDA fights against.
In that case, Ichitaka asks if he and Alice could join JUDA. If they go on waltzing about in the Rushbird, folks might mistake them for criminals and try to arrest them; and he can’t ditch the bot as, then, he’d have no way of pursuing the professor and Yuu.

Alice asks the same but, unfortunately, Ishigami says no. What’re they supposed to do, then? Well, here’s a thought: do they feel like being CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE?! See, Ishigami can’t get them into JUDA but there’s this new team, LOTUS, that’ll be put together soon.
Join that and Ichitaka and Alice’ll be covered in all their basic, maintenance and intel gathering necessities. Plus, JUDA will also be helping those guys. Something about this gives Ichitaka a bad feeling but it’s not like they’ve got any choice.
Both him and Alice agree to it – not problems at all! A call comes in right then, Yui IDing it as Lady Une from the Preventers. Ishigami has her put through, telling Ichitaka that he’s free to listen in.

Une’s glad to see Ishigami well, and he’s always happy to see her ever beautiful face (Yui tells him to stop before he gets a harassment suit). Une’s in a hurry, so she ignores him and goes straight to the point: she’s heard JUDA failed to secure the Linebarrel.
Unfortunately, yes; and things were going swimmingly until the Katou Organization messed everything up. The Preventers have also gotten intel on the Rushbird and the unknown attackers but, unfortunately, they weren’t quick enough on the take to track their escape. Sounds like some mighty folks, indeed, to evade both them and JUDA.
As for the Linebarrel, Ishigami says they’re having folks keep an eye out for the Factor (the pilot) but JUDA’s rather understaffed. Much as it shames him to ask, could Une send some Preventer agents to help? Sure, especially since Quatre and Sally are relatively close – she’ll set things up quick.

Ishigami’s very thankful that she’s lending one of their Gundam pilots but she doesn’t see why not, since they’ll all be working on the same team soon. She means LOTUS, yes, an elite squadron answering directly to the UN secretariat – the UN itself has just given the green light for its creation.
There are so many groups out there who were forced to act by their lonesome and, with LOTUS, they’ll now be capable of consolidating those into an united, independent fighting force. Ishigami promises that while JUDA’s forces aren’t too vast, they’ll all work their hardest to assist. And, with that, Une excuses herself.

Well, looks like the elite team’s ready to get to work and Ishigami is hyped – JUDA’ll answer this call-to-arms in defense of world peace with their absolute best! Miu and Yamashita are ready to go, too, eager to give Reiji the news as he was looking forward to the start of LOTUS.
Ishigami, all giddy, quickly turns to Ichitaka and congratulates him on his perfect timing with cozying up with JUDA: “You, too, are now a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE – a defender of the world!”
That’s cool, sure, but what will that actually entail? Simply put: fight anything that’s a threat to peace and mankind. That means evil terrorist groups like the Katou Organization and assorted baddies like the Haniwa Phantoms and monsters from the Darius Army.

Alice and Ichitaka find this a bit odd: we’ve always had folks around to fight those enemies and they’ve never shunned from cooperating with each other (like in the War of the Giants). Why’d they feel the need to bring them all into a single group now?
Blame politics for that as, from what Ishigami heard, some of those righteous bots ran the risk of falling into the hands of some rather evil politicians if left unchecked. So Une, from her position inside the UN, worked to create the new group as a way to keep those bots free and safe.
Ichitaka understands now and is happy to be aboard, working with Ishigami’s team to help the world. In return, he just asks for help in searching for Grife.

Cut to Shangri-La, the commander’s room, and Sawatari wants to know why Katou had them back off like that. Katou asks him to calm down and as to why he did it… “You’re gonna tell me to ‘imagine it’, aren’t ya? Fine, fine. I’ll understand eventually, is what you’re getting at,” Sawatari groans.
In exchange for all this, though, he wants permission to deploy the next time they go after the Linebarrel. Dmitri makes the same request and, in that case, Katou tells them to bring Wufei along for the ride.

Katou asks Masaki if they’ve the troops available for another attack and the guy says it should be fine, considering they couldn’t get a bead on the Daiku Maryu or the Gaiking.
Sawatari isn’t too keen on working with “forehead” again and Dmitri somewhat agrees. All of them have sworn loyalty to Katou and his ideals, but they don’t think Wufei’s on the same page as them. Plus, the guy joined way too suddenly.
Katou, however is certain that Wufei’s the same as them and won’t turn. If he says so…

Speaking of, he’s now wandering Shangri-La deep in thought: “The endless waltz… must we all dance this dance of lies?”

Some time later, Quatre’s already made it to Japan and informs Sally that he’s investigating the Linebarrel’s crash site. Mind, he’s feeling a bit uneasy for this new assignment: how is he supposed to pass as a middle schooler?
Sally figures his boyish good looks will work well enough, though he’s sure Heero or Duo would’ve been the better picks – they’re old hands at this sort of thing. Too late for that now, though, so Sally sends him a picture of his target: the Linebarrel’s Factor.

Kouichi strikes him as quite the commonplace teenager but, regardless, his orders are to look into him, check whether or not he’s the makings of a proper Factor and how he’s reacting after his run-in with the Linebarrel.
And if he needs help with anything, Sally wants him to call JUDA’s Ishigami right away. They’ll need the Linebarrel’s power in LOTUS, so this must succeed. Quatre’s hoping things with Kouichi can go without any unpleasantries… and why is there some smooshed curry break lying around here?

: You are already dead.
: What…?
: I’m sorry. The Linebarrel and I… we landed on you.
: Wait, hold on there! But I’m alive! I’m breathing just fine, my heart’s beating and—
: That’s because the Linebarrel’s D-S.O.I.L. restored you…
: The Linebarrel…? That Arma restored me?
: It’s not an Arma. The Linebarrel’s a Machina.
: A Machina? OK, so it’s different from an Arma. And you say it restored me?
: I asked the Linebarrel to save you… and, so, you were reborn – as Factor, sharing your life with it.
: …
: So, the reason why I could control it and those superpowers I got…
: Yes. While you stay with the Linebarrel, you’ll have inhuman strength and any wounds you take will heal pretty much instantly…
: You now function as the Factor, the element needed to engage the Linebarrel.
: “Inhuman strength”, eh…? Hey, that sounds good to me if it got me stronger!
: …

1 Like

Right, so, the Linebarrels anime. It’s pretty central to L, and that kind of sucks, because the Linebarrels anime makes a lot of changes from the manga and very few of them are particularly good. Notable at this point: In the anime, Kouichi immediately goes from “normal kid” to “total asshole” right after he gets Linebarrel. In the manga, he had a period of three years, of which like half of one was spent unconscious for reasons of “I had a giant robot land on me”. The anime also extends his asshole period from about six chapters of the manga (a volume and a little bit into the next) into like six full episodes, which is way too dragged out. (For comparison’s sake, the manga had 21 volumes, and the anime had 26 episodes. Though the manga ended well after the anime did, assuming it was a viable adaptation, the anime would have spent at most two episodes with Kouichi being stupid.)

On the plus side here though, Wufei and Katou get on like a house on fire. So much so that there’s actually fanart of Wufei in the Linebarrel universe.

Pictured: The Machina known as Nataku. (Silly fanart of a Gundam getting drawn in another universe style is more UX’s thing thanks to Mark Destiny, but L at least had this.)

Also Kitei No Tsurugi is a dumb, dumb song. Though the rest of the soundtrack is pretty good and L’s version is ok.

Oh, wow, I had seen the Mark Destiny thing but never knew Wufei actually got the same kind of treatment. And that Nataku Machina looks great, too! :allears:

And I haven’t seen either version of Linebarrels yet, so it’ll be amusing to read how different the manga is from the anime (and, hopefully, how L manages to fix it, then).

UX has loads of fanart. I have like eight pictures of random bits of crossover from UX. It’s part of being one of the best SRWs of all time, you get lots of cool things made about you. (Though unfortunately I can’t find a good pic of THE FOUR GODS…)

Unfortunately, L doesn’t really help the Linebarrels anime out any. It removes some of the timing issues - one of the big issues the anime had was it’d jump immediately from comedy chapters to serious ones and it was always jarring - but most of the anime’s issues are way too ingrained to be removed by SRW. For instance, the detailed, awesome mech designs of the original were totally destroyed, despite the anime using freaking CG and thus having no excuse - it’s mostly unnoticeable or hardly noticeable, on the plus side, but on the minus side it’s noticeable enough on Vardent (the second biggest design in the thing) and as for Linebarrel itself… well…

…manga design on right, anime design on left. Spot the differences. The many, many differences.

(The good news is, while L mostly failed to make Linebarrels of Iron better, UX got the lesson and made a significantly worse series look so much better!)

Click to see the mission!

And we’re back at the intermission menu, Yamashita leading as our top ace by only one kill. We’ll be fiddling with a couple of options today, so here’s what each column does, top to bottom:
Pilot: Pilot Stats > Skill Parts > Reassign
Machine: Unit Stats > Unit Upgrades > Formation (Pair units up, but we can’t do it yet)
System: Search > System (Options) > Data Save > Next Mission

We’ll start with the Skill Parts. Like in W, this game doesn’t allow you to spend PP to buy skills – you simply spend Skill Parts to teach them to your guys.

We’ve gained a handful over the past missions but I reckon now’s a good time spend. The Rushbird’ll always be a more melee-oriented bot, so we’ll give Ichitaka one level of Infight (インファイト). This skill will slightly boost your melee weapons’ attack power and crit ratio for each level it gets (no movement increase, unfortunately).
Do keep in mind that skill growth in this game is a lot more limited than normal. Prevail will usually go up regularly but, at most, expect your other skills to only increase up to L2 naturally, if ever – you’ll have to use Skill Parts to boost them further.

And, finally, by the Unit Upgrade menu, you can do exactly what it says on the tin: spend our hard-earned cash to boost our mechs’ stats. Remember that L actively encourages you to pick favorites and sink your cash into them, as the Squad Bonuses increase as you get units to 50% and 100% upgrades.
Ichitaka’ll always be around and up front, so I give him a boost to everything.

With that done, let’s get to work.

We open up at JUDA’s hangar, with Goro Maki and Rachel Calvin marveling (“OH MY GOD!”) at the Rushbird’s fine construction – this is a work of art, made with the latest cybernetic tech. And it looks perfect, too, which shows the Japanese ARE the best at this sort of thing. Ichitaka points out that Grife isn’t really Japanese and he might actually be American like Rachel.
Mind you, Alice argues that the professor pretty much stuck with the Japanese school of bot design, so she sees no problems at all with Rachel’s assessment. Whatever the case, Maki wants to give the thing a thorough look-over, though Rachel has other things in mind: specifically, Alice. Would it be alright to open her up and check what makes her tick?

That’s a scary thought to Ichitaka but Rachel says that, with Grife gone, the JUDA crew needs to know how Alice is built in order to pull any maintenance work that might be required. Alice, however, tells her not to worry as she’s equipped with self-maintenance features.
“Ah, really? Alrighty, then. (Tsk…),” Rachel quietly grunts. Too bad for her, Ichitaka has good ears: “Hey, I heard that! You wanted to tinker with her just for curiosity’s sake, didn’t you?!”
“Well… I’m not NOT curious,” Rachel quips.

When Miu asks, Maki confirms that he also wasn’t aware of any Prof. Grife and is very surprised that a seemingly nameless scientist could build something of this level. Hell, the cost of making it alone would be significant.
Rachel figures he must’ve had some sponsor and Alice posits that we could potentially find some files on that inside the lab’s secret vault. Maybe those can give us some clue as to what happened with Grife? Unfortunately, Ishigami doesn’t let Ichitaka head back to the lab to check around – the building is under investigation and it’s looking like a certain group has it on lockdown.
Well, couldn’t we use LOTUS’ UN authority to deal with that? It’s not that simple as two giant robots did emerge from that building – a full investigation is necessary and Ishigami isn’t too keen on stepping on these toes.

