When Lovecraft Meets Three Kingdoms and Pop Music: Super Robot Wars UX

strategy
screenshot
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informative

#1

What game is this?
Super Robot Wars (SRW) UX was the first game of the series to be released on the Nintendo 3DS 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.
UX is a rather complicated game, mind; for starters, it’s on 3DS with its inane region lock, meaning the only way to play this was to either outright buy a Japanese 3DS, wipe your console clear and switch its region, or mod it to get around the lock. In short, picking up and playing the game was not going to happen.
Thankfully, there are now simpler ways of getting around that issue, and what you’ll find here is pretty much a game that further expands on L’s formula.

And it also has a few rough edges: being Banpresto’s first venture into the 3DS, the graphical quality can vary from impressive to middling. That said, the sound selection is, in my opinion, excellent, and it’s got some very fine moments courtesy of its unorthodox cast list (most of it, at least).
Oh, and it should be noted, another consequence of their inexperience with the 3DS is BUGS! UX is one of the buggiest SRW games to date (if not the most) and while some aren’t that bothersome, others are much more so. We’ll get to those soon…

Why LP this game?
If L wasn’t very well-known, UX’s difficulty of access has made it nigh-untouched for quite the while after its release. And it shows, as there are no FAQs for it, much less anything even resembling a somewhat detailed plot summary – the only resources available for info are either Japanese wikis or the ever-useful Akurasu.
This game’s always interested me and it was only recently that I could actually play it, so I figured I’d take it upon myself to showcase its story as I go along!

What series can be found here?
UX brings a few regular faces back from previous games, but that’s where the similarities end. In truth, when the list was first released, many of us thought it was a fake. It wasn’t:

  • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny
  • Beast Machine Armor Dancouga Nova
  • Macross Frontier the movie: The False Songstress + The Wings of Goodbye
  • Linebarrels of Iron (the manga)
  • Roar of the Machine God Demonbane
  • Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor + Heaven and Earth
  • Wings of Rean
  • Ninja Warrior Tobikage
  • Aura Battler Dunbine
  • Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer
  • SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors
  • Mazinkaiser SKL
  • HEROMAN
  • Cyber Troopers Virtual-On – Fei-Yen HD

Ain’t that something?

How will you play this game?
Well, since there are no summaries available, I’ll once again cook one up from scratch. I’ll usually follow whatever names I find in wikis to keep in line with previous translation works, unless I see something being horribly mistranslated.
I will TRY to update at least once per week but don’t hold me to that. There’s only so much time in the day, so things will usually be posted whenever possible. I usually keep a steady pace, but you can never be sure.

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

And, as a public service, here’s the 100%’d save file, for anyone looking to start a game with all secrets unlocked. The save you’re looking for is the one in slot #1.

Mission list:

Prologue

Act 1 - In the End of Wilds

Mission 1 - Beginning

Mission 2 - Encounter

Mission 3 - I Am Providence

Mission 4 - The Wings Have Landed

Mission 5 - The Legendary Ninja

Mission 6 - Iron, Boy, Champion of Justice

Mission 6 - Route Split

Mission 7 (JUDA Route) - The Price of Justice

Mission 8 (JUDA Route) - Beacon For Tomorrow

Mission 7 (Celestial Being Route) - The Trailblazer

Mission 8 (Celestial Being Route) - On Your Dream

Mission 9 - Death Caprice

Mission 10 - Stratagems That Take the World by Storm

Mission 11 - The Uninvited

Mission 12 - The King of Hojo

Mission 13 - Pledge ~ Promise

Mission 13 - Route Split

Misson 14 (America Route) - I, Robot

Mission 15 (America Route) - The Invaders

Mission 16 (America Route) - Alive

Mission 17 (America Route) - Separation ~ Friends

Mission 14 (Japan Route) - The Black Executor

Mission 15 (Japan Route) - Separation ~ Friends

Mission 16 (Japan Route) - A Compromising Soul

Mission 17 (Japan Route) - Time Ebbs Away

Mission 14 (Europe Route) - Search and Kill

Mission 15 (Europe Route) - Operation Overlord

Mission 16 (Europe Route) - Separation ~ Friends

Mission 17 (Europe Route) - Heart of Diva

Mission 18 - Blood is Spilled, Tears are Shed

Mission 19 - Judgment at Dusk

Mission 20 - Rupture ~ Crossing Paths

Mission 21 - Welcome Home ~ Friends

Mission 22 - Super Nova - Part 1

Mission 22 - Super Nova - Part 2

Act 2 - Vagabond Blues

Mission 23 - The False Songstress

Mission 24 - A wakening

Mission 25 - Life ~ Awakening

Mission 26 - The Shadow Over Innsmouth

Mission 26 - Route Split

Mission 27 (Byston Well Route) - The Overworlders’ Aura Power

Mission 28 (Byston Well Route) - A King’s Schemes

Mission 27 (Surface Route) - Fading Pain

Mission 28 (Surface Route) - A Moment’s Encounter

Mission 29 - Lantern ~ Light

Mission 30 - Grand Quickening

Mission 31 - Final Count

Mission 32 - Big “C”

Mission 32 - Route Split

Mission 33 (Arkham City Route) - The Crow

Mission 33 (Vajra Route) - The Hour of Dialogue

Mission 34 - Advance to the Beginning

Mission 35 - Choice ~ Decision

Mission 35 - “Route Split”

Mission 36 - The Conqueror Chosen by the Heavens / The Hero Chosen by the Heavens

Mission 37 - The Living

Mission 38 - The Sakimori

Mission 39 - Azure ~ Sky

Mission 40 - Tempest of Cherry Blossoms

Act 3 - Someday, Life Together

Mission 41 - Reunion ~ Misao

Mission 41 - Route Split

Mission 42 (Tatsumiya Route) - The Dragon’s Radiance

Mission 43 (Tatsumiya Route) - Singularity

Mission 42 (Union Route) - Resurrection

Mission 43 (Union Route) - The Return of the Sorcerer

Mission 44 - Faith

Mission 45 - Judas - Part 1

Mission 45 - Judas - Part 2

Mission 46 - A Beautiful Dystopia

Mission 47 - Heaven and Earth

Mission 48 - The Future Dialogue

Mission 49 - The End of the Invasion

Mission 50 - The Wings of Goodbye

Mission 51 - Strange Eons

Mission 52 - The Beginning of Life

Extra: Save Skits

Ye Olde Super Robot Discotheque

1) Macross Frontier

2) Gundam SEED Destiny

3) Fafner in the Azure

4) Banpresto Originals

5) HEROMAN

6) Gundam 00: Awakening of the Trailblazer

7) Roar of the Machine God Demonbane

8) Ninja Warrior Tobikage

9) Linebarrels of Iron

10) SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors

11) Mazinkaiser SKL

12) Beast Machine Armor Dancouga Nova

13) Wings of Rean

14) Cyber Troopers Virtual-On – Fei-Yen HD

15) Aura Battler Dunbine


Robot 101 is essential curriculum - Let's Play Super Robot Wars L
#2
Click to see the mission


Gather at the beginning…


:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk
We open up at the Frontier Fleet, where Sheryl Nome, the Galactic Fairy, has just kicked off her concert. Ranka (with the green hair), standing in the crowd, is so very excited, but Alto and Michel (glasses) are hard at work. They got hired to perform some flying acrobatics and Michel tells him to make it good – screw up, and being tagged as amateurs will be the least of their problems. Alto is insulted he even considered that a possibility.
Ranka spots the two of them flying up top and silently wishes her friends good luck as they begin their routine.


Outside, though, things are a lot worse: the Frontier’s New UN Spacy (NUNS) soldiers have been engaged and are getting wrecked by creatures IDed as Vajra. Howard Glass, president of the Frontier Fleet, was apparently expecting this to happen eventually.


Still, this attack, so soon after Sheryl’s arrival, doesn’t strike Howard as a coincidence. His aide, and totally not a bad guy, Leon Mishima, asks if he suspects foul play from the Galaxy Fleet.
Indeed, and Howard figures they should carry on with their investigation on both the Vajra and them as well.


Back inside, the crowd and Ranka are loving the acrobatics. Sheryl is decently impressed and decides to make things a bit more interesting – by jumping right off her flying stage. It falls on Alto to blast on over and catches her before she splatters against the ground.
Ranka’s blown away, but Alto is less than chipper: what the hell was Sheryl thinking?! “Can’t you tell? It’s called entertainment,” she quips. And what would have happened if he didn’t make it in time?! Not only would she be a red smear on the ground, she’d probably have fallen onto some of her audience as well!

Why, but wasn’t he the one who, at rehearsal, told her not to sell him and his crew short? Sheryl wanted to see for herself how well he could actually fly. Oh, and by the by, she had a Gas Jet Cluster (read: jetpack) hidden under her outfit the whole time. She wasn’t about to put her life in the hands of an amateur, of course!
Alto lies stunned and Sheryl prepares for her next act…


Or maybe not: an explosion rocks the Island and the PA starts yelling, telling all civilians to get to the nearest shelter immediately. Sheryl’s not amused – her show’s JUST started – but them’s the breaks.
As Alto wonders what the hell is going on, Michel tells Luca that the SMS has just sent an order for emergency scramble. Alto’s not in on the take, though, and looks on in confusion as his two schoolmates run off.


Outside again, the NUNS are getting trounced and the Frontier’s final defense perimeter has just been breached. Thankfully, the SMS Squadron is on the scene: Ozma Lee, the flight lead, tells the NUNS to break off and let them handle the enemy.
Canaria (headband) tags the enemy as Code Victor and is surprised at their appearance – still, they must find a way to stop the things here and now.


Klan Klang’s on hand as well, and not about to let these monsters get any of their claws on the Frontier Fleet. Time to go, then, as Ozma calls for Formation Seventh Moon!


“Code Victor… I won’t let that tragedy repeat itself…!”


The battle’s growing worse by the second, and Alto is about to grab Sheryl and take her to a shelter, when she stops him. “I hear something… Whose voice is that?” Sheryl wonders.
Alto yells at her to quit daydreaming and come with him quick – can’t he hear this voice? What voice?! “Gather… at the beginning…?”


Gather at the beginning…

Tweeep.

: …?! What was that I just felt…?! (Kazuki)
: Hrm! We’ve been found…?! (Makabe)
: General alert. All islanders are to evacuate to your assigned shelters.
: (Huh? What’s going on…?) (Mamoru)
: Did it just tell us to evacuate…? (Sakura)
: This… isn’t a drill…? (Koyo)


Location: ALVIS – 1st CDC

: All systems online. Target is growing. (Yumiko)
: Give me an exact measure of its mass. Sound the red alert and switch us to level 3 battle stations! (Kozo)
: All hands, switch to level 3 battle stations! (Kaname)
: The Festum show themselves at long last…! (Cagalli)
: I am so very sorry, Rep. Athha. None of us expected this to happen precisely on the day of your inspection…
: Pay it no mind, Cmdr. Minashiro. We’ve known for the past 30 years that the Festum would reappear eventually.
: Was it not precisely in preparation for this day that we’ve our Mobile Suits and the Arcadian Project?
: But your nation of Orb is…
: We may have a policy of permanent neutrality, but that does not mean we’ll sit by when enemies of all mankind start attacking.
: Alex, are Shinn and Lunamaria ready?
: Yes. They’re good to go on your order.
: Ready to deploy the Welle Shield. Disabling mirror camouflage!
: We’ll deploy our MSs as the camouflage goes down. Is that fine with you, Cmdr.?
: Yes, and I thank you for the assistance!
: Target is in visual range. The Festum’s materializing!

: …
: ?! Th-That’s… a Festum! (Soushi)
: A Sphinx type…!
: It’s so pretty…
: Indeed, but beauty does not mean it is a friend to mankind.
: Destiny, Impulse! Launch and engage!

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: … Psh, so much for a walk around paradise. (Kazuki Shinn)
: We’re not here on tourism, you know. We’re supposed to be escorting the Representative during her inspection, remember? (Lunamaria)
: Fine, fine! We just need to drop that thing, right? I’m going in, Luna!

: I missed…! Did it anticipate my attack?!
: … there?
: ?! Wh-What voice was that?
: Are you there…?
: It’s speaking…?! Th-This is…!
: Don’t answer! It’ll destroy your mind!
: Wh-What…?!
: Shinn, Lunamaria! The enemy can read your thoughts! Be careful before you attack or you’ll just be wearing yourselves down!
: Hrm… Fine, no more holding anything back!

: Back me up, Luna!
: O-Okay!


Take out the Sphinx A-Type, don’t lose anyone. Nice and easy, though, as Cagalli said, the Festum are actually rather dodgy and accurate due to their mind-reading abilities – even with Focus and SEED running, Shinn’ll be getting less-than-impressive numbers!


Destiny Gundam (Shinn Asuka)
Pilot Skills:
SEED - +10% damage dealt, +20% to dodge and hit rates. Activates at 130 morale.
Support Attack (援護攻撃) L1 – when an ally starts an attack adjacent to a unit with this skill, that unit can join in with a follow-up attack (range and ammo/EN limitations apply), with more accuracy but with less attack power.
Support Defense (援護防御) L1 – same, but the adjacent unit will come in and take the incoming enemy hit for the original target.
Spirit Commands:
Focus (集中) - +30% to hit and evasion rates for one turn.
Fighting Spirit (闘志) – the next attack is guaranteed to be a critical hit
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Beam Shield – when shield defense triggers, further reduce the damage of Beam attacks.
Variable Phase Shift (VPS) Armor – all damage, except from Beam weapons, reduced by 2000. Costs 10 EN per activation.
Hyper Deuterion Engine – restores 10% max EN at the start of every player phase
High Speed Evasion - upwards of 45% chance to outright dodge an incoming attack, determined by difference between pilot and enemy’s Skill stat. Activates over 130 morale.
Squad Bonus: Crit +10, Mobility +5 (Crit +20, Mobility +20, S rank in Space)
Voice Actor: Kenichi Suzumura (other roles: Demyx in KH, Eiji in Gravion, Cayenne in Aquarion EVOL, and a ton more.)

Shinn, as always, is quite the reliable unit. He’s got good stats where it matters and the Destiny’s pretty dang good (even if it cannot use its best trick right now); a bit EN hungry as you go for bigger moves, but that’s somewhat offset by its EN regen.
With the Destiny’s good firepower, survivability from all its abilities, and Shinn’s SEED-boosted piloting, you’ll be very well served for the entire game. He’ll even get better as we go along, so there’s objectively no major reason not to use him unless you simply don’t WANT to.

And FYI, the Squad Bonus is like that because I’m playing on NG++ (only way to get all secrets in a single run as secrets obtained in a previous game keep their flags raised in NG+). Unlike in L, where you only got two boosts to your bonus at 50% and 100% unit upgrade, UX allows for 3 boosts by upgrading to 50/100% and/or when the pilot has 100 and 200 kills.
Thus, even with the Destiny’s at baseline upgrades, my Shinn’s at 380 kills, so he’s already at the tier 3 Squad Bonus. More power for me!


Force Impulse Gundam (Lunamaria Hawke)
Pilot Skills:
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Gain (努力) – doubles the exp earned from the next battle
Invincible (不屈) – damage taken from next attack reduced to 10.
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Anti-Beam Shield
VPS Armor
Squad Bonus: Mobility and Accuracy +5 (Mobility and accuracy +20, movement +2, A rank in Space)
Voice Actress: Maaya Sakamoto (other roles: Jeanne in Fate/GO, Lightning in FFXIII, Lal’c in Diebuster and so much more)

Same as Shinn and the Destiny, only worse in every way - the Impulse WAS Shinn’s old unit. Luna’s notoriously low accuracy seems to be absent in this game, as her stats are actually decent enough. She’s worse than Shinn on all accounts, but she can hold her own well enough (especially with the Squad Bonus boosting her mobility and accuracy).
Like the Destiny, the Impulse’s built as a jack-of-all-trades and despite the Minerva’s absence (Talia and Rey are long dead in this game), it can still use the Cerberus and Excalibur attacks just fine. As with Shinn, Luna’ll get better as the game goes along, but she’s certainly a lot closer to the bench than that one is.
Still, this might just be Luna’s strongest appearance and you can certainly deploy her if you’d like.


Two things to note when fighting Festum and they’re both related to their abilities. The first one, that Cagalli warned us about, is Mind Read: it goes up to L4 and what it does is correct the final hit/evasion numbers by X% depending on the skill level. L1 is 30%, L2 is 40%, then 50% and 80% at L4. This Sphinx, our very first enemy? It has L4. Luna is NOT going to hit this guy without some major save scumming or luck.
Secondly, and even more important, all Festum have the Assimilation skill. Have you played with Basara and the Vajra in the Z series? It works like that. If a Festum tags you with anything, the target’s morale will be reduced; and if that pushes it below a threshold, the Festum will assimilate that unit, restoring its HP and EN and taking the target off the field.
The threshold changes with the skill level, too: L1 is 90, L2 is 100, L3 is 120 (!). Be very careful when engaging Festum with your Super Robots, especially early in battles when they haven’t had a chance to build up morale.

Oh, and it also regens HP and EN at 20%, so have fun with that.


For those unfamiliar, the unit menu’s options are, in order: move unit, attack, land/fly/submerge (when applicable), spirit commands (spell that you cast for various effects, consuming a portion of your total SP), status.
Other options may appear as we progress, such as combine with another spot, retreat a unit, exchange squad members, etc.


After you’re done moving, you’ll usually on have two options available: attack, or stand by (in that order.
Now, for reasons you’ll see in a few turns, we’ll want to start wearing down the Sphinx ASAP. Since Luna’s not doing much with this one, it falls on Shinn to bust out his big move and get to work.

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: What the hell kind of enemy is this?! How can it read my mind…?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzA3B6RYXUw
I actually lucked out and triggered his High Speed Evasion. Very nice.
The RNG is on my side on the enemy phase, as while the Festum manages to connect (Luna support defends), Shinn get another good hit in.

The next turn over, however…

: Hrgh…!

: Mobile Suits and the Burg #3 are under fire! The hangar’s been damaged!
: Things aren’t looking good… Those may be aces from the Second Alliance-PLANTs War, but a Festum is no ordinary enemy…
: Awakening the giant may be the only way we’ll survive this…!
: You don’t mean the Fafner?! But piloting that thing—
: I’m well aware of what one boarding the Fafner means, representative.
: Cmdr. Minashiro…!
: Father, I’ll do it! I’ll deploy the Fafner!
: Soushi… you already have a job to do, no? Something no one else can.
: ?! The Siegfried System…?!
: Are you ready for it, Soushi…?
: …Yes, sir!
: Recent analysis has deemed Kazuki Makabe as the one most suited to receive the Fafner… it’s your son, Fumihiko. May we proceed…?
: …
: Ready the Fafner. Stand by for activation!

: …
: Alex, I need you to contact them
: ?! Cagalli, are you…!
: We don’t have any other choice if we want to get through this one…
: But are you sure? If word gets out that you contacted them neither the Federation nor the Big Three nations will take it sitting down.
: That doesn’t matter. Order UX-E9… commissioned by Cagalli Yula Athha.
: Understood…!


Back outside, we’re still trading blows with the Festum. By the end of its turn, the thing’s on its last legs, which is perfect.


Location: ALVIS – Fafner’s Burg

: That’s…!
: The Fafner.
: “Fafner”…?
: In legends, it was a giant who turned into a dragon to guard his treasure. Its name was now inherited by the machine we built to face the Festum.
: Piloting it is the only way to fight without them reading your mind. And we want you to protect this island with it.
: …?! What are you, crazy?! I can’t do something like that!
: Yes, you can! Your body can merge with the Fafner… and I’m sure you realize that!
: …!
: I’d do it myself if I could, but…!
: …
: You…
: Hm…?
: You really think I can do this…?
: … Yes. Trust me.
: Okay…

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La
I really like Angela…

: Kazuki, are you standing by? I’m engaging the Nibelung.
: Nibelung…?

Stabbed everywhere!

: GWAAAAAARGH! Wh-What’re these plugs?!
: They’re what give you a direct link to the Fafner. Nibelung activation confirmed engaged…
: Siegfried System, connected!

Soushi materializes next to Kazuki.

: Huh…?! Soushi, what’re you doing here…?!
: Our visual and auditory cortexes have been crossed. While you’re inside the Fafner and I’m in the Siegfried System, our neurons are directly interlinked. Now try opening your eyes.
: My eyes…?
: Right. The Fafner’s eyes are your eyes. I want you to focus only on merging yourself together with the Fafner.
: Hmm… I-I can see!
: Let’s get going, then…! Open the 11th Gate of Neidhöhle! Fafner Mark Elf, launching!

: That’s…!
: The Fafner… the giant christened with a name of legend!
: Wh… Just what is going on?! (Shouko)
: We can think about it later! Come on! We gotta get to the shelter! (Maya)
: R-Right…

Kazuki moves forward.

: The Fafner Mark Elf has reached the surface!
: Wait, is it unarmed?! Why isn’t it equipped with any weapons?!

Beep

: This is Burg #3 speaking. The enemy’s bombardment struck the container storing its weapons! (Tamotsu)
: We can’t get the hatch to open without someone controlling it manually!
: Understood. I’ll go and deploy the weapons! Fumihiko, take care of things here!

Runs off.

: H-Hey! Kozo!

: Urgh! My… my body isn’t moving the way I want…!
: What the hell is that guy doing?!
: Kazuki, watch out! The Festum’s incoming!

The Sphinx gets right on the Fafner’s face!

: ?! U-UWAAAAAAAAH!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qwFicOGSo5Y
Soushi: “Remember the way you felt just now, Kazuki!”

: …!
: Haah… haah… it moved…!
: Yes, very good. Feel the Fafner itself! Make it part of you!

: What…?!
: Grendel types…?! Did the Fafner’s activation attract them?!
: Wh-What should I…?
: Calm down, Kazuki! The Grendel types by themselves shouldn’t be all that powerful!
: Work together with the MSs and take them down one by one. Can you do that?!
: Y-Yeah, got it! I’ll get it done!


Fafner Mark Elf (Kazuki Makabe)
Pilot Skills:
Synergetic Code (シナジェティック・コード) L3 – increases hit and evasion %.
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Focus
Sense (直感) – casts Strike and Alert once (respectively, 100% hit rate for one turn, and 100% chance to dodge the next attack)
Mech Features:
Gun
Siegfried System – sets Soushi as a subpilot for all Fafner units with this (current spirit list: Accelerate (加速), Alert (ひらめき), Strike (必中))
Squad Bonus: Mobility +5, Crit rate +10 (mobility +20, crit +20, movement +2)
Kazuki’s Voice Actor: Makoto Ishii (other roles: Crash Bandicoot (!), Masumi in Future Diary and a few others)
Soushi’s Voice Actor: Kohei Kiyasu (Kaoru in Prince of Tennis, Ippo in Hajime no Ippo and some others)

Shinn’s twin brother is, as a protagonist, a great unit who’ll only get better and better as the game progresses. The Mark Elf doesn’t have a lot going right now but it’ll get there.
And Kazuki’s stats good enough all around, and having Soushi provide all those nice spirits will certainly make him able to take care of himself, which is great news because Kazuki’s kill count is tied to two whole secrets.

But that’s not all you have to do, of course:

:siren: Secret Alert :siren:
Fafner Secret #1 - 1st Step: have Kazuki shoot down the Sphinx Festum (this has to be done by turn 5)

Did you think L had too few secrets? Someone at BP obviously did because UX has a ton of them, and we’ll be getting them all (just shoot me now).
This first one is simple enough, provided you knew it was coming and made sure Shinn got the Festum all nice and weakened. The Mark Elf, at most, will do around 2300 damage on the thing with its best weapon, so get to work.

NG++ means I never need to worry about cash, so we’ll just use Shinn and Luna to drop a couple of Grendels and move to kill the Sphinx before it has a chance to regen.

: It’ll be alright, just stay calm…! This one’s gonna be a bull’s eye – and that’s a promise!


Good work, Luna.


And that’s step one done! :toot:

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens
The Mark Elf has a different battle BGM, but I’m so changing it to Shangri-La.

: Can… Can I actually beat something like this?!
: Yes, you’ll be fine. You… rather, we can beat them!
: ! Soushi…!
: Let’s go, Kazuki!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnicOstGyq0
Bam.

Wooommmm.

: I-It’s—!
: Damn, it wants to assimilate the Fafner!
: Shinn, get that thing away from him!
: I’m on it! Haaaaaaah!

Shinn blasts towards the Sphinx.

: Are you there…?
: What…?!

Crick, crack.

: U-UWAAAAAAAAAH!
: Shinn…?!
: Th-The Destiny’s… breaking apart?!
: Shinn! Hang in there!
: Damn it, what do I do now, Soushi?!

Beep!

: Kazuki, use the railgun!
: ?! You’re Soushi’s dad!
: I’m launching the weapon over to you! Time it right and take out the Festum with a single shot!

: Rrrgh…!
: Father!
: It’s in your hands… Kazuki… Soushi!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwMoc_FfT9E

: Is it done…?!

Alarm

: No, target’s alive and still growing in mass!
: What…?!

: Are you there?
: Damn it, it’s not moving! What’s going on, Soushi?!
: I don’t know! Your monitors just cut off! Retreat, Kazuki!
: I-It’s not that easy…! GAAAAAAAAAH!
: KAZUKIIII!

: …?!
: Wh-Who…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Roaring Deathblow
:black101:

: Target sighted. Beginning operation.

: What… What unit is that…?!

: We’ll end him in one fell swoop. Ready the Hell Stringer!
: ?! But that’s…!
: We’re dealing with a Festum here. You understand that, don’t you…?
: … Roger that. Lepton Vectrers, synchro-overdrive engaged. (No, it’s not Lepton Vector. It’s written as ベクトラー, whereas Vector would be ベクター)
: Synchronization coefficient 97, 98… Pressure set, safety lock released! Eat this!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBgCoPQupz0
[i]Captions are available.
The OGs this time around are all about making Hissatsu Shigotonin references, and we already have three in here: Roaring Deathblow’s a remix of the main theme, Richard’s final line is one of the MC’s most famous quotes, and Hell Stringer’s a recreation of a move from the series.

It should be noted, as you’ll see in this video, that while Citra can run the game just fine 90% of the time, it’s still not perfect. On occasion, we may see a slight slowdown for a split second at the start of the video (possibly while it loads all the dialogue).
The rest plays well, though, so it didn’t seem enough reason to cut out videos altogether.[/i]

: Target’s destruction confirmed. Lepton Vectrers’ output is stable. Major…!
: Haah… haah… I-I’m fine. And we shouldn’t stay any more than we need to…!
: Y-Yes, sir. Retreating from the frontlines!

: All targets have been destroyed…
: What units were those…?!
: (Right in the nick of time, Unknown Xtrikers…!)

:siren: SRW UX - Prologue
This BGM isn’t accessible on the sound selector, so I don’t think it has an official name. It’s still a pretty nice tune!

: Hrgh…! Th-They saved us…?
: Kazuki! Are you alright?!
(Kazuki): …
: Kazuki, hang in there!


Life… It is doubt. It is joy. And it is confusion.


When people become wise to all, they realize that the world has limits. That their powers are limited… That they must someday awaken from their dream.

: MWAHAHAHA! I have you now, Princess Romina! Now you get to die like the fool you are for opposing Emperor Annex! (Grathan)

: Gaaaaaah! E-Engine output dropping! We’re not gonna make it…! (Gameran)
: Hrm…! Damn you, The Boom Army! (Ylbora.)

I understand that Zaboom is also a widely used translation for the Tobikage baddies but, one, the JP Wiki has it written as The Boom, two, I saw a couple of English sites writing it like that as well, and, three, I really, REALLY want it to be The Boom. I’m going for it and you can’t stop me!

