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How to unlock Love[]

The Clear Bonus "Love" is obtained by completing Ending 7 - World Peace Was Brought (平和になった世界で), aka Maki's ending.

In a new game, you must select the event "Love" during the event phase, and you can give 1 admiral of your choice the Love bonus.

Love's effects[]

The bonus gives the admiral selected:

  1. Command Points +90
  2. Slots 2-4 unlocked (if locked or occupied by a fixed ship)
  3. +2% growth rate

Unlocking fixed ships[]

Love will unlock slots 2-4. This means it will not affect Fixed ships in the first slot, such as those of Tougou, Shibagami, Mikado, Doenitz, Coyote, Katherine, Sarah, etc...

It will, however, unlock fixed ships in subsequent slots, such as Nozomi's Haniwa Great Barrier ship, making it possible to assign the unlocked fixed ships to other admirals as well.

Growth rate applies retroactively[]

Don't worry about levels gained before applying the bonus. The +2% growth rate applies retroactively.

For example, if you have an an admiral with a base +2% growth, and a +0% laser bonus in their first slot, at level 4, they should have +8% laser, but when you apply the Love bonus on them, they will instantly get the 4 levels * 2%, for a +16% laser bonus. As they level up after that, they will continue to receive their original growth rate's +2%, +2% from Love, for +4% per level.

Unique interactions[]

Yubari[]

Yubari receives a flat +60% bonus to her first slot instead of any of the normal bonuses.

Ukraine[]

Ukraine is unique in that his 3rd and 4th slots have All Stats -20% bonuses on them, even though they are locked. I believe he is the only admiral with locked slots that have slot bonuses.

The only way to unlock them is to use Love, which would give him the potential to have 2 All stats +60% slots and 2 all stats +20% slots at level 10. He also has a damage multiplier skill (Lady Killer), so he's practically made for the Love bonus... the only real weak points are that he's a generic, so it feels kind of lame, and even with Love, he'll only have 300CP, which just makes it like an inferior Eagle Douglas, who has many of the same traits but better.

Parupuna[]

There appears to be a bug specific to Parupuna.

Her 3 final slots will be unlocked, as expected, and she retains her unique monster ships, now unequippable. However, when you actually unequip them, they do not appear in the ship menu afterwards, meaning you lose them.

It's likely this was not intentional, and they just weren't added to the menu options, making it impossible to reequip them... A shame, since between her unique ships and all stat bonuses it would have been a viable option on Parupuna...

Choosing an admiral to Love[]

Growth vs unlock trade off[]

There's an inherent trade off between the 2nd and 3rd effect, since admirals that benefit from unlocking slots, generally don't benefit as much from the improved growth rate.

It's probably better to unlock slots on high CP admirals, than to boost slot bonuses by +2%, but there are all sorts of exceptions to this where slot bonuses can be really meaningful.

As an example, let's compare Lolikov and Katherine:

  • Lolikov only has a single slot with a low value HP slot bonus, which makes him almost unusable. The +2% is entirely wasted on him, but with his high base CP, unlocking 3 slots makes him a first rate admiral.
  • Katherine already has all 4 slots, so will not get any benefit from the unlocking bonus. However, she has 4 All Attack slot bonuses, gaining a really good boost with the growth rate effect, that help her get fully positive slot bonuses 2 levels earlier. Add onto this her CP hungry template and damage multiplying skill and Love makes her a first rate admiral.

Slightly subpar admirals[]

Love should be used on admirals who are missing something that would make them really good.

An admiral like Tougou, at first glance, would seem to be a perfect candidate. He has 4 All Stats bonuses and a superb skill. However, giving Tougou Love, although not a terrible choice, only makes him marginally better, since he was strong to begin with and won't be able to do something that stands out from his normal template. In Tougou's case, the fixed ship also doesn't get unlocked, thereby not removing his main weakness.

By contrast, it's usually better to give Love to an admiral who's very close to being a first rate admiral, but needs a bit of an extra push to really shine. Lolikov and Katherine in the example above are great examples of this.