Ichitaka’s worried that if we drag our feet on this then any potential clues’ll disappear. We could even use a secret route to get in there, so no one’ll notice. Alice also asks him to please let them go… and it works.
“Aah, I can’t say no when you ask me like that… Alright, I guess I’ll allow it,” he says, though insists that Miu and Yamashita also accompany them. They can quickly summon their Machinas in a bind and, on foot, can play bodyguards to Ichitaka.
He’s surprised these two are strong enough to pull that off but, you know, Factors get super-strength.

Ichitaka’s very grateful but Ishigami asks them to be very careful out there. The organization taking care of the lab’s lockdown isn’t hostile but they’re also not friendly. He won’t name them, only saying that we might eventually have to fight them.
He figures the folks with boots on the ground are likely just collaborators; it’s the ones on top of said organization that are the actual dangerous ones, so Ichitaka can at least rest easy there. And, finally, the world at large isn’t aware of JUDA’s activities and the Katou Organization, so Ichitaka can’t tell anyone, alright? He promises and, with that, leaves with everyone.

Ishigami laughs that both Ichitaka and Kouichi are just brimming with that typical teenager energy. His thoughts are interrupted when Yui walks over: Izuna and Shizuna have called in, having just wrapped up their business with the Katou Organization’s terrorist cell. They’ll be back in Japan soon.
Ishigami’s glad to hear that. LOTUS is gaining more and more elite fighters, so it won’t be long before we can take on even bigger threats to humanity. Of course, it’d be better if such threats never showed up but…

Grife’s home is like something straight out of a TV show, covered in the police’s yellow tape. There are secret service types all over, the hangar’s pretty much buried under the rubble and the upper lab is all out in the open.
We’re not getting in there via the main door, indeed, though Ichitaka didn’t expect anything else. He beckons the team over to that secret entrance and though the power’s out inside, Alice’s loaded with the building’s blueprint, so she can lead the way. They’re off to the underground lab.

The place is all sorts of messed up – we might be too late, Yamashita sighs. Alice looks around but can’t find the vault. It’s possible someone took it. And, actually, it’s not just the vault that’s missing: all of the computers have had their HDs yanked out. Ichitaka doesn’t appreciate these guys burglarizing the lab but his attention’s taken back to Alice as she cries out that something’s HORRIBLE.
What happened? Her maid programming is tingling and she really, really wants to clean this place up! “Ah… Well, don’t worry. We’re good for now,” Ichitaka proclaims. More importantly, isn’t there anything that managed to stay hidden from the “looters”?
Actually, yes: at Alice’s suggestion, they look around and find a painting of an angel. Is it a clue or something? Somewhat: the image was made via several nano-sized word strings layered on top of each other, all describing Grife’s research.

You see, there was a time when they were testing out this nano-printer and, thus, needed a whole lot of characters to write around. The easiest choice was to use all of his research notes and whatnot, so this painting is pretty much a backup of everything Grife had around a year ago. It’s lacking the stuff that happened since then, of course, but Alice figures it’ll still be useful.
Ichitaka’s blown away by the Professor’s foresight – a perfect example of the classic “I thought something like this could happen, so…” moment. Alice says that guy simply couldn’t be arsed to use anything else in that experiment, but whatever. They’ve stayed here long enough, though, so Ichitaka moves to lead everyone out via another path.

We make it out just fine, though Miu wants to leave quick – we’re a tad too conspicuous carrying this big painting and have no idea what those agent types will do if they catch us. A voice nearby calls out to them and, after a quick yelp of surprise, Ichitaka sees that it’s Yajima and Risako.
Risako’s curious about the friends with him and that big painting, though Ichitaka quickly changes the subject by asking that they are doing here. Well, they were worried for him, figuring he’d be prowling about after Grife’s “disappearance”.
That said, Yajima says it’s dangerous for Ichitaka to hang around here, what with the Armas and giant robot running amuck before. Plus, the folks locking down the house might tag him as a person of interest, so he oughta keep away.

Ichitaka slowly says he’ll, um, keep that in mind. And on the subject of missing people, did he see Kouichi? Risako looked everywhere and couldn’t find him – he’s not home, either. Ichitaka nearly says too much but is stopped by Yamashita (confidential, remember?). Well, he agrees to keep an eye out for him, so Risako takes off with Yajima, wondering where Kouichi could’ve run off to. Yajima, having seen what happened, only nods along.
After they’re gone, Ichitaka apologizes for his loose tongue. Still, Yamashita and Miu find it odd that Kouichi hasn’t gone home. We can only hope that the Preventer pilot is doing a good job keeping an eye on him.
Still, Alice wants to get back to JUDA right away so we can get Grife’s painting analyzed. Moreover, she’ll likely need to engage in combat again soon, so she’s studying hard as a way to be useful there. As for Ichitaka, he’d like some pilot training and Yamashita and Miu are more than willing to spar with him.

Back at JUDA, Lady Une has put in another call to Ishigami. She apologizes for taking more of his time but Ishigami has a policy of never refusing calls from pretty ladies. Well, the problem is that they might have to speed up the process of assigning the Build Base team into LOTUS.
See, Blue Cosmos caught wind of the offworlders that showed up around the PLANTs and is advocating that they be dealt with as hostile aliens; this led to a plan to impound various countries’ mobile weapons, which is exactly what they both feared.

So now JUDA needs to hurry to get our partnership with Build Base set up quick. Ishigami swears to Une that his company’s always ready to handle any unit and take care of anyone, from anywhere. And she’s more than welcome to join them, mind. She thanks him for his dutifulness, though says her answer will have to be “no” – regardless of how elegantly he makes the offer. Shot down.
Yui wishes he’d act more responsibly, and is not amused by his quip of the wrinkles she’ll get for her constant nagging.

Over by said Build Base, Tsubaki is trying to educate Kenji on the intricacies of managing his parts – every part works differently, so Kenji needs to understand zzzzzzzzz. A loud yell later and Kenji’s back up.
Tsubaki tells him that the Jama Kingdom’s been getting progressively stronger and the only way for them to handle that is if he masters usage of the new parts. That’ll only happen with diligent study and training. Problem is that Kenji hates training, so he’s taking off. He’ll figure it all out on the fly when they get there!

As he runs (not for the first time), Yagyuu (eyepatch) and Kouji see that things ain’t going too good here. Tsubaki fumes at Kenji’s complete unwillingness to study even a little bit, and Sayaka has a laugh at how much alike he is to Kouji’s old self.
Indeed, Kouji feels like he’s looking in a mirror… and, actually, that might be good for us. Considering the similarities between him and Kenji, Kouji thinks he has a sure-fire way to convince him to sit down and study with gusto (it’d even work on Boss).
What is it, then? Oh, it won’t be any fun if he just said it. Boss wonders what he’s up to, as Kouji walks up to Yagyuu and whispers something to her.

Boss (big guy) doesn’t like being left in the dark, though Nuke and Mucha (grin) figure this is just an excuse for him to get some alone-time with Yagyuu. Regardless, the captain finds the plan very amusing and agrees to it. Kouji can’t wait to see it all unfold.

Yagyuu calls over Mido and Saotome (crazy looking) to help go after Kenji and, when asked, say the three of them have a crucial part to play in this training lesson. Off they go, leaving Kouji behind to get grilled by Sayaka. What was he talking with Yagyuu about?
Didn’t he say that it was to get Kenji training? Maybe but Sayaka certainly doesn’t like the sight of him and her seemingly enjoying themselves so much. Kouji swears to her (and an outraged Boss) that it’s not like that – they’ll all have a big laugh once the training is over.
Tsubaki wonders if this’ll fly but Kouji is 100% sure that not only will Kenji volunteer to train, he’ll be so very dedicated to it. Tsubaki and Sayaka find that hard to believe but Kouji tells them to trust him.

Door opens!

: Kenji? Why’re you in that much of a hurry?
: Haah… Haah… T-Training! Combination training! C’mon!
: Huh? But I thought you hated—
: Never mind that and let’s get to it right now! I’m off to the training grounds!

Kenji runs off.

: Hah, didn’t I tell ya?
: Y-Yeah…
: Well, let’s get going! We’re also gonna be helping out with that!

Meanwhile, by the base’s command room, Cmdr. Miwa is welcoming Une over – it’s been a while since they met face-to-face. Une notices, however, that she doesn’t see Prof. Shiba around.
Miwa apologizes and says he took leave for a moment… though, inwardly, she wonders where he might’ve run off to.

Cut to the Jama Kingdom’s HQ, Queen Himika rants at Ikima (stache), Amaso and Mimashi (two faces) for their inability to get Jeeg’s Bronze Bell. Mimashi swears that they’re trying their best but Amaso argues that the fault lies with the unwieldy Haniwa Phantoms.
You mean the Haniwa Phantoms Himika personally gifted to them? N-No, of course not – it’s their fault for not making proper use! Sooorryyyy!

Well, Ikima wants to try again and asks for a new Haniwa; he has a plan and vows to succeed in stealing the Bronze Bell. He swears he’s legit, so Himika decides to indulge him – he better come back with news of Jeeg’s complete and utter destruction, though!
Amaso doesn’t like the guy trying to take all the glory but Mimashi sighs that he IS the strongest of them. Amaso is still miffed, as failure would really tick Himika off.

Special Training: Mach Drills!

: Hey, Yagyuu! What you said before was legit, right?
: It was. I’ll stick to my word.
: Hell, yeah! Then I’m gonna ace this training session!
: Yo, Kenji, what kinda promise is that between you and the captain?
: Sorry, no time to talk! Let’s get this started lickety-split!
: He’s really fired up for this, huh?
: I wanna know what the promise was even more…
: Heheheh, now things are getting fun! We’ll toy with the idiot until he croaks!
: Sounds like fun, alright…!
: Are you ready, Kenji?
: Absolutely! I’m ready whenever!
: Tsubaki, Kyo, you heard him. Go and put him to work – and don’t hold back!
: OK!
: Then, Kenji, we’ll start your training by trying to shorten the time it takes for you to Build Up. While you’re very talented as a pilot, there’s still plenty of room to grow. Your reaction speed—
: Yo, no need to butter me up – let’s get going already, Kyo!
: A-Alright. He’s like a completely different person…
: Kenji, your parts are gonna be shot out at double the regular speed, so watch it!
: Heh! Easy-peasy!
: Oh, we’ll see about that…
: Begin!
: Roger! Jeeg Parts – shoot!

Bang, bang!

: Suck on this!
: Rocket Puuuunch!!
: Wuh?!

: Whoa, whoa, whoa! The hell are ya attacking me for?!
: That’s also part of your training!
: There’d be no point to this if we didn’t make it resemble live combat as much as we could!
: Right, you’ll have to wade through the enemies’ attacks as you combine. I don’t need to tell you how important it is to hone that skill, right?
: Yeah, I know, I know!
: And, Kenji, make sure you don’t try combining with the Rocket Punch!
: Hah, like I’d ever screw up that bad!
: That’s a fine spirit – I’ll enjoy breaking it!
: Here goes! Jeeg Parts – shoot!

Bang, bang!

: Rocket! Puuuunch!
: Raaaaargh! BUILD UUUUUUP!!

