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Another tie this time. I resolved this one by challenging my dad to answer the hardest riddle I could devise: pick a number between one and two. This is what he chose.

Music: Voyage To Tomorrow (Hitoshi Sakimoto)

Chapter 27: Destruction 3

Once more unto the breach.

Boss wave this time. Scary.

Oh no!

Oh no!

Oh boy!

Sweet, an opportunity to play with some fancy EMPs.

We’re going to unlock a few gizmos before we set out.

Nenji will unlock and equip EMP Attractor, which he’ll also upgrade to +1 (Lock-on Range +0 to +50). He’ll also upgrade Demolisher Blade to +3 (Number of Attacks +4 to +6, POW +6 to +9).

Ryoko will upgrade her Sentry Gun to +3 (Lock-on Distance +60 to +90, POW +100 to +150).

Natsuno will unlock and equip Forced Cooling Device to increase her WT recovery. She’ll also upgrade 6 Multi-Launching Rapid Cannons to +1 (Number Fired +1, POW +7), Main Battery Heavy Railgun to +1 (POW +50, WT 6s to 5.9s), EMP Stunner to +2 (Lock-on Range +0 to +100), and Long-Range Missiles to +1 (Lock-on Range +0 to +20, Lock-on Distance +0 to +50).

Finally, we’ll upgrade Megumi’s Arm-Mounted Pulse Lasers to +2 (Number Fired +1 to +2, POW +4 to +8) and her Shield Matrix to +1 (Lock-on Range +0 to +15, WT 6s to 5.9s)

And this is our team. Yep, just four members: Nenji, Ryoko, Natsuno, and Megumi. This is because of the first bonus objective, visible in the bottom-right: only four members allowed on the strike team. Yikes. To make matters worse, I might not have picked a great lineup for this particular mission, but we’ll get to that.

Video: Destruction Wave 1-5

Music: [url=][RIBOSE][/url] (Mitsuhiro Kaneda)

Yes, this track’s name is actually in square brackets instead of parentheses. Go figure.

I like how the Sentinel they helpfully provide for scale is just totally useless here because the thing is presented from above for some reason.

Oh, that Interstellar Development stuff we saw! Back in the dead kaiju…
Yeah… Can we get any more info out of the Sentinel computers?

Looks like we’re seeing a Terra Carrier… It’s a transport craft for carrying resources.
Okay, but what’s it carrying? This thing’s gotta be more than just a big-ass turnip truck…
Says here it can take atmospheric movement and reentry. The hull’s surrounded by magnetic repulsion.
A magnetic field? So like… it’ll deflect our shots?

I have no idea what Tomi is talking about here, it does not actually seem to do anything wonky to incoming attacks.

Whatever the hell it is, it ain’t gonna be fun. Let’s take it out before it can drop the goods.

Spoiler alert: there’s gonna be more than just this one.

Okay, let’s get to it.

First things first, let’s examine the Terra Carrier. It has machine guns, can shoot homing missiles at nearby targets, and it can also release a slow stream of Hunters. Notably, unlike pretty much every other Big Shit enemy in this game, it’s not actually armored. That means we can do respectable damage with pretty much anyone. At worst, we probably didn’t even need Nenji beyond having someone else with an EMP skill. But even missing that wouldn’t have been the worst thing, because Yuki has Leg Spike, which fucks big guys right up and can hit fliers. That’s not to say Nenji isn’t useful; he’s honestly probably the strongest pilot in the game. But when you can only have four pilots and he has to use an EMP every 10 seconds in order to hit anything, his weaknesses start to show.

We start off with several Hunters already in the air moving toward the terminal and several more Workers making their way over a bit more slowly. We’ll need to pick most of those off before they get too close. Helping us do that is Ryoko with her ever-handy Sentry Guns! We place one at max range north of us so it can hopefully shoot both the Terra Carrier and anything approaching the terminal.

Here’s Nenji’s new skill, EMP Attractor. It drops any fliers it hits, and deals minimal damage as well.

As you can see from those dotted lines, it also pisses all those enemies the hell off. They’re going to make fucking up Nenji their immediate priority. But they can’t really do much of that sitting on the ground, so neener neener.

Megumi’s Shield Matrix only lasts 6 seconds, but it’s still fairly handy, especially if a pilot is taking aggro or in a jam.

There’s a couple ways we can approach this mission. One way, which is pretty safe, is to let most of the enemies come to you and pick them off as they approach. The Terra Carrier, also unlike a lot of other Big Shit enemies, actively approaches the Terminal, so you can actually just wait for it to get closer. More enemies like G-Molers will spawn if you take too long, however.

We won’t be doing that, for the record. I do briefly hold my fleet back a bit while the Hunters and Workers are still close to the terminal, but Nenji is completely useless at range, Ryoko and Megumi are not actually that much better (especially Ryoko, who doesn’t have any kind of ranged cannon or laser), and the entire reason I brought Natsuno is for a skill that’s localized to an AoE around her Sentinel. So basically, we’re gonna push forward to the point I utterly forget why I generally keep a pilot or two around the terminal for safety, or even that I do that at all.

Anyway, this is just a shot of me moving Ryoko up so I can put a Sentry Gun or a Guardian closer to where the Terra Carrier is.

Likewise, here’s me moving up Nenji to get the enemy into EMP Attractor range.

Here’s that second Sentry Gun from Ryoko.

We’re also going to move Natsuno up for… reasons that have nothing to do with my having had to replay this wave over because I got an A instead of an S and thus I memorized the enemy spawns. Nothing at all to do with that.