: We are left with no choice… Ylbora, ready a warp towards Earth! (Romina)
: Your Highness! Going through a warp hole in the middle of battle is insane!
: And even if we successfully make it across, there’s no guarantee we’ll find the legendary ninja on Earth…
: No… I believe in the words of my father, Ladorio VII!
: Please, let us warp to Earth!
: Very well, Your Highness… if you are that certain, then…
: Gameran, give me full power on the engine!
: B-But… the amount of kylhasium we’ve left is–!
: Is irrelevant! Do it!
: R-Roger that!

: That light…! They’re actually going to try warping away?!
: Kch, you’re not escaping! After them! We’ll hunt them to the rim of the galaxy and back if we have to!

: (?! Is that… a voice…?)


Gather at the beginning…

: ?! The Dunbine?!
: Prepare yourself, Shot Weapon! (Marvel. And I swear that, yes, that’s the guy’s name.)

: Guh…! B-Blast you…!
: I-I did it! I got him…!
: …?! That was… Musy?! No, it wasn’t… whose voice is that?!

: Marvel, are you alright?! (Shou)
: Shou… Was that voice…? Cham…?
: What are you talking about?! I’m right here with him!
: Marvel, you need to stay strong!
: Hah…hahah… Jeez… You can’t even tell when someone just wants to be comforted…?

: MARVEEEEEEL!!

: Ahahaha! There you are, Shou Zama!
: Burn Bunnings!

Burn charges after Shou.

: What have you ever gained from wallowing in all that hate?!
: Power and cunning! And with those, victory shall be mine…!
: I will not kill another man! Rather, what I’ll kill is that hate…!

: Urgh…!
: Shou…?! What was that voice…?!

: Hrk…! Ci-Ciela Lapana…!
: PURIFY US!!


Gather at the beginning…

: Hah… I see. You two covet the heavens as well! (Cao Cao.)
: Nay! It is only the will of the people who commands the heavens! (Liu Bei)
: The will of the people…?
: Aye! The prayers of all those who desire peace! (Sun Quan)
: The will of those who call Mirisha their home compel even the very heavens!

: I acknowledge the strength and conviction you possess!
: However, I shan’t bow before them!

: We cannot allow him to prevail…! In the name…!
: Of all life in Mirisha!

: RAAAAAAAAAARGH!!

Craaaash.


If there is a tomorrow, what will it grant us?


For the sake of all who dwell in this universe…


Oh, possibilities, gather at the beginning that will lead to the future.


Act 1 – In the End of Wilds


#3

Holy cow, that series list. o.o

Following this, if only to see what kind of absurd mess the plot becomes.


#4
Click to see the mission!


We now find ourselves in the intermission menu, but there’s nothing for us to do here just yet.
We’ll see what each option entails soon enough.


We do, however, get to name out protagonist: Agnès “Arnie” Berge. Now, I do understand that that first name is a woman’s name, but that’s the only way I found アニエス could be read! We’ll just stick to Arnie and be done with it.


And like in previous games, when you’re in NG+, you get to pick the protag’s spirit list. I just kept what my brother used when he ran through this because I’m lazy like that: Focus, Accelerate, Sense, Drive, Soul.


We open up at the Earth Federation’s California base, where newly reassigned test pilots Arnie Berge and Jin Spencer (blue) present themselves to the base’s vice-commander, Ronin Sanada.
When Ronin asks, Jin says they’ve already been briefed on their assignment: test the prototypes that’re slated to become the Federation’s newest mainline unit.


That’s close enough, but a woman nearby says that, to put it more precisely, their job is to test said units’ – the Riots – optional gear. She is Prof. Novel Dylan, the scientist responsible for the Riots’ development.
She’ll be coordinating with Arnie and Jin in today’s test, and has done a bit of research on them. Apparently, the two pilots were famous as a duo of rivals constantly vying for the spot of top ace of the military academy. She expects good work from them.
Arnie stammers that she gives him too much credit – despite their “rivalry”, he was always second best. Novel isn’t so sure, as the reports indicate he’s a better hand at melee combat than Jin is. “Yes, well, that’s about the exception to the rule…” Arnie sighs. Novel appreciates his modesty, if anything.

Now, Jin has a quick question he’d like to ask: what can she tell them about this Proton Generator the Riots’ spec notes mentioned? It’s essentially an engine powered by accelerated particles – really cutting-edge stuff, and far more powerful than anything the current mobile weapons have.
Arnie’s surprised they’re letting them handle such amazing units. Truth be told, Ronin says that rookies like them would normally never be allowed near the things, but Novel was very insistent that the two of them got the job.
She’s read their records and their numbers spoke for themselves, so is it any surprise she wanted to see how they’d do with her units? Arnie is very flattered.


And with that done, based on analyses of their skillsets, Jin will be taking the Riot Archer Type (focus on long range), and Arnie will take the melee-oriented Battler Type. Ronin won’t be overseeing the tests, but hopes they’ll make good on their vaunted skills.
When Arnie asks, Ronin says that he received a summons from the New York HQ the other day and needs to speak as a witness before the Federal Parliament. Witness? There was an incident at Mars, and an old friend of his… No, never mind, this is not their problem.
Back to the business at hand: they’ll be running their tests at Center City, and they’d best not disappoint! Yes, sir!

: The vice-commander’s surprisingly young, huh? I was expecting to find an old man waiting for us.
: That’s one way of putting it. Maj. Ronin’s actually younger than us.
: Really?
: Yeah; getting picked as vice-commander for a whole base at age 18 is pretty impressive, eh? His dad’s a major player in the Federation government, too.
: Talent, connections, money… goes to show that we’ve got some bona fide elites out there.
: Elite, huh…
: What about that professor, Novel? I got the feeling that she’s quite the elite too.
: Oh, what’s this? That dame there caught your eye?
: Wh-What makes you think that? I didn’t even say any—… I mean, you’re being disrespectful to the professor!
: Hahahah, chill – I’m just messing with ya. But, in any case, this test today’s our chance to make it big in the army.
: Yeah, you’re right. Apparently, if we do this right, we might just get drafted for the Federation’s ace platoon.
: You serious? A couple of nobodies like us getting bumped to Top Gun status just like that?!
: And if we did, we could even get to work side-by-side with Maj. Graham Aker…
: Doesn’t hurt to dream big, right? Now, how about we get going and take our first step towards that “Top Gun status”?
: Hell, yeah!


Over by Center City, school’s just ended and Joey tells Lina that he’s headed over to Prof. Denton’s place. Well, is he free at the weekend? Lina’s got tickets for the Celestial Being movie and wonders if he wants to come with.
His weekends are also busy, with both his part-time job and helping at his house… and surely Lina could find much better company than him for that. The girl huffs that he’s being silly, but…


Things are interrupted when Will shows up and tells the kid to back off. He hates losers and doesn’t want him anywhere near his sister! Lina protests that she’s the one to called out to Joey, but Will isn’t listening. Moreover, Nick (Will’s toady) notes that Joey belongs to wholly different world from the rest of them. He’d best call it quits and forget about Lina.
Will punctuates that with a punch to the kid.


Thankfully, Psy is on hand to stop things and tells Will to step away from Joey, which actually stops the bully short. Granted, Psy needs crutches to get around, and while Nick figures the guy couldn’t do jack against them, Will does as told. Mind, he also tells Joey to keep away from Lina and drags her off.
As they leave, Psy checks up on Joey and, yes, he’s fine. He appreciates the help, though it’s not like this doesn’t happen every day. “Then you gotta start fighting back some, man. They do it because you let them,“ Psy says.
Sure, that’s easy to say but what can Joey do? For one, he doesn’t like fighting, and, two, he’s a weak kid. Oi, the kid’s too nice for his own good. Either way, Joey dropped a package when it all went down and Psy goes and grabs it.


Inside, there’s this little toy robot. Joey found it broken and dumped in a trash can, but he figured he could fix it. And Psy can see that the kid’s already done a lot restoring it – by himself, even – which goes to show that, at least with this kind of stuff, Joey’s the man.
Does it have a name? Sure, Joey’s christened it “Heroman” which is pretty cool with Psy.


Cut to Prof. Denton’s lab, Joey delivers all the stuff the guy asked him to buy, but the professor quickly beckons him and Psy closer – he’s finally done it! Denton’s pretty hyped, and how could he not? All these years of research have resulted in success, at long last: he’s managed to establish contact with an intelligent alien race!
As Joey and Psy gape, Denton looks back on the road traveled: how he had to calculate the location of planets that could potentially house intelligent life, how he, despite the myriad failures, piled on with the research, perfecting his microwave transmitter, and, now, he’s finally succeeded! Yaaaay, congratulations!

Denton offers to show them the answer he got to his signal and flips a switch: “Gather… at the beginning…” Sounds like a woman speaking, but their celebration’s interrupted when there’s an explosion not far from where they are!
Psy sets out to see what’s going on outside.


Mission 1 – Beginning


x3

: Wh-What the hell are those…?!

: A-a-a-are y-y-y-ou?
: We aRE the Skrugg. Are yoU tHe ONe who contacted our PLAnet?
: …?! Yes, that was me! Does this mean you received my message and traveled all the way here?!
: YeS. It is aLL thaNKS to yOUr TrAnsmissION.
: Oh, wonderful! Then allow me to bid you welcome as a representative of the people of Earth!
: Thaaat is Not NEcesSAry. BecaUSE we… we… we-e-e-e…
: Because we will be wiping this planet from the face of the universe.
: Wha—!
: What… did you say…?!
: You, the representatives of the Earthlings, are coming with us.
: Your minds will provide us with much useful information. And if you resist…

: Waah!
: Lina! What’re you doing here?!
: I was worried about you, so I came back. And then…!
: So there was another one? Good. You can never have too many samples.
: What the… these things wanna invade Earth?!
: Get back, kids!
: P-Professor?!
: Th-This is my fault! I must… I must do something about it! Daaaaaah!!

Denton runs up to the Skrugg… and gets walloped aside.

: Gwargh!
: Professor!
: Hmph! It’s useless for you feeble Earthlings to try and oppose us. Now stand down and come with us.
: N-No! Get away from me!
: Damn it! Let her go!
: (Wh-What am I supposed to do…?! They’re gonna take everyone!)
: If you have to take anyone, take me! The kids don’t have anything to do with this!
: (If… If only I was more like my dad… a hero, who could protect others…!)
: (I need more power… just enough to keep them safe!)
: …

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette
:dance: :dance:

: Aah?!
: …
: Wh-Whaat?!
: That toy robot… It got all huge after that lightning hit it! (3m tall! :v: )
: Heroman… is that you…?
: …!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLxXWgmD32o
“Go and beat those aliens, Heroman!”

: What… What in blazes?!
: …
: Heroman’s alive…?! Wow… Wow! My Heroman… he’s…!
: Wh-What is that robot?! And what’s that on your arm, Joey…?
: Aah…? Heroman’s controller’s fused with my arm?!
: Y-You sniveling Earthlings! Now you’ll feel our full might!
: Wh-Watch out, Heroman!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhH62cKDt2g

: Huh? A barrier came out of the controller? And how did I move that fast…? Since when do I have powers like this?!
: Joey, you…
: …
: Alright… Come on, Heroman! We’ll protect everyone together!
: Heroman… GOOOO!!


Destroy everything without losing any friendlies. This one’s much simpler than the past mission, as the Skrugg don’t have any noteworthy tricks.

Mind you, this is where the quintessential UX experience begins with kill tallying! What does that mean? Well, remember that I said this game was buggy? Here’s one of the nastier ones: most of the game’s secrets require you to have several hundred kills with a single character. Past games might have tricked you into believing the characters’ kill counter, but the UX kill counter LIES.
As I mentioned in the previous mission, NG+ carries over the kill count from the previous games, and those count towards increasing a unit’s Squad Bonus. What the game DOESN’T do, however, is count those towards your secrets.

You see, Heroman has a secret, which requires him to have 200 kills by the end of mission 43. However, it has to be 200 kills this game. This rule applies to every secret with a kill count attached to it, so you better open up a spreadsheet and start taking notes, because if you don’t keep a very close eye on the kills you’re getting this game, and deducting the ones you came in with, you won’t get the secret (just to be safe, deduct one added in route splits as well, as I’m not sure if those do count).


Heroman
Pilot Skills:
Prevail (底力) L3 – grants a bonus to all stats the lower unit’s HP gets. Effect increases as skill level goes up (L3 = effect starts at 30% HP, and so on).
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Infight (インファイト) L1 – increases melee weapon attack power and crit rate.
Mech Features:
Communicator Barrier – negates all damage below 3000. Costs 10 EN per use and won’t activate below 100 morale.
Spirit Commands – Heroman:
Invincible
Strike
Spirit Commands – Joey:
Accelerate – increases unit’s movement by 3 for a turn (effect persists if you don’t move).
Focus
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons’ power +100, EN +50 (melee +200, EN +100, Crit rate +15)
Heroman’s Voice Actor: Ryota Takeuchi (other roles: Jasley in Gundam IBO, Dyne in Overlord, Uesugi in Samurai Warriors and more)
Joey’s Voice Actress: Mikako Komatsu (other roles: Rose in Tales of Zestiria, Sei in Gundam Build Fighters, Kuriyo in Symphogear and a bunch more.)

It might come as a surprise, but a 3m toy is still a toy. First thing you should know is that it absolutely cannot take a hit: even with Joey’s barrier, its SS size (a small unit’ll get bonuses to its hit/evade %, but it’ll do less damage and take more, and vice-versa), very low HP and paper-maché armor means even mooks will only need a few hits to down him. That said, you can get around that with upgrades and/or Squad Bonuses; if you do, his SS size becomes a boon as it makes him quite tough to hit (provided you don’t let evasion decay pile up).
On the offensive side of things, Heroman packs a decent enough punch and, like many units, will only get better as the game progresses. It won’t ever be one of your strongest units, mind, but you can certainly find a spot for him in your team – if only because his and Joey’s spirit commands are pretty useful.

Oh, and the JP wikis say that, for whatever reason (bug?), Heroman is immune to the Festum’s Mind Read and Assimilation, so there’s that.


Denton’s Lab gives a 5% bonus to evasion and defense, so we’ll set Heroman there and get to work.

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: Come on, Heroman! We’ll beat all these guys and keep everyone safe!
: Hm…!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqZZVn4ShP8
Nice.

: Y-Yooo! That white robot’s fighting the monsters that attacked the city!
: ?! Is that… Joey…?!
: That loser is… No way!


A crit with Heroman Blast is enough to oneshot the Skrugg mooks, but not without.


We kill it the next turn, though. So that’s 3! 3 kills for Joey (197 to go)! Ah, ah, ah!

: Whew… we made it…

: U-Uwah! And I was just starting to think we’d taken them all out!
: Tsk, those aliens called their buddies over!
: N-Now what?! There’re too many of them!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Th-This is…?!
: For real…? An actual group of alien invaders?!

Bleep.

: The situation’s grim, as you can clearly see. It’ll still be a while before the regular army arrives at your location.
: Do you two think you can use the Riots and stall the enemy until the civilians have escaped?
: Y-Yes, ma’am! Ensign Berge, Riot B – mission acknowledged! We’ll divert the enemy’s attention!
: Mind you, there is plenty we do not know about their capabilities. Do be very careful out there, understood?
: Ensign Spencer, Riot A, roger!

Bloop.

: Okay… fighting these Irregulars wasn’t in the plans, but our prototypes are still carrying live ammo! Let’s go and give ‘em what-for!
: H-Hey, hold your horses, Jin! We were told only to stall the enemy, no?! We should avoid engaging them as much as—
: What’re you on about?! Look at Maj. Graham. He built his career on fighting and winning!
: But…!

One of the Skrugg’s goes after Joey and Heroman!

: Ah-Aaaaaah!
: ?! Get back!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNsTho2IptI
“It’s a soldier’s duty to keep the people safe!”

Jin flies on over as well.

: Hey, that was pretty good, Arnie!
: I-I didn’t have a choice there – the civilian was in danger…
: Listen, whatever reason works for you, we’ve got a major opportunity here! Just follow my lead!
: Jin…
: Joey, let the army handle this! We need to get outta here!
: B-But…!
: Why’re you just sitting there? Come on, Joey!
: The Heroman has all this huge power in it… and so do I!
: I was too weak to do anything before… but I’m not anymore! So, I…!
: Joey…
: In that case, you got a decision to make. Only you can say what it is that you want to do, yeah?
: ?! You’re right… Thanks, Psy.
: I’m staying and fighting! I’ll work with those soldiers and protect Center City!
: Come on! Heroman, GOOO!
: (There’s nothing in our database about that white robot… Is it a civilian defense system…?)

Alright, now we got 9 more Skrugg soldiers, but they’re absolutely no threat to our three units.


Riot B (Arnie Berge)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Counter
Spirit Commands:
Focus
Accelerate
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
10% EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons’ power + 100, Mobility +5 (Melee weapons’ +200, mobility +20, movement +2)
Arnie’s Voice Actor: Chihiro Suzuki (other roles: Asch/Luke in Tales of Abyss, Shun in Bakugan, Daneel in Majestic Prince and some more).


Riot A (Jin Spencer)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Hit & Away (ヒット&アウェイ) – if you attack before moving, you can still move afterwards.
Spirit Commands:
Sense
Assail (突撃) – for one turn, you may use post-movement weapons (the ones not tagged with a P) after moving.
Mech Features:
Gun
10% EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Ranged weapons’ power + 100, Accuracy +5 (Ranged weapons’ +200, accuracy +20, range +2)
Jin’s Voice Actor: Masaya Matsukaze (other roles: Ryo in Shenmue, Protoman in Megaman.exe, Gaelio in Gundam IBO, Ja-Mu in SRW OGs, and many more)

As it turns out, Arnie has TWO stats where he’s better than Jin: melee and evasion! But, really, they’re both pretty dang good on their own and the Riots are also very fine machines. With good firepower and stats all around, plus that EN Regen, you have a whole lot of leeway when using both.
As you might expect, of course, Arnie’s melee focus means he’s got appalling range – his max is 1-3 – meaning the enemies will happily snipe away at him if you’re not careful. On the flip side, Jin can only rely on his weakest attacks at point-blank, but that shouldn’t be a problem since he’s not meant to be in the front lines anyway (having Hit & Away right off the box is something all ranged mechs should do).
All in all, the OG guys carry on the tradition of being very good units that you can easily fit in any team.


I’ll try feeding some more kills to Heroman, but a few Skrugg get a bit close to Arnie.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Kch…! Why did this need to happen…?
: But I can’t just do nothing now! All the people of this city’ll be in danger if I don’t fight!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLoF9PROskQ


Since these three cared so much, I’ll let Jin and Arnie take a few.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Hahah…! We just gotta do this right and we’ll be on our way to the top!
: It’s an old saying around here: “the sooner you take out the enemy, the better”. So let’s practice what we preach, aliens!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uf7iS_CJvuw

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcmof_cgWSs
Didn’t quite get enough morale to use Jin or Arnie’s best tricks… blah.
But that’s all of them down, fora total of 8 kills to Heroman.

: Is that all of them…?
: Looks like it, yeah.

Beep.

: Very well done, you two. Quite the aggressive stalling tactics, if I do say so myself.
: U-Um… that was…
: Oh, it’s fine. We got some fine live combat data as well, so I think we can say everything turned out just peachy.
: We do need to consider what to do after all this, though, so I ask that you return to base.
: Yes, ma’am!

Bloop.

: Proton Generator, output is green. Unit’s showing no abnormalities.
: You know what, I think that was a real good show we put for our debut battle.
: Psh. This guy, I swear… He didn’t even hear anything I said…
: Hey, you there!
: Huh? M-Me…?
: Yeah. What defense organization are you and that white robot with?
: D-Defense…? No, we’re…
: The army should be getting here very soon. My guess is you’ve your own orders to follow, but I’d like you to do as the soldiers tell you after we leave.
: And thanks for the help today. We appreciate it!

: (Do as the soldiers tell me… They’re not gonna try to take Heroman away, are they…?)
: Joey!
: Lina?! You still hadn’t run off?!
: I saw everything! You were great, Joey!
: Th-Thanks, but it was all Heroman. He’s our real hero!
: No, no, Joey! All of you are heroes!
: “All of us”…?
: …


Later, back at base, Ronin’s received the report on what happened and is quite impressed with how well Arnie and Jin dealt with the surprise attack. An alien invasion of Earth is about the last thing Ronin needed, though… and it’s just made his work at the parliament a heck of a lot harder.
Huh? Does our battle have something to do with what he’s testifying about? A bit, yes, but that’s all he’ll say. But regardless of that, they’ve got more than enough data for the Riots’ tests after today, and considering that Jin and Arnie have fought and repelled these new, unknown aliens, Ronin’s all but sure they’ll be reassigned to work with the Federation’s elite forces.
As Arnie gasps, Ronin says they’re to stand by at the base until their transfer orders arrive and signs off.


And Jin is super hyped that their gamble paid off – that’s a huge boost in their careers. “I don’t know how you’re so easygoing, Jin…” Arnie sighs, “I was on pins and needles throughout the whole thing, thinking he was gonna call us out for acting on our own.”
Call them out over what? Novel herself said that things turned out “just peachy”, right? The professor shrugs a confirmation, but can see Jin’s ardor in climbing up the army’s ranks. He tries stammering a denial, but Novel says it’s fine. In fact, she finds young men with that sort of enthusiasm to be quite charming. “Th-Thank you very much for your kind words! I’m honored!”
While Jin’s busy flushing, Arnie brings the conversation back to our previous battle. Did Novel find anything about that white robot that helped before? She tried, but nothing in any available databases matched the videos they brought. That said, she thinks it’s possible it belongs to UX – the Unknown Xtrikers – a group that’s been seen acting in various parts of the world.

Jin’s never heard of them, but Novel says they’re quite the elusive platoon but renowned for their incredible skill. No one knows who they truly are, though, and they’re often referred to as “Hell’s Executioners”. They’re sounding a lot like the Dancouga and the old Celestial Being to Arnie, and word around the grapevine is that some members of the Federation’s upper echelons have established some secret comm channels with UX.
An off-the-books merc team for when the Federation’s bigwigs are feeling backed against the wall, eh? Well, as skilled as they may be, Jin doesn’t like folks who take the lives of others just to make a quick buck. Arnie, meanwhile, is pondering that “Hell’s Executioners” moniker – that kid and his robot certainly didn’t give him that sort of vibe.


Cut to the White House, where the president wonders if the images her aide’s showing her are, truly, of the airspace above Center City. They are: not long after the battle with those unknown aliens, a gigantic UFO appeared right above the place. Seems rather likely that this is their battleship.
The Federal Army’s GHQ is already putting together a strategy to deal with the aliens. That’s assuming it’ll be impossible to establish some dialogue with them, yes, but the aide says the army wants to cover all their bases. But, of course, it’ll ultimately fall on the president and the parliament to decide how they’ll approach this.
Fair enough, so the president tells him to connect her to channel UX-R7. The president’s concerned about that mysterious robot that helped the army, and wants to call them in to help with this (despite it being highly illegal).


Back at Center City, turns out Heroman went back to being just a toy after the battle was over. Psy figures that’s good for Joey, what with how important the bot is to him. But more important than that is the huge Skrugg ship hovering aboard their city.
Joey figures that’s what they used to reach our planet, and, after seeing this, Psy’s will never be skeptic about anything ever again.


But they’re interrupted when one Kurou Daijuuji shows up having been looking for Prof. Denton. They’ve been ordered to evacuate the area, and Denton apologizes that they got distracted with the UFO. When Psy asks, the professor introduces Kurou as a detective from Arkham City (not that one) – he’s helping Denton with his research.
Lina immediately pictures Sherlock Holmes, but Kurou says life is nothing like the books – actual detectives hardly use just their wits to find the culprit and/or have confrontations with mysterious arch-nemeses. Rather, any confrontations he has are just with random street thugs and with his bank account.
Denton fires back that fact might just be stranger than fiction considering recent events. Kurou doesn’t get what he means, but Denton’ll explain after they’ve evacuated the area. While they hurry to the town hall, Joey will go and call his grandmother.


But he’s stopped when Will shows up and demands to know what’re Joey’s plans for that robot of his. He’s gonna try to be a hero or something? Well, Will is NOT going to accept someone like him as a hero! Absolutely not!
As Lina tells Will to cut it out, Joey stammers that he’s just trying to get home. Everyone still needs to leave, though, so Nick pulls Will away. “What happened there? Hey, kid, you know that guys like those’ll only get worse if you just sit there and take it, right?” Kurou asks.
Joey gets it, but he still hates fighting… but, then, what will he do if the Skrugg inside that UFO decide to attack again? “If that happens, will you come and fight with me again, Heroman?”


Speaking of the Skrugg, we cut to inside their UFO where a mook reports to boss bug Gogorr: the Earthlings’ civilization is hardly advanced and the atmosphere is well-suited for them to act within. Mind, they do have something of an army of not-insignificant capacity.
Gogorr is hardly impressed, and this is well within their estimates, so he orders their operations already shifted into Phase 2. “Hmhmhm… you puny humans. Sending that transmission was all but an open invitation for us to invade your planet,” Gogorr sniffs.
And what message did they get that lead them here? “Gather at the beginning…” Gogorr has a laugh at that: “You’ll all learn that it is the Skrugg that are the beginning and end of everything! Mwahahahaha!”


Location: Ptolemaios 2 – Bridge

: Maj. Richard, a new request for UX has come in. (Sumeragi)
: For us…?
: Investigate the presumed-alien spaceship that’s appeared over California, as well as a mysterious robot…
: Heh, and this comes from the Union President herself? That’s quite the job we’ve got…
: What do you think? Do you want the Celestial Being to help you with that?
: No, no, my daughter and I’ll head on over to the surface. It’ll be easier to get around and run this investigation with just a small group.
: As you wish. The Ptolemaios will remain on standby around Earth’s orbit, then.
: Take care of yourself, Sumeragi. Anything happens, we’ll get in touch.
: Saya, we’ve got work to do.
: I’m ready to deploy at your leisure, Major.
: Come on, girl… You know you can call me Papa or Daddy or whatever when we’re not on duty.
: I apologize, but I find it difficult to separate work from my personal life, sir.
: Perhaps this is a result of your strict, and recurrent, training sessions?
: Psh… At the very least your sass is doing just fine without any help from me.
: Hahah… Seems not even the battle-hardened Richard Krueger is a match for his daughter.
: sigh It’s not easy being both a dad and a superior officer, I’ll tell you that…
: Let’s get going, Saya!
: Aye, aye!


#5

Well, yes and no. Kill count flags carry over ONCE YOU’VE GOTTEN THE SECRET, at which point the secret 100% carries over every time no questions asked. Before that, however, it will not. What does carry over are route choice flags, of which there are a shitload.

What you’re best suited doing if you absolutely need kills in one run is kill grinding. Game Over grinding keeps kills for some ungodly reason, which makes no sense (ie if you kill 20 enemies, game over, and continue, those 20 kills are retained) but is absolutely needed if you want lots of them.

As a fun aside, Arkham City from Demonbane is in Massachusetts. It is in California in UX, because… iunno man.


#6

Are you absolutely, 1000% certain that I don’t need to get the kill counts for secrets that’s been unlocked in previous games? Because I couldn’t quite get a definitive confirmation on that, but I HAVE gotten all but two secrets and only having to grind kills for one character would be so much simpler…

But I suppose there’s an easy way to confirm that: get to mission 26 with Kazuki having less than 100 kills and see the if secret happens at 27.


#7

Yes. Once you unlock a secret, that’s it. You don’t need to do any of the previous requirements to get them in subsequent playthroughs. For instance, if you unlocked Master Therion in a previous playthrough, you will not have to get Kurou 200 kills again, or any of the other requirements for that matter.
Citation: I’m on NG++++++++++++++.


#8

Well, that’s a load off my back then!

Only heed to focus on Heroman and the Frontier secret then! :toot:


#9
Click to see the mission

Again, there isn’t much for us to do in the intermission menu just yet. It’ll open up after this next mission, then we’ll go over the stuff.


We open up with Joey bringing his grandmother, Virginia, over to the town hall. She figures there must be some recital going on, what with all the people gathered here – all courtesy of her headphones, which helped her completely overlook all the chaos going down.