: Uwaaah! That’s too damn fast…!
: Throwing in the towel already?
: N-No way in hell!
: Wow… I can’t remember ever seeing him this serious about training…
: Yeah, I’m gonna pull this off…! No retreat! No surrender! Not until Yagyuu lets me touch her boobies!
: Oh… So that’s how it is.
: That was what your promise was about? Kouji, what were you thinking?!
: Aahahah… Can’t argue with the results, though, right?
: Damn you, Kouji, that’s the kinda promise other men can only dream of!
: That little…! Aaargh, that’s IT! Jeeg Parts! Shoot! Shoot! SHOOT!

: Waah! Tsubaki, go easy with those!
: Shut it, pervert! Shoot! SHOOOT!!

: We’ve got your back, Tsubaki!
: This one’s broken beyond repair…
: So maybe we should just kill him and be done with it?
: Rocket Puuunch!
: Missiles – fire!

: Uwaawaaa! You guys are just toying with me, ain’t ya?!
: Damn it, but I ain’t losing this one! BOOOBIEEEEEES!!

: Haah, hooh…! There! I combined!
: The brat’s pervert drive pulled through!
: Yeah, how d’ya like them apples! And since I did my thing, now it’s time to pay up and lemme—
: No, your training isn’t over yet!
: Huuh?
: You’ll be training to combine with the Mach Drills next! Switch to them IF YOU CAN!

Beep, boop!

: Hold on! Something’s coming!
: What?!

: Wh-What is that thing…?
: It’s me!
: Pops?!
: What are you doing there, Professor?!
: Ohohoho… Because I heard what you were doing and it sounded fun. So why was only I left out of it? That’s just mean!
: “Left out”… what’re ya, twelve?!
: Professor, didn’t you have a visitor today?
: Never mind that right now. How could I even show my face to her if this training does not succeed?
: That’s fine and all but why are you in that Haniwa Phantom?
: This is a Haniwa I built especially to help you train! I call it Micchi mk. II!
: “Micchi”… as in Cmdr. Tamashiro’s old nickname?
: I don’t think grandma would be too happy with that…
: Hahah! Building this baby was easy as pie with my skills – shows how much I wanted to play… that is, wanted to help you train!
: So you’d best buckle up, Kenji, because the actual training starts right now! Defeat Micchi mk. II with the Mach Drills – you won’t be able to call this a success unless you do!
: Alrighty, then! I’ll take on any Micchies you’ve got – for boobies! Come on, Tsubaki!
: Kenji, you huge, stupid IDIOT! Take this, then! Mach Drills, set up! SHOOT!


: Waaaaaaah!!

: W-Whoa, that’s fast!
: Tsubaki, don’t you think you should slow down for a first attempt?
: Quiet, you!
: Urgh, damn! And I was so close to touchdown…!
: BWAHAHAHA! You better wave goodbye to those boobies, kid! Sucks to be you!
: Again – I’mma get it right this time! Bring it!

Beep, beep!

: We’ve got a Haniwa Phantom on radar! It’s headed your way!
: Oops, sorry, Miwa! That’s my Haniwa, the Micchi mk. II! Isn’t it as pretty as you?
: No, it’s a much bigger group that’s incoming!
: Whaat?!
: All troops shift to high alert and get ready to engage. And, professor, please return to Build Base ASAP. Lady Une has been waiting for you all this time!
: Y-Yes, ma’am!
: Got blips on the radar! They’re here!

: Jeeg! Today’s the day I’ll claim your Bronze Bell as our own!
: Huh, Ikima’s showed up in person? They’re playing for keeps today, I guess.
: And you, Mazinger Z, will be accompanying Jeeg in its voyage to the underworld. However, before any of that…!

Looks at Micchi mk. II

: I will first reduce this disgusting sham of a Haniwa to dust!
: Wah?!

: Pops!
: I-I’m alright, but Micchi mk. II is…
: Ikima, you piece of crap! You’re wrecking my chances of getting some boobies! I’mma make you pay real good for this!!
: That’s the spirit, Kenji! And I’ll even throw you a little bone: if you manage to defeat him, I’ll consider your training a success!
: For real?! Alright! Keep watching, pops!
: We’ve already sent a request to JUDA for assistance. They’re on the way, so hold on until then.
: Roger that, grandma!
: That’s that, then. Sayaka, Boss, you guys handle repairing and resupplying, alright?
: We’re on it! And be careful, Kouji – it’s been a while since you piloted the Mazinger, so don’t do anything crazy!
: Build Angels, get in formation and follow my lead!
: Aye, aye!

Mido and Saotome tag in with Yagyuu.

: Get over there, Haniwas!
: Heheheh… We’ll see how long that confidence lasts…

Destroy everything, without losing Kenji or Kyo. The Haniwas are a bit beefier than the previous mooks we fought (some are twinned up, too) but keep your folks together and take things slow and you’ll be good.

And here are our new folks:

Steel Jeeg (Kenji Kusanagi)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Bronze Bell Power (銅鐸パワー) – activates at 130 morale, damage dealt increases by 25%; damage taken decreases by 25%; accuracy and evasion increase by 25%.
Squad Bonus: Mobility +5, melee weapons’ power +100

Kenji’s pretty amazing and that Bronze Bell is a big reason why – once it activates, he’ll turn into one of your strongest guys. Jeeg’s S size means enemies will have a harder time than most hitting him (though Kenji’s not the most evasive guy without the Bell running) and his best weapons all ignore size differences, so his damage won’t suffer much.
Mind you, his weaker stuff – the one’s you might use against mooks – don’t ignore size, so that’s something to keep in mind. Jeeg DOES like to chug through EN quickly, so he’s a prime candidate for an E-Save part.
Finally, a handful of his tricks require having the Big Shooter around, so you’ll likely want to have Kyo and Tsubaki joining him in a twin unit.

Mazinger Z (Kouji Kabuto)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Prevail L3
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Mazin Power (マジンパワー) – activates at 130 morale, damage dealt up by 25%, damage taken down by 25%.

Squad Bonus: Armor +150, Mobility +5

The prototypical Super Robot pilot is pretty dang powerful. Notoriously bulky and hard-hitting, Kouji’s main weakness is that his range isn’t too great on his better attacks. Other than that he’s great and when Mazin Power activates, it takes a major screw-up to get him killled.

Big Shooter (Kyo Misumi, Tsubaki Tamashiro)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands – Kyo:
Spirit Commands – Tsubaki:
Mech Features:
Resupply Module
Squad Bonus: Money earned +10%, EN+50

Like I said, the main point of the Big Shooter is to support Jeeg and it’s built pretty much to do that. The EN bonus and resupply module will help cover Kenji’s EN issues and its presence is needed for a lot of attacks.
Mind, Jeeg is stuck on the ground and the Big Shooter, obviously, isn’t a tank – you’ll want to either get Kenji airborne or get a land adaptor for this.

Aphrodite A (Sayaka Yumi)
Pilot Skills:
Support Attack L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Repair Module
Squad Bonus: Money earned +10%, mobility +5

Standard issue, classic support girl. The Aphrodite A is weak and fragile as hell and there are a ton of units that can do its job better.
Bless is your main reason for deploying Sayaka right now but, once other folks with it show up, she’ll likely get benched.

Build Angel (Yagyuu Mitsuko)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Mech Features:
Repair Module
Squad Bonus: 15% chance to dodge attacks, terrain rating in air and space set to A

Speaking of way better support units, Yagyuu is a great fit for a whole lot of people. Accelerate, repair, flying and the squad bonus (which’ll get even better at 50%) all in one package is a great deal.

Boss Borot (Boss, Nuke, Mucha)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands - Boss:
Faith (友情) – fully restores target’s HP.
Spirit Commands - Nuke:
Spirit Commands - Mucha:
Mech Features:
Resupply Module
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons’ power +100, crit ratio +10%, land terrain rating set to A, debuff immunity

Also a better support unit: Boss! While he won’t be kicking as much ass as he did in MX, Mucha’s accelerate and that, frankly, outrageous squad bonus means he can tag in with any melee-oriented unit.
He can’t hit or survive well, of course, but that’s what upgrades are for and, worst case scenario, the Borot always costs peanuts to repair.
One noteworthy bit, mind, is that all of its attacks carry the morale down debuff!

So we finally move everyone forward and stand by.

Enemy Phase!

They do the same.

Player Phase!

The bigger Haniwas aren’t moving, mind, so we’ll start with the Boya Kaengus up front; when you attack a twinned unit, you can order your team to focus fire on the main enemy unit, the sub or for each one to attack their respective target. Since we’re running solo, that last option isn’t available.
Oh, and don’t worry about Ikima.

: That’s enough playing around for today, girls. Now we get serious!
: Aye, aye! We’ve got your back, captain!
: Let’s get in there and knock them off our skies!

Yagyuu can’t do decent-ish damage post-movement until she gets some morale, mind.

We’ll have Kenji take care of that.

: Think you can come here and mess up my good times, eh?! Y’all better get ready for some payback!
The Mazinger Team is still trudging along.

Enemy Phase!


: Today shall be the day where I present your Bronze Bell to Queen Himika, Jeeg!
: What’re you on all about with that “bell” business?! Start making sense, guy!
: All I’ll do is send you to your death, wallowing in ignorance!

Try to attack Ikima and it does absolutely no damage! He gloats about their evil power – nothing will work on him!
Well, Kyo suggests we leave him for later and focus on the other Haniwas for now. That said, Ikima doubts we’ll be able to disregard his mighty unit with it bearing down on us.

Kenji’s getting pestered, but that’s fine.
Little bit of damage won’t bug him.

Couple of Boya Kaengu do decide to go after Kyo.

: Ooh, Kenji, you little…! That was your motivation for training?! I swear, when I get my hands on you, I’ll…!
: I understand you’re angry, Tsubaki, but you have to calm down. There’s a battle to be fought.
: I know, I know! Damn it, this is all that pervert’s fault!

Kyo’s high Skill stat means he crits often, though the Big Shooter still isn’t meant for damage.
Oh, and Yagyuu gets attack from far enough that she can fire a better weapon.

Player Phase!

The JUDA crew finally arrives, Une requesting that we help clear out the Jama Kingdom attackers.
When Miu asks, Ichitaka is feeling rather confident; not only did she and Yamashita help with his training, he’s also particularly pumped up to pull his weight with Jeeg and Mazinger right there. Alice herself has kind of rushed through her studies as a subpilot but she’s already learned somewhat, so “so there are mostly no problems!” Kenji’s not a whole lot impressed that our backup consists of only a handful of units but Kouji recognizes two of JUDA’s Machinas and knows they’re good for it.

Rather, there are THREE JUDA Machinas around as the twins Izuna (the one on the left) and Shizuna Endo. Izuna, ever polite, apologizes for the delay but Shizuna, the rough kansai type, scoffs that the star players are always the last ones to take to the field.
Kenji isn’t paying attention, wondering instead “The hell’s that flying hammer-looking thing?” Shizuna heard that and she is not amused by the comparison – she’ll find and box him some after this gets wrapped up!

Une reminds Kenji that they’re in the middle of a battle, so antagonizing their allies is a big no-no. What, when did he become the bad guy here? Yagyuu restores order, telling of the big Haniwa’s barrier and asking Ichitaka’s crew to assist with the nearby enemies.
As they move in, Izuna wants to provide support from the rear but Shizuna isn’t having any of that weak-ass crap – they’re getting in there and showing everyone how awesome they are!

