The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 8: Episode 08 - Darkness Dyed by Darkness

Chapter Eight: Darkness Dyed by Darkness

Music: Intermission

Welcome back. We have a ton of cash from the previous mission, so let’s get some upgrading done.

Most of the money goes into upgrading HP and Armour. Everyone now has two chevron’s worth of upgrades for each.

The Justeen’s attacks get a bit of a boost.

The Edge gains some more killing power. I spend the last 2,000 on the Dreizehn’s Calamity Kiss and the Caliburnus’s Star Carnival. From this point on money will start to become more common so we can afford to spread the upgrades around a bit.

With that out of the way, let’s proceed with the story.

Music: Strategy Explanation

: You back already?!? Jeez, that was quick.

: Never mind that, look at this photograph. It's pretty low-resolution, but...

:..Where did you get this? There seems to be something this what you were talking about earlier?

: Well, how about this picture?

: This is...Bolozof's new machine!

: Wasn't it called...Bizac?

: And look at this one.

: The frame in production...That is not an LEV! Can it be....An OF?!

: That Bizac-frame, it did look different from an LEV. If it's been built with OF technology - that is, if it includes Metatron - that explains everything...

This is actually a nice piece of foreshadowing for Zone of the Enders II.

: Meta...tron. That's the precious material that they use in the catapults at the spaceports, right?

: I figure the Martian government is probably doing all it can to keep it all a secret, but they wouldn't have them together with the LEVs. I think that they would have to have a special place where they dealt with all the OF-related matters.

: That's true. If they're hiding their OF research, it would make sense that they would have their own private facility.

:…there too?

: And...perhaps there was some sort of unexpected accident during testing, and they lost control... And it hit Bonaparte...

: That would mean that Zephyrs and his men were behind that accident...

: It's possible.

: I regret to inform you that that's an industry secret.

: Right, an industry secret...Like slappin' a tracer on a girl, stalkin' her, and plannin' on inviting her out to dinner?

: Yeah, yeah...You know how women are, you convince them that it's destiny and...

: did you know about that?!

: I knew it!

: *Sigh* You know, you are so transparent. Myona, what do you think of guys who do things like this?


: (Uh-oh... Don't look at me like that!!)

:...I think it sucks.

: (Ouch!) No! It's not like that! Er...

: OK. Enough of that. So, is that how you came across the information?

: Yeah. She was suspiciously alert for a civilian. She told us to take a child to a safe if she knew what was going to happen.

That’s because you’re an anime protagonist, Cage.

: Oh... I understand now.... I'm sorry, Razma...

: Heh, heh... It's no big deal.

: But.... She said that as she was leaving. You didn't have time to put the tracer on her after she said that...

: Um, Razma...

: That's so typical of you, Razma... But in this case, you were able to obtain information because you did that, so we can't complain...So what are we going to do? Should we wait until they make a move?

: You sound as though you want to move on it immediately.

: Well, are you against that?

: That depends on our strategy. This facility belongs to the Ryan Corporation. I'm sure their security system exceeds that of most military facilities... And I'm sure their LEVs do also.

: Ryan Corporation? What's that?

: It comes next to NUT, Nereidum Universal Technology, a manufacturer. Of course, even though they're second in the industry, they're nowhere near as big as NUT - NUT has the power to build its own colony with no help from anyone.

: Wow.

:…their competition. It would make sense if they had helped with the construction of the Bizac too.

: I think we should sneak in.

: Why?

: Well... the secret production of military weapons has been proven by the information supplied by Razma. All we need to prove now is the existence of Earthlings within the facility, and there will be enough to indict Zephyrs for his involvement. If all goes well, we may also be able to obtain data from the local server, and that is the most definitive evidence that we can lay our hands on.

:...I agree completely with your plan. But what's the hurry?


: It's true, this may be a good opportunity to take action. Warren, if we don't move now, we may end up having to wait until they make their next move, in which case we'll allow something to happen.

:...You're right. I understand. We must build our strategy very carefully.

There is the sound of a door opening in the background.

: *Sigh* So now you're going to go after Zephyrs. Why didn't I know about this?

: Ms. O'Connell...I was about to discuss this with you. I had no intention of keeping this a secret from you...

: Well...

: *Giggle* I'm only joking. But it wouldn't hurt you to worry about me sometimes too, you know? I work hard too.

: Yes...Thank you.

:...I have prepared a blueprint of the area with possible invasion routes, for your review.

: No way! When?!? We just started talking about it right now!

Twede is the best secretary.

:...I will take care of the security problem. Please, just look out for the Security LEVs.

:...Good luck. I will pray for your safety.

: I'm sorry... Please don't take it personally.

: You got no presence, is why.

Semyl Shambrow? More like Semyl Smugbrow. Razma gives her a thump.

: OW! Boy, I'm gonna make you cry!

: *Gasp* That's it!

: Hah! Show me what you got!!

: Well, shall we get going?

: Yes...

This should read ‘Scene 08: Darkness Dyed by Darkness’.

Player Phase Music: Galactica
Enemy Phase Music: Wetworks (Why is this amazing tune wasted here?)

Mission Map:

Our units spawn in, along with a lot of enemies who are spread out all over the map.

The camera draws out attention to these green glowing panels, signifying that they are Important Things we should be aware of.

:…need to worry about cameras or sensors - but even he can't control human eyes. Beware of the Security LEVs while you go about your business.

: Well, if Twede is going to hack into the system so that Security and the facility can't communicate, why don't we just take them all down at once?

: And make a big commotion so Security does show up?

:...Not a good move. It's best if nobody finds out about this. Security trusts its sensors, so I don't think there will be too many Security LEVs on site. We should think of it as a clandestine operation.

