Everything Under The Sun... And Then Some!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gundam SEED Destiny Remaster 10-13

Episodes 10-13

Well this finishes off the first cour of the series and I gotta say, despite all my lingering resentment, these episodes weren't all that bad. 'Course now that we're up to this point in the show, you can see where things are starting to unravel at least on a few points.

Episode 10: Not much here. It's amusing to see fake Lacus calm the rage of the people. Also, is it just me or is that scene with the intro of the Savior carbon-copied from the Freedom intro?

Episode 11: Nice to se that although Yzak is still prickly, he's matured over the years. Too bad they're not going to get to do much else over the rest of the series. Yuna is like Lynn Kaifun: I want to reach through the screen and punch him in the face. Oh Cagalli, what happened to you? Also amusing to see Andy pull a Secret Agent Man, warning the Minerva of what's up in ORB. You know what would have been cool in this series? If he and Murrue got together.

Episode 12: Show of hands please for Yuna selling the Minerva out to the Alliance? I see we're all in agreement.   Shinn finally gets to strut his stuff here but I still can't help but not care that much about the Impulse. It's just a slightly different looking Strike to me. By the way, what's the female opposite of emasculation?

Episode 13: AKA Freedom Returns! This was a pretty cool episode but also had some odd stuff. Murrue gets to use kung-fu which is awesome, but Andy's hand gun almost looks... comical? Just looks like a giant desert eagle barrel stuck on his forearm. How does his hand work? Seems hollow. The music in this episode also sounds like it escaped from a Super Nintendo or a Sega Genesis. I liked the irony of Kira using his 1337 skillz to disable the ASSH suits but then they all self-detonate anyway. LOL. You know, I have to wonder how the reception would have been if they'd actually had the balls to kill of Lacus?
Time for the wedding crashers eh? Oh and how did no one in the ORB military or government not catch wind of a MS battle on their shores?

Oh and the Lunamaria panty shot? I know that was totally fanservice, but I also like to think that it demosnstrates why a REAL military would never let Luna wear that miniskirt.

YF-30 Chronos

The YF-30 Chronos
Advanced Variable Fighter Prototype

The YF-30 was designed specially for the Anniversary game Macross 30: Voices Across The Galaxy by Shoji Kawamori. So far that is the only Macross media it has appeared in.

The YF-30 Chronos is part of the YF-24 family of Vakyrie variable fighters, which includes the YF-24 Evolution, VF-25 Messiah, Y/VF-27 Lucifer and YF-29 Durandal. Like the Durandal, the Chronos wasn't meant to be a competitor for a new type of variable fighter as it was a prototype meant to deal with a specific situation, although it's designer, SMS Ouroboros Director Aisha Blanchette did include a few features that she hoped might be featured in future fighters.
The idea for the YF-30 began when Aisha Blanchette determined that a Valkyrie was specifically needed for the unique enviornment of the planet Ouroboros. The planet is surrounded and permeated by strange Space Fold phenomena, causing various effects (such as large rock formations and whole islands floating in the sky). One phenomena, known as The Ourobors Aura, causes the entire planet to be completely cut off from the rest of the galaxy and only a Macross-type ship can get through the planet's atmosphere. To this end, Aisha decided that the YF-29 Durandal, specifically designed to fight the Vajra, wasn't optomized for dealing with Ouroboros.
The Chronos's main airframe greatly resembles its YF-24 predecessor[Link], especially in the delta wing design. It includes the standard three-mode transformation system present since the very first variable fighters, facilitated by linear actuators for non-contact between moving parts. Unlike its sisters, such as the VF-25 or YF-29, the YF-30 includes the Container Weapon System, a unique featured added to the Chronos by Aisha. The CWS is a large pod mounted on the rear centerline of the fuselage in Fighter mode and above the head in Battroid mode. The CWS in the original prototype was fitted with a 36-port micro-missile launcher, capable of unleashing a truly apocalyptic amount of firepower, practically negating the need for the YF-30 to be equipped with any super or armor packs. According to Aisha, the CWS could be equipped with other times of weapons or equipment, such as a large beam cannon (though this was never seen in-game). The CWS can presumably be used in Fighter and GERWALK modes, though only at slow speeds for Fighter (I presume this because the aerodynamic consequences of putting a big horizontal block in the airflow are dubious).
The other unique feature of the Chronos is the Fold Dimensional Resonance System. Derived from the YF-29's Fold Wave System, the FDRS was designed to deal with Ouroboros's unique environment.
Other features are more standard. Due to the Ouroboros Aura and the unpredictability of supplies, plus the fact that the YF-30 was custom-built, many of the parts of the YF-30 are borrowed from other fighters, most especially the VF-25 and YF-29. The cockpit systems and display resemble the VF-25 and also uses the EX-Gear/ISC system present in the VF-25. It is unknown if there is a secondary seat. The battroid head is equipped with a pair of Mauler ROV beam guns, positioned centerline in Fighter Mode. The legs/engine nacelles are equipped with a pair of smaller micro-missile launchers (animation for this can be seen in-game although open doors are not present). The main weapon is the same Howard/LAI HPB-01A Heavy Quantum Beam Gunpod used by the YF-29 Durandal. It can also be equipped with the SSL-9B Dragunov Anti-Armor Sniper Rifle from the VF-25G, though the Chronos lacks the precision targeting sensors. The engines that provide the main source of power for the Chronos are the same Shinsei Industry/P&W/RR FF-3001A Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engines used in the VF-25 and YF-29. The Chronos is also equipped with defensive systems includeing a pin-point barrier system, chaff/smoke/flare discharger, active stealth systemand SWAG Energy Converting Armor. Lastly, for CQC purposes, the Chronos carries a Ka-Bar OTEC AK/VF-M9 Assault Knife.