Deceive (Shizuna Endo, Izuna Endo)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands – Shizuna:
Spirit Commands – Izuna:
Mech Features:
Resupply Module
Squad Bonus: HP +500, Exp earned +10%, debuff immunity

Shizuna’s a bit of an odd support, seeing as how her main draw is that her Nerve Crack weapon reduces the target’s morale – give her some support attack parts and she could potentially hit an enemy with it five times in a single turn. Were this A Portable, that’d be huge. It’s not, though, so I’m not too sure how much use I could get out of the Deceive – time will tell.
At least the EN regen from the resupply module and her Nerve Crack Hand being post-movement could make her for a decent-ish squaddie to a short-range Super.

The JUDA team is too far away to attack, though, so our guys will need to hold on by themselves for another turn.

Eeeh, I think I prefer W’s version.

: My first actual battle with the Mazinger in who knows how long. You Haniwas’re gonna be helping me get back in the game!
A classic.

Kenji sticks by his crew, taking out a weakened Boya Kaengu. Yagyuu and Kyo each start working on others.

Enemy Phase!

Oh and Ikima can reduce your SP, FYI…

A couple of Haniwas decide to take a detour to gun for the Factors.

They certainly hit harder than the Katou Armas.

Sayaka is hanging out back but that doesn’t stop one enemy for trying his hand.

: Tetsuya and Jun aren’t here right now, so I’ll have to fight my best to pick up the slack!

Kouji seems to be a primary target as a bevy of stuff rushes him down (taking some not insignificant damage). Kenji does nab a handful of kills, as well… surviving with only 1000 HP!

Player Phase!

Only difference is that Kouji and Kenji can be easily healed, while all the Haniwas lost a good chunk of health in their venture. Now it’s just a matter of picking a target and killing it, so here’s the cliffs notes:

: You ready, Izuna? Can’t let any of those folks one-up us, so we’re gonna go ballistic here!
: “One-up”… but this isn’t a competition.
: Ah, ya big dumdum! Battles ARE a competition and whoever’s the bigger ace has got it made! So put your back into this!
I’m rather disappointed that the hand didn’t follow up the throw with a big punch.
And here’s the Build Angels’ strongest attack.
The first of Kenji’s combined attacks with the Big Shooter. I question the efficiency of a bazooka that’s bigger than the user…

: You two ready to rock? We’re gonna put on a slick show for Tsubaki!
: What, did you give up on Sayaka, Boss?
: What’re you, stupid?! I’m gunning for them both now – one babe in each hand!
: Yeah, that’s why you’re the boss, Boss!
: Off we go, then! Ooryaaa!
I confess that I was surprised that he oneshotted the thing!

Oh, this’ll be good.
There’s the Laplace Wall at work. Thanks for the free EN, Ikima!
Finally, the last mook – right in range for Yamashita’s strongest weapon.

: There’s only that thing left now…!
: Oh, what’s the matter? You’d best not get your hopes up simply because you’ve destroyed the other Haniwa Phantoms.
: Damn it…! Look at how giddy that prick is!
: Heheheheh… Indeed, there is absolutely no hope for any of you!
: Rrgh, I could wreck that sort of barrier as easy as one-two-three if I had the Kaiser right now!
: What, the Build Base’s got no secret weapons or whatever?!
: …There IS something that’d work.
: Really?! Out with it, then!
: Kenji’ll need to combine with the Mach Drills. Charge those with the energy of Jeeg’s Bronze Bell and it might work…
: The Mach Drills… those things that almost went and crushed my dreams?!
: That’s too risky! He didn’t even pull it off during training!
: No, I know he can do it.
: Kouji…?
: Go for it, Kenji! If you’re a real man, that is!
: Hah, that goes without saying, Kouji!
: Here I go! Do it, Tsubaki!
: …Well, alright. Mach Drills, set up! Shoot!

Blam, Blam!

: Waaaah?!
: It’s not working. He can’t react fast enough…!
: What the crap’re you doing?! Did you lose your balls or something?!
: We know you’re better than that, Kenji! You’re a real man, so you CAN pull through, can’t you!
: Y-Yagyuu… OK. Tsubaki, again!
: This is crazy, Kenji! Mess it up again and Jeeg won’t…
: Nah, I just realized something after Yagyuu said her piece. Send the drills over, Tsubaki!
: The only way to beat Ikima’ll be with the Mach Drills, so we need to take a chance with him.
: Kyo… OK. Make it work this time, Kenji!
: (Looking at the drills from the front, they kinda look like…)
: (Yeah, mine and all men’s favorite thing in the world! I just gotta visualize and my hands’ll do their part!)
“I’m pulling it off this time, Tsubaki!”
“Mach Drills, set up! Shoot!”
“C’mere, my booby drills!”
“ALRIGHT! Here we go!”
“Ooooryaaa! Booby Drill ATTAAAAAACK!”

: Gwaaargh! I-It can’t be… he tore through the evil energy?!
: Hell, yeah! His barrier’s toast now!
: So cool… Jeeg really is the best!
: Should be no problem to take that guy out after that. Psyche yourselves up and let’s get to it!

Indeed, with only 8400 HP left, we can easily wrap this up.

: Annoying little bug! You’ll soon be but a smear on the floor!
: Well, none of us are nice enough to let you drop us that easy!
: Tsubaki, scan his Dai Kaengu for a weakness! That’s step #1!

Off goes Ikima, promising to REMEMBER THIS. Of course, he’s already lost a couple of times, so Kenji suggests he start writing it all down.
Shizuna’s revised her opinion on Kenji slightly – he’s a complete idiot but decent enough in battle. Miwa calls in and summons everyone back to Build Base, including the JUDA crew. Lady Une’s waiting for them.
More important to Kenji, does all this mean his training was a success? Tsubaki slowly confirms, which means it’s time for Yagyuu to fulfill her end of the bargain!

Cut to the Jama Kingdom, Ikima is very apologetic for his screw up. Amaso sniffs at the poor showing despite all his huffing and puffing and requests that Himika let him go next.
Mamashi also wants in, but the queen quickly silences them all. She is NOT in the mood for their bickering. She sees in Jeeg and his allies enemies to be respected and knows they must take the Bronze Bell before our strength grows even further.

At Build Base, Miwa is welcoming our team and praising JUDA’s vaunted combat expertise. Yamashita puts his best “official” voice and salutes her in lieu of Reiji, their team leader. This is Une’s first time meeting with us and Ichitaka is rather nervous, stuttering a quick introduction.
Une, of course, has been briefed on him and Ichitaka promises to work hard as part of LOTUS. She appreciates his earnestness and turns to speak to the entire team: this last battle has further confirmed to her the importance of the LOTUS project. Kouji has heard of the team from Prof. Yumi, as the Photon Lab crew will also be joining.

Une knows that united strength is the way to stand up to any upcoming threats but every single member of our team is important individually – we couldn’t have prevailed today without Jeeg busting the enemy’s barrier.
Despite being the man of the hour, Kenji isn’t listening (daydreaming about boobies). Shizuna and Tsubaki aren’t amused by his grin. But, regardless, what Une expects from us is that we’ll be flexible enough to adapt to any and all situation, so she hopes we’ll keep up the good work.

A call comes in right then and it’s Prof. Yumi from his Orbital Space Station. Kouji eagerly asks if he’s finished his maintenance on the Mazinkaiser but, sadly, no – it’ll take longer. Guess he’ll have to make do with the Mazinger in the meantime.
But the reason Yumi called is that while he’s agreed to have the Mazinger Team join LOTUS, Tetsuya and Jun’s mechs are taking longer than expected to 100% ready for battle again. They’ll likely be delayed in their rendezvous with us.
Lady Une’s not too surprised, considering the difficult battles those two went through.

Tetsuya gets on the mic to tell Kouji and co to not slack off while out there – if he catches word that they’ve messed up somehow, he’ll personally come and whip them back into shape. Jun is nicer, though, only asking for them to hold the fort until the Great Mazinger and Venus are ready to go again. Kouji swears to do just that.
As the call ends, the Build Base and Mazinger teams are now officially under Une’s command as part of LOTUS. The base itself, explains Prof. Shiba, will carry on investigating whatever the Jama Kingdom is up to while providing prompt support to us.
Of special note to Miwa is that they’re still searching for a way to rescue thought-alive Hiroshi – the original Jeeg – from within the progressively shrinking Zone. That’s for another time, though, and Miwa suggests we go and rest after the last battle. Une does ask Ichitaka and Alice to come see her when they’ve the time, though.

Kenji doesn’t need rest, though, as it is now time to collect his reward! Yagyuu will stand by her word, so she asks him to come by the hangar. He does so immediately, leaving behind a fuming Tsubaki to wonder why Yagyuu made a promise like that in the first place.
Kouji invites her along to watch it all go down, eliciting an angry retort that this is, first and foremost, his fault for making this inane suggestion! Easy, now. Didn’t he say it’d be funny? She’ll see what he means.

By the hangar, Yagyuu isn’t really worried about staying true to her word. She tells Kenji to close his eyes and he’ll get some boobies right in his face. And he does so, Tsubaki and Boss glaring at him for his antics/luck, though Miu has absolutely no idea what’s going on and is incredibly confused.
Kenji’s faced is cradled in boobies and he’s as happy as can be – life is good. Or it was, for a second, before he starts feeling his head being crushed. What the hell? He opens his eyes and finds himself buried in Saotome’s very muscular cleavage and arms. The berserk fighter has no qualms in squishing him like a grape as Kenji protests that this wasn’t the deal!

“Oh? And when, exactly, did I say anything about it being my breasts?” Yagyuu chuckles. Kenji begs Tsubaki for help but, of course, he brought this on himself. Kouji wonders if Boss is still jealous – does he wanna take Kenji’s spot? Absolutely not.
Shizuna is feeling pretty good at the spectacle – it saved her the trouble of having to actually box him some – and Izuna has a laugh at how much livelier this group’s turning out to be.

As Kenji continues to suffer, Alice walks in, having just prepped a healthcare plan for everyone and… what are they doing? Effort being rewarded and all that, answers Yamashita.
Speaking of, Kouji’s been told that Ichitaka’s another trainee pilot – it’s tough business starting out but he tells him to hang in there. And if he’s ever not feeling up to it, he can always ask Saotome to “reward” him.

Ichitaka’s rather star-struck with THE Kouji Kabuto and stammers a very proper thank you. But he needn’t get hung up on formalities, of course, what with them being teammates now. Ichitaka gets that but Kouji is still a big name for him to deal with.
“Ichitaka, your heart rate is rising. Hmm, this symptom indicates… is it love?” Alice ponders, eliciting an energetic “NO WAY!” That’s a better attitude, Kouji says, and tells Ichitaka to talk to him the same he would Alice. Ichitaka tones it down a bit – still a bit too proper for Kouji’s tastes but he’ll get used to it. And what was that about a healthcare plan?

Well, as we all know, Alice’s primary job is as a maid, meaning she can also handle pretty much any health care needs we require. In exchange, she hopes folks would indulge her with some combat lessons. That’d be no problem for the Mazinger Team and Alice is quite grateful.
A nondescript amount of time later, Yamashita reminds Ichitaka and Alice that Une wanted them to stop by. Repairs on the Rushbird have finished just now and Alice has done examining our crew, so this seems as good a time as any. Yamashita asks him to be back in time for their training session, mind.

Back at the command room, Ichitaka’s disappointed to hear that they’ve found nothing on Grife or Yuu. Une says that Preventers are searching right now and they’ve even requested the other LOTUS-affiliated groups to help with that.
Ichitaka’s surprised they’d go to those lengths for him, but it’s not exactly for his benefit alone. Both of Grife’s units have quite a few distinctive features – the Straybird has been avoiding any and all detection, while the Rushbird seems capable of some dimensional interference. They can’t well disregard these units and their creator, right?
Wait, what was that about the Rushbird? Miwa relays a report from JUDA, saying that they mean the Input-Output energy devices in the bot’s hands; from what they’ve seen, the bot is interacting with another dimension(s?) when attacking and defending. Sounds dangerous but Shiba is sure the LOTUS mechanics can handle servicing the thing.