Ms. Collins, Joey and Psy’s teacher, is also around and very relieved to see them safe and sound. All their schoolmates have also evacuated here, and they’re alright. She doesn’t recognize Kurou, though, so he quickly introduces himself.
Mind you, while he presents himself as a detective, he admits he’s being more of a jack-of-all-trades nowadays. In that case, Virginia could use his help mowing her lawn – sure, if the chance presents itself.
Now, despite all the folks around, Lina hasn’t seen Will and Nick for a while. Whatever could they be doing? Hopefully nothing crazy, she thinks.


Nick would like to know what they’re doing too, so here’s what Will’s thinking: they’re gonna sneak aboard that UFO. Nick yelps that that’s impossible, but Will’s got a plan and won’t force his goon to come with.
Nick’s up for it, though: he and Will might get famous! Maybe, but what Will wants isn’t fame: “I’ll be the hero around here! Just you watch, Psy, Joey…!"


Back to the town hall, Denton’s been busy gathering wrecks of the enemies Joey beat before and analyzing them. Psy’s rather shocked that he can bring himself to fiddle around with alien stuff like it’s nothing, but Denton considers this whole situation to be his responsibility – the Skrugg might not have found us if not for his transmission.
So he won’t shy away from this. Rather, he’ll now fully dedicate himself for making up for his past mistake! And? And what? Psy figures he’s analyzing these wrecks as part of his redemption, he must have something useful to give us. The aliens’ weak spot, maybe?
What, does he really expect Denton to have figured that out so quickly? “In other words, you don’t have any results to give us, do you?” Psy sighs. Now, he didn’t say that. While there are still tons of things Denton has yet to understand about the Skrugg, that doesn’t mean he hasn’t already figured a few things out.

For instance, judging by their outer appearance, it can be inferred that they’re beings evolved from something like a cockroach. But despite that appearance, their scientific know-how is extremely advanced – far beyond ours.
Kurou isn’t blown away yet – we can figure that by just looking at the things – but Denton has another snipped of info to give us! The Heroman has such power that it can overcome even the mighty Skrugg! Indeed, Joey’s bot will play a key part in our victory in this battle!
They still haven’t told Kurou what a Heroman is, though, and he’s very confused…

: Um… Excuse me?
: Waah! D-Don’t sneak up on us like that!
: Oh, that was my bad. It’s just that your discussion was so interesting, I couldn’t help listening in…
: And… you are…?
: Aah, honestly, we’re new in town. We’d just moved in today, see…
: (Careful what you say, Joey. I don’t think we want a whole lot of folks to know about Heroman.)
: (Y-Yeah, you’re right.)
: … And right as we do, we’ve got alarms blaring all over, telling us to evacuate before we could even make sense of things. Crazy, huh?
: Hmm, I see. Yes, that is quite the pickle.
: I’m Matthew Denton, a local scientist, and I’m always willing to help new folks.
: OH! Thank you, amigo! Grazie! Spasibo!
: My name’s Richard Krueger, and this is my daughter Saya. Come on, you thank him too.
: Xie xie.
: (Err, what…? Are they Chinese…?)
: Oh, and you are…?
: Huh? M-Me? I’m Joseph Carter Jones.
: “Joseph Carter Jones”… and I bet everyone calls you Jojo!
: N-No… they call me Joey.
: OH! It’s Joey? That’s a good one too. Bravo! Horosho!
: Uh-huh…
: (… How does he look, Saya?)
: (We’ve a perfect data match. He’s the blonde kid that was seen fighting with the white robot.)
: (Then that’s bingo. Now we just need to find the bot proper…)
: By the way, Joey, there’s something I’d like to ask you about…

Bzzt.

: Hey, guys, look at the TV! There’s something wrong with it…

Bleep.

: This is a message to all creatures that live in this planet… This is a message to all creatures that live in this planet… This is a message to all creatures that live in this planet…
: …?!
: We are the Skrugg, the rulers of the universe…
: I repeat: we are the Skrugg, the rulers of the universe!
: Th-They’re…!
: Yeah, it’s those guys from before!


Location: Earth Federation’s California Base

: I hereby declare that this planet belongs to us! This is not a request, it is a statement!
: Those who oppose us will be eliminated with extreme prejudice. I repeat: we are the Skrugg, the rulers of the universe!
: I can’t believe they’d declare war on us just like that…!
: I suppose that’s telling of their scientific might… or, rather, of their might, period.
: Damn it! Those roaches are treating us like we’re nothing!
: Calm down, Jin.
: How?! Our planet’s being invaded! We gotta get out there and blast their UFO right the hell now!
: And what do you think you’ll manage to do sortieing without any plan whatsoever, Ensign Spencer?
: ?! Y-You’re…!
: M-Major Graham Aker?!
: Hmhm… Though I suppose some youthful enthusiasm isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
: Ah, right on time, Major. Virgos are known as being punctual, aren’t they?
: Wh-What brings you here, Major?
: To keep the people safe from these aliens’ evil, of course.
: My squadron has been tasked with facing the alien threat and, effective immediately, you two are being reassigned to my command!
: W-We’re being transferred to Maj. Graham’s squad…?!
: F-For real… I mean, is that true?!
: It’s not that surprising, considering your previous contact and experience fighting the aliens.
: And, of course, you’ll carry on flying the Riots. I’ll also be accompanying your team as a technical advisor.
: J-Jin!
: Yeah, we did it! We did it! Hahaha!
: We get to fly side-by-side with the Maj. Graham! That’s insane!
: And we promise to work as hard as we can not to be a bother, sir!
: I like your spirit, boys! Let’s be off!


Mission 2 – Encounter

: Aah! The Skrugg are—!
: They’re attacking for real this time!

: This is horrible… they’re wrecking the whole city!
: Kch! Those roaches think they can walk all over us?!
: Don’t break formation, Ensign Spencer! You’re under my command now, and unilateral acts will not be tolerated!
: Y-yes, sir!
: Move to engage the enemy, but remember that our top priority is the safety of the civilians!
: Roger!
: Those may be army units, but not even they can take on all these enemies at once…
: Psy… I’ll fight too.
: Joey…?!
: I can’t just stay here and watch… not when I’ve enough power to help beat the enemy and keep everyone safe!
: …
: Let’s go, Heroman!

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette

: Heromaaaan… ENGAAAGE!

: ?! Th-That’s a—!
: …
: That white robot… it’s the one from before!
: The one in your report yes? They certainly appear to be against the Skrugg, but that does not necessarily mean they’re friendlies…
: But, sir, at the previous battle… they teamed up with us and fought to protect the city and the civs.
: At the very least I’m convinced they are not hostile!
: Arnie…
: Very well. I hear no doubt in your words, Ensign, so I’ll put my trust in them.
: Operator of the white robot, do you hear me? My team is about to try and destroy the enemy force. If you’re here to fight them, then I ask for your assistance!
: Huh? O-Okay…!
: … I say, but I don’t really know how the army does things. I guess we’ll start with…

Heroman moves forward.

: Hm…!!
: A man of action, eh? Then we’ll do the same! All units, attack!


Destroy everything without losing anyone. Again, not a difficult mission as the Skrugg mooks remain middling and our guys are good all around – there’s just more stuff for us to kill over a wider area.


Brave Commander Test-Type (Graham Aker)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
All Attack (全体攻撃) L1 – A single unit can attack both units in an enemy pair, with a damage penalty for the one in the back (L1 = 70% damage; L2 = 80%; L3 = 90%).
Command L1 – extends a command aura and grants any units within it a bonus to hit/evasion %. Bonus and AoE increases with the skill level
Spirit Commands:
Accelerate
Sense
Mech Features:
Gun
Sword
GN Field – Negates any damage below 2000. Costs 10 EN per use.
GN Drive [T] MD – unit regenerates 25% EN every turn
Trans-Am – grants +1 movement over 130 morale.
Squad Bonus: Mobility +5, Ranged weapons’ power +100 (Mobility +20, Ranged weapons +200, Movement +2)
Graham’s Voice Actor: Yuichi Nakamura (other roles: Alto, Joshua in SRW OGs, Captain America in the MCU, Mikage in Aquarion EVOL and a ton more)

Graham’s a reformed Char Clone, so you know he’s a good pilot. And for this point in the game, the Brave is a really dang useful unit, especially with that 25% EN regen giving it a lot of freedom in its attacks.
The GN Field makes it very unlikely for these early-game mooks to make any damage at all, but, of course, letting him get hit becomes less and less ideal as the game goes on. And therein lies the problem: the Brave lacks stopping power to figure in the top tiers by late game.
It’s one of those sad cases where a unit is good enough that you can absolutely lead with it, but you’ll be purposefully gimping yourself by doing so. That said, the Squad Bonus is absolutely wonderful, and Graham’s reliability easily earns him a recommendation even when he starts getting overtaken by our progressively growing protags.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit


And after Heroman engages stuff…

: Data is a match – that’s the target unit. How do we proceed, Major?
: How, indeed…? Let’s just wait and see how things play out for a bit.
: Copy that. Continuing to observe the target.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJnxLTciJDU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnZQquQbfAo
Couple new attacks here, including Jin’s strongest move.
Keep on killing the helpless Skrugg and, on turn 3…

: Hmph, the Earthlings continue with this exercise in futility… but it’s time that came to an end!
: Open the main gate! Go forward and flatten all into a bloody paste!

: Wh-What is that?!
: A… ball?!
: It certainly looks like a ball, yes.
: Save staring at it for later! The thing’s coming this way!

: Aiieeee!
: Th-This is super bad! Heroman, quick, stop that ball!
: Hmmmm!

: Aah?! It… It didn’t even feel that!
: Stop that sphere, men! Not only do we have plenty of civilians still evacuating, we also can’t let it get anywhere near the town hall!
: B-But how are we supposed to stop something that big…?!
: Quit with the whining! Peoples’ lives are at stake here!
: ?! J-Jin…!
: If we can’t stop that thing, then we just gotta trash it! You and me, Arnie! Come on!
: Y-Yes, you’re right… Let’s go, Jin! We’ll show them all what the Riots can do!
: (There we go… We’ll put on a good show for Maj. Graham, and the promotions will keep on coming…!)

Despite what they said, the defeat condition doesn’t change to include the Ball (actual name) reaching anywhere. When you kill the last of the mooks, over by the Skrugg spaceship…

: Hey, Will, what’re we gonna do here?
: Didn’t you hear me before? The two of us are gonna be the real heroes.
: I think sneaking into the enemy’s base already qualifies are pretty dang heroic…
: Nuh-uh, I ain’t taking just that!
: What, then? What’s good enough for you?
: We’re gonna steal some of their weapons, and then we’ll kick all their asses ourselves!
: Th-That’s crazy!
: No, it’s not! Look! We already made it all the way here, didn’t we?

Will runs off.

: Waah! W-Wait for me, Will!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit


Still invincible, so you just gotta sit around and let a few turns pass.

: Huh?!
: The thing’s actively attacking us?!
: This is… nonsense! This is absolute nonsense!
: Quickly, everyone! This way!
: It’s too dangerous here! Everyone out the building – hurry!
: This isn’t good…! We’re not gonna evac everyone in time!
: (Speaking of… What happened to Richard and his daughter? I haven’t seen them in a while…)

: Blah… it’s just one thing after the other. We can’t really turn the other cheek to this, can we?
: The Federation Army’s right there, though… Won’t launching right in front of them complicate things for us later on?
: I don’t fancy myself some Champion of Justice, but I’m not cold-hearted enough to just hang back and watch the weak suffer…
: Or maybe I am! Haha!
: Copy that, sir.
: Aw, play along, why don’t you? Loosen up a bit, Saya.
: We’re on a mission, remember?
: Yes, yes, I know. Let’s get to it, then.

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Blocking all comms except those from our covert channels. “Unknowns” need to act the part!

: What?! Even more units…?!
: (Those two… are they?!)
: Pressure on both the Orphes and Lyras’ generators are green. We are ready to go, Major.
: Alright… Then the first order of business is putting the hurt on that gumball! Orphes, full throttle!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZ4hMWLxn-c

: That ball was so tough, and he…!
: It wasn’t much, but we’ve a confirmed crack on the target’s shell.
: Okay, we’ve got a way in! Now if the armymen could just figure out that they need to hit it there…
: I’m sure of it… Those units are with the UX!
: “UX”?! You mean…!
: Right; the ever-elusive and incredibly skilled mercenary troupe. A.k.a., “Hell’s Executioners”!
: They are the infamous Unknown Xtrikers!
: Th-They…!
: Hrm…! These mercs got a lotta nerve showing their faces around here!

Jin starts moving after them.

: Stand down, Ensign Spencer!
: ?! Major…?!
: They’re not attacking us. Leave them be!
: B-But, sir! If we don’t take them out when we have the chance, they’ll grow even more—…!
: Do you still not realize what just happened? They’ve just laid the groundwork for us to destroy the target!
: A true warrior would answer their assistance fittingly!
: Tsk… Y-Yes, sir!
: Hm. That’s better…
: (Granted, the old me would’ve likely been utterly mesmerized by that UX mech…)
: Heh… I knew I could count on the Union’s top ace. Many thanks for your bushido.
: Hmph, reinforcements, are those? You can gather as many as you’d like, it still won’t help. Anyone who dares oppose us will be crushed underfoot!

: Saya, the thing should be vulnerable after that attack. Let’s take it out and run along quick.
: Acknowledged!


Lyras (Saya Krueger)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Guard
Spirit Commands:
Sense
Tailwind (迫風) – target ally gets the effect of Accelerate
Mech Features:
Repair Module – when adjacent to a unit, select the Repair command to restore a portion of its HP
20% EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Mobility +5, EN +50, A in Air (Mobility +20, EN +100, S in Air)
Saya’s Voice Actress: Ai Kobayashi (other roles: Sara in King Gainer, Lily Borjano in Turn A Gundam, Trace in Masoukishin III, and some more).


Orphes (Richard Krueger)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Command L1
Predict (見切り) – 10% to hit, dodge and crit rates over 130 morale.
Spirit Commands:
Invincible
Strike
Iron Wall (鉄壁) – reduces all incoming damage to ¼ for the next turn.
Mech Features:
Gun
20% EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Armor +100, crit +10 (Armor +150, Crit rate 20, Accuracy +10)
Richard’s Voice Actor: Juurouta Kosugi (other roles: Maillot in Dragonar, Charles in Eureka Seven, Oda Nobunaga in Samurai Warriors, Nohman in Z.O.E. and many more)

If Graham was already a very good pilot, Richard is a goddamn monster. His stats are massive across the board and the Orphes is straight-up the strongest unit in the field by quite a wide margin.
It’s got range, it’s got power, it’s got survivability (especially with Richard’s high Prevail), it’s speedy (plus Predict), it has EN Regen to just keep on killing. While I’d say the Squad Bonus doesn’t make me jump up and down, this is still an excellent unit all around.
And it’s further complemented by Saya and her Lyras. The ability to fly (with an easily reached S rank – she gets it at tier 2 bonus), plus a big EN boost and regen, targetable Accel and some pretty decent firepower, you could fit them in pretty much any team and they’d be great. Of course, keeping her close to Richard is preferable, as it lets him use Hell Stringer.
All in all, Saya and Richard and very good units and there’s no good reason not to deploy them.

With that said, now that Richard’s popped open the Ball’s shell, the thing will fall easily. It doesn’t have any skills or noteworthy features, so we’ll just spread out and take everything out.


Richard: “The Earthlings are way more amazing than you might think. Take a look and be awed!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=87gZtonV6YU
And here’s Arnie’s very slick-looking strongest attack. I simply love that dynamic kill. And when either of the Riots attack…

: Major, I’m detecting accelerated particles coming from that unit…
: What?

Looks at the Riot.

: Yow… how times have changed, eh? A general-purpose mech’s rocking an accelerated particle engine…

Now, to wrap this up.

:siren: SRW UX - Envoy from Jupiter

: That’s enough out of you! Behold now the depths of our might!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Range on, target is locked. The Lyras is not your average support unit, you know! How about a demonstration?

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: This thing might be armored like no one’s business, but we’re still dropping it!
: Like hell we’re letting these mercs outshine us like that!

: I just need to focus fire on that crack in its shell…!
: Raising the output in the Proton Generator! We’re going in, Riot!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Alright… Let’s wrap this up quick while the soldiers are still letting us be!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGnpoTYdVaM
Here we go. Took several retries but I finally got the Ball to hit someone.
Mind you, the plot kicks in at about 3600 HP, so you’ll want to set up a support attack to get the cash.

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: Heroman’s telling me not to give up… that we’ll fight this thing together! Okay, then…!
: Hmm!


Bam.
Take it out and we’ll get a Psy’s Skateboard which is a consumable Skill Part (+10 to evasion and melee, +5 to ranged).

Craaaash! And the Ball keeps on trucking.

: Wh-What?!
: That ball’s still going?!
: Ack! It’s going right where the townspeople are!
: Hurry, everyone! We have to evacuate this area on the double…!
: Come on, come on! Quick!
: I-I gotta do something or…!
: …!

: What’re you up to, Joey?!
: (If I really do have some power in me… If I really can protect others like my dad did, then…!)
: Can you feel what I wanna do, Heroman?! Help me out, please!
: Hmmmm!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuVi2Ds3UqU

: The Heroman… turned giant?!
: Wow… It stopped that huge ball right in its tracks!
: But the thing’s still alive, no?! Way that’s going, it…!
: Saya… the Hell Stringer!
: ?! Major…!
: Don’t question it. This mission is more important than me!
: B-But…!
: What comes to your mind when you look at that boy right now? Nothing?!
: H-Hurry…! Get everyone out of there… now!
: …

:siren: SRW UX - Roaring Deathblow

: Lepton Vectrers, synchro-overdrive engaged!
: Synchronization coefficient 97, 98… Pressure set, safety lock released! Come’ere, you marble!

: Wh-What in blazes?!
: That ball just… disintegrated!
: What kinda mech is that?! And that move…!
: Heh, heheh… One shot, one kill, eh? Hrgh!
: M-Major…?!
: R-Relax… The armymen can take care of the rest. Let’s pull back!
: Y-Yes, sir!

: They’ve retreated… Out the darkness and back into it in the blink of an eye. And the rumors certainly didn’t do justice to their abilities.
: Haah… haah… Thank god, it’s over! At least everyone’s still safe…!

: No targets remain. All hostile forces confirmed shot down.
: (W-We should probably also make a run for it, right…?)

: Huh?! The white bot’s disappeared too!
: Major, do you think that unit was with UX as well…?
: No, I’d say it likely belongs to a third party. The Hell’s Executioners are renowned for their ferocity, whereas the way they fought was too ingenuous…
: Ferocity…?
: Well, I really can’t bring myself to be fine with these secretive mercs butting in our battlefield… My own pride won’t allow it!
: Jin…
: (So fighting is a matter of pride for you…?)
: (Hah… It’s like I’m staring back at my younger self…)
: So this planet has fighters with that much strength, hm? Surprising. Perhaps we underestimated them slightly.
: Master Gogorr, we’re being informed that there are trespassers within our base!
: What…?

: A dead end…?
: Something’s wrong, Will. We came through here just now, didn’t we…?

Secret door opens!

: Wh—?!
: Hands up! Don’t try anything!
: W-Waaaah!
: Damn it…!


Back in Center City, Richard’s gotten in touch with Sumeragi to report about Heroman. The bot’s pretty powerful, and it’s clear they can’t simply ignore it – in fact, Richard would like to let the army handle the aliens, while they focus on investigating it.
That’s fine with Sumeragi, but does he really take Heroman to be a greater threat than the Skrugg? Not quite, more like he sees enormous potential there. The controller just needs training, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with. Sumeragi gives him the go-ahead, but she’s concerned with Richard: he’s not looking too spritely there.
“Ahaha, now this is embarrassing. A little bit of exercise and I’m all worn out? Time is a cruel mistress,” Richard waves her off, despite Saya’s worried stare. Sumeragi still tells him to take it easy, and the Ptolemaios will continue holding its position. They’ll await good tidings (and Richard tells her to look forward to toasting over their successful mission).

: Major, might I make a suggestion?
: What is it?
: We should lessen our usage of the Hell Stringer, don’t you think?
: Oh, dear, Saya, are you worried about your daddy’s health?
: No, I’m simply concerned that it’ll negatively impact our performance in battle.
: Girl, you’re too much of a workaholic…
: My little baby is all grown up and now she treats her old man like a total stranger… Oh, the humanity…
: …

: And we gotta evacuate the place we were evacuated to. Yeesh.
: Well, can you blame them? With the Skrugg’s battleship sitting right there, we could have another attack at the drop of a hat…
: Sure, but where are we gonna go now? The whole city’s pretty much wrecked…
: You could all come to Arkham City, if you’d like.
: To Arkham?
: Yeah, there’s a church that’s helped me more times than I can count.
: Anywhere is fine by me. Do they sing gospel music at that church?
: Oh, grandma…!
: Hahah, I’m sorry to say they don’t. But Sister Leica’s a very kind woman, and I’m sure she’d welcome everyone.

Steps.

: Um, excuse me? Would you mind if we tagged along?
: Richard! I was so worried about you two! Where were you?
: Ah, we got lost in the crowd while everyone was making a run for it and couldn’t find you folks…
: We’ve no friends around here, see. No one to help us, nothing… Ooh, what are we going to do now…? Boohoohooo…!
: …
: Saya… Psst, Saya, you too.
: Waaaah, waaaah. Country rooooads, take meee hoooome
: Aah, no, please! Chin up, you two!
: Kurou, I don’t think it was random chance that we met these two. Could we bring them with us?
: That’s fine by me, but…
: OH! Danke schön! Isn’t it wonderful, Saya?!
: Woohoo. Bon voyage.
: (These two are really shady…)
: Well, if that’s settled, please lead the way, Kurou.

: (I can’t find my brother anywhere… Did he really go somewhere?)


Will and Nick have been brought before Gogorr and he quips at some bugs losing their way. “Bugs?! You’re the bugs here, bug-breath!” Will doesn’t appreciate that.
Will’s got a big mouth for a puny human, but Gogorr assures him that it won’t be long before this entire world is square under the Skrugg’s control. With that, he orders them taken away screaming.


Location: Arkham City – Church

: … And with almost all of Center City having been ordered to evacuate, no one can yet hazard a guess as to what will happen… (Keisha, on TV)

Bloop.

: Center City… that’s where Kurou went to. I hope he’s safe… (Leica)
: Oh, God, I beseech you… Kurou may be inept, clumsy and nigh-hopeless, but, please, watch over him!

Knock, knock, knock!

: Oh, visitors? Come on in!
: Excuse me, Sister, but is this where one may find Kurou Daijuuji?
: Kurou? He should be back soon, I think…
: Um, my apologies, but who…
: I am Winfield, head butler of the Hadou family.
: “Hadou”…? Aaah! The Hadou family?!
: What shall we do, my lady?
#2: If he will be back soon, then we might as well wait here for a while.


#10
Click to see the mission!


Alright, it’s time to check the intermission menu. Normally there’d be a list of our current top aces at the bottom, but my recording came in a bit wonky and the bottom screen was pretty much all cut. This doesn’t matter much, since 95% of everything this game does is in the top screen, but we’ll check the bottom one later.
That said, NG++ means our kill counts are horribly inflated: Richard is 1st with 352, Heroman is 2nd with 334 and Saya is 3rd with 279. And, by the by, whenever your top aces kill something, you gain 20% extra cash.

Now, here’s the rundown on these menu options and what they do, from top to bottom:
Pilot:

  • Pilot List – checks your pilots stats, etc.
  • Skill Parts – like in all DS games, your pilots gain abilities and stat boosts by consuming Skill Parts.
  • Switch Pilot – reassigns pilots to different units. Various limitations apply, so don’t expect to have Richard controlling Heroman.
  • Assign Tactician – certain pilots can be set as this, providing several bonuses to all your troops.

Machine:

  • Unit List – unit’s stats.
  • Mech Upgrade – spend your cash to boost various stats in your units and/or their weapons.
  • Squad formation – not available yet, but we’ll be able to pair our guys into various duos.

System:

  • Search – lists all the skills, abilities, spirit commands, etc. that we have and who has them.
  • System – options menu. More importantly, allows you to set different BGMs for your mechs.
  • DLC – haven’t looked up any of it.
  • Data Save
  • Proceed to next mission

And in case you’re wondering, the three yellow stats at the bottom of the screen refer to, in order, the total number of turns you’ve taken so far, how much money you currently have and (when applicable) how many times you’ve cleared the game.

And with our homework done, let’s be off!

#1: Hrgh…!
#2: Accept your defeat…
#2: You may be lauded as the mightiest of all, but, without a master, you stand no chance of defeating the Liber Legis.
#1: Kch…!

#2: Know when to give up. Away with you!

#1: Ugh-Gwaaaaah!

#3: Should we not pursue, master…?
#2: It matters not. I’m certain she will fall upon that city.
#2: All shall be as Fate decrees, and the Wheel of Fortune is ever in my hand.
#3: Yes, master…


Cut to Arkham City, our folks have arrived and Leica is very glad to see Kurou back safely – she was worried sick. Joey and the others excuse themselves and come in, Psy very much digging the chill atmosphere of the church. Pretty nice place. Lina, meanwhile, is beat and really could use with a shower.
Leica takes a look at these people and freaks out: “Kurou, I know you’re broke, but resorting to kidnapping is just…!” Nooo, that’s not what’s going on – how can she even think that?! Kurou explains that they’re from Center City and had no place to go, so he brought them along.
Denton apologizes for imposing on Leica, but we really had no other options… but, of course, the nun welcomes them all. It’s the duty of the church to help those in need, after all. “OH! Such enormous kindness, it’s like I’m looking at an actual angel!” Richard cries. “In fact, I’m certain of it: you must be an angel given form!”
Leica lets out an embarrassed laugh – he gives her too much credit – and quickly remembers that there were people who wanted to see Kurou.


That’d be Winfield and his boss, Ruri Hadou, and they’ve a request to make of him. Kurou immediately recognizes Hadou, as in the Hadou Financial Group, of which Ruri is the known president! Denton’s also familiar with them, the only company to rival the Rubens Foundation in worldwide dominance.
Richard notes that the previous company president was one Kozo Hadou, a man renowned as America’s Railroad King. The Hadou Financial Group invested heavily in the development of Arkham City, to the point where they are the de facto rulers of the place. Huh, Psy’s surprised he’s so well-informed. Did he live here before? “Non, non. Not at all.”
Regardless, Winfield confirms that Richard is right and said Kozo Hadou is Ruri’s grandfather. “I-If I may ask, what request could a lady such as yourself have to make of people like us?” Kurou says, a much more formal tone setting on his voice.
The truth is…

: I can’t believe the Hadou Financial Group asked me to find a grimoire…
: And one with actual power, the sort that sorcerers use, at that.
: Yeesh, first aliens, now sorcerers? The crazy-train never stops, huh?
: Guess not, ahahah… But did you really mean that? Sorcerers actually exist?
: Eh, who knows? But whatever the case, pretty much all grimoires are compilations of unholy knowledge.
: Anyone who wants something like that isn’t a very good sort, I’ll tell you that.
: Hmhmm, I see how it is…
: Still, we owe Kurou much for what he’s done for us. So how about we split up and help him with his job?
: Okay!
: (Are we clear on what to do, Saya?)
: (Yes, sir. I’ll continue to accompany and investigate Joseph Carter Jones.)


Location: Hadou Manor – Ruri’s Room

: Was it truly fine to hire that man…?
: While Mr. Daijuuji quit halfway through, he did engage in occult studies at the Miskatonic University. In other words, he’s studied magic theory.
: All students are sworn to secrecy, and it was no easy task uncovering his name. I don’t think we have any other option but to entrust this matter to him…
: Demonbane… my grandfather’s heirloom. The means for us to stand against the Black Lodge…
: But we require a grimoire – a true grimoire – if we are to activate it.


