Hey guys! Here’s something I’ve been working on recently: A guide to the recently translated X-SERD game! I put it up on GameFAQs, but I also backed it up here, so here you go:
Hisou Kaihei X-SERD Walkthrough, v.1.00
November 5, 2016
Copyright: Gunlord, 2016 through 2017
~Table of Contents~
: Author intro and legal details
[000D]: Beginning the Game
: Scene 1
: Scene 2
: Scene 3
: Scene 4
: Scene 5
: Scene 6
: Scene 7
: Scene 8
: Scene 9
: Scene 10
Hey again, GameFAQsers! It’s been nearly 10 years, but Gunlord is back in the FAQ business, this time for the predecessor of the very first game he wrote a FAQ for, Vixen 357. I’ll be honest, I don’t think this one, Hisou Kihei X-SERD, is as good as Vixen 357. The graphics and music aren’t as good and the game system is a bit less innovative, as you can’t swap pilots and mechs. However, my friends Celcion, CCCmar, and Majin Zenki translated Vixen 357, FINALLY, and offered me a chance to beta test their translation of X-SERD, so I thought, “why not write a FAQ if I’m playing through the game anyways?” So here you go 😀
This FAQ is the property of Gunlord, copyright 2016. Only these sites have permission to host it: www.wordpress.com
Ask for permission to use this guide anywhere else, and I will probably give it, so please, do ask before using it! X-SERD is copyright 1991 to NCS Masaya (the same people who made the Langrisser series!)
No apologies for not speaking Japanese this time, cause my friends translated the game! 😀 Much like in my Vixen 357 guide, I’ll introduce gameplay elements as they appear.
X-SERD is a turn-based, panel based mecha strategy game much like Vixen 357, except it’s on the PC Engine rather than the Sega Genesis. Also, unlike Vixen 357, each mech (called a SERD rather than a VECTOR) only has one weapon loadout, one attack, and one pilot, unlike in Vixen 357, where you could assign a pilot to a different mech and equip that mech with a different close combat and ranged weapon. But if you liked Vixen 357, or other mecha strategy games like Front Mission or Super Robot Wars, you’ll like this as well.
In the year 2384, Earth was attacked by aliens. Against their overwhelming power, humanity lost territory after territory, teetering on the verge of complete annihilation. There is only one small spot of hope: In a small town in northern Japan called Samani, the Asian Army, unbeknownst to the Earth Federation, has begun construction of the experimental ship Altea and its complement of superweapons that may be the only things capable of defeating the aliens: The mighty humanoid combat machines called SERDs! It’s up to Takuya Evans, operator of the X-SERD, and his team of fellow pilots from all across the Earth to lead humanity’s counterattack and liberate their planet.
Like in Vixen 357, the opening crawl introduces you to your characters, though it shows you their mechs as well.
1: Jean Ebara, pilot of the G-SERD. He’s a laid-back jokester with a lot of confidence in himself and takes very little seriously. His G-SERD is a close-combat machine; its beam saber can cripple or destroy many foes in a single strike. However, it only hits once, so if it misses it’ll do no damage at all.
2: Randolph Decker, pilot of the B-SERD. A little more serious, his B-SERD is a powerful piece of artillery which can both withstand a decent amount of damage and deal a whole lot of it with its mighty twin shoulder cannons. Alas, it has poor mobility.
3: Lee Wong Chen, pilot of the W-SERD. Apparently a bald Chinese guy, he’s pretty big on healthy living. His machine is weakly armed and fairly fragile, but has extremely high mobility as a flying-type mech. It also has a very powerful “Bomber” ability that can destroy masses of mechs, but takes up a lot of ammunition.
4: Doug Rogers, pilot of the A-SERD. He’s an old friend of Takuya’s, and is very confident in his skills, proclaiming himself “the best marksman of the Federation.” The A-Serd has a powerful laser rifle with good stopping power and above-average range.
5: Miesha Flieska, pilot of the E-SERD. A pretty cute girl with a very scary personality who absolutely hates the aliens. Her mech doesn’t really have very strong offensive capabilities; its main asset is its energy shield, which, when activated, makes every friendly unit in a 4 tile radius just about invulnerable. It takes up about 30% of her ammo, but judicious usage of this ability can make the game very easy.
6: Saki Hardy, N-SERD. She’s Takuya’s ex-girlfriend, and despite having broken up with him before the start of the game, still relies on him to defend her from anyone she perceives as creepy, most notably Jean Ebara. Her N-SERD is a ranged laser rifleman, just like Doug’s A-SERD. In general, she’s pretty much the same as Doug, except with markedly lower accuracy. I think the developers added her to the game as a weaker replacement for Doug just in case you lost him. Still, by the end of the game she can get some good hits in.
7: Takuya Evans, X-SERD. The main character of this game, he apparently once had a relationship with Saki. His titular mech is a good all-around machine with decent mobility, health, defense, range, accuracy, and attack power. It can also transform into the X-WING, which gives it incredible flying mobility of 20 squares though at the cost of a weaker weapon, a “Crash Bomb” with a range of only 1 to 2 panels.
[000D]: Beginning the Game
There are really only two buttons you need for this game. Button one is confirm, button two is cancel (button one can also be used to skip events or make text go faster), though the Run button can also be pressed to skip some opening prologues or start the game. You’re probably playing this on an emulator, so set those buttons to whatever you like and get going. Anyways, after you’ve seen the opening cinema describing all your mechs, press the Confirm button, then select an open game slot, and then press confirm again to start your campaign.
: Stage One
May Allen, a cute female operator, patches through a transmission from General Guttenberg, supreme commander of the Asia Army, informing you that you are in command of the mobile battleship Altea! It seems the aliens have found out about the Asia Army’s little secret and have dispatched a force to destroy your ship. You can’t let that happen, but unfortunately, your ship isn’t complete yet and can’t move!
