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

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#41
Click to see the mission!


We open up at JUDA, where Ishigami’s just received news that the Frontier Fleet and the Advanced European Union (AEU) have signed a treaty with one another. It’s ostensibly a treaty for the provision of Frontier tech to them, but, and here’s the kicker, the contents are clearly that of a military treaty.
The Union and the HRL won’t take this quietly, and Richard, back in action, can see why: access to both the Fleet’s forces and their warp tech is something folks the world over would kill to get their hands on.
The speed with which this treaty was signed strikes Ishigami are very odd, and, from what Shirin’s told Cagalli, the whole thing was brokered by a certain shadowy mastermind. Scarlet’s also up and about, and immediately suspects Hazard.

We can’t say for sure if he was behind it, but the fact is this could really ramp up tensions between the Big Three Nations. That, in turn, would allow the Martian Development Bureau and Hazard to further increase their influence within the Federation under their banner of “maintaining world stability”. And, to top it off, we still can’t take action against The Boom Army while the Federation views them as allies.
Hazard’s showing himself to be far more cunning than Ishigami gave him credit for, and Cagalli says something must be done and quick. Give him any more leeway and the entirety of the Earth Sphere will all but be under his sway. But Orb can’t take any overt action against him, can they? They can’t, which is why she’s assigning Shinn and Luna to work with the UX as an emergency measure.


Richard’s surprised she’s giving them two of the top aces from the 2nd PLANTs/Earth Alliance war, but Cagalli says it’s only a matter of time before the Federation comes pressing down on Orb now that its ties to the UX and Tatsumiya have been exposed. She wants to make sure those two will be out of their reach.
Richard takes her up on her offer, then, and offers his sympathies. And with wishes for everyone to be careful, the call’s closed. Richard sees that things are taking a turn for the worse. Ishigami can’t help but be curious about Hazard, though.
Until not too long ago, he was someone whose area of influence was primarily around Mars. How has he come to wield so much power, so quickly, over the Earth Sphere? Scarlet doesn’t think the Federation government and army are stupid enough that he could just walk all over them, but Ishigami seems to have an idea…


Cut to halfway across the globe, the Rubens Foundation in New York, Mishima’s called over to thank Rubens for mediating their deal with the AEU. On the contrary, Rubens thanks Mishima for accepting the proposal: the Frontier’s Fold technology is essential for laying the founding stones for Earth’s future. And, with this, Rubens can finally move to the next stage of his plan.
Mishima hopes both their futures will turn out as wonderful as they envision, and ends the call. Rubens has a laugh that the Frontier Fleet also has scummy men like Mishima at its core, but it doesn’t matter: the entire world will now be set in motion.


A hidden man wonders aloud if Rubens will now step onto the world’s stage himself. Heavens, no: he’s merely laying the groundwork for what’s to come. If that’s the case, then the man is satisfied.
Inwardly, though, Rubens tells his observer to keep on watching: when the moment arrives, the world will…!


Over by ALVIS, Makabe’s called in an emergency meeting: the Federation knows Tatsumiya’s current location, so he wants the island temporarily relocated to the northeastern archipelago. Kondo asks if he means engaging the Brünnhilde System, as the thing is supposed to still be disabled.
Makabe thinks otherwise, seeing in the fact that Solomon’s issuing warnings an indicator that “she” is already awakening (Soushi is silent). They can’t allow the Federation to interfere with their mission, so he wants the island moved ASAP. In that case, Soushi has a proposal to make as a precaution in case the Feds do try something: send the Fafners and their pilots out of the island… which would also help get some needed live-combat training.

Kaname is outraged that Soushi wants those kids flung into the war outside, but he argues that this already is a war they’re taking part in. And Kariya thinks it’s a good idea too: if the Brünnhilde System’s active, that means the island’s self-defense systems are as well. They should take this opportunity to get the non-Kazuki pilots used to real battles, and she figures the UX would be perfect to make that happen.
“The UX?! You may as well be teaching our kids to be murderers if you’re sending them to a mercenary group!” Toumi objects, and Kariya wonders why she’s suddenly decided to care. “How many people have you already sacrificed to this project?”
Toumi doesn’t argue back, and Kariya wonders what Cmdr. Minashiro would’ve said about this if he was still alive. Regardless, Makabe decides to go with it – he’ll set things up with the UX through Cagalli. Toumi speaks up again, asking if he realizes that working with the UX will mean fighting against other humans… and, in that case, Makabe says she’ll be accompanying them as a way to care for their mental state.


Back to JUDA, Shinn and Luna have arrived and were acknowledged by Richard as interim members of UX. Arnie’s worried if the guy and Scarlet are good enough to be doing stuff, and they are… though Richard’s in no state to pilot the Orphes. Still, they can at least serve as tacticians for our crew. As for Scarlet, she wants Tsubasa to keep manning the Wingle – she’s already gained much experience over these past battles, so she’ll be fine.
Indeed, Ishigami’s heard of our jaunt from Yokosuka, to Byston Well and to Tatsumiya; that was quite the series of battles, but he’s glad everyone made it back OK. Moritsugu wants to know how things here are faring after our absence: badly, Ishigami says. In truth, he wants to split our forces into three groups and for us to carry out multiple operations at once.

Well, Orb’s just paid the UX for the Tatsumiya battle, so Richard figures they’ve the cash handy to run three separate squadrons at once. What does Ishigami have in mind? Well, this would be both a sort of self-defense plan against the Federation, and also…
Ogawa runs in right then, bringing urgent news: Garan’s forces have just left Machine Island and are headed towards Europe! Ishigami doesn’t seem as shocked as the rest of us over this.


As Richard explains, our folks have free rein to choose which group they go with: the three destinations available are America, Europe or to stay here in Japan. The main point of this split is to distract the Federation but, of course, there’ll be plenty of fires for us to put out when we get there. America is rife with the Skrugg, Europe now has the Garan Forces to contend with and Japan has the Katou Organization prowling about.
Seeing how they didn’t take care of Garan back at Machine Island, Kaido and Magami will absolutely be headed for Europe. Hearing about Garan piques Fei-Yen’s interest, so she’ll be coming with – she feels like he’s calling out to her. The Liu Bei crew will also head for Europe after the history they had fighting at Machine Island.

Lux, however, wants to head to America: while the USA Sakomizu fought in WWII has long since become the Union, its essence still remains and she wants to see it for herself in hopes of understanding a bit of the delusion that binds her father. Aesap rubs his temples, sighing at circumstances pushing him deeper into the Byston Well war - he never signed as a soldier to begin with.
Well, Cham says all he should do is help Lux, not fight a war. And he, a Holy Warrior, can do that, no? He still thinks she’s not one, mind. Moreover, Cham feels Shou – his aura – calling out from America. She feels Marvel as well, surprisingly.
Seems to Richard that this group is set and he’d like the Ptolemaios to go with them there. When Sumeragi asks, he explains that the Hadou Financial Group sent in a request for the UX, so he’d like the CB to help with that. Arkham City’ll be this group’s first stop, then.


As for the Elshank crew, Joe figures, since Romina’s still looking for ninjas, they’d best stay in Japan. If he says so, then the princess agrees to remain here (Ylbora frowns). Sun Quan’s team will do the same, as Lu Bu’s hanging out with the Katou Organization.
Lu Xun’s a bit dejected that they’ll need to impose on JUDA again, but Shizuna and Yamashita tells him not to be a stranger. We’ve all fought together a bunch of times already, right? Shangxiang’s happy to hear that.
But what about the UX units proper? Where will they go?


And here’s the biggest route split in the game, and the sole reason why it takes 3 passes to get all secrets:

America Route:
Wings of Rean
00 Gundam
Fafner
SEED Destiny
Dancouga Nova

:siren: Secret Alert x5!
Take this route for these secrets: Demonbane (3rd step), Dunbine (1st step), Heroman (1st step), 00 Gundam #1 (2nd step) and Wings of Rean’s (2nd step).

Japan Route:
Tobikage
Linebarrel
Sun Quan team
Fafner
SEED Destiny
Dancouga Nova

:siren: Secret Alert x3! :siren:
Take this route for these secrets: Tobikage #1 and #2 (2nd step) and Linebarrel’s.

Europe Route:
Fei-Yen
Mazinkaiser SKL
Liu Bei
SEED Destiny
Dancouga Nova
Macross Frontier

:siren: Secret Alert! :siren:
Take this route for these secrets: Frontier secret (2nd step) and… nope, THAT’S IT! As if I needed any more reason to be sick of them.

Eida, Shinn and Luna are either official or interim UX members, so they’ll accompany Arnie and Saya wherever, but, as you can see, the Fafner kids will only do that for the America and Japan routes. We’ll start with the America route, but I’ll ultimately have to keep the Europe route in order to stay on track for the Frontier secret (which I’m contractually obliged to get…)


Richard decides for America, figuring if the almighty Hadou princess is looking to hire them, something big must be afoot. Eida fears that the Skrugg invasion may be picking up steam – and that’s not even taking into account the Black Lodge.
Saya’s a bit worried for Arnie and he knows why: if we run into Graham and Jin’s team, they might well be hostile to us. “Even a second of hesitation can get you killed in the battlefield. And you’re a mercenary now – make sure you don’t forget where you stand,” Saya warns.
Finally, the Tatsumiya folks have sent in a request that we take the Fafners and pilots along with us. Shinn’s pleasantly surprised to hear that, and Richard figures ALVIS has its reasons for doing this. Whatever the case, they’ll load the bots and the Siegfriend System aboard the Ptolemaios once they arrive.


Zhuge Liang, however, is a bit bothered by how synchronic these supposedly different plans have been. Isn’t it strange that the signing of the AEU and the Frontier Fleet’s treaty happened pretty much in tandem with Garan marching on Europe?
True, Rennie does concede that the timing was awfully good. What would have happened if, say, Garan had decided to invade China or Japan instead? Would those countries’ armies have to contend with Garan by themselves? Zhuge Liang has the sinking feeling that, had that happened, we’d instead be hearing news of the Frontier Fleet signing a treaty with either China or Japan’s governments. “So you mean that, regardless of what country Garan chose, the resulting event would’ve been the same…?” Moritsugu ponders.

And that’s correct, though Zhuge Liang’s not referring to just Garan’s Forces: “Alien foes like the Skrugg and The Boom Army; visitors from a different universe like us and the Frontier Fleet; the Machinas; the Black Lodge… All these seemingly random events – as though lead by an unseen hand – wound up tying into one another, weaving a complex spider’s web…”
A spider’s web? “Aye, I fear we find ourselves squarely atop that web, wholly unaware of whatever lies at its center,” Zhuge Liang finishes, and Richard looks somber.


#42
Click to see the mission!


And, with that, we’re back at the intermission menu. Richard and Soushi have both joined as tacticians, providing, respectively, Spec Down Debuff Immunity and Accuracy +5%. Nothing too exciting here and Sumeragi isn’t that much better, either, so I just flip a coin and go with Richard.


Kazuki’s deploying as an event and we haven’t that many troops to play with, so, again, I don’t worry too much about squad makeup.
Aside from Arnie/Saya and Eida/Luna, everyone else will be flying solo.

Off we go.


Location: Arkham City – Back Alleyway

: Heromaaaaan… ATTACK!
: Hmm!

Boom!

: She’s headed your way, Kurou!
: Take this! Magius Wiiing!

Sound of spider lady getting torn apart.

: And access!
: Decipher Aethyrs encryption! Overwrite program! Return to thy true shape, mine fragments!

: And there we have it. I have recovered the pages depicting Atlach-Nacha!
: Whew… Didn’t think finding the pieces of a grimoire would be this difficult.
: Those are all pieces of me, mightiest of all grimoires, remember? Though they are but lone pages, each houses appropriate magical power.
: That is to say, you should be prepared for anything – no matter how impossible it may seem – when facing these. Do try to remember that in the future!
: Psh, always with the lectures…
: But, in any case, now you have a part of your original power back, Al?
: Aye. Having recovered the spell of Atlach-Nacha, I am now capable of conjuring an arresting field!
: But, of course, this is still a far cry from my full, almighty capabilities…
: Guess we still have a long way to go…
: Still, thanks a bunch, Joey. You’ve been a world of help not just with my training as a Magius, but also getting Al’s pages back.
: Aw, no… You’re the one who’s always helping us out… Besides, this is good training for me and Heroman too.

: OH, bravo! Such a beautiful friendship between you boys!
: …?! This fishy way of talking sounds just like…
: Guten morgen, Monsieur Daijuuji.. And to you too, little Joestar.
: It’s been a while.
: Richard! Saya!
: Old man, we haven’t even gotten past “how do you do” and you’re already screwing with us…
: I apologize for him. I’ve stopped with that, but the Major wouldn’t take no for an answer…
: Hey, now, that was just a little joke between old friends. Right, Jonathan?
: Joseph…


Location: Dr. West’s Lab

THUNDER!

: Hmhmhm… Hahahahaha! I’ve done it! It’s complete! It’s perfect!
: I, Doctor West… have finally, finally achieved what magic cannot!
: …
: Now come on, Elsa! That despicable Kurou Daijuuji and his gang won’t even know… Huh?
: … Robo!

Elsa runs off.

: W-Wait, Elsa! Where are you going?!
: MY FAIR LADY ELSA! COME BAAAAAAACK!


Cut to Ruri’s underground base, she’s explaining the situation to Lux: Center City has been fully occupied by the Skrugg and has become the centerpiece of their invasion. They had been held back by the nonstop efforts of the Federation’s Alien Interception Squadron… but it seems that squadron was dissolved recently. She can’t tell Arnie much, but the fact is damage is spreading with Graham and Jin’s team gone.
Arnie is appalled – just what is the Federation brass thinking?! Worse, the Skrugg are already being sighted around Arkham City. While they have the Demonbane and Heroman around to defend the place, they alone can’t hold back the veritable tide of forces the Skrugg boast by themselves.

Richard sees where this is going and promises that the bugs won’t be running roughshod around town with us here. Soushi reports that the Siegfried System’s already up and running aboard the Ptolemaios, so the Fafner team will also support the UX in the city’s defense.
Ruri appreciates their assistance, and promises she and her organization will work just as diligently to support us. And, as part of that, Winfield relates that they’ve called in a genius scientist to assist. She’s a bit on young side, but Ruri assures us that her intellect is second to none.


Over by the manor’s underground hangar, Denton’s putting together a battery for Heroman. He’s learned from his research that the bot runs on good, old electricity, so he figured furnishing it with an extra battery should work to give it a temporary power boost in a pinch. It’s a power booster, Psy surmises. And it’s pretty decently made, says a young girl who enters the room.
But, she notes there’s room for improvement and swaps some circuits around – and immediately Denton sees a huge increase in the battery’s performance. Unbelievable! Did Denton just get one-upped by this girl? N-No, he swears he wanted to do this before but had to make do with cheapo materials due to cost constraints… only, as Psy notes, the girl didn’t replace any of the stuff that was already in there.

But just who is she? Ruri steps in and introduces her: it’s PROFESSOR Rachel Calvin, a technological advisor at Sighted Marshal Technologies, a company financed by the Hadou Financial Group. Kurou’s blown away and, from what Lockon’s heard, the girl’s a world-class genius who got her PhD at MIT when she was thirteen-years-old!
Rachel bids us all good day and says we can leave all tech-related matters to her, no prob. And Al’s eager to put her to work, as the Demonbane has some damaged bits she needs help fixing. “Wh-What is the matter with you?! Prof. Rachel isn’t some mechanic! And, more importantly, the Demonbane isn’t yours to fix!” Ruri stomps and Kurou gulps.

Ruri’s only allowed them to handle the bot because she’s found no one else who could do it better; if they cause any problems at all, she’ll just as easily take it back! “Hmph! There are none in this world who could control the Demonbane other than Kurou and I!” Al sniffs, and Ruri stomps off right away. Insufferable, vulgar, lousy paper witch!
Aesap’s rather stunned after that explosion – is she alright? Yeah, Psy says this is pretty much how it usually goes. While Kurou groans at Al’s big mouth (she’s still not fazed), Denton gets back on topic and says that, yes, Joey can use this battery to give Heroman a power boost. He’ll try it out later.


Location: Hadou Manor – Courtyard

: Look at how big this place is. It’s even got a huge rose garden in its courtyard…
: Yeah. There’s so much here we never saw at Tatsumiya.
: Turns out we didn’t know anything, not about the secrets our island had or even about the whole world outside of it. Everyone else did, but not us… and, so, we convinced ourselves Tatsumiya was heaven on earth…!
: Koyo…
: But the only reason we’re able to learn all this is because we’re alive today.
: We’re here, but… but Shouko is…!
: …
: Okay, you really need to stop with that. Do you think that girl would be happy to see you fighting with each other?
: And what the hell do you think you know about her, huh?!
: That’s enough, Koyo!
: You’ve just been officially appointed as a Fafner pilot, right? Then you can’t let the past hold you prisoner!
: Are you telling me to forget about Shouko?!
: I didn’t say that. But holding onto someone’s memory and being consumed by it are two very different things. Don’t forget those who’ve died, but make sure you’re always moving forward.
: Otherwise, you’re bound to bring about even more sorrow…
: …
: Hey, do you know that the souls of those who die in the Overword are reincarnated in Byston Well?
: Reincarnated…?
: Right! I’m sure your friend’s going through it as we speak…
: …
: (But… none of that erases Kazuki’s fault in all this!)

ALARM!

: Huh? Is that an emergency alert?!
: Can it be the Skrugg…?! Let’s go, quick!


Mission 14 (America Route) – I, Robot

: No humans in sight… Where could they be hiding?
: Those are the Skrugg, the alien lifeforms…
: Highly intelligent, powerful beings that communicate with one another by way of high frequency sounds.
: …! Found one!

Two Skrugg move after the hidden girl!

: ?! They saw me-robo!

: We got a straggler over there!
: Blast…! Kurou, Joey, we shall set forth by ourselves!
: Yeah, we gotta stop them!
: Heromaaaaan… ATTACK!

: Magius Wiiiiing!

Slash, slash!

: Gwaaaaaaah!

: Hey! Are you OK?!
: Hmm, I see… So this is “love”-robo.
: Huh? “Robo”?
: I’ve never been held by a man before-robo. Yes, I understand…! I am experiencing “love at first sight” for you-robo!
: Bwhuh?! How’d she come up with something as insane as that?!
: Do not ask me…
: Love blooms at the edge of life and death-robo! You saved me from the clutches of the enemy, so now I’m madly in love with you… I think.
: Ha-Hahah… Love?
: Gaah, gimme a break…

: Eeh… what’s going on over there?
: I’ve… no idea.
: Joey, Kurou, you get that civ out of here! We’ll deal with the Skrugg!
: G-Got it!
: Come on! We’re getting outta here, Robo Girl!
: D-Darling, don’t pull me so hard-robo!

: Everyone deploy!

: Kazuki, Koyo? Do you hear me?
: E-Erm… Nibelung, activation confirmed. Connection between pilots and Minashiro is…
: Relax, Maya. Your job is to relay precise information to them, okay?
: O-okay… I understand, mom…
: I’ll be assisting here as well. We’ll help them together, okay?
: Thank you, Princess Lux.
: Don’t worry, Toumi. We’ll be fine!
: Listen, you two, this is our first time operating the Fafners out of the Ptolemaios, so don’t try anything too risky!
: … Roger.
: (Just you watch, Kazuki. I’ll show that I’m way different from you!)
: We’ve no idea how many forces the enemy has. More of them may crop up soon, so take care of these ASAP!
: Troops, mission start!


Destroy everything, don’t lose the Ptolemaios. The Skrugg aren’t a whole lot stronger than they were before (only a bit more HP) but there’s quite a lot of them, which can lead to evasion decay building up if they decide to gang up on someone. Keep an eye out for that, leave Support Defenses on as a safety measure, and you won’t have any trouble.
Depending on the secrets you want, Kazuki and Setsuna are priority killers here, so lead with them – especially the former, since he needs 100 by the end of mission 26.


Fafner Mark Vier (Koyo Kasugai)
Pilot Skills:
Synergetic Code L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L2
All Attack
Spirit Commands:
Focus
Alert
Mech Features:
Gun
Norn System
Siegfried System
Squad Bonus: EN +50, Ranged weapons’ attack +100 (EN +100, Ranged weapons +200, Accuracy +10)
Koyo’s voice actor: Miyu Irino (other roles: Sora in Kingdom Hearts, Saji in 00 Gundam, Akito Hyuga in Code Geass, Akito the Exiled and several more),

Another squaddie Fafner, but still a pretty good unit. As a matter of fact, the Mark Vier is outright stronger than the Mark Elf right now, though Kazuki’s a better pilot (especially due to his superior Synergetic Code).
Regardless, that’s a very nice Squad Bonus for long range attackers, even more so if they’re EN hungry, so Koyo’s an easy fit in many teams.

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zG9_V6KXQU

[video type=“youtube”]4zG9_V6KXQU[/video]

:siren: SRW UX - Envoy from Jupiter

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flyZL8tvVhc
Keep on killing and, eventually, the plot continues…

: Gch… their backup was already here?!
: Behold our power, worthless—

: Hrk… Th-That’s?!

: What…?! Who took out that Skrugg?!
: It looked like he was cut down by something moving at blinding speed…
: It’s… a flying sword?!

: A what?!
: I know what that is…! 'Tis more of my pages, the ones depicting the spell for the Scimitar of Barzai!
: Th-That sword is a manifestation of your pages, too?!
: Aye, and it seems the Skrugg’s offensive has roused it from its slumber!
: Yeah, that’s great, but how’re we gonna deal with it?! That sword’s crazy fast!
: Mr. Daijuuji! It’s headed your way…!
: Crap, everyone down!
: You won’t hurt my darling-robo!
: Elsa, get back!
: Battle mode: switching to anti-magic armament!

: Spell Cannon… “Dig Me No Grave”! FIRE!

Blaaaaaast!

: Hrm… I couldn’t destroy it-robo.
: Elsa, you’re…?!
: You’re an actual robot…?!
: Yes, I am-robo… But even if my body’s a machine, my love for you is very real, darling-robo!
: The rise I’m detecting in my internal temperature proves it-robo!
: I’m pretty sure anyone would get that way if they had to stare down a giant flying sword…
: This is hardly the time for levity! My pages, the Scimitar of Barzai, are still active!
: We shall need their assistance to recover them!
: You got a point – we won’t be getting anywhere by ourselves. You two mind lending a hand?!
: Of course!
: Leave it to me-robo!
: Our local experts will take care of that sword. Meanwhile we’ll continue focusing on the Skrugg!
: But the thing is still flying about! We don’t know where it might come from next, so keep your heads on a swivel!

And now we got a huge sword carving the city up, and can’t do jack about it. Take out the Skrugg, and soon, because…

: That was… another attack from that flying sword?!
: Tsk, and we can’t even see it coming with how fast it moves. What pain in the neck…!
: We’ll do something about it! Just take care of the Skrugg!

The Scimitar of Barzai will shave off 10% HP of all your units at the start of every turn. It’s not THAT much, but the damage might take you by surprise if you let it build too high and, then, the Skrugg will only need a couple lucky hits to down something frail.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuB5eimh3zs
And here’s Koyo’s best weapon. Pretty powerful, especially considering chain-attacking reduces damage done across the targets.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8tFCUwtD_ic
Also, the Impulse’s best weapon. Not a whole lot of enemies remained, so we clear the rest of them in just a couple of turns.

: Was that all of the Skrugg?!
: Yes, only the flying sword remains!
: We gotta wrap up our end too, then! Come on, Joey, Elsa!
: Okay!

: Heromaaaan… ATTACK!
: ROBOOO!

Crack!

: Access!

: Phew, 'tis over. The pages inscribed with the Scimitar of Barzai spell have been recovered!
: We did it, Al!
: Indeed. And recovering two of my pages in a single day is quite the good sign, if I do say so myself.

Surprising guitar solo!

: But I’m afraid your happy times are about to come to an eeennnd!
: That guitar noise… Is it?!

: Is that the Demonbane…?
: Mwahahahaha! It is my newest creation… the Super West Invincible Robo Type-28DX!
: A.k.a., the Demonpain!
: You just barely changed its name… Yeesh, the thing reeks of “knock-off”… (Even worse in the original Japanese, where all West did was switch a single letter of its name :v: )
: Doctor, why are you here-robo?
: Huh?! “Doctor”…?!
: Ah, so this is where you were! My dear friends, she is the embodiment of years of research! The fruit of my blood, sweat and tears…
: The amalgamation of ultimate power and flawless beauty! Her name is… Elsa, the android!
: They say it’s a fine line that separates genius and insanity… but I didn’t think that creep would be into building little robot girls.
: Now come back to me, Elsa! We’ll crush that despicable Kurou Daijuuji together!
: …
: Like a modern Romeo and Juliet-robo…
: Elsa…
: Forgive me, Kurou Daijuuji. I am truly, madly, in love with you but…

Elsa jumps into the Demonpain.

: You are my enemy, and I must kill you as such-robo!
: Damn it, make up your mind already!
: Kurou, we must answer them in kind!
: Okay!
: 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!

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: Kurou, you can unleash the power of Atlach-Nacha through me even whilst we are manning the Demonbane… That is to say, you can conjure an arresting field at will!
: Look for the right moment to unleash it and I am certain it shall be of great benefit to us in battle!
: Got it. We’ll show this knock-off a power he could never mimic!
: Mwahahaha! Oh, it won’t be that easy!

Smug guitar solo!

: Aah?! He’s this many of them…?!
: That creep mass-produced his knock-off!
: Nay! I sense the faux-Demonbane’s inner magical energies growing! Are those…?!
: Indeed! Indeed! Indeed! I’ve incorporated both magic theory and some of your pages that I’ve found into my Demonpain!
: And I am the one tasked with relaying it all as data into the magic circuitry-robo!
: O-Oh no…! The enemy’s managed to get their hands on Al’s pages…?!
: A spell that blurs the lines between fiction and reality, allowing one to conjure tangible illusions…
: The pages they have must be the ones depicting the Mirror of Nitocris!
: Illusions or not, the radar’s reading them all as real units…!
: The Scimitar of Barzai should be capable of tearing through our foe and its magical energies both… but we must first ascertain which of those the real one is!
: Then we just need to attack all of them until we find the right one!
: That’s about the only way I see, too! Let’s go, Al!
: Aye. He may be wielding a portion of my pages’ power, but it will ultimately be for naught!
: I shall make him realize the magnitude of millennia worth of knowledge… and how he is found wanting face it all!


And now we need to destroy all the Demonpains without losing either Kurou or Joey. As Feldt said, all of the bots are exact copies and even come with a skill-loaded Dr. West aboard, so you really need to wreck everyone.
The Demonpains hurt a lot more than West’s previous bot and got much better range than the original, but they aren’t too accurate or bulky, so big weapons will make short work of them.

Finally, as Al mentioned, Kurou now has access to his Atlach-Nacha special command which will immobilize all enemies within a 5x5 AoE around him. Very nice in setting up MAPWs, provided you stop Kurou from wrecking all those immobilized enemies who will likely go after him.

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: Now you’ll crumble to teeny-tiny pieces before my masterpiece, Kurou Daijuuji!
: What “masterpiece”?! All you’ve got there is a knock-off and it’ll be a cold day in Hell when I get beat by something like that!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5RH7AveYFxE

[video type=“youtube”]5RH7AveYFxE[/video]

:siren: SRW UX - Envoy from Jupiter

: Black Lodge, they who sow chaos into the world… Your group is a menace and we’ll see that it is destroyed!
: So these are the famous Celestial Being and its Gundams!
: Good! I’ll prove to the whole world that my glorious science is superior to even these bots!

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: So you’ll bug Dr. West not once, but twice! Well, you know what I say: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice and I’ll squish you like a grape!
: I’ve no idea if this is the real one… but all we can do right now is fight on!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Oho, lookie here at these readings! That’s a really interesting engine your mech’s running!
: Hand it over, boy! I’m sure that thing will be mighty useful for my research after I’ve picked it apart!
: And you think I’d ever agree to that?! Maj. Richard entrusted the Orphes to me – it’s too important to let someone like you get his hands on it!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: Get a load of the most perfect union of magic and science!
: Magic, aliens… What the hell’s been going on in the outside world?!

And once you kill three Demonpains…

: Look, more Skrugg!
: Jeez, they don’t know when to quit! The phrase “when it rains, it pours” fits them to a T.
: Aaah, excellent! These aliens will also get to see the amazing might of DR. WEST!
: Come closer and take a look! OK! I AM ROCK AND ROOOOOLL!!

Elated guitar solo!

: …?! G-Ggch… What is?!

: WHAAAAAAT?!
: The Skrugg retreated?!
: I bet they got so scared of me and the doctor that they ran-robo!

Outraged guitar solo!

: W-H-A-T?! And just how is my grand intellect so abominable that it’d scare even aliens?!
: Quit strumming that guitar every time you open your mouth!
: (What happened? Why did the Skrugg retreat that quickly…?)
: (…! Can it be that…!)

:siren: SRW UX - My Fate

: Your mech’s construction is fascinating! I’ll enjoy poking through it!
: (This man’s also fighting just for his self-interest? I can’t let myself be beaten by someone like him…!)

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: Everyone already has their hands full fighting the Skrugg! What the hell are you thinking?!
: Oh, don’t you worry! Once I’ve beaten the snot out of all of you, I’ll zap those roaches too!


Dr. West does have a special trick with his Demonpain, mind…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54ZYwFU94L0

: No way! It can even do the Atlantis Strike?!
: Gyahahahahaaaa! How do you like that, Kurou Daijuuji, Al Azif?!
: Kch…! He is also using my stolen pages as a source of magical energy…!
: That’s right-robo! Kurou Daijuuji, I’ll defeat you and claim your love!

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina


And there goes the last one.

: Woohoo! They beat all the fakes!
: Huh? Where’s the real one, then?

: Right heeereeeee! Mwahahahahaha!
: There’s the slippery bastard! You were hiding from the get-go?!
: But all your copies are gone, so you better grit your teeth!
: Tsk, tsk, Kurou Daijuuji! You’re in for a rude awakening if you think this is even close to over! Do it, Eeeelllsaaaaaa!
: Roger-robo!

Flash!

: I-It’s…?! Another batch of copies has shown up!
: Urgh, is there no end to this?!
: And now it’s our turn-robo! Dig Me No Grave!

: Gwaaaaargh!

: Direct hit on the Demonbane!
: Magical circuits #13 through #54 have gone silent! Anomalies detected in the left arm’s motor components!
: This is real bad! Not even the Demonbane can take this…!
: Rrgh… Isn’t there anything – anything at all – that we can try?!
: Well, however much magic theory has been applied to that robot, it’s still another piece of machinery…
: So if we could just cut off its magical circuitry from the rest of its systems, then…!
: Cut off its… Aah, eureka!
: Joey, your battery! Use the battery I gave you before and have Heroman discharge it on the enemy!
: The battery?! But we’re fighting someone using magic…!
: It’s fine, please trust me! I swear I won’t let you down!
: Professor…

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette

: Alright, we’ll give it a try! Here goes, Heroman!

Bzzzzt!

: Hmmmm!
: Heromaaaan… BLAST!

: Look… the illusions!
: They all disappeared…?!
: I-Inconceivable! Where did the pages’ power go?! It’s gone!
: Doctor, that electrical discharge crippled all mechanical systems-robo…
: WHAAAAAAAT?!
: Go, Kurou!
: Kurou, 'tis time! Bring out the Scimitar of Barzai and tear it all apart!
: Aye, aye!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9BesawVS1U

[video type=“youtube”]p9BesawVS1U[/video]

: Heh, that’s what you get! And now they–
: Nay, look there…
: Hm?
: Hmhmhmh, yes, I’d—
: I’d expect nothing less from you, Kurou Daijuuji-robo. My love for you grows by the minute-robo.
: That’s, um… what? Elsa…?
: I’ll admit defeat today-robo. But you will be mine someday-robo!
: And until then, adioooooos… robo!

: Gaah! Elsaaaaa, wait for meeeeeee!

: A big explosion like that and they don’t even get a scratch. What are those two made of…?
: You did it, Kurou!
: Only thanks to your and everyone’s help, Joey. Thanks a bunch!
: Kids really do grow up so fast… They’re both really dependable men now.
: (My grandfather’s Demonbane… My Demonbane has been hurt so much once again…)

#1: So those are the warriors of this world…
#2: They are quite the mighty group, indeed.
#2: If the clashing of powerful forces at the Battle of Red Cliffs was what sent us into this world… then it may be possible to replicate that scenario if we have their strength available…
#1: Hm…
: But will things go as swimmingly as you hope, I wonder?
#2: ?! Who goes there?!
: Oh, who I am doesn’t matter. More important than that is the fact that what you two seek to grasp is the truth, the underlying principle of this world, hm?
: Isn’t that right, general Sima Yi… and warlord Cao Cao, conqueror of Mirisha?
: …
: What is it that you know…?
: “Behold, for that light is nigh. Woe unto your accursed land.”
: …?! Th-That’s written in the Legend of the Mirisha, the G-Records…!
: Indeed… it was a phrase in the final chapter – “Apocalypse” – yes?
: In truth, this world also has several pieces of scripture quite like it, prophecies relating the End Times…
: And…?
: Do you not find it curious? Both worlds’ histories are so very similar, yet there are also subtle differences…
: All of Creation possesses two sides to itself. However, we can never see beyond one side…
: …
: “What should we do? What should we become?!” we wonder! Still, one thing is certain…
: It is the heavens that impel all…!
: …!
: Hmhmhm… Ahahahahahaha!

Swoosh.

: Sh-She vanished?! Cryptic wench…!
: Hmph, leave her – she matters not. I have reached a decision, Sima Yi.
: Indeed, what I should do in this world is…!

: It seems Al Azif has recovered several of her pages, including the ones depicting the Scimitar of Barzai…
: Well, well. Kurou Daijuuji is doing quite nicely, I see.
: Then I suppose it’s about time to raise the difficulty of this game.
: Will you send them… the Anticross?
: Indeed…
: You appear to be enjoying this, Master.
: I am. I am quite enjoying this, Etheldreda.
: That one is unique: none other can make me burn with joy as I lie amid this endless spiral into the abyss.
: This burning in my soul… However many times pass, I never tire of it.


Cut to the Hadou manor, Psy and Rachel have to give Denton credit for his ingenious solution to the previous problem. All due to his nonstop hard-work! As Joey approaches, Denton praises his masterful use of his battery – the Skrugg’s days are numbered now! Problem is… the battery broke.
As Rachel sees it, the thing couldn’t withstand Heroman’s voltage and all circuits within got fried. Seems to Psy that the battery was kind of defective goods, then… Oh. But Rachel tells Denton to keep his chin up – failure is the father of success, and defeat is the mother of victory!
And, in fact, Rachel would be happy to help him: Denton’ll have the ideas and she’ll brush them up. She’s certain that with their two brains working together, they’ll cook up some wonderful inventions. Sounds good to Denton, and Lina approves of the birth of a tag-team of geniuses.

Speaking of tag-teams, Aesap is still blown away by Kurou and Joey’s amazing coordination in today’s battle. Goes to show the level of trust that exists between them, Lux sees, and Soushi notes that the Fafner team must also aspire to bolster their teamwork in preparation for future battles.
Koyo isn’t down with that, though: he doesn’t need to work with Kazuki because he can save people without any help. And then he walks off, leaving Kazuki to ponder if he could ever come to trust Koyo and Soushi the way Kurou and Joey do with each other.


Nearby, Chiaki is bossing around Sonya and Makoto, having them haul materials around. Yes, their primary occupation is as operators, but this last battle was so rough on the Demonbane that all staff’s been ordered to help fix it up. And Chiaki tells Sonya to quit grumbling as she manages to work as both an operator and a mechanic just fine!
Kurou is kind of worried, as the princess has just warned him to be more careful with her bot, and now he went way overboard again. Sonya figures Ruri must be livid right about now, and, speak of the devil, the girl arrives soon after. Kurou tries giving her an embarrassed “my bad”, but is quickly silenced by a BIG slap. That looks like it hurts a lot, Sonya notes!
Ruri doesn’t say anything, though, only giving Kurou a tearful glare before walking off.


And over by the White House, the Union president is being visited by a rather odd man, who presents her with footage he and his peers collected from the battle at Arkham City. You can clearly see the infamous UX to have also taken part in it.
The man identifies himself as Dr. Minami of Generous Industries, director of all R&D divisions and also the leader of their weapon development project with the Union army. Now, what is his purpose here today?

Well, he points out that a group as questionable as the UX can’t be allowed to run unchecked. They are terrorists, remember? And now that the Alien Strike Squadron has been dissolved, the defense of their country should return to the capable hands of the Union Army!
The president looks ill at ease but, at length, asks Minami what he has in mind. Aah, he was waiting for her to say that!


#43

The Europe split is why Brera is usually the last person you end up getting.

Zhuge Liang caught onto a very important plot point there, so pay attention to that. (Of course, if you know all the series, you should have an idea of what’s going on here, but still.)

The Demonbane anime skipped a lot of the initial page gathering stuff as it is relatively light plotwise, so UX is trying to fold it into why Demonbane has been out of your hands for so long - it’s just reaching the end of that period itself.

Dr. West and Elsa are the best fucking characters of all time.

Oh god, I didn’t even know Cham said that stuff about Shouko. That’s just going to make what will happen in a few months even fucking better.

OH SHIT, IT’S THE SWORD OF GRUDGE, BARUZAI!

TFW Demonpain.

And oh boy, Cao Cao is going to make his move. I wonder what insanity is about to ensue?


#44
Click to see the mission


Choose to stay in Japan and everything progresses pretty much the same. Only difference is Richard mentioning that he’s worried about how quiet the Katous have been: they must be gearing up for something big. Arnie’s relieved, since staying here likely means he won’t run into Graham and Jin, and Saya says her piece to him.
That said, we do get an extra scene after this one…

: …
: (Kouichi Hayase’s also joined JUDA, so there’s no reason for me to observe him anymore…)
: (It’s probably only a matter of time before I leave this school…)

Ding, dong!

: Heeey, Kizaki!
: (Huh? Kouichi Hayase?!)
: Um… There’s something that’s been bugging me since the last time we spoke…
: You didn’t know the first thing about me, so I don’t see any reason for you to just come out and tag me a “violent thug”, you know?
: …? Did you chase after me just to say that?
: Yeah! I want you to take that back, you know?
: … That said, I still got this sinking feeling that we’ve met before…

: SOOORYAAAAA!

Swoosh!

: W-Waaaaah! The hell…?!
: Oho, you dodged my punch? That’s pretty good.
: ?! You… you’re Domyoji!
: Ah, you remember me? Much appreciated.
: An acquaintance of yours, is he? You seem to have a lot of enemies.
: No, I never met the guy! All I know is that he was a transfer student here; only he assaulted someone right after he came in and got sent to juvie…
: Yeah, and I got off the joint last week. Word around the street’s you’ve been doing pretty nicely while I was gone.
: Huh? What do you mean, “nice”…?
: It wasn’t nice at all! We had the worst time ever because of you!
: Furuya?! That was your own damn fault for starting crap with me to begin with!
: See, that guy there, Furuya? He did me a solid way back when…
: And when I heard someone was giving my buddy grief, well, I couldn’t just do nothing.
: Urgh, what a pain… Listen, I dunno what place you got sent to, but I’m crazy strong, you hear?
: … Sounds like fun!
: Then suck on this! Haah!

Kouichi rushes him down!

: ! He’s fast…!
: … Not! Haah!

Punch!

: What?! U-Uurgh…!
: (It can’t be… He countered?! But Kouichi Hayase’s a Factor…!)
: Yeeeaah! You’re the best, Domyoji!
: (Wh-What just happened?! A Factor’s supposed to have way stronger physical abilities than a regular person, right…?)
: I’ll admit that you’re strong AND quick, but you got no idea how to fight right.
: But it ain’t in me to take things slow, so I’m gonna have to put you down pronto!

: Armas?! You… Are you with the Katou Organization?!
: Huh?! Hey, those things… ain’t those the guys who were on TV?! Duude, check it out! It’s really them!
: Whaaat?! You didn’t call them…?
: (He’s not a Factor, and he’s not with the Katou Organization either. Then…)
: (Is he simply strong?!)

