Part 22: Episode 22 - Heaven-Bound WingsChapter Twenty Two: Heaven-Bound Wings
Were approaching the end of the game, so lets spend some of the money thats been building up.
I splurge on a Shell upgrade for the Calibur before boosting the Dreizehns Grenade, Calamity Kiss and Bouquet attacks. Now that thats over with, lets get back to the story.
Music: Every Day
: Cage, get over here!
: What is it? Why are you so flustered?
: What?! Ok, I'll be right there!
: wrong. I pray that the fires that burn West Hellas will not cause all of Mars to go up in flames.
: The OF with the high energy beam was already destroyed! What is this about?
: People of Mars. This is a choice that is entirely up to you. Those who represent you have become nothing but selfish cowards. The future is in your hands. I do not act for the government. I act only for those who care about Mars. I will say it again: people of Mars. This is a choice that is entirely up to you!
The screen is suddenly obscured by a huge flash!
: Hunh!? What IS that?
A shockwave rocks the Saoshyant.
:...In the sky...A beam of light...
: That's not possible! That frame exploded! (...How can...!)
: I guess they had more than one...
:...Even you peacefully oblivious people should have realized by now that this is really happening. Time is running short. I look forward to a positive response. Good day...and Freedom to Mars.
: The one that they used with the stealth was just a sample...This is the real thing.
: That beam of light was likely a high-density projection in which the radius of the beam was pressurized to be as minute as physics would allow. If its ability to attack targets in high orbit is proven then the UCM will want it now.
: Proven...This is all part of the plan. But it couldn't destroy a ship in high orbit...Could it?
: This time 'accuracy' was demonstrated by obliterating a surveillance satellite.
: They shot one satellite from the ground? Precise aiming capability too, eh. That machine is just insane.
: Certainly. It is at the oxygen plant on the Hellas Sea.
:...I gotta ask. How is it that you always got the 411 before anyone else?
: Magician's Rule #1: Never reveal your trade secrets.
: Never mind that, the Earthlings are going to start acting soon. Do you think the UNSF will begin attacking the plant?
: The chances of that are...low.
: They would surely avoid running the risk of damaging the oxygen plant, although I do not imagine that it would be out of concern for the well-being of the Martians. I would think that they would attack first, then attempt to control the situation. That also gives them a reason to send in a large military body.
: I'm sure those over in West Hellas are busy trying to escape themselves, rather than working on trying to stop them.
: If they could get away in time, that's fine...But I don't think all of them are going to make it.
: (Is it just me...or is their strategy too overt? Why would they advertise what they are going to do? It could be a threat...Or perhaps Ares is just getting over excited...?)
: We're going to stop them, aren't we? There isn't enough time.
: This used to be a cargo ship. There won't be any problem zipping over that short distance.
: *Giggle* You have no faith in me! I knew this would happen sooner or later, so I made sure to add some extra features to this ship.
: Speeding across Mars...It's real dangerous, but I knew Robin would be prepared!
: What, no 'Ms.?' I like that, Semyl. That's the way it should be.
: Still, it is virtually an antique and such action would consume all its energy - there is no denying that the plan is risky. Even if we did arrive at the desired location, it would not be able to move for at least a while.
Translation: We have to babysit a stationary object next for most of the next mission.
: A one-way ticket to the final showdown. It's not much of a dilemma.
: Hey, hey. We're not going there just to die, you know? Deckson's already gone, and if you go too, who's gonna look after all these guys?
:...Heh. I am not going to die. Deckson, Phil...That's more than enough. Nobody else is going to die.
Warren said it, so you know its true.
: But Pops, keep your eye on Mebius, will you.
: How long have we known each other? You didn't think I wouldn't notice.
:...I don't expect anything to happen between us. I trust her as a colleague, and I am concerned for her safety. That's all.
Yeah, Warren has a thing for Mebius. The writers clearly wanted to tie everyone into neat pairs before the end of the game.
: What are you two whispering about?
: You see, Cage, in this world there are things we will never understand, like forbidden love. We should support them in their choices.
Of course, Razma immediately turns it into a joke.
: W-w-w-w-wait! No! It's not like...Yukito! You tell them!
: Razma, behave yourself. I've been keeping it a secret all this time...I'm so embarrassed...Am I blushing?
And Yukito naturally plays along.
: Come with me...We are going to have a little pre-battle warm-up session. You rely on your guns too much...I'll rough you up a bit, show you what you need! Yukito! You too! There's no time! Hurry!
: Aw, man. Do I have to...?
