Welcome To My Nightmare - Let's Play Two Steps Back! (Part 2)
roukanken

LAST TIME ON TWO STEPS BACK:

Therese and Eldin are trapped in a virtual nightmare, and after dying a total of eight times they seem to have determined that dying is NOT the way forward. Now they're stuck in an endless loop that makes no narrative sense, and it's our job to get them out of it.

I'm sure the gene pool will thank us for our efforts.



By the way, the Steam link still doesn't work. I wrote the last update on Friday evening, and it is now Sunday evening. There are no reviews on Steam, and only four topics on the community forum. I may be one of the few people foolish enough to purchase this game.



Chiu, from what I'm aware, is the online handle of developer Kirsten Cheely. She yells at you a bit to make sure you've definitely played Part 1 first.

Much to my regret, I have.



...Wait. So to play part 2, I need to have already completed part 2.

Did anyone proofread this script? At all?



Therese reacted poorly to her first playthrough of You Have To Burn The Rope.

"Not now...not ever..."



Oh, look. Therese is Eldin's sister. What a horrifying plot twist.

One that, like everything else in this game, makes no fucking sense.



So Therese was able to remember most of her life prior to the dream sequence. That's been established. Why, then, would she forget that Eldin was her brother? And how did Eldin conveniently forget the exact same thing? And WHAT UNHOLY COINCIDENCE allowed these two siblings of different ages to be born on the exact same day?



Whatever. I'm rambling. We cut back to Therese muttering uselessly to herself as usual.



So for some reason she's lost her memories of the dream AGAIN, and has another awkward stumbling around to get her bearings. Perhaps this is the first loop that we saw in the opening, and this is where we'll finally get some answers?



Oh. THERE is a door. We've finally solved the mystery.

"-there's a small child suddenly pulling on my arm from behind."



Sure enough, Eldin doesn't recognise Therese this time around.

...Heh. Didn't realise I wasn't alone here.

Ah-well I thought so too but then I saw you walking around so I...




Clearly since all the periods got used up on ellipses, we're not allowed to have anything other than run-on sentences.

N-no! Wouldn't it be better if we stick together...Miss...?

You've got some backwards logic if you think it's better to follow a complete stranger kid.

A-ah you're right...that was rude of me. My name is Eldin, pleased to meet you!




I really don't get why Therese is being such a jerk. She's lost and in unfamiliar territory with no recollection of how she got here. Why is she trying to scare off the one source of help she can find?

I don't need some snivelling crybaby who's afraid of his own shadow slowing me d--



Karma proceeds to stab Therese in the chest for being an asshole.



No, seriously. That is actually what is going on.

How in the hell does Therese come to this conclusion based on exactly ONE incident? Where I'm from, we call that 'sheer coincidence'.



I feel like this is a line I'd see more often if I was reading through 8th grade creative writing. Probably accompanied with a heavy serving of vodka.

M-miss? Are you alright?



These are definitely the sounds a person who is totally fine makes.



I can think of no good reason that the second set of ellipses should ever have to exist. At all.

A-are you sure? You looked like you were in a lot of pain...



OK. Therese. Hold the goddamn phone.

So you just immediately come to the assumption that Eldin is somehow a fucking psychic who will strike you with his GUILT BEAM if you try to say anything remotely offensive? Again, based on ONE INSTANCE where you happened to feel pain in tandem with being an asshole? And in spite of Eldin genuinely doing everything he can to show concern for your safety?

I don't know what's worse, your paranoia or your braindead idiocy.



Why? All we need to do is go up, right?

...What are you talking about?

The test of course! We need to get to the top-




Keep in mind that Eldin somehow DOESN'T know all of this later.

Ah d-do you perhaps not remember Miss Therese?

R...remember?

Nothing at all? Well that was part of the test so...

Test?




That is not what 'initiated' means. Just saying.

For what? How did we get here? Why?



...Excuse me?

You and I are...currently asleep?

...




An apt summary of how this game makes me feel right now.



Maybe Eldin has really bad asthma and has to catch his breath between sentences?



For once, Therese asks a reasonable question: Why are they doing this? And why does Eldin remember all the facts when she doesn't?

Well...honestly...



OK, once again, wait one goddamn minute.

So in part 1 we learn there's some sort of anomaly attached to Therese and nothing out of the ordinary with Eldin. Now we learn that he somehow managed to SNEAK HIS WAY INTO THE EXPERIMENT and the computer thinks there's nothing wrong with him?

I feel like this game can't make a single plot point without somehow tripping over its own feet.



Therese is so angry that she somehow manages to fuse two sentences into one.

I-I don't...!



Oh. So that opening dialogue wasn't from Therese after all. Or maybe it was, given that the game is still obviously trying to skirt around the identity of this mysterious older sibling in the world's most awkward attempt to conceal an obvious plot twist.



Apparently Eldin knows all about Therese, since she was meant to be the original test subject. But he wasn't even supposed to be inside the machine.

Which raises yet ANOTHER stupid question - why would you test a machine that lets TWO PEOPLE share dreams on ONE PERSON?



Clearly he was sent here to assassinate you with his MIND BULLETS.



'Some simple dream experiment'? Do you realise that if we had enough knowledge of the human mind to allow two people to share a single dream, it would be a massive scientific revolution?

Of course not. Otherwise you wouldn't have written this sentence with a straight face.



Pretty much, yes.

So then it must be in some kind of controlled enviroment (sic) yes?




Oh my. Therese happens to work at the same hospital as the mysterious sibling who runs the experiments. I wonder if this is important. :|

If you're not a part of the experiment then...why are you at a hospital?

Ah...I'm not staff or anything of course...I'm...




What makes this line hilarious is that Therese's animation makes it look like she's genuinely fallen asleep out of boredom.



She is promptly woken up by a second heart attack.

"It hurts...so much...it's suffocating me...What...is going on?"

M-Miss Therese?! Are you alright?




YOU HAVE NO REASON TO HIDE THE FACT YOU'RE IN SERIOUS PAIN, THERESE. ABSOLUTELY NONE.

What's the goal? ...How do we...complete it?



Well, we failed that part pretty spectacularly.



BREATHE. You couldn't BREATHE. Breath is a noun, breathe is a verb. This is not complicated.



I still don't understand why she has decided Eldin's responsible for her heart attacks. But, y'know, :plot:!



Remember, he somehow manages to forget this after his first death. This, and ONLY this.

Well that sounds simple enough. But where do we find the code?



...Wait. So then...



...I'm stunned.

I'm fucking flabberghasted.

Let me take a moment to break down exactly what is happening here. First, we have 0101 being 'a random password anyone could think of'. Instead of, say, 1234 like most people would think of. I can maybe write this off as some level of Eldin's subconscious lingering, but whatever.

But if the code was just some silly thing anyone could think of, that meant it had nothing to do with their birthdays at all. So the two characters both being born on New Year's Day was an absolute coincidence, and the fact that the passcode JUST HAPPENED TO BE 0101 was also a complete coincidence.

Here's the math. There are 365 days in a year, and 10000 possible four digit combinations from 0000 to 9999. The odds of them sharing a birthday, and that birthday ALSO being the code for the elevator are 1 in 3,650,000.

Every time I think this game can't get any dumber, it manages to reach a new low.



I feel like this game is set in some sort of bizarro world where the rules of logic have been turned on their head. People keep acting like the most ridiculous concepts are perfectly natural, and it's REALLY getting on my nerves.

Let's get going, I want to give the one in charge a piece of my mind for putting me through this.

Heh heh...Even though you agreed to it in the first place?




Why does every expression on Therese's face make her look like a serial killer?

Ohh no, I'm not letting you off that easy Miss Therese~



Though maybe cut it out with the whole MIND BULLETS thing.

The pair run off together in search of a way to reach the fourth floor.



Once again, Therese scolds him for thinking she'll spout her life story to someone she's just met. Eldin decides to break the ice by going first.



The origin story for Professor Layton took a bizarre turn.

(Also, 'older sibling'. No-one says that unless they're clumsily trying to hide the gender of said sibling.)

I also...



Thank God.



So am I supposed to assume this is some sort of subconscious guilt or fear about Eldin that Therese hasn't quite forgotten? Because that sort of makes sense, except for the part where it NEVER HAPPENED FOR THE ENTIRETY OF PART 1.



I'm not stupid, you know? The way the doctors look and speak to me...suddenly...and drastically changed recently...

W-what's wrong with you...?




Because we need to instill an awkward sense of drama that totally clashes with the rest of the story.



In medical terminology, his kokoro isn't doki doki-ing hard enough.



I am cutting considerable chunks of this discussion out, because they're simply restating stuff that's already been said. Mainly involving Therese and her TOTALLY HORRIFIC ANGST IT'S REALLY BAD YOU GUYS SERIOUSLY.

But I've enjoyed my life, honestly I'm quite lucky. If this was my last day, I think I could honestly say that--



Therese is at least sane enough to realise this isn't how she should be reacting. A kid dying young is tragic, obviously, but it shouldn't be leaving her this crippled. Why?

(maybe because he's your fucking brother you moron)



Can we just go one step further and say 'no more talking'? It would make this game a hundred times more bearable.



Therese gives some big speech about how Eldin's going to go out and live his life and give his SIBLING a big hug. Y'know, as if a heart defect is something you can overcome through sheer determination.



Because we're living in BIZARRO DREAM LAND, it works.



Now common? NOW COMMON?

I'd like to take a moment to reiterate this game is for sale on Steam. You are expected to pay real money for the privilege of playing this game.



How can you even be sure what you're actually like, Therese? You've forgotten everything else about yourself.



The fact that the game has the AUDACITY to claim the hallways were detailed when THEY'RE LITERALLY FUCKING SKETCHES implies one of two things: either the creator is utterly lacking in self-awareness, or they simply do not give a shit. Possibly both.



Anyway! Our heroes manage to find the elevator. Now all they have to do is enter the hilariously convenient passcode, and they'll be-



FUCKING SPIDER DEMON



This is the demon's initial form, though, so it doesn't have the broken limbs or the messed-up face yet.

Therese and Eldin try to cautiously tiptoe around the creature, but when they reach the top of the stairs-



Who cares?! Just run for the elevator!

And so we're given a repeat of the scenario from before, where they both have to rush in to get to the elevator before the demon nabs them. Except this time they don't have a gun, they have to waste time putting in the code to begin with, and they aren't even sure if they have the right code.

So naturally they get caught, right?



OF COURSE FUCKING NOT.

I feel like this is the only appropriate thing to post at this point.



Eldin, if you don't die shortly after waking up from the dream, I will kill you myself.



But hey, at least now we're finally going to find out what's at the top of the goddamn elevator! Let's see how the game manages to botch THIS reveal.



TL NOTE: PEDASTAL MEANS PEDESTAL



Tumblr memes.

Anyway, who gives a shit about the gun? Let's open the door and get out of-



What.



Are you telling me the exit door is actually linked to THE ENDLESS VOID OF SPACE or some shit? How did the people running this experiment not realise this? Better yet, WHY THE HELL HAVE THEY NOT STOPPED THE EXPERIMENT AT THIS POINT?

Eldin and Therese take the revelation well.



And by well, I mean very poorly.

To clarify, they figured the gun was there as a get-out clause in case something went wrong with the system. Except we know that can't be right, which begs yet another question - if the gun doesn't bring you out of the dream and it's useless against the Spider Demon, WHY THE HELL IS IT HERE?



Eldin tries to be a big hero and offers to shoot himself. Therese starts whining about how she's the adult and therefore has to take responsibility for the actions of this kid she has apparently never met before.



She proceeds to use MYSTERIOUS SIBLING X for the sake of emotional blackmail. So that, y'know, she can shoot Eldin rather than Eldin shooting himself.

I'm sorry...thank you.

Thank me once we wake up.




Sooner than you'd think, in fact!



"But the second I actually pulled the trigger...it's like I shattered that resolve along with his tiny body."



Sure enough, this brings us back to the events we saw in the opening - Therese looking over Eldin's dead body.



SHOT THROUGH THE HEART

AND I'M TO BLAME, DARLING




I GIVE LOOOOVE A BAD NAME



We cut back to the Mystery Voice That Is Definitely Not Therese.

"...Is to set the pieces into place."



"This is all I can do for you...I'm sorry I'm such a failure. I can save you like this...but I can't give you a proper life..."



Pretty sure 'longer' is the word you want there.

"You haven't even had a chance to experience the tiniest fraction of this world..."



"Maybe then...I could have saved you...instead of just...preserving you. But if it will keep you alive, I will do whatever it takes."



...wait what



OK HOLD UP

HOLD THE FUCK UP

So Therese ISN'T Eldin's sister? Then why the pointless dodging of the question? Why set it up as a red herring? Why would you put a plot point there and then not make anything of it? And if Therese and Eldin are unrelated, why the hell did she have a heart attack whenever he said anything sad?



Guess what? None of these questions are answered. It's a twist for the sake of being a twist.

"If only I could be the one by your side...but I can't trust anyone else to do what I must..."



So as it turns out, the malfunction of the dream system was entirely intentional. As long as the dream never ends, Eldin will essentially live forever.

Except, y'know, his entire life will be an endless cycle of getting shot, impaled, leaping from tall buildings, and generally being utterly horrified.



"If you're okay...that'll be more than enough for me."



"And be happy."

OK, so this Du person is extremely fucked up. Apparently they've decided that it's better for Eldin to get murdered every fifteen minutes in a variety of gruesome ways rather than actually die.

So I'm mad that Therese's entire character arc now makes no sense, but at least we have a clue what's going on now. Maybe now we're going to get a heroic story of Eldin breaking out of the dream and demanding the right to live and die on his own terms, and Du gets all their stupid shit called out for-



what


that's it

THAT'S THE ENDING?!

-----

I checked, by the way. I played through both parts a second time to make sure I hadn't missed anything. I looked through the game files to try and figure out if there was some other aspect of the game I'd somehow missed.

I didn't find anything. But you know what I did find?



I found four folders full of .au files.

.au files, for those unaware, are used by the audio software Audacity. They're what happens when you 'save' a project, and they're useless for anything except use in Audacity. Obviously this is how the developer made the music and sound effects of the game, and they never bothered to remove the Audacity files from the game folder.

Said files take up roughly 74 megabytes of space. The entire game download is 167 megabytes.

ALMOST HALF OF THE GAME'S DOWNLOAD IS NOTHING BUT USELESS AUDIO DATA.



And yet I can't think of a better way to describe the utter ineptitude that this entire game runs on.

Two Steps Back is not a bad game in the usual manner I cover. Usually I play games that have horrible writing, or awkward sexist undertone, or things like that. But they usually have some redeeming feature, like at least looking good or being complex enough to hold my interest.

Two Steps Back is a game that somehow manages to do absolutely everything wrong.

The graphics are mediocre. Backgrounds are literally unfinished. The character art is unpleasant at best and outright creepy at worst. The music gets old within five minutes. The grammar and spelling is horrendous throughout the entirety of the script. The plot is nonsensical and stupid and seems built entirely to stupify. Nothing is explained. Nothing makes sense. There is no payoff. There is no tension. Hilarious contrivances just so happen to occur and no-one brings it up. Obvious plot twists are swerved around and promptly crash into a nearby wall. The UI is literally straight-from-the-box Ren'py with no alteration. And this is all on top of basic programming ineptitude such as Steam not being able to run it or half the download size being nothing but useless garbage.



What utterly blows my mind is that this game was in 'development' for well over a year. Apparently it's been lingering on Steam Greenlight for a long time now, because its Greenlight campaign was running was back in September 2014. That's the time that a review of the game was released on the site Cliqist, with writer Marcus Estrada praising the game for its 'intriguing style of exposition' and its 'immediately likable' characters.

Maybe Marcus Estrada is from the same BIZARRO WORLD this game takes place in, because I have no idea what the hell he's talking about.

I'm Roukanken. Thanks for reading. Join me next time I waste my hard-earned cash on garbage like this.


Welcome To My Nightmare - Let's Play Two Steps Back! (Part 1)
roukanken
Y'know what I have? LP withdrawal.

Y'know what I'm gonna do about it? Play a budget-ass VN on Steam.



Two Steps Back is a mystery-horror VN by Kristen Cheely. It was actually initially made around 2013, but the developer ran a kickstarter to put together a commercial version. It made about $2000, and the final result is what you see here.

I should start by saying that this game did not make a good first impression on me. Why, you ask?



Well, mainly because it didn't work.

On the steam page and all the advertising, the game is referred to as Two Steps Back. However, if you look in the game folder, the .exe file is actually called Two Steps Backwards. So Steam gets stuck looking for a file that doesn't exist and thus it doesn't run.

(The sad thing? This is only the second worst mistake I've seen a dev make on steam. For another game, they managed to install ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. At least that game was freeware, and it did get fixed relatively quickly.)

Anyway! Enough delaying. Let's see what this woman's hard-earned money paid for.



We're greeted with a dirty wall, and a woman panting desperately.



Please note that we still have a speaker at this point. This means our stranger lady is loudly declaring her physical state to everyone in earshot.

"Though I suppose that there's more air for me..."



Rest In Peace, Cross-Eyed Man. He died of the world's most intense nosebleed.



