Let's get this show on the road, shall we?
Prepare for a whole lot of kanji
Something something something something king something something.
Oh hey I'm starting to recognize words
On the edges of the solar system...
Our story begins as far from Earth as any humans have ever been, with the space battleship Excelion.
They are not having a good day.
Captain Tatsumi Tashiro: What's going on?
XO: Long story short, we just got our asses kicked.
Koichiro "Coach" Ohta: There are a whole lot of Space Monsters, we're very far from Earth, and we're starting the story more than halfway through the OVA.
Tashiro: Damn, and they're heading straight in towards the Sun. Order the RX-7 Machine Weapons to take some potshots while we retreat.
Kazumi "Oneesama" Amano: Noriko, Jung! It'll be alright. Follow me and we'll get through this.
Jung Freud (yes that is her actual name): I'm right behind you, but Noriko's not exactly...
Noriko Takaya: I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away, I mustn't run away...
Kazumi: Noriko! Stop creating a time paradox!
Coach: Takaya, Amano! What the hell are you doing? Remember your training!
Noriko: R-right! Hard work and guts!
Noriko: Okay. Deep breaths. Deep, gar breaths. We have to stop these things here, or my friends on Earth will...
Okay, enough talky talky, let's hold down the Start button to skip dialog and get to the gameplay. (There is never actually "enough talky talky" in Super Robot Wars).
During the player's turn, you can move the cursor around the battlefield and select a unit using the O button. It's a Japan-only game, so O is going to be confirm and X is going to be cancel throughout.
This is the unit menu. It's essentially the same in every Super Robot Wars game, and this is its most common, basic list. The menu items are, in order from top to bottom:
Let's talk about Spirits first, since they're usually the first thing you want to do in a round. Spirits (also called spells or seishin) are like spells in role-playing games that your pilots can cast to "buff up". Every pilot (or battleship officer, or whatever) has a unique list based on their personality, and learn more of them as they defeat enemies and level up. Each Spirit cast deducts SP from the pilot's total, just like MP in a Final Fantasy game.
On the field, each pilot can use as many Spirits as they want in a round as long as they have the SP remaining to use them, and they have not yet moved and/or attacked. Let's have everyone buff up before attacking the Space Monsters.
This is Captain Tashiro's Spirit list. It currently consists of Guts (restore 30% of your own unit's HP), Strike (all attacks this round have a fixed 100% hit rate and ignore miss chances), and Luck (double the money earned from the next attack). Since Excelion is undamaged and Space Monster mooks are hard to hit but worth almost no money whatsoever, let's just have him cast Strike.
Noriko's starting spells are, surprising no one, Hard Work and Guts. Hard Work (also known as Gain) doubles the XP you earn from the next attack. It's actually kind of pointless to use it on mooks, but why the hell not, Noriko needs all the help she can get.
Kazumi has Mercy (which is complicated and useless enough I'll only explain it if I need to), Focus (increase hit and evade rates by 30% for the whole round), and the last one is confusingly usually translated as Spirit, which raises the pilot's Morale by 10. We'll talk about Morale later, but let's have her cast Focus and Spirit.
Jung has a bunch of stuff we've seen already and Flash (or Alert), which causes her to automatically evade the next attack on her unit, but you're already bored.
Anyway, let's take these space locusts down.
Selecting Excelion again and selecting Attack gives us this:
There's a lot of information for each of the ship's weapons, but I mostly feel like doing gratuitous overkill and hitting a mook with the strongest, longest-range weapon. Select it, select your target from the range highlighted in red on the map, and go to town.
This is the attack confirmation screen where you can see your odds to hit, your odds to be hit with a counterattack (the enemy doesn't have one in this case) and choose whether or not you want to watch the fight animation.
BGM: Commence Operation
Pew pew pew
I regret nothing!
Strong attacks like that easily wipe out mooks, but be aware they usually have ammunition limits or cost the unit Energy (EN) to use.
Speaking of strong attacks, it's time for the girls to unleash their
Noriko: Believe in the oneesama who believes in me!
Jung: Christ, they really do just keep making the same show over and over...
Noriko and Kazumi have identical RX-7 robots with identical flying kick-based attack sets, but Jung is a hipster Commie and likes hitting things with batons instead.
And that's all of our units.
When you've moved everyone you want to (after moving and/or attacking, units are grayed out on the map), select an empty space to bring up the general menu, then select the first option to end your turn.
Next it's the enemy phase! The Space Monsters have an assload of units...
BGM: Shaking the Front Sight (the Enemy Phase BGM)
Doot doot doo
...which proceed to do absolutely nothing, although presumably the frame of reference of the battlefield is cruising steadily in the general direction of Earth.
Suddenly, the alarm aboard the Excelion sounds again!
Tashiro: Oh now what?
BGM: A Premonition of Slaughter
Enemy reinforcements. Sorta.
Coach: Those are Aerogaters. What are they doing here?
Tashiro: So aside from the Space Monsters, we have those mysterious robots that warp all around the place to deal with too? Recall the RX-7s, we'll ram these things if that's what we have to do to keep them away from Earth!
Tashiro: This mission just got a lot more complicated...
Author's Note: I made a small but important change to my estimate of Tashiro's dialog at the end there. Normally I just take my best guess, but since the original was completely against the spirit of the dialog, I made a change. It's clearly been too long since I watched Gunbuster.
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