For this stage, you either have to destroy 7 out of 10 enemy mechs, or keep them from destroying the Altea for 18 turns. It’s much easier to destroy 7 enemy mechs, so let’s explore how to do that!
First, take a look around. The red box on your screen is the cursor and can be moved with your directional buttons. Move it left, and you’ll see your mothership, the Altea, nestled in a base that’s in the middle of some grassland. Move your cursor to the right, and you’ll see first a mountain range bisected horizontally by a single road, and further right, the mountains end as the road enters a vertical highway amidst a sandy beach. At the far right end of the map is the ocean, and on the shore are your enemies: 3 squads consisting of 2 red alien mechs called “JIM,” 1 blue commander mech called a “JIMCOM,” and the commander of the whole force, piloting a purple JIMCOM. There’s a total of 10 of them here, as I mentioned.
Notice when you move your cursor around the information displayed on the screen changes. Keep it over the Altea, and at the bottom of your screen, you’ll see a small portrait of the ship along with a red bar and a yellow bar below it. The red bar consisting of 20 blocks represents the ship’s HP; it’s not a number but when it goes down to zero the craft will be destroyed (and your game ends). The yellow bar, also of 20 blocks, is its EP or energy points, which are its ammunition, which will be used up when it shoots or uses its special ability. You’re not able to use the latter in this stage and you shouldn’t have to fire its main weapons, so don’t worry about those.
To the right of the HP and EP bars is a small picture depicting the terrain the ship is one, which is “base,” and offers some statistics about that. Move the cursor away from the ship and you’ll see that the ship’s portrait disappears, but the terrain info remains, although it changes. Move your cursor around to various places and you’ll see that rather than “base,” you’re traveling across “plains,” “road,” “mount” (mountains), and “sand.” The most important thing to keep in mind is the percentage at the bottom left of the screen. That represents the dodge bonus or penalty a unit gets on that terrain: Mountains, for instance, have 30%, which means any mech will be 30% harder to hit standing on those, while sand is -30%, meaning any mech is 30% EASIER to hit on those. You want your mechs to be in the mountains and the enemy mechs to be in the sand, and we’ll get to that soon. Also remember, though, that there’s a movement penalty to certain terrain as well; roads are easy to traverse, but your mechs will only be able to move about half their normal range on, say, mountains.
Move your cursor back to the Altea and press the select button. Now, at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see some commands pop up, which you can select with the directional buttons, or cancel entirely and return to moving the cursor with the cancel button.
The first button with the directional arrows is movement, which the Altea can’t do right now. The second is the attack button—press it and you’ll see the screen go dark, with only 2 blocks highlighted around the Altea. That represents the attack range of its weapon (up to two panels away from it); way too far from the enemy mechs. Press cancel and select the lightning bolt. That’s the Altea’s powerful special weapon, which isn’t available in this stage; we’ll get to it in the next. The lightning bolt signifies a special ability, and most of your mechs have different ones-the X-SERD can transform into the X-WING, another mech has a devastating Bomber ability, and so on. But most of these can’t be used if the unit has moved during the turn.
The box with the arrow is the most important, but hold on—the other three buttons are the information button, which shows the stats of whatever unit you have selected, the settings button, where you can turn off the dialogue all of your pilots spout when they do something or the battle scenes, and the end turn button, which you don’t want to press yet. But back to the square with the arrow, that’s the Altea’s launch button.
Select it and you’ll see the Altea’s launch bay, and press the directional buttons left and right and you’ll be able to choose between the three mecha currently docked there! Move the box with your directional buttons over one of them, press the confirm button, and you’ll see a short animation along with some dialogue of your pilot launching. Then the screen will darken except for a region around your ship of variable size depending on which mech you chose—that’s your mech’s movement range; if you don’t want to launch it you can still press cancel and select another. Once you’ve got what you’ve wanted, move the cursor over to a lighted region and press confirm, your mech will sortie from the Altea out into the combat zone!
Let’s look over your mechs quickly. The first one is white and red—that’s Takuya’s X-SERD. It’s a decent all-round unit that can move 6 squares on open road and attacks with a beam gun that has a range of 1-4 panels. The beam gun fires four shots that aren’t very powerful individually, but can do a lot of damage if all of them hit. The advantage of this weapon is that you’re almost guaranteed to do some damage since all four shots are unlikely to miss. The mech isn’t too fragile, and has a decent dodging ability, but keep it in the mountains because it will be destroyed if too many shots connect with it.
You can also transform it into the X-WING with the lightning button if it hasn’t moved yet. This turns it into a jet that can fly 20 squares per turn, but at the cost of a much weaker weapon. In X-WING mode, it also has the advantage of being able to move after it’s fired; the only other mech that can do so is the G-SERD. You won’t need to use this ability much until stage 4, though.
The second red one is Jean Ebara’s G-SERD. This is a dedicated close combat mech that attacks with a powerful beam saber and has an excellent movement range of 8 squares on open road. This makes up for the extremely poor range of its beam saber, which is only 1 panel. Mobility is certainly an emphasis for this mech as it’s the only one aside from Takuya’s X-WING which can move after attacking, at least if it has any movement left—for instance, if you move 5 squares to slice an enemy, you can move your remaining three squares after you slice him. The beam saber is extremely powerful and capable of killing the enemy mechs on this stage in one hit, but it’s also fairly inaccurate. The mech itself is about as good at dodging and capable of taking abuse as Takuya’s X-SERD. It has no special ability, but it is the only mech you have that can move after attacking.
