The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 6: Episode 06 - One Wing’s Promise

Chapter Six: One Wing’s Promise

Music: Intermission

Hello again. Last time we finally took Ned down for good. Unfortunately despite him being an irredeemable monster the act of taking another’s life was too much for Cage to bear. Before we move on to see how he’s taking it, it’s time for a few upgrades.

I wind up spending some money upgrading the armour on the Dreizehn, Justeen and Caliburnus. Each upgrade increases the armour rating by 40 points, so our LEV’s can be as tough as our Orbital Frames with only two or three upgrades.

I also stick a repair kit on the Justeen. Yukito’s had a few close scrapes in the past, so I think of this as a bit of insurance.

Anyway, on to the next stage. There will be a lot of

Music: Black Ops

: End? This is only the beginning. We just got rid of one unnecessary element, is all.

: Hmm…A lack of confidence is certainly not the issue. But you should realise that not everyone fears you. You don’t think that you have the power to place all responsibility on your secretary’s head like politicians do back home and get away with it, do you?

: Well, I suggest you be careful. With the new Animus series being in the hands of BIS…I think it’s time for me to act. It would be nice to get permission to do that.

:…What a joke. Do you think I don’t know that you’ve been sending your woman out? I can’t stop you from doing what you’re going to do, so get rid of the complacent act. It’s unpleasant.

: Well, in that case…

: What about Nadia?

: If you want to use her as a woman, fine. But be careful when you use her as your assistant – her naivety is a double-edged sword. She can’t be trusted.

: Again, that’s none of your business, but…don’t worry. There’s not a single soul I trust. Now, I’m off to stir up some trouble.

Bolozof leaves the room.

:…budge…but, that Cage…could he be Vale? Heh…of course not…

The screen fades out after this cryptic comment. When it comes back we’re in BIS HQ.

Music: Every Day

: Only time will tell. I’ve never seen him like that…

: I see…all this time he’s been letting the enemy live, so I can imagine.

: It was bound to happen at some point. That’s just fighting.

: I don’t think he’s taking it seriously enough. How is he going to fight from now on?

: Hey, don’t be like that. Unlike us, he was an upstanding citizen until just recently.

:…Why is everyone so nice to him?

: N-no, nothing…

: (Interesting…)

: I’m going to go check on him. I’m a little worried.


: That’s right. We need to wait for him to come out of his room of his own free will.

: Cut it out! You’re being so childish.

: Childish? Yeah, so what if I am? He’s a child too, so I know how he feels. Can you convey what you can’t see? Can you convey what you can’t hear? Is it right to do NOTHING?! If that’s being considerate, I don’t ever want to think that way. I’m fine just the way I am.

: Razma…

:…In his state right now, I doubt he’ll be able to find an answer in any of us.

: What does that mean?

:…redemption. Like he’s doing now.

: Cage must know that it was the best thing he could do in that situation. Let’s give him time to think about things alone.


: *Sigh* See, Razma, I think that’s one of your good qualities, but sometimes you need to stand on your own and face your own demons. The best thing we can do for him right now is not to hand him the answers, but support him while he figures things out for himself.

: Semyl, you…

: Err…uh-huh?

:…sound ridiculous when you talk like that.

: You don’t need to talk like that when I’m around. Your speech doesn’t bother me, and moreover, I agree with Razma.

I’m guessing that in the Japanese version Semyl speaks with a kansai dialect that gets dropped whenever Ares is in the room.

A door opens and Deckson comes in.

:…Can everyone listen for a moment, please? What’s wrong, Semyl?


: She’ll bounce back eventually. So, what happened? Did you make up with your estranged wife?

: Oh, no, I had no idea…

Huh. So Deckson apparently has a wife from whom he separated at some point in the past. It’s not a massively important detail, but it adds a little to his character.

:…Is it the OF?

: Yes. The frame Cage was driving is clearly an Orbital Frame. If we can even call it that, that is.

: Orbital Frame? It was hovering, and its capabilities were impressive, but wasn’t it on the Bonaparte to begin with?

: Your point being?

: The Bonaparte was maintained by the UNSF. In other words, that frame was probably constructed by some big-shot Earthlings.

: Earth has no need of the OF, and they still see it only as another version of the LEV. If Earth were to become serious about its development…Mars would surely lose.

:…That is not a possibility at this point in time.

: Yiii!! You almost gave me a heart attack!!

:…Apologies. Ms. O’Connell sent me. The one behind all this violence and these secretive construction projects seems to be the Inspection Chief of the UNSF, Dezeele Zephyrs.

