The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 25: Episode 25 - Reunion

Chapter Twenty Five: Reunion

Music: Intermission

This is it; the last preparation screen we’ll be getting this playthrough. We have quite a bit of cash, though at this stage of the game upgrades have become rather expensive across the board. You’re extremely unlikely to be able to fully upgrade a unit unless you’ve been doing some min-maxing.

With that said I prioritize weapon upgrades and bump up the Dreizehn’s Grenade and Calamity Kiss attacks alongside the Justeen’s Burn Stormer and R-Blade Kick. I’d have liked to upgrade the Caliburnus as well, but…a certain terrain feature in the mission removes any chance that Semyl will do anything useful.

Music: Every Day

: That is...Zephyrs' secret lab...

: What a dismal spot.

: This is where we lived, after we somehow survived the blast.

: All the way out here? How did you survive?

: There was just enough food for the two of us to make it through.

: Yes. But at the time I was barely conscious, which was a side effect from the experiments, so my memories are hazy...But I remember that my brother would cut down his own portions of food to make more for me...I remember his face – it became withered and tight - but never ceased smiling at me...

: Can you stop him? It may mean taking his life.

: Until now, I believed that if I couldn't stop him, it was my obligation to support him. But...thanks to Cage, I've changed my mind. My obligation is to right this wrong. If it means I may have to do that...I am prepared.

: Myona...It'll be all right. I promise. Your brother...Ares will understand. He's just a little stubborn, is all.

: Spoken by the undisputed king of stubbornness.

: Hey!

: *Giggle* Thank you, Cage. Thank you, everyone.

: Well, we made it this far. No more backin' out, you dig?

: Okay!

:…landed? I got the sense that he is the mastermind behind all this, but is he one of BAHRAM?

: He didn't deny that he was from the BAHRAM, and he told me that he supplied the people of Mars with weapons.

: An involved sponsor. But I've never heard of 'Jimmer.'

: It must be an alias. There were no records under his name, nor was that name listed as a code name in the confidential agent roster.

:…change completely. He wouldn't even talk to me. That was when he stopped laughing too...

: Perhaps he's a BAHRAM liaison? But I can't imagine that he fully represents their sentiments. They are proud of the fact that their territory was the first to be touched by humans. Deckson said that if there were to be a fight for the independence of Mars, they would definitely wish to be on the frontline to fight – even if there was some other objective. But that not being the case, those who think differently are the ones doing the fighting.

Yep, even at this late stage there are still one or two more conspiracies to unravel.

: Well, when you have three people, you'll always have factions. I guess not everyone has clear-cut motives...

: I'll leave that to you. As for now, we need to stop Ares.

: Yeah, exactly. He's inside that big hole, right?

: Yes. That is Marlblanke Dite, 'Lord of Demons and Venomous Claw'...

Not sure what Myona’s trying to say here.

: All right! Let's go beat some sense into that guy! Ready, Cage?

This should read ‘Reunion’.

Music: Wetworks

: Myona, are you all right?

: I'm fine, Cage. Thanks. Don't do anything I wouldn't do.

: You too.

: I know.

: What, you jealous?! We can do that too, you know...

: Hunh? Are you feeling okay?

: *Sigh* Never mind. I was just tryin' to...

: Wha...?

: Um,, yeah.

:...Right on!

Unfortunately the secondary couple’s newfound openness is interrupted.

:…Mars. Nonetheless, my plan is foolproof. You couldn't stop me if you wanted to.

: I just hope you're not planning on turning in fear with your tail between your legs, like last time.

: Heh heh heh...

: Do you even realize what would happen if the domes were to be destroyed? And you talk about a brighter future for Mars? Please!

: Well, well...if it isn't Miss Dana of NUT.

: 'Lance Jimmer' is the name I'm known by now. Surely you of all people, will appreciate the significance in a person's real name?

:...Agreed. But whatever you are doing is not for the benefit of the people of Mars.

: Perhaps not, but it is to the benefit of the true 'Mars.' It is not enough to merely rid it of Earth's influence. What is truly the heart of our dilemma are the people who adopt the Earth's ways. Those people have no pride in Mars, and should be singled out and eliminated. This is a test which will result in a population of Martians who truly love Mars.

