Macross 30 is an open-world style game, so there is no central menu tree to navigate. There are three basic menu clusters you will use as you play the game: the My Ship menu, which serves as your game hub; the In-Game menu; and the Town menu. Each menu is accessed from the field. To view the My Ship menu, you must enter the circular blue field projected underneath the Gefion; to view the In-Game menu, you must press the Start button while in the field; to view the Town menu you must land in the blue field of a Town building.
Your ship, the venerable Gefion, is fairly easy and obvious to spot. Towns, however, can sometimes be hidden by terrain, and appear simply as (large) buildings (the actual communities are largely underground). Both project blue fields that you must interact with in order to “enter” town or “land” on your carrier. While in blue fields, you can go to the ship (left) or town (right) by pressing Triangle, or save your game by pressing the Select button.
MY SHIP MENU:
The “My Ship” menu is actually the bridge of your SMS carrier, the Gefion, and it serves as the central hub of the game. You can manage your aircraft, items and squadron from the Hangar; move your ship to a different field (over-world); view movies, sound files, and loading screen wallpaper, or even peruse through a Macross encyclopedia in the Gallery; save or load your game; or alter your options.
Take special note of the general information window in the upper right corner: it displays your (Leon's) level, the total amount of money you have, your current play time and selected difficulty. It also informs you of your current position in the main quest—those first two numbers in the photo-translation above, 4-1, indicate that the player is currently in mission 1 of chapter 4.
You can launch (exit the Gefion and return to the field) at any time by pressing Start, or buy selecting the Launch option from the menu.
If the “My Ship” menu is the heart, the Hangar is the brain. Here you'll find all of the really important stuff. You can manage your characters and aircraft, as well as purchase and apply tuning points from the Flight Deck; you can construct new aircraft in the Mechanic's Room; manage your inventory and item storage in the Item Box; go back to the carrier's bridge (My Ship menu) or take-off immediately.
Hangar: Squadron Settings Sub-Menu
The Squadron Settings menu should look very familiar to anyone who's played any of Artdink's other Macross or Gundam games. Here, you select and tune your aircraft, choose what optional equipment you want to use (where applicable), select pilot skills and support characters, and (in new game plus) choose your pilot. Note that in your first run-through of the game, you will be restricted to using Leon Sakaki as your pilot.
You can cycle through available aircraft with the directional-pad, and use the shoulder buttons to switch between your two wingmen. Selecting your aircraft (circle button) brings up the tuning menu, where you can apply tuning points to various stats to improve your aircraft's performance. You can cycle through tabs with the shoulder buttons: the first tab is your aircraft proper, while the five remaining tabs are for individual weapons. Note that you can also select color schemes for your aircraft (does not apply to character-specific aircraft, like Ichijo's VF-1J) and purchase additional tuning points, or TP, if you don't have the patience for grinding. The stats you can alter are:
|HP||Determines how many total health points your aircraft has.|
|Ranged Defense||Determines how much damage you take from ranged attacks (missiles, explosions, bullets, beams, etc.).|
|Melee Defense||Determines how much damage you take from melee attacks.|
|Speed||Determines how fast your aircraft moves normally (does not effect boosting or dashing)|
|Boost||Determines the rate at which the boost gauge is consumed while boosting or dashing.|
|Mobility||Determines aircraft maneuverability, or turning ability.|
|Radar Range||Determines the distance at which your aircraft can lock-on to enemies.|
All of the weapons share the same customization stats, but not all stats will be customizable for all weapons. You cannot, for example, increase the amount of magazine ammunition in a melee attack (makes sense, no?). This means you can apply the above photo-translation of the main weapon tuning panel to the melee attack and secondary weapon tuning panels. Note that tuning the “main weapon” of an aircraft with multiple main weapons (like the VF-27's variable beam cannon) will effect both modes of fire. The stats you can alter are:
|Power||Determines the amount of damage a weapon deals.|
|Accuracy||Determines the accuracy of ranged weapons.|
|Max Targets||Determines the number of enemies multi-lock missiles can lock onto simultaneously.|
|Range||Determines the range at which weapons will lock on to enemies (red reticule).|
|Projectile Speed||Determines the velocity of missiles, bullets and beams.|
|Reload Speed||Determines the cooldown length before weapons can be reloaded (does not apply to manually reloading by double-tapping primary attack button).|
|Magazine Ammo||Determines the total number of missiles/bullets per magazine.|
The small black input in the lower right of the aircraft selection panel details the aircraft's optional equipment, where applicable. Here, you can select whether or not to use super/strike/armored/fast packs, and can tune those equipment packs as well (refer to aircraft tuning photo-translation for details).