There are, however, some exceptions. Retia is one of the best Love candidates despite being plenty great already. The reason for this is that Love allows Retia to do things she couldn't do well without it, namely using the 3 highest CP ships Yokozuna, Kaneda and Habatoto. Love gives her that CP boost she needs to effectively match support ships with one of those, in a way that no other admiral can do, even with Love (Hanny and Itou suffer from their negative or lack of slot bonuses, while Koga, Lolikov and Zhukov have inferior CP).

Pick them early[]

Love gives you an immediate boost in strength, so the earlier you apply it, the more value you'll get out of it. By mid to late game, you'll likely already have a roster filled with strong admirals, between your high level starting admirals and recruits.

You should probably decide who you want to use it on when you start the run. You should only consider aiming to recruit your Love candidate in the first 1/3rd of your game. In other words, make sure you get them before or soon after you take down Aeris, UHOS or Gamerica.

Tanaka or Koga are both great picks for the love clear bonus for this reason. Perhaps they aren't the admirals who would benefit the most in the game from Love, but Tanaka is available from the start and Koga fairly consistently from ~turn 30, and Love allows them to break out of their template's weaknesses (Tanaka's inability to assign enough ships, Koga's inability to do much else with the anemone equipped).

Naturally, Koga becomes less valuable the faster you're trying to blitz your enemies...

Recommendations[]

Here are a few of the recommended picks for Love. Note that this list is not exhaustive and is the author's opinion, so don't feel constrained, and go experiment!

True Route: Katherine or Eagle[]

It's recommended to give Love to Katherine or Eagle if you are planning to complete either Ending 1 or 2. The choice mostly depends on whether you conquer UHOS or Gamerica earlier. If you happen to go for Aeris first, you might want to consider Scarlet (for Ending 2 only) or Retia instead.

Case for Katherine: As Mirja is not able to participate in the final battles, Katherine without Love is virtually useless. With Love, she'll be able to pull her weight, which makes a difference. And until the final battle, you'll get to experience Love on one of the admirals with the best damage multiplier in the game, making her a great choice.

Case for Eagle: Eagle is an all-rounder, and Love makes him all-round great. He benefits greatly from all 3 Love effects and although it's low at 10%, he even has a damage multiplier. Keep in mind that he can't use the his multiplier in Ending 2's final battles (since it's dependent on Carol). He'll lose out in specific metrics compared to other Love candidates, but is easy to plan with and flexible to use. It also makes more sense to do Gamerica before UHOS, considering you have to do Discovery Mission 2 early anyway for true route, and UHOS will be closed off for the early game.

Case for Retia: If you're going Aeris first, then Eagle and Katherine are still good candidates for late game, but you'll want that Love utility applied earlier in your run. Retia can make great use of the bonus, particularly once you get the Kaneda or Yokozuna.

Case for Scarlet: Scarlet can be obtained relatively early regardless of whether you take Aeris, Gamerica or UHOS first. This gives her quite a bit of flexibility...However, she is only useful for Ending 2, since Carol replaces her for Ending 1 boss battles.

Ultimate Idol: Charlotte[]

Ultimate Idol (+ Japanification) is your only chance to recruit Charlotte Parthenay. It's recommended to try giving her the Love bonus, since it makes a huge difference for her. 3 All Damage slots, a slot you can unlock plus her damage multiplier skill, and her CP hungry template, make it one of the best picks possible.

Hidden bosses: Mel[]

If you're going for Gawatsgar Vu, Ghost Hanny and/or Nigayomogi, then Mel to Laden is your best pick.

Mel is the admiral with the highest potential in the game with 4 all stat slots that go positive 2 levels early with love and cap out higher. She already has high CP, but Love makes her top tier. The clincher is her skill COPY, which, assuming you also recruited admirals with good skills, lets her get all the high value skill options for damage multipliers and flexibility. Just remember that you'll have to a) recruit those other admirals with high value skills and b) manage Mel so she copies and retains the skills you want her to use.

Love also lets Mel effectively equip her Jelly As hidden ship, which is a high CP ship (though there's no particular reason you need to use it on Mel).

Mel is naturally good in other playthroughs. With Love she will pretty much always become your best admiral.

