Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Let's Play Zoids Legacy! Chapter 8

In which that 2-Armed Lizard we grabbed the specs for in the last Challenge round drives us to bankruptcy to build (fake spoilers: not really, with all our grinding-for-encounter-variation-showcasing)

So now we're back from outer space

This is in the weapons shop in the NE of town. It's an active-use item that can go in an Assist slot and restores 100 HP to an ally, so it's possible you may be able to make use of it. It does, however, have a prohitive WP of 12.
It's worth noting that this is the only store in the entire game which sells the Beam Cannon and the Smoke Unit parts, and you won't be able to access it after this plot arc. Having said that, the Smoke Unit is superseded entirely by Optical Camoflage (and isn't that great in the first place), and the Beam Cannon is not a hugely fantastic weapon in the first place, being prohibitively heavy (25 WP), costing 8 EP to use, and having a hitzone of 2~3S.

And this is in the general store by the town entrance. This is for making a Command Wolf IS (Irvine's custom Command Wolf with the honking great rifle, distinct from the standard Command Wolf and Brad's Command Wolf AC), which probably won't ever see the light of day if you play like we do.

This is also in the general store.

At this point the degree of text in the game is getting incredibly dense so unless it's plot-relevant I'm only going to grab instances of SNKglish. This one isn't that bad, but it made me smile, so it's good enough.

As you may have noticed, everyone in this game has an aversion to using 'the' in a sentence in any form.
We don't need no education~
We don't need no thought control~
No dark sarcasm in the classroom!

No! No you don't! There's nothing for you there but WILD ZOIDS.

Entering the Zoids Institute triggers an event with Chaotic Century!Van and Fiona.

I wish I knew, my metal friend.

I am just SHOCKED that someone might recognise a human-sized animal robot as an Organoid.
More time to play with Pulse.

The choices are White+3 and Black+3, and anything's better than White.
So anyway, how does a random kid know what an Organoid is. WAIT DON'T TELL ME, HE ALS -

- I asked you not to tell me that.

Shut up, Mokuba.

Amusing statement considering that Shadow is basically made of HONOR and WARRIOR PRIDE, not that Fiona has any way of knowing this at this point in time.
You know how some shows have an evil-detecting dog? Fiona is an evil-detecting waif.

Wyll. The hot one is Aelita and the cranky one is Haruka.
Aaaand fuck you.
And the robot jaguar thing is Pulse.


Damnit Zan.
I have a feeling you'll be getting a LOT of that out of your system before this is all over.

But I already told you, we're in Imperial Twn!

You mean 'Guylos'?
Let's not jump to conclusions.

Then get around to telling us where the fuck we are.
Not that we don't already know...

Rumor has it that the stork brought me.

More like due to you being completely retarded... 'hey, last time we tried to use a Fuzor it dumped us out here! Let's do it again and look surprised when the same thing happens!', it's not! It's nothing like that!
Mostly by virtue of only one out of four was a flyer and another was a swimmer flapping its fins like the fat kid in gym class.

And which head did you make that decision with, Van?
I presume Cerebros; the girl Spike would angle for is already next to him.

Because being dumb with experimental technology leaves you no time to be dishonest?

Why are you asking me!?
Well, more guns are better.

I'm sorry, I sneezed.

See, Fiona agrees with me.
Not helping your case.

How did that statement lead to that response?
Yeah, didn't Chaotic Century kinda throw a Special Force Of The Week at Van and Co. between Raven/Stinger appearances?

Yes. Yes! Thank you! Someone who shares my opinion of having a solid drink.
They're kind of the enemy though.

Well ain't that fucking dandy of you.

Token Shounen Lad has a point. I think Haruka's still got Zoids Sliders on the brain. The food kind, not the eternally-at-risk Fox sci-fi show kind.

So we get Van and his Blade Liger. Van is uh, well, there's really two schools of thought here. You can either use him and destroy the game at this point, or you can not use him so that you don't have to worry about sinking XP that you won't recoup. However, since my front line is going to be arguing for slots (with another pilot we're about to retrieve), he's unlikely to end up in the formation.