The last grey mech is Randolph Decker’s B-SERD. It can only move 4 panels, but its weaponry has the longest range—10 squares! Unlike Takuya’s beam gun, however, the B-SERD’s artillery also has a minimum range of 3 squares, so keep it behind Takuya and Jean’s mechs. It also can’t fire after moving, so you’ll have to keep it in place and let enemies come to it to get the most use out of it. Don’t worry if enemies get close to it, however, because it’s also the most heavily armored of your three mecha, It can’t dodge much, but most enemy attacks will do anywhere from 0 to 1 point of damage to it in this stage. It also has no special ability.
The important thing to remember is that like in Vixen 357 (and games like Fire Emblem) your units are lost permanently if they fall in battle, so reset your game and start the stage over or load a save state if one of them dies. Unlike in Vixen 357, Takuya Evans is expendable, so the game won’t end if he dies. Don’t let him die, though, because his X-SERD and its X-WING are very useful.
Now that you know how to launch your mechs and how important they are, here’s what you do. For turn 1, launch Jean, your close-combat specialist, first and move him right towards the enemy as far as he can go. Do the same for Takuya and his X-SERD, and the last unit you launch should be Randolph and his B-SERD. Use the cancel button after you’ve pressed confirm to place your mech where you want it, because pressing the hourglass button will end your turn entirely and you don’t want to do that until all mechs are launched.
While you do this, the enemies will begin to advance—their commander, Tuge, calls for them to move forward in three groups, but he himself stops moving once he gets to the highway. So one trio of foes (2 JIMs and 1 JIMCOM) will go north, another south, and another through the center. Thankfully, they’ll have to get through the sand or go through the road, which makes them easy pickings for the B-SERD!
For turn 2, have Takuya move up into the mountains off the road, Jean move south down into those mountains, and Randoph straight on the road. Jean and Takuya should be close to the edges of their respective mountain ranges, while Randolph should be about 7 or 8 panels straight on the road from the Altea. The most important thing to remember for this stage is to NOT move any farther than about halfway across the map—that is to say, since the map is about 30 panels long, imagine a straight line from the top to the bottom of it 15 panels to the right of the Altea. If you cross this line, the enemy commander in the purple JIMCOM (Tuge) will activate and begin moving from his spot behind the highway. He’ll start attacking Takuya, Jean, and Randolph. If he does, you’ll almost certainly lose, because his mech can destroy any one of yours in a few hits, it has excellent range, and fires very accurately. So keep your mechs within the mountains!
As a note, you can also move any of your mechs back to the Altea, where they’ll dock and be repaired if they’ve taken any damage, though they can’t be launched again during the turn. You probably won’t have to do that during this stage, but keep it in mind if any of your mechs are reduced to 60% or less of their HP.
With that in mind, on Turn 3, at least one enemy should be in range of the B-Serd, though Takuya and Jean probably aren’t close enough in the upper and lower mountains to hit anything. That’s fine. Have Randolph blast away at the closest enemy he can, which will usually be a blue JIMCOM. Those guys hit a little harder than the red JIM grunts, so try to concentrate on them if you can. Since they’re all on the road or sand at this point, Randolph should be able to land both his artillery shots, and since one shot destroys more than half an enemy’s HP, two hits will destroy it entirely. However, if one shot misses, don’t worry about it. Allow the enemy mech to move closer and let the X-SERD’s less powerful but more accurate weaponry destroy it. You want to concentrate the B-SERD’s attacks only on enemy mechs that are both at full health and mired in sand or on open roads to make the most of it. Why? Well, the B-SERD’s artillery is very powerful, but also, as you’ve noticed, takes up a hefty bit of ammo–3 bars of EP out of 20. So you do NOT want to waste even a single attack, and you also don’t want to waste powerful shots on enemies that are almost half dead.
At this point, your X-SERD and G-SERD outclass the enemy JIMs and JIMCOMs pretty significantly, so as long as Tuge stays out of battle, you should be able to destroy 7 enemy mecha pretty easily. A few enemy mechs will come into range of Takuya’s X-SERD; have him fire on them from the edge of the mountains as much as he can while they’re still in the sand. Below, try to lure the enemy mechs just outside of the mountains, so Jean can attack an alien on grassland which is right next to a mountain panel. If either Jean or Takuya take much damage, move them back to the Altea and have them dock for repairs. The enemy should then concentrate on Randolph’s B-SERD, which can easily tank the hits. After a turn, launch Takuya and Jean again, and bring back Randolph to the Altea if he’s running low on ammo; docking will restore EP as well. With this strategy, you should be able to kill 7 enemy mechs before they can reach the Altea, which is important—your main ship has very little armor and an ineffective attack with a 2-panel range, its main gun isn’t operable yet.
If you’re not lucky with hits, you can try restarting the stage, or loading a save state. But you should be able to beat the stage easily enough. On to stage 2!
: Stage 2: Asia HQ
Finally, your mothership can move! Unfortunately, it’s got a hefty task ahead of it. Essentially, for this stage, you have to either get the Altea all the way from the left side of the map over to the friendly base on the right side, or destroy 23 out of 27(!) enemy mechs standing in your way! Thankfully, you’re not alone: Close to your position are 5 friendly mechs each of which is called a “DOLL,” and 5 more closer to the human base you want to get to. But these are considerably weaker than your SERDs and will be annihilated if you don’t help them, which will leave the friendly base open to destruction-you lose the stage if it’s destroyed.
On Turn 1, the friendly DOLLs on both sides of the map move towards the enemy force in the sandlands of the middle of the map, which are 16 red JIMs, 4 blue commander JIMCOMs, 1 green high commander JIMCOM, and 6 new blue mechs called E-TAs. Your Altea can move 6 squares, which is pretty good as it’s not affected by terrain, so move it up and north, toward the three JIMs up there, and end your turn.
