The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 5: Episode 05 - A Voice From Far, Far Away

Chapter Five: A Voice From Far, Far Away

Music: Intermission

Welcome back. We’ve got quite a bit of money to spend on upgrades, so let’s get down to business.

The Dreizehn’s Laser Blade and Grenade attacks get a boost…

…as do Semyl’s Missiles.

We also snagged a Booster at the end of the last mission. This wonderful item gives a movement bonus of +3 spaces for one turn, and is pretty much tailor made for the Caliburnus.

Our current Garage lineup looks like this. The Orcrist is missing from the Garage since it’s like Cage’s LEV and gains strength by levelling up.

Anyway, on to the next stage!

Music: Every Day

: You really need to work on your entrance. See, this is why girls aren’t interested in you. What you just did is a classic example of…

: Tha-that’s none of your business! Besides, you’re not really the big Casanova you say you are. I know that in reality, you are…

: I’m really what?!

: Well, er…um…

: Well, do you have something to say or what? If you want me to make you cry, I’ll happily oblige…

Someone smacks Razma from off-screen.

: Don’t you remember what happens when you give my Phil a hard time? Oh, this won’t do at all. There’s a troublemaker acting up when I’m not around…I suppose I’ll just have to train him all over again.

:…I’m sorry…

: Very good.

: So, what were you all giddy about?

: Oh right! Oh my God! They’ve announced that the customs tax on 129 commodities from Earth will be increased for the next three years!

Music: Tension

: This is not good…The commodities include grain and vegetables, right?

: Yes…

: Twede.

: Eek! Wh-when did you come here? Who are you?


: Hello…?

: I’m sorry. That’s Twede, my secretary. Twede, why is it that I haven’t gotten any information on the tax from you?

: I am terribly sorry. The paperwork in question is right here…


: Phil, was that announcement made in all counties?

: No, just in this one…ach!

: Hmm…a plan to provoke us and cause a breakdown within the institution…

: Most of this can be remedied with the co-operation of the other counties, but rising prices can’t be ignored. This is a bad situation for a community that relies completely on imported produce. It’s going to be more problematic than we can even imagine.

: Unfortunately, no. I hate to admit it, but it’s a well thought out move on their part.

: No…

: Hey, wait up! This is crazy! Them callin’ us terrorists, I can deal with that. But this is like killin’ peeps ‘cause they don’t got money! There’s kids out there who can’t afford to get anythin’ they need, ‘cause it’s hard enough to eat! No way in hell I’m gonna sit and watch this happen! Time to wreck-

: Hey, Ares!!

: Huh? Oh! Silly me, what were we talking about?

: Yeah, yeah! That’s right! I was talkin’ ‘bout sinkin’ you inna Martian sea, wasn’t I! Don’t move!

: I’m soooo scared!

: *Sigh* You’re real stupid.

: Semyl, calm down.

: Huh? Why you all business all of a sudden?

: I know exactly how you feel. Grownups do whatever they feel like doing, and they get by somehow. But children…for them, that’s not always the case. It’s not exactly the same thing, but we all grew up amidst the whims of grownups too.

: I’m angry too, but now’s the time to think about what we’re going to do about it. You, for one, have people you want to protect. Don’t rush into it. We’ll think about it together.

: Razma…

: Razma, I’m impressed. You’ve matured a lot whilst I was away, haven’t you?

: Heh heh, there are other parts of me that have matured too! Here, I’ll show you…

As usual, Semyl gives Razma a good thump.

: Hmph! I was stupid to give you props, even for a second!

: Semyl, your rebuke needs a little more oomph. Here, use this.

: Huh? What’s up with the hammer?

: That would be the ‘Hundred Ton Hammer’. It’s very useful in polite conversation.


: Ah, Yukito. Off in your own world as usual. Don’t worry about those two, though.

: You know what they say about opposites and attraction and all that.

: Thanks, bro.

: For what?



