Wherein we encounter, and quite possibly build, THE STRONGEST Zoids (available to us at this point in the plot).
First: did you pick up Gattai commands?
Good. Throw that shit away. We do it LIVE.
(Also relatively early; it's already 9/9 for readers on the other end of the Prime Meridian by now)
OKAY SO LIVE TOWN. Let's do it.
Lies and slander. Also, read a book, read a book, read a motherfucking book.
Probably because you live in the middle of nowhere?
Who is 'they'?
If you have to ask...
This is in the weapons shop. To all intents and purposes, it is a slightly heavier and more powerful version of the 2 Cannon weapon, so it can go well on a backrow unit.
Then get the fuck out.
Isn't that plagiarism?
I think you can call it a 'shout-out'.
Most of what's in the store just isn't that amazing, and it's ragingly overpriced, too.
The Chobham Armor pictured doesn't even pop off to reveal a second life bar underneath. Total rip-off.
*Yes*. Redistribution is a fantastic command. It does require a pilot with Strategic Command (this time Strat.Commnd2), but lets you play around with your team's placement on the fly for everything from dodging the brunt of enemy fire to getting into low-cost melee after burning EN on weapons fire. Combined with King's Way and another command we'll not see in the main game for a while yet, you can even break certain limitations the game puts on your party setup (though it'll take two or three turns to do so, and your average fight shouldn't take more than three in sum at this point).
A Zoid isn't just for Christmas!
What. No, really, Haruka? Lost here.
The Fuzor Doctorate thesis requirements tightened the fuck up as of late. Y'know, to keep away more psychopaths like Albane.
I know the feeling.
That's because there's nothing here!
WARNING! A dialogue choice "PULSE DICKERY OPTION" is approaching fast!
So White and Blue +1, or Black +2.
And I see a red Organoid and I want it painted black.
I thought you were into black repaints these days!
Pulse's black palette has insufficient teal. Makes me wonder why YOU'RE interested, actually.
There are no hints at all about what to do, but there are ruins just near here.
But before that, we're going to go GRINDING!
Note that Wild Zoids will now carry parts as a matter of course, so Junk Parts is starting to become an actually useful asset. These fights are nowhere near the level of the 'past world' dungeon, though. In truth, this is not a good grind point, but if you've bought weapons that are too heavy for your Zoids, the quick battles will run up their TP in a hurry.
So yeah ruins.
Don't eat me
Oh god that puppydog face.
Zan, professional troll.
Lacus says STOP FIGHTING
Amazed as you are that that was actually the truth. Also that Haruka hadn't shanked her for stopping a brawl with pure glamour and contrivance.
Wasn't my fight to interfere with. That and Reiner needs to drop a pair anyway.
Anyway, moving on. We can actually ignore this shit *entirely* and grind even further beyond by running off elsewhere!
Remember that barrier? This is at the top of the southern continent. This is also a little better-coded than it was in Zoids Saga II; see Chapter 6 for more on that.
Oh god I think I'm in love. This is probably the most retarded Zoid I have ever seen.
Hey you know what's awesome? Sniper rifles. WITH ROCKET THRUSTERS.
In all seriousness, the CP-24 Flexible Boosters are part of a line of parts introduced late in the NJR Battle Story, supplied by a third party (ZOITEC) to the Republic and Guylos remnants for the sake of stopping the Neo-Zenebas Empire from uncorking anime-level hoodoo. The CP-24 kit is compatible with the Snipe Master, Hammer Rock, Spino Sapper, and Helcat (though only used on the Snipe Master here), and adds either a pair of 40mm beam cannons or AZ2 missile pods, plus the flexible boosters. (Snipe Master FB uses the former, natch.)
Unusually for game mechanics, these boosters add to MM, not speed, so they're actually very good if you're using Tita, due to her desperate need to not get hit.
That said, they have no OA slots, so choose carefully between better base stats and being able to wield weapons.
And Pulse now has actual abilities beyond ZOS. HP Max UP and EP Max UP should be self-explanatory, and Anti-Air Battle is accuracy and power +20% if your first action after using Pulse is to attack an aerial unit. It's not fantastically useful, but given Leviathe's enjoyment of high-end flight units, it helps.
Gun Sniper, more guns, enough said.
You'll remember these as the 'artillery variant' from the show. The idea is urban defence and reinforcement, I believe.
Meanwhile, in our travels, we came across *this*...
Just. MMM. So fucking good. It does suffer from a high CLV of 18, but it has an absurdly high CP and incredibly powerful built-in weapons, plus amazing stats, and later on you can upgrade it into very good units. You'll also need one for a plot event in an arena later on.