...So a bunch of Zoids pilots walk into a bar.

'We were having a good time until YOU showed up! Jeeeeez! Go have some coffee! with CREAM! AND SUGAR!!'

Listen to his song?

Pretty sure he means LISTEN TO HIM, moron.

Nice tuck.

Yes! I'm sure they'll never think to look for us at the heart of their fucking research facility in the middle of wartime.

"Give me the truth. I can take it."
You're extraneous components of a franchise that Tomy has effectively abandoned since shacking up with Takara and getting a cut of the Transformers cash cow.
... not that truth.
Your girlfriend has -
Think veeerrryyyyy carefullly about what you finish that sentence with.
- lovely hips?
Nice catch...wait, how'd you know Claudia had-
No self-respecting straight woman would wear that many green barrettes in pink hair. The equation solves itself.

"Time traveler business. We never had this conversation, assuming our mission fails or succeeds such that you still remember it."
Not that. Script seems to imply Zan meant "go and say your piece."
The script says a lot of things, and they aren't necessarily obligated to make sense.

Sounds like you're really up shit creek.

Metal Gear??

No, we made it up to fuck with your head. Then again, if we don't act soon, it'll become as true as Emperor Kiva.

It's not; we just said we're in the Era of Ten Minutes Before Emperor Proitzen.
Still a little late at that point to wiggle the timeline, regardless.

BLOX catfight?
Hear him out real quick!

So it's Maverick Hunters but with less Green Biker Dudes.
Green Molga Dudes, maybe.

You ended up pretty?
Just excuse the portrait xref error there for a bit and humor him...her...them.

Do you have a problem?
Can no one else help?
Are you foos gonna try and put us on a plane?

Just fuse again!

Claudia spots a moving cardboard box. Level 3 Alert is raised.

Are you staring at my throat. Is she staring at my throat?
Back off, bitch. He's mine.

Wyll's feminine charms carry the day again!

At this point, the Rottiger pilots will join your team, and you'll recieve the Flyscissors, Shellkarn, Diploguns, and Demon's Head.
These are all powerful Zoids; Flyscissors and Demon's Head in particular are utterly dominant close-range units, and the Rottiger pilots are all great, although Claudia is particularly fantastic, having a native +20% Good Grapple and +30% Evasion, as well as an EP cost reduction skill.

Charge Energy is a more friendly version of Conservation: only the Zoid you pick is forced to Wait, and it recovers EP equal to the total GEP of all your Zoids. If you've been playing Challenges and picking up Deck Commands, this will round out your 10 to carry into battle with you.

Remember we picked up data for the 2-Armed Lizard during the last Challenge round? Now we put it to use.

The appropriate name for this is actually 'D.A. Lizards', or 'Double Arms Lizards', and it's allegedly based on a Varanus, which is a type of monitor lizard.
About the extent of their appearance in Battle Story is that a few were given stealth capability and used in the Helic Republic's intelligence forces. Like most of the BLOX Zoids, they don't have a particularly interesting history.

Aw man, that's beautiful. Mind that it does have a prohibitively high CLV of 12. I've given it to Claudia, who is only level 8, but it's so overwhelmingly powerful that even with the level penalty, it's not really something to worry about.
As for my final back row slot, I've tucked Reiner and his Diploguns away back there; it has a very powerful Railcannon built in, and I snuck on my spare Accelerated Cannon and Small Laser - neither are as powerful, but they are far more economic. And finally, the team is rounded out to 6! Time to quit town!

I like how he gives us the combiner command for a Zoid we've already created a permanently-fused version of.
His doctorate is in Time Fuckery, not Dimension Fuckery. Just let him have his moments while we do the real work.

and the survey says... DENIED!

The encounters here are a lot stronger than usual, so take the opportunity to get some grinding done and bring the Blue Unicorns/Rottigers up to speed.