We won’t be hanging around here, mind, as LOTUS’ next destination will be the Dannar Base to join up with the locals and Nanbara Connection team. Une does tell Ichitaka to focus on improving himself instead of stressing over working with his idols. He does promise to do so, but, inwardly, is already giddy over the thought of meeting the Godannar and Combattler crew… he’s gonna have to work on that.
But not right now, as Build Base’s crew detects something: Mimetic Beasts, headed towards the Naruto Straits! Well, that’s a job for us so Une tells everyone to gear up and get ready to move. Seems like Ichitaka’s training session got replaced with some live combat. Is Alice ready to go? Yup, no problems at all, as she’s already finished processing data from the previous battle.


: (…Where are you, my partner…?)
: (The one who’ll synchronize and fight beside me… I know she’s somewhere in the blue planet…)
: (Nagisa… Kanou. My partner… I need you…)

The villain mentioned in the beginning of this part is a Linebarrels villain as I recall, but he’ll be showing up later on so no spoilers about that.

Don’t diss Boss Borot, L is one of his best incarnations. Those crazy partner bonuses let you ignore the real trick about it - every one of Boss’s attacks LOWER WILL, something they did in K as well, but K Borot was a terrible unit to make up for it. (In a similar case, Mazinpower was broken in K, but was stuck on Mazinger Z, a not great unit - in L it’s on GREAT units and make them hilariously amazing.) He’s amazing no matter where you put them, but I know a common way of making it work is to pair him up with the Build Angel, who can also lower Will - the Build Angel is a great squad leader, as the only thing different between a leader and a follower is the leader’s movement and terrains matter and the follower’s do not (L/UX/BX Squads 101).

Deceive, as with every Factor who works for JUDA at the start, has a secret trick that makes it amazing in the endgame, so don’t give up on it. It’s a two pilot supporter too, and its massive HP pool makes enemies all want to aim for it because enemies in L all aim for the enemy with the highest HP in their range (L/UX/BX Enemy AI 101). As a fun aside, the “grab a guy and throw it with a fist” is anime-only - the use of the Nerve Crack Fist in the manga is purely a defensive move to keep things from hitting the cockpit area, as it’s a giant cord fist and shouldn’t be able to pick stuff up. (In UX it appears if Deceive takes a hit in its hit animation) It and the Bullet Arm also take animation from a fight the anime had and the manga didn’t, in a series of canyons. I think it’s where Hind’s cannon animation comes from too.

…also Sayaka never gets her Venus A in this game, the only game with Mazinkaiser to not have it. Man, why do they hate that thing so much? In GC it was secret and replaced Aphrodite (the remake removed that second bit) but that was still better than J, where it leaves you after a few stages, and in L it just isn’t there at all. Only in W is it endgame.

…oh yeah, final note. The Build Angel pilots are actually all taken from other Go Nagai works. Can’t remember which one unfortunately.

Yeah, I figured the Deceive would be picking up something since it doesn’t seem to have much going right now (same as Miu’s). And I did notice Boss’ morale down thing… but I forgot to mention it as I rushed to write this update. I’ll make a few edits.

What I did NOT know, however, is that the sub-unit didn’t need to worry about terrain ratings - I assumed L followed the same rules as the other squad games.

Nope. K’s Squad System was a giant mess, so I’ll not get into it, but there’s two main things you need to know about it to understand the modern squad system of L and the 3DS games - in K, it was more efficient to go without using any squads than actually using them, so solo units got hit hard with nerfs in L (and then buffed slightly in UX and BX to give battleships and force deploys a kick in the pants), and in K, the system worked where basically the second squad member was only there to provide the first one with Support on the map… so that’s why in L, UX, and BX, squads can’t use supports but solos can (that didn’t get changed), but it’s also why only the lead matters for movement.

Miu actually has two buffs coming - neither of them make Painkiller the unit it is in the manga, which is much cooler than the anime version. I’ll talk about the many, many changes Miu went through either when another Linebarrels character debuts who similarly got hit with a lot of issues, or when the first buff hits (probably the former as it happens first). Decieve has one, but it’s a big one, and it makes a whole load of units amazing.

But on that note, for secrets - L has three secrets semi-exclusive with each other, where you can only get two of them at a time. Do you intend on getting Michael and Soubi and having unplayable-but-still-very-alive Stella, thus saving everyone possible, or getting Stella and Soubi and letting Michael die to get the bonus kills Stella and Soubi get on run 1? Bonus kills are pretty unimportant but if Michael dies then you can move Klan into his VF, where she is arguably best, so it’s up for debate which is “better”.

Aye, I looked those up before starting and had decided on going for option #2 since I don’t care that much about Frontier stuff.

Click to see the mission!

And we’re back in the intermission menu, our top aces looking rather differently. Kouji and Kenji have joined to immediately take the top two spots, a single kill separating each of our aces from second and first place.

Small micromanagement stuff first: Kenji and Kouji have gotten their important stats upgraded with our surplus from the previous missions. It’s occurred to me that I didn’t point out what these bars do (in case anyone reading this isn’t familiar). Here’s the quick rundown, from top to bottom:
Armor – mitigates damage.
Mobility – boosts your chance to dodge attacks.
Weapons – adds a fixed amount of attack power to all your weapons per pip purchased.

Obviously, you’ll want your dodgy reals to focus on mobility, accuracy and weapons (plus EN if they’re the chugging kind), whereas your Supers will want pretty much everything except mobility.
Jeeg is the odd one out, of course, as he might be a Super but he can’t take a hit too well. You’ll likely want to build him with Real priorities but do purchase a wee bit of HP and/or Armor in case Kenji gets a bad roll.

And, lastly, we are now allowed to tinker with our Twin units in the Formation menu. Our next mission gives us 5 slots to deploy and while we don’t have a lot of folks to use yet, I reckon I can spread our guys around somewhat.
We’ll be going with:

Ichitaka and Jeeg’s teams were pretty much a no-brainer as they complement each other so well. Yamashita’s range will help keep Boss out of trouble – pairing him with a melee-focused unit is best, but I wasn’t too sure it’d be safe until I can bolster his defenses a wee bit.
Finally, while I was tempted to have Yagyuu lead a group on her own, I felt that getting Kouji airborne and, more importantly, with an Accel cast was more important. Without, he takes forever to get in range of stuff. Thus, we’re left with Shizuna and Sayaka filling the last spot.

Off we go!

In the distant past, aboard the Cthulhu race’s emigrant vessel, Sir Violet ponders the unending journey they’ve endured across the stars. It may be their fate after the loss of their homeworld but this is still taking a REALLY long time. She wants to give her sleeping daughters a place to call home – a land of peace.
She even entertains the thought of what she’d do to make that a reality but quickly brushes it aside – it shouldn’t be so, even if death aboard this vessel is how their race ends. A hidden voice has heard her “wish”, however, and decided to grant it. She’ll have her land of peace and the voice is too busy laughing evilly to hear Violet’s objections.

Cut to the present, the Cthulhu Fortress, Sepia (orange girl) spots Earth from the window of her girlfriend, Cobalt’s, room. This beautiful world will be their home soon but Sepia asks if those humans aren’t strong? Will war break out again?
Cobalt says they’ve already checked and, no, this should be an easy conquest; good because Sepia didn’t want her people to continue stuck in the mire of war. Many days have passed since Sir Violet made it her mission to give them a new home – they had a chance to succeed in the past, but a traitor screwed that up. Not this time, though.
They’re interrupted when Cobalt receives a summons from Violet. Whatever could she want?

By her room, we find the new and improved Sir Violet. She summoned Cobalt to say that she’s been chosen as the commander of the Dilos Theta. Cobalt is honored but asks if this means she’ll be deployed to Earth.
Indeed, because they’ve confirmed that Iczer-1 – the traitor – is on the planet. She’s attacked their vanguard soldiers and seems to be looking for her partner. And if Iczer-1 manages to find and synchronize with her, she’ll awaken and be a mighty foe, indeed.
Thus, she needs to be destroyed immediately and that’s where Cobalt’s mission comes in: she’ll find and eliminate Iczer-1’s partner or, if that can’t be done, defeat the traitor herself. Cobalt confirms and seems determined to go the “defeat Iczer-1” route – she’ll never know peace if she doesn’t claim her life.

Back on Earth, we open up at Gakazono Academy and find Anna really wanting to go back to the Dannar Base – she’s having a hard time readjusting to life by her lonesome. Still, she can’t well face Goh after having been such a crummy wife – she didn’t even notice how wounded his spirit was. Nagisa (Kanou, the one in the Frontier is Kasumi) meanwhile is talking about some disappearances in her neighborhood having boosted police patrols in the area.
Anna isn’t listening, also putting some blame over what happened in Goh and just how oh-so-nicely he gets along with Mira. Doesn’t help that Mira is the guy’s ex, from before he and Anna first met. Still, Anna’s his wife now… EX-wife, maybe, she sighs. Nagisa carries on, relating how her father said he smelled blood when coming home from work one day. That meanie’s trying to scare her and her mom for a laugh, she bets… Hey, is Anna listening?

Now she is and Nagisa sighs at how distant she’s acting. Actually, Anna’s not looking too spritely, either – is she on a diet or something? No, she’s just depressed as it’s been a full two months since she ran away from home.
Nagisa’s surprised to hear that, though most Anna will give as justification is that there were “issues”. Did she fight with her parents? Not exactly, but Nagisa won’t press for answers. Still, where’s Anna living right now?

Well, she had this apartment rented but the landlady just kicked her out because of her cat, Pinpin. Said cat isn’t too keen on staying inside her backpack either. Well, Nagisa isn’t about to leave her friend destitute and invites Anna to stay with her family until she gets back on her feet. She’s sure her parents won’t object to it.
Anna’s very grateful but her attention quickly diverts back to Pinpin – the cat seems scared of something. Maybe he doesn’t like the dark inside the backpack. Still, Anna begs him to keep quiet or she’ll get kicked off class as well.
Uh, oh, Nagisa spent so long chatting that she didn’t even notice it was time for class to start – she hasn’t even wrapped up her homework yet!

But, hold on, who’s that over there? Nagisa spots a strangely dressed blonde woman staring her way from way down in the schoolyard.
Anna’s heart momentarily sinks as she thinks the blonde is Mira but, looking around, she sees no one. Odd, the woman vanished. Nagisa was sure she saw someone…

At the Dannar Base, Kiriko (Anna’s mom) is worried about Goh but he says he’s holding well enough. Has Anna called him yet? No…
Unfortunately, her departure is pretty much known by everyone now, too. Kiriko tried to cook up a story that she was off doing some special pilot training these past couple of months but… Professor Yotsuya got a bit too drunk one day and spilled the beans. He apologizes profusely and promises never to drink again but Goh isn’t angry – this whole thing is his fault anyway.

The door opens up, in coming Tetsuya Kouji (brown hair) and Hyouma. Tetsuya pokes Goh that she shouldn’t be so blasé about his wife leaving and Hyouma is a bit miffed that he didn’t come to them for advice.
Kosuke (glasses) asks if Anna’s departure is the reason why Goh hasn’t been deploying nowadays and the best he gives is a middling denial. Tetsuya thinks he has an idea of what happened: Goh took such a heavy blow from his defeat to the Menage Zero that he couldn’t pilot the Dannar anymore and seeing her hubby being such a wimp caused Anna to leave him.