At last we get a motive – Jimmer is a crazy nihilist who thinks the only way to ‘free’ Mars is to raze it to the ground and have the ‘true’ Martian survivors rebuild it. He’s like a less amusing version of Jenkins from Red Faction: Guerrilla.

: That's very simplistic.

:…attitude, but in actuality, you are only a terrorist group relying on brute force to materialize your ideals, are you not? Your actions thus far have only given the fossils in the government false hope, and have caused all of this to happen. Long-standing issues such as ours will not change unless they are uprooted entirely. What your group has been doing has been for self-glorification only – a waste of time, and exceedingly poor judgement.

:...You're right that our ways take time. But our mission is to plant the seeds which will sprout at some time unknown to us...Seeds that will serve as the base of betterment whether or not people or situations change. Our name may not survive for posterity, but the ideas we have sown will. Don't you dare say that we are the same as you, when you are attempting to justify your selfishness!

: Hah! Foolproof, is it? It's juvenile! You...You cowardly, hypocritical, snivelling snake!

:...Well, I think that is just about enough of that. You are giving me no choice but to end things in this manner...

: When the going gets rough, you try to make up for it with sheer numbers. Your plan is a disorganized mess. How can you even think that it is 'foolproof?'

:...All your endless chatter...It is undoubtedly not the most elegant thing to solve disputes by means of violence, but in this case there is no alternative.

: Make sure you watch for your ammunition supply, everyone.

: Yeah, but this is going to be the last one. Let's pump all we've got into them!

You won’t, but it’s a nice thought at least.

: I don't need any engravings on my tombstone...I'll etch my name in pain on each and every one of your bodies...

: Hey, that came out pretty well.

Yukito is still the gooniest pilot.

:…battle is morale and momentum. Do you think you have that? Unfortunately for you, I have a feeling you will lose.

: Myona...Let's go.

: Okay.

: (…)

The game gives us control here.

Player Phase Music: Wetworks
Enemy Phase Music: Atrocity

Mission Map:

The map for the final mission is pretty impressive. Marlblanke Dite pulses and glows with an eerie light, and the ruins of what must be Zephyrs’s old labs attest to the accident that led to Ares and Myona’s escape so long ago.

Speaking of the Myona and Ares, the latter isn’t here right now but the former certainly is.

No, your eyes are not deceiving you. She really is riding the Nerokerubina from the previous mission, and it hasn’t been nerfed at all. Having her along is a godsend if you aren’t using the interactive battle system since her 25,000 HP lets her soak up hits and give no fucks about the Unmanned enemies pretty much forever.

Jimmer on the other hand is very unimpressive. He’s piloting a Ravana, the same OF as Ned, and is pretty thoroughly outclassed stats-wise by every single member of our team. Hell, some of the Unmanned units have better stats despite being three levels lower than him. It’s actually a pretty nice moment where gameplay and story are integrated; Jimmer is not a fighter and will go down very quickly once we get to him. The Unmanned units aren’t very threatening either, for that matter. The only trouble is how many of them there are.

No, this thing here is the real obstacle – the cliff leading down into where Marleblanke Dite is. This will bog our LEV’s down, particularly Semyl and Razma, who will be reduced to a single square of movement per turn for at least three turns. Our OF’s won’t be bothered by it, but then neither will the enemy’s – and all of the enemy units are OF’s.

Still, we may as well make a start.

The enemy advances in a huge cluster. Technically we only have to take out Jimmer to activate the second stage of the mission, and there’s no point in grinding for cash, but it’s still worth taking out as many foes as possible so they won’t annoy us later.

Some tactical manoeuvring later and I’m ready for a sucker punch.

This bodes well!

I can feed this kill to Nadia. Getting her and Cage’s Spirit up will help in getting rid of all these enemies.

Alright, now it’s Cage’s turn.

That’s about all I can do for the time being. Most of the LEV’s are still struggling down the slope.

Nadia takes the first hit. It’s a papercut but there are a lot of enemies on the field.

Thankfully the second Raptor misses.

As does the third. The Vjaya is an agile little thing.

Mummy Heads can become an annoyance if you get bogged down on the slope. Their constant potshots begin to add up after a while.