SMS Ouroboros Director Aisha Blanchette, a young Meltrandi prodigy, began to build the YF-30 Chronos in a hangar onboard the branch flagship, the Northampton-class frigate Gefion. She was somewhat guarded about it as she didn't let her new friends Leon Sakaki and Mina Forte know about it until much later.
During the Ouroboros Aura of 2060 AD, Leon and Mina traveled to the desert town of Jurgen to look for a certain songstress. Instead they ran into the the legendary test pilot Isamu Alva Dyson, who challenged Leon to a Vanquish Race (to learn more about the Vanquish Races, look up Macross The Ride). Unfortuntely for Leon, his current Valkyrie was outmatched by the power of Isamu's YF-19, suffering an engine overheat. Having a flair for dramatics, Aisha decided that a rematch was the perfect way to show off the capabilities of her new prototype and led Leon to the hangar where the YF-30 Chronos was stored. After showing him the different systems, he launched and challenged Isamu to another race. This time he was more than a match for Dyson, easily outpacing even the highly optimized YF-19. This also turned into the YF-30's combat debut as the pair where bounced by a Valkyrie squadron from the NUNS HAVAMAL task force, led by none other than Brera Sterne in his VF-27 Lucifer and Isamu's old friend/rival Guld Goa Bowman in his YF-21. Leon, in the YF-30, was able to outmaneuver the enemy forces and even shoot some down, but Isamu was hit by Brera and forced down.
Pleased with the impromptu results, Aisha allowed Leon to sortie in the YF-30 on several more occasions to continue to evaluate its combat performance. Its next major battle occured when they attempted to remove the AI Sharon Apple's control of the Vajra, as she was being controlled by the HAVAMAL task force (this should technically be true; the main game only allows you to fly the YF-30 twice: once during the race and again during the Final Chapter. However, the cinematic for the Sharon Apple battle shows Leon's IFF being broadcast from the YF-30). This battle had Leon, SMS Ouroboros and their allies and the Macross Quarter up against a Bishop-class Vajra Mothership under Sharon's control. The YF-30's speed, maneuverability and firepower enabled it to strike mortal blows against the mothership and helped the others to disable Sharon and rescue Myung Lone Fang. Sometime later, Leon had completed a test of the YF-30 when Aisha, whose cybernetic implant had been hijacked by HAVAMAL, kidnapped Mina Forte. Leon, accompanied by the Macross Quarterand the legendary pilots and songstresses of the past, sortied to rescue her. Using the YF-30 and accompanied by Alto Saotome in his YF-29 Durandal, Leon was able to carve up the HAVAMAL defenses and penetrate Glastheim Fortress. They didn't find the girls there, instead they were forced to engage HAVAMAL's second-in-command, Leon's old friend turned rival Rod Baltomar, piloting a YF-29B Perceval. Unfortunately for Baltomar, the YF-30 and its pilot where much more than a match for his modified 29. However, Rod's delaying action gave HAVAMAL leader Ushio Todo enough time to activate the ancient Protoculture weapon they had been researching. Yurva Arga, one of the Protoculture's EVIL-Series bio-weapons had enough power to rewrite history itself (good thing the Protodeviln never got it, eh?) and when activated, encased itself in a protective bubble to hide its true form. Leon attempted to use the YF-30 and its Fold Dimensional Resonance System to penetrate the sphere but the system lost power and Leon became stuck. Just when he lost hope, Basara Nekki arrived in his VF-19Kai and with the Fire Valkyrie's Sound Booster (and a rousing rendition of Totsugeki Love Heart) Leon was able to break through the barrier, the FDRS seemingly generating a bird-like aura around the Chronos. Leon then engaged Yurva Arga and Ushio Todo directly. After slicing into the weapon's body and rescuing Aisha and Mina, he then dealt a final blow to the weapon, destroying it and Todo together.
All in all, the YF-30 proved itself an able combatant and worthy of the legacy of the Valkyries, although it remains to be seen wether the Chronos will be seen in any SMS units off of Ouroboros or wether there will be a VF-30 version.