The Arms step forward.

: Wh-What?! Are they coming after us?!
: Heh-Heheheh… Ah, right, you can’t do jack when you’re up against robots!
: Come! Linebarrel!

: Th-The hell?! Wh-wh-wh-whuh…?!
: (He called the Linebarrel?! Doesn’t he even care that there are civilians in the area?!)
: Whoa, I did not see this coming! You’re gonna fight those guys?! Lemme in on that bot too, dude!
: Sorry, Domyoji… but this isn’t a game.

: Heh…
: Aaah, that was siiick! I just met someone awesome!
: Look at that robot! Look at it!
: …
: (He didn’t even think twice before calling the Linebarrel right around civilians…)
: (Kouichi Hayase… you are positively despicable!)

As for deployments, Kouichi, Saya and the Fafner kids are going out as event units, so we’ll go with this:
Deceive
Yamashita/Mike
Arnie/Luna
Moritsugu
Joe
Shinn
Sun Quan/Rennie
Shangxiang/Eida
Tactician: Ylbora

Just maximize the amount of people that can either fly and/or use Accelerate.


The ALVIS folks have just arrived at JUDA and present themselves to Ishigami, including Koyo, the newly-assigned Mark Vier pilot. Ishigami does note Maya’s surname and figures she’s Toumi’s daughter – she’s got no unit of her own, so she’ll be working as part of our support staff.
Joe’s a bit surprised that they’re all a bunch of kids, as he was expecting hardened vets to be flying special units like those. Shangxiang sniffs that Joe’s also too young to be rocking that attitude… but, as Lu Xun points out, she’s not exactly a grown lady either (Rennie wonders how old our Gundams friends actually are).

Now, Ishigami would love to introduce them to one of JUDA’s fine pilots but, unfortunately, he’s in school. School? Yeah, turn out he’s about the Fafner kids’ age, so Ishigami hopes they’ll be fast friends. “They’ve also got kids like us fighting around here…?” Koyo ponders inwardly.
That said, some rather worrying intel just came in about said pilot, so Ishigami would like to send Eida and Saya on a small mission.

: H-Hey… mornin’.
: You again… what do you want?
: Sorry if what happened back there startled you. That robot’s called the Linebarrel, see? And it’s kinda mine…
: (“Yours”…?)
: I can’t really go into details, but I just wanted you to know…

Door opens!

: A-ha! Found you, Hayase!
: Hrgh…! Domyoji… and Furuya?! What’dya want?!
: Easy, there; we just figured we oughta set things right. Get to it, Furuya!
: … I’m sorry, Kouichi!
: Whuh?!
: He told me everything that happened. How he was mad, got a bunch of guys to ambush you and they wound up getting their asses kicked instead.
: I didn’t know any of that, but it don’t change the fact that I was his accomplice when I got talked into picking a fight with you. And I’m really sorry about that, Hayase.
: A-Ah, no… I-It’s fine. I’m also sort-of to blame for all that, so…
: Oh, really?! That’s just great, buddy!
: (“Buddy”?!)
: Okay, and now that all bridges are fixed, we got a little proposition for you!
: How about you let us be your support crew?
: My what now…?
: Listen, I’ve been thinking… You’re piloting that robot and fighting a bunch of bad dudes, so that would make you a CHAMPION OF JUSTICE, right?

: Eeh, yeah, I guess you could say that…
: …
: It can’t be easy to do that kinda work and be a student too, so I figured we should do whatever we can to help you out.
: (“We”? Oh, god, what do I do…? I’m getting dragged right into this mess…)
: Listen, I understand what you’re getting at, and I appreciate it… but are you really gonna put your neck on the line just to have some fun?
: Not “some”! A whole LOT of fun!
: …
: Hah… Alright, sounds good! Glad to have you aboard!
: (Wh-What… happened? Did they become friends just like that? I don’t get any of this!)
: You, too, girl. Let’s all put our hands together and make it official.
: (Oh, nooooo!)

: HOLD IT!
: ?! Wh-What?!

:siren: SRW UX - Roaring Deathblow

: You worms like making women cry, eh…?! I’m gonna make you pay for it in spades!
: …
: Um… And you are?
: I’m Saya Asamiya, the local delinquent queen! O-Oh, wait, what I’m supposed to say is…
: You don’t deserve to know my name!
: …
: You know her, Hayase…?
: Erm… well… Yeah, kinda…

Door opens.

: S-Sorry about that, Kouichi… This is not how this was supposed to go…
: Eida?! Okay, what’s going on here?
: And why’s Saya dressed like a schoolgirl and spinning that yoyo around? This some sort of prank I haven’t heard about?
: …
: U-Um… excuse me, but are you Eida Rossa, the idol singer?!
: Yes, I am. Why do you ask?
: I-I knew it! I’m a huge fan! Could I please shake your hand?!
: Oh, of course! But, in exchange, can I ask you to keep quiet about this meeting here?
: Absolutely! Aah, be still my heart! I’m never washing this hand again!
: (Hah… Now there’s a side of him I didn’t think he had.)
: These girls are all your friends, Hayase? I’m sure not gonna get bored with you folks!

: Well, isn’t that nice…
: Risako?! What’re you doing in that corner?!
: Oh, I’m just being left out… as always. But I’m already used to it, so it doesn’t bother me… no, sir, not at all…
: B-But this really isn’t anything you need to worry about…
: Hey, don’t do her like that, Hayase. Let her come along, will ya? The more girls, the better!
: Huh? You mean it?! Yaaay!
: Oh, brother…
: And, you, the cosplaying chick – get in here too! Pulling pranks with your crew is way better than doing it solo, yeah?
: …
: Alright, folks! We’re gonna be busting our backs to help out Hayase, ya hear?!
: I don’t really know what’s going on, but YEAH!
: The Hayase Corps. has just been born!
: (“C-Corps…” Someone save me…)

: Biingoo. I can put them to very good use… Yeeheeheeheeee…


Cut to the Shangri-La, Dmitri isn’t too sure about letting Riku handle things and Sawatari has to agree with him. Tubs there used to be a huge terrorist, doesn’t trust others, doesn’t keep subordinates of his own… Sawatari doubts he’s suited to lead any op.
Yulianne, however, disagrees: this op in particular is perfect for someone like him. Besides, the little piggy’s completely enamored with Katou, which makes him a wonderful pawn. Katou himself is well aware of how delusioned the kid is, but delusion can have great power. It’s for that reason Katou saved him…
“However, the moment he mistook that delusion for actual ‘imagination’, he…”

: Kouichi Hayase’s being targeted? And you were also sent here to keep watch on him…?
: Hmhmm. Eida and I have been tasked with assisting you on your mission.
: Eida’s with him right now, so we’re hoping we can meet up later and plan things out…
: I understand. It’s a pleasure to be working with you both.
: But… don’t you think that disguise is a bit out of place?
: It is, isn’t it…? I was a bit doubtful myself…
: Joe coached me on how to introduce myself, but the Major insisted on the outfit and the props…
: You don’t have it easy, huh? Still, I think it best to point something out just to be sure…
: A yoyo is not a weapon…
: Come on, Kizaki! That’s the part you got a problem with?!
: ?! You’re…!
: Domyoji, what are you doing here…?!
: I thought something was fishy with all that “prank” business, so I followed when Ms. Delinquent Queen here pulled you away.
: What was all that talk about Hayase being targeted and you keeping watch on him?
: Th-That was…

BOOM!

: Wh-What the?!
: Yeeheeheee
: A-A giant robot?! This really isn’t a prank, is it?!
: That Arma… it’s the one with the explosive pellets that attacked Atami!

Grab!

: Aaah!
: Kizaki?! Saya…!
: Hrrgh…! L-Let us go!
: What’re you doing with those girls, creep?!
: Oh, nothing… I’m just giving them a lift… Yeeheee! Eeeheeheee!

Fly away!

: S-Stop! Kch… Who was that guy?!


Cut back to JUDA, Ogawa tells us of the attack and the girls’ kidnapping by the Katou Organization – same crazy guy from the Atami ambush, even, says the intel. Ishigami expected them to go after Kouichi directly, but not to pull something like this.
Richard groans at that insane terrorist from before being behind it, and Toumi’s surprised at how calm he is right now. Isn’t he worried for his daughter? Of course he is, but he knows enough to keep himself thinking straight.

That said, as Ishigami points out, we’re dealing with someone who won’t hesitate to attack even civilians, so we need to be very careful. Ishigami also requests the ALVIS’ folks help with this and Soushi agrees: he still needs to check the Siegfried System now that it’s installed on the Elshank, but the Fafners will be ready to deploy and assist.
Kazuki can’t believe how blasé he is with the two girls kidnapped but, as Soushi points out, they’ve both been trained for situations like this. Kazuki and the others should focus solely on the mission at hand.
“Hmph, that’s exactly what I’d expect to hear from the guy who just watched Shouko kill herself to protect the island,” Koyo sniffs. “But we’re not mercs or soldiers. No one told us told anything about the Fafners or all the battles going on outside our island until now!”

But Soushi fires back that that’s because Koyo and the others never cared to try and learn anything in the first place, content with the paradise they lived in. As it turns out, their island, their paradise, has always simply been walled off from the flames raging around them – and Soushi hopes they’ve understood that by now.
Koyo doesn’t like being called out, but Shinn steps in and points out that this is hardly the time for bickering. Toumi agrees, saying that they should direct that energy towards rescuing the captives. “I know that. And unlike Kazuki and Soushi, I will get them both back safe!” Koyo harrumphs.


Back in town, Kouichi and Eida are in pursuit of Riku’s Arma – it looked like he went towards the Ōi Harbor. Kouichi asks that she go and meet up with the rest of our crew while he gets in the Linebarrel.
Domyoji arrives right then, yelling that Saya and Emi got kidnapped – little late with that intel, of course. Kouichi tells him to stand back and beckons the Linebarrel… only the Machina doesn’t show up, despite his yelling. What the?


Location: Ōi Harbor – Abandoned Warehouse

: What did you kidnap us for…?
: Yeeheehee… Tell me, do you know about the bombing that happened in Shanghai five years ago?
: In Shanghai? That’s the one where over twenty thousand people died, right?
: Right-o. And you know who did it? Me, all by myself.
: … Why would you do something as horrible as that?
: To check my imagination, of course! The people who died then didn’t imagine for even one second that they were going to lose their lives in an explosion.
: All of them figured that day was gonna go on, end, and then another one would come… In other words!
: When that bomb went off, I exceeded the imagination of twenty three thousand, five hundred and two people!
: …
: You… do you not feel anything over what you did?! The value of the lives you took, the pain all those people went through… is that meaningless to you?!
: Yup, it is. Because it’s my sacred mission to bring despair to those who cannot even imagine their own futures!
: And, still, Kouichi Hayase dared to say that my imagination wasn’t “all that”!
: And so I’ll make his life a living hell! I’ll make him suffer so much, he’ll pray for death!
: You’re a monster…
: I don’t have any problem with you personally, but you seemed to be good friends with him… So I’m gonna have to make you the instrument of my revenge! I’ll rain misery on him through you!
: …
: I presume you’re not aware that I’m with JUDA?
: Hah! Well, that’s convenient! Then you’re not only a valuable hostage to Kouichi Hayase, but to JUDA too!
: Then… you had no idea who I am when you kidnapped me, right?
: Kizaki…
: It doesn’t make any difference to me who you are. You’re his dear friend who’s been taken hostage, and I’ll blow off your arms and legs right in front of him. And then…
: In that case, I’ll take the time to teach you just one thing.
: Huh…?

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel (Full Intro)

: Reality… exceeds your imagination!


Mission 14 (Japan Route) – The Black Executor

: …
: Th-The Linebarrel?!
: It can’t be! Kouichi Hayase’s supposed to be its Factor… What’s going on?!
: (It’s been a very long time, Linebarrel…)
: There’s always only one Factor for any Machina…!

: Let’s go, Linebarrel! Stabilize fields; then, activate counter-nanomachines!
: Engage real-time teleportation in response to target’s movements at intervals 6, 7, 2, 3, 5, 8…!

: …?! It’s turned black?! Still, that doesn’t change anything…!
: …!
: I don’t really get what’s going on here, but I just need to destroy the Linebarrel and it won’t matter!

: Ooorgh! Wh-What was that?!

: Lepton Vectrer, output stable. Internal pressure is green…
: Saya…!
: Kizaki, I won’t ask how you were able to summon the Linebarrel.
: The only thing that matters right now is dealing with the enemy!
: Thank you, Saya…
: Hmph, so you got that jet to help you out. Big deal…!

: Huh?! What’re you doing?! I thought I told you to hang back!
: We understand, but these are direct orders from Cmdr. Katou. He told us to support the 8th unit…
: He did?! Hmph, then I guess it’s fine… Just make sure you don’t get in my way!
: I’m ending this now!


The game tells you to kill Riku, but you can also wait 4 turns and the plot will carry on regardless. That said, if you want his Skill Part, you’ll have to beat him before then; it’s not too difficult, though, because Emi and Saya both have decent morale and can support one another.


Linebarrel Override (Emi Kizaki)
Pilot Skills:
Factor
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
Spirit Commands:
Alert
Focus
Mech Features:
Sword
10% HP regen
Override – activates at 130 morale, granting a chance to outright dodge any incoming attack (calculated by the difference between pilot and target’s skill stat – max of 40%). Also allows unit to teleport instead of moving on the map, negating any EN cost or rough terrain.
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons’ power +100, Mobility +5 (Melee weapons +200, Mobility +20, S in Air, Range +1)
Emi’s voice actress: Mamiko Noto (other roles: Suzuka in Endless Frontier, Lunar in Zero Escape, Oichi in Sengoku Basara and a billion more)

Emi’s a pretty good pilot overall, having stats pretty much around Kouichi’s level – her evasion is WAY higher and her melee is somewhat lower, though. The Linebarrel Override loses the Executor shots meaning its range has gone down some (best now is 1-4, her weakest move), but, in exchange, lets Emi use the powerful Override attack and skill.
Emi’s D-S.O.I.L. rate also has a lower baseline than Kouichi’s, but getting a clean hit on her isn’t easy – especially with that S in air.

Seeing how our morale’s already good-ish and we have a limit of two turns, we’ll immediately set our sights on Riku and just let the mooks crash against our girls.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: “Reality exceeds my imagination”?! What a load of bull! My imagination always, always—!
: Your imagination is a delusion, nothing more… and you have no hope of defeating us!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDBk4FMh-PI

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: To fight is to etch the death… the pain you cause on others into your heart.
: Someone who cannot even imagine that pain doesn’t deserve to be in any battlefield!
: Hmph, what a windbag! And how’s anyone supposed to fight if they start fussing over stuff like that?! No, thanks!
: Then it falls on me to etch the pain of those whose lives you stole into your heart… Actually, no – I’ll etch your own pain there!

So fast forward a couple of turns and he’s gone.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel


Downing Riku gets you a Kyushu Castella Cake.

: Waaaaaagh!
: You’ve lost. Now lay down your weapons and surrender!
: H-Hmph! You actually think you beat me?!

: Energy coefficient’s spiking! His…His unit’s powered up?!
: Eeeheeeheee…! Take a look at the Yaoyorozu’s full power! My imagination’ll always get the better of you!

: More reinforcements…?!
: Now let’s hear you scream! I’ll enjoy watching you two plummet into despair!

: Wh-Whaat?!

: It’s… the Elshank?!
: All troops, deploy!

: We got here in the nick of time…! But what is that black Linebarrel…?!
: Well, I don’t think it has a Phase Shift to lose, so… maybe it’s a Mk. II?
: Is it you in there, Hayase?!
: No… Emi Kizaki is piloting that Linebarrel.
: Come again?! It’s Emi?!
: I’ll explain things later, everyone, but we must first stop the Katou Organization…!
: Yeah, we’re on it! They got a lot to answer for after pulling a stunt as cheap as kidnapping you two!
: Your mission parameters have shifted from rescuing the hostages to eliminating the enemy units… Can you do this, Kazuki, Koyo?
: Enemy units… but aren’t there people aboard those things?!
: If you’re not up for it, then back off. I’m going in!
: (Koyo…)
: Your target is the enemy command unit! Eliminate them with haste, troops!


Riku’s, indeed, gained a slight boost to his mech’s stats but nothing major. Taking him down’ll end the mission so, if you’re keeping this path, you’ll want to take out all other mooks before going for him.
I won’t, though, so I’ll just kill enough to build morale and then get rid of Piggles there.

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

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: I chose to be here precisely to put down monsters like you…
: And, right now, I think I absolutely made the right decision!
: Unfortunately, no, it was the wrong one. And why was that? Because you couldn’t imagine the future where you die at my hands!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: There’s a person piloting that unit! He’ll die if I shoot it down!
: Calm down, Kazuki! Just make sure you don’t hit the cockpit directly and the pilot’ll be fine!
: Whether they keep their lives or not depends entirely on your ability!
: That’s easier said than done… I’m not that good a pilot!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

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

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: The Yaoyorozu’s way more agile than it looks… I’m not letting you tag me!
: You got a real big mouth, guy! But you better not sell the Deceive short!
: That’s right. Underestimate us and it won’t end well for you!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: Hmm, I’ve never seen this mech before… Oh, well! It doesn’t really matter since it, and your future, will be in pieces very soon!
: How… How can you take other people’s lives so easily?!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: Kidnapping girls is about one of the lowest things you can do!
: There’s no such thing when it comes to fighting! All you got are different options with which to get what you want!
: Hah, works for me! Then I reckon you won’t mind if I don’t worry about how much this’ll hurt you!

Koyo also has a line against the generics and one against Riku himself:

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: (Fighting people in order to save people… I need to take someone’s life in order to save another’s…?!)
: Your thoughts are in disarray, Koyo. Don’t think about unessential matters.
: “Unessential”…?! That’s what you call worrying about people’s lives, Soushi?!

: Taking hostages, wrecking a city… but I’m putting an end to your rampage right now!
: Ooh, look at how much he huffs and puffs. I’ve got a future filled with despair with your name on it!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: You fancy yourself some knight in shining armor, coming in to rescue the captive princess?
: Not at all. I’m here simply to rain on your parade.

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

: There is no imagination at work here! All I see in your actions is the base destruction you’re causing!
: I’m just opening the eyes of the foolish masses! Can’t you wrap your head around that?!

: How can you destroy so many lives without even batting an eye…?!
: Oh, and how am I any different from you? How many lives did you take during that war, hm?
: I never killed anyone just for the hell of it, though! Someone like you could never wrap his rotten head around the pain that comes from battle!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syzFm4qln-I
And, finally, here’s Emi’s best trick.

: A-A-Aaaiiieee…! S-Someone help me please…!
: Haah, haah… R-Relax…
: The life of a man like you… is not… worth taking…
: Rrgh…!

: Huh? What happened? The Linebarrel’s just turned white again…
: It’s… stopped?
: (Haah, haah… I knew it… continuous teleportation is just too straining…)
: Yee?! It’s shut down?! Then… there’s my chance!
: Yeeheeheeeheeee! Now! Come on out!

: What?!

Riku backs away.

: How’d you like that? I bet none of you imagined this, eh?! You always have to keep one last ace up your sleeve for—

: …?!
: Wh-What the?! Weren’t they on the same side…?!
: They may be up to something! Do not approach them carelessly!
: Hrgh… Th-This can’t be…! Wh-Why did you…?!

Beep.

: Hey, there, Riku!
: Sawatari… why…?
: Kid, whoever told you to kidnap those girls, hm?
: You got your imagination all wrong. Worse, that’s becoming a problem for our Organization’s goals.
: B-But…!
: So Hisataka told me if you went and stepped over the line… then I’d have to kill you.
: N-No way…! The commander… Mr. Katou said…?!
: And I got a message from him…
: “You’re not the one with the most insight into imagination. And the reason for that is simple: you do not imagine yourself dying.”
: Gch… Ggghh…!
: KATOOOOOUUUUUU!!

: …
: They retreated…?
: W-Wait, hold on…! There was someone inside that robot, wasn’t there?!
: How could they kill him that easily…? Weren’t they allies, even?!
: Those were our enemies, and that’s how they operate; they’ll do anything if it suits their purposes…
: B-But that’s…!
: Horrible? Unacceptable? If you feel that way, then fight them with everything you’ve got. Fight and keep the lives of those you care about safe from them…!
: …
: Those I care about…

: Looks like it’s all over, Hayase!
: Sure, but… what’s going on? What’s the Linebarrel doing here?!
: …!
: Hayase, hold on! That’s…!
: I called and I called and you didn’t show up, and now I find you here?! Why?! Answer me, Linebarrel!
: Hey, look, the hatch is open!
: …?!
: …
: N-No way…! What… How’s Kizaki piloting the Linebarrel?!

Flash!

: Kch…!
: What is it?!
: …
: That’s it… I remember now…! I remember where I met her before…!
: …?!
: That day… three years ago… The last thing I saw before I died…!
: It was you, Kizaki… you were inside the Linebarrel’s cockpit!
: …

: …
: Something wrong, Kazuki?
: Mr. Asuka… No, it’s just that… so much has happened so fast…
: I can’t help but wonder that I might’ve been better off not knowing anything if things were going to get like this…
: I see… but tell me something. Had you never found out about anything, what do you think you’d be doing?
: Well… I’m pretty sure I’d still be at the island, working on graduating. And, then…
: And then the people of ALVIS would’ve told you about the island’s secrets anyway.
: …?!
: One way or another, you would’ve wound up in the same place. The only difference would be whether you got there sooner or later. And, in that case, I think the better option is the one where you learned the truth of your own volition.
: My own volition…?
: Now, I really don’t like the word “Destiny”, but… if anything, we should at least try to choose what our destiny’ll be, right?
: No matter how much hardship said destiny might have in store, what lets people keep on living despite everything is the fact that they chose their path in life…
: Mr. Asuka…


Cut to JUDA, Kouichi isn’t going to give Emi grief for keeping tabs on him, but her keeping quiet about being the Linebarrel’s Factor is a wholly different matter.
“But even worse than that is the fact that you were aboard the Linebarrel when I died! You might as well have killed me with your own hands!” Kouichi yells and Emi’s taken aback. “Kizaki, you… you’re despicable…!”
Ishigami speaks up and says he’s entitled to be angry, and asks that Emi give them the room. As she leaves, Ishigami promises to tell him everything he knows.


By the hangar, Shizuna’s a bit miffed that Domyoji got brought over to JUDA; from what Lu Xun was told, it was his due to exigent circumstances and his “duty as part of the Hayase Corps”? But more important than that is how we now have a Machina with two pilots. Mike and Damian don’t see the big deal, pointing out that the Deceive has both twins aboard, right?
Sure, but the Deceive is only a two-seater due to a unique system JUDA had to put together for it. Furthermore, a Machina comporting two people and outright have two FACTORS are completely different matters. Curious and curiouser.

Maki reports that tests have confirmed that Emi is, without a doubt, a Factor of the Linebarrel… but it seems the bot itself is rejecting her. “Or perhaps a better way to put it would be that the Linebarrel is trying to keep her from fighting. That’s the impression I got,” Maki corrects himself.
Zhou Yu asks if he means the Linebarrel has a mind of its own, but, unfortunately, this is all speculation. They still don’t understand the cause, but it’s for that reason that she wasn’t able to pilot the Linebarrel for long.
Rennie figures that’s why she, albeit clearly reluctantly, had to let Kouichi take over as the Machina’s pilot. Maybe but, as Joe points out, her killing Kouichi back then is a wholly different issue here. But Moritsugu steps in: “No, Emi Kizaki was not the one responsible for killing Kouichi Hayase. It’s true that she was aboard the Linebarrel at the time of his death, but that had absolutely nothing to do with her.”

: “Nothing to do with her”…?! But she—!
: She was asleep, inside the Linebarrel, throughout the whole incident.
: When she came to, she’d lost practically all her memories…
: Her memories…?
: She didn’t understand what was going on at the time – she couldn’t. But when she saw you dying, she, in tears, begged the Linebarrel to save you. And, so, you were reborn as a Factor…
: …
: What the hell… all the secrets you’ve been keeping, and you still figured you’d keep quiet about the most important thing?
: But, from what you guys said, if your life is connected to the Linebarrel…
: Then so is Kizaki’s life, since she’s also the thing’s Factor, yeah?
: Huh…?
: Meaning, if you keep on fighting with the Linebarrel, you’d also be keeping her life safe, ain’t that right?
: …?!
: It’s just as he said, Hayase. Emi Kizaki’s life has been in your hands from the moment you became a Factor.
: Her… Her life is in my hands…?

: (I’m despicable…? I suppose I am…)

: Kizaki…
: Hayase…
: Mr. Ishigami told me pretty much everything, so… Listen, I’m sorry for what I said back there… I shouldn’t have called you that…
: I’d no idea I was responsible for your life… I risked the Linebarrel so many times…
: You don’t owe me any apologies. I’m the one who kept quiet about everything – it was easier for me that way.
: But…
: I… I was afraid that you’d walk out on me if I told you…
: I can’t pilot the Linebarrel for long periods of time, so I wouldn’t be able to survive this battle by myself…
: …
: And, yet, all this time I just looked at you with cold, uncaring eyes. I’d been judging whether you were “suitable” to be entrusted with my life…
: But I’m not in any position to judge you, not after what happened… Still, I… I can’t ask this of anyone but you…
: Kizaki…
: Hayase…
: Please… Please protect me!

: …?!
: …
: I won’t put you in a position where you have to pilot the Linebarrel again…
: Rather, I promise I’ll learn to handle the Linebarrel even better than you…! I…
: I will protect you!
: …!
: …
: Okay…!


And back to ALVIS, Yumiko’s a bit surprised at how quickly the UX and JUDA fielded the kids. From what Kariya sees, the Siegfried System terminal is doing just fine – this just greatly expanded the Fafners’ range of operations. Regardless, they left the Fafners in our care, so we can deploy the bots at our discretion.
A more urgent matter, Makabe reminds them, is relocating Tatsumiya immediately, while the Federation isn’t trying anything. Hazama reports that while there aren’t any issues with the system itself, Kariya did find something a bit worrying in the path they were going to take.

She puts it up on screen: they found an island three hundred and fifty kilometers due north of their current location. It seems to be uninhabited but it looks just like Tatsumiya. As Makabe knows, their island wasn’t the only one made for the Arcadian Project, though none of the participants were allowed access to information regarding the other islands.
But why is it uninhabited? Maybe it was abandoned halfway through the project, or maybe something happened that killed all its people. We need to figure out what’s what, which means getting a team sent in to investigate. Makabe orders Soushi contacted and an urgent recall order sent to the Fafners. Whatever could be up with this other Tatsumiya?


#45

Aww shit son, it’s Domyouji! And he even does his “of course I can’t win, you have a GIANT FUCKING ROBOT, that is FUCKING AWESOME” bit.

Saya pulling a fucking Rom Stoll is great too.

Emi has YELLOW eyes. Pay attention, we’ll be quizzing you on this later!

…Well, TECHNICALLY, yes, the Linebarrel is a Mk 2. But the Lostbarrel is also black, and won’t be showing up as more than a map sprite in UX.

Well, look at the bright side, ALVIS, you at least discovered the second island instead of the third. That’d have gotten you killed at this point.


#46
Click to see the mission!


Choose the Europe route and Richard says he’s worried about not only Garan’s Forces, but also this new alliance between the Frontier Fleet and the AEU. Eida understands, knowing that if a force as powerful as the fleet starts taking sides, it could sow the seeds to a new conflict across the world.
After this, pretty much all other scenes proceed the same. Of note, however, is that while the Fafner kids have been assigned to work with us, ALVIS still needs a bit more time to get the Siegfried System readjusted so the Fafners can operate beyond Tatsumiya on this route. Once that’s taken care of, they’ll meet up with us.


And we get Scarlet as a tactician, who boosts the effects of any Support skills by 10% (meaning it lessens the damage penalty on attacks and boosts damage reduction in defense). Not that it really matters, since mitigation isn’t all that important and Zhuge Liang provides a damage boost for everything you do during your phase, but hey.


Mazinkaiser’s deploying as an event unit, but you can still pair it with someone. So, we’re going like this:
Arnie/Luna
Guan Yu/Tsubasa
Shinn
Liu Bei/Saya
Zhang Fei/Fei-Yen (shrug)
Mazinkaiser/Eida
Tactician: Zhuge Liang

Off we go.

: C-Curse you all… Gwwaaaaaargh!

: Yaaahooo! Did you see that? That’s the sort of skill that separates a Super Ace from the rest! (Patrick)
: Garan Forces or whatever you’re called, the AEU’s our turf! Your party’s about to come to a screeching halt!
: Hurray for Colasour, the immortal! That’s our captain!
: Not Colasour, Mannequin! How many times do I gotta tell you I changed my name after getting married?!
: Apologies, sir! Everyone stick with the captain!

Patrick keeps leading the charge up ahead.

: Hrk… Wh-What?!

: So you’re the leader of this army? Hm, you do appear to be decently skilled… however, you know not that you should quit while you’re ahead!

: Wh-Whooaaa—!

: C-Captain Colasour?! We can’t continue… retreat! Retreat!

: So this is all the armies of the surface truly have to offer? What a disappointment…!
: Indeed, he is the only one who can stoke the flame inside me…


But Patrick’s fine (of course), and he’s run off to Marseille to cry on Kati’s shoulder over getting shot down (and she’s now a brigadier general, not a colonel, dang it!). Didn’t she send him a report telling specifically to be careful with that unique black unit? She did, but Patrick never liked reading reports, so…
Garan’s invasion is getting worse by the day, yet Kati has to make do with a tiny amount of forces. Just what is the Federation leadership thinking?! “Everything’ll be fine, my love! Just leave it to your sweet Patrick! I’ll gladly risk my life fighting in your name, colonel!” It’s BRIGADIER GENERAL!
But a mook walks in, telling Kati an envoy from the Martian Development Bureau has arrived…Dog Tack.


Burn’s returned to Garan’s frontline base, making good on his vow to repay the boss man for his kindness. That said, when Burn’s old nemesis is found… Garan understands, and will allow Burn to leave and go face him.
As Burn thanks him and exits, Garan ponders the Black Knight: a man with emptiness in his heart, yet with unquestionable skill as a warrior. Himiko wonders what kind of man Burn’s nemesis – one Shou Zama – is, but Garan doesn’t know either. That said, he does envy Burn, and hopes to someday meet a foe strong enough to view as his own nemesis.

But never mind that, has Himiko managed to find the “truth” she sought now that they’ve stepped into the world outside Machina Island? Not yet, unfortunately, but she does have come to realize something: that this world is home to something akin to a massive and sprawling, yet unseen, spider-web. Or, perhaps, it’d be better to refer to it as the threads of fate.
All these threads lie interconnected by the force of fate itself, weaving together a beautiful tapestry. And at the center of it all stands the one doing the weaving. Whether that being is God or whatever, it makes no difference to Garan: “If the fate that’s been assigned to us is to keep on fighting, then…”


Cut to the Quarter, already down on the surface, Alto’s not too happy that they’ll be taking part in an operation against Garan’s Forces – the brass is ordering them to get involved in Earth’s wars now? Indeed, and it came as an official request from the Frontier government as per their treaty with the AEU.
The suddenness of it all strikes Klan (who turns into a little girl when miclonized) as very odd: let’s not forget that ever since the fleet arrived on Earth, they’ve always been told to keep to space and not descend on the planet’s surface. But Michel sees what’s up: the local governments don’t want to deal with the Frontier’s issues, but they would still love to gain access to their forces and tech.
That said, Canaria points out that with the Vajra confirmed to be arriving in this world as well, the fleet can’t afford to dispatch its own forces – therein lies the business opportunity for PMCs like the SMS. Kinda seems to Monica that we’re taking advantage of the situation but, as Bobby sees it, moments like this are precisely what their company is here for. That doesn’t make Alto happy that they’re taking part in a war that isn’t theirs, mind.

Cathy doesn’t think the government has any problems with this, having the sinking feeling that the only reason the president’s office ever signed that treaty was to be able to send the SMS down to Earth. Why does she think that? Well, for one, it seems Leon Mishima was one of the most vocal voices in favor of the treaty, and the guy’s been trying to leverage Earth’s ongoing state of affairs for political gains for a while now.
So, Ozma surmises, they’ve been sent to Earth in order to get the guy more intel to use. Isn’t that pretty much spy work? Still, Jeffrey notes that the Frontier’s unable to return to their own universe, so they must look for a place to settle down on this Earth – many among the fleet’s residents are seeking to immigrate here, too. If what Mishima’s doing will enable that, then it’s a worthy cause.

Michel agrees with the captain, noting the decades their fleet spent roaming the galaxy in search of a new world – and now they’ve finally arrived on one. Yes, it may be a planet in a different universe, but if it’ll let the people to set their feet on solid ground, then they shouldn’t let this opportunity pass.
Ozma asks what everyone else thinks and Alto inwardly ponders how all he wants is to FLY THROUGH A REAL SKY. But having to fight in a war to make that happen leaves him with a bad taste in his mouth.


Back to us, our people are hitching a ride on the WSO dropship and Saya reports that Garan wasted no time deploying huge amounts of troops and assaulting various parts of Europe. His blitz caught the AEU wholly unprepared, resulting in a very confused counteroffensive where they’ve been stuck playing catch-up.
Liu Bei had taken Garan to be an exceptional man even back at Machine Island, but now it’s clear to him and Zhuge Liang that his ability as a strategist isn’t one to be underestimated either. Magami does wonder about one thing: why hasn’t the AEU asked for the Federation’s help on this? Even those SMS guys are just civilian mercs, right?

As it turns out, from what Scarlet’s heard, the AEU did appeal to the Federation Army for help… but the HRL used its right of veto to shut it down. Looks like they really didn’t appreciate that treaty with the Frontier. Shinn sniffs at the big nations once again vying only for their self-interest, and Fei doesn’t understand why people won’t help other people being attacked. Makes Luna wonder why the Federation was even put together in the first place.
Still, even if they won’t be getting help from the Federaton, this whole thing strikes Tsubasa as strange: the request the UX got was to go and support the SMS, but why hire mercs and ask them to just assist another group of mercs? Sounds needlessly complicated.


When Eida asks, while Richard isn’t at liberty to outright tell us who their client is, he does say that it’s an important personage from a certain North American company. Arnie wonders if said business could be sponsored by the Hadou Financial Group, but the better question here is: why does a Union company care about the situation at the AEU?
Kaido doesn’t see the point in wondering about all this, as it doesn’t change our job. All this talk’s gonna wear us out, Zhang Fei argues, and Guan Yu is forced to agree with him. Whatever the circumstances, we’re getting in there to do one thing: “Find and kick Garan’s ass! That’s the long and short of it!” Kaido proclaims.


Mission 14 (Europe Route) – Search and Kill

:siren: SRW UX - The Target.
Elsewhere, some AEU troops are getting wrecked, but the SMS soon arrives to bail them out. Ozma tells them to let us, their new allies, handle this and off they go. Garan’s men aren’t impressed, and vow no mercy for any who’d oppose their leader’s conquest. Klan approves of their guts.
Ozma orders everyone to engage, but not to pursue the enemy in too deep – their foothold is further ahead and they likely have a lot more troops there. Formation Planet Dance!
Meanwhile, Alto’s getting his first feel of flying in atmosphere. Still, how much better it would be if he could soar through this sky without being in combat.


Blah, blah, blah. Kill everything, don’t lose the Quarter. The Garan troops are bulky enough that the Valkyries can’t oneshot them with their common missiles, but they’re still no challenge. Go forward and destroy.

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

And right on turn 2…


Monica pings a unit headed this way from within Garan’s controlled territory, and in comes Burn. The AEU’s already sent us intel on this “Ace Killer”, responsible for downing many of their forces, and Monica quickly pings even more stuff incoming. Enemy reinforcements?


No, it’s us, and Kaido’s annoyed that he got himself all hyped up for nothing: Garan’s nowhere to be seen! Richard gets on the mic and declares that we’re not hostile – rather, we’re here to help repel the invading forces.
Jeffrey remembers the UX from our previous encounter, though the data they received tagged us as mercenary outlaws… But what’s important to Bobby is the “mercenary” bit. We’re all professional colleagues here, so teaming up sounds good to him. Jeffrey agrees, and thanks us for the assist.
As for Burn, while he bears no grudge for us, his honor as a knight must be upheld – to battle! Zhuge Liang can see that the black unit’s pilot is good and warns us to be vigilant. Regardless, our goal here is to clear this area of Garan’s Forces.


Zwarth (Burn Bunnings)
Pilot Skills:
Aura Power L3
Prevail L5
Support Attack L1
All Attack L1
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Shield
Aura Barrier – reduces all damage from ranged attacks by 1000 + Aura Power level x100
Off-Shoot – upwards of 50% chance to outright dodge an incoming attack, determined by the difference between pilot and enemy’s Skill stat. Activates at 130 morale.
All-Canceller
Burn’s Voice Actor: Sho Hayami (other roles: Max Genius, Sandman, Eiji Kiriyama, Kei Katsuragi, Zhuge Liang in the Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi manga and many more)

As is tradition for any Sho Hayami character, Burn is a great pilot through and through. He’s pretty dang dodgy, especially over 130 morale, and the Zwarth has plenty of stopping power. That said, he suffers from the same weaknesses as Sakomizu, namely his steep range drop-off: Burn’s best attack is point-blank, and his second best is 1-2, which is hardly ideal.
Aura Barrier is there to force you to close that gap and get in melee range, of course, but the damage mitigation is a lot less severe than with the Oukaou. Burn’s Skill stat is on par with Moritsugu’s, too, so you’d best err on the side of caution and cast Strike if he’s got over 130 morale.
Regardless, approach him as you did Sakomizu, and you’ll be fine. Try and deal with him quickly, as he’ll move in right from the start.

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

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: If I had to go by its looks, I’d say I’m looking at an animal… but that’s actually a human-piloted weapon?!
: You are a bold pilot, I see. However, your movements remain far too simple!

: So this is Earth’s “Ace Killer”! He’ll be a tough one to drop!
: Ah, I’ve found quite the strong opponent! Maybe you’ll be able to stir my soul?!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-AcLKax-Lw

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: This mech’s the one belonging to Garan’s famous guest, hm?
: The visage of a skull paired with the presence of an iron fortress… Hmhmhm, you are more awe-inspiring than I expected!
: Come and face me! Hold nothing back!
u: Sure thing, guy! And you better bring your A-game too!

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

: Ye aggressor who’d do away with the people’s joy! I shall see to your punishment in the heavens’ stead!
: You’re the Octagon’s Volunteer Corps, yes? I’ve always wanted to pit my sword against yours!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: This machine… it’s an Aura Battler?! Did you also come from Byston Well?!
: You know of Byston Well?! So I really wasn’t the only one to emerge in the Overworld!

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


And we get a Black Knight’s Mask out of this (Evasion and Melee +10, Skill +5).

: So there are skilled fighters even among the overworlders, hm…
: Perhaps there is something to be gained by fighting in this land after all!

: Phew, I think it’s over.
: No, it isn’t…! I’m detecting other signals headed this way!
: Huh…? One of them’s giving out energy readings on a completely different scale from the previous troops!

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: They’ve managed to repel the Black Knight… these are capable fighters, I see.
: Aah, you finally decided to show your face, geezer! Fashionably late like a badass, eh?!
: The skull devil seen on Machine Island… to think fate would provide me with a nemesis as it did to the Black Knight…
: And now my blade will verify whether you’ve the necessary strength to fill that position!
: Guess we got a surprise entry on stage…! Troops, focus all your attacks on that unit!


Kill off Garan’s Geistteles to wrap things up, but he’s hanging way back and there are plenty of mooks along the way. Take them first (prioritize Liu Bei if you still need that secret) and, then, move in.


Geistteles (Garan)
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
All Attack L1
Mech Features:
Sword
All-Canceller
Garan’s Voice Actor: Banjou Ginga (other roles: Luozorl and Jun in Masoukishin, Fatman in Xabungle, Gihren Zabi in the original Gundam and many more)

What do you expect from a guy that looks like this? He’s a big wall of HP that hits hard, but isn’t TOO accurate. His Prevail is surprisingly low and his best attack is point-blank range (lowers mobility and movement too), so just do your best to attack from outside that.
That’s pretty much it, really: throw everything you have and whittle away at him. Garan’s got no special tricks to be wary of and you can’t debuff him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wk2QHYRmeVc
Here are both Michel and Luca’s best attacks, while we’re closing in.