Wait, you mean that ISN'T raspberry jam coming out of his face?



So at this point I'm assuming we are at the end of the story, and we're going to go back to see what happened that led to Mr. Cross-Eyed getting murdered. ('In Medias Res', if you want the fancy Latin term for it.)



I'm pretty sure it's unintentional, but the thought of this woman monologuing to a corpse is actually hilarious.

"My heart is throbbing so fast it's painful; maybe it'll explode and do my work for me."



We hear the cocking of a gun. Next comes a big explosion and a flash of red, right?



Nope. We cut to a weirdly sketched archway and more internal monologue. I think this is supposed to be a different scene, but there is nothing that could come close to being called a transition. Also, our heroine finally has a name!



The big plot twist is that we just stepped into a walk-in freezer.

There is now music, by the way, and it can only be described as surreal. Imagine weird throat yodelling with plucking in the background, all melting in a pot of electro. Credit where it's due - it IS vaguely creepy.



Another piece of credit - this game actually has animated sprites! Therese here blinks on her own. Though it doesn't stop her from looking pretty damn miserable.

Also, I'm not an expert, but I don't think breasts work like that. Unless she's wearing a corset under that shirt...

It can't be something like amnesia, so...what happened after I woke up?



There is a separate animation of Therese's teeth appearing and disappearing when she smiles. This becomes hilarious when you notice that her sprite is shaded completely differently depending on whether her teeth are visible.

You had ONE job, artist.

Can't help me now, I guess-- I should just get outside to try and get my bearings.



"Where is a door?" is a very...interesting choice of words. Also, note Therese's hilariously large right hand.

Realising that there aren't any doors to work with, Therese decides to use a window instead.



Ma'am, I think you need to learn a few things about gravity.

Before she can make her move, though, another voice cries out!



Very, very enthusiastically.



Well, THAT'S definitely not the face of a maniac.

(The animation in this sprite is the repeated dilation of her pupils. It's...concerning.)



This...did get Kickstartered, right? So why do all the backgrounds look like five-minute sketches?



Drinking game! Take a shot every time Therese uses ellipses.

(Don't do this. You will die.)



I feel like I haven't properly conveyed how offputting these animations are. So, for your viewing pleasure, have eldin.gif:



If this is an intentional move to make the sprites outright horrifying to look at, then it definitely works. But that's probably not the case.

I'm so sorry that I put you through that Miss Therese...



What Is Punctuation I do not know but I probably do not need it!

Here again? Plan? How do you know my name? Who are you?!



It'sa me, Eldin!



Is she mildly entertained or horrendously aggressive? She can't seem to decide.



Eldin's 'thinking' pose consists of him opening his mouth and making random shapes without making any actual noise.

Also, that's THREE ellipses in one line. This is why I told you not to do the drinking game.



Is this the super-budget version of Inception?



BWOOOOOOOOONG



A dream that we can't wake up from. I suppose you could say that it's become our shared nightmare...heh.



I'm sorry, but that landscape behind you looks very distinctly NOT real.



So presumably, our attempt to shoot Eldin at the beginning was our previous attempt to exit the dream. Which failed, naturally.

Just hold on! How do you expect me to believe all this!? This is crazy!! I...



I'm too lazy to count, but I honestly think this game abuses ellipses worse than Cafe 0 did.

So I told myself that this time for sure...I'd get you out of here, Miss Therese.

...




Now my feelings toward you are more like 'pity'.



The game then spends several screens telling us what we've already figured out: that they figured death might be their way out of the dream.



Five ellipses.

One line.

HOW DO YOU DO THIS?

But it didn't even work...we're still here...I'm so sorry I put you through that...

No! Hey! Just stop thinking like that ok? I can't even remember it so--




As a sign of support, Therese copies Eldin's dying cross-eyed expression.



At this point, Therese suddenly realises another problem. How exactly is she sharing a dream with Eldin in the first place?



He can remember that it was voluntary, though. Therese assumes from that knowledge that someone's watching over them, and that this 'dream' isn't their own creation.

So...could we basically just call it virtual reality at this point?



Or a video game! That also works.

I think it's the best shot we've got. Eldin, was it?

Yes! Don't worry maybe some of it will come back to y--




A weird shrieking, laughing sound cuts the discussion short, along with a line of text presumably written by a cat walking over the keyboard.

What the hell was that, Eldin!?

I don't know! I've never heard it before!

W-Well it sounds dangerous so I think we need to hide!

A-Alright! Uhmm...I think there might be a good room upstairs!




He's awfully strong for a twelve-year-old.



I feel like this line was written by a creature that had heard of metaphors, but didn't really grasp the underlying idea.



The creature shrieks again. Is "@a##$!po__e345-6\t4&oe*('opp'''gp/p|..." the sound it's meant to be making? Because honestly I would love to know how that is pronounced.

The monster draws closer. Our pair head up to another hallway, but Eldin stops Therese from looking down.



Wait, what? It's in front of us now? How the hell did that happen?



EXCUSE ME, AM I MISSING SOMETHING



DIDN'T WE ALREADY ESTABLISH THAT THIS DIDN'T WORK



You realise the brain would have been a MUCH easier target, right?



Clearly we're running from the dreaded Internet Browser History Monster.

After three shots, Eldin finally manages to hit his mark.



Well that was a short game. I'm Roukanken, and thanks for reading-



Oh goddammit.

Therese actually remembers what's going on this time. She ponders if her memory will improve the longer she stays trapped in this dream.



She also decides that the whole killing-each-other thing really isn't working out.

NO SHIT.



oh lord i picked a terrible frame to screenshot



DARK THERESE IS SILENTLY JUDGING YOU



Eldin's still around! So getting murdered by the shadow monster is NOT the right thing to do.

I guess this qualifies as progress?



Of course she was in pain! Have you ever been shot before-oh, wait.



There's a heartwarming scene where Therese promises to protect Eldin and makes him swear that they'll handle things together from now on.

At least, it might have been heartwarming if the whole thing didn't play out in awkward silence.



I'm not a psychologist, but that doesn't look like a smile to me.



Eldin's already come to the same conclusion we have - that getting killed is definitely not the end goal. They also wake up in the same spot whenever they die - Therese in the hallway, and Eldin under the main staircase.



Did you know this was supposed to be a tower until now? I sure didn't.



OK, Therese? When you get out of this thing, you are going to need a SHITTON of therapy.

Without any better clues to work on, the pair start searching every single room they can find.



Seriously, this looks like a sketch more than an actual background. Therese being coloured just makes it even weirder. (Also, look how massive her hand is. Someone needs to take some lessons on perspective.)



I mean, we DID find a gun in the library, but that's just your average game of Clue.



Oh, sweet! A free passage to the top floor? Sign me u-



DAMMIT GO AWAY



Since Eldin clearly put himself through huge amounts of mental trauma to keep Therese from seeing the monster, Therese basically commits suicide so she can see the monster.

Because...reasons?



For lack of a better term, I will now refer to this creature as the Spider Demon.

"It's (sic) face is crooked and bleeding and..."



"Ohhhh if you want it to be possessive, it's just "ITS", but if it's supposed to be a contraction then it's "IT-APOSTROPHE-S", Scalawag."



I'd like to make something clear. I didn't skip a huge chunk of gameplay or anything. That whole scene of Eldin shooting us to make sure we didn't see the monster happened about five minutes of gameplay ago.

So, uh....yeah, definitely the perfect time to reveal the monster!



Therese died somehow.



Don't be ridiculous. I'm sure he didn't want your sacrifice to be in vain and pushed on in the hopes of finding salvation for both of-



...

Yeah, that expression sums up how I'm feeling pretty well.



I watched it crush your heart...and eat your orga-



Yes, we definitely want to see the twelve-year-old throw up! This CG was totally necessary and we couldn't have spent the budget on better things instead.

Like actual backgrounds.

Or a proofreader.

MOVING ON SHARPLY.



To be fair, she totally deserves this criticism. Why the hell didn't she warn Eldin about this plan in advance?



As it turns out, Spider Demon isn't interested in Eldin at all. He tried attacking it repeatedly, but it didn't even pay attention to him. The only reason it killed him earlier was because he was standing between it and Therese.

As for why he's down here and not using the elevator right now?



...Oh.



So that's six deaths altogether, and we haven't even managed a kill yet. This is the worst game of Team Deathmatch I've ever played.

Therese tells Eldin about the monster - and how it has her face, but his eyes.



This is somehow a surprise to him in spite of the fact he LITERALLY SPENT FIVE MINUTES TRYING TO ATTRACT THE CREATURE'S ATTENTION.

I...don't even know if they did...it didn't look...complete?

Complete?




Which means Spider Demon might just be a bug in the system.

The pair sit in awkward silence for a moment before Therese notes how tired Eldin looks.



If the way out of this tower is 'go to sleep', I will probably have an aneurysm.

But now for a better question. Why didn't Eldin just take the elevator up to the top when he had the chance?



Of course it couldn't be that easy.

Wh-locked?! But we didn't find any keys!



According to Eldin, there were two keypads, each looking for a code. So presumably it needs an answer from each of them. But they've already searched the whole tower, so how are they supposed to find anything?



Wait, we just went from 'this creature isn't supposed to be here' to 'this creature is our ticket out of here'. Which one is it, game?



Oh yeah, just books. Have you ever considered, I dunno, READING THEM?



So! We have our plan of attack. Hunt down the monster that's trying its best to slaughter Therese, and see if we can shake some numbers out of it.

I dunno about you, but I think this plan's gonna go GREAT.



Ah! Only numbers! And four!

Hmm...so two apiece? Four numbers that we share...

Any ideas, Miss Therese?




Oh, come on, that's WAY too obvious.

Birthday?! Do we share the same birthday?!



Who the hell would speak a date as 'zero one zero one'? Why not just say January 1st, like normal people? But it doesn't matter, because it's never the first thing that you try-



...You're kidding me.



Sometimes I feel like the game is already doing all my mocking for me.

So we've got a plan now - input 01/01 on the keypads. That just leaves one problem - how do we get around Therese's evil sister?



This is...actually fairly sensible. We ARE running off the assumption that it isn't going to target Eldin, but we don't really have any better ideas. Surely Therese will resign to plain and simple logic at this point-



Of course not.

Eventually, though, she does concede the point. Eldin's trying really hard to be brave for her sake, so she stops objecting.

What should our signal be?



And it presumably makes a different sound if he gets it right, so he'll enter it correctly if he comes in from the left.

A very solid plan. But given how early in the game we are, I'd be amazed if it actually-



...worked.

I feel like this game has no idea how to build any sort of dramatic tension. Problems are set up and then solved within the space of five minutes. It's like the game's in a desperate rush to explain away all the mysteries without giving them any time to set in.

But whatever! Let's just hurry and get up this goddamn elevator.



See, this is why I find the whole background thing hilarious. You can see the sketch marks still around Eldin. This was clearly a first draft of what the CG was MEANT to look like, and at some point the artist decided 'screw it, let's colour in the characters and call it done'.

Get going, Miss Therese! I'll catch up soon!

Please just...be carefu-




Oh hey, Spider Demon's finally learning how to spell.

Go!!



You heard that right. The door just closes itself, leaving Eldin on the outside. And Therese doesn't even try to press the button.

Why?

Because fuck you, that's why.



She considered asking him to come two, but figured that was asking too much of him.

Eldin's bullets do nothing to stop the monster. He also refuses to listen to common sense and make an attempt to get inside the elevator.



He has time to attempt to shoot the monster repeatedly, but not enough time to get into a goddamn elevator? I don't understand.



Anyway, Eldin's MASTER PLAN OF GENIUS ends about as well as can be expected.



Man, those almost look like words! Something about how 'you shouldn't get in the way of me saving her'. Someone's been studying!



So yeah, you know how Eldin valiantly sacrificed himself so that Therese could have a chance at freedom?



She decides not to bother with any of that. They could have just both gone into the elevator and even the WORST case scenario wouldn't be worse than this.

GOOD JOB MAKING SURE YOUR PARTNER DIED FOR NO GOOD REASON, ASSHOLE!

Why the hell are you doing this?! Are you the reason why we can't leave? You keep trying to kill us when all we want to do is leave this place!



For those of you illiterate in l33tspeak, this reads "Anomaly...attached to you..."



Luckily, Therese is fluent thanks to wasting her childhood on Runescape.

That's why you're keeping us here?! That's why you're slaughtering us!?

...

Answer me dammit!




W-Well killing us obviously hasn't been working! So you have to stop! Where is this thing anyways? Inside of me? I don't feel any different?



And in the space of about 20 minutes of gameplay, Spider Demon learned how to speak perfect English.

5/5. A+. Gold star.



This is probably supposed to be a DARK and EDGY point about how mankind is so attuned to violence and will kill each other given the slightest excuse.

It falls flat because this plot is stupid and this script is stupid.



It has somehow found a way to watch over you. It's almost as if there is some kind of screen or filter between the two of you, yet it is still attached to you.



Okay, I'm lost. So something or someone is watching over Therese. Didn't we already establish that since this was some sort of virtual reality, there HAD to be someone watching us? Why is that an anomaly the system didn't consider? Unless this is somehow a third party who has hacked into the virtual world of dreams, but that just raises even MORE questions!



Which is why she's made up of scraps of Eldin and Therese.

...



uhhhhhhh

R-rip me apart?! But you just said it's not inside me!



So you're going to try a strategy which you ALREADY KNOW DOESN'T WORK just to be sure.

As the saying goes, 'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'



Also, the unholy monster which can casually rip apart flesh and bone is unable to penetrate an elevator door. Or even a GLASS FUCKING WINDOW.



And the smarter it gets, the harder it'll be to evade. At this rate, they might end up trapped in this virtual world forever, until their bodies in the real world crumble into dust...



Did you forget the fact that the monster has NO INTEREST WHATSOEVER in Eldin? If you get out of the dream on your own, there's literally nothing stopping Eldin from doing the same! There is NO REASON FOR YOU TO BE DOING THIS!



I hate this script.

I hate it so damn much.

(Also something I have been meaning to grip about for a while - you got $2000 of funding for this thing, and you couldn't even bother changing the default Ren'py UI?! IT'S NOT EVEN HARD TO DO!)

Thank you for your cooperation. I will try my best not to fail this time.



Well! Rest in peace, Therese. She was killed by her own stupidity.

Time to revive on the bottom floor and come up with another plan for-



...Wait. This description looks familiar.



No.

NO.



It's looping.

THE GAME IS FUCKING LOOPING.

(I checked. The game just loops over and over. Nothing changes, ever.)



I know what the game wants to do here. It wants to make a point about how you're going to make the same mistakes over and over and you'll never break out of the loop. Except that given what we know so far about the plot, that doesn't make ANY FUCKING SENSE.

First of all, why has Therese forgotten everything again? She didn't lose any memories when Eldin shot her, or the first time Spider Demon ate her. Why is THIS death in particular the one that wipes out her memories?



Second, why has ELDIN forgotten everything? His memory has somehow been reset to the beginning of the game, right after Therese attempted to shoot the pair of them to escape. Why doesn't he remember the code to the elevator, or that the Spider Demon doesn't give a damn about him, or any of the other things they accomplished in their last three deaths? He didn't just lose his memories, he lost a LUDICROUSLY SPECIFIC set of memories for NO EXPLAINABLE REASON.



Third, why has THE SPIDER DEMON forgotten everything? At the time it killed Therese, it had become smart enough to speak English and explain itself, but now it's back to 'rolling my face on the keyboard' levels of intelligence. Wasn't the whole reason Therese sacrificed herself to make sure this thing didn't keep getting smarter and smarter? WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THAT IF IT SOMEHOW REGRESSES TO IDIOT LEVELS OF INTELLIGENCE ANYWAY?



And finally, given what we know so far, how does ANYTHING that happened in the opening make ANY sort of sense?

To clarify - on this first cycle, Therese decided they could only escape the dream through dying, so she shot Eldin and then herself. We ALSO know that the Spider Demon made no attempt to intervene, because when it arrived earlier Eldin said he'd never seen it before. So there was no threat of danger and no sign the simulation was going wrong in any way.

And rather than exploring the tower and finding the elevator - you know, like they managed to do WHILE there was a shadow monster hunting them - they somehow decided the best course of action was to kill themselves, without any clue whether or not that would accomplish anything.

At this point it's worth reiterating that this project was created by one person. An artist, at that. There was no writer on board to look over this script for spelling errors, errant punctuation, or gaping plot holes.

And holy fucking shit, does it show.

So you might be wondering at this point - if the game loops forever, and you've got no way to change the sequence of events, how are you supposed to finish it?



There's a part two.

Brace yourselves.

NEXT TIME: And To Win The Spelling Bee, Your Word Is "@a##$!po__e345-6\t4&oe*('opp'''gp/p|..."

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Season Finale)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON KAMEN RIDER YUUKEI:

UK learned more about her powers as the Night Driver, and remembered the passion that drives a true hero. But she's no closer to rescuing her Toshokenger comrades, and their time is running out!

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 6: ILLUSIONS --



UK, stumbling into the studio, realises she won't be able to handle this task on her own.



: I'll have to go to Cerebro. I need help. My friends are still missing...



