The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 21: Episode 21 - A Faint Light From the Depths

Chapter Twenty One: A Faint Light From the Depths

Music: Intermission

It’s that time again…

I upgrade the Calibur’s Health and Shell, then spend some money upgrading its damage output with what I have left.

With that done, let’s get going.

Music: Danger

:…armaments should be around here somewhere. This one’s for Deckson! I want you to get out there and do what you need to do!

: There's nothing on the monitors.

: Stealth, huh. We don't have time for this right now.....

: At first glance, it does not look as if there is anything there; in actuality, there is a very large field of energy. I assume that this entire area is hiding the OF in question. Somewhere within this region is the person who possesses the control device.

: But it's too dangerous to just fly in there. We don't have much time, but we still gotta be careful.

: Although we can't see anything, the sensors have detected an increase in energy levels in the area. That OF must be charging energy to fire... There is no doubt that the caliber of this next explosion will be far more powerful than the one that wiped out the entire LEV troop!

: The numbers don't look good...Razma, which would you wager on? Can we stop them, or is it impossible?

: Of course we can stop them!! Boss would have said the same, and if we don't stop them, we won't be able to save Myona! Right, Cage?

: Yeah, of course!

: Y'alls need to be a little more serious about this stuff! You mess up and we all go down!

: What, that's what you're worried about? I don't want to die either, but it's already clear what we have to do. There's nothing to fear any longer.


: Deckson never told us that we had to win. I think that maybe what was most important to him was that each and every one of us strives to achieve what we truly believe in.

: He always used to say, 'Life has many choices, but no answers...' We make up our own answers. That's how we go on living.

:…we came up with this time is to stop them.

: That's our answer...! Okay! Let's get this show on the road, then!

: (Boss...I really miss having you around...But I'll do my best, you watch!)

This should read, ‘A Faint Light From the Depths’.

Music: Galactica

: Well, that's for us to expose, to make visible. Is it not?

:...I suppose so. Shall we go ahead and show them what we're made of...

: The 3 hour time limit made by Ares has not fulfilled its term, but judging from the rate of increase in the ambient energy levels, my calculations show that they will be ready to fire in approximately 15 minutes.

: At any rate, what we're doing is finding them out here, right?

: Yes. We must destroy them all! Come on!

: It's dangerous. You shouldn't be out in front.

: It doesn't work that way, Cage. Deckson gave up his life for the people of Mars...I can't be the only one hiding for safety!

Before Cage can argue further Ned appears.

: Ned! You again!

: That's my line! Always appearing before me to ruin my game! Heh heh! But Deckson finally went down, eh? What a moron! He threw away his one and only life for those people who live on this planet!?

:...Well, I wouldn't expect you to begin to understand what it was that he felt he needed to protect.

: Stop while you're still ahead...We're trying to keep our cool, but inside we're just about ready to go off!

: The control device for the stealth in the area is installed in that frame...Sorry, but I can't let Myona be subjected to that process again! But before I find her and stop it from happening...I'll have to break your brand-new frame into little bits!

: Hey, go for it! Heh, heh! Come on, give it your best shot!

:...Once we destroy Ned's frame, we should be able to locate the OF. After that, we'll render it ineffective thereby preventing the attack on West Hellas...! But don't forget, there are invisible enemies out here. Proceed with caution!

: OK!

The game gives us control here.

Player Phase Music: Counterattack
Enemy Phase Music: Impact

Mission Map:

Yep, more invisible enemies. Fortunately they’re not the only things this map has to offer; defeating Ned is merely our first objective.

Moving up here causes the first batch of invisible enemies to decloak.

: There they are! Come on, Pharsti!

: Roger that, I am ready!

Honestly, these guys are pushovers. The pilots are six or seven levels below our own and the units they’re riding are the Security LEV Alpha’s we fought back near the start of the game.

This cluttered and broken cityscape is going to bog us down.

His fellows move east to support him but none of them get in close enough to attack. Ned simply waits in place for us to come to him.

These weaklings have no business being here, so let’s get rid of a few.

I honestly have no idea why these fragile things are getting thrown at us. Maybe we destroyed all of their good LEVs?

A game that actually reflects your continued victories against the opposition in that way would be pretty cool. You crush the enemy’s best troops / bits of tech and after that you just face mass-produced stuff with a few elites here and there.

I move Mebius up and then it’s time for the two remaining enemies to flail around for a bit.

The other enemy also attacks Nadia, missing once again.

It is nice of them to walk into range of most of my heavy-hitters, though.

The speedbumps are almost through, just one more left.

Okay, that’s the last of the fodder dealt with.

