Welcome, one and all, to SRW GC.
What in the world...?
Super Robot Wars is a long running series of strategy RPGs made by Banpresto - a subsidiary company of Bandai, now fully owned by Bandai-Namco Games (which has taken over the reins recently) in the same vein as Fire Emblem and its ilk. Started at approximately the same time too. What makes it stand out from most of its compatriots, of course, is the fact that it's a MASSIVE CROSSOVER - all your favorite, least favorite, and possibly unloved giant robot anime/manga/video games/action figures of Hatsune Miku as a Virtual On character (SERIOUSLY THAT WAS A THING) have a chance of being in any given game. Also occasionally powered armor and giant spaceships get in, but that's a different matter.
Ok, so context for this one?
Banpresto/BN Games has a number of different groups working on a SRW game at any given time because the franchise is a pretty big seller. One of their longest running teams got together for SRW 64, and then moved over to the Game Boy Advanced, where they stayed until the DS era, and then on that until the 3DS era, where they are currently at now. (Most recent release from them as of this posting was BX, a fairly solid game.)
That is, except for one oddball. Anyone who looked through their release timeline would notice that the only year break they took in the GBA era was 2004, between their release of D and their release of J. That's because in 2004, they were working on SRW GC, a game on a rather underselling console that was their second attempt at 3D (their first attempt being Alpha for the Dreamcast, a game most notable for its horrific load times and horrible broken balance even compared to Alpha 1). So Banpresto didn't really think the game would sell.
That was a good thing, because it meant that the guys making the game could go completely off the wall in terms of what they did with the game. A lot of major mechanics were implemented, old ideas from the GBA era that would never get touched on again got to take a try, it was their first attempt at a new enemy targetting system (...which is a bad thing but more on that later), and plotwise, this game would for the first time have a heavy focus on Gundam's One Year War. And also a heavy focus on DEEP SPACE of all the other things to work with. Oh, and it was the first game without Toei's Mazinger Z! Instead it had Mazinkaiser, in the single time that series was vocal (that's also a bad thing but more on that much later.)
What you get is a game that's actually moderately difficult by the franchise standard (which went from "this game hates you" difficulty to "kittens" difficulty at around 1999 and never really looked back), includes a lot of series that are rare in SRW, includes three series that are only in GC, and some other general oddities (Shin vs Neo Getter in one of its two appearances, the fourth Nagahama's second and last appearance, the third Invincible's second appearance and last before the Z series, Mazinkaiser without its movie, OYW Gundam's trio of properties in the last appearance they had aside from OE...).
You also get a game that sold like crap, because strange looking game + meh console + poor graphics at a time when that was starting to mean a lot = no one really cared. But not all hope was lost! GC was given to a second team, and was repolished, refurbished, repackaged, bug-fixed, and sent out on a new console to make itself a new name!
That console was the Xbox 360. For a Japan-only game.
Poor, poor XO. It doesn't stop there, even! XO included a new multiplayer mode that Banpresto thought would be a pretty interesting draw with its interesting mechanics. XO may have failed, but they took that mode out and stuck a bunch of units from J, W, and K in it and sold it! And Gakuen failed miserably, thus ending literally everything GC related until its turn finally came around for OG.
THIS GAME HAS A FUCKING SPACE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE AND YOU CAN RUN PEOPLE OVER WITH A SPACE STEAM LOCOMOTIVE THAT IS ALSO A TRANSFORMING ROBOT. IT IS AWESOME.
Oooo, that's a new one on me, and I'm a SRW fan! What's the cast list on this, again?
Specifically that's the J9-III. The cast list here is:
~ Mobile Suit Gundam
~ Mobile Suit Gundam (Movies) (JUST HERE FOR MUSIC IN A GAME WITH NO MODERN BGM SWAP)
~ Mobile Suit Gundam 0080: War in the Pocket
~ Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Squad
~ Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam (UNITS ONLY)
~ Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ
~ Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack (ENTIRELY PLOTLESS, ALL UNITS ARE SECRETS)
~ Metal Armor Dragonar
~ Heavy Metal L-Gaim
~ Blue Comet SPT Layzner
~ Mazinkaiser (SERIES DEBUT)
~ Shin Getter Robo vs. Neo Getter Robo
~ Invincible Robo Trider G7
~ Future Robo Daltanius
~ Super Bestial Machine God Dancouga
~ Dancouga: Requiem For The Lost
~ God Bless Dancouga (ONLY HERE FOR WEAPONRY FOR DAN THE COOL GUY)
~ Galactic Cyclone Braiger
~ Galactic Gale Baxinger (SERIES DEBUT)
~ Galactic Whirlwind Sasuraiger (PLOTLESS for the most part) (SERIES DEBUT)
~ Strongest Robo Daioja (SERIES DEBUT)
~ Absolutely Invincible Raijin-Oh (SERIES DEBUT)
~ Absolutely Invincible Raijin-Oh - OVA 2 (SERIES DEBUT, ONLY IN GC, HERE FOR A SINGLE SECRET ROBOT. Apparently they couldn't get the license for XO)
Wait, Trider and Dancouga not plotless? All three J9s? Daio-what the heck is Daioja?