Mebius takes a hit, but after that it’s back to targeting Nadia.

They just keep chipping away.

That’s the last attack – the clustering means enemies further back can’t manoeuvre into a position from which to attack us.

Time to strike back, then!

Nadia now has ten Spirit, so it’s time to break out the Burst Attacks!

Critical hit! Things are looking up!

The Nero is the same as it ever was – slow, inaccurate, but packs a mean punch if it hits.

Semyl’s going nowhere fast, so I may as well use her for fire support.

The ranks are starting to thin a bit.

Ten Spirit achieved! And the best part is that we can boost it to 15 immediately!

Now Testament has most of its weaponry unlocked. Next turn is going to be a slaughter.

Razma takes a potshot and ends the turn.

The first thing the AI does is send Jimmer in. See what I said earlier about him being an awful pilot.

Oh dear, that doesn’t look promising.

Nor does that. And the Cyclopses haven’t even moved yet.

Speak of the devil…

A narrow escape there…

Ugh, that was nasty. Even at this stage Cyclopses can be a right pain to deal with.

Hold on, something interesting just happened. A Raptor has decided to use its ranged attack for the first time!

Yeah, it’s not very impressive…but we got to see it at least!

Ugh, that was a brutal turn.

Still, at least we can give as good as we get.

Cage takes out the trash.

I move the Calibur up and restore some of the Vjaya’s HP, then it’s time to kill some more Cyclopses.

Oh, another unusual thing happened!

See, some attacks have a lightning bolt next to the ‘Shooter’ or ‘Fighter’ tags in the top left hand corner. This means the attack has a very small chance of stunning an enemy and preventing them from moving during the next enemy phase. This is the first time this has happened to me on this playthrough.

I meant to only injure the Raptor so that Warren could kill it, gain ten Spirit and be in a position where Mebius could heal him, but a critical hit kill is also good.

Heal Warren anyway, end turn.

Come on Jim, this is just embarrassing.

This damage isn’t really significant, the enemy’s strength is pretty much broken now.

…So he says, then immediately gets shot.

Regardless, all that’s really left now is the mopping up.

Double Action turns Cage into a terrifying wrecking machine. Spirit boosts your stats, and getting ten Spirit per turn from killing enemies means he gets stronger every turn.

Stun only lasts for one turn so I had to take out the last Cyclops right now.

I resupply the Vjaya and unleash Tri-Laser once more.

After that it’s time for the final Mummy…

Now it’s just Jimmer. Engaging him with Myona yields unique dialogue.

:…why women will never be understood.

: I wouldn’t expect you to understand. A lot of people who seem kind are only weak. Cage is different. That’s my only explanation I guess.

: You will not succeed in society unless you are a little more realistic. The end justifies the means, in business and in life.

:…don’t have to do anything. But he is concerned with the constant process of life, because that’s the stuff that the future is made of. He would never abandon anyone.

: So it’s an emotional assessment? Perhaps you are just the type of female who cannot live without a male.

: Heh. You said you don’t understand women? You know what, you’re right.

Hmm…misogyny…refers to women as ‘females’…a pathological inability to comprehend anything except on a purely logical level…faux-nihilism…thinks he’s actually good at tactics and military planning…the hint of a fedora brim in his character portraits…my god. It all makes sense now – Jimmer is a Troper!

And now for the finishing touches!

That’s a lot of cash we can’t use.

Suddenly Ares appears!

: Ares!

: Vale, I leave the rest to you. Please make sure you do a thorough job.

:…I know.

: W…wait!

Jimmer’s Ravana zooms over to the ruins of Zephyr’s lab and vanishes from the field.

: Damn!


: Ares…

: That’s right! Please stop this!

: Thanks to Jimmer, the energy has been restored completely. All that’s left to do is get rid of the obstacles – you – and hyperalign again. That will erase all of those fools from existence…heh heh…isn’t that grand?

: Stop! It won’t bring father or mother back!!

: I haven’t forgotten about them. I would never forget mother and father.

: Then prove it.

: Huh?

: No…you can’t be serious…


: Ares…

Music: Marleblanke Dite (This is another track that isn’t on the OST and I recommend you listen to. It plays on both player and enemy phases until the mission ends.)