Unfortunately the next set of ambushers consists of four Raptors.

And Raptors can do nasty things to our units.

They’re less dangerous when we have a functional repair unit on the map, but over 1,000 HP of damage potential is serious business.

Okay, dealing with four Raptors at once is going to be a pain particularly since they’ll probably all attack the same target, so a bit of repositioning is in order.

Like so. Now none of the Raptors are in range and will be open to a withering barrage of fire once they try to close the distance.

Yep, just as planned.

Destroy the most distant enemy first to encircle the others…

Next goes the lead enemy…

Just one left, but I don’t think I have enough firepower left to take him out completely.

Well that’s irritating.

Still, Semyl can take the damage so it’s not too bad.

Problem solved. Now it’s time for Ned. He’s still not moving, so I take the opportunity to heal up and get into position.

Sadly Ned’s attack range means only Nadia and Cage can attack him immediately.

Unfortunately, as soon as we attack him…

He gains 5 Spirit and summons more Raptors to help him.

Fortunately, Cage has killed enough enemies to unlock his Burst Attacks and is free to go to town on Ned.

Of course, Ned is still deadly. In fact, he’s the deadliest enemy we’ve faced so far because his attacks do so much damage. First of all is his basic melee attack, Stinger.

It can do upwards of 1,900 damage in one hit, which is terrifying. He also has a ranged attack, Sleeve Shot.

Sleeve Shot isn’t much to worry about; it does around 1,600 damage but you’ll almost never see it because Ned prefers melee attacks. No, the real danger is his Burst Attack, Hell Rave, which just got unlocked since he gained 5 Spirit.

Hell Rave is absurdly lethal. It can do over 2,600 damage and Ned will spam it for as long as he has the EN to use it.

...Yeah, you want to take Ned out fast.

Oh, yeah, and the Raptors too. Thankfully only two are within attack range this turn.

More Raptors will appear when Ned dies, so if you’re feeling lucky you can try and take them out before then so you have less to deal with later.

I feel lucky today.

The upside of all this is that everyone is gaining Spirit like nobody’s business.

Well, that’s all we can do for now. My money’s on Ned attacking Semyl next turn.


That was hairy. But of course, we’re not done yet…

That’s good. If both hits had landed Semyl would have died, but now we can take out both the Raptor and Ned on our turn.

Now that that’s over with it’s time for Ned. Hmm…Robin could do with a level or two…

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.

: Sorry, that won’t work – I don’t legally exist on Mars.

Best line in the game right there.

: The stealth operating system on the enemy machine is losing power. The field will be eradicated shortly.

: Rrrghh!! Shush! Don't you use that tone of voice with me!!! I'll get you for thisssssss!!!

Ned leaves.

: The stealth field has been eradicated. The enemy frame in hiding should appear.

Myona’s Orbital Frame appears.

: That's...Myona! Myonaaaaa! Can you hear me?


: You can, can't you? Please, say something - anything!

Music: Uncontrollable Fear

:…boyfriend has to say!

: Amante! What did you...Why!?

: What do you think? The prototype OF Nerokerubina, and the massive canon Marlblanke...complete with Zephyrs' Mindflow system. It's not just another OF with a big bullet shooter, you know.

: (Nobody needs to know that it's an old model with a few new additions...)

: Your little girlfriend has already gone through the full compatibility program, so at this point she's nothing more than a single component of the Marlblanke!

: Hmmmmm? It's always someone else's fault, isn't it Cage? You know who drove her to this point...? The answer is: Y-O-U. Cage, you did it to her.

:...That's a lie...

: Brother and Sister, who have nobody else in this entire world. Sister understands how Brother feels, though he has gone to extremes and is involved in criminal acts...'If I can't stop him, I must at least continue to suffer for all the sins...This is the least I can do...' Isn't the love between siblings so beautiful? It just makes me want to cry…

:...Because it's so hilarious.

:…things continue this way, we will be blown away before all of West Hellas!

: No...Myona wanted this?

: Can you not say 'base of the reactor?' It has a cool name, you know. 'Marlblanke!'

: No! I refuse to believe that! Myona, wait there...I'm going to rescue you...! Okay. First I have to destroy that reactor thingie...

: It's totally useless. Ares calls it 'hyperalignment', but her brain and the Metatron computer on the OF are completely linked by the Communicator. By doing that, it's possible to reach unimaginably high levels of effectiveness, and that's what's called the Marlblanke Effect. The collaboration of those two things makes it really strong, and it transcends even physics. The shield becomes super strong. For instance...


: S-stop it! Please stop that!