: Get within three squares of an enemy LEV and it's war on the spot. Be careful. If a Security LEV finds you, you may be able to get out of it if you beat it immediately....

: Three squares?

: Don't worry about it. Anyway, we'll have to find an entrance first. Then Phil and Ares will go in on the Blade. Is that okay with everyone?

: That's fine. There are 5 routes. You need to figure out which one will lead to the inside of the facility.

: Correct. Don't get caught, now!

: Yes sir!

:...Why is it Phil and Ares?

:...In this group, those two are best with that kind of stuff.

: What kind of stuff?

: It's almost time.

: Ares, Phil - be careful!

: Yeah.

: Yes... I-I will! You can leave it to me!

: OK, is everybody ready? I will stay here and give you instructions... Let me know once you are inside.

The Edge and the Blade vanish from the field.

: Is something the matter?

: Are the sensors functioning normally? Something feels off...Is it just me?

: All functions are normal. Perhaps you are tired. May I suggest that you take a rest?

: Why? Are you bothered by my being here?

: No. Far from it, I'm honoured! If it were up to me, I would be with you like this for all eternity!

: Thank you. Normally, I would take that as a cue to flirt, but I shall refrain from such action for now. So that you might rest, I will continue with this Security post, although I will be very lonely.

: Heh... OK, fine. I'm going to take a break, you take care of everything while I'm away.

Nadia leaves.

: Phew... That was close. Now, where were we?

:…has been cut off, and the arrangements are complete. (Everything's done on time. I've done my part, now please do yours and do it well...)

Not content with his day job as a secretary, Twede is also a Ninja on the side.

: Not an issue. I'm very reliable when need be... Heh heh.

: Unconvincing, at best.

:...It's time. Let's go.

The mission proper begins now. As you’ve undoubtedly all worked out already, this is a stealth mission. There are eight enemy units scattered around the map, and if you get within three spaces of them they’ll detect you and sound the alarm on their next turn. Thankfully it’s not as annoying as you might expect – it’s not an instant game over, the enemy LEV’s don’t move at all and even if you are detected you can still continue as long as you destroy the offending LEV before its next turn comes up.

With that said we’re ignoring Warren’s advice to sneak by and instead going with Razma’s genocide option.

Considering there are five potential entrances to the base, of which only one is the correct one, destroying the enemy LEV’s is probably easier than sneaking by them anyway. In terms of enemies we have various Missile, Beam Gun and Machinegun alpha LEV’s to contend with. None have HP above 2,800, so we shouldn’t have any issues as long as we pick them off one by one.

First of all, everyone shuffles forwards towards the two closest enemies.

Everyone moves up so they’re just outside the enemy’s visual range…

Razma initiates combat by sniping the left-hand LEV.

Of course, shooting him elicits a response from the pilot.

:…cut off. They’ll pay for this…

: Get him!

Will do, sir. This message appears every time you shoot at an unaware enemy.

Cage can easily finish him now.

That’s one of eight enemies down.

: Although I cannot say it was the best turn of events…

: Come on, everything’s okay. As long as the plan goes well, everything’s good.

: Every single action in this plan affects the final result. Not taking everything seriously will result in failure.

: Computers do not get tired.


Pharsti really does get all the best lines. Even so, it’s not going to stop us killing everyone and getting their sweet, sweet LEV monies.

Semyl strikes the first blow against the second LEV by showering it with missiles.

Now Mebius can put him out of commission.

He explodes after a totally unnecessary critical hit. From here on out I split my forces into two teams.

Razma, Yukito and Cage will clear the northwestern part of the map, as well as the dude hanging around in the middle.

Meanwhile Semyl, Mebius and Warren will deal with the northeastern enemies. I have all the time in the world to get everyone into position, so Semyl’s lack of mobility isn’t an issue.

With one kill under his belt Cage has enough Spirit to use his new attack, Nail Laser.

It’s not quite Shining Finger Sword, but it’ll do.

One more down.

Now for Mebius…

And then there were four. This mission is way easier than I remember it being, probably because the last time I played it I was a dumb kid with no idea what he was doing.

None of the LEV’s here are a threat. It would have been infinitely more challenging if these guys had a patrol route and moved around the map.

To be fair though even if this is a stealth sequence it’s much better than enforced stealth sequences in other games. I’m looking at you, Rogue Squadron II!

If nothing else, this section lets me show off some more Burst Attacks. Coming up is Moon Ballista, Mebius’s ranged burst.

It does some nice damage but that energy cost is pretty steep. Anyway, two enemies left.

Just one more left. I’ll just cut to him exploding.

Now all of the enemies are dealt with we can find the correct entrance at our leisure.

It turns out to be the northeastern-most one.

: Ares! I think it’s over there!

: OK. Let’s proceed carefully so they don’t see us.

That’s not going to be a problem.

: Yes!

: Okay…we’re going in!

: Yes sir!

Everyone retreats, and the mission ends.

Music: Every Day

: Yes...I hope the rest goes as smoothly.

: Since there's time until our next move, I'd like to take a short nap.

: What?! What are you thinking...?!


:...He really fell asleep.

: I can't quite figure out if he's headed for greatness, or if he's just stupid.

: Well, that's Razma. We should all take turns and get some rest too.

: (Ares...Phil...Good luck!)

So that was a pretty short mission, the shortest so far in fact. This and the next mission are linked together, and it’s best to think of them as two halves of the same episode. Note how the ‘Garage’ option is missing from the Intermission menu – our units can’t be upgraded since they’re still in the field.

Anyway, tune in next time for the exciting conclusion.