Warren drags Razma off the bridge, presumably to partake in a hilariously over the top training session. A comedic montage may be involved.
: off. He's actually not a bad guy either.
: *Giggle* I know. Don't make fun of him too much. He'll implode.
: Just my strategy to get everyone fired up. See ya.
: Yes, but they're all hurting inside. But we can't stop and think about that until all the tragedies on Mars have been averted. For the people we owe our 'today' to.
: Yes...You're right.
: (Dang! Don't cry, Semyl...Don't do it...Dang! Dang!!)
: W-What are you talking about? You can't be thinking about them. You're always saying 'Myona...' in your sleep.
: *Laughing* Just jivin'! Playin' with ya! But you're supposed to be thinking of Myona.
: That's your job...You gotta think of her enough for both you and Phil...
: Oh? So forceful all of a sudden. Keep it up, I'll be watchin' you! (Now that Boss isn't here no more...we gotta give it our all.)
: Main engines and sub engines are functioning optimally; terrestrial defence thruster has been confirmed. Radar and sensors all normal. Due to the energy situation, it is unknown how many of these devices will be functioning normally. They will also surely attack, and Saoshyant has no defence mechanisms...It's very risky, Dana.
: I am not 'Dana' anymore; I am 'Captain Robin,' understand?
: What? You got a problem with that?!
:...Ppppffffttt...! CAPTAIN...Robin? Er, certainly, Captain...And I shall be happy just being 'Mister Twede.'
: It's almost time.
: OK Cap'n Robin! What's the good word?
: (Deckson...You should have been here, doing this...But I'll take care of it. Don't worry!)
: Saoshyant to.....
Saoshyant heads towards the Oxygen plant, but halfway there
Music: Black Ops
Whats this? A new character, this late in the game?
: Okay! Um, Jimmer, how is the plan coming along, anyway?
: Vales television appearance proved extremely effective. Both he and his sister are wonderful, and there is no greater happiness for me than to have them entrusted to my care. I would enjoy nothing more than to see their plan to its conclusion I am very disappointed that its not possible for me to do so.
: Hm. Youre kinda weird, Jimmer. Or should I say that youre just a sicko?
: Go ahead. Well, Im all sweaty, so Im going to hop in the shower. See ya.
: Freedom to Mars. Heh heh
Hmm. It looks like Jimmer is a high-ranking member of BAHRAM as well as Ares and Myonas handler. Weve actually encountered him before, albeit with his features mostly obscured in one of the shadowy figure portraits. Hes been acting behind the scenes for a long while now.
This should read, Heaven-Bound Wings.
Yes, there is a literal sea on Mars in the ZOE-verse.
: Whoa! We're there already...? What's with this long road that goes all the way over that way...?
: That would be the connecting bridge to the Plant area. There should be thick cables and pipes running under it.
: This is as much as the stealth device on Saoshyant can do. From this point forth, we just have to charge ahead. Twede, please go full-speed from here!
Saoshyant charges forward, but Raptors suddenly surround it halfway to the other side!
: Not at all surprising. We never expected that they would let us through that easily.
Warren, Yukito and Razma disembark first, presumably fresh from their training exercise.
: Don't let your guard down. Saoshyant has no defence mechanisms. Once they get in, it's over.
: We have to fight while protecting Saoshyant and making sure that nobody gets too close.
The other BIS units arrive, forming a defensive perimeter around the Saoshyant.
: It is waterproofed, but we don't know how its tolerance is to seawater.
: Yeah, yeah, it's a bit low-budget that way.
:...Hey, sorry. Luxuries can spoil a person, you know. Instead of complaining, how about coming up with a decision based on what we do have?
: Absolutely not. How many times do I have to tell YOU?
: Please do not act like a child.
: There aren't any weapons inside anyway. I might as well protect it from outside.
: Myona? I Am Pharsti. What Are You Talking About?
: Fine, maybe your name is Pharsti. But if that's true, you don't need that OF! You're here only to let that machine take advantage of your mind, and control it to make you obey them! If that's 'Pharsti,' then 'Pharsti' is not even a person! Pharsti doesn't exist!
Ugh, the translation in this game is usually fairly good but these lines are just awful.
: Myona! Can you hear me? Your name doesn't matter. Either way, I'm coming to get you...The real you!
: Pharsti! Come on!
: (Is there a real Pharsti...?)
: What's wrong?
:...No, it's nothing.
: (I want to protect you. That is all I want. That is all I will ever want.) There is no need to request my assistance. Your wish is my command.
The game gives us control here.
