Galaxy Angel II – Zettai Ryouiki no Tobira

vndb EGS

The original Galaxy Angel game came as somewhat of a surprise to me. I had seen some of the anime, which didn’t prepared me at all; and though the gameplay was easy to the point of triviality, it was at least good looking, and the story was nice, if not particularly deep, and the heroines were for the most part likable (at least some). Also, space opera is one of my favorites genres, and is not very exploited by the Japanese media. The sequels didn’t leave such a good impression, though; Moonlit Lovers felt much more rushed, and Eternal Lovers was dumb on several levels.  In spite of that, after EL I decided to try the GAII series; I mean, at the very least it couldn’t be much worse than EL, right?

Galaxy Angel II – Zettai Ryouki no Tobira is a Broccoli game, and the first of the Galaxy Angel II trilogy; it came out in 2006 for the PS2. This will be a review mainly comparing this game with the original Galaxy Angel series; as such, and this being a sequel, there will be spoilers for those games. Read at your own risk.

As I said before, I had low expectations for this game. It turned out to be quite better than I expected, though. Four years after the war with the Val Fasq, it was discovered a gate near Juno, that lead to ABSOLUTE, another universe that functions as a kind of nexus between universes; each one has a gate that connects to ABSOLUTE, and those gates are controlled by the Central Globe and the Gatekeeper, that is the only person that can actually open and close the gates; at the present, only Milfeulle Sakuraba. So besides EDEN, the universe from the original series, it has been discovered NEUE, another universe not quite as developed, so EDEN has taken the task to help its growth. For that, it has been commissioned the Luxiole, a brand new ship based in the Elsior, with Tact Meyers as the captain (and Coco as the chief operator). It also carries several Emblem Frames from NEUE, for the Rune Angel Troupe, the successor of the Moon Angel Troupe, now retired. The game starts when our protagonist, Kazuya Shiranami, arrives to the Luxiole as the latest member of the Rune Angel Troupe, after being “chosen” by Milfeulle and trained by Forte, as the pilot of the Brave Heart, an Emblem Frame that’s not very strong but can combine with others, giving them a boost.

There he meets the other pilots: Apricot “Rico” Sakuraba, younger sister of Milfeulle; hard working but somewhat of a crybaby, very fond of her sister, and with a pathological fear of men: if touched by one (mainly Tact) she throws him with a super strength only manifested there (Kazuya is not so affected, though); Nano-Nano Pudding (yes, that’s a name), genki loli, and resident nanomachine user; she’s actually a nanomachine living being, a sentient nanomachine clump, and heals with the nanomachines in her tail; Kahlua Marjoram, a witch from the planet Magiic, the planet of magic, with a cat-looking spherical blob called Mimolett as familiar, and who when in contact with alcohol transforms into Tequila, who is who actually fights (I’m not making any of that up); the for the first half absent leader Lily C. Sharbet, a knight and former captain of the emperor’s guard of the planet Seldor, the main planet in NEUE, and next to the gate; she wants to increase the confidence with Kazuya so as to increase battle power, and likes to strike sharp judgment with OK and NG; and to them soon enough joins Anise Azeat, a space pirate treasure hunter; very rough talking, talks like a man (the first orekko I’ve actually met in a VN), and is not very gender-conscious; is also unexpectedly sharp.

The plot starts when trouble starts in the Central Globe and in Seldor: all communication with ABSOLUTE is cut off, and turns out Forte staged a coup d’etat, taking control of Seldor, alleging that NEUE is too far behind, and EDEN should take a more direct control of affairs to make it develop. And after an utter defeat against Forte’s forces, the Luxiole decides to go ask for help to Magiic, the second force in NEUE, in order to retake Seldor.

The plot structure (and overall quality) is similar to the original GA. After an introductory chapter, there’s one for each heroine; after that, in the middle act there’s the big battle against Forte’s fleet. Then the war and the plot takes a break; Kazuya passes the break with one of the heroines (the equivalent of the dance of the original game), entering her “route”, and her particular chapter happening; and finally there’s the last act and conclusion.

The first half of the game is not very fast. The Luxiole basically goes around the main planets of NEUE, all the while fighting against Ditta, the first villain, and rival of Kahlua/Tequila. It never gets boring, though; and overall, even counting the break with each girl’s story, the rhythm is decent. The heroines’ chapter usually consist on how them and Kazuya manage to confess their feelings and start their relationship; the exceptions are Kahlua/Tequila, where a plot point raised before gets solved, and Nano-Nano, the best route, which goes in a totally different direction. The last chapter is very good, probably the best one in the whole series; there are enough twists, and with four battles, the tension is kept high. And though not particularly deep, I found the main villain nice (if you could use that word); confident and haughty without being obnoxious, and in occasion genuinely taken aback.