Only, no, Kiriko says that’s not exactly what happened. While Goh hasn’t managed to pilot since his defeat, Anna didn’t even notice his battered spirit. And seeing how even Tetsuya noticed it, Anna took it as a major failure of her as his wife; thus, she figured she hadn’t the right to stay with him anymore and took off. This was never about her falling out of love with him or anything.

Shizuru groans at Tetsuya’s stupidity but Goh doesn’t disagree with what he said – it is his fault she left and it wouldn’t have happened if he wasn’t so worthless. He understands that he NEEDS to fight with the Dannar but every time he grips its controls, his hands won’t stop shaking. Until he manages to put himself back together, it’s be up to the Combattler folks to cover the difference.
Well, if anything, Juzo says these last two months have left them quite used to doing just that. Hyouma is certain a big hero like Goh can rise from these ashes and tells him to come and talk to us if there’s anything bothering him. It’s far better to share problems with others rather than keep it all to yourself.
…Only, Juzo points out, Hyouma has been known for keeping a lot of his problems to himself, but that’s neither here nor there!

When Chizuru asks, Goh says that he’s no idea where Anna could be right now. Shinobu’s been searching but has gotten nothing so far. Then again, Shizuru ponders inwardly, Shinobu might not say anything even if he did found her.
Goh isn’t going to look, though, wanting to believe that Anna will come back to him if he fights on; of course, that means getting his hands to stop shaking, little by little. Kiriko also believes her daughter’ll return – she just needed some time to think but will be back once she’s found her answer. Until then, we’ll just wait patiently.

Konami relays a message from Lady Une that our team’ll be here in one hour, whereupon they’ll meet with Kiriko and Yotsuya. We’ve already dealt with the Mimetic Beasts by the Naruto Straits and Yotsuya figures he’d best prepare some premium sake as a sign of gratitude for our assist.
Kagemaru, the Dannar team commander, reminds that he just said he wouldn’t drink again. Oh, right. But, regardless, they all better get to work and ready things to welcome our folks – starting tomorrow, they’ll all be joining LOTUS. It’s been a long time since the Combattler folks met up with the Mazinger team, too.

Goh will be coming with as well, knowing he can’t well stay here by himself. He’s gotta be around to help Mira and, plus, he figures the best place to get back up to speed will be at the front lines.
No, he doesn’t mind risking Anna seeing him in this sorry state – only that she knows he’s still waiting for her. Inwardly, he wonders where she could be. The world around them is undergoing massive changes with each passing moment.

Some time later, Nagisa and Anna are walking about and spot an ad for a game starring famous pop singer Eida on TV. Hmhmm. The girl’s seen a meteoric rise to stardom recently, with her songs breaking a lot of download records. Hmhmm.
Is Anna listening? Somewhat, though Nagisa can see she’s still a hundred miles away. Nagisa had hoped to get her mind off things with a walk through downtown but that’s not working too well.

Over by TV a news report from Isabelle Cronkite tells of the Dancouga’s recent appearance at the Kanagawa Prefecture and subsequent intervention in an ongoing battle. Mind you, the Japanese Government denies any involvement with the bot. This news gets Anna’s attention and Nagisa has a laugh at what a mech fangirl she is.
Still, news about super robots are common nowadays and Nagisa’s heard of Mimetic Beasts running amuck around Japan – a stark reminder of the horrors of the War of the Giants. What was the name of the mech that took out the boss Mimetic Beast back then? Godannar?
Anna slowly confirms, though didn’t expect Nagisa to know all that. Well, we ARE talking about a big, world-saving hero, so it’s not too surprising.

: …Hey, Nagisa.
: Hm?
: If… If you could get on a robot and fight, what would you do?
: Huh? Where’d that question come from?
: Do you think you’d want to fight and help protect others?
: Eeh, that’s only a question for wannabe pilots like you. Regular girls like me don’t really think about that.
: …
: Still… I think I’d pass on it. Battles are really scary business and might even get you killed.
: I see…
: (That’s likely what regular people would say, yeah. But I…)
: Are you Nagisa Kanou?
: I am… but who are you?
: My name is Cobalt and I’m here to take you hostage.
: H-Huh?! Who just comes out and says stuff like that? I’ll scream, I’m warning you!
: Be my guest, though it won’t help you…


: Waaah!
: W-We’re falling!!


: Urk! Oow…
: Where… where are we?
: It matters not. This isn’t a world the two of you could know of or understand.
: Y-You take us back! Get us back to our world!
: I will… after I’ve destroyed Iczer-1.
: What are you on about? Who’s Iczer-1?!
: Wait just a bit and you’ll see. Once she realizes your life is in danger, she’ll come running…!
: Hmhmhm… Show yourself, Iczer-1. If you don’t make haste, my flaming blade will sear your partner whole.


: Aaah!
: Stop! What’re you gonna do to her?!
: Yes, cry and scream. Call out to Iczer-1 for help!

: Get away from Nagisa!
: And here you are. I’ve been expecting you.
: (I-It’s that blonde cosplayer I saw at the schoolyard… She’s Iczer-1?)
: Taking innocents hostage… is that how the Cthulhu do things now?!
: Silence, traitor! I’ll use whatever means I must to destroy you!
: If your wish is to fight me, then I agree to it. But, in exchange, let Nagisa and her friend go!
: You may take them, but only if you manage to best me! Taaah!
: Haah!

Swoosh! Slash! Blam!

: Wh-What are they…? I can’t even see what they’re doing!
: A-Anna, let’s get out of here… I… I’m scared!
: I know but where are we supposed to run to?
: Mommy, daddy… help me!
: I’ll help you in a moment, Nagisa! Haaaah!

Blast! Craaash!

: Uuoorgh! B-Blast you, Iczer-1 – how dare you wound me so…!
: Fine, I’ll end you with the Dilos Thetas!

Cobalt runs off.

: Nagisa, we must leave here as well! Hold onto me, you two!
: Huh?


Mission 3 – The Woman Who Fights, The Woman Who Won’t Fight, The Woman Who Can’t Fight

: Those are…!
: Giant robots?!
: A-Aaah…!
: Not even you can prevail against this many Dilos Thetas! Your death is come, Iczer-1!

: Aaaah!
: You alright, Nagisa?!
: And so it comes to this… I’m summoning the Iczer Robo! We’ll fight together, Nagisa!
: F-fight?! No! Why do I have to fight these monsters?!
: Iczer Robo!!

: Th-That’s…!
: A robot?!
: It is my other half. Come, Nagisa!
: No!
: You are the only one in this world who can unite with the Iczer Robo! Do you not wish to defend your own planet?!
: Absolutely not!
: Then you leave me no choice. You will fight, even if I must force you to! Taaah!

Jump and grab!

: Huh?! Waaah!!

: I-It absorbed her!
: Wh-What’s going on?!
: You’re inside the Iczer Robo. Synchronize yourself with me, Nagisa.
: Y-You can’t do this to me! Lemme go!
: You, Nagisa’s friend… run as far away as you can. I must now face these!
: “Run”… what are you gonna do with Nagisa?!
: Help me, Anna!
: You’ve summoned the Iczer Robo, hm? But that will hardly shift the winds in your favor!
: …We’re going, Nagisa!

Take out everything, don’t lose Iczer-1. This isn’t too difficult but there are a lot of Dilos Thetas and the Iczer Robo isn’t the sturdiest or dodgiest bot around. Don’t go too far ahead, is what I’m saying and let the fight come to you.

Iczer Robo (Iczer-1, Nagisa Kanou)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Shoot Down
Prevail L3
Spirit Commands – Iczer-1
Spirit Commands – Nagisa
Attune (感応) – grants Strike to the target unit.
Squad Bonus: Accuracy +5, EN+50

Iczer-1 is a monster of a pilot – one of the absolute best in the game, as a matter of fact. All her stats have either the highest or second highest baseline across. Usually she’ll only get competition from Our Lord and Savior… and someone else (if you’ve watched Iczer, you know who).
The Iczer Robo’s already pretty good, though it’s missing many of its tricks now. It’s still pretty bulky and while Mobility is on the low-ish side, Iczer-1 is so good that she’ll make it dodge reliably enough. A high Prevail will further boost that, too, though she won’t be topping the damage charts against big cheaters like Kouji and Kenji.

Oh, and I would be remiss not to mention the following: apparently there’s a BIG bug related to the Iczer Robo in that if you get it killed, game over and restart from the intermission screen, Nagisa will DISAPPEAR as a subpilot. There’s only one point, in the latter half of the game, where you’ll recover her and if you lose her again past that, you’re screwed.

I haven’t seen it happen because, one, I’m too good to let her get killed (:smugdog:) and, two, I’m too proud to actually Continue on a game over’d mission. All in all, if you lose her and game over, just reload your save and try again fresh.

That being said, I just have her take a few steps forward and hold.

Enemy Phase!

: …?!
: Nagisa, what’s the matter? Synchronize with me, please! We won’t be able to bring out the true might of the Iczer Robo like this!
: Let me out! Lemme out of here!
: Ahahah! The Dilos Theta’s strength is on a wholly different level! You’re not match for us, Iczer-1!
: Nagisa…!

Here they come.

Do keep an eye against the Dilos as they’ve decent accuracy.

Most of them keep away for now, though.

Player Phase!

: Mimetic Beasts?! Why are they here?!
: Oh, Earthling monsters? How convenient.
: Gyaaaaaaaaah!

: Aaah!
: Urk!
: Nagisa!!
: Is this also your doing, Cobalt?!
: I’m sorry to disappoint you, but no, I have nothing to do with this. They do seem to be on our side, though.
: Hrm…!
: Please, stop! Put me down! Let me go!
: (My friend’s in danger… there are Mimetic Beasts all over… and I can’t do anything?!)
: (No… I can do something, but I ran from it. What am I doing?! I need to be out there, fighting those things!)
: Nagisa, hold on! I’ll get back to the Dannar Base and—

: Goh! He’s here…!

: And that’s… the Neo Okusaer? But who is… no, Mira?!
: Goh, are you sure you’re ready for this? The four of us could—
: I know. But if I don’t fight, Anna’ll never…!
: Yo, what’s going on here? The radars are completely blank… Think the Mimetic Beasts are behind this?
: I cannot determine the cause but I’m detecting some abnormal EM Waves throughout the area. Our sensors won’t work in this environment.
: Well, if the sensors aren’t flying, then we gotta go with good, ol’ eyesight. Mine’s 20/20!
: Watch where you’re walking, Hyouma. We don’t know if there are civs around here somewhere!
: I’m on it, Daisaku. I can manage that, no prob!
: And look over there, Hyouma! There are some different robots up there, not just the Mimetic Beasts!
: I’ve never seen anything like those before… and they’re not in our data banks, either.

Beep, beep!

: Hold up! We’re being hailed by that green robot!
: Do you hear me, Earthlings? Your planet has come under the attack of Big Gold! Those robots – the Dilos Thetas – are her minions!
: What, a new group of enemies?!
: You think those are the invaders from space that Dr. Nanbara warned us about?!
: Please, I request your assistance!
: We’re here to deal with those Mimetic Beast larvae anyway, so, yes, we might as well help you.
: You’ve my thanks!
: And your name is?
: Iczer-1!
: Pleased to meet you, Iczer-1! We’ll tackle this one together!
: Right!
: Heeeelp! Get me out of here! … They can’t hear me?!
: (Hrk… We’ve got new enemies cropping up and I still can’t fight properly…?!

