The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 4: Episode 04 - Double-Edged Sword

Chapter Four: Double-Edged Sword

Music: Intermission

We managed to scrape together enough money for a single upgrade last mission, so it’s time to visit the Garage to make some improvements.

I end up using my 1700 cash to upgrade the Caliburnus’s laser blade. Once enemies get in range they tend to surround it, thus moving out of range of most of its weaponry. Hopefully this will alleviate the problem, even if only slightly.

As has been mentioned in the thread, enemies also tend to gang up on Semyl due to her low evasion. She also uses energy and ammunition for a lot of her attacks, so sticking a repair kit and supply pack on her should help a lot.

On to the next stage…

Music: 07 – Every Day

:…hands on everything we could. Are you ready, Myona?

: Y-yes…

: You are Myona Alderan. There’s no doubt about that. Strangely, though, your name is not listed on the passenger roster of the Bonaparte.

: What?

: Stowaway?

: ‘Logistics Lewy’, eh? Sneaking people onto ships is an everyday occurrence for that guy. Couldn’t they have come up with a more interesting nickname for him?

: You have to give him credit for making a successful business out of it. He probably didn’t survive…

: There’s more. We don’t know who he was working for. There was something off-kilter about him, but he was cautious. I can’t imagine that he would take a job without doing a background check first.

: So it’s ‘Earth’ again?

:…I’m sure they know about the other two survivors of that ‘accident’.

: Is that all we found out?

: No, there’s one more thing. It’s about Myona’s parents…

: Really?!

:…deceased. The bodies have been identified.

: Oh…I see…

: You okay?

:…Yes. I was expecting that. The fire I remembered that last time may have been from that incident…

: I’m sure you want time to think things over, but the situation is worsening as we speak.

:…and work with us. Not as supporters, but rather, as active members.

: Members?

: I wouldn’t mind.

: Ares?

: Even if I were to refuse, I have nowhere else to go. Worse yet, they’d throw me in jail for having been seen with a terrorist group. All things considered, I would have much more of a future if I joined the team.

:…truth…that’s how I feel.

: And? How about you?

: Ares is right, and if Myona is willing to stay here, I have no reason to refuse. I’d like to join also.

: Good…If you three hadn’t been courageous enough to make it through that calamity, we would have allowed a terrible incident to take place right under our noses.

:…happy that you are joining us.

: Welcome aboard!

: I’m delighted that we will officially be working together side by side, Ares.

: Ah, I see. You like him, don’t you? Don’t do it to yourself – he’s not right for you. He’s the type who looks for much more than just flirting. You don’t match with him.

: Love conquers all!

: *Laughs* Uuuuuugh…

: Myona? Are you okay?

:Whoa! She’s white as a sheet!

: I…I’m fine.

: Okay. Take care of her.

: Uh…

: Don’t worry. She’s a lot more reliable than she seems. You can trust her.

Music: Tension

: Again? What now? Did you see a naked BOY?

: Please don’t make such cryptic comments. Look at this!

Phil turns on a television.

:…inhabitants for 40 years. It enveloped the building in a matter of seconds, taking many lives…The UNSF is currently searching for these people as possible suspects in the case…

: Hey! That’s me!

: Damn…framed…

: The UNSF intentionally destroyed the hospital?

: Smells like Ned again.

: Human beings are superior to animals in intellect, but inferior when it comes to morality…he’s living proof.

:…there is anything I can do to help, but I’ll do whatever I can!

: Thank you. But you need to remember one very important thing. We do not wish to solve problems through the use of violence, but we recognise it as one way of getting things done.

: Yes. I understand.

: Good. Now get ready to leave.

: Where are we going?

: Our…goddess?

: Yes. There is a certain woman who grants us her understanding and her support. Her name is Robin O’ Connell…I told her about you, and she would like to meet you.

: Robin? Support? Ah, I see…this facility exists thanks to her. Am I right?

: That’s correct. She works with out team in a secret factory testing new machines…I thought I would check that out and introduce you all at the same time. Would that be all right?

: Certainly. We’d like that very much.

: It’s settled, then. Semyl is taking good care of Myona, so she’ll be fine. Let’s go. Phil! The three of us are going on the Edge. Make sure security’s tight while we’re out.

