Longer, Harder, Faster, Redler than ever before, it's a double-and-a-half length installment of Wyll and Aelita's Zoidian escapades!
YES YES YES
Bring it the fuck on.
Battle mode 0982?
Oh god my childhood is flashing before my eyes -
I am disappoint.
This is my HEAVY PARTICLE CANNON. There are many like it, but this one is mine.
It targets like this...
... looks like this...
... and hits like a colony laser.
Would call it more akin to a Kamehameha circa Dragonball, but meh.
And this is the tailblade, complete with the Good Grapple melee boost skill.
Good Grapple (and its myriad of shooting-weapon counterparts) boosts the accuracy of whatever weapons have the "Grapple" attribute (or Bullet/Laser/Particle/Missile accordingly). This may not sound all that hot since it doesn't amp up the damage each weapon does, but it makes getting criticals that much easier given the way weapons' HR and targets' AM run up against each other.
Not really sure what there is to say about the Cannon Tortoise. Pretty standard artillery unit all things considered. The sprites have this cool gimmick where the head retracts into the body when it comes under attack.
And then I realised the giant flaw in my setup: the Guntiger's Static Magnum only has 1-2 range, so I moved it forward.
As you can tell just by looking, this was a turkey shoot.
This one might have been hard, had the +20% air evasion boost actually applied against my Redler.
I'm glad he's having a good time *as he gets shot down*.
Remind me, are we meant to be threatened by things we've been vaping in the wild for ages?
Ah. Now, as you know from the Challenge Matches, this one actually COULD be difficult. You gotta hit them hard and fast, before they can get off their cloaks.
Ahh, I love the Atak Kat - better known to most of us as the Hel(l)cat. Fast, surprisingly-well armoured for a light zoid (comparatively), and equipped with a rather nice big gun to go with its outright invisibility.
This is also the first Zoid you'll come across with a unique equippable weapon that you can remove if you so choose - bear in mind that it can only be equipped to the Atak Kat, and you won't make a profit on it if you sell it.
I chose to build one here and now and give it to Juno, but it's really your call. Since she defaults to the 'Evasion' build, the Hellcat's cloaking device can go a long way to making her nigh untouchable.
Mess with the best, fall like the rest.
SURE WHY NOT. Let's go check out Old Village to the west.
They weren't kidding about the old -
I suppose you want to recruit five kids with attitude?
Har har. Best give them a hand, I guess. C'mon, Juno.
... he lookin' at me?
No, he's looking at Juno.
It's okay, I still make eyes at you.
Hey get back here!
Pfft, right. Oh look, you and yours have Zoids. What say we settle this that way?
Oh don't worry, we do this for a living.
*I* do this for a living. *YOU* just drive me around.
Same diff, there's extenuating circumstances.
Yeah, that external drive labeled "MANY BOTHANS DIED FOR THIS INFORMATION" counts as 'extenuating circumstances'...
There won't be enough of you to *talk to* by the time I'm done.
Yeah, I'm really scared of things I can oneshot with my HEAVY PARTICLE CANNON.
To be honest, two of these guys actually have big guns, but they're in the middle and middle-back, which lets me oneshot them with my HEAVY PARTICLE CANNON.
Wyll, what are you doing back there -
I'm not even touching her!
Like that's ever stopped our mutual friend.
DON'T. GO. THERE.
Uh, Juno? We were just kidding...
... uh huh. You know what, I'm going to check out the village and just let her cool off for a bit.
I'm glad you noticed.
Well, Wyll? Gonna proposition this one too?
Can't you just lay off me for even one second...? I mean jeez, if you didn't notice by the printout reading 'Old MAN'...
Look, I'm pushing 80, and that looks fucked up.
I'd say less 'pushing' and more 'gently brushing against', but meh.
Cool old guy, check.
I bet you do.
What the - I already did!
Either they're a regular threat around here, or you were expected to possibly say no at the obvious 'But Thou Must' that got us into this mess.
*This one* I'll proposition.
Scintillating intellectual conversation!
Normally I'd suggest a better adjective, but a scintilla IS a very momentary spark. In this case, the faintest glimmer of something resembling intelligible speech.
So faint we're not even gonna pay it any heed.
I *like* you.
Also probably a smart move.
Probably, unless you count the Wild Zoids and yeah you should probably stay indoors, kid.
It's like my AA Gatling *only worse*! This is in the weapon shop.
Clearly a crutch for those of us who didn't acquire ludicrous provisions while attempting to photograph the Redler in its natural habitat. It's a W-targeting weapon, though, which is nice.
'They' being the bandits, we can only assume. This is the first item shop *without* a treasure chest.
Alright, that's enough exploring, let's head North after Juno. Short Gustav drive later, and...
Remind me to take you somewhere green sometime.
Oh come on.
... I'll think about it if you *stop flirting with every woman in sight*.
... hey, isn't that Juno and those bandits we roughed up?
Oh hey it is you. Enjoying being out four Hellrunners?
Got a problem with that, fraulein?