In Battle Story terms, the Gojulas was introduced in ZAC 2029, and pretty much ruined everything Zenebas tried to throw at the Republic, including their Red Horns; the Iron Kong was the hard counter, until the Gojulas Mk II Limited and Mk II (production version) came into play.
This is the other end of the Snipe Master path, using ZOITEC's CP-25 Active Shield kit (used by the same four kits in the toyline as the Flexible Boosters); however, this one is more specced for close combat, having a more powerful range 1 weapon and an even stronger melee weapon. Since this doesn't really fit our purposes, it's probably not going to be ultra useful.
There is a fairly persistent rumor that playing this game on an emulator makes it impossible to beat, due to not being able to produce a size LL Zoid for use in the Sandstorm Arena (it's part of the battle rules), because the game refuses to drop data and/or parts.
This is a Zoidcore ZG. For making Gojulas Zoids with. In other words: that rumor is bullshit.
The 'won't drop data' version of this rumor is particularly incongruous, because there is Gojulas data in a chest at the Zoids Institute in Sandstorm.
And then there was this. Oh my *god*. That is *mmmm*.
This is actually from another game, Zoids CyberDrive, where it functioned as a melee counterpart to the Snipe Master. Mind, it was roughly in the league of Ratatta being the melee counterpart of Pidgey.
Also, its stats are glitched:
Those are presumably its claws. While it does have good stats and powerful weapons, the Snipe Master A-Shield is strictly better in every way, although the Rev Hunter is cheaper to produce.
Ring a ding ding, motherfucker. Unfortunately due to it having almost no CP (30) and lazy built in weapons, this isn't really a great Zoid by the time you can get it, although it's Top Sword built in weapon has a base power of *190*.
All of which would be good if we actually had a pilot for it, and a place for it, as our front-row Zoids are all vastly better than that.
The Storm Sworder is another of those Zoids with an Organoid System, like the Gun Sniper, and was made to replace the Pteras as a counter to the Genosaurer, so it's very fast and agile. That said, it's still an air superiority Zoid, and is meant to supplement Blade Ligers and Gun Snipers.
If you can find an encounter out where our tiny red arrow lies (hint: top middle of southern continent) with 3 Iron Kongs and a Red Horn, using Junk Parts will net you a powerful Hyper Particle Cannon which can replace the Heavy Particle Cannon. It's heavier and slightly less accurate, but more powerful; I've given it to Tita's Snipe Master.
I can't help but imagine the loss in accuracy has less to do with the engineering of an external Charged Particle Cannon and more to do with you mounting it on a Size M unit.
And here is your regularly scheduled upgrade to the DCS, featuring all-around better stats, stronger installed weapons, and a paintjob that looks a bit TOO factory-fresh.
Note that entering Sandstorm ahead of time will *not* trigger any events (you have to go through the ruins first, which we've avoided doing), so you can use it as a staging ground for your grindfest.
This is in the Sandstorm item shop.
As mentioned above, this is in the Sandstorm Institute.
When you're done grinding, head to the Live Ruins as the plot dictates.
This is right by the door, for making Zaber Fang ATs.
Walk north and it's EVENT TIME!
Because Wild Zoids obviously roll around in a Gustav.
This guy is from Liger Zero: Mythical Silver Beast. Funny excuse for looting, though...
It's a routine expedition.
With Marshall, Will, and Holly?
If we start seeing Sleestaks in the random encounters, I'm out.
We're underground right now, you dip.
Apparently we have to go deeper.
What's going on is you have the plot of your game of origin ass-backwards.
Right... anyway, why don't you come with us.
Alster is a Guest Star Party Member and is fixed to his Zoid. Speaking of people who are fixed, the game gives a funny message when you try:
This raises questions. Questions I'd rather not have run by Haruka.
Too late, bridge just got a request for a catheter switch and Dr. T sent me to do the icky work.
"Kill me!" "Later."
Go North, then SE, to find this.
This is further SE. This dungeon is a pain in the ass to navigate, by the way.
You'll find this W of the previous item.
Immediately SE of the previous item.
Go as far South as you can from the previous items to find these. Just above these and West is the entrance to the next floor, but there's still some goodies on the first floor:
Straight north from that mess of items.
Immediately NE of the entry to the second floor, you'll find a large room containing these:
You'll find these on the second floor, and they are reasonable Zoids, although outclassed by everything we're currently fielding.
The Command Wolf AC uses the CP-04 Attack Unit, and has a set of thrusters to help counteract the weight. Most anime fans will recognise it as being Brad's ride for the first half of Zoids New Century/ZERO, until he picks up the Shadow Fox.
This is in the far NE corner.
