The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 17: Episode 17 - Rebirth

Chapter Seventeen: Rebirth

Music: Intermission

The show must go on, and that means spending our hard-earned cash on upgrades.

The Justeen’s Shell rating gets a boost, as does the Caliburnus’s W Beam Cannon. Upgrades have become so expensive that our spare change now amounts to over 3,000.

Music: Sadness

Cage sits at the airport, doing nothing. Someone walks up to him.

: You Cage?

:…Yes. And you are?

: I’m Raiah. They’ve told me to get you out of here. We’re heading for Deimos Spaceport…that means you need to do something about the way you look. Here.

: Duh. Now don’t lose it. It has your fake ID and emigration papers in it. Go put on the clothes that are in there. I got them from the luggage of some Vacilia people, so I’m sure they’re the wrong size.


: (Tsk…why am I doing this? It’s all Dad’s fault. He should’ve acted responsibly as an adult, but he had to go and make a scene like that…Well, this is only a temporary arrangement, but…ach!)

Cage goes to a secluded spot to change.


Music: Promise of Reunion

:…Nobody cares about me. There isn’t a single soul who needs me…

: This is…how it was meant to be. I should…I should never have been born…

Cage’s self-pity is interrupted when the button starts acting strangely…

: Myona?!

Music: Pulse

:…think that when you want to listen to this it’s because you’re going through a tough time. So in the space that’s left on this, I’ve decided to record a message.

: I hope you don’t mind. I know this is your prized possession.


:…been that long, but for someone like me, who has no memory, the days I spent with you are my entire life.

: Heh, maybe that’s a little cheesy, but I mean it. I know that things are probably hard for you right now…but one thing won’t change.

: I’m always on your side, Cage. From now on, too. So don’t ever give up!

: And there’s something else I’ve been meaning to say. I hope you’ll give me an answer once you hear this…

: Myona, I…

: Cage…to me, you are…

: How could I have been so stupid?!

:…Myona, signing off. Goodbye.

: I’ve been thinking only of myself…I’m not alone at all!

Love and Friendship speeches – hardening the resolves of spineless anime protagonists since time immemorial.

: Get on with it. Don’t you care that all your old friends are buying time for you? Hurry up, we haven’t got…

Music: Danger

: Hunh? So you didn’t know about it? Ah, so it’s like a surprise party! Hah!

: What are you talking about? Tell me!

: He-hey! L-let me go! Okay, okay! Those rioters…somehow they’re better organised than anyone imagined. They’ve vowed to level you guys at any cost. So, if you wanted to escape, where would be the best place for you to go?

: Huh?

:…at least for a little while. So that’s why we’re in a hurry…

: (Oh no…I’m so sorry, everyone…I was…I was wrong…)

: Mr. Raiah! I…I don’t really know yet, but…I figured out what I should do for the time being!

: Yes!! Let’s go!!

Cage runs off.

: Er…erm, where are you going? Hey! Wait! If you don’t do as you’re told, it’s going to get me in trouble! Shoot! Why am I so unlucky?!

This should read, ‘Rebirth’.

Music: Black Ops

Yep, that entrance is certainly a bit more collapsed than it was when we last saw it.

: Look, it’s already been levelled…

: (Tsk, whatever did I do to deserve this? What’s wrong with swindling people out of some petty cash once in a while? I’m Raiah, Mars’s number one Broker!)

:…you next?

: Thank you. This is fine right here.

: Huh? Right HERE…?

: So you’re saying this is good enough? The contract’s been fulfilled?

: Yes.

: Oh, okay. Great. By the way, those clothes look great on you. It’s a little farewell gift from me…good luck!

Just a little detail – Cage actually did change his clothes back at the airport. If you look at the last full screenshot above he’s wearing a red jacket over his shirt rather than the green one he was before. All of his portraits change to reflect this, but since that’s the only change there’s little point in grabbing new portraits to go with the 3 million other ones I have of all the characters.

