Good god, it’s like seeing the Fire Emblem Awakening models again for the first time! There’s no way Metal Gear Ray’s super robot cousin can stand on those feet!
Click to see the mission!
And we are back at the Byston Well route, where Aesap, Amalgan and Lux got kidnapped right as we got Shouko, the Holy Warrior, back. We’ll see if we can’t remedy that, as Kiki, Hebi, Cao Cao and Shou all deploy as event units.
Here’s how the rest of our crew’s set up:
Zhang Fei/Sun Shangxiang
Tactician: Zhuge Liang
Off we go.
: So this is where you were, Canon.
: Do you have a minute?
: Maya, Peries? And you’re…
: Um… pleased to meet you?
: Shouko… Hazama…
: We’ve told her everything – about you and her mom, too. She wanted to meet you after hearing that.
: I was a bit surprised, to tell the truth. You’re living with my mom back at the island, then?
: Yes, but it’s nothing more than a convenient arrangement for when I’m over there.
: But Tatsumiya is yours and your families’ homes… I can leave that house at any time if you’d prefer it that way.
: Canon… what do you think of my mom?
: I haven’t known Youko for long, but she’s taught me plenty.
: She’s fond of making difficult requests, but… I don’t resent staying with her.
: I see…
: Hey, we’re just about to show Shouko around the ship, so why don’t you come along?
: It’d be a good opportunity for you two to start knowing each other – both as fellow teammates and as friends, no?
: What do you say…?
: Okay. I’ll join you.
: Thank you, Canon…
: I worry about Aesap and the others as much as anyone, but it’s looking like our bigger problem at the moment is the risk of this base coming under attack again.
: Hmhmm, the enemy now has a good grasp of where we are…
: Listen, I’ve been thinking… would it’d be possible to meet with King Sakomizu face to face?
: Do you have something you want to say to him?
: I just have the feeling that he doesn’t really understand the danger posed by Aura Machines when they’re at the Overworld…
: But the question is whether the man himself would be willing to listen…
: The point is that we’re dealing with a Holy Warrior that’s both a survivor from a WW2 kamikaze unit and the founder of a whole nation. I doubt we’re going to talk him down without a lot of persuasion.
: A warrior with iron-clad ideals… Someone with absolutely no doubt in his heart makes for quite the tough nut to crack.
: Still, just because you want to bring your past ideals to fruition doesn’t make it okay to sacrifice the people living in the present.
: … However, bringing ideals to fruition without sacrifices is a nigh impossibility.
: Cao Cao…!
: Do not misconstrue my words, Liu Bei. I am not about to try and alter our army’s policies.
: I simply find myself curious about this man, Sakomizu… I wish to verify his own ideals, that which he is willing to make sacrifices to see realized…
: Then you’ll be coming along, Lord Cao Cao?
: Aye. Sima Yi, you will join us.
: As you wish.
: Shou, if you’re heading for Sakomizu’s castle, then keep an eye out for him…
: Shot Weapon, hm?
: And you’re sure that guy’s the same person who used to be in your original world, Shou?
: Absolutely – it’s the real Shot! The Lady Jacoba of this world told us about him!
: And in that case, I wonder what he’s up to…
: Whatever the case, I’d like someone to keep in touch with the folks headed into the castle. Setsuna, Cham, can I ask you to handle it?
: Yes, ma’am. I’ll stay on alert close by.
: You can count on me! I’m way more reliable than Shou, you know!
: The Bilbine’s already serviced too – we even finished giving it that new paintjob.
: “Paintjob”? What?
: There a problem? Cham asked us to do it.
: Well, of course I did! We’re flying around at night, so that color’ll make you – poof – disappear!
: Poof… this isn’t a sneaking mission we’re about to do, if you remember.
: If I may intrude, I saw fit to have the fine mechanics of the Hadou Financial Group give the Bilbine a tune-up as well. You should see an increase in performance – nothing major, but it’s there.
: That’s already a big help. Thanks.
: … Al, a word?
: Hm? What is it?
: I’ve a request to make of you while Shou and his group at headed towards the enemy castle…
: What’s the problem?!
: We’ve detected an Aura Machine approaching the castle – it’s alone!
: Alone…? This is not a raid, then?
: Take a look, sires.
: That’s… the Bilbine! Shou?!
: Ah, he’s the one you spoke of…
: Yes, King Sakomizu. He is, without a doubt, another Holy Warrior.
: Hmm… how interesting. Escort that Aura Machina into the castle!
: Yes, your majesty…!
: So it wasn’t just you, Shou, but Lord Cao Cao and Sima Yi too…
: I see they didn’t hurt you, Aesap. That’s a relief.
: While we did capture him as we would a foe, I once saw in him even a potential son-in-law. We have treated him as a proper guest.
: It’s a pleasure to meet you, King Sakomizu. I am Shou Zama.
: Indeed, you are. I have heard much of you from young Aesap Suzuki – for instance, that you are a Holy Warrior from another world.
: That’s true…
: And these two, they are warriors… rather, a warlord and his chief strategist from yet another world.
: We are honored to make your acquaintance, King Sakomizu. I am called Sima Yi; and he is my liege, Lord Cao Cao.
: And what do you visitors from different worlds have to say to the King?
: Your Majesty, I’m here to tell you of the tragedies Aura Machines bring…
: Tragedies, you say?
: In the past, I was brought to another Byston Well, where I fought against various enemies as a Holy Warrior.
: Including Shot Weapon, who’s been hiding out inside your castle!
: … Shou Zama. I didn’t expect to find you in this world.
: Child, if you mean to tell me of the dangers inherent to Aura Machines, Shot has already told me all of it.
: However, is it not true that all weapons are dangerous? It all depends on how you make use of them.
: And what say you of the hardship you have imposed onto the people of this land in your quest to reach the Overworld?
: I have always been well aware of the fact that the people do not approve of what I am doing.
: Yet, as King… as a Holy Warrior who’s traversed two worlds, I have duty that must be carried out.
: Indeed… at times one must suffer the people’s scorn in the name of what is righteous. ‘Tis a burden of all who wear the crown of king.
: Though our worlds are different, I see in you a conqueror of the land. Indeed, I believe you are capable of understanding.
: Shou Zama, Aesap Suzuki, if anything, I know all of us seek to return to the Overworld.
: So I, as a fellow Holy Warrior, would like to ask for your help establishing this ceasefire with the rebels.
: Amalgan has already agreed to surrender, and we’ve a letter with his blood seal endorsing it. We’d like the rebels to lay down their arms without any further issues.
: And where is said Amalgan, exactly?
: He is elsewhere, working tirelessly in preparation of the ceasefire.
: Aesap Suzuki, I want you to take this document back to the rebel encampment.
: If peace is successfully reached between our factions, not only will blood stop being spilled on this land, but Lux will no longer need to be in confinement.
: Very well. I humbly accept this task if it’ll help peace return…
: (Amalgan and King Sakomizu aren’t unreasonable men.)
: (If we do bring back peace with this, then Lux won’t have to suffer anymore either…)
: Shinjiro Sakomizu… he struck me as an exceptional man, but…
: What say you about that letter with Amalgan’s blood seal, Shou?
: … Maybe I have a harder time trusting people than Aesap does, but it’s very clear to me that there’s more to it than meets the eye.
: Hah, you think so as well, then.
: Fate never ceases to amaze, doesn’t it? Had you told me we’d traverse space and time and meet each other in a land like this, I would’ve called you insane.
: Shot Weapon…!
: No glaring, Shou Zama. What could I even do to you by my lonesome?
: What the hell are you up to? Why’re you getting in bed with King Sakomizu and developing Aura Machines in this Byston Well?
: Now that’s a weird thing to ask.
: I’ve always been an engineer. Being financed by some state and developing technology is what I do.
: Even if that tech only serves to make war?!
: You are being far too hostile…
: This isn’t our world. We had our reasons for being enemies before, but those are gone now, no?
: I know they’re gone – that doesn’t mean I trust you, though…!
: Well, if we’re going to start listing grievances, I’ve also had someone dear taken from me!
: You mean Musy Poe…?!
: But I’d like to think I didn’t bring the hatred I felt with me into this world.
: If not, then what’d be the point in undergoing Ciela’s purification and arriving here?
: I won’t make any apologies, but I hope you’ll understand that much…
: Shot Weapon…
: That man has the eyes of someone whose heart houses nothing but his personal ambitions.
: He has no interest in supporting his King, nor loyalty to him.
: I knew it. He pretends to be serving King Sakomizu but he’s only doing it to get what he wants…
: And I believe Sakomizu is also aware of that.
: He is…?
: One who seeks to rule all must open his arms even to past enemies and those he knows are simply biding their time to strike.
: Otherwise, he shall find his vision of a unified rule of the land to be but an impossible dream. Do you agree, Sima Yi?
: Shou… Shou!
: Keep your voice down. How did things look around the castle?
: I looked around, and you guys were right…!
: Aesap’s gone to the ceasefire negotiations with the Hojo detachment.
: What the hell, man. We’ve been fighting so dang much for this country and they ditch us like that? Why does only Aesap get to be there for the important stuff? I swear…
: Hmhmhm… Ah, jealousy and resentment. Often do those help warriors display a mighty Aura Power…
: Queen Codour…!
: Overworlders, know that I rate you both higher than Aesap.
: Thank you so much, my lady! You honor us!
: But, Your Majesty, I must warn you about that man, Shou Zama. We must be wary of him.
: Well, you can rest easy. I’m not about to let him set foot outside this castle now that he’s seen fit to deliver himself to us.
: You’d do well to remember… I never have and never will trust Holy Warriors.
: And I mean any Holy Warriors…
: A ceasefire… I sure didn’t figure they’d be sending you as their envoy.
: It just kind of happened. But I hope we can carry out this accord.
: A letter of surrender from Amalgan, eh? It seems legitimate, but…
: King Sakomizu has declared, in his generosity, that he will not charge any of you with the crime of insurrection should you accept to lay down your arms.
: He asked Sir Aesap to be his ambassador of peace precisely to show his good will.
: (That’s weird… I don’t see anyone from the UX around. Are they trying to keep their distance from the meeting grounds?)
: The ceasefire agreement says that Amalgan and the other POWs are also to be released.
: You say you want to put this war behind us, so let’s see some proof. Set them free first.
: Hmph, if you insist. I haven’t signaled our flagship to release them yet, so wait just a moment…
: (This is for the best… it’ll put a stop to the war and keep Lux’s heart in one piece…)
Location: Fugaku – Bridge
: There’s Sir Kasumi’s signal flare! We’ve confirmed the location of the rebels’ headquarters!
: My lord, Abuta Blas is within the Fugaku’s firing range.
: “Firing range”?! Father, what is the meaning of this?!
: … Bring them in.
: This way, you two!
: Hrgh… Sakomizu…!
: Ooow, you’re hurting me! Let me go!
: Amalgan, Erebos!
: I could not chance bringing Cao Cao and his peers here, so I had them confined to the castle…
: But I’ll allow you two to bear witness to what is about to happen.
: Sakomizu… what’re you up to?!
: Falsifying my blood seal… How can you resort to such a treacherous plan?!
: The seal was fake?!
: You know why I do this. My one truest wish is to return Japan to how it is meant to be!
: And, thus, I will make the Aura Road open…!
: So you are planning on invading the Overworld?! So much so that you lied to Aesap to get him on your side…?!
: Do you honestly think the Wings of Rean would accept such a man as their owner, father?!
: Even if you take the Wings of Rean shoes from me and wear them yourself, you—!
: Hmhmhm… None of you understand a thing, I see.
: It’s not the Wings of Rean shoes alone that hold the power to open the Aura Road.
: Ready all gun turrets! Concentrate fire on the rebel headquarters!
: Sakomizu, you vermin! Has the once honorable Holy Warrior really fallen so?!
: Yes, excellent… hate me, curse my very birth! The Minus Aura Energy born of those negative emotions are the mightiest force of all!
: The Fugaku will absorb that energy and, with it, the Aura Road will open!
: You… You’re going to massacre the rebels for that?!
: How… How can you do this?! What kind of monster are you?!
: F-Father, don’t!
: We are ready, my lord. Give your command and the road for the fulfillment of your dream shall open!
Mission 28 (Byston Well Route) – A King’s Schemes
: Sir Kasumi, what’s going on? Why do we need to leave the area?!
: “Return to the vessel once you’ve fired the signal flare.” Those were the king’s orders!
: But why would he do that…?
: Heh, you’ll know soon enough.
: Is that the Fugaku?
: …?! And its cannons are pointing right towards…!
: King Sakomizu, were you always looking to destroy Abuta Blas?!
: The main cannon and all turrets are ready to fire!
: You… you tricked me?! Was everything you said a lie, King Sakomizu?!
: Aah…! Abuta Blas… our friends…!
: Bwahahaha! Look how it burns! That spot will mark their communal grave!
: How could you…!
: Wait… something is wrong!
: Wh-What in blazes?!
: The Fugaku’s bombarding a wide open plain?!
: The rebels’ base… Abuta Blas has vanished?!
: W-What just happened?!
: It worked like a charm, I see.
: Wh-What’s going on?!
: What they attacked was no more than an illusion of Abuta Blas.
: An illusion…?!
: Oh! It was a fake created by Al’s Mirror of Nitocris spell?!
: Granted, it was quite the task to craft an illusion of such a scale.
: Hmhmhm… I dare say this is quite the landmark stratagem, one uniting magic and tactics.
: I believe I’ll call it the “Mystical Empty Fort Strategy”.
: Rrgh… What are you fools doing?! Take aim at their battleship—
: Argh! Wh-Who?!
: Lockon Stratos, target sniped down!
: Lady Codour! That attack just crippled our main cannon! It cannot perform artillery strikes anymore…!
: Master Kongming’s as brilliant as always! Even his choice of location for Lockon’s perch was flawless!
: As Sun Tzu once said, “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war.” The victors and the defeated are already set in stone by the time a battle commences.
: Y-You blasted rebel scum!
: Hmhmhm… You are, indeed, worthy of my respect, Overworlders! That was quite the show of skill from your leaders!
: (Father, what are you planning…?)
: Hojo Army, do you believe we won’t make you answer for this betrayal?!
: Silence, Overworlder! We’ve no further use for you!
: Hrk… Wh-What?!
: The 00 Raiser… Setsuna?!
: Target located. Quick, Aesap, back to the Ptolemy!
: You’re not hurt, right, Aesap?
: I’m so sorry. You guys got in serious danger because of me…
: But how did you know what King Sakomizu was up to?
: Shou snuck Cham into the castle, where she found Amalgan and heard the truth from him.
: About how they’d forcibly taken his blood to falsify that seal.
: Sorry to keep you in the dark, Aesap, but we couldn’t risk tipping off the Hojo samurai you came in with.
: And in my ignorance I played right along with King Sakomizu’s plan…
: How about you save the mulling for later? Don’t lose sight of what you need to do right now.
: … You’re right!
: Hah, hahahah… your plans have fallen apart, Sakomizu.
: Yeah! That’s it for your dream!
: The flames of my dream aren’t so easily quenched. Rather, they will now burn ever brighter!
: Here comes the enemy swarm, and they’re looking pretty ticked off!
: Then we’re deploying as well!
: That illusion was nothing but a temporary measure… but it’s managed to unsettle the enemy! We cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by, my friends!