: Okay, then. We’ll be leaving now – after all, we must get busy trying to find the force behind all these activities of late. Goodbye.

: Goodbye. Have a safe trip back.

:…he’s really some kind of wizard? No, that must be it!

: Okay, time to leave fantasy land…

:…Forgive me for interrupting…

:…According to a reliable source, an alleged BIS-owned LEV is wreaking havoc in Pandora Frettum. Ms. O’Connell requested that I relay the information to you, and she is requesting that you head over there immediately to rectify the problem.

: Pandora Frettum?! He-hey!! Just wait a minute! Tell us the details!

: We don’t have time to talk! Come on!

: Uh? What just happened?

: What?

: The pilot onboard the LEV is calling himself ‘Den’. I will be praying for your safety. Good luck…

: Come on. Let’s go!

: Yes sir!

The graphical mess here should read ‘Scene 05: A Voice From Far, Far Away’.

Player Phase Music: Sortie
Enemy Phase Music: Sudden Assault

: Quit it! Listen, it’s like this. You’ll just grow up to be trash, and there’s already enough trash out there. Didn’t anybody teach you that you have to dispose of your trash responsibly by burning it?


: Hey, hey, you’ve got nice eyes. Heh heh. Now that you can see out of them, I’ll show you some fireworks. Some really good ones!

Right on cue, BIS storm in.

: I thought it’d be you. This is getting pretty old.

:…of all, BIS.

: We’re really sick of seeing your face around, Ned. So what are you trying to do this time?

: You listen to me! I’m…

: Couldn’t you have thought of something better? I mean, it’s just Ned, but backwards.

: I thought Scarface was much better. But then I suppose you don’t really concern yourself with things of the past.

: Nobody cares! You’re scum, always doing people wrong…

: Semyl? Is that you?!

: Semyl!! Help! I’m scared!

: Oh!

: Well, because I’m the worst terrorist ever, I’m going to put these kids on those LEV’s along with some bombs and make a big, big mess…

: Who is? If you want to stick your nose in this, that’s fine. But there’s a very delicate trigger on that thing, so you make the slightest mistake, and BOOM!!

: I’ve checked! He’s telling the truth!

: The terrorists used and harmed innocent children to protest against the tax increase. Can you believe there are people like that? And then I’m forced to die trying to save the hostages. Nobody in the world will support you then, and you’ll all starve to death…

: So that’s your plan? We won’t allow that to happen. And for you to use children…Unforgivable!

: *Sob* Okay!

: I’ll just sit here and enjoy the spectacle. Heh heh.

Ned withdraws for the time being, no doubt to sip a martini made from freshly squeezed orphan’s tears.

: Uh…

: Don’t worry about him. It’s the LEV carrying the children we’re after.

:…They’re on autopilot.

: We’ll come up with a solution on this end. Remember – no matter what, hold your fire!

Mission Map:

The player is given control at this point. The enemy LEV’s start out far to the north and will take some time to reach our position. Attacking them with any of our units will result in the bombs going off and us getting a Game Over. For now the best we can do is to shift our forces out of the city and into a park to the west. This will give us better mobility, at least.

The AI moves the three LEV’s down a bit.

For my part I manage to reach the park in good order. All that’s left is to wait until the third turn.

:…let you know; there’s a huge mound of explosives inside the orphanage, too. They’ll go off if you attack me. So I’d be very careful! Heh heh heh!!

: How could he…!! There’s nothing we can do…we have to think of something!

Music: Wetworks

Suddenly a new unit appears to the east!

: The weight of your diseased soul will drag you down to the depths…there will be no redemption…

: Wh-who’s there?!


: Wha?! You’re…you’re alive?!

: If…if you even try to hurt me…do you even know what that means?! That means you’ll be going against the will of Zephyrs!

: Zephyrs. So you work for him now?

: Huh? Uh…no…ha, ha, ha…


: Bro!

: We’ll talk later. Hey. You.

: Uh…me?

:…as you normally would, and take it out.