: Ned mentioned that name too.

:…had heard that he was influential, but why would he want to be involved in something so dangerous?

:…I don’t know.

: Perhaps it’s like this. The Bonaparte accident came as a surprise to him, and he decided to take back the OF that he had commissioned. Meanwhile he worked to conceal the incident…of course if he failed to acquire it, he would merely destroy it.


: The OF is a weapon so powerful that it can change the fundamental laws of space. It’s true that it wouldn’t be all that strange if someone recognised its potential early on. The politicians would never OK it, so it would be faster to actually show them what it could do…and it would probably give Zephyrs more political leverage.


: If that’s the case then all the cruel actions and clandestine operations make sense.

: For future reference, Ms. O’Connell requests permission to research the frame in question. Would that be all right?

: There’s no reason to deny her.

A high-pitched beeping sound interrupts the conversation.

: He didn’t…!

The screen and music fade out.

:…be alone…And think about things…)

The drone of an engine can be heard in the background – Cage is clearly not in his Orbital Frame.


:…Where are…you going…?

: Hunh?! Who…Aaah!!


Music: Pulse


: M-M-M-Myona?!


: Myona? Are you okay?! Myona!! Wake up!!


: Myona! Myona! Don’t die!

: What, Myona? I can’t hear you! You have to talk louder!!

Geez, Cage, give the girl some space.

…Or not.





: Um…how did it go…

:…just weird!!

: Come on, you don’t have to laugh that hard.

: Hahahahaha…but that was really funny.


: Hmm?




:…I’m sorry, but…I just can’t do that.

: Why not? Were you lying when you said you couldn’t let them do things like that?

: I wasn’t lying. But my hands are dirty now. I’m no different from them.

:…That’s it?

:…I don’t want to get on that thing anymore, either. It broke our promise.

: Oh…

: So you ran away?

: I didn’t run away. I just don’t want to fight anymore. I quit BIS. I just want to live quietly…

: So you are running away. From everyone. And from yourself, too.


: What would have happened if you hadn’t attacked Ned? We don’t know. And there’s no guarantee that everyone would have been saved. But one thing’s for sure.

I like the way this scene is handled. Killing Ned was the only surefire way to save everyone, but even so Cage is still broken up about having to do it. I mean, killing someone isn’t something that can be done casually unless you’re crazy or have been trained to do it, and Cage is neither. Even so his decision to run away is wrong and Myona is quite happy to call him on it. It won’t be the last time she’ll slap him out of doing something stupid, either.

: Cage, I remembered something.

: Really?

: It’s not clear, but there was some accident…an impact, and flames everywhere…Father and mother are on the other side of the flames…but I can’t do anything, and I’m just crying…


: At the time, I was afraid to remember any more. But then I met you, and everyone else, and we started fighting together…and then I realised. I want to be stronger so I can protect people. I don’t want to regret not doing something I could have done. I can’t just stand there crying…because now there’s something we can do!

:…Aren’t you scared at all?

: You’re so strong…

The conversation is interrupted by the sound of metal scraping against rock.

: Huh?

The text should say Scene 06: One Wing’s Promise

Music: Danger

Five enemy LEV’s vs. Cage in the Blade? Oh dear, this isn’t good.

: I see that! Now be quiet! You have the right to…nothing!! If you put up a fight, we won’t hesitate to shoot you. Now disembark quietly.


: Cage, let’s go!

:…I’m sorry.

: C-Cage? Where are you going to go? You’re not going to turn yourself in, are you?



: I’m sick of watching people get hurt! If you have to go, then I’m going with you.

: No, I can’t let you do that. If we both get caught…

: Then let’s find a way for both of us to be safe. Don’t give up!

: Come on, hide!

: Shoot!

: Eeek!!

But suddenly, the Orcrist arrives!

Music: Offense and Defence

: Hm?

: Who’re you?!

:…Earth’s customs?

: Tsk. Another terrorist.

: Mebius!

: I must say I never expected you to act so aggressively…I must say, I’m a little impressed. You too, Myona.

: Heh heh…heh…

: Ares…

: So secretive, Cage…Or did you decide you don’t like me anymore?

: No…no, it’s not like that!

: Heh heh…I can read you like a book. Anyway, we’ll talk later.


: Yes!

: I haven’t introduced myself to you yet. I’m Warren, the mercenary who never made it. Nice to meet you.

: It’s…it’s nice to meet you too, sir!

Deckson and the LEV’s show up immediately afterwards.

: Deckson…

: Escape…the hallmark of a troubled protagonist.

Yukito has played this game before.