Location: Arkham City – Mysterious Bookshop

: A-choo!
: Do you have a cold, Kurou?
: Naah, it’s just these old books – they’re covered in dust.
: Now why do you assume it’s the dust? Maybe my books are whispering behind your back…?
: But which one is the whisperer… a grimoire with power, perhaps?
: …?!
: (Wh-Who is this woman…?!)
: Hahah, that’s kind of a weird idea, lady. A book whispering?
: Is it truly a weird notion? Don’t you think that, given enough time, a soul, a will… even a life may take root within something? Like, say, a real grimoire, vessel to untold power, or perhaps…
: A doll, endowed with human emotions…?
: …?!
: (Does… does she know about Heroman?!)
: Hmhmhm…
: …
: Who… who are you…?
: Ah, my apologies – I never quite introduced myself, did I? I am the owner of this fine establishment. My name is, hmm…
: Well, why don’t you call me Nya?
: Mister Daijuuji… Escape, por favor… (Saya shifts into full engrish here, so I needed to replace that with something.)
: Huh? But we haven’t found a grimoire yet…
: Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that. You will certainly get your pretty hands on one, and in the very near future.
: Yes, the mightiest of all grimoires… the ultimate grimoire, one that can summon even a god…
: Wh-What do you mean by that…?!
: Mister! Por favor! Sei schnell!
: O-Okay. I’ll stop by later, Ms. Nya…

Off they go.

: Hmhmhm… Karma flows in a circle, coming to fruition at samsara’s end…
: Ah, things are getting interesting. I wonder what kind of ending we’ll reach this time…

: Oi, Saya… you didn’t even give me a chance to hear what that lady had to say.
: Pardon. But that bookstore veeryy perigoso, mucho strange.
: Um… you mean you thought the place was suspicious, then, right?
: Oui, oui. (She switches between engrish and French, yes)
: (The way you speak is a whole lot more suspicious, if you ask me.)
: Move! Out the way!
: Huh…?
: Qu’est-ce que c’est?!
: Aah?! There’s a girl falling this way…?!
: I said, MOVE, FOOOOOL!
: Ah—Waaaaaaaah!

Smack!


Mission 3 – I Am Providence

: O-Ooow….
: Wh-Why in blazes would you simply stand there?! You cretin! You gigantic fool!
: Who the hell expects someone to just come falling out of the sky?!

: Hey, Joey!
: Psy! And Lina!
: We heard this huge noise coming this way… what happened?

Guitar solo!

: Hey! You there, young man! Hand over the girl, nice and easy!
: …?!
: Um… And you are?

Another guitar solo!

: W-w-w-w-w-whaaaaaaat?! You don’t know DOCTOR WEST, the greatest scientific genius in a BILLION years?!
: The ignorance! And ignorance is a sin! Ignorance is a tragedy!
: What’s wrong with this man…?
: D-Don’t ask me…
: You sad, sad man… Way I see it, fueling my career in the Black Lodge with your death is the more better choice for someone like you!
: ?! B-Black Lodge?!
: Black Lodge… What’s that?
: There isn’t a single person in this city who doesn’t know that name… It’s a secret society renowned for its incredibly evil activities!
: Wh-Whaa?!
: …!

:gun:

: M-Machineguns?! Are those real?!
: (Major, do you copy?! We’ve an emergency! Please advise…!)
: Farewell, my childhood! That fleeting summer’s romance! I AM ROCK ‘N’ ROLL! LET’S PLAY! FIIIIREEEEEE!

Machinegun fire!

: Yaaaaaah!
: Kch…!

Magic!

: W-Whaaaaaat?!
: No way… What’s that?!
: Sh-She blocked all bullets with a magic barrier! How the hell… Who is this girl?!
: Haah… Haah… M-My powers fail me… Indeed, without a master, I…!

Faint.

: H-hey! You alright?!
: U-Urgh…
: Everyone, run! I’m calling Heroman!
: Joey?! But they’re…!
: We’ll be fine! Heroman and I can handle it!
: Heromaaaan… ENGAGE!

: Hmm!
: Whaaaat?! A-A robot?!
: Go, quick!
: Wait! I don’t see Saya!
: Huh?! She ran off without us…?!
: N-Never mind that, we need to go too!

: Graaaargh, blast you…! You dare dangle that bot before the eyes of brilliant DOCTOR WEST?!
: I’ll show you the magnificence of some REAL robots!

: G-Giant robots…?!
: WAHAHAHAHAHA! Forward! Turn that piece of crap into pieces of scrap!
: And while you do that, I’ll run down that runt.

: Urk… Now what do I do…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Those are… that robot and plane from yesterday?!
: Whew, looks like we made it just in time. Can’t have the target of our investigation get destroyed, now, can we?
: But what about your health, major? Are you well to do this?
: Hey, we just need to not use the Hell Stringer and everything’ll be A-OK! Come on, Saya!
: Yes, sir!
: They’re on my side…?
: Well, alright, then! Heroman, GOOO!


Again, kill everything and don’t lose anyone. Dr. West’s MP Destroyer Robos are made of sturdier stuff than that Skrugg, but not by a whole lot. Their accuracy is actually worse against Heroman due to the size difference, though they hit a wee bit harder.
Still, it’s nothing different from our previous fights.

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

And as the battle carries on, right at the next enemy turn.


Location: Hadou Manor – Underground Command Center

: Black Lodge’s Destroyer Robos have appeared?! Is that true?!
: My lady! (Sonya)
: Call me “Commander” when were down here!
: Y-Yes, Commander! We’ve got several of their units currently engaging the mysterious mechs seen in Center City!
: The priority right now is making sure the population of nearby areas is evacuated safely! Do it!
: Right away, Commander.
: (The Black Lodge wouldn’t be running amuck like this if we could just get my grandfather’s Demonbane to move…!)


Back up top, I’ve the sinking feeling this game’s AI follows the same pattern as L’s as nearly every Destroyer Robo prioritizes Richard and his high HP.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQTnEwYqGnw
Heroman does get a kill, right as the plot kicks in again.

: Haah… Haah… Did we lose them…?!
: H-Hrm…
: Ah, you woke up?
: You… carried me…?
: I couldn’t just leave you back there, right?
: I see… then you have my gratitude… Hm?
: You… have the scent of darkness about you. Are you a sorcerer?
: …?!
: “Sorcerer”?!
: He’s one…?!
: N-No… that’s… I just dabbled in it a bit, nothing major…
: Hm, then you have not a book of your own? That is good.
: And he seems to have quite a lot of potential hidden within. How fortunate.
: Nah, I don’t, which is why I—

GUITAR SOLO!

: MWAHAHAHAAHA! AAHAHAHAHAHA!
: You thought you got away, but the eyes of THE! GREAT! GENIUS! DOCTAAAAAA WEEEEEEEST! Are impossible to deceive!
: Gaah, this creep’s a real bloodhound!
: They force my hand…! Human! What is your name?!
: Aah?! Is this really the time to ask that?!
: Answer me, human! Names are important!
: It’s Kurou… Kurou Daijuuji!
: And I’m not a sorcerer, or some hero, alright?! I’m just a detective!
: Very well, Kurou Daijuuji… I make a covenant with thee!
: Whaaa…?!

: Carve mine name into thine soul, Kurou Daijuuji!
: I am Al Azif! The mightiest grimoire of all, penned by Abdul Alhazred himself!

Kiss!

: I-I’m…!?
: The hell, he transformed?! What’s going on?!
: I-It can’t be…! Al Azif chose a boy like him as its master?!
: Is that what happened…? And where are you?!
: Over here! Our covenant is complete, and with nary an issue!
: Aw, how cute… she’s like a little doll now.
: You’ve shrunk a whole lot…
: However, in exchange, you shall find that your powers have grown quite significantly!
: And as the chosen bearer of the grimoire Al Azif, you are now a sorcerer! That is to say, you are a Magius!
: A Magius…
: Come! We shall fight together!
: What, don’t I get any say in this?!

: (Was that the light of spellcasting just now…?)
: (What was that huge light we saw…? Are Kurou and the others are alright?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dlNfwjSIqzU
Carrying on!
All mooks are weakened, so everyone nabs a kill.


While I could have killed the rest on the enemy turn, I find it to be safer to leave one alive to kill on our turn.

: Okay, that’s all of them down!
: (Joey’s getting more and more used to fighting… The kid really is as good as I thought.)
: But what about Kurou’s group? Where are they…?

Flash!

: Waaaaaaaaaah!!

Dr. West is blasting off again! twinkle

: Hrm!
: D-Dude… That was just like Heroman!
: Hm, quite a decent performance for a novice. Our magical wavelengths resonate well, it seems.
: You called yourself Al Azif, right? As in, the original grimoire Necronomicon?
: Oh, so you know of me?
: H-Hey, wait a minute. Aren’t grimoires supposed to be books?
: Why, it is only natural for grimoire as mighty as I to possess a soul and form of its own.
: You say, like it’s the simplest thing in the world…
: But pay that no mind. We have established a covenant, so I expect you to be worthy, Kurou Daijuuji.
: What, just like that?! Why?!
: 'Tis fate.
: Oh, no, you’re not going to hand-wave everything with just one little word!

BOOM!

: Aack! Wh-What is it now?!

: MWAHAHAHA! How do you like me now, Kurou Daijuuji, Al Azif?!
: Behold my masterpiece, the Super West Invincible Robot Type-28 Special!
: And now it’ll blast you all into dust bunnies!

: U-Uwaaaaah!
: He’s shooting the whole dang place!
: Damn it, the creep’s gone nuts!
: Hey, you so-called “mightiest grimoire of all”! Isn’t there anything we can do about that?!
: Had I my Deus Machina, Aeon, available, his hunk of garbage would be of no consequence…!

Wooooooom!

: Aah…?! Aeon… are you there?!
: No… this is not Aeon. But I am sensing a Deus Machina, of that I am certain!
: Hey, what is that “Deus Machina” business you’re on about?!
: In this world, you would call it a god!
: “God”?!
: I am the keeper of knowledge, the weaver of spells. I am the howling of demons. I am that which conquers death, the original before which all are but copies. By my name, Al Azif, I ask thee!
: Thou god armored in steel. Thou god made by man. Thou mechanical god… What art thou?

Wooooooom!

: “Demonbane”…? A fine name. I like it!
: Then, Demonbane, by my name, Al Azif, I summon thee!

: Commander, we’ve got trouble! The Demonbane’s activated!
: What?!
: Order the mystic generator to shut down!
: I’m trying, but it’s not working! (Chiaki)
: H-How… The Demonbane cannot move without a grimoire! Who could possibly…?!
: It’s headed towards the imaginary expansion catapult!
: The Demonbane, the memento of my grandfather, is moving…!

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina
:siren: :siren:

: What’s that thing?!
: Thou art the tears that fall from a sky burning with hatred. Thou art the righteous anger that dwelleth in the blood-soaked flame!
: Thou art the innocent blade… Demonbane!
: This is the Deus Machina…? Demonbane?!
: Ooh, this is unacceptable! You dare defy DR. WEST, GENIUS OF THE CENTURY?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuNewqx_tbs
Captions are available.

: ?! My attack just bounced right off?!
: All those shots and it didn’t even scratch that robot?!


Ah, my old friends.

: Heheh… Well, things are looking real fun around here, huh? They gotta save some for us, though! (Sawatari)
: Wh-Who are those…?!
: (Armas of the Katou Organization…! Are they after the Deus Machina?!)
: Hmhmm, I figured something big was up with how suddenly we were told to come to America, but I sure didn’t expect something like that to turn up! (Yulianne)
: The Mechanical God, Deus Machina… Did Hisataka know this was gonna happen?
: I’m pretty sure “Imagine” would be his answer to that question. But, whatever the case, we’d best roll up our sleeves and get to work!
: Wh-What the hell, another group?! And they look like they’re all gunning for us!
: Fret not. The Demonbane and you are now one and the same! To battle, Kurou!
: And how do you expect me to do that?! I’ve no idea what I’m supposed to do here!

Heroman walks over to Kurou.

: That voice… Are you piloting that mech, Kurou?!
: Joey?!
: Ah, great, it IS you! The Heroman and I’ll help you out! We’ll beat those guys together!
: Seems the choice has been made for us. Saya, back them up!
: Aye, aye!
: Crap, I’ve no idea what’s even going on… but there’s no way around this. I gotta make it work!
: Forward, Demonbane! Let all bear witness to thine might!


We just need to beat Dr. West to end the mission, but of course we want the cash (and kills) from the Katous. This would’ve been simpler if Joey didn’t insist of heading to the opposite side of the map to talk with Kurou, but whatever…


Demonbane (Kurou Daijuuji, Al Azif)
Pilot Skills:
Sorcerer (魔術師) L1 – Increases all stats except SP by a fixed amount, maxing out at +20 at L9.
Grimoire (魔導書) L3 – Al’s skill. Increases the unit’s maximum MP and rate of MP Regen in proportion to the skill’s level.
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands – Kurou:
Invincible
Strike
Spirit Commands – Al:
Focus
Accelerate
Fury/Direct Hit (直撃) – your next attack will bypass all of the enemies special defenses, including supports.
Squad Bonus: Accuracy +5, HP +500 (Accuracy +20, HP +1000, 1250 Barrier)
Kurou’s voice actor: Kentaro Ito (other roles: Renji in Bleach, Akagi in Dai-Guard, Chester in Tales of Phantasia and MANY more).
Al’s voice actress: Rie Kanda (other roles: Judith in Atelier Judie, Vanette in Growlanser V and a few more)

You know what’s fun? Getting one of the absolute best units (I won’t say outright best simply because I may be forgetting stuff) in the game by mission 3. True to its fame, the Demonbane has PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS, and while Kurou can’t do much with it just yet, once he gets going, oh boy, will he just tear through everything.
It’s powerful as no one’s business, incredibly hard to kill (further bolstered by already having access to that barrier), Al gives it Accelerate right off the bat and about the only thing stopping Kurou from destroying everything forever is its lack of flight (which can be fixed by squaddies).
Oh, and it runs on magic, so of course it doesn’t consume EN with its attacks: it uses MP, which Al will always be regenning. At Grimoire L3, she already gives it a 10% refill every turn – by max level, it’ll be 30%. Do note, however, that this means E-Save and EN+ Squad Bonuses won’t work BUT having someone with a Resupply Module on his team is still fine.
All hail the king.


Idaten ver. 2 (Takurou Sawatari)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Sawatari’s Voice Actor: Tetsu Inada (other roles: Elzam in SRW, Lu Bu in Dynasty Warriors, Harry Ord in Turn A Gundam, and a billion more)


Tsubaki-hime (Yulianne Faithful)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Yulianne’s voice actress: Emi Shinohara (other roles: Youko in Orgun, Yu-Fan in Full Metal Panic, Precia in Rayearth, Sailor Jupiter and many, many more)

Sawatari and Yulianne are pretty much the archetypical fragile speedster enemies, but they each have slight differences that you need to account for. Sawatari is clearly the bulkier of the two and has slightly better range, while Yulianne drops her range a bit more and focuses more on outright dodging and being waaay more accurate than Sawatari.
If you were there for the L LP, you should already know that Yulianne is the one you REALLY need to watch out for: she still has her Decapitation attack and she’ll debuff your units’ armor into crap with it. If you’re unlucky and the enemy decides to gang up on someone, that might cost you dearly.
But, while not as fragile as they were in L, Armas still aren’t the bulkiest enemies around – if you can reliably connect against them, they’ll fall in short order.


Destroyer Robo (Dr. West)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Dr. West’s voice actor: Takumi Yamazaki (other roles: Young Ocelot in MGS, Isamu in Macross Plus, George in G Gundam and a ton more).

And on the other side of the spectrum, we’ve got defense-specced DOCTAAAAA WEEEEEEST. For all his bravado, though, he’s not really all that tough: his Destroyer Robo can take a decent amount of punishment, but it’s got no significant tricks at its disposal.
West’s stats aren’t that great and his accuracy is worse than Sawatari’s, meaning his best shot is using his Tornado Crusher attack with a +30 accuracy modifier. It’s only got 1-2 range, though, so you can easily set your guys out of that range (Kurou can’t do that yet, but he doesn’t need to).
All in all, taking him down is simple stuff – Prevail L2 isn’t enough to be significant – but do keep this in mind:

:siren: Secret Alert :siren:
Demonbane Secret – 1st step: Shoot down Dr. West with Kurou

Demonbane’s got one of the longer secrets of the game, and this is where it starts. West won’t even retreat, so all you need to do is remember that Kurou needs to deal the finishing blow.


While I’m backing folks away from the Katous, West takes the time to snipe at Heroman.

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: You little bundle of junk! Now you’ll understand the greatness of DR. WEST!
: H-His mech’s huge…! But I know Heroman can beat it!
: Hmm!


[i]The Armas themselves are frailer than the MP Destroyer Robos, but got more evasion and accuracy.


FYI, Demonbane’s secret also requires Kurou to have 200 kills, but the cutoff point is the start of the penultimate mission of the game, so you got plenty of time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evOgq7J6La4
Fine, he can kill you later.

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: So these are the famous UX, eh…?
: Hah, now ain’t this is a hoot?! Let’s cut loose and have some fun, you and I!


I enjoy the double support defense combo Heroman and Joey pull there.

: (UX… they certainly don’t look like your run-of-the-mill mercs, that’s for sure…)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ut8bbv6oILU
Richard: “Time passes on, but gangs like yours never go away, huh…?”
And we might take this opportunity to show the DK of Richard’s Last Testament, seeing how every single mook is gunning for him.

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: The name’s Takurou Sawatari of the Katou Organization! Now come and show me how strong that Deus Machina actually is!
: “Katou Organization?!” You’re not with Black Lodge?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b268KKrCZys
Here’s Sawatari’s best trick.

: You expect such a puppet to stand up to a mechanical god? Absurd!
: Deus Machina… Let us put to the test whether you’re something we should be wary of!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bH9iRwIRg6Q
And here’s Saya’s best one. Sparkly!

Take her out and we get a Kyushu Castella Cake (Melee and Defense +10, Skill +5)

: Oho, not bad. Not bad at all. But this should be good enough, I think.
: What, we’re backing down already?!
: Our mission today was just to survey things, remember? The commander’ll be annoyed if we ignore our orders.
: Psh… Fine!

: (They’ve retreated. Then their objective here really was to…)

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Come on, come on! My drills turn you into Swiss cheese!
: I’ll admit that they’re pretty impressive… but they’re no more than props if you can’t get ‘em to connect!

: That support unit won’t even dent my Destroyer Robo’s armor!
: “Support unit”…? Hm, I guess it falls on me to correct you. This is a fighter-bomber!

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: Aaargh, screw you! My Destroyer Robo is the greatest piece of technology ever made! Now hold still and let me gut you!
: Urhg, you mad scientist! Get over yourself!


And we steal Dr. West’s Favorite Guitar (Defense and Range +10, Skill +5) as a prize! :v:

: Th-This thrice-blasted buffoon! Maaaybe I was messing around too much, but not anymore!
: Behold! The super HARD! Super THICK! Super LONG! Super Electromagnetic DRILL! TORNAAAADO CRUSHEEEEEER!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4kDgQdgYVo

: What in blazes are you doing, fool?!
: Damn it, I messed up…! Hey, grimoire, there anything we can use?!
: Aye, there is – now we shift back on the offense! Set forth and strike with all the strength you can muster! I shall see to the rest!
: O-Okay… Here goes!

: I-Is that…?!
: Timaeus and Critias are active! Output at maximum!
: Demonbane shifting to Aether Dancer Mode!
: Are they… going to use it?!
: The Chain-Severing System… Atlantis Strike!

: Haaaaaaah…!

: Take him, Kurou!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCP5q9t5YYc

: Gaaaaah! I’ll remember thiiiiiiiis…!

: Victory is ours, Kurou!
: I-I actually did it…?

Beep!

: Hey there, Mr. thief! Do you hear us?!
: Wah?!
: Who are you?! And just how did you know about Demonbane, the Hadou Financial Group’s most closely guarded secret?!
: The Hadou Financial Group?!
: Your voice… Wait, are you?!
: C-Crap…!
: We’re sending a recovery team your way as we speak! Don’t go anywhere!
: You understand what will happen should you escape, yes?
: J-Just let me get away from here first!
: What?! Where are we going, Kurou?!

: Huh?! Hey, Kurou!
: (Seems he’s got plenty of things to sort out on his end…)


Aboard the ship Shangri-La, we find two figures discussing Sawatari and Yulianne’s mission. The man in brown reports that they were forced to retreat after having to face both UX units and another unknown, but the boss man says that’s fine. Their main objective today was to confirm that “it” had awakened.
“Machina and Deus Machina… are the similarities merely superficial, or perhaps…” he ponders.


Cut back to the Hadou command center, Kurou’s already been brought over and can’t believe Arkham City had something like this hiding in its underground. Indeed, and Ruri says the Hadou Financial Group built it as a facility meant to defend the city from the Black Lodge.
Now, while things got really crazy out there, Ruri has an idea of what happened thanks to all the information recorded within the Demonbane. With that in mind, she is willing to pay Kurou accordingly for his work. Nice.
HOWEVER, and she’s sure this needn’t even be said, the Demonbane is highly classified and Kurou is to forget everything that’s happened today. It is their only means of standing up to the Black Lodge – certainly not something they could leave with Kurou to use as he pleases.

Kurou’s fine with it, but Al isn’t: the Demonbane was created to do battle, so she’s certain that it desires the mightiest grimoire at its side. Ruri isn’t having it, though, pointing out how reckless it was for her and Kurou to pilot the thing. If they wound up getting it destroyed, that’d be the end.
Al protests that anything that takes part in combat is bound to be damaged. The Demonbane isn’t a toy for her to fuss over! Alright, that does it, Ruri is not satisfied with this vulgar grimoire AT ALL and commands Kurou to go and find a better, more fitting grimoire to power the Demonbane!

Um, what about that talk about paying him, etc.? Forget it. And depending on his behavior, she’ll have him face full responsibility for commandeering the Demonbane – get to work! As Kurou sulks, Winfield reminds Ruri that they must get ready to depart for the Earth Federation HQ in New York.
Fair enough, so Ruri turns to Kurou and orders him to find a better Grimoire and make it snappy! As she leaves, Kurou then turns to Al and grumbles that this is all her fault. Al’s not particularly fazed.

: It appears Dr. West’s Destroyer Robo was beaten by another machine, one presumed furnished with magic circuitry. (Augustus)
: It is very likely that what he fought was the Deus Machina the Hadou Financial Group has been constructing in the shadows…
: Hm, so it seems. And it has stepped into the light at last… (Master Therion)
: Augustus, take care of things here.
: Certainly. But where are you…?
: I must go and greet Al Azif’s new master, of course…
: Oh, my… the Grand Master himself is taking to the field?
: ?! Who goes there?!

Magic!

: Stand down – that’s an old acquaintance. It has been quite a while…hmm…
: Nya is what I’m calling myself right now. Rather straightforward, I know, but names have never been my forte.
: Regardless, you are looking rather merry for someone who’s simply going to “greet” another, aren’t you, Grand Master…?
: Merry? Indeed, I am. Facing that one is the only thing that can bring me some measure of excitement during these tedious times…
: Despite the thousands, the millions of times this has repeated, that, alone, is something I never grow weary of…
: Hmhmhm… The stray children of the samsara are also gathering together. From across the void, they come in procession, ever under the guidance of the possibilities…
: Oh? Now that is interesting to hear…
: Grand Master… there’s a chance, albeit small, that things may be different this time…


Cut to the California base, Graham runs in and tells Jin and Arnie we’ve an emergency: there’s an unknown spaceship approaching Earth! What, is it another Skrugg ship? No, it’s actually looking like a DIFFERENT one!
Arnie and Jin are not happy with the prospect of another bunch of invaders when we already have our hands full with the Skrugg – whatever is gonna happen to Earth? We’ve got a special committee over by the New York HQ currently discussing how we’ll approach these new aliens. Depending on how things turn out, we may be ordered to deploy and intercept them, so Graham wants them all on standby and ready to go.
Arnie does remember Ronin grumbling about the Skrugg attack and how it somewhat affected his testimony at the parliament. Is this what he was talking about? Did Ronin know about these new aliens, and that they were coming, all along?


#11
Click to see the mission


We open up aboard the Elshank, with Gameran reporting that they’re about to enter Earth’s atmosphere. The ship’s crew has grown since last we saw them, with Mike (blonde) and Joe hyped as no one’s business to finally fulfill their dream of reaching on Earth. Same goes for Rennie (blue hair) and Damian, as it’s their first time laying eyes on the beautiful planet.
At the very least Joe’s lived there while he was a small kid before his family took part in the Mars colonization – the other three spent nearly all their lives on the red planet. And from what Joe remembers, life on Earth was a whole lot better than that hellhole Mars: it’s got blue skies and oceans, the air is clear, it’s got greenery, and everything!
This is our homeworld!,” Joe proclaims, “How long have I been looking forward to this day…!” Gameran, however, sniffs at their giddiness and points out that their situation is still just as bad as it was before.

As Ylbora reminds them, the Elshank’s pursuers aren’t limited to just The Boom Army anymore (who’ve been chasing them ever since they left Planet Ladorio) – the earthling armies of the Martian Development Bureau are also gunning for them.
Sure, but that’s why Joe’s childhood friend is currently talking with the Federation’s bigwigs. He’ll sort things out. “Hmph. You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t put much stock in the friends of people like yourself,” Ylbora harrumphs.


Before Joe can get in his face for that, Shaff steps in and tells them to pipe down. She reminds them of all the hardships they’ve overcome to get here and Princess Romina says they must, first and foremost, focus on reaching the surface safely.
The Elshank’s kylhasium is running dangerously low, as Ylbora points out – if they find themselves in combat down there, they might be unable to defend themselves. Indeed, and Joe is doing what he can to try and prevent hostilities from breaking out, no? He and his group have been, and are being, very helpful for the Ladorians, so Romina wants them to trust in Joe’s friend.
Ylbora concedes her point, and Joe inwardly asks Ronin to come through – their fates are lying on his hands!


Unfortunately, by the Federation parliament, things aren’t looking good. Ronin’s testified that the Elshank isn’t hostile – rather, it’s come to Earth seeking aid – but Hester points to the info presented by Director Hazard (the real ugly dude).
Indeed, Hazard has photographic evidence of the Elshank assisting in a terrorist act with Joe Maya, Rennie Ai, Mike Coil and Damian, a known member of the Martian North Pole’s guerilla. The damage caused by those four is incalculable.
Ronin calls bull, yelling that they’d never do anything of the sort, but Hazard asks if he only says that because one of the terrorists is an old friend of his. Oh, yes, Hazard knows much about Ronin, the son of the former director of the Martian Development bureau.


All that being said, Ruri speaks up and says she has a few questions regarding Hazard’s report. Shirin agrees, and an investigation of their own indicated that Martian Development Bureau, i.e. Hazard and his people, have made a habit of abusing and exploiting the colonists. Couldn’t what he calls “terrorist acts” be, instead, described as the people rising against his oppression?
Hazard is APALLED by the accusation, saying he’s not oppressing – rather, he’s simply maintaining order. First off, he figures we should also know that some of the colonists have undergone genetic manipulation to better adapt to their environment, so referring to them as “people” is a stretch. These are violent insurgents, so a few firm measures have to be taken to control them.