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

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Why’d you leave that island?! I know you could’ve lived out your lives without invading other people’s homes!
: Are you suggesting I consign myself to my limited world, growing fat in the arms of peace? That is no different from death in the eyes of a warrior!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucWlze2SlvY

:siren: SRW UX - LOVE 14 ver. HD

: The Sleeping Beauty of Machine Island…! I confess I never expected us to meet under these circumstances!
: Y o u… D o you h a v e a n idea of w h o I a m? W h a t d o… y o u know…?!
: If you wish to know the fate that’s been given to you, then go and find it yourself!
: W h a t… is y o u r problem?!
: Someone a s k s y o u a n honest q u e s t i o n and that‘s h o w y o u answer…?!

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: His strength, his speed… This guy’s on a totally different level from those other goons!
: Hah, you dare size me up? I like your cheek, boy. But, unfortunately, you still have a long way to go before you may call yourself a warrior!

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: So you’re the one in charge! Then we just need to take you down and…!
: You are skilled, indeed! But is it enough to claim my head?!

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

: What possessed you to leave Machine Island, Garan?! Why do you bring suffering to other nations?!
: Taking sword in hand and seeking challenges to better oneself is the essence of a warrior! And nations are made by warriors!
: Nay! A ruler – a true ruler – will only take sword in hand to safeguard his people’s happiness!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Lepton Vectrer, output stable. Rising engine internal pressure…
: (What’s this I’m feeling…? Is his unit…?!)

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: Psh, ain’t you too old to be getting into fights, geezer?
: Hmhmhm. Have you the mettle and strength to be my nemesis, skull devil? If you’re found wanting, however, the price will be your life!
: Hah, have it your way… We’ll enjoy giving you ample taste of our power!


Take out Garan and we get Scarlet’s Analects on Cussing (Defense +10, Melee and Accuracy +5).

: Hrrm…!
: Hah-Hahahah… It’s been a very long time since I last felt this excited. But, of course, this is exactly what I hoped to find when I stepped into the outside world!

: Wh-What… What’s he doing?!
: Now feel the bite of my attack!

: Gwaaargh! Th-This frickin’ geezer…!
: You cannot prevail against me with the might you possess, skull devil. Such is your fate.
: Our… fate?!
: Switch to me, Kaido! I’ll kill him myself!
: Ain’t every day I see you this amped up. Alright, if you insist…!

: I can overlook the philosophical drivel you spout, and your arrogance…
: But nobody tries to say fate has any influence over me and gets away with it!
: You do not appreciate that concept, hm? But it is they who struggle against fate the most who find themselves bound even tighter by its chains.
: You son of a bitch!

: What is going on with that unit?! It’s fighting like a madman now…!
: Magami, where did your cool go?! You’re being too aggressive! Keep your distance!

: Raaaaaaargh!
: What the hell are you doing, Magami?! Back up and lemme take over!
: B-Backup…?! I’m no one’s backup! I’M NOT A REPLACEMENT!!
: What’s gotten into you, Magami?!
: Hmhmhm. I sense the turmoil in your heart, skull devil.

Beep.

: Lord Garan…
: Himiko? Why do you interrupt me?
: I’ve noticed something. The man piloting the devil right now is…
: … What?! Hahah…! I see!
: You are like us! An Erbsünde!
: …?!
: Erbsünde…?
: Shut up…! I’m me! I live and die the way I want!
: My… my life belongs to no one but me!
; Hmhmhm… then it appears we are kindred spirits. You—
: SHUT YOUR MOUTH!

: R-Rrghh…!
: MAGAMI!
: Hmph, a bit underwhelming… but still somewhat enjoyable.
: Hmhmhm, Ahahahahahaha!

: Magami, Kaido! Are you alright?! Answer me!
: Recover the damaged unit and bring it aboard immediately! Ready the infirmary for the pilots! Hurry!
: Y-Yes, sir!
: Kch… argh…! Y-You dumbass…!
: …
: Thanks to you blowing a gasket… we’re… really… Hell…!


Back to the Marseille base, an AEU mooks brings word that the Federation’s Normandy base has been taken by the enemy. That’s where they were mass-producing the new Riot Cs that would’ve been deployed in Europe, and Kati doesn’t know what they’ll do with that last ace in the hole lost.
Dog’s surprised/amused to see the famed strategist Kati Mannequin throwing the towel; seems to him that their proposal has just become even more of a necessity. Kati asks if they’re serious about reforming the Federation, and Dog confirms: this rotten shell of an organization no longer has the capacity to oversee this planet. Case in point, they’ve done absolutely nothing about Garan’s invasion.
Kati sniffs that the Martian Development Bureau is advocating for this because they were too far from Earth to know how things once got here. But she personally saw all the brutal crackdowns done in the name of “peace and security”.

Dog has heard of the A-Laws, but says that their failure was due to their flawed ideology. Now they must abandon Earth-centric notions and, instead, focus on bringing peace and prosperity for ALL of the Earth Sphere, including those out in space; and it is with the Martian Development Bureau, not under the yoke of the Big Three Nations, that this ideal will be realized.
Kati’s looking ill at ease, but Dog hopes they can count on her support when a new dawn breaks for the Federation.


Cut to the Quarter, Richard thanks Jeffrey for taking in our wounded, who in turn thanks them for the support. The SMS had never fought enemies like those before, so they wouldn’t have done as well as they did without us. As for the SKL pilots, Canaria reports that Magami’s still knocked out; they’ll be fine, but she wants them to get absolute rest for a while.
Eida wonders what the reason was for Magami’s uncharacteristic outburst back there, and Zhang Fei figures Garan poked at an old wound. Everyone’s got a part of their past that they don’t want to talk about, right? Guan Yu harrumphs that Fei shouldn’t bunch them all together – he doesn’t regret any part of his past.

Regardless, Ozma thinks we’ll need the SKL if we’re going to stand up to Garan’s incredibly powerful mech, and Tsubasa’s forced to agree. Do we know where he and his troops went after our battle? Cathy’s already received intel from the AEU saying they took over the Federation base at Normandy, where they were producing their new models. Arnie already knows what to expect from that and, yes, it’s very likely those are Riots.
Worse, Paris and London are just a stone’s throw away from Garan’s new foothold, and Scarlet fears the wrong move could endanger the cities and the local populace. Zhuge Liang isn’t too sure, though: Garan is a man who prides himself as a warrior above all, so it’s very unlikely he’d open fire on innocent civilians.
That said, Shinn knows the threat of an attack against those metropolis will keep the AEU army at bay, and Zhuge Liang posits that’s precisely what Garan wants. Why?


Because, as a shocked Burn realizes, Garan only wants the common army out of the way so he can settle things with his nemesis (though, going from that last battle, it’s not quite deserving of the denomination). But they’ve just secured the new weapons of the Overworld army and are in position to attack two major cities and consolidate their dominion of the entire region, so why?
Garan figures Burn knows the answer to that question better than anyone: there is nothing a warrior desires more than a battle that can stir his soul, and that goes double when the opponent is another Erbsünde. A what? “They who’ve been burdened with the original sin,” Himiko says. “We were marked with the stigma of that sin from the day we were born, fated to languish in a living purgatory for as long as we draw breath.”
Hearing this, Burn mulls that Himiko mentioned that the underlying truth of this world lies at the end of this battle. What could that truth be? And what about this “original sin” that’s fated them to fight nonstop?


#47

The main problem with the Europe route is that it feels… well, it feels like fucking filler. Outside of the SEPARATION stage every route gets, all it really does is change Kaiser to its eyeless sprite/animations, bring in the Frontier cast another stage already introduced, and move Miku forward a bit. Comparatively, the Japan and America routes do a lot more important things.

Given only a single secret is tied to it, that’s probably not even that far off, really. And just to twist the knife in a little further, it’s actually the best if you want to get the other routes back the earliest - see, all routes get the same 18, 19, and 20, but Japan’s series all come back after 17 (because it needs to for plot reasons) and America’s at 19, but Europe takes until 20 proper.


#48
Click to see the mission!


Back to the America route, where Kurou and Heroman are deploy as event units AGAIN. At least you can pair the latter up with someone.
Arnie/Saya
Aesap
Shinn/Luna
Heroman/Setsuna
Kazuki/Eida
Lockon/Koyo
Tactician: Richard

Now forward!


Minami’s just finished talking to the Union’s president and will await a positive reply to his proposal. She and her aide figures the guy knows about the White House’s ties to the UX, or he wouldn’t have been so forceful in his pitch. But how did he come across that kind of information?
Seems to the president that the Union also has groups scheming in its shadows – groups that could threaten the Federation as well. She calls for NIA’s special agent Axel Hughes, wanting to have him look into this matter.


Cut to the Skrugg mothership, Gogorr’s meeting with Experiments #1 and #2. How do they feel? #1 feels fine, but #2 feels like a million bucks – power’s rushing through his body and he wants to fight right away.
That works for Gogorr, who says they’ll take part in the next operation. There, they can fight to their heart’s content; #1 confirms levelly and #2 is very grateful to GOGORR-SAMA. With that done, he sends them out to their target: that annoyingly persistent bunch in Arkham City.


Speaking of, over by the Hadou manor, Keisha reports the Skrugg’s progressively spreading invasion of various cities. Many sleepless nights are in store for said cities’ neighbors. And the question remains: how do the army and the government plan to deal with this crisis? She signs off and Psy shakes his fist at the goddamned Skrugg. Lina STILL hasn’t managed to get in touch with her brother, and really hopes he’s safe.
Erebos suggests we go and attack the main Skrugg ship and blow it to smithereens (“They’ll be all like ‘KA-BOOM!’”), but Shinn points out that we don’t have the manpower to attack an enemy HQ. They’ll have far too many enemies for us to deal with. Mind, if we found some sort of weakness to exploit, he might change his mind.
Speaking of, where have Denton and Rachel ran off to? Arnie figures they might be able to come up with something for us. From what Psy’s heard, he and the genius girl are working on some project in the underground hangar. A new invention? Maybe, and Psy hopes it won’t be some weird gadget again.


Denton’s very much enjoying having the Hadou Financial Group supplying his budget – he’s got all the supplies he’d ever need and knows THIS one will be a stunning creation (and not a dud like before). Rachel’s also confident that it’ll be finished surprisingly fast, as their work’s been on point since this project started. So, what is it his “stunning creation”? From what Mileina and Lasse see, it looks like a guitar and a giant speaker.
Well, Denton tells them that he just needs to get this baby running and they’ll have the Skrugg beat as easy as 1,2, 3! Feldt doesn’t look confident…


Back up top, Kurou’s unusually silent. “Are you still worried about that annoying child, Kurou? In truth, I would think her not being mad to be far greater cause for concern.” Al harrumphs. Kurou agrees, but says last time wasn’t like the others – Ruri was REALLY angry back then.
True, as Sonya and Lockon remember that she wouldn’t even listen when he tried to apologize, only giving him that slap. Looks like it’s serious this time. Kurou feels awful and, while Winfield apologizes for his lady’s behavior, admits that he really trashed the Demonbane last fight. “Still, that’s no reason to hit you,” Koyo objects. “While I don’t know how valuable that mech is, the life of the person fighting with it has got to be more important.”

On the flip side, as Soushi points out, the Demonbane’s an irreplaceable weapon – losing it due to the pilot’s recklessness is not acceptable. “That’s exactly what I’d expect to hear from the guy who just watched Shouko kill herself to protect the island, Soushi,” Koyo sniffs. Kurou tells them both to cut it out, as one fight in our crew’s more than enough.
Winfield apologizes again, and begs that Kurou remember that the Demonbane is very special to Ruri. It IS her only memento of her grandfather, after all.

: …
: “It may be true that the world is filled with evil. However, it’s also true that there exists a justice that loathes that evil.”
: That’s what my grandfather said that day… when my mother and father had been murdered by the Black Lodge…
: But, justice—

BOOM!

: Wh-What?!

: Hmhmhm… Fooound yooou.
: ?! AAAAAH!!


Mission 15 (America Route) – The Invaders

: This isn’t good! The manor’s surrounded by Skrugg!
: How could they get so close without anyone noticing…?!
: Communications through the manor are down! Quickly! We must make sure the lady is safe and sound!
: Okay! Lead the way!

Bang!

: Urgh!

Dead.

: Good shot! Then again, you are a sniper.
: Yup, how would I earn my keep if I couldn’t land these, right?
: The rest of our team’s headed for the Ptolemaios! We should also hurry on over!

: Aesap, from your right!

Sword clash!

: I know, I know! Quit yelling in my ear, Cham!
: Bah, I’m just trying to be useful! Shou’s not around, but I can still help you!
: You beasts waste your time! Surrender!
: Wh-What should we do?! We’re getting mobbed!
: Allow me, please! Observe… secret technique: Toccata!

Atatatatatatata!

: Gwaaaargh!

Dead.

: Huuh?! He took down a Skrugg with his bare hands?!
: A pendulum step followed by a perfect counterblow… that looked like a boxing technique…!
: Maybe, but he’s far exceeded the level of simple boxing.
: Now I see why Ruri Hadou needs no one but him accompanying her. He’s that strong.

: Hm… You are quite the interesting man to find in what I’d expected to be a dull mission.
: Who—?!
: Get back!

Machinegun fire!

: S-Setsuna! You can’t just shoot anyone who…!
: Hmph. That firearm will avail you not against me…
: Wha…?!
: Y-You’ve got to be kidding me! He parried all the bullets?!
: This dark, loathsome aura, and your scent… you are a sorcerer!
: Indeed. My name is Titus, named among the disciples of the Black Lodge and one of the Anticross…
: Anticross?!
: 'Tis they who are the mightiest sorcerers of the Black Lodge! They who answer directly to Master Therion!
: We can’t waste time on this guy, Al! We gotta find the princess!
: You are too late. My associate should be taking her captive as we speak.
: What did you say…?!
: Their target is Ruri Hadou… So you were the ones who cut the manor’s comms?!
: Master Daijuuji, time is short. I’ll take care of this while you hurry after the lady! The rest of you should head for the Ptolemaios!
: But if we leave you alone…!
: Please. Sorcery is not the only way for one to become superhuman. I will show this man the absolute zenith of the art of battle.
: Alright… Don’t die on me!

Kurou runs off.

: I’m coming with you, Mr. Daijuuji!

Runs!

: W-Wait!

Flies!

: Hmph, is that the fist-fighting that passes for sport in this country? Fool… you intend to do battle with me unarmed?
: Boxing is humanity’s ultimate art, refined over countless years…
: And if you would berate it as a mere sport, I shall endeavor to educate you on its techniques quite thoroughly, Mister Bushido!

Tentacles (of course)!

: Hahaa, I’ve got you.
: Wh-What are these disgusting feelers?!
: Now, let’s see… how should I kick off our fun time, hmm?
: N-Nooooo! Winfield! Help!

Kick door open!

: Piss off, freak!

Slashes tentacles!

: Hrgh…?!
: Mr. Daijuuji…?!
: Are you alright, princess?!
: Kurou Daijuuji…! You’ve got some nerve getting in the way of my fun!
: You are another Anticross, are you not?!
: Oh, yes. My name is Tiberius. Charmed.
: This man… what’s this dreadful Aura emanating from him?!
: Eeeww! He’s even got tentacles dangling around his mask! Yuck!
: Oh, now that is so very mean. My babies are so very excited to see you, even!
: No one’s into tentacles nowadays, freak! Now get ready for some pain!

Back outside…

: Heromaaaan… ATTACK!

: Haah, haah…
: Stay strong, Joey! Everyone’ll be here soon!
: I-I’m fine! I’ll keep them at bay until they arrive…!

Beep.

: All units have finished being set-up! Ready to deploy on your order!

: Kurou’s group will handle the situation inside the manor. We need to focus on dispatching the Skrugg!
: Take them down, troops! Don’t leave even one of them around!


Kill everything, don’t lose the Ptolemaios or Heroman. The Skrugg are still the same, so let’s deal with them and try to forget Awful Tentacle Clown. You’ll have to spread you guys out some because the Skrugg are primarily split across the east and west sides of the map.

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: They have begun…
: Will we really cast our lot in with these people…?
: Hm. However, 'tis not solely for the purpose of returning to Mirisha.
: Indeed, I will find and behold with my very eyes the “underlying truth” of this world that that woman spoke of…
: …

:siren: SRW UX - My Fate

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

Kill about half the enemy troops and…

: More Skrugg…?! Were they hiding out in the neighboring areas?!

Beep, beep!

: And we’re detecting even more of them coming straight for us!
: Way this is looking, it’s only a matter of time before they get here!
: Damn it, what’re we gonna do now?!
: Joey… Help!

: IT’S FINIIIIIIISHED!
: Professor! You talking about that thing you were working on?!
: Exactly! We’ll put our secret anti-Skrugg weapon to use and send them all packing!
: “Secret anti-Skrugg weapon”? Do you mean that guitar and the giant speaker?
: We’ll explain everything later! Let’s go and give it a try!
: Come on, Psy! Let the world hear the first cry of our great invention!
: Well, I guess that’s the best shot we got! I trust you, professor!

Guitar solo!

: Ggwaaaaaaagh!

All Skrugg lose 10 morale!

: The Skrugg are in pain?! What’s going on?!
: Hmhmhm… I had an epiphany during our battle with Dr. West!
: The Skrugg reacted very strongly to the music of his guitar. Ergo…!
: We figured that high-frequency sound would be a more effective weapon than even missiles against them!
: Oh, wow, that’s an amazing discovery! That’s why you two are the resident geniuses!
: And it looks like the Skrugg within the manor are also being weakened by the sonic weapon.
: Heheh, are they now? Then get a load of this, Skrugg!

: Hrrnghaaaaa! Wh-What weapon is that?!
: W-We’ve no choice…! Send them in!

: …
: Skrugg reinforcements?! But those don’t look like any that we’ve seen…
: There’s the white one – our enemy…
: Engage and destroy!
: Those two Skrugg are looking at me and Heroman…?!
: Worry about that later, Joey! We gotta focus on just dealing with the enemy!
: O-Okay!


Experiment #01
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L2
All Attack L1
Mech Features:
Gun
20% HP and EN Regen
#01’s voice actor: Makoto Yasumura (other roles: Shozo Tadokoro in Rinne no Lagrange, Dan Gotanda in Infinite Stratos, and some more)


Experiment #02
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
All Attack L1
Mech Features:
Gun
20% HP and EN Regen
#02’s voice actor: Akiyo Suyama (other roles: Ichiro Ogami in Sakura Taisen, Zagi in Tales of Vesperia, Physica in Macross 7 and some more)

Skrugg midbosses, but still Skrugg. #01’s clearly the better of the two, packing more of everything #02 has, but he still can’t take a hit worth a damn (courtesy of that SS size).
Their accuracy gets a decent boost thanks to their size and their power is appropriately good, but we’ve fought way stronger.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JywQPfssQs
And here’s the #01’s best attack since he chose something he could hit.

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: The fact that they are fielding these new types of Skrugg shows what a nuisance they see us as!

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: He’s strong… this guy is nothing like the Skrugg we fought before!
: The white one… it’s our enemy! The Skrugg’s enemy!


#02’s easier to take out, but #01 has a Psy’s Skateboard we can take.

: The new Skrugg are immobile! Now’s our chance!
: HERE GOES!

: Gyaaaaaaargh!
: H-Hrrgh…!

Mask shatters!

: Gwaaaaaargh!
: A-Aah…!
: N-No… brother?!
: Hrrm…
: N-No way… that Skrugg is Lina’s missing brother?!
: Which would mean… is Nick the other one?!
: Urgh…
: They… were they converted into Skrugg?!
: And I don’t think that’s all. They also seem to be under some mind-control…
: But that’s… why?!
: Wait, something’s up with them!
: Hrk… Rrrgh…!

Beep!

: We’re calling for a stop to your mission. Retreat, Experiments #1 and #02!
: R-Roger…!
: We won’t forget this, humans…!

: No! Will! Come back!
: They retreated…?!
: I’ve finally found you again… why… why did this have to happen to you?!
: Lina…
: The battle’s still not over, people! Bring down the remaining Skrugg!
: U-Understood…!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOEI1eeUE5o
Aesap got really trigger-happy with his High Speed Evasion during this mission.

And we take out the rest of the Skrugg right on this turn.

: Looks like that was the last of the attacking Skrugg.
: The ones within the manor have also pulled back.
: All thanks to that guitar attack! You guys really saved our bacons!
: And now we just have to deal with the two Anticross…

Tiberius is flung though the manor’s window, into the city!

: Hrrgh…!
: That’s…!
: Haah, haah… Finally, I got that freak outside… Urk!
: Mr. Daijuuji…!
: Look at him… he’s hurt all over!
: You… you piece of FILTH!
: Rise, Belzebuth, my Deus Machina! Gorge thyself!

: It’s… a Deus Machina?!
: A mechanical God, given form by sorcery…!
: Heheheh! Oh, save your surprise for after you see this!

: The Skrugg we just beat are back…?! What’s going on?!
: R-Rrr… aaah…!
: Psh, those guys’re like zombies. Is that some sort of spell he’s using?!
: That power… is he—?!
: Sorry, princess… I’m gonna have to borrow the Demonbane again…
: Mr. Daijuuji, you’re too injured! Fight in that condition and you’ll…!
: I’m still… going to fight!
: Mr. Daijuuji…!
: If we let a psycho like that run loose… we risk losing everything…! So, I…!

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: I need the Demonbane!
: Mr. Daijuuji… you’re…!
: Now come! Thou art the innocent blade…! DEMONBANE!!

: You dare face me with one foot in the grave?! I’ve always hated stubborn men!
: Shut the hell up! I’m coming for you, ya squid!
: He reminds me of Shou…
: Shou…?
: He’s a man who gets outraged by the sight of evil… A man who’ll fight to the very last drop of his life, no matter how wounded he is.
: A man who’ll fight to the very last drop of his life, no matter how wounded he is…
: (He’s just like my grandfather…)
: Kurou, the power we attained last battle, the Mirror of Nitocris, is now available to you!
: Use the illusions it creates well, and it will serve us nicely as decoy!
: Got it! Let’s go, Al!


What Al means is that, on top of everything, the Demonbane now has a Mirror Image ability (max of 30% chance to evade, determined by the difference in Skill stat). We just need to down Tiberius to end this mission, but, as always, make sure to go after the Skrugg if you’re getting kills for secrets.


Belzebuth (Tiberius)
Pilot Skills:
Sorcerer L3
Grimoire L3
Prevail L2
Support Attack L1
All Attack L1
Mech Features:
20% HP Regen
Tiberius voice actor: Kazuki Yao (other roles: Judau in ZZ, Shinobu/F.S. in Dancouga stuff, Franky in One Piece and a ton more).

Can you say debuffs? Because Tiberius is packing a bunch of those: his weakest attack will apply Attack Down, whereas his best one debuffs your morale AND immobilizes the target. Not nice.
Tiberius’ offensive stats are on par with Garan, though he’s nowhere as good a shot and has about 28k less HP and defenses. He’ll hit harder, mind, as both his weapons come packing S on Earth, so lead with your dodgier units and make sure you don’t get tagged. 20% HP regen isn’t insignificant against a midboss, but your guys should be able to down him on one round to avoid any surprises.
One way to get yourself an easy boost is to gather up your people outside his range (he’ll focus on Kurou, of course) and pop Setsuna’s Trans-AM Burst when he moves in. Surprisingly, he’s not immune to debuffs, so you can really put a big stat difference between him and our guys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KsXnJRHRI0g
This Skrugg decides to get clever sniping at Kurou, but we get clever back with the power of smoke and mirrors!
I’m guessing these buggers have abysmal Skill since we’re proccing these effects so often today (or the RNG Gods are really smiling down on me).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4z3fq6W2XM
Richard laughs in the face of your Spec Down debuff!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

: Barely alive and you’re still coming after me? Aren’t you a tough one.
: Shut the hell up! Don’t talk, don’t even breathe the same air as me, freak! Your smell alone makes me sick to my stomach!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7KJmDkgIfc
“We’re facing an Anticross now – no holding anything back!”

:siren: SRW UX - My Fate

: How’d you like fighting the dead? Would you care for seconds? Because I can make that happen.
: Erebos, Cham said the souls of dead humans go to Byston Well, right? Then the corpses he’s controlling…
: Right, they’re just pitiful, soulless puppets… Aesap, you can’t let him get away with this!

:siren: SRW UX - Envoy from Jupiter

: Black Lodge… You’ve so much power, so why do you use it only to destroy?
: Why, I think that answer should be pretty obvious! It’s because that’s much more fun than the alternative!

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: Ooh, aren’t you a cute little boy? Maybe I’ll take you as my plaything.
: I-I’ll be alright…! I’ve got Heroman here with me! I don’t have to be scared of this guy!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: A merc, eh? You work to make some cash, we work to sate our desires… I’m sensing a pattern here. Come on, let’s all get along!
: When I fight, it’s to protect the lives of others! I’m nothing like you!

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: Controlling the dead… I can’t believe sorcery can even do something like that!
: Hmhmhm, is there someone you’d like brought back? Just leave it to Uncle Tiberius. I’ll raise that person as a nice zombie for you!
: There’s no bringing back the people we’ve lost… which is why I fight for those that are still around!


And Tiberius gives us an Eida’s Disc (+10 Defense and Ranged, +5 Evasion)… this raises worrying implications that I’m not comfortable thinking about! :staredog:

: Hrrmmmm! That hurt… THAT HURT!

: What?! All those wounds just vanished in a second…!
: These regenerative abilities, the power to resurrect the Skrugg… I was right, his power stems from…!
: That’s right. I’ve gained immortality by way of my grimoire, De Vermis Mysteriis!
: And now I’ll use this power to teach the lot of you a lesson! CTHUGHA!

: Aaaiiieee!
: Th-That attack was…!?
: These magical energies are being drawn from some of my fragments…!
: 'Tis the power of the pages depicting the Great Old One, Cthugha – the divine manifestation of the flame that dwells in the star Fomalhault…
: So the enemy managed to their hands on more of your fragments…?!
: That, we did! Now behold the power of a Great Old One!

: Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthugha Fomalhault!
: N’gha-ghaa naf’lthagn. Ia! Cthugha! (Apparently that means: “Gone but not forgotten, Cthugha sleeps at Fomalhaut, promising death to one and all. Hail Cthugha!”)

: Wh-What the hell is that huge ball of fire?!
: Estimated temperature over 10000 °C…?! That’s as hot as high-density plasma! If something like that detonates…!
: Hahahaha! This is a flame that can scorch the very heavens! And now it’ll turn everything here to cinders!!

: DAI GURENZAN!

: GIIIYAAAAAAAA! It buuuuuuuurns!
: Wh-What just happened?!

:siren: SRW UX - The Legend of Mirisha

: You say such a paltry flame can scorch the very heavens? Do not be ridiculous!
: What the hell…! He dispersed that ball of plasma with a single attack?!
: A tiny Gundam…! He’s another person from Mirisha?!
: Now, Kurou! Commit this demon to the underworld!
: I-I know, but… We need to hit him with something stronger than his regen, or he’ll…!
: Mr. Daijuuji! Try the Lemuria Impact, if you would!
: “Lemuria Impact”?!
: The Demonbane’s First Point-Blank Sublimation Spell; it’s its strongest attack, blasting the enemy with endless heat! I’m dang sure it’d do the job…!
: P-Please wait a second! We’ve never even tested that thing!
: And if it isn’t controlled properly, it may destroy not just the Demonbane, but all of Arkham City…
: No, we’re doing it! I believe in Mr. Daijuuji!
: I’ve faith in the small yet unmistakable justice that lies within him!
: Princess…!

SRW UX - Sublimation of a Destroyer
:siren: :siren:

: Activate the Hilanipla System and encrypt the Words of Power! Form the Naacal Code!
: Roger. Words Al Mankib, Al Dua, unlocked!
: Words Al Yad, Al Yava, and Ibṭ Al-jawzā, unlocked!
: Naacal Code, encrypted! We’re good to go!
: Haaaaaah…!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUpR6gnUie8
Captions are available. FYI, we don’t actually unlock this weapon yet.

: Gwaaaaaargh! Th-These goddamned BRATS!

: He’s still regenerating?!
: That’s… UNFORGIVABLE! How dare you hurt me like this…?!

: Your mission is complete. Withdraw.
: ?! That voice was…!
: Hmhmhm, it has been some time, no…?
: Master Therion!
: You can’t be serious, Grand Master! How can I not kill my enemy and still call myself one of the Black Lodge?!

: Hrgh… Oooorgh!
: I’ll say it again, Tiberius. Withdraw.
: Y-Yes, Grand Master! Forgive me!
: Remember this, worms; the next time we meet, I’ll personally make your lives a living hell!

: The Lemuria Impact, hm? That was quite the amusing display.
: I sincerely hope you’ll stay this course, Kurou Daijuuji…

: That was Master Therion… the Grand Master of the Black Lodge?!
: Much as I regret to say it, he may have saved us today…
: I-I don’t care… the princess is safe… that’s good en…ough…

Collapse.

: Kurou?! Get a hold of yourself, Kurou!

: Haah, haah…!
: I have been ordered to withdrawn. You never told me your name, though.
: I am Winfield, head butler of the Hadou manor…
: Winfield, the warrior. I confess I did not expect to find a man of your caliber here…
: I shall eagerly await our next encounter…

Warp away.

: Titus, the Anticross… a fearsome opponent, indeed…!

: Is this all right, Grand Master?
: Is what all right, Augustus?
: Al Azif has recovered more of her fragments, new foes have emerged against us, and the Hadou manor is still intact…
: Our actions today did nothing but empower the other side…
: Whether her fragments lay in mine or in Kurou Daijuuji’s hands, it will all be the same in the end.
: After all, we’ll eventually need Al Azif to be complete…
: I agree with you, but…
: Do not concern yourself with trivialities, Augustus. As for the Hadou manor… you could say that was just a small game.
: And regarding the appearance of that unforeseen visitor, I say this could make things even more entertaining than we expected. Am I wrong?
: …
: (It’s as if you want the enemy to get stronger… What are you thinking, Grand Master…?)

: Hrgh… W-Where am I?!
: Mr. Daijuuji! You’re awake, thank goodness!
: Princess…
: I swear, what were you thinking doing something as reckless as that in the state you were in?! Do you enjoy being a nuisance to us, fool?!
: Hahah, you say that, but we all saw how worried you were until not long ago.
: Oh… I’m really sorry I worried you, Al.
: N-Now, do not misconstrue any of this! I was worried simply because I would have to find another sorcerer if you were gone!
: Hah, is that right?
: Mr. Daijuuji, thank you… If you hadn’t saved me, I…
: Nah, you don’t need to thank me… besides, I got the Demonbane wrecked again.
: That doesn’t matter. I realized something as I watched you fight.
: You may just be the person my grandfather was looking for… someone who, with unyielding faith in a small yet definite justice, turns to wield the sword that smites evil…
: Princess…
: Mr. Daijuuji, I am entrusting you with the Demonbane. Please take good care of it.
: Yes, princess. I, Kurou Daijuuji, vow to see to it to the best of my abilities!
: Aw, it’s so great to see everyone getting along!
: Indeed. This is a major step towards our victory.
: (Yeah, things are better for us… but what about Joey and his friends…?)

: …
: (I can’t even bring myself to try and ask them to cheer up…)
: Damn it, we’d just found a way to fight back against the Skrugg and they pull something like this?!
: Will and Nick got captured and turned against us… It still doesn’t feel real…
: Is fighting them the only option we’ve left…?
: “Fight”?! But they’re humans!
: Yet, they’re presenting themselves as enemies. We have a duty to defeat them.
: ?! Soushi, you…!
: …
: No, there’s still hope for them!
: Prof. Denton…
: Will and Nick looked like they were in pain while they were retreating. And I think that pain was caused by their mind-control loosening somewhat.
: Meaning their human memories still remain?
: This is purely conjecture at this point, mind you. But if their memories do remain…
: Then there’s gotta be a way to bring them back to normal, right?!
: So we can save my brother and Nick?!
: Yeah, I’m sure we can if we just work together…!
: Absolutely… Those two are being controlled and forced into battles against their will… and we can’t let it go on! We will save them!
: Thank you, Joey… Thank you all…
: …
: (But if we do wind up fighting other people… when that happens, I…!)

: You want to come with us…? You, warlord Cao Cao, one of the big shots in Romance of the Three Kingdoms?
: Aye. You see, we were flung into this world by the grand power of the heavens…
: Therefore, we concluded that the gateway may open once more if we are capable of reproducing a power of such scale that it rivals that of the heavens.
: (A gateway to another world… It’s like the Wings of Rean and the Aura Road…)
: Well, you’d sure have plenty of battles to try out your theory hanging out with us…
: But you oughta know that we’ve heard a lot about you from Liu Bei and Sun Quan, Lord Cao Cao.
: Liu Bei and Sun Quan?
: I see. So they have, indeed, also come to this world…
: They did. And they’re cooperating with other allies of ours right now.
: They are…?!
: You were fighting against those two during the Battle of Red Cliffs, yes? May I ask what you plan on doing when we eventually rendezvous with them?
: A unified Mirisha is my ideal. And should any stand against said ideal, be they friend or family… then I shall cut them down!
: Y-You…!
: However, the opposite is also true. Should you be willing to walk at my side, then your past and origins matter not to me.
: (The way he thinks is just like…)
: (King Sakomizu…)
: In other words, so long as we do not actively position ourselves against you, you will be satisfied?
: You may look at it that way, aye.
: Alright, then. We’ll take you up on your offer.
: M-Mr. Richard…!
: That said, since we’ll all be working together, I trust you won’t have a problem following the team’s orders and strategy, yes, Lord Cao Cao?
: Hmph, very well. I look forward to beholding your skill.
: …
: I believe I could also be of use in regards to said strategy. Regardless, it is a pleasure to accompany you…
: Yeesh, first Zhou Yu, then Zhuge Liang, and now we have Sima Yi teaming up with us…
: That makes all of the three rival strategists in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, right?
: Yamashita’s going to freak out when he hears about this!

STOMP!

: Wh-What?!
: Aesap, Lux, we’ve got a big problem!
: What is it, Erebos?! Did something happen?!
: It’s the Nanajin! It just started going crazy out of the sudden…!
: The Nanajin?! What’s going on…?

Swooooosh.

: H-Hrm…
: I-I’m… alive…? Where… Where am I?!
: Marvel! Cham! What happened to me…?!


And we’ve got Sima Yi, who’s got the same first tactician bonus as Ylbora. He’s not the big prize here, of course…


Cao Cao Gundam (Crimson Frame)
Pilot Skills:
Soul of the Three Sovereigns
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Counter
All Attack L1
Commander L2
Spirit Commands:
Sense
Focus
Fury/Direct Hit
Mech Features:
Sword
10% HP and EN Regen
Squad Bonus: Accuracy +5, Melee weapons + 100 (Accuracy +20, Melee +200, Crit +15)
Cao Cao’s voice actor: Kenji Nomura (other roles: Euzeth in 2nd OGs, Iron Tager in BlazBlue, Orcus in Gundam IBO and many more)

Right out the box, Cao Cao’s the strongest of the three main SD Gundams. Liu Bei gets ahead due to his combined attack, but this guy’s got him beat solo and has Sun Quan beat in everything. Stat-wise, he’s better than the two on everything except Skill (Sun Quan is better).
As far as his attacks go, he’s a melee fighter through and through but, like Sun Quan, his current best attacks are pre-movement. You could give him Hit & Away if you like, but do know that he’ll get around this issue later in the game – pairing him up with someone with the skill until then could be a nice compromise.

As with the other SD Gundams, his weapons have decent-to-heavy EN costs, so take appropriate measures there: EN Save, upgrades, squad bonuses, etc. More EN means more fuel for the Cao Cao conquering machine!
Liu Bei and Sun Quan are already great units and Cao Cao just as great, so you absolutely want to save him a spot in your team.

Oh, and there was one convo we missed:

: Heheheheh… you’re never catching me with those stupid moves!
: That voice… why do I feel like I’ve heard it before?


#49
Click to see the mission!


And we’re back to the Japan route. This next mission is found in different places on all three routes, though events may change ever-so-slightly; when we get to it on the other ones, in the interest of saving time, I’ll simply skim through whatever’s majorly different and carry on to the next one.
Saya, Arnie, Kazuki and Koyo are deploying as events, though only the latter needs to fly solo:
Joe/Rennie
Yamashita/Mike
Sun Quan/Saya
Arnie/Deceive
Kouichi/Eida
Shinn/Moritsugu
Sun Shangxiang/Luna
Kazuki
Tactician: Ylbora

Off we go.


The Fafner team’s returned to ALVIS as requested but the rest of our crew also decided to come with and Makabe’s very grateful. Romina proclaims that, as comrades-in-arms, we’ll help with whatever’s requested. And, from what Moritsugu’s heard, this mission concerns investigating an island that looks much like Tatsumiya?
Right, and while Makabe’s sure it’s another island made as part of the Arcadian Project, the issue at hand is that we’ve no idea what’s up with it. Considering the nature of the project, Richard figures it was pretty lucky that no intel on it leaked, but, on the other hand, that leaves us going in blind.

Still, Soushi figures it’s worth our time to check it out regardless, as that island’s databanks may have info on the Festum that the Tatsumiya crew didn’t uncover. Seems to Zhou Yu that this operation will have two fronts to it, then: one team will deploy with their mobile units to keep guard, while the investigation team will head into the island proper and look around.
Makabe agrees with taking precautions and tells Soushi to pick the personnel for this mission. They also have new Fafner pilots undergoing training as we speak, so he’d like him to consider bringing them along as well.

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: Forward, GOOOUBIIINE!

: Quit playin’ around, Mamoru! The enemy’s right goddamn there!
: You will not call me Mamoru! My codename is… Goubine! And I’ll keep you both safe!
: What are you getting this hyped for?! These’re just simulation Fafners we’re in!
: I don’t wanna do this anymore! I want out! Mommy, I wanna go hooome! :qq:
: Don’t lose heart, Kenji! Believe in yourself! Belief brings you STRENGTH!
: Here we go! Goubine Exclamation!
: Call it whatever you want, let’s get going already!

The three Fafners charge forward!

: Haaaaah! Ichi!

: N-Niiii…!

: SAN! Deeeyaaaaaah!

Whiff!

: What…!?
: It dodged it…!

: W-Waaaaaah!
: Urk, why…?! Are our spirits not strong enough?!
: We really can’t do this! I want my mommyyyyyy!