Player Phase Music: Counterattack
Enemy Phase Music: Impact
Its a small map this time around, but that doesnt mean things arent going to be tricky. Mostly because were stuck on defensive duty protecting the Saoshyant.
We can have a look at its stats, but none of them matter since well get a Game Over if it takes so much as a single hit. This isnt like Super Robot Wars where your Carrier is a badass leviathan packed to the gills with doomlasers and rocket pods, either. The Saoshyant has a single laughably weak weapon thats limited to three shots, but again it doesnt matter since it will never shoot at anything. You cant give it any orders, it just sits there like a lemon.
Thus our primary objective is to protect the damn thing by eliminating the surrounding Raptors as quickly as possible. Thats not all, however
Myona is also here, and unlike the previous mission she will move towards you. Oh, and theres a Local Server here too I guess. Well want to grab that when the opportunity prevents itself.
Its in our best interests to be as aggressive as possible here, so lets start out with taking what shots we can.
Our more nimble units like the Justeen can also run out and hit an enemy, then dash back into position next turn if necessary.
Its a risky strategy but it can help to lessen the pressure for the next few turns.
Of course, its even better if you kill one outright.
Short of lucky criticals this is about the best one can hope for.
The enemy turn is pretty uneventful, all said.
Razma bags one enemy.
Robin silences another.
Semyl doesnt quite manage to finish her enemy.
Its too risky to move Warren out of formation just yet so hes stuck using his pitiful ranged attack.
We should be fine from here on out. As long as every unit is able to retreat back into the starting formation everything should be okay.
That could have been nasty.
Predictably the bottommost enemies both go after Robin, but she gets away unscathed.
Okay, heres where we get rid of the remaining enemies
Just one more to go!
And were all done! Now all we have to do is nab the Local Server and take care of Myona.
After we fix ourselves up a bit, of course.
Myona will keep moving towards us, but we can easily get around her. However, you really want to get up close and hit her first for reasons that will quickly become clear.
When either you attack her or she attacks you a scene plays.
:...Ggggh...Stop Calling Me By That Name!
: Cage! Something very massive is heading in this direction! How do we respond?!
: That's the HarutMarut that we fought against at the TV station! Zephyrs! How did you get here? I thought you shot an official and then were injured...I heard that you were in the hospital.
: I wanted to see all of you again so badly that I escaped together with this beauty. And that beam of light that was on TV...Who knew that it had that kind of use...Metatron is an absolutely wonderful discovery! I...If I could analyze that, it would pave the way for further developments in weapons technology! Once that happens, the cretins over on Earth will not be able to deny my accomplishments...My genius!!
: (He seems off somehow...Perhaps he's not well yet?) No offense, but I don't have time to be dealing with you. Please get out of my way!
Come on, Cage. Since when has Space Mengele ever not been off? Also did it not occur to the authorities to have the HarutMarut impounded / destroyed? Someones getting fired for that
: (Is that #479 on that OF? Ah...That's the frame housing the Mindflow component...Perfect.)
: Heh heh heh....Hey, don't be that way. This is a happy reunion for us; let me show you something very interesting!
: I'll show you what the 'Self Binder' really is. Now, #479, can you hear me?
: D-Doctor Zephyrs?
: Heh heh...Yes, #479. This is my first command to you in a long time. Burn it...Burn everything!!
: What did I do to her? Who do you think you are...I'll make you pay for entrapping me!
: Destroyed. Action Finalized.
More enemies suddenly spawn in.
: Darn, it's the brainwashing system...What am I supposed to do?!
: There are interference waves emanating from HarutMarut. If they can be intercepted or stopped, Miss Myona may emerge from her trance.
: Yes. either the origin or the receiving end must be rendered inoperable.
: Myona or Zephyrs...Which machine should we attack...? I have to be really careful about this...
Come on, Cage, this is a no-brainer. Were going to take Zephyrs down, for good this time.
We should probably move our forces up to support the Vjaya, but first lets check out the new enemy type thats just appeared.
Meet the Cyclops, another recurring ZOE series enemy. The Cyclops is a slower Raptor variant with extra armour and its weaponry replaced with a single melee attack that uses no ammo or energy, making its EN entirely superfluous. Oh, and said attack can be used after moving as well. Oh, and their Hit rating is sky-high too, giving them Boss-level accuracy against some of our slower units.
If youre wondering about Zephyrs, the HarutMarut is the same as it was before. The damage we caused to its upper armour hasnt been repaired, so it wont get any sort of second wind this time.
There are no asshole reinforcements coming from the west, so theres not much point in leaving anyone behind to guard the Saoshyant.