Cagalli calls Hazard out on his antiquated notions, reminding him that the Federation was created precisely to reflect on their past mistakes and work towards removing war and discrimination from our society. Hazard gives her a condescending smirk – what a fitting speech for the Representative of Orb, the eternally neutral nation! Is he going somewhere with his sass?
He is: Hazard has heard “dark rumors” that she’s been dealing with a rather questionable group of mercs under the table. Where were her lofty ideals then? Cagalli fumes at him and Hester calls for silence. The purpose of this committee was to decide on what to do about the aliens, not to butt heads with one another.
That’s fine with Ronin and, in that case, he wants her, as secretary-general and representative of the Federation Government, to inform her opinion on this. It is…


Yeah, the Federation’s decided to tag the Elshank as a threat and Ruri sighs to Alex that the Skrugg invasion is making the people progressively more anti-alien by the day. To say nothing of the exceptionally strong lobbying the Mars Development Bureau has madein regards to this matter. Indeed, and Cagalli is outraged that Hazard was allowed to speak as he did.
Ronin apologizes for worsening the ladies’ political standing – since he personally requested their help here – but Shirin says crying over spilt milk won’t get us anywhere. Rather, they must now act quick to avoid the worst case scenario.
But won’t it be very difficult to overturn the government’s decision? True, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have any cards to play. Shirin will tap in her old Katharon contacts and put Hazard under the microscope. She’s certain she’ll find some evidence to expose him.

While Shirin does her work, though, Ruri says we’ll need to make sure the Elshank is kept safe. Cagalli will see to that, though she’d also like Ruri to allow the ship to land by Arkham City for a while. That can be arranged, but Ruri’s curious as to why she wants that.
It’s just so the Elshank can rendezvous with its escorts, and Cagalli asks Alex to contact “them” again. They should be working around that area.


Over by the battleship C-Terahertz, Grathan is trying and failing to contact The Boom’s homeworld, and curses Romina for forcing him to travel all the way to the galactic boonies. And, surprise, Hazard is evil and calls in to report. Grathan flips out at the sudden appearance of his ugly mug and the Director laughs at how mean he is.
Regardless, Hazard relates that the government’s decided to treat the Elshank as hostile aliens; moreover, The Boom Army’s mechs have been officially incorporated into the Martian Peacekeeping Forces, so they can now operate openly on Earth.

That’s wonderful for Grathan, so he orders Hazard to send them after the Elshank immediately – lest he forget, the only reason they managed to reach this planet in the first place was due to his screw-ups on Mars. Hazard promises not to disappoint and signs off.
Grathan grunts at the greedy little snake – his rotten nature is perfectly reflected across his hideous face.


And by the California base, Graham runs in and tells Arnie and Jin that they’ve just been ordered to intercept and sink the alien ship. That said, the caveat is that they’re not to attack the bridge – seems to Jin the brass wants them to capture the aliens inside, then.
Novel agrees with him and figures that, while capturing them alive would be ideal, not blowing up the bridge would, worst comes to worst, at least allow them to recover the aliens’ corpses. Arnie isn’t too happy with being ordered to sink a ship that hasn’t, as of yet, shown any signs of hostility. Why aren’t they even giving them a warning or anything?

Graham understands where he’s coming from, but the Skrugg have set a bad precedent: it’ll be too late if we wait until they actively attack us before reacting. Maybe, but… “What’s with that wishy-washy attitude, man? We’re soldiers, aren’t we?! Who’s gonna protect the people if we don’t?!” Jin argues.
Arnie inwardly agrees with him as a soldier, but as a person…


Cut to the Arkham City church, Kurou is grumpy over the hell he went through yesterday because of that grimoire; the idea of a robot powered by magic shows Denton that his previous assessment of fact being stranger than fiction was right on the money. Oh, and Joey notices that Saya and Richard have been gone for a bit, but Lina relates that, apparently, they went grocery shopping.
Those two seem to have a habit of just up and leaving at the drop of a hat, Kurou notes – even yesterday, when they ran off somewhere while everyone was smack-dab in the middle of that mess.
Psy figures it’s simpler not to stress over them. Rather, he wants to know what happened to that sorcerer girl that was with Kurou. “Hell if I know! I never wanna see that pest again!” Kurou harrumphs.


”That may be an issue, considering you established a covenant with me,” says the suddenly appearing Al. Where did she come from?! Why, Kurou didn’t honestly believe he could escape her, did he? Their covenant means she’s always with him. “But I never agreed to any of this!” Kurou cries.
Meanwhile, Joey confirms to Denton that that’s the girl who came falling out of the sky yesterday. Leica walks in, having heard Kurou’s yells from the other room and asks if something’s the matter. “Oh, and just who is this darling little girl? A friend of yours?” she asks. “I am not his friend. Rather, I am his property,” Al answers… immediately worrying the nun.

Could she please not give Leica the wrong idea?! “I’m soorryy, master! Are you going to punish me again?!” That’s not helping. As Leica freaks out over Kurou finally showing his “true colors”, he swears up and down that this is NOT like that at all!
“Pleeease don’t leave me alone, master! I promise I’ll do anything you ask!” Leica is now praying for Kurou’s soul, who’s starting to fall in a daze. Denton, however, is quite amazed at the fearsome powers of a forbidden grimoire. Was this one of her spells at work?! Joey doesn’t know.
Thankfully for Kurou, something explodes outside.


Mission 4 – The Wings Have Landed

: Waaah!
: Urk…!
: Your Highness, are you hurt?!
: I-I’m fine! And more importantly…!
: Wh-What are The Boom and Earth’s forces doing here?!
: That looks an awful lot like an ambush to me!
: The hell’s going on, Ylbora?!
: That’s what I want to ask you! Wasn’t it your “friend” who told us to descend on these coordinates?!
: Ronin?! No, I haven’t heard from him yet…
: Then who…?!
: Sir Ylbora, we’ve clearly been deceived by that Earthling named Ronin!
: You take that back right now! He’d never do anything like that!
: This is hardly the time for a debate! We must find a way out of here…!
: Kch… We’ll go and work something out!

Joe and co. leave.

: Joe…!
: (The aliens aren’t firing back. Are we really doing the right thing…?)
: All troops, focus fire solely on the ship’s engine sections!
: Maj. Graham…?!
: Settle down, Ensign. If we just damage their engine, we can fulfill our orders to sink the ship without taking any of the crew’s lives.
: Y-Yes, sir, Major. Copy that!
: Hold on there… the aliens are about to start fighting back, I think.
: ?! Huh…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor
:dance: :dance:

: Damn it all! We finally get to Earth and this is the welcome we get?!
: I don’t doubt Hazard’s fed the Federation a bunch of lies!
: But what now?! Way this is going, we’re really gonna end up a bunch of rebels!
: Save that for later! They’re the ones who fired first!

: Those are… UX’ units?!
: Wh-Who’re those?!
: Do you read me, alien mechs? I’m Maj. Richard Krueger of the Unknown Xtrikers!
: “Unknown Xtrikers”…?
: The powers that be hired us to back you up! That means we’re friendly, okay?
: Alright, Joe! We finally got some help!
: Yeah, and I’m sure we got Ronin to thank for this!
: Maj. Graham, what’s going on…?!
: The UX are siding with the aliens, as surprising as it might be…!
: I’d hoped to avoid this, but now we’ve no choice. Engage and destroy the alien battleship, their mobile weapons and the UX units!
: Ensign Spencer, roger!
: (Hrm… Is that really the only way?!)
: That’s both the ace from Center City and those two mechs with accelerated particle engines…
: Yesterday’s friend is today’s enemy, I guess. Sorry, but I’m not cutting you any slack!


As usual, destroy everything without losing anyone. A wee bit harder than the previous missions, but still not by much. We’ve got a bevy of The Boom mechs up ahead plus some GN-XIV, none of which are particularly powerful (though the Banks got a decent amount of HP and can apply the Attack Down debuff!). Richard and the Elshank crew can easily tear through them, though do be mindful of the deceptively hidden water pools right in the center of the map – you might send your units underwater and not even realize it until it’s too late.
Arnie, Jin and Graham are, of course, the only real threats here and you only need to down one for the plot to kick in. Arnie’s by far the easiest to drop (though he hits hard), but I’d advise going after Jin if you can as he’ll drop a Hit & Away Skill Part, whereas Arnie only has Counter. Graham has a Celestial Being: The Movie, but that’s not all that important.
Do remember that Arnie knows Support Defend, so he’ll readily cover for his mates if he’s near them.


Elshank (Romina, Ylbora, Shaff)
Pilot Skills:
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
All Attack L1
Command L1
Spirit Commands – Romina:
Trust (信頼) – restores 30% HP of the target ally.
Mercy (てかげん) – if the attacker’s Skill stat is greater than the defender’s, the defender will survive a killing blow with 10 HP.
Spirit Commands – Ylbora:
Accelerate
Strike
Spirit Commands – Shaff:
Cheer (応援) – target unit earns double exp from the next battle
Focus
Mech Features:
Resupply Module
Squad Bonus: Money earned +10%, HP +500 (Money +20%, HP +1000, 1250 Barrier, Movement +1)
Romina’s Voice Actress: Sumi Shimamoto (other roles: Ginrei in Giant Robo, Maria in Xabungle, Leia in Star Wars, and some more)
Ylbora’s Voice Actor: Kenyuu Horiuchi (other roles: Raiden in MGS, Light in Dragonar, Jamil, Jerry Seinfeld, Hugi Zeravire, Pain in Naruto and a billion more)
Shaff’s Voice Actress: Rica Fukami (other roles: Myung in Macross Plus, Sailor Venus, Monica in Friends, and several more)

The Elshank’s a pretty nice ship in that in covers its bases quite nicely. It’s got decent defenses thanks to that barrier and 2L size (though armor is rather low) and its strongest move is 1-3 range, but its second strong is 3-8 range and it also has a resupply module.
So you can play with it however you wish, though I think a mid-long range supporter is the safest bet as the game goes along. Romina’s lack of Prevail means that once stronger enemies start showing up, the barrier alone won’t be enough to stop her HP from plummeting rather quickly, which can lead to… complications.
If you’re going to keep the Elshank closer to the front, you’ll want to give Romina some defensive Skills. Mind, her stats are decent enough where they matter and having two subpilots providing spirit commands gives her plenty of wiggle room. Plot’ll dictate you use it often enough, so you might as well.


Kurojishi (Joe Maya)
Pilot Skills:
Ninja (忍者) L2 – raises accuracy, evasion and crit rate, up to 28% for the first two and 20% for the latter at L9.
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Guts (ド根性) – restores all HP on self.
Focus
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Squad Bonus: Armor +100, Melee weapons’ power +100, A in Land (Armor +150, Melee weapons’ +200, S in Land)
Joe’s voice actor: Kazuhiko Inoue (other roles: Rom in Machine Robo, Jerid in Z Gundam, Gai Murakumo in SEED Astray, Kakashi in Naruto and many, many more)


Bakuryu (Mike Coil)
Pilot Skills:
Ninja L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Iron Wall
Invincible
Squad Bonus: HP +500, Ranged weapons’ power +100, A in Water (HP +1000, Ranged weapons’ power +200, S in Water)
Mike’s voice actor: Masami Kikuchi (other roles: Joe in Digimon, Kaine in Dragonar, Tenchi in Tenchi Muyo, and many more)


Houraiou (Rennie Ai)
Pilot Skills:
Ninja L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Alert
Focus
Mech Features:
Sword
Squad Bonus: Mobility +5, EN +50, A in Air (Mobility +20, EN +100, S in Air)
Rennie’s voice actress: Noriko Hidaka (other roles: Erica in Sakura Taisen, Noriko in Gunbuster, Amane in SRW Neo and tons more)

Joe’s one of the dodgiest guys we’ll ever get thanks to his superlative Ninja skill, which makes that S rank I already have kind of unfair to the enemy. While melee attacks are his bread and butter, he’s got decent range covered (though his longest is his second weakest weapon) that he won’t be completely outranged by everything. Same goes for Rennie and Mike, though the latter kinda suffers from Getter-3 syndrome in usability.
The Bakuryu and Houraiou are probably better used as squaddies but that’s only because they’re really good at that. Mike’s ranges actually make him rather suited to tag in with Joe, whereas Rennie, who’ll soon learn accelerate (and Luck later), can be a very good fit at pretty much any team. Better yet, all of their weapons are on the cheap side and they even got some nice stopping power with a combined attack!
As a protagonist, Joe himself has fine stats everywhere important and should remain a mainstay of your team for the entire game. Rennie and Mike lag behind a bit, but just their Ninja skills and terrain bonuses mean you really should consider finding spots for them.

Oh, and Joe, Rennie and Mike need to have a total of 150 kills between them by the end of stage 27 for a secret.
With all that, we set forth. The enemy still likes going after Richard, so about half of them split off to try (and fail) to kill him; the remaining ones are left to be made mincemeat by the Elshank crew.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: We’re not the ones scheming to invade Earth! That’s The Boom Army you’re looking for!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeqyVHtz-wY

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: Why’d the Federation just up and attacked us like that?! Urgh, what are you doing, Ronin?!

: Hazard, you piece of…! It took us forever to get to Earth and then you go and pull a stunt like this?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzZYGoEEYX0

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: It was never our intention to seek battle when we came to Earth!
: Allow me to handle this, Your Highness! One cannot remain passive when danger rears its ugly head!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1BKCcVYXcsU

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: (The UX are referred to as “Hell’s Executioners”, so why are they helping the aliens…?!)
: I need to be careful not to push that engine into running amuck…! Would it be possible to just cause it to shut down?

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: (We attacked the aliens without a single warning, while they showed up to save them…)
(Damn it, it’s like we’re the villains here…!)
: I can feel the pilot’s doubt all the way here… Still, I don’t pull my punches against anyone I meet in the battlefield!

: A-Argh, the Riot’s burning up! Engaging the extinguisher…!

: You alright, Arnie?!
: Y-Yeah! The Proton Generator’s still good… I can keep going!

: Look there, Joey! Those’re the mechs that helped us a buncha times, right?!
: Y-Yeah… but why are they fighting the Federation army?
: We can’t stay here, you two! It’s too dangerous!

Teleport noise!

: Hmhmhm… Here you are.

Tweep!

: …?!
: Wh-What the… where’d you come from?!
: Um, who are…?
: Get away from him, woman!
: Huh…?
: Begone.

Cast magic missile!

: A-Aaaaah…!

Leica collapses.

: Leica?! You… What the hell are you doing?!
: Kurou, this man is extremely dangerous!
: ?! What…?!
: Hahah… and now we meet, Kurou Daijuuji. I suppose this is the first time, yes?
: Although I likely know you better than you do yourself.
: How… how do you know my name?!
: In the interest of fairness, I shall tell you my name as well. I am Master Therion, he who seeks the Truth of magic.
: M-Master Therion?! As in, the Black Lodge’s…?!
: Hm, so you are at least familiar with his name. The Corrupt Beast, the Beast of Scripture…
: He is the Grand Master of the Black Lodge! And he is my… rather, he is our foe!
: It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Master of the Necronomicon…
: Leica! Stay with us, please!
: S-Someone call an ambulance…!
: You bastard…! Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to hit women?!
: Oh, are you talking about that Sister? I apologize. I am not so sensitive that I’ll pay attention to the insects crawling about my path.
: Y-You… you son of a bitch!!

: ?! An explosion at the church?!
: Haah… haah…
: Hm, so you’ve become a Magius. Your latent magical power is quite impressive.
: Keep talking! You won’t be by the time I’m done!
: Compose yourself, Kurou! And, more importantly, summon the Demonbane! Quickly!
: Wh-What’re you on about?! That guy’s on foot!
: Aye, and that is how hopeless the difference between your strength is at this moment! Carry on and all you shall find is a quick death!
: Hrm…! Fine, I’m doing it!
: From the hate-scorched sky, with righteous anger in our hearts, we draw forth the sword that smites Evil!
: Thou art the innocent blade… DEMONBANE!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=akXCWM1LrR8
Quick video here because Kentaro Ito’s yelling deserves it.

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: Wh-What machine is that…?!
: Gah, here we go again… and you can bet the princess’ll be even more pissed off this time…
: This is hardly the moment to concern yourself with such things, fool!
: Joey, you gotta call Heroman too!
: Huh? But…
: That guy’s a whole different ball game… even I can tell that!
: O-Okay! Heroman… ENGAGE!

: Oh…? We’ve a rather curious guest this time.
: Then I suppose I must also change the usual script… Etheldreda!

Flash!

: …
: A-A girl?! No, wait… she’s!
: Hmhmhm, allow me to introduce you. She is my grimoire, the Pnakotic Manuscripts. And this…

: Is the Liber Legis – my Deus Machina.
: There’s another one of those…?!
: Stay on your guard, Kurou! His mechanical god is that which bested my Aeon and I!
: Wh-What…?!
: In truth, this is slightly sooner than when you were supposed to first lay eyes upon it…
: But I suppose this time is special. Go, Etheldreda.
: Yes, my master…

: Waaah! B-Bro…!
: That guy’s just blasting everything…!
: Kch…! Think you can just walk all over us, do ya? I’ll show you!
: Jin…?!

: What…?!
: Th-The hell?! The Riot’s attack didn’t do anything to him…!
: Idiocy… Disappear.

: Aah… Aaaah!
: JIIIIINN!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7s_eB_TMROc

: ?! Arnie…!
: Hrgh…!

: …?! Major, we’ve got trouble! The readings off that unit’s accelerated particle engine are spiking! It’s going critical!
: What…?!
: Engaging the emergency shutdown system…! I-It’s not working…?! And the generator’s pressure is… A-Aah—!
: Hrm… That impact must’ve sent the engine’s anti-particles out of control! If we don’t do something, the particles and anti-particles will all collide and…!

Richard blasts off towards Arnie’s Riot!

: Major…?!
: What’s that UX mech up to?!
: Lepton Vectrer, emergency acceleration! Engine pressure rising, synchronization coefficient 68%… Come on, make it!

: Argh…!

: …?! N-No… Arnie?!
: Haah, haah… Least I managed to stop the particle annihilation…
: Y-You…! You killed Arnie…! YOU KILLED MY FRIEND!!

Graham flies after Jin and grabs him.

: Ensign Spencer, stop!
: L-Let me go, Major! He was my best friend! I gotta get payback for—
: Stop and think of what just happened! It was that self-absorbed mentality of yours that put Ensign Berge in that situation to begin with!
: ?! M-Major…!
: All forces are to withdraw immediately! Are we clear, Ensign Spencer?!
: Y-Yes, sir…

: (Sorry, Arnie… but I swear I’ll avenge you…!)

: (Looks like I’ve earned the scorn of yet another person…)
: Hmph, is the drama over now? Then, it’s your turn, Kurou Daijuuji… and I’ll be sure to savor this battle.
: Master Therion…!
: Wh-What do we do, bro?! Should we make a run for it?!
: What’re you, stupid?! We can’t just take off and leave a guy like that free to run loose!
: He’s right! Earth is our world too, and we’ll make him pay for messing with it!
: Our chances of victory are exceedingly low… but we still must prevail, or it shall mean the end of this city!
: I know! Let’s do it, grimoire!


Liber Legis (Master Therion, Etheldreda)
Pilot Skills:
Sorcerer L5
Grimoire L2
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Guard (ガード) – activates over 130 morale and reduces all incoming damage by 20%.
Morale Limit Break (気力限界突破) – ups the maximum morale from 150 to 170. The added morale difference between him and your guys means more damage done and less damage taken for him.
Counter
All Attack
Command L4
Mech Features:
Sword
All Canceler – grants immunity to all debuffs
Master Therion’s voice actor: Hikaru Midorikawa (other roles: Masaki in SRW, Heero in Gundam Wing, Leon in Tales of Destiny, Fei in Xenogears, Raven in Gravion and more, more more…)
Etheldreda’s voice actress: Rie Kanda (same as Al’s)

And here’s Kurou 2.0, packing more of everything our guy has at the moment plus S ranks in all terrains. Therion is powerful, is bulky and is a very good shot – he’ll even go right through your barriers and we should consider ourselves lucky that there are no mooks around to boost his morale.
Thankfully, this battle’s a freebie and he’s not going all-out against us, so he won’t do TOO much damage (hit him from range 3 and beyond if possible). He doesn’t have any major tricks for you to watch out right now, but we also don’t have anything special to use against him. Just burn all your remaining SP and get him down ASAP; if you don’t have SP, then you might not want to attack against anyone who’s not at full HP (except Richard and Romina).
Hold back just a wee bit and try to pull him closer as you get Saya and the Elshank crew to cross the map and get in range to attack him. Finally, one last thing to be mindful of:

:siren: Secret Alert! :siren:
Demonbane Secret – 2nd step: Shoot down Master Therion with Kurou.
The plot’ll kick in under 4800 HP, so you’ll all but surely need to pull a support attack from either Joey or Richard in order to make the cut. Just make sure Kurou’s the one who initiates the attack and you’ll be good.

You’re not in any rush, Therion won’t regenerate and he always focuses on Kurou, so take your time and set things up proper.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: He is a sorcerer who has utterly surpassed all human limits! Any moment of distraction will mean your death!
: I can see that, alright?! Rrgh!
: Hmhmhm… Come, Kurou Daijuuji, Al Azif. I trust you will be able to entertain me!

: A boy who lacks a grimoire, yet is capable of commanding a mechanical puppet. Perhaps you will prove amusing in your own way.
: H-he’s seriously scary…! But I need to fight, or Lina and the others will…!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfXMNGLy7is
Kurou: “That’s enough of your puffed-up shtick, Master Therion!”
Therion taking good damage – Etheldreda: “I will not allow you to destroy my master!” > Therion: “Kurou Daijuuji, this is still far from the end!”
Also includes the DK for Heroman Augment.
Our prize for beating him is a Nameless Grimoire (+10 to Skill and Melee, +5 to Accuracy).

: Hmph… Is that all?

: He-He regenerated?!
: Pathetic… How utterly worthless. Etheldreda!
: Yes, my master…

: Abra Hadabra…

RUUUUUMBLE!

: Wh-What… An earthquake?!
: These are energy waves…? No… Gravity waves?!
: Heroman… he can’t move!
: Rgh…! He raised a gravity field…! We must dispel it, and quickly, lest we all be crushed!
: Talk’s cheap, you know!
: Hmhmhm… What now, Kurou Daijuuji, Al Azif? Hmhmhm, ahahahahaha!
: Kch… Master Therion…!
: Sir Ylbora, the gravity’s exerting pressure on the engine…! Any more of this and it’ll explode!
: Damn it all! Emergency retreat, quickly!
: I’m trying, but the controls are unresponsive!
: I believe this game has run its course. All shall now return to nothing!
: S-STOOOP!!

: Hm?! That’s…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!
:siren:

: That machine…! It’s the one who helped us before!
: Tobikage…!
: …

: Hm… Can this power be…?


x5!

: How is it so fast…?!
: He’s like a real ninja!
: Yes, I see… You’re one of those that Nya mentioned – one who’s come from across the void…!
: …
: This is our one and only chance, Kurou! That robot is hindering his movements!
: I know, grimoire! I won’t let him get out of here alive…!
: This guy, he isn’t human…! I cannot recognize him as one! SEEEIAAAAAAH!

: Kurou…?!
: You goddamned monster!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tl3iwLYX6jQ

: Oho… Well done, indeed.
: Kurou dispelled Master Therion’s sorcery…?! But he cannot even cast spells of his own!
: Haah, haah… Did I get him?
: Hmhmhm, good. While you were assisted by the void’s emissary, I applaud the fact that you could push me to this point.
: And out of respect for your spirit, I shall take my leave for today. May we meet again, humans…

: We… we’re safe?
: …

: Ah! Tobikage…!
: And there he goes, always with the silent treatment… Just who is that guy?
: Hey, grimoire… What the hell is he, Master Therion? How can something like him even be real?!
: This merely reflected our current limitations. I am incomplete as a grimoire… whereas you are far too inexperienced to face a foe like him.
: I know that, damn it…!
: Then you must grow stronger, Kurou Daijuuji!
: If you leave Master Therion be, this will happen to others as well.
: Someone’s tears will be shed… someone’s blood will be spilled.
: Damn it! Never again… I’ll make sure you never get to laugh again, Master Therion!

: Looks like everyone made it out in one piece – somehow… Saya, what happened to that unit I shot down, the one with the accelerated particles engine?
: I’m still detecting faint vital signs… How do we proceed?
: Exigent circumstances aside, I was the one who dropped him. If the kid’s still breathing, then I’d like to help him out.
: Can you get in touch with that ship, Elshank, and ask them to pick him up?
: Yes, sir.
: And next up is…

Richard flies over to Heroman.

: Hey, Joey, Kurou! Do you hear me?!
: That voice… Richard?!
: Wh-Why’re you aboard that thing?!
: Eeh, it’s a bit complicated…


Cut to the Hadou manor, Winfield reports that the Demonbane has been recovered AGAIN. Is Ruri mad over Kurou activating the Demonbane without her say-so again? “I’m not a child, Winfield. I’m well aware that the situation didn’t leave him with any other choice,” Ruri sighs. “But, still… In my eyes, the Demonbane is…”
Winfield understands, but reminds her that this is the culmination of her grandfather’s lifelong struggles. Does Ruri give her permission to entrust Kurou with the Demonbane? Hmm…

: So you two followed us to investigate Heroman and me…?
: A certain interested party hired us for it, you see. We needed to see what kind of person you are.
: And we apologize for lying to you all this time.
: Psh, I knew something was off. And what was the end result of your investigation?
: Well… if anything, I’m now certain that none of you are scumbags like me.
: Richard…
: Come the Skrugg, Black Lodge, or whatever bad guys are waiting around the corner, I think everything’s gonna be fine with heroes like you around.
: Still, if you ever need a hand… you just have to call us through this.
: The UX’ encryption code…?
: Consider it your personal Dial-A-Scumbag. Mind you, we don’t work for free.
: Hahah… Take care of yourself out there, old man.
: It’s almost time for us to meet with the Elshank. Our next mission awaits, Major.
: And you can actually talk like us, huh, Saya? Now that was a surprise.
: It was necessary to conceal my identity. That said, talking that way was very difficult.
: Ah? Y-Yeah, I guess so…
: In truth, spying isn’t my specialty. The Major did give me some pointers on acting, but that’s still very much a work in progress…
: Nah, that’s not true! I totally fell for it!
: (I think that says more about you, than about her…)
: Regardless, please give our best to the others.
: Take care, Joey, Kurou. Here’s hoping we’ll see each other again!

: I’ve been briefed on everything. What happened to Ensign Berge is truly unfortunate…
: It’s my fault. Had I kept a cooler head, he wouldn’t…!
: Ensign Spencer…
: But I’m not letting this be the end! I’ll find and destroy both the Black Lodge and those UX myself…!
: I understand how you feel, but you must keep in mind that overly powerful emotions can just as well be a double-edged sword.
: What do you mean…?
: Because I’ve been exactly where you are right now. I was wholly convinced of my righteousness, pride and ardor guiding my every move in battle…
: And that cost me dearly as a result…
: Maj. Graham…
: Ensign… I don’t want you to head down the same path I did.
: …


Over by the Elshank, Richard and Saya are introducing themselves to Ylbora – Alex has gotten in touch and explained everything to the crew. They’ve also recovered the Federation pilot that’d been shot down.
Richard thanks and asks them to do whatever they can to save the guy’s life. With an apology for the haste, Ylbora asks Richard what their destination should be and he points towards Japan. There’s someone there who wants to help the Elshank crew and the UX were hired to introduce them.
Romina’s surprised there’s someone here who wants to help them and, as a matter of fact, the guy’s also the UX’ main client. Who is it? A man called Kunio Ishigami, president of JUDA Corporation.

And, before we end, here are the other convos we missed today:

: So you’re siding with the aliens today?! You just don’t care about whose lives you’re taking, so long as the money’s right, huh?! You mercs make me sick!
: Oi… now that’s an awful thing to say. We have beliefs of our own, you know!

: I won’t ask what your purpose here is! We both call the battlefield our homes… so now I challenge you as such, UX!
: The Union’s top ace, huh? Now this one’s going to be a tough fight!

: Proton reaction is rising…! Is this pilot not even worried about pushing the antiparticles out of control…?
: What kind of movements are those…? Are you going easy on me, is that what’s going on? You better take me seriously or I’ll make you regret it!

: Come, UX… I stake my pride in this battle!
: His reputation as the Union’s top ace is well deserved. That said…!


#12
Click to see the mission!