Alright, now this is more manageable. Mind, losing either Goh or Mira will also be a gameover but they’re well equipped to take care of themselves:

Godannar (Goh Saruwatari)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Fighting Spirit
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons’ power +100, Armor +100, EN+50

Power! Armor! EN! Everything you could ever want!
Goh and his squad bonus make for a very fine unit, though he’s obviously not doing too hot right now. He’ll get better, though, and become a very reliable Super! His accuracy isn’t all that, though it’s nothing we can’t fix.
As for the Godannar, it’s clearly a punchy bot which comes with the usual issues of low range. Again, we can fix that – grab him a partner that knows Accel, too, while you’re at it.

Neo Okusaer (Mira Ackerman)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Fury/Direct Hit (直撃) – the next attack will bypass defensive supports and features.
Mech Features:
Angel Wall (エンジェルウォール) – nullifies all damage below 2300.
Squad Bonus: Crit ratio +10, experience gained +10%, accuracy +5

Well, hey, I guess we’ve found his partner! Mira’s stats are pretty much like Goh’s, only slightly worse (except for Evasion). The Neo can handle itself well enough, though it lacks a bit of stopping power. That barrier makes it a prime defensive supporter, though, as 2300 damage on a Super isn’t too easy to do without a boss.

Oh, and as a fun note: 旦那/Danna® means, among other things, “husband”, while 奥さん/Okusan(saer) is “wife”. So, Anna just lost the wifebot to her husband’s ex… Actually, with that Neo there, wouldn’t it be the “New Wife”-bot? That probably bodes ill.

Core Gunner (Shizuru Fujimura)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Squad Bonus: Accuracy +5, crit ratio +10, land terrain rating: A

G-Gunner (Tetsuya Kouji)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Squad Bonus: Ranged weapons’ attack power +100, HP+1000

Both Shizuru and Tetsuya can work nicely as squaddies for ranged-oriented folks – especially Tetsuya, of course. Shizuru has a better range movement coverage as both her weakest and strongest weapons can be used after moving, while Tetsuya’s almost a pure sniper.
They’re decently strong, too, but will get left behind as the game progresses, of course.

Combattler V (Hyouma Aoi, Juzo Naniwa, Daisaku Nishikawa, Chizuru Nanbara, Kosuke Kita)
Pilot Skills:
Sword Cut
Prevail L3
Spirit Commands – Hyouma:
Spirit Commands – Juzo:
Spirit Commands – Daisaku:
Iron Wall
Spirit Commands – Chizuru:
Spirit Commands – Kosuke:
Squad Bonus: HP +1000

Remember what I said about Voltes? Copy paste that and you’ve the Combattler. It’s good, it’s flexible with all its pilots, it’s hard to kill, hits nicely and will do even better later.

Folks are making their way over but Mira, with Accelerate, is just in range.

: With Anna gone, we all need to do our part supporting Goh…!

Of course, she could only use her weakest weapon… at least she dodges the counter.

Might as well have Iczer one snipe away at this one.
“We’re going, Nagisa!”
“No! Do it yourself!”

Enemy Phase!

As Iczer-1 takes out a Dilos, the other weakened one guns for Hyouma.

: I dunno what you guys are but you better get right off our planet!
: I really don’t think yelling at them is going to get you anywhere.
: Plus, we’ve to fight them under these unusual conditions. Do not let your guard down, Hyouma!
That’s quite the elaborate attack for a standard crotch-missile.

Urgh, and the Mimetic Beasts decide to gun for Iczer-1 as well. That wouldn’t be TOO bad if not for the fact that they drain EN.

: Noo! Why is this happening to me?!
: These are different from the Cthulhu’s monsters… However, I will not falter! I cannot!

At least her Prevail procs a bit and she dodges the next three attacks.

Player Phase!

: Those are…!
: Bam, enter the heroes! Y’all can relax now!
: Prof. Aoi already gave us the rundown: those blue bots are a new enemy and the green one’s on our side, right?
: And, also, that a blonde babe is piloting it! Whoohohohoo… time to put on a good show for her!
: Heey, Kouji, Boss! It’s been forever!
: Yo, Hyouma! We’re gonna be working on the same team again!
: While this is our first time meeting up with the Dannar Base people.
: Ichitaka, I’m not detecting any fluctuations in your heart rate whatsoever. Do you not feel any anxiety… or, rather, love for the Godannar or Combattler?
: No, no – the opposite! And I’m talking about anxiety, FYI!
: I mean, I am nervous but I also know that getting all tense would put our lives in danger, you know?
: Yes, life is meant to be valued. Treasure it and it’ll last… well, for your whole life, right?
: Hahah, thanks for that one. I’m a little less nervous now.
: The Earthlings have sent some extra help, I see.
: All the better for us.
: Right. Let’s go and wrap this up… hrrm…!
: Hey, Goh, take it easy there. We’ll take care of things.
: Sorry, folks…
: However many of you there are, this’ll all end the same. Behold the might of the Dilos Thetas!

Healing her up just in case.

While Goh takes out a weakened beastie, Mira and Shizuru work on its healthy partner.

: Neither Goh nor Mira are doing too well… Then the best I can do is down as many enemies as possible!

Chizuru: “A Mimetic Beast!”
Hyouma: “Nothing we can’t handle!”

Iczer-1, now packing Focus, picks something else to blast while the rest of us are closing the distance. At least thanks to their new tag partners, Kouji and Kenji have covered a LOT of ground in one move.

Enemy Phase!

Ickzer-1 and Hyouma (packing Iron Wall) tank pretty much whatever’s already on top of us, weakening them all in the process. The bad news is the Mimetic Beasts drink pretty much all of the Combattler’s EN, what with it dodging like a brick house.

Couple of Beasts do get clever with Kenji, though.

The thing barely hangs on, enough for Tsubaki to kill-steal.

Player Phase!

Now we go to town.

: Anna… I want to believe that, somewhere, you’re watching this… and that you’ll eventually come back to me!
Husband punch!

Get rid of those Mimetic Beasts before they hit anyone else!

Ichitaka: “Don’t need to hold back against Mimetic Beasts!”
Alice: “Right! We should engage with all we have!”

Hyouma moves back a bit, but not before taking out another Dilos. Shooting enough enemies down triggers the plot.

: Hmph, so you Earthlings have a little fight in you. But you will not best me and my Dilos with that!

Cobalt charges towards the town center.

: Haaaaah!

: Damn, how is she so strong?!
: She… she’s destroying the entire town!
: Stop this, Cobalt!

Iczer-1 goes after.

: Silence, traitor!

Iczer-1 gets thrown right across town.

: Aah!
: This is bad! That robot’s power is several steps above hers!
: Nagisa, why won’t you synchronize with me?
: I told you again and again: I don’t want to fight!
: She’s destroying your hometown! Do you not care anything about that?!
: …
: It seems to me that your partner is no more than dead weight, Iczer-1!

Another blast, further knocking her back… right where Anna is!

: Waah!
: A-Aah…!
: A-Anna… you’re still there?! Run – it’s dangerous!
: I can’t, Nagisa. I have to fight… but, the Okusaer… the Okusaer is now…!
: What are you on about, Anna?! Get out of there NOW!
: Die!

: Aaaah!
: Anna! ANNAA!
: Nagisa, grant me strength – your strength…!
: Anna… get out… get out of there, please…
: Why won’t you fight, Nagisa? Why are you thinking of no one but yourself?!
: This is your town – your home – and you must defend it! You must defend your friend!
: U-Urgh…
: I… I have to defend… Anna…

: You… You’ll pay for this…! YOU’LL PAY!!

: I-It can’t be…! All this power… Is it fruit of their synchronization?!
: Are you now willing to fight, Nagisa? Thank you!
: No, I told you that I don’t want to! But Anna… Anna is…!
: Nagisa…I’m alright. All thanks to you.
: Anna…! Oh, thank god!
: Nagisa, your friend will likely be at risk again if we let this battle carry on…
: I know… Fine, I’ll help you!
: Many thanks, Nagisa. Let’s go, then!

And the Iczer Robo just got a stat boost from that for some extra HP, EN, etc. – good, because she’ll be dealing with Cobalt while we handle the rest.

Speaking of, Shizuru’s got enough morale for her best attack. Also, nearby, after Kouji and Kenji both turn a pair of Mimetic Beasts into mush, Tetsuya is just range to snipe another down.

: Come one, come all! I’ll give you way more than you bargained for!

By the by, Cobalt’s range isn’t too good.

: Iczer Robo or not, you will fall against the Dilos Theta! Prepare to meet your end, Iczer-1!
: You and your ilk won’t have their way, Cobalt! So long as life burns within my breast, I’ll fight on!

Another 5k damage.

Enemy Phase!

Hrm, I was actually expecting her to go after Iczer.

That’s a combo attack hitting both girls but, unfortunately, the Deceive has ridiculous amounts of HP. It does not care.

And, with that, we’re in the clear. The remaining mooks either die against our wall of beefy units or get weakened greatly – they’ll die next turn.

Following a quick jab from Yamashita, Cobalt’s done.
Iczer-1: “Not even a Cthulhu warrior shall prevail if I’ve Nagisa’s help!”

And Iczer-1 takes a couple of levels, learning Attack Combo. Nice.

: I… I cannot fall… SEPIAA!!

: Haah… Haah…
: I’m sorry, Cobalt…

And here go the last Mimetic Beasts:
I was looking to have Kouji grab the kill but at least it showed me that Yagyuu’s Trinity Attack actually has a dynamic finish.

: Seems that’s all of the Mimetic Beasts and those unknown bots.
: Yes, but what, exactly, were those?
: She said there were minions of one “Big Gold”…
: We’ve got plenty of questions for that pilot, I’d say.
: Then we need to try and get her to come to either JUDA or Dannar Base.
: Hey, you… do you mind coming over to our base and giving some details about that Big Gold?
: Certainly. But, first, give me a moment to let my partner off the Iczer Robo.

Iczer-1 moves to a nearby street.

: Do you hear me, Nagisa…?
: Urk…guh…
: (She’s looking quite weak. Not surprising, after such a rough battle… I beg your forgiveness, Nagisa…)

: Gugyaaa!
: Damn it – there were others around?!

The Mimetic Beast starts charging after the Iczer Robo

: Watch out!

: Gwargh!
: Aah—! Goh!
: Goh!

Mira gets between him and the monster.

: You won’t hurt him!
: !!
: (I was the one supposed to be out there, protecting him! Even Nagisa’s fighting and I’m…!)
: Careful! That Mimetic Beast’s a lot bigger than the last ones!


: Dannar Base here! Exercise extreme caution: it’s very likely that Mimetic Beast is the source of the EM interference!
: What?!
: Since when can those things do that?!
: They couldn’t, at least not thus far… I’d wager it’s evolved.
: And it sent the Godannar flying like it was nothing! This one’s gonna be real tough!
: Goh, let’s unite! Our only way of fighting this Beast is with the Twin Drive!
: What?!
: You can’t, Mira! You’re still undergoing tests and the chance of a successful union is zero with Goh in his current state!
: No… we’re going for it. We’ll take the monster out with a Heart Breaker!
: You really sure about this, Goh?!
: (No more waffling about. I can’t, if I’m going to protect this town and Mira… and if I’m going to be around to wait for Anna!)
: I’m a pilot, so I’ll fight until the very bitter end! Let’s go, Mira! Drive Change – go!

: Dannar… on! Revolver… OPEN! Godannar Twin Drive!

: Let’s take him out in one shot, Goh!
: Aye, aye!