This is still the only game where Trider has major plot (it had a teeny bit in Z2-2 but that barely counts), yes. Dancouga not only has plot, this game is the first in the franchise to include something in literally every game with the thing afterwards that isn't X-O (X-O doesn't count). Also it named "Shapiro's Combat Mecha" into "Desire". And it and its remakes provided names for the generic mooks too!
And yeah the J9s are assembled. Despite there being a 600 year gap between Braiger and Baxinger, and 200 more years between Bax and Sasu.
"Daioja" is Mito Komon IN SPACE IN A GIANT ROBOT, which basically just means it's the greatest thing ever. It also has a ludicrously catchy theme and is pretty damn solid even as Supers go in this game. (If you don't know what Mito Komon is, go look it up.
Neat, anything else?
Hmm... Oh yeah! This run is being hosted on two forums. One has a more expansive version of each update because I can use 75 images in any given post, the other is a more brief version since I can only use 10. The link to the other run is here
Without further ado, let's dive straight into the game.
- [+] Part 1: Even when aliens attack the Earth, Zeon still rebels.
GC grants the choice of either a Male starter or a Female one. It then grants either one the choice of robot. This does mean you can stick male in the Real, and female in the Super, and that's great and all!
...But I'm used to Female/Real so we're going with that. The Female Akemi (she's officially Akemi now even though she was Akimi in this game) starts with Hit And Away, while the Male Akimi starts with Counter, which... really means both will work in either robot but it sort of pigeonholes Female to be better at the snipier versions of the Super.
Oh yeah, the robots.
The Super is the one getting into OGMD, and is the only robot from GC outside of MAYBE the final boss able to get into OGMD, because it's the only real original one instead of being ripped from Sunrise Eiyuuten. The Soul Saber is comprised of three parts, the head - the Head Saber, the cockpit of the mech and a small flying plane - the upper body - which comes in either F (Fighter) or G (Gunner) varieties, and the bottom half, which comes in either F (Fast) or G (Guard) varieties. In this game, thanks to the wonders of being 3D models, you can actually pick and choose what you want - FF, FG, GF, or GG are all options! It upgrades later with the Saber Booster, a flying craft which can connect with the Head Saber to form the Head Saber Booster (CREATIVE NAMING HERE), or the full Soul Saber to make the Super Soul Saber. The Super Soul Saber is fucking awesome and has one of the best finishers in the franchise... I've never actually used the thing for very long though.
The Real, however, I have used. Many times. It's known as the Soul Gunner, and it's a fast, shooty mech that relies heavily on its four inbuilt weapons - two range moves, two close range moves. But none of its attacks dip below 3 range and that is amazing and I love it. Later on it gets smashed and you upgrade to the machine it was based on, the Soul Lancer, which is the Soul Gunner except better in every way and also it can transform. I fucking love the Soul Gunner and Soul Lancer, and was really hoping to see little MP Soul Gunners in a later OG game, especially since it's a FLIGHT BASED GRUNT which OG needs kind of sorely with Lions not so common on the ally side... but alas, rights issues.
GC has a partial translation patch that a few cool guys on /m/ are working on. Props to them, but the partial version slows my GC-playing down by quite a bit, so I'll just go without until the full version is out. There is, fortunately enough, a full translation guide of the Female/Real route in this game.
We start in the depths of space, where one of the most generic looking evil emperors and his lady-friend talk about using the mighty power of C.U.B.E. to take over the universe.
Wait, C.U.B.E., as in...
yeah it's not exactly subtle. You'll be interested to know that in XO, it was renamed to... XENON, I think. Here's hoping MD will rename it to something silly like YNOS or whatever.
Anyway, cut to Earth. A wild text scrawl appears! Which I didn't screencap because I skipped it, bleh.
Ok, first of all, two things. One: SHIN FUCKING GETTER EXISTS RIGHT NOW AND HAS TWO PILOTS, WHY IS IT STILL FORCED INSIDE THE BASEMENT OF THE SAOTOME LABS? This is kind of a plot hole and GC never really answers it. Second, Giganos and Zeon are even bigger dumbasses than usual. At no point in the game do we really see any attacks on space colonies perpetuated by actual alien hostiles - well ok, that's not 100% true, but it's very nearly that true and that's a problem - and indeed, some of those horrible forces (The Dinosaur Empire and Dr. Hell) are Earthbound in the first place. Brilliant fucking job. It's even worse because we'll be seeing a whole hell of a lot of Zeon and wasting time on a lot of Zeon when we could be going after actual fucking aliens and Dr. Hell and shit.wrote:Universal Century 0079.