: Yes, I will take care of it. Bye bye!

This screen should read ‘Scene 04 – Double-Edged Sword’.

Music: Uncontrollable Fear


: Ned…it’s him again. Is he attacking civilian homes now?

: *Cackle* I know that BIS or whatever they’re called has their hideout around here somewhere. I’ll just take my time and burn them out! Heh heh…burn, baby burn!!

: I hate to think it, but there may be a leak. Cage – can you maneuver? I’m going to sit in the gunner’s seat…Just follow my instructions!

: What do I do?

: There’s a factory over there.

:…aren’t you here yet?

: That’s where we’re headed. Once you get there, there is an LEV. I’m worried about Ms. O’Connell.

:…want you to get over there!

: Yes sir! I’m headed to the factory.

Player Phase Music: Sortie
Enemy Phase Music: Sudden Assault

Mission Map:

We get control at this point. At this time the Edge is the only unit on the map.

Ned’s group of troublemakers are dead ahead. In addition to the regular LEV’s there’s a slight addition to the enemy loadout this time.

Two enemy Reg. LEV Model B’s have been put into play. Armed with strengthened laser blades and long-range missile tubes, these guys can be troublesome when you’re trying to string an enemy group out.

There’s not much we can do right now except to move forwards. You can move over the burning tiles without incurring any kind of penalty – they’re classified as Plains and provide no bonuses or penalties at all.

None of the enemies move an inch on their turn.

Suddenly, friendly reinforcements!

: Phil!?

: We made it!

: Myona?!

More reinforcements spawn on the opposite side of the map.

: So, everyone made it. Heh heh…your timing was impeccable this time.

: We heard about what was going on right when you left, boss.

:Anyway…this is bad…I’m really ticked off now. Do they think Martians aren’t human?!

: We’ll stop them. You save Ms. O’Connell!

: Are you really okay, Myona?

: Yes…once I heard what was going on, I couldn’t stay sleeping. Come on, let’s do what we can!

: Myona…you’re right.

: Pharsti, we’re helping out too. Are you ready?

: Affirmative.


: Yes sir!

: (I’ll just survey the action from over here for a while…)

Ned buggers off for a bit, and we are given control again.

Our objectives haven’t changed. Get the Edge to the factory whilst everyone else takes out the trash.

That’s it for this turn.

On the enemy’s turn one of the Reg. LEV’s decides to attack Yukito with missiles. Thankfully they have crap accuracy despite their large damage potential.

Yeah, his chances weren’t great.

The next enemy tries to go after Deckson. Since he has to get to the factory it could be bad if the enemy decides to gang up on him.

Luckily the enemy’s crosshairs still aren’t big enough to be a real threat. Nobody else is attacked this turn.

The enemy has divided its attention roughly equally between our two forces. We’ll start off by taking out the enemy who attacked Deckson last turn.

Cage gained a lot of levels last episode for defeating Ned.

His crosshairs are as big as Razma’s now.

Now Phil can move in and finish him off.

And Deckson moves ever closer to his destination.

On the eastern front I move the Justeen back a little so that he’s out of the enemy’s missile range. Both enemies must now come to us.

The AI simply won’t leave Deckson alone.

Even when you’re using the IAS System it’s still possible to screw up if you don’t take the enemy seriously.

The other Model B attacks Cage.

He misses, though. The enemy moves its eastern units around and now it’s our turn again.

Our advance in the north is about to bog down a bit. The crates in the yard around the factory are classed as Obstacles and inflict movement penalties. The Blade is also in danger of getting left behind and we have two enemy LEV’s making nuisances of themselves. Luckily we can do something about two of those problems.

We can only get rid of one LEV this turn, so targeting the more dangerous Model B is a priority.

Deckson could do with another level, plus the Blade isn’t in range anyway.

That’s him sorted. Now I can move the Blade up, destroy the other enemy next turn and get a move on to the factory after that.

In the east the enemy has been neatly baited. Once again, the Model B is a priority.

The Razma and Semyl combo strikes again.

Just one enemy left on this side of the map, now.

Yukito kicks him in the face, and that’s it for our turn.