Cage puts on a spacesuit and jumps out, then Raiah drives off.

: No, there’s no way that they would lose to them that easily…after all, we’ve been through much harder trials in the past! They can’t have died like this!

Unfortunately for Cage, several rioters show up in LEV’s very close to his position.

: Oh no!

: Hey, look! It’s a human!

: (These people did this…?)

: In that case, I’ll capture him. It’ll serve as a good example for them, since they’re not coming out. Heh heh heh…happy hunting!

: (Uh oh…I’m done for…)

Someone shoots one of the LEV’s!

: What?! Ughghggh!!

: Huh?

Music: Onward to Victory

: Ms. Mebius!

: Finally, you show yourself! I’d be happy to fight you!

:…Really, sometimes I don’t know what to do with all of these troublemakers.

The second enemy also gets shot!

He explodes and Razma appears in his place.

: Razma…I was wrong. I want to fight with you!


: Mr. Warren! I’m sorry about everything…

: Why? If you had just left, you wouldn’t have had to fight again…

: Myona recorded a message for me. And also…

: Myona? And what?

: It made me think. I was only thinking about myself, while everyone else was worried about me…I’m embarrassed. Please! Let me join BIS again. I promise I won’t get in the way anymore!

:…Heh. I see.

: You lose, Razma.

: Hmph, d-do as you please!

: Hee hee…welcome home, Cage.

: I’m…I’m back!

Music: Uncontrollable Fear

What’s this? A new enemy, in an Orbital Frame no less?

: That voice! How could it be…Why?! You’re supposed to be-

It’s Ned! And he’s alive somehow!

: Why are you still alive?!


:…does not deserve the release of death.

: W-who are you?

: Mr. Yukito!

: Thanks, Cage. I was going for that mysterious feel, but he may as well know!

: Okay, okay, this isn’t an audition for a sitcom.

: Rrrgghh!! Are you MOCKING me?!

Ned moves his new OF down next to Cage!

: Heh heh heh…You no longer have the Animus, eh? You’re finished, I’ll squash you like a bug!

: (Damn…If only Pharsti were here now…Whenever I called her, she would always come to my rescue!)

: Pharsti…Pharstiiiii!!!

: Ouch! Whaa?!

Music: Z.O.E. 2173

: Pharsti! It’s really you! Heh…ha ha ha!! Is this a dream?

: Negative. This is reality.

: And Myona? She’s with you too, right?

:…Unfortunately not. When I rebooted, there was nobody in the surrounds.


Ned calls in a bunch of reinforcements.

: Shall we take care of the mess in front of us first?

: O-okay!

: Ms. Nadia!

: What’s this? You get dumped by a man and you become this desperate?

: I choose not to waste words on the unworthy.

Nadia doesn’t get many lines, but some of them are pretty good. Anyway, here’s where we get control of the battlefield.

Player Phase Music: Wetworks
Enemy Phase Music: Impact

Mission Map:

The mission map is exactly the same as it was for the last mission, but this time the rioters aren’t using cloaking devices. And Ender-hating Ned is leading them for some reason…although I guess it’s not surprising he’d turn out to be a total hypocrite. Speaking of Ned, let’s check out his fancy new ride.

He’s piloting a shiny new Orbital Frame called the Ravana, named after a figure from Hindu mythology. Aside from a fair amount of health and more armour than you can shake a Caliburnus at, his attacks also pack a punch and can take out most of our units in only two hits. As the Ravana is an OF it also uses very little energy for said attacks and can fly over rough terrain, so retreating from him can be quite hard. Plus he has enough Hit to make evading his attacks rather difficult.

However, there is a glaring flaw that balances out these advantages, as I’m sure you’ve all noticed.

That being that he’s charged into range of every single one of our units except Semyl. Dogpile time!

