Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Macross 30 Translation Guide: Introduction

INTRODUCTION

Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy is a special action-RPG game developed by Studio d'Artdink to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Super Dimensional Fortress Macross' animation, which first aired in October, 1982. Produced by Studio Nue, written by Kawamori Shouji and directed by Ishiguro Noboru, Super Dimensional Fortress Macross is known as one of the all-time classic anime series, and has been profoundly influential on both that medium, as well as Japanese science fiction in general. It is my hope that this translation guide help Macross' small, but dedicated Western fanbase better appreciate that fine legacy by playing—and understanding—this fantastic game.
As per my usual mantra: I have attempted to assemble all of the information contained herein in as logical, concise and organized a manner as possible. This guide is currently (and perpetually) a work-in-progress, and as such cannot be expected to be a fully complete, infallible resource. Over time, I shall endeavor to help this document evolve into an ever-bigger, ever-better, ever more useful guide. Regardless of its current state, I hope you'll find this guide to be a valuable resource as you play the game.
Please bear in mind that this guide is written with the assumption that the reader has at least a passing familiarity with the conventions and vocabulary of both gaming as well as the Macross franchise. So, basically, I won't be explaining terms like “rare drop” or “Valkyrie.”
As you peruse this guide, you will notice many screenshots of the game. In an attempt to make the various menu translations easier to follow, I have taken the liberty of editing screenshots of the game to replace the Japanese text with English text. It is my hope that these photo-translations will make the translation segments of the guide more accessible, thereby increasing the efficiency and utility of this guide as a reference tool.






Current FAQ/Guide Status:
The guide is now virtually 100% complete. Only minor details (cost of X blueprint in Y store) are missing, as well as superfluous information (chapter summaries).

GAME INFORMATION

Macross 30: Voices Across the Galaxy is a fast-paced action-combat game with heavy RPG elements, which include level-up mechanics, stat upgrades, mech customization, sidequests, etc. It was developed by the hugely talented and experienced Studio Artdink, who have been responsible for a number of fantastic Macross and Gundam games published on the Playstation Portable, Playstation Vita and Playstation 3 gaming consoles over the past decade. This title marks Artdink's fourth Macross themed title on the Playstation 3, but (weirdly) is their first fully realized game on the platform.
Macross 30 presents a brand-new story taking place after the events of Macross Frontier, merging the casts (and mecha) of every animated Macross series (other than Macross II) into a fairly elaborate crossover-style story with an original cast. The player assumes the role of SMS test pilot Leon Sakaki after he crash-lands on the mysterious planet Ouroboros.


Release Date
February 28, 2013 (Japan)
Platform
Sony Playstation 3
Price
¥8,380
Rating
CERO B*
Publisher
Namco Bandai Games
Developer
Studio Artdink



Note: CERO is the Computer Entertainment Rating Organization, which rates electronic games in Japan using the following scale:
CERO A
Suitable for all ages.
CERO B
Suitable for ages 12 and up.
CERO C
Suitable for ages 15 and up.
CERO D
Suitable for ages 17 and up.
CERO Z
Not for children under 18.



CONTROLS

There are three preset control schemes for Macross 30. The first is based on the controls used in Artdink's earlier Macross titles on the Sony PSP; the second is based on third-person shooter controls; and the third is based around the camera-aiming mechanic. You can switch between these three control schemes at any time through the System or Options menus.
When using the Options menu, you will notice that there are two types of flight controls available. Normal controls are, unsurprisingly, the default. Real controls allow you to fly your aircraft like a fighter in an Ace Combat game—rolling with horizontal analog stick movement—which gives you greater control over your flight path. Unfortunately, selecting Real flight controls also introduces multiple obtrusive HUD elements that are very distracting, so I do not recommend it.
Please keep in mind that Macross 30, like most Japanese games, does not invert the default confirm/cancel keys. This means that the circle button is (correctly) linked to the "confirm" command, and the cross button to the "cancel" command. Saving and loading the game, however, uses the same command buttons as the PS3 hardware's region. This means that gamers playing on European and American consoles should be aware that the confirm/cancel buttons will "switch" on them while going through the saving process.



