The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 20: Episode 20 - Missing Line

Chapter Twenty: Missing Line

Music: Intermission

We only have 7,700 cash to spend this time.

I make the most of it and upgrade the Calibur’s health before I hit the ‘Next Stage’ button.

Music: Every Day

: No, I understand just how you feel. But are you okay with it?

: Perhaps I am growing old. Just like you said.

: Oh please! You're still thinking about what I said? It was a joke!

: Heh. I had accepted it as fact...You don't think that's the case...Mebius?

: What?

: A dream...?

: Yes, of all those I've hurt in the past...They all taunt me. ‘Do you think you're doing the right thing?’ ‘Are you sure you've made the right decision this time?’ All I've done is got all of you involved, and placed you in the midst of danger every day. That's it. And I used to think that was the right thing to do. I thought that we could save the Martian people by doing that. But what is the reality? Our friends...I couldn't even save Phil. I...failed. I thought I was doing good, but it wasn't enough.

:'s not like that...

: I may have just been trying to escape from sadness and loneliness. I am confused. I don't know what I should do anymore.

: Heh. That's an exaggeration.

: That's the truth. Do you remember what you told me a long time ago?

:...Refresh my memory. I've been spouting off too many lies to know which one you're talking about.

: 'Even when you think you've lost can never lose your future.' Remember?

:…it now? And what happens to me, who believed what you said to me?

: If that was nonsense...I feel completely stupid!

: ...

: You may have nothing, you may have your worries...regardless, tomorrow will come. We're not gods. Even if we're not perfect, we have to move forward. Were you right, or wrong? You have plenty of time to find out from now on! Come on, I'm always here for you.

: What? That's so unlike you.

:...Mebius. If...if something were to happen to me...

: Huh?

: (No, don't go there...)

: Tell me. I'm curious.

: We'll talk about it some other time. Cage should be ready by now. Let's go.

: O-Okay.

I like this scene, I think it fleshes out Deckson as a character pretty nicely. Anyhow, onwards to the Bridge…

: Yes.

: Good. Let's hear it.

: I am not a Martian. But having fought together with all of you until today, I've had a lot of experiences, and I've seen many things. I've changed my attitude toward Mars from 'a person who doesn't know much about Mars' to 'a friend who cares about Mars.' I think that we should stop him...We should stop Ares.

:… only get worse. I want to hear the reason behind your decision, which will put you in danger.

: Just as he said, humans on Mars are going through a lot of suffering right now...and I think that something needs to be done about it, just like everyone else. Ares suggested a revolution as a solution. I can't think of a better way to go about things, so I may be in no position to go against him. But I feel a real emptiness when he mentions Mars' future. Something's very unnatural about the whole thing - Ares' eyes; the progression of events up to today. I will stop Ares. And one day I want to hear how Ares really feels, with his own words. It may be my selfishness, but I can't hand Pharsti over so that hordes of people will be burned, especially when nothing has been cleared up...This is the reason for my decision.

: I see. You do have your personal reasons, but that is not all. We will support your decision. Any problems?

: No.

: Sounds fine to me.

: True. Cage. You're forgetting something real important!

: Huh...?

: What about Myona? Who do ya think is gonna save her if you don't? Boy, don't ya know this is what boyfriends DO?!

: Bo-boyfriend?! I... I'm... It's!

:…truth, now.

: W-Wait a minute!!

: Spill it! Spill it!!

: W-well... Er.....

: There ain't no reason to be shy, ya know? Was it like, '...And their eyes met across the crowded room...?'

: If you don't say it, I will!

: (What? No way! Is he really...?!)

: Hunh? Me? Where is your home...?

Chekov’s hammer makes its third appearance!

: Yiiiiiii!!

: You idiot! Whaddaya think you're doing, expecting a novice to play along. Look, you made her all uncomfortable!

: Well, well. Things will be out of control for a while. I'll miss seeing the old married couple standup routine.


: Yes.

: This may not be pleasant for you to hear, but Myona may not be the Myona we knew before. We may have to take her life in order to save that of a great many people. Are you prepared for that?

:...I see. (Definitely idealistic. But not a bad answer all the same.)

The doors open and Robin strides in.

: The verdict is out? Is that all okay with you too, Deckson?

: Yes. A load has been lifted off my shoulders.

: Now, as Ares said over the broadcast, if his request is not met, he is planning on attacking West Hellas with that giant beam. If we don't do something, that threat will become a tragic reality...We must avoid it at all costs! We must find a way to stop him somehow!

: But...we can't stop them until we find out where they are.

:: *Giggle* Don't worry. Twede!

:...If the enemy plans to utilize the beam in question, they will most probably want to take advantage of the locations where the effects would be greatest. Here is a list of points for your review.

: Judging from this data...the figures look authentic. It would make sense to go there.