Many years have passed since mankind began to
live in space under the Earth Federation.
The destruction of the Mars base a few years ago
signified the arrival of unknown forces hostile to humanity.
In order to combat the alien threat, the Federation placed
defense units all over the Earth sphere.
However, many new foes suddenly appeared.
The Mecha Beast Army, the Dinosaur Empire, the
Evil Empire, and the Robot Empire. The defense units
were no match for their advanced tech.
The Far East branch requested assistance
from the Photon Power Lab, Saotome Lab, Earth
Defense Class, Takeo General Company, and Mogami
Heavy Industries in order to deal with this new threat.
Groups opposing the Federation's policies sprang up,
upset that only Earth was being defended.
Side 3's Principality of Zeon and the moon's Giganos
Empire pressed onward as the elite of space
immigrants, forming a united front to wage a war of
independence against the Federation. Several months
have passed since the war escalated to this level.
Earth's peace is in jeopardy.
The planet is under attack!
Zabis gonna Zabi I guess.
We cut to a few years before the text scrawl (uh, why have the scrawl before it, then?) where two guys - Zuiun Akatsuki and his assistant Jinpuu - found a mysterious pod on the beach. Inside the pod is one FINE ALIEN LADY, but she faints dead off, and Zuiun decides to be a humanitarian and call an emergency crew from his company - oh yeah, should mention, Mogami Heavy Industries from the scrawl? This guy owns that company. He's a fucking boss and I love his character.
Cut to the present, where Zuiun has what I can only assume is the greatest shit eating grin in the world. The alien - Fairey Firefly, because Banpresto likes doing that - not only gave them access to a cool, high tech alien robot to study and make a good MP version of, but she's a good secretary, is a test pilot for the machine, helped design said MP version, and has a fucking degree already from a British university. Also she's a great influence to his daughter.
Fairey comes into the room and notes that the test unit is ready, but the main pilot isn't quite there yet. Akemi doesn't particularly want to pilot the giant robot (before any one of you fuckers says anything about certain shows from the mid 90s, no, this is a fucking common thing dating back to the goddamn 70s - Duke Fleed, people! - and I refuse to allow you to bring that outdated and dumb meme here.) and is as stubborn as her father in some regards. Zuiun notes that by the same token she's as hot blooded as he is. Jinpuu notes that if she goes on that path, there'll be no turning back... Fairey notes that while Akemi has talent, it may not have been the wisest choice to make her the pilot of a unit like that, since that'll make her a target. Zuiun does not refute this by saying that the Soul Gunner is difficult to hit and can lay down a major smackdown (I totally would!), and instead just says that he's the boss and it's his choice. And then he realizes she's nowhere to be found because she went out to town, which doesn't sit well with him.
In town we see Akemi pretending to be a blowfish.
But seriously she's talking to herself about how the town looks a lot bigger when not in a giant robot, and realizes how silly she must sound - normal girls don't pilot giant robots! She should probably go back to be a normal gi-
And it's at exactly that moment that aliens start attacking the town. GOOD SENSE OF TIMING GUYS! She sees someone get hit by some rubble, and forces him to let her lok at his wounds. They're not bad, so she bandages him up and tells him to run. The boy goes "seriously stop bossing me around" but she continues to not listen, instead introducing herself. His name is Sieg - the translation guide amusingly refers to him as Jeeg - and the two get into an argument almost immediately like all old married couples do.
Zuiun sees the attack and tells Fairey to start up the robot, and if need be, launch by herself. Fairey's not able to bring the full power of the Soul Gunner out by herself, but fortunately for her and the player (Real Subpilot Fairey has NO STATS AT ALL aside from SP, that'd not go over well) Akemi gets to the hanger. She apologizes for her lateness but notes that she was getting someone to a shelter. And thus her attempt at a normal life immediately ends.
Elsewhere, Watta Takeo is playing dodgeball and having a generally fun time being a kid, when the attack suddenly hits. This looks like a job for the Takeo General Company! His vice president picks him up, and he runs off to go launch in Trider G7. (Which I really wish had subs because it's an Invincible and the other two were good and it looks amazing.)
Oh hey, it's the army guy from Raijin-Oh!
Watta launches, and is immediately warned to please not fire so many missiles because they're quite expensive and it has a perfectly usable Beam Cannon anyway.
A number of enemies from the Robot Empire show up - Trider grunts on stage 1! - followed by those fucking Exhausts from the Evil/Jaaku Empire (Raijin-Oh) and a few Mechasauruses. This is way too much shit for Watta to handle, honestly, so it's a good thing the Soul Gunner shows up.