Alright, Ned is now at critical health. Let’s finish him off with Testament…

Now that’s very interesting. ‘Tear Bullet’ has suddenly become ‘Tear Blast’, ‘Rusty Lancer’ has transformed into ‘Rusty Cutter’, and ‘Soulshooter’ has digivolved into ‘Soulsection’. All of them now deal more damage than before.

We can test them out on Ned, but before that we get a scene for engaging him with Cage.

: What is that machine? I’ve never seen anything like it before…

: Heh heh…look at her! BAHRAM’s the real deal! With this, we’ll be able to put Earth down for good!

: In this world, the stronger one is the right one. You should learn it ain’t easy fighting for a cause just because you like it.

: So you betrayed Earth.

: THEY betrayed ME!! They tried to destroy me! When I was in a bad spot, those other guys picked me up…and with this new body, I’m going to have my revenge! Heh heh heh!!

: Your new…body?

Interesting…but it won’t stop us from pasting him.

Ned goes down hard, giving us 2,000 cash and enough exp to give Cage two levels.

: What’s that?!

: Is that…Ned? What’s going on?!

: It seems the visuals that were being communicated until now were CG’s…this is his true physical state.

: What…this…something like this can be done?!

Remember the files BIS recovered about Zephyrs attempting to link human brains directly to Orbital Frames? Looks like he succeeded.

: Quiet! Quiet, quiet, quiettttt!!! You’ve ruined my new body! That’s IT!!!

This…might be bad. The Ravana’s gimmick is its immense capacity for self-repair, and Ned gains an enormous amount of Spirit after being knocked down to either critical HP or zero.

: *Growl* Take this!!

: He’s recovered already? Is he invincible?!

Fortunately for us this is still a cutscene, so Twede shows up to help before Ned can bring his absurdly boosted abilities to bear on us. The addition of so much Spirit here is purely cosmetic and meant to show Ned’s rage, similar to the Will mechanic that appears in the Super Robot Wars series.

: Mr. Twede! What do you mean? With that Frame? That’s impossible!

: I did not expect your return, but that is fine. At any rate, please go now.

: Then you should come with us!

: Cage, I detect massive quantities of explosives stored within Mr. Twede’s LEV. I posit that he is going to delay the actions of the enemy with the explosion…

: What?! He’s going to self-destruct?! Is that true, Mr. Twede?!

: What is wrong? I have already taken care of all your needs from this point forth. You no longer have a hideout to which you can retreat. There is no reason for you to be here any longer. So please – leave now.

: No…how can I be happy being saved at someone else’s expense?

: But…I can’t let that happen…!

But then, when it seems there’s no other option…

: Wha…what?!

:…kind of selfish behaviour!

: Ms Robin!

: How have you been, Cage?

: (The right hand of Testament has changed…is this what they mean about OF’s and their ‘maturartion’?

Enjoy this picture of Twede looking shocked, because it’s the only time his expression changes like this in the entire game.

: Cage…you’re back!

: Phil! Everyone’s okay…but…what is that you’re riding?

: That would be a transportation spacecraft. It looks to be an old cargo ship.

:…after the attack, I was worried…but I got it to move somehow. And not a second too soon…

: Because a certain person, who will remain nameless, locked me up…I almost didn’t make it in time.


: But it looks like you were about to leave me behind and go off on your own. Who is going to be my secretary when you’re gone? Are you telling me to organise my own files? That prospect doesn’t make me happy at all.


: Just like Cage, I found my own path. I’m completely confident that I’m doing the right thing. But I can’t go down that path alone. It has to be together with all of them…and you. So…

:…I agree. The only one who can handle being your secretary in the entire galaxy is myself.

: Hey, I’m not that bad.

: Well…


: Twede! Don’t do it!!

: Mr. Twede!!

: Whoa, whoa WHOA!! Whaddya think you’re doing?! Grr…you got lucky this time! But I swear I’ll get you next time! Choose your coffins before you see me again!

Villain exit stage left.

: Mr. Twede…why…why did you have to die?!