: OK, we have no time to waste! We'll head there immediately!

: Got it!

: Now, the only problem is fuel and the funds for maintenance...

: See, fuel and maintenance don't come free in this world. Before, we had financial backing, but now we are an independent entity. We'll reach the bottom of our assets very soon.

: What?! Don't even tell me we only got batteries one-way!

: I'd like for it to be a joke, but that could happen.

: For real...?

: Really?! I would never expect such a crazy thing to....

:: Yes, there is...It's Nereidum Universal Technology, a.k.a. NUT!

: What?! NUT!?!

: But Ms. O'Connell!

: No, no. I coerced NUT into allowing a comeback of the Robin Foundation, backing us up, and above all, giving me autonomy in my operation!

: What the...?! Nothing ever goes that well. Besides, it may be indirect, but we ARE going to be fighting against BAHRAM. NUT and BAHRAM have been collaborating! How could that possibly work out?

: Yeah. They got no use for us no more anyway. Why'd they do that now?

: Hey. Don't I get any credit for all the flirting I did with the anti-BAHRAM older gentlemen within NUT? I'm starting to wish I hadn't wasted all that energy.

: Hmmm...What you're saying is that even within NUT, there are those who were using us for the J-38 project, and there are those anti-BAHRAM people who do not care for what Ares and company are doing? Even so, it's still NUT. However did you convince them?

: Aside from the LEVs that civilians have access to, NUT is not really concerned with its products - its OFs and weapons. If Mars did win its independence, there's still a possibility that BAHRAM would become a very dangerous opponent to NUT...At least that's what I told them, and then it was easy.

: But it is common knowledge that BAHRAM and NUT are working in tandem. If news of our involvement is made public, the relationship would surely sour. There is no way that BAHRAM wouldn't be able to find out where its money is going? ...Are you absolutely certain that this is safe?

: Exactly, and don't you think...

: Thank you very much, Ms. Robin. I'm going!

:: That's more like it! You go! You go and do whatever you have to do!

: (She's...really changed.)

: Aight! It's ON!

:…side. Got it?

: Whuh...Oh! Okay!

: Well, well! I think we've got something here! When did this happen?

: Whah! No! Wh-what are you talking about?!

:...Hm? Yukito? What's with the drinks?

: Here. For you.

: What. You want me to drink it?

: Come on, everyone. Drink up. It's our ritual farewell toast.

: Heh heh heh! You've got it all wrong! It's an oath that you will come back here again...

: I don't know what this is all about...but it seems important to this guy...Sorry everyone, please indulge him.

: You're right, I was able to use my womanly prowess, which you will never possess...

: Wha? N-no....

: Why men love to have women pour their drinks is beyond me...My shoulders are all stiff.


:...N-no. (Ah well, this is more rewarding than the last job, but it'll be hard on the psyche...)

:...I will manoeuvre Saoshyant to head toward the location which we discussed earlier. Would that be all right?

: Yes, please do.

The Saoshyant lifts off and moves towards where Ares is going to be, but halfway there…

Music: Danger

The ship halts and alarms begin to wail.

: A Sphere along the route is sending out SOS signals! It seems to have been attacked by the Armed Civilians…

: What should we do? Deckson.

: We can’t let it continue…Come, everyone! We’re going!

: Okay!

This should read ‘Missing Line’.

Music: Wetworks

: They've come quite close to Hellas...The darned Armed Civilians...They really did a number on this place.

:...How could they do this...

Without further ado the perpetrators arrive.

: You did this? Unforgivable...Utterly unforgivable!

: Ooooh! Look at all those wrinkles! You can't afford to get mad any more, lady.

:...Semyl, will you take this?

: Be glad to...Excusez moi...Ahem! *Deep Breath*

:…us all the time? Where's Ares?!

: Ohhhh myyy! Here's the loudmouth again...If you want to see him, hand over Testament! Then I'll take you to him.

: I can't do that. Take me to Ares! I need to ask him something very important!

: Like, heLLO? Parlas ingles? Gosh! It's so useless trying to talk to you!

: Phil! You're here!

: If you're here, it must mean that you've figured out where we are. Just as Ares predicted...

: Myona...Is she safe?

: She doesn't want to see you anymore. Why don't you just go home?

: I don't think so.

: Phil! Open your eyes! Do you see what they're making you do?

: Deckson, Ares needs me. He told me so himself!

: Phil!

: There's nothing more to it! It's between Cage and me now! Come on, Cage!

The scene ends here and we gain control of the battlefield.

Player Phase Music: Wetworks
Enemy Phase Music: Impact

Mission Map:

For this mission we’ll be fighting in the bombed out ruins of the city. Under normal circumstances I’d simply let all the enemies come to me and pick them off strategically, but there’s a Local Server near the enemy starting point I’d like to get. I’ll have to meet them halfway and sneak the Vjaya over to take the Server or something. In terms of the enemy units there’s not a lot to say; Phil’s still riding his Grafficane and the Beam Gun LEV’s aren’t too much of a threat either. There’s only one really interesting thing about the enemy setup, and that’s Amante.