Not sure why she needs to transform to see Cerebro, but whatever.



As UK tries to remember whether this thing takes double or triple-A batteries, a laughing sound echoes through the studio!



: What is this nightmare? Am I hearing voices now?



UK actually starts shaking her head at this point while she covers her ears. She's got a really bad track record of falling for these illusions, actually.



But why? There's so much empty space in there!



Rather than making the most of her distraction, Tengu decides now is the best time to start gloating.



In retrospect, leaving Cerebro unattended for 80% of the season was probably a bad move.



: You may have defeated the others, but I have been watching you...



Hoping to prey on her weakness, Tengu summons his army of clones, but UK is unfazed!



: Our friendship fuels my power! I am not alone!



And the only form of payment she accepts is FACE KICK.

Director's Instructions:
- Interrupt Tengu's charging skill.
- Defeat the boss using Driver Mode.



Once again there's no challenge in finding the real Tengu, though for the sake of drama and audience I spend some time beating up the clones first.



Now they actually have the chance to act, the Tengu turn out to be surprisingly dangerous. Their weapons are unimpressive, but they inflict two different debuffs - one to reduce your dodge/counter chance, and another to reduce movement. Naturally these stack on top of each other several times over because we aren't allowed to have nice things.



Luckily we have other, more motorcycle-y ways of getting around.



Tengu attempts to move away and use his charge skill, only for Time Gadget to bring him right back where he started.

I love this route. The skills are so fun to play with.



We are considerably less fortunate the second time around, when all our good skills are on cooldown.

And at this point, something unprecedented happens.



We lose the fight.



This is literally the first time I have lost a fight for the entire LP. And of all the bosses to lose to, it was the Tengu who was a complete joke in the other two routes. Luckily, you can still quit and restart to avoid losing the fans, though in longer fights this would mean doing the whole map from phase 1 again.



In the rematch I make a point of not using Driver Mode when I can avoid it. The loss of defense is too great for me to afford here.



It's still a much closer battle than I expected, but the second time around we pull through.



Tengu explodes, having redeemed himself for his sub-par performance thus far.



: It feels like everything is falling apart...something needs to be done quick!



This might be a stretch, but I'm guessing that faces will be kicked.



Patrick Burns/Stuffman is my OTP.



Shine on, Anthy, you crazy diamond.

(Though I have to wonder how she made this blueprint. Did Lord Gaga not bother to confiscate her laptop or something?)



Don't worry, friends! I'll save you! Definitely!

Probably.

...Maybe.

-- SEASON 5 FINALE: TO THE STARS --



: I came as fast as I could - sorry, my teleporter wasn't working!



Too much information, buddy.

: The rest of them...well, I have some other tricks up my sleeve.



Wait. You mean she never even bothered to tell Cerebro the rest of the team was kidnapped?

UK, you are the worst team player ever.

: That's exactly why I need your help. They were kidnapped!



An excellent question.



Oh, I see. This is UK learning humility and accepting she can't do everything on her own.

That's...pretty neat, actually.

: And Anthy told me all your processors were focused on harnessing the power of the Alien Material. But I ran out of leads...



But he hasn't got any actual technology to go with it.

Cue Anthy's ingenious blueprint!



: Holy shit, 42 megs? Has Anthy even heard of data compression?



No flying TV towers this time around, sadly.



He's not kidding. It literally takes him seconds to put this thing together.



How the hell did he do that? He doesn't have opposable thumbs! He doesn't have thumbs, period!

Well, whatever. It's time to go to space and-

*beep beep*



OH COME ON



fiiiiine

: It will be an honour, Cerebro. HENSHIN!

Director's Instructions:
- Keep the Night Driver above 50% health.
- Defeat 2 enemies in a single turn.



I haven't talked much about the Rhino Elites, but they're aggravating. They cast a buff on themselves called Challenge Me! every turn which raises their attack. They aren't very well shielded, but they have enough health it takes a couple of Squarehouse Kicks to bring them down. A Driver Mode buffed Driver Kick, on the other hand...



I am getting paid extra for this, right?



Aww. True heroes aren't allowed to charge people for their services. :<



Thanks, dad. <3



Galactic trouble is CONSIDERABLY worse than ordinary trouble.

: I'll be back with all of them, Cerebro. I promise. Now how does this teleporter actually wor-



: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA...



: The fate of the Earth is in good hands.



: ...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!



Wait, you don't mean-



HOLY SHIT, IT'S THE FUCKING CAT

: Wait, WHAT? It's the cat from the studio! How can you talk?!



If you'd told us earlier, we could have avoided five episodes of running around and accomplishing nothing!

: Or...I don't even know what to ask...



: I used to accompany Cerebro in all kinds of trouble back in the day. And I've been following you since your first episode.

For those who don't remember, we found Catnigiri in the same box as Cerebro WAAAAAY back in Season 1.



Well, okay. I concede my 'running around' argument.



Uncertain Kitten is fighting side by side with an actual cat.

This is the most glorious coincidence I can think of.



: All of this because you found yourself saving the world while recording a TV show...and you're also arguing with a talking cat right now.



: Er...point taken!



Director's Instructions:
- Defeat an enemy with a Driver Mode explosion.
- Defeat the last enemy with a Teamwork Attack.



For a cat, Catnigiri is surprisingly bulky. She also has the most potent healing skill in the entire game, an amazing movement range, and absolutely ridiculous dodge/counter rates - she literally has a 50% chance to avoid anything thrown at her.



It's a sad day when the legendary lone hero of Earth is outdone by a talking cat.



Also there are some people trapped in a force field. No idea why!

After the duo of Cat and Kitten finish wiping up the security team...



: Thanks, but I believe we have more trouble on the way...



Huengel! Or as I like to nickname him, Huge Angel.



This is the same speech he normally gives, but speaking to UK rather than the group as a whole.

: I'm Huengel, the Devourer, and I'm here to end your little adventure once and for all.

: My friends are on this ship, and I'm not leaving without them!




Aw, man. Do I HAVE to?



Dammit, I hate being a true hero.



But there's no lid. How can there possibly be-y'know what, screw it. Let's cut to the face-kicking.

: Don't worry! I'll get you two out of that cage!



After she PUNTS YOUR LUNGS INTO THE ENDLESS VACUUM OF SPACE.

: Fly-boy, huh? I'll let you save every single one of them, on one condition...



It's the Double-Cat Combo versus the Mini-Kaiju Squad.

: Missed us, Night Driver?



: We can do this! Let me show you!



Uggggggggh.

(Salmon is both a common type of Nigiri, and the name of a shade of pink.)

: Henshin!



That shade, to be exact.

: ...



If your stats are somehow worse in human form, I will be very disappointed.



Director's Instructions:
- Interrupt Huengel's charging skill.
- Defeat the Boss Monster using Driver Mode.



Catnigiri's stats are the same, but now she also has access to the Cat Pistol. It's about as good as pistols get in this game.



Mulligahn and Degijon have been powered down considerably from their last appearance. The dreaded golf monster goes down on the first turn before he has the chance to think about his invisibility bullshit.



Huengel REALLY likes to run away and charge Smite. Catnigiri focuses on stopping him while UK handles the main Squad.

(Catnigiri isn't actually at full health, by the way. Like many other things, this health bar is a lie.)



UK finishes Huengel in the only way that's appropriate - with a Driver Kick.



Then the game gets confused and doesn't end the fight, so I Squarehouse Kick him again for good measure.



: Phew! That was tiring! Back to my normal form now.



TELL THEM I DON'T DO AUTOGRAPHS!



She does so by...looking at it menacingly for half a second.

: There you go!



They're Kickstarter backers, Kelvin Mok and Anna Ross.



More importantly, Huengel hasn't exploded yet.



Oh wow. He's actually taking his defeat gracefully. That's new.

: Release...the humans...



: Oh thank god. I couldn't stand being around Amra one moment longer.

: Hey, when we get home, do you think we can celebrate with cup-

: FUCK. YOU.




Also, Catnigiri is here. Don't ask.

: Touching...but there's one thing you're missing here...

: Wait, what? What is it?




Oh.

...He has a point.

: ...



I missed Amra and her silly poses.

: I'll think of something.



You may have noticed that 'Wait, what?' is basically UK's catchphrase.



Thanks, mom. <3

: Thanks, everyone...what we need to do now is find Lord Gaga!



No, dammit! I need your overpowered bullshit for fighting Villain X!

: Uh, wait a minute...



More importantly, if she can teleport back to Earth, WHY CAN'T WE?



I'm going to assume this is pronounced as 'Ooooooooh.'



Again, EXCELLENT QUESTION.



THAT DOESN'T EXPLAIN ANYTHING!



Whatever. Season 5 complete. One more fight before Chroma Squad is finished for good.



We can now unequip the Night Cyclone if we so desire. Because it's not locked to a role, we can actually give it to any member of the party we want.



In fact we can even recycle it, but why the hell would we ever want to do that? And the role suits UK too well for her to just give away.



Welcome back, Iced. I missed you.

Alright then. The gang's all here. For the third and final time, let's end this.

-- SERIES FINALE: WHAT DID YOU DO TO LORD GAGA? --



He forgot to turn off the lights for dramatic effect this time.

: I remember this place. They brought us here before. This is the arena I told you about, UK!



But this time, instead of Gaga stepping out, a line of security guards appears instead!



The minions interpret this as 'call for reinforcements'.



: Lord Gaga, where are you?! Come to us, you coward!



: Here I am, little monsters. What do you think you're going to do now?



Oh shit, a DOUBLE dare. UK means business.

: Right. My place, my rules.



Aww, I was planning how I was going to wipe out the front line with a Driver Kick. :(



: Third life's the charm!

Director's Instructions:
- Perform 8 Team Attacks.
- Defeat the Boss Monster with a Finishing Move.



We've seen this fight play out twice already. The only difference is that we have the Night Driver on our side.



This time he doesn't wait for Ironing Man to die before summoning more minions. Considering one of them is Colin's Bear, this is...troublesome.



As usual, he gets rushed before he can swarm us with bosses.

: Grrrrr.



Once again it plays out like before. He runs off to get changed so he can offer some 'real entertainment' before locking us in the gas chamber.

The route was pretty unique up until now, but it seems like the finale's the same whichever path you take. :<



And god knows I wouldn't want to watch that.

: I'm sorry, Toshokenger! Have fun! XOXO



Not that they matter. We win by knocking down the door, as usual.



And no, EAGLE Lasso-ing the door doesn't work.



They wanted me to fight 10 enemies. 0 is only one digit away from 10, right?



They do this again.

It still leads nowhere.



: This must be Lord Gaga's room. Although the other one looked more like it...



Oh no! It's Villain X-tremely Unforeshadowed!



It's the Mythril Heroes cutscene for the most part, minus the Mythril Heroes themselves.



rip lord gaga

again



: As countless worlds before it, Earth will bow before my power!



THROUGH THE POWER OF CUTSCENES!



How're we going to get up now? We don't have Tammy, we don't have the Mythril Heroes. There's no-one left to-



OH MY SHITTING FUCK YES

: But...how...? I mean...how can you be here? I thought you were dead!



Referencing the time-travelling Denliner from Kamen Rider Den-O.



Ahbo stands atop the fourth wall and laughs at the pitiful NPCs beneath him.

: You fought really well, UK! I will be eternally grateful to you for everything you have done.



And due to his time-travel nonsense, there are now two Night Drivers!



: It doesn't matter now. You are too late. Welcome to die!



Given it's the same joke in every route, the 'this joke AGAIN?' line is much funnier than it's supposed to be.

The heroes struggle to their feet and transform one last time!



: Toshokenger Assist!



: Toshokenger Scout!



: Toshokenger Techie!



: Toshokenger Lead!



: Toshokenger Night Driver!

: Together we are...Toshokenger!




LET'S END THIS.



Kanji's as beefy as he was before, although he's lost his Time Gadget this time around. Luckily UK has him covered on that front.



And it's here I learn of an issue with Driver Kick that has never been relevant before: you can't Driver Kick through your own allies or solid objects. Understandable, but something I REALLY WOULD HAVE LIKED TO KNOW EARLIER. Especially since the game makes no effort to stop you trying this!



However, much to my surprise, EAGLE Lasso DOES work as advertised! And when it's buffed with Driver Mode, teamwork attacks do a LOT of damage.



Kanji does a good job of pulling the aggro while the other rangers recuperate from THERE IS NO HOPE.



We got the Best Friend from that email last update. It stacks with Amra's inherent bonus to Teamwork Attacks. Do the math.



The rest, as they say, is history.



GET WRECKED, YOU STUPID PIECE OF ROCK



Blah, blah, MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE. Blah, blah, ALL DOOMED NOW.



: I'll find a way to get us back to Earth!

Wait. We didn't ride the TV Tower here.

Which means we shouldn't have the MEGA JUSTISLAYER, doesn't it?



Well, whatever! Let's punch a villain in the face one more time!



DO THE IMPOSSIBLE, SEE THE INVISIBLE

ROW ROW, FIGHT THE POWER




TOUCH THE UNTOUCHABLE, BREAK THE UNBREAKABLE

ROW ROW, FIGHT THE POWER




But has Kanji found a way for us to get back to Earth?



If not, he'd better fucking hurry up.



: And if things get REALLY wild, I can even send us through time with it!



In before Ahbo gets the same ending speech as Tammy and the Mythril Heroes did.



OK, so there's ONE word different this time around. That's something.

: Who knows...?



Is this the game's way of saying 'try again on another difficulty level'? If it turns out I've been missing stuff because I haven't been playing Hard mode, I'm gonna be so pissed.



"With the alien menace defeated, Toshokenger returns home on The Liner."



But mainly UK, because she did most of the work on Season 5.



No, you can't skip the credits. You can't even fast forward them. I'm gonna just grab a drink before the after-credits scene.



The narrator scene IS skippable, thankfully.



Which brings us to the third and final stinger.



: It's been quite a while since I last talked with Amra and the others...I wonder what they've been up to?



: This is where I mentioned my uncle's warehouse. Feels like a lifetime ago.



: ...but the world is still full of people with a lot of money and no heart.

Speaking of which, I FINALLY figured out the game's first goddamn reference. Dr. Mi Ah is a very demeaning reference to Haim Saban, producer of Saban Entertainment.



So much for that whole 'this won't be the end' thing, huh, Amra?



: So Chroma Squad will live forever in the hearts of our fans.



At this point I'm pretty sure they're using this to reference the game and not the show. They want it to inspite creativity and imagination in its players. I'll leave it to the viewer to decide whether or not it was successful.



Oh, right! Tammy still exists.

: Talking to yourself on the street again, huh, crazypants?



: I'll have you know my pants are perfectly sane. They told me so this morning.



: It's good to see you, too.

: How's everything? Haven't seen your dad in a while.




He had a heart attack yesterday, but then he just went back in time and told himself to stop deep-frying everything.



tammy confirmed for masochist

: Yeah, me too.

: ...

: ...




And in the final chance she'll ever get, Anthy chickens out of confessing her feelings.



So Tammy has to intervene.

: ?



...They referenced it.



They referenced that one goddamn line from Anthy flopping onto her face, almost 1,000 images ago.

Behold Studios, you're a bunch of ingenious bastards.



But that discussion never happened on this route, SO!

: Coffee. I like it.

: Oh, uh...sure...




Worth noting is that she doesn't even ask Anthy if she wants to come along.



Anthy gets the hint anyway.



ANTHY/TAMMY IS CANON

AW YEAAAH




Considering that was the last route? Not a whole lot!



That, in about 2300 images and a ton of text, was Chroma Squad.

Chroma Squad is, on paper, a very flawed game. The translation is iffy, the game is lined with bugs, and some of the routes reek of copy+paste. They want to make a point of imagination and creativity, yet they use memes and references for a good chunk of their humour. There were some questions the plot never got around to answering, like 'who the hell hired the Devil to fight us?' and 'who set up the pirate antenna and sent us those threatening emails?' And, as I've said plenty of times before, the final boss came out of nowhere with just about no foreshadowing.

I still loved every minute of it. True, the game isn't very well polished, but it oozes with the passion and love of its creators. It's a love letter to the genre that inspired them, but it also isn't afraid to try something different. It's extremely self-aware, almost to the point of parody. And as flawed as the system is, it does really get across that feeling of being a sentai squad and making your own show from scratch. It doesn't hurt that the soundtrack is fantastic, either.

I'm glad I picked up Chroma Squad, and I'm glad I played it through to the end. But most of all, I'm glad that this game is finally over, and I AM FINALLY FREE TO LIVE THE REST OF MY LIFE.



AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

AFTER 58 HOURS, I'M FREE!

IT'S TIME TO CONQUER EARTH!

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 23)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON KAMEN RIDER YUUKEI:

A devious plan by Lord Gaga leaves UK as the only active member of Toshokenger. Now, to save her friends, she must honour the Ahbo family's tradition and inherit the legacy of the Night Driver!



Uh, yeah, Stuffman is...let's go ahead and say 'unavailable'.



The only thing worth spending money on at this point is equipment. Since it's a lot easier for one person than for five, I savescum some legendary armour so UK won't get beaten up so badly.