: Gosh! What’s that boy doing, crying “mommy”…?!
: (Hang in there, Mamoru… Show me what a man you are!)
: What was that just now…?
: Well, they’re trying out a team attack based around their unit’s strengths. It’s for use in today’s mission, you see, but…
: I can’t believe their altered consciousness are manifesting so vividly even aboard simulation Fafners…
: Well, Kazuki is a special case.
: Children who pilot Fafners will, normally, display varying degrees of personality changes due to the Synergetic Code.
: I know that, but… the changes were seeing in my little Sakura and the boys are particularly intense.
: But that’s not really the issue here, right? The three of them together can’t even bring down a single faux-target.
: For that matter, why was he even allowed to wear that stupid mask? A Fafner is not a toy, and I seriously doubt these three could pull their weight in a real battle.
: But, then, the only other child with high Synergetic Code values available is…
: Your little sister, yes. Maya Toumi was in the original list, yes?
: N-No, she can’t! They found she’s got a physical handicap, so she could only work as an operator…
: A “physical handicap”, is it? Hmm…
: …
: Well, okay. In that case, Ms. Hazama, how would you like to raise us a new pilot?
: …?!
: Ms. Kariya! Can’t you be even a little bit considerate?!
: It’s fine, Ms. Kondo…
: Last I checked, the Alberich Organization still manages children that could be potential pilots. I presume they contacted you, no?
: Ms. Kariya… I told them that I wouldn’t look after any other children.
: I may not have conceived her myself, but Shouko was my one and only daughter. No one could take her place…
: …

: I can’t believe we lost that badly…
: Way this is going, I’ll never be able to get payback for my dad…
: Oh, you’ll be fine! You’re gonna have the Fafner all figured out soon, being the butch ass-kicker that you ar—
: You better be ready to put up your dukes if you finish that sentence.
: Th-That was a joke! Just a joke! I still remember all the times you knocked me silly when I challenged you!
: Hey, you know what? I’m thinking we need something better to yell and help coordinate our attack. We drop “Ichi, ni, san” and… hmm…
: How about “Un, deux, trois”? Think that’d work?
: We’re not doing ballet, man – that’s only gonna make things harder to pull off.
: Speaking of, what’s with that mask? You said it was from Gou… something?
: I told you before, it’s Goubine! Mobile Samurai Goubine! An invincible hero that fights guided by an unshakable belief in a bright tomorrow!
: What he meant to say is that the thing really doesn’t jibe with you…

: Oh? Is that Kazuki and the others?
: Kenji, Mamoru, Sakura!
: Huh, you guys came back?!
: Just now, yes.
: Ms. Kariya said the operation would start right after you got here… but I wonder if they’re actually gonna send us along…
: Whatever, I don’t care about that right now. How was the world outside the island? I heard you guys fought in Japan, right?
: It’s the same deal everywhere else: they call in a bunch of kids like us and send us out to fight. We even had to go up against humans…
: Hu—…?! You guys fought other people?!
: Yeah, because those were the orders. “Fight people to save people”… something’s seriously wrong with Soushi, I tell you.
: …
: Oh, don’t say stuff like that about him. I’m sure that’s not what he wants—
: What does he want, then? What did he have in mind when Shouko was out there?!
: Kasugai…
: …


Location: Elshank: Hangar

: When the accelerated particle engine exceeds 60% of its overdrive value, the safety lock is automatically engaged…
: Disabling it must be done manually but, when doing so, one must be wary that it could send the anti-particles out of control…
: So this is where you were, Ensign. Can I ask what you’re doing?
: Oh, Ms. Saya… Mr. Maki at JUDA put together a manual for the Orphes, so I was combing through it.
: A manual…?
: Yeah, I’m hoping it’ll help me inch closer to Maj. Richard’s level as a pilot…
: And, I have to say, this Lepton Vectrer really is similar to the Riot’s Proton Generator, huh?
: Granted, the former’s capacity and difficulty of control are many times greater than the latter…
: Well, both engines are based around accelerated particles, so it stands to reason they’d be similar.
: Still, I wonder… where was a unit like this made?
: The Riot might’ve been brought up as an all-purpose mech, but it’s very cutting-edge stuff. And, yet, the Orphes is even more advanced than it. How is that even possible…?
: I’m not at liberty to say. And, really, knowing that isn’t going to make you a better pilot.
: Ouch, always so brutally honest, aren’t we? I’m well aware that I’m not even half the pilot Maj. Richard was. His technique’s way beyond mine…
: No, it’s not technique that you’re lacking, but simple commitment as a professional.
: Commitment…?
: I understand why you’re doing this. You want to protect people’s lives above all else…
: But our missions are hardly like feel-good plays. There’ll be times where we’ll be forced to take someone’s life…
: I-I know that! But, still, I—
: Then answer me this: should you find yourself fighting against friends or family, could you bring yourself to pull the trigger?
: Th-That’s…!
: Your hesitation is all the answer I need. You’re too kind to be in any battlefield…
: Ms. Saya…


Cut to the transport ship Devil’s Ray, captain Mizoguchi’s grumbles at Maya getting conscribed into the investigation team, but he assures her everything’ll be A-OK – this is just like a nice and easy fishing trip! Besides, they’ve got the great general Lu Xun to plan things out!
In truth, Lu Xun’s not sure if he’s good enough to handle that, but Damian tells him to stand up straight. He’s Zhou Yu’s apprentice, right? Yes, but, unlike what’s written in Romance of the Three Kingdoms, he’s still very much learning the ropes…
Mizoguchi counters that, in the books, Lu Xun was blowing his allies minds even when he was starting out, so he’s certain the Gundam version will do just as fine! “Like Sun Tzu says, the future lies in the palm of our hands!” Damian yells, and Lu Xun thinks something’s not quite right with that quote… but he’ll give this his best regardless (that’s actually the title of a The Blue Hearts’ song, not a Sun Tzu quote).


Over by ALVIS, Kaname reports that the transport ship’s arrived at the island and the investigation team’s already working. As for the Elshank, it’s already deployed the Fafners and its other units, and they’re keeping an eye out.
Makabe figures we should expect the Federation to have already spotted the place as well, considering its faulty camouflage, so we’d best hurry. Actually, Solomon issues a warning and shows that we’ve another problem to deal with: Festum are emerging at said island, expected to the Grendel and Alhenteris types.
What triggered their appearance? Unknown, but Makabe wants the Elshank warned right away.


Mission 15 (Japan Route) – Separation ~ Friends

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: Festum are emerging from within the island?! What’s going on…?!
: We can look into the cause later! Right now our orders are to eliminate them!
: We’re going in too, Koyo!
: Who made you the boss around here, huh? Don’t tell me what to do!
: …?!
: Settle down, Koyo! We’ve a mission to do!
: “We’ve a mission to do”… Is that what you told yourself as you did nothing but watch Shouko die, Soushi?!
: …
: Deploy the standby units as well! All hands, battle stations!
: And leave any underwater battles to me and my Bakuryu!

: Hey, why can’t I go out?! Is that your way of calling me incompetent?!
: That’s not it at all, no. Did you forget what happened to the Mark Sechs?
: …?!
: Things wouldn’t have ended the way they did if we had other Fafners and pilots available to also protect the island…
: So I think it best to always try and keep some capable pilots in reserve.
: Hmph, fine. I’ll let you off the hook with that.
: This place is crawling with enemies! Is Lu Xun’s team alright?!
: The landing party is currently investigating the island’s interior. We need to make sure this area’s under control until they make it back! Keep your heads on a swivel, troops!


Kill everything without losing Arnie, Saya, Koyo and Kazuki. The new Alhenteris are somewhat inbetween a Grendel and a Sphinx in terms of stats, so the same tactics you applied at the Tatsumiya battle should work fine here (everything’s still Assimilation and Mind Read L1).
That said, one thing you should be mindful of is that the plot will demand you arch your troops due North-Northeast and put you on a time limit, so at the very least have your troops hug the coast and start heading up while you kill the Festum on that part of the island.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

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

Kill enough stuff and…

: Sir Ylbora! We’re detecting a group of units headed this way at high speed!
: What?! Is it The Boom Army?!
: No, we’re reading them as… Federation troops!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Well, I’ll be damned… so the UX has teamed up with that subversive Arcadian Project, huh?!
: The Riot Archer?! Is that… Jin?!
: But what’s he doing here…?!
: That Riot… isn’t it the one from that squad you were in, Arnie?!
: Lt. Spencer, your orders? Our orders were to secure the island, but…
: We’ll just have to switch our mission parameters now that we’ve run into them…
: Still, having the Riot Squadron’s first mission pitting us against the UX works nicely for us! I’ll bring down the leader!

: Urgh…!
: Took me a while to find you, murderer! How I’ve been looking forward to this…!
: That voice… It really is you, isn’t it, Jin?!
: …?!
: Wh-What… No way! Arnie?!
: What’s going on here?! Why are you flying the unit that shot you down…? Why are you working as a merc, even?! Explain!
: Th-That’s…!
: Wait, don’t tell me… Were you always a spy for the UX…?
: What?! No, of course I wasn’t!
: Then why didn’t you at least let me know you were alive?! Do you have any idea what I’ve been through since that battle…?!
: Or, what, did you figure faking your own death was the perfect way to wrap up your spy gig?!
: No! Jin, just stop and listen to me!
: Ensign Berge, we’re in the middle of a battle!
: I know that! I’m just—!

: Waaaah!
: Arnie, how could you…! How could you betray us?! There’s no forgiveness for this!

Jin flies back to his original spot.

: Here are your new orders! Engage and destroy the UX and their cohorts!
: But don’t touch that unit! He’s mine…!
: Jin, why…?!
: I told you, this is the battlefield…! If you can’t bring yourself to attack that man, then get out of the Orphes right now!
: Hrm…!
: All troops, listen up! I’m pretty sure those Fed mechs are equipped with accelerated particle engines!
: Be especially careful with the flight lead! If its engine runs wild and triggers a particle annihilation, this whole area’ll go up in smoke!
: You mean it’s equipped with one of those Proton Generators lacking any limiters…?
: Bah, what a pain in the ass!
: (Jin… I swear, I’ll just immobilize your unit…!)

]Well, frig. Damn out hot-headed friend straight to hell! Jin’s pretty much the same as when we fought him in Arkham City, meaning he’s now way outgunned by our people. The Riot C(omposite)s, as any good MP models, are packing the basic weapons of both A and B models, but the pilots aren’t anything special.
The Festum remain your primary targets and threats here, but keep your group set more around the N/ NE corner of the island. Jin and his crew will move in from the get-go, so draw them over and deal with them.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: There’re still more coming from inside the island?!
: (What is going on here…?! Did the investigation team’s arrival incite the Festum…?!)

: What’s your status, Mizoguchi?

Beep! Machinegun fire!

: We’re only running into the small Grendel-types, so Damian and I are managing it…
: Still, the place is lousy with Festum. Finding buried treasure around here ain’t a walk in the park at all!
: (This should be long enough…)
: Cmdr. Makabe, we’ve confirmation that that base has a Fenrir. I suggest we trigger it and destroy that island immediately.
: …
: What’s the matter, sir? We’ve a chance to eliminate all those Festum is one fell swoop.
: The landing party hasn’t been fully evacuated yet, no?
: I believe the alternative is still preferable to having our people be assimilated, sir.
: …
: Requesting permission to engage the Fenrir.
: … Very well. Permission granted.
: Cmdr. Makabe…!?
: But we’ll evacuate the investigation team while that’s being done. Get me in touch with Soushi.

: Yaaah! Th-They’re coming this way!
: Get back, Lu Xun!

Machinegun!

: …?!

Wooosh!

: E-Eeeeek!
: Are you alright?!
: J-Just barely… Can we not head back yet?!
: Yeah, we already got the data we needed. Now we just need to ditch this place!

Beep.

: Mr. Mizoguchi, what’s your current location?
: We’re in the System Room, 6th sub-level.
: Perfect. We need you to engage the Fenrir – Cmdr. Makabe’s allowed it.
: (“Fenrir”, as in that thing Shouko used…?)
: Hey, now, you serious? I know Makabe’s always been prepared to make hard calls, but whoever gave him this idea…?
: Are you not going to follow the commander’s orders?
: Alright, alright, I’m on it. Just send the activation codes.
: It’s already sent. Please set the timer for 15 minutes.
: 15 minutes?! That’s nowhere near enough time!
: The Festum are multiplying and we can’t stop them – it’s too risky to wait any longer than that. Please be quick about it…

Bloop.

: Tsk… Alright, here we go. 3, 2, 1…
: Fenrir, activated.
: Now let’s get outta here. Lu Xun, you know the way, yeah?
: Well, I’ve somewhat memorized that map of the island we obtained, but…
: Good enough for me. Show us the fastest route outside, please.
: We’re stuck in our own Stone Sentinel Maze and now it’s your turn to help folks escape it alive!

Back outside…

: They’re gonna blow up the island?! But the investigation team’s still inside!
: An emergency escape capsule is in place for them to use. We’ll be collecting it over there.

: Our time limit is 5 minutes. Someone needs to reach that point and get the capsule by then.
: I’m on it! I’ll do what you two could not!
: Koyo…
: Fine, but I warn you: what Shouko Hazama did was very reckless, and I will not allow anything of the sort again.
: …! Meaning everything comes down to how good I am? I either ace this or you’ll call off the rescue?!
: The investigation team’s lives hang in the balance, my friends! Escort the Fafner to its position!
: Kenji, Mamoru, we’re going to head out there if things go south! Let’s get ready to deploy!
: O-Okay, chief!
: (Make it good, Koyo…!)


And now you have 5 turns, counting the current one, to get Koyo to that spot. Here’s why I said you wanted our folks around the N/NE part of the island: Koyo’s Fafner is running solo, meaning it won’t fly and if you sent too far, the forest and Festum swarm may just stop it from getting in place.
But we’ve plenty of leeway now, so we’ll deal with Jin and kill whatever we can before sending him in. The Festum will respawn endlessly, so this mission is your first decent farming spot for kills – there’s a better one down the line, mind.

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La


Kill the first Riot C and…

: U-Uwaaaaaaah!
: Jackson…?!
: Forgive me, Captain…! I couldn’t do anything…!

: Jackson! You bastards… you killed my man!

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

Kill the second one…

: Argh…!
: Cameron, eject!
: I-I can’t… it’s not working! No…! Aaaaaaaaah!

: Cameron! Rrgh… You’ll pay for this, UX!

And the third one…

: Gwaaargh! My… my eyes!
: Barkley!
: C-Captain… where’s the enemy?! I-I’ll try to ram them—!


I took this picture on the Europe route, so don’t mind the different troops!

: My… my Unit…! They were the very first subordinates I ever had…!
: Unknown Xtrikers…! YOU SONS OF BITCHES!!

And now that we’ve crushed Jin’s spirit, we’ll focus on him while Koyo gets in position.

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

: The Federation Army also fights to protect the people, right?! Then there’s no reason for us to battle one another!
: Are you joking?! You’ve got a lotta nerve saying that to me after your gang’s wholesale terrorism…!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: UX! You turned Arnie against me…!
: I won’t deny that, but…
: He’s just trailing what he believed to be the right path!
: “The right path”?! There is nothing right in a path that has him join terrorists!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Would it kill you to just listen to what Ensign Berge has to say for one second?!
: So now you’re trying to rope me in too?!
: I’d never let worms like you trick me, though!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: You’re with the Federation Army, right?! Then why are you pointing your gun at other humans?!
: Because you’re goddamned terrorists! And it’s a soldier’s duty to destroy subversive elements!
: What…?! I’m just trying to keep the people of my island safe…!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: You’re one of those alien mechs that showed up in Arkham City!
: If you’d just surrendered without a fight back then, we…!
: Hey, how’re you pinning that on us?! Ask anyone and they’d say that’s totally uncalled for!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: We’ve got a bunch of Festum right there! How’s this the time for people to be fighting each other?!
: Shut the hell up! The UX kill innocents wherever they go… they’re just as big an enemy of mankind as any other!

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: I can’t believe even ZAFT’s old ace went and teamed up with terrorists!
: You label people as “good” and “evil” without even taking the time to try and figure out what the truth actually is!
: Seems to me that the Federation just won’t change its ways, no matter how much time passes!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Jin, listen to me! I didn’t betray you!
: Stuff it, Arnie! Do you even understand what you’re doing?!
: They’re the UX! They’re terrorists who’ve killed innocents again and again!
: What happened to you, Arnie?! Since when did you become a terrorist?!
: The UX are not terrorists!
: All I want to do is protect the lives of others…! I’ve joined them so that I could be true to myself!
: Then I’ve something to say to you too!
: I’m putting you down, Arnie… so that I can protect my pride!
: Why…?! Why do we need to do this?!

: Urrgh… No, I’m not going down like this…!

: …?! Jin, stop! If you don’t—
: Shut your mouth! I’m ending you if it’s the last thing I do!

: Uwaaargh!
: Ensign?!
: Haah, haah…! A-And now… you’re finished!

: Wh-What?!

: U-Uwaaaah!

: Jin…?! Is it happening again…?!
: Readings off his accelerated particle engine are spiking! Its anti-particles are going out of control…!
: Wh-What’s going on?! The emergency shutdown system isn’t working…! The generator’s internal pressure is…!
: Not good…! We must do something or it’ll go into particle annihilation!
: Hrm… Talk to me, Ms. Saya! There’s a way to force the Proton Generator to decelerate, right?! Something that can be done from outside?!
: How did the Major save me in Arkham City?! What do I need to do to save Jin like that?!
: It’s out of the question for you! What he did was a make-or-break gambit with his very life on the line…
: I’m already risking my life at every turn anyway!

:siren: SRW UX - Prologue

: …?!
: Please, Ms. Saya! He… Jin’s my best friend! I’d easily put my life on the line for him! So, please…!
: Arnie…

Beep.

: Accelerate your Lepton Vectrer all the way into overdrive, get it to sync up with the Proton Generator and then power it down directly.
: ?! Maj. Richard…!
: Be quiet, Saya.
: Listen to me, Arnie. If you mess it up, both the Orphes and everything around it’ll be reduced to a smoldering crater…
: This is a major gamble, and you need to get it perfect down to the second. Understand…?
: …

:siren: SRW UX - Roaring Deathblow

: Yes, sir…!
: (Hold on, Jin… I’ll save you! That’s a promise!)
: Lepton Vectrer, emergency acceleration!

Arnie rushes down the Riot A!

: Rgh…! Wh-What’re you up to!?
: Engine pressure rising, synchronization coefficient 57%… Come on, just a bit more…!
: Damn it, move! Move, Riot! We gotta do something or he’ll…!
: Synchronization coefficient 60%… safety lock released, initiating synchro-overdrive!
: That’s too soon! The other engine’s acceleration’ll overpower yours!

Whiiirrrrr!

: Krrgh…! S-Synchronization coefficient… 147%?!
: Arnie…!

: Pressure set, safety lock released! Accelerated particle engine, all green!
: Now, Arnie!
: Haaaaaaaaaaah!


“If I can just power down his Proton Generator…!”

: Urgh…!
: Jin…!
: Arnie… H-How could you—!

: JIIIIIIN!
: Wh-What happened?! He shot him down?!
: No, what he did was protect both ours and his friend’s lives from the particle annihilation…
: But the guy’s mech sunk straight into the water! We gotta pick him up quick or else…!
: Haah, haah… Rrgh!
: Arnie…!
: I-I’m fine…! We need to find Jin…!
: Leave the search and rescue for the Elshank’s crew. We need to focus on the Festum right now!
: O-Okay!


Here we go.

: This is the place?!
: We’ve confirmed the Mark Vier’s arrival at the target area. Koyo, is the investigation team safe?
: Th-They… There’s no one in the capsule!
: What…?!
: What happened, Soushi?! Weren’t they ordered to withdraw?!
: Yes, they were getting out while we kept the Festum at bay. They could just be running late, or…!
: Y-You don’t mean…!

Beep!

: Mark Vier, do you copy? There’s very little time before the Fenrir goes off. Evac immediately!
: Are you nuts?! The investigation team’s not here yet…!
: Then it’s likely they were already assimilated by the Festum inside the facility! We can’t afford to risk losing another Fafner over something as uncertain as this!
: So you’re telling us to run and just save ourselves?! That’s bull—!

: Koyo, behind you!
: …?!

: Are you there…?

: Ugh…UWAAAAAAAH!
: Koyo!
: Mark Vier, retreat now!
: N-No…! I’ve had enough… of all that grief…!

Back to the capsule spot.

: I-Is that?!
: Mr. Mizoguchi…!
: Time is short! Investigation team, get aboard the escape capsule! Quickly!
: Ka… Kasugai?!
: Tou…mi…! I’m coming to… save you…!
: All four team members are inside the capsule!
: Hrrgh… Raaaaaaaaah!

: KOYO!!
: I’ve… got them…! They’re safe…!
: Soushi! They need our—!
: Stop! Stay away from him or you’ll get assimilated as well!
: Then what the frick are we supposed to do now?!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: We’ll take care of it!
: Sakura?!
: My Mark Fünf’s Aegis can handle a Festum’s attacks!
: I’ll get in the Festum’s face and keep it pinned! Then, Sakura and Kenji’ll take it down and rescue Koyo and the investigation team! Got it?!
: Ooooh, can we really pull that off…?!
: Mark Fünf, stop this right now! You’ll put everyone at risk if you can’t keep the Festum at bay!
: Hold fast to your belief in a brighter tomorrow and fight on, even when victory seems impossible…! That’s the spirit of the Mobile Samurai, Goubine!
: Ooh, he’s so cool…
: He’s insane…!
: Still, I have heard far worse plans than his! We must execute it quickly, though…!
: Soushi, please, have faith in our friends just this once!
: …
: Very well. But you three cannot fail, understand?! Forward, Fafners!
: Time to show everyone the fruits of all our training!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhfl3Iq_NZ4
Captions are available for GOUBINE!

: W-We did it! We beat the Festum!
: W-Waaah! That was so scary, mooommyyyy!
: Now force-eject the Mark Vier’s cockpit!

Done.

: Both the escape capsule and Koyo’s cockpit have been recovered!
: Good, then all units return to the Elshank! That bomb’ll go out any second now!
: Ylbora, wait! What about the downed Federation pilot?! He hasn’t been found yet!
: We’ve done everything we could! If we stay here any longer, we’ll be caught in the blast as well!
: B-But…!
: To all mobile forces: return to the Elshank at once! That’s an order!

: Ensign, what’re you doing?!
: P-Please, wait! Jin’s still somewhere around here!
: There’s no time! We have to retreat right now!
: Just give me one more minute! I just need to find his cockpit block…!

Grab!

: That’s enough, Arnie…
: Maj. Richard…?!
: I’m really sorry… but we can’t do as you ask. Not today.
: P-Please let me go, Major! I… I can still find Jin!
: Saya, we’re pulling back double time!
: Yes, sir!
: Jin…! JIIIIIIN!


Location: Inside the Mark Vier’s cockpit

: Hmm… I-I’m…?
: You’re awake, Koyo…
: Soushi… is that you, Soushi…?

:siren: Angela - Separation

: ?! Koyo… are you…?!
: Tell me… Who… who did I save?
: …
: It was Toumi and Mr. Mizoguchi’s group…
: Toumi…? I don’t remember who that is… Why can’t I remember…?
: Koyo…
: Is this what’s it’s like to be assimilated…?
: I don’t feel anything… I know I’m supposed to be sad about something, but…
: That’s it… It was because of Shouko…
: …
: Shouko…
: Who… Who is Shouko…?


Location: ALVIS – ICU

: …
: This… This can’t be real…
: It is, unfortunately…
: What the hell is this?! Why’d you stuff him in this life-support pod thing?!
: Is… Is he alive?
: Yes, but his central nervous system was assimilated during battle.
: This is what happens when the Festum assimilate you…?
: It’s how they fight. They take away everything we have: our mind, our memories, our emotions… until there’s nothing left.
: Th-That’s…!
: This is my fault… If I’d just pulled out his cockpit block sooner…!
: You’re wrong, chief… I was the one in charge of getting his cockpit out. This is my fault…
: It’s no one’s fault! The Festum were the ones who did this to him!
: Only because he had to come and save us…
: Stop blaming yourselves! This is no one’s fault… It’s not…
: This… is what he brought onto himself.
: …?!
: Y-You… What’d you say?!
: And we lost a Fafner because of it. We’ve no time for sentimentality.
: Minashiro…!

SLAP!

: …?!
: How can you say something like that?! You were the last person he was able to talk to – the only one he had in the end!
: Do you feel nothing for him?! Are you just that heartless…?!
: …
: Gch… Waahaaaah…!


Over by the CDC, Makabe and Mizoguchi both agree that the Fed’s timing was waaaay too perfect on that. How many spies have they managed to sneak into the island? Mizoguchi asks if he should try and deal with them, and Makabe allows it BUT they are to be treated with the care they deserve as fellow men and women.
Aw, really? They could probably squeeze something good outta them if they threatened to make them swim with the fishes. Makabe isn’t budging, though, and Mizoguchi understands: he doesn’t want to fight other people. “That said, what about them kids? The idea of fighting other folks scares them just as bad, but they’re doing it anyway,” Mizoguchi argues. “Won’t be long before we grown-ups have to stop running from that, you know…?”

:siren: SRW UX - Prologue

: Hrgh…!
: Are you alright? This is precisely why they said you couldn’t pilot anymore. What were you thinking pulling a stunt like that…?
: Easy, I’ll be fine. Not like we used the Hell Stringer or anything.
: And more important than me: how’s Arnie doing?
: Joe and Rennie are with him, but… he took quite the heavy blow.
: Understandable… I think he sort-of expected this to happen when he quit the Federation Army, but doing the deed himself is probably what’s hurting the most…
: Which is why you shouldn’t have enabled him back then.
: If I may be frank, the only reason he wound up shooting his friend down himself was because you opened your big mouth…
: Still, despite your misgivings, you sure pulled out all the stops helping him, no?
: ?! I-I…!
: I’m glad you did, too, as the Orphes would’ve also gone into particle annihilation otherwise.
: As a matter of fact, that was quite the show of skill back there. I might even say you did better than when you worked with me.
: Th-That was simply because I couldn’t let the Orphes be lost to us! That’s all there was to it!
: Hmhmm…

: …
: Um, well… We were way in the middle of the ocean, right? The water’s pretty deep out there. Who knows, maybe they cushioned the blast and he made it out alive…?
: …
: Ensign Berge…
: Aargh, screw it! We’re just feeding him a buncha crock and that ain’t gonna make him feel better!
: J-Joe, hold up!
: Listen to me, Arnie. You know I can’t stand Ylbora, right? But even I gotta admit that he was doing everything he could to find your friend – he kept at it ‘til there was just no time left on the bomb’s clock!
: And he wasn’t the only one either! Saya, the Tatsumiya kids… all of us did everything we could, didn’t we?!
: I know… and I’m grateful for the help. I’m sorry to have put you guys in that spot…
: Then…!
: Jin and I… neither of us had any parents, so we grew up in the same orphanage…
: The two of us have been together since we were kids. We went through so much, worked so hard over the years, to make something of our lives…
: So I was sure that even if we went down different paths, we’d eventually come to terms with one another… I was sure of it…!
: …
: I really am grateful to all of you. But, I…
: I wanted to save him…!
: Arnie…
: Th-That’s all I wanted to do… kch…!
: I’m sorry, Jin… I’m so sorry…


#50
Click to see the mission!


Back again in the Europe Route, our next mission will see Mazinkaiser and all of Liu Bei’s crew deploying as event units. Add in the Macross crew, and we set ourselves up accordingly:
Arnie
Tsubasa/Canaria
Shinn/Klan
Eida/Luna
Fei-Yen/Saya
Alto/Michel
Ozma/Luca

Off we go.

: U-Ugh… I-I’m…?
: You, who are marked by the stigma of the original sin…
: …?! Y-You’re…!
: If your life is a sin in and of itself… if that is a fate from which you cannot flee…
: You’re wrong! I’m a free man… fate has no sway over me!
: Prove it, then…
: What?!
: Live on, and prove your claim.
: Hold onto your life. The longer you do, the closer you’ll get to the answer… to the underlying truth of the world…
: …!

: Rrgh…!

Punch!

: Hey! You gonna stay sleeping forever or what?! Get up already!
: Stop hitting him, Lt. Kaido!
: Hrm… I-I’m…
: Lt. Magami, you’re awake?! Thank goodness…
: Psh, took you long enough. You know how hurt I got thanks to your freak-out? You got balls making me sit around after that!
: We’re… alive…?
: Damn straight! We can’t bite it that easy - think of how pissed Hades would be!
: Hah, I guess so…
: Oho, looks like you’re back in the saddle.
: Yeah. I remembered something very important…
: That I need to prove the meaning of my life… That I need to prove that I am me
: Huh? Did I hit you too hard?


Over by the Quarter’s bridge, Saya’s relaying intel that the AEU’s putting together a major counteroffensive in all regions that’ve been occupied by Garan’s Forces. The SMS (and UX) have been set up as the spearhead of that offensive, taking a stab at the Normandy base.
Lalamia remembers all the major cities close to that base – what if the worst case scenario occurs and Garan’s folks actually attack those? Then that’s all on us. As Richard sees it, this is a win-win for the AEU regardless: if it goes off without a hitch, they get all the glory; if it goes south, we’ll take the blame (not like he isn’t already used to us getting the short end of the stick).

Alto sighs that we’re all just expendable tools here, but Arnie disagrees: while it’s true that the UX has a bad rap with the world at large, as far as he’s concerned, they’ve never fought for the wrong reasons. “The world can badmouth us all it wants, we’re still fighting to protect the people’s lives… we’re fighting for what’s right,” he says. “If anything, that’s what I want to believe.”
He apologizes if that sounded too pretentious, but Alto likes the way he thinks – he also wants to believe that mercs can be just. Arnie thanks him and both pilots quickly exchange names with one another. Bobby very much likes the sight of the two young studs (Nene tells him to watch the drool).


All that aside, Ozma asks how we’ll approach our part in this operation and Zhuge Liang’s suggestion is that we simply wait for now. Doing nothing? Yes. Shinn figures he’s doing that to let Magami recover, but still…
But the meeting’s interrupted when Tsubasa calls in, yelling that there’s an emergency and asking for Scarlet. What happened? Kaido and Magami have deployed without permission.


Location: Normandy – Federation Weapon Storage Base

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: We’re under attack! Fire! FIRE!!

Machinegun!

: Outta my way!

Slash!

: Gwaaargh!

Dead.

: Where are you, Garan?! Show yourself!

: Hmph… I’ve been expecting you, pilots of the skull devil.
: Garan…!
: Well, ya actually came to meet us? Much appreciated, geezer!
: You two amuse me. Now let us see whether you’ve the strength to claim my head!
: You better not bitch about it when you lose, ya hear?! Come on!

Sword clash!

: I approve of you willingly engaging me in melee. But you ought to know, the reach of my blade demarks the pathway to the Underworld!

Slash!

: Gwargh!
: I’m afraid you’ll have to face me first…
: Who the hell are ya?!
: I am Burn Bunnings, the Black Knight… and circumstances have led to me serving under Lord Garan’s command.
: “Black Knight”…? Aah, I get it! You’re that Ace Killer guy!
: Yeah, alright, I’d be more than happy to tangle with you!
: Then, come and show me the arts of the Overworld’s swordfightnig!

: It’s just you and me, Garan!
: Aah, your eyes… they’re quite different from before, I see!
: Yeah, and I’ve you to thank for opening them! All that’s left now is ending your life!

Bang, bang!


Back to the Quarter, Monica’s already pinged the Skull Pilder having headed straight for the Normandy base. Scarlet fumes, but Zhuge Liang is quite pleased: waiting was, indeed, worth their while.
What, did he expect this would happen? Indeed; he worried that a frontal assault could lead to the neighboring metropolis coming under attack, so he figured we could capitalize on Kaido and Magami wreaking havoc on the enemy from within before making our move.
Shinn isn’t too happy that the guy apparently made sacrificial pawns out of two of our guys, but of course he didn’t. He’s already got a plan in place and ready to go. What does he mean? Tsubasa calls in again, relaying a message from Liu Bei’s team that they’re breaking into the Normandy Base as we speak.

Wait, when were those guys sent out? Richard sees the ghost of Sun Tzu saying that “all warfare is based on deception”; ergo, Zhuge Liang secretly put together a support crew for the SKL duo but kept us in the dark as a way to not tip off the enemy.
“Sun Tzu also says: ‘when campaigning, be swift as the wind; as unfathomable as the clouds, move like a thunderbolt’. And now it is time for us to make our move,” Zhuge Liang proclaims. “A counteroffensive executed in this land once marked the turning point in a great war… So what say you we mirror that famous operation?”
Sounds good to Scarlet and Jeffrey, who command our team towards the Normandy base. This mission will go by the name of…


Mission 15 (Europe Route) – Operation Overlord

: Urgh…!
: What’s the matter? Surely that’s not the best you can offer.
: Heheh, you’re pretty dang good… I’m getting all tingly over here!
: Haah, haah…
: Hmph, how disappointing…
: Say what now? You ain’t feeling it with a 1v1ing us?!
: Look at this man. You may have fully recovered from your wounds, but he clearly hasn’t.
: …?!
: There is no thrill in claiming the head of such a person.
: Hmph, are you going senile? Flesh wounds like these won’t…!
: Call forth the skull devil!
: What…?!
: It is already clear how this bout will end. But if you also pride yourselves as warriors, then I command you to show me the full depths of your spirit!
: Burn!
: Yes, my lord!

: Garan!
: Hmph. If you will not board your unit, then you will die!
: Heh, fine. We’ll do this your way since you care so much!

: Magami, Pilder On!
: I-I got it!
: Here goes!

: U-Urgh…!
: Magami, you’re really…!
: Don’t sell me short…! I’m not about to be a burden!
: You refuse to show the enemy your back despite being on death’s door. Your resolve is to be commended… However!

: Gwaaargh…!
: Magami!
: (Can you truly not stand up to your fate, Erbsünde…?)
: I… I have to… prove it…!
: I’ll live on… and prove that I am me…!
: It’s over!

Burn’s pushed back!

: What…?!

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

: Behold, the Octagon’s Volunteer Corps!
: Oho…
: Y-You… why are you here?!
: Now what kind of welcome is that? Aren’t we all buddies here?
: And we could not simply watch our comrades be sent to the afterlife!
: If it is your inescapable fate to carry on doing battle…
: Then we shall share in your burden and overcome it together!
: …!
: Heheh, well, ain’t you a big ol’ hero… but I like the cut of your jib!
: Hah, how quaint. Then show me how you’ll stand up to fate!

: Ooh, boy, here comes the swarm of mooks!
: Ain’t no turning back now, got it, Magami?
: Of course I do! I won’t let neither them nor my fate get the better of me!
: Let’s get to work, then! This whole area’s about to become a brand new circle of Hell!
: Anyone who don’t wanna live anymore can step right up!


Kill everything, don’t lose anyone. You have until the START of turn 4 to kill Burn and get his Skill Part, before the plot takes over and you lose the goods. Problem is you’ll need morale to pull that off, which means sending your guys deep into the enemy lines (where Burn can start cutting you up).
It’s risky, as there are plenty of enemies and evasion decay can really screw with Liu Bei’s crew (especially Zhang Fei, who only has Invincible for defensive spirits), and it’s also a tight squeeze if you haven’t massively upgraded these guys. Still, build up enough morale, position your folks well to use their best attacks (especially Zhang Fei, who needs a buffer of 3) and maximize supports. I barely missed it because I thought the plot kicked in at the end of turn 4, not the start…

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

: Justice is not with Garan! Surely you realize that!
: “Justice” is ultimately a creation of the victors… It is something that’ll be decided only by those who live through this battle!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDdgem6BvwY

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: I hope you won’t mind entertaining us for a while!
: I show no mercy, not even to those that are wounded. Make your peace and face me if you dare!
: Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, guy! Ya never know when someone might come along and break them eggs on your face!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0C3_izKZTI0
Here’s Burn’s strongest weapon.

And the next turn…

: Lord Garan, their companions are inbound.
: Hmph, ignore them.
: Hm? But…
: I do not need to maintain this area anymore. All I care to do now is verify whether or not I have truly found my nemesis!
: …

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

: Alright, bring it on! I’m gonna put you six feet under!
: Hm, you are quite the thug, aren’t you? You have my attention, though doing battle with me will be the last mistake you ever make!

: Why is someone as mighty as you helping a man like Garan?!
: Because I am forsaken. Devoting myself as a knight to my new lord’s cause is all that remains to me!

: Hmph… Much is said of your strength, yet I confess I did not expect it to run this deep. And in that case…!

: Wh-What the?!
: This light… it’s Aura Power?!
: Do not falter! If that’s the light of his Aura… that is, the power of his soul, then I know the same lies within us!
: The power of the soul…?!
: Haaaaaaaaaaaaah!

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

: …?! Th-That light is…!
: Liu Bei… you…!
: To arms, my friends! Now we manifest our justice for all to see!

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: Gaaaaaaah!
: Haah, haah…!
: Did we get him…?!
: A-Astounding… to think I’d happen upon opponents of this caliber…!

: Withdraw, Burn!
: My Lord…?!
: You are not meant to die yet – not until you’ve a chance to cross swords with your true nemesis again! Am I wrong?
: …?! Hrm…!

: Your determination was abundantly clear, indeed! I’ll now take it upon myself to face the lot of you!

: Psh, pretty intense for an old man!
: Garan! I’m coming to end you myself…!
: Let us begin, then…!

: Hrm…?!

: Pinpoint Barrier, output is stable. No issues in any of the ship’s blocks!
: Looks like we made it right in the nick of time! Battle stations!

: My friends…!
: Hahahah… you’ve rammed your way in here with your ship? Your group gets more amusing by the minute…

Tweeep!

: ?! W h o ‘ s there?!
: Something wrong, Fei?!
: Some…one… w a t c h i n g…
: (This sensation… is it Sleeping Beauty?!)
: S l e e p i n g… Beauty?
: (No, she has yet to arrive at the truth about herself… Whose presence am I feeling, then…?!)
: …
: (Seems we’ve someone with real unusual powers here… Better not hang around too long…)
: Come, I’ll happily face you all!
: But, of course, you’ll have to make it to me first!

: Those are Riots! They really commandeered them…!
: No abnormalities detected in their accelerated particle readings. It appears their engines, unlike the one you piloted, have limiters installed.
: These are the official production models…
: I never thought I’d actually be staring down Riots someday!
: Troops, the Macross Quarter is unable to go farther than this!
: Strike down Garan with due haste and then return here! Forward!


Take out Garan, don’t lose the Quarter or the SKL.
Garan’s the same as he was in the previous mission, but his Riot Cs are way better than his regular troops. The northern and southern batches are running solo and will move in right away, so you’ll want to use those to feed morale to your newer guys.
After that converge with our vanguard team, deal with the inbound western group of Riots (these are in pairs) and, as they go down, Garan should finally be moving in, whereupon you can swarm him.

:siren: SRW UX - LOVE 14 ver. HD

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Riot, the first wings Jin and I won for ourselves…
: Fighting them as enemies isn’t something I ever hoped for…!

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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKUplsLxGWc
And here’s Klan’s best attack.

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Hmhmhm… I see the fate that awaits you on the horizon. And it is to suffer in the bowels of Hell!
: My fate isn’t yours to decide, and threats won’t make me flinch!


“Battles are supposed to be fought for peace! How can battle itself be anyone’s goal?!”

:siren: SRW UX - LOVE 14 ver. HD

: S o m e o n e… is still w a t c h i n g me. I ‘ m curious… W h a t should I d o?
: That’s the way, Sleeping Beauty. Seek out the truth behind your own being…!
: Such is the fate that’s been bestowed unto you!

: What’s the matter?! I long to hear your melody of Hell, yet it still eludes my ear!
: (“Melody”…? Does he mean the Hell Stringer? How does this man know about it…?!)

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: Your war has gone on for too long… and I’m putting an end to it!
: I like your pluck, boy! But all it’ll get you is death at the tip of my spear!

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: Hear me, masters of the devil! What is it that you pursue with the strength you have?
: The words “just cause” mean nothing to us. What it all comes down to is that that’s just an embellishment people use to fool themselves and others!
: We fight because we want to, and we crush because we want to! That’s it, guy!

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: I’ve already seen everything I needed about the way you move. This ends today!
: At least you’ve attitude, if nothing else. But what can a whelp like you hope to accomplish here?!

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

: Why do you seek battle so doggedly, Garan?! I’m certain a man like you could…!
: Because there is nothing a warrior desires more than battle! This pride I feel as a warrior is proof that I am alive!


“Garan… the people would know no joy in this world you desire!”
And we get a Magami’s Marksmanship Teachings from him.

: Hrrgh…?!
: Now!
: Switch out, Kaido!

: Your life ends now, Garan!

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: U-Urgh…! Very well done, skull devil!
: You are, indeed, my nemesis! The fated enemy whom I’ll risk my life to conquer!
: “Fated enemy”…?!
: So live on! Survive! And someday… pit yourself against me once more!
: I’ll be waiting… at the gateways of Hell, the crux of my fate…!

: He ran away…? No, that looked more like he felt this was enough…
: …
: (The gateways of Hell… the crux of Garan’s fate…)


And we cut to New York, where Marina and Shirin are watching the news reporting the AEU’s successful recovery of the Normandy base, as well as repelling Garan’s Forces throughout Europe. It’s like this on all channels: the AEU did everything, with absolutely no mention of the UX or, even, the Frontier Fleet’s help.
Still, despite the rampant propaganda, there’s another worrisome story making the rounds: one concerning suspicious activities from Orb’s Rep. Cagalli Yula Athha. It even mentions her ties to the UX and Arcadian Project – an average journalist would hardly be privy to all that, so Shirin doubts one wrote this.
Rather, it seems clear to Marina that someone is manipulating the news to his or her advantage… and a man agrees with her suspicion.


