Thursday, 28 June 2012


Unlimited was released alongside Extra for PC in 2003, with an English translation patch released once again via Amaterasu in July 2010. Unlocked upon completion of the Sumika and Meiya routes in Extra, it is the second instalment in the original Muv Luv trilogy and certainly where things finally start to get interesting. 

>mech crushing childhood friends house
>more interested in the mech
Alpha as fuck
Shirogane Takeru, our protagonist from Extra, awakes to what seems like an ordinary day. Though today, Sumika hasn't come to wake him and Meiya seems to be missing. Upon leaving his house he finds his entire hometown is nothing more than bombed out ruins. The initial shock barely effects him before he concludes that it is all a dream, and promptly deciding to piss about the town and have as much fun as possible while he can. Turning from his house, he finds the ruins of a gigantic mecha and is lost in excitement for a short while before deciding to walk to his school, whereupon he finds instead an army base with two guards on standby. Initiating a short blunderous conversation, he is swiftly thrown into a cell under suspicion of being a spy.  What a tweest! What a delight! What a bizarre situation to find our protagonist in after confessing his love to one of two vapid tarts not ten minutes ago. Might it be that this isn't a dream at all? Unlimited is a whole new ballgame. With mecha and animated sequences.

There is no greater feeling than having your expectations exceeded, and Unlimited exceeded mine so much so that no amount of hyperbole could come close to how obliterated they were. From the brief summary I had read of Unlimited on erogedownload, I was expecting some sort of joke game wherein you play as the protagonist in a dream and get into all sorts of wild sexual situations. A bonus for finishing Extra, I suppose. INSTEAD I got the cast of a slapstick heavy bad romantic comedy thrown into a wartime setting. Each character from Extra is back, with each of them well on the way to developing from mere stereotypes to some of the most endearing and vital personalities I've seen in any Eastern media. Apart from one particular arc involving Meiya and a rescue mission which I don't much care for, every character, every arc and every facet of the Universe is written with great care taken to keep things as well-rounded as possible. Some of the silliness of Extra is retained, but overshadowed greatly by just about everything else.

She blinded me with science
The world itself, however, is to me the most interesting part. This alternate universe that the protagonist has somehow ended up in is at war with a menacing interstellar foe known as BETA. The BETA were first spotted on Mars in 1958, by which time humanity's technology was far superior to that of our own world, which I suppose goes without saying. These BETA are much alike to cattle, as they aren't capable of proper organization or higher thought without the aid of the hives they infest upon each planet they occupy, scheming cows be damned. However, they multiply quickly, and contact experiments have ended in failure. A pest problem that could mean the extinction of the human race. Human kind has been at war with the BETA since 1967, and since then the earth's population has dwindled dramatically, the male population especially due to humanity promptly getting absolutely obliterated by the BETA (*hint* a very convenient development that a hentai game company would do well to take advantage of *hint*) and first electing to combat this menace via air unknowing of the BETA's anti-air capabilities. The world building is outstanding in its depth and attention to detail, and will surely make any fan of hard sci-fi salivate with joy and climax on the spot. One thing of note however, is that the BETA make no up close appearance in Muv Luv: Unlimited. That comes much later on in the final instalment, Alternative. But all is not lost, because while the characters, story and world building are great, getting our first glimpse at the TSF, or the "Tactical Surface Fighter", is the cherry on the cake. 

Notice the Speedholes
Humanity needed a weapon capable of standing against the BETA and since flight was out, they went back to the drawing board. The Tactical Surface Fighter, or TSF for short, was first introduced into combat during the 70's. Early models were envisioned as mobile tanks rather than the sleek and nimble combat machines they are seen as present day in Unlimited. This changed soon after the massive losses suffered at the hands of the BETA due to the sluggishness of these early TSF prototypes became very much apparent. Evolving throughout war and into numerous generations of design, the TSF is, quite simply, one of the coolest mecha ever. Standing lofty above any ordinary human, fast, aerodynamic and lethal, these were the machines humanity built to unleash Hell itself on the BETA enemy and infiltrate their hives. Though as fast as the TSFs are, the average survival time of any new pilot is still 8 minutes, dubbed the "8 minutes of death." The TSF is iconic. You would never think of such cool mech design and world building ingenuity being borne from a hentai game, but that's what happened, apparently. 

Unlimited is a cut above. I asked   myself many times during Extra where all the mecha, sci-fi and world building that I was promised was. I received it in Muv Luv: Unlimited, but Unlimited isn't the end. 3 years in development, Age's masterpiece, as well as the final instalment and conclusion to the trilogy, Muv Luv: Alternative, makes Unlimited look like Extra in comparison.


The fun is over. The DESPAIR has begun.

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