Kill everything, don’t lose Aesap or any ship. This part’s pretty much a repeat of the previous battle, only with Rouri and Kanamoto already there from the start. The main issue is that, even more so than before, we’ve a lot of water and the enemy’s pretty aggressive.
So the best way to approach this, I say, is to have your guys hang by the nearby shore and let the Hojo troops come to you. Deal with them in waves and, by the time the midbosses close in, you’ll be good on morale to take them out.
The Fugaku’s back but, once again, you don’t want to down it – just don’t forget that it has a directional MAPW and weave through its shots.
: We don’t need the Overworlders’ powers! All we need are our Aura Machines and the whole land will be under our sway!
: And how do you figure any of you are fit to rule when you need to resort to surprise attacks?!
: Rrrgh! And we were so close to wiping out the rebels! Retreating…!
Finally, I’ve gotten Kasumi/Murassa’s strongest attack on tape.
Go away, Kotto.
And when turn three rolls over, as the second wave of enemies starts coming in, the plot triggers.
: We’ve indulged your games, rebels, but it’s gone long enough.
The Fugaku flies back to its starting position.
: Did you know that we are not alone aboard the Fugaku? Lux and Amalgan are here as well! Shoot down this ship and you end their lives as well!
: You’re taking your own daughter hostage?! Are you insane?!
: Hmhmhm, one must always have backup plans in battle…
: Set forward, troops! Destroy the rebels!
: We need to do something or Lux and the rebels’ll…!
: We’ll take care of both hostages!
: The Wing Calibur?!
: And are those Cao Cao and Sima Yi I see standing atop it?!
: Pretty impressive that they’re not being flung straight off at the speed they’re going.
: What are they doing here?! Express orders were given to hold them at the castle!
: Hah… You make me laugh, woman! Did you truly believe I wouldn’t perceive what the lot of you were planning?
: All the Aura Machines at Hypp Kurene castle have been destroyed by my lord and Shou!
: Wh-What did you say?!
: Go, Lord Cao Cao!
Shou drops Cao Cao onto the Fugaku!
: Lord Cao Cao!
: Hmph, well done, Cao Cao. “An unscrupulous hero in chaotic times,” indeed!
: Sakomizu… are the ideals you preach such paltry things?
: You have the resolve to make sacrifices when necessary, and that is to be commended. However, a man who would resort to petty schemes could never stand above others as conqueror!
: I am taking your captives, Sakomizu!
: Yeah! They rescued them!
Everyone flies further north, towards our group. Shou flies to the Ptolemaios.
: The rest is in your hands, Shou!
: Yeah, we’ll handle it!
Lux tags in with Aesap.
: Erebos, thank god you’re safe! You too, Lux, Amalgan!
: I’m sorry that you had to get mixed in with my father’s agenda, Aesap…
: We’ll discuss it later! The Hojo forces are finally attacking in earnest!
: It’s… Sakomizu’s Aura Battler!
: Cao Cao, Overworlders! Pit your blades against mine and see for yourself if my ideals are or not strong enough to rule!
: That’s quite the speech coming from a fallen Holy Warrior!
: I once called you a friend… the least I can do is end your sorry life myself!
: Don’t take it all on yourself, old man!
: We’re always here to watch your back, you know!
: Then we’re going, Kiki, Hebi!
We’ll see their combo attack in a jiffy, when I get the DK.
: Hmph, is that all?! We may not have crossed swords in a while, but I trust you haven’t forgotten the strength a Holy Warrior possesses!
: Tsk… If anything, your spirit remains impressive, Sakomizu!
: Father, you are now nothing but a fool under the grip of evil!
: You have turned your back on the Wings of Rean and lost the last shreds of your spirit as a Holy Warrior… You are no different from a Garow Ran!
: Silence, Lux! I am a Holy Warrior!
: No words will help you stop that man… ‘Tis only through battle that we may end this!
: He’s right… This isn’t just a Hojo problem anymore!
: He must be stopped, and we’re the ones who have to do it!
Round two with Sakomizu, and losing Lux is also a game over – keep a close eye on her. By the way, if you noticed, the Bilbine now has its night camo on, which provides a sliiiight increase to its mobility, but is mostly a cosmetic change (and, with Lux, the second secret that doesn’t carry over into NG+).
Destroying either the Oukaou or the Fugaku will end the mission, but you’ll want to go for Big Daddy as he’s worth more exp, cash, has the better item and…
Wings of Rean secret #1 (4th step) – destroy Sakomizu with Aesap.
Get to it.
: Using a fake peace agreement to pull a surprise attack? Really? You don’t feel guilty at all about that?!
: Yell and rage to your hearts content! King Sakomizu will put that hate-filled Aura Power to excellent use!
: Curses…! Is this the might of the Overworlders?!
: Hrm, retreating!
: The king has become a monster. And as both his daughter and crown princess of Hojo, I must…!
No parries today!
: Stop this, Kanamoto! Why are you even going along with the Hojo Army?! Aura Machines aren’t toys!
: I know that, Aesap. These machines are tools that bring us so much power!
: I’m not about to treat everything the Queen says as gospel…
: But there’s one thing I’m sure of: I’m in too deep to turn around now!
: Even after everything you saw today, you’re still going to help King Sakomizu?!
: Yeah, I am. So long as I get to do what I want, I don’t give a crap if I’m with Japan, Hojo or whoever!
And, boom, here’s the combo attack. That’s a very cute DK.
: I need more! I need enough power to destroy them all! And I’m not dying until I have it!
: Is this the sort of tactic a sensible person – a king, for that matter – should employ?!
: Indeed, I am a king and, as such, I have a duty to carry out! I will not tolerate my own daughter speaking against it!
: My vessel’s cannons would have remained passive had you not gathered an army! This destruction is what you brought onto yourself!
: Maybe, but any can see that it was your ambitions that first set us on the warpath! What kind of “dream” is that that keeps pushing us into conflict?!
: Ah, the machine with the skull! Come and show me the full depths of your might!
: Looks like His Majesty wants a tie-breaker with you, Kaido.
: Hah, he didn’t even need to ask! That was my idea from the get-go!
: If you proclaim yourself fit to rule all, then I demand that you manifest the root of the ardor that compels you!
: As you wish! My blade bears all my beliefs and through its edges I will see my ideals fulfilled – and now you’ll feel its bite!
Sakomizu attacking Cao Cao: “I see your ambition and it is fine, indeed! But have you the strength to match it?!”
: I can tell from the way you handle your blade – your self-serving desires guide your very hand!
: Kazuki’s here, and so am I… and if it’ll help me keep it that way, then I won’t hesitate to fight anyone!
: How can someone who calls himself a king use inhuman tactics like that to quell a rebellion?!
: A ruler must have the resolve to make hard choices! The rank and file may disagree, but my ideals will endure!
Arnie attacking: “You’re another Overworlder, so why…?!”
Sakomizu attacking Americans: “Die, American! I’ll heal these old wounds with your life!”
: You’re the king of an entire country! It’s obvious for everyone why you have a rebellion in your hands, so how can you not see that you’re mistaken?!
: These are the people of the country I created, and I will pacify them how I deem best! A force from a different nation has no right to object!
Shou attacking: “King Sakomizu…! I can’t let his Aura Power push me back!”
: Setting up a fake ceasefire as a trap… Is that how someone who’s leading an entire nation should act, King Sakomizu?!
: It outrages you, hm? I feel the burning flame of your anger!
: But mine has been burning for decades, ever since my suicide attack failed to extinguish it!
We get a Takashimada Origami Doll (Accuracy and Ranged +10, Defense +5) from him. Also, Lux became our first character to know Bless!
: So the Overworld forces have the strength to rival my Oukaou?! However…!
: It’s not enough to cripple my desire to reach the Overworld!
: Hell, yeah, chief! We’re gonna party all night!
: Wait! Something’s coming…!
: That is quite enough of this…
: Wh-What is that?!
: There’s… there’s a face floating in the air!
: This land is awash in warring emotions… it’s deafening.
: It’s Lady Jacoba, Queen of the Ferario!
: That is Jacoba Aon?!
: (But the Jacoba we knew died… And why does she look like that?!)
: Queen of the fairies, what business have you here…?
: I had once hoped that you would live out your life in Byston Well, King of Hojo…
: The desire I carry isn’t so easily forsaken. I have a duty that must be fulfilled!
: And that desire would endanger both the Overworld and Byston Well!
: …?! W-We can’t move!
: Hrk… Is this a gravity field?! Nay, ‘tis some variety of arresting field by way of spiritual pressure!
: But for her to be able to immobilize all our units… are her powers on the same level as Master Therion’s?!
: Wait, only my Gim Ginen can still move…?
: Everything is in place, girl. Now take him.
: …?! A-are you telling me to kill my father?!
: Stop! Nothing good comes out of encouraging hate between father and daughter!
Lux flies over to the Oukaou.
: Father, are you truly deaf to the suffering of so many people?!
: Have you lost all the love you had for the people of Hojo?!
: I’m not about to engage in debate with you. Moreover…
: Do you believe I have any obligation to explain myself to you…?
: Th-That guy… the hell is his problem?!
: I…see. You won’t let go of the idea of invading the Overworld, will you? In that case…
: L-Lux, don’t! If you do that…!
: I am your daughter, and I’ll stop your rampage even if it kills me!
: (Is there nothing I can do…? Another father and daughter are about to fall victim to that same tragedy and I can’t stop this one either…?!)
: I’ll keep both your life and mine here in Byston Well! Prepare yourself!
: …?! That man destroyed my field?!
: Lux, don’t! Patricide is not something a good person like you should be doing!
: But, Aesap, I…!
: Lux, you can’t let your anger get the better of you! Especially not now!
: I know you’re a stronger woman than this!
: This failure of a Holy Warrior dares speak against me?
: I’ve never been a man meant for greatness!
: Wherever I am, I’ll always be… Aesap Suzuki!
: The Nanajin’s frame is on fire… No, it’s changed color?!
: The machine reacted his rising Aura Power?! He’s…!
: You’ll stop this tragedy from happening in a way we couldn’t… That’s the choice you made, isn’t it, Aesap?
: You’ve remade your Aura Machine down to its core… Your conviction is very much worthy of praise, young Suzuki!
: Then, King…!
: However, I serve a cause greater than myself! And I will see it done, even if my own daughter comes to despise me!
: Why can’t you show yourself to Lux as a proper Holy Warrior… as a proper father?!
: That’s… That’s all any child wants to see when looking at their parents!
Sakomizu grabs Aesap!
: That’s it! Think of this land, think of Lux, even think of me, your foe! Let all those raw emotions well up and burst forth from within your soul!
: And when they do…!
: King Sakomizu…!
: The hell?! Look at the sky!
: It’s… glowing?!
: Wh-What’s going on?!
: My Aura Power is fluttering! Yes, this is it! This is it!
: Is this the Nanajin’s… No, it’s my Aura Power…?!
: …?! It’s the Wings of Rean…!
: Curse you, Sakomizu… You had a backup plan?!
: The Wings of Rean are surrounding Abuta Blas!
: (King Sakomizu… this is what you were truly after all along?!)
: The clash between two Holy Warriors caused this…?! It cannot be!
: Ahahahahaha! I’ve done it! I’ve fulfilled my dream!
: At last… At long last, the Aura Road opens!!
Location: ALVIS – Fafners’ Burg
: The four new Fafners are this far along already?
: We’ve only finished the base frames, mind. We’re also working on feedback from the data collected from the other Tatsumiya and Koyo Kasugai’s body. (Nishio)
: It’ll be a while before these are in fighting-shape.
: I’m so sorry that we had to pull you out of retirement, ma’am. And to foist something like this onto you, even…
: Don’t worry about it, Tamotsu. Putting these old bones to use is a small price to pay if it’ll ease my grandchildren’s burden.
: Speaking of, have we already chosen the new cadets?
: Yes, we’ve a total of four very promising matches – including Ms. Nishio’s two grandchildren.
: We’re already training them in the simulators, but, like the machines themselves, it’ll be a while.
: That’s not surprising, considering they were living as regular kids their whole lives.
: It’s needed to protect the island, but doing this never gets any easier…
: Cmdr. Makabe…
: Commander, we’ve an incoming transmission addressed to you. Should I relay it to the 2nd CDC?
: To me…? Who’s it from?
: From Prof. Mitsuhiro Partland, Senior Officer of the Army of Mankind.
: From Mitsuhiro…?!
: It’s been ages, Fumihiko.
: Yes, ever since you left the island. What do you want?
: Straight to the point, hm? Very well. I’d like to request permission to enter the island.
: Excuse me…?
: I seek to make amends for the foolish and ill-advised past actions of the Army of Mankind.
: You’re asking us to trust someone working with the same group that occupied us before? Really?
: Perhaps you’ll find it easier to trust me with the promise of compensation? I’m willing to tell you what the Army of Mankind’s up to.
: You – alone – may come onto the island, and for no longer than 48 hours.
: Commander, are you serious?!
: I am truly grateful for your magnanimity, commander.
: And one last thing… about my daughter, Maya. She’s apparently been kept from piloting a Fafner due to having some physical handicap?
: Psh, helped yourself to some of our data while your crew attacked the place, did ya? What’re you getting at?
: As I see it, Yumiko was the one who handled her aptitude data…
: Why don’t you give that data another look over? Who knows, you might find an interesting thing or two.
: Goddamn, if we could weaponize “smug” that guy’d be the most dangerous thing on Earth. What do you think he’s coming here for?
: I can only guess. Mitsuhiro’s the kind of man who keeps his cards very close to his chest.
: What he said about Maya’s data worries me, though. Is there anything—
: An attack?!
: We’re detecting an enormous heat signature right above Tatsumiya! Th-This light is…!
: It’s just like that thing that happened after the Mark Sechs disappeared… Do you think it’s—?!
: That’s the UX?! And a massive force of Aura Battlers?!
: Those children’s choices have opened the life-weaving road of light.
: Hey… which road would you choose for yourself?
Amalgan’s yet another tactician, but he comes with both bonuses unlocked: +10% defense and +10% to all support effects. Eh.
Also, the route split’s over and Romina unlocks her secondary bonus: Spiritual Fortitude for everyone (pilot debuff immunity). We’ll see how things play out on the other side next time.
Man, Scarlet, that’s some spoilers, isn’t it?
Hang on, I think we can attach a giant, blinking sign that says “FORESHADOWING!” onto the quote.
Click to see the mission!
Time to wrap up the Surface route and we only have Joe set as an auto-deploy. Here’s how we’re going:
Off we go.
: Hayase, I know this is putting you on the spot, but what do you think of Miu Kujo?
: Wh-What I… well, I think a bunch of stuff. Like why she became a Factor, and whatnot.
: That’s a good question… It’s not like her life was in any danger, so how come the Painkiller was able to make her into a Factor?
: It doesn’t really make much sense, seeing how that’s going against one of the laws that’s imposed on all Machinas.
: The laws imposed on all Machinas… I believe I know the ones. “Machina aren’t allowed to harm humans.”
: And “In the eventuality a Machina does harm a human, or finds one in life-threatening condition, then it’s to take immediate action and restore him or her as its Factor.” Correct?
: That’s pretty much it, yes.
: Prof. Rachel…?