Shirin introduces him as Axel Hughes, agent of the NIA (an intelligence agency that answers directly to the Union president), and he’s currently conducting an investigation on the less-than-savory elements within the Federation army and government.
Does he mean the Martian Development Bureau? Not just, as Shirin says information control of this level would be beyond even them. She and Axel suspect there’re more people scheming in the shadows of the Bureau, and the agent needs their assistance in revealing the truth to the entire world.
Marina understands where he’s coming from, but isn’t sure if she could be of help. Axel is sure, however – Marina’s an ambassador of the Federation, and Shirin’s renowned for her work as a freedom fighter with Catharon – so he asks that they lend him their considerable might.


Back to the Quarter, Tsubasa has no idea what Garan was up to with all this: he was on the verge of conquering all of Europe and now he’s pulled everything back almost without a fight. Kaido has no idea what’s going on through the geezer’s head, but Magami’s rather silent.
Fei-Yen is off in a corner, thinking: she’s certain there was someone watching, surveying, her during our battle… and she feels like she’s forgetting something really important. What could it be? Still, what she does know is that everyone here is so nice to her, so she wants to work hard and not only help us out, but also to bring us happiness.
Nearby, Arnie ponders that Garan’s sure to have collected more than enough data on the MP Riots, and fears that he might start making more with his production plant at Machine Island. Does he think it likely that Garan’ll try another invasion?

Magami, however, speaks up: “No, I’m rather certain he won’t set off into the outside world again.” What makes him say that? He just knows that that’s the case. Well, Kaido doesn’t care to make sense of what’s going on inside Magami’s head either, but tells him not to think too hard and blow a gasket again. Sounds good.
Now, with this done, what’ll be the UX’s next mission? Richard’s just received a request from ALVIS – the Fafners are finally done being set-up and ready to come work with us, but they want our help with a certain operation first. Ozma enters the hangar and says the SMS will help us with that: the powers that be have allowed them to keep working together with the UX.


Guan Yu sees no downside for us in having more capable warriors at our flanks, but Eida finds it odd. The Frontier now has that treaty with the AEU, yet they allowed the SMS to work with a “terrorist” group like ours?
Well, Michel figures all the Frontier government wanted with this was to get intel on what’s going on at Earth, so they likely don’t care so long as that’s being done. Um, is that something they should tell us about? Canaria says they’re mercenaries, not spies, so they have beliefs of their own. Alto points out, as Arnie said before, that mercs can also be just, right? Way Zhang Fei sees it, we’re all one big bundle of concentrated JUSTICE!
While that’s going on, though, Zhuge Liang is deep in thought: “Our groups’ encounter happened like clockwork… as though drawn to one another by some force. Is that something the will of the heavens, or, perhaps…”


Signs point to “no”, as we cut to the Rubens Foundation, where the boss is happy to hear that the Macross Quarter has joined up with the UX – right as planned. That’s another hurdle cleared, and well worth the money invested. A speaker on the phone says they don’t mind playing fixers, but they do ask that Rubens refrain from becoming a problem to their agenda.
That request goes both ways, of course, and Rubens wonders if the speaker shouldn’t save his baseless suspicions for after his group’s made progress on their little plan? The speaker huffs an affirmative and cuts the call. And, with that done, Rubens sets his sights on the next task at hand: securing the lost “requiem”…


Finally, back to ALVIS, they finally have the Siegfried System’s terminal ready to be used, which’ll allow the Fafners to operate far beyond the island. Toumi’s not too keen on sending the kids to work with the UX, but Makabe says there’s little choice: even if they stayed here, they’d have to contend not just with the Festum, but eventually with the Federation army as well.
With that in mind, he figures it best to have them learn as much as they can from a group that’s managed to survive through such hardships. And, then, we have the same scene we did in the other paths, with Makabe wanting Tatsumiya be moved, Kariya reporting the uninhabited island being found in their path, and them deciding to send a team to investigate the place.


#51

Proccing Nitocris all the damn time is actually pretty common, it’s part of what makes Demonbane so good. Just… don’t expect it to work when you REALLY need it facing down Festum. Always comes up short against those assholes.

And then we see Jin’s problem. God fuck him. I killed him with Miku every time it was possible just to override his stupid theme and let him stew in the fact that he lost to giant hearts.

Joe giving Yllbora credit? Jeez, UX is going pretty damn far from the source material. Joe wouldn’t have given Yllbora credit for literally saving his life in Tobikage proper.

And Europe Route is still Europe Route.


#52
Click to see the mission!


We’re back in the America route. Last time we were here, the Nanajin started going crazy right as Shou appeared in our world – we’ll see where that takes us next. Heroman, Cao Cao and Aesap are deploying as event units, though they can all still be set with partners.
Here’s how we’re going:
Arnie/Saya
Kurou
Shinn/Luna
Heroman/Setsuna
Kazuki/Eida
Lockon/Koyo
Cao Cao/Aesap
Tactician: Sima Yi.

Off we go.

: Burn Bunnings!

Burn charges after Shou.

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

: Urgh…!

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

: (I’m sure I’d died taking out Burn back then…)
: (And that woman’s voice I heard right as we were surrounded by light…)
: (That wasn’t Ciela’s… Who was it…?)

: Shou!
: Marvel?! You… You’re alive!

Marvel closes in.

: That’s what it looks like, yeah. I could’ve sworn I’d been killed by the Spriggan, but…
: I saw it too… but here you are. Did Ciela’s purification do this…?
: I don’t know what just happened, but you’re alive and that’s all that matters to me. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier right now…!
: Heheh, I never thought I’d see the day where I’d hear Shou Zama talking like that.
: Hey, don’t laugh. We both apparently cheated death, so excuse me if I feel like speaking my mind.
: Thanks, Shou…
: Now, Marvel, do you have any idea where we are?
: Signs and whatnot are written in English, so this should be the US… but I don’t recognize any of the towns around here…
: It’s like… this is a different US from the one I knew.
: A different one…? And I don’t see Cham, either… Just what is going on?

Beep, beep!

: ?! Hold on, Shou! I’m picking up something on my radar…!
: What…?!

: Huh…?! I’ve never seen jets like those before!
: Contact! Are those the alien mechs intel reported?!

Peeeew!

: Aaack!
: A barrier?! Clever girl…!
: You there, stop! We’re not looking for a fight!
: You think I’m falling for that, alien?! The Union’s our home and your days of attacking it are over!
: “Union”?! What’re you on about?!

: Aesap, over there! Isn’t that an Aura Battler?!
: A new Hojo model…? And it’s attacking the Union forces!
: Did the Nanajin get so agitated because that unit turned up…?!
: Guess so! We need to help the Overworld troops!
: I’ve never seen an Aura Battler like that before… What country does it belong to?!
: Shou, it’s engaging you!
: Rrgh, damn it!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cv6pooAIgHs
Aesap: “That a new Hojo model? But you won’t be running roughshod if I got anything to say about it!”
Shou: “Back off! I’m not with any ‘Hojo’!”

: (H-He’s strong…! That pilot… it’s like his machine itself is part of him!)
: (I don’t feel any evil in his Aura Power…? Who is this guy?)


Cut to the White House, the president’s aide reports that the unknown units flew elsewhere immediately after engaging their forces. Moreover, they also found one of those mysterious mobile weapons that appeared at the Yokosuka base. Minami reports that his people have confirmed that said robot is working together with the UX.
And what is he getting at? That these questionable sorts are wandering across their nation absolutely unhindered! This will have a very negative impact in regards to how the people look at the Union Army! The president says she’s got more pressing matters to worry about than the army’s prestige, but Minami says NO!
The Union must always be the renowned as the NUMBER ONE nation in the entire world! And while the lady’s the president of the Federation, she is first and foremost the Union’s president! She asks if Minami thinks he’s able to recover this glorious “number one” status for their nation and, indeed, he does.

See, they’ve a bit of a situation right now in that the Skrugg at Center City have deployed a bunch of Balls which are projected to be headed straight towards the White House. Minami has a plan, though, certain none but his mighty intellect can stop this attack. At length, the president lets him handle this issue and Minami gleefully leaves to make preparations.
The aide asks if it is wise to trust that guy, but the president’s already asked Agent Hughes to look into who’s backing him. But what they must focus now is not the scientist, but on stopping the Balls – and she’s willing to use any option to make that happen, including less-than-legal ones.
Is she talking about contacting the UX again? Minami notwithstanding, the fact remains that they are mercenaries. Can they entrust their nation’s security to such people, her aide wonders? It’s better than having their faceless mooks valuable soldiers die pointlessly, though. And in the eventuality that we fail? “If that happens, then…”


Over by the Hadou manor, we hear what the White House is planning, and that is nuking the Skrugg and their Balls. But what’ll happen to Center and Arkham cities if they do that?! Sounds to Kurou that they’re washing their hands on his and Joey’s hometowns, and he doesn’t like it one bit. But, as Saya points out, it’s our job to make sure it doesn’t come to that: if we can stop the Balls’ attack, there’ll be no nukes. Eida figures the Union president doesn’t want to use them either.
Well, do we have a way of stopping the things? Arnie remembers how we managed to destroy ONE before, and now there’re a whole lot of them. In regards to that, Denton says he and Rachel have detected rather unique EM waves being transmitted from the Skrugg mothership to the Balls they deployed. It’s pretty clear that’s how they’re controlling the things, so if we can get in there and stop the transmission, the things will follow suit.
As Psy praises Denton’s good work, Lina speaks up and asks to come with us for this mission. Joey immediately argues that we’re going after the Skrugg HQ – who knows how dangerous it’ll be! Still, that’s where her brother is and she wants to find a way to free him.

Joey’s still uncertain but Shinn is up for it. “She’s his sister, so maybe her voice is just what we need to help him get back to normal,” he says. “I know full well how much it hurts to lose your family, and I wouldn’t want anyone else to have to go through that… if there’s even a tiny chance it could work, I think we should try it.”
Joey thinks for a bit but eventually relents. In exchange, however, he wants Lina to promise not to try any crazy stunts out there – and she promises. Seems to Al that our showdown with the aliens is nigh, but, of course, we should expect the Skrugg mothership to be crawling with the buggers. How are we gonna get in there? The guitar strat again?
Indeed, Denton thinks it won’t be that easy: even if we are to use our sonic weapon, we’d still need to first break through the Skrugg’s significant defensive perimeter. There’s a plan, though…

: A diversionary attack…?
: Indeed. The one tasked with being the distraction will draw the enemy’s attention, and our main unit will use that opening to charge through their perimeter.
: It is hardly ground-breaking strategy, aye, but it is a tried-and-true method when attacking a fortress.
: I see what you mean, but isn’t that also a very risky proposition? The one drawing the enemy’s attention will be completely exposed to all their concentrated firepower…
: You needn’t concern yourself with that. I shall be the one seeing to that task.
: Whoa, are you serious? There’re tens of thousands of Skrugg around the place – you’re gonna take them all on?!
: Hah… Tens of thousands of roaches are nothing compared to the one million soldiers in Yuan Shao’s army.
: O-One million?! And you fought all those by yourself?! That’s nuts…
: Moreover, I believe doing this to be necessary to dispel the suspicion your forces feel in regards to me.
: Lord Cao Cao…
: …
: (My lord was only able to rout the Jizhou forces because he had the power of the Celestial Armor…)
: (He now lacks the Yùxǐ, yet still marches towards nigh certain death. Indeed, his true reason for doing so must be…)

Beep, beep.

: Sumeragi, we’ve a situation! A mobile weapon has been sighted in the vicinity of Center City and is engaging the enemy!
: A mobile weapon?! Is it the Union or the Federation armies?!
: No, it’s… the Aura Battler Aesap fought, I think!
: It’s him…?!
: That’s got to be Shou and his Bilbine!
: Shou Zama… the Holy Warrior from your world, Cham?
: Right! I bet he attacked the Skrugg to try and protect the Overworld!
: Please, we need to help him! He can’t beat all of them!
: B-But we can’t just…
: …
: Madam Sumeragi, this could well be a golden opportunity to execute our strategy.
: We can take advantage of the chaos already sown through the enemy’s ranks and strike at their headquarters in one fell swoop…!
: … Alright, we’ll go with your plan!
: One minute, please! Can you let me take part in the diversion too?!
: Aesap?! What are you even suggesting?!
: I’ve been thinking about something for a while now… How I more or less fell into piloting the Nanajin and fighting in general…
: I’ve been on the fence pretty much every step of the way. Could I really help you at all with that kind of attitude?
: Aesap…
: But that man, Shou… I felt such a rock-solid will behind his Aura Power!
: So maybe if I get in touch with him again, it’ll help me do away with that doubt…
: B-But…!
: Then let’s go, Aesap!
: Erebos…?!
: I know what’s going on! The Aura Powers of the two Holy Warriors are calling out to each other!
: So we need to believe in Aesap, and in the miracle of the Wings of Rean…!
: …
: You may be right… And I do believe in you, Aesap!
: Thank you, Lux!
: I guess that’s that. Let’s get to it, then! Set a course for Center City and the Skrugg HQ!


Mission 16 (America Route) – Alive

: Marvel, is it true that the American army won’t fire their nukes if we take these guys out?!
: Right! The transmission I intercepted from their planes said their Ball weapons are headed for the White House! If they’re not stopped, and soon, though…!
: Hrm… Why are the armies up top always so trigger-happy with their nukes…?!
: Curse these obnoxious flies…! Destroy them!

: These are definitely not human enemies… Are they really alien invaders?!

: Urrgh…!
: You alright, Marvel?!
: The converter’s still going, yeah! But the problem is that we’re too badly outnumbered…!

: DAI GURENZAN!

: Gyaaaaaargh!

: Th-That was…!

:siren: SRW UX - The Legend of Mirisha

: You must be Shou Zama, the Holy Warrior!
: Who…?!

Picture Aesap spawning right now… if only I hadn’t set him already in Cao Cao’s team! :v:

: W-Wait just minute, please!
: It’s that Aura Battler from before…!
: Are you trying to start something with me again?!
: No, please hear us out!

Aesap flies closer to Shou.

: Shoooou! I’ve finally found you!
: Cham?! You’re OK?!
: You’re the Holy Warrior, right? My name’s Aesap and I’m not here to fight!
: Cham, did he…?
: Hmhmm, Aesap’s done a lot for me!
: Earth’s under attack by these aliens! We and our friends are fighting back, but we could really use your help!
: It’s true! Those roach-like guys are aliens called Skrugg!
: I don’t see any reason to think he’s lying to us. Shou…!
: Yeah, I know! Come on, Aesap – join your Aura Power with mine!

: (This feeling… the Nanajin’s scared?! No… it’s trembling with excitement…! This is…?!)
: Get your Aura Power in sync with his, Aesap!
: O-Okay, I’ll try! Uooooooh!
: Haaaaaaah!

SRW UX - Dunbine Flies
:siren: :siren:

: Their Aura Powers are resonating and magnifying each other…!
: Yaay! Our Holy Warriors are all together now!
: You’ve seen the light, haven’t you, Aesap? And in that case… HAAAAAH!

: DAI GOKUENZAN!

: Look! He cracked the Ball!
: Do it, Holy Warriors!
: Let’s go, Aesap!
: Alright!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YbqL2ySYDQ

: W-We did it…!
: Impossible…! Curse these Earthlings!

: Whaat?!
: We’ve made it through their perimeter! The Skrugg mothership is in sight!
: You’re up, Psy! Play them the melody of our counterattack!
: You got it!

: Guwaaaaaaaargh!

: Now! Deploy all forces!

: Those Balls are as hardy as ever but, as we’ve seen, they’re not indestructible. Let ‘em have everything you’ve got, troops!
: Right… The two of us couldn’t beat them before, but we’ve come a long way since then. Here we go, Heroman!
: Hmm…!
: Your objectives are to wipe out the opposing forces and conquer the enemy’s vessel!
: CHAAAAAARGE!


Kill everything, don’t lose the Ptolemaios or Heroman. Aesap and Shou have maxed out morale and Cao Cao’s already at 130, so even a side glance from them will make the weakened Skrugg explode.
There are a handful of Balls spread around the area, and while they’re still rather bulky, our people can deal with them without any major issues. Go forward and try to let your secret-relevant folks have fun – of note, Shou and Marvel are in that group, too. They need a total of 100 kills between them by the end of mission 30.


Bilbine (Shou Zama)
Pilot Skills:
Aura Power L5
Holy Warrior
Support Attack L1
All Attack L1
Spirit Commands – Shou:
Accelerate
Focus
Sense
Spirit Commands – Cham:
Cheer
Trust
Adaptation
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Transform
Aura Barrier
Off-Shoot
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons +100, Mobility +5 (Melee weapons +200, Mobility +20, S in Air)
Shou’s voice actor: Shigeru Nakahara (other roles: Masato in Dancouga, Android #17 in Dragon Ball stuff, Trowa in Gundam Wing, and many more).
Cham’s voice actress: Maria Kawamura (other roles: Higgins in Brain Powered, Jung in Gunbuster, Quess in CCA and many more)


Dunbine (Marvel Frozen)
Pilot Skills:
Aura Power L2
Holy Warrior
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L2
All Attack L1
Spirit Commands – Shou:
Gain
Focus
Alert
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Aura Barrier
Off-Shoot
Squad Bonus: Accuracy +5, EXP +10% (Accuracy +20, EXP +20%, Mobility +10)
Marvel’s voice actress: Mika Doi (other roles: Misa in the original Macross, Houquet in Mospeada, Alice in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, and many more)

Shou’s everything Aesap was, only even better because he’s a fully-grown Holy Warrior. Dodgy as no one’s business, nice stats where he needs them and packing huge power in all his attacks thanks to that superlative Aura Power, he’s a very easy fit on any team. That’s especially true since Cham’s a fine supporter as well (though she can be assigned to the Dunbine, too).
As for Marvel, she’s good enough that you could lead with her, but not so good that she can keep up with all the protagonists. Those damage boosting skills do make her hit harder than most sub-leaders, too (though her Squad Bonus isn’t too hot and the Dunbine’s range is about half of what the Bilbine has).
Mind you, Shou and Marvel have a combined attack, though she needs one more level in Aura Power before it’s usable.

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

: Every universe has its share of fools who harbor ambition far beyond their stature…
: However! Such ambition shall not be tolerated by the heavens!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mySOJnxuovE
Jesus, Cao Cao, calm down!

:siren: SRW UX - Dunbine Flies

: I’ve no idea if this is the US I know…
: But even if it isn’t, I’m not about to let it burn under an alien invasion and nuclear blasts!

:siren: SRW UX - Dunbine Flies

: The enemy’s over there, Shou! Attack! Attack! Attack!
: Back with the usual, huh, Cham? Still, I’m really glad nothing happened to you.
: Now let’s get to work! We’ll fight tooth-and-nail against anyone who tries taking a stab at the Overworld!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgzyf5yLI9Q

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MH1WvWIyo88
Aesap’s morale is about 20 points higher than Cao Cao’s, but the big man still outdamages him. Bow before your overlord!

When you get to turn 3…

: It’s…!
: Brother!
: …
: You’re in there, aren’t you?! Please, you need to open your eyes!
: Come on, Nick! Get yourself back to normal already!
: …
: Not even a twitch… Tsk, we might really need to beat them up!
: What?! But they’re people!
: Everyone, listen up! We believe those helmets are how the Skrugg are controlling them!
: Meaning they might come back to their senses if we bust those?!
: O-Okay! I’ll find a way to make it happen!
: Please, Joey…!
: Hold on, Lina! I promise you… I’ll get Will back to normal!

No need to worry about reducing them to a specific HP threshold or anything – just beat both Nick and Will into submission and carry on.

:siren: SRW UX - Deus Machina

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette

: Nick, it’s me! Pull yourself together!
: Rgh, hrrmm…!
: Kch… We just need to break his helmet! Come on, Heroman!


:argh:


Take that!
Nick gives us a HEYBO (+10 Accuracy and Ranged, +5 Evasion).

: Waargh!
: Do you hear us, Nick?! Snap out of it!
: Urk… Joey…?
: Right, I remember… You’re Joey. And I’m… Nick!
: Oh, thank god you’re okay, Nick. Now come with us, quick!
: What are you on about, Joey? I’m strong now! I’m finally my own man!
: ?! Nick…!
: All my life, I’ve been sucking up to others. Not a day went by that I wasn’t scared, that I didn’t worry about what folks thought of me …
: But now I don’t have to worry about any of that crap ever again! How come you don’t get that?!
: …
: I’ve power now! Power! POWER! And with it, I can do anything! Same as you, right?!
: No! I…!
: You’re making a mistake, Nick! Please, don’t do this!
: Shut up! Don’t tell me what to do! I’m done being a human… I’m now a Skrugg!

: Nick, why…!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fvzzb-hU_Ow
While setting up for Will, we trashed the surviving Skrugg mooks.

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette

: Go back to being you, Will! Lina’s here too!
: …
: It’s not working… Breaking that helmet really is the only way!


Will gives us Lina’s Pom-poms (as in, the Cheerleader things – Melee and Evasion +10, Accuracy +5).

: Gaaaah! K-Kill… the earthlings!
: Huh?! We got rid of his helmet! Why’s he still like that?!

Joey moves closer.

: Will, please, pull yourself together! You don’t wanna make Lina sad, do you?!
: Rrrgh…! Gwaaaaaaaaargh!
: STOOOOP!
: …?!
: Brother, please, stop! Come back to me! I’m begging you!
: Uugh… Li-Lina…?
: ?! Brother?!
: I… I remember… Gogorr changed me…
: You’re you again, Will?!
: Haah, haah… I’m so sorry you had to go through that, Lina. I’m free now…

: Hmph, so the mind-control really wasn’t flawless.
: Gogorr! How dare you do this to me…!

Will turns friendly!

: That Skrugg… he’s their leader?!
: Hmhmhm… I believe introductions are in order. My name is Gogorr, and I am the ruler of this planet.
: The what now…?!
: Why are you doing this?! A civilization as scientifically advanced as yours could have easily approached us in a different way!
: I never wanted anything like this to happen when I contacted you!
: Idiocy… Tell me, doesn’t your kind simply kill your cattle? What makes you think you can call us into question, then?
: …?!
: Are you saying we’re cattle to you?!
: Easy, Psy. It seems talking with him won’t get us anywhere.
: Hmhmhm, that’s right! We, the Skrugg, do not negotiate! You will either surrender or die!

: How quaint. Then allow me to retort!
: Threats will avail you not against me! I will cut down all who get in my way!
: Gogorr, I’ll make you pay even if it kills me!
: We can’t lose this one…! We won’t let him turn Earth upside-down!
: Come on, Heroman!
: Hmm!


Just need to take out Gogorr, and losing Will is also a game over.


Gogorr
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L4
Support Attack L2
All Attack
Mech Features:
30% HP and EN Regen
All-Canceller
Gogorr’s voice actor: Unsho Ishizuka (other roles: Guld in Macross Plus, Fudou in Aquarion, Mr. Satan in Dragon Ball, and a whole lot more).

Gogorr is exactly what you’d expect from the Skrugg boss: big stats all over, really dodgy and accurate thanks to pairing S rank on land with an S size. We’ve fought way stronger bosses, though, and his size means he’ll take extra damage from many of our guys. 30% HP regen is plenty, so make sure you down him in one round.

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: Why are you so hell-bent on attacking us?! Get off our world and leave us alone!
: Hmph, cattle such as you thinks he can talk to us as equals? Don’t make me laugh!
: You’re wasting your breath with him, Kazuki! They may be capable of speaking to us, but they’re no different from the Festum.
: Tch…!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: We’ll never stop fighting against you! Why don’t you cut your losses and forget about Earth?!
: You’re in no position to parley with us! The only way this battle will end is with your death!
: Then you leave me no choice! I fight to protect human lives… and, so, I won’t think twice before taking you out!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: I’m impressed that you’ve managed to oppose us for as long as you have… but cattle that does not obey will simply be put down!
: Let’s see you try! I’ll make you painfully aware of all the power life gives us!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKx475CqQdA
I needed someone to showcase Gogorr’s kung-fu, so in comes Luna.

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette

: Gogorr…!
: Hmph, we’ve no more need for your data, Experiment #01. You are a defect and I’ll scrap you myself.
: Don’t call me Experiment! My name… is Will Davis!

:siren: SRW UX - My Fate

: Hrgh…! What’s this dark, evil aura that surrounds him…?!
: Hmm, a new kind of living weapon…? Hahaha, how curious! I believe I’ll take you as a sample!
: No, you won’t - not if the Nanajin and I have anything to say about it!

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

: You’re quite the interesting-looking being. Yes, you’ll make for a valuable sample to dissect!
: Ye invader bereft of ideals… The price for your insolence shall be your miserable life!

: Guh… Th-This cannot be!
: That’s it for your agenda, Gogorr!
: Rrgh… You impudent beasts!

: What?! He…!
: He went Hyper?!
: I never thought I’d get overwhelmed on this backwater planet!
: But I won’t let it end like this! If I’m dying, I’m taking you with me to the Underworld!
: He looks even more monstrous now…!
: Argh, this stupid cockroach! The guy’s as tough to kill as his smaller cousins!
: Maybe, but he’s on his last legs! Troops, focus fire on Gogorr and wrap this battle up!
: Roger!


”Hyper” Gogorr’s gained a boost to everything, but his tricks are still the same. Stand by for a turn and then do one last push.

: I’m not about to let the princess’ city get nuked into oblivion!
: What energy is this…?! How are this planet’s weapons so abnormal?!
: ‘Tis the power of magic that you feel… A divine power given form to crush evil like yours! Behold!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkP3lMgdyeE
New kung-fu!

:siren: SRW UX - Dunbine Flies

:siren: SRW UX - Dunbine Flies

: More and more flies buzzing overhead… but that’ll change nothing!
: You’re just an evil soul that lives for itself! Take all your hatred and go straight to Hell, where you belong!
: Yeah! Off you go!

:siren: SRW UX - Roulette

: Watch it, Joey! This guy’s a whole different ball-game from the other stuff we fought!
: I know! But I won’t let our city go up in flames because of him!
: The gall…! I’ll show you what happens when puny humans dare stand up to us!

:siren: SRW UX - Envoy from Jupiter

: You won’t even try reaching an understanding with us?! Is destruction all that you care about?!
: Would you try to reach an understanding with the cattle you consume and the vermin you kill, in that case?
: It was your invasion that pushed our world into growing as twisted as it is now…! Begone from this planet!


Gogorr gives us Joey’s Coffee (Defense and Melee +10, Evasion +5).

: Ghgrh… This… can’t be! You… beasts…!
: H-He’s still going…?!
: I’ll handle this!
: Joey!
: I’ve always wanted to be like my dad… to keep those I love safe…
: But I was too weak to do anything…! And that’s when I found you, Heroman!
: …
: You’re the one who’s been keeping everyone safe – you’re my hero. But…
: I’ve realized that I need to get strong myself! Just like Kurou and our friends with the UX!
: Joey…
: And that’s why…!

:siren: SRW UX - JOEY AND HEROMAN

: That’s why the two of us will now fight together, Heroman!

Energy chaaarge!

: Hmmmm!
: Go, Joey! I know you can pull it off!
: Take your stalwart heart and convert it into strength…! Then pour it all into your fists!
: Yeah, kick his ass, Joey!
: Heromaaaan… GOOO!!

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

: Haah, haah… W-We did it!
: Excelsior! What magnificent teamwork, Joey! The way you fought, complementing one another…
: I might just say that’s how you two were always meant to work…!
: Joey… That meek boy’s grown a whole lot.
: Yeah, he’s a real powerhouse now!
: That said, that pure heart that wished only to protect others hasn’t changed a bit!
: It may be that that strength lay within him all along. The average men oft change – in ways both good and bad – when they gain great power…
: (Just as my old masters once did…)

: Wait! Where’s my brother?! He’s gone!
: Huh?! But… But he was here just a minute ago!
: You think he ran off?!

: (Sorry, Lina… but I can’t stay with you anymore. Not when I’m like this…)
: Brother! BROTHER!!
: (Take care, Lina…)

: Will…
: We can look for him and Nick in a bit! Remember, we still have work to do!
: Right, the Balls headed towards the White House haven’t stopped yet!
: The EM Waves controlling them are still being broadcast from the Skrugg mothership! You need to deactivate it as quick as humanly possible!
: We’ve only got a few minutes before the nukes’ll be ready for launch!
: This is our one and only chance…! Ms. Sumeragi, take me to the UFO!
: You got it. Everything’s in your hands, Prof. Denton!


Location: Washington D.C.

: Please, Madam President, allow me to handle everything.
: Go on, Dr. Minami. And good luck.
: (Here we go… I’m about to be crowned as the savior of this world. So many times you’ve snubbed me, Dr. West… but the time has finally come for me to one-up you! We’re entering the Age of Minami now!)
: Doctor, it’s time. (Veronica)
: Okay, how about we get started? Laaaadiiiies and gentlemen! IT’S SHOOWTIIIIIME!
: Observe now as the genius Dr. Minami executes his brilliant plan and brings the Balls to heel…! Heeere weee—

: The Balls have stopped.
: Eh…?
: Err… Yeah, they’re not moving anymore. (Stallion.)
But the Doctor hasn’t done anything yet… (Amanorich)
: (The UX have succeeded…!)
: Aah, what a relief! Seems we all worried over nothing! Hahahah…!
: And, even better, we didn’t need to rely on any crazy mystery weapon!
: (Gch, rrgh… Gyaark! S-Someone… SOMEONE STOLE MY GLORYYYYY!)


Over by Center City, Keisha’s on TV and reporting how (surprise) the Union army finally routed the Skrugg; their UFO/HQ has been blown up and not a trace of it remains. Isabelle praises Keisha’s fine work, and she’s honored to receive such accolade from her. That said, both women smell fish in the official announcement that it was the Union that took out the Skrugg.
It’s clear that the MAN is hiding something, but they’ve no idea what. Sakuya asks what they’ll do about this, as snooping into the government’s business could be hazardous to one’s health if they make the wrong move.
Maybe, but Keisha’s willing to face the danger – she can’t stand the thought of the truth being twisted.


A much more chill-looking Axel Hughes wholly agrees with her, and introduces himself as being from the NIA. The journalists know well about the agency and Sakuya wonders what the big-bad agent wants to them that he’d reveal himself like this.
See, he’s currently conducting an investigation on the less-than-savory elements within the Federation army and government, and he’d like to ask for their assistance in revealing the truth to the world.


Cut to the California base, we find Jin fuming that the Union accepted the UX’s help to deal with the Skrugg. Novel asks if that’s such a bad thing – the aliens WERE beaten, no? But that’s not the point here! These are Arnie’s killers the Union’s putting up with! And if Jin were just stronger, he would’ve taken out those aliens himself!
Well, Novel says he’s about to become stronger right now: the all-purpose Riot Cs have just been rolled out, which means his strike team is ready to get to work. But, since he’s the leader, she’s taken measures for him to keep with the Riot A and its stronger engine.
“The new Riot C… I wish he was here to see it” Jin sighs. “Arnie… the two of us, together, got these wings – the Riots – to unfold and take flight. And I promise I’ll use them to put down your killers!”


Back to the Hadou manor, Psy’s mighty irked that the Union took all the credit for our work – including Denton shutting down the Balls. Arnie isn’t bothered by it, though, considering most of the world doesn’t even know the UX exist in the first place.
In truth, Joey’s still waiting for the other shoe to drop face him heading out to work with said UX now. When Lina asks, he says he’s sure about it: he decided to go with them in a bid to try and help the world in any way he and Heroman can manage. Moreover, he figured that’d be the best way for him to look for Will.
Lina’s very grateful and asks him to stay safe, but, of course, he’ll have Kurou around too (that’s only making them worry more, Psy quips). As for Denton, he and the others will head back to help Center City rebuild, so he wants Joey to work hard – they’ll all be waiting for him to return. And, with that, Joey’s off.


Ruri’s actually allowed Kurou and the Demonbane to accompany the UX as well, but he tells her not to worry. If there’s ever any problem with her or the town, he’ll come running as he’s always done. Al’s amused that he’s grown so that he can make that speech with a straight face.
As for Shou and Marvel, they’ll be tagging along as well. Way Shou sees it, they’ve no way of getting back to their world and, in that case, he and Marvel would much rather fight alongside a fellow Holy Warrior. Aesap stammers, saying he’s nowhere near the same level as the two of them. Inwardly, though, Lux disagrees: he is, without a doubt, a true Holy Warrior and she’s certain he’ll be able to control the Wings of Rean.

: …
: May I have a word, my lord?
: Do you need something, Sima Yi?
: Not at all, but… I see that the Yùxǐ did not show itself during the previous battle…
: Hah, I suppose I should not have expected to fool your eyes.
: You set off towards what would have been certain death in a bid to replicate the events at the Battle of Guandu, correct?
: However, this time, the Yùxǐ did not appear…
: Tell me, Sima Yi, have you heard the tale of the Wings of Rean?
: I have, aye. It is said that the soul of a Holy Warrior causes them to manifest themselves, bestowing the power of the very heavens.
: That is correct. Quite similar to our Celestial Armors, are they not…?
: Then, do you take the fact that it was those Holy Warriors that appeared in the last battle, and not the Yùxǐ, to mean…
: Aye. That what the heavens granted us today was not power, but, rather, people…
: Not power, but people…?
: And I believe that, when the time is right, the day will come where all this ties together…
: (Our groups’ encounter happened like clockwork… as though drawn to one another by some force. If this is all due to the will of the heavens, then can we only fall before the tides of fate…?)


And ALVIS finds some FREE REAL ESTATE for a third time.

And Shinn had words for Will:

: You need to get your head into gear right now! Lina’s here for you! She’s your only sister, right?!
: …
: Hrm, why is this happening to them?! No one else should know the pain of losing their family…!


#53
Click to see the mission!


Back again in the Japan route, where Joe and Kouichi are deploying as event units. We got a new influx of units with the Fafner kids, though, so that evens out:
MamoruGOUBINE/Rennie
Yamashita/Mike
Sun Quan/Saya
Arnie/Deceive
Kenji/Sun Shangxiang
Shinn/Moritsugu
Sakura/Eida
Kazuki/Luna (this was completely unintentional)
Tactician: Ylbora

Off we go.


We open up at Shangri-la, where Masaki’s reporting that the UX has joined up with the Arcadian Project: we’ve picked up several Fafners and are currently headed towards a certain village of Akoro in the Tohoku region, apparently searching for the new Machina that was detected around there.
Katou tells him to let Yulianne handle that and, more importantly, wants to know what Christopher Rubens has been up to. Well, according to intel sent by “The Advancers”, he’s got several projects cooking in the shadows – should they do something about him? No, Katou says to leave him be, as that makes it easier for them to work.
Does that mean it’s almost time…? Yes, they’ll wait for Yulianne to report and then execute THAT plan. Inwardly, Katou ponders: “The Linebarrel… if it is the real deal, then…”


Aboard the Elshank, our folks are discussing this village we’re heading to: legends say the place is home to an undying ninja and a great demon, which Mike presumes to be the Machina we’re to look for. From what Eida’s heard, though, that legend about the demon has been around for hundreds of years – since the Sengoku era! She’s not sure if she buys Machina existing back in those times.
Still, Domyoji says many legends are based on fact; it could be that the Machina just lay sealed away for all those centuries. That’s great, but what Shizuna wants to know is what the hell he’s even doing here. What, didn’t she hear? After that whole kidnapping incident, he’s joined JUDA’s Special Forces. Clearly Ishigami saw all his potential… Shizuna figures he’s got way better eyes than her, ‘cause all she sees is a huge dumdum.

What the Elshank crew is really interested in, of course, is not the demon but that “ninja” bit. If true and they find him, that’d mean the end of their journey, a prospect that bums Mike out. Joe isn’t sure what he’d do then… and Rennie hopes aloud that he’s not about to say he’d accompany Romina back to Planet Ladorio. She quickly handwaves it away when Joe does a double-take, though.


By the bridge, Shaff is rooting that they’ll find a real ninja today, but Romina doesn’t look too excited. Is something the matter? No, she’s just pondering all the troubles they put Joe and his friends through over the course of this quest.
Way Ylbora sees it, they’re the ones who’ve been troubled by that selfish lot and he, for one, can’t wait to see them gone. Romina’s silence says she doesn’t share his opinion. Either way, Gameran reports that we’ll be at the village outskirts soon.
From the intel given to Moritsugu, Akoro has kept itself almost completely cutoff from the world at large. He’d rather not antagonize the locals, so he thinks it best that, once we’re a bit closer, we set down and approach the place on foot.

Richard had the same idea, so he’s already put together a team to send over. We still don’t know where to look, so Damian was sent in ahead of us to try to find some leads… problem is, we’ve yet to hear anything from him.
That’s odd. As Zhou Yu remembers, Damian’s quite adept at infiltration and intelligence gathering, so we should’ve heard something from him by now. Here’s hoping nothing happened…


And something happened, as Damian wakes up inside a house in Akoro. A man’s keeping watch over him, and he apologizes for the rough treatment. You see, he has a mission to protect the village and its secrets.
Damian fumes at the dirty trick they used to catch him and wants to know: what’s the man planning to do? That question goes both ways, as his captor wants to know what Damian’s after. Yeah, like he’s just going to tell him anything!
“Hm, I see… Then I suppose I’ll just have to ask your soon-to-arrive friends,” he says.


Outskirts of the village of Akoro – Mountains

: Yuki no shingun, kori o funde…
: What song is that, Saya?
: The Major taught it to me. He said that singing it helps ease your spirits when you’re lost in the mountains…
: How about we not talk about getting lost in the mountains, thanks.
: God, that old man just can’t stop teaching you crap…
: Um, Maya? If you don’t mind me asking, why’d they decide to send you along with us? I can understand Saya being here, but…
: I volunteered, actually. I figured I needed to at least make myself somewhat useful to the team…
: It’s the least I can do for Kasugai after he saved my life…
: Maya…
: …
: And Arnie… I know it can’t be easy for you right now, but… Well, I…
: Thanks, but don’t worry. Yeah, it’s hard, but I won’t let myself fall into a slump – I’m an ex-soldier, remember?
: You mean that?
: Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling anything, but… you need to keep moving onwards, or you’ll never get anywhere, yeah?
: You got that right. And, on that subject, how about we pick up the pace and move onwards ourselves?
: This cold’s too much… my whole body’s going number and number and number…
: That’s what you get for wearing so few clothes when you knew we were headed north!
: But this is taking a while. We didn’t stray from the path and we should be going in the right direction… do you think our GPS is malfunctioning because of the cold?
: Y-Yo… D-Do you mean we’re actually lost in the mountains…?
: That’s it, man… Game over, man. Game over!

(The original line was 天は我々を見放した (Heaven has turned its back on us!) which, apparently, is a famous quote from 1977 movie Mount Hakkoda. I didn’t know any equivalent western mountain movies with equally famous quotes, so I chose to go with something else. I could have just translated it verbatim and forgotten about it… but where’s the fun in that?)

: If we are, you cracking jokes ain’t helping us!
: W-Wait… did you guys hear that?
: Hear… what?
: I don’t know… it sounded like footsteps, and voices…

Woooooooooooosh!

: Wh-What…?!
: I-Is… is it a g-ghost?!
: No, it’s…!

: Uwaaaaaaaaah…!