The alien commander named Yuppie (a blue guy with glasses, yeah, I don’t know what Masaya was thinking) orders one squad to advance towards your ship while the other aliens take the base. Yuppie will move 4 E-TAs, 2 JIMs, and his own JIMCOM towards you, and three other JIMs will advance from the north, while the rest of his forces move left towards the base.
For Turn 2, continue to move the Altea up close to the north end of the map, and then launch your mechs. Move the ones with the highest mobility first, because friendly mechs will get in each others way. The DOLLs and the aliens will begin attacking each other, with the DOLLs getting the worst of it- they have little range and low damage—their “E-VULCAN” can only fire 1-4 panels away from it and is fairly weak.
Your guys are stronger, but don’t worry about turning the tide. Your strategy should be to keep the Altea up near the top of the screen and moving right as far as it can go every turn—it has an advantage because it’s a flying machine not hindered by the sand, so it can outrun most of the other mechs, even if it can be blocked by the “friendly” DOLLs. Jean, Randolph, and Takuya should concentrate on killing as many enemies as they can so the Altea is targeted by as few as possible. I’ve found that Takuya and Randolph can stay in the desert, destroy the three JIMCOMs up north, and then hold off the other enemies to give the Altea time to escape reasonably well, but Jean will end up getting killed easily because the enemy will focus on him. If you want to play really safe, deploy only Randolph, as his excellent armor means he’ll survive for a long time, even if he runs out of ammo as the Altea leaves him behind.
For the enemy’s turn, the E-TAs will start attacking—they have fairly long range energy cannons with a range of 7 squares, so think of them like alien versions of the B-SERD, except with less range, striking power, and armor all around. They’re actually more or less equivalent to the A-SERD, but you’ll get that next chapter. Thankfully, the friendly DOLLs can take a few hits, but not too many. The JIMs might attack Jean’s G-SERD a little, but will do little damage.
By turn 7 or 8, some of the enemies might have succeeded in reaching the base. Don’t worry, it can take quite a few hits, and also has a powerful cannon that can blow most foes away if they come within 3 squares of it. But don’t waste time, either. Keep the Altea heading toward it, close to the top of the screen. Once you’ve cleared the desert and the mountains, you can deploy Jean and Takuya’s mechs freely, because you’re close to the goal and want to distract the enemy as much as you can so they don’t attack the Altea.
By turn 10 or 11, you should be able to move the Altea onto one of the “Base” panels. And that’s as far as you need to go, you don’t need to move it onto the base itself! You’ve beaten stage 2!
: Stage 3: To the Front
You get two new SERDs: The A-SERD, piloted by Doug Rogers, and W-SERD, piloted by Lee Wong Chen.
For this stage, you must destroy all enemies. You start off with the Altea over water, where you can’t deploy any of your SERDs except for the W-SERD, which can move freely over water. It also has an extremely powerful ability, the M-Bomber, which severely damages all mechs in a 4-panel radius around the W-SERD, albeit at the cost of approximately 60% of its ammo. It also cannot be used if the W-SERD has moved.
Move the Altea to the left as far as it can go for this turn. The enemy squad of JIMCOMs and JIMs closest to you will move towards you, but won’t be able to hut the Altea because they’re mired in sand. For Turn 2, move the Altea straight down—it should be over land, and close to plains and mountains which have an advantage over sand, allowing you to deploy your units.
This stage is pretty easy. With 5 of your units, you should be able to destroy the 3 JIMs and 2 JIMCOMs close to your starting position with little difficulty, and with more than enough time to spare to put all of them back into the Altea for refuel, repair, and resupply before the remaining enemy force, led by Yuppie again, even comes close.
This force is a little tougher, as it consists of 5 JIMs, 3 E-TAs, 3 JIMCOMs, and Yuppie himself. Even so, it’ll have a tough time getting close to your units, so just launch Randolph and allow him to pick them off easily as they make their way painstakingly forward. When they get close to you, just be careful of Yuppie’s green JIMCOM, as it can really do a lot of damage. However, it can also be taken down relatively easily by sustained, focused fire. Have Chen use his Bomber ability to destroy as many as possible, and bring him back to the Altea for resupply, while Doug, Randolph, and Takuya blast Yuppie away while they can, and Jean hacks and slashes through the JIMs. After Yuppie is killed you shouldn’t have anything to worry about; while the E-TAs might be able to get a few shots in at the Altea depending on where you’ve put it, they probably won’t get in enough to do any serious damage. Just be sure to dock any unit below 50% health (Jean will probably take a few hits) or that’s running low on ammo and you’ll win soon enough.
: Stage 4: Supply Base Capture
You are ordered to obliterate a very important enemy supply base in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and to help you, General Guttenberg sends the E-SERD and a control unit for the “Hanski-Bandur Cannon,” which is the Altea’s special weapon you’ve never been able to use until now! Neat, huh?
Unfortunately, you don’t start off with it immediately. You begin the stage with the Altea on the bottom left of the map, in a forest with an E-TA and 3 JIMs nearby. Your objective is the base up north, which is protected by a mountain range to the south and only easily accessible by a highway across the sea, and guarded by JIMCOMs, E-TAs, and some new units called a ZIAs.
For Turn 1, move the Altea north as far as it can go and deploy your units, especially Randolph and his artillery (but remember to deploy the units with the most mobility, namely Jean and Lee’s, first) as close as they can go to the small enemy squad to the east. Don’t waste the W-SERD’s Bomber ability on these little guys, though—you’ll see why in a bit. Also, on Turn 2, after deploying Takuya’s X-SERD, turn it into the X-WING and have it fly over to the island in the center of the screen—again, you’ll see why soon. You want to get the Altea north both to avoid being hit by the E-TA’s fire (you can repair every unit in your fleet except the Altea itself) and to get yourself closer to the objective that will show up once turn 2 ends.