: This is just a personal hypothesis but…
: I’m wondering if the Painkiller judged that Miu Kujo was in a ‘life-threatening MENTAL condition’?
: Wait, what?!
: So the thing made her its Factor because it figured she might die if left alone?!
: I have a hypothesis of my own in that regard: that Machina alter their laws to suit their needs.
: Th-Then, the Painkiller made Kujo its Factor so it could move again…?
: I’m afraid that may be it.
: Mr. Moritsugu… just what are Machinas?
: I don’t know. All I can say is that this event has turned a niggling doubt I’ve had for a while into a full-blown question.
: And that question is… “Can we really trust our Machinas”?
: (And there’s also the matter of Mr. Ishigami. Can we trust you, sir? Or…)
: Is everyone really cool with that Kujo chick?
: I mean, I’m kinda worried that her crazy fighting style’s gonna end up causing trouble for the rest of us.
: You’re one to talk, Joe. How many times have we had to bear the brunt of your mistakes…?
: What was that now? You got a problem, you say it to my face!
: Yes, I’ve a problem and then some! I’m sick and tired of your freewheeling attitude!
: I swear, were Sir Ylbora here, he’d put you in your place…!
: Sir Ylbora. Sir Ylbora? Alright, Gameran, c’mere ‘cause I got a piece of info to drop on you…
: What is it?
: That piece of garbage’s betrayed us! Quit calling him “Sir”!
: Rrrgh… Y-You insolent—!
: That’s enough, both of you!
: I’m quite sure I forbade any disputes in defense of that man!
: B-But… Your Highness!
: He is our enemy and it has been that way for a while now! There’s no room for debate here!
: Your Highness…
: (I know the princess needs to say that because of her position but…)
: (She must be hurting so much inside…)
: (Ylbora… you have truly…)
Cut to the C-Terahertz, Emperor The Boom has arrived and Grathan and Ylbora are there to welcome him after the long journey. Annex has heard plenty of the Ladorian warrior, but he’s now a loyal subject and Grathan attests to his skill. That said, as Charme knows, Grathan’s been having unexpected difficulties in capturing the Elshank, and she doubts Ylbora’s defection will change that.
Oh, but they’re hardly out of options yet, as Grathan says they’ve a certain new machine being developed – one built specifically to bring the Elshank to heel. It’s not ready yet, mind, which, in Charme’s eyes, is the same as being out of options. Does she have a solution, then? She does, having already dispatched a subordinate to set things up. “Please, Your Majesty, allow me, the Benikage, to take care of everything,” she proclaims.
Benikage is Crimson Shadow, in contrast to Tobikage’s Flying Shadow.
Cut to Kamata, where our crew was forced to ask Soubi to play tour-guide. He doesn’t mind it, enjoying the chance to take a look around town, but it HAS been a very long time since he’s been here. He might not make for much of a guide. As Alto’s heard, Kamata used to be the movie capital of Japan, though a lot of that, barring the famous movie theater, has vanished over the decades.
In truth, the place is very different from when Soubi used to live here, but he can still remember everything vividly – this is where he and Kaoru met, after all. And though his late wife may be gone, he’s certain she’s watching over here. “Your love for her hasn’t changed at all, huh? I can only imagine how wonderful it must be for two people to feel that way about each other,” Lina ponders. “Hahah, I wouldn’t mind getting to know a love like that myself,” Damian chuckles.
That’s something Alto didn’t expect to hear coming from him, but meeting Soubi and listening to his story got Damian thinking. Mars isn’t exactly a happy place and, having been there all his life, he never got to experience falling in love with someone. Unfortunately, Soubi can’t really give him any pointers on that – love is something that happens sudden and unexpectedly.
“You mean suddenly like a girl falling out of the sky on top of you?” Joey wonders aloud. “Bahaha, you talking about Kurou and Al? Now that’s some crazy talk—” Damian starts having a laugh but is interrupted when a car nearly runs him over! Alto’s warning lets him jump out of the way, but who the hell is driving that thing?! No time to wonder, as the car backs around and tries getting Damian from behind.
This time, someone else shoves him out the way and he gets off with just a scratch. Said Good Samaritan was knocked out, but Lina’s already taking care of her.
She wakes up in short order and is more than a little confused. Sounds like Damian’s got his wish, though, as the first thought through his head once he sees her is: “What a beauty…”
Back to JUDA, Rennie’s seen the girl, and very much agrees that she’s a real looker – Michel, of course, heard there was a new babe in town and couldn’t just ignore it. Lunamaria figures she must be with the Federation, but Domyoji’s not too sure of that. Miu asks if he finds it weird that a soldier threw herself in danger to save another, but, no, that’s not what’s bugging him.
Regardless, Eida’s more worried about the car that attacked Damian which, apparently, turned out to be unmanned. As Maki relates, JUDA’s already picked the car up and will be running tests, and Izuna sees a parallel with Allelujah and Soma’s report of the rampaging car at the Moldova Base. Problem is, Rachel says, there’s no evidence of ELS traces on the car. Curious and curiouser.
: Hey, thanks a bunch for what you did back there. You really saved my hide.
: I’m glad you’re safe.
: Hah… I was born and raised on Mars, so, if anything, I’m made of pretty sturdy stuff!
: See here? Everything’s A-OK with me!
: (“Born and raised on Mars”… Then this man really is…!)
: But never mind me. What’s your name…?
: O-Oh, I’m… I’m called Karen.
: Karen, huh? Well, I’m really sorry that you got hurt because of me.
: No, no… it’s no problem. I’m doing fine as well.
: And, Karen, are you a soldier by any chance?
: I’m curious, because I can’t really picture anyone literally jumping in front of a car to save a complete stranger.
: … I’m sorry, what happened back there’s a bit of a blank right now.
: Still, I’m very grateful for what you did.
: If you ever need help with anything, just ask, alright? I owe you my life.
: Hm? Something wrong?
: N-No, it’s just that…
: You’re a very kind man, aren’t you?
: H-Heheh, well, I guess I am? B-But, um… as kind as I might be, you’re the real gem here…
: O-Oh, right! I’ll go and get you something to drink!
: Lady Benikage, this is Karen speaking. I’ve successfully infiltrated JUDA and made contact with the target.
: Have you now? Very well done. Now bring him to the specified location and eliminate him.
: Eliminate… do you mean kill him?
: What else could I mean? I’ve told you time and again, Karen: Benikage’s kunoichis have no room for emotions.
: Y-Yes… I understand, my lady…
: Hey, Karen, I found some coffee, but I don’t know if that’s your thing…
: ?! A-Ah, yes, thank you.
: Huh? Were you talking to someone?
: Oh, right – soldier. You have to report back to your unit or they’ll get mad, right?
: Y-yes, that’s right. I managed to get in touch with them… and it looks like I need to head back right away.
: In that case, lemme give you a ride over. Never know when another crazy car might be waiting around the corner.
: No, um…
: Please, don’t worry about it! I wanna at least do something to repay you for saving my life!
: (I’m a kunoichi… I need to throw away any and all emotions or…)
Back to our crew, Arnie asks what’s gotten Domyoji suspecting the girl. Well, something feels off about this whole thing – is he implying the thing with the car was prearranged? But, then, what would she be after? Well, Damian’s an excellent infiltrator, so it’s not too farfetched to think there are people who’d like to kill him and make it look like an accident.
Sure, but, as Miu points out, Karen SAVED him. Saved him, indeed… but now that Michel takes the time to think about it, the timing of it all kind of seems a bit too perfect. And, Saya notes, it’s standard practice for spies to wait until another lowers their guard before exploiting that opening.
But that’s enough speculation: Maki calls in and has the results of the car analysis. Well, what is it? The ELS really had nothing to do with this – the car was being controlled wirelessly. Crap. And Ogawa runs in with another tidbit: they’ve just detected transmission being made from within JUDA – it’s on The Boom Army’s frequency. Double crap.
Seems to Ishigami that Domyoji’s suspicion was right on the money. When Michel asks, Lina tells that Karen should be at the infirmary now… only, no, there’s no one there. We’re too late.
: Are you sure this is okay? I mean, just taking a plane without anyone’s permission…
: I’m just borrowing it for a bit – and to give my savior a lift, even. It’s all good.
: Heheh, thank you, then.
: Aah… the moon looks so pretty from up here.
: Oh, yeah, it’s a full moon tonight.
: I wonder what life is like for the people up there. A place like that must be so peaceful – no war, no hardship…
: Have you never been to the moon, Karen?
: I haven’t, no… All my life has been about training, ever since I was a little girl. I didn’t have the freedom to do as I pleased…
: You’ve been with the Federation since you were a kid?
: Y-Yes… I have…
: Hmhmm… You haven’t had it easy either, huh?
: I grew up on Mars and resources were as scarce as can be, so the grownups all took a very “safe” approach to life. Every day I’d wake up and things never really felt right.
: That’s why I eventually left my village and wound up joining the Elshank.
: And you weren’t scared of doing that…?
: I had my friends with me, so I mostly just felt like I’d freed myself…
: I think I’m a bit jealous of you…
: Tell you what, then. I’m gonna find a way to bring you to the moon!
: R-Really? But… is that something you can do?
: Yeah, don’t worry! I promise I’ll make it happen!
: Whatever childhood you had, you get to choose the life you have in the present.
: What I choose…
: Absolutely. Every person, whoever they might be, is free!
: I wonder if I really can do that…?
: ‘Course you can! And I’ll help you!
: Th-That is… if you’d like to go with me…
: I do, yes. I look forward to us traveling to the moon… together…
Mission 28 (Surface Route) – A Moment’s Encounter
Moves forward a bit.*
: Is this spot good for you, Karen?
: … I’m sorry.
: Eh? Sorry…?
: I… I can’t do it! You have to run, Joe!
: Wait, back up, Karen! What’s going on?!
: The Boom Army…?! An ambush?!
: Hrm… Get outta here, Karen! Quick!
: L-Lady Benikage!
: Karen, I vividly remember teaching you that failure is unforgivable. Who in blazes is the man you brought?
: What do you mean, Lady Benikage…? My orders were to bring Joe…
: Karen, why’re you talking with that Boom Army lady…?
: And I’m Damian, not Joe…
: Huh… I-Is that true?!
: Eliminate that man and go find Joe.
: P-Please wait, my lady! There’s no need to kill him, is there?! J-Just give me another chance to make this right!
: Then I’ll kill him myself.
: L-Lady Benikage, please! I… I—!
: Rgh! What is this?!
: Looks like we got here in the nick of time! You okay, Damian?!
: Joe, is that you?!
: The only piloting that machine is the real Joe Maya?!
: Damn it, Karen, you were followed? But fine… we’d prepared for such an eventuality!
: Karen, return! Return and fight them!
: Damian, hurry back to the ship!
: Hate to break it to you, but it’s pretty dang clear that girl’s a spy.
: N-No, you’re wrong! This is all one big mistake! She was trying to save me again just now!
: Karen, come with me!
: What are you doing, Karen?!
: Y-Yes, Lady Benikage…
: (Is this really what I want? What am I supposed to do…?)
: (That man… he was…!)
: Guys, please, you have to save Karen! She… she’s not…!
: Oi, Damian, I swear…
: … Okay! Spy or not, we can’t really back away from this!
: So we’ll just roll up our sleeves and try to make it work!
: The enemy’s all gunning for Joe, so keep an eye on the Kurojishi!
: In the meantime, your primary target’s the enemy commander. Concentrate all our firepower on her and let’s bring this battle to a close ASAP.
As he said, losing a ship or Joe’s a game over, and downing either Charme or Karen’ll move the plot along. If you’ve been on track for Tobikage’s #2 secret, though, you’ll want to approach this carefully (if you’ve gathered 150+ kills with Joe, Mike and Rennie, of course):
Tobikage secret #2 – 5th and 6th step: do not attack Karen at all. Don’t let her take damage by support defending either. Furthermore, destroy Charme with Joe.
So, yeah, if you’re trigger happy with your counter attacks, you’ll want to be mindful of what you’re doing – Karen’ll get on the offensive immediately and you’ll have to just dodge/defend through everything (if anything, she’s not very accurate). As mentioned above, be mindful of her support defending. Other than that, it’s the standard foray against The Boom enemies, so you know what to expect.
And, of course, you really don’t want Tobikage coming in before you down Charme or he can really screw this secret up for you.
Skeleton (Charme Veker)
Support Attack L2
All Attack L2
Charme’s voice actress: Eiko Yamada (other roles: Shotaro in Tetsujin 28, Mai in Dragon Ball, and some more).
Like Grathan, but better in every way: Charme isn’t as good as Ylbora since she doesn’t have the Ninja skill, but her stats are good all around, so don’t underestimate her.
We’ve fought plenty of Skeletons before, though, so you already know what to expect. She’ll happily hang back from the battle for a long while, so you just need to close in when you’ve the morale and wrap things up.
Finally, while I won’t be allowing Tobikage to come over, he does get reactions from the boss lady.
When he first turns up:
: That’s the machine the Emperor spoke of… Tobikage!
And when he fuses:
: Oh…? So that’s how it combines with the Ladorian machines. Hmhmhm, what a curious system.
Now off we go.
And here’s Miu’s solo attack with Pard.
: You heard what Damian said, didn’t you?! And you’re still gonna fight us?!
: But, I… my code is…
: Screw your code! Listen to whatever your heart’s telling you!
: I’m detecting no signs of life inside that unit…? Then it’s no different from a Shaman or a Banks! I’ll destroy it in short order!
: Give me a sec and I’ll make you realize what a big mistake you just made!
: Huh, so The Boom Army also has some warrior ladies? She better make this worth our while, then…!
: According to Men’s Tokusatsu Monthly, female commanders often rely overly on trickery, though…
: And you take me, the Benikage, to be as your book describes? The truth may be more crushing than you expect!
: You’re forcing a battle onto people who never wanted anything of the sort! Why the hell are you doing this for?!
: For the prosperity of Planet The Boom, is why! And you Earthling worms have no right to object!
: We could have ended your sorry life in a heartbeat had Karen done her job properly, Joe Maya!
: Do you have any idea what you and your plan have put Damian through?!
: You wanna kill me, you come and do it legit, not with some bullcrap trap…!
: Gch… not bad. I can see how you gave Grathan that much trouble…
: Talk while you can ‘cause I’m about to finish you off!
: Hmph, moron. Now! Unleash the plasma!
: Hrk…! What?!
: Urgh… the Kurojishi can’t move…!
: What is going on?! Status report!
: We’re detecting some sort of EM Field all around this area! It’s immobilizing our units!
: Hmhmhm… this is my Plasma Binding technique! And I’d wager even the Elshank can’t move anymore.
: Tsk… I never thought they’d also have something like this!
: We might’ve failed to assassinate Joe, but your death will serve us just as well, Romina!
: This isn’t good…! Are there no options available for us?!
: Hrrrmmm… N-No, nothing’s working! The Elshank’s controls are inoperable!
: Damn it… you gotta be kidding me…!
: Ahahahaha! Oh, this was almost too easy! Now, Romina…
Charme flies over to the Elshank.
: You’ve shown yourself a very tenacious woman, but not enough that you could stand up to the Benikage! And now your blood will coat my sword.
: Your life is mine!
: Grrr, we can’t move out of the way!
: A-Aah…! The Elshank’s—!
