The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 16: Episode 16 - Uncertain Future

Chapter Sixteen: Uncertain Future

Music: Intermission

You guys know the drill by now.

Upgrades are becoming rather expensive. I spend all of it upgrading the Shell rating of the Justeen and Caliburnus. Newer, more valuable enemies will be showing up soon, but for now we must make do with what we have.

Music: Sadness

:…innocent lives.

: This place is sure to become more peaceful because of your actions. You should have more confidence.

We start with Cage reminiscing about what Myona recently told him, unaware that she’s currently in grave peril.

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

An explosion rocks BIS HQ, and alarms begin to sound in the background!

Music: Danger


The scene switches to the BIS main living area…

: Our radar has been damaged!

: Just a coincidence, maybe? If it is, they have some serious good luck…

:…Luck is a prerequisite for military personnel.

Another detonation thunders through the facility.

: On the battlefield, there’s no such thing as coincidences. What is going on?

The HQ’s communicator beeps and buzzes to life.

:…action of a few days ago. We demand that you take responsibility for your actions at that time! You have two choices; fight and be defeated, or go to your graves quietly!

: Do they really think they’re a match for Earth? This is so Wells.

:…H.G. Wells? Or Orson Welles? Either way, this is ridiculous.

The troublemakers don’t bother waiting for BIS’s response and continue to shell the area.

:…when we can’t get in touch with Robin…?

: What is this about? Why do we have to be attacked by these people?

: Cage…uh…

: We don’t have time for this now! Grow up and stop whining! They’re serious and we have to think of what we’re going to do!

:…And since when did you become the leader of this group?

: Cage…

Yeah, sassing Warren right now isn’t a good idea…

: Nobody told me that!

: That’s true. Because you were in your room, trying to escape from reality. It really doesn’t concern me whether you like it or not. But you are a member of BIS. What good will it do for you to complain about it now? We are going to think of the best way to handle the situation, then act accordingly. That’s the…


:…Testament…is gone…

: What…what do you mean?

: It disappeared from the hangar bay…along with Myona.

:…happened?! How could this happen?!


: I get it…you’re in on it!!

: Cut it out!

Razma thumps Cage.

: Yeah, that’s right. You need to wake up and get out of la-la land! We understand that this comes as a shock – I’m tired of all this too.



: Hey, enough already! What we really gotta do’s figure out what we’re gonna do ‘bout them peeps outside.

: Semyl’s right. Come on!

This should read ‘Uncertain Future’.

Music: Sortie


Cage will be piloting the Edge for this mission.


: Poor thing…he’s in bad shape…

: Hey, where are they? Nobody’s out here!

: Stealth warfare! This could be dangerous…

Armed civilians are packing cloaking devices? Now that’s a suspicious detail right there. How did rioters get their hands on such advanced tech?

:…nothing we can do!

:…installed an anti-stealth sonar onto everyone’s frame.

: It’s already installed?!

: In the OF’s. It’s built into the options module, so it’s ready to go.

Yukito saves the day with his ridiculous foresight. You just know he watched Full Metal Panic, saw the stealth systems the Arm Slaves used and immediately began designing a countermeasure ‘just in case’.

: Unfortunately, it’s impossible to render the stealth systems completely powerless. You can, however, find its origin if you get close enough. Here, I’ll show you. I’d say…they’re somewhere…around here!

Yukito moves down into the ruined city, and…

…these two jokers appear.

: Who cares? Let’s get ‘em!

: Like so.

:…repeat, wait for them to come to you, then surround and attack! Don’t move an inch until then!

: (So that’s the leader…)

: Okay everyone, the last one looks like the boss. They’re armed, but they’re complete amateurs. If we get the leader then the rest of them will surely flee. Their plan is to wait for us to approach, so proceed with caution and destroy them. Let’s go!

: You ready, Cage?


Player Phase Music: Sortie
Enemy Phase Music: Sudden Assault

Mission Map:

This map’s gimmick has already been explained pretty well by Yukito. Aside from the three enemy LEV’s you can see on the map all of the foes here are invisible until you get within a certain range. They won’t attack you whilst cloaked and if you take out the LEV to the west all other enemies will retreat.

First let’s see if we can find some more hidden foes by moving Semyl west.

Yep, four more enemies uncloak.

Despite their fancy new invisibility device these guys aren’t too hard to deal with.

In the end it makes sense since they’re nothing more than jumped up thugs who just happened to get their hands on some LEV’s.

As for Yukito, he can pretty much handle the bottom two enemies by himself.

Aside from moving the Blade and the Edge over a bit that’s all for this turn. Without Testament Cage won’t be doing much, and Phil is Phil.

Better luck next time. His pal also misses, but that’s not surprising when he has three seconds for targeting and a tiny crosshair.

All three remaining enemies shoot at Semyl, but at this point she’s hardy enough to easily tank the hits.

It’s our turn again, so let’s get cracking.

I’m probably not going to go out of my way to root out all the invisible enemies on the map. It’s just too tedious so I’m going to make a beeline for the boss and crush any enemies who jump out along the way.

One more down.

Semyl gets healed up before attacking.

The tried and true combo buries yet another foe.

Yukito rounds out the turn by taking out one of the two original ambushers.

On the AI’s turn the last western enemy puts a dent in Semyl’s armour, but the southern one fails to get a lock on Yukito.

On our turn Warren oneshots his opponent and is rewarded with a level up.