The AI decides to go after Phil instead of Deckson. I guess the small transport vehicle looks more vulnerable that Deckson’s massive doomtank.

Another miss. The chances of Deckson not reaching the factory are now zero.

The crippled LEV in the east attacks Razma.

He scores a minor hit and deals a small amount of damage. It doesn’t matter since neither of the remaining enemies are going to live through the next turn.

Semyl crushes the remaining eastern foe, earning another level in the process.

Cage and Phil take down the last enemy together.

Deckson will say this if you manage to defeat every enemy before getting to the factory.

I’ve skipped ahead a few turns and got everyone into this formation in the middle of the city. Why this formation? Oh, you’ll see. Anyhow, it’s time to move Deckson into the factory.

: Deckson! You came! I can’t believe what they’re doing…

: I thought you might still be here…please hurry! We must escape!

: I couldn’t leave before my staff…They’ve all escaped safely now. I’m ready to go.

: Mebius isn’t with you? She already left?

: She left in that frame…

:…pretty clever!

: You scum!

: Hey, don’t move…You try anything funny and it might just hit lil’ Robbie over there.

: You coward!

:…Robin, they told me to bring you in alive, but they never said anything about ‘alive and well’. Maybe a little rough play will shut you up.

: Eeeeeek!!

: *Cackle* And that’s only the first round! Now on to round two…

Music: Offense and Defence

: Wha? Who the heck are you?! Do you want to take her place? I’ll snap that weak frame in half!

: Oh, how manly you are, Lieutenant Ned! Or would you prefer that I called you ‘Scarface’?

: How do you know about that?! Who are you?!

: Just your average Martian.

: Your LEV is no match for the Orcrist.

: The Orcrist? It’s finally complete?

: Yes. She was difficult to handle, so it took a while – but now she’s fully operational!

: AAAH!! Nobody said anything about THIS!!

Ned flees into the middle of the city…

…and summons a bunch of reinforcements.

: You don’t give up easily, do you?

: I can’t go back empty handed! I’ll do whatever I need to get what I want!

Ned powers up, gaining +5 Spirit.

: Ms. O’Connell, are you alright?! Quick, come this way!

: I’ll live…Thank you for saving me.

: Now…let’s get out of here.

: No. We’re partly responsible for what happened to this town. We have to fight!

: Yes sir! (So that’s Robin…)

We’re back in control now. First of all, let’s check out our new unit.

The Orcrist is very different from our other units. First of all, it’s an Orbital Frame, not an LEV. This gives it a number of advantages – it can fly, so it ignores movement penalties over rough terrain. It also uses no energy or ammunition for its standard attacks, and like Cage’s LEV it gains power by levelling up. There are some disadvantages, however. Whilst its normal attacks carry no cost, its Burst Attack, Moonlight Ballista, costs a massive 50 energy to use. Its ability to fly is also something of a double-edged sword – it’s not affected by movement penalties, but it also doesn’t get any terrain bonuses whilst it’s in the air. You can order Orbital Frames to land, but then they have to deal with movement penalties.

That’s not really a concern at the moment, so I have Mebius move down towards the main combat zone. Speaking of which, those are some odd-looking things Ned brought with him. Let’s have a look at them.

These unmanned aerial drones aren’t much of a threat. Their beam guns can hurt but they’re so fragile and have such low stats that our units can kill them easily.

If you’re wondering about Ned, he’s exactly the same as he was last time we saw him. The extra Spirit boost he just got means he can use Death Rave right away but he doesn’t bring anything truly new to the table.

Let’s begin by showing off Semyl’s Burst Attack, Star Carnival.

The one thing these guys have going for them is that they’re small enough to be a pain when in IAS mode.

The carnage is beautiful.

Seriously, this is just embarrassing. I feel like a bully or something. Ned must be facepalming inside his cockpit so hard right about now.

That’s all for my turn.

Despite my earlier remarks, these guys can be quite painful if they manage to land a hit.

The other two drones go after Cage, who manages to dodge both.

Ned seems to hate Yukito, since he went after him in the previous mission as well.


Good job that’s the end of his turn.

First thing’s first.

Another drone goes down.

Time to try out Yukito’s ZZ Grenade. It’s one of the strongest attacks we have, but sadly Ned is inside its minimum range.