All of the enemies move towards us on their turn, including both Zephyrs and Myona. You can see the two Cyclopss lagging behind to the right.
Might as well dive straight in.
Despite my enthusiasm this is about all I can do for this turn, though.
Oh, yeah, and Zephyrs still has his asshole attacks that are useable after moving.
Ugggghhh. Nasty stuff.
Unfortunately theres not much time to recover since one of the Raptors is trying to sneak past and cheapshot the carrier.
It is suitably chastised.
Another kill for the murderduo.
Thats all the Raptors dealt with.
Lastly the Vjaya snags the games penultimate Local Server.
See what I mean about sky-high accuracy?
Of course, with IAS 100% accuracy simply means huge crosshairs, but
Ugh. Still, could be worse.
You could wind up being crushed beneath a charging OF the size of a battleship!
Of course, now its our turn to dish out the pain.
One problem is that our LEVs cant leave the bridge and go into the water. Our OFs can also only hover over it; the game wont give you the option to land there.
Now its just Zephyrs left to kill.
Fortunately hes already used up the ammo for his Wisp Meteor attack and is now stuck with his weaker, less accurate riot-control flamethrowers.
Hes not much of a threat now.
Thankfully Yukito manages to avoid the charge this time.
Okay, now its dogpile time.
Got him. For being such a self-described genius youd have thought he would have eliminated the three massive glaring critical hit spots on his mech.
: Brilliant! Utilizing Metatron, humans can be elevated to a whole new level of being. This is exactly what I have been searching for...Angel's wings that will take me to paradise!!
: What you've been searching for? And you made Myona and Ares suffer for that?! No, that's not all. Nameless children too, just for your whim...That's not what angel wings will do! That is pure evil!
: Not much difference really, between angels and the forces of evil.
: Ah, you are so simple. To me, God is cruel and unsympathetic being...Death began to take many forms once humans were given tools. And now, with the advent of Metatron, a new battle is about to unfold...But even this struggle is paving the way for human advancement and betterment.
: Are you saying that it's God's will? And that He created Metatron for that purpose?
: Once you get past all the personal feelings, it becomes clear that the things that are useful to the general populace as a whole survive...And those that aren't, don't. If that is not how nature works, how is it that humans have survived until now? Why is it that evil happens? Because it is God's will!
: Time will tell. Regardless of what you say, the one who is left standing in the end is the one who is correct. That's just the way it is, always...
: The one left standing...?
: I, I wanted to...be a genius. I wanted only to...be better than every...one else...Than any one...Hardiman...I wanted to...be...be...tter...that...
: His life as a human was already over. The entity with whom we conversed was a soulless prisoner of Metatron.
: What do you mean? He was...a ghost??
: No. I imagine that it may be something that not even he understands, a side effect of Metatron on the human form.
The idea that Metatron is some sort of corruptive agent is a central theme of the ZOE series. Well be seeing more extreme examples of it in the alternate story path.
: couldn't be. Never.)
: Ugggg...What...did I...
: Myona! Great! You're back!
Myonas unit vanishes from the field.
:...Is the real Myona inside of her really beginning to fade...? Pharsti...Do you think I can really do it? Do I have what it takes to save Myona in time...?
: Affirmative. Your feelings will get through to her. I guarantee it.
:...Thanks. It's all ov...
: Come on, Cage.
: Yeah all right...We have to hurry...
Music: Every Day
: It appears that he had directly linked his own body to the OF in order to manoeuvre it.
: He linked himself...? Is that possible?
: He was consumed by Metatron...He could no longer see beyond it.
: That's frightening. Twede, how are we on time?
: You sure?
: It is my job to be sure.
: The man with the plan! Mmmm, I like that.
: He's taken.
: I knew it!! I just knew it. So how long has this been going on?
See what I said earlier about neat pairs.
: We gotta hurry! Stop Ares and get Myona outta there!
: Yeah...This is probably our last chance.
: We should make sure to run a thorough check of all the frames. It's not like I'm getting scared but for better or worse, this is the last one.
: Agreed. You can never have too much concentration at a time like this. We have to do it for Deckson and Phil, too.
: (Myona...wait for me...)
We get a pretty sweet haul from the Local Server the Orcrists final attack, energy resistance for the Vjaya and self-repair for the Durandal II.
Okay, so weve taken down Zephyrs for good and are about to throw down with Ares for the first time since the very first mission. Were rapidly approaching the endgame with only three more missions left to go, and from here on out well be facing down whatever BAHRAM has left to throw at us. Well also be getting rid of another recurring enemy can you guess which one? Tune in next time to find out.