Always the fucking crazy ones with you, Wyll.
... did you just insult yourself?
*frtzzzt* If anything, she's insulting ME.... *frzrkkkkt*
Let's deal with this one first. It'll save me the time of keeping you from hitting on that interloper.
This battle would be difficult if she actually had the air-vs-ground evade boost.
But she doesn't.
At top left, the saving grace of the 'any damage wins' condition: Redlers' talons may be piss-weak, but they've got hitrate something fierce.
Piss-weak and doing triple-digit damage this early in the game? The hell's your metric?
*bzzzrt* Aku-soku-zan. Slay faggotry immediately.
...creative interpretation of the Japanese aside, our mystery observer's got a point. If you wanna kill something, kill it in one shot or kill it a whole lot.
This song is called 'I am Mad, so Very Very Mad'.
I'm trying not to be amused by the Scott Pilgrim reference.
Uh, given that she's unresponsive, I'd say *no*, genius.
Sure, I can li-
MAKE UP YOUR MINDS.
Well, one brief trip back to Old Village and...
You went raging off and we found you out cold being harassed by those bandits.
So you mentioned.
Feel like filling us in?
Yeah, that'd be pretty damn convenient.
Huh, same as us. We're... not from around here.
That's putting it mildly... I'm suddenly homesick.
That's because we didn't tell you.
Aw come the fuck on. Right, I'm sick of these guys.
Hahaha *no*, you stay there and rest.
Wyll. Dick. You get used to it.
Must...suppress...urge to innuendo...
Sup asshole. What do you even want?
Oh, right, you want *Juno*. Thanks for telling me, moron.
So, you're a moron. Let's do it, then.
... are we supposed to be impressed?
One tailblade later...
That's because you suck. So, where's your boss?
Do *what*!? I asked you a fucking question!
Aaaand we've been played like a fifty-cent kazoo.
Yep. Now I'm *mad*.
Oh come on.
Right, at this point it's pretty obvious they've buggered up north, but before we go save the girl, let's take a detour.
This place, the Eastern Sea Caves, is up FAR northeast of Old Village, through the mountain range. It's also immediately east of Galistorm, which has a Zoids Research Institute, meaning you can use it as a Peninsula of Power Levelling if you so choose. The fights inside are very difficult.
Easymode Iron Kongs. Got entry-level vulcans of the bullet and beam varieties out of the gate, but that's really it.
This is just near the entrance.
Further down and right of the CA Ion S.
H1 (Helic 1st Generation) cores make early Republican Zoids, naturally. The selection thereof is surprisingly wide.
You see that Black Rhimos? That thing is sexy, and let me show you why.
It has an electromagnetic cannon which, while it does jack-all damage, hits 1-3 and inflicts Freeze. Its ZiData is also an insanely rare drop even with DataGather, especially given that it only spawns in that exact configuration on the first floor of the two-floor dungeon.
The Black Rhimos, in the meantime, was essentially a scaled down Red Horn; developed by Zenebas during the Emperor's exile in Nyx - the aim was to improve the speed and agility without sacrificing armour or firepower. The most interesting features are the horn, which is designed to basically be a bunkerbuster, and the single-seat hovercraft that can operate on it's own concealed in the back of the craft.
Downside? It needs a Zoid Core GR (Guylos Empire, likely "GR" due to transliteration as "Guyros"), which you won't have at this point in time unless you lucked out fighting one.
There's always another way to get what you want...
Oi. Conveniently cryptic much?
This is further SE of the previous items; that hole in the wall leads to the bottom floor of the dungeon.
NE of the 2500g.
FUCK ZABATS. They're the Redler's replacement - not exactly as good in game terms (largely due to them lacking a strong melee weapon), but they're *much* faster than you, meaning they'll all move before you do. Just weather the storm.
Zabats are, in fact, THE fastest unaugmented Zoids in the game, as far as Sensor Range and Initiative go. Luckily, the SECOND fastest do what Zabats do far more competently. You'll love 'em when we're acquainted with 'em.
They do look damn awesome though. You might like them yourself.
NCZ's Backdraft Group sure did.
More goodies abound. The Command Wolf is essentially a better Hellcat.
And a great source of more H1 cores. Get 'em while the getting's good!
This is at the far bottom left of the top floor.
This is also where you'll be introduced to something fun...
Wild Zoids with equipped weaponry.
There's a command called Junk Parts later which lets you take said weapons from Zoids you destroy.
For all that they got shafted in the shows, Rev Raptors are seriously cool.
Also noticeable in that Rev Raptors happen to be equipped with Organoid Systems, which is part of what made them so potent. But I mean, look at it. Stare at it. That zoid is *sexy*.
Not as sexy as you.
You have to wrap around from the CA Ion S at the far bottom left to get this one.
As you can tell from that Cannon Tortoise BC in the back, we're starting to see more and more Zoids that actively have upgrade kits/nonfixed weapons attached. Bear in mind that if you aren't actively grinding out, this dungeon can wreck an entire party - I've been doing this singlehandedly with my Redler and its HEAVY PARTICLE CANNON.