We open up at the C-Terahertz, where Hazard’s right-hand man, Dog Tack, informs him that the Elshank has moved to and set down in Japan after the battle by Arkham City. Hazard is not pleased to hear this and Grathan asks what’s so bad about them being in Japan.
Well, you see, while the country’s part of the Union, it’s really built up its own national defensive capabilities due to their close proximity to the Human Reform League (HRL), and its ongoing quest for dominance of the Asia-Eurasia region.
Grathan finds it weird to hear that, since he thought this entire planet was united under the Federation, but Hazard explains that that’s merely the public stance of things. Under the tables, it’s still every country looking out for number one. Politicians scramble, desperate for things like permission to use the Orbital Elevators, or access to the Space Colonies’ resources and, of course, Hazard’s Martian Development Bureau.

Regardless, the fact is that Japan not only its own Self-Defense Forces and the Union’s bases, there are also plenty of civilian defense organizations as well. The Elshank moving in there has made things a bit more complicated.
Fine, then Grathan will take a bunch of Shamans and personally destroy them. Hazard sings his praises but, inwardly, notes the effort it took to have the Federation Government accept The Boom Army as an allied force. He might as well get some use out of them.


And the Elshank’s already reached JUDA Corporation, where president Ishigami bids them a warm welcome. Romina is deeply grateful to him for taking in fugitives like them, but Ishigami figures people should help each other in times of need. Now, he’s seen fit to prepare a bunch of sushi for the new arrivals and begs them all dig in.
And, hey, turns out Joe and the others really like it – this alone has made the trip to Earth worth the effort to Damian – but, as Mike notes, they never ate anything of the sort on Mars. Rennie does harrumph at them for not even introducing themselves, but Ishigami doesn’t mind. Please, eat to your heart’s content!
As for Richard, Shaff tells him that he and Saya are at the infirmary, checking on the downed Federation pilot.

: U-Urgh…
: OH! The gentleman awakes at long last!
: ??? Um… Wh-Who are…?

(Richard here speaks in a Rakugo style, a sort of Japanese comedic play. Even if I did translate it as is, it wouldn’t really click. Also, I was born without a funny bone. So, with that in mind…)

: A grand day to thee, cousin! Mine name is Richard, classical actor. And this is mine most excellent apprentice, Saya.
: How dost thou, sweet lord?
: Uh-huh…? Where am I?
: Thou findeth thineself at the Corporation of JUDA in the land of Japan, mighty craftsmen of many a medical items!
: J-Japan…?!
: Ah, heaven lies on thine side, indeed! Thine metallic stallion, wounded though it was, eluded the grasp of Poseidon and came adrift upon these shores!
: N-Now wait just a minute! I was shot down at America! Are you telling me I drifted across the entire Pacific Ocean, all the way to Japan?!
: Verily, ‘tis as though God, the all mighty, blessed thee! Concern thineself not with such paltry things! Thine life is safe – all is well!
: Aah…?
: Hark, thine stallion doth be healed, kept within this castle’s stable. Thus, thou shouldst leave hither apace.
: Whaat, just like that?!
: Aye. The door beckons thee.
: A-Alright, alright. You don’t have to push me…!
: But, still, I guess you helped me out there. Thank you for everything…
: Fare thee well, gentle gentlemen!

Arnie leaves.

: Hmhmm, that went swimmingly, if I do say so myself.
: Major, if I may?
: What is it, Saya?
: I can understand the need to impersonate someone, but was the classical acting truly necessary…?
: Of course; it helps keep him confused and on the defensive. He might’ve been onto us if we gave him an opening, see?
: Uuhh…?
: (Is that true? It makes absolutely no sense to me…)


Already by the hangar, Arnie runs into Goro Maki and says that the classical actor sent him. The what, now? That guy, Richard. Ah, now Maki understands – Arnie’s the pilot of that robot, right? Yes, and is so glad to see that his Riot’s already been repaired.
Indeed, Maki saw to it himself, though he admits that it wasn’t easy – he’s never worked on an accelerated particle engine lacking any limiters whatsoever. Huh? What, Arnie doesn’t know? And he’s been piloting a mech as dangerous as this? But, yeah, Maki checked. While the norm is for units with engines like that to have limiters meant to keep the anti-particles under control, the Riot’s Proton Generator never had anything installed. It helps boost the engine’s output, sure, but from a safety POV… yeah, it’s not good.
Prof. Novel never mentioned anything of the sort to him or Jin, Arnie thinks. Maki figures maybe it’s a sign of how much confidence the bot’s creator had in his the pilots’ skill – or maybe there was another goal in mind?

Regardless, Maki’s just speculating. Still, he tells Arnie that he should be thankful to Ric—to the incredibly skilled pilot who shot him down. Had he faced an average enemy instead, both him and the Riot would’ve simply been blown to smithereens and that would’ve been the end of that.
Arnie, inwardly, is very confused at all this. First there’s that very suspicious actor, then there’s this mechanic that’s privy to confidential military tech. Is this really a medical company?


Turns out, no, it’s not. As Ishigami explains to Ylbora and Romina, that’s merely a front: in reality, they’re a defense organization working with the Japanese government. And why would such a group give shelter to aliens, Ylbora wonders. Ishigami will explain, in due time.
First things first, though, he would like to hear the story behind their voyage all the way to Earth. Romina tells that their homeworld, Planet Ladorio, used to be a beautiful world just like Earth; however, it’s been brought to the brink of ruin following The Boom Army’s sudden assault.
As Shaff remembers, they braved the fires of battle to secure and escape with the princess from their world. Romina’s father, Ladorio VII, was struck down by the enemy, though. “My father entrusted me with both the future of Planet Ladorio and three machines. And he said that none but Earth’s legendary ninja could deliver us from our plight,” Romina continues.

Wait, ninja? Really?! Yes, and what is clear to Romina is that only Earth’s ninjas could properly control the machines left by her father. But Joe and the others pilot those units just fine, no? Yup; Mike and Joe don’t really know the reason why, but they sure can do it (Ylbora fumes). Does that mean that Joe, Mike and Rennie are ninjas, Ishigami ponders?
Romina and the others also thought so at first, but Joe’s insistent that it’s all just a coincidence. For one, he’s never heard of any of the Mars colonists being even so much as descended from ninjas.
Truth be told, Ishigami notes that ninjas have long since become pieces of history, and that’s not what Romina wanted to hear.


That said, though Ishigami admits that it may be grasping at straws, he does note that Japan was the birthplace of Earth’s ninjas. If they look into legends and pieces of literature from those days, maybe they’ll find some bit of info that’ll help them? And, of course, Ishigami promises all of JUDA’s resources to help with that search. Romina is very grateful.
That all sounds too good to be true for Gameran, and he asks what the catch is. Nothing, nothing at all! JUDA’s workers are humanitarians through and through! … Okay, there’s just a tiiiny little thing. See, they’ve this project they’re working on and Ishigami would really appreciate if they could help with it.
A project? Yes, and the truth is…


We’ll have to find later, as Yui Ogawa, Ishigami’s secretary, steps in and says they’re receiving an urgent transmission from one Reiji Moritsugu. As he takes the call, Moritsugu says they’ve an emergency: a bunch of Martian-made units are headed our way!
Joe corrects that “Martian-made” bit – those belong to The Boom Army, the Elshank’s pursuers.

Bloody Linebarrels making me call everyone by their last name because it’s apparently OH-SO IMPORTANT to them… :tizzy:
I’m not getting blindsided again, but I don’t have to like it!


Mission 5 – The Legendary Ninja

: Hrmm, what a mess you’re in, Arnie… How am I gonna find my way back from frickin’ Japan?
: I guess I should first try and let Maj. Graham and Jin know that I’m fine…

: Huh…? Aren’t those the units that helped us in the Arkham City battle…?
: This is a message to the Elshank and Princess Romina! We know you’re hiding around here!
: I’m going to give you exactly ten seconds to show yourselves and surrender! If you don’t, we’ll burn this city to the ground and drag you out screaming!
: Wh-What did he say…?!
: What now, Mr. Ishigami? Whatever trick they used to pull it off, these guys have been accepted by the Federation as allies.
: If you try anything against them, JUDA’ll also get tagged as rebels.
: Ahahaha. Oh, that doesn’t matter at all, Richard. Our company made a promise to the Elshank crew to help them in any way we could, remember?
: Sir Ishigami…
: Moritsugu, Yamashita, I believe The Boom Army requires a display of how resolute we all are.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Understood, sir.
: You can count on us. It’s been a pretty long while since we had a legit fight, too.
: Hmph, so you earthling worms are set on defying us, eh? And in that case…!

: Hrk… Th-That’s insane! They’re bombing the urban areas…?!
: Saya, we’re also getting out there!
: Wait a moment, Major! That Federation unit’s approaching!
: What?!

Arnie blasts towards The Boom.

: Can you hear me?! This is Ensign Berge of the North American Alien Interception Team!
: Aah? What in blazes is he…?
: Requesting confirmation of chain of command! Under whose orders are you committing this atrocity?!
: That idiot…!
: Blah, noisy little bug!

: Urgh…!

: Are you trying to get yourself shot down again, moron!?
: …?! I-It’s the UX unit from before…! What’s it doing here?!
: If you don’t wanna die, then get lost! Are we clear?!
: (And I’ve heard that voice before, not too long ago. Wasn’t that…?!)

: (There’s the UX jet and even the alien units… What’s going on here…?!)
: Hmhmhm… and the rats come skittering out their holes! All troops, attack!
: Your romp through our Earth ends right here, The Boom Army!


Kill everything, don’t lose anyone. You gotta be a bit careful here because Arnie’s a neutral AI controlled NPC, right up front, and he’ll readily dash towards the enemy (he won’t attack them, but they’ll attack him) – a recipe for a Game Over. You’ll want to send your guys up there ASAP and start culling the enemies’ numbers, so make liberal use of Saya’s Tailwind spirit, or load your particularly slow units aboard the Elshank to give them a lift.
To keep things simpler on you, make sure your troops don’t do ANY damage to Grathan; focus instead on killing all other enemies. You’ll thank me later.

No secrets today, but always remember that the Elshank bots still need to add up 150 kills.


Vardant (Reiji Moritsugu)
Pilot Skills:
Factor (ファクター) – enables and boosts the Machina’s in-battle regeneration in proportion to their D-S.O.I.L. rate (check under the pilot’s kill score).
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Counter
Predict
All Attack L1
Command L1
Spirit Commands:
Focus
Sense
Mercy
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Shield
10% HP Regen
Squad Bonus: Crit rate +10, mobility +5 (Crit rate +20,Mobility +20, S in Air, Movement +1)
Moritsugu’s voice actor: Yuichi Nakamura again


Hind-Kind (Satoru Yamashita)
Pilot Skills:
Factor
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Scan
Invincible
Mech Features:
10% HP Regen
Reflector Cores – set a 3x3 AoE anywhere in a 2-7 range. Any enemy caught within will have their final hit/evasion reduced by 30%. Costs 30 EN.
Squad Bonus: Armor +100,HP +500 (Armor +150, HP +1000, Accuracy +10, Range +1)
Yamashita’s voice actress: Miyuki Sawashiro (other roles: Rico and Nico in Masoukishin, Tycho in Diebuster, Rin in Majestic Prince and tons more)

And here are our first two Machinas in the game, each serving a specialized role. The Vardant is all about closing the distance and slashing the enemy with its billion swords, while the Hind is meant to hang back and snipe away/debuff using the Reflector Cores (which are pretty dang useful, as you can see).
Reiji Moritsugu (damn it!) is a great pilot through and through, with tremendous stats (except defense), while Yamashita has decent enough stuff where it matters – his defense is especially good. The Vardant packs enough of a punch that you CAN even set it as a leader, but it’s there with Graham in that “falls behind as the game progresses” group. The Hind’s very much squaddie fodder, but you really should try to bring it along because a targetable 30% debuff to the enemies numbers is a really good trick to have in a pinch.

Now, to address the elephant in the room: the Factor skill. Previous SRWs may have trained us to think the regen procs only at the start of the respective turn, but the Machinas decided to switch that up for UX.
See, while they will still regen 10% HP every turn, they’ll outright regen a portion of ANY damage taken immediately after the battle is over. This is calculated by the formula Regen = (D-S.O.I.L. rate /2)%*Damage taken (I do understand that that’s an anime term, but it’s easier to refer to it as such), maxing out at 75% when the rate is at 150.

As for the D-S.O.I.L. rate proper, every Linebarrel pilot will start at a particular baseline (+1 for every 10 levels under their belt) and it’ll increase after certain occurrences. The list goes:
Take damage from enemy = +2
Deal damage to enemy = +1
Destroy an enemy = +1
Dodges or nullifies an enemy attack = +0
The enemy dodges or nullifies the Factor’s attack = -1

Finally, Moritsugu’s baseline D-S.O.I.L. rate is 60, whereas Yamashita’s is 40.

With all that done, as we move onward and Arnie gets his first action:

: (What now…? I’ve been ordered to destroy the alien battleship and the UX units, but… the Federation’s allies are clearly in the wrong here! Damn it, what should I do…?!)

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: The aliens’ rampage can’t be allowed to continue. We’re going, Vardant.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l6aMm-iBKwI
“A drone, meaning I don’t need to concern myself with any pilot’s life. And in that case…”

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Okay, how about I give these ETs a taste of what the Hind-Kind and I can do?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShGTZQwf_dY


And since I’m showing stuff off, here’s Joe’s best non-combined attack.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RPvvEEBj4D8
It doesn’t take much to kill all the Banks and Shamans.

: Rrrgh, blast you all! Now you’ll learn what it truly means to stand against The Boom Army!

: Waaah! Th-They’re bombing the whole city again…!
: Tsk… those sons of a…!
: Mwahahaa! Burn everything! We’ll hammer the horror of our forces deep into the Earthlings skulls!

: This is horrible…! Something like this doesn’t even deserve to be called “strategy”!
: I took a vow as a Federation soldier to protect the lives of the people… I won’t turn the other cheek to this! I can’t!

Arnie blasts after Grahan.

: ?! The moron’s at it again?!
: Stop! What’s the point in any of this?! Pull your troops back right now!
: Rrrgh, out of my way!

: Aaargh!!
: What the hell’s that guy doing…?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FNGwnYryds

: What?!
: (The alien unit… it shielded me?!)

: Urgh… This ain’t good! That last attack wrecked my control systems…!
: Joe?!
: Mwahahaha! Now what a nice gift this is!
: You’ve given me more than enough headaches these past battles… but now’s time to cut out the root of that problem!

: Gaaaaah!
: Joe…! Hold on, Joe!
: Goddamn it…!
: Now, DIIIIEEEE!!

: ?! W-Was that…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

: It’s that mech we saw at Arkham City…?!
: Tobikage…! There it is again!
: …


x5

: Uuurgh…! Wh-What in Annex The Boom’s name is that machine…?!
: W-Wow…! What kind of pilot’s aboard that thing to pull tricky moves like those?!
: (Its movements are like…)

Beep, boop!

: Yamashita, your Reflector Cores! Scan that unit if you would!
: Y-Yes , sir!

Scanning…

: Wh-What the…?! There’s no one piloting it?!
: (I knew it. That unit is…!)
: …

Tobikage flies towards Joe.

: Wh-What…?! What’re you doing, Tobikage?!
: …!

: Whoa! H-He…?!
: Tobikage and the Kurojishi…!
: Combined…?!
: Wh-What’s up with that…?!
: I get what you mean, Tobikage… You wanna fight with me, right?!
: If that’s what you think, then I’m game! Let’s tear this bastard up!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MKrjEQKXVXQ
You can kind of see Tobikage hanging right under the lion’s belly! :v:

: GRAAAAARGH! This… This is impossible!
: Now! All troops, engage and drive out the enemy!
: Aye, aye, Moritsugu!
: (I’m a soldier of the Earth Federation Army… They’ll court martial me if I cooperate with the enemy…)
: (Still, I… as another human being, there’re some things I just won’t tolerate!)

The Riot now faces left!

: (Did he… He’s on our side now?!)
: Come on, Tobikage! We’ll show them what we’re all about!


So here’s another thing Tobikage can do, and by doing so, it’s given the Kuroshiji a boost to all its stats, as well as access to a different movement. On the flip side, its squad bonus no longer increases melee weapons’ power (it now boosts crit rate), which is less than ideal.
Still, the extra firepower should help offset that. Also, at 130 morale, Joe gains access to Art of Mirror Image Bunshin no Jutsu, which is just like Shinn’s High-Speed Evasion: a % to outright dodge any attack, calculated by the difference between Joe and the target’s Skill stat (max of 45%).


Skeleton (Grathan Glin)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Command L1
Mech Features:
Sword
All-Canceller
Grathan’s voice actor: Houchu Otsuka (other roles: Gates in Full Metal Panic, Yazan in Z Gundam, Beck in Big O, Tap in Dragonar and SO many more)

Standard midboss fare, Grathan doesn’t bring anything to the table that you haven’t seen in past games. He’s accurate-ish, hits decently hard, is decently bulky, etc. etc. His best attack is range 1-2, mind, so you if you can hit him from beyond that, even better.
All-Canceller means forget about debuffs, of course, but that’s not a big problem here (remind me to check whether special commands like the Reflector Cores count as debuff weapons).

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: You’re supposed to be peacekeeping forces, not butchers…!
: I’ll make you pay for what you’ve done…!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

: I can’t believe the power boost the Kurojishi got after combining with Tobikage! Heh, now we’re cooking with gas!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vepQrrwXpmw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFG2QQXqj8M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TNVWLnci1RQ
And now we go to town on the oh-so-weak mooks. Here are Romina, Yamashita and Moritsugu’s best attacks, plus their slick dynamic kills.

One turn as all we need to wrap up Grathan’s reinforcements and set our eyes on the man himself.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: You seriously chased us over here?! No girl likes a stalker, you know!
: Whine all you want! I’ll pursue the Elshank halfway across the galaxy if I have to – I won’t stop until it’s captured!

: Damn it, Grathan, quit bugging us!
: I will not! I’ve to make up for letting you escape in the first place!


Grathan taking big damage: “I-I can’t believe it…! Romina found real ninjas…?!”

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: You’re allies of the Federation, aren’t you?! How can you do something as barbaric as this?!
: Hah, and you think I care? We only have one goal here today: capture Princess Romina!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: There’s nowhere for you to run, Princess Romina! Now be a nice girl and surrender!
: Silence! What I’ll do now is end you and lay my father’s – Ladorio VII’s – spirit to rest!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

: You hounded us all the way to Earth?! Give it a rest already, Grathan!
: I’ll wring out the life from your bones, Joe Maya! I swear it on The Boom Army’s name!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lalg8bYqwkI

Taking out Grathan gives us Hazard’s Favorite Athlete’s Foot Medicine (Defense and Ranged +10, Accuracy +5)… I don’t think I want this.
Oh, and I forgot Saya had words for him:

: Oh, a jet? That’s cute. Do you seriously think THAT can stand up to my Skeleton?!
: Underestimate me at your peril. There are always ways to down an enemy!

: Curses! I’ll get you for this!

: No other enemies detected in the area! The Boom Army has been repelled!
: Haah, haah… We did it!

: Ah! Tobikage’s…!
: …

: Still not a very friendly guy, huh? But he did save us again.
: (If we take the Ladorio Legend to have been coded into Tobikage, then… that would mean that Joe really is…!)
: (The Ninja Legend, the three machines, and a mysterious robot that appears in their hour of need…)
: (How do all these pieces fit together, I wonder? This is looking to be rather interesting.)


Location: JUDA – Cell

: I can’t believe you were that Unknown Xtrikers’ pilot…
: Sorry, Ensign Berge. I couldn’t handle keeping that shtick going…
: The classical actor was actually a merc… that’s quite the twist.
: One we wouldn’t have had if you’d just gone back for America like you were going to.
: But, for whatever reason, you stayed… and then you got mixed in with us.
: Those who know your secret must be killed, is that what this is coming down to?
: Hahah, please. I know society calls us “Hell’s Executioners”, but come on…
: We fight for a living, but we’re not barbarians.
: But when you do fight, it’s only because someone’s paying you to, no?!
: What about all the lives you take as a result?! How can you be fine with that?!
: Well, if you’re going to go there, let me ask you this… What difference is there between us, mercenaries, and you, soldiers?
: …?!
: But I’m afraid I don’t have the time to philosophize with you.
: You’ll have to play POW for a bit, so why not use that time to cool your head some?

Richard leaves.

: …
: (“What difference is there between mercenaries and soldiers”…?)
: (The army’s allied itself with monsters who didn’t even think twice before torching an entire town…)
: (And the ones who were willing to stand up them were the supposed alien invaders and mercs who take lives for a paycheck…)
: (Which side is really doing what’s right…?)


Ishigami welcomes everyone back, and while Romina’s grateful for JUDA’s assistance out there, asks is he truly fine with what he’s doing, risking so much in order to help them? Speaking of, Ogawa says JUDA’s been receiving nonstop messages from pretty much everywhere: some are demanding an explanation about the previous battle, others are being very vocal about their discontent.
“Oh, dear, that sounds pretty bad,” Ishigami sighs (and I swear this is all verbatim). ”But, okay, I want you to relay this message to all of them: ‘eat shit’. Something to that effect is also fine.” Joe does a double take, but Ogawa isn’t fazed and sets out to comply.

Like Ishigami said, JUDA will do absolutely everything in its power to help the Elshank and he meant every word of it. Joe laughs and can’t really think of a retort to that; Damian is also impressed with Ishigami’s honor, and figures now they really gotta help with that project of this.
Ylbora yells, asking how Damian thinks he has the authority to make that call. “And you? How do you figure we gotta care about what you want, pal?!” Joe gets in his face, and it once again falls on Romina to split them up. She notes that both Joe’s and Ishigami’s teams are helping them out of the goodness of their hearts – they cannot order them around.


While Ylbora fumes in a corner, Joe wants to know what they’ll be doing. First things first, Ishigami wants to properly introduce us to Moritsugu and Yamashita – the JUDA employees who helped us in the last battle. They are the very special pilots of the units known as Machinas.
The Vardant and Hind-Kind aren’t the only ones, of course, and Ishigami tells Rennie that they can be found in various parts of the world – both the bots and their Factors, those with the necessary qualities to control one. And, as such, it is JUDA’s mission to locate and gather all those.


Location: Oota City – Park

Punch!

: Urgh…! (Furuya)
: Hah! Call in as many of you punks as you’d like, you still don’t have a chance against me!
: O-Oow, I’m sooo sorry, Kouichi… I won’t do it again, I swear…
: W-We’re cool, right?! We’re old friends, you and I…
: …

Punch!

: Yaaack?! Gch… my head…
: Heheheh…

: Hm… Yes, that’s right. The Machina hasn’t shown itself yet, but…
: In regards to just his physical traits and overall abilities, I’d say Kouichi Hayase has quite a lot of potential has a Factor.
: But in regards to him as a person…

: (Hell, yeah, I’m strong! I’m… the strongest!)
: He is despicable…!


#13

Sorry, had shit that had to be done over the holidays and couldn’t quickly respond. I am 100% super ultimate final positive.

Anyway, Hell Stringer is neat because it’s a massive shoutout to the Hissatsu! series. A lot of Orphes’s stuff is in some way, in fact.

I don’t think they actually bring up the Miskatonic University thing in the anime, surprisingly… but yes, he’s encountered the Dunwich Horror. It traumatized him against magic. And yes, “Lady Nya”, which… well… if you know ANYTHING about Lovecraft, you should see an immediate issue with this.

Ah, Tobikage. Fortunately, UX makes you look very good, such that I can overlook that your show is actually fucking worse than the Linebarrels anime. It doesn’t make most of the cast any more likable though.

The Elshank is by far the worst of the three battleships in the game, but its barrier helps it a lot, and you have that now. In the early game its main purpose is to avoid every fucking enemy on the map to make sure Tobikage doesn’t spook you, because they will aim for it and he will show up. It does, however, fill an important role later in the game - its lack of EN requirements make it an ideal way to kill ELS.

And yes, you fight Master Fucking Therion on like stage 5. The balls on this game. And Tobikage smashes him, because Tobikage is literally invincible - in the show, the literal only times it was even HIT were when it had a substandard pilot and when Zerokage is around. It’s no joke.

And then we get to the first reason Tobikage is bad, bad, bad, bad. The robots explicitly need ninjas to pilot it, and… like, even ignoring Damian is from what is clearly and blatantly a ninja village on Mars (The show sees fit to comment on this over half the show’s runtime after they left Mars, of course), THE MAIN CHARACTERS ARE CAPABLE PILOTS FOR THE ROBOTS. But they spend most of the show looking for ninjas, because everyone has a fucking bucket on their head or some shit.

Oh, and not spoiling anything, but unlike L, Vardant ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT fall back in terms of strength later in the game. It only gets much, much, better. Actually spoiling things, Reiji gets a new move 3/4 of the way through the game, and said move is really damn strong. With that and Soul, he’s one of the game’s top damage dealers, and can beat Linebarrel BARELY on burst damage - though Linebarrel has more sustainable damage, Kouichi only has Hot Blood. Those two, Katou, and Ishigami are all amazing, and any endgame team lacking any of them for reasons aside from “didn’t get Ishigami’s secret” is doing something very wrong.

As for the three Ninja demons, first, their combinations. Note that Beast Demon gets new animation halfway through the series, while the Sea Demon instead gets to combine the second and final time (IT COMBINES TWO FUCKING TIMES IN THE FOURTY ONE DAMN EPISODES OF THE SHOW). I forget what Sky Demon gets. Second, UX takes the entire first arc of the show (where the Elshank is on Mars and going to Earth) and instead pushes all of its events to Earth, so you still get to fight Grachan, see the first combinations, and similar such things.

Ah, Manga Ishigami. A man who could literally tell the world “Eat shit” and get away with it. That’s not even the tip of this iceberg.


#14

Close. He met its brother, Wilbur Whateley.


#15
Click to see the mission!

: Your food is here.
: …
: Is something the matter? Should I take it away if you’re not eating?
: Are you… another of the Unknown Xtrikers?
: I’ve no need to answer that.
: …
: (What cold eyes she’s got…Is this how mercenaries are…?)
: Listen, I don’t know what’s going on inside your head, but you are our prisoner right now.
: And while I think this goes without saying, any aggression or attempt at escape will have you gunned down on the spot. Make sure you remember that.
: W-Wait a minute! Are you really fine with this?!
: …? What do you mean?
: I mean, a girl your age, stepping out into battles to fight other people…!
: Are you really fine with being a merc? With being paid to take lives?!
: …
: Aren’t you also a classical actress, even?
: Uuh…?
: Actors are meant to bring out so many emotions – like excitement, joy, laughter. How can you bring joy and laughter to others with your hands smeared in blood?
: And even if being an actress doesn’t suit you, there are so many other ways for you to make a living than as a merc!
: Pfft…! Hmhmhm, Aahahahaha…!
: Wh-What’s so funny?!
: No, no, I’m sorry. I wasn’t laughing at you.
: I was just surprised that even the Major’s antics can work once in a blue moon.
: What do you mean by that?!
: Oh, don’t worry about it. You’re a very purehearted man, aren’t you?
: This is the most at ease I’ve felt in quite a while, actually. Okay, I’ll humor you and go dive into one of The Bard’s books.

Saya leaves.

: “B-Books”…? I really don’t think a reading of King Lear or Hamlet’ll help someone who’s in prison…

: So?
: I left the cell door unlocked, as instructed.
: Good work. Now we sit back and watch what he does…
: I warned that he’d be shot on sight if he tried to escape. Do you still think he’ll try something after that?
: Who knows? If he doesn’t, that’s fine; and if does do something, I’ve a feeling it’ll be a plus for us.
: Granted, if he actually tries making a run for it, then we will have to kill him…
: …


Back at Ishigami’s office, Ishigami explains that the Factors are people who’ve been infused with the nanomachines carried by the Machinas – and one must, thus, first be a Factor in order to control one of the things. Sort of like one must be a Ninja to control the Ladorio mechs, Mike figures.
An interesting way to put it, Ishigami laughs; but, then, wouldn’t that mean that Joe and the others ARE Ninjas, Romina asks. Nope, Joe still says they’re not and it’s just a coincidence, but the princess remains unconvinced. But Damian says we can make sense of that later, instead wanting to know how Ishigami wants them to help with JUDA’s mission of gathering Machinas.