: Hee, hee! Aww...You're so cute. That's such a turn-on...Okay, maybe I'll just give you a little hint because you're so cute. Do you want to know how to cut off the link between them?

: It's actually really easy. *Giggle* All you have to do is get rid of the central control unit.

: The central control...? Is that...You mean...!

: Exactamundo! All you have to do is destroy the cockpit on this frame! See, wasn't that simple? Will the hero save the futures of thousands of people...Or his girlfriend's life? Heh heh...Have fun deciding! But I'm supposed to be defending us too, so if you take too long, I might just kill you.

: (Er...I have to do something...If I give up now, Deckson would never forgive me!)

Music: Sudden Assault

We regain control after Amante offers us a sadistic choice. Amante, Myona and three Raptors are our new enemies, and though we’ve seen Myona’s Frame in a cutscene this is the first time we can get a good look at it in-game.

Holy shit, look at that HP! And that Shell! And that EN! This thing is some kind of monster! A…a kind of familiar-looking monster…

Hey…wait just one minute…

Son of a bitch!

So here we have another example of Mech-cribbing, though in this case at least Amante admits to herself that it’s a rehash. Just as how Zephyrs’ HarutMarut is a Tempest with the serial numbers filed off, Myona’s nigh-unpronounceable Nerokerubina is just a reskinned Tyrant, an annoying boss from the first game that would smash you flat unless you had a specific subweapon equipped. In this case the advanced targeting system has been swapped out to make room for the Marleblank canon, so we don’t have to worry about an instant Game Over.

All that aside, Amante and the Raptors will bum-rush us when their turn rolls around so it’s a good idea to let them come to you.

Like so.

We can afford to take our time here since the only goal is to attack the Nerokerubina with any of our units, plus I’d like to feed Cage another kill to show off his final Burst Attack.

It helps that only Cage is in range this turn.

Plus dragging things out reminds me that I never showed off Razma’s special attack, which is impressive since it’s been more than six missions since he got it.

It does about the same damage as all the other LEV’s special attacks.

And Cage gets the 20 Spirit he needs. Fantastic. End turn!

Amante misses and leaves herself wide open.

Okay, now let’s see what Cage’s new attack can do…

Well that sure is a thing. A 5,000+ damage thing.

: No wayyyy! They got us again?! Awww! I hate it when that happens! Oh, but it’s more fun with just that one anyway. *Giggle* I’m going to go and see what happens…

Amante runs off after being pummelled by the fist of God, leaving behind only a single Raptor to guard Myona.

Things do not go well for it. All that’s left to do now is to engage Myona, but we get a special scene if we get to turn 15.

: Hunh? Of course. What is it?

: Am I…useful to you, Cage? Have I been…at all helpful to you?

: What?

As far as I’m aware this is another choice that doesn’t really affect anything. At first glance you might think that the first choice will yield the most positive result, but it’s actually a trick. The second option is the best one, both in terms of conversation and because Cage pulls the derpiest face ever in it.

: I never really thought about it that way…

: I see…

: Is that true?

: Why would I lie? What’s the matter? It’s so unlike you to talk like this.

: I am very relieved to hear that…Yes, I do not feel like myself today…Perhaps this is what humans would call ‘anxiety’.

: What was that, Pharsti? I couldn’t hear you.

If you’re curious, choosing the first option just truncates the conversation up to where Pharsti says ‘I am very relieved to hear that.’ The third option has Cage blow Pharsti off completely so I’m not going to choose it because I’m pathetic and don’t like hurting the feelings of imaginary video game characters.

We’re nearly there now. It’s worth mentioning that Myona will attack anyone in her range, though she won’t move from her position.

Her attacks also hurt if they hit. Thankfully her accuracy is pretty bad.

Okay, let’s finish this…

: Cage?!

: If I get to the reactor, I can stop it…

: It is too dangerous!

: Don’t worry! Trust me!

:…I trust you.

Like the HarutMarut the Nerokerubina has three giant weak points that can be targeted for critical hits.

As Amante explained, however, nothing we do can actually hurt it to any significant degree. All attacks will be reduced to 250 damage regardless of their apparent strength.

: The enemy’s shield is preventing us from making any effective attack. Cage…the only way is to attack the cockpit. If you would give me the command, I will…

: No! There is another way! There has to be! There’s gotta be…


: Destroyed!

: Myona! Can’t you tell? We’re on the same side, now stop it!


Testament moves next to Myona!

:…Cage, I am attacking the cockpit now!

: No! I won't allow it!

:...Cage, I myself am a part of her so... I understand...

: Pharsti...You...