: M-Moritsugu! The investigation team’s signal just vanished…!
: What…?!
: First Damian and now them…? There’s no way this is a coincidence!
: What now? Do we send in troops…?
: No, if we don’t think this through, whoever we send’ll likely go the way of the investigation team. We must first figure out what the situation is…
: But what if we do that and are too late to save them?! We’ll lose them just like we did Shouko and Koyo…!
: I’m with Kazuki here! We might not have a lotta time, so we’re getting out there with or without you…!
: You will not, Joe! I won’t allow it!
: What was that…?!
: Say you all deploy, what will happen to the Elshank if it comes under attack?!
: Your irresponsible, one-sided, actions may put Princess Romina at risk and that is something I absolutely won’t tolerate!
: Then, what, do you not care what happens to them or anyone else?!
: I did not say that. I’m truly grateful for all the assistance the people of Earth have given us.
: That being said, I still have a duty to see through! One I could never forsake!
: Ylbora…

: Hey, you guys alright?! Pull yourselves together!
: Ow…. W-Where are…?
: Phew, you’re awake…
: Damian?! How’d you get here…?!
: Same way you did. I got jumped by a bunch of weirdoes and knocked out. When I came to, was locked up in here…
: Damian’s a trained member of the Martian Guerrilla… How did they manage to beat him into submission? What kind of village is this…?
: Looks like the stories about this being home to ninjas were legit…
: Whatever the case, we need to escape and quick. There’s something seriously off with this place – who knows what’ll happen to us if we hang around…!

: Please, you don’t need to worry. We’re not cannibals or anything.
: Y-You’re…?!
: My name’s Soubi Nakajima…
: And I’m the Factor of the Machina you’re looking for.
: Th-The Factor…?!
: My Machina, Talisman, has told me about you. He said that another Machina would eventually arrive and that it’d destroy us…!
: “Destroy”…?! That’s nuts!
: We’re not here to do anything of the sort! We’d just like to ask you to come and help JUDA…!
: I’m afraid I’ve absolutely no interest in doing that. Granted, I’m not about to let myself be destroyed without a fight, either.
: Because I, as a Factor…
: Rather…! I, as the demon who’s worshiped here, have a duty to protect this village!
: Demon…?!

: That’s…! Guys, we’re pinging Machinas at Akoro!
: One’s the Linebarrel… but the other’s unknown! They’re fighting, it looks like!
: Things didn’t go as nicely as we’d hoped…
: There, we’re busted! That’s good enough for you, yeah?!
: Now send the Elshank up there! We gotta help Kouichi’s team!
: …
: Hold on, we’re detecting other stuff – a bunch of them, actually… These are the Katous’ Armas?!
: The Katou Organization?! Of all the…!
: Ylbora, we should set out at once…!
: I must disagree, Your Highness. If we do so now, we risk our ship being completely surrounded and overwhelmed by the Katou Organization’s forces.
: Ylbora, you’re still—?!
: Silence! This is not a conversation for laymen!
: Wh-What…?!
: Master Zhou Yu, what would you do at a situation like this…?
: …
: Indeed, I agree with your decision, Cmdr. Ylbora…
: M-Master…?!
: One must discuss strategy not with the heart, but with the mind – as he is doing…
: There are times when a commander is forced to suggest the more difficult route if it gets his men through a storm.
: What should we do, then?! If we don’t hurry, Maya and the others will…!
: We’ll first send in a suicide corps to shed light on the enemy’s formation and the actual size of their forces. Once we’ve a firm grasp on that, our troops will move in and engage.
: “S-Suicide corps”?!
: That’s right… Moreover, said team will be comprised of only one unit as a way to minimize our potential losses.
: Are you kidding me?! You’re pretty much telling someone to die for us!
: No, not exactly…
: Bro…?!
: He said “minimize our potential losses”… And if we’re talking ‘potential’, that means we could walk away taking no losses at all. Ain’t that right, Ylbora?
: Hmph. Though that’s presuming you’re capable of such a feat, of course.
: Heh, now them’s fighting words! Alright, I’ll play along with your strat!
: J-Joe?! Y-You’re not thinking of…!
: Yeah, I am. I’ll handle his suicide mission!


Mission 16 (Japan Route) – A Compromising Soul

: Hrrgh…!

: …?! His is quite the powerful regeneration… That said…!

: Uwaaaaah!
: Hayase!
: Damn it…! His attacks ain’t that bad by themselves, but taking a whole bunch of them is too much for my regen…!
: I’ve burned down just your Machina’s artificial muscles. It’ll take a while for you to recover from that.
: Why…? We told him we didn’t want to fight!
: The people of this village have lived in seclusion for god knows how long. We’re not getting through to them the easy way – not unless we free them from their curse…
: “Curse”?
: The object of their worship, yeah…
: Meaning our only option here is to beat their “demon”!
: Tsk… so we’ve no choice in this matter?!

: Argh… I-I can’t move…!
: What’ll it be? Just say you’ll leave without a fuss and I won’t hurt you anymore…
: Come on, guy… I didn’t come all the way to the frigging Iwate prefecture to just go “Yeah, okay!” and take off!
: I see. That’s truly a shame, then.
: I’d rather not do this, but you force my hand…!

: ?! What…?!

: Been a while, hasn’t it, honey? I do hope you haven’t forgotten about me.
: Y-You’re… You’re with the Katou Organization!
: Very good… Yulianne Faithful, captain of the 7th Unit.
: And I’m here to make good on my previous promise to turn your Machina into a pile of slag!

: Gaaaaah…!
: Ha-Hayase…?! What’re the Katous even doing here…?!
: What’s the meaning of this…?! You called for your allies to help…?!
: Hahah, heavens, no. What we’re after is one thing only: to destroy every single Machina that exists… And that means you two!

: Urgh…!
: Soubi…?!
: Shouldn’t you be more concerned about yourself, honey?
: After all, you can’t even move… and I’m not known for my merciful nature!
: G-Goddamn it…!

: Hm…?!

:siren: SRW MX - The Emissary from the Heavens

: That’s… the Kurojishi?!
: So you like toying with folks who can’t even move, eh?
: Groups like yours are what people call villains!
: Now that’s quite the entrance. Care to give me your name?
: Oi, I just called you villains! How’dya figure you deserve to know my name, huh?!
: Touché. Then I guess I’ll have some fun with you first, Mr. Nameless!

: (Alright, this is it… Either I pull out all the stops and save Kouichi’s crew or I’ll die here!)
: (You better be watching, Ylbora!)

Kill everything, don’t lose anyone (including Soubi). Not too bad, but the game might take you by surprise as Soubi isn’t the hardiest unit around – his regen is nowhere as strong as Kouichi’s, either. Sending Joe up top isn’t recommended, as there are plenty of Armas and they’ll quickly build up evasion decay even with Joe’s S rank.
Now, Kouichi can’t move but he can still attack, so what you’ll want to do is set Joe within a N-NE forest and have him split the incoming enemy forces. Oh, and if you’re counting on Tobikage bailing him out if his HP gets low enough:

: Hrgh…!
: Joe…?!
: (Not yet, Tobikage…! Don’t come out yet!)
: (I gotta show Ylbora… what kind of a man I am!)

Yeah, Joe won’t let Tobikage do that and will, instead, get wrecked.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

Next turn…

: What is Joe thinking, coming here by himself?!
: And he even went and taunted the enemy…! That’s only made things worse for him!
: Actually, I think that’s just what he wants. He’s drawing the enemy’s attention away, in hopes of saving Hayase…!
: Joe, you…!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

Another turn later…

: Damn it, I still can’t move?! You gotta heal up faster, Linebarrel!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Hmhmhm… Come here, honey. I’ll take really good care of you.
: Go to hell! Linebarrel, please, move! Hurry!


Yulianne taking decent damage: “The boy’s Linebarrel really is a cut above the others…!”

: Sorry, my friend, but I’m gonna have to trash your Machina too.
: And you think I’d just let you?
: It’s my duty to keep this village safe. And there isn’t much I won’t do to accomplish that…!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBiyB53V9B0
I’d be worried about all that damage and the Armor Debuff, but we’ve killed all other mooks. The plot carries on when our next turn arrives…

: Haah, haah…
: That’s quite the fight you’re putting, Mr. Nameless. But I’m afraid this is where it stops…!

: Gch-Rrgh…!

:siren: Dynasty Warriors 6 - Theme of Lu Bu -DW Prime Mix-

: Hmhmhmhm…
: Th-Those are…!
: What an ominous look he has… Almost like…!
: Behold the Lu Bu Unit, we Shura born from the fires of Hell!
: L-Lu Bu… as in, the Lu Fengxian?!
: You know that guy?
: The world remembers him as Lu Bu, the Flying General… said to be one of the strongest men to have ever lived, a warrior worth a thousand…!
: C-Crap… Just that intro’s enough to make you wanna run for the hills…!
: Come, peon! Entertain me! I demand that you rouse my soul!

: Gwaaaargh…!
: Joe…! Kch, if I can just get the Linebarrel to move…!


This attack is meant to strike right inbetween Kouichi and Joe’s position… only I had parked Joe right next to the Linebarrel, so it looks like he got blasted again!

: …?!
: That is Fengxian’s battle… you will not interfere! (I’d completely overlooked this the last time we saw them, but Diaochan’s actually uses Lu Bu’s courtesy name - a “privilege” that, so far, had only been reserved to Zhuge Liang. I’ve edited our previous battle.)
: Y-You…!
: Now take this! SENPUU BAKURETSUSHOU!

: Hrgh…!
: Joe, hang in there!
: Hmhmhm… Tough luck, Mr. Nameless. I make it a point to always have an ace up my sleeve.
: H-Heheh… And that’s your “ace”, huh? I was waiting to hear that…!
: …? What are you getting at?
: I promised them… that I’d get you to show what cards you had…!
: And you did. Congratulations, now you can die with the satisfaction of a job well done!

: Hrm…?!
: Th-That’s…!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

: …
: Tobikage…!


X5!

: Ooorgh…!
: Heh… look at that huge meddler…!
: But your timing couldn’t be better! Come on, Tobikage!
: …!

: They combined…?!
: And now it’s my turn! Come’ere!

: Fengxian…?!
: Hah, hahahah… You made me lose my footing! Impressive!
: Tsk, so you had a surprise of your own, huh? But it won’t save you…!

: She still had this many troops on standby…?!
: What’ll you do now? I think even you’ll have a hard time against all these…
: Sorry, babe, but no. Here’s some advice for you…
: You gotta have aces up your sleeve and know just when to play ‘em!

: …! The alien battleship?!
: Hm, color me surprised… That was actually well done, Joe.
: Heheh! Yeah, you better admit you were wrong, moron!
: We’ve recovered all members of the investigation team. All hands, battle stations!
: Ms. Kaname, Mr. Koudate and Mr. Kondo, are you ready to go?
: We’re fully fledged pilots too, right? Just give the order and we’ll get it done!
: Aye, aye! Goubine, standing by!
: Aaiieee…! No, this is too scary! Mommyyyy!

: Here we go! I’m all healed up!
: You… Who are you people?!
: Isn’t it obvious? We’re CHAMPIONS OF JUSTICE!
: Champions of Justice…?!
: Your orders are to eliminate all of the Katou Organization troops! Do not engage the Akoro Machina!
: Open fire!


We still need to kill everything (both Lu Bu and Diaochan this time) but do not that while you don’t need to worry about Kouichi and Joe anymore, you still DO to make sure Soubi survives. And that can be a problem with all the fresh Armas, plus the two Shura. Rush your guys up, kill Yulianne ASAP (so that she doesn’t further weaken the Talisman) and make sure you keep a steady pace ahead of Soubi.
Also:

:siren: Secret Alert! :siren:
SD Gundam Secret – 2nd step: once again, have Sun Quan shoot down Lu Bu.
Same tactics as before apply.


Fafner Mark Fünf (Mamoru Koudate)
Pilot Skills:
Synergetic Code L1
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L2
Spirit Commands:
Invincible
Vigor
Strike
Mech Features:
Gun
Aegis – negates any damage below 3000(!)
Siegfried System
Squad Bonus: Melee weapons +100, HP +500 (Melee weapons +200, HP +1000, Armor +125)
Mamoru’s voice actress: Mitsuki Saiga (other roles: Rossiu in TTGL, Revive in 00 Gundam, Jun in the Mazinkaiser OVA and many more)


Fafner Mark Acht (Kenji Kondo)
Pilot Skills:
Synergetic Code L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L2
All Attack L1
Spirit Commands:
Invincible
Focus
Mech Features:
Sword
Gun
Norn System
Siegfried System
Squad Bonus: Armor +100, EN +50 (Armor +150, EN +100, Exp +15%)
Kenji’s voice actor: Minoru Shiraishi (other roles: himself in Lucky Star, Taniguchi in Haruhi Suzumiya, and some more)


Fafner Mark Drei (Sakura Kaname)
Pilot Skills:
Synergetic Code L2
Support Attack L1
Support Defense L1
All Attack L1
Spirit Commands:
Fighting Spirit
Invincible
Focus
Mech Features:
Gun
Norn System
Siegfried System
Squad Bonus: Crit rate +10, melee weapons +100 (Crit rate +20, melee weapons +200, HP +1000)
Sakura’s voice actress: Satomi Arai (other roles: Fa and Haro in Z Gundam, Lala Hiyama in Knights of Sidonia, Kuroko Shirai in A Certain Magical Index and stuff, and several more)

The Mark Acht and Drei are mostly squaddie material, though rather high tier ones.
Kenji’s got the same Medusa cannons Koyo did, making him an easy fit with snipers. His Squad Bonus is geared towards units like the Hind, though the Acht hasn’t a whole lot of tricks beyond that. It just packs a decent punch.
Sakura’s the best pilot of the trio, with stats a step below Kazuki’s but with even better morale gains thanks to her altered consciousness – pretty good for a non-protag. While the Drei’s a weaker unit than the other two, its Piram does carry the Mobility/Movement Down debuffs, which aren’t bad, and Sakura’s very crit-happy.

GOUBINE, however, is the star here and the Mark Fünf is straight-up the best Fafner we have right now by a decent margin: a lot of armor, that beautiful Aegis, and surprisingly high attack power for a non-protag unit. For example, his Goubine Smash is only 200 points weaker than Kaido’s Gazanto, but the kicker is that the Fünf follows a B-type weapon upgrade path, while most protag units, if you remember, are C-types.
Mamoru’s got top morale gains, a lot of defense and all-around decent stats, too. The Fünf’s only major issue is that it’s somewhat lacking in range, but that also applies to many other units. The Synergetic Code already gives Mamoru an increase to Evasion and Accuracy, so the enemies will have a tough time doing lasting damage. You can also use Skill Parts to give Mamoru Prevail and/or Guard and it’ll take a big boss to even touch him.
I say these three are very easy to fit in any team, especially with that combined attack setting them pretty high in the damage ladder.

And speaking of that attack…

:siren: Secret Alert! :siren:
Fafner secret #2 – 3rd and 4th step: we haven’t reached the 1st and 2nd steps route flags yet, but you can already do these. You have until stage 34 to use the Triple Dog Formation attack 5+ times (the event one doesn’t count) and until stage 37 to get 150 kills between Mamoru, Kenji and Sakura.

Pretty simple, really, so long as you remember to do their combo attack at least once every other mission. Kenji’s weak will gains can be a hindrance, but it’s nothing we can’t handle.
Now let’s rain hell on Yulianne and carve a path to Lu Bu.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Had your fun? I hope so, ‘cause you’re about to be on the receiving end of everything the Linebarrel’s got!
: Oh, my, you’re already healed up? Then I suppose I better answer in kind and give you a taste of everything my Tsubaki-hime’s got!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

: Seems the cards up my sleeve trumped yours!
: Hmhmm… I’d taken you for just a random dunce, but I was wrong. You’re a somewhat competent dunce!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9LGHLVuesw
And, finally, I get the show off the DK for the Juuma’s best attack!
We get MORE Ishigami’s Deluxe Sushi from her!

: Tsk, things have really taken a turn for the worse…
: Fine, I’ll let you have this one. See you later, honey!

: (The Katou Organization… Why do they want to destroy all Machinas? What for…?!)

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

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Lepton Vectrer, output stable! Internal pressure, all green…!
: Initiating counterattack!

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: (Shouko, Koyo… watch over us!)
: (And I promise I’ll drop some enemies for you guys too!)

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Joe risked his life to give us a shot at winning this… and I won’t let it go to waste!

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: Your wishes are all with me, Hazama, Kasugai – now and forever!
: Mobile Samurai Goubine… FORWARD!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smIw8rflNBY

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: (This is so scary, mommy… Still, I…!)
: (I’ll fight as best I can… I gotta! For Shouko and Koyo!)

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: You goons got a whole lot to answer to after putting our friend through the wringer! Say your prayers!
: Come on, Deceive! We’ll pay them in full for what they did to Joe!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2DV2xdFWKg
Now for an attack showcase. Here’s Sakura’s best non-combined one…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Wdkf0834RM
And Mamoru’s…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZCHYoQf3DI
And Kenji’s… second best. I’m pretty sure his Medusa looks the same as Koyo’s, but I couldn’t use it today.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AMZJaMQpsI4
Soubi had the bright idea of pursuing Lu Bu. The fool…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4tQlTroFvg
Finally, Diaochan’s Funnels.

:siren: Dynasty Warriors 6 - Theme of Lu Bu -DW Prime Mix-

: Wh-What kind of monster is he…?! All this bloodlust…!
: Hah… Do I frighten you? However, that fear shall not cease unless you take a stand and fight!
: U-Uwaaaaaaaaah!

: You’re gonna be dealing with me now – and I won’t stop until you’re down on the dirt!
: Where did your previous bloodthirst go? If you truly wish to best me, then awaken the demon inside you!

: So you’re fighting not to protect something, but just to sate your own yearnings…?
: What do you think you’ll find beyond all those battles?! Is there even anything?!
: My soul is one with the fires of war! War and Life are synonyms in my eyes!

: Hahahah, yes, this is it! This battle is precisely that which I sought!
: This thrill! This scorching excitement! It ignites—MY SOOOOUUUUL!!

: Stay vigilant, my friends! A clean hit from that attack will be deadly!

:siren: Dynasty Warriors 6 - Theme of Lu Bu -DW Prime Mix-

: I hope you’re ready for some pain! No one can handle me when I’m combined with Tobikage!
: You have piqued my interest! Let us see the extent of the grand power that emerged from the void!

: I challenge you, Lu Bu!
: You surprise me. I did not expect that mewling child to grow into a man of this stature…
: However, it is still not enough. You are hardly your father and brother’s equal!


Lu Bu attacking: “I shall deliver you to your father and brother’s side!”
Sun Quan: “In the name of my father, Sun Jian, and my brother, Sun Ce! Your end is come, Lu Bu!”

Lu Bu drops a Mirishan Rice Ball (+10 Skill and Melee, +5 Evasion)

: Hahahah… I must commend you for rousing my soul to this point!
: But you must grow even mightier! Much more! And when you do… I shall appear again!

: (Curse you, Lu Bu… I’ll yet avenge my family…!)

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

: Away with you, young tigress! Or do you wish to lose your life for naught?
: Don’t you belittle me! I am also a proud Sun, the daughter of the Tiger of Jiangdong!


Shangxiang attacking: “So what you’re a Shura! You don’t scare me one bit!”

: Hrm… They are far mightier than I expected…! Forgive me, Fengxian!

: Pah! She’s only quick on her feet when it comes to running away!

Tobikage splits off!

: All enemy units are gone! No further contacts detected!
: Oof… I was really worried there for a sec.
: …
: Looks I was wrong about you people.
: Soubi…
: Please join me at my house. I’d like for us to speak again…

Just one convo we missed because Joe couldn’t reach Yulianne before the Tobikage event:

: And just what are you planning to do by yourself, Mr. Nameless?
: You wanna know? Fight me for real and you might find out, villains!


Back at Soubi’s place, our folks are treated to some mighty tasty food – it’s got Joe and Damian flipping out. Kindly old lady Kaoru tells everyone to have as much as they’d like, as there’s plenty to go around. Kouichi looks at the quiet Soubi and inches over to Domyoji, confused: he thought they were going to talk Machinas, not have just a regular old dinner.
Domyoji suggests he keep that stuff to himself for now – Soubi’s demeanor did a full 180 ever since Kaoru turned up. It’s possible he keeps the Machina stuff a secret from her. When Kaoru asks, Shizuna confirms that she’s from around Tokyo (Haneda, with the airport), which actually isn’t too far from where Kaoru was born.
Kaoru’s from Kamata herself, and remembers well growing in what used to be renowned as the film capital of Japan… but her tale is interrupted when a hacking cough sets in. Soubi rushes to her aid – this is why he’d asked her to keep resting. Still, Kaoru says she’s fine. “I haven’t felt joy like this in a long while. Please, just tonight…”


Over by the hot springs, our folks ponder this very strange village: a place that has a Machina worshiped as a demon and villagers that are martial artists on par with ninjas. To say nothing about Kaoru, someone not native to this place, and her caretaker, Soubi, the ONLY young person in the entire village.
Arnie remembers Domyoji saying something about there being a curse here? Yeah, but the more he’s pondering this, the more complicated things seem. He turns to Damian and asks if he found anything significant when he was sneaking around the place.

“Hmhmhm, I’m glad you asked! Yes, I did uncover a major secret!” Damian gloats – what could it be? “Now listen to this! The mountain behind this village has been worshiped as sacred for ages… but, at the foot of that mountain, there’s an open air Furo. And that Furo - drum roll please - has a sign written ‘Ladies’!”
As Arnie stares blankly, Joe’s starting to get a picture of what happened. Did Damian get caught because he was distracted peeking into the ladies’ bath? O-Okay, that’s enough questions for a day… besides, as Damian skillfully changes the subject, there’s something more important for them to consider! That is: our ladies are in that very Furo right now! Mamoru, Kenji and Kouichi stand at attention.

: Aah, the water’s just great. I’m feeling so refreshed…
: Um, I don’t know if I should ask this but… aren’t you worried about rusting or something?
: Rusting? Why?
: O-Oh, never mind… Guess I was wrong…
: If you say so. And, hey, did you girls see Joe and Ylbora today? They were both pretty cool, huh?
: Yeah… You know, they might always be at each other’s throats, but I think that, deep down, they respect one another.
: That’s the impression I got from my late brother and Zhou Yu too… Ooh, this brings back memories…
: Hmmm, I’ve been working with those two for a while and, if you ask me, I really don’t see things being like that between them…
: …
: But, on that subject… Princess! Which one of them do you like best?
: …?!
: Wh-What…?! Where did that question come from?!
: Oho, looks like there’s something there, alright.
: P-Please, I-I don’t like one over the other! They are both dear…
: …
: Hmm? Dear… what?
: Th-That’s…!
: Come on, Shizuna! Can’t you see that she’s having a tough time with that?
: Right; this isn’t the sort of thing where you can force an answer. Her heart will sort out how it feels on its own, and then she’ll know what she wants.
: Well, who am I to disagree with you on that subject…
: ?! Everyone shush! Did you hear something…?
: Huh?! What is it…?
: This sensation… This wild, uninhibited urge, like that of a wild beast…
: C-Come on, don’t scare us like that. All bears and boars are hibernating at this time of the year, right?!
: D-Do you think it’s actually a ghost now…?!
: Psh, everyone knows ghosts don’t exist! Here, let me handle this!
: Behold, the deadly… KATENROU!!

Craaaash!

: EEEARRRGH!

: Hey… did you hear that? Sounded like someone dying way out in the distance…
: Ignore it. I’ve an inkling it’s just fools getting their just desserts.

: Hey, kids, did you see Ylbora around?
: Ylbora? No, he didn’t come here…
: He’s not at the Elshank?
: He was – looked like he got a call from someone. I wonder where he went…?
: Do you think that scream just now was him…?
: H-Huh…?!
: … Nah, I doubt it. Ahahaha…


Location: Akoro’s Outskirts

: …
: So glad you took my invitation, Ylbora…
: Hmph, what are you playing at, Grathan? Why did you call me out here?
: Hmhmhm… I just wanted to chat with the great Ylbora face-to-face. Even Emperor Annex acknowledges your skill as a warrior, you know.
: Unfortunately for you, I am not here to talk. What I want is only one thing…

*:gun: *

: And that is to kill you, Grathan!
: And what will that get you, Ylbora? You’ve been fighting us out of your sworn duty to Planet Ladorio, but I’m afraid I’ve bad news: it’s gone. Planet Ladorio is no more!
: Wh-What…?!
: Heheheh, it’s true. The Boom Army launched an all-out assault and destroyed it! Yours and Princess Romina’s homeworld has been wiped from the face of the universe!
: I-It can’t be…!
: Oh, but there’s more: Emperor Annex The Boom is headed towards Earth, bringing all of his fleet along for the ride.
: You’re a smart fellow, so I’m sure you know what that means.
: …
: So let me get straight to the point: bring Romina and surrender to us before this planet winds up just like Ladorio!
: …?!
: That is the only way you and your beloved princess can get hrough this with your lives!
: You vermin…!
: Heheheh… What will it be, Ylbora?
: …
: I… I…!


#54
Click to see the mission

Mission 16 (Europe) and 17 (America) are their respective versions of the Separation battle. As I said before, a good chunk of events here are the same, so I’ll just go over everything that changes in both missions in relation to how things played out in the Japan route.


First scene, the US version is identical to the Japan route, with Sumeragi and Sima Yi replacing Moritsugu and Zhou Yu respectively.
Same for the EU version, only there’s a quick insert at the start where Makabe finally gets to thank Richard properly for the UX’s help during the previous Festum attack (no problem, since it was work). Zhuge Liang and Scarlet lead the talks on this side.


Introduction of the other Fafner kids is the same, as is the moms’ convo by ALVIS’ CDC.


Next up we have the Fafner kids’ meetup after the sim ends:
In the US route, the only major difference is that, instead of Koyo complaining about them having to fight other people, is that we got absolutely no recognition despite risking our lives fighting. Seems to Kazuki and the others that the world doesn’t think too well of the UX, and Koyo figures the adults and Soushi have a screw loose for buddying up with a group like that. From there, the rest is the same.

On the EU route, however, things change a bit since the Fafner kids haven’t had the chance to leave the island yet. Kazuki and Maya are there to praise the newbie trio on their growth as Fafner pilots, but Sakura doesn’t wanna be coddled – they still lost pretty handily. Fast forward a bit and Shinn and Luna arrive to meet them. Yeah, they’re back but on a mission, and things are expected to go down now that we’re here.
Will the newbies get a chance to deploy? Unlikely, as Kenji figures they’re just spares – Kazuki and Koyo are the main boys. Luna’s heard that Koyo was also nominated as a full Fafner pilot, a choice he himself made. After all, he clearly couldn’t trust Kazuki and Soushi to handle things. He sure as hell doesn’t accept Soushi’s willingness to sacrifice others for the mission.


The following scene with Arnie and Saya is absolutely the same, barring the different hangar they’re in.


By the Devil’s Ray, we’ve other folks accompanying Mizoguchi and Maya:
In the US route, Mizoguchi’s just as hyped to have the legendary Sima Yi tagging along. Lux is also there, but she’s not sure how useful she could actually be – having a beautiful princess nearby is always a major boost to morale, Mizoguchi explains! “Mr. Mizoguchi, could you please take this seriously…?” Maya sighs.

In the EU route, Mizoguchi’s hype is, of course, directed at the legendary Zhuge Liang. Mizoguchi’s quip about this being a simply fishing trip perks the Gundam’s ears(?), and he asks that we let him handle everything. See, he was quite the famous fisherman before meeting Liu Bei… though that’s not really what we’re doing here, of course. Scarlet is also on hand, THE best person to have for when shit hits the fan, and Mizoguchi figures her battle-hardened marine self being here means he can take it nice and easy. Maya sighs again.


Back at ALVIS, this scene’s the same.


Mission 16 (Europe Route) / Mission 17 (America Route) – Separation ~ Friends


Ditto for the scene before the battle, only, in the US route, it’s Aesap worrying about the investigation team (especially Lux, of course). Zhang Fei does the worrying in the EU route.

When Jin shows up, everything plays out pretty much the same, but there’s this extra bit at the end, after Richard warns us about the Riot A’s generator:

: But aren’t there people aboard those things?! Are you telling us to attack other humans?!
: If you don’t, then it’ll be you who’ll get attacked by them.
: …?!
: Pull back, Kazuki! If you can’t do it, then, I’ll…!
: Koyo…
: (Jin… I swear, I’ll just immobilize your unit…!)


Kariya’s suggestion that we engage the island’s Fenrir and Mizoguchi doing so are mostly the same.
In the US route, while the investigation team is getting ambushed, Lux actually cuts down a few Festum with her sword. She truly is the daughter of a Holy Warrior, Sima Yi sees (King Sakomizu taught her how to fight, though she didn’t expect to need it today). Sima Yi’s memorized the map of the island and it’s now up to him to get everyone out – as Mizoguchi’s read in the Thirty-Six Stratagems, “escape is not defeat”!

In the EU route, Scarlet’s easily gunning down the incoming Grendels (Zhuge Liang praises her skill, though does not understand her cussing – he prefers it that way). Kongming’s also got the map memorized, so Mizoguchi asks him to show the quickest way out: “Ain’t no sandstorm here and dummies won’t fly with a bomb, so we just gotta book it!”

Here are the unique convos people have against Jin across both versions:

: That white robot from Center City… so you were with the UX!
: I am now, but… what we’re doing today is no different from what we did back then, and that’s keep people from getting hurt!

: Hey, isn’t Arnie your friend?! Why can’t you just hear him out for one damn second?!
: So now you’re trying to rope me in too?! I’d never let worms like you trick me, though!
: Yeesh… Guess it’s gonna take roughing this guy up some to get him to listen!

: You’re also in with the UX?! If your gang just didn’t exist, we…!
: This isn’t good… Unless he’s stopped, that hate-filled aura will keep on growing and…!
: And he’ll go Hyper?!

: That’s one of the bug mechs that attacked Yokosuka! You’re gonna pay for all our brothers-in-arms your people killed!
: You got it all wrong! Aesap didn’t—
: Don’t even try it, Erebos. This guy’s already covered from head to toe in an Aura Power of pure hatred!

: Hah… So even in a different world, self-righteous loyalists set themselves against me!
: Don’t you dare mock me! What’s more self-righteous than a bunch of terrorists like you?!

: Isn’t Arnie your friend?! Why can’t you just hear him out for one damn second?!
: So now you’re trying to rope me in too?! I’d never let worms like you trick me, though!

: You’re also in with the UX?! If your gang just didn’t exist, we…!
: Looks like he’s so blinded by anger and hate that he can’t even see what’s around him!
: Well, an ass-kicking is just what the doctor ordered for folks like that!

: A government’s army is tasked with defending the people, no?! Then there’s no reason for us to battle one another!
: Are you joking?! You’ve got a lotta nerve saying that to me after your gang’s wholesale terrorism…!

: You terrorist worm! It’s because trash like you are prowling about that everything’s so messed up…!
: “Terrorist”…?
: Well, e x c u s e you! I t h i n k “a d o r a b l e girl” is w h a t y o u meant to s a y!

When you kill Jin’s mooks, however, our less-than-experienced fighting humans Fafner kids in the EU route pitch in:

: U-Uwaaaaaaah!
: Jackson…?!
: Forgive me, Captain…! I couldn’t do anything…!

: …?!
: Jackson! You bastards… you killed my man!

: N-No… he died… because of us…!
: Calm down, Kazuki. Your brain waves are in disarray.
: “Calm down”?! I just saw someone die right in front of me! How the hell can I calm down?!
: …

Kill the second one…

: Argh…!
: Cameron, eject!
: I-I can’t… it’s not working! No…! Aaaaaaaaah!

: Cameron! Rrgh… You’ll pay for this, UX!

: What the hell, Soushi?! I thought the pilots could still bail out even after getting shot down!
: There’s always a chance that things go wrong due to equipment malfunction! You need to focus on the battle right now!
: Kch, focus on this battle…?! How am I supposed to focus on killing people?!
: …

And the third one…

: Gwaaargh! My… my eyes!
: Barkley!
: C-Captain… where’s the enemy?! I-I’ll try to ram them—!

: My… my Unit…! They were the very first subordinates I ever had…!
: Unknown Xtrikers…! YOU SONS OF BITCHES!!

: People dying one after another… this is how war is like…?
: …
: (That’s strange… Those were the Federation’s most state-of-the-art mechs, yet every single one had a malfunction in their ejection equipment…?)
: (Was it just a coincidence? If not, then…)

And, boom, we’ve successfully amplified the Fafner kids’ trauma several times more than the US and JP routes ever did. :toot:

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La


Have a bonus, Kaz.


And the rest of the mission plays out pretty much unchanged: Jin goes down, Koyo gets mind-crushed saving Maya’s team and we need to leave as the Fenrir goes off.
Of note, in the US Route, as Maya slaps Soushi for being insensitive to what happened to Koyo, Cao Cao intervenes: “That is enough. Hurling insults at one another will not restore this man. There is only one thing that can be done to honor the fallen… and that is victory!” Shinn concedes that he has a point, but that hardly makes things easier on Maya and the others.


The scenes with Mizoguchi and Makabe, Richard and Saya are both the same, but Arnie, of course, has different company depending on the route:
In the US route, Marvel tells him that things hardly go the way anyone wants in battle. She understands that that’s not any consolation, but it’s the truth. Shou, however, tells her to just leave Arnie be: there’s no point in talking to someone who’s keeping a wall around himself. Cham chides him, saying they need to be gentle at moments like this, but he disagrees: is gentleness all it takes for one to pull himself back together? He doesn’t think so, remembering that he was just as grief-stricken after he killed Todd. Regardless, we all did everything we could to find Jin, but there was just not enough time.

In the EU route, it’s Zhang Fei and Guan Yu. Fei says Arnie’s not the only one who’s suffered loss, pointing out that furface lost the love of his life in battle as well. Guan Yu tells him to lay off, but Zhang Fei wants to say this: everyone goes through a lot of bad crap, but they all pull themselves together and find the strength to carry on with their lives. Yes, it hurts like hell, but you can’t just break down; he can’t stand the sight of Arnie being this crestfallen. Guan Yu very much sympathizes with Arnie’s loss but, despite everyone’s best efforts, time simply ran out.

At the end of the America version, we get a couple of extra scenes:

: I see… so that’s what happened at Tatsumiya…
: Things took quite the turn for the worse for Ensign Berge and the Fafner kids, hm…
(on the phone): But we’ll still need them to find the strength to carry on through it…
: And how are things going on your end?
: Honestly… we’re smelling fish around here – more so nowadays. If possible, I’d like to ask that your group returns ASAP.
: Roger that. I’ll let the others know.

Bloop.

: I suppose this building is about to get quite lively again with their return.
: That, it will… But, first and foremost, we must see to our local issue…
: You mean the so-called Anti-Machina weapons that Kiriyama Heavy Industries developed, yes?
: I wonder… They’ve no Machinas of their own to research on, so how were they able to create such a thing…?
: If I had to guess… I’d say our company’s classified data is being leaked…
: Th-Then… there’s a spy in our midst, sir…?!
: …


Location: Kiriyama Heavy Industries – Office

: We only managed to complete those as quickly as we did thanks to the data you provided.
(Also on the phone): …
: And now our plan can finally be set in motion…
: I trust you’ll be here for the reveal…
: Won’t you, Moritsugu?
: I intend to, yes…


#55
Click to see the mission!


Alright, last time we closed off the last unique mission in the US route, now we’re gonna do the same for Japan. Joe’s deploying solo as an event unit, but everyone else is free, so here’s how we’re going:
Mamoru/Rennie
Yamashita/Mike
Sun Quan/Saya
Arnie/Deceive
Kenji/Sun Shangxiang
Shinn/Moritsugu
Sakura/Eida
Kazuki/Luna
Kouichi
Tactician: Zhou Yu

Off we go.


We open up at the Federation Army HQ in New York, where Hazard is getting the memo on The Boom Army’s main fleet being on its way to Earth… only, no, Grathan says he was just bluffing in a bid to unsettle Ylbora. That’s a relief to Hazard, as it’ll take some more time before Earth is ready to welcome His Majesty, the Emperor.
Is he talking about his plan to “reform” the Federation Army? Right, and once it is in place, taking over the Earth Sphere will be simplicity itself. Hazard is certain Emperor Annex will be pleased, and promises that Grathan will reap enormous glory from all this. Grathan knows who he’s dealing with, of course, and sniffs that Hazard’s first priority has always been himself. Oh, but that’s what “quid pro quo” is all about, no?
In any case, Grathan is moving in troops to attack the village of Akoro to try and put Ylbora’s back against the wall, and Hazard’ll take care of feeding the Federation government some bullshit excuse to justify it.

As the call ends, Hazard harrumphs at the guy’s attitude. The last laugh will be his, though, as once the Earth Sphere is under his control, everything else will follow suit. Dog Tack is a bit concerned, though: was Grathan really bluffing in regards to The Boom fleet coming here?
There’s no way to tell, as the guy clearly doesn’t trust them enough to come clean about everything. Regardless, they must hurry: Hazard wants the upcoming battle recorded in full. They’ll have some very amusing stuff to showcase when the federal parliament reconvenes.


Cut to halfway across the world, Ylbora just compiled a new star chart and checking the Sherma System… there is no data collected on Planet Ladorio. He’s tried it again and again, and nothing. Was Grathan actually telling the truth and their world is gone…?!
Shaff walks in right then. They’d been wondering where he was last night – Gameran searched high and low, and couldn’t find him. Ylbora grunts that he was in his room, as even he needs a good night’s sleep once in a while.

That was one of the first places Gameran checked, of course, but Ylbora simply handwaves the question away. Where is the princess? In the briefing room, with Joe and the others, checking whether the legend we heard of that undying ninja in Akoro was true or not.
Ylbora fumes at the princess being with Joe again and stomps away.


And, unfortunately, Domyoji reports that there are no ninja to be found in Akoro. He says the story was just a cover to protect the village’s secret… or, better put, to protect Soubi’s secret. What does he mean by that? And where is he? Damian says they’re in a cave inside that sacred mountain behind the village.
Damian had found the place when he was prowling about before and Domyoji declares that the answers to all our questions were waiting inside. He’ll have to save the explanation for later, though – they’ll come back as soon as they’re done combing the place. And he cuts the comm right there, leaving Kouichi to wonder what the guy’s up to.

Still, considering the certainty with which he declared that there were no ninja in the village, Zhou Yu figures he must have found some definitive evidence. But, as Joe and Mike remember, the villagers DID manage to capture Kouichi and Saya’s group (setting aside Damian, who got caught due to his peeking in the girls’ bath) – how could a bunch of regular old men and women pull that off?
Well, to begin with, Saya notes that her group never actually fought against the villagers when they showed up. How did they get captured then? Well, they got spooked after hearing voices and, in their confusion, they got hit from behind and knocked out.
Quite the surprise attack and exceedingly well-executed – if anything, Arnie takes it as a valuable learning experience. And it tells Soushi that villagers must have dealt with trespassers that way many times to have grown so proficient at it, so it begs the question from Kenji: what is this secret that they’re so dedicated to protecting?


Moritsugu figures we’ll just have to wait for Domyoji’s report on that, but Ylbora runs in and says no. The investigation’s over and the Elshank is departing NOW. Joe asks what the hell he’s on about, and Ylbora says that The Boom Army caught wind of our presence here – they’re headed this way right now, and he begs Romina to give the word to depart.
The princess notes that Damian and Domoyji are still out, but Ylbora yells that there’s no time. They need to leave immediately or it’ll be too late! Zhou Yu warns Ylbora against rash decisions – what happened to the prudence he displayed before?

Joe can tell that Ylbora’s hiding something, but the guy snarls that it’s none of his beeswax. Before Joe can get in his face for that, however, the alarm sounds: The Boom Army is already here, so Richard orders everyone ready to scramble.
As we run off, Joe turns to Ylbora: “Damn it, Ylbora, I’d just started to think that maybe you were a decent-ish commander! You let me down big time!” He leaves, and Romina suggests they head to the bridge. Ylbora asks her to wait, though – he wants to take her some place safe.


Location: Village of Akoro – Soubi’s House

: Cough, wheeze

Door opens!

: Kaoru!
: Oh, my. Why the rush, Emi? Is something wrong…?
: Yes, it’s too dangerous for you to stay here! Come with me, quick!
: Why, thank you for your concern… but you really don’t need to do that.
: But…! There’s going to be a battle soon – you’ll be caught right in the middle of it!
: Honestly, you don’t have to worry. I don’t have much time left anyway…
: …?!

: What beautiful hands a young girl like you has…
: Kaoru…?
: I wonder if used to be as pretty as you when I was your age… It’s been so long, I can’t even remember…
: …
: Emi… I’m fine where I am. Rather than helping me, I’d like you to…
: I’d like you to help Soubi… cough, cough, cough…!
: ?! Kaoru…!