: Damian, I…!
: Rrgh! Let me go, Karen! What do you think you’re doing?!
: Lady Benikage, please stop! I beg you!
: Not only did you fail your mission, you now sympathize with the enemy?! I order you to destroy the Elshank now! Do that and I’ll spare you…
: No, I can’t do it!
: That was not a request, Karen! Have you forgotten what you learned as a kunoichi?!
: No, but I’ve also learned that everyone can choose the life they have in the present… That every person is free!
: And that’s why…!
: You mean to destroy yourself along with me?! Karen… you’re a fool!
: Karen, are you…? Stop! Someone stop her! Quick!
: I’m so sorry, Damian… but I’ve made my choice…!
: Karen, don’t!
: (We might not visit the moon together… but I’ll at least keep you alive. Damian…!)
: Thank you…
: And goodbye!
: Karen… this is just a joke, right? I mean, we were gonna go to the moon together, right…?
: Hahah, yeah, that’s gotta be it. This is a joke… right?
: Karen, please, answer me! Uwaaaaaaaah!
: Control has been restored to all Ultimate Cross units!
: That girl… she sacrificed herself for Damian…
: The Boom Army…! You’re gonna pay for what you did!
: The Plasma irradiator is destroyed and my unit’s taken massive damage… Blast you, Karen! You…!
: Do you need some help, Lady Benikage?
: Ylbora… very well. Show me what you can do.
: Heh… Indeed, I will.
: Goddamn, this guy just doesn’t know when to quit!
: I have found what I must stake my convictions on – what I must see through.
: Though I doubt you could ever understand, Joe.
: And you think I care? You better walk on over to Princess Romina and apologize to her right now!
: I’m afraid not, Joe! This is the battle I chose for myself!
: Hrm… We can never get a word in edgewise with that guy!
: (Ylbora… just what are you thinking that you’d bear your weapon against us?)
: Troops, I know you guys don’t need a reminder, but you can’t hesitate – no matter who we’re up against! Engage and destroy the enemy reinforcements!
: I ain’t holding anything back, ya hear me, Ylbora? You took at shot at the princess and now I’m pounding you into the dirt!
: I’ve given up on everything to set a new course for my life. Someone like you isn’t capable of breaking my spirit or my resolve!
: But do give me your best shot, Joe!
: Didn’t you ever stop to consider how the Elshank crew would feel having their commander turn traitor?!
: I swore that day that I wouldn’t think twice about hurting anyone if it’d allow me to carry out my beliefs!
: Could you look Gameran in the eyes and still say that…?!
Kouichi attacking: “What the hell is your problem…?! Aren’t you even gonna give us an explanation?!”
: What’re you after joining a group of cowards like The Boom Army?!
: And what would telling you accomplish? Here’s some advice, though: those who cannot grasp what another is thinking will find no victory in battle!
: Can an aimless, unresolved fighter like you bring himself to attack me?
: I’m not the man you once knew. If you’re standing before me as an enemy… then I won’t hesitate to pull the trigger on you!
Arnie attacking: “If that’s the choice you made, then I’ve nothing to say to you!”
And Ylbora gives us a Michel’s Glasses (Accuracy and Ranged +10, Skill +5).
: Did we get him?!
Ylbora flies to the SW.
: Hrgh… Hardly! I’ve turned my back on my homeland, my prestige and everything I once knew… your resolve could never measure up to mine!
: Fine, Ylbora, we’ll do this your way and put this to bed today!
Joe goes after him.
: Then, come, Joe! I’ll crush you first!
: A shortsighted fool like you isn’t capable of protecting Her Highness! You never see the big picture!
: Big frickin’ deal! You can cry about the big picture ‘til the cows come home, that doesn’t justify hurting the one you were supposed to be helping!
: And that, right there, is why I say you’re shortsighted! You don’t realize that some things have to be done, even if it means accepting certain sacrifices be made!
: A mere attack jet dares fire on me…?
: Do not intrude on my battle!
: Stop! The one piloting it is…!
: Ylbora… Are you going to shoot at me?
: Princess Romina?!
: Princess, the hell are you thinking?!
: There, I’ve taken a shot at you… doesn’t that makes us even? It’s not too late for you, Ylbora…!
: Your Highness, you must know that there are times where you mustn’t be so kind…!
: Offering amnesty to a traitor reflects quite poorly on you!
: What’s wrong with you?! The Princess is trying to help you!
: But it’s not that simple! I’ve something that I need to see done!
: And what is it that you cannot do it on our side?!
: Why can’t you simply work with Joe and the others?!
: (Again… Again, you choose Joe Maya…!)
: I… I will not be your subject any longer! I cannot!
: Why do you have to be so stubborn…?!
: But, if that’s the case, I have a duty as princess of Planet Ladorio to end your life!
: Princess, stop!
: Hrgh… I’m at my limit…
: But that was very good, Your Highness… I am your enemy, after all…!
: It’s too dangerous to go after him, Your Highness! Please return to the ship!
: (Ylbora, you…)
: Radar is detecting no more The Boom Army forces!
: Their new commander, she said her name was Benikage, right?
: Her breaking out that new weapon really took us by surprise. That was a very close call…
: Yeah… I don’t even wanna think what would’ve happened if her subordinate hadn’t turned on her…
: And she sacrificed herself doing so…
: That girl, Karen… she was willing to do anything to protect Damian…
: Gch… aahaaa…
: Why… Why does this always happen?! When does war ever stop…? Damn it all!
: Karen… Kareeeen!
: Your Highness, are you safe?!
: I am. And I apologize for worrying you, Shaff.
: Your Highness… please promise me you’ll never do something like this again!
: Princess, there are a bunch of people who care for your wellbeing. Do you have something you’d like to say to them?
: Yes, I do. My friends, please listen… I am done looking back to the past.
: In the present, however, our battles continue. And we’ll likely have to endure watching many others come to harm.
: I must steel my resolve and accept that hardship. Thus, I will don this combat uniform and fight shoulder-to-shoulder with you.
: Your Highness, what are you…?! I beg you reconsider!
And here’s this route’s cosmetic secret (which doesn’t transfer into NG+): top option keeps Romina in her combat uniform, changing her portrait and cut-in, bottom option sets her in her normal dress. The choice doesn’t have any tangible consequence beyond that, so choose whichever you’d like.
Mind, if you keep the Byston Well route, she defaults to her normal dress.
Use the combat uniform:
: I will not repeat myself.
: Wearing this uniform symbolizes my commitment to this.
: But Your Highness…
: It’s the proof of your resolve, eh, Princess? Sounds good to me.
: … Thank you, Joe.
Continue to use her dress:
: Hmm, I dunno. We all see how you feel as clear as day but, honestly, that uniform kind of doesn’t suit you, Princess.
: We’ll all carry your resolve with us as we go out to fight, so I say you shouldn’t change who you are, princess.
: Very well… Thank you, Joe.
: (Psh, why’s Joe always so nice to her and no one else?!)
: … Why? Why did Karen have to die? Damn it… damn it…
: So, what was the story with her? Who really was that girl, Karen…?
: She was a spy for The Boom Army. Only she ultimately turned on them… sacrificing herself to save Damian’s life…
: Yet, her last words were “thank you”, so…
: I promised that I’d take her to the moon. There was so much I wanted to show her.
: I promised her we’d go together… Karen… Forgive me, Karen…!
But if you did the secret…
: I couldn’t stop her… I…
: Karen… I told you we’d go to the moon together, right? I promised you…
: And I haven’t forgotten that promise.
: Karen?! Is that really you…?!
: But how…?
: We found her unconscious at the edge of the battleground.
: I remember… seeing Tobikage at the time of the explosion, and next thing I knew…
: Tobikage?! You mean it saved you…?!
: But more important than that, I’m so sorry, Damian… I tricked you. I don’t deserve to be here, talking to you like this…
: No, you don’t have to say anything to me.
: You’re alive… and that’s all that matters.
: Thank you, Damian…
: Really? So you’re saying you want to fight as part of the UX?
: That’s right…
: That’d mean fighting The Boom Army, though – your old comrades…
: That’ll be no problem. I’ve already made up my mind on this.
: I’m no longer that girl who simply carried out whatever orders were given.
: Now I want to choose the life I have, and what I’ll make of it.
: And also… I want to help Damian however I can!
: Alright, then, Karen – you’re in. But there’s a catch.
: That you scratch “self-destructing” from your list of acceptable tactics.
: Already done! And thank you so much!
: What happened?
: We’re detecting powerful space-time vibrations. Their location is… above Tatsumiya.
: Tatsumiya?! What’s going on there?!
: Hmm… Oh, this data is…!
: Yes… it matches the pattern we recorded when the Aura Road opened.
: Come on, Yamashita. Get everyone ready to deploy.
: Y-Yes, sir!
: Several heat signatures have appeared in the airspace above Tatsumiya… we’re IDing them as belonging to the Hojo Army!
: And… there are also multiple signatures belonging to UX units!
: Set off, Ultimate Cross! Your destination’s the island of Tatsumiya!
And, back at the ALVIS ICU, Tsubaki pokes Koyo.
Now, we’re over halfway through the game and I just realized I’m sitting on pretty much my entire stock of NG++ bucks. We might as well put them to use, so, as is tradition, I’m calling a vote to decide on the units we’re going to make HUGE (I’ll likely do another as we move closer to the endgame, to comport the later additions and whatnot).
Here are your options:
- Linebarrel, Vardant, Painkiller
- Mark Sein, Mark Drei, Mark Fünf, Mark Sechs, Mark Destiny
- Bilbine, Dunbine
- 00 Raiser, Zabanya, Harute
- Liu Bei, Cao Cao, Sun Quan
- Alto’s Messiah, Macross Quarter
- Dancouga Nova
Since I’m sitting on 24mil robobux and it takes about, oh, 1/1.2mil to fill out all 10 bars on a pattern C bot, I’ll let you guys pick TWO units to be maxed out.
Either make a post in the SA or lp.zone threads, or leave a Youtube comment on any of the Mission 28s videos, send me a PM, whatever works. Voting will be open until May 7th.
And, finally, we had to skip a bunch of convos since we couldn’t attack Karen, so here’s everything:
: If you go ahead and kill Damian, you’ll regret it for the rest of your life!
: A kunoichi needs no emotions… That’s how I was raised…!
: But now you’re not so sure, are you?!
: There are still different paths you can take, so you can’t give up!
: That group is not where you should be! I’m sure there are many different ways you can live your life!
: Wh-Where I should be is…
: Please! I don’t want to see neither you nor Damian coming to regret how this ended…!
: Damian cares so much about you, so why do we need to fight?!
: I took a vow to live as a kunoichi of Lady Benikage! And I cannot break that vow!
: You might’ve started this as just another spy… but that’s not the case now, is it?
: I’m a kunoichi! My life revolves around my mission and fulfilling it…!
: But you’re not alone in this! There’s someone right there who trusts you, who believes you can be more than that!
: Are you just going to stomp over Damian’s heart like that…?
: I-I’m a kunoichi… sympathy for others is forbidden…
: What a sad girl you are… you can’t even bring yourself to express how you really feel…!
Yes, I hear the moon is absolutely lovely this time of year.
And I’ll go ahead and cast my vote for Demonbane and Linebarrel.
Voting for Mazinkaiser and the 00 Raiser!
Make the swolest Hatsune Miku. Pump everything into Fei-Yen, and also feed her all the stat parts. I want a Vocaloid robot capable of laying waste to god himself. For the other one, why not Heroman.
Liu Bei purely because of what he’s going to end up becoming in fifteen or so stages, and Mark Sechs for maximum A N A T A W A S O U K O N I I M A S U K A ?
Click to see the mission
And we’re back, having wrapped up the route split and bringing a crazy Japanese Imperialist man topside. Not good. But we got out with two secrets earned, so that offsets it a bit. For this next mission, Shinn and Luna are deploying as solo event units, while ALL Fafners, except Michio, are grounded. Blah.
Sun Quan/Guan Yu
Zhang Fei/Sun Shangxiang
Tactician: Zhuge Liang
Off we go.
: How long has it been since we last spoke face-to-face, Makabe.
: We’ve re-checked Maya Toumi’s aptitude data. And now I know why you’re here…
: Oh, but let’s leave this chat for later. As I’ve heard, the UX has just converged here at Tatsumiya, yes?
: I’d very much like to see my daughter as soon as can be, you understand…
Over by the Fafners’ Burg, the surface team’s very surprised to hear that the Hojo Army has withdrawn from the area. The strange thing, as Aesap relates, is that they were attacking us after we made it to the surface, but, for some reason, suddenly decided to head elsewhere.
Seems to Holly like these Hojo fellas are a bunch of wimps, but Zhuge Liang doubts that’s the case: for a group that supposedly knows nothing about Earth’s geography, the way they left was very akin to knowing exactly where they were headed. “It could well be that someone here at the surface contacted them as they arrived,” he posits.
But that’s very odd for Rennie and Makoto as the Hojo Army should be a completely unknown force to anyone up here – who would reach out to them? Zhuge Liang doesn’t know, but figures we’d best presume that they already have a foothold from which to execute their invasion of the Overworld.
If you kept the Surface Route, Amalgan is frustrated that we played right in Sakomizu’s hands and helped him come here. Lux argues that the blame falls on her for failing to stop her father, but, as Moritsugu points out, beating yourself up over the past won’t change anything. Our priority now is to try and minimize the damage the Hojo Army does.
Amalgan and his rebels will all help, of course, especially since he was Sakomizu’s comrade-in-arms decades ago. He’s no spring chicken, but hopes his experience’ll be of use to us. Ozma can see from his bearing that the old man’s got skills, and Kiki and Hebi’ll be on hand to make sure he doesn’t sprain his back trying to bite more than he can chew.
: I’m ready to fight too. I’m sure I can do plenty to help with the Mark Sechs.
: But please try and take it easy, Shouko. I know you said your condition was gone and all, but…
: I appreciate that you’re taking care of me, Maya, but I want to do this much for everyone.
: Shouko…?! You’re… how?!
: We don’t really know what happened…
: But, from what we can tell, she was transported to Byston Well the second her Fenrir exploded.
: Really… Wow, thank god for that. That’s wonderful news…!
: Yeah, it is…! You should go and find your mother after we’re done here. I’m sure she’ll be so happy…!
: I will, absolutely…!
And if you kept the Byston Well Route, Romina speaks up and declares that whatever the Hojo folks are up to, them threatening the lives of innocent people is intolerable. And Lux is ready to bring her father’s delusions to a full stop when they show up again. Al and Kurou see that the princesses both have steeled their spirits – Romina herself feels resolved to push through the upcoming battles.
Damian’s decided that he wants to do more, too: he’s going to start some intensive training as a way to help our folks. Karen doesn’t want him pushing himself too hard, but Lockon tells her to trust Damian – that’s the choice he made, just as she did when she left The Boom Army to join us. Mind you, Miu’s silently not too keen on having a former enemy fighting together with us.