Worth noting, though: 3rd-generation Sentinels are slooooooooooow. They’re easily the slowest generation to move around the field.

Somewhat unusually, I’m actually going to have Nenji defend here to recover some EP. He’s not missing that much, but this Terra Carrier is already at almost 50% HP just from Sentry Gun shots and it’s not really much of an immediate threat.

I do use Shield Matrix though, because some missiles are incoming and what else is Megumi gonna do?

I also have Ryoko defend, because she’s actually out of EP.

Before Nenji’s done defending, I manage to get Natsuno into range to drop this beast with EMP Stunner, which drops every enemy in a fairly large radius around the Sentinel. It’s still a bit annoying to use sometimes because, again, her machine is no speedster.

This thing’s already on its last legs, I’m not even gonna bother using Demolisher Blade. Just a waste of EP.

And it’s down.

Oh no! More showed up! Who could ever have foreseen this?

The flying kaiju will lose control and drop out of the sky. If you get surrounded, it’s a good fallback.
Good for me, but what about the city…?

Thanks, Okino, but I’m not actually going to take your advice here. We can do this ourselves.

A lot more Hunters just spawned in addition to the two new Terra Carriers, so we have Megumi get to work on softening them up.

And again, EMP Stunner not quite large enough to do what we need at the moment. Oh well, we’ll just have to move Natsuno up some more.

That or have Nenji yell at them real loud, that’ll work too.

Nenji’s actually in a minor bit of trouble right now. We’ll move Ryoko up so she can put down a Guardian and lighten the load. Why not just another Sentry? Well, Sentries cost 250 EP and Guardians only cost 100, and defending… doesn’t actually restore that much EP! It kinda sucks, honestly! I broke Ryoko out of Defend at about 2/3-3/4 of the way through it, and she had only gotten back like, 42 EP. Maybe you get a big burst at the end, I don’t know. It’s entirely possible. I didn’t even realize you could stop defending early until I reviewed this footage right now and saw myself do it by accident.

While we’re doing this, Megumi has enough EP for exactly one more round of Multi Lock Missiles, at which point she’s basically useless for the rest of the wave. We do that. We also have Nenji quickly move out of range of the attacks coming toward him so he can run around behind the grounded Terra Carrier and Demolisher Blade it for 6300 damage right in the butt. Personally I don’t see the big deal, I take at least that much ass damage every time I use the toi—*shakes self awake* What just happened? I feel like I was about to write something unspeakably hacky.

Ryoko finally places that Guardian, nice.

And then Nenji gets in a Rush Attack to finish off that Terra Carrier.

There’s still another in the air.

It’s at this point that I wake up and actually notice that there’s a few isolated Workers approaching the terminal, and focus Natsuno’s cannons on taking them out quickly.

I probably didn’t even need to bother, though; the terminal defense squad already had a couple missiles inbound. The defense team can’t do much damage or kill that enemies, but against less than a half-dozen Workers approaching single file they’ll get the job done.

After Nenji successfully knocks down the last Terra Carrier with EMP Attractor, I notice it’s already fairly weak and that I can probably kill it with Ryoko’s Heavy Knuckles. Which is good, because Ryoko, Natsuno, and Megumi are all running on EP fumes, and Heavy Knuckles doesn’t cost anything.

Unfortunately, I don’t check my target correctly, so the first hit goes to a random grounded Hunter, preventing Ryoko from getting the kill. Looks like Nenji’s gonna have to do it again.

And it’s done.

Thankfully, defeating the last Terra Carrier is all it took. Aegis activates, destroying the rest of the kaiju.

The terminal is now completely sealed off.

They’ve changed targets. The next terminal is just over there.
They’re already on the move.

…… I haven’t hit my operating limit yet… but I’ll be dismounting the Sentinel temporarily.
Whoa, hey—then who’s taking point…?

Sentinel: Activate.

I won’t be long… I’ll leave the rest to you.

I’m noticing now that the formula from which MVP is derived is very strange. It’s not just your damage dealt minus your damage taken, it actually seems to be something more like (percentage share of damage dealt, as compared to the person who dealt the most) minus (percentage share of damage taken, as compared to the person who took the most). Obviously this can’t be the whole story. These numbers must have some arcane weighting system attached to them or the MVP would be completely insane every time (or at least just the person who fired the most Sentry Guns, which it usually is anyway). That said, if I’m right about this it’s entirely possible Natsuno was closer to being MVP than Ryoko was, which is hilarious considering the raw numbers.

Let’s check our new skills now. Nenji’s “I Die Hard” lets him survive one (1) killing blow with HP remaining. Honestly not super helpful considering A: how fast you can go from zero to critical in this game when unprepared, especially without even noticing, and B: how you’re probably not just getting hit by one attack at a time.

Natsuno’s “Sprinter” lets her move faster when not piloting a Sentinel. I mean… sure, I guess? I know I complained about her Sentinel move speed earlier, but it doesn’t feel like the solution I want is to have her be in the Sentinel less. Also, it’s hilarious to think that Natsuno can just fucking run faster than this giant robot can walk.

Finally, Megumi’s “My Sole Best Friend” increases her WT recovery speed if Tomi is in the strike team with her. Sweet.

So, that’s gonna do it for this edition of Destruction. I figured it makes more sense to do 2 waves, 2 waves, and then the boss wave for now. Now what?

Juro Kurabe
Iori Fuyusaka
Megumi Yakushiji
Natsuno Minami
Yuki Takamiya
Shu Amiguchi
Keitaro Miura
Tomi Kisaragi
Ei Sekigahara

There's also:

Takatoshi Hijiyama (Locked behind Ogata)

As always, the poll is here.