In addition, you can select an “equipment type,” either “Type A” or “Type B” for your optional equipment. Type-A equipment will keep the packs equipped even when their HP reaches zero, but you will not be able to use the packs' special SP attacks; Type-B equipment will automatically purge the packs when their HP reaches zero, but will allow you to use their special, more powerful SP attacks.
You have only very limited options when it comes to customizing your pilots and support characters. You can select up to three auto-skills (see Skills Section for details) and determine a growth type. Growth type determines how skill points are allocated upon level-up. Selecting offensive growth type will allocate more points to strength and combat stats, and fewer to defense and speed and so on. The default growth type is “Balance,” and there's no real reason to change it.
Hangar: Mechanic's Room Sub Menu
The Mechanic's Room is where you go to construct new aircraft and upgrade older aircraft. Each aircraft has three different ranks: I, II, and III. Rank I aircraft are the initial aircraft, they can be upgraded in rank by obtaining higher-rank blueprints (refer to Items & Shops section for details). Higher-rank aircraft have the same base stats as their rank I versions, but have a greater total TP capacity, and more tuning points can be installed in stats before over-tuning (red-tuning).
In the Mechanic's Room, any aircraft whose blueprints you own but have not yet constructed will be grayed out; any aircraft (including unbuilt aircraft) that can be worked on (e.g. upgrading to higher rank) will be outlined in yellow; aircraft that have already been built and cannot be upgraded will be outlined in orange.
The upgrading process is essentially a simple mathematical mini-game. Each aircraft will require a certain total point value in all three categories: frame, armor and engine. Each aircraft part you obtain will have a certain point value: you have to combine the parts you've collected to meet the aircraft's requirements, but cannot use more than 50 total parts to do so. The most efficient way to construct aircraft is to try and conserve high-value parts, which means using as many low-value parts as possible to construct an aircraft as possible. This means it's better in the long-run for you to use 50 different parts to meet the requirements for building an aircraft than to use 10. To reiterate the goal is to construct an aircraft using as many different parts as possible.
Using the “correct” parts to construct a new aircraft (e.g. VF-1 engine on a VF-1) will yield a “bonus.” The bonus does not effect aircraft stats or points requirements on the current aircraft: all bonus effects is the total value of points necessary for construction of higher-ranked versions of that aircraft. This means that if you construct a Rank I VF-11B, for example, and use frame parts that yield a bonus, that when you go to build a Rank II or Rank III VF-11B, you will have a slightly lower required Frame value. In a nutshell, that means the bonus yields so little benefit there's little point in going out of your way to use it.
Of course, if you don't feel like playing the game, you can always press Triangle and let Aisha automatically determine which parts to use.
Hangar: Item Box
The “Item Box” is your storage. You can only keep 30 different items in your inventory at a time, so you'll be using it frequently. Keep in mind you can only access the item box to transfer items in and out of your inventory from the Hangar sub-menu of the My Ship menu. You can, however, buy items to and sell items from the item box while shopping in towns.
Using the storage system is very simple. Your inventory appears in the box to the left of the screen, and the item box inventory appears in the box to the right. You select items to move with the circle button. For stacks of items, you can increase or decrease the quantity by increments of 1 unit by using the directional pad, left or right. You can select the maximum or minimum amount of items by using the directional pad, up or down.