: Now is not the time to be shouting nonsense! We don’t know when their support group is going to arrive!

: Everyone’s coming here…just for me?

: They’re all on their way.

: We’ll talk later. For now, get away from there.

: Let’s go, Cage.

: Um…okay.

Mission Map:

The game gives us control at this point. Now this is a special mission in that it’s split into two parts with two different maps. Any damage, ammo and energy use will carry over into the second half. In other words we really want to get this over with as fast as possible.

Luckily all the enemies here are level 5 scrubs in pitifully weak Security LEV’s. There’s not much point in covering this fight in any particular detail; Warren can oneshot every single one of these enemies with his basic attack. All that’s needed is to pull Cage back, wait for the enemy to follow him and then initiate Operation Facesmash.

Strangely Razma seems to be absent from our lineup…

This is my second turn. The AI won’t get another chance to move since Warren is about to murder him.

Bye bye.

: They…they did all that just for me…

: (Oh, Cage…)

BIS withdraws shortly afterwards.

Music: Pulse

: Hey, what happened?

: Cage. I understand how you feel, but that wasn’t the way to handle it.

:…I know.

: Well, we’re glad that you’re okay. Please don’t let it happen again.

:…I won’t.

:…good idea to be piloting a frame feeling like this…)



: Wait a minute. Where’s Razma?

: Ah, the idiot. He’s…

: Whoa?! Was that the radio?

: Hey. You look well.

: Razma? Where are you?

: Heh heh! Guess! It’s obvious once you hear this…Hey, everyone! It’s the boy who broke the switch on the bombs and saved you all! I know you’re a little sleepy, but…come on everyone, say thank you!

: He…llo?

: You’re the little girl from this afternoon!

: Hunh?!


Ah yes, the classic anime trope of “Little kid makes a marriage promise that the female lead takes completely seriously”. I’d like it if, for once, something like this happened and the hero’s love interest wasn’t bothered by it because, you know, kids and all that.

: Um…er…not at all…

: *Snicker*

Razma smacks Bluehair McScarchin from offscreen.

: Ow! What?!

:…Want me to do it again?

:…me! Don’t forget that!

: WHAT?! Me and Semyl?! What is he talking about…?

: *Sigh* Sorry ‘bout that. He’s suddenly started turning into a little man recently. Take it easy on him. You probably already know, but that’s the orphanage where I grew up. So all those kids are like my brothers and sisters.

: Oh…

: So! How’s it feel? You saved these kids!


:…the smiles on these kid’s faces!

: Hee hee…

: I…

: You can’t put a value on human life. But even so, you saved many lives today. That makes you better than any of those guys who spout big ideas but don’t do anything.

: Nobody’s going to criticise what you did…so just come back. Okay?

: Razma…

Everything seems to be going well, but then…

Music: Danger

Razma is cut off by the sound of a large explosion!

: What?! Razma? Razma!!

: *Crackle*

: Razmaaa!!

: Razma!

: Yes sir!

: Razma! Where are you?

: Cage, look! The orphanage!!

: How could they do this?! Is it the army again? Where is everyone?

:…training tool for this Bizac…heh heh…how lucky I am that my hapless prey is coming right to me. This may turn out to be more fun than I thought…)

: Mr…Mr. Bolozof…That is an orphanage. There seems to be no reason to destroy it…so why?

: It may prove problematic to Earth’s purposes in the future. What’s the harm in getting rid of it now?


Unlike Ned, who took a twisted pleasure in hurting everyone he encountered, Bolozof just doesn’t care. Where Ned was a cackling lunatic Bolozof is a cold, calculating sociopath. This makes him a far greater threat, though he does have his dumb moments. Like blowing up a Martian orphanage in front of his Martian girlfriend, then offering the flimsiest excuse ever when she calls him on it.

:…them, and find out where they’re hiding the Animus! Let them know that the Bizac is not an average LEV!

:…Yes sir.

: Oh no…where are Razma and the others?


Both enemy LEV’s near the ruined orphanage explode!

: Huh?

Music: Onward to Victory

: Razma! You’re alright!

: You were a little late…

: Yay, Semyl!

: Jojo!

: What, are you crying? What are you going to do without me, Semyl?

: You’re safe too…


: Yup. That’s the first priority. Look after them, okay?

: Okay.

: It’ll cost you.

: Name your price.

:…Just your life.

: *Snicker* What a shame. You have all that talent, but inside you’re just another dumb Martian.

: What?!

:…there would be no suffering…heh heh!

: What did you say?

: Who’s that?