That turn, a fragile transport ship, the Mateny, will pop up from the north side of the screen and begin heading towards your forces. Its pilot, Masayoshi Iguro, is apparently a friend of Jean Ebara’s. The enemy, of course, won’t just sit idly by, so you have to get the Altea close to it as soon as possible. As turn 3 begins, it’ll move south, close to where Takuya’s X-WING should be. By the end of Turn 3, Jean, Randolph, and Doug should have taken care of the remaining JIMs and E-TA close to your start location. Keep moving the Altea north and east, and move the W-SERD as far east over the water as it can go, even though there aren’t any enemies in that area (the land forces are flowing in from the highway up top and crossing the mountains at the south of the base). You’ll see why soon.
It seems like it should be safe, but don’t let your guard down. When you end Turn 3, a new threat appears: 4 ME-SIAs, a new alien unit that can travel in water, show up in the lake! They are powerful artillery units equivalent to the B-SERD, with a range of 10 and a minimum of 5 panels, and they shoot 2 strong blasts. The rest of the enemy force will begin advancing from the north, heading over the highway!
The new marine artillery will begin firing on the X-WING and W-SERD, but these mechs have high evasive power, so they should be ok (though both can be destroyed in one attack if you’re unlucky). Immediately move both Takuya and Wong next to the ME-SIAs, within their minimum range so they can’t attack at all. If either one of them is hit, though, take it back to the Altea, which should continue moving towards the Materny. Takuya and Lee have done their jobs if they endured even one or two attacks from the enemy artillery.
If they’re still in good condition, though, have them start attacking the ME-SIAs. The W-SERD’s Vulcans will do almost no damage, but you want to get it into position to use its Bomber attack. The X-WING, on the other hand, can do okay damage with its Crash Bomber. Meanwhile, Randolph, Jean, and Doug on land should start moving north, to take care of the JIMCOMs, JIMs, and other units moving from the enemy base over the highway.
By Turn 4, the Mateny might be severely damaged but still operational. Move the Altea next to it, or at least as close to it as you can get. Launch the W-SERD and X-WING again if one or both of them had been taken in for repairs, again as close to the ME-SIAs as you can get. The ME-SIAs, if the SERDs are within their minimum range, will attack the Altea, but your mothership can take a few hits from them. If the W-SERD hasn’t been damaged and is in a good position, use its M-BOMBER ability to severely damage the ME-SIAs; it will take all of them down to just 3 bars of health, making them easy prey for even the W’s puny Vulcans.
If the Altea has gotten close enough, Iguro will transport the goods: The E-SERD, piloted by Miesha Floria. It’s a land-based mech without impressive firepower, but its special ability is useful: The E-Barrier, which costs about 20% of its ammunition but makes your forces harder to hit for one turn. You also gain a powerful new toy to play with, the Altea’s special Hanski-Bandur, or H-B Cannon. This mighty beam blast can annihilate everything in a certain radius in front of the Altea, but it has two large drawbacks. First, it must be charged for 3 turns, during which the Altea cannot move and enemies can move out of its way, and second, it can hurt your own units! So don’t use it yet.
Have the X-WING and W-SERD take care of the remaining ME-SIAs if they’re not dead yet, while have the Altea either move next to the Materny, if it hasn’t yet, or fall back to the western landmass, towards the G, B, and A-SERDs, if it has. Again, you don’t want it taking too many hits, and Miesha’s E-SERD is most useful among many allies.
But after that, this stage is pretty much a cakewalk. After the ME-SIAs are dead, have the W and X Serds fall back quickly to the Altea. Back to the northwest, the A, B, and G-SERDs should have easily taken care of the JIMCOMs and JIMs traveling across the highway. Take the Altea back to them and have them dock to resupply and fuel. Down south, the enemies will try their best to get to your units, but it’ll take them many turns—far too long, they should have stayed at the base. That base, however, is defended by several powerful ZIAs and some more E-TAs. Move the Altea along the northern highway, and deploy any units you see fit to deal with any stragglers on there if any are left. Try to the Altea exactly 13 panels directly west of the base—there should be a straight line between it and the square on which the “BASE” unit sits (not just the “BASE” terrain panels). When it’s in that location, deploy all your SERDS *behind* it—do NOT place any in front of it—to provide covering fire for it; given its location this will be on the highway, probably. Also deploy Miesha’s E-SERD so its energy field can help your units dodge attacks—no sense taking more damage than you have to! Now, activate the Altea’s H-B cannon with the lightning icon and wait for 3 turns. Remember, even if you can’t move while it’s charging, you can deploy your mechs! You also want to activate the H-B cannon as far away from the base as possible, which is 13 panels, because the enemy ZIA mechs hit very hard in close range, and the base itself is equipped with a powerful long-range cannon that hits equally hard from up to 12 panels away. Thus, the maximum range of the H-B cannon is one panel greater than the base’s, which makes you safe. In any case, also remember that the cannon doesn’t fire automatically, it fires manually, and you can only use it once per stage, as it takes up about 70% of the Altea’s ammo.
Deploy the B and A Serds to shoot down any enemies that get close to the Altea while it’s charging its cannon, and use the E-SERD’s energy field to give all your units extra defense. Be sure to deploy it so as many friendly units as possible are within a 4-panel radius, as that’s the range of its boost!
Once 3 turns have passed, select the Altea, select the lightning bolt icon, press confirm, and then watch the animation as the Altea blows away the base and hopefully the ZIA right in front of it!