Well, a JUDA investigator has sent word that a possible Factor has been found not too far away from here. Once he is confirmed as being one, and the Machina is located, Ishigami wants us to move in and pick them both up.
“And how are you going to confirm that? Do you just walk up to the guy and ask ‘Hey, are you a Factor’?” Rennie asks. No, not at all. See, Factors display very special physical traits, so that’s what they look out for.


Location: Oota City – Park

#1: I knew we should have gone back…
#2: Gone where, exactly?
#1: I…
#2: We don’t even know where here is, do we? And, to make things worse, now Lu Xun and Zhou Yu have gone missing…
#1: Only because you would not sit still…
#2: No one asked you!
#2: And we need to learn more about this world before we can do anything, right?!
#1: O-Of course, but…
#2: Ssshh. Someone’s coming.

: What’s up, Yajima? Why’d you call me here for?
: Sorry, but it’s about Risako. She’s worried about you, you know.
: Risako…? That’s what’s going on? There’s nothing here to worry about.
: She misses who you used you be. You’re like a different person now.
: What’s the problem, huh? Am I not allowed to change or something?
: Besides, show me a senior middle-schooler that hasn’t gotten in a fight or two.
: Still, it doesn’t change the fact that you are different. You haven’t been the same since that accident three years ago…
: …
: You stopped being yourself – that kid who used to cry behind me and Risako – after that satellite fell on top of you.
: Tell the truth, even I’m shocked at how different you’ve become…
: Hah, and the truth comes out.
: ? What is…?
: I reckon you were being legit when you said Risako was worried – but that’s not the case with you, isn’t? You just plain don’t like this.
: The little baby you’ve been taking care of since forever is now stronger than you. And you can’t handle it…
: You… Are you serious?
: Don’t try it, Yajima. You’re not winning this.
: …?!
: You’re an ass…

: Yes… Yes, it’s fine. They’ve also confirmed it.
: We’ll move to capture the target, then…

: You can say whatever the hell you want about me, but Risako deserves better. Don’t you dare stomp all over her feelings like that, Kouichi!
: …
: Gigi, gigigi…!
: …? What’s up with you? You trying to start something?
: Hold on, Kouichi. Something’s… off with them.
: Hah, maybe Furuya also asked this bunch to try and handle me?
: Well, you’re right on time! I needed to let off some steam…
: Giiii!
: ?! U-Uwaaaaaaah!!
: M-Monsters…?!
: Gigi, gigigi…
: Crap! Kouichi, They’re coming after us!
: Psh… they don’t know who they’re messing with! I ain’t a regular kid!
: Gii!

Whoosh!

: What?! H-He dodged it…?!
: Giii!

Robo punch!

: Gaaah!
: Kouichi…?!
: Damn it… What do I do now?!

: That’s enough!
: …?!
: Wh-Who are…?!

: Isn’t it obvious? I am a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE! (Sun Shangxiang)


Mission 6 – Iron, Boy, Champion of Justice

: A-A Champion of Justice?!
: Aye! Now run along, quickly! I’ll handle this!
: Shangxiang… I told you we should have waited. Sun Quan)
: These are the denizens of another world. Even if we’re in position to assist, we must first discuss things through…
: Whaaat?! Quan, I know you are not suggesting I should’ve ignored children being attacked right in front of me!
: No, that’s not…
: Wh-What the hell…? Two Gundam costumes… talking?!
: Wh-Whatever, Kouichi! We gotta make a run for it!
: Y-Yeah, I got it!

They start running west.

: …!
: You won’t go after them! Sun Shangxiang will fight you! (Here’s a game for you. Try and spot every time I fit a Dynasty Warriors quote into their lines.)
: Behold, the deadly… KATENROU!!

Whiiiiiiirrrrr!

: Gii…?!

: Haah, Haah… Damn, just what is going on here?!
: I get attacked by monsters, Gundam costumes crawl out the woodwork…
: Hah, I guess even you still get freaked out by some things.
: And you’re a lot more annoying than I gave you credit for…
: What, does it bug you that much to let me see you a bit spooked?
: …

Stoooomp!

: Waaah?!
: What is it now?!

: G-Giant robots…?!
: Target spotted. Proceeding with capture.

The Armas start closing in!

: Th-Those robots are… are they coming after us?!
: Run, Kouichi!
: …?!
: I’ll draw their attention while you get outta here.
: Wh-What are you talking about?!
: It’s no biggie. Same ol’ song and dance between us, eh…?
: ?! Y-Yajima… you!

The Armas close in more!

: Come on, go! Start running!
: …
: D-Damn it…! Why do I have to be saved again…?
: I don’t want anyone to save me anymore! If I still need to be saved then I’m back at square one!
: Kouichi…
: I thought I’d finally changed! I thought I’d finally become strong, but…!

Big Stooomp!

: ?! Wh-What was…?!

Stomp, stomp!

: Something… Something’s getting closer?!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: …?!
: Another robot?!
: I-It’s…!

: Gwaaargh! I-It can’t be… he called the Machina?!
: The robot… saved us?!
: I-I’m sure of it…
: It was this thing, Yajima! It wasn’t a satellite that fell to earth during that accident three years ago…!
: It was this robot… that’s what fell!
: What did you say?!
: What is that… a demon?!
: It’s just like the giant in the legend!
: Heheheh… Well, things are looking up already!
: What’re you gonna do, Kouichi?!
: What’s it look like?! I’m gonna use this thing and fight them!
: Wh-What…?!
: The bot’s calling out to me, asking me to fly it…! It’ll make me even stronger!
: Don’t worry about anything, Yajima… I’ll protect you this time!
: Kouichi!

: Huh…? Something about this feels kind of familiar…
: Line… barrel… That’s your name?
: I got it… Yeah, I can handle this guy!
#1: We’ve confirmation that the Factor’s aboard! Wh-What do we do?!
#2: Keep your cool! Machina or not, that’s still just a kid in there! We’ll show him just how scary grown-ups can be!
: Heheheh… Take a look, Yajima! Here’s how strong I am!
: Yes… yes. There were some complications and the Humanoids were all destroyed. No, it was someone else who did it…
: However, it’s now confirmed beyond a shadow of doubt that Kouichi Hayase is the Linebarrel’s Factor.

: Understood. We’ll send a recovery team your way shortly.
: You heard her, my friends. The Machina has appeared at Oota and we’ll be moving in to capture it!
: Ookay! Then it’s our time to shine!
: I confess I’m feeling a bit nervous about this one…
: Please, don’t be! You just go in, pick up the Machina, and bring it back – easy-peasy. No need to stress yourselves out.
: Hah, but we gotta do this right to pay you back for all that sushi!
: Mr. Ishigami, about the prisoner…
: Hmhmm. We’ll proceed as planned.
: Of course, resulting expenses will have to be deducted from UX’s payment, you understand.
: Hah… Never one to miss an opportunity, eh, Prez?

: (Did something happen? Their security got a lot weaker all of a sudden…)

Ka-chunk.

: (…?! The door’s open…?!)

Back outside…

: So I gotta tango with 3 bots, all of the same design. Mass Produced models, these’re called, right? In other words… they’re mooks!

: I-I did it…! Hmhmhm, Hahahaha! You see that, Yajima?!
: Kouichi, why… why do you want power that badly?! I…
: Hmph! I don’t expect you to understand…
: Have you any idea how frustrating it is, being so weak that you can’t even protect the girl you like?!
: ?! Do you mean… Risako?!
: Can you imagine how miserable it feels, having to watch as someone else protects that girl? Hell, how it feels when you also need to be protected by that person, even?!
: No, you could never wrap your head around any of that!
: …
: Then… Then, this is because of me? Kouichi…

: Stop right there, you!
: ?! It’s that costume from before…?!
: Okay, first of all: rude! I am a bona fide human, thank you very much!
: Aah? Well, sure, I guess there’s a person inside that costume, but…
: That is not what I meant!
: And, second of all, do you know the only thing that came to mind while I was listening to you? “Moody child throwing a fit”! You—

: ?! Fall back, Shangxiang! You’re vulnerable!
: Huh…?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gm8pp5fjjRE

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend
:dance: :dance:

: Hrgh…!
: Quan…?!
: Hmhmhm… You actually can handle yourself in a fight, hm, Gundam Boy? And here I was, thinking you were just a regular, old costume.
: Wh-Who…?!
: Are you…?!
: A pleasure to meet you, Kouichi Hayase. My name’s Yulianne Faithful, Captain of the Katou Organization’s 7th Unit.
: And I’m here on orders of Cmdr. Katou to pick you up.
: “Katou Organization”…? “Pick me up”?!
: Hmmhm. Now if you could just be a dear and tag along, that’d be great. If you say “no”, though…

: Then I’m afraid we’ll have to turn your shiny Machina into an equally shiny pile of slag.
: Those are the same as—!
: Hah, I see how it is. You’re the boss of those mooks just now, right? Then I only got one answer to give you!
: This power’s mine and I ain’t handing it over to anyone!
: Well, that’s a shame. No way around it, then…
: Now wait just a moment!
: What is it, Gundam Girl? Do you want a piece of me as well?
: Of course I do! You have some nerve to attack my brother!
: And now the Archer Princess of Jiangdong will cut that arrogant attitude of yours down to size!
: Jiangdong? Never heard of it. Still, no self-respecting woman’ll back away from a challenge.

: Then you wouldn’t mind making some room for us as well, right?
: Aah, if it isn’t JUDA’s little gang. You got here surprisingly fast.
: What do we do, boss? I know we’re here to pick up the Machina, but way things are looking…
: We’ll focus on dealing with the Katou Organization first. The Machina can wait until later.
: (Are they also after the Linebarrel?!)
: (I won’t let them have it…! This power is mine!)
: And what about those tiny Gundams there?
: Intel mentioned them, the miniaturized mechs that destroyed the Humanoids.
: Leave them be for now. They don’t attack us, we don’t attack them.
: Roger that!
: I… I don’t quite understand what is happening, but I’ve the sinking feeling we’re being dragged into quite the mess…
: What are you even implying with that, hm? Come on! Let’s do this, Quan!


The SD Gundams have only been around for a few scenes and I already love them. Now, this mission’s pretty simple as it’s all but a replay of our fight at Arkham City: destroy all Katou units, don’t lose the Elshank, Vardant or Linebarrel. The latter is VERY difficult to kill because Kouichi’s D-S.O.I.L. is absurdly powerful right out of the box and he’ll regen a ton, so it’s more a matter of making sure he doesn’t steal too many kills (the Katou AI seems hardwired to go after him).
With that in mind, Yulianne is still the only thing even remotely threatening, and that’s just because she can debuff your armor.


Sun Shangxiang Gerbera
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Focus
Assail
Mech Features:
Sword
Repair Module
10% HP and EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Money +10%, Mobility +5 (Money +20%, Mobility +20, 25% chance to dodge an incoming attack)
Shangxiang’s voice actress: Akemi Kanda (other roles: Chitose in SRW V, Estelle in Trails in the Sky, Nanako in Persona 4, and many more)

Shangxiang is, right outside the box, a very reliable squaddie not only because she’s very dodgy (especially with an SS size – all SD Gundams are human-sized) and can handle herself both at range and in melee (though her best attacks are pre-movement), but because her Squad Bonus boosts the cash you earned.
Early game doesn’t have a lot of Luck and Bless casts, so she can quickly boost your cash inflow if you pair her with someone who gets a lot of kills. Repair Module can also make her a good fit for someone that takes more hits than not, like Richard.

This is probably a good moment for me to make a quick tangent into Weapon Upgrade Patterns. In essence, a Weapon Upgrade Pattern refers to the cost and bonus power you get for each extra pip you set in a given upgrade.
It goes from pattern A (the best), to C (the worst), and what you’ll often find is that the lower tier bots follow pattern A as a way to help even the playing field against the big, powerhouse mechs (often pattern C). Pattern A bots, like the Lyras and Shangxiang, get more power for each pip, and are cheaper to upgrade – as such, little Gerbera here will actually grow stronger at a faster and cheaper rate than Sun Quan.
So keep that in mind if you really like a lower tier unit – you’re not gimping yourself THAT hard by upgrading and leading with them if you want to. The Upgrade Pattern isn’t enough to fully compensate the power gap, of course, but it lessens the impact.


Sun Quan Gundam (Fierce Tiger Frame)
Pilot Skills:
Soul of the Three Sovereigns (三侯の魂) – activates at 130 morale, granting damage dealt+10% and damage taken-10%.
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L2
Guard
All Attack L1
Command L1
Spirit Commands:
Focus
Sense
Mech Features:
Sword
Azure Wall – negates any damage below 3000. Costs 10 EN per use.
10% HP and EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Armor +100, Melee weapons’ power +100 (Armor +150, Melee weapons’ +200, EN +75)
Sun Quan’s voice actor: Nobunaga Shimazaki (other roles: Touya in SRW OGs, Akira in Aquarion Logos, Iok in Gundam IBO and several more)

Sun Quan’s one of the main SD Gundam bots, so of course he’s good. Dodgy, strong, you know the deal; SS size does put him in that same risky position as Heroman, as a 3000 barrier isn’t impossible to pop when everything gets a damage boost against you, but his evasiveness is such that he should be fine (provided you keep an eye on evasion decay).
It should be noted that while his weapons all have decent power, his strongest (for now) is pre-movement, so that might hamper you some if you’re the rush-down type. Also, none of them have the Ignore Size Difference property, so the SD Gundams should be a high priority when you get one of those Skill Parts.
Those nitpicks aside, Sun Quan’s good, an easy fit in any group, and he’ll get a LOT stronger by the time we’re done. Also, Sun Quan’s kill count influences a secret (the greatest one), so that’s another reason to use him.

Our folks are rather far away, so we’ll hitch a ride on the Elshank and hurry on over before Kouichi gets too far.
The Suns are close enough to get to work, though.

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

: There are humans aboard these massive contraptions? What is going on with this world?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eraObur6g58
“Away! There is no justice in what you are doing!”


Frickin’ kill-stealer!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

: Come and face a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE, villains! I’ll chop you all into sashimi!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BDAhGNkbSWg
Saya takes the kill and as things progress…

: (Haah, haah… I’ve managed to make it all the way here. Now I just need to find and grab the Riot!)
: Oh? We bump into each other again.
: Y-You’re…!
: It took me a while, but I finally got it all patched up again. Do try to take things easier next time, if you would.
: Y-You’re not calling the guards on me…?
: I’d wager if I tried stopping you, you’d simply knock me out and go anyway, no?
: And if two events are set to end the same way, I’d much rather take the less painful option.
: …
: And, in any case, I’ve a feeling you’ll come back again.
: …? What do you mean?
: What do I mean? You know the answer to that question better than anyone.
: I do…?

Back outside…

Beep, boop.

: Richard, he’s escaped as planned. Now if events unfold just right…
: Understood. We’ll take care of things over here – one way or another.
: Let’s see what you’ll do now, Ensign Berge…
: …

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E7eoD2tAh10
Carrying on!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

Keep killing things and…

: Major, Ensign Berge’s Riot has just left JUDA.
: Did he now? I’d rather not have to shoot down the same machine twice, but…

By the corner of the map.

: (I just need to keep heading this way and I’ll be out this airspace… but…)

: Aah?! Enemy reinforcements…!
: “Easy-peasy”… yeah, right! This is some deadly work, damn it!
: (I can make it back if I just carry on… Maj. Graham and Jin are waiting for me!)
: (I can make it back… but!)

An Arma steps forward.

: ?! U-Uwaaaaaaah!!
: Crap, Yajima—!

: What…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: …
: It’s…!
: (Hah, he really did come back…)
: Ensign Berge…!
: If you’re going to gun me down, go right ahead…! But, I…!
: I know. You don’t have to say anything. Back us up, Ensign!
: …

Aaay, here’s our boy again – as if this battle wasn’t already stacked enough in our favor.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: (There’s no way I can go back after doing this…)
: (But, even so, I…!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o883F_-xLwM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GThBKYpgvhI
And here are Rennie and Mike’s best non-combined attack.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

: My, what a naughty boy you are. You’re really making life difficult here.
: Insolence! I am a proud man of the Sun family… And I do not tolerate injustice when I find it!

: Aw, what a cute little Gundam girl. But you understand that I cannot go easy even then, right?
: Hmph, that’s my line! I won’t show you any mercy!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: You better not expect me to go easy on you ‘cause you’re a woman!
: Hmm, spirited boys aren’t my favorite, but I like them well enough.
: Come here, kiddo. I’ve got plenty to teach you.

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Now that’s a very sexy voice. Shame we had to find each other on the battlefield!
: It is, isn’t it? Still, I’m afraid you won’t find me where you’re going!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Are you also after that Machina?
: We are. But, unlike JUDA, trashing it’s also A-OK!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Oh? Now this is strange. What is a prototype of the Federation doing with JUDA?
: I’ll never turn a blind eye to those trying to take the lives of innocents!
: Even if it means losing the home I once knew…!


And if Kouichi took a swing at her:

: This power, the Linebarrel, is mine!
: That toy is too good for you, honey. Hand it over!

She gives us Ishigami’s Deluxe Sushi (Evasion and Skill +10, Accuracy +5).

: Tsk… Guess the odds really were stacked against me.
: I suppose this’ll have to be it for today. I look forward to seeing you again, Kouichi Hayase.

: (The Katou Organization… Who the hell are they…?)

: All hostile forces confirmed destroyed!
: And with that done…
: Kouichi Hayase, please respond.
: Hm?! Wh-Who are you?!
: I’ll get straight to the point. You, a Factor, and the Machina you pilot, belong to our company. We are here to repossess both.
: Machina? Factor? What’re those?
: Only a person with the unique characteristics is capable of controlling a Machina… that’s what we call a Factor.
: Heightened physical abilities, a sudden spike in aggressiveness…. Does any of that sound familiar? And, above all, the fact that you are piloting a Machina is ample proof that you’re now a Factor.
: …
: You became that Machina’s Factor by accident, after that event three years ago.
: I don’t really get everything you’re saying…
: But, still, I’m not about to let you take this mech. And you’re not changing my mind…

: …!
: I’ve been waiting to have power like this for way too long, see!
: He attacked him…!
: Stand down! This is my job as Head of our forces!
: B-But…!
: Let me ask you one thing, Kouichi Hayase. What will you use this new power of yours for?
: For justice.
: Justice…?
: You heard me. I’ll be a Champion of Justice.
: Huuh?! What are you babbling about?!
: A Champion of Justice isn’t someone who flaunts his power like that, you know!
: She’s right. What you’re doing can only be described as brutality, pure and simple.
: That so? Fine, then I’ll work that brutality and pound you straight into the dirt!

: Kouichi, you…!
: A middle-schooler can only act like a middle-schooler, I suppose. And in that case…
: It falls on me to teach you what true brutality is like.
: Huh…?!

: U-Uwaaaaaah!


x5

: H-Hey, isn’t that a bit…
: Gaahaaaaaaa!
: S-STOP! You’ll kill him!
: …


x5

: (Aarrgh… I-I’m gonna die…?!)
: Oi, that’s enough. Any more than that and he’ll actually…

: Huh…?! Wh-Whaat?!
: The robot’s regenerating all the damage it took?!
: (That’s the Machina’s self-regeneration… but I’ve never seen one work as fast as this…)

Beep.

: Mr. Moritsugu, please halt the operation immediately.
: Why? Weren’t our orders to capture the target?
: Yes, but this is a direct order from the President: return at once.
: The President… Copy that. Retreating.

: Are you sure about this, sir? Just a bit longer and they would have managed to recover the Linebarrel…
: I’ve thought about it and figured letting that boy play around some is more likely to get us new information.
: Besides… it’s more interesting this way.
: Very well. I’ll strengthen our surveillance on him.
: Furthermore, both UX’s escapee and the two mini-Gundams are also being brought in.
: “Mini-Gundams”…? Ah, those.
: They aren’t exactly Gundams as we know them.
: …?
: (Hmhmhm, first the ninja robot and, then, them…)
: (The events needed for the project are happening without a hitch it seems…)

: Kch… Urgh…
: Ko-Kouichi! You OK?!
: A-Aaah, and I was so close.
: Still, considering how suddenly it all went down, I reckon I did pretty good for my first battle, huh?
: …
: Hmm, and I could eat an ox right about now… I better get back home.

Off he goes.

: Kouichi…

: …
: (Hrm… damn it…)
: (GOD DAMN IT!!)

: First you let me escape, and then you toss me back in the brig? Fickle, aren’t we?
: That was a test – and I apologize for it, FYI. But we wanted to know what kind of person you truly are.
: What kind of person…?
: Hm. Twice you manage to get out… and twice you came back. Why is that?
: That’s…
: Because you couldn’t ignore injustice happening right in front of you. Or maybe you felt that you needed to help others. Am I right?
: …
: Way I see it, you’re someone who values human life above all else – even when you know doing so will get you court martialed.
: What are you getting at?
: To be honest, I don’t think being a soldier suits you.
: …?!
: But you’re still a very good pilot… Do you see what I’m getting at now?
: … Are you telling me to sign up as a merc? To take life in exchange for paycheck?
: That’s for you to decide. As you’re well aware, we’re scumbags in the eyes of society.
: Still, even scumbags have beliefs of their own.
: So I want you to take your time with this. Compare that idea and your own beliefs to one another, and ask yourself: “Do I think that is truly the right thing to do?”
: My own beliefs…?
: I’m leaving the door open, alright…?

Richard leaves.

: …
: (My beliefs… What I think is truly the right thing to do … That’s…)

: …
: Kouichi!
: Ah?! Oh, it’s you, Risako…
: Hey, now, don’t “Oh, it’s you” me. Did you speak with Yajima yesterday, after school ended?
: …
: I… I was just wondering what Yajima talked to you about…
: Not a whole lot; nothing for you to get all giddy over, at least.
: Huh? N-No, I… I was just…
: Come on, we gotta get to our seats. Class is about to start.
: Hrmm. You’re always avoiding me like the plague…
: Oh, and did you hear? There’s a new student transferring over today.
: A transfer student…?
: Yep… Ah, here she comes.

Door opens.

: …
: …?!
: ? What is it, Kouichi…?
: (I… I know that girl!)
: Hello, everyone. I’m Emi Kizaki and I’m transferring to this school today.
: (I’ve met her before… somewhere!)
: …


#16

Oh boy, here we go. Tobikage BULLSHIT striking. It might be a bit early to post this, but after having ranted up and down about how Tobikage is pretty much the worst show ever in a SRW, I felt the need to finally compile my reasons when you started playing UX. Here’s what I’ve got. Feel free to refer to it whenever Tobikage seems a little dumb.


#17

:staredog:

Well… dang. Ain’t that something?

Everyone notes how SRW tends to make Destiny so much better, but no one says pretty much anything about Tobikage. Guess that’s just due to the number of folks who actually saw the former.


#18

There are very few things in this world that I actively hate. SRW Compact 3, the twisted mess OE became, the stupidity of the general public, the fact that the entertainment industry seems a lot more focused on following the leader than trying to make things truly stand out on their own, sequels that shit on their better predecessors… it’s a small list.

Tobikage is not on that list on its own. But it’s really goddamn close. Every person I can warn away from that show is another person saved, in my opinion.

Oh, and in the main thread, someone asked about Hazard Passha’s foot care cream on the items list. Yeah, at one point, Tobikage lovingly decides to detail its animation for once, to show us Hazard Passha applying foot cream to his wrinkled feet. Fucking thanks Tobikage!


#19
Click to see the mission


We open up back at JUDA, where Shangxiang explains that she and Quan are from a world called Mirisha. They were allied with Liu Bei and his warriors, locked in battle with the mighty army of Cao Cao. Last they saw of the place was in the middle of their final showdown, the Battle of Red Cliffs, when the warriors’ surging energies collided… and, apparently, their impact blew them all the way to this world.
Yamashita recognizes all those names, being a bit of a Romance of the Three Kingdoms enthusiast. Shangxiang isn’t familiar with it, so Moritsugu explains that what she just related is all ancient history in our world. The story Yamashita mentioned depicts the nations established by Sun Quan, Liu Bei and Cao Cao, and their battles.

The Suns are shocked – were they taken to the future?! Joe really doesn’t think so, as the thought of ancient humans being Gundams sounds way too crazy. Damian agrees, saying that makes their story of aliens coming to Earth in search of some ninja sound realistic.
Shangxiang harrumphs at them having a laugh at her: “From where we stand, it’s the soft-skinned humans of this world that are very unrealistic!” While Joe balks at being called soft-skinned, Ishigami steps in to confirm that JUDA ran tests and, indeed, Sun Quan and Shangxiang ARE humans. So despite our different standards of what “normal humans” are like, he wants everyone to keep that in mind.

Well, it’ll take a while for Mike to get used to the idea of some humans who went and became Gundams. Sun Quan wants to know more about this world, too, and will read this “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”. “In that case I suggest you start with the manga. It’s a really long story, mind you…” Yamashita says.
More impressive than all this to Moritsugu is the fact that two completely separate worlds share such common features as Gundams and the Three Kingdoms. Perhaps their Mirisha is simply a parallel version of our Earth? “I wonder,” Ishigami hums. “That might be a simplistic way of putting it…”
…?


Elsewhere, Richard was called by Sumeragi with news: the Celestial Being will be escorting a good-will ambassador. You see, a certain mysterious fleet is currently headed towards Earth; everything’s being kept really hush-hush as a way to avoid mass panic, though.
So, we had the Skrugg, the Elshank and now this fleet as well? Richard figures the Federation government must be freaking out right about now. And they are, especially considering this is a VERY big fleet we’re talking about, so they’re sending their ambassador over as a way to try and get a read on the situation.
Richard can see why, as mobilizing the army without thinking things through could antagonize these new arrivals, and no one needs that right now. But, then, why mobilize the Celestial Being for this? Truth be told, Sumeragi says there’s more to their mission than just being escorts…


Some time later, Ogawa brings in new arrivals to Ishigami: Cpt. Scarlet Hibiki of the WSO, leader of the Gren Falcon Squad, and her subordinate, Lt. Tsubasa Yuki. When Yamashita asks, Ishigami says that the WSO is an elite strike team, wholly independent of the Federation Army. And, apparently, they’re here to get the UX’s help with a certain operation.
Scarlet can’t tell what it’s about just yet, mind, as it’ll be a bit before it goes down. That said, she says they’re willing to work with the UX until then – it’ll serve to brush up some combat skills, too. Seems like the UX has a new gig, but the problem, Richard says, is that the Celestial Being also asked for their help. “The Celestial Being…? Hahah, business is booming, I see,” Ishigami laughs.
Still, JUDA remains the UX’s main client, so Richard wants to hear Ishigami’s opinion on this. Well, personally, he’d like them to stick around as JUDA still has the Linebarrel to deal with… What about our other folks?

Well, Romina fears that the Elshank staying here will likely draw another The Boom attack. Maybe it’d be a good idea for them to take off for a bit to try and draw their attention elsewhere? As for Sun Quan, he’d like to look for his other companions – they were all split up after they being brought to this world. If he and Shangxiang could stay here to do that, that’d be preferable.
So, the Elshank will be leaving and the Suns will stay. What will the UX do?


And now we come to our first route split of the game. As always, we’ll be covering them all:

Rendezvous with the Celestial Being:
Tobikage
Mazinkaiser SKL

:siren: [b]Secret Alert! x4 [/b] :siren:
Tobikage secrets #1 and #2, 00 Gundam secret #1, Macross Frontier secret #1 – 1st step: take this route.

Stay with JUDA:
Linebarrels
Mazinkaiser SKL
Gundam SD

:siren: Secret Alert! x2 :siren:
SD Gundam and Linebarrel secrets – 1st step: take this route.