The helmet and the armour cancel each other out somewhat. The end result is a considerable HP boost, a minor buff to skill regen, and a minor drop in attack. I could probably go for even better, but that would require more patience than I honestly possess.



One thing worth mentioning - the order of these episodes is locked. Normally, you can record most episodes in the order you want, excluding the season openers and finales.

We cannot put it off any longer. It's time for UK to KICK A BEAR IN THE FACE.

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 3: COLIN'S BEAR --



UK's life has turned into a buddy cop show, with the scanner serving as her straight man.



A straight man who needs to go back to English class.

: I wonder if everyone's okay...it's been a while since they conta-



Oh, cool, UK did manage to turn the volume down.

: The beeping! Hopefully I'll find some clues this time...



Wait, it's a phone as well?!

: Er...answer it?



In case you don't, Lord Gaga's theme starts playing.

: Ugh...Lord Gaga!

: Bingo! I was just going to drop you an email, but I don't think that'd be very polite of me...




: I'm afraid you'll need to join us soon and teach them how to behave.

No offense, but asking UK to behave well is like asking a zombie to perform neurosurgery.



: I don't know who you really are or what you really want. If you're looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money.



Of stunt acting.

: Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my friends go now, that will be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you.



Stupid goddamn censors, stopping us from saying 'kill'...

: Nice speech! Too bad it was already TAKEN by someone else.



Weeks later, I still have no idea how to pronounce XOXO.

Sure enough, the most dreaded of enemies warps in!



As opposed to the thousands of bears who do not belong to Colin.

: You might have already laughed at me over the internet.



Well, at least he's honest.

: We'll see about that! HENSHIN!



: Yikes! Time for a tactical backwards dance!

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat 3 enemies in one turn.
- Defeat the Boss using Driver Mode.



Random note - those clouds are fake.



Like before, the first phase of this fight is a total joke. Colin's Bear hits for 1 damage a turn, and his minions go down in the space of two Squarehouse Kicks.



The bear warps away, and UK gives pursuit!



This segment took 30 seconds to load and I was terrified the game had frozen.



: You think I'm running? This isn't even my final form!

: Wait, what?




Shit, there goes HBO again.

When UK regains her senses...



Colin's Bear has been replaced with Colin's Horribly Overpowered Bear!



: Don't you see bringing your friends back is impossible?



I'd like to voice my amazement that Amra - the heroic lead who inspired everyone for four seasons - is NOT the person getting these lines. Not that I'm complaining, of course.



She walks a lonely road, the only one that she has ever known-wait.

: Lord Gaga told me you were a little pile of courage.



Director's Instructions:
- Heal 200 Health.
- Defeat the Boss using Driver Mode.



This is the fight that made players cry for several weeks. See, initially, this was the same Colin's Bear you fought in the other two routes. The one with armour that's best dealt with using team attacks. And you had to fight that alone. So in the patch, they removed the armour and gave him the Violent trait instead for this fight.



At the game's suggestion, I try going for hit-and-run tactics rather than head-on conflict. The basic battle plan is this:
- Use Driver Kicks to attack and move at the same time.
- Move out of the bear's range.
- Use Time Gadget to buy more time for skill cooldowns.
- Repeat.



Eventually C.B. catches onto this and starts dancing, which hits UK no matter where she is. It still does considerably less damage than a normal attack, and Time Gadget heals UK more than well enough.



Properly buffed with Driver Mode and Battle Fever, UK can drop the bear in six or seven Driver Kicks.

Yes, it's not the most heroic of strategies. But it works.



The bear is as disgusted with my tactics as most of the viewers, I suspect.

: Thanks for nothing!



Remember - only you can stop construction site fires.

: Another monster defeated, but still no clues. Hang in there, friends!



What's this? CONTINUITY?



And not just continuity - multi-episode arcs!

Rider season confirmed for best season. Let's jump right in!

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 4: A REAL CHALLENGE - PART 1 --



I doubt UK could track the call herself, so I'll go ahead and say Cerebro did it for her.

: Looks like there's no-one around...



She didn't notice the giant crocodile from the other end of the alleyway.

UK is secretly shortsighted.

: Who are you and what are you doing here?



I can't lift my right arm. Mind helping me out?



This man is defined by his hair.



: Lord Gaga said my time would come. And here I am, face to face with you.



This is a death flag on par with pulling out a photo of your family or saying you're going to propose once this war is over.

: Is that so? Hmm. Maybe I should take a good look at those powers first.



A huge wave of minions appears to surround UK!



: Henshin!

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat 12 enemies.
- Defeat an enemy with a Driver Mode explosion.



The first phase is a survival map, and the longest one we've had so far. Fortunately UK has all the tools she needs for crowd control, from Squarehouse Kicks down to Driver Kicks.

She really likes kicks, now that I think about it.



Survival maps and Time Gadget do not go well together.



Using our new powers to lead the mooks around a bit, holding out for twelve turns is a lot simpler than it first appeared.



: Uh, I'm not exactly your size...

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat the Boss using Driver Mode.
- Avoid being hit during Mohawk's Rage skill.



Mohawk is considerably easier than Colin's Bear, mostly due to having far less health. His Rage does make him faster and difficult to dodge, but I'm already at full audience so who cares about instructions?



Quiet, Narratorbot! I'm fighting.



Uhhh, did you miss the part where I beat you in two turns?

: You're not even worth my time!



Does anyone have a number on how many times we've lost to Stupid Cutscene Bullshit? I've lost count.



: ...stand up and...fight...

: Pathetic little creature.




Hey, Mr. Mohawk? I know this might sound controversial, but maybe you should finish doing your job and KILL THE NIGHT DRIVER?



Never mind.



HOW ARE WE MEANT TO USE FINISHING MOVES WHEN 4/5THS OF OUR PARTY IS IN SPACE



UK can't even be interested in this anymore, because she's not allowed to unequip her motorcycle.

She won't take this defeat lying down. ...OK, that's maybe a bad choice of words, because she WAS lying down after Mohawk beat her up, but AAA YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN LET'S JUST DO THIS

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 5: A REAL CHALLENGE - PART 2 --



Oh, yes. I can definitely see that.





: ...not sure this is the best time to go shopping for muffins.



His name is Kaboom.

Yes.

: Oh, look. Great. There's a monster coming this w-



If only Amra was here. She wouldn't stand for all this muffin-not-cupcake talk.

"When all hope seemed lost..."



BEST TWO OUT OF THREE

: Stop right there! This is between you and me! Leave them alone!



: Look, it's Toshokenger! We're saved!

: But...that's just one! Where are the others?




Anthy already told you that they're in space. That narrows it down a little.

...Actually, no it doesn't.



: I think UK finally listened to my self-help tape! :D

: For a moment I forgot what being a true hero is about. I fight not only for me...



And through the power of imagination, UK presumably becomes immune to evil's cutscene powers.

: Hmm. And how will you beat me if you're too weak to transform?



: I'll just watch you struggle without your precious powers! Mwahahahaha!

Director's Instructions:
- None



We need more audience to transform than it is physically possible for us to obtain.

Shit.



Don't bother running, you two! I'm sure it's perfectly safe to just stand around here.

*Three dead Nutcrackers later...*

: I won't give up...



If you remember, UK's chant during the climactic fight with Villain X was 'Unbreakable will'.

She's living up to that claim here.



A quick look says that this is all a reference to the transformation of Kamen Rider Kuuga. (Which is why someone asked if she was Guuka in the last update.)

: Henshin!



Looks like it's time for the Mohawk to get CUT DOWN to size!

(We haven't had a good pun in ages. I had to do it.)

Director's Instructions:
- Win in 8 turns.
- Defeat the Boss with a Driver Mode explosion.



Mohawk's considerably beefier this time around. We could go for the hit and run strategy, but since we have to win in 8 turns for the Instruction we go for a braver in-your-face approach.



There is pretty much no reason not to use Squarehouse Kick in place of your regular attack. It's both guaranteed to hit and impossible to counter, and UK's Skill Regen is so high she can use it every turn.



Mohawk also likes to place stone traps around you to keep you in place. Sadly, these are hilariously vulnerable to Driver Mode explosions.

(I fail the latter instruction because the Squarehouse Kick ends up killing him first. :<)



Mohawk? More like Scrublord.



This is the most threatening thing a manhole cover has ever said to me.



The music fades out.

: I...am...not...done...yet!



Let's go, Justin!

*BOOM*



Not really. It was a basic kick so short that I didn't even have time to take a screenshot of it. |:

: Wow. My next cosplay will definitely be Night Driver!



Five episodes later, we're still no closer to finding our friends. And UK's time is running out!



Tobias Shanker is Tobias Shanker's only friend.

How tragic.

We're coming close to the end. Will UK be able to save her friends from Lord Gaga's clutches, or will the sun set on the Night Driver for good? Find out the answer in the final installment of KAMEN RIDER YUUKEI!

NEXT TIME: I Hope You Have A License For That Thing, Ma'am

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 22)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

With the mighty Universe Sheriffs on our side, we defeated Villain X for a second time. There's only one route left to explore, but in order to reach it we've got to do the unthinkable...



Once again we return to the Season 4 finale, the breaking point for the game's three routes. As a reminder, the last two routes diverged based on whether or not you accepted Tammy into Toshokenger. How, then, do you find a third route?



As it turns out, you have to look a little earlier for it. Remember how in the third phase, you have to defeat Gaga without hurting Tammy?



Yeah, this time we do the exact opposite of that and wail on her first.



Amusingly, the game still tells you to land a finishing move even when Tammy is quite clearly dead.



You can even perform a finisher on her corpse, although it doesn't do anything. You still have to beat Gaga afterwards to clear the map.



Tammy still gets up after the fight, and Huengel warps in to wreck us in a cutscene as usual.

The change comes afterwards, when everyone's recovered from their injuries.



As it turns out, hitting Tammy's corpse with a finisher may not have been very good for her health.



: Her family will be happy to know that she's safe now. We should take her home.

: Lord Gaga is definitely serious business...

: Next time I see Lord Gaga, I won't let him escape! That's a promise!




Two previous routes suggest otherwise.

: You did what you had to. I wasn't conscious of my actions. It was too risky.



I'm sure this claim will hold up when she takes us to court over this.



That's...a very unheroic mindset.

: Would you please take me home now? I need to rest...



This would be a lot more touching if there had been ANY indication that Tammy was kidnapped before the Season 4 finale. :|



Welcome to Season 5! Again. (Also, the above picture is image number 2000 of this LP. Rejoice!)



This is the first time a man's ever thanked me for punching his daughter in the face.



: Do you think it's cupcakes?

: It is never cupcakes, Amra. Stop asking that.


-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 1: KANJI AHBO'S GIFT --



It took me a minute to realise they meant a doorbell and not a literal bell.

: It must be Tammy's father, Kanji Ahbo. We've been waiting for him for a few days. Oddly enough, the others aren't here yet...



If you were expecting him to come out of the door at the top of the screen, you'd be wrong. He actually comes down the stairs.



This man looks eternally ready to punch someone in the face. I like him already.



: Wow, really? I don't know what to say besides...thank you. You didn't have to. Thanks a lot!



Half of me expects him to return with a flamethrower and burn the studio down while screaming bloody vengeance.

Kanji leaves to get the gift, only to run back a few moments later!



As Cinema Sins would put it: "Kanji Ahbo plays the pronoun game, forcing UK to ask who 'they' are."



That's right. 80% of Toshokenger just got taken down off screen.

But at least we still have UK, right?



: See, if we'd been eating cupcakes, we wouldn't have-

: DON'T EVEN THINK OF FINISHING THAT SENTENCE.


: The minions followed me! They are coming for us!



Why can't these people just call him Kanji? Surely using his full name like that is a little rude.

: I'll handle these goons!

Director's Instructions:
- Perform 2 Squarehouse Kicks.
- Win in 5 turns.



Perform Squarehouse Kicks. Win everything.

NEXT.



But before she can catch her breath, another horde of goons charges in!



UK doesn't have enough legs to Squarehouse Kick all these guys!

: But I can't give up now! My friends are counting on me! The whole WORLD is counting on me!



KANJI

YOU GLORIOUS OLD FOGIE


: Too many years have passed since I last said these words...



He raises his arm to the air, and becomes a ranger unlike anything we've seen before!



With the devastating power to deliver cargo at 3 in the morning.

: Whoooooooa!



: There are more minions coming! Let's do this, Mr. Ahbo!

Director's Instructions:
- Perform 3 Team Attacks.
- Keep all your heroes standing.



So Ahbo is...a little ridiculous. First, he has double the health of UK, though his attack's a bit weaker. All three of his skills are free actions:

  • The first, Driver Mode, causes him to take more damage but also deliver more damage. Anything he kills during this mode will explode and deal damage to nearby enemies. This can lead to chain reactions which kill several enemies at once.

  • The second, Time Gadget, both heals him for 40% of his health and 'saves' the position of all allies and enemies. At the start of his next turn, all character will return to their saved positions.




  • Finally there's the Driver Kick, where he rides his motorcycle in a circle to build momentum before hurtling forward, crashing through anything he hits in the process. The last of these in particular gives away that 'Driver' is a very clear reference to the Kamen Rider series.




Honestly, UK really struggles in comparison. She doesn't have readily available healing, and she can't match Kanji's mobility. Her damage is superior, but she can't do much to actually inflict it.



How did he get his motorcycle indoors? We may never know.

A few turns later, the map is complete.



Forget Tammy. This guy should have been our sixth ranger.

: You were awesome, Mr. Ahbo! Where did you learn to fight like that?



: It's a family tradition. My father was a lone hero as well. All we had was our bike.
Anyway, about that message I sent you...




Oh. That's sad. :(



: What happened after that is a story for another day...but you see, Tammy has already been through too much.



Cool! Who needs our old teammates when we have-



YOU.

VAGUELY THREATENING STAR MAN.


: And here you are, along with the great Kanji Ahbo. Quite a surprise, huh?



Purchase a copy of Narratorbot Teaches Idioms today!

: Wait, WHAT? I don't care who you are, but you're in deep trouble if you don't tell me where my friends are!



: Do you think they have cupcakes in spa-

: AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA


Director's Instructions:
- Defeat the Boss Monster with a Finishing Move.



Our initial assault goes poorly. As in, we do one point of damage with a teamwork attack.



The boss, Steelex, also summons Liquid Lances to fight for him. They're not as well defended as he is and have a measly amount of health, but charge straight forward in the direction they're facing when they move. To make it harder to dodge them, Steelex hits both rangers with movement debuffs every turn.



This is the closest thing Chroma Squad has to a puzzle boss. The trick is to position Steelex so that he'll be skewered by his own lances, but this is naturally easier said than done. Team attacks can also do some nasty damage if you're buffed with Battle Fever and Driver Mode.



The greatest last words in history.



Lord Gaga! Remember, UK, you promised not to let him run away again.



: Kanji Ahbo, your story ends now!



: NOOOOOOOOO! What have you done, Lord Gaga?!



Not, in fact, a translation error.

Gaga teleports away, leaving UK with the dying Night Driver...



: It was an honour to fight by your side, UK...take my belt, you must carry on our tradition...



We will, however, have to purchase our own insurance.

: It will always obey the one who wears the belt.



: Don't ever forget what you are fighting for.

: ...




You showed up for one map, and you were already the coolest character in the game. ;_;



Well, um...at least we got his motorcycle, I guess?



The motorcycle actually counts as UK's weapon, and replaces her axe. If you try to unequip it, the game tells you that you're bound to the bike out of respect to the Ahbo family, and you can't remove it until you've rescued your friends.



Meanwhile, Anthy manages to get in contact with us! Apparently Gaga's brilliant plan of making his wifi password 'password' didn't turn out too well.

But there's no time to linger. We must continue onward. We have an entire season to get through.

And we're going to have to do it alone.

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 2: NIGHT DRIVER --



Maybe it's the big red button with SCAN on it? Nah, that's too obvious.



SHIT, DOES THIS THING HAVE A VOLUME SETTING



UK WA SHOCK

: I think that's the scanner...how do I make it stop?

"ALERT! ALERT!"

: Alright, alright! I get it! Just tell me where to go!



This may be the most polite warning system I've ever seen.

: OK, that wasn't so hard. I hope I can find some clues there!

UK warps out of the studio and makes her way to the TV Tower.



A classic symptom of Main-Characteritis.

Sure enough, a swarm of enemies appears right afterwards!



Not as much as I miss Kanji Ahbo. ;_;

: Wait, what? What do you know about my friends?!



There are dozens of jokes I could make here, but they're all low-hanging fruit.

: Tell me where they are right now! Or else...

: We're not going to say a word!




Oh crap, she got her own transformation motto too?!



Henshin just means 'transform', but fansubs have traditionally left it untranslated because it sounds considerably cooler.



: Whoa, whose lines were those? Must be this powerful new gear!

: Guuka, is that you?!



: And I'm going to LOVE this!

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat an enemy in the first turn.
- Defeat four enemies in one turn.



As the new Night Driver, UK inherits all of Ahbo's moves along with the good-old Squarehouse Kick and Battle Fever. It's her against the world, but maybe she's got what it takes to pull it off!



This is what a chain reaction from Driver Mode looks like, by the way. It does considerable damage to everyone involved, so it's very possible to wipe out half the map with one hit.

