The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 15: Episode 15 - The Darkness That Came From Light

Chapter Fifteen: The Darkness That Came From Light

Music: Intermission

Welcome back. A lot of pretty heavy stuff went down last mission, and we fought through a veritable army of enemies. The end result is that we have boatloads of cash to spend.

The Dreizehn gets a twofold upgrade to its HP, bringing it up from 2,900 to 4,200.

I then upgrade all of the new attacks our LEV’s have acquired. After that I go back and upgrade everyone’s Shell rating by one rank so that everyone has three points in Shell and four points in HP. This leaves us with 2,700 spare cash we can’t spend.

Music: Sadness

: He’s still unconscious, but stable.

: Okay. How are things on your end?

: No information on the Black Frame. But we do know that Zephyrs is still alive. That scum is just bad luck.

Man, we didn’t even put Space Mengele down.

:…be found soon.

: And…what about Ares?

:…It is unfortunate.

The door opens and Robin walks in.

:…There’s no time to be sad.

: Oh! Ms. Robin!

The scene abruptly shifts to Myona knocking on Cage’s door.

She enters Cage’s room anyway.


: Come on, say something…I thought you weren’t here, with your lights off and everything.


: Hey, aren’t you hungry? It just so happens that I have some of my special multi-vitamin soup…

Remember when I said that Cage’s dependence on Ares was going to be problematic? This is where it comes into play. Cage really has three pillars of support throughout the game – Ares, Myona and Deckson. Losing the first and most important is a terrible blow that leaves him barely able to function.

: Cage…about Ares…

: Uh? Oh, of course! Here.

Music: Promise of Reunion

:…was going to follow Ares. I don’t have anything I want to do. I can’t even think of anything I might potentially want to do. I was born in space, on a ship. I don’t really feel like settling down on the ground somewhere.

:…supposed to do? Tell me…Ares…

Cage defined himself through Ares to the point where all of his motivations revolve around him. At the beginning of the game it’s clear that Cage relies on Ares to get himself out of trouble. Every time he runs into difficulty he considers what Ares would do in that situation. Ares joining up with BIS was what convinced Cage to do likewise. When that pillar of support vanishes it takes the majority of Cage himself with it.

: Well, er…

: Yeah. I have Pharsti too.

Even so, it doesn’t stop him from missing the bleeding obvious.

: Whether or not Ares is here, nothing can change the fact that you protected lots of innocent people. This place is sure to become more peaceful because of you. You should have more confidence.

:…Confidence. I guess so…

: Absolutely. What’s the hurry? Let’s find our goals together. I’ll help…oh!

: What?!

: Wait, stop that!

: Stop what? Calm down!

: Hey! Heeeeeeyyyy!

Myona falls over in her attempt to grab the button.

: Ow…ach! The switch!

Music: Pulse

: Phew…that was close…Wasn’t…er…


:…Myona, you have really pretty eyes.

Of course it wouldn’t be a true anime without a scene where the heroine falls on top of the protagonist and they wind up in a compromising position.


And of course someone has to walk in on them and get the wrong impression. Gotta tick all the boxes, y’know.

: No. No, no, no, it’s not like that. We weren’t doing anything, were we Cage?

: No. Uh, what happened? You came here for a reason, right?

: Please. Just come to the strategy room!

Music: Tension

: You couldn’t hear? I said ‘fight together with them’.

: What happened? Is everything all right?

: There are riots erupting all over Mars right now.

: Riots?

:…hope – but at the same time it unleashed all the anger that’s been accumulating over the years.

: The other problem is that the Earthlings are laying all the blame on Zephyrs and are refusing to apologize.

: I understand how they must feel, but…riots…

: That won’t be necessary.

: Hunh? Hey, we’re having a serious discussion here…

: Thanks to you, these anti-Earth sentiments have spread beyond the confines of this county, and have infected all of Mars.

:…join them, it will add more fuel to the fire. It is our chance.

Robin offers the pragmatic choice, but naturally it doesn’t go down too well.

: And the fire will turn into a catastrophe which will burn the entire planet to ashes. Robin, are you serious?

: Yes.

: Unlike me? What do you know? I’m…I’m…

: Let’s go.

: Razma!

: Sticking around here and arguing is pointless. There’s nothing to debate about. We’re going to stop them, right?

: I agree. We’re the only ones who CAN stop them. I understand how they feel, but rioting is not going to help matters at all.

: Robin, I’m sorry, but I know that Deckson would have said the same. So I can’t obey you.

: Deckson...that's true. He would have said so...

: We are indebted to you. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be here right now. But individual strength never wins against the strength of an organization. If we let this go, the flower will be picked before it has a chance to bloom. The same thing almost happened to us before...You were the one who taught us that.



Everyone leaves, leaving only Robin and Twede behind.

: Are you crying, Dana?

:...That'll be the end of them. Are you satisfied?

:...This is work. To me, it's nothing more, and nothing less.