Controls (A)
Controls (B)
Controls (C)
Camera
Right Analog Stick
Right Analog Stick
Right Analog Stick
Movement
Directional Pad
Left Analog Stick
Left Analog Stick
Transform (Fighter)
Left Analog Stick Up
Directional Pad Up
Directional Pad Up
Transform (GERWALK)
Left Analog Stick Left/Right
Directional Pad Left/Right
Directional Pad Left/Right
Transform (Battroid)
Left Analog Stick Down
Directional Pad Down
Directional Pad Down
Primary Weapon
Square
R1
R1
Secondary Weapon
Circle
Circle
R2
Weapon Select Menu
N/A
L2
Circle
Melee
Triangle
Triangle
Triangle
Boost
Cross
Cross
Cross
Dash
N/A
Square
Square
Lock-On
R1
L1
L1
Guard
L1
R2
L2
Center Camera
R3
R3
R3
Zoom Camera
N/A
L3
L3
In-Game Menu
Start
Start
Start
Issue Orders
Select
Select
Select



While in GERWALK mode, you will need to double-tap in the Boost button (cross) in order to descend.
As is the case with other mech combat games from Artdink, you have an SP meter that gradually fills as you take and receive damage; this meter can be depleted to use special moves and attacks.
Of the three schemes, I found control scheme C to be the most natural and efficient, though B was also very useful. I would recommend against using control scheme A, as using the directional pad for movement and the analog stick for transformation is very unintuitive.


Action
SP Cost
Command
AMS Anti-Missile System
0
Guard + Dash
Reload Weapon
0
Primary Weapon (double-tap)
Activate Skill
1
Guard + Weapon Menu
Charged Ranged Attack
1
Guard + Secondary Weapon
Charged Melee Attack
1
Guard + Melee Attack
Charged Boost
1
Guard + Boost
Activate Support Skill
2
Triangle + Circle
Special Attack
2
Circle + Cross



Note that I gave the function-name of 1-cost SP actions instead of the buttons because the input commands for 1-cost SP skills will change based on which of the three control schemes you are using. The 2-cost SP skills, however, are activated with the same input command no matter which control scheme you are using.


GAMEPLAY TIPS

Macross 30 may be an action-RPG based on a long-running series of action-combat games, but it also introduces a number of new skill-based mechanics. I'd like to take a moment now to point out some tips for new players to help them better take advantage of these new mechanics, as well as to point out some basic tips to help make your experience with the game less frustrating and more enjoyable.


General Tips
  • Remember to manage your inventory! If you have a full stack of any item, you will not be able to acquire any additional items of that type. If your inventory itself is full, you will not be able to receive any additional items—including quest rewards.
  • Save your game at every opportunity! Enemies can re-spawn at random, and/or gang up on you en masse suddenly and unexpectedly. Higher level enemies with special weapons can dish out a lot of damage very quickly, and if you are destroyed you have to start over from whenever it was that you last launched from your ship.
  • Every time you launch from your ship, head to the nearest town and make certain you have a decent stock of recovery items and ammunition boxes for your secondary weapons. Ammunition boxes for your secondary weapons are applied automatically when you run out of ammo; if you don't have any ammo boxes, you won't be able to reload your secondary weapons, and you do not want to suddenly find yourself without any missiles.
  • Don't sell any aircraft parts or quest items! You can only hold 30 items in your inventory at a time, when you fill up, go back to the Gefion and dump everything into storage. Well, okay, I'm exaggerating a bit: you can sell consumable items without worrying, but keep all of those aircraft parts and quest items (E.G. delivery items) or you'll regret it later.
  • Sell your excess items! If you're not going to use certain consumable items, don't just toss them in the item box, sell them! Later in the game, when you're building rank II and rank III aircraft, sell your low-value parts, too. If none of the aircraft you're building require less than 100 total points, all of those parts you've got with a point value of 3 or less are kind of useless. Sell them! They'll provide a value stream of extra income that you'll need to purchase all of those new game plus blueprints.