And, bam, the very first route split already shows the design philosophy behind UX’s secrets. If you’re on a fresh game, kiss goodbye to whichever secrets are on the route you don’t take. No buts, they’re gone for you.
That said, individual secret flags you secure in one playthrough stay up into NG+. So, if you, say, take the Celestial Being route here, you could safely take the JUDA route in the next game and you’d still be on the run for all those secrets.
Being NG++ for this reason, I already have both route flags raised, so I can pick whichever. Through one door, we have Mangabarrels and the cool SD Gundam, through the other we have Trailblazer and probably Macrosszzzzzz…

We’re doing JUDA first.


Richard’s concerned about the CB job, but he figures the Linebarrel’s the priority now. It’ll be best if they’re around, in case anything goes down. Ishigami’s glad to hear it, which also means Scarlet and Tsubasa will be helping out with this as well. If you take the other path, Richard concern for the CB mission convinces him to head up into space. Everything else is pretty much unchanged.
Romina, then, has a suggestion for Richard: the Elshank crew could also help the Celestial Being on their mission. Ylbora immediately jumps upon hearing that, but Romina reminds him of how much Richard and Ishigami have worked to help them – now it’s their turn to help back.

Well, Richard is sure they’d appreciate the Elshank’s firepower (or, if you chose that route, he asks if they really want to, as the CB Op already has enough firepower) and Joe’s crew is also fine with it, especially considering they’re all hitching a ride on the ship. They’ll go where Romina decides to go, and the princess is grateful for his support. Ylbora frowns again, and Rennie follows suit – why is Joe only nice to the princess, she fumes quietly. Why’s she looking so mad, Mike asks. “You be quiet, stupid!” Rennie snaps and punches.
Whatever the case, Ishigami says the Suns are more than welcome to stay for as long as they’d like; JUDA will also look for information on their missing comrades. Quan thanks him, and Shangxiang adds that they’ll also help in any way they can. Now here’s hoping Lu Xun and Zhou Yu are doing well.


Wingle (Tsubasa Yuki)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defend L1
Spirit Commands:
Gain
Focus
Mech Features:
Sword
Repair Module
Squad Bonus: Crit rate +10, EN +50 (Crit rate +20, EN +100, 25% change to evade any incoming attack)
Tsubasa’s voice actress: Saori Hayami (other roles: Yon and Shana-Mia in OGs, Hina in Buddy Complex, Aila in Gundam Build Fighters and a bunch more)

Behold, Mazinkaiser SKL’s equivalent of Sayaka and she’s dozens of times more useful. Her stats are decent enough that she can handle herself but, of course, she’s not the bulkiest or strongest unit by any sense of the words.
The Wingle itself has average range, dipping as you move to its better weapons; furthermore, its attack power is more on the weaker side (Shiangxiang is stronger), but she’s not really meant to be leading from the front. Tsubasa’s spirits are a mix of support and offense, so play her strengths: keep her a squaddie and she’ll serve you well.
If you’ve watched the series, you know you’ll want to deploy her, and she’s certainly good enough that doing so won’t feel like a headache.

Carrying on.


#20
Click to see the mission


What matters isn’t what you should do. It’s what you want to do.


Over by Kouichi’s school, the boy’s calling out to the new classmate, Emi Kizaki (who inwardly stops short at his approach). He introduces himself as Hayase, also in her class, and mumbles that something’s been on his mind ever since she arrived.
Have they met before? He’s got this feeling that they have from the first moment he saw her. Emi isn’t having it: “Um, can’t you see that I’m ignoring you? I don’t have anything to say to a violent thug like you!”

And, with that, she leaves a stunned Kouichi behind. Him, violent? But he’s brought back to reality as Risako walks over and asks if he wants to have lunch with her and Yajima. They can get together and talk, just like in the good old days.
Kouichi isn’t listening, still coming to grips with being dubbed “violent” and slinks away. “Ko-Kouichi, wait! Don’t ignore me, please!” Risako cries out.


Back to JUDA, Ogawa’s just reported on a directive the Japanese government sent. They’re trying really hard to keep JUDA on a leash, though Moritsugu notes that the Machinas and Factors ARE unknown elements. While, on paper, they recognize JUDA as a defense organization, it’s to be expected that they’d be wary of them.
Regardless, Ishigami says that doesn’t change their priorities right now: find and recover all Machinas. Currently they’ve four under their control, leaving another seven left, including the Linebarrel. Speaking of, Ishigami’s thinking they should try and capture the thing about now. Wasn’t he the one who told us to let him go the last time? “Sure, but… he hasn’t done anything since. It’s so boring,” Ishigami sighs.

Richard isn’t surprised that Kouichi hasn’t done anything, considering how scared he must’ve been after that last battle. “Moritsugu, my boy, you went and shredded an innocent kid’s spirit! Wahahaha!” Ishigami enjoys it.
But never mind Kouichi for now, Ishigami has some better news to deliver: the Suns’ companions have apparently been found. Several eyewitnesses saw them not too far from here, and Ishigami thinks it’s pretty reliable. That’s a relief for Sun Quan, and Shangxiang suggests they take part in tonight’s operation – once it’s all wrapped up, they can go and find Lu Xun and Zhou Yu.
Sun Quan stops short at her suggestion, and while Ishigami appreciates her offer, he does warn that there might be combat involved.


“That’s no problem at all; consider it our way of repaying you for helping us find Lu Xun and Zhou Yu. Right, brother?” Sun Quan slowly nods, but doesn’t share in Shangxiang’s enthusiasm. In that case, Ishigami’ll assign them to work with Moritsugu’s team as an advance party.
Scarlet and Tsubasa are also more than willing to help, the former being eager to see how a veteran as renowned as Richard does battle. Oh, she gives him too much credit. But one question does remain for Richard: what will be our troubled young Ensign’s decision?

: A mission to capture the Linebarrel…?
: Right; Mr. Ishigami decided to change his approach. We’ll be executing tonight.
: The Factor will be wary of us, and there’s a decent chance things will end violently.
: And…? Are you here to tell me what to do?
: That’s all for you to choose. Do you want to come with us, or stay in here?
: What’s important here is what you want to do, no…?
: …
: (“What I want to do”… Jin, I…)


Location: Shangri-La – Bridge

: Rrgh… aaargh! D-Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: Hiihihihii! Hihiihhii…! Destroy! Eliminate!

TV off.

: Hey, are you sure about letting that whack-job handle this?
: I am not letting him “handle” anything. He is simply a small test. (Katou)
: A test…?
: You saw how the previous battle with the Linebarrel went. That is no ordinary Machina.
: One unhinged soldier is a small price to pay if it’ll so much as allow us to gather more information on it.
: My, commander, are you so taken with the Linebarrel that you’ll give away a soldier and a Machina?
: It won’t be that simple, naturally. I have a bit of a secret weapon ready for this.
: A secret weapon… Do you mean them?
#1:
#2:
: Hm, indeed. A legendary warlord whose name is also engraved in the history of our world…
: I look forward to hearing good news, General Lu Bu…
: …

:staredog:

: You know, you’ve been very out of sorts lately, Yajima.
: …
: You haven’t been speaking with Kouichi, either… Did something happen?
: …
: Hrm… And now neither of you are telling me anything. Just a few years ago, the three of us used to be inseparable…
: That’s…
: Hey, you remember that time in grade school when we talked about our dreams for the future?
: Our dreams…?
: Right. Kouichi said that he wanted to get as strong as you. “I wanna get strong, and then I’ll protect the weak and those in trouble,” he said.
: And when you heard that, you said it sounded like he wanted to become a Champion of Justice… but you liked it, because it was a very “Kouichi” thing to do.
: …
: But, now, he’s far from a Champion of Justice. He’s so violent now…
: I wish we could all go back to being good friends like we were before…
: Risako!!
: ?! Yajima…?
: I gotta go home… My folks’ll get really mad if I come in late…
: Ah? O-Okay…
: …
: Hey, listen, let’s go and have lunch tomorrow – all three of us!
: I promise there’ll be no questions, no lectures or anything, alright…?
: Alright… See you tomorrow, Risako.

Off he goes.

: (Yajima…)

: …
: Sorry to keep you.
: Fashionably late, aren’t we? Why’d you call me over here for?
: Let’s settle this, Kouichi…
: Settle…? I thought I told you before that there’s no way you’re winning this.
: Then I want you to prove it to me. Prove that you don’t need me anymore.
: …
: Fine, if that’s what you want… Then I’m gonna bash you into the dirt ‘til you realize that I’m in a whole different league!


Mission 7 (JUDA Route) – The Price of Justice

Punch!

: Gwaagh!
: Haah, haah…
: (Damn it… what’s going on?! Why do I feel awful with every punch I land on him?!)
: Hrgh…! Wh-What’s wrong, Kouichi? Giving up already…?
: Stop this already! Can’t you see that you’re not pulling this off?! It’s impossible for you!
: …
: I realized something the other day, after you said what you did. I realized there’s something rotten inside me…
: “Rotten”…?!
: Yeah… I… I took care of you… just ‘cause I wanted to catch the eye of the girl I like… to catch Risako’s eye…
: ?! Y-You were…?!
: …
: Why are you telling me this now…? I-I’ve always thought of you as—
: A Champion of Justice, huh? Well, relax, Kouichi… I’m nothing of the sort.
: I’m just scum… a lowlife…
: Yajima…
: Sorry, Kouichi – for everything. It’s all my fault…
: …
: Yajima… Do you think the three of us could go back to being—

: Gaaaaaaah!!

: A-Another Machina…?!
: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: Kch…?! Why’s any of this happening?! Damn it… What should I do?!
: Urgh…! Ko-Kouichi…
: ?! Y-Yajima… you’re!

: Kouich… What matters isn’t what you should do…
: But what you… want to do! Rrgh…!
: Yajima, hang in there!

: That’s…!
: Talk about showing up at the worst possible moment… Or, maybe, that Machina…
: Hm, it’s all but surely coming after the Linebarrel…
: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!

: I knew it. The Katou Organization!
: I suppose that’s that. I wanted to do this the smart way, but it’s not happening anymore.
: We’ll engage and destroy the Katou forces first. Is that fine with you, Sun Quan, Shangxiang?
: Absolutely! The soul of every Sun is the soul of a tiger, and now they’ll all see what that means!
: …
: (Must I carry on fighting, even in a completely different world…?)
: Try and eliminate as many of the enemy Armas as can be before the rest of our forces arrive. Troops, forward.
: Aye, aye!


Destroy the Stray Machina, don’t lose anyone. The thing’s way at the other side of the map, though, so we’ll slowly make our way across the pond and do what Reiji Moritsugu said – tackle the Armas.

Right the next enemy phase…

: Ah…?! Look over there, master! (Lu Xun)
: I-It is…! (Zhou Yu)
: Lord Sun Quan and the princess! Thank the heavens they’re both well…!
: Y-yes, but… what is happening here? Why are they fighting…?
: Now that you mention it… they look like they’re facing those giants.
: Th-Then we cannot stay here! We must go and assist the young lord and the princess—… hrgh!
: M-Master, you are far too wounded! You cannot move just yet!
: K-Kch, I disgrace myself…! These wounds are pathetic compared to the pain felt by the Tiger, Sun Ce and so many who’ve left us…!
: Master…

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Gh…gaaah!
: H-Hold on, Yajima! I’ll go call and ambulance!
: D-Don’t worry about me, Kouichi… More important than that… is for you to fight…!
: Wh-What?!
: You’re finally strong, right? … So use that power… for good…
: R-Remember… what you told me… that day…
: Th-That day…?
: B-Become a Champion… of… Justice…!
: ?! Y-You…!
: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!

The Stray Machina closes in!

: Ah! The Machina’s…!
: Damn it, that’s where…!

: Yajima…!
: No biggie… Same ol’… song and dance…right?

: YAJIMAAAAAAAAAA!!
: N-No…!
: Why…!
: …
: Y-You’re wrong… Yajima… What I always wanted… was just…!


What matters isn’t what you should do. It’s what you want to do.

: Yajima, I…
: I wanna kill that son of a bitch!

: ?! The Linebarrel…!
: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: You…! I’ll kill you! I’ll kill you if it’s the last thing I do!
: Hmhmhm… Yes, ‘tis the burning cry of your soul that I hear!
: Th-That voice…!

: Hmhmhm… Ahahahaha!
: Lu-Bu and Diaochan…?! How are they here…?!
: But he died at the Battle of Guandu…! And why is he with the Katou Organization?!
: We are the Shura, they who devour the souls of man!
: And while the fires of battle rage, the Shura know not death!
: Kch… How is this possible?!

: ?! Those are…!
: More miniature MSs… Are they also from Mirisha?!
: Aye… And that one, he was a man renowned in our world as a warrior without equal…
: It is the Flying General… the Violent Hurricane… It’s Lu Bu!
: Lu-Lu Bu?! As in, the mightiest warlord in Romance of the Three Kingdoms?!
: And he is also the villain who killed our father and brother…!
: Killed…?!
: Quan…!
: So what?! The only killer I care about is that guy…!
: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: You… You’re gonna pay!

: He’s fully awakened as a Factor…! Capturing him has just become a lot harder.
: What do we do?
: We’ll start by getting rid of the Stray Machina and the Katou units. Once they’re done, we’ll focus on bringing in the Linebarrel!
: Roger!
: You two ready, Lt. Yuki, Ensign Berge?
: Y-Yes, sir… I’m good to go!
: …
: (What do I want to do…? Jin, I…)
: (I want to go and figure out what is truly the right thing to do…!)


Well, this just got a whole lot more complicated. Our objective is still just to beat the Stray Machina, as doing so will progress with the plot.
But where’s the fun/money/kills in that? We’ll deal with these new arrivals first, and then back around to wrap that up. Kouichi and the Machina will be focusing solely on each other, so we don’t need to worry about them.


Diaochan Qubeley
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Mech Features:
Sword
10% HP and EN Regen
Diaochan’s voice actress: Ayumi Tsunematsu (other roles: Maiya in Fate/Zero, Marina in 00 Gundam, Lukagge in Gargantia, and some more)

Diaochan’s fine, if a little specialized. She’s very much built as a long range debuff/support unit, and it shows as pretty much everything’s stacked towards her “Funnels”: they pack a decent punch and will apply Morale, Evasion AND Accuracy down.
Her stats are decent enough, nothing great, and SS size, Prevail plus decent mobility can make her dodgy, but nothing a few Strikes can’t solve. Her main purpose is to set up the Shura one-two punch: she weakens the target and then Lu Bu does his thing. And, oh, boy, where do I start with Lu Bu…?


Lu Bu Tallgeese
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L5
Support Attack L1
Break Morale Limit
Counter
Predict
All Attack
Mech Features:
Sword
20% HP and EN Regen
All-Canceller
Lu Bu’s voice actor: Atsushi Miyauchi (other roles: Niji Vinsmoke in One Piece, Odin in SMT IV: Final, Geil in Gundam 0083 and a few more)

This guy… he’s one of the strongest enemies in the entire game. Stats-wise, he’s on par with Master Therion (meaning everything important is sky high), but he has special tricks unique to him. For one, everything, sans his weakest attack, will go right through your barriers and will hit like a jet-propelled truck; second, he’s dodgy as fuck, of course, but that Prevail L5 means he’ll take waaaay more punishment than you might expect. Killing him in one round at this point in the game, on a fresh playthrough, takes effort (and he regens about 8k HP a turn).
All-Canceller means you can’t debuff him in any way, and once Predict/Prevail gets rolling, anyone bigger than him (read: non-SD Gundams) will pretty much need Strike to get good numbers unless they’re packing Ignore Size Difference. Break Morale limit will also double your pain. Oh, and avoid attacks he can parry because his Skill stat is quite high.

Lu Bu’s range starts dipping off when he goes into his best weapons, but his second best is still 1-3, which is enough coverage to reach most units’ big attacks. If you can’t hit from beyond that, come packing some measure of protective spirits or Lu Bu WILL make you pay for it. And the best part is that he’s not even using all his tricks.
Do not pursue Lu Bu. Wanting to do that on a fresh game, at this point of the story, is asking for trouble.

:siren: Secret Alert! :siren:
SD Gundam Secret – 2nd Step: Pursue Lu Bu (and shoot him down with Sun Quan)

Well, shit. At the very least you don’t have to worry about his HP falling under a certain threshold, so there’s that. Do note, however, that downing Diaochan will trigger the plot, so focus entirely on Lu Bu.

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

Kouichi’s first convo is for when he actually moves, the second is when the Stray Machina attacks him:

: Yajima… You said you were you were scum, a lowlife… then why’d you have to go and die for me?! That’s something a Champion of Justice would do!
: Damn it… YAJIMAAAAAA!!

: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: I’ll kill you, whatever it takes! You murdered Yajima… and I’ll make you pay!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74znXYukpwY
“Wait just a bit, Yajima… I’ll avenge you!!”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYfp4JGvOnQ
And since we didn’t see this move before, here it is.

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers
:rock: :rock:

: How’s your handling of the Wingle, Lt. Yuki?
: I’m managing it somewhat, thanks to your data…
: But do you really think I’m suited to work as a pilot?
: We’ll need your strength when the time comes for that Op. Meaning you’ve to learn how to handle yourself in battle ASAP.
: Yes, ma’am. I’ll do my best, ma’am!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxMf-wgBjYM
Here’s her best trick, since I could.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: I reckon you already know it, Ensign Berge, but there’s no going back from this, alright?
: Hm… I knew I wouldn’t be returning to the army when I made my decision.
: All I want now is to stay here… and figure out whether you and your beliefs are actually in the right!
: Okay, then. Watch our backs, Ensign!

When Lu Bu first moves:

: COME! Can anybody provide me with a decent challenge?! Is there one here who can rouse my soul?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EocIGzZ0-e0

And when Diaochan first moves:

: Be it one man or a hundred, I won’t suffer any impeding Fengxian’s hunt! (Diaochan addresses Lu Bu by his courtesy name.)

:siren: Dynasty Warriors 6 - Theme of Lu Bu -DW Prime Mix-
Lu Bu always has priority over your weakling themes!

: Hmhmhm… Draw your blade, and show me what you can do!
: Hah… it’s like I’m staring back at who I used to be…
: But it’s a fool he who gets drunk on his own power, and now you’ll learn that the hard way…!


Lu Bu attacking Machinas: “I hear its cry, oh, giant! You and your kind have souls as well…?!”

: You killed my father and my brother Sun Ce…! And now I’ll have my revenge, Lu Bu!
: Woman or man, none shall receive mercy from me! You, another of Jiangdong’s tigers! Show me your soul, and then I shall crush it!


Shangxian attacking Lu Bu: “Father, brother… I’ll strike down your killer myself!”

And when you get Lu Bu under about 60%…

: Hahahah… Yes, excellent! Skirmishes like this are precisely what brought me back to the battlefield!
: This thrill! This scorching excitement, it grips me! It ignites—MY SOOOOUUUUL!!

: Hrgh… what a crushing spirit!
: This accursed Shura…!
: Rise, dwellers of this world! Face the hammerblow of my soul and find the death that awaits you!

I seriously hope you still have someone available with Invincible, Alert or whatever, else there’s a nigh certain change Lu Bu will straight-up oneshot someone after that.

: I know mercs aren’t supposed to care about “right” or “wrong”… but, dang, you’re a real bad egg!
: I care not for your barking. Let the voice of your soul reach my ears!

: Why are you doing any of this…?! What’re you after?!
: What I thirst for is battle itself! I’ve no goals to fulfill when I step onto a battlefield, for I have already gained what I desired!
: Are you kidding me?! What’s the point in any of that, then?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqAUK2qHv4o
I needed a guinea pig to showcase his best attack. And you see that? Were that a crit, Tsubasa would’ve been oneshotted (do note, I’d already given the Wingle 2 pips of upgrades on HP and Armor).

: You still seek battle even in a different world, Lu Bu?!
: How did a man like you ever come to be?!
: Hmph… I see you remain ever so compassionate, young cub. So were your father and brother. Will you also mirror their pitiable deaths?
: Wh-What?! You fiend…!
: Hahahah… Do you hate me?! Then take sword in hand! Stir my soul with the fire of your rage!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwmzdqsGNUM
And here’s Sun Quan’s best trick.

: Hrgh…! Hah, hahahah… Good, this is the precisely what I sought!
: My soul has been scarred by your might! I shall eagerly await the moment when we may cross blades again!

: Fengxian…?!

: How could it be that even Lu Bu and his men were brought to this world…?
: Do the heavens seek to test us here as well…?

Whew… that’s that problem taken care of. Now we just double back and wreck the Stray Machina – it’s no challenge whatsoever, as even its D-S.O.I.L. is very weak.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: You’re not doing anything to the Linebarrel! Not before you deal with me!

: Destroy the Linebarrel! Eliminate the Factor!
: The Linebarrel can wait… First order of business is taking out this Stray Machina.


Bam. Done.

: Gch, gchch…!
: The Machina’s stopped moving…?!
: Yamashita, now! Your Bullet Arm!
: O-OK!
: S-STOP! I… I need to—!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqMAugEEKHs
Posting this, if only so you can hear the Stray Machina flipping out as it explodes

: ?! Aah—…!
: D-Destroy the Linebarrel…! Elimi…nate… the…

: …
: …What did you do? That guy killed Yajima…!
: I wanted to at least, at least get revenge for him… and now YOU TOOK THAT AWAY FROM ME!!
: YOU’RE GONNA PAY FOR THAT!!

: This reaction… the Vardant’s afraid?!
: The Hind’s also acting weird, Moritsugu!
: Wh-What… What’s going on?!
: You… You’re just as bad as that killer…! I’ll destroy every single one of you…!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3I5PIdu1gb8

Everyone’s HP gets cut in half!

: Urgh…! Wh-What the hell?!
: I never thought it had a weapon like that…! There’s no way we’d survive a clean hit from it!
: What do we do, then…?!
: We can’t afford to weigh our options now! All troops, engage and immobilize the Linebarrel – do whatever it takes!
: Haah, haah… The next one… won’t miss!


Throw whatever you’ve left and get rid of Kouichi ASAP. He has that Executor MAPW available, mind you, but it can only strike in a straight line, so keep your guys spread out and you’ll be fine.
One thing to note, however, is that Kouichi’s D-S.O.I.L. rate is now running at 101%, meaning he’ll regen 50% of all damage you do to him.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: You’re getting in my way too?! Then I’ll… I’ll crush you, them, and anyone else messing with me!
: You need to cool your head right the hell now! All you’re doing is wrecking the whole city!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: You’re going at it too hard! Keep that up, and it’ll end badly for you too!
: I don’t give a damn about what happens to me! I just want you all dead!

:siren: SRW UX - Tales of Mirisha ~ The Brave Legend

: Don’t let anger and hatred guide your hand! That way leads only to more sorrow!
: Shut your big mouth…! You’ve no idea what I’m feeling!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: How… How could you do this to me?! You’re all gonna pay…!
: Oh, give me a break! We didn’t do anything wrong!

: Your name’s Moritsugu, right…? Why are you always getting in my way?!
: From where I’m standing, it’s you who’s really getting in the way of our work.
: Hrm… GO TO HELL!!
: (His swordsmanship is incredibly different from before. Even having awakened as a Factor, that’s too much…)
: (It’s like he’s a completely different person…!)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfThdy_muBI
And here’s Shangxiang’s best attack. She’ll show him how a true CHAMPION OF JUSTICE does things!

: Gaaaaaaaaaah! D-Damn it… GODDAMN IT!!

The Linebarrel dashes after the Hind-Kind.

: Uwah! H-He’s…!
: Yamashita…!
: He’s completely lost it! We need to stop him now or…!
: HAAAAAAAAAAAH!!
: Hrm… You’re mine!

: Oorgh…!

Power dooooown.

: Haah, haah…
: Moritsugu…
: I-I’m sorry, Yajima… I know I suck…
: But, I…! Still, I…!


I wanted to be like you…

: What’s wrong, Kouichi… Why that look on your face?
: Yajima?! You’re alive…!
: What are you crying for, huh? Didn’t I tell you it was no biggie?
: But, Yajima… I…!
: It’s fine. What you’ll do from here on out is way more important than what is already in the past.
: And I know, without a shadow of doubt, that you…
: Y-Yajima, wait…!


But that was just a dream, as Kouichi wakes up at JUDA’s infirmary and jumps straight out of bed. Ogawa comes in right then and explains that he’s a guest at a certain company’s HQ.
She introduces herself as the president’s secretary but Kouichi sniffs that he doesn’t really care for who she is: “Ooh, the dossier was right. You DO have a pretty big mouth… if nothing else,” Ogawa quips. Turns out Kouichi’s naked – whoops.


Cut back to the Shangri-La, Masaki (with the brown clothes) reports that not only the Linebarrel wasn’t destroyed, their own Machina was also taken. Katou isn’t too broken up over this, as it allowed them to get much useful information – it was a good trade. Crazy-looking Riku is sure things would’ve gone a whole lot better had he been in charge of the operation.
He asks that Katou let him also deploy the next time, eager to show the commander what his imagination is capable of. Masaki glares.


Also at JUDA’s infirmary are Zhou Yu and Lu Xun, the former being very apologetic for his wounds worrying Shangxiang so. She poo-poos at that, saying he should be happy that they’re finally together again – now Zhou Yu only has to focus on getting better and they’ll all head back to Mirisha together!
There’s still the fact, Lu Xun points out, that they’ve no idea what brought them to this world in the first place. Was Sun Quan’s hypothesis correct, and the clashing energies at the Battle of Red Cliffs were the cause?
Zhou Yu isn’t so sure: Lu Bu was already dead by the time of that battle, and here were both him and Diaochan. That points towards there being another cause, beyond what happened at the Red Cliffs. “Or, perhaps, it was by the will of the heavens that we were transported to this world,” he ponders.


Over by Ishigami’s office, Sun Quan says that his original plan was to leave JUDA as soon as Zhou Yu’s recovered from the wounds he suffered at the Battle of Red Cliffs… but that changed with Lu Bu revealing himself. Sun Quan refuses to go anywhere until that man is defeated.
Moritsugu asks if it’s to take revenge for his family, but, no, Sun Quan says he’s well aware that fighting with a heart filled with hatred and thirst for revenge leads only leads to one’s self-destruction. That being said, he doesn’t want the people of this world to suffer at Lu Bu’s hands like he did.
“Then you’ll hear no complains for me, Sun Quan. What matters is what you want to do,” Ishigami nods. Quan and his men are more than welcome to keep fighting with us. And, with that done, there’s another matter to be settled… Kouichi.

: …
: So… you were the one behind everything…?
: I confess I had to resort to some rather violent tactics to confirm whether or not you were a Factor. My apologies for that.
: That said, I’m not to blame for everything that’s happened. A big part of that responsibility belongs to you too…
: Wh-What…?!
: That thought never crossed your mind, hm? You never even tried to understand the nature of the power you gained… but if you had, maybe you wouldn’t have gotten your best friend killed.
: Y-YOU SON OF A…!
: Still don’t get it, do you? Your friend was killed precisely because of that rash nature of yours.
: …?!
: …
: Kch… Damn it! I always wanted to be stronger but… but I never wanted anything like this! Why did I become the Linebarrel’s Factor anyway…?!
: Well, there are two major conditions for one to become a Factor.
: The first is to be injected by a Machina’s particular nanomachines. And the second…
: Is for that person to be killed by said Machina.
: Killed… by the Machina?!
: That’s right. You were killed by the Linebarrel. Simply put…
: You died that day, three years ago.

Here’re the convos we missed today:

: How does any of this excite you? Why do you follow a man like that?!
: One is because my soul demands it; the other is because my woman’s heart compels me. Can you not grasp that?

: Hah… A man with the soul of a demon? Step forward, so that I may feast upon it!
: OUT OF MY WAY!!

: For how long are you going to continue with this insanity?!
: How long? For as long as we draw breath!

: You should not have come here, young tigress. Leave at once!
: It’s you who needs to get lost! I’m going to end my father and brother’s killer!