Amante is kitted out in the Scarmiglione, a custom variant of the Grafficane. Her frame takes its name from a demon from Dante’s Divine Comedy, specifically one of the Malebranche whose duty it was to punish corrupt politicians by submerging them in lakes of boiling pitch. Although the Scarmiglione’s attacks appear to have the same power as the Grafficane, trust me when I say that the formers are far more deadly.

Thankfully this isn’t a particularly big map so I can quickly move my units up towards the Local Server.

The enemy advances over a wide front. Phil is also coming down from the north with Amante some distance behind him, so let’s go say hello.

Phil is still Phil.

After you attack Phil with Cage you get a short scene before any damage takes.

: You don’t understand anything. Your nice guy streak makes me feel even worse!

: (Is…it…really…me…?)

The mission ends when Phil goes down, so I’m going to leave him alone for now until everyone else is dealt with.

Here we are at the end of the second turn. Most of the Beam Gun LEV’s can’t get into attack range since the burning map tiles apply a movement penalty.

The only way for Phil to score a hit is to target the lumbering Caliburnus. And even that is a wasted effort since Semyl has a Repair Kit equipped and the Calibur is nearby.

Amante on the other hand is far more deadly and has good accuracy against even our most nimble units.

It’s a shame Nadia doesn’t get any unique dialogue with Amante. Amante’s other attack, Chain Flame, is almost identical to the Gillius’s Flame Gale:

Like Phil she generally won’t use it unless her target isn’t in melee range.

Only one generic enemy is in range this turn, and he fails to do anything meaningful.

It’s time to start thinning out the crowd a little.

I’m hoping to feed Nadia some kills so I can show off her final Burst Attack.

On the other hand I won’t pass up the chance for an OHKO.

I was going to finish off Razma’s opponent with the Calibur, then realised that it would mean leaving the damaged Caliburnus to be torn apart by all the enemies in range of it.

Might as well take a shot at Amante and soften her up for next turn.

That’s it for our turn, now it’s time to weather the storm.

Nadia’s not so lucky this time.

Phil tries to be a kill-stealing asshole but misses.

Imagine this happening three more times.

If I had known everyone was going to go for Nadia I’d have finished that dude off instead of healing Semyl.

Here we have an enemy who clearly has a death wish.

It’s our turn again after that, so let’s get down to business. First thing’s first.

Get rid of that guy. Second of all, let’s take out Amante.

Now, we have to be careful here since Amante will retreat if her HP falls below 1,400. That means its Yukito’s time to step in and chip away with his pistol.

Okay, now Nadia can get some payback.


Amante runs away.

I immediately heal up the Vjaya so a lucky hit doesn’t kill it.

Half of the enemy units are now dead.

For a split second I thought this was going to be a critical hit.

It really wasn’t hard to avoid this guy considering he didn’t fire a single crosshair at me.

There’s meant to be special dialogue between Deckson and Phil, but for some reason it doesn’t trigger. I’ve transcribed the conversation from the game script on GameFAQS below.

: Phil! It's me!

: Deckson...I...I suffered for a long time...Ever since I took my father’s life with these hands...

: That wasn't your fault! He was under the influence of experimental drugs and was hallucinating - he attacked his own son. You were only protecting yourself!

: I'm not a good person like all of you...I'm just a terrible person you happened to pick up, and I joined BIS for refuge...

: I couldn't save Harry or Ilya or Lou or Elk or Lirat...Just so I myself could survive...My own father...With these hands!

: Phil!

:...Cage...I thought you and I were the same...I was lonely. Nobody would look at the real me. Whenever you would talk about how not to hurt people, I felt like I was under attack each and every time...

: But Ares...Vale was different. He gave me my dues. 'There are people in this world who don't deserve to exist!' When he said that to me, I was saved!

: Phil...

: That's all I have to say! If you get in my way, I'll destroy you...Even you!

Imagine this happening twice more.

The last guy scores a hit on Warren.

Anyway, it’s time to finish off all the small fry and then grab the Local Server.

Razma is as great as ever.

Now there are only two generic enemies remaining.

This is all we can do for this turn since the remaining generic foe isn’t in range.

Pfft, doesn’t even matter since things will be finishing next turn anyway.

Grab the Server…

Kill the last generic…

And finally take care of Phil. To finish him off we can use the Vjaya’s Tri-Laser attack.

It’s monstrously powerful and very accurate, but since it requires 15 Spirit it tends not to get used very often.

Phil goes down hard.

: You’re done, huh.

: A…res?