: You’ve hurt so many people…and yet you act like nothing has happened?!

: Of course. I have no sympathy for Enders. They’re not the same as us Earth folk.

:…other hand, you and your group…!

:…Yes? So what? Are you going to fight me in that useless machine?

: (If only Pharsti were here…)

: Pharsti…

The music stops abruptly, and an odd chime rings out…

: Pharsti!!

Music: Z.O.E. 2173

: (The Animus? Heh heh…today is a lucky day indeed. Now I’ll even have a souvenir for Zephyrs!)

: Pharsti…wh-why?

: I heard you calling. I have an obligation to protect my master.


: Don’t worry. If you command it, I will fight.

: Cage?


:…to let me on board right now!

: Cage…

: Hurry!

: Roger that.

Cage boards the OF.

: Master, I…

: Not now, Pharsti. We have to get him!

: Roger!

: Myona!

: You can’t fight in that vehicle all by yourself. Please stay out of harm’s way.

: But…

: Myona…don’t worry. I’m alright now. Okay?

: (Cage…)

Myona retreats, and a bunch of enemy reinforcements appear across the city.

Player Phase Music: Galactica
Enemy Phase Music: Sudden Assault

Mission Map:

We get control now. As usual, let’s check out the new units.

Cage’s LEV has become the Orbital Frame ‘Testament’. It has all the advantages of a regular Orbital Frame – it floats, has high mobility and its basic attacks cost nothing. It also has the highest HP and armour rating of any unit so far.

Now, Bolozof was going on about how amazing his new ‘Bizac’ is. Let’s take a look at it and see what all the hype is about.

As expected, Bolozof and his Bizac S are a cut above Ned. It’s a wall of HP and armour and its Beam Gun and Laser Saber make it dangerous at any range. Like Ned he also has his own Burst Attack, Lunatic Sin. For the record, Nadia is level 12 and riding a slightly weaker Bizac. It has a regular Laser Sword instead of a Laser Saber, 500 fewer HP and no Burst Attack. She’s far easier to deal with than Bolozof, as we will shortly see.

That’s not all, though – the regular enemies have also been given a boost.

The Security LEV’s we faced in the beginning have been upgraded into Alpha variants, with improved damage and toughness across the board. There’s also an entirely new model in play.

The Model C Alpha has a Beam Gun. They start appearing on generic units from this point onwards.

The pilots of all these units are tougher too. We’re fighting proper soldiers rather than security guards and peacekeepers.

First off, everyone crosses the river. Razma is already on the other side and has a clear shot at the missile LEV to the south.

With that done my turn is over.

The AI uses its turn to move its units north. Nadia also moves up, but it’ll be a while before she reaches us. Bolozof stays put – he won’t move until all the generics are dead.

These guys are much tougher than what we’ve been facing before. This one took Deckson, Phil and Ares working together to take down, and that’s after Razma shot it up last turn. It’s worth it, though, since they give out 800 cash each.

Razma keeps sniping.

Mebius takes half a guy’s HP off with one attack. Despite their improved toughness our Orbital Frames will still rip these foes to pieces.

Time to try out Testament.

Its basic attack animations are the same as they were for Cage’s LEV, but it’ll be getting some new attacks over the course of the game.

Huh. This is going quicker than I expected.

Time to let the AI have a crack.

The first move it makes is to attack Warren.

My dodging skills fail me, sadly. The other LEV and Nadia move up again.

Here’s how things currently stand. First let’s get rid of the two regular enemy LEV’s.

As well as wolverine claws, the Vjaya also has a ranged attack.

It does some nice damage.

Phil and Deckson attack it as well, but it’s not quite enough.

So Razma lends a hand.

Just one more normal enemy left.

Yukito weakens him…

Then Semyl comes in for the kill.

She also scores a much-needed level from this kill.

Now Nadia is all that’s left of the attacking force. Bolozof is still hanging out down south.

A critical hit takes off half her HP. I end my turn and see what she does in response.

Nadia moves up and attacks Warren. Those are some nasty numbers in her favour.

My dodging skills do not fail me this time, luckily. In addition, Warren has some dialogue if he and Nadia fight.

:…much stronger, with more capabilities.


Anyway, Bolozof finally decides to move up and support his girlfriend, but she’s going to be dogpiled long before he arrives.

Yeah, Nadia isn’t going to last too long here.

Particularly since the Vjaya now has access to both of its Burst Attacks.

Nadia gives Boss exp, so that’s a plus.

Meanwhile, Semyl turns on the nitro.


Boosters make Semyl viable.

As do three consecutive level-ups.