: There. That’s the last of the ancient books they kept in the shrine.
: There’s a lot of interesting stuff here… the start of their “demon” faith, how it connects to this sacred mountain, and even the truth about that “undying ninja”…
: But the best one is this: a diary belonging to the village chief’s dad.
: You can actually read these squiggly lines?
: Well, you can call me something of an expert on this. I reckon that’s why the boss let me tag along…
: …
: Domyoji… who are you, really…?
: Alright, come on, Damian. I think it’s time for an exorcism.
: An exorcism…? Of what?
: Of the proverbial “demon” that’s binding Soubi.


Mission 17 (Japan Route) – Time Ebbs Away


Insert enemies spawning all around us!

: Battle stations, everyone!
: H-Hold on! Sir Ylbora and Her Highness haven’t made it back to the bridge yet!
: What?! The hell are they doing while this is going down?!

: Where are you going, Joe?!
: I’ll comb the ship for them! You guys go on ahead!

Joe runs off.

: Joe, wait just a—!
: Let him go; we don’t have any more time to sit around!

: (Hmhmhm… What will you do now, Ylbora? I hope you won’t disappoint.)
: Your primary goal is to eradicate The Boom Army’s forces, but be mindful of the Elshank. It’s currently immobile, so you will need to defend it as well!
: May we be victorious, my friends!


And that’s all there is to it: we need to wreck everything and make sure the Elshank doesn’t get dropped. Not too difficult (especially since our ship already has its barrier), as while the enemies will close in, they’ll always take shots at whatever’s close by, so your guys can intercept them all if you spread them out nicely.
Prioritize the Banks as not only are they stronger, the little Shamans can likely be oneshotted on their turn. Grathan has brought his C-Terahertz ship along for this, but he’ll hang back for a long while – ignore him until then.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXOWt5Z_Qms
Ah, and here’s Kenji best non-combined attack.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: They just keep coming…!
: Is the Elshank still stuck, Gameran?!
: I can’t move the ship all by myself, you know!
: Tsk… Ylbora, Princess Romina, where are you?!

: Ylbora, where are you taking me?
: I told you, Your Highness: some place safe.
: But, still, this is…!

: Here you are, Ylbora!
: Joe?! You didn’t deploy?!
: I was going to, but you were acting so weird that I had to come back!
: Rrgh, you meddling fool…! Stand aside, Joe!
: If you don’t… then I’ll have to gun you down!

:gun:

: ?! Ylbora…!
: You… You’re serious?!
: Yes, I am! I’ve a duty to defend Her Highness’ life!
: Ylbora, stop! For what reason would you do something like this?!
: Your Highness, I have always served you faithfully, willing to sacrifice my very life for you, have I not? Then I beg that you trust me!
: B-But…!
: Or do you trust this man more than me?!
: …?!
: Princess…
: …
: Put your gun down, Ylbora.
: ?! Your Highness…!
: To this day, I had never known someone I could count on more than you.
: However, how could anyone trust a man who points a gun at his companions?
: Y-Your Highness…!
: She’s right. I dunno what’s going on with you, but…
: … If only…
: What…?
: If only you hadn’t come here, Joe…!
: ?! Ylbora, stop!!

Bang!

: Gch…!
: N-No…!
: Princess! Ylbora, what the hell did you do?!
: N-No, I didn’t mean to! Your Highness, I would never… I…!

He runs off.

: Stop right there!
: U-Urgh… Joe…
: Are you alright, princess?! Hang in there!
: D-Don’t worry – it’s just a scratch. Ylbora is more important…
: Yeah, that guy! I was totally wrong about him! How could he shoot you like that…?!
: No, that was just an accident! His gun misfired – nothing more…
: …! Princess…
: Please, Joe, you have you bring him back! Save him from the abyss he’s running towards…!
: …

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: Okay, Princess. I promise you I’ll drag him back here… even if I gotta knock out a tooth or two to make it happen!

: That’s one of the Elshank’s fighter crafts? Who’s piloting it…?

The fighter moves towards the C-Terahertz.

: Everyone stop that plane! That’s Ylbora!
: Ylbora?! But why is he…?

: Ah, Ylbora! Is Romina in there with you?!
: No, she’s not. I failed to bring her…
: What?! And you still dare show your face around here…?!
: I don’t expect you to take me in without any compensation…
: Let me have one of your machines! I’ll… sink the Elshank myself!
: …?! Heheh, now you’ve got my attention! Have it your way!

: What?! That’s…!
: Ylbora…!
: I pointed a gun at Her Highness… I no longer have a home to return to…
: But I can still end your life, Joe…! I stake my pride as a Ladorian warrior on it!
: ?! S-Sir Ylbora…?!
: What in heaven’s name…!
: You… you dumbass…! Is that how you’re hoping to make Princess Romina happy?!
: Joe…
: …
: Unfortunate as it may be, it seems Ylbora has sold his soul to the devil…
: Your Highness…!
: And as princess of Planet Ladorio, I cannot allow his aggression to continue!
: My friends, please lead me your strength… so that we may strike down that madman!
: Princess…
: How could you put the princess in that position, Ylbora…?!
: Get over here! I’m gonna knock some sense back into your skull!


And now we can’t lose Joe, either. Ylbora has been replaced by Gameran aboard the Elshank (his current spirits are: accelerate, strike, invincible).


Skeleton (Ylbora Saro)
Pilot Skills:
Ninja L1
Prevail L5
Support Attack L1
All Attack L1
Commander L1

Comparing Ylbora’s stats to bigger bosses we’ve had recently, like Garan, and he’s not QUITE on that level – still pretty good, though, especially with a very high Prevail and that Ninja skill.
Thankfully, the Skeleton remains rather middling, so he won’t be too dangerous with it. Ylbora’s primary stats are Melee, Evasion and Accuracy, so he’ll pull some not-insignificant numbers against your guys (but his bot can’t dodge worth a damn). Make sure you’re packing defensive spirits and down him quick, but take note…

:siren: Secret Alert! :siren:
Tobikage secret #2 – 3rd step: Have Joe finish off Ylbora.

He doesn’t run, so just make sure you remember to do this. Your guys should already have morale, Ylbora will always prioritize Joe and his max range – bait him in while your guys get in position and then swarm for the kill.

: I never took you for a great guy, Ylbora, but even I’m surprised at what an idiot you turned out to be!
: I doubt you can even imagine the humiliation of having your pride as a warrior crushed!
: So what?! Does defending your pride make it OK to betray the Princess?!
: None of this would’ve ever happened if you weren’t here…!
: If you didn’t exist, I…!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlBOUiyXjFg
Ylbora attacking: “This spot will be your tomb, Joe Maya!”
Joe taking big damage: “Ylbora’s running circles around me with all that speed!”
Ylbora taking little damage: “You’ve a long way to go, Joe. Kill or be killed… that’s how battles are!”
And, oh, boy, you fucked up now. That was a 30% chance to hit, but I’ll absolutely take it!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: I won’t tolerate any more of this nonsense, Ylbora! But if you lay down your weapons and surrender, I…!
: Forgive me, Your Highness… but I was a traitor the moment I turned my gun on you!
: Sir Ylbora…! Damn it all… how did this happen?!


Romina attacking: “We must restore peace to the Sherma System… even if doing so will pit us against Ylbora…!”

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

: Cmdr. Ylbora, it is truly regrettable to see a man like you fall!
: I don’t expect you to understand, but my loyalty still remains…!
: You’re right – I don’t understand! Where exactly is the loyalty in turning your blade unto those you were supposed to defend?!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: Cmdr. Ylbora, I do not share in Ensign Berge’s tenderness.
: The one standing against me can even be an old comrade, I still won’t show him any mercy!
: I say the same! I won’t hesitate to put down any one of you!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: You can try and justify yourself as much as you want, what you’re doing is betrayal – pure and simple!
: You’re free to say whatever you want. I might be branded a traitor, but I’ll still…!

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: Why’d you point a gun at your teammates?! Is that your so-called pride as a warrior at work?!
: A child who’s lived a life as secluded as yours shouldn’t speak of things he doesn’t understand!


Soushi: “He’s not our ally anymore!”
Kazuki: “I know, but…! Damn it!”

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: What is wrong with you…?! Is your ego really that important?!
: It’s not in my nature to be so subservient that I could laugh away a wound upon my pride!

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: Why’d you do it, Cmdr. Ylbora?! You took a vow to protect Princess Romina with your life! How could you betray her?!
: Hmph… You shot down your sworn friend, no? I doubt you’ve any right to criticize me!
: ?! Rrgh, I…!

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!


And boom! Our prize is a Damian’s Karate Instruction Book (+10 Melee and Skill, +5 Accuracy).

: U-Urgh…!
: Now you stay right there, Ylbora!
: Kch… I’d never fall to a worm like you!

: Kaoru, what are you still doing here?! I know I asked that girl to get you away from here…!
: N-No, Soubi… it’s fine… I told her not to bother…
: And more important than me… Don’t you have something you should do…?
: Kaoru…?
: …
: So-Soubi… that strength of yours…
: I’d like you to use it… to help those who really need you… use it to protect others…
: Kaoru, I…!
: That’s my… final wish…
: …?!
: Soubi…
: …
: I… I…!

Soubi leaves the room.

: Thank you, Kaoru…
: I-I hope… I helped… cough, cough
: Kaoru…!
: I-It’s all right… Now I’ll finally be able to set him free…
: I’m sure Soubi’ll rise to the occasion because of you – with both his feet planted firmly on the ground…
: Yes… I know he will…!

: Aargh…!
: Joe…?!
: You’re finished!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: …?!
: Th-That’s…!
: …
: Soubi…!
: I don’t know what someone like me can accomplish…
: But, if there’s something – anything – I can do, then…!

: Wh-What…?!
: Now!

: Hrk…!
: Ylbora…?!
: Damn you straight to hell, Joe…! I swear that I’ll be the one to end your life…!

: W-Wait!
: (Ylbora… why?)
: Haah, haah…
: Soubi…
: …
: Can a demon like me really be a protector to others…?
: What’re you on about, huh? Didn’t you just protect one of my teammates?
: …! Thank you, Hayase…
: Alright, now let’s take it to ‘em – all of us together! We gotta keep these bad eggs from messing with your village!
: … Yes!


Talisman (Soubi Nakajima)
Pilot Skills:
Factor – baseline D-S.O.I.L. is 50
Prevail L3
Support Attack L1
Support Defend L2
Guard
All Attack L1
Spirit Commands:
Strike
Invincible
Mech Features:
Sword
10% HP Regen
Squad Bonus: Armor +100, Melee weapons’ +100 (Armor +150, Melee weapons’ +200, Barrier 1250)
Soubi’s voice actor: Hirofumi Nojima (other roles: Gainer in King Gainer, Mamoru in RahXephon, Siegfried in MJP and several more)

Soubi’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy in relation to our other Machina: his stats are decent enough, he has a focus on melee and defense, and his range is fine, though not spectacular.
Like in L, the Talisman only has two attacks (stab you; stab you then zap you – both are cheap, too), with his best applying Mobility and Movement Down debuffs. As far as attack power goes… his best move doesn’t beat Yamashita’s cannons, meaning he’s the second weakest Machina we have. That’s not a big problem right now, but he’ll really fall behind as we progress.
And that’s pretty much it, really. He doesn’t have a whole lot going, but his Squad Bonus can make him an decent fit to a Super that doesn’t require a dedicated Resupplier.

And, with that, we’ll set our sights on Grathan.

:siren: SRW UX - Tobikage Appears!

: Don’t you ever give up?! I don’t have any time to waste on you!
: Took the words out of my mouth! I’ll make sure this encounter’s our last!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: Why are you still doing this, Princess Romina?! Your quest for ninjas is pointless!
: Everything I do is in the name of the restoration of my homeworld!
: And despite the hardships we may encounter, we will never surrender! We cannot!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CW-86b_wG9Q
Here’s the C-Terahertz’ best attack.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: You’re not beating us, guy! Just call it quits and run off!
: Cheeky little gnat! We’ll see if that attitude lasts after I’ve flung you into the pits of Hell!

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: You never learn, don’t you…? All you’re doing is making yourself look like an idiot again and again!
: You won’t be giving me sass for long, you insolent girl!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: I’ll protect the place and people that are dear to me! That’s something I can do!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RD9AIHlgpK8
And here’s his best attack – we’ll get this DK out of the way.
Grathan drops a Book of Secret Ninja Arts (Evasion and Ranged +10, Skill +5).

: Rrrgh… Blast you earthlings! I’ll get you for this!!

: Looks like it’s over at last…

Beep, beep!

: Guys, we’ve an emergency! Kaoru’s taken a turn for the worse…!
: Ka-Kaoru’s…?!

: Kaoru! Stay with me, Kaoru!
: Sou…bi…
: She… she’s got terminal cancer? That’s what’s happening to her…?
: Mom, isn’t there anything you can do?!
: I-I…
: You don’t have to hide anything. I’ve already made peace with this…
: Kaoru…
: Soubi, thank you… I wouldn’t trade our fifty years together for anything…
: “F-Fifty”…?! Wh-What’s she talking about?!
: Kaoru’s not his mother or grandmother. She’s actually… Soubi’s wife.
: Wh-Whaaaaat…?!
: His wife…?!
: Hmhmm. And, truth be told, Soubi’s a seventy-year-old man…
: Huuh?!
: …
: Seventy years ago, the villagers found the “great demon” – that is, the Machina – that legend said lied within their sacred mountain. Inside its cockpit was a sleeping baby.
: That baby was Soubi.
: A baby sleeping inside the Machina’s cockpit…?!
: And always being the Machina’s Factor, Soubi had superhuman abilities even as a small child…
: Pair that with the village’s own legend about its great demon, and Soubi was named and worshipped as the demon’s own child.
: Then that story about an undying ninja…
: Right. It was one of several rumors about Soubi that found their way out the village.
: Those rumors spread far and wide and, in time, he couldn’t stay here anymore. And so he left for Tokyo.
: And that’s where Soubi and Kaoru met…
: It was over fifty years ago…
: I worked at a movie theater in Kamata back then. Soubi was a regular there, always looking so happy while he watched the day’s screening… and I found myself attracted to him…
: Kaoru…
: But Soubi isn’t a normal man, so he was shunned from Tokyo as well…
: With nowhere else to go, he had no choice but to go back to his old village – and he brought you along with him.
: …
: And from the moment I came back, I became the village’s religious icon.
: I severed all ties with the world outside the village and took up the duty of protecting it from trespassers… as the avatar of the great demon…
: So that’s the truth behind the demon’s legend…
: The village isolated itself, and I went on as its religious icon. In doing so, I lost my freedom…
: But I was content. The people here took in, raised and needed me – someone completely unknown and alien to them.
: And so it was and is my life’s duty to protect this village, even if it meant losing my freedom…!
: Actually, no, Soubi. That’s just how you presumed things were.
: What…?!
: The villagers didn’t take you in because it was a matter of faith.
: They did it just so they could keep you safe.
: ?! T-To keep me safe…?!
: …
: They made that decision when they saw you after your return.
: “It might be impossible for this child to live outside our village… And, so, we’ll watch over him ourselves,” they thought.
: …!
: And from that moment on… Kaoru and all the villagers gave up on their own freedom. And to keep you a secret, they isolated the village and hid it from the rest of the world…
: Th-Then… Then, I…!
: Soubi…
: …
: I-It was me… I took away their freedom, tying them to this village…?
: No, no… I never felt like it was an imposition. I was truly happy throughout it all.
: …?!
: Because… I was with the man I loved…
: Ka-Kaoru…
: You brought me so much joy, Soubi… and I’m sure you can do the same for others, too…
: But, I…!
: I know you’ll be all right…
: Thank you… from the bottom of my heart… for staying with me… until… now……
: ?! Kaoru…? Kaoru!!

: Kaoru…
: …
: Kch… You’re wrong… you’re wrong, Kaoru… All I wanted…

: All I ever wanted was to grow old with you…

: He sought to protect them, but they were the ones protecting him… what a sad story…
: But now the bindings around him have come loose.
: Adding Soubi Nakajima and his Talisman is quite the boon to our team – more so since one of ours turned traitor…
: Wh-What did you say…?!
: Soushi! Do you really need to say it like that…?!
: I’m just stating facts.
: No, you’re lying! Sir Ylbora would never betray us… I won’t accept that!
: No? They why’d he leave?
: Why’d he fly The Boom Army’s machine?! You saw how sad he made the Princess! Isn’t she supposedly the most important person in the world for him?!
: That only happened because of you!
: What…?!
: You heard me! None of this would’ve happened if you weren’t here, Joe! It’s your fault that Sir Ylbora’s pride was…!
: Oh, cry me a goddamn river! That ain’t pride, that’s just throwing a pity party!
: What did you say?!
: That’s enough!
: …?!
: Y-Your Highness…
: Ylbora has left us – such is harsh reality.
: We’ll now have to steel ourselves to fight our old companion, and we cannot hesitate. Rather, we must see it done for his own sake.
: B-But…!
: Dispense with the objections, Gameran. You will now take up the position of commander of the Elshank.
: I-I’m…?!
: Indeed. And I’ll replace Ylbora in regards to providing tactical commands.
: We must strive to fill in the gap left by him. Understood…?

Romina leaves.

: H-Hey! Princess, wait!
: Joe!
: W-What, Rennie…?
: …
: You should just let her be for now…
: Rennie…

: …
: Sniffles Ylbora… why…?!
: Why did this have to happen…?! Gch- Aaah…!


Cut to the C-Terahertz, Grathan surmises Ylbora’ll work with The Boom Army, but only to save Romina’s life. But, first, the latter would like to ask something: was Grathan just bluffing when he said that their main fleet was coming to Earth?
“And if I say it was? Will you kill me?” Grathan sniffs and, at length, Ylbora confirms that he’d love to do just that. But, as both men know, he no longer has anywhere he could turn to – ergo, his only option is to try and steal Romina away from us.

Ylbora fumes at Grathan’s gloating, but the guy tells him to chill: he’s sure Emperor Annex will welcome him with open arms IF he manages to snag the princess. “You’d best give this everything you’ve got – the lady you love depends on it. Hmhmhm… Mwahahaha!” Grathan laughs.
Inwardly, Ylbora tells Romina to feel free to shun him: “However, even if I’m to wear the mantle of an enemy, even if I’ve to suffer the flames of Hell for my crimes… I’ll gladly accept it if it’ll let me protect your life…!”


Location: JUDA – President’s Office

: So they managed to secure the new Machina?
: Yes, though it looks like a lot happened there…
: A Machina that was sealed away for hundreds of years, with a baby Factor inside its cockpit… Does that mean…?
: I think so, yes. He’s likely just like little Emi…
: A human from the world where Machinas existed.
: …
: Well, I suppose we’ll see what’s what sooner or later.
: More important than that right now is our local issue.
: You mean the so-called Anti-Machina weapons that Kiriyama Heavy Industries developed, yes?
: I wonder… They’ve no Machinas of their own to research on, so how were they able to create such a thing…?
: If I had to guess… I’d say our company’s classified data is being leaked…
: Th-Then… there’s a spy in our midst, sir…?!
: …


Location: Kiriyama Heavy Industries – Office

: We only managed to complete those as quickly as we did thanks to the data you provided.
(On the phone): …
: And now our plan can finally be set in motion…
: I trust you’ll be here for the reveal…
: Won’t you, Moritsugu?
: I intend to, yes…


#56

Keeping Marvel leveled up is a good strategy, she eventually gets an upgrade of an unconventional sort.

Stan Lee needed his coffee because Gogorr stole it, the bastard!

What’s interesting about the Japan route stage is that the secret ninja village IS a thing from Tobikage - it turned out to be a tourist trap, but Hazard found info that suggested the Elshank was looking for something very real and they ended up finding it out not soon afterwards. It’s not long after that when the main cast figures out that yes, they ARE ninjas, and it’s not long after that when someone finally realizes Damian’s village is the secret one they were looking for… that they now can’t get back to, as it’s on fucking Mars.

Also Yllbora left the ship before it hit Earth in the anime, since UX pushes back all the stuff that happened in Space essentially.

Soubi has ORANGE eyes. Are you keeping up so far?


#57
Click to see the mission


Here we are back at the Europe Route, with only one exclusive mission left before we reach 100% common ground between all three paths. I saw fit to give Mamoru Guard and Prevail L9 so he can withstand punishment befitting a proper Super Robot – nothing can stop my boy now!
Alto, Ozma and Fei-Yen are deploying as event solo units today, so here’s how we’re going:
Arnie/Kazuki
Tsubasa/Canaria (their job is to make sure the Fafner Trio, especially Mamoru, is constantly topped off on EN and killing stuff for their secret tally)
Shinn/Klan
Liu Bei/Luca
Guan Yu/Eida
Mazinkaiser/Saya
Michel/Kenji (boosts his range and has a weak attack to set up his kills)
Zhang Fei/Luna
Mamoru/Sakura (not the best range match-up, but the important bit is that all kills made by this team go straight to their secret – no need to worry, like in Kenji’s team, about the partner downing stuff)
Tactician: Zhuge Liang

While we’ll have a good farming spot later to nab kills, I’m hoping to minimize my work then as much as can be.
Off we go!


We open up at an abandoned colony, with a ZAFT mook wondering what the powers that be could be thinking, reactivating this place. It’s not like anyone could ever live here.
Another mook says this isn’t your average abandoned colony, though: it’s one of the many used to reflect REQUIEM’S beams back in the last war. That gets the mook worried. Why would the brass want to reactivate that weapon system?
There’s no time to ponder, though, as the Vajra suddenly appear and blast everyone.


Cut to Aprillius One, Empress Chairwoman Lacus Clyne gets the news of the entire restauration crew of that colony getting wiped out. As Kira relates, reports of the incident say they were attacked by some space creatures. Could it be the ones that attacked the Frontier Fleet? But why would they attack us?
Investigation is still underway, so Kira can’t give her any answers yet… “But maybe this was something of a heavenly retribution for us trying to revive that hateful weapon,” he ponders. Perhaps it is, but they must still carry onwards – there’s no choice if they’re to seize their future.
A ZAFT officer walks in, telling Lacus that they’re getting a call from Christopher Rubens…


The Quarter’s made it up into space and it’s the SD Gundam’s first time up here – Guan Yu is rather impressed with the pitch darkness as far as the eye can see. Mamoru points out an hourglass-shaped thing nearby and Scarlet explains that’s Aprillius One, capital of the PLANT colonies.
Zhang Fei didn’t expect to find countries even up here, but, as Tsubasa notes, they’ve got things pretty figured out: there’s even water and land like on Earth inside, and the local families have made it their second homeland. Liu Bei sees that some things stay the same, even in different universes: gather enough people and they’ll put new nations together.
And, hey, you can consider the Frontier Fleet as a space-faring nation in itself, as Luca points out. That’s great, but Kaido turns to Richard and asks if it isn’t about time he told us why we were brought all the way into space. In a bit, but he’d like to introduce us to our new teammates first: the ALVIS folk.

Toumi and Soushi present themselves as well as the Fafner kids, and Michel declares that a cute girl like Maya is always welcome. Klan fumes that he’s got guts making faces at the girl when she’s right here – would he like her to rearrange those glasses onto his face? Please don’t, and why does everyone around here threatens to break his glasses?! Eida and Tsubasa see how things are between Klan and Michel.
But, with that done, Richard moves to our current mission: defend Aprillius One. Shinn asks if they’re expecting a terrorist attack or something, but no. See, there’s going to be a major concert there, so the UX were hired to make sure everything proceeds with no unpleasant surprises.
Recruiting mercs for a concert strikes Magami as odd and he asks who this VIP singer is – Sheryl Nome, the Galactic Fairy. Alto stops short at hearing that and Kazuki asks if he knows her. Kind-of, sort-of, but, as Nene notes, there are scant few people in their world who don’t know the name.


Indeed, Lalamia adds that the lady has the vocals of a proper diva – she’s a major superstar. But why would Sheryl host a concert in the PLANTs? Fei-Yen isn’t listening, deep in thought over all the singing terminology – she’s feeling excited, but she doesn’t know why.
The fact that the Frontier Fleet came from another universe has been kept top secret until now, but Scarlet knows it’s only a matter of time before word gets out. Already there are rumors circulating in certain parts of Earth. And that’s why the Frontier’s folks decided to be proactive and approach the PLANTs with this concert: the whole event is meant as a show of friendship.

In other words, Zhuge Liang sees, this is a plan of the Frontier Fleet to properly introduce themselves to the world at large – a follow-up to their cooperation with the AEU. So it’s not your average concert, but an extremely important political event that could potentially lead to war if things go bad. And that’s what we’re here to make sure doesn’t happen.
Zhang Fei is ready to take on anyone looking for trouble, even in space, and that makes Kenji wonder… will the SD Gundams be alright fighting up here? Huh, why does he ask? W-Well, there’s no air out there… Zhang Fei doesn’t get it, instead making a pun that I don’t care enough to translate. Kenji decides to just back away.

: (Diva… concert…)
: (Why do these words feel so important to me…?)
: Fei?
: …?!
: Is something wrong?
: N-N o, I’m f i n e! E v e r y t h i n g ‘ s good! Thanks!
: I t ‘ s just… I c a n ‘ t stop thinking a b o u t s o m e t h i n g…
: Well, what is it?
: I think that… b e f o r e I was reinitialized at M a c h i n e I s l a n d… I c a m e i n t o this world f r o m a different o n e…
: …?!
: I don’t remember m u c h, but… I t h i n k I was alone b e f o r e I came h e r e…
: B u t, then, I s p o t t e d something… l i k e… this incredible joy. I t w a s v e r y f a r a w a y…
: S o I flew towards i t… I d i d n ‘ t r e a l l y c a r e about what c o u l d h a p p e n to me…
: A n d, t h e n, I think… that j o y f u l t h i n g stuck to me…?
: It “stuck” to you? Do you mean you joined together with something?
: Hmm… I d o n t k n o w… my head’s s t i l l f u z z y…
: But, y o u s a w when Alto and Nene w e r e talking a b o u t S h e r y l?
: Everyone was s o e x c i t e d… a n d, t h e n, f o r s o m e r e a s o n, I felt really good t o o!
: “Whoosh”… It w a s l i k e t h i s windy legato started e c h o i n g i n my heart!
: “Legato” is a manner of music performance, right?
: M o r e t h a n t h a t, it’s… a m a n n e r of singing… I think?
: A l s o, this feeling h a s b e e n g e t t i n g stronger since w e c a m e t o space…
: … S o r r y, I ‘ m being strange, a r e n ‘ t I?
: No, no – not at all.
: You can see that in humans too. It’s said that when we set out to space, our brain waves increase and grow stronger as a way to better adapt to the new environment.
: That gives those humans enhanced sensitivity, which lets them understand one another even if they’re far apart… It’s like they’re evolving to become a new strain of humanity.
: A n e w strain? S e n s i t i v i t y…?
: So if we assume that your consciousness and sensitivity are expanding like a human’s would…
: Then that might be something of an upgrade you’re getting from coming to space… Like, you might’ve restarted yourself?
: R e s t a r t… A s i n, a reboot?
: I f that’s t r u e… t h e n song m u s t b e the key.
: Hmm… I ‘ d l o v e to sing about s t u f f l i k e who I am, h o w I feel…
: I f o n l y that song w o u l d j u s t come closer…
: The song needs to “come closer”…?
: I c a n ‘ t r e a l l y explain it, but… i t ‘ s all inside my h e a d. S o m a n y thoughts, wishes, emotions… T h e y ‘ v e always been t h e r e, twinkling so bright…
: And I h e a r, and feel, s o m e t h i n g l i k e a melody and… a rhythm…?
: B u t, for s o m e reason, everything’s s o s p r e a d o u t…
: Well, take your time with this. I’m sure you’ll manage to put your feelings to song someday.
: Eida herself said you had a beautiful voice, so I bet we’ll hear some great music coming from it.
: Thanks!
: (I’ve really been so excited since we came to space!)
: (I want to share this feeling with everyone!)

: …
: So this is where you were, Arnie…
: Ms. Saya…
: What happened with your friend still weighs heavily on you, huh…?
: Th-That’s…
: …
: Well, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t feeling anything…
: But the Tatsumiya kids are pulling through their sorrow. They’re here with us, ready to work…
: So I can’t just let myself stay depressed forever, right?
: I see. I’m glad to hear that, then.
: I guess I should apologize… I’m always worrying you, always being nothing but trouble…
: Forget about it. I don’t worry about you any more than I do others, and I don’t think you trouble me either.
: But, in any case, have you seen Warrant Officer Alto?
: Alto? I think he was in the hangar since morning, doing something about an earring…?
: An earring?


Over by the Aprillius One concert hall, Alto’s looking for Sheryl’s dressing room when Ranka spots him. She’s very surprised to see him here, and so is Alto – why is she here? Well, actually, she’s been pretty busy since they last saw each other: she’s made her debut as a singer!
She’s signed up with Vector Productions, though her gigs have been less than stellar: just a bunch of events dressed in costumes (carrots!), swimsuit photo-ops and other non-singing stuff.
Still, Alto congratulates her on starting, and especially on convincing that knucklehead brother of hers to allow it – that’s thanks to Elmo, her agent, talking with the guy. After that, she’s been constantly practicing her singing and, at long last, they came and asked her to perform in today’s concert as well!

Singing in a Sheryl Nome show is a pretty big deal. It’s just one song, but Ranka’s already feeling as nervous as can be. She’s never sung in a stage as big as this – is she good enough to pull it off?
Alto says it’s impossible and Ranka agrees: “Yes, someone like me could never—” but she doesn’t get to finish. “Or, at least, it’ll be impossible if you keep getting stuck on ‘what ifs’ or thinking you’re not good enough,” he amends his statement.
Ranka huffs that he’s so very mean (eh), but thanks him anyway. “I might just be able to take flight with you pushing me onwards…” she sighs.


Ranka’s just about to ask Alto about him and Sheryl when a livid Ozma runs over and demands to know WHAT IS HE DOING IN HIS SISTER’S DRESSING AREA?! Wait, what is he also doing here? What, is there a problem with him coming to see his baby sister’s first stage presentation?! Is Alto making a pass on her?!
Ranka asks Ozma to calm down as the two of them just bumped into each other, and Alto explains that he came here just to deliver Sheryl’s earring… and that is not what Ranka wanted to hear. He came here to see Sheryl? No, not to “see” her – just to give her thing back.

Ranka’s not happy about it regardless, but things are interrupted when Ozma gets paged. It’s already time for him and Alto to go on patrol, so he won’t be able to see her song. But she’s already very happy with the huge bouquet of flowers he brought her, and tells both pilots to be careful out there.
“You too, Ranka. Make sure you grab this opportunity with both hands!” Alto cheers her, and leaves with Ozma. As he goes, Ranka sulks: Alto’s so close to her, but so far out of her reach…


In the backstage area, Sheryl’s already good to go and Grace asks if she’s fine with being used as a political tool by the Frontier government. “Whatever their interest in this, there are people here who want to hear my music… that’s all the reason I need to sing,” she answers confidently.
Many folks in the Frontier want to emigrate to Earth, and having this concert be a smash success’ll be a major step towards that – Sheryl won’t disappoint! Well, Grace will be counting on her… “That is, I’ll be counting on your powers as Fairy 9. Hmhmhm,” she gets her evil face on and grins inwardly.

: The people of the Frontier Fleet have travelled across the universe in search of a new home, eventually finding their way to us…
: Now we must welcome these new friends with wide arms and open hearts.
: Let us, together, sing songs of peace – songs for the prosperity of all life!
: Please welcome the Galactic Fairy… Sheryl Nome!
: Listen to my song!!


Mission 17 (Europe Route) – Heart of Diva

: This is Skull Leader, no problems detected around the mirror block. Continuing our patrol.
: …
: (Sheryl’s earring… It took forever to find this thing and I couldn’t even give it back to her…)
: Get your head outta the clouds, Alto! You’re in a mission so pay attention!
: S-Sir! Please forgive—

Alarm!

: Wh-What…?!

: Are you kidding me… Vajra?!
: Wh-Where’d they come from?!
: Get in touch with the Quarter, Alto! Tell them we need immediate support!
: What about you, Captain?!
: Ranka’s inside that colony! What do you think I’m gonna do?!

Ozma blasts towards the Vajra.

: Captain Ozma!

: I’ll keep both Ranka and the PLANTs safe!

: Aargh!
: C-Captain…!

: What…?!

: Are you t w o a l r i g h t?!
: Fei-Yen?!
: What are you doing here…?!
: Umm… enhanced sensitivity?
: What’s that supposed to mean?!

: Explain yourself, Fei! You hadn’t been given permission to deploy yet!
: “Permission”…? T h a t ‘s not importante r i g h t n o w !
: Fei, you…!
: Emergency deployment! Get out there and support Lt. Ozma’s team!
: W-We’re going out in space…?! Nooo, what do I do now?! Mommyyyyyy!
: Stay strong, Kenji! Even the void of space sees the morning sun! So hold fast to your belief in a brighter tomorrow and fight on!
: I could never look my dad… or Shouko, or Koyo in the eye if I didn’t fight! We’re winning this!

: Troops, your goal today is the elimination of the alien lifeforms!
: Do not forget: the PLANTs lie at our backs, with the lives of its peoples hanging in the balance!


Kill everything without losing the Quarter or Fei-Yen. Oddly enough, despite being event deployments, Alto and Ozma don’t have to be protected!
Regardless, this is the standard SRW Vajra affair: there are plenty of them, but no major surprises outside the occasional reinforcement. As a warning, the plot will send Fei straight to the SW corner soon, and you’ll want to have your people around there to cover her, lest she get mobbed. That’s doubly true if you haven’t been using/upgrading her (you really shouldn’t do that with any protagonist unit, by the by).
So play aggressively, spread Ozma, Jeffrey and Liu Bei’s command auras around to help your numbers against the dodgy foes and, as always, try to have your folks that need kills take point – there are no bosses today, so give Liu Bei, Kazuki and the Fafner Trio all the love you can.

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: Your wishes are all with me, Hazama, Kasugai – now and forever!
: Mobile Samurai Goubine… FORWARD!

: (Shouko, Koyo… watch over us!)
: (And I promise I’ll drop some enemies for you guys too!)

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: You’re not taking even one step closer to the PLANTs! I will keep Sheryl and Ranka safe from you!

: (I’ll be damned if I’m letting you bugs make a mess out of Ranka’s big debut!)

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

: (This is so scary, mommy… Still, I…!)
: (I’ll fight as best I can… I gotta! For Shouko and Koyo!)

:siren: SRW UX - LOVE 14 ver. HD

: This might b e m y f i r s t t i m e in space, but I ‘ l l s t i l l fight! I f e e l l i k e I’m so close t o f i g u r i n g something out!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh2kfnpHgiY

:siren: SRW UX - Shangri-La

: What’re these things…?! How can space have even monsters like these around?!

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: ?! This song…! It’s coming from the earring?!
: Playing tunes right in the middle of a battle, Alto?! That’s some confidence you got there, nugget!
: And why the open channel broadcast? That to let us enjoy it too?
: N-No, this is…!
: (What’s going on?! Why is the earring playing Sheryl’s song…?!)
: (A-Aah… What a powerful, beautiful song! It‘s like a river, taking me away…)
: (This is amazing… so amazing!)

: Even more Vajra…?! What’s going on?!
: (The Vajra are creatures capable of independent Fold jumps… or maybe should we call them living weapons…?)
: (But, in that case, where’s the one controlling them…?!)


Cut to the show, Brera is in touch with Grace and confirms the detection of Fold Waves coming from Aprillius One – the Vajra are currently engaging the SMS. Seems to Grace that the experiment was a success.
Brera feels like he should get ready to deploy just in case, but she tells him not to worry. Our people aren’t that weak, so she wants him to just carry on collecting data on the Fold Waves. As he confirms, Grace schemes: “And now, if Fairy 9’s voice can bring out the Queen’s sleeping power…”

Nearby, Ranka’s having a hard time – she’s hurting inside. Elmo’s in a bit of a panic over the sudden pain but, thankfully, Lacus is nearby to help. As she moves to call a doctor, Kira brings news of the large number of space creatures that appeared outside the colony.
Looks like a certain person’s prediction came true, and Kira asks for orders. The UX are currently fighting, but should he get out there as well? “No, I say we have faith in them right now,” Lacus declares. “We have been adrift in the tides of destiny since the very beginning. There are times when we must stay our hands in order to mold our own destinies.” Kira understands, and will do as suggested – Ranka’s still worried for Alto and Ozma.

: Gaah…! How many of these things are there, huh?!
: Don’t whine, Zhang Fei!
: Correct… the PLANTs and all its peoples lie at our backs! We must hold this line, whatever the cost!

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: Creatures that serve no cause and fight purely based on instinct… Hmph, I think we found our spirit animals.
: Hey, now, I don’t want you comparing us to frickin’ bugs!

:siren: SRW UX - Shadows that Rend Darkness

: (These are those Vajra creatures… Just where are they coming from?)
: (It’s like they have the ability to jump through dimensions like the Orphes…!)

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: (Jin… I’ll carry on fighting in your memory as well…)
: (Staying true to my beliefs is the least I can do…!)

When you kill enough stuff…

: Y-You can’t be serious! How are there so many of them…?!
: There’s just no end to this!
: (This song… it’s calling me…?)

: Fei, what’re you doing?! Get back here!
: I h e a r y o u r song!
: Get away from them, Fei!

: A-Aaaaah?!
: Fei…!

: (Where… where am I…?)
: (Am I… alone again…?)

:siren: SRW UX - Love 14 ver. HD (Vocal)
:siren: :siren:

: …?
: I h e a r… I’m h e a r i n g something…?
: T h i s sensation… I t f e e l s s o familiar…
: The f I r s t s o u n d I was taught… the w o r d s, the melody I was given…
: ♪…
: This is…
: A song…
: It’s… my song.
: …
: Thank you f o r calling me…
: Are you… me ? Or am I you?
: ♪…
: I see them… I see t h e ties of destiny…
: My heart is overflowing…
: My feelings are taking flight…
: … That’s it. I’ve nothing to f e a r if I’ve this song!

: …?! Fei’s alright…?!
: …
: Is that… Is Fei singing?!
: The Heart of Diva!
: Huh…?!
: Song is my power, so I ‘ l l sing!


All Vajra lose 10 morale!

: …?!
: The Vajra stopped…?!
: Are they being affected by her singing?!
: Everyone listen to my song! It’s… wonderful! It’s my power!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-_QZQ2YDto
“Heart Beam! Twinkle, twinkle!”

: That’s… Fei’s actual strength?!
: … Nice, isn’t it?
: Heheh, yeah, that’s kinda bumpin’!
: Fei…!
: Thank you so m u c h, Tsubasa! I’m putting all the kindness you showed me into these lyrics!
: Now is our chance, my friends! Set forth and bring down the Vajra!

And now Fei’s gotten in touch with Miku proper, her new Love 14 ver. HD attacking packing an Accuracy AND Evasion debuff – very useful in neutering big stuff when they’re not immune and a needed boost to her offense.

:siren: SRW UX - LOVE 14 ver. HD

: Hey, everyone! I ‘ m Fei-Yen, the Heart of Diva!
: Do you hear my song? I put it together f r o m everyone’s emotions… which I then spread far and wide! That way I can help them all!
: I’ll sing with all my heart… so come and get your fill!


One interesting thing that should be noted is that the vocal versions of Fei-Yen’s songs have a very unique sort of priority… in that they’ll override her current BGM only when she starts “singing” IN the animation itself. In other words, it’ll start with her regular BGM and fade into the vocal as the attack proper begins.

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens


Gotta start grabbing those Triple Dog uses and get them out of the way ASAP – that’s twice in this mission.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1YirisVYGfQ
And here’s Alto best attack, plus the DK, now that I remember to show it.
This Knight-Class Vajra, by the way, drops a Nyan Nyan Special Galactic Ramen (+10 Ranged and Melee, +5 Accuracy).

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

: Space is home to nations, which, in turn, are home to people! And I will not tolerate any who’d stifle their smiles!