It’s not over yet, though. From the wreckage of the base emerges the enemy commander, Keny, in a green ZIA that’s the most powerful mech you’ve faced so far. Even worse, Tuge and his purple JIMCOM show up to reinforce him! Fortunately, you only need to destroy his mech to win the stage. Deploy the B and A-SERD and hit him from as far away as possible, and deploy your other mechs as well, but keep them close to the Altea so the ZIAs, which have powerful attacks but short range, can’t hit them. The ZIAs are close range mechs like the G-SERD, with a range of only one square, but capable of destroying one of your units in a single hit! Making things worse is that Keny is an extraordinarily good pilot and very hard to hit.
Thankfully, though, the ZIAs don’t have exceptionally good movement. One thing you can do is keep the W-SERD a panel or two below the road. The ZIAs, including Keny’s, will move forward but be unable to hit the W-SERD. The W-SERD, on the other hand, can use its Bomber, which has a 100% hit chance, to deal severe damage to Keny’s unit, and destroy any others in range entirely. From there, you can try to pick him off with Doug, Randolph, and Takuya’s ranged attacks. If you want to play it really safe: Once Keny’s mech deploys after destroying the base, have all your units retreat back to the altea and have it move over the sea. Then deploy the W-SERD to the sea 2 panels below the road. The ZIAs move very slowly across water, but the W-SERD can fly over it just fine, so you can wait till Keny get’s into Lee’s range, have him use his BOMBER, fly him back to the Altea, and repeat the process one more time to destroy Keny. You only need to kill him to end the stage!
: Stage 5: Decisive Battle
Humanity’s forces, bolstered by the SERDs, are advancing on all fronts. Now the Altea advances on the enemy’s frontline headquarters on Earth, situated in the Tibetan Plateau.
This doesn’t seem too hard at first: You have to destroy several squadrons of JIMs, E-TAs, and one trio of ME-SIA artillery, but you also have two squads of 5 DOLLs in the north and south assisting you, with one squad in the north led by an “Ace“ named Kairo.
You should assist his squad. Move the Altea up north and deploy all your mechs as close to the E-TAs as you can, except for Randolph, of course, who stays far away to blast them with his long range cannons. With the help of the W-SERD’s Bomber ability, you should destroy several units on Turn 2. Try to destroy the ME-SIAs first, and then the E-TAs, as they do the most damage. They’ll do a lot less if you keep the Altea constantly sheathed in the E-SERD’s energy field. Use Takuya’s X-WING form to fly around the mountains and water to do as much damage as possible.
After you’ve destroyed all the E-TAs and ME-SIAs around the norther landmass, try to use yor A and B-SERD, along with the X-WING and W-SERD, to destroy some of the JIMs and ZIAs on the central landmass while Kairo and any of his surviving DOLLs charge forward to the enemy base. The objective is to get the Altea exactly 13 panels away from the main enemy base, like you did last stage, and begin charging up your H-B Cannon.
Once it’s fully charged up…don’t fire just yet. Hopefully the DOLLs have severely damaged or destroyed the base, but if not, send out the X-WING and B-SERD to destroy it. Once that happens, its commander, Jaguar, will emerge in a powerful yellow mech called a Delzac. Now, put the B-SERD back into the Altea, do the same for Takuya (or move him far away from the Cannon’s firing arc) and activate the H-B cannon. It’ll destroy the Delzac immediately, and you’ll beat the stage! The Delzac is a very tough opponent to beat “fairly,” which is why I recommended using the H-B cannon for an easy win.
: Final Supplies
With their main HQ in Tibet destroyed, the alien forces, called the “MARIAH,” retreat into space, where they are pursued by the Altea. Take the fight to them and ensure humanity’s safety forever!
Now you’ve left earth entirely—you’re fighting in space! The terrain for the last few levels is going to be completely different. It’s just space (0% to dodge) debris (+30% to dodge) and asteroids (cannot be traversed). You start off with the Altea in the upper left of the space field, with nothing else on it except your and Jean’s old friend Iguro in the Mateny, bringing you your last mech—the N-SERD. Of course, you know it’s not gonna be so easy. Move the Altea towards him as far as you can. Once you end the turn, another powerful Mariah pilot, Autha, will show up in his greyish-yellow NOSDIO mech, in the upper right of the screen, along with 3 E-TAs.
Deploy your own troops and prepare to fire at range. Wreath everyone in the E-SERD’s energy shield while moving the Altea ever closer to the Mateny. Every turn, new enemy mechs will show up—red mechs called RIOs, and other blue NOSDIO models. After a bit of amusing banter between Jean and Autha, commence firing on the closest E-TAs. You should be able to destroy them very easily in open space.
Once the Altea gets next to the Mateny, you get your final SERD and pilot-the N-SERD and Saki Hardy, another cute girl—and an ex-girlfriend of Takuya’s. The N-SERD has no special abilities, but it is a beam rifleer like the A-SERD. Concentrate on Autha and you should take him out easily enough—after he’s gone, the rest of the enemy should be easy pickings. Some RIOs are probably near the bottom of the map picking on poor Iguro, but they shouldn’t be able to kill him. After destroying Autha and his force, have Takuya go into X-WING mode and fly down to support the Mateny, while loading up the rest of your guys into the Altea and heading down to back him up. The RIOs might also just forget about him and move to the Altea, which makes it even easier. Destroy them and finish the stage.
: Stage 7: The Space Flower
Your next objective is to destroy an enemy fortress at one of the Lagrange Points—if you do, the MARIAH won’t be able to attack Earth any more.