: Woooow… The Godannar’s 100% back…!
: That… That’s the Godannar’s actual power…?!
: (I… I’m just no match for her…! I…!)
: EM waves confirmed gone and all sensors are back online. Is everyone better?
: Yes, everything’s good. That Mimetic Beast really was the source, I guess.
: We’re good too; got no more Mimetic Beast pings on the radar, either. Now we’re done here.
: Alright, then let’s call in people to help the survivors. I trust you’re also OK, Iczer-1?
: I am, though my partner has lost consciousness. She’s been through a lot today…

Beep, boop!

: I couldn’t help but overhear that. If you don’t mind, JUDA is ready to help her recover.
: Mr. Ishigami!
: And, at that, could everyone also come over with them? We’re already coordinating with Lady Une and readying everything to accommodate you folks.
: Us, too?
: Of course – you’re all official LOTUS members now. And the JUDA Corporation building will be serving as your new base!
: Glad you’re so hyped, boss, but we got a sick girl here? How about sending a transport to pick her up quick-like?
: Easy, Shizuna. He’s acting like that only to try and get us relaxed.
: Oh, it brings tears to my eyes knowing my employees understand me so well.
: And, by the by, the transport’s already on the way. Why don’t you folks help the rescue teams until it gets there?
: (Did you see me, Anna? If you did, then please come home soon! I… I’ll be waiting for you, Anna!)

The Dannar Base mechanics, Shibakusa (older guy), Nanae (freckles) and Touko have all been assigned to work with LOTUS and, thus, came to JUDA. Plus, Shibakusa figures no one but them could service these bots.
Rachel takes offense at that – there’s no mech her genius can’t handle! Shibakusa quickly rephrases himself, saying that what he meant is that they are the best suited for the job because they’re familiar with each of their pilots’ mannerisms and can tune the mechs to match. In that case, Rachel agrees.

Morimoto is the last of the Dannar mechanics and is just glad he was sent here along with Nanae. He was ready to try and get hired by JUDA had he been left behind. Nanae is so very happy as well and, as hearts start flying everywhere, Shizuru introduces Ichitaka to the Dannar Base’s notorious pair of lovebirds.
More interesting to Ichitaka is getting to meet with Goh, who figures him out as the Rushbird’s pilot. “I am, sir! Ichitaka Nagumo, 3rd year middle schooler and, if I may say so, you blew me away during the last battle! The combination, the attack – everything was awesome! It’s a huge honor to fight with you!” he proclaims aloud, though Goh is also pleased to work with him.
Ichitaka figures he can’t well control his nerves with the actual guy standing right next to him but whatever!

And the Combattler team will have the help of Ropett, who’s also been assigned to LOTUS – they can’t actually combine without him, see. Alice walks up soon after, properly introducing herself to them and saying she’s in charge of the team’s healthcare.
Sayaka also adds that she’s a maid robot and subpilot for the Rushbird, and Hyouma has a hard time seeing her as a bot. He’s pretty impressed, though Alice figures Ropett a far more capable helper. She’s looked him up and seen that he can analyze brain waves, make drinks and so much more… In truth, Alice is a bit jealous of all his various functionalities and hopes to learn from him.
When Ropett asks, Alice says her functionalities are oriented towards physical care but she’s got little in the way of special features; for instance, her hearing’s pretty sharp and she can analyze a person’s pulse by just being nearby and listening to their heartbeat. A rather low-tech approach for such a high-tech android – Kosuke figures her creator was kind of an oddball.

Maybe Grife wanted her to be more human-like, Daisaku wonders. If that’s the case, then, Alice figures she’s a failure: “I can’t learn or adapt as easily as everyone else – it’s caused me no shortage of problems!”
Maybe not, as Daisaku figures that’s a pretty natural reaction she’s showing – that’s something! But, regardless, the reason she came here is that she wanted a copy of their physical data to start planning her healthcare plans for them. Ropett has it all handy for her to download.

Ishigami comes in with Iczer-1 and Miu quickly asks them about Nagisa’s condition. It’s not too good, honestly – she’s in the ICU right now, stuck in a coma. Iczer-1 feels pretty bad, seeing how this happened because she forced an unwilling person to pilot the Iczer Robo, but Ishigami tells her to not blame herself. There was no other option, face the enemies bearing down on them all.
Goh understands her concern over her partner’s condition but asks if she could still take the time to inform us on this new group of invaders gunning for Earth. In essence, they’re called the Cthulhu, a group of people who’ve wandered the cosmos for a very long time in search of a new home. Their plan is to claim Earth as that, after eradicating any and all life in it.
So this invasion is more like a violent emigration, Yagyuu sees, though Iczer-1 says it wasn’t always like that. When the Cthulhu people’s journey first started, they wanted to find a home via peaceful means and were willing to journey for as long as necessary to do so. However, they were changed when, during their travels, they ran into Big Gold. It is an evil being that lived out in space and it has taken control of the Cthulhu.

Kosuke’s very surprised at the thought of mechanical life-forms existing, but Juzo has a better question: if Iczer-1 is fighting against them, what exactly is she? In truth, she’s a Cthulhu android. So, she’s one of them.
Ishigami isn’t bothered, though, remembering what she said about the Cthulhu, originally, being against violent action. Thus, it could be said that Iczer-1 rebelled in the name of upholding the peaceful ideals that Big Gold took away.
And the many recent disappearances? It’s the Cthulhu’s doing, as they turn people into their agents. She’d been trying to stymie the Cthulhu’s invasion but, unfortunately, this is all too much for her alone. Ishigami can see that, what with all the robots that showed up today. So, hey, why doesn’t she join LOTUS as well?

Kenji’s a bit taken aback by the sudden proposal but Iczer-1 seems interested. With Nagisa wounded, she’d have to face the Cthulhu by herself and that’d be pretty difficult. Furthermore, she knows of all the other threats bearing down upon Earth and is determined to defend Nagisa’s home.
Iczer-1 asks for our approval to her joining the team and even goes and bows her head. Not needed, of course, as Kouji says we’re always willing to help out. Kenji has an objection, though: “Yo, Kouji! You trying to set yourself up as the ‘nice guy’ with her?!”
Not at all; he just thinks it’s great to have a chance for us to get together with someone from so far away. Helping her out is an easy choice for him. Sayaka is impressed, though Shizuru has a question: how much of that speech came from guilt over Kenji being dead right? …Just a bit. And there goes Sayaka’s newfound respect.

Kyo also offers to tell Iczer-1 what he knows of Earth, as the information will surely help her. “You’re trying to get a leg up on the competition, too?!” Kenji cries, only to be punched down by Saotome. Not everyone here’s a perv like him.
Still, Iczer-1 is happy with this group of companions and she wants Nagisa to meet them soon.

Ishigami’ll take care of getting here formally added to the team, though Goh does wonder what Lady Une could be up to – he doesn’t see her around. Indeed, she’s headed over to negotiate with NEX, the organization that provides support to the Daiku Maryu team in its battle against the Darius Army.
Goh heard that the Daiku Maryu is still engaging the Darius over by their world – in the underground – so does this mean they’re expected to come back here? Either way, Hyouma likes it as adding those guys to LOTUS would be a major boost to our firepower.

With the situation throughout the world getting progressively direr (bolstered by the appearance of the Cthulhu), NEX’s big ties to major military suppliers makes them a company Ishigami would very much like to get on our side.
Ichitaka can’t help but remember him and Kouichi fanboying over the Daiku Maryu and Gaiking when they first saw them in the news. Where could the guy be now? Hopefully safe, at least…

Rachel is more interested in finding where the Iczer Robo is, as she’d like to service it a bit. Turns out that’s not needed, as the thing is currently in another dimension, regenerating any damage it took. That’s a surprise to Rachel, as that’s pretty much what the Machina do.
Iczer-1 figures the creators of these mechs simply sought similar features – hers WAS designed as something that could operate solo, without any need of maintenance or resupplying. Rachel sees her point, as any scientists that tackle a problem rationally could likely find similar solutions.

That said, Iczer-1’ll be unable to bring out the Robo’s full abilities – that’s only possible when she, Nagisa and the bot are synchronized. And even if she does wake up from her coma, Iczer-1 wonders if she’ll be willing to fight again. With all that in mind, Maki figures it’s best to just keep the thing sealed away for now.
“But don’t you worry! We’ll all be right here to pick up the slack real good!” Boss proclaims heroically and Iczer-1 is very grateful to him (“Whooheehee!”). With that, Shibakusa rounds up all the mechanics and tells them to put their game faces on – they’ve never worked on many of these mechs before, so there’ll be plenty of work.

Ichitaka sees our group getting bigger and bigger, finally taking off for real. Now if they could just find some clue about Grife or Yuu and everything’d be great. They’re both worried about them but our only real option right now is to wait until that painting’s been analyzed in full.
Meanwhile, Ichitaka will keep on training; same goes for Alice, studying to improve as a subpilot and keeping everyone nice and healthy. Ichitaka does remind her to take care of herself too – self-repair or not, she shouldn’t rely too much on it or it might blow up in her face eventually. Hmm, Alice would like to say there aren’t any such deficiencies in her main systems but…

Oops, no more time to sit around as Yamashita says Yagyuu will be handling Ichitaka’s training session today. He better not run late or Saotome’ll give him hell. As he takes off in a hurry, Alice is a bit pensive: “There shouldn’t be anything wrong with my systems… But maybe I’ll go and talk with Mr. Maki or Ms. Rachel when I’ve the time.”

The fun thing about Combattler is Big Blast seems to have picked up a whole bunch of ammo in this game, to make it comparable to Voltes Bazooka. Another robot (well technically two other robots but they’re basically the same thing) also got an ammo upgrade on a typically low ammo attack to match up with a compatriot, and it’s even more cathartic to longtime SRW fans.

That’s technically the Heart Breaker Full Throttle at the end of the mission. It’s basically the same move, so it’s easy to see why you wouldn’t notice… Heart Breaker fires one cylinder, Heart Breaker Full Throttle fires all of them. Full Throttle also does that “show the punch three times” thing, and a few other minor differences.

Godannar is a good way to illustrate a point about something L does, by the way. In essence, every series that carried over from K that wasn’t SEED Destiny now happens much later into the anime. With Jeeg, it starts from Episode… 6, I think, with Godannar it starts on the last episode of Season 1 and the first of Season 2, and with Gaiking… well, it’s a bit later. SEED is the exception because SEED Destiny in K actually started much later into the show itself.

Also, remember - squad leader barely matters in L/UX/BX! The Build Angels are a better leader for their squad than Mazinger. Mazinger Z has 6 Movement and a max P range of 3 in this game, while Build Angel also has 3 P range but it has 8 Movement. Flight also does not avail Mazinger in this game, all it does is make Mazinger better as a Supporter and that only matters for Defense for the most part. In fact, if it couldn’t fly, it’d be ever so slightly better - because then it’d have its leader flying it around while it gets terrain bonuses. What is relevant is that Build Angel gives it A Space, and it starts with B Space, and while L isn’t “if you have B in a terrain and are in that terrain you just die” like K does, it’s still a hindrance. (That’s why Build Angel is good with Borot - Borot NEEDS Flight because some of his attacks aren’t able to hit Air and it NEEDS Space because of its B rank. Also Build Angel has Repair so that’s a 10% health recovery at the start of every turn, while Borot has Resupply so that’s a 10% EN recovery, and the partners both like that.)

EDIT: Also was looking through the SA thread, and while it’s spoilers, Iczer 1/3 are NOT the reason for the whole alternate universe shit. Neither are Combattler/Voltes. No, it’s another series… it’s the linebarrels villains because in the anime they come from another universe and the secret spoiler is they basically took over earth on that world and the frontier crew were unaware of this. That said I like how alternate universe juxtaposition happens between the first half of the Nagahamas and the Iczer partners and stuff. It’s neat.