: I would rather do this to myself...than let you see me like this...and hurt everybody...

: Cage...I am sorry. There is no other way...It's too late...You, and the whole city, are going to be burned down!

But then, just before Pharsti attacks…

: That sounds like....

: Phil? Is that you, Phil?

: We don't have time to chat, I got it...It's not just you! If you attack, both the frame and Myona will go down too...It can't take much more!!

: Wh! What?!

:…Myona... I'll help you out!

: (That's right...Phil was good with computers...Maybe he will be able to do something!)

: Great! I was able to purge the energy flow system! It's useless now!

: Miss Myona's OF is demonstrating a rapid energy decrease! It worked! The energy burst cannot be performed!

: Phil!! You did it!!!

: Myona! Come with me! Come on!!

: Myona...!

: When Mr. Phil intervened in the activity of Miss Myona's OF, it upset the balance of the alignment. We may be able to help Miss Myona regain her sanity, if we work quickly!

: Really?!

Finally, things are looking up!

…Uh oh…

: Somebody needs to discipline him....

: Ugghhhh! M-Myona...!

: Phil!

: Hee, hee...Bye!

: Cage...take care of Myona...

: (...Deckson...I'm sorry. Father...Everybody...I'll be with all of you...soon...)

: Phillllll!!!

: (Was that...?) Ca... ge? Cage, is that you?

: M-Myona!? Is it really you?

: (Aww! Bo - ring!! Ah well. It happens. She can go and have a little talk to Mr. Silly for a little while. But if they don't hurry, she's going to turn back into her old self...Heh, heh, heh....)

: Cage...Don't come here...If you do...they'll get you...Uuuugggghhhhhhhhgg!

: Myona!

: Eeeeeeeek!

: Myonaaaaaa!

: Time's up!


Amante's communicator rings.

:…jiffy! Nero's broken...What should I do? OK, so I'll just retrieve Myona and the device.

The communication ends.


Amante retrieves Myona from the cockpit and begins to retreat.

: Gotcha!!

: So long, everyone!!

Amante leaves, taking Myona with her.

: Cage! The OF that Miss Myona was on is about to self-destruct! Everybody, please retreat!


BIS retreat just as the Nerokerubina explodes.

Music: Every Day

:…’Marleblank’, has been destroyed. Our goal has been met.

: All right!

: Heh...We did it, Boss!

: Phil...came back to help us out in the end...We couldn't have done it without everyone.


: Hey. We succeeded in stopping Ares and his group...We did suffer some major losses, but we were also able to save countless valuable human lives! Everyone did a great job, and...I'm sure that Deckson would have been proud.

: (Phil...It was my fault that I wasn't able to understand what you were going through...If things had gone a little differently for me, I would have been in the same spot...I'm so sorry...Thank you Phil...)

: I don't think that Phil betrayed us...He was just desperate. Other people probably think he's an idiot, but he put his own life on the line, looking for his ideal - somebody who would always love him for who he was.

: First Boss, now Phil.... Man. This is real sad.

: Yes...It is very tragic.

: We have to remember them always. It won't do anything, and it may have no meaning...but it's all we can do, as the people who knew them.

:…will grow disgruntled and leave his team when they see that they cannot succeed.


: Is something wrong?

:...No. (Their actions are so unthinkable...I hope I am just being overly cautious, but I am worried....)

: Let us go back at once.

: Yes, please do that.

The Saoshyant lifts off as the scene ends.

: Thank you, Pharsti. Without you, we wouldn't have been able to stop Ares, and save all those innocent people.

: Not at all...You are welcome.



: At this point in time, technically speaking, we are not the same entity. I may be more similar to her offspring or perhaps a clone.

: So 'Myona' is still alive inside her?

: Do you want to meet 'Myona' again?

: Yes.

:…to fade.

: O-Oh...

:...That is due to the fact that the Metatron device implanted in her body was rearranged when a part of her was given to me. If both of us continue to exist simultaneously, eventually 'Myona' will be erased from existence.


:…Myona again?

: There's something...There's something I need to tell her. If I still have a chance...I want to see her again!

: I understand. I will help.

: Really...? But it may place you in danger.

: Cage...if that is what you desire…

Well that was a bittersweet mission. The Frame mounting the huge canon was destroyed, but Myona is still in BAHRAM’s hands and BIS are no closer to retrieving her. Phil also died, and though he was a terrible pilot and a bit creepy it’s still sad that another founding member of BIS has been killed off in such a short period of time. Even so, BIS’s position is much better than it was a mission or two ago and we clearly have the power to send BAHRAM’s units packing. Perhaps the future isn’t so dark after all…