The game gives us control again here, and the objective is simple – take Ares down and end the threat of Marleblanke once and for all. Ares will advance towards us every turn, but he’s far enough away that we have time to repair, resupply and regroup before he arrives.

Ares himself is very impressive. Those stats are only slightly lower than Cage’s, and Cage has the advantage of a 30 Spirit boost. Next to Jimmer he’s the freaking Ubermensch.

Cage gets some unique dialogue with Ares when they fight.

:...I know.

: You...what?

: It's no problem. Marlblanke Dite has the power to destroy the entire city, including the missile.

:...I don't understand what you are getting at.

: You're the one who got me this far!

: That's so we can have our battle now.

: My father and mother were so kind...and the one who took them from me is dead. But my revenge is not finished. All the humans who covered up the facts of the accident are equally abominable...Those Martians abandoned us too!

: B-But...

: That's not all. The children who were used for experimentation...they were victimized too. They were abandoned by their own parents, who gave up their own flesh and blood to feed themselves.


: They would blame it on poverty, I'm sure. People on this planet are always blaming someone else – always protecting only themselves and directing their unhappiness at the rest of the world! What are those people worth? The children here were unloved, and left to die...for the sake of their restless souls, I have an obligation to avenge their suffering. I can't afford to quit now.

: I alone have the responsibility of proving their existence once on this planet...and letting their anger be known!

Regardless of his reasons, we can’t let Ares fire Marleblanke. His high stats would normally be a problem, but…he’s just one unit. And thus extremely allergic to fatal mob stabbings.

And now for the final blow to end the game on…

And with that…it’s over.

: The enemy frame has been stopped.

: Heh...Heh, heh...Cage, you really have grown stronger.

: Ares...?

: I am just a weak person after all. I needed somebody to correct me and tell me what to do...

: Pretty good acting for a last-ditch, last-minute effort, eh? But it was not a lie...Inside me, there exists a feeling of utter disgust toward the people of this planet. Jimmer saw that and manipulated me to his advantage. It's pathetic...That's why I had to do this...But if you can end it all, I couldn't wish for anything more.

: All right, that's enough. Don't say any more!

:...Cage, do you still have your button?

: Y-Yeah, I have it. But more importantly...


Cage activates the button.

Music: Promise of Reunion

: It would be sung in memory of all of our friends who we knew would never return...It was sung hundreds of times, though nobody ever returned...But that wasn't the point. This wasn't about hate or revenge. It was about the happiness they never had, and the futures they never lived...And getting another chance at them...Heh heh...Thank you...

: Ares...?

:...I'm more relaxed now...It makes a big difference not being hyperaligned...

: Marlblanke Dite is letting out large amounts of energy. If this continues, the heat may cause an explosion.

: In just one move, the world is rid of this hideous weapon and this hideous man...It is the best way.

: Marlblanke Dite has begun to deteriorate. It will implode.

: And lastly…

Music: Z.O.E. 2173

: Shoot! Here already? What're we gonna do...!?

:...There is nothing to worry about. Just retreat into Saoshyant.

: Saoshyant's shield is totally inadequate! Besides, we don't have the time to retreat now...

: Ares, you're not saying...

:...I will shield you from the missiles with Iblis. It won't stop all of them, but the rest should be stopped by Saoshyant's shield.

: No, wait!

Ares simply lifts off without Cage.

: Uh...Yeah! Ok, let's go after him!

: I'm coming too!

Cage and Myona follows Ares.

: All right!

: Stop, you two.

: Why! We can't just sit back and watch!

:...We'd only get in the way.

: In the end, we have to end up depending completely on the youths...

: If they can't do it, nobody can. We owe them some faith.

: (Cage, everyone...We're counting on you!)

Meanwhile, in the ruins of the lab…

:…execution, as always.

Jimmer’s communication device rings.

: Now is not the time...

:...Where were you? Because of that, I had to physically participate myself...

: Awh, I'm sorry...I just went to say hi to Mr. Mathers.

: Why would you do that? That is my job.

: Well, you can't really report the information anymore...

:...Ah, trying to monopolize my contacts?

:…man, and the other old people who are much, much more powerful than you - they all wanted it this way. See? It's not my fault, so don't blame me!