Noticeably, you are actually fighting Imperials, not Wild Zoids. That means enemy stats are above the wild base, but not by much. Think about a Level 7-10 Almighty Zeru with some deviation.

As part of the downside of putting Claudia in a mech beyond her by one-third (technically one-half, but Zoids Legacy figures its level/weight penalties using a unit's intended quota as the denominator), some of her weapons (like this one) suffer from utterly horrendous accuracy. This isn't so bad, though, as we're just grinding and she has the Zan Blade (which has post-nerf 90% accuracy) for anything that matters.

And when she DOES hit, she hits like a truck.

Ah yes, Redler Interceptors. These are basically the next step up from Redlers, but still below Bloodlers.

Although not having any canon appearance - even in Battle Story - the Redler Interceptor is, for all intents and purposes, a permanent fusion of a Redler and the Booster Cannon extra parts that we saw Leviathe sporting earlier.
Gonna take one for a ride, Wyll?
No, I like my monkey. It hits like a truck and has like a million WP to spare.

Now here's a Zoid with prestige. While those of you who watched the anime will remember it as Rosso's first ride, in Battle Story, it was created to oppose Helic Republic Zoids like the Gojulas, and was used heavily by both sides.
Since it possesses heavy armor, surprising mobility for its type, and overwhelming firepower, as well as an advanced sensor suite and amphibious function, it's pretty much perfect for a commander Zoid.
In gameplay terms, there is now a choice to be made: I can either switch Albane to the Red Horn, or I can keep him in the Black Rhimos to abuse its zap cannon. Delaying that decision for now, I've made the arguably strange one to put Max in Albane's place, as his defensive typing makes him a natural in such a tanky Zoid.

This isn't exactly a bad encounter, either, since Zaber Fang ATs have a good mix of natural weapons.

Basically, this is a Zaber Fang equipped with the Empire Customize Set. This is really the dichotomy between the Empire and the Republic: the Republic favored more-expensive Zoids with higher basic abilities and built-in weapons, while the Empire enjoyed using Zoids that could be easily equipped for a variety of situations.
In game terms, this might be good if we hadn't so thoroughly broken the game's difficulty curve in half by carefully acquiring Zoids we really shouldn't have at this point. It's a worthy upgrade for a Zeru who started with a Zaber Fang, though.

So outclassed. Notably, this is actually a Wild Zoid encounter.

This is a game-original prototype of the Lightning Saix, with slower top speed and a more powerful cannon. Not really much to say about it, and you probably won't end up using it.
Amusingly, you need to use an original Lightning Saix to produce the prototype version, and it's actually a worse Zoid, exchanging actual stats in favor of having a +20 power cannon (the same cannon you were probably going to take off due to it being weak and an EP hog).
Lightning Saix BullShit. Moving on, then.

If you missed the Iron Kong earlier, here you go. This is another Wild Zoid battle, which probably means some Imperial dropped the ball.


Also this isn't a Wild Zoid battle what the fuck

Basically, the Empire captured a Godos and did it up.
As usual, everything the Empire does just looks cooler than the Republic version. If the Iguan is notable for anything, it's for getting a really cool kit release as part of the Dark Zoids line.
There's one thing the Godos still has on it, though: it's one of the few releases so far in Kotobukiya's High-end Master Model line of no-gearbox Zoids kits that isn't a quadruped or theropod, and is one of only four or so (as of September 2012) Republic releases not necessarily belonging to a named character. No word on an Iguan redeco yet, but the Empire half of the line could use some filling out.

YES YES YES. Remember we won the Maneuver Parts from the Challenge mode? Now we can get the data for it, too.

Although the game does feature "Iron Kong SS", which is meant to be Schwarz/Schubaltz' ride from Guardian Force, when he's mind-controlled by Reese into fighting Thomas, he uses an Iron Kong Maneuver, and retains it for the Ultrasaurus endgame arc.
It's worth noting that this version shuffles the attack power around a little, with a weaker melee attack and a more powerful missile weapon, as well as a new fixed weapon that boosts MM by 50. It also has 5 less base CP, but the way we grind that won't be a problem.