Yukito does likewise.

After I finish moving everyone up Semyl gets close enough to detect three more enemies. Their leader is offscreen to the south west but it shouldn’t take long to get to him.

Predictably the lead enemy goes straight for Semyl with his Laser Blade. Phil healed her up off-screen, but even if he hadn’t this guy still wouldn’t be a threat.

That’s all the AI can do on this turn aside from moving its other units.

The rocket barrage takes this guy down to less than half health, which lets Mebius swing around and finish him off.

Come to think of it it’s been ages since we’ve used the Edge for anything.

Doomtank, it’s like you never left. Once the Edge gets into combat a scene plays.

: Have you remembered yet how taxing it is to fight while worrying about saving lives?

: I know…I don’t need to hear it from you!

It also leads to all the undiscovered enemies decloaking, so you can feed Cage a kill at the start of the mission if you can’t be bothered to play hide and seek with these guys.

Eh, they won’t be too much trouble, finishing the mission will just take a little longer. Let’s-


: V-Vjaya!

It’s Nadia! And she’s on our side!

: I don’t particularly enjoy being indebted to anybody. I am joining this battle!

:…I’m borrowing this.

: Yiiiii!! S-s-stop it! I’m going to fall! Aaaaarrrrggghhh!!!

Ninja Twede also shows up out of nowhere in a stolen grunt mech.

: Mr. Twede! You’re a pilot?

:…Allow me to lend you a hand. I await your command.

Twede and Nadia join us to help kick ass and take names. Let’s have a look at ‘em.

Nadia is good at both melee and ranged attacks, and the Vjaya’s natural nimbleness offsets her relatively low Avoid. She’s a pretty great pilot who’ll be shooting down a lot of enemies in the future.

Twede is…not nearly as good, though he’s better than Phil at least. Being in a grunt mech doesn’t help, but then again he’s one more ally so I’m not complaining.

Since we didn’t kill Nadia way back in episode nine she joins us here as a permanent member of BIS. If we had opted to blow her up back then she wouldn’t have joined us, presumably choosing to stay on the run with Frazer since she wouldn’t be in our debt. In that case Twede shows up in the Vjaya in her stead and pilots the OF from this mission onwards. Since we did save Nadia he appears in a Beam Gun LEV and won’t participate in any further battles after this one.

Unfortunately it’s pretty clear that the option to have Nadia join you was thrown in at the last minute. Though she sticks around for the rest of the game she has very little dialogue and her presence in cutscenes is very limited. Nevertheless it’s worth getting her since she’s a much better pilot than Twede.

Nadia can start earning her keep immediately, but Twede isn’t in range of anything.

Luckily Phil is able to get rid of the damaged foe.

These six units in the south are the only ones left apart from the leader. None of them are close enough to attack so the AI spends its turn moving them all upwards.

It’s at this point that I decide to kill all the enemies after all and pull some of my units back a bit to take advantage of the AI’s movement.

They’ve lined themselves up for me rather nicely.

Twede manages to score a critical hit and deal a fair amount of damage.

Five left…

Four left…

Three left…

Two left…

Sadly we can’t finish off everyone this turn, but the final two enemies still get wrecked pretty badly.

Twede has good evasion, at least.

Once again the enemy leader just sits there whilst his men flail around impotently.

Yukito with the Handgun execution.

All of the regular enemies are dead, so now it’s time to take out the leader.

In all honesty he’s essentially the same as his buddies, only two levels higher. Taking him down will be a breeze. Oh, and even after you kill all his subordinates he still just waits for you to come to him.

Not that it matters when Warren can destroy him in one hit.

:…started to move…Freedom to Mars!

The armed civilian rants before exploding ignominiously, ending the mission.

Music: Sadness


:…I cannot disclose that information. All I can tell you is that this will be our last show of support as the Robin Foundation.

: What?!

: As I said, I cannot disclose any further information. But please do not worry. I will see to it personally that you can make a safe escape.


:…away…and fast.

:…True. There’s no guarantee that we’ll win next time, especially with the one extra load we’re carrying now.

: Are you talking about…me?

: What?!

:…It is true. Objectively speaking, your skills are clearly lower than average. That Frame you were riding must have been constructed pretty well.

:…I agree.

: Twede, even you…?

:…I have been watching you since the first riot. At this point, even I have more skill than you do.

: Cage…

: Ares died…and Myona probably left because she was sick of me. And even Pharsti…

:…only stayed because Mr. Deckson asked me for my help…

:…Yeah. Hurry up and get out of here.

: Razma!!

Yeah, it’s a pretty shitty thing to say particularly since Razma himself said everyone had to trust one another and stick together at the very start of the mission.

:…you for everything.

:…You can just do that?

: Yes.

:…no reason to…

: I have already spoken to some people about this. Arrangements are being made.

:…Good thinking.

: Cage.


: I don’t know how you plan on spending the rest of your life, but whatever happens, don’t blame it on anyone else. Think for yourself, and act for yourself. If you take responsibility for your own life, you’ll become stronger.

: I can’t do that. Nobody needs me anymore. I won’t do it.


And on that rather depressing note the screen fades out.

Well, that was pretty heavy. Testament is gone, Myona is gone, Deckson is still unconscious and BIS is falling apart at the seams. Things have got a lot worse since our battle with Zephyrs at the TV Station, and now Cage has taken the radical step of leaving BIS altogether. Could this be the end? Well, we still have nine episodes left…