Remember: press the select button to sort your items. You should constantly keep your items properly sorted. (Note that you can—and also should—auto-sort your items from the inventory screen in the in-game menu.
The gallery is where you'll find all sorts of “extras” (superfluous content) for the game. Here you can view movies, look at your combat record, browse the Macross Encyclopedia, play various sound files, or look at loading screen wallpaper. The Gallery menu options appear in that order (Movies; Combat Record; Macross Encyclopedia; Sound; Loading Wallpaper).
The Movies section contains not just the in-game movies, but a whole host of extra content, including (but not limited to) a brief history of the Macross franchise (narrated by an SD Sheryl Nome) and interviews with voice actors and staff.
The Combat Record is the only useful (i.e. practical) aspect of the gallery. The record is divided into three columns: the first column lists out the number of side-quests you have completed (quests that have been completed will have a cyan-colored “clear” icon attached; quests that are available but have not been completed will be listed; quests that are not available will not be displayed—you'll only see question marks. There are 200 quests total; refer to the Guild Quests section for details); the second column details your best times in the races (There are 30 races total; refer to the Races subsection of the Secrets & Extras section for details); the third and final column depicts basic gameplay information, in the the following order:
Some of the kanji in the Combat Record was very difficult to read, so please keep in mind that the above translations may not be 100% accurate.
The options menu is fairly straightforward: the above photo-translation should tell you everything you need to know. For details on different control settings, refer to the Controls subsection of the Introduction section.
Don't get too excited about custom audio: it's extremely limited. Basically, you can choose to replace the sound file that plays during support skills... and that's it. You can create up to three pre-set selections of replacement music... but considering the support skill music is the only actually good music in the game, from the actual Macross animations, there's little reason to mess with it. At least so far as I'm concerned.
The cities of Ouroboros are almost completely underground; only a a large structure with a hangar mars the surface of the planet to make travel and trade possible. These hangars serve as the central location for the player's interactions with Ouroboros—this is where you go to accept quests and turn-in completed quests for rewards, participate in races, and purchase new items and blueprints.
Please note that in some towns (Yue, Jurgen and Urthr) there will be a third option, after Hunter Guild and before Leave Town, to access the Vanquish Races. When you select that option, you will be brought to the race menu which consists of three options: the first option will take you to the race selection menu; the second will give you an explanation of vanquish races; the third will return you to the Town Menu.
Shop Sub Menu
Remember, you won't be able to access any items you buy for your storage without actually entering the Gefion (My Ship Menu) and going into the Item Box to retrieve them, so be careful.
Hunter's Guild Sub Menu
Please keep in mind that you can only have five active quests at any given time. Also, be aware that the tuning points rewarded from quests will be applied to whichever aircraft you're using when you complete the quest—this means you can complete a quest with a monstrously overtuned aircraft, and then switch to an unused aircraft to complete the quest to get a bunch of TP to play with right off the bat.
The in-game menus consist of five separate menus, and defaults to the third menu—the item screen—when you open it. For clarity, I will describe the menus in left-to-right, in the order of Status, Quest, Item, Map and then, finally, System.
Status menu: this menu depicts the status of your aircraft, specifically. You will see your pilot character at the top of the screen, along with all of his (or her) stats listed. These are the same stats (in the same order) as what appears in the pilot select screen (see hangar menu).
The Quest menu displays you active quests (both story and Guild) as well as quests that have not yet been turned in. You can see quest descriptions and clear conditions on the right side of the screen.
The Item menu displays all of the items in your inventory. See the Items section for details. Note that some items cannot be used in certain aircraft forms. Hand grenades, for example, can only be used while in Battroid mode.
The map is fairly simple. See the Guild Quests section for translations of town names. Towns appear in gold, caves/bases appear in green.
Finally: the system screen. The first option here is “Retry Mission” – selecting this will reset your progress to the last time you left the carrier. The middle option is “Options,” and the third option is “Return to Title,” which will exit the game.
You cannot save from the in-game menu. To save, you must enter a blue field at either a town or your ship and press select, or from within the My Ship menu.