Speaking of, our folks have heard that she’s become the Painkiller’s Factor, and despite her telling them not to, everyone’s a bit concerned over how she’s doing – not just because of how quickly she gained a ton of power, but also due to how she was at Innsmouth. “Well, I was kind of confused at first, but… now I’m very grateful,” she says. Grateful, how? “Because a girl like me now has the power to change this world,” Miu adds under Kouichi’s watch. “We’d best work extra-hard as Champions of Justice, right, Hayase?” R-Right…
Inwardly, Tieria ponders Miu wanting strength as a way to promote change to the world. Setsuna feels that her will to fight is legit, but there’s also something dangerous within her – her will to live is wholly bound to another person, no different from how he used to be.
After this, both routes converge:
: Welcome back, everyone. You look like you’ve been through a lot.
: And you, Saya? How’ve you been?
: Tsubaki Minashiro…
: I see you’re doing good, Tsubaki… and who are these girls with you?
: Ah, they’re Seri and Rina. We became friends while you guys were away.
: Eheheh… to tell the truth, I was very nervous after getting assigned to ALVIS. But just having Tsubaki around makes it easier to hang in there!
: Laying it on a bit thick, Rina…
: Ah, just hanging out with the other girls and talking the afternoon away. I think I’m a bit jealous.
: I-It’s Eida Rossa! The actual Eida Rossa! I can’t believe you’re really one of the UX!
: U-Um, and you are…?
: I-I’m Hiroto Doma! My dream’s to someday be a top singer just like you, Eida—
: Quiet yelling and calm down, would you?!
: Ooow! What’d you do that for, Seri?!
: Because you barely know her and you’re already bugging her!
: Why can’t you be more like Akira here? Look at how calm and composed he is.
: Huh, now that’s true. That’s a very grown-up vibe you give off, Akira.
: (Actually, he is pretty excited right now; they just can’t tell since Akira’s mute. There’s no fooling his sister’s eyes, though.)
: Well, ain’t this a lively bunch. Still, they all look like good kids.
: Hmhmm. Tsubaki’s found some fine friends.
: Speaking of lively, the mood around the island’s a bit different.
: I saw a bunch of booths and paper lanterns set around, so maybe there’s a festival going on or something?
: That’s right – we’re having our annual summer festival today.
: The events are different each year, but we always wrap it up by floating paper lanterns out to sea.
: Paper lanterns… Ah, yes, it’s nowadays that we have the Obon Festival in the Japanese mainland.
: I’ve heard of that… it’s an event meant to honor the souls of the dead, right?
: Right, and that means everyone around the island’s pretty busy trying to get stuff set up on time.
: Well, in that case, how about I go and lend them a helping hand?
: Come on, Kurou! Ditch that kid and let’s go help them out too!
: Hrmm! The audacity of this newcomer! Keep away from my partner!
: Gaah… why can’t you find someone else to go with? All this nonstop work’s gonna leave me a broken mess…
: I’m more than willing to join in too. I’ve helped put together a handful of festivals before.
: Well, thank you kindly, everyone. I’m sure we’ll have everything done so much sooner with your help.
: Can… Can I come too…?
: It… can’t be…
: Mom… I’m home…
: We met up with her at Byston Well. As it turns out, she’d never died in the explosion…
: I’m… here… mom…
: A-Aah… Shoukoooo!
: I’m… so… so sorry… I should never… have said those things to you…
: No, don’t worry about any of that… you’re back… and that’s all that matters…
: You say you’ll keep fighting with them…?
: Yes. I want to keep this sky safe… to keep Kazuki and my friends safe.
: And I’ll do the name you gave me justice that way…
: Then just promise me one thing. Promise that you won’t make us have to mourn you again…
: Okay… I promise, mom.
: A mother’s reunion with her thought-dead daughter. What a touching moment.
: Don’t you agree, Maya?
: Hmhmhm… it’s been a while, hasn’t it, girls?
: “It’s been a while”…?!
: What, exactly, are you doing here?! Last I remember, you ran off on us and the island!
: What an awful way to speak to your father… And, for that matter, are you sure you’ve the right to criticize me?
: What’s that supposed to mean…?!
: You’ve been a very bad girl…
: I mean, falsifying Maya’s pilot aptitude data? Tsk, tsk.
: Falsified data…? That’s…
: A very serious crime for anyone in the military. I doubt that’s any different here on this island.
: Sis… did you really…?
: And according to ALVIS’ rules, the punishment for your crime is exile.
: Oh, but there’s nothing for you to worry about. I’ll take care of everything once it’s done.
: Hmph, so this is what he was after…
: Dad? Mr. Mizoguchi…!
: What do you need, Makabe?
: You don’t have the authority to determine anyone’s exile.
: We’ll organize an inquiry commission, and, then, decide on what to do.
: You can’t sweep this under the rug, Makabe. The truth’s already out in the open…
: This commission seeks to shed light on the recent allegations of forgery of Maya Toumi’s data to display an inaptitude to be a pilot due to a physical handicap.
: Also, understand that you do not have the right to remain silent when questioned.
: First we’ll verify if the data in question is our original. If so, then you’ll be treated as a crime suspect. Understood?
: Then the accuser may step forward to present his arguments. Mr. Mitsuhiro Bartland, if you would.
: What arguments are there to be made? The fact that she tampered with Maya’s aptitude data is as clear as day. You might as well begin the deliberation right away.
: I trust you see that as well, Chizuru.
: Patience. According to the petition, there are others that we must hear first…
: What? But I only accused Yumiko.
: Then we’ll move to question the next defendants.
: Wh—?! You’re?!
: How could this happen to Lady Yumiko…
: The hell’s wrong with their dad, even? He’s with the Army of Mankind, right?
: That man feels really yucky! What kind of a person takes his own daughter to court?!
: I wager his plan is to have all three Toumi women exiled from the island.
: Maya’s aptitude as a pilot is actually quite high, so he likely wishes to bring her into the Army of Mankind.
: Th-That’s awful…!
: But did Yumiko even do something that bad? She was just looking out for Maya.
: Yeah, this stinks! And how can that guy be trying to pull his own daughter into battle…?!
: Unless something’s done, Maya, her sister and her mother’ll be forced to leave the island… What can we do…?
: The kids are also suspects?! What is the meaning of this?!
: We falsified Toumi’s data.
: I deemed that, from a tactical standpoint, allowing Maya Toumi to be a pilot would be detrimental. Thus, I falsified her data and had her removed from the roster.
: Same goes for Mamoru, Sakura and me! We each had our reasons, but the gist is that we all overwrote her data!
: Hah, these kids…
: On whose orders are they doing this…?
: No one’s… they’re over there of their own will.
: Their own will…?
: Oh, dear, so the conjunction of their behaviors culminated in the fraud. And, with that, the gravity of the crime is effectively split between all of them.
: This is ridiculous! There’s absolutely no evidence to support their claims!
: … I can attest that they altered the data. That should be sufficient evidence for you.
: Tsubaki Minashiro…?!
: She’s the most impartial being on this island. If she vouches for Kazuki and the others’ actions, then their statements are beyond doubt.
: Tsubaki’s an “impartial being”? What do you mean?
: You don’t know? She—
: …! What is it?!
: Solomon’s issued a warning! We’re detecting a Festum within block #7!
: There’s a Festum inside the island?!
: Come again? Solomon isn’t IDing the Festum that appeared as an enemy?
: That’s right.
: Solomon is, essentially, a system meant to detect and inform us whenever one of them emerges. So why is it not marking this one as a threat?
: What I wanna know is how a Festum went and appeared inside the island just like that!
: Perhaps this is not a case of it “appearing”, but of it having always been there?
: The Festum was always inside the island… Do you think it’s…?
: Yes, the Festum has been identified as… Kasugai.
: What… But why is Koyo…?!
: I’d heard that boy was in a coma, too…
: Does this mean that his assimilation’s progressed since then…?
: What are you doing, Makabe?! Send out your forces and destroy that Festum now!
: Hold on, what’d you mean “destroy” it?! That’s Koyo over there!
: Wrong, that’s a Festum. It’s a mortal enemy of mankind.
: And what’re you getting at?! Even if that Festum’s Koyo, or if Koyo’s a Festum, or, or…
: Argh, I don’t even know what I’m getting at!
: Whatever, the point is we know Koyo’s not our enemy!
: Makabe, you’re the one in charge of the island so give the order. You know what must be done.
: Why’re you not saying anything, dad?! You’re not seriously considering…
: Psh, forget him! We’re going, guys! I’m sure Koyo’s headed over there!
: Wait, I…
: I-I’m fine… Please, Maya, go after Kasugai…!
: … Okay, I’m on it!
: Sakura… She hates the Festum so much, but she’s still…
: Makabe, I’ll go and keep an eye on them. And if worst comes to worst…
: No, let me do it. I’m not of this island, so I should be the one to get my hands dirty…
: Hey, they all ran off! What about the rest of us?!
: One moment, Cmdr. Makabe.
: I’ve a favor to ask – for Koyo Kasugai.
: … Out with it.
: Haah, haah… I figured you’d be coming here, Koyo…
: Right, he was looking for Shouko’s grave.
: Come on, Koyo. Let’s head back inside.
: …ryon… ru…
: Everyone… ru…n… They’re… co…ming…
: Koyo, what are you…
: Oh, no… Do you mean…?!
Mission 29 – Lantern ~ Light
: Th-The Festum?!
A Sphinx flies right after the cemetery!
: It’s coming this way!
: Do they want to get us… No, I think they’re after Koyo!
: We’re gonna lose him to the Festum too…? Were my mom and so many others not enough?!
: Are you there…?
: Wh-Whose attack was that?!
: It’s the Destiny and the Impulse?!
: Luna, they just finished repairing the Impulse, so don’t try anything crazy with it. Hang back and I—
: No, I won’t!
: ?! … Okay, then back me up and we’ll take him down in one pass!
: Roger! We’ll show them what ZAFT Reds can do!
: We’re safe…?
: Luna, you…
: You told Kazuki before that you need to do everything in your power to keep those that are dear to you from becoming casualties…
: And I feel the exact same way, Shinn.
: I don’t want Kazuki and the others to go through what we did… so I want you to share this burden with me.
: After all, I am your partner!
: … Yeah, we’re not the people we were back then. We’ve changed, bit by bit.
: And it looks like everyone’s coming over, so let’s keep this up and kick the Festum off the island!
: Kazuki and his peers are away, so the only Fafner available for deployment is Michio’s.
: We face the Festum today, so do your best to support one another in combat. Troops, deploy!
: Why are you guys here? You know we’re trying to help Kasugai, right…?
: Don’t get us wrong, we’re only here to destroy the Festum that appeared.
: But that’s not the end of it for some of us, of course.
: Koyo may have been tagged as a Festum, but we’re still not going to turn our backs on him!
: We’ll handle this, Kazuki. Grab Koyo and run!
: Yes, sir!
: You’re not taking away their future, Festum! Not Kazuki and his friends’… and not Koyo’s!
: They want to protect a Festum-ized human?! Calling that insane would be putting it mildly!
: Tell me you haven’t bought into that idea, Makabe!
: Accepting beings that are different than ourselves…
: It’s that choice that leads to a new path, Mitsuhiro.
: A new path…?
No surprises today, just a bevy of Festum to dispatch and with more coming in from the SW corner of the map. Spread your troops around accordingly and take them out as you’ve done before.
Support Attack L2
Support Defense L2
All Attack L1
Squad Bonus: Exp +10%, Accuracy +5, A in Space (Exp +20%, Accuracy +20, S in Space)
Karen’s voice actress: Saeko Shimazu (other roles: Yuri in Dirty Pair, Four in Z Gundam, Rag in Xabungle and some more).
Eh, she’s not as useful as Shouko at all. Her stats are not great and the Skeleton has “eh”-level stopping power (it’d be stronger than the Bakuryu and Houraiou IF they didn’t have that combo attack), but the main problem is that her Squad Bonus and spirit commands don’t really do much to set her ahead of the pack.
There’s no good reason to use her, really, but at least she gets to be happy with Damian – and that’s what this was all about!
: “He’s not a human, so we don’t have to save him”… That way of thinking is just wrong!
: Whatever a person might be, it doesn’t change the fact that he or she’s still someone’s friend!
: You’re dealing with me, ya hear?! Keep off Kazuki and Koyo!
: Lending each other a hand is what teammates do! I’ll hold these blobs at bay while Kazuki and co. are helping their friend!
: Human emotions are capable of even prying the Aura Road open, so I know Kazuki and his friends can get through to him…!
All of the Nanajin’s attacks gained some extra flair to them, apparently.
: Trying to save their Festum-ized friend… Yeesh, those kids are nuts.
: Still, I can dig the fire they’re showing here! So how about we answer in kind and go wild!
: I’m sure their voices and their hearts’ll reach Koyo! And if you’re set on trying to stop that, then you’ll answer to me!
And as you kill enough stuff, the plot carries on…
: O-Over here, Koyo!
: Tha…nk you… for… sav…ing me.
: Of course, Koyo. We—
: …o…mi… Toumi…?
: Kazuki… I saved… Toumi… didn’t I…?
: …?! Koyo, you’re…
: I’m so sorry, Koyo… I couldn’t rescue you in time back then…
: Thank… you… Saku…ra…
: Gch…! I-I… sniffles
: Yes, you saved Toumi, Koyo…
: Damn it, they’re throwing everything and the kitchen sink at us today! We can’t keep this up forever!
: Are they all really being drawn to Koyo Kasugai?!
: What is it, Kasugai?
: Are… you there?
: Koyo, those words…!
: Did his assimilation by the Festum progress even more?!
: Oh, no…!
: I don’t know what madness has taken you over, but the truth is there for all to see. This is what happens to all those that are assimilated.
: Your “new path” is just an illusion, Makabe.
: Your orders, Makabe? Way this is going, the kids are gonna be in a lot of trouble!
: That’s enough, Kazuki! Koyo’s already gone! That thing doesn’t even have any feelings!
: No, you’re wrong! Koyo thanked us just now!
: Are you suggesting that Koyo’s still in there?!
: (?! I get it. You’re…)
: Koyo told Sakura “thank you”! His mind isn’t gone yet!
: A person who’s been assimilated thanked someone?!
: That’s… impossible…
: Then you go and take Koyo’s mind back from them! We’ll buy you as much time as you need!
: I’m sure your voices’ll get through to him, to the human mind inside him!
: Forget about precedents and whatnot! Tear down that impossibility and make it real!
: Yeah, I’m not giving up on him! We will bring back his mind!
: (What happens next is all up to you. Koyo’s in your hands, Kazuki!)
: They’ve got the right idea – you can’t just go “he’s assimilated” and figure that’s the end of that…!
: Come try your hand at me, Festum! I’m not letting you take any other step towards my undergrads!
: They’re trying to save their friend… and if that’s the case, then I’m pulling all the stops to make it happen!
: Kazuki and his friends have their work cut out for them… And I’ll help them any way I can!
: Kazuki and his fellows have left to rescue their friend! And so it falls on us, their comrades, to support them in their endeavor!
: Kazuki and the others are trying to talk with Koyo Kasugai. But what outcome is waiting at the end of it all…?
: You blobs never learn, do ya? We might be missing the Fafners but that’s no prob… I’ll cut you all to ribbons myself!
: Well, I’d wager even if they read the mind of a stupid monkey like you, the information wouldn’t do them any good… Get to it, then, and don’t hold back!
: Kazuki and his friends only want to save Koyo… and I’ll make sure you can’t do anything to that powerful wish of theirs!
Another new variation!