Combat Tips
  • In Battroid and GERWALK modes, locks tend to “slip” off enemies, requiring you to actively aim. This third-person shooter mechanic allows for skill-based gameplay—not only do you have to lead the target to score hits (aim where the enemy aircraft will be, not where it is)—and mechanics. If you score hits in the central body of an enemy aircraft, you will do extra damage (critical hit); if you score hits on the cockpit/head of an enemy aircraft, you will do even more extra damage (headshot).
  • Most aircraft have two types of missiles: multi-lock (usually assigned to Sub-1) and rapid-fire (usually assigned to sub-2). Multi-lock missiles are (obviously) best for taking out multiple targets simultaneously, but because the missiles eject away from the aircraft before they ignite, they are not well suited for use while in Fighter mode. (When used in Fighter mode, they tend to over-shoot the target and miss). It is, therefore, best to use multi-lock missiles in Battroid and GERWALK modes, and save rapid-fire missiles for Fighter mode.
  • While in Fighter mode, your primary weapon will automatically lead the target provided you are “pointed” directly at it, more or less. This makes strafing a very viable tactic.
  • While in Fighter mode, dashing causes your aircraft to roll to in the direction you hold the analog stick. This is very useful for breaking, as well as avoiding enemy weapons fire. Also keep in mind that for situations where you cannot avoid incoming fire, you can use your AMS (Anti-Missile System) to shoot down incoming missiles (Guard + Dash).
  • Damage effects two separate variables on enemy aircraft: permanent damage and momentary damage. This means that if you do not completely destroy an enemy quickly, it will slowly regenerate a portion of its HP. For larger enemies that regenerate HP quickly, try alternating between primary and secondary weapons while reloading (thus maintaining a constant stream of fire) to stall this process.
  • When enemy aircraft explode in proximity to the player, you are awarded tuning points (TP) and experience, regardless of whether or not you destroyed the enemy yourself. Destroyed enemies also drop items in the form of glowing orbs: yellow orbs are money, purple orbs are items.
  • Choose aircraft with versatile armaments—if all you've got are missiles, all you've got are missiles. Multi-lock missiles are great for taking out large numbers of enemy aircraft; single-lock (or burst) missiles are great for taking out enemy ace aircraft... but aircraft aren't your only enemies! Stocking up on some reaction weapons can be very useful, as they can deal a lot more damage to enemy warships than standard missiles, and can even be extremely effective in dungeons where enemies tend to get clumped together. A few reaction missiles can mean the difference between victory or defeat.


Tuning Tips
  • Though you have the option of purchasing tuning points (1,000TP for 1,000G), I would strongly recommend against doing so. I think it's important to get a good feel for an aircraft before deciding which stats and/or weapons you want to upgrade, as well as to get an appreciation for an aircraft's base stats.
  • Use your AI wingmen to grind TP for aircraft you don't like. This is especially useful for optional equipment that requires a massive amount of TP. Early in the game, for instance, you can use Mylene's VF-1 to grind TP for VF-1 strike packs, and get fully tuned packs in half the time, or fully tune two packs at once.
  • Your primary weapons have infinite ammunition, which makes them absolutely essential to your survivability during long-term flights. I would, therefore, recommend tuning the primary weapon(s) before anything else, especially bolstering power, accuracy and projectile speed.
  • Most Valkyries' third secondary weapon (Sub-3) is a head-mounted laser turret. These weapons are not entirely worthless (in fact, they can be very useful) but they are very much a stop-gap measure—so don't bother investing any TP into them. You won't get enough of an increase in effectiveness to justify the cost.
  • When you apply tuning points, you extend a yellow bar marking the increased stats. Eventually this bar will turn red. When you reach the “red threshold,” each additional upgrade will cost more TP. Red tuning is called “over-tuning,” and should not be done until after you have fully tuned all of the aircraft and weapon stats to their maximum yellow value unless you are specifically setting out to make a specialized build.
  • Some aircraft have multiple primary weapons. Generally speaking, it's better to choose whichever primary weapon suits your play style best, and only tune that weapon.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this series of guides. As a rabid Macross fan since Harmony Gold first aired Robotech in the mid eighties I finally imported a copy of this great game and was stumbling around until I found your guide. I'd like to repost this on one of my sites and maybe doll it up with some killer graphics and of course relink and credit you.