At first, this stage seems easy—10 RIOs guarding a single space base. However, the moment you end your turn, massive enemy reinforcements show up behind you—a purple DELZAC piloted by the female general Papillon, apparently Jaguar’s lover, along with another weak blue DELZAC and 9 NOSDIOs. So don’t panic, here’s what you do:
On Turn 1, move the Altea left, just below a small asteroid, so you can deploy all your units in the debris nearby. Make sure to keep all of them within a 4 tile radius of the E-SERD so they can benefit from its energy shield, but don’t use it yet.
When you end your turn, Papillon’s forces appear and advance towards you. Now, on Turn 2, use the energy shield, and have the B-Serd and A and N Serd blast away at any NOSDIOs in range. On Turn 3, one of Jaguar’s men appears on the map in a hapless JIM, and the insane Lady Papillon attacks him, because she doesn’t want anyone else avenging her beloved! This is good news for you since the enemy wastes attacks. But once that’s over with, continue attacking Papillon and her men; as long as you use the E-SERD’s energy field they can’t touch you. At the end of turn 3, however, the enemy RIOs near the base start advancing, so take care of Papillon’s forces quick, preferably with a well-placed volley from the W-SERD’s Bomber ability. You should be able to destroy them all by Turn 5, at which point the advancing RIOs should still be far away from you.
Pack up all your units back into the Altea for refuels and any repairs if necessary, then deploy your units and take care of the advancing RIOs however you wish—with the E-SERD’s energy shields, they can’t hurt you, and the B-SERD should be able to land both its artillery blasts easily if the RIOs are caught in open space, which is enough to destroy them in one attack. For those crawling in through the debris fields, use the A and N-SERDs, along with the X-WING, or maybe even the W-SERD’s Bomber ability to destroy them.
Now all that’s left is the starbase. As your forces near it, it will launch a complement of NOSDIOs. Don’t worry, though—all you need to take care of is the base. Jean Ebara can destroy it with one slash of his sword, or a couple of shots from the B-SERD or A-SERD. You can also just use the tried and true strategy of blowing it away with the Altea’s main cannon, though that will take 3 turns of charging.
: Stage 8: The Lunar Base
With the starbase destroyed, the only thing the MARIAH have left is a lunar base they captured from Earth early in their invasion. Now you must retake it!
This map has a vertical rather than a horizontal layout. At the top is the Altea, at the bottom is the base, protected by a pretty sizable force. The terrain is now Moon (-10%), Crater (+30%), and Cliff (+20%). It requires some creative positioning and use of special abilities. The H-B cannon won’t be of much use because it only fires horizontally, not vertically!
On Turn 1, move the Altea exactly 3 spaces down and just deploy your units with the longest range—the B, A, and N-SERDs—along with the E-SERD. The “Cliff” is untraversable, allowing your guys to fire on the advancing enemy freely. Use the E-SERD’s shield to ward off the artillery fire from the ME-SIA. Concentrate on that first with your B-SERD, preferably, and then the other advancing units. Then, sitting behind the cliff, you should be able to take out all the other mechs as they advance, including the leader’s (Ryu, in the dull yellow NOSDIO). The E-SERD’s energy shield should prevent even a single shot from hitting its mark, just return it and any other unit that’s low on ammo to the ship for resupply. When the enemy is destroyed, keep the Altea up north and launch the X-SERD and E-SERD. On the next turn, use the E-SERD’s energy shield ability on the X-SERD, then transform it into a plane and fly it straight to the enemy base, right next to it. Takuya should be able to destroy it easily, along with any stragglers that remain (there should be only one ME-SIA left). Don’t keep any units within 13 panels of it but farther than about 5 panels, because the base has a very powerful energy cannon (it’s the one Ryu was rambling about earlier). Once you destroy it, it’s on to the second-last stage!
: Stage 9: Fierce Battle
The last stronghold of the MARIAH is at Pluto. Humanity masses all its forces and launches an attack, with the Altea leading it. The mothership, escorted by several DOLLs, must penetrate into the MARIAH fortress and destroy its core. This is everything Earth has, if the Altea fails now, it’s all over!
In this level, you’ll have to get the Altea all the way from the left side of the map to the right side, where the enemy base is. There’s a pretty massive enemy force in your way, including another starbase, but fortunately you have 10 DOLLs helping you out. Make sure at least one of them is alive by the end of the stage, though.
Move the Altea forwards to its maximum distance and then launch the B, A, N, E, and X-SERDs. You want to keep the Altea behind the DOLLs while they take the brunt of the enemy attack, while your ranged fighters provide support from a safe distance.
For Turn 2, move the Altea close to the E-SERD, then have it use its shield before any other mechs move, sheathing all of them, including and especially the X-SERD, in protective energy. Then start firing away at the enemy mooks. Making sure he’s protected, transform the X-SERD into the X-WING and have it soar close to the enemy base and shoot at it, it should have enough movement to make the distance easily. Takuya might be able to take it out in one run, but if not, don’t worry. The enemies protecting the base will try to attack him and miss.
In the next turn, have Takuya jet back to the Altea, and have your other troops continue attacking the front enemy forces, which should be very softened up by the DOLLs. If the base hasn’t been entirely destroyed in one go by Takuya, don’t use the E-SERD’s energy shield again, instead keep behind the DOLLs and continue attacking the JIMs and RIOs in front. The turn after that, use the E-Shield to protect all your mechs, including Takuya, and then send the X-WING to finish off the base.