Technical Specs
Equipment Type: variable fighter
Government: Strategic Military Services (SMS)
Manufacturer: Shinsei Industry/SMS Ouroboros Branch/L.A.I.
Introduction: 2060
Operational Deployment: 2060
Accommodation: pilot plus passenger
Battroid Mode: (?)
Fighter Mode: wingspan 15.65; height 4.02 meters; length 18.84 meters.
GERWALK Mode: unknown.
Mass: empty 8.10 metric tons.
Structure: assumed space metal frame, SWAG energy converting armor
Power Plant: two Shinsei Industry/ P&W/ RR FF-3001-FC2 Stage II thermonuclear reaction turbine engines.
Propulsion: 2 x 2,110 kN (maximum thrust in space); many x P&W HMM-9 High maneuverability thrusters
Thrust-to-weight ratio: ~53.12
Fighter Mode: at 10,000 m Mach 5.3+, maximum speed due to heat-resistance limit of the fuselage.
Maximum Airframe Design Load: (?)
Design Features: 3-mode variable transformation; delta wing; boundary layer control (BLC); capable of attaining unassisted orbital velocity over an Earth-class planet; ISC (Inertia Store Converter): Shinsei Industry Macross Frontier Arsenal / LAI Company self-development specification ISC/TO22; Fold Dimensional Resonance System; active stealth system antennae; chaff/flare/smoke discharger system; thrust reverser equipped with three-dimensional maneuvering nozzles; cockpit designed for EX-Gear equipped pilot; integrated radar (mounted in nose); linear actuators (provide faster electromagnetic transformation without contact between moving parts).
- Armament - 
2 x fixed Mauler RÖV-127 coaxial 12.7mm beam guns (mounted center dorsal section in Fighter/GERWALK mode, becomes head turret in Battroid mode)
1 x Howard/LAI HPB-01A Heavy Quantum Beam gun pod (mounted ventral fuselage in Fighter mode, in arm manipulator for GERWALK/Battroid modes)
1 x Ka-Bar OTEC AK/VF-M9 Assault Knife, 1.65m, super strong material reinforced by pin-point barrier system (mounted under left arm block)
1 x pin-point barrier system 
Bombs & Missiles:
At least x2 Bifors micro-missile launchers (mounted in engine nacelles/legs)
Container Weapon System x1 (micro-missile configuration)
Optional Armament:
CWS beam cannon x1

Tech specs are partly guesswork and partly from Wikipedia Japan.

Gundam SEED Destiny Remaster 5-9

Episodes 5-9

In any case, episodes 5-9. These episodes were actually really good. The action was great and I could see why people thought this series might have been better than SEED. Alas for the red ZAKU however for dealing with a Gundam dog in space.
A few points--

1. Is the same composer working on this series? All of a sudden the music feels like it's out of some Wagnerian opera. Not really what I like in the background as giant robits beat each other up.
2. I really liked the fragments of Junius 7 falling on Earth; very big and dramatic.
3. Shinn's constant snarking at Cagalli and her inability to snap back at him is getting tiresome. Oh look, we're back at ORB and... oh frak it's Yuna. This is where it all falls apart, isn't it?
4. For as much as I hate them, Yuna and Unato Seiran actually have some valid points. Cagalli can go MUH IDEALS all she wants but the reality is that the whole world will turn against them again if they refuse to at least act like they're against the PLANTs. I just wish it was more of a "the Seirans have the council in their pocket; I'm basically powerless," instead of a confused girl who doesn't seem to have learned thing one about politics in the last two or so years.

5. The battle at the PLANTs was pretty awesome and Dearka and Yzak get a little more screen time. I think they also added in Shiho Hahnenfuss in the Remaster? Blue Cosmos tries the 'ole Duke Nukem routine but ZAFT used Neutron Stampeder! It's SUPER EFFECTIVE!!
6. Any last shred of interest I had in Djbril as a villain has evaporated with his little temper tantrum. C'mon LOGOS, did you really think that ZAFT would have not thought up a defense for a nuclear missile attack since the last war? Especially since they, you know, INVENTED THE FRAKKING N-JAMMERS?