Dark Horn. This can actually be quite a difficult encounter; the Dark Horn is tanky in a way that is frankly unreal and it hits like a truck. Normally I don't show off all the random encounters, but it's been a while since there's been a lot and I wanted to get across exactly how many variations in random encounter there are around here. At this stage in the game, using Deck Commands is no longer a thing of special occasion; using Friendship at the start of a fight is borderline standard, using Muddy Ground whenever Atak Kats appear to take them out fast is going to be a common strategy, and so on.

Like a Red Horn with more swag. The BG has slightly better stats, and trades in the more-powerful AA beam cannons for the more-versatile beam gatling.

This is more like it. The Dark Horn is the Imperial upgrade of the Red Horn, notable in that it is part of the "Dark" Zoids that use Deochalcum mined on the Dark Continent of Nyx. This actually puts it in the same league as the incredibly powerful Deadborder (actually the Dark Horn came into service two years *after* the Deadborder's initial deployment), so unusually for a 'Horn' type Zoid, it *isn't* cannon fodder - it was part of their lineup against things like Ultrasauruses and Madthunders.
In game terms, it's a Red Horn which is better in every single way. I think you should probably say goodbye to your Rhimos now, Wyll.

Anyway, as we progress along the (very linear) map, we get an event.

Well, it's less an obligation and more the most interesting thing to do along this railroad, but whatever.

Continuing SE, we run across this guy and his Gojulas...

Worth noting that Zan actually has a proficiency in piloting Gojulas-type Zoids.
Sadly, like Van's Blade Liger, the Gojulas is fixed to Herman, who is a guest character, and therefore doesn't make our lineup.

And so we carry on and come to here...

Chain of command? What chain of command?

Words of a master strategist, indeed.

Ooh dat sum white fella took him to tha castle.
That's *racist*.
If he's gonna talk like a Koori I'm gonna read him like a Koori.

You gonna trust dem white fellas?
That's probably enough.
Cutting off his supply of Summa DIS Whiskey now.

I like how the Iron Kong PK just waits politely the whole time.

That's a lot more guys than there were a minute ago.
Finally, a boss fight.

The sheer offensive output these guys can put together is pretty high, enough that I had to Friendship at the end of the first round. If you think you can, you could try getting off Supplier for a huge cash boost.
Remember that commands like DataGather and CoreSecurity don't work on boss enemies (anything where you can't see the stats), so the Iron Kong PK here is sadly off-limits.
Mind that said PK is an absolute beast that has somewhere in the region of 120 defense; don't expect to get through with anything less than your best. Having said that, it doesn't have a particularly massive load of HP.
Final note here: this theme plays over the fight. And never plays again over the normal course of the game. A shame too, as there's a couple more "brick wall" fights that normal players would contend with and this is a perfect "brick wall" battle theme.

oh god robot cat is awake

This never ends well.

So what you're saying is, we have a way to get back to the future?

Irvine and Moonbay join you at this point, again as guest-star party members, with Irvine using his signature Command Wolf IS. Moonbay has no Zoid, but gives you the Covering Fire Command.
There are a set of these that only function if your party has a pilot with an associated level of the "Strategic Command" skill. Covering Fire is the most basic that requires "Strat.Commnd1": all your units wait, and the Gustav will provide fire support against all enemy Zoids.
Mind that though she has no Zoid, she can be assigned to one, and has decent stats for a backrow combatant, although she has a horrid skill that inflicts a massive penalty to her melee attacks.

He worry us, too.
You shut up.

Take it easy.

At this point, Van leaves the party.

Avengers, assemble!

And then Herman tucks like a bitch and leaves the party.

As we move off...

Yeah, we can hear him all the way over here...
For reference's sake, "over here" is roughly 120 pixels to the east. Or one-fifth that in overworld map kilometers.

Uh, I'm standing *right here*. Right here!

Much tracking over the land later...

More playing with Pulse's emotions for fun and profit.