That explains the mysterious phone call Zephyrs received earlier on. Honestly though it should have been fairly obvious since he was the only one who knew the plan beforehand whose motives were suspect.

: There was no reason to get in their way. In fact, that was a complete misappropriation.

:...I knew I should have just left then and there...

: What do you mean?


: Twede!

: Twede, you...

:...I am in a state of shock myself. Until now, I would never question any command. But I could not abandon you. Even if it meant that I had to disobey orders...

: Then...why?

: Tying up loose ends. With the company...

: What are you.... You wouldn't....

Twede knocks Robin out.

: Egh! T-Twede...I...can't...

The screen fades out, denying us an explanation for Twede’s behaviour.

This should read ‘Scene 15: The Darkness that Came From Light’.

Music: Uncontrollable Fear

:...We came to stop you....!

: Now you shall see our anger that has been building during all these years of exploitation and tyranny! Freedom for Mars!

: Stop! There have been casualties! Wake up! Stop this at once!

: Stay out of this, you Earthling dog! We will never rely on you for anything again! Take this!

: Ughggghhh!

: Haaaahahahahah! That's what happens!

: P-please stop! Our city is going to be destroyed!

: Shut your mouth! Are you siding with the Earthlings too?

: Hmph! If you're going to say things to dampen our determination.....

: Whah?! What are you doing?!

: Aaaarrrghhhhhhhh!

: could you...?!

: Ha ha ha! Another piece of trash gone from Mars!! Haaa ha ha ha!!

The rioters yuk it up after crushing the Security Forces, but then Task Force Acemos shows up.

: Hunh?! It's not possible!! Ugghghgh!

: *Snicker* We were doing you Enders a favour by running this place! What a laugh...It's not your place to pretend to have power! Hah! Who's next?

: *Gasp* Run!

: If we let them go, it'll just lead to an increase in Enders.... Make an example of them. I want each and every one of them shot!

BIS come rushing in to save what’s left of the day.

: Hm?? Is that...

: It's B-BIS!

: Damn! There have already been casualties!

: Perfect timing! You guys are on our side, right? Hurry up, fight with us!

: What? Wait, I get it...BIS is wussing out just like those Earth-folk. Pathetic! We'll clean both of you out!

:...Why? Why are you doing this? Why do you have to fight? Ares didn't die for this! And I didn't struggle every day until today so that I could....see THIS! But still...Why?!

: Cage...your mental condition is in a state of disarray. Please calm down. I am sure that if you would talk with them...


: He-Helppp! Somebody stop them before everyone...The town...!

: The first thing is to get people out of here! We'll take the construction LEVs and approach the civilians, and lead the way out of danger...As for the other LEVs, well, never mind. Just destroy them! Let's get going!


: Cage, can you hear me?

: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time...I got it.

The game gives us control here.

Player Phase Music: Sortie
Enemy Phase Music: Sudden Assault

Mission Map:

There’s no other way to describe it – this mission is a clusterfuck. Obviously we have to clear out Acemos since they’re Evil Space Imperialists but we also have to take out all the green rioters too. Both will try to kill one another as well, and if left alone Acemos will always win because they are more numerous and their LEV’s are more powerful. We also have to get to the Local Server, which is in the middle of the Acemos formation. Oh, and both Acemos and the rioters will happily attack the unarmed yellow Construction LEV’s, and if they die it’s an instant game over for us. Thankfully the last one isn’t too hard – neither Acemos nor the rioters will go that far east unless they have nothing left to target.

I start out by moving everyone forward to form a broad screen. From here I’ll split my units off to either side to deal with both enemy factions individually.

The nearest Acemos unit attacks with his Beam Gun but misses.

Another initiates combat with one of the rioters by charging into melee range.

Unfortunately for Acemos the rioter manages to escape unscathed.

So does the next rioter, who manages to evade a Beam Gun shot. All of the remaining Acemos units advance forwards and then it’s time for the rioters to take their turn.

The lure of Phil to too great to resist even for the rioters.

Half of Phil’s HP is gone in one attack.

Meanwhile another rioter decides to take revenge on Acemos by melee attacking the same unit that melee attacked his pal last turn.

However the string of evasions continues and he doesn’t deal any damage.

Another enemy attacks Phil, but he also misses.

The final rioter manages to land a hit on one of Acemos’s Missile LEV’s before the AI’s turn ends.

Now that we’re within striking distance of several enemy LEV’s things should begin to speed up a bit.

Razma tosses a grenade at the nearest rioter, gaining miniscule experience from it.

Warren finishes him off and gains…significantly more. I mean, I knew he was two levels lower than his opponent, but damn…

Phil heals himself.

Semyl showers the flanked Acemos LEV with missiles.

Aaaand justice foot.

Mebius moves to interpose herself between Acemos and the rioters. She also gains a level and is now level 20.

Finally Cage goes for the server, skewering a nearby enemy at the same time before our turn ends.