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens


“M-Monster! Stay away… STAY AWAY FROM ME!”
For the record, Mamoru ends this mission with 8 kills, Kenji had 13 (my plan to have Michel soften everything up for him worked wonders), and Sakura took 5 – that’s 26 kills done and 124 left to go…

: All enemies confirmed destroyed, radar is also clear!
: Phew, there it is… the colonies are safe!
: (What… what exactly is that power Fei has…?)

: So you think song is the base unit for your memories?
: I’m s t i l l not 100% sure yet… but what I do know is t h a t I was called – a long time ago!
: Called?
: Right! That girl called m e !
: Um… a girl?
: That girl, she… she shined so bright f r o m all the wonderful emotions she’d taken in from so many people…
: I was drawn to that light and, w h e n I found it, that girl’s heart reached out to me…
: And, then, I w a s that girl, and s h e was me!
: Okay, I understood precisely zip of what you said…
: Oh, d o n ‘ t worry about it!
: I do still feel like I’m not c o m p l e t e just yet, but…
: But now there’s song, m e l o d y, lyrics welling up in my heart…!
: So I’ll carry on remembering things, I’ll c a r r y on singing and trying t o make everyone happy!
: Happy, huh…?
: Well, it is pretty hard to be bummed out after seeing you.
: Sakura… Yeah, I agree.
: There’s power to song, hm…
: Did that give you a hankering for some Fire Bomber?
: Hah, you know me too well…
: (Song… If song has the power to both attract and immobilize the Vajra, then…)
: (The song I heard back then was…)


Back in Aprillius One, Grace is getting called by her mysterious bosses to ask how the experiment went. Very nicely; Sheryl Nome performed above expectations. Young Man is very happy to hear that, though Young Woman expresses concern that Code Q1 still hasn’t awakened.
Grace tells them not to worry, as she’s sure Sheryl’s song is affecting the Queen. Now she just needs to get said Queen under her wing and they’ll proceed with the project as planned. And Young Man is confident that, with Grace as her manager, the Queen will rise into stardom in the blink of an eye.

But… there’s someone else that Grace just found today: a new possibility, a Diva, who’s giving out mighty Sharon Apple vibes. She dubs it a Virtualoid, that is, a mechanical singer… though the girl did name herself as the “Heart of Diva”. Elderly Person sounds interested, and decides to codename her HD. They’ll be eagerly awaiting Grace’s next report.
“Fairy, Queen and now the new one, HD… with those three… hmhmhm…” Grace grins.


By Lacus’ office, Rubens is relieved that the UX managed to keep the PLANTs safe, and Lacus thanks him for setting that up. That said, if incidents like this are going to happen again, she might be forced to recall the main ZAFT fleet currently assigned to the dark side of the moon.
Rubens understands how she feels, but begs that she be patient: “ZAFT is instrumental in keeping watch for them. Without your troops, we…” Lacus agrees with him – in regards to the REQUIEM matter, too. Rubens understands that he’s putting her in a difficult spot, but it’s necessary if mankind is to have a future.

As he signs off, Kira asks if she believes that guy. She does, to the point that she’s dispatched the main fleet all the way to the moon. Difficult times are upon then but they must persevere. At length, Kira says he’ll set out to the dark side of the moon himself to stand guard over REQUIEM’s reconstruction… and to keep watch for them as well.
Lacus sighs that she’s once again placing a heavy burden on him, but he doesn’t mind – if it’ll help safeguard our future, he’ll gladly bear that weight. They’re once again interrupted by the ZAFT officer, bringing news that one Alex Dino has arrived.


Kira’s glad to see Athrun in good health… but, of course, he’s not Athrun Zala of ZAFT. He’s now Alex Dino, Cagalli’s right-hand man. Fair enough.
Kira’s heard that things are difficult for Orb right now, and wishes he could be there to help his sister. Well, as a matter of fact, Athrun’s come here with a request to make of them: “I ask this with the full authority vested in me by Cagalli Yula Athha, Representative of the United Emirates of Orb… we need the PLANTs to lend us their help!”
Lacus asks him to explain what’s up.


And then we get back to JUDA again, where Ishigami’s informed about Fei’s power – and it looks like she still has more secrets stashed away somewhere. After that, Richard asks how things are over here and the scene proceeds as it did in the America Route.
The following scene with Kiriyama’s also the same.


#58

And so begins the chronicles of Hatsune Miku, Master Sniper.


#59

And so begins the chronicles of Hatsune Miku, Master Sniper.

Wait, if she’s greenish, would this make her the sister of the Dynames family?

“Fei-Yen HD! T a r g e t e d and Firing!”


#60
Click to see the mission!


We’re back in the Europe Route and, in case you don’t remember, the last three missions of all routes are mostly the same, barring a few different bits. Since I need to keep this path to get the last route-exclusive secret, we’ll be staying here and I’ll make not of any important differences.
Of note, the US and EU routes all join up with the Japan crew at this point, though the JP guys themselves would still be running solo for another mission.
In regards to tacticians, we now have Romina replacing Ylbora (her first bonus is the same as Sumeragi’s) and I also forgot to point out Ozma and Jeffrey’s bonus when they joined. They give, respectively, Post-movement transformation and Ranged weapons’ attack power +10%.

Now, Moritsugu, Kouichi and Sun Quan are deploying as solo event units, with Kazuki as a team event.
Arnie/Ozma
Tsubasa/Canaria
Shinn/Klan
Liu Bei/Deceive
Guan Yu/Eida
Mazinkaiser/Soubi
Michel/Kenji
Alto/Fei-Yen
Mamoru/Sakura
Kazuki/Zhang Fei
Yamashita/Mike
Joe/Saya
Shangxiang/Luna
Rennie/Luca
Tactician: Zhuge Liang

Off we go.

: Okay, the replacement Armas are all good to go…

Alarm!

: ! What is it?!
: C-Captain! We’ve an emergency!
: We’re detecting three heat signatures moving in on us! We can’t ID them, and they’re not reading as Machinas!
: Not Machinas? Then it’s not JUDA’s team?!
: I-I don’t know! But why would they be here…?!
: We can make sense of this later! Deploy everyone we can! I’ll be heading out in my Kagutsuchi!

: …

: Who on earth are you…?!

One of the bots rushes down the mooks!

: Th-They’re fast…!

: Gwaaaaargh!

: Hrm…!

Dmitri moves in.

: I am Dmitri Magarov, captain of the Katou Organization’s 3rd unit!
: The commander personally placed this area under my care! You won’t have your way with it!
: …

All bots surround him, ready to have their way.

: What?!

: Gwaaaaaaaargh!
: …
: Th-This can’t… be…! Commander… Katou…!


Over by Kiriyama Heavy Industries, the boss man is entreating his guests to the video of his company’s newest weapon overwhelming and liberating a region under control of a “certain armed group”.
Yamashita and Ishigami both recognize the Katous’ Armas, of course, and Kiriyama presents his brand-new anti-Machina weapon: the HFX-19 Jinrai! Richard sees that the grandiose unveiling of those bots is the reason why Ishigami hurried us back to Japan.
The official story that Saya heard is that the things were made with data offered by JUDA. Ishigami says the Martian Development Bureau and the Federation pressed him into disclosing some info… but, as Richard knows, that was nowhere near enough data for them to build something like the Jinrai. Only logical conclusion, thinks Saya, is that someone leaked more to Kiriyama, and Yamashita can’t believe there’s a spy in JUDA (Moritsugu stares blankly).

Kiriyama then steps over to meet with Ishigami, who thanks him for inviting us to the festivities. Not at all, Kiriyama’s the one who’s grateful that the JUDA CEO took the time to come all the way here – and he’s glad to see Moritsugu, too, who greets him with a level “It’s been a while, Eiji”.
Yamashita’s shocked to see that Moritsugu knows the president of Kiriyama Heavy Industries and the boss man confirms: they’ve been acquaintances for a very long time. Far more so than any of us, really. Yamashita’s already being rubbed the wrong way by Kiriyama.


Kiriyama then turns to Richard and Saya, who Ishigami introduces as his special consultants… and classical actors. Sounds strange to Kiriyama, but JUDA has always been a very unique company – Ishigami takes that as a compliment. Yamashita revises his statement, and think’s Kiriyama’s just weirding him out.
Either way, the guy asks us all to enjoy the occasion as it was only because of our “cooperation” that they managed to finish the Jinrai’s way ahead of schedule. And he hopes both companies will continue to work together… heheheheh.

: Dmitri got killed?! How?!
: It’s all in the report. He was long dead by the time Reznor and I got there… (Sanada)
: …
: From what we’ve been able to figure out it was three unknown units that attacked our base – and they, apparently, weren’t Machina.
: Damn it all…! I’m getting out there and I ain’t stopping ‘til I’ve gotten some payback for him…!
: Hold it right there, Sawatari!
: You’re trying to stop me…? He died because your and Sanada’s old asses couldn’t get there quick enough…!
: So get your hands off me, ya goddamned priest!
: Excuse you. I am just a priest, not a “goddamned priest”.
: … Psh…!
: We’ll continue to look into the attackers but our focus right now should be…
: The Linebarrel, yes.
: We’ve analyzed the data collected from our previous fights with it, and it shows that, one, it has an abnormally fast regeneration, two, it’s capable of changing its color and executing continuous teleportation with the Factor aboard, and, three…
: That it has two Factors: Kouichi Hayase and Emi Kizaki…
: …
: All in all, the evidence shows it has myriad traits that differ from the general concepts seen in Machinas.
: Then it is that which the commander had been seeking… the “Machina that shouldn’t exist”? (Jack)
: Correct. We’d verified many possibilities thus far, including the Deus Machina in America, but…
: The Linebarrel is the one. It does not figure among the existing eleven Machina… rather, it is the twelfth Machina.
: …
: As of right now, there are still two Machinas left undiscovered…
: So we just need to find those two and wreck ‘em, right?
: We’ll try that, yes. But, we’ll also be carrying on with another plan.
: Allow me to handle it, then. We need to see if they are necessary for that particular plan, no?
: As you will. And take that with you.
: ?! The imitation…?
: I ask precisely because it’s an imitation, yes. If they can’t get through that, then it’s ample proof that they’re not worth our while, don’t you think?
: … Roger that, sir.
: I’m going with him. I gotta hurt something or I’m gonna be climbing up these walls!
: I wish to accompany them as well. A blade that isn’t used will quickly lose its edge.
: (Hmhmhm… what will you do now, Ishigami? I’m sure you’ve long-since realized that the Linebarrel is the “Counter Machina”…)


Back to JUDA, in the US/EU route, Scarlet/Sumeragi surmise that Ishigami called us here because of Kiriyama – the guy hasn’t done anything YET, but Ishigami figures he’s up to something. He also appreciates the SMS’s help, but, of course, the Frontier brass ordered them to do so, so no thanks are needed.
After that, it’s time to get the other routes up to speed on what happened in the JP route: Ylbora’s defection to The Boom Army, Romina stepping up to fill in as the Elshank’s tactical commander and, on happier subjects, Soubi joining up with us. Tsubasa and Zhang Fei heard that story about him being a ninja – does that mean the Elshank’s quest is done?

Joe and Soubi stop Kaido waving them “buh-bye”, and explain what’s what. Still, Luca’s very surprised to hear that stories about Earth’s ninjas made it all the way across space… but, then, is that really so weird with Three Kingdom Gundams and parallel universe travelers like the Frontier? Fair enough.
Seems to Magami that we’re being pulled into a battle on a transdimensional level, which gets Kazuki to ponder their growing number of enemies to fight – just what are the ALVIS team doing here? In the US route, as Toumi introduces the newly arrived Fafner trio, Kazuki quietly sulks over new pilots being brought in despite the fact that Koyo only just left us.

Domyoji sees his sullen face and wonders if he might be housing an evil spirit. A what? Kouichi introduces him, saying Domyoji was scouted into JUDA due to his extensive knowledge on the occult and ancient texts. As it turns out, he comes from a long lineage of priests – exorcists, so to speak. Sounds to Al like he’s the Japanese equivalent of a sorcerer, though Kurou thinks that’s not quite right.
The rest of this convo also shows up in the JP version of the scene below, so you can see it in full there.

In the Japan route, the convo is much shorter for obvious reasons: Ishigami tells Shinn that he’s calling back the America team now that the Skrugg invasion has been sorted out. Is the situation in Japan going to be so dangerous as to warrant that, Arnie wonders? Richard says Kiriyama’s new weapons are the problem – they got a real bad feeling about those things.
“Is that really the only reason?” Domyoji asks. Does he suspect something more? “No, it’s just… when I look at you, Mr. Ishigami, I just kinda get the feel like there’s more to it.” Perish the thought. Shizuna tells him that, priest/exorcist or not, he’s gotta keep his nose out of where it don’t belong. Cue the story about his lineage, which explains to Kizaki why he could read those old books and knew so much about demons and whatnot.
Kazuki doesn’t really care, asking Mamoru and co. if they’re really fine with being a part of this – more and more enemies are turning up and they might even have to fight other people. Sakura says they’re not fine with that, but…

: If you’re not certain of this, then just leave the Fafner.
: …?!
: Moritsugu…
: An indecisive ally is a bigger threat to a team than any enemy.
: We have no need here for those who can’t fight.
: …
: Heey! You don’t really need to say it like that, do you? They—
: Then Moritsugu… are you fine with killing other people?
: I simply do as I must.
: …!
: I guess you gotta be cold as ice to get to be top dog around here, huh?
: Can someone like you even feel other people’s pain, I wonder?
: “Other people’s pain”…?
: Heh… Maybe I cannot.

Door opens.

: He left…
: What kind of answer was that…?
: Listen, I know he doesn’t look like it, but I think he is looking out for Kazuki in his own way…
: You really sure about that…?
: I personally agree with him. If you’re hesitant to fight, Kazuki, then you should take some time off.
: If you fight like that and get yourself shot down, that’ll be another precious Fafner lost to us.
: Soushi, you…!
: …
: (Yeesh, these guys are all so bad with people…)

US/EU route:

: …
: So this is where you were…
: You’re… Sun Quan, yes? And Mr. Asuka… did something happen?
: No, we were just worried about you. What Moritsugu and Soushi said is weighing heavy on your mind, right?
: It kind of got me thinking…
: We lost Shouko not long ago, and now Koyo… but, still, no one’s scared to go out and fight… and I can’t figure out why.

US route only:

: On the contrary, we are hardly fearless.
: As I heard, there is one Cao Cao with the team that’s returned from the Union, yes?
: I confess that I shivered with fear when that man first attacked my home.
: Oh, right… You were fighting a war against him…
: In truth, I wished to do no such thing – rather, fleeing was my first thought.

EU route only:

: On the contrary, we are hardly fearless. Speaking for myself, I used to dread fighting with every ounce of my being…
: You did?
: Honestly, I still do. I would always rather not fight if another way exists.

Common ground:

: But there are times when one must take a stand and fight in order to defend those that are dear to him…
: That might be true, but…

Alarm!

: Wh-What?!
: That siren is…!

: Someone’s attacking JUDA HQ! All mobile forces are to shift to combat status immediately!
: Okay, we’re on it!

Cut back to the start, the JP route:

: …
: So this is where you were…
: Sun Quan, Hayase… did something happen?
: No, we were just worried about you. Domyoji said you were “housing an evil spirit”…
: A-A spirit…?!
: Yeah, he said those are the personification of pain and sorrow that dwell in the hearts of men, and how negative emotions sometimes gives birth to bad stuff.
: Negative emotions…?
: I don’t know anything about spirits… but if there’s one thing that’s clear is that I’m just not strong like the rest of you…
: I can’t handle something like fighting other people…
: On the contrary, we are hardly that strong. Speaking for myself, I used to dread fighting with every ounce of my being…
: You did?
: Honestly, I still do. I would always rather not fight if another way exists.
: But, on the other hand, I know I must fight if I’m to defend those that are dear to me…
: That might be true, but…

Alarm!

: Wh-What?!
: That siren is…!

: Someone’s attacking JUDA HQ! All mobile forces are to shift to combat status immediately!
: Okay, we’re on it!

And the rest of the scene is there on all three routes…

: What’re you going to do, Kazuki? If you’d rather not fight, then you should stay in your room…
: No, I’ll do it… But, before I go, there’s something I need to ask you, Soushi.
: Which are more important to you… us or the Fafners?
: …
: The Fafners.
: You’ve changed…
: You’re the one who refuses to change.
: What I need… is someone who can stand in for my left eye. Nothing more.
: ! Soushi…

: All hands, first defense formation! Release the Humanoids to intercept the attacker!
: Gigigi…!

Boom!

: The Humanoids are being destroyed… but I don’t see anyone there!
: Our assailant’s using some electromagnetic camouflage, I think.
: An invisibility spell enabled by science…?
: Look, he’s showing up!
: I’m shocked at how easily you allowed someone to trespass into your headquarters…

Twoooop!

:siren: SRW L - Iczer Robo
:dance: :dance:

: You ought to be more cautious than that, JUDA!
: Gigigi…!

Boom!

: This isn’t working! Your guard robots are doing nothing to him!
: He’s taking out the Humanoids on foot… that guy’s really strong, alright!
: Is he even human?!
: I am Jack Smith, captain of the Katou Organization’s 6th Unit! I have business with JUDA!
: I am Reiji Moritsugu, Head of JUDA’s Special Forces. What are you here for?
: Ah, you’re him… Yes, I see that you’re a worthy opponent… We duel!

: Moritsugu!
: Stand down, Yamashita.
: Factor or not, I must commend you for stopping my attack with just your arm…
: However, from the sounds it makes… I’d wager your muscles have been greatly injured after that!
: Maybe, but I have bad news… I was born without a sense of pain.
: And that allows me to push my body to its limits!

: Hrgh!
: (He’s no sense of pain?! Then he really can’t feel…)
: Hrm, this man is…!
: Hmph, fighting you face-to-face would be more trouble than it’s worth…
: So I’ll just cut to the chase and end you.


Mission 18 – Blood is Spilled, Tears are Shed

: Come on, Mister Samurai. I’ll show you what real swordsmanship is like.
: You summoned your Machina, hm? Then I shall face you with my full might!

: Wh-What the… How’s that guy fighting a Machina on foot?!
: I see how it is… so that’s the secret behind your inhuman abilities.
: You, yourself, are an Arma…

: A-A human-sized Arma…?! Really?!
: Hmph… but I am not the only foe you must contend with!

: Aah! I-It’s…!
: I’m in a really bad mood today, ya hear?! Anyone who wants to get gutted can step right up!
: As I feared, the lone attacker was merely a feint…!
: Then we should deploy our own troops!
: Come, Linebarrel!

: I won’t tell you to cast your unease aside, Kazuki. But don’t forget that you’ve been blessed with strength that enables you to defend others…
: Okay…

US route only:

: Ms. Kaname, Mr. Koudate and Mr. Kondo, are you ready to go?
: We’re fully fledged pilots too, right? Just give the order and we’ll get it done!
: Aye, aye! Goubine, standing by!
: Aaiieee…! No, this is too scary! Mommyyyy!

: That’s a lot of guys they brought along… but, when the chips are down, an Arma’s just an Arma. With all the firepower we got right now, they…
: Hate to break it to ya, Horns, but we ain’t got just Armas today.

: What?!
: Masaki Sugawara, captain of the Katou Organization’s 1st Unit…
: And today… you’ll have to face me and my Machina, the Glain-Neidr.
: Did he say “Machina”?!
: A Machina of the Katou Organization…!
: (Machinas and Deus Machina… Is that similarity pure happenstance or…?)
: Yeah, I like it! Now that’s some prey worth huntin’!
: Is everyone ready? Then set forward and engage the enemy, but be wary of that gigantic flying Machina!


Kill everything, don’t lose your ship, Moritsugu, Kouichi or Sun Quan. The Armas aren’t any stronger than our last battle, but they come with pretty hefty numbers – still no problem, so long as you move as a group and don’t let people get piled on.
Your main issues at hand, as you might expect, are the bosses – especially Masaki.


Jack Smith
Pilot Skills:
Prevail L3
Support Attack L2
Predict
All Attack L1
Infight L2
Mech Features:
Sword
10% HP and EN Regen
EM Camouflage – activates over 130 morale, giving a maximum of 35% chance to outright dodge an incoming attack (mitigated by the difference in Skill between target and self).
Jack’s Voice Actor: Biichi Satou originally, here it’s Kenji Nomura (ジャック・スミス?それも私だ。)

Welcome back, Iczer-4.
As in L, Jack is meant to do precisely one thing: get in your face, dodge stuff, and start swinging his sword with that stellar Melee stat of his. But, as is true to all Iczers, he absolutely cannot take a hit if you get past his evasiveness.
He’s very crit happy and has way better range than in L now that he’s recalled the secret technique of “watch me straight-up punch a robot!” which is actually range 1-5!
If you let him get above 130 morale, you’ll have a way harder time touching him, so don’t do it. Your guys may be at base morale but pop a couple of Strikes and have your Super Robots get rid of Jack ASAP – the size difference will really boost damage against him.


Glain-Neidr (Masaki Sugawara)
Pilot Skills:
Factor
Prevail L3
Support Attack L2
All Attack L1
Mech Features:
10% HP Regen
Beam Immunity
Masaki’s voice actor: Susumu Chiba (other roles: Kyo in Steel God Jeeg, Baron in Aquarion, Welkin Gunther in Valkyiria Chronicles and many more)

And now for something on the complete opposite end of the spectrum: Masaki is big and tanky, with his bread-and-butter being sniping away at your folks with his cannons. His stats are pretty high (though not as high as they were in L – he’s on Jack’s level) and he no longer has a MAPW, instead picking up a new melee attack to surprise you. It’s actually his strongest move so watch it.
Without the MAPW looming over your head, however, it’s a lot simpler to approach him and pile on the damage – just make sure you don’t use Beam weapons.

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

: Your garments are reminiscent of a Shogun in the Sengoku Era…
: Pit your swordsmanship with mine – we shall see whose is superior!
: Fine, but I’d never fall to you! Behold the might of the Ryuteiken!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: I’d never heard anything about there being human-sized Armas!
: Step into the field of battle with such paltry imagination and death will soon find you!

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

: What kind of enemy is this… he’s just a man! And you want me to use the Fafner against him?!
: Don’t be fooled by appearances, Kazuki. He’s a human-sized Arma – be on your guard!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mURN2O4mZ9k

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: Hmph. Do you think such a machine could possibly match my speed?!
: Joe… you don’t suppose he could be the legendary ninja, do you?!
: Sorry, princess, but you’re gonna have to let that go for now!


Joe: “If this guy really was a ninja, that’d make things a lot easier…”

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Why, this must be fate… you have also lost an eye! Then I can deduce how you approach battle!
: Fighting a target that small really is as complicated as I figured… I better take him seriously!

: Rrrrgh… Flesh wounds will not stop me!

: I have to hand it to your spirit, Mister Samurai.
: Hmph…!

: I-Incredible…! I can hardly believe my eyes…!

: Hm?! What are you doing…?!
: Captain, we’ll immobilize him! Wait for an opening and put him down!

: Ah—! Moritsugu…!
: Hmph, you believe you can stop the Vardant with this few troops…?

Flash! Repels all enemies!

: What…?!

: Uurgh…!
: C-Captain… Gaaaaaah!
: You think too highly of yourself, Mister Samurai…

: I-Impossible…!
: Hah…
: No way…! He cut down all those guys in the blink of an eye…!
: And this powerful aura around him… it’s like I’m staring at a demon!
: Is that what it’s like when he fights for real…?!
: …
: Reiji Moritsugu, you called yourself…? I’ll avenge my subordinates someday!


And with that done, the rest of our folks start crossing the pond to deal with the rest of the Katou Organization. On the next enemy turn…

Beep

: It has been a long while, Mr. Ishigami.
: Is that you, Masaki? I suppose Katou’s finally gotten serious if he’s even sending you out into the field.
: You could say that, yes.
: Word around the grapevine is that you took over my old spot.
: I did. I now lead the 1st Unit.
: Heh…
: Mr. Ishigami, I am here to evaluate the forces you’ve gathered…!

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: I’ll protect the place and people that are dear to me! That’s something I can do! (Same line he gets in the JP route, only if you’re in the US and EU routes)


Take a quick stab at Masaki to get the plot going…

:siren: SRW UX - Obelisk

: Look at how big that thing is… but I can pull through if I just work the Valkyrie’s mobility and get him confused….!
: You’ll find that any speed you have is worthless against the Glain-Neidr’s firepower.

: What…?!
: Our attacks just bounced off it?!
: (That was…)
: The Glain-Neidr is furnished with an absolute defense field. None of your attacks will connect.
: “Absolute defense”…?!
: Maki, start analyzing that field of his. And make it snappy!

Beep.

: Y-Yes, sir!
: (If my guess is right, that is…!)
: Do not lower your guard for even a second. Do not hesitate for even a second. Do not miss any opportunity…
: Bring out every ounce of your strength. If you don’t…
: Then you’ll die.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Heya, Blues! I know Jack’s really into fighting you, but how about you save some for me?!
: Hmph… do you honestly think you can beat me with a mere faux-Machina…?

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Yulianne told us about you, JUDA’s newest Machina!
: I see you’re quite the combative sort… but you won’t be making it through me. I swear it on the Talisman’s name…!

:siren: SRW UX - The Eternal Soldiers

: Get down here, fatass! My sword’s gonna fillet you!
: What kind of idiot would descend after hearing that? Let me handle this – I’ll blast him off the sky!

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Ah, it’s that mallet-lookin’ Machina! Time to pay you back for before!
: In that case you oughta go after Hayase and not us, ya dumdum!
: That’s not any better, sis…


Sawatari attacking Machinas: “You ain’t gonna be able to regen from the thrashing I’m gonna give you!”

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: I’m raring to go today, Horns! Gonna take my time with you!
: And I’m supposed to care about what you want?! Can’t you tell that I got bigger things to worry about than you?!

: Tsk… It ain’t gonna end like this next time!
: I’ll find you and whoever killed Dmitri and I’ll cover this city in your blood!


We can’t damage Masaki for now, so we’ll just clear out the rest of the enemies in the meantime.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

:siren: SRW UX - The Gate of Neidhöhle Opens


Triple Dog count: 3; for that matter, the trio got 15 kills today, bringing their secret tally to 41.


Here you can see me try to be clever and debuff Masaki’s accuracy with Fei.

:siren: SRW UX - LOVE 14 ver. HD

: W o w, he’s huge! Were we in the C.I.S…
: … Ah? Did I… j u s t remember something?
: A robot with a human personality? It may sound impossible, but…


I figured big flying hearts would be fair game, completely overlooking the fact that the thing is called Heart Beam

: You’re wasting your time. It is impossible for you to so much as scratch my Glain-Neidr.
: H-How are we gonna deal with this guy…?!
: What about that analysis, Maki?
: Still ongoing! Hold on for just a bit longer!
: (How far can you push my absolute defense field? Show me what you’ve got.)


Then try this on for size, jerk.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYhYl_8lJEk
HAH!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCHh7W9AUKo
After everything’s gone, it’s all about enduring Masaki’s attacks and waiting. Next turn…

: So? Is that all the strength you have?
: (Damn it… this is how having a real fight with another Machina is like?!)
: (I-I can’t stop shaking!)
: We’ve no use for weaklings. I’ll wipe out both you and everything you wanted to protect.
: Fire…

: Aaaaah!
: Your Highness…!
: Rrgh, and we can’t even touch that guy…?!

Beep!

: Sorry for the delay! We’ve the results of our analysis!
: Apparently that defensive field of his isn’t something that Machina had originally!
: You mean it was a later addition?!
: Right. And the field generator proper has been affixed atop of the unit itself.
: So if you destroy it…
: Then we can take him out!
: Having to weave through his barrage of attacks and close in won’t be easy at all, though!
: … I’ll do it!
: …?! Hayase…!
: I can’t stand him looking down everyone else… so I’ll get in his face and drag him off his high horse!

*Kouichi blasts towards Masaki.

: Hmph… Yes, it’s very clear: you’re afraid.
: Wh-What…?!
: Did you think I wouldn’t notice it? You are very afraid of fighting others… or, better put, of hurting people in general.
: …!
: He’s afraid…?!
: That’s why you ramble on about trivialities like “justice” – to try and calm yourself.
: But that word isn’t enough to do away with your fear.
: Sh-Shut up!
: (Hayase… So you’ve been struggling with the spirit of fear all along…?)
: Hrm… You don’t know me, so quit acting like you do!

: Waaaaaah!
: Hayase…!
: That’s quite the fool you chose as your Factor, Linebarrel…
: But this is the end of the road for you…!

Blast!

Piiing

:siren: SRW UX - The Legend of Mirisha

: Azure Wall…!
: ?! Young lord…!
: And what is the issue with fearing combat…?
: What folly is there in encouraging oneself in order to rise above that fear?!
: Sun Quan…!
: Hmph… do you speak from experience? Is that how you’ve been averting your eyes from the fear your feel while fighting?
: Nay, I have not averted my eyes from anything!
: Rather, I have faced that fear and withstood its blow… so that I could defend my dear family!
: ! Sun Quan…!
: You face that fear and withstand it…!
: (Hah… that quivering tiger cub has grown into a man…)
: Then come. Show me that spirit with which you rose above that fear.

: Kch… Hrrrgh!
: Brother…!
: Damn it…! I promised… I promised Kizaki that I’d protect her…! I can’t let this be the end!
: (Hayase…!)
: Help me, Linebarrel! Give me some more power! Enough that I can protect Kizaki… and all my friends!
: (Please, Linebarrel! Protect Hayase…!)

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel (Full Intro)

: …
: Now, Hayase! Chaaaarge!
: Haaaaaah!
: No, you don’t…!


We’ll see this attack in a jiffy.

: …! I can’t be…!
: Oh… Ms. Kizaki, what was that?
: I-I don’t know either…!
: From the readings we picked up, it looked like he unleashed a super-compressed warp field from the palm of his hand.
: A compressed warp field…? Then the Linebarrel used it to warp the field generator and tear it off the Machina?!
: How’s that even possible…?
: It is… for Hayase and the Linebarrel.
: (Sun Ce, my dear brother… I understand now why you never faltered as a defender, even as you risked your life!)
: I hope you’re ready, fatso! We’re about to turn the tables on you!
: The field was merely an imitation, but I still can’t believe he got through it…
: Fine… I’m forced to acknowledge the strength you all have.
: Take out that guy and the enemy’ll have to back off! All units, focus your attacks on the giant Machina!

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

: He’s massive! They say it’s a Machina, but that’s more akin to a proper battleship!
: What a tiny being… I take it you’re another person from the General Lu Bu’s world.
: But when I look at you, I see nothing but another machine…

:siren: SRW UX - Future-Bound Fighting Spirit

: This huge mobile weapon’s a Machina…?! Just what are these robots supposed to be?!
: As ignorant as you are, you carry on fighting and looking for greater strength… Your thoughtlessness is a danger for the entire world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ECk9MtxzaQ
Here we go – got Masaki’s best attack on tape.

:siren: SRW UX - Linebarrel

: Reiji Moritsugu, Head of JUDA’s Special Forces…
: Our squadrons have you marked as a target to exercise extreme caution against…
: You’re still selling me short. All the caution in the world won’t increase your odds of beating me.

:siren: SRW UX - Love Survivor

: You think size is all it takes to make you strong, fatass?!
: Are you implying the Glain-Neidr’s size is its only merit? I suppose you’ll know better once you’re bested.

: I may have lost my absolute defense field, but beam attacks are still useless against the Glain-Neidr…!
: Beams, huh? But regular weapons should damage it just fine.
: Troops, engage the giant Machina using either melee attacks or physical ammo.

:siren: SRW UX - Life Goes On

: This unit fought in the last Great War. Was it luck that let it survive through it? If not, then I’d best be vigilant…
: A giant mobile weapon…! The general concept looks the same as a Destroy, so it must be packing some serious offensive and defensive capabilities!


This is the ONLY non-Beam weapon the Impulse has!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtW9RiGlCBk
And boom, here’s Kouichi’s new trick plus DK.

: Did we get him?!
: Hm, I’m impressed you pushed my Glain-Neidr as far as you did…
: Our mission here seems to be done. Retreating…

: Wait—!
: Tsk, he’s gone… I’ll put you down next time you turn up, ya hear!

: All enemy units confirmed destroyed or withdrawn. No further hostiles detected on radar.
: Looks like it’s over…
: (That defensive field Masaki used… it really was…)


Back at JUDA, Kouichi’s grumbles over Ishigami keeping them in the dark about so much stuff – not just about the Katou Organization having Machina, but about Moritsugu being born without a sense of pain. Seems like he meant it quite literally, too, which makes Kouichi feel like a jerk for what he said before. Maybe apologize, then? Eergh, he’s not too keen on that idea…
All this talk about Moritsugu does make Mike wonder where the guy ran off to. Yamashita figures he’s got more work to do – he’s been terribly busy with this whole Kiriyama business. Ishigami walks in right then, but he asks the annoyed Kouichi to save whatever he wants to say for later.
See, he’s got a new companion he’d like to introduce us to…


It’s Kurara Hiromi Tachi, newly assigned to JUDA’s secretarial staff as Ogawa’s assistant. Eida inwardly flips out to see her here and slowly introduces herself. “Huh? Hey, aren’t you…” Kurara rubs her chin, “… that famous singer?”
Ishigami steps in, saying Eida’s here to record JUDA’s newest ad. Kurara buys the story, and Eida’s relieved to see that her memories haven’t returned. But she knows Kurara still works as a cop, so there’s only one reason she’d be here: her public safety division had her infiltrate JUDA. Why? And, for that matter, Ishigami and Richard would surely know what’s up with her, so why are they apparently playing along with it?


Back at Kiriyama’s place, things are looking good for the plan to be put into action – the Jinrai’s mass-production’ll be over very soon. And about those, Moritsugu asks if he was really able to finish them just with the JUDA data he provided. That seems unlikely to him. Kiriyama praises his smarts and figures he might as well tell everything (he was planning on it anyway).
And the answer struts out the door as he calls in Yulianne, who’s been working as his right-hand woman and advisor in the Jinrai’s development. Kiriyama’s well aware that she’s one of the Katou Organization’s leaders here and, as it turns out, the Jinrai is something of a hybrid machine: it was based on both JUDA’s Machinas and the Katous’ Armas.

Moritsugu’s a bit silent, and Kiriyama asks what he thinks; with the three of them working together, they can put together the society they always dreamed of. Moritsugu confirms, and asks what his next task will be.
Well, Kiriyama just waiting for certain news to make the rounds and expose what’s going on inside JUDA. Once that happens, he’s all but sure the Japanese government’ll decide to bring JUDA to heel, granting Kiriyama’s company full authority over them.
Moritsugu doubts Ishigami’ll take that sitting down and Kiriyama agrees – this’ll likely have to be a very hostile takeover. Is Kiriyama going to attack JUDA in person? “That’s right. Which is why I’d like you to get rid of any potential obstacles. That way things’ll proceed without any hiccups,” he tells Moritsugu.
And, indeed, Moritsugu knows of one major potential obstacle…


Each route has a few lone additions made to this scene, so I’ll be putting everything together.

: Guys, we’ve got trouble! Turn on the TV!
: The TV…?

Bloop.

: Th-This is…!
: What you’re see, dear viewers, are images from the Tohoku region of Japan…
: Here are JUDA Corporation’s robots – what should be a Japanese defense organization – attacking the forces from the Martian Development Bureau!
: That’s from the battle around my village…!
: The hell’s going on…?!
: But JUDA’s units weren’t the only ones taking part in the attack!
: We also see the battleship of the Ladorians – those would-be conquerors of Earth –fighting on their side!
: Wh-What nonsense is this?! It’s like…
: Like we’re the bad guys here…!
: And they, of course, edited the footage to cut out anything that didn’t fit their narrative… I wager we’ll find Hazard’s fingerprints all over this.
: How much does that fat son of a bitch need to mess with us before he’s happy?!
: What is JUDA scheming that they’d ally themselves with alien invaders?
: Our show now welcomes Mr. Eiji Kiriyama, president of Kiriyama Heavy Industries, who will shed light on this matter.
: Kiriyama…?!
: People of Japan, I come to you today because the truth about JUDA must now be exposed.
: They have allied themselves not just with the Ladorians, but with a platoon of forces from the immigrant Frontier Fleet, the weapons from a parallel world that attacked the Union’s Yokosuka base, and even mysterious mechanical life forms as well…
: All of these elements sow chaos across our world, and we now have confirmation that all of them are massed under JUDA.
: What is he implying?!
: Worse, JUDA Corporation’s schemes aren’t limited to just these!
: Do you remember that despicable mob of terrorists, the Unknown Xtrikers, a.k.a. the Hell’s Executioners? They call JUDA’s building their headquarters!
: H-How can he say that…?!
: It’s awful… insane!
: We’ve only been fighting to protect people’s lives…!
: Arnie…
: The Japanese government has acknowledged the gravity of this situation and decided that it requires a full intervention…
: And they have seen fit to allow our company to oversee the subjugation of JUDA!
: But why would the government entrust this matter to a civilian company like yours…?
: We volunteered to take this upon ourselves because we are a civilian company. We will stand as representatives of the Japanese people, showcasing our iron will – a will that shall never submit to wanton violence.
: By sheer coincidence, tomorrow will be Christmas.
: And I vow to deliver a peaceful Japan as a present to everyone!

Bloop.

: … And there it goes.
: What’ll we do? I really don’t think we can launch an attack of our own after that.
: True… I suppose we should first make sure that all of our folks are doing well.
: There’s still the matter of the leaked confidential data. We should take this chance to look into everyone with access to it, yes?
: …
: You’ve my deepest apologies, Ms. Tachi… it’s just awful that this happened so soon after you came aboard.
: N-No, I don’t blame you…
: (What’s going on…? I haven’t heard anything about this from government HQ…)
: (And the way these people are reacting is…)

: Brrr, it’s cold… Actually, now that I think about it, it’s almost Christmas, huh…?
: Been a while since I saw Risako, but I guess she must be putting together one of her parties…
: … Here you are, Hayase.
: Huh, Moritsugu…? What’s up? What’re you doing out here…?
: Sorry, but….
: You’re going to have to fight with me, Hayase…

: M-Moritsugu, why’d you call the Vardant for…? Why would we have to fight?!
: Amazing… You still don’t realize what’s staring you right in the face?
: Y-You don’t mean…?!
: It was you? You were the spy at JUDA…?
: …
: You’re serious…
: You’re our leader, aren’t you?! Everyone here trusted you… How can you stab them in the back like that?!
: Even I’d come to at least respect you a little as we fought together…
: …
: I was right… You really can’t even feel other people’s pain! You’re scum!
: What about you, then? Can you feel this one kind of pain I, who cannot feel physical pain, could experience?
: Shut your mouth, traitor!
: Fine… You always got on my nerves anyway!
: Come! Linebarrel…!

Here are the other route’s battle convos and ones we didn’t get:

: The Celestial Being’s Gundam… Would those GN Particles work on the Glain-Neidr…?
: His size is no obstacle. I just need to look for an opening and attack there!

: I’m real cranky today, kid. You better not hold back ‘cause I absolutely ain’t gonna!
: How can you fight like that?! What about all the people you might kill…?!

: He’s big, alright… but this isn’t our first time fighting giant enemies! Let’s go, Heroman!

: Keep your wits about you, Kurou! Machina and Deus Machina… I doubt that is a coincidence!
: Yeah, I know! Doesn’t look like he’s using magic, but that power of his still is…!

: So this is an Aura Battler… Let’s see what it can do.
: If you think you’re beating me by being big, you’re in for a surprise!
: You can’t lose to a guy like him, Shou!

: This is one of them famous Aura Battlers? Looks like a giant bug to me, and where I’m from, bugs get squished!
: I’ll make you work for it, though…! Come and see just how strong the Nanajin is!

: Your garments are reminiscent of a Shogun in the Sengoku Era…
: Pit your swordsmanship with mine – we shall see whose is superior!
: You would challenge me to a swordfight…? You intrigue me! Show me what the samurai of this world are capable of!

And TheMajinZenki got some vibes off Kouichi’s new attack:

https://i.imgur.com/zuqMBhg.png