This is a direct sequel, and not only in name; knowledge of the first series is required, and most characters of it make an appearance, and not only as cameos. Besides Tact and Coco, who as main officers of the Luxiole are always present, the Moon Angel Troupe is part of the cast, its members playing at moments an important part in the plot (except Chitose. Isn’t it sad, Chitose?), and with new costumes (and Vanilla having had her growth spurt, now almost as tall as Chitose).

The new cast is pretty nice, too; the secondary characters more present than in the original series. The Rune Angels, on the other hand, are a little less interesting than the Moon Angels. I liked Rico more than Milfeulle, but overall they are not as amusing, both individually and as a team. And Kazuya is not nearly as funny as Tact, being a much more conventional main character; and Tact himself loses much (though not all) of his quirkiness now being a tutor character. The bridge also loses in comedy potential, the Tact/Coco combination not as good as the Tact/Lester/Coco/Almo one.

As with the previous games, there are movies at standard moments (when the Emblem Frames get out, for example), and at important scenes. One change with the previous games would be the number of them, which is considerably higher. The system is also similar, with the extras menu unlocked after finishing a route. A difference is the amount of saves slots, a scarce 6. However, a new function is the ability to load not only from where it was saved, but also from any previous point (well, not any, only from the start of each act), which somewhat compensates the lack of saves (and is maybe even handier if one wants to replay a particular scene). In the vocal songs department, besides a remix of Eternal Love, there’s the opening linked above and ending song; an opening chosen between that one and Eternal Love and the ending play in every chapter, giving the game a more anime-ish style.

Besides the usual ADV mode there’s the usual map mode, in which you move around the ship and can meet the girls, raising their mood and love so as to later enter their route. The SLG gameplay, on the other hand, presents several differences with the PC games one; maybe in part because of being for PS2 (though not having played the PS2 ports of the original series don’t know how many of the changes are original). The main mode is the tactical one; there’s a camera one where you can see the ships close up, but you can’t give orders there, so you probably won’t use it much. Also because of the new mode, the shooting one. As said before, the Brave Heart can combine with any Emblem Frame; you choose which one before the battle (in a screen in which you can also see how boosted by their mood the pilots are), and when in battle you can enter the shooting mode for that particular ship. You can’t give the others orders while there, but you stay always in range and shoot manually, either single shoots, charged multiple (how many depending of the Emblem Frame) homing ones, or the special, if able. You can do way more damage in this mode; on the downside, you also receive more damage, and lose tactical versatility. This being Galaxy Angel, though, the difficulty is not such as to make much of a deal of that (that will change in the sequels). Also, if you fire the special there you hit a single target, which would be a downside were not for the fact than even on the tactical mode no special can hit more than one ship. There’s no Hyper Cannon brokenness here. And on that line, Nano-Nano’s ship can change between an attack special and the heal-all one.

So, final thoughts: ZRnT is considerably better than ML and EL. Having a new cast fixes some of the problems they had (mostly the flirting between Tact and the heroine, that I couldn’t really stand), and plot-wise is closer in spirit to the original GA. Anyone that liked it should also enjoy this one. And those who didn’t… well, they probably didn’t went as far as to reach this game. In any case they won’t either like this one, most likely.

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6 Responses to “Galaxy Angel II – Zettai Ryouiki no Tobira”

  1. Hello there. Thanks for giving me a rundown of what happens in GA II. I was a little confused by other peoples notes, but yours summerised it perfectly.

    That said, I have a question. Regarding that tact appears in this game, That doesn’t mean that one of the angel’s routes has been made canon, right? Because I’d really prefer it if it was left open for the player to decide who tact ended up with in the end, you know?

    Please reply as soon as possible, and thank you for your time in advance.

    • Every GAI route is canon. Almost at the very beginning you have a choice which determines who was Tact’s partner in the first series; you then eventually get a CG and a few lines with Tact and that girl (you also have that choice in the following games).

      • Thanks for answering! That was a massive load off my shoulders. Being a fan of the whole Alternate timelines all existing at once in different spaces theory, this is good news to me.

  2. Finally got to play this on PS2 emulator this week, it’s nice coming back to the series and seeing the old crew again.

    I’m just curious but do you happen to know where I can get the soundtracks or is that out of your realm of expertise? I found some the music really nice

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