With her new powers, UK's able to clean up the map with impressive ease - only for two bosses to warp in!



They're two of Huengel's subordinates - the Sewer Turtle and Grimmgarl!



I'm glad that even in her new identity, UK hasn't lost her classic snark.



: You can't help them...you are all alone! Mwahahaha!



"There's".



: Yeah, definitely!

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat Grimmgarl.
- Defeat Sewer Turtle.



The two bosses are statted down a little from their normal versions, but they've got reinforcements this time around. And again, there's only one of you.



This is where Time Gadget proves to be hilariously powerful. See, Squarehouse Kick recovers fast enough to use every turn. So if you have a good setup for a kick, you can use Time Gadget to hit the same group twice in a row.



I let my newfound power get the better of me, and UK ends up getting wailed on more than she really should. In a desperate effort to save myself, I run to the distant corner and hope I'm out of Breadcrumbler range.



It doesn't just work. I'm so far away that the enemy FORGETS THAT I EXIST. Combined with Time Gadget abuse, I have plenty of time to heal to full before returning to battle.



Grimmgarl goes down soon afterward.



: Too...powerful...must tell...Lord Gaga!

The villain teleports away, leaving UK alone on the tower.



: I hope I'm not running out of time!



So begin the adventures of the newest Night Driver. Can our hero rescue her friends from the dreaded Lord Gaga?



The fans don't seem to have noticed that 80% of the cast is missing. Guess we don't have to call back the merchandise, then!

NEXT TIME: Being The Night Driver Destroys UK's Sleep Pattern

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 21)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK.





OK. Deep breaths, Rou. Go to your happy place.




Right. I think I'm ready now.

ACTUALLY LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

We defeated Villain X, the out-of-nowhere final boss, and saved mankind from extinction. We also learned those random assistants we've been seeing were all members of Cerebro's former team, Zyumerica Clonerangers, and that there's more to the team's feline mascot than we first thought.

But there are still plenty of unanswered questions. Who was the mysterious saboteur who set up the pirate antenna and threatened us to stop? Is Iced's uncle - the man who gave us Cerebro to begin with - in on the whole thing? And just what is Villain X?

Luckily, we've still got two routes to play through.



Using the save I set up beforehand, we go back to the Season 4 finale. You still have to play out the entire fight, obviously, but for the most part it's exactly like it was before.



But this time around, we're going to reject Tammy's offer to join the party. Which means that Cerebro's until-now-unexplained plan will finally come into action.



Hey, I know we just turned down your request for GODLIKE POWER AMONG MEN, but at least we'll walk you home!



: She needs to take care of her sister...If she joined us, her family would be in great danger.

: You're right. It was the best call.

: So what's the plan, Cerebro?




This is the post all budding Space Cowboys aspire to.

: We must be on the offensive rather than waiting for Lord Gaga's next move. I believe the Universe Sheriffs are close to Earth...and they will be able to receive my distress call in time.



: They have helped defend Earth in the past, and they will surely help defend it now.



I don't know why Iced has passing knowledge of intergalactic law enforcement.



: I foresee some really cool space tech! I'm so excited!

: That's a great plan, Cerebro.




Actually, Villain X's doorstep. But we're not supposed to know that yet.

: I will contact them as soon as possible, Amra. I just hope they make it in time...



Welcome to the second route of Chroma Squad - as the fandom nicknames it, the Metal Heroes route.



Back into Season 5! For the most part, the setup is like it was in the Sixth Ranger route. Same upgrades, same weapons, and so on.



I do decide to switch up Stuff's season 5 skill, since Web Shot turned out to be hugely unimpressive.



What IS new is the email sitting in our inbox from the head of the Universe Sheriffs himself! We have to choose one of his heroes to assist us.

(As the name suggests, this is all a reference to the Metal Heroes franchise. Three of its best-known heroes are Space Sheriffs Gavan (white), Sharivan (red), and Shaider (blue). They've basically mixed the names up a little to get around the obvious copyright issue.)



We're more than fine for attack, and defense is a boring stat anyway. Support it is!

So without further ado, let's leap right into the new season!

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 1: PROBLEM IN LANGUAGE --



Except for Iced, who is still three seconds slower than anyone else.

: Cerebro, we received Commander Kom's message!

: That's exactly what I was going to say!




They're busy with some sort of 'Makko Empire' thing, which is why they can only spare one hero for us.



Wow, alien grammar is complicated.

: !#!#$@=$@&-@#_

: What is this? Maybe an encrypted message?

: Anthy, what is happening?




Cerebro blatantly disobeys and continues to bob up and down in his tank.



I see a 'Sheriffs' in there, but it's getting eaten. By some...Linux, or something.

: Cerebro, are you ok? You're saying a bunch of random gibberish...

A while later, Anthy returns with a new companion!



Also known as the sixth and final member of Zyumerica Clonerangers.

: Everything I know about computers, I learned from him! Tell them what you just did, Louis.



Tonight, on MTV Cribs...



OK, I wanted to mention this last update, but this game really has it in for the entertainment industry.

There's a whole plot point about how Toshokenger is fueled by imagination, and due to pop culture they're getting weaker and weaker. That's why Lord Gaga (an obvious play on Lady Gaga, a pop culture icon) is set up as the game's main villain. So in short, creating media is good, but just watching and copying media is bad.

Except Chroma Squad leans heavily on memes and pop culture references for lots of its humour. So...it sort of shoots itself in the foot here?



This is why you put a password on your router, people. Because otherwise aliens will hack your giant brain in a jar.

: This code cracked Cerebro's memory, changing its value completely.



As a wise man once put it: no shit, Sherlock.



I know he ends up being totally trustworthy, but Anthy was awfully quick to tell Louis about our whole sentient-brain-in-a-jar issue.

Before he can finish the explanation, a wave of minions appears!



Oh, come on. Like you didn't see this coming.

Director's Instructions:
- Keep Louis standing.
- Defeat 4 enemies in one turn.



Luckily, Louis can handle himself well enough. (Though I have to wonder how a USB rifle would actually work...)

Very simple fight, nothing worth mentioning.



: That was all improvisation, actually!

Suuuuuure.



With real words this time.



There's a moment of silence as the team waits, wondering if the distress signal worked...



Hey, that Mythril Hero looks suspiciously like Lord Gaga!

: Hell-o, cutie pies!

: Lord Gaga!

: You've cracked Cerebro's memory!




He spent three weeks looking for the Dislike button on Facebook.



Meta Level: 2meta4me



Every programmer reading this just groaned heartily.



To be fair, it's less 'running' and more 'teleporting'.



For those who don't get the joke, C-Shark is a play on the programming language C# (pronounced C-Sharp).



He also looks like he just dropped out of a game of Shadowrun.

: Bai bai, sweethearts! <3

: I've got this, my Lord!




: Wait, was that a crime? Nah, I don't think so.



I'm not sure why they keep saying cracker instead of hacker. Maybe it's a translation thing?



I'm sure there are drivers for reptile-brains floating around the internet somewhere.

: Ugh...I hate to say it, but you have a point. But still, you can't mess with other people's devices!



So rather than destroy it, he's got the material on his person.

I think we all know what happens next.



Director's Instructions:
- Perform 10 Team Attacks.
- Defeat the Boss Monster with a Finishing Move.



C-Shark usually summons minion healers rather than attacking himself. This is a problem when all his damage dealing minions are dead by the second turn.



When he finally does attack, it's so paltry that even normal mooks can hit harder. Much like the language he's based on, C-Shark has sacrificed power for convenience.

(Yes, that was a programming diss. I'm so lonely.)



I give Torin's Bravery a quick test. Firstly, they got the number of turns wrong - they say it'll last five turns, but it actually only lasts for 2. But when they say it affects all his healing abilities, they mean it - even his passive from performing Teamwork.

Imagine, if you will, hitting Villain X for 50% of his life with a Healdoken. It's a very specific instance, but it's still way better than Web Shot was.

: I was wrong about you. But you're missing something here...



Oops.

: You just lost this battle, Toshokenger!



Don't use global references, kids. It's bad coding practice.

: What a terrible pun...



outplayed



A vague static sound echoes through the chamber.

: *gulp*



: I summon you to my chambers. It's time!

There's another flash of rainbow light...



As Universe Sheriff Gaider arrives on the scene!



: There are some very important people to me on Earth. I made a vow to protect this planet with all my heart. That's why I became a Universe Sheriff. I will not forgive you, C-Shark!



Is it still too late to sign up for the Universe Sheriffs? These guys seem pretty cool.



Oh, cool! Are we going to get a battle without a mech fight for once?



Gaider brandishes his sword and cuts C-Shark SO HARD THAT HE EXPLODES.

: Woohoo! What an entrance!

: Great job, Mr. Sheriff!

: Thank you, Toshokenger. Glad to be of assistance.




Please enjoy our vacuous pop culture and rampant pollution.

Cerebro's back to normal after C-Shark's defeat, too!



On a very special episode of Toshokenger, UK tells kids that steroids are bad.

: We are turning the tide on Lord Gaga and his minions!



: Wait, I thought I was the lead-

: Do you want to get punched?

: I'm sorry, ma'am.




For some reason, the camera focuses on Louis whenever Gaider is talking.



Mission complete! No mech fight for once. Which is a good thing, because I forgot to upgrade the JUSTISLAYER this time around. :V



Sadly, the routes aren't as different as you would think. The general episodes are the same as they were in the Sixth Ranger route. The only difference is that we've got Gaider fighting with us instead of Tammy.

(Obviously, the scenes with Anthy hitting on Tammy are also absent.)



As the email specified, Gaider is primarily a support unit. His skills are Healing Grid (which heals nearby allies for 20% of their health every turn), Laser Pistol (a relatively unimpressive weapon) and Healing Beam (a Healdoken which also debuffs Gaider significantly on use).

Yeah, I think I made a poor choice on this guy.



He also runs miles away when I activate Check In, though that might be the fault of the odd terrain.



As much as I talk smack about Gaider, he actually came in handy during the Colin's Bear rematch. In case you didn't think this fight was dumb enough already, C.B. can counter twice in one turn, which does at least 300 damage.

That's fair.



We also get to see Torin's Bravery in action.

It's fucking pathetic. Back to Web Shot, I guess!



I'm skipping over the episodes themselves because they're literally exactly as they were in the previous route, but with Gaider speaking all of Tammy's lines. I'm a little disappointed, honestly.



I also make sure to glitch out UK's episode again because it's still hilarious.



Clearly she actually doesn't care about the rangers and is talking to her knuckles.

It's only at the finale that things start to diverge again.



Commander, there are two 'p's in opportunity.



This seems horribly illegitimate and a good way to get stabbed in the gut.

Let's do it! :D



The Best Friend is a bow with subpar damage, but it boosts damage in team attacks by 40%. I pick it up because it's not like Stuff's doing much damage in combat anyway.

Anyway! Time to punch Huengel again.

-- SEASON 5 FINALE: TO THE STARS --



: You got here faster than my ship did!



When there are actual spaceships involved, the whole 'fire this TV tower into space' plan sounds even dumber than it already did.

Huengel arrives and gives the usual speech about devouring us.



: Surrender now or face swift justice!



: When C-Shark cracked Cerebro, it also stole data on your powers and moves. Our master designed us to be the perfect weapon against Toshokenger and the Universe Sheriffs!



The Huengel match unfolds as it did before as well. It's a bit faster this time around now I have a strategy in mind, though.



It's during this fight that I find another very interesting glitch, this one involving Gaider specifically. His Healing Grid is supposed to last for three turns before wearing off, but sometimes the counter never actually decrements. So you can stack it on itself repeatedly and potentially give full heals to anyone standing next to him.

The sad thing is this still only makes Gaider 'okay' in my book.



This leaves only the finale, so let's hope that's a bit more distinct on this route!



The answer, sadly, is that it's pretty similar, but with angry Gaider rather than angry Tammy.



: And you even brought a Universe Sheriff with you. Good evening, Officer!
What do you think you're going to do now?




: Just please don't run like a coward if you decide not to turn yourself in!



: You asked for this, UK. You all asked for it!
Third life's the charm!




Besides a difference in the Director's Instructions, the first phase plays out just like in Tammy's route. This time I keep Ironing Man alive, because as long as there's one minion still standing Gaga is unlikely to summon more.



Likewise, he tries to run away on his defeat.



You're not the cop, Anthy. You don't get to say that.



Gaga says something here, but because the camera messed up I have no idea what. :|



It's the poison gas trap from before, but we don't lose Gaider this time.



In fact, he's impressively composed during all of this.

: We'll see about that...I'm sorry, Toshokenger! Have fun! XOXO



When Portal claimed it took several minutes to power up neuro-toxin emitters, it was lying.



But this time we can't beat down the door directly - we have to take care of the monsters before Gaider can handle it.



Me too, UK. Me too.



Director's Instructions:
- Heal 800 health.
- Win in 10 turns.



Gaider and Iced handle the door while the rest of the team focuses on the enemy forces.



You can still kick the door down - in fact, Iced did it in one hit - but this time it doesn't end the map. I guess rooms full of poison gas must have an appeal to our heroes?



The portals are the main aggravation here, since there's a time limit for us to obey. Anthy snipes them from a distance to cut off the supply of minions before UK cleans up house.



You did it three turns ago when Iced kicked the door down.

WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?



Uh, Gaider, I hate to break this to you...



I don't know why I have this uncanny habit of breaking games. I just do.



Gaider charges himself up for the grim task of knocking down a door that does not exist.



The natural enemy of the Dance Ball of Judgement.



Great job, Gaider. We're all proud of you.



Again, they imply something's wrong with Stuffman here...and then never do anything with it.

ANYWAY! To Gaga's lair!



: This must be Lord Gaga's room. Though the one before looked more like it...



Villain X's appearance is as out-of-nowhere here as it was before.

: ???

: Uh...you're not Lord Gaga.

: Gaga is just one of my subordinates. His job was to destroy the human race.




I'm going to assume they're also named after pop stars. Britney Lances, Katy Parry, Justin Beater...

: WHAT?

: But it seems pop culture has spoiled him completely.




Gaider's lost for words.

: It's...the Master of the Universe...wanted across the galaxy!

: And now the Universe Sheriffs are sniffing around as well, it seems.




That's at least ten times more potent than a regular sorry. Will it be enough to spare him?



Guess not.

: I am Villain X, the Master of the Universe!



You are charged with murdering the most FABULOUS antagonist in the entire game.



Alright, then. We can handle this as long as we end the cutscene before he-



Never mind.

: Argh...shields...failing...



Since we don't have Tammy around to Deus-Ex-Machina us to victory, Amra takes it upon herself instead. Villain X prepares to finish her off, when-



THE SPACE CAVALRY HAS ARRIVED.



: Glad to see you, my friends.

: Always good to join the party!

: So rude of Villain X not to invite us, though.




We're getting shown up on our own show.

Again.



Villain X has already forgotten that Amra is ALREADY STANDING UP.



I hope that's Villain X's actual motivation for being a villain and not them talking to the player beyond the fourth wall. "I didn't get to be an intergalactic superhero, so instead I'm gonna be an intergalactic crime lord!"



He is totally crying behind those glasses of his. Calling it now.

: "Welcome to die!"



This dramatic 'heroes get up and transform' sequence is much less impressive the second time around. Especially because IT'S THE SAME, WORD FOR WORD. :|

*many words and flashes later...*



: All the particles combined...It's time for the channeling to happen!

"Will Toshokenger and the Universe Sheriffs be able to save the world?"


Director's Instructions:
- Defeat the boss with a Finishing Move.



We get to control all three of the Sheriffs in this fight, giving us a whole eight party members to take on Villain X with!

Sharivan, as previously mentioned, is the defense specialist. He can boost his defense, remove status effects from himself, and fire a large beam that drains his energy. (Low Energy is a shared concept across all three Sheriffs.)



Shavan is the attacker. He's got a Damage Grid, which serves as the opposite of Gaider's Healing Grid, along with two sword attacks. The second puts him at low energy, but does so much damage that the game COUNTS IT AS A FINISHING MOVE ON ITS OWN.



I go for a gutsy tactic this time around. Since Villain X tends to teleport a lot, I choose not to push too hard to approach him and just let Anthy and Stuffman snipe from a distance. When he comes to me, I'll have a whole team ready to wail on him.



This plan works a little too well. X spends several turns snatching weapons from his minions, standing still while I shoot him repeatedly. Even Torin's Bravery ends up coming in handy here, killing off some of the Weapon Bearers to stall for longer.



When X does get his hands on a portal gun, his aim is...questionable. One of the portals lands on the very left edge of the screen, several tiles away from the actual map.



Eventually he has the bright idea of actually using his AOE attack (which still hits from the top of the pedestal somehow) only to teleport back down into range.

I think they call him Villain X because he has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old.



Since the minions despawn when Villain X enters his final form, the main focus goes onto weakening him rather than the enemies.



And yes, when he transforms, all eight of our party members get the Heroes of Earth buff.

This is basically the final battle of Final Fantasy X in that it's pretty much impossible to lose from this point onward.