This is right below the previous item, like the game desperately wants you to make a Command Wolf AC.
You'll start encountering these on the second floor. As the name suggests, they're designed for mountain combat.
And as being a Command Wolf variant suggests, they're completely outclassed by what your squad *should* look like right now.
You'll find these as well, and they're one of the two Zoids available to you that can be used to clear the Sandstorm arena. These are much easier to make, requiring only their data and a Zoidcore H1, but they're nowhere near as good as the Gojulas, nor do they upgrade as nicely.
Chaotic Century fans may vaguely recall Godoses constantly being confused for these guys. Helic must've suspended their visual exams for new recruits due to the need for pilots on the front.
This is in the far SE corner.
From the third floor entry, go East and you'll find this.
you'll find this immediately NW of the Lmt.OS part you just picked up.
This is NW again, on the other side of the column.
Wonder if it was meant to be as blatant a "MAKE THIS" sign as the Command Wolf AC swag.
This is just shy of the NE corner. The stairs are nearby.
This is just SW of the fourth floor entry.
Head East and you'll cross a hallway, then come to a large room; this is in there.
Mind that the encounters on this floor are reasonably vicious (you may encounter things like Gojulas flanked by Sniper Master AS backed by Gordos), so watch yourself and heal as necessary. You can also find the aforementioned 3 Iron Kong/1 Red Horn encounter here, if you didn't get the Heavy Particle Cannon off the encounter on the overworld map.
When you come to here, keep going North.
This is just NW of the junction. This is for making GenoSaurers with, apparently.
This is NE of the junction. NOW go back to the junction and head East.
Either Blue Jem is being a wordy git or we've secretly been undertaking the greatest Guylos deep cover op of all time.
Itself probably incorporating the greatest high school football misdirection play of all time.
Yo dawg, I heard you liked black ops, so I put a double agent in your double-agent unit so you can invoke Alpha Protocol while you invoke Alpha Protocol.
Aelita tells us Palty would be a lot less up-front about introducing herself were we confronted with the real Mythical Silver Beast crew and not a stripped-down-for-American-audiences version.
Really? Cause it sounds pretty awesome to me.
Woe betide he who takes Blue Jem on a field trip to Kamen Rider Kabuto's world.
Would also recommend striking Gensokyo from his itinerary.
What's your problem? ... is she staring at me?
The game does something amazing here and DOESN'T make you listen to the spiel again!
At least he takes the hint that myself, Aelita, and Tita are off-limits. Not sure about Claudia, though, but the eyes she's been making at Zan seem to be growing less Tsun and more Dere by the day.
Not *that* kind of crevice. Er, "crevasse."
Blue Jem is a stoner and a gentleman regardless, and all the better that we lay it out there.
My evil-detecting robot panther is on the trail again.
Oh joy, more time travel.
Zoids Sliders II: Aaron Spelling Likes Us Apparently!
Remember the urban legend about Disney coaxing lemmings into doing their thing for Wild Frontier? Completely irrelevant here; the MSB crowd is legitimately enthused about their possible immediate ontological demise.
Well, we *were* asked to make our way to the second window before reaching our destination coordinates.
Sure! Let's just dive straight into the *gap in the fucking universe!*
Zing! Anyway get the fuck outta here.
Delicious not-shitty BLOX Zoids.
And then they go back in time. Or forward. Or possibly deadward.
There such a way as deadward?
I was dragged a couple miles in that direction, remember?
...yeah, that'd probably count.
Actually he said that it WAS sealed away.
Maybe he meant relative to us being in his far past? That it'd need to be sealed now or later for the sake of his future?
Fuck that, I ain't giving up two turns a round when boss fights demand it.
One drink for me being right, and one for Zan being right.
Uhhh okay then.
As soon as you get up to the surface BWAH BWAH THE GIANT ENEMY IS APPROACHING AT HIGH SPEED
Except it's just a Gustav.
And, you know, the tournament is controlled by the BackDraft Group...
... who have Juno.
You don't even want to go home, do you.
He's thinking about it.
... okay, let's just go and leave these two to their lovers' quarrel.
Before you run off, if you return to the ruins and go beyond where you met the Hovercargo, you'll find Shield Liger DCS-J data and a Core Cleaner.
MEANWHILE, THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY
And with one more arc of the game out of the way, you know what time it is... time for Challenging Mode!
BUT FIRST! ZERU REVEALS A SHOCKING SECRET!
Then what are they?
Be they angels?
Nay...they are but MEN!
AAAAAAAH-AAAAAAAH, AH-AAAA-A-A-AAAAA, A-O-O-OOHHH, WOOO-O-O-OHHH~