: (The escape pod doesn't work! Was that initial...Ah...I see...)

: See, I really think it's only fair that people get a taste of their own medicine, don't you agree? So how does it feel to be viciously abandoned?

: *Cackle*

: Hmmm? You're really cracking up. Oh well. It doesn't make a difference, you'll die here regardless. Okay, see you!

…And that’s the end of Jimmer. Betrayed and left to die in the missile strike by Amante, who turns out to still be alive. As far as I can tell the ‘Mathers’ she refers to in the conversation isn’t anyone who shows up in the other games.

After this, the scene switches back to Cage, Myona and Ares.

: What? Things are just starting to get good! We can finally start over, as friends...

:...Friends...Heh heh, that's true. If I had seen it that way earlier...uggg! Eeggheghe!!

: Ares?!

: I...I'm all right...Still okay...Cage, will you for me one more time? The proof of our friendship...

: Of course!

Music: Promise of Reunion

:…the world, my aggression toward all people, and had sworn to avenge my parents...Heh heh...Cage, you always had a pure honest and simple it surprised me. I think maybe I envied you for had everything I had lost. I just didn't have the courage to admit it to myself, because it would have discredited my entire past, and how I had felt. I was trying to escape myself.

: That's not true! You could do things that I couldn't do, and you knew things that I didn't know. I looked up to you. Even now, you are what I aspire to be...Don't talk about the past!

:...Thanks. But you know now, don't you? Now that you've found your own path, there are things you have to do. People you have to protect. I shouldn't be one of them.

: Ares...

: No! Everyone...everyone here is going home alive! There's got to be a way! You can't give up!

:...I told you. The world will be rid of a hideous man. This body has reached its limits. Medication has begun to be ineffective...

:, you're wrong...

: Cage...

: Cage, may I inform you that the situation is not promising. There needs to be a well-formed plan in order to avoid placing everyone on the ground in danger.

:...I have an idea.

: Really?

: We are thinking of the same thing, it seems...Self-evacuation has begun. Cockpit block is being removed.

: Wha...? Hey, what...

Testament’s cockpit block is ejected!

: Aaah!!

: Watch out!!

Myona manoeuvres her Nerokerubina to catch Testament’s ejection pod. No mean feat since the Nero lacks hands. And arms.

:, Myona. Take care of Cage, okay?


: Pharsti! What are you doing?!

: I have been doing your bidding all this time. At least let me have my way this once.

: I will manipulate the structure of Marlblanke to our advantage. If one frame manages amplification, another frame may use that amplification to form a barrier. It would be impossible to shield the entire facility area, but I can become a pinpoint barrier for at least the people on the ground.

: But Ares and you are not in top form! You'll never survive through something like that!

: Stop worrying. I'll show you what Orbital Frames are truly capable of.

: Pharsti...

: Miss Myona...I promise you that I will take over all of your worries. Please concentrate on taking care of Cage.

: You want to be with Cage, don't you? Don't do it! I will go, and you...

: There is nobody else I can ask to take care of him. I am you, you are me...You understand how I feel, don't you?


: Myona, Cage is impossible, impulsive, and he is a child, so he is a lot of work. Now it's your turn to put up with him. Don't say I did not warn you!

: You are the one who is silly...Computers do not...cry. Besides, this is not goodbye...I will return and take Cage back...

:...That is such nonsense...You've been lying all this time...

: Take care of Cage. other self...

: I will.

:…any guy unless he is at least better than me. You understand?

:...Harsh as usual, Ares...but I promise. One of these days, I'll be as good as you...And soon, I'll be better!

: Heh heh...Good answer.

: Ares...

: You take care of my good friend...

The missiles begin to rain down, and the next scene is punctuated with constant explosions.

: Ares...Pharsti...

: (Cage...I enjoyed every second with you...I am so happy that I can be of use to you, until...the very end...)

: The sky...It's lit up...

: It's almost like a halo...

: Metatron...They call it the angel at the heart of heaven. It's a cruel angel...

: But it has protected us. And I am sure it will continue to do so...

: Cage...Are you crying?

:...That light...It's pretty, isn't it.

: Yes...very...

…And with that…the final mission ends…

…So. Ares and Pharsti are gone, sacrificing themselves so that everyone else in