: Um…I don’t understand…

: I said it once. And Semyl. I will save them. Guaranteed.

: Okay. I believe you.

: That’s all. Ending transmission.

A badass just showed up to save everyone’s bacon, that’s what.

: That Frame…I See. Frame Will Be Attached To LEV Containing Children And Will Stand By While Bomb Is Disabled. This Will Enable Us To Attack And Stop LEV And Rescue The Hostages.

: Ah…I guess there’s no other way…okay! Let’s do as he says!

Okay, so here we are. The enemy LEV’s are breathing down our necks, but they’re crappy Security LEV’s so they aren’t much of a threat. As long as we don’t attack them there’s nothing to worry about.

Warren starts pretty far away so it’ll take a few turns for him to reach us. Before that let’s check out his stats.

Wow. Both Warren and the Durandal II are amazing. It’ll tear anything that gets too close to it to shreds. It has better armour than the Caliburnus and more health than it too. It and the Justeen are going to be our main melee vanguard units.

Oh, and Warren’s arrival means that the superb Wetworks theme now plays on every player phase.

Ned begins to move south towards our units.

I’ve skipped ahead a few turns and now Warren is in position.

Now all we have to do is park Warren next to one of the LEV’s and he’ll disable the bomb. We are now free to destroy it at our leisure.

Deckson – saving Mars by shooting children in the face with armour-piercing tank shells.

One down. Also note that although Ned is in front of us we can’t attack him as per his earlier threat. Skipping ahead a bit…

And finally…

: Yeah! We did it! (That guy with the sunglasses is really something else…)

: Noooo!! Not again! They always do this!! That’s it, I’m going to nuke the orphanage!

Music: Offense and Defence

: Wh-when did you get here?!

: Thanks to this Orbital Frame, Vjaya, the bomb has been disabled. Too bad.


: Sorry I’m late. It’s not complete yet, so today’s practical use was like the last test.

Ares arrives to save the day, but Ned isn’t finished quite yet…

: You!! Stop this ridiculous act!! Be the true terrorists that you know you are!!

Ned storms over to the park and summons reinforcements. He also gains +10 Spirit. The enemy force is composed of stuff we’ve already seen before – Security LEV’s, Reg. LEV’s and unmanned drones. Ned is also exactly the same as he ever was, so this final part of the mission isn’t too tough.

To start off with Mebius oneshots the nearest drone.

A special scene plays out when the Orcrist first attacks on this stage.

: So that’s an Orbital Frame…it’s movements are so light, and yet its attack potential is infinitely higher than that of an LEV…

: Would You Prefer A Machine Like That?

: Hmm? Uh…no…it’s not for me, I couldn’t maneuver it the right way anyway…and I have no need for anything like that.

: I See…

Cage then targets one of the weak Security LEV’s.

I’ll finish him off next turn.

Our new unit is still hanging around over the orphanage, so let’s take a look at it for a second.

…Wow. Vjaya is pretty amazing, and just look at that 7 movement! No matter where the enemy is, this frame can get to them and eviscerate them with ease. It helps that it has great attacks and a good pilot, too.

In fact, it’s so speedy it can reach the battle area in just two turns.

For their part the enemy LEV’s try to take us down.

Most seem to like going after Deckson.

One tries his luck against our new toy.

Well, we know who’ll be dying first next turn.

My turn comes around, and now it’s time to get my murder on.

Okay, so maybe I lied a bit and this guy won’t be dying this turn, but he’s sure going to be messed up after this attack.

So that was pretty cool. Now how about Warren?

Yeah, OFs tear shit apart.

Razma nails a critical on a drone and takes it down in one hit.

Semyl wears down another drone and Phil swoops in to finish it.

Deckson takes out the LEV Warren wounded previously.

I move everyone around a bit. I’d really like to end this mission on the next turn.

The thing to remember about OFs is that, although they’re powerful, they aren’t indestructible. An attack that does 900 damage is nasty no matter what it hits.

