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BMZ2 GaiaSOPHIA.jpg

Gaia-SOPHIA (stylized: "G-SOPHIA" or "GAIA-SOPHIA") is the core playable battle tank of Blaster Master Zero 2. Built using parts of SOPHIA III and Sophia Zero following the events of the previous game, it is once again piloted by Jason in his search to find a cure for Eve's mutant infection.

On top of boasting the same mobility and firepower of the original two tanks, Gaia-SOPHIA is designed with near-perpetual space travel in mind, capable of deriving energy from any kinetic impact thanks to the Gaia System.

As the first Earthling-made Metal Attacker, it is designated with the model number EARTH MA-001.

BLASTER MASTER 2019 Gaia-SOPHIA.gif

Gaia System[]

Uses falling and other impacts to absorb energy from the planet and convert it into SP.
— Gaia System Weapon Select Screen Description • Blaster Master Zero 2

Derived from an unspecified accident, this integral system allows Gaia-SOPHIA and its later derivatives (as well as Giant Lola and Dragon Attacker, the battle tanks of Copen and Empress in EX Character Mode) to supplement SP restoration from capsules (10%/40% SP for small/large capsules) with continual energy recharges via kinetic contact with planetary surfaces. In gameplay terms, this translates into recharging the SP bar by falling from considerable heights or coming in contact with enemies or hazardous terrain (the latter does not necessarily have to cause damage; using the Burn Spark to destroy or pass through an enemy typically refunds the cost of the attack).


SP Conversion Mechanics[]

While the Gaia System is functioning normally, landing on a surface after falling for 6-9/10-13/14+ blocks generates 10%/25%/100% SP on impact by default, without regard to G-SOPHIA's actual downward velocity at the time of impact. However, a number of events can prevent falls from granting full SP upon termination:

  • Activating Hover in mid-air locks maximum SP generation from the current fall at 10% SP, nullifying the benefits of falling for more than 9 blocks prior to impact.
  • The following events will terminate the current fall without generating any SP:
    • Latching onto a wall with Recoil Jump
    • Bouncing off a repulsion jack produced by Repulsion Upper
    • Activating a corkscrew switch with Drill Smasher
    • Using Dive Gear to ascend while underwater
    • Landing while underwater or mired in quicksand or snow
  • The following event will prevent a portion of fall height from counting toward SP generation:
    • Activating Drill Smasher while ascending
      • Fall height does not begin to accumulate until after the aerial charge ends.
  • The following events impact fall trajectory/velocity but have no effect on fall height accumulation:
    • Activating Drill Smasher while descending
      • SOPHIA will punch through blocks and hard rocks, instead of landing on them, for the duration of the aerial charge.
    • Dashing with Burn Spark
    • Falling through bodies of anti-gravity water or sinking through quicksand or snow
    • Using Dive Gear to move laterally or descend more quickly while underwater

Though impacts with the ground are the safest means of generating SP, impacts with enemies and other hazards will also engage the Gaia System. Taking non-lethal damage from any source generates 15% SP, regardless of the amount of Life lost, while ramming into enemies or walls during a Burn Spark tackle generates 10% SP per impact.

Shutdown Mechanics[]

Unlike its predecessors, Gaia-SOPHIA does not passively regenerate SP over time. Rather, whenever SP is totally depleted, the Gaia System shuts down temporarily, preventing the activation of Main weapons, Sub-weapons and SP-consuming Maneuvers while causing SOPHIA to regenerate 10% of maximum SP per second until SP is fully restored (after 10 seconds by default). During a shutdown, as indicated by the vehicle losing most of its color, the MA gains double SP from all sources, both impacts and SP capsules, while being actively controlled, allowing SP regeneration to be expedited significantly:

  • Low-Power/High-Power/Max-Power Impacts (6-9/10-13/14+ block falls): 20%/50%/200% SP
    • Hover-Locked Impacts (6+ block falls): 20% SP
  • Small/Large SP Capsules: 20%/80% SP (10%/40% SP if collected as pilot)
  • Taking Damage: 30% SP
  • Burn Spark Impacts: 20% SP per impact

Until the Gaia System restarts, Gaia-SOPHIA takes double damage from all sources and can only defend itself using a shutdown-specific Normal Shot with 1/10 the power of G-Crusher Shot. Upon reaching maximum SP while in shutdown, SOPHIA produces a pulse of energy, dealing 12/5 G-Crusher Shot damage and knocking Hard Shells off-balance, and regains all normal functionality. (Entering a top-down view dungeon will force-restart the Gaia System without producing a restart pulse.)

Story Impact[]

On top of its gameplay uses, the Gaia System also channels energy to Eve to arrest her corruption; her dependency is such that she cannot leave the co-pilot seat of Gaia-SOPHIA, but she can still perform as the team's support droid, and can be spoken to in SOPHIA's Weapon Select Screen (also referred to as a sub-screen) for tips and trivia as in the previous game.

Mobility[]

Hard-won mobility upgrades from SOPHIA III are standard equipment aboard Gaia-SOPHIA and may be toggled on and off in the Maneuver section of the MA's Weapon Select Screen.

  • Hover: The original Hover function installed on Gaia-SOPHIA, which is required to take off from landing points and navigate the Space Map, is damaged upon Jason and Eve's initial touchdown on Planet Flosante, but is repaired after their initial exploration and defeating Mockrantula. As with its predecessor Hover Pack, Hover provides sustained flight in side view areas at the cost of continual SP burn.
  • Dive Gear: For the rare cases requiring aquatic exploration, the Dive Gear is installed by default. Operating within fluids does not cost SP, but care must be taken to avoid energy overuse, as making contact with a traversable fluid often dampens any fall velocity that would recharge the Gaia System.
  • Recoil Jump: Derived from Kuebiko's motion data on Planet Montoj, this allows Gaia-SOPHIA to hug and jump off walls without consuming SP.

Armaments[]

The many munitions installed stock on Gaia-SOPHIA or unearthed along its voyage include interesting twists on the previous models' weapons.

Cannon[]

  • G-Crusher Shot: What was once a fully-upgraded weapon on SOPHIA III reappears as the default main cannon of Gaia-SOPHIA. Does not consume SP but is disabled during a shutdown.
  • Auto-Cluster: Combines terrain-piercing rapid fire with rear-covering explosives at steady SP drain.
  • Revol-Buster: Fires powerful high-velocity shells. Uses SP as reloads of 6 shots are depleted.

Sub-Weapons[]

  • Warhead Missiles: The missiles on the salvo's flanks now orbit the center missile in a wave formation.
  • Hexa Missiles: Fires 6 missiles with singular or split lock-ons.
  • Burn Spark: Boosts through foes while wreathed in flame.
  • Drill Smasher: Swoops down and excavates with a drill in the underbody, breaking through blocks and kicking up damaging gems upon contact with a hard floor.
  • Repulsion Upper: Throws mines forward that launch whatever trips them upward.
  • Impact Wave: Consumes great amounts of SP to blast a wide surrounding area with ultrasonic waves. Reminds Jason of a fellow who could do this with a horn.
  • Full Accel Burst: Channels a tremendous amount of SP to project and launch a force ball overhead with comparable might to the Acceleration Blast.

Trivia[]

  • Gaia-SOPHIA is not the first Metal Attacker in the Zero series to deviate from the "NORA MA-##" model number scheme, as SOPHIA III was reclassified as "INVEM MA-XX" when the previous game's Mutant Core corrupted it into Invem Sophia.
    • Taking the entire franchise into account, Gaia-SOPHIA isn't the first Earth-made Metal Attacker either, though it does mirror Sophia 4th's characterization as a ground-up rebuild of its previous iteration necessitating a non-NORA model number.
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