Other good candidates:

  • Retia is another great pick, since a) you can recruit her before fighting any of Gawatsgar Vu, Nigayomogi and Ghost Hanny, and b) her ability to properly use the Yokozuna or Kaneda will shine

Partial candidate (if you're not planning to do all 3 in 1 run):

  • Mikado (Fugaku) really shines in these fights. In fact, she has an even higher CP cap than Retia and a 0 CP cost Fugaku. However, to recruit her, you have to take Shikoku, so you won't have her against Gawatsgar Vu. Still, a good candidate for Nigayomogi and Ghost Hanny.

Utility: Nozomi[]

Nozomi is the highest utility option available. The AL3 ship you unlock from her is not only the only AL3 ship in the game you have access to, it also takes 0CP to equip. The only other -900 ships you get are the Panty Temple AA3 ship and Yubari's fixed ship when she is cleared).

You can further abuse this utility by using Shibagami and Alps' duplication tricks to get 4 copies of the 0CP AL3 ship, making this exceedingly useful.

Nozomi is perhaps not as great to use as other admirals on this list, individually, but don't underestimate her either. Even with just 90CP, she'll still have her AL3 from her fixed ship, a boosted All Stat slot, and 3 equippable slots. She's great to use with low cost ships, like the clione fish or Mau Mau's dark battleships, or simply as a barrier decoy with a seal or kabuki.

However, keep in mind that Nozomi is not a good choice for the Hidden Bosses:

  • Ghost Hanny: Even with 4x AL3 ships, blocking 3600 damage (possible if you duplicate it on Shibagami+Alps), Unagi will still not be able to tank Ghost Hanny. Unagi (or Mel) will block 1/2 of Ghost Hanny's 8210 laser damage, and still be on-shotted for their remaining HP by the 505 damage.
    • Mel at level 10 (+10% all stats) will only have 181HP with 4x AL3 ships.
  • Gawatsgar Vu: As they only do 840 laser damage, AL3 won't even give you any utility. The challenge is their high HP
  • Nigayomogi: With 1920 laser damage, you can already negate them with 2x AL2 ships on Unagi, like Gawatsgar, the challenge is their HP

Early-mid game carry: Hapsburg Lady[]

Hapsburg Lady is without a doubt one of the best options, if only because you can get her immediately, and turn her from a single slot so-so admiral, into an admiral that will shine throughout the game. She'll fall off slightly late game, but can still be a very strong submarine admiral with a damage multiplier that affects allies.

Operation Unthinkable: Retia[]

Retia fits in that category of characters who are already good without Love, but as one of the highest CP characters with good slot bonuses, there are great use cases for her. Make her already great CP even higher to effectively pair Habatoto (or the Yokozuna commemorative ship, or super battleship Kaneda with proper support ships).

Yes, Retia can already equip any of those super ships without Love, but she'll also be crippled with sub-par combinations and a puny all stats bonus. Giving her Love, will magnify her all stats bonus for these special ships, and also let her get slightly better support ships to go with it.

Furthermore, Retia can be available as early in the game as Koga. The only requirement for her is that you do Doenitz's events and wait until around turn 30, so you can Love her before even taking Micronesia or Manila 2K.

First time using Love: Tanaka[]

If you haven't used Love before and don't have Hapsburg Lady available yet or are just having a bit of trouble deciding what's a good option or where you want to invade first, you should really just focus on one of the early game options. Tanaka is the best of the starting admirals if you don't have Hapsburg Lady (though Ozawa for fighters and Koga for anemone combos are good options too).

The CP boost early in the game is very nice on Tanaka, and it's still useful after all his bonuses as you can eventually get to a 2 carrier subs + 2 cannon subs combo that is really strong. Moreover, the Roar skill which is otherwise somewhat limited by his inability to use anything except 2 subs becomes a lot more useful.

Just for fun: Mikado+Fugaku[]

It's worth doing Love on Mikado+Fugaku, if only to experience it. The gigantic 990CP for 3 slots and her Fugaku fixed ship (0CP) make her a miracle... She can take full advantage of the Kaneda or Yokozuna this way, and still equip a Habatoto or Jelly As or two large aircraft carriers or basically anything you want.