Once that’s gone, the rest of the stage is easy pickings. Help the DOLLs clean up the remaining enemy mechs however you wish (remember, the E-Shield protects allied dolls as well as your unit), and move the Altea forward. However, enemy mechs will begin pouring out of the base on turn 12, 3 per turn, indefinitely. They’re fairly weak JIMs, JIMCOMs, and a couple of RIO and NOSDIO units, but still dangerous in numbers. I recommend taking the Altea north, because the enemy squad protecting the base from that side is a little less numerous—4 RIOs and 1 NOSDIO. Deploy ALL your units, and attack full on, try to kill as many enemy mechs in one turn as possible. Even if the DOLLs get in your way, your mechs should have enough defense and dodging capabilities, and the enemy will divide their attacks if your forces are close together, to withstand the MARIAH onslaught. Return damaged units to the Altea as necessary, and use the E-SHIELD when you can, but for the most part, just fire, fire, fire with all guns, using the W-SERD’s Bomber ability if you have the ammo and there are enough enemies close by, and move the Altea as far to the east as it can go every turn. You should be able to break through eventually, and when the Altea is right next to one of the panels labeled “fort” (it can’t move onto them) the stage is done!
: Stage 10: The Last Stand
This is it, the final battle! And it’s…actually not very tough at all, you just have to be willing to be careful and to spend a lot of time on it. Your Altea is the only one that made it through to the MARIAH’s Pluto fortress interior, and its crew has to fight, all by themselves, a huge complement of enemy forces—just about every kind of mech they’ve faced so far, along with a couple of new ones!
Making matters worse is that on Turn 1, you start with the Altea pretty much right next to a big block of enemies. You can deploy all your units, but they won’t be able to fire or use their special skills in the same turn as they debark, so you just have to hope the enemy divides their fire and your units dodge as many hits as possible—if not, you’ll have to restart the stage. Also important to note is that the Altea cannot move on any “fort” panel. And since those are most of the panels in this stage, you can’t bring your mothership along to support your troops; it can only hang around the very edges of the map! Thankfully, though, that should be enough.
After deploying all your mechs, and hopefully the enemy hasn’t focused fire and destroyed one of them, you can begin your counterattack. Use the W-SERD’s Bomber technique to destroy what are hopefully several enemy mechs surrounding it, use the E-Shield to defend your mechs, and blow away the remaining enemies among the first squadron. When that’s over with, pack up all your mechs inside the Altea for refuel and resupply, and then launch them again, sending them forward against the next wall of foes—4 ZIA and some E-TA units.
Once they’ve destroyed everything in the first area, one of them will inform the enemy commander, your old friend Tuge, that you’ve broken through, and say “everything’s going to plan.” The ZIA and E-TAs will begin moving forward. Deploy your B, A, N, and X-SERDs and pick them off from a distance as they advance. Return any damaged units to the Altea for repairs and resupply as necessary.
Pick off the ZIAs at a distance when you redeploy your units, and then do the same to the E-TAs. When you’re ready, redeploy and advance towards the remaining DELZACs. When you pass over the ‘bridge’ to the next area, they’ll activate, with their purple leader being none other than Papillon, who’s still alive after your last encounter. She and her DELZAC retinue are very tough, so lure them out into the first area, and before they come within 7 squares of your mechs, use the E-SERD’s ability so their attacks miss. As long as everyone’s shielded, attack the DELZACs at a distance with the B, A, and N-SERDs, or, if you think you can pull it off, move a shielded Takuya in X-WING mode as well as a shielded Jean and his close-range G-SERD in to do more damage. Once Papillon and all her DELZACs are destroyed, bring everyone back to the Altea for resupply, and then send them out to deal with TUge and his 4 NOSDIOs. When you do, one or two of them might fall back to the true final boss of this game, the mighty MARIAH—but we’ll get to that later.
Get all your units onto one of the bridges that leads to Tuge’s section, and mass them there but don’t move them yet. On the next turn after they’re all together, have the E-SERD use its energy shield, and THEN move them forward. Have every unit that’s able to concentrate on Tuge’s GIA. It’s a very powerful machine, with good armor, health, and dodge, but if you focus your fire, and use the W-SERD’s bomber abililitym you should be able to destroy it within a turn or two, before it can use a very powerful beam attack that can cripple or destroy one of your units in one hit. After Tuge is dead, you should be able to mop up his NOSDIO friends with no further trouble.
This massive machine is named after the MARIAH which created it (or maybe they took its name from it). A couple of NOSDIOs may have fallen back to protect it, but they’re not much. This thing is scary because it can kill any one of your mechs in one hit with its incredibly powerful beam cannon from a range of about 12 panels away! However, the MARIAH itself doesn’t have much HP and can be killed easily by a single unit in 2 turns.
There are a few ways of dealing with this. Since this is the last stage, you don’t have to worry about preserving your units. Just have all of them bum rush the MARIAH. It can only kill one per turn, so even if it takes all of your men 3 turns to reach it, you’ll only lose three of them and the rest can kill the boss’s escort (if any are left) and then destroy it easily. But if you want to preserve them, Takuya’s X-WING comes in very handy here. Like all your other mechs, he can’t withstand more than one hit from the MARIAH’s beam cannon, but the X-WING has enough dodging capability that the MARIAH probably won’t be able to hit it. Make sure Takuya’s machine is in X-WING form before it enters the single egress to the boss room, then swoop it in and attack the MARIAH. It should take out more than half of the final boss’s HP in one attack. The MARIAH will then attack it, and Takuya should be able to dodge—if he doesn’t, reload your latest save state. But after a successful dodge, have Takuya attack it again, and it should be destroyed.
Congratulations! You’ve just beaten X-SERD! Not as good as its sequel, Vixen 357, IMO, but it certainly laid the foundations for that excellent Genesis strategy game, and it was pretty fun in its own right. So if you’ve beaten X-SERD and you haven’t played Vixen 357 yet, get on that, as the game’s been translated by Celcion, CCC-Mar, and MajinZenki too! And if you’ve already played Vixen 357…play it again! 😀