Watta immediately yells at them for taking the job from them, and one of his assistants ask him to please not say that since we're both allies in destroying the world. Akemi and Watta butt heads - well, Watta butts heads while Akemi tries to defuse the situation, but fortunately for them, it gets forcibly defused by the appearance of three more allies.
Ken-Oh, Hou-Oh, and Juu-Oh are on the scene! The Earth Defense Class shows up, and Watta says that they should leave to because they're taking his valuable profits that he needs to keep his company afloat. The EDF is annoyed by this, but they still want to help...
...and they combine their three robots into the mighty Raijin-Oh!
And then you, the new player, probably Game Overs after attempting what you'd do in any other SRW and rushing all your guys towards the enemies when they tear one of your three guys to bits. GC is unforgiving and will murderize you on the first stage if you don't start playing its game fast.
What you actually want to do is get everyone near defensive terrain and plop them down on it (Maybe not Soul Gunner getting plopped down, it has S Sky and only A Air, but still).
What's with that fire?
The fires of FRIENDSHIP!
Friendship bonuses were something the Nintendo Handheld team loved using for a while. Stick two guys who know each other next to each other, they get a boost to their evasive ability and accuracy, or maybe stick two people with Love boosts together and get some extra firepower! But one of the things they did in the earlier games that used friendship was make it so that the OG character could be friends with everyone. GC is where they took that system and made it better - now EVERYONE can be friends with everyone! All they need to do is spend time near each other and I think support each other sometimes and boom, they're friends.
I'll get into all the nitty gritty mechanics shit in a few updates when I'm in a sub scenario, but I will say this - if you rush your guys in like the game wants, either the Mechasauruses are going to be absurdly more accurate than they need to be and will shoot down the Soul Gunner, or Raijin-Oh is going to get broken in half by Exhausts. Trider at least stands a chance against its own enemies without dying, but that's mostly because of its big HP pool making it tankier. Like this, though, only a few enemies will aim for you each turn, and the damage they deal will be healed away by the terrain.
Those enemies will all aim for Trider so it's best that Trider gets the best terrain and be kept constantly renewed with spirits. Anyone who's played J and W might know why - and is probably facepalming with an "oh no, not this one too" - but keep this in mind. I am mitigating the damage to Trider by having Soul Gunner support defend it, since the only pilot who matters and has Cover is Akemi.
That way, when Watta DOES get hit, it'll bounce off his Fortitude and he'll get spared one more hit per turn. There aren't more than four or so enemies in range at any given moment, so that's fine.
Oh, quick thing worth mentioning - Raijin-Oh may be combined, but it CAN split into Ken-Oh, Hou-Oh, and Juu-Oh. They even have a comboattack of reasonable strength... that's less than Raijin-Oh's second strongest move and is more expensive. Splitting is interesting, but honestly it's not that important, EXCEPT for the fact that it allows for something else to happen. More on that later.
What IS worth mentioning now is that every enemy you hit has not only their Body, but also their Head, Arms, and Legs. There's no real reason to make a point of this now, but in a few stages it will become vitally important for the most interesting thing in GC.
Also one enemy from all three groups have parts and will use them if they're left low on health. Careful of that.
When you beat the Raijin-Oh enemies, Belzeb and Falzeb yell at Taida for his failure. When you beat the Robot Empire grunts, Ondron realizes that the Earth's robots might be a little more powerful than he thought.
At some point, Sieg - who left his shelter - comments on the Soul Gunner, calling it similar to the Soul Lancer and wondering why Earth would build something like that.
When you beat all nine enemies, the scenario ends.
Fairey reminds Akemi that her father is going to be mad that she skipped the meeting. Jin (main pilot of Raijin-Oh) laughs at her, but quickly stops as his sort-of-kind-of-crush-I-guess? Maria yells at him. After some dialogue, the Raijin-Oh pilots decide to go back to school and not invoke Maria's wrath. And then Akemi says that everything was on the open channel. Of course.
Later, at the Takeo workplace, Watta finds out that the city needs the money they would have used to pay them had to be used to repair everything, so they got the equivalent of an IOU... meaning their company is still in the red. Still, this was very positive press, so hopefully that'll mean more jobs.
Meanwhile, Ondron is getting berated by his superior, Zakron, who says that Earth is only a B-Class Target and there shouldn't be so many failures! Ondron notes that there are a whole bunch of other factions screwing around, but Zakron turns that on him by saying that he should use them to his advantage! After they sign off, Ondron wonders why they're going through so much effort for a B-Class target in the first place.
(Uh, Ondron? You're working with the Layzner enemies. They attacked Mars a few years back. You're fighting Earth because they are.)
NEXT TIME: I explain the intermission menu!