: Cage! An abnormal reaction has been detected within Mr. Phil’s frame. It seems that the OF reactor is being allowed to run rampant and eventually explode!

Music: Tension

: The reaction is growing stronger very rapidly. There is not enough time to do so!

: Then we have to get Phil and take him to a safe place...!

: The explosion will reach a one kilometer radius in each direction. We must move him now...

: What do I do! Phil! Can you hear me? Phil!

: Precisely...Your frame was built so that the reactor would run out of control as soon as it reached its limit. I figured I'd get rid of you and all your friends who are fumbling around trying to help you out of your dilemma, and clean up the entire city and Mars all at once. This is your last job.

: What! You...You said you needed me!?

: Phil, that's enough. You already know where I stand on this. Heh, heh, heh...

: N...No!

So Ares betrays Phil, because he has to rack up some more villain cred on top of his plans to incinerate an entire city with a death ray.

:...Oh...Hah ha! I knew it! I'm nothing but a....

: (I stupid!)

: Mr. Deckson! His frame is going to explode any minute now!

: Yeah, I've confirmed that too. I'll take care of it! Phil...Come over here!


:...That's not true.

: I don't want your pity! What would you know? You used to be one of the UNSF elite!

: Phil. Do you know what made me form BIS to begin with? A girl dumped me. How's that for virtue?

: Mr...Deckson?

:…need to face it.

: I…

: Phil! Get on! Hurry!

: Mr. Deckson...Okay.

Deckson and Phil switch places.

:...Mr. Deckson? What are you doing?! Hurry, you need to get over here!

:...Well, everyone, it looks like goodbye.

: Mr. Deckson? What do you think you're doing?!

: It's not possible to manoeuvre at this point, but I can make this baby fly...I'm going to take this away full-speed.

: Unfortunately, there's not enough time. If this explodes here, it will destroy this sphere and there are still plenty of people around. I can't let that happen. I have no choice!

: You can't...You'll die!

: Cage...What is human life, anyway? In the scope of the universe, a life is nothing but the tiniest glimmer of light, a split second. But within us lies the anger, the despair, that can set the entire universe ablaze...I could never quite figure it out. If you have it figured out when we meet next, you'll have to share your findings with me.

: Mr...Deck...son...

:…see if what I've been doing has been right or wrong...

Deckson moves over to the edge of the map!

: Mr. Deckson!

:...Goodbye, everyone.

:...Time's up....

:…sticking with me through all of this)

Deckson flies the Grafficane off-screen. A few seconds pass, then…

: Mr.... Deckson?

: Please...say something! Mr. Deckson? Mr. Deckson? How can?!? Noooooooo!



Music: Sadness



:…Calibur was abandoned. Phil…was nowhere to be found.


:…able to arrive at the precise point if we combine our information on their retreat route and the projected location we came up with earlier.

:…Myona is there as well…

:…Hurry. Let’s head over there.

: Mebius…are you okay? About Deckson, I mean…

:…mourn right now.

:…I couldn’t give anything back to Mr. Deckson…even though he did so much for me…

: Dammit...!


Robin enters.

: Robin, we...

: I know, I feel the same way. But...we don't have time for that now, do we? If something goes wrong now...he would be angry...

: Maybe he knew what was going to happen. Right before he heard Cage's decision...It was really unlike him. He was worried that he wouldn't be able to play his part responsibly until the very end.

: That's typical of the ole chap.

: Yeah, yeah...! We gotta...!

: You guys...

: It's what the Boss wanted! We have to find out whether he was right or wrong, remember? If we don't hurry, they're going to make that discover for us!

:...I'll get on Calibur.

: Dana!

: Stay out of this! If I don't do something, the sadness will ruin me! We can't have that. When we get back, we're going to tell Deckson how we solved all these problems while he was taking his little vacation!

:...Okay, let's get going. No crying until we get back....

: (...Deckson...You have some very good friends...And even though you are no longer here, your reign over BIS continues. All these people that you have protected....)

: (Deckson...I'm going. Darling, please guide Deckson to where he needs to go....)

The screen fades out and we get to see our spoils for the mission.

We gain Testament’s final weapon upgrade, and Orcrist gains the ability to repair other units.

Well that was a major downer. Deckson is dead and we’re still no closer to stopping Ares and his mad plan to burn Hellas to the ground. Out of all the BIS members I find Deckson to be the most interesting and well fleshed-out. As the story unfolds we get to see not only his convictions and strength of will but also his doubts and shortcomings. His interactions with the other characters make him feel genuine and real rather than a bundle of character tropes layered on top of the ‘resistance leader’ archetype. As the older mentor-type figure his death isn’t exactly unexpected, but it’s still a very sad moment due to Deckson being such a believable character.

Despite his death, BIS must press on, and our next mission will involve fighting against Ned once more.