The LEV also takes a potshot but misses.

This could be very bad. I’ve had bad luck with Death Rave in previous missions.

My terrible luck continues. Deckson’s in pretty serious trouble now. Luckily the remaining LEV is out of range and whiffs his attack against Yukito.

As things stand I think I can safely end things this turn.

I cherry-tap Ned with Deckson and Phil for some extra experience.

Yukito deals with the missile LEV.

Cage moves up to deal with the final drone.

He gets a lucky critical and kills it.

Ares finishes off the last LEV. Now it’s just Ned.

Semyl puts some missiles in his face…

…and Razma drives in the final nail.

As usual, we get a ton of experience.

: *Phew* It’s over. Thanks for your help, Pharsti.

: ‘Thanks’? Definition Unknown.

: Huh? Definition…? It’s an expression of gratitude…

: I Am Artificial Intelligence With Circuitry Enabling Action. You Are Human. You Owe Me No Gratitude.

: You think so? But we’re a team! We work together!

: Team?

:…machine. So. Forgive me?

:…Yes, Master.

: Good. Thanks.

: Aaaaarrrgghhh!! Don’t ignore me!! Look at THIS!!!

Music: Uncontrollable Fear

: Lie-Lieutenant!!

: Humans? Soldiers? They look like Ned’s guys…

: Scan Complete. Explosives Attached To Larynx Area Of Life-Form…

: A bomb? Is that the throat?

: Don…

: Aaaaaaaaaahhhh!!!

: Wha…

: Detonation Confirmed. Vital Signs Negative…

: See that?! I’ll do the same thing to those you think you’ve already saved!!

: What?! To the children?! Is he telling the truth, Pharsti?!

: Hey, don’t move. You move, and I’ll push the button…

: How could you…!!

: Please Remain Calm. Anger Inhibits Logical Decision-Making.

: May I Make A Suggestion? By Disabling My Limit, We Can Destroy Enemy LEV. Chances Of Success: 99.6482%.

: Really? Are you sure?

: Affirmative. Verbalise Command And It Is Done.

: Okay then, do it!

Music: Danger

:…Anti-Proton Reactor. Outer Defence Mechanism Off.

: What’s this?

It's a Gundam! *Random Leo explodes* Remember what I said about common anime tropes? Of course, it wouldn't be a proper mecha series without at least one upgrade...

: I have confirmed that all mechanisms are ready for the switchover. All systems go.


: This is…the real me…Cage. I am carrying out your command.

: What?! What the hell is going on this time?

: Here we go.

: GO!!

:…The target has been obliterated.

: Wow. Wait, obliterated?

: Completely.

: Even him?

: Why…? WHY?!


: Why?! We had an agreement! Didn’t we?!


: Say something! SAY SOMETHING!!!

Cage continues to shout as the screen fades out.

Music: Every Day

: I’ll take them home!

: Me too! (I hope Cage is okay…)

: (Cage’s machine is an OF? There must be a story behind this one…)

Yeah, it was pretty clear Cage’s LEV wasn’t normal, considering it upgrades through levelling and doesn’t appear in the Garage.

: I just…I just wanted to stop him. That’s all I was trying to do…

: Stop it, Cage. That’s not your responsibility.

: Everyone, we must retreat! The Security Peacekeeping Force is on its way! Ms. O’Connell will take care of everything else!

: Deckson, I…


: Warren! Will you take his frame? We don’t have much time!

:…Roger. (So that’s the new kid. His handling is good, but…)


: Cage…I don’t know what to say…

: It’s okay, Myona. Please don’t say anything right now.

And with that, the screen fades out.

Wow. A lot happened in this update. We gained two new Orbital Frames, we finally got rid of Ned and the secret behind Cage’s LEV was revealed. Unfortunately Cage is now depressed as a result of being forced to kill Ned…one wonders how he’ll choose to deal with it.

I’ll be heading to an area with no internet until next Tuesday, so there won’t be any new updates until I get back.