: I’ve no doubt Kazuki’s group’ll manage to save Koyo…
: So, I’ll just focus on taking out the Festum! I’ve felt the pain of watching a friend die once and I’m not letting it happen again – not to me or to anyone!
: Kazuki and his friends are calling his mind, his soul, back here… And if you’re looking to stop them, then…!
: Though he is no longer human, they would still call him their friend…
: Then, Kurou, there is only one thing for us to do!
: Aye, aye! We’ll stomp the monsters trying to nab their friend right back where they came from!
: That should be all the Festum that moved in on the island!
: But what about Koyo?!
: Come on, Koyo, remember! You saved everyone, didn’t you?!
: Come back to us, Koyo! You can’t let the Festum get the better of you!
: Are you there…?
: It’s not working. His assimilation isn’t letting up!
: This might be the end…
: Are you there…?
: I was, but not anymore!
: Canon, what the hell are you doing?! You trying to play bait?!
: Get away from him, Canon!
: I can’t do that. Take Kazuki and the others and run!
: Are you there…?
This obviously only plays if you saved Shouko. If you haven’t, check the bottom of the update for the other scene.
: Kasugai, stop!
: Look, Koyo’s stopped…!
: Please, Kasugai, remember the kind boy you used to be…
: Wh…at… Shou…ko… How…?
: I’ve come back to our island…
: Shou…ko’s… back…?
: I am… so why don’t you do the same?
: We can take pictures with our friends, play cards together… do everything we did in those peaceful days…
: I want… to go back…
: I want… to be with Shouko… with our friends…!
: His presence’s changed…?!
: Hck… Uwaaaaaaaaaaaah!
: Koyo’s mind has resurfaced.
: Kazuki… Shouko’s… Aa-aahh…
: Yes… I know… Shouko…
: Shouko… is right here.
: Kasugai… thank you for watching over the island and our friends while I was gone…
: Waaaah… Shoukooooo!
: Makabe, if you want, I got a clear shot on the target…
: Don’t. There’s no target for you to put down.
: No target? But he’s…
: Mizoguchi… Festum do not cry.
: …?! I see your point…
: Incoming from Solomon. Koyo’s been IDed as a Slave Type.
: A Slave Type Festum…? Then that means…
: The Festum willingly erased its ability to assimilate…?
: A Festum that cannot assimilate others… This is nothing short of a miracle!
: Only this miracle happened because the kids never stopped believing in Koyo Kasugai…
: The Festum erased its ability to assimilate…? But that cannot be…
: Seems this path isn’t the wrong one at all…
: That light… that light is the first step towards a potential coexistence between Festum and humans…
: Doctor, how’s Koyo doing?
: He’s asleep again. His conversion into a Slave Type probably exhausted him.
: Do you think he’ll wake up again?
: Don’t worry… When the time comes, he’ll awaken again. Today was just a bit too soon.
: Tsubaki, you speak like you know everything there is to know about the Festum…
: Because I do. I’m the same as Koyo.
: The same? Then you’re…
: I’m a Core Type, a variant of the Coagula Type – an autonomous union of Festum and Human, of which there are only a handful across the world.
: Tsubaki’s a union of Human and Festum…?!
: Correct. This girl isn’t human either.
: Rather, she’s something raised to the status of the island’s guardian deity. And her powers give her full control of every system on the island.
: The island’s guardian deity…
: Whatever Tsubaki is doesn’t matter one bit.
: I was a bit surprised at first but, at the end of the day, you’re still the same Tsubaki I know – my good friend!
: Eheheh, and mine as well, of course.
: Seri, Rina…
: And I reckon it’s a bit too late for a team like ours to start caring about stuff like that.
: Yeah, what with Gundam-humans like Liu Bei and his crew around…
: Or straight-up robots like Fei, or grimoire spirits like Al.
: The denomination of one’s being is hardly cause for concern. Rather, you should stand proud of who you are.
: On the flip side, a little bit of modesty wouldn’t hurt you, I think…
: But the point is that you’re someone, and how you were born is just a footnote.
: The actually important thing is how you live your life. That’s what I believe.
: Thank you, everyone…
: Hmph, your philosophy is simply astonishing. But I suppose I shouldn’t have expected any better from this hodgepodge merc group of terrorists and aliens.
: You’ve got a real attitude problem, don’t you?
: So, anyone who doesn’t conform to your views shouldn’t be allowed to exist? Is that what you believe?
: Seriously, where’d you stash your time machine, guy? The 12th century must be missing you.
: Maya, the people of this island are fools. But I know you can see the bigger picture – leave this place and come with me.
: Dad… How did you feel when Mr. Hino died? Were you sad?
: Hino? He just showed that that was all he could amount to.
: Tell me, what difference is there between you and a heartless Festum?
: SO Bartland, we’re ready to depart.
: You’re still going to keep waging that war with the Festum? Even after everything you saw today with Koyo Kasugai?
: There are signs that the Mir at the South Pole’s growing more active…
: Sooner or later the Festum’ll launch attacks across the entire planet. Once that happens, you will have to fight.
: The Festum’re going to attack the entire planet…?
: Mitsuhiro, say you wind up winning that battle, what will you have left?
: As long as we win, I don’t need anything else.
: How can you say such a thing?! Would that truly satisfy you?!
: Tell me, what point is there in a victory that you had to forsake your family and your comrades to earn?!
: You’re free to say whatever you want – all that matters to me is destroying the Festum.
Off he goes.
: That man’s hatred for the Festum is such that he’s lost sight of why this battle began in the first place.
: Meaning you could easily call him another victim of it all…
: (Goodbye, dad…)
: Shouko Hazama, may I have a word?
: Regardless of how things turned out, your intervention today was a very risky thing to do.
: If something happened to you again… Well, Youko would be very sad…
: I could say the same to you, Canon.
: …? Youko, what do you mean…?
: I meant exactly that: I’d be very sad if something happened to you…
: You and Shouko are both very dear to me – you’re family…
: …?! I’m… family?
: So how about we try to know each other a bit better, Canon? What do you say?
: (I’m so happy for you, Canon…)
: Sis… thank you so much for watching over me all this time…
: But I’ll be alright.
: Maya, you’re not seriously thinking…
: Yes, I am. I’m taking up a Fafner myself – not to hurt others, but to keep my friends safe…
: That’s the last of the lanterns we had to send out, I think.
: Look at how all their lights mesh together. It’s so pretty…
: Pretty, but also ephemeral – just the same as the light of human life.
: That might just be what the past Japanese had in mind when they started doing this festival.
: (Mayu, Stella, Rey…)
: (Rest in peace…)
: Do you think dad’s laughing at me for protecting someone who’d turned into a Festum…?
: If he’s laughing, I’m sure it’s out of joy…
: I hope so…
: Leica, that’s…
: Everyone has a past, no…? This felt like a good opportunity, so I made a lantern myself.
: I see…
: (“Humans can’t die in the sky”…)
: (It’s not much, but this is the best I can give you. May you find peace beneath this blue sky, Ryuuga…)
: “Jones Family”…? Is that for…
: For my mom and dad. I don’t really have the time to visit their graves right now, so I made a lantern…
: Joey’s father is known all over Center City too… how he laid down his life to save his friends…
: He must’ve been a great man…
: He was… and my dream is to be a hero just like him someday…
: You guys made one too, hm…?
: No one gets a proper burial when staging an armed intervention against the world. But at least the soul still passes on after death…
: We swear to you that we’ll change this world, Neil Dylandy.
: Hayase, is that lantern…?
: Yeah, I made one for Yajima. He’s the reason why I am who I am today.
: We made one for our father and Sun Ce too.
: Their graves are all the way back in Mirisha, but we could at least do this to honor them.
: Is that one for Kaoru, Soubi…?
: It is. Some of this island looks very similar to Kamata when we first met, so I think she’d be happy with this.
: Liu Bei, your lantern’s for…?
: For Lu Zhi, my mentor and the one who first opened my eyes to justice, and Gongsun Zan, a man who I looked to as my elder brother and whom I’m forever indebted to…
: Both were magnificent men, entirely dedicated towards creating a brighter tomorrow for Mirisha…
: This may be a different world, but at the very least I pray their souls be well… Of course, I do not know if it’ll reach their ears.
: I think it will… your prayer’s bursting with very strong emotions.
: Indeed…? I thank you, Fei.
(In case you’re curious, GM Cannon played Lu Zhi and EZ-8 played Gongsun Zan). And this next one is only if you didn’t save Karen:
: I made this lantern for Karen.
: You can laugh if you want. Here I am, having been on Earth for just a few months and knowing precisely zilch about Japanese culture, making a lantern for a The Boom Army soldier…
: No one here’s laughing, Damian. We all saw how you and Karen felt for each other.
: I’m sure your prayer’ll find its way to her…
: Thanks, guys…
: The islanders and the UX people still remember those who’ve passed, hm…?
: We could never bring ourselves to forget them.
: Todd, Garalia, Nie, Keen, Rimul, Elle…
: So many people, gone…
: If those who died return to the earth, then it could be said that we live our lives standing on the backs of the dead. (A switch on lyrics of Azure, the main Fafner Heaven and Earth theme.)
: We’d do well to remember that…
: We live our lives standing on the backs of the dead…
: You might be right…
: There something you need?
: Koyo Kasugai’s chosen where he truly is. Shouldn’t you do the same?
: … Oh, but how can I? I don’t know much of anything. I lost my memories, see.
: Really? Well, I hope they’ll come back someday.
: Human or not, a friend is still a friend…
: Not much time remains, but they’re all learning.
: So I’m sure they’ll accept everything. It’ll be fine…
: Tsubaki Minashiro…
: (But you’re right – it’s almost time…)
Finally, if you didn’t get Shouko, the final scene with Koyo plays out as it did in the series:
: Are you there…?
: I was, but not anymore!
: Canon, what the hell are you doing?! You trying to play bait?!
: Michio, wait! Something’s wrong with him!
: Your clothes… Shou… ko…?
: No… I’m not Shouko Hazama…
: Y-You’re… right… Shouko’s… not here… anymore… She’s…!
: His presence’s changed…?!
: Hck… Uwaaaaaaaaaaaah!
: Koyo’s mind has resurfaced.
: Kazuki… Shouko’s… Aa-aahh…
: I-I know… Shouko… Shouko’s…gone…
: Aaaaah… Shoukooooo!
And then the rest plays out the same.
Also, tallying the votes over both threads and Youtube comments, our current five frontrunners for getting maxed out are Kurou (10), Fei-Yen (8), Heroman (7), Shouko (6) and Cao Cao (4). Curiously, Arnie, Kouichi and the SKL duo are all tied at 6th place with 3 votes each.
There’s still 24hrs left on the vote, so we could see some changes – if you haven’t voted yet and your favorite’s almost there, here’s your chance.
Alright, the vote’s over and here’s what we got:
Heroman/Mark Sechs: 7
Orphes/Linebarrel/Cao Cao: 4
Mark Destiny: 2
Buncha stuff: 1
I confess, when I called this vote, while I absolutely expected Kurou to win, I sure as hell didn’t think Fei, Shouko and Joey would claim the top 3.
And I really like the character Shouko’s become in UX, so… screw the rules, I have 25 million robobux and I’m FUBing all four of them!
Plus, truth be told, I’ve a sinking feeling if I didn’t do this, they’d top endgame vote. Best to give them their due now and leave the path open for the later arrivals to get a boost.
Celebratory Demonbane music
Damn, no Mazinkaiser. Aw well, there’s always next time. Congrats to the four finalist! Go out there and kick some giant metal/alien ass!
Given we know that directors can make choices the SRW makers have to follow (FREE MY BOY KITTAN), little things like this push me in the direction of that having been an issue with Demonbane.
This was the only appearance Ryuuga ever makes in the anime. Which is to say, in a still shot in the ED for a couple of seconds. Likewise, Metatron was only in the anime for a single second in the first episode. No reason to adapt Sandolphon into the game if you aren’t going to adapt Metatron, to say nothing of the fact that they only have the anime license.
I highly doubt it’s anything more than a little nod to the source material, of which there are three more of in the game.
Click to see the mission!
Behold! Unlimited power! As per the vote held, Kurou, Shouko, Fei and Heroman have all been maxed out, which makes them the first of our units to break into the highest tier of Squad Bonus (as if Kurou needed an even stronger barrier – 1500!).
Following the Fafner kids all taking some time off last mission, we’ve our whole crew back today, so here’s how we’re going:
Zhang Fei/Sun Shangxiang
Tactician: Romina ( bring in Romina if you’re still gunning for the other Tobikage secret )
Now off we go.
We open up aboard the G-Excellent, where Annex is being informed of that unit Grathan had been working on: a certain machine that’s been passed down generations back at Planet The Boom, and, after much effort, it’s finally been restored! Charme is confused, as said machine was supposedly lacking some core data that made restoring it impossible.
That’s correct, but they simply used data on Tobikage, provided by Ylbora, to fill in that gap. Annex enjoys the irony of the machine made to return Tobikage to the void being given life by it – thus, he decides to christen it the Zerokage. Charme praises Grathan on his accomplishment and tells him to deploy said Zerokage and bring the Elshank to heel ASAP.
… Well, there’s a bit of a problem with that. See, while the machine itself IS complete, they can’t actually activate it yet. What is the damned point of finishing a mech that can’t even move, then?!
Ylbora intervenes, saying they’re working diligently to determine the cause of Zerokage’s slumber – he’s confident they’ll figure out how to make it work in the near future. Annex’ll trust them to do that, but warns that they’d best not take too long.
What does he mean? Well, Annex had much faith in Grathan and, thus, elected to let him handle the Elshank… but that hasn’t happened, has it? If his string of failures continues, the Emperor might just finally run out of patience. Grathan gulps and stammers an assurance that they WILL succeed next time! Look forward to the good news!
As the call ends, Charme asks if Annex is sure about doing that. While the thing is still inert, Grathan did succeed in restoring that legendary machine – wouldn’t it be a bit of a waste to put him down? Maybe, but they must make haste. Romina has awakened all three Ladorian machines, and if it turns out that she’s already managed to find the ninja…
Charme understands: Annex is worried the Ladorians may find a way to bring out the humongous power told of in the Ninja Legend. And that cannot happen – at least not for the Ladorians. On the flip side, if they can tap into that power with the Zerokage, that’d be great.
On to other matters, though: has Charme managed to reestablish contact with Planet The Boom? Not yet, and it seems the warp to get here has resulted in some misalignments in their star charts, which makes it difficult to home in on the homeworld. Annex suspects it’s related to whatever caused them to spend way more of their kylhasium stocks to go through the warp than they should have.
But, in any case, Annex wants the problem solved right away, but, inwardly, he’s pensive: “What unease is this? I feel like an animal that’s fallen into a trap…”
Over by JUDA, Damian is trying, and failing, to get the Kurojishi to work for him. He’s been doing this nonstop lately – Ennea’s seen him – and despite it all, the bot hasn’t budged once. Still, Mike tells him not to give up yet, as it also took them a while to get the Ladorian machines moving flawlessly. Before he gives it another go, though, Joey and Kurou suggest Damian get some rest – doesn’t he also have his intelligence work to do? He’s going to burn himself out.