    Again thank you immensely for shortening the usually long curve of navigating an import game ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sorry, but I do not want you to repost this in any format. I don't mean to make any assumptions about you, personally, but there are enough sites out there that steal free content like this in order to monetize it that--as a general rule--it's best just to say "NO" to everyone.

      Feel free to make links or quote small segments, however.

      Delete
  2. I am also a Macross fan and totally appreciate this awesome guide and the hard work you all put into it. But being so lame I'm sucking at knowing exactly what to do at times. Like in the guide it says dump your consumables but I can't differentiate what consumables from something else. I finally killed all the pink Zentradi pods in the cave and went back to the Gefion and did not get a mission complete to continue the story line. I need help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I really can't help you with the mission without knowing which mission, specifically, you're talking about.

      As for consumable items, they're all identified in the "ITEMS" section of the guide. Basically, they're grenades, revive/repair items, and spare ammo. For the Japanese, that's any item with the following in the name:

      弾薬BOX (ammo box)
      ハンドグレネード (hand grenade)
      プラズマグレネード (plasma grenade)
      設置式大型爆弾 (proximity mine)
      レストレーションキット (restoration kit)
      リペアキット (repair kit)

      Depending on whether or not you use an item, you should keep some in reserve. For example, I make sure to keep at least 20 repair kits in storage, and sell the surplus.

      Delete
    2. Thanks Fox. And I finally was able to continue in the story line. I think the cave was called something like grindal cave. Those pink pods are hardcore. Anyway I'm having trouble knowing how to build new aircraft and also upgrading the existing 2 that I have. When I go to upgrade things I get a sound that goes "boop" it must mean that I don't have any TP. And when go try to build a new aircraft Aisha talks some smack saying I can't do this action without something. probably a blueprint.

      Delete
  3. Hey I know this blog is old. But I've just bought the game and are having a blast. Your guide is awesome but I hope you can help me clarify some things.
    1 In the mechanic room over your selected blueprinte beside the name of the craft there are some stars. What do they mean?
    2 How do you rank up (rank I II and III) is it done automatically? Because suddenly some of my aircraft's top TP lvl grew significantly and I don't know why. Thanks again for the awesome guide. I'm not sure I could play this game without it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I may not update this blog all that often, but I'm still around. And I'm glad this guide was helpful for you! And I will do my best to clarify those two things for ya'.

      1. I'm not entirely certain what the stars mean, but yes, it's probably safe to assume that they indicate the tier of the aircraft. The translation-screenshots were all taken from the early-game, so only having one star makes sense since I'd have only had access to tier 1 aircraft at the time.

      2. I explain the upgrade system in the Mechanics Room subsection of the Menu Translations section. Basically, it's a (very basic) crafting system. As you play the game, you'll collect parts... each part has a certain numerical value, and you need to combine a finite number of parts that meet the minimum total value of the aircraft you wish to build. Upgrading an aircraft does not affect base stats--what it does is increase the TP limit, so you can tune them up more.

      I think that's all accurate. I'm out-of-town at the moment and can't simply flip on my PS3 to double-check things. Anyway, feel free to ask again if you have any other questions or if for whatever reason I'm completely wrong with something..

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