Seeing as we're already getting ahead of ourselves with Blue, I've elected to start pursuing Red, the attacking color, in order to help round out the skillset.

Are you getting sick of the past yet? We are.

Stinger! Just let me through and I won't have to mar your makeup.

As usual, 'Wyll' is his own sexual orientation.
To be fair, you could say the same of Stinger.
To be fair, we stopped being fair long before the hiatus, and you're crippling yourself by persisting.

Welcome to what? I don't even personally know you, and I'm not sure I really want to!

That settles it, then.

A misplaced greeting if ever there was one.
Maybe it's along the lines of "oh thank god it's not Raven trying to fuck with the portal."

In complete honesty, this isn't an easy fight. Two Zaber Fang ATs, one RS (Raven's customized Zaber), and then Stinger's custom Guysack Stinger - which is, as anticipated, a boss, and therefore immune to DataGather and CoreSecurity.
Stinger is actually very dangerous, posessing an evasion-boosting move and a chance of inflicting Freeze, but he's mostly there to remind you that the other two status effects (Confuse and Pilot Down) exist and are a bitch to shake off. Recommend taking him out first with your long-range attacks and then moving on to mop up the Zabers.
You have a choice here between attempting to acquire Zaber Fang RS data, or using your Junk Parts command to acquire the extra equipment these guys have - their EM Cannon.

Awk! I don't care about your stupid treasure!

I knew there had to be a plot hole around here somewhere.

Then you're pretty much stuck living the life as we are.
Not the time, Fraulein. And even if it doesn't lead "home" as it were, finding something that *does* so we can rescue Juno takes top priority.

Irvine and Moonbay bugger off, of course.

Gotta get back, in, time~
Return to the Past, Now!
The armadillo of time, Gustav. Will its next stop be the past? The future? The car wash?

You can tell by the ugly desert.
Well, it's *a* Zi; might not be *our* Zi but close enough for discomfort.

Even though it fucked up at the last second.
Story of my life.
That's it, somebody's getting a Kelpsy Berry next town we hit.

So yeah, babes to be rescued.

What're you, Lawful Gay? What is more important than rescuing babes?
I got nothing. Aelita?
The ruling's unanimous. Get out, Ultra Fagnus.

Pretty sure babe-rescuing is a higher priority. She might not GET rescued if we fix this shit just yet.

Yeah, why?


Insofar as I somehow survive everything Imperial-looking thrown at me, yeah sure.

Since we're going red, we'll go with the former.

Standing. Right. Here.

Aaaaand fuck my life.
I think your body came with luggage.
No TSA patdown for him, Aelita, I don't care if he has more than 3 fluid ounces of liquid in his sealed containers.

Aaaaand fuck my life hard.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

See, see? I told you she was important.

Oh yeah, I gotta pay that one motherfucker back for that blackjack.

*Allow* me?
*Allow* him?
Hmmm...mellow flavor, decent enough conviction, and a hint of Rozalin...I'm starting to like this girl.

Textspeak ahoy!

And here we are in Live Town. Note how Pulse has changed color now that Red is his dominant trait.


Zeru's options when talking Organoids with Van are of the Supportive (White +3) and Confrontational (Black +3) varieties. Mind, a lot of the Pulse choices are like this.

As opposed to what, Wild Zoids?
Aelita and I have weird vectors of functional immortality, and the less said about what YOU have under the hood the better.
I guess Zeru just prefers the company of those who think in the normal meatbag timeframe.
...sooner or later we gotta take a vote on whether we should explain that particular clusterfuck.
Will you not be satisfied until you've dragged everyone down that rabbit hole?
Signs sadly point to yes. Then again, I wouldn't be averse to doing SOMETHING to catch people up who hadn't been with us over the year and a third of downtime.

What happens when you try pressing L/R in the past overworld. No point in bothering; it's a straight line from Imperial Twn to each event flag anyway. To our knowledge there's no Ultima VII-tier multiple-maps-on-one-plane dickery; that might have to do with present-day Zi being your typical toroidal JRPG world map affair.

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