: Ah…

: I escaped immediately before the explosion. In fact, this was my intention from the very start…

: Oh…

: I can say the same about you. Anyway, there are still more opponents. Good luck with the rest of them.

: Thank you!

Robin withdraws and leaves us to clean up the fodder units Ned brought with him. There are thirteen Beam Gun LEV’s to get through.

The best strategy is to simply retreat a bit and let them all cluster up, then take them all out as quickly as possible.

The first enemy goes down to Razma and Semyl, the tried and true tag team.

Nadia and Mebius take care of a second, netting the latter a level up.

This is also a good time to show off Cage’s new Tear Blast attack.

It’s a pretty great upgrade.

Warren finishes the guy Cage injured, and now Yukito’s the last one left.

We’ll get rid of this guy next turn.

On the enemy’s turn Semyl takes two Beam Gun hits.

Razma also gets shot at but evades.

Mebius is damaged by a lucky hit, but evades three others.

Unfortunately she takes a second hit when one of the others tries to melee her.

When our turn rolls around the enemy units have moved themselves into a nice long line for us.

Razma scores a crit and Mebius finishes the enemy off, bringing her kill tally to two and unlocking her Burst Attacks for next turn.

Semyl and Nadia take another one down.

Cage gets his SHINING FINGER on.

And lastly Yukito gets rid of the foe he injured last turn.

Mebius dodges two shots on the enemy’s turn.

Razma isn’t so lucky, but the Health and Shell ratings for our LEV’s is getting pretty beefy at this point.

Not so for our OF’s, with Mebius taking a Beam Gun hit which drops her to below half her HP.

Thankfully she evades the next shot.

Warren also takes a hit, rounding out the turn.

First thing’s first; Ray Disaster has a new attack animation thanks to the Testament’s modified hand, so let’s check it out. It seems to be a bit glitchy on VBA, though.

Glitchy or not, it still kills the enemy in one hit.

Just four more left.

As luck would have it we have yet another powerful new attack to show off, the Orcrist’s Bounder.

Just a standard energy ball, but it does the job.

Just two left to go.

Semyl rocket boost!

Semyl can’t kill this guy by herself, but Warren can finish the job.

And then there was one.

He shoots at Semyl but since he’ll be dead next turn there’s no point in trying to evade.

Warren wraps everything up and the rest of BIS retreat, ending the mission.

Music: Every Day

: I wonder why. This IS the hideout, Cage.

: Wha! How’s that?

: We buried a fourth-generation freight ship underground and used it as our hideout.

: But it was buried underground for so long…Is it really maintained well enough to be capable of sustained flight?

: Yes. It was our plan from the very beginning. Deckson and I kept it a secret. I’m just glad we made it on time.

: ‘Reincarnated Saviour’, eh?

To explain a little further, the Saoshyant is the saviour figure of the Zoroastrian faith. He shares many of the same characteristics as Christ; immaculate birth, a role in the end times with the resurrection of all the dead, the cleansing of souls and the destruction of evil, etc. Funnily enough though, Zoroastrianism predates Christianity by around six hundred years, meaning it’s actually Jesus who is the Christian Saoshyant rather than the Saoshyant being the Zoroastrian Jesus.

Anyway, Deckson’s back!

: Yes…right after you left. Sorry to have worried you.

: No, not at all. I…

: I heard all about it. Forgive Razma, will you? He was thinking of you when he said all those mean things. He meant no…

: No, I was in the wrong. I was only thinking of myself, and being selfish…I’m really sorry.

:…one of the hiding places I outlined earlier.

: Okay. Go, Saoshyant!

The Saoshyant takes off, ending the episode.

So, Cage finds his resolve and rejoins BIS. And just in the nick of time too, because our old pal Ned is back. Or at least, his brain is. BAHRAM have shown their hand as well, meaning that all of the major players have finally become involved in the struggle for Mars. Despite this the next mission is going to contain some even bigger shockers, so stay tuned until then.