For the sake of drama, I let Shavan deliver the killing blow with his Laser Sword. The game then proceeds to fail me on the Instruction because it was lying when it said this counted as a finisher. :|



X gives his usual spiel about how we're doomed before running off to take on his second life.



Or do they make reality too close to those sentai shows?

YOU BE THE JUDGE.



Seriously. You have cardiomegaly. See a doctor.

: But we must find our courage and fight together one last time!



Why they didn't show up earlier when their boss actually needed them is irrelevant.

: Oh no! We have a LOT of monsters incoming!

Several dozen Breadcrumblers charge into the room!



Yeaaaah I don't think you guys can pull this off. No offense, but you three power down whenever you try to do anything useful.



The same inspirational speech from Tammy's route begins, with our heroes finding the nerve to fight one last time against the giant Villain X.



FUCK THIS SHIT, WE'RE GOING TO SPACE.



Fun fact - if you look at the patch notes, you'll see they had to actively make Villain X's final form HARDER. Presumably people were somehow beating him without triggering the fan powerup as intended, so they made his stats ludicrous and left the rest to take care of itself.



Villain X?

More like

Villain X-TINCT




gaider what are you doing here where did your friends go



Oh, right. You have to say all of Tammy's lines when the self-destruct starts, don't you?



Oddly, the rocket that was able to get us home in Tammy's route is somehow non-functional here.



UK, Gaider is standing TEN FEET AWAY FROM YOU.

Sharivan and Shavan take this as their cue to reappear!



: Are you alright?

: Yes, we handled the minions while you took care of Villain X.

: Our ships are waiting for you at the hangar!

: Hurry up! We don't have much time!




Intergalactic carpooling is really convenient.

: Run, Toshokenger, run!



What is it with these optional characters never giving countdowns the respect they deserve?



: Who knows?



Yes, this is exactly the same monologue Tammy got at the end of her route.

THEY DIDN'T EVEN TRY.



"With the alien menace defeated, Toshokenger returns to Earth with the Universe Sheriffs."

Wait, so does this mean MEGA JUSTISLAYER got blown up?!

THIS IS THE WORST ENDING EVER



That's Metal Heroes route, more or less! I didn't think I'd be able to fit it into a single update, but I wasn't expecting so much content to be recycled from Sixth Ranger. Again, I'm a little disappointed - given the effort that went into the rest of the game, I'm surprised they picked now of all times to cut corners.



What IS unique, on the other hand, is the post-credits scene.



We cut to Subject 81 performing repairs on the battleship, along with two other minions.

(The ship has life preservers. In space. That's hilarious.)

: All systems are functional.

: Are we really leaving?




Quite a beating-
YOU MEAN HE ISN'T DEAD?!



You know, I might be fine with this as long as he never ever shows up again.



*AHEM*. I think you mean Toshokenger, sir. :|


PFFFFFFFFF

: Sure, sure.



Personally, I find that dying horribly in a massive explosion really wrecks my day as well.



The new first place is a 'time-travelling Emperor guy', another reference that goes straight over my head.

: You'd better make sure he doesn't find that out, then.



: Sure will.

: There's some leftover pizza in the level-2 fridge.

: Want to play some RPGs?




EAT THAT, KNIGHTS OF PEN AND PAPER-oh wait.

: I was thinking of something else.



That's it. The self-referential humour has officially gone full circle. The game is literally going to play itself.

We're done here.



The most RIGHTEOUS of paths.

We're still not done yet. There's one route left to go, and if what I've heard about it is true it's going to be much more unique than this one.



Join us next time, when the best character in the team gets her own goddamn route.

NEXT TIME: See You Space Cowboys...

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 20)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

Huengel, Gaga's second-in-command, was defeated after a ferocious battle. Now only Gaga himself stands in the way of our heroes and world peace...or does he?



Season 6 doesn't bring much in the way of new stuff, but what it DOES bring is a chance to craft the game's legendary sword. Look at that attack boost!



Don't cut yourself on it, darling.



I make a second one for Amra, but its attack stat is even better. So it goes to Iced, and Amra gets the original.



And of course UK gets one as well, because it's not like she wasn't doing enough damage with Squarehouse Kicks already!

Anthy and Stuffman keep their firearms, sadly.

And what's our final email of the game like?



Uhhh.

(I wonder what would happen if your lead actually WAS called Susy at this point.)



You know what? Screw it. I don't want to save this planet anymore.









Just kidding. GAGA'S GOING TO PAY FOR HIS SHIT.

-- TOSHOKENGER SERIES FINALE: WHAT DID YOU DO TO LORD GAGA? --



Also I should probably space out my sentences more otherwise I'm going to run out of breath and that would be a very bad thing for a narrator to do.



: It's Lord Gaga's secret chamber...Now I remember...that experiment...was horrible! He must be around...



If we're about to get challenged to an intergalactic danceoff, I reserve the right to pack it up and go home.

: Lord Gaga, where are you? We're here! Come to us, you coward!



Well, that was easy.

Like the outfit, by the way. Green suits you.



Your taste in interior decorating is considerably more questionable.



: Do you want me to bind our hearts again? ...Oh, how impolite of me. Hello to you as well, you little monsters.

: So here I am. What do you think you're going to do now?




You realise him running away was the only reason you survived the fight in Season 4, right?

: Stick until the end of it! Have some honor!



: You will regret those words. You called for me - you asked for it, Tammy!



: ...and you're going to drift forever in space!

BGM ~ Dance To The Beating

So it's the six of us against Gaga? I'm not sure how fair that is to-

: Third life's the charm!



IRONING MAN

YOU'RE BACK


(Wait, won't this make absolutely no sense now that his episode's been removed?)

Director's Instructions:
- Attack the boss monster with Tammy 12 times (!?)
- Defeat the boss monster with Tammy.



Tammy obeys her prime directive, and is kicked across the screen for her efforts.



In spite of being stunned, Ironing Man and Gaga still dodge attacks like it's nothing. This is more evidence that the attack info box is a liar and is clearly working for Gaga himself.



As it turns out, focusing on Ironing Man may have been a bad idea. A charmed Tammy isn't going to do a lot of Gaga punching, is she?

Meanwhile, Gaga has a debuff where he cuts a ranger's attack by 50%. That's hefty.



He also has his old Defense Mode, which means he's basically untouchable for a turn.



Tammy punches him anyway because dammit she's got a quota to hit.



Finally there's the Dance Ball of Judgement, a HUGE AoE attack that hits for well over 200 damage to everyone involved.



More glitches - if you cast Biinon's again while you're invisible, you become quite clearly visible in spite of enemies ignoring you.



The Prism Swords prove to be a wise investment, as in spite of her healing Fishmaid gets wiped out in one hit.



Upon killing all the minions, Gaga blows away any nearby rangers and summons more of them.



This includes Colin's Bear, who is as ludicrously powerful as he was the last time we fought him.

On second thought, let's NOT bother with that 12 hits instruction, shall we?



He dodged it.

He dodged the teamwork attack.

YOU MOTHERFUCKER.



Luckily fate saw fit to reward me, and Gaga managed to get countered by someone and die on his own turn. In previous patches, this would actually FREEZE THE ENTIRE GAME - instead he walks away, goes into defense mode, and inexplicably dies right afterwards.



THAT'S RIGHT, GAGA. SIT IN THE CORNER AND THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU'VE DONE.



There is a lot of walking involved, as the next phase of this cutscene takes place on the opposite side of the room.



In the moment of hesitation, Gaga manages to slip away!

: Grrr! Why did you stop me, Anthy?!



I think it's a bit late for that, UK.



Oh, alright.

Then shut the door, will you? I don't wanna see you naked.

: You're not going anywhere, Lord Gaga!!



Oh, this is gonna go SPLENDIDLY.



: Good thing I have my lovely Tammy once again by my side.

: You are not running away from us again!

: By the way, Toshokenger, I forgot to mention that...hmm...




THIS IS NOT AN APPROPRIATE TIME TO XOXO.



Tammy is so blinded by vengeance that she doesn't even try to open the door for us.

What a jerk.



The remaining rangers pull back for a moment.

: A gas chamber, huh? That's low, even by Lord Gaga's standards.



And not suffocating would also be a pretty good thing.



The whole party is hit with a debuff!



I'm assuming they're immune to the gas somehow. Because, y'know.





You'd think this would be your cue to rout the enemy.

You'd be wrong.



Grammar's a bit off, but her heart's in the right place.



: Don't listen to him! He's lyin-

Before she can finish, we hear a scream from the other room!



Director's Instructions:
- Defeat 10 enemies.
- Win in 8 turns.



The poison will drain our health rapidly, so speed is naturally of the essence.



In spite of my efforts, you cannot, in fact, stun the door.



Iced handles the door while the rest of the team tries to rack up a killstreak. Luckily our team's as balanced as a broken scale, so it's over pretty quickly.



There is an animation of the door falling over. It is immensely satisfying.



: I'M USING CAPS LOCK, AM I COOL YET



: Let's get out of here!

The team runs down the corridor to follow Gaga...but one of them falls behind.



: The gas is dissipating, but there's still a deadly concentration here!



I was expecting this to lead to Stuffman collapsing and telling us to move on without him.



It didn't.

O...kay then?

*Moments earlier...*



This, naturally, is the other side of what we overheard earlier.

: Don't listen to him! He's lyin-



46,800 points of damage later...



Man, if these villains ever learned to harness the power of cutscenes, they'd be unstoppable.



: And you, Tammy...you should have known this would happen to you.



: Like they did to your father...you all deserve the same!



As much as he loves doing his villain monologues, Gaga runs off to change for real. That gas won't hold Toshokenger back forever, after all!

*A few moments later...*



Oh Jesus, it's like someone shoved the sun into my eye.

Before he can finish, though, another villain warps into the room!



Holy shit, look at that. We really need to step up our cape game.

: Uh, hello, Master of the Universe. My beautiful overlord...I thought you were on the planet Anubis!



: And if you say 'fabulous things' I swear I will bury my fist in your skull.



It entertains me that this is his first thought. It's even MORE entertaining that he's right.



: But why does the room smell faintly of poison gas-

: THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT OKAY




: Thank you, m-

Suddenly, Toshokenger arrives on the scene!



We killed THE DEVIL HIMSELF. Of course we weren't going to struggle with a metal door.

: What have you done to Tammy?

: She was too annoying!




: I'm very sorry, my evilness! I will deal with these heroes once and for all.



Oh shit.



OH SHIT.

Gaga collapses to the floor, his lifeless body crumbling into dust.



And how is your sword even more powerful than mine?!

: He...destroyed...Lord Gaga!



BGM ~ The Voidbringer

: WHAT?

: His job was to destroy the human race, but...instead of decimating the filthy humans, he brought them to MY OWN SHIP?




The meme epidemic must not be allowed to spread.



He's also really good friends with He-Man.

: Like countless worlds before it, Earth will bow to my power!



Our friends? Our salary? Our ratings?

: Weaklings! TAKE THIS!



I especially like how he hit Tammy AGAIN just to be safe.



Is this how it ends? Will all our battles be for nothing?

: Pathetic. Time to finish this. Prepare to-



In spite of her injuries, Tammy rises to her feet.

: ...Tammy?



: In my anger and desire for revenge, I forgot what being a hero truly means. And what we are really fighting for. Lord Gaga has been destroyed, and I feel no better for it.



Is...is she confessing? HERE, OF ALL PLACES?



Filled with newfound resolve, Tammy runs forward to protect her team from Villain X!



In case it wasn't obvious by now, Tammy is a very clear reference to Tommy, the original sixth Power Ranger. He started as the Green Ranger, and ended up as...



...the White Ranger.

: Toshokenger Moonstone!



Well said, X.

: Your ultimate power?! It can't be!



Don't worry. I'm sure the power of PLOT DEVICES will be enough to bring them back as well.



OH, YOU MOTHERFUCKER.



did

did anthy just get revived by the power of pop culture references



One by one, our heroes rise back to their feet.



: As long as we still breathe...

: We will fight for Earth!

: And for everything that is right!




The theme song kicks in as Stuffman transforms.

: Toshokenger Assist!



: Toshokenger Scout!



: Toshokenger Techie!



: Toshokenger Assault!



: Toshokenger Lead! Together, we are...



OK, I know you casually beat us with a flick of your wrist two minutes ago, but we're TOTALLY gonna kick your ass this time.



FIND OUT AFTER THESE WORDS FROM OUR SPONSOR.

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat the Boss with a Finishing Move.

BGM ~ Could This Be The End?
(SERIOUSLY DROP EVERYTHING AND LISTEN TO THIS TRACK IT'S FANTASTIC)



Villain X is, quite easily, the deadliest enemy we've fought all game. He's taking us all on his own, and it's still going to be one hell of a fight.



Rather than attack directly, X summons two minions carrying weapons. If either of them makes it to him, he'll use the weapon to deadly effect.



There are four possible weapons:
- The Portal Gun, which makes minion-summoning portals
- The Shredder, which inflicts Vulnerability on hit
- The Frozen Blade, which inflicts a movement debuff
- The Molten Blade, which does massive damage with its swings (400-ish?)



X's elevated pedestal takes too long to walk to, so UK hurls everyone up to corner the great Master of the Universe.



And as it turns out, X is REALLY stubborn about not fighting unarmed. At first you'd think this would mean he'd be vulnerable to getting cornered and ganged up on.



Sadly, he has AoE attacks. That hit REALLY hard. Also, a teleport.

I'm starting to think I'm in trouble here.



OK, scratch that. We are in some DEEP shit.



The only saving grace is that X will ignore you if he doesn't have a weapon and you aren't surrounding him. But if he teleports to the other side of the arena, and you have to waste your turn healing...



He isn't content with one weapon, either. He'll keep motioning for more weaponry until he's got everything in his arsenal. On one hand, this means you've got plenty of time to prepare.



On the other hand it means that when you DO fight him, he's going to hit REALLY hard.

Luckily, like he boasted earlier, X only uses his weapons once. So after he's attacked once with a weapon he'll need to get a replacement.



Ever the bastion of fair and balanced gameplay, Iced's Shockwave hits X for a quarter of his life.



Every few turns, X likes to teleport up and down the pedestal. So you spend five turns bringing your team downstairs only for him to teleport away again.

Why can't we do that? :<



By the time he's low enough to finish off, X is standing on the staircase, with his lackeys covering our obvious ways of surrounding him.



This turns out to not be an issue, because X has a final form!



Holy shit, that is a lot of attack damage.

Sadly, Villain X has one problem - our heroes all just received the biggest buff of all time.



Read that again. You recover 30% of your HP every turn, AND you auto-revive downed teammates. EARTH ITSELF wants us to win this fight.

We shall not disappoint.



As a final boss, X doesn't even pretend to play fair at this point. He can get as many as three attacks a turn, each hitting for well over 300 damage. He's also got an AoE attack (of course) that does at least that much to everyone involved. If it wasn't for the Heroes of Earth buff, we'd have no chance of winning this.



Instead, we don't just win.

We win with STYLE.



THIS IS -THE END- FOR YOU, VILLAIN X!



X is a graceful loser and commends us for our victory.



Also, his Shift key got stuck.

: I'M THE MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE! AND YOU ARE ALL DOOMED NOW!



He made a vague threat, then teleported away.

We all know what that means.



Those damn villains don't know when to give up.



: But we must find our courage and fight together one last time!



: We did not come this far to fail!

: There are so many people that have helped us and are still helping us...

: So many that believed in us, even though we were just stuntmen...




Wait, the kickstarter? WE'RE GOING EVEN DEEPER INTO THE META?!

: We are here for a reason. Let's do this!



Savour it. Let your tongue roll over every tantalising syllable.

: If we follow our hearts, this won't be the end.

: I believe in each and every one of us. We can do this!




TIME FOR THE REAL HERO TO MAKE HIS APPEARANCE



Welcome to the final battle of Chroma Squad: MEGA JUSTISLAYER versus Villain X.

Let's fucking go.



Unlike every Kaiju up to now, Villain X only has one health bar. It is, however, longer than three bars of any other giant monster put together. This is a bad thing, because it means you don't get the usual health recovery when you land a knockdown.



He also hits a million times harder than he really should.



Wonderwall closes the gap a little, but considering his special attack hits for 40,000 damage...



Wait! What's this?!



All of Earth is sharing their power with us!

: All our systems are overloading! Right now, we're...



: UNBEATABLE!

Your health bar just keeps going up. It never stops. Your accuracy never decreases and your attack multiplier goes up ludicrously fast.

Is it scripted? Yes. Is it awesome? HELL FUCKING YES.



THIS IS IT!

THE FINISHING BLOW THAT WILL SAVE THE EARTH!




FINAL CHROMA BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAM!!!!




















"Villain X was defeated!"



Oh yeah. You DID program that functionality in, right, Anthy?

Right?



: Calm down. We can't really celebra-



Fuck.

: OH NO! A countdown to an explosion!?

: Such a cliché.




I'm not really sure why we needed that narration, actually.



Oh. We spent so long talking about it that we already lost ten seconds.

GOTTA GO FAST!



I'm going to make the assumption their teleporters somehow don't work in space, because otherwise this would be laughably easy.



Tammy yells at the heroes to run inside, only to linger for a moment herself.