Acemos misses yet again…

Oh, that one actually did some damage. Nice going, nameless NPC who I will probably kill in the next turn or so.

Of course after that the next shot misses again.

Ouch, beam weapons can still do a lot of damage even to OF’s.

I’m amazed by all these misses. Every other time I’ve played this mission it’s been a one-sided slaughter in Acemos’s favour.

Mebius manages to evade this time.

The final Acemos unit manages to land a hit on one of the rioters. By this point it’s too little, too late. Afterwards the rioters have their crack.

The dance of incompetence ends and our turn begins.

It kicks off with Mebius regenerating some of her HP. The previous Server’s upgrade means that she can now slowly heal herself as the turns roll by. Speaking of Servers, let’s grab this one now.

Mebius hammers one of the nearby enemies and gets a level even though she didn’t kill him.

Meanwhile Semyl acts as a missile boat again.

Yukito comes in with the cherry tap…

…And Phil slips in a finishing blow. There are only two more rioters left now, and one isn’t going to last long because he’s in range of Warren.

Boom! Just one more rioter left, but sadly we can’t get him this turn.

Another Acemos LEV bites the dust.

On the enemy turn Mebius comes under attack again, but manages to evade in time.

One Acemos LEV gets its act together and gives the final rioter a good thumping.

Mebius evades two more hits from the enemies up north…

And the southern rioter manages to hang in there for another turn.

Said rioter immediately goes for some payback.

Razma and Phil are offscreen to the north. It’s just one rioter and six Acemos units left to go before the end.

First let’s take care of the last rioter.

Boom! No more green units.

Mebius destroys one of the northern enemies and gets 352 experience points out of it. These Acemos LEV’s are experience piñatas.

Cage also gets in on the action with a spot of stabbing before our turn ends.

Mebius and Phil both take hits. Neither is in much danger though since both enemies will likely be dead next turn.

My bad luck continues as Warren takes a glancing blow from an enemy’s laser blade.

The follow up Beam Gun misses, though.

Then his pal runs into melee range and gives him a good thumping. Too bad that’s brought him into range of my other units.

This battle shouldn’t last much longer.

Cage and Mebius finish off the northern enemies. Mebius gains an additional two levels from her kill.

Semyl melts one of the three final enemies down south.

Razma does what he does best.

Yukito goes for the overkill on the penultimate foe.

Finally, Warren gets to show off his new ranged attack, Slashboom.

And that’s the end of that!


The Construction LEV’s retreat.

:…There is no response from the surroundings. Switching over to cautionary mode.


:…Much of the city had burned, hasn’t it?


: Cage?

: What’s wrong, Cage?!

: I should have left Zephyrs alone! I did my best to protect everyone, and stubbornly stuck to what I thought was right – and this is the result? What a joke!

:…then I met Ares, and I started to understand that there were things I wanted to do, and that it was possible for me to do them…I was able to believe that! And then it turns out that it’s not possible after all…Ares is gone. I can’t do anything right! Ares, can you see me right now? Pretty funny, huh?

:…don’t you? Or were you not programmed to laugh?

: It’s an order! Laugh! Now!


Cage’s self-pitying rant peters out just as the scene ends.

Music: Every Day

: Hey, everything’s fine! We can’t sit and watch if there’s a group of people who think standing up for Mars means making a random ruckus! They need to be educated!

: Ditto. Even if it’s comin’ from you, I gotta agree with that one.

: But…Mr. Cage didn’t seem to think so today…

:…controlled. Of course, that’s not everyone, but Cage can’t see it that way yet.

: It must be tough for him. He just lost his best friend, and no longer has a clear idea of what he wants to protect.

: Hmm. Where’s Miss Myona?

:…Oh, I see…

The scene transitions over to said hanger.

:…I don’t want to talk right now. See you…

: Cage!

: I want to be alone. I’m going to my room. Please don’t come after me.



The hangar door hisses open as Cage leaves.

: Is Anything The Matter?

: Pharsti?

: Would You Like To Talk For A While? Please Sit Down.

: Please. Although Provisions Are Perfunctory…Heh heh…

Music: Mystery

: Heh heh…heh heh heh!

: Um? What?

: You Fell For It. Now We’ll Use This To Move That…

: What?!

: That voice…you’re not Pharsti, are you?!

: Look in front of you.

: Who is it?!

: I’ll change you back, Pharsti. Back to what you were before…

An odd keening tone rings out, the same sound Myona has heard before earlier on in the game.

: Eeeek!!

The chapter ends with the unknown abductor taking Myona and Pharsti away. It looks like there’s more to Testament’s onboard AI than meets the eye…

Our prizes for this mission are a new attack for the Vjaya, which is sadly still out of action, and another Semyl Enhancing Device.

And that’s all for this mission. Sorry it took so long to get out, but real life intervened. It’s likely to intervene again for the rest of this month, too, so it’ll probably be a while before the next update.