There’s no fanfare for getting rid of Nadia. Bolozof will most likely be in range next turn.

…Yup, he sure is. Now, the thing about Bolozof is that he retreats once his HP drops below 1,200. It is possible to kill him, and if you do it nets you a nice amount of bonus cash and exp. So let’s do that.

First we wear him down a bit.

If you engage Bolozof with Cage you get some extra dialogue.

: What? What is that supposed to mean?

: Ah, you’re going to pretend you don’t know anything. That’s fine. I’ll take it back by force!

As an aside, this is the average reticule size when fighting Bolozof.

That should be enough. Now we can comfortably kill him in one hit.

The Vjaya’s really been shining so far. Bloodsucker is its melee Burst Attack.

Good gracious. Poor guy didn’t get a chance to attack even once. He’s another recurring villain, so I’ll show his attacks off another time.

:…like this next time.)

:…Fall back.

Villain exit stage left. Not pursued by a bear, though. Warren killed them all.

Music: Every Day

:…Enemy inactive. Switching to Alert Mode.

: *Phew* You saved us from a sticky situation. Thank you, Pharsti.

: Yes.

: Pharsti, in that instance you say, “You’re welcome.”

: You’re wel…come?

: Exactly.

:…I did hurt a person, and I’d like to avoid that from now on…But if there are people that I can save, I see now that I can’t just run away. If it weren’t for Myona…and everyone else, I wouldn’t be able to see it this way.

: I understand. We’re going back, move your machine.

: Yes sir!

One thing that should be becoming clear is that Cage is very dependant on other people. First Ares, and now Myona as well. Keep this in mind as the story continues, because it’s an important aspect of his character.

: (So that’s the Bizac, eh? Heh heh, I see the resemblance…)

Everyone else leaves, leaving Cage and Pharsti alone.

Music: Pulse

: Pharsti…Myona told me that I was running away from myself.


: I blamed everything on you and ran away. “It wasn’t my fault! You were to blame!”…that’s what I thought.

: I…

:…But if you hadn’t done that then, someone could have been hurt…no, someone would definitely have been killed. I just didn’t get it. I do have the ability to solve problems without hurting others.

: Thank you. But there were more reasons behind your actions, weren’t there?


: Even if it had worked out that one time, there’s no guarantee that it would work the next time. If that happened, I might never get over it. You didn’t just save the children, you saved me too…Am I right?

:…My responsibility is only to protect the designated frame runner. I only fulfilled my own obligation.

: Are you blushing?


:…help me out for a while longer?

:…I am a Navigation System. I am nothing more than a program. If you give the command…

: Have you forgotten? I think of you as a friend. I guess that’s kind of selfish of me, but…

:…by ‘Testament’, I was referring to our agreement.

: Huh?

:…name, so I gave myself one. If it does not appeal to you, I have 3,000 alternatives to choose from…

: Wha?! No, that’s okay! But…why are you bringing this up now?

: Because it seems you have forgotten.

: Forgotten what?

: We already have an agreement. Cage, you are my one and only master.

: Allow me to explain. Due to the readjustment I went through to better serve you, I respond only to the neural pulses in your central nervous system.

: Oh…that’s why.

: So, I hope you will take responsibility for what you’ve done to me!

: What? Responsibility?

: I was joking.

Oh, Japan and your stock anime phrases.

Of course, there’s doubtless some depraved fanfic writer out there who’s described in loving detail the exact consequences of such things.

: Never mind.

: Aw, I’m sorry. Say it again, I promise I’ll react this time.

: Request denied.

: Come on, don’t be that way!

: Come on, Pharsti…

I have to say I like Pharsti a lot more than ADA. It helps that she gets the best lines. Anyway, the screen fades out at this point.

: I’m fine. Just a little tired.

: Heh, I know. It can be pretty draining to spend time with Cage.

: Yes…but there’s something about him. I can’t leave him alone. Cage is a strange boy that way.

: Yes…he is.

: Myona! Where you at?

:…Good night.

The screen fades out once more…then fades back in at an unfamiliar location.

Music: Tension

: Yeah…I was worried for a short while, but things are headed in a positive direction.

: Pharsti, too?

: We won’t look a gift horse in the mouth. Anyway, that’s a trivial matter.

: Heh heh…I’m looking forward to it. I’ll contact you again soon. Freedom to Mars.

: Freedom to Mars.

And that’s the end of the sixth episode. Sorry this took so long to get out. A combination of internet problems and work got in the way. But that’s alright, because next mission is going to be a super fun incredible ESCORT MISSION!!

I can hardly wait.