: Will my family have peace?

"10...9...8..."

: Who knows?

"7...6...5..."




TAMMY, YOU HAVE FIVE SECONDS. STOP MONOLOGING AND GET IN THE FUCKING TOWER.



Luckily, she does, just in time for the battleship to go down in an oddly square-shaped explosion.



To a standing ovation and millions of dollars in reward, I hope.



So the cameramen were even recording the giant villain fight? Those guys are dedicated.

(The Japanese in the bottom right corner says 'To Be Continued', by the way.)



So ends our first playthrough of Chroma Squad. Various villains scroll along the top - I'm not going to show them all, because some of them are enemies we haven't even fought yet.

BGM ~ Be Brave (featuring Hitomi Go)



The backers get listed. All of them. This takes several minutes to run in full. My personal highlight is this snippet:



So, to fill up the time I spend waiting on these credits, thoughts on the game!

I know the last few updates may have been a bit nitpicky, but on the whole this game has been an absolute blast. It's a project that oozes love from every pore, from the frequent references to the great music to the self-referential plot to the lovingly drawn animation. The system itself is a little unpolished, and there are some very strange design choices (they still haven't patched Biinon's Invisibility) but it's filled with such vibrant, whole-hearted passion that I can't help but love it. If you have any interest in the genre, then for the love of MEGA JUSTISLAYER you should play this game.



Several minutes later, the credits finally finish rolling, bringing us back to the Men Behind The Masks studio.



"We have reached the end of the story!"



I watched the Avengers. YOU CAN'T CHEAT ME.

"Well..."



Exactly. You were my favourite character! At least, in the first few seasons.

"But it was quite the journey, wasn't it? I hope you had as much fun as I did!"



And all your comedic value disappeared on that fateful day.



So the kind-of-confusing meta is apparently part of the plot. There is plenty to suggest it being real (the J. Milton fight, for example) but also a lot of things that make it seem like it's still all an act (such as the ever-present camera crew). The official word on the matter seems to be 'whatever you want it to be'.



I know.

The narrator continues to tell us to stop, saying to try again at a new difficulty level and that there are multiple endings to explore.



Soon, of course, means 'not now'. Hence why I had to hold onto a save for the other two routes.

"If you're not into that, there's always DLC. Would you pay $5 for new Mecha armour?"

...

"OK, I wouldn't either. But it doesn't hurt to ask, right?"




It is 12:30 in the morning. I've been writing this update for the last three hours.

I will not be turned away from my epilogue.



They even try to fake you out by having several lines be nothing but ellipses. After about twenty repetitions, the Narrator gives up.

"Oh, I get it."



What?



"And I won't be able to spell 'properly'...well, properly.
Our friendship, all that we've been through...will disappear at the click of a button."




Is the sleep deprivation getting to me, or did I just start playing Earthbound?



"Remember that time when Lord Gaga betrayed you? Hahahahaha you should have seen your face!"



SO DID EVERYONE ELSE.



"I don't know what to say anymore.
Did you know that Behold Studios pays translators by the line?"




"You're practically burning money right now."



I am. :3

"...
...
...
..."




"Probably cooler. Prost! Danke!
...Uh, that's pretty much as far as my German goes.
Guess that's why we have to pay so much for translations..."




After another dozen lines of ellipses, the dots gradually turn into dollar signs.



"$$$ Burning Money... $$$"



More ellipses follow.

Twenty of them.

I counted.



"You really think something is going to happen, don't you?"



No, but I'm totally going to hear you as the Stanley Parable narrator now that you've said that.

"Behold Studios is not even here. They're sleeping it off."



They're not kidding. This game was meant to be released in 2014.

"So they are very tired. I think we can agree they deserve some rest now. You could play something else if you don't want to start over."



Again, Knights of Pen and Paper is also by Behold Studios.



The narrator gets so bored of waiting he starts to speak in emoticons for a while, then back to ellipses.

" <('')>"

"(>' ')>"

"<(''<)"

" <('')>"

"(>' ')>"

"<(''<)"

"..."




"You're still here."



I just pressured a robot so hard that it mentally snapped.

I'm the fucking best.

So! After a great deal of waiting, we finally get our post credits scene!



It has a dinosaur.



And it's not just any dinosaur - it's Cerebro, in his original form as Brain!

There are also some very familiar faces among the crew - Steven McFeely, Ascended Dragon, Thomas Dall, Fenix, and THE ALMIGHTY CHRIS SCHELL! The sixth guy is a mystery for now.

: Congratulations on a job well done.



: He should be here soon. I forsee it.



: Do you think that banishing cage will hold him?

: For as long as it's needed.




: It's too risky!

: We can't afford to lose you!




: I am not afraid of Lord Gaga.

This line came up verbatim a few seasons ago, if you recall.



On his orders the rangers teleport away, leaving their leader unguarded...



: This team will have to hand responsibility over to the next one, soon. But times have changed.



: I feel my powers weakening. We may be victorious today, but at a great cost...



: Very special.



: You must be the one they call "Brain". Why don't we have a little fun, just the two of us?



Wait, WHAT?

THE CAT?!



HOLD UP HOLD UP HOLD UP

WHAT WAS THE DEAL WITH THE CAT




DON'T END ON THIS

PLEASE DON'T END ON THIS




FFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU



UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

NEXT TIME: UUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 19)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

Our team made two valiant efforts to do not-very-good things. Both failed miserably. Heroism has been thrust upon us, and we cannot refuse it.



This email arrives for us. Accepting gives you a weak, uninteresting weapon. You could go so far as to call it flaccid.



I think this is the email equivalent of 'You can't fire me, I quit'.

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 6: BADGER BADGER MUSHROOM MUSHROOM --



Also, please swear on your grandmother's grave that you're not a Tengu.



Naturally. Of COURSE they do. Can't these people save themselves once in a while? :|



The signal is coming from Fat Alien's Warehouse, from all the way back in Season 1. It's spreading rapidly, so we need to deal with it ASAP.



And if it doesn't have a face, I'll draw a face onto it and kick that instead.



: When innocent lives are at stake, there's no way we can be too careful.



She has a point.

: Don't be so rude, UK...

: I'm sure UK will do the right thing when the time comes. Let's move o-




: I have upgraded your helmets to protect you from the chanting, but...there is still a risk.



Not really sure how this is much safer, actually.

Our heroes teleport into the alleyway.



Most of them, at least.



Off the northwestern coast of Europe-Oh wait, that's not what you meant.

: That can't be good! Let's hurry inside!



Tammy has this odd habit of lingering behind after every conversation. It's unnerving.

*A few moments earlier...*



The only monster UK fears is the monster headache that comes when she misses her daily dose of face-kicking.

: Rangers, Check In! Come on, monsters! Show yourselves!



Oh, look, there's four of them! That's the same number of party members we used to have.

Excluding Tammy, of course. She still doesn't count.



SILENCE, VILLAIN! YOU WILL NOT FOOL ME!

Director's Instructions:
- Win in 5 turns.



HELL YEAH SQUAREHOUSE KICK

EASIEST FIGHT OF MY LIFE




"Don't tell me what to do, UK."

Mid-celebration, another minion teleports in!



Badgerpoleon?! I KNEW THIS DAY WOULD COME.

: Wait, what? I am no-one's minion! Who are you?!

: Hmm, the hypnotic effect must be wearing off. Doesn't matter now - I can deal with you by myself!




OK, that is a MUCH better name than Badgerpoleon.



: Er...hum...kind of. But I'm still the next best leader after him! Especially after my hypnotic powers...



Wait.

What?



UK's world begins to swirl and fade to black...



Oh.

Well, on the bright side, this confirms that UK is definitely the strongest ranger on the team.



The saddest part of this whole affair is that Stuffman was a Minion Healer. He had absolutely no attack capability.

So even when a deranged UK is beating down the rest of the squad, STUFFMAN CAN'T BRING HIMSELF TO FIGHT HER.



: I will never forgive you, Napoleon Cutapart!

Wait. We had another ranger, didn't we? I think her name was Sammy or something.



And there she is right now!



Tammy saw a step ahead of everyone else, and took the long way around the warehouse. Hence her late arrival and resulting survival of UK'S BERSERKER WRATH.



: You think you can defeat me? Just the two of you? Hah!



: God, that sounds like something Amra would say. I need to wash my mouth out with soap.

Director's Instructions:
- Perform 2 Team Acrobatics.
- Defeat the Boss Monster with a Teamwork Attack.



Cleave somehow gives UK the ability to hit enemies that are well out of her range. Meanwhile, Tammy uses her Great Roar to goad half the mooks into suiciding on her, as well as shaving off half of Napoleon's health.

Normally this fight wouldn't be that interesting, but there's a very bizzare glitch you can activate. See, the game has programmed in the other Rangers as corpses over there. So they count as party members, even though they're supposed to be completely dead. The game cursor starts by looking over Iced by default, since he's at the top of the list.

The Check In button is still available at this point.



The results of this glitch are immediately obvious.



When I fast-forwarded through the cutscene to recapture the screenshot above, Iced was standing up. Even though he was still technically dead.

I'm going to just call this a large oversight on the part of Behold Studios and move on to the part where Napoleon dies.



As a consequence of this glitch, the next cutscene makes absolutely no sense.



For instance, UK walks right past her allies and asks the empty air behind them how it's feeling.



Also, this line becomes unintentionally hilarious.

: I'm sorry, Amra. You were right all along.



And all it took was one traumatic incident where she nearly killed all her friends. A heartwarming story for all ages!



Namely, somewhere inside your ribcage.



Someone's been watching a little too much Yugioh.

: Let's fight together, one more time!

: Toshokenger, on me!




TAMMY THAT ISN'T YOUR LINE DAMMIT



Something is terribly wrong with the universe when I can describe a giant robot battle as 'routine'.



Too bad for you that I'm wearing my WELLINGTONS today.



and the crowd goes wiiiiiiiiiild

With that, we've finished all the main episodes for season five. There's only one episode left to wrap everything up.



WE'RE GOING TO SPACE, MOTHERFUCKERS.

-- SEASON 5 FINALE: TO THE STARS --



That still isn't how you play Tower of Hanoi, by the way.



The plan is simple. The TV Tower will be the launching pad, and using the Alien Material it'll propel both itself and the MEGA JUSTISLAYER into space.



A perfectly rational fear, in my opinion.

: So are we doing this, or what?

: Press the button, Anthy!




This click was the last noise Toshokenger would ever hear.

After a false start, the machine fires off in earnest!



You know, in retrospect, maybe we should have prepared seatbelts for this...



Sadly we don't see the Tower-Rocket in action. We just transition here, with our party escaping from the wreckage.



Please look back at the previous image and decide for yourself how great that landing was.

: You're kidding, right?



Still perfectly reasonable! One of them, anyway.



Oh, right. We actually have a job to do.

: He will pay for what he did to the people of Earth!

: I understand how you feel, Tammy...




The vengeance part is just the icing on the cake, that's all.

: No, you don't understand. Lord Gaga manipulated you into his plan and mind-controlled Amra, but...



Actually, I do have a decent idea. Your sister's bedridden and your friend Luke got turned into a lab rat. We saw all of that already, remember?



Uh-oh.



It's Huengel, the monster who handed us our asses in the Season 4 finale!

: When I first heard about you, I thought you were just actors. No real skill, no real nerve. It looks like my coworkers were wrong about you.



He is banned from all-you-can-eat buffets across the galaxy.



Whoa, Tammy. Take a chill pill or seven.



At first I thought this was a big plot twist, but I think he just means her time as a zombie.

: I will let you reach Lord Gaga on a single condition...



Us? You mean 'you', right?



No. No he doesn't.



: I'm pretty sure they aren't the Guinyu Force!



It's team Toshokenger against Team Godzilla Villain Ripoffs.

Place your motherfucking bets.

Director's Instructions:
- Interrupt Huengel The Devourer's charging skill.
- Defeat all the Mini-Kaiju squad before defeating Huengel.



The trick to this fight is that every member of the Mini-Kaiju squad is giving Huengel some sort of buff. At the start he's got the following:
- +50% Dodge chance
- +30 Defense
- +30% Attack
- Heals himself (and allies) for 15% HP at the start of each turn

If you defeat the monster connected to each buff, it's removed. There's also an additional skill which means rangers within two squares of Huengel are much more likely to be targeted by the rest of his team.



As for the Kaiju Squad themselves, they have impressive stats of their own. Each of them counts as a boss for stat purposes, so they can't be stunned and attacking them ends Iced's invisibility.

This is a bigger blow than you would imagine.



The priority here is to get as many of the Kaiju out of the picture as soon as possible. These buffs make Huengel REALLY dangerous, so you can't afford to keep him powered up for long.



Unfortunately for us, Huengel's squad have their own special moves similar to our own:
- Muligahn can turn invisible.
- Degijon's Hook pulls in a ranger while also stunning them.
- Grimmgarl has a hugely damaging attack, and gets stronger when he's hit.
- Sewer Turtle's Vulnerability Ray works in the same way as Anthy's Find Weakness.



Also, as the instructions suggested, Huengel has a charge move called Smite. It hits for a ton of damage unless you pummel him before he can finish.



Luckily, UK is well aware that axes solve all problems.



Degijon's the priority target, since he's the one responsible for the healing aura affecting the whole party.



Huengel likes to run away and charge Smite well out of the party's range. You can imagine how well this ends.



As it turns out, Smite does enough damage to drop Amra instantly. For the first time in the whole game, we lose a party member.



This also marks the first time that Stuff's 5th Gen Phoenix skill has actually seen any use. So that's a plus side, I guess!



Muligahn, when he's vulnerable, tends to hit for huge chunks of damage. Luckily his aim sucked this time around.



Fun fact number three! For some reason, Shockwave doesn't qualify as direct damage. You know, Iced's most powerful skill which can destroy entire waves of enemies in a single swing.

Yeah I felt like an idiot when I found this out.



With his cronies out of the picture, Huengel's much more manageable. Still, it was a fun fight that forced me to think a lot harder than usual!



By the way, when Huengel charges his Smite attack, he tries to steal our finisher quote as well.



FEEL THE WRATH OF COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT



: But there's one thing you're still missing, Toshokenger...



Auuuehh?



Again, auuehh?



He teleports away, leaving us to ponder his words. Is there someone else leading Gaga on behind the scenes?



But first, MEGA JUSTISLAYER ACTION.



IN SPACE!



Huengel's a cut above the normal opposition. He's got more health, better damage, everything. For the first time in a while, the JUSTISLAYER has a worthy adversary.



My attempt to interrupt his special attack ended poorly.



If things weren't bad enough, my luck is extraordinarily bad today. This is a picture of me missing a 99% hit-chance attack.



This isn't going to end well, is it?



pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease



GOD. DAMMIT.

The special attack hits, and all seems lost, until-



THE PEOPLE OF EARTH LEND US THEIR POWER!



So as it turns out, you actually have TWO life bars in giant mecha battles. The second is powered by your fans and gives you a second wind when you should be dead. Dying again, of course, means you explode for real this time.



It's the boost we need to finish the fight - and what a fight to trigger it on!



And it's all thanks to you.

Yes, you, reading this LP right now.

You're the REAL hero.

: Now there's nothing standing between us and Lord Gaga!



But especially myself.

: This is the final battle!

: So tense! :o

: Go, Toshokenger, go!




So ends the fifth season of Toshokenger.

What's that, you say? There are still a shitton of loose ends to tie up? Don't worry about that.

Remember when I said the fifth season was the final season?



I LIED.

Next Time: Gaga Goes Byebye

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 18)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

We fought a dancing bear, and the most incompetent ventriloquist of all time. What other freaks of nature does Lord gaga have left to throw at us?

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 4: TALK-SHOW NO-SHOW --



: Good news, everyone! I've taught the MEGA JUSTISLAYER to feel love!



No, but I'd gladly watch a talk show run by someone whose last name is Laser.



"Weren't there only five of you before?"

"It's okay, Tammy doesn't count. Not really."



...Wait, is this a cooking show?

The team celebrates their upcoming fame, when Tammy crashes the party.



: I agree, Tammy!

Of course you do, Anthy. Of course you do.



So we need to make sure as many people are watching the show as possible. That can't be hard, because WHO WOULD CHOOSE NOT TO WATCH A SHOW RUN BY RACHEL LASER.



What? You're trying to boost my ratings in an attempt to promote world peace? But then I'll have nothing to report on!



Am I seeing things, or did UK just suggest a stealthy approach?

Acting on this impulse, the team teleports away to perform their subterfuge.



We're the good guys, Stuff! That means anything we do is a good thing by default.

"Toshokenger arrives at the studio for some heroic breaking and entering..."



Well, there's the camera crew, but no-one believes anything they say anyway.



: Yeah, I don't think it's a good idea to go public with this. It would freak people out!



Luckily we don't actually hear the sound in question.

"It was an odd and irritating sound...Something repetitive and extremely happy, but annoying..."

: Is this their alarm?




There are totally weapons that can do this, by the way.

The sound wavers for a moment, and then-



OH NO

NOT THE DREADED CURTAIN MONSTER




OH SWEET NUCLEAR CHRIST THAT'S EVEN WORSE

: Were you the one making that awful sound!?



no

please god no



A speciality which must give him millions of job offerings.