Compensating for something?
You *know* I'm not.
Fun fact. Gun Snipers also have Organoid Systems.
The Gun Sniper and the Rev Raptor are sort of rivals in this regard; both small dinosaurs with wrist-guns and Organoid Systems. The real difference lies in the Empire/Republic design philosophies - the Republic Gun Sniper is sort of The Mario, enjoying adequate abilities at every range, while the Imperial Rev Raptor is a dedicated close range machine, with the speed and weapons to get in and deal ridiculous damage really fast.
Something we've managed to overlook while using the Battle Story as our base frame of reference: Organoid Systems aren't quite the same as Organoids as you've seen 'em in Chaotic Century/Guardian Force. An OS is about the same as, say, Zeta Gundam's Bio Sensor, where Organoids do shit at the speed of plot.
For all that comparison entails, don't go expecting Wyll to bust out mile-long beam claws using any Organoid System Zoids anytime soon.
HEAVY PARTICLE CANNON is just that much more fun - and vital for crowd-clearing.
More Rev Raptors. It's the two in the backrow that have the extra parts.
This is immediately NW of the entry point for the second (and bottom) floor. The Accelerated Cannon is a great pick for your backrow units - it's range 2-3, and quite strong.
Beware the Accelerated Cannon's shoddy raw HR of 65%, though - a rather hefty tradeoff for great early-game single-target power at reasonable EP cost.
I don't think we have to remind Wyll about the dangers of shooting wildly at long distances.
You might remember these being used as what amounted to private jets in Chaotic Century and Guardian Force. Weird to find out that they're swimmers?
Not for some of us.
Not all of us have workdesks cluttered with Kinder Surprise toys.
What!? I think it's cute.
Honestly, after the clusterfuck-difficulty battles on the top floor, this is just insulting.
Ironically, the Brachios is actually a good fixed cannon for a big-EP-cost weapon - it has a fixed weapon called "Solar Panel", which restores 100 EP to itself.
Too bad the Zoid itself is *awful* (you'd have to do considerable grinding and get creative with late-game parts to even GET it to a max of 100 EP), and you have better 'fixed cannons' by now.
This is up the top of the bottom floor.
IS (Insect) for making Saicurtis, Guysack, and...really, that's all I can think of at the moment.
These things, called Sinkers in the shows, are the cause of either the worst or best episode in Guardian Force.
Moonbay racing a hotrod version against Prince Rudolf, with Irvine and Doctor D. as her pit crew. It's so silly it wraps around to *fucking awesome*.
Too bad most of the episode was given over to foiling the assassination attempt.
These are more towards the right side.
Cannonry Unit is for Cannonry Molgas. Yay for Caterpie learning Bug Bite.
See what I mean about *insultingly* easy?
At least the *game* thinks the Brachios is worth having.
This is in the far bottom right. At this point, I should explain that the cave is actually split into two sections like this: -_-
Basically, the upper floor is divided in half, and you have to go through the bottom floor, then the top floor on the east side, to get through. As for the WT (Water) core...I'm about as -_- as Wyll on account of Water Zoids' Speed and SR are so far in the toilet that there's no real point developing them.
And this is at the far top right and I have no clue what it does. Aelita?
The Magnetic Detector line of Support weapons is pretty good for prolonged fights, actually. This one enables you to replace the SR of an allied Zoid with the printed value of 800, buffing its accuracy accordingly off the bat and its IV in later turns. The "Magnetic" part means its weapons begin targeting on that particular sense (rather than a generally understood optical targeting), which would mean something if there were enough of a difference between it and Sonar.
DO NOT MISS THIS. It's invaluable against our "Mystery Woman" in later fights. It's around about the center of the bottom floor.
And this is relatively nearby.
Raynos are pretty cool, and you may wish to make one - they're the upgrade of the Pteras, naturally, and it shows.
It trades out the Redler's overpowering melee for a single, slightly-weaker one, but includes a ranged weapon that hits 1-2, in addition to a self-boost to HR.
The weird thing is that all its weapons are anti-air (and the radar bestows the anti-air quality on itself), but it is itself a flying unit...
Its base carrying capacity is also higher than the Redler's. All in all a solid choice, really.
Indeed... I think I'll switch to one.
This is by the eastern exit, conveniently giving you the parts to *make* that Raynos.
Said exit puts you out here, but you can't actually reach the arena on the other side due to the mountain range being in the way. The encounters here are also lame.
This is on the left hand side of the right hand part of the upper floor.
And this is at the far top.
You want this encounter. Yes, it's difficult, but you can scrounge the Shield Liger DCS data off it, which will be useful later if you choose that way...
... well, having done our wandering around and side dungeon, I guess it's off to save Juno!
Sure, come running for her, I only had to *die*...
... that was low...
TODAY'S BONUS: OUTTAKE
A rare glimpse of our Stunt Double, legit Zoids Legacy protagonist Zeru Jupit. Give 'im a big hand for putting up with our crap, folks.