Damian appreciates their concern, but isn’t about to take it: even Karen left The Boom Army to fight alongside us, while he’s always stuck on the ship. But not anymore! He wants to also be capable of protecting what’s dear to him when push comes to shove (or, if she’s dead, to make sure the life she sacrificed herself to save isn’t wasted). Karen thanks him for that vow, and is certain that his heart’ll get through to the Kurojishi just as it did to her.
Denton detects, for a split second, a response coming from the Kurojishi – did something happen or was he imagining things?
: Hey, stoking your inner fire’s all fine and good, but you don’t wanna push yourself too hard and screw up when it actually counts, right?
: Lockon? Are you done training Maya for the day?
: We just finished, yeah. Of course, this being my first actual training session, a whole lot went waaay over my head.
: No way, girl. If you ask me, for someone who had to rush through pilot training, you’re a dang good shot.
: And I can’t believe how well you keep your cool under pressure thanks to that “altered consciousness” business…
: I have to say, little Maya here might just be able to snipe with the best.
: Really? You think I can follow in your and Lockon’s steps?
: Take care around Michel, Maya.
: Next thing you know, he’ll find you when you least expect and go: “our eyesight’s the same as our lives to us snipers, so how about we enjoy some stargazing together?” Don’t buy it.
: Hmhmm, so that’s the kind of man Michel is? I’ll better take care not to fall for his sweet talk, then.
: Dang it, no! Alto! You’re giving them totally the wrong idea!
: Is he, now? It doesn’t take a stellar memory to remember that, yes, that’s exactly what you usually do.
: Psh, I swear… between Michel, Hayase and others, we got way too many folks ‘round here who’ve no idea how a lady’s heart works.
: Speaking of, I haven’t seen Hayase for a while now. Did he go somewhere?
: He did, yeah. I saw him leaving with Moritsugu, Kongming and some others.
: With them…?
Location: Tokyo – Old Warehouse
: What’s Moritsugu up to, bringing us to a place like this?
: Arnie, you hear anything about it?
: Nope, none of us have. I’m just here as a stand-in for the Major since he’s busy with something else and couldn’t come.
: And what something is that?
: Don’t ask me. I just know he couldn’t come.
: Sorry for the wait.
: Where’d you run off to, Moritsugu? Don’t you think it’s about time you told us why you brought us here?
: Do you remember me mentioning a question that’d bothered me for a while?
: Whether or not we could trust your Machinas and Mr. Ishigami, right?
: Right. The reason I brought you all here is for us to get answers.
: There’s someone I’d like us to meet.
: And it seems they have just arrived.
#1: Oh, my, now isn’t this a big group that’s come to meet us.
#2: Hmhmm, I’ve half a mind to bow and thank you for honoring us with this.
: I hope the day finds you well, my UX friends.
: Hisataka Katou?!
: So, Maya’s just about ready to start flying a Fafner legit?
: Though I’d rather she didn’t have to. The battles are only going to get worse from here on out…
: Being a pilot means setting your life on a very difficult path. There’ll be plenty of moments that’ll put your soul to the test.
: Honestly, this isn’t something we should be asking children your age to do but…
: … I know. But I still want to do this.
: I’m tired of staying cooped up inside, safe, while Kazuki and the others are out there fighting.
: Hey, can I ask why do you guys fight?
: I mean, fighting brings you so much anger, pain, sadness and whatnot, right?
: So why do you guys do it?
: Well… I, for one, would just feel like garbage if I could do something to help and didn’t.
: The Festum are constantly attacking us. It’s to be expected that humanity fights for its survival, no?
: Yeah, and I also really don’t feel like letting bad folks call the shots with my life or with the world.
: I might not have come into this willingly at first but… now I’ve been given all this power, and I’d like to make good use of it and put a stop to those who’ve gone in the wrong direction.
: I guess what it all comes down to is that we’re a bunch of suckers who don’t know how ignore stuff when we see it go down.
: And if what if all that’s for naught…?
: What if you could see the future, and knew that no matter how much you fought, you couldn’t save anyone – that there’s no hope for them…?
: If you knew that all this is pointless, what would you do?
: Could you still bring yourselves to fight?
: That’s not the question, though – not really. The question is: pointless or not, could I just throw my hands in the air and do nothing? Could I live with myself doing nothing…?
: Heh, I really don’t think I could.
: Same here. Even if you say our destiny’s already set, that doesn’t mean we’re just going to take it.
: But your destiny is never set in stone. Rather, it’s something you carve out yourself.
: (And there she was, asking me if I wouldn’t make a choice…)
: (You make it sound so easy…)
: When you said we were meeting someone here, that’s about the last people I figured would be coming through that door…
: Oh, don’t be a stranger, honey. What’s a little secret get-together between enemies?
: Yulianne and I established a comm channel with each other during the Kiriyama incident, so I reached out and set up this meeting. I’ve questions I’d like to ask you.
: Is that so…? Go right ahead, though, please, keep it short.
: I’ll get straight to it, then. What, exactly, are the Machinas?
: You know that, no? They are giant humanoid weapons, pure and simple.
: That doesn’t explain what happened with the Painkiller, the Machina we found at Shimane the other day…
: Any way you look at it, the circumstances around it choosing Miu Kujo as its Factor are odd to say the least.
: The Painkiller deemed her life was at risk and, thus, made her into a Factor.
: Now this is purely conjecture, but…
: Do the Machinas turn people into Factors on purpose?
: Heh, yes, they do.
: What for?!
: You should already have an idea why.
: Machinas are built in a way that they prioritize human life above all else.
: As such, they are incapable of doing harm to humans by themselves. In which case…
: A Factor, essentially, is the component a Machina needs to enable itself to kill humans. Is that correct?
: Very much so.
: What does that mean?! Why would the Machinas need to kill people?!
: There are plenty of reasons, but if I had to pick one that’d be easy for you to understand, I’d tell you this…
: They do it to oppose the Linebarrel.
: “Oppose the Linebarrel”?!
: … I see. On to the next question, then.
: Wait, hold on! I wanna hear the rest—
: Kunio Ishigami… what is he truly after?
: To bring a Factor for all existing Machina, I’d say.
: Put it differently, his goal is to give all Machinas the Factor they need to kill…?
: However, doing that won’t be easy in the slightest. For you see…
: The last Machina is squarely within my grasp.
: And, of course, you have no intention of providing it with a Factor.
: You didn’t need to ask that, did you? Of course, knowing Ishigami, he likely already has a plan.
: After all, it’s a certain Machina of his that’s been advising him on what to do all along…
: Ishigami’s… Machina?!
: Oh? You didn’t accompany Moritsugu and the others?
: Heh, you ask, like you don’t already know everything. What an awful sonovagun we got here.
: Hey, now, I’d like to consider myself a good soul. I am respecting your wishes and keeping quiet to the team, no?
: Fair enough…
: And I guess you don’t have it easy, either. The ability to see into the future can be a nasty thing every now and then, right?
: All that said, I’d like you to come clean with them and soon. If you don’t, it might just mean trouble for the upcoming plan.
: I know. I’ll tell them everything… before the time comes to leave this world.
: So Mr. Ishigami was a Factor all along…?
: I have just one more question… What is the Linebarrel?
: Hmhmhm, by the look on your face, I’d say asking that’s the main reason you called for this meeting.
: The Linebarrel is the Counter Machina, one meant to destroy all others of its kind.
: And, at the same time, it’s also a man and where it all began.
: The Linebarrel’s a man…?!
: Urgh, what is it now…?!
: We need your group to come back and rejoin the squad immediately! The Boom Army is closing in on JUDA!
: Copy that! We’re heading over right away!
: I suppose our chat has come to an end. We’ll take our leave, then.
: Next time we meet, we’ll be back to being enemies, honey.
: Hold on, this talk’s not over yet! Tell me what you meant by all that!
: Heh, I’ll leave you with one last morsel of information, then.
: Humanity will go extinct 32 years from now.
: Is that supposed to be funny?! Do you seriously think any of us would believe that?!
: Whether you believe it or not is entirely up to you. But the end will come, I assure you.
: What if you could see the future, and knew that no matter how much you fought, you couldn’t save anyone? If you knew that all this is pointless…
: Could you still bring yourselves to fight?
: It’s almost time for the attack. The Zerokage won’t be available, I see…
: Why?! The machine has been restored to perfection, so why isn’t it activating?!
: A machine that none can activate… just like the three machines kept in Planet Ladorio across the ages…
: What?! Then you mean the Zerokage also needs that “power of a ninja” garbage?!
: The power of a ninja, hm…
: Rrgh… I’d never have used Tobikage’s data if I knew this is what I’d end up with!
: But the fact is that you wouldn’t have completed the Zerokage at all without that data.
: Maybe, but…
: (Why am I so much on edge?)
: (Planet The Boom and Planet Ladorio, two different worlds with legendary machines of their own…)
: (And at the center of it all is Tobikage and that “legendary ninja”… What does any of this mean?)
Mission 30 – Grand Quickening
: E-Sensor’s got a read! The enemy units are entering our airspace!
: Come and face me, UX!
: Cmdr. Ylbora, you’ll pit yourself against us once more?
: Indeed, but there won’t be another time! Today is when I’ll end your lives and take Princess Romina!
: Shut your noise-hole, Ylbora! What’s gonna happen today is that I’m bringing an end to your bull!
: All units, deploy and support—… Urgh!
: I-I’m fine. Troops, scramble ASAP!
: Why am I the only one on standby, Minashiro?
: Because it’s too soon to send you into actual combat. Stay in the hangar and wait – if worst comes to worst, we’ll bring you in.
: He’s attacking us with that few troops…? What are you up to, Ylbora…?
: The enemy must have some sort of plan in mind! Keep a close eye on their movements, everyone!
Kill the Boom Army, don’t lose any ship or Joe. Nothing we haven’t done plenty of times before.
Tobikage Secret #1 – 5th step: set Romina as your tactician and have Joe shoot down Ylbora.
: Ylbora… I’ve nothing more to say to you.
: You’ve betrayed us for The Boom Army and now work to wound so many… I’ll put a stop to you myself!
: I’m simply following my beliefs, Your Highness. They command me to see something done, and, for that, I’ll…!
Gameran attacking: “Curses… It’s Joe’s fault that Sir Ylbora’s on their side…!”
: What happened to all your pride and your feelings for the Princess?! I want an answer, Ylbora!
: I’m under no obligation to tell you anything! I’ve found another course to follow – and I’ll follow it alone!
Shangxiang attacking: “Are you seriously fine with what you’re doing?!”
: I’ll spare no quarter to any foe who seeks to do us harm, even if said foe used to be an ally!
: As do I – I’ll do as I must, whoever the enemy is. Now let’s see whose resolve emerges victorious!
: There’s nothing more to be said… we both have our own reasons for doing this, our own beliefs leading us into battle!
: What a fine attitude from the old deserter…
: Then, come! Can your beliefs overpower mine, or will mine crush yours? Let’s find out!
: You’ve really fit in with the invaders, haven’t you? Is fighting with The Boom Army enough for you, Cmdr. Ylbora?!
: Hmph… a woman who questions her very being wouldn’t understand even if I said anything!
: ?! I-I’m…!
: Ylbora, you…!
: So, the self-proclaimed Champion of Justice wants to try and convince his enemy?
: But this is no piece of fiction! Words will avail you not! If you wish to stop me, take sword in hand and come!
: Then that’s exactly what I’ll do…! I’ll fight your plans with everything I’ve got!
: What pushed you to join the enemy, to try and hurt those who meant so much to you?! What’re you struggling with?!
: Only with you people, and nothing more!
: And if you’ll stand in my way, then I’ll cut you down!
: You never learn, do ya? Don’t you get that you’re the reason Romina’s so sad?!
: Silence! I’m using The Boom Army as a means to seize the future!
: And that’s why I’ve to surpass you, Joe… I’ll surpass you in strength and as a man – I’ll rise above all that you are…!
: Hrgh! N-No, I’m not done yet…!
: He’s going to keep fighting even after all the hits he took?
: I-I cannot die here… My life… my very soul belongs to…
: Such tenacity… What is it that impels him so?
: S-Sir Ylbora…
: I must carry on… and for that, I… I!
: Rrm?! What just happened to him?!
: Where’d that unit come from?!
I’m including this scene in the video below!
: Y-Ylbora was taken into that machine?!
: Th-The hell is that thing?!
: Mwahahaha! You’ve done it, Ylbora!
: I can’t believe you’d be the one to activate the Zerokage! Color me surprised!
: That’s right! It’s The Boom Army’s ultimate weapon, made whole from Tobikage’s own data… the Zerokage!
: What’s going on?! We hadn’t met the conditions for him to show up yet!
Tobikage flies towards Ylbora.
: Why’re you doing this, Tobikage…?!
: Hmhmhm… Tobikage senses it, I see.
: He knows the Zerokage’s his fated nemesis…!
: N-No way… that invincible ninja bot was…!
: Wonderful… is this the might of the Zerokage? I feel power coursing through my entire body!
: Not even Tobikage can give me pause anymore! I’ll put the lot of you six feet under!
: Don’t let him finish Tobikage off! Build a perimeter around him, troops!
: Hmhmhm, is that the best you can do…?
: Wha—?! The Zerokage’s vanished!
: Where exactly are you looking at?
Everyone loses 10% HP!
: Hrk… that unit is…!
: I-It disappeared again!
: Bwahahaha! You’ll never be able to see through the Zerokage’s camouflage attack!
: It’s using some optic camo?! Then we’re all sitting ducks here!
: We’re working on a countermeasure! Just hang in there and buy us some time!
: And we’ll also need to run defense for Tobikage while we’re at it…!
: Can we even manage something like that?!
: This isn’t a matter of “can or can’t”! We have to make it happen!
: The moment you lose in your mind is when you lose for real! Have faith in yourselves!
: We need to have faith in ourselves and make it happen…!
: What he said! Let’s get to it, guys!
Tobikage’s immobile and losing him’s a game over, but his stats are still massive and, really, he’s far enough away that no enemy should be anywhere near him. Fighting Grathan’s still the same as before, but you should keep in mind that Ylbora’s still prowling about…
: We’ve lost his signal again! No sensors are picking him up!
: Oh, come on! You mean we’re gonna have to eyeball this?!
And there’s the gimmick of this stage. Every couple of twin enemy units you destroy, Ylbora’ll pop out and shave off another 10% max HP from your guys. He’ll also do this at the start of every player phase, so you can see how the damage can pile up real quick. Your Prevail’d units should be fine, but keep close watch on those without, as even the Shamans and Banks will only need one clean hit to down a weakened Real.
Spread your heals around and hang in there – the plot kicks in when you’ve brought the enemy twin units under 7 or after 4 turns have passed.
: We’re going to be in big trouble if we keep taking hits like that!
: But we can’t even get a fix on the enemy…!
: Y-Your Highness…
: Do not give in! Have faith in Joe and all our allies…!
: We’re not making any headway here! Isn’t there anything we can try?!
: He emerges for a split second when moving to attack us, so if we could just get a good hit in at that moment…
: Only he’s also taking care to stay well out of our shooting range.
: He knows our forces inside and out. We’re going to need to try something different to deal with him…
: We already have that “something”, I say. Our team has a sharpshooter not found in any previously collected data.
: …! You’re right - Maya!
: Hm, she might just be able to take him by surprise…
: But the situation’s too dangerous to deploy her! And trusting a critical mission to a pilot with no combat experience is just…
: I’ll do it.