Cage brings the last drone down to critical and I end the turn.

I’m not having much luck with Ned today. The damaged drone attacks Cage, but nothing comes of it. My turn comes around again.

Cage takes out the last drone. Now it’s only Ned left, and as luck would have it his attack on Phil has brought him into the Orcrist’s attack range.

Yeah. Orbital Frames can do some scary damage with their basic attacks. And they cost no energy or ammo at all.

Particularly when you score a critical hit.

For the finishing blow, Yukito busts out his Burst Attack, Burn Stormer.

Look at all that lovely exp.

Suddenly, a new enemy appears!

Music: Black Ops


: Shut your mouth! What are you doing here, anyway?

: We’ve carried out our plan. Even he can’t do any more than this. We’re done here for now…

: Damn! They’re getting their way!

: I’d appreciate it if you didn’t let that happen. I don’t particularly enjoy cleaning up the mess afterwards.

: F…fine…

Nadia retreats, taking Ned with her.

: They’re gone…

: Good! Our strategy’s been completed. Let’s go!

BIS also retreats and the screen fades out.

Music: Every Day

:…Ms. Robin O’Connell.

: I’ve heard about you, Mr. Midwell. I look forward to working with you from now on.

: L…likewise.

: From LEV’s to weapons, capital and food – everything we need to stay active – is ours to use thanks to her.

: It’s not as if I did anything; it’s an inheritance. The Robin Foundation is what I consider to be the most effective way of spending my money.

: The Robin Foundation?

: Someone coined the term one day, and it stuck. We donate funds to those who are willing to fight for the Martian cause…that’s the Robin Foundation. Do you understand, Mr. Midwell?

: So you protect everyone from trash like Ned?

: Hmm? Of course.

: In that case, I’ll call you Cage too. I’m Mebius, nice to meet you.

: Hello.

: And you…you’re Myona?

: Yes.

: Aw come on, sis. ‘Beast’ sounds bad.

: He knows it himself, which makes it even worse. If he does anything, just let me know. I’ll discipline him.

: A stuffed animal?

: You have to respect life. This is just a reminder…it’s very special.

: Yes, I…thank you!

: And this must be Ares. Nice to meet you.

: O-Orbital…that’s an OF?!

: For real?! Boss, why don’t you tell us about these things?

: If I told you, you’d be badgering me for a ride non-stop.

: Er…

: He sees through us all…

:…frame seem compatible so far.

: Compatible? Frankly, I’m more interested in how compatible she is with me, not the frame…

: OW!!!

: VERY compatible with your foot!

: Come to think of it, where’s the old man? I thought he was with you.

: No idea. He said something about staying in the mountains for a while…

: That’s just PERFECT! He would do something like that. Probably shaved off one eyebrow and spends the day fighting bears.

: Do bears exist anyplace other than Earth? And do you have a better chance against a bear if you have just one eyebrow?

These are very important questions.

:…any harm.

: Oh…I see…

: Granted, military strength has been enforced…but what is our plan from now on? The encounter a little while ago…I can’t think of it as a coincidence.

: So what are you saying?

: Perhaps there are traitors in BIS.

: You’re right, that was out of line. Trust is everything. I apologize.

: Leaving our information aside for a minute, I must say that there is something strange with the UNSF’s actions…truthfully, I never thought they were that stupid.

: Hmm…as expected, that disaster was reported as an accident. But I hear that Ned’s actions are causing problems within the UNSF. It may just be a matter of time…

: Yes. For the sake of the innocent lives that fell victim to their actions, we must be careful of what we do from now on.

The screen fades out…

Music: Black Ops

: Nadia. It’s just the two of us now. Call me by my name.

: N-no! I am happy just being at the side of the Lieutenant, so…

: I like you when you’re like that, but I like you more when you are more honest with yourself.

: B-but…


: There you go. You are the only one who I will allow to call me by name. Don’t forget that.

: Ah…Bolozof…

: (And you’re the one who will live your life to benefit me…heh heh…)

And that’s that. Ned’s been up to no good, and it seems a new player has entered the game. We’ll be seeing more of Bolozof and Nadia in the future. There’s also one more fighting member of BIS we have yet to meet. Until next time…