  • Among other things, she can solo clear Nigayomogi in this way.

Ultimately though, despite being so amazing, she's a just a fun pick since you can only use her 3 times and you will lose any of the ships equipped to her after the third fight when she leaves.

Other fun picks:

  • Yubari is unique, which also makes her worth trying out. If you haven't tried out her Aerial Defence upgrade, then perhaps consider a game where you focus on getting her to full strength, with Love.
  • Goron's another fun pick. His skill is almost impossible to trigger normally. Although unverified, unlocking his 3 final slots with Love should make it possible to calculate ship combinations that will result in hitting the magical 56HP by tanking the right hit. The 560% damage bonus would still be difficult to use... but you could theoretically intentionally trigger it.
  • Hanny the Admiral is not an efficient choice for Love. He will squander both the CP bonus, as he caps out, and the unlock bonus, since he already has all 4 slots. However, as the one admiral with capped CP, it's so frustrating that at Level 10, he's still -30% all stats in all slots. With Love, he'll still cap out at -10%, but that's a 20% all stat improvement! Live the dream!

Tier list[]

S tier[]

  • Mel to Laden - high CP (combinations with Jelly As) + 4 all stat bonuses + COPY skill make her the admiral with the highest potential in the game
  • Hapsburg Lady - early start + 3 slot unlock + all stat bonus + damage multiplier
  • Nozomi Takeda - 0CP AL3 ship on any admiral + 3 slot unlock + all stat slot bonus + CP hungry
  • Katherine - best damage multiplier + CP hungry + 4 all attack slots + Ending 1/2
  • Retia Adolf - super high CP (with Love, Retia can make the best use of the Kaneda, Yokozuna or Habatoto) + 4 slot bonuses including all stats and all attack + Ending 1/2
  • Eagle Douglas - slot unlock + 3 all stat slots + high CP + (modest) damage multiplier + Ending 1/2 (Eagle is an all rounder compared to the others)

A tier[]

  • Charlotte Parthenay - damage multiplier + all damage on 3 slots + 1 slot unlock + CP hungry + rare recruit
  • Tanaka Raizou - early start + CP hungry
  • Koga Hitomi - earlyish start + high CP (combinations with Anemone)
  • Blackhorse - damage multiplier + 2 unlocks + all damage
  • Lolikov Banra - high CP + 3 unlocks (one of the most efficient uses of love, but you already have lots of comparable options like Itou Kakka, Retia or Koga, so he can be a bit redundant)
  • Scarlet Tougou - high CP + great slot bonuses (can only get her after defeating one of the big 3 and she's already good without Love, just makes her marginally better without the same impact as Retia or Koga) + Ending 2
  • Mau Mau - 4 all stat slots + CP hungry (even with Love, she's still CP hungry...)
  • Unagi Banra - high CP (allows combinations with the super battleship Kii) + great skill + 3 all stat bonuses (unfortunately even with Love, Unagi can't effectively use the Kaneda...)
  • Ozawa Matsuri - early start + damage multiplier + CP hungry because she wants carriers
  • Ukraine - 2 unlocks + 4 all stat bonuses + damage multiplier (still CP hungry with love though and he's a generic... it's arguably the most efficient use of Love, but it falls a bit flat...)

Fun picks[]

  • Mikado (non-Japanification route) - 3 slot unlock + 990 accessible CP (highest in game) + Eazauna badassery (limited to 3 fights, lose equipped ships on her 3rd fight, otherwise best admiral in game)
  • Hanny the Admiral - 4x All Stats bonuses + 990 CP (will still be -10% all stats, unlock/CP effects squandered)
  • Yubari - unique
  • Goron Eundora - CP hungry + 3 unlocks + damage multiplier (hard to trigger that 56HP condition, even with Love, but worth trying out)
  • Gigamacro - Unfortunately doesn't have a unique mechanic, as you might expect due to his similarities to Yubari... However, he's still a fun pick considering he's pretty unique, high HP and Love will unlock 3 extra slots to make him actually relevant (though only with low CP ships, as he'll have max 90. Consider a build using some of the low cp ships
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