: Shouko and the others always carried out their missions despite all the pain they had to go through.
: And I’m here to do the same.
: Alright, then I’ll play bait and bring him into the open!
: That way Maya won’t need to worry about keeping tabs on where he might pop out! Sounds better to you, Soushi?!
: But if you do that you might…
: No time for nagging, dude! You ready, Maya?!
: I am.
Joe runs up north.
: What’s the matter, Ylbora?! I thought we were gonna settle things today! You ain’t killing me with bug bites, ya know!
: If you’ve that much of a death wish, I can just as well kill you first!
: They managed to counter the Zerokage’s camouflage attack?!
: Alright! The bot’s stopped zipping around!
: Hrm… Joe, you worm!
: Heheh, sucks to be you… Ylbora…
: But that won’t stop me from claiming your head! Prepare to meet your end, Joe!
: Impossible! It shouldn’t have any strength left to do anything!
: Tobikage… I get it. You’ve always been there too…
: You’ve always been protecting the Elshank alongside us…
: Come on, TOBIKAGE!
: Now Joe’s inside Tobikage…!
: They’ve merged just as I did with Zerokage?!
: It’s like I’m moving my own body… Alright, I got this!
: Kch…! You’ve pushed your strength to new heights by combining with Tobikage, eh?
: That’s what makes you a fitting prey for the Zerokage! Face me, Joe!
: Bring it on, Ylbora! I’m pulling the plug on your party!
And, bam, Joe’s earned his upgrade and is now in control of Tobikage… which, in turn, actually makes the bot weaker since Joe doesn’t have AI Tobikage’s massively inflated stats! But, hey, that’s a good power boost for the guy – especially with his new Ninja Awakening skill, which grants a 10% damage boost over 130 morale.
Same goes for Ylbora and the Zerokage: the bot’s got better baseline stats than Tobikage, but can’t hit as hard. Ylbora hulking out has also given him Ninja Awakening, so keep that in mind when engaging. And, of course, he also has an All Canceller and Bunshin no Jutsu, so you really should come packing strike, especially as Ylbora’s HP dips.
Tobikage Secret #1 – 5th step: And there’s also this. Joe has to shoot down Ylbora again.
Fafner Mark Sieben (Maya Toumi)
Synergetic Code L3
Support Attack L2
Support defense L1
All Attack L1
Squad Bonus: Ranged Weapons’ attack +100, Accuracy +5 (Ranged weapons +200, Accuracy +20, Range +2, S in Air)
Maya’s voice actress: Marika Matsumoto (other roles: Rikku in FFX, plus a bunch of TV dramas).
One of the best snipers in the game (won’t say she’s the best since it’s a very close race), Maya stacking the highest natural Gunfight across all our guys plus a Synergetic Code that, like Kazuki’s, goes all the way to L9 means she’s getting a ton of boosts to an already top tier stat pool (+2 from her Squad Bonus, Snipe and Gunfight means she can hit from miles away, too).
She doesn’t have Hit & Away now, which is irksome, but she’ll actually learn it later in the game – if you’d rather save the Skill Part, pair her up with someone that has it. Lockon, Michel, Yamashita and Miku would be naturally good fits, especially with the latter two’s lack of flight.
As for the bot, the Mark Sieben’s the polar opposite of the Mark Fünf, in that it’s all about keeping distance with MASSIVE reach in all weapons except the Mine Blade. Her two Dragon’s Tooth shots go up to, respectively, 1-6 and 3-10 range (without Snipe)! It follows the B pattern in its weapon upgrades, so it can easily stay relevant for the entire game – especially with more stuff it’ll pick up – meaning Maya ought to be a priority pick for any team.
Of course, the bot isn’t really upgraded and the mooks all have about a 30+ morale lead on her… blah.
Regardless, we’ll deal with Ylbora first since he’s closer and then wipe the floor with Grathan.
We get a Rainbow Carrot from him (Evasion and Defense +10, Skill +5).
: Try as you might, you’re still no match for the Zerokage and I!
: W-We can’t be beaten… not by someone as empty as him…!
: Tobikage, are you still good to go…? Rrgh…!
: What’s the matter, Joe?!
: …! Don’t tell me that attack you took before…!
: That’s the end of this battle, Joe. And now to hammer the final nail in your coffin!
: Joe, everyone…
: Damian, where’re you going…?!
: Damian, don’t! We’ve just recovered the Kurojish!
: Right, we haven’t even started repairing and resupplying it!
: Besides, you couldn’t get the thing to move before, right?
: This isn’t a matter of “can or can’t”! I have to make it happen!
: Everyone’s out there risking their lives in battle. I can’t take just watching them go anymore!
: I wanna lay my life on the line like they’re doing – for Karen and my friends!
: Kurojishi, please! Give me the power I need to do that!
: You might’ve merged with Tobikage but that didn’t do anything to change the outcome of this battle!
: Farewell, Joe…!
: Hrk… Who?!
: The Kurojishi?! It can’t be – Joe’s over there…!
: Well, Joe’s not the only one who can control the Kurojishi!
: Damian… it answered to your heart?!
: Let’s combine, Joe! We’ll take him out in one swing!
: Your timing couldn’t be better! Here we go!
: Hmph, and how do you think combining into the Juuma is going to help you beat the Zerokage?!
: Damian’s spirit managed to get the Kurojishi moving! Like hell we’d get dropped by garbage like you!
: Th-They beat the Zerokage in a single attack…! Was the Juuma always this strong…?
: (Th-That was… I see it now…!)
: (That attack’s shed light on everything! The Zerokage and the Tobikage are…!)
: (Then what I must do is…!)
: You’ve lost, Ylbora! Put down your weapons and accept it!
: My struggles aren’t over yet…! Should you set yourself before the Zerokage again, I’ll make sure none of you live past that encounter!
: And that applies to you, too, Your Highness!
: How could he say such a thing to the woman he once served? He has degenerated wholly into a Shura…!
: (He’d never treated Romina as an enemy before, even during all those past battles…)
: (Ylbora… what the hell are you thinking…?)
Support Attack L2
Support Defense L2
Break Morale Limit*
All Attack L2
Damian’s voice actor: Masamichi Sato (other roles: Portos in the anime version of the Three Musketeers, and a handful of small roles here and there).
Damian’s stats as a pilot are about on par with Joe, just a little bit lower, but you might’ve noticed something with that pilot skill list: Joe, when combined to a Ladorian machine, passes ALL his skills on to the main pilot (the ones tagged with a *), making them waaaay stronger than before. And you can trigger that combination at will – no need to fiddle with HP %s anymore – so long as Joe and the receiver’s morale are over 120.
This, in turn, actually makes it a worthwhile proposition to have Joe tag in with any of them when it’s time to tango with a boss because, in terms of raw firepower, the Kuuma matches Tobikage (and has a MAPW) and the Juuma and Kaima are outright stronger (the latter being the strongest). After all this time, we can finally have fun with those units!
But that’s for later – Grathan has got to go now.
: The Kurojishi answered my will to help the others…
: So now it’s my turn to answer the Kurojishi in kind! We’re doing this, bud…!
: I’ll admit I underestimated you, Damian! I’m amazed someone other than Joe and his cronies can get those machines working!
: The Kurojishi heard my call and decided to help – help me put a stop to your evil and keep my friends safe!
: You’ve got no pattern recognition skills, do ya? Don’t you get tired of getting trounced after your new plan goes south?
: I’m all out of second chances…! I have to destroy you now or my future’ll go up in smoke! Die, UX!
: My mind isn’t set on not losing today… No, it’s screaming that I HAVE to win…!
: This hasn’t anything to do with my status as a commander! I’ll wipe you from the face of the universe as a proud warrior of The Boom Army!
: We’ve a duty to see done just as much as you do! And we’ll make damn sure ours doesn’t bend before yours!
: Not content with Planet Ladorio, you set yourselves to invade our second home… And in that case…!
: That’s rich, but it won’t be long before that spirit of yours comes crashing down!
: Just as it did when we laid waste to Ladorio…!
Putting this video here so you can hear Houchu Otsuka go nuts. We also get a pair of Alex’ Sunglasses from this (Melee and Accuracy +10, Evasion +5).
: Madness! This backwater planet can’t be where it ends for me…!
: That’s what you get! All this happened because you went and put that fake Tobikage together!
: And we managed to grow even stronger thanks to that!
: Blast you all… Are you telling me the Zerokage caused something to awaken within the Tobikage?!
: (…! N-No, that’s not what happened…! Can it be that…?!)
: (If I’m right, then the Tobikage is… the Ninja Legend is…!)
: This is the end of the line for you and your evil, Grathan!
: No, no! I cannot let you people leave here alive…!
Grathan blasts forward!
: The enemy battleship has shifted its vector towards the Elshank!
: He’s going to ram them?!
: Gameran, evasive maneuvers!
: You’re coming with me to Hell, ROMINAAAAAaaaaaa!
: Grathan’s ship is careening towards the earth… It’s over…
: …! No, wait! There’s someone there!
: What’s she doing in a place like that?!
: Ennea, watch out! RUN!
: Kurou, I…
: E-Ennea… why…
: We were… We were all talking, and playing together just a couple of hours ago… sob
: What the hell happened…?! Why was she there in the first place?!
: We’re not sure. One moment she was aboard the ship with us, and the next thing we knew, she was gone…
: Then why didn’t you keep an eye on her?! She was just a little girl!
: Are you suggesting Lu Xun’s at fault here?! None of us thought she’d leave the ship with a battle going on!
: That’s not the goddamn point…!
: Enough, Kurou!
: Say someone is to blame, what then? It will not bring Ennea back!
: What you are doing now is simply lashing out at our comrades.
: We managed to turn that fight around, but this doesn’t feel like a win at all…
: Could you still bring yourselves to fight if you knew that all this is pointless…?
: (That’s… that’s what Katou said!)
: Is this what you meant…? Ennea…
: E-Everyone, we’ve a situation! Come up to bridge!
: Wh-What’s gotten you in that much of a hurry, Shaff?!
: We… we just got a transmission…
: A transmission from Emperor The Boom!
: I am Annex, Emperor of The Boom Empire and ruler of the galaxy.
: So he’s the emperor…
: And I saw that you bested Grathan. However, that was hardly the full might of The Boom Army.
: Did you reach out to us just to act as a sore loser? You must not have much to do with your time.
: Hmph, I appreciate your attitude. This wouldn’t anywhere as amusing without it.
: No, what I reached out for is to ask that you decide, right now, what you’ll do: will you continue with this exercise in futility or will you surrender?
: Your comic timing could really use some work, ya blueberry!
: Hmhmhm… will you be saying that after seeing this?
: Th-That’s… the main The Boom fleet?!
: There’ll be no victory for you against my all-mighty fleet and the Zerokage. Don’t you think, face the alternative, that it’s in your best interest to capitulate?
: Planet Ladorio fell to that fleet in the blink of an eye. If it comes here, the same might just happen to Earth…
: O-Oh, no…
: What will it be, Ultimate Cross?
: Did you honestly expect these childish threats to sap our will to fight?
: Excuse me…?
: Time and again my comrades and I have stared death in the eye and found a way to prevail.
: There isn’t a soul within the UX that would waver when faced with a powerful foe – not after everything we have been through!
: Your Highness…
: Plus, a buncha enemies means we get to wreck even more stuff! And ain’t that just dandy?
: So, if you were looking to get us shaking in our boots, your plan just backfired big time, boss!
: Plus, I’m not so sure that your video of that huge fleet’s legit.
: Indeed, assembling a large mass of troops in order to intimidate your enemy into surrendering is quite the bog-standard tactic.
: But even if you do have all those forces, we’d still never bow down to invaders!
: We’re going to fight you to the bitter end, The Boom!
: As you will… I’ll enjoy watching you batter yourselves against my fleet. I look forward to us meeting in person.
: We’ll never yield either Earth or Planet Ladorio to you…!
: They dare spurn the Emperor’s benevolence? They won’t live to regret this day!
: But the confidence they displayed there… Indeed, they must have found the ninja.
: The Ninja Legend… the story of how, in ancient times, The Boom Army had invaded Planet Ladorio, only to be wiped out in mere moments by one such being…
: And that power is within their grasp…?
: However, now we have the Zerokage at our disposal. And we’ll put you to excellent use, Ylbora.
: Your Majesty, words cannot express how honored I am that you would not only grant me the Zerokage, but a flagship and the title of commander.
: I trust you will not disappoint. Don’t forget that Romina’s life depends solely on your actions.
: Yes, Your Majesty!
: (I’m certain what I felt when I crossed blades with Tobikage was…)
: (I have to make sure… I have to know whether it’s Zerokage or Tobikage that are meant to save Her Highness!)
: Emperor Annex The Boom… the big bad finally steps into the limelight.
: We cannot allow the tragedy of Planet Ladorio to befall another world.
: And, so, I ask that you lend us your strength, Joe… or, better put, the Legendary Ninja.
: Wait, Joe’s…?!
: Yes, there’s no more questioning it. Joe merged with Tobikage…
: This proves that he’s the legendary ninja we sought!
: (That sensation I got when I was fighting with Ylbora…)
: (If I’m really the ninja, then what the hell did I feel…?)
: Wh-What’s going on?!
: We’re picking up an urgent transmission from Mr. Kojindani of the WSO! I’m putting him through!
: UX, you must head towards the Machine Island on the double!
: Did something happen, sir?!
: The Gravity Generator was supposed to have been stabilized, but we just picked up its Final Alarm once again being broadcast!
: If it’s not stopped, it’ll break down and the gravitational collapse will eradicate all life on Earth!
: Copy that… set a course… for Machine Island…
: Maj. Richard…?
: Haah, haah… I-I’m fine…
: I’m just a bit woozy…
: …?! Graargh…!
: Major! Stay with us! MAJOR!
After this battle, the Fafner trio has added up 159 kills and 8 Triple Dog uses, so tag that secret requirement done way ahead of time. And here are the convos we didn’t get today:
: Not only did the Zerokage merge with someone, the Tobikage did too?! Is this also part of the Ninja Legend…?!
: But it doesn’t matter – there’s no turning back for me! I’ll snuff out all your lives even if I have to die for it!
: Come on, then, Grathan! My and the Tobikage’s combined power’ll put a definitive end to this annoying little relationship of ours!
: Whatever is going on inside your head, I’ll treat you as I would any other enemy if you present yourself as one.
: That’s good, because I’ll do exactly the same! Now draw, Reiji Moritsugu!
Oh Hallelujah, you and your magnificent lines.
So I pointed out at one point early on that a lot of the early Tobikage stuff in UX is them taking the entire first major arc of the show (the cast arriving on Earth) and mixing it with the early stuff that happened on Earth. Grathan was dead before they hit Earth, and with his death, we’re finally done with all the stuff from there… just as the original plot is hitting the third arc, where Tobikage’s joined with the cast.
…also, pretty sure at this point in the manga Ishigami had revealed he was a Factor? I feel like that was a thing.
But anyway, next episode’s good fun. First series to be completely done - although technically one other one is getting closure and a third is getting a massive moment - and one of the most important moments to the OG plot in the game.
Was it mere coincidence that this mission’s upload date happened to land on Mother’s Day, or are we entwined in some deeper web of fate?