: But exclusively tonight, the entertainment is YOU!



Karma is a cruel mistress.



: You're right, Iced. We need to dispose of this monster as quick as possible!

Director's Instructions:
- Hit the boss every turn.
- Defeat all Minions.



Despite the game suggesting otherwise, there isn't actually a time limit for this map. I'm going to do my best to get a good audience though, because I'm rather disappointed with how the last map went.



Ever since she was a child, Anthy has dreamed of punching Barney the Dinosaur in the face.

As for Barni's attacks-



OH SHIT

IT'S A LIZARD INSIDE A LIZARD

REPTILIANS ARE REAL

Also, what's that? The whole enemy army is piling on UK?



LOOK AT THE TIME, IT'S SQUAREHOUSE KICK O'CLOCK



The rest of the map is pretty simple. Barni's attack is irritating but nowhere near strong enough to be a serious threat.



He CAN summon more minions, but he does this so late that it's completely irrelevant.



With a great big punch, and a kick from me to you...



: I'll make sure to stomp on this building and smash your hopes of fame!

: Hurry! To the MEGA JUSTISLAYER!




So this is what the 2014 Godzilla movie looked like, right?



Yeah the mech fights are still a complete joke. In fact, Barni ends up going down before he even gets a chance to attack.



Where I'm from, we call this 'getting styled on'.

*Later that day...*



I have several issues with this sentence.



Don't ask why that random square on the left is bright white. I have no idea.



: And we didn't do anything wrong...I was feeling bad about that.

You know. Except for the part where you illegally entered the studio. That's still sort of wrong.



But I guess all the evidence of that crime was destroyed, so!

: Don't get your hopes up. We're definitely not getting invited there again, hahaha!



So we'll watch them. Because they can take it.
Because they're not our heroes.
They're stunt actors in silly outfits.
Our childish fantasies.
Our Guilty Pleasures.




They weren't kidding when they said audience gain was a lot harder this time around. Again, I could use a marketing company to help boost my audience, but the boost to attack is probably much more useful to me.



He makes a sound argument. Why do we always stand in the same spot when we're fighting monsters?

Luckily, money makes all your problems go away!



500 dollars for three sub-par materials.

Lame.



Odds are that Gargam is a reference to something, but it went right over my head.



OK, Kanji Ahbo is the coolest character in this entire goddamn game.

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 5: ANTHY'S MISTAKE --



I give odds it's a machine to make Tammy love her.

: Even though it's not a sure shot, it's worth a try.



...No offense, but that sounds like a terrible idea.



YES, THAT IS AN IMPORTANT FEATURE TO INCLUDE.



: But no-one understands what I do. They always say it's 'techno-babble'. This will be done soon and-



It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...



OK, I've got nothing.



"Mr. Hexapod, could you please move? You're blocking the lighting."

: WHOA!

: You take us for fools, mortal?




So that's twice in a row our heroes have been instantly punished for trying to do something questionable.

Man, being good SUCKS.



: Minions, get that human now!



Also, my life. That's kind of important.



Hexapod teleports away, leaving Anthy to fend for herself!

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat 1 enemy before Checking In.
- Win in 7 turns.



Three Nutcrackers aren't a problem even for Anthy, who's arguably the weakest member of the team at this point. The only challenge is getting a kill before transforming, meaning you have to wait a while before you can use your rifle.



This transformation sounds really depressing when it's one person doing it by themselves.



This is naturally Hexapod's cue to reappear.

: Whoa!



: Oh. You're still here. A single human shouldn't be too much trouble, though.



CUTSCENE BULLSHIT STRIKES AGAIN!

: No! You...can't...



Just a thought - if you're already aliens, shouldn't you have plenty of this stuff?



: We got your SOS from your gadget and came here as fast as we could!



In spite of taking 100 times more damage than it would take to knock her out, Anthy is still somehow alive.

: I wa-



It's the worst Tower of Hanoi I've ever seen.

: This is the result of my latest research...it's not done yet, but it's almost there!

: But what does it do, exactly?

: And what happened here? Who attacked you?




And by 'many', I mean three of the basic mooks we've been fighting since season 4.

: It took the Alien Material I had in my posse-



B U S T E D

: Wow, so many interruptio-



: >:[



: Creating this made me feel more helpful. I know I can't fight as well as you...



I like how we're getting a bit of character focus in this season. I was worried it'd turn into Tammy: The Motion Picture but attentions being given to the rest of the rangers as well.



: Cerebro would have advised us on how to handle it...

: Lord Gaga probably has it by now.

: And you didn't even tell us what this invention is!




Hearing this the second time around, it still sounds like an awful idea.



: Since the Alien Material was used by Lord Gaga, we can use it to track down his ship.

: So that's why he was so mad at us for having it!




Lord Gaga was scared we'd figure out how to trace the material back to him - hence why he was so desperate to get it back. It's our best chance to reach him before he can finish his portal plan.

Of course, we just lost the material, but it was a nice-



What?



Ohhhhhhh.

: If we hurry up, we can still catch that monster!

: You're a genius, Anthy!

: Let's go, Toshokenger!


-----



"Hey man, a robot just warped into existence right next to us."

"A regular Tuesday, then?"

"Yup."



Whereas space groceries have very strict closing times.

Hexapod is examining the wares when our heroes arrive!



Anthy performs a handplant out of sheer elation.

: Stop right there, thief!



: Maybe you want to join my party? Lord Gaga will raise my salary because of you, Anthy!



UK WHY ARE YOU ALWAYS THE BEST

Director's Instructions:
- Destroy 4 Mines.
- Defeat the Boss with a Finishing Move.



Supreme Nerdiness is a little abusable. Since it has separate chances to activate for every skill used, you effectively get multiple chances to trigger it. And it removes the cooldown from ALL of Anthy's skills.

Still not at the ludicrous level of Iced, but not a bad showing.



As the instruction implies, one of Hexapod's skills is to litter the arena with mines. They explode on the next turn delivering heavy AoE, so some effort needs to go into defusing them.



As usual, 'defusing' means 'punching it until it explodes'.



...So I was wrong about Nerdiness. Now it's applying cooldown to skills which honestly shouldn't have any. I cast this last turn so it should be available by now, but...it isn't.

Never mind, Techie is still the weakest character.



Frustrating blowback AoE attacks have become the norm at this point.



I haven't had as many chances to use Shockwave as I thought I would. Mainly because by the time it's off cooldown, most of the mooks are already dead. :V



Likewise, Web Shot's use is pretty minor. Stunning Pose does the same job anyway, and at this point stunning enemies is a lot more effort than just killing them.



Eventually we're left with the age-old problem of not being able to get in range for the finisher. Amra provokes the boss to try and set up for a teamup.



The mines have a nasty habit of cascading into each other. Here Tammy got bounced around by three different explosions and nearly died as a result.



Luckily Hexapod's so busy punching Amra that he gives us the opening we need. The usual lasery death follows.



A number? You are a free man?



That too.



Are the monsters of the week even trying to sound clever anymore?

: EVIL FLAYER, JUSTISLAYER!!



Much like Mayweather/Pacquiao, this fight is legendary only in its disappointment.



I'm sure this explosion will do nothing to damage the precious Alien Material we're trying to retrieve.



But not the ones you deserve-dammit, they already made that joke.

"After the smoke has settled, Toshokenger gathers at Men Behind The Masks to discuss Anthy's space project..."



: Ouch, my head hurts...

: But even though the device is complete and seems to be working...




: I had no right to "borrow" that material and put the whole planet at risk.



I mean, you nearly doomed us all to eternal servitude under Lord Gaga. But at least you apologised!



: For example, you're not allowed to punch people unless they REALLY deserve it.



But with huge responsibility comes HUGE POWER.



I can't get over the chubby bandana-wearing neckbeard being the heart of this team. I love it.



I watch Toshokenger for its emotional impact, naturally.



You don't want to see UK crying. Trust me. Thousands will die.



Don't worry, your salty tears will be enough to cool it down.



WELL PUT

WHEN DO I GET TO ADD KANJI AHBO TO MY PARTY


NEXT TIME: I Don't Care If You Have Arthritis, Get In The Goddamn Robot

Reading Rainbow Toshokenger: Let's Play Chroma Squad! (Part 17)
roukanken
LAST TIME ON CHROMA SQUAD:

We blew up one of Tammy's former friends, an act which she didn't really have a whole lot of issue with. BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY BOXING BOX IS DEAD AND GAGA WILL PAY FOR HIS CRIMES AGAINST CARDBOARD.

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 2: COLIN'S ANCIENT BEAR --



We open to Tammy flexing for the camera and doing more damage to her poor spine.

: Being with Toshokenger is nice. They're good people. But sometimes I just like being alone.



Naturally, this is Anthy's cue to enter.

: Well, there goes that.



And decided I wouldn't say as much until I was six inches in front of your face.



Okaaaaaay this is starting to get creepy.



I'm imagining this line being delivered in the most pained monotone possible.

: So, uh...

: Yes?




: What?

: Never mind.




Anthy would be a much better smooth-talker if she read my LPs.

: Uh...yes?

: Cool. Am I dreaming?

: ...

: ...




: Thanks.



Anthy runs away, presumably to build a robot that doesn't hate her pickup lines.

Good luck with that.



Even Narratorbot is disappointed in you, Anthy.

*MEANWHILE, AT THE NATIONAL PARK...*



The "Get Down With Smokey Bear" initiative was met with poor response.



I had to look this one up, I admit.



I'd like to note the music here is a dance beat consisting of two notes repeated ad infinitum. I had to put this on for several minutes while collecting screenshots.

My brain is currently seeping out of my ears.



FIND OUT NEXT WEEK ON-



Or not.

: Go back to Lord Gaga's chambers!

: Don't threaten me, Toshokenger, or else...




As an Uncertain Kitten, I assumed UK would be more polite to her fellow animals.



Oh. That's what.

Director's Instructions:
- Defeat the Boss Monster with UK.
- Keep all your heroes standing.



Not gonna lie. That is a lot of dudes for us to fight untransformed.

We start by retreating down the bridge so the enemies will line themselves up for a team attack.



Colin's Bear has the special attack Dance of Death, complete with dancing animation, musical interlude, and CAMERA ZOOM.

It hits the entire party for...1 damage each.



By turn 2 we have enough audience to transform, and the enemies have lined themselves up nicely for a quad-kill by UK.



The stat box said I could kill this guy in one hit. I wasn't even close. :(



CB himself is still a joke. I thought maybe Dance of Death had a chance to instant-kill, but if that's the case it never happened to me.



Also, in case you haven't noticed, our new outfits totally have capes. WE HAVE CROSSED THE SUPERMAN THRESHOLD.



That fight might have been tough if it had dragged on for another 600 turns.



Maybe his final form has more than four frames of dance animation.



CHRIS SCHELL?!



Don't drive the car? Don't eat the pear? Don't open the .rar?



Ohhhhhhh.

: Oh, THAT'S what you were screaming? I guess it's too late for that now...who are you, anyway?

: Sorry, I didn't introduce myself.




I did my research for this one. See, Chroma Squad is programmed in the Unity Engine. And Jay Santos is, sure enough, a Field Engineer for Latin America with Unity.



Aw, come on. How can something with a dopey face like that possibly be a threat?



The world flickers black.

: And judging by the flashes...it's already too late!



HEY

WHO TURNED OFF THE SUN




I want to make a horrible joke about coming earlier, but I'm oddly uninspired on that front.



Uh-oh.



BGM ~ "This isn't even my final form!"

Yes. That is what it's called.



please stop doing that

He proceeds to summon an absolute TON of minions.



plz nerf

: !?

: If you're as glitchy and unbalanced as Jay just said...




That's...actually a pretty decent point!

: What? No! I am the greatest of all calamities!

And to prove the point, he immediately wipes all of his own minions out of existence.

: NOOOOO!



Almost makes up for the fact you totally screwed up your pickup lines earlier.

ALMOST.

Director's Instructions:
- Keep Jay standing.
- Defeat Boss Monster with a Finishing Move.



Oh jeez those are some big numbers. (For reference, Iced managed to hit him for SIX damage pre-invisibility.)



Jay's unique ability is Debug. It's basically a version of Find Weakness with a greater decrease but a shorter lifespan. Best kept for when you're going for a really big hit.



Tammy uses her Great Roar power in the hope of drawing some aggro. It works out for the first attack, but the second...



Dance of Death now does actual damage. By which I mean a good 150 points of damage to the entire party, no matter where you are.



Due to some good luck, Supreme Nerdiness triggers when Anthy uses Find Weakness. This means she can effectively cast it twice...and naturally, it stacks with itself.



Stuffman finally earns his pay with the best Circle of Friendship he's ever cast.



CB's other attack is Rend, which both hits for at least 200 HP and leaves the target bleeding heavily (50 HP per turn).



Rather than playing the long game, I figure I'll just blow the bear up as soon as possible. Jay hacks reality to lower its defense before I go in for the kill.



The stat box says I can't kill him this turn, but I no longer trust anything the stat box tells me.



Oh.

Uhh...second time's a charm?



That's more like it.



Back to the lab again
Yo, this whole rhapsody
Better go capture this moment and hope it don't pass him








Luckily, Jay left because he knew we could handle this final form.

Not alone, of course. But with the MEGA JUSTISLAYER.



WHO IS DYING?



OH MY GOD, BEAR IS DYING



HOW CAN THAT BE?



A very nearly perfect performance. I'm still going to blame this one on THE LYING STAT BOX.

As for the fanmail-



Oh god. The NPC is learning to think.



AND HE WAS ERASED FOR IT.

This is the most secretly horrifying thing I've seen all game.

-- SEASON 5, EPISODE 3: THE OBVIOUS VENTRILOQUIST --



I swear, if he asks us to run to the 7-11 for him ONE MORE TIME...



Oh, alright. I guess he butt-dialed the emergency button. With his, uh, frontal lobe.

The team shrugs and casually warps away. All except for one.



Iced stops, ponders for a moment...then gives up and warps off anyway.



This turns out to have been a mistake.



WHAT



We know he's evil because he isn't wearing a shirt.



: Lord Gaga has cloned me, and we are now the Tengu Clan! We'll succeed where all other monsters have failed!



༼ ºل͜º ༽ºل͜º ༽ºل͜º ༽ EVERYONE, GET IN HERE! ༼ ºل͜º༼ ºل͜º༼ ºل͜º ༽



: I'm not afraid of you, Tengu. Your clones aren't even well done. Look at them, they're awful!



Maybe not, but they're still good for stabbing!

Things are looking dire for our favourite brain in a jar, when suddenly-



: What? You shouldn't be here!



Isn't it sad, Sacchin-I mean, Iced? ;_;



: I know I'm always stating the obvious...so that must be why they keep forgetting about me. But now I finally noticed something that nobody else did!

: Well if that's the case...

: Then all I need to do...

: Is silence you!




See, this is why cloning technology is banned.

Director's Instructions:
- Keep Iced standing.
- Win in 8 turns.



I just want to say that of all the characters to give a solo map, giving one to the most overpowered member of the team is absolutely hilarious.



Perhaps the highlight is that if you activate Biinon's Invisibility, the enemies will just stand around doing absolutely nothing. Since they can't target Iced and there's no-one else around, they sort of stare absent mindedly into space while Iced stabs them all in the nose.

In short...it's an embarrassing showing for tengu-kind.



Naturally the rest of the team waits until AFTER the fight to show up.



Oh, good. I was afraid the plot point would be that no-one believed Iced about the attack.

: We're so sorry! Are you OK?

: Where did the Tengu leader go?




Did anyone happen to kill a Tengu leader on the way here?
No?
Then we still have a problem.



OH LORD HE'S TAKEN NARRATORBOT HOSTAGE

: I'm wiser and stronger than you think, foolish humans.



The Tengu immediately teleports in. Then Tengu leaps onto the scene, followed by Tengu, and Tengu, and Tengu...



As it turns out, we should have specified we wanted him to come out ALONE.

: Let's see if you can find me!

Director's Instructions:
- Interrupt the Tengu's charging skill.
- Defeat 10 enemies.



What you're supposed to do is spread your team across the map and check every corner for the real Tengu. There are two flaws with this plan.

a) The real Tengu is the only one who teleported in, while the others jumped onto screen.
b) The real Tengu is, you know, THE ONLY ONE WITH BOSS STATS.



Yes, I skipped the instructions. But only because this was absolutely hilarious.



Unfortunately, the Tengu forgets to throw his voice this time around.

: Oops.

*BOOM*



In what will surely go down as the most anticlimactic fight of the season.



: We're embarrassed that we forgot about you...we brought you lunch, though!



I'm going to pretend the rest of the team is terrified of Iced and his insta-gib abilities and are doing everything they can to keep him from turning on them.



And so, Iced's collapse into the raging pit of madness was stopped.

For now.



AHAHAHAHAHA



Wow, the fans actually ARE pissed about that episode. Maybe I should try harder next time.



Or maybe I'll just have my twin UK clones pummel anyone who disses us over the internet.

Yeah, that sounds like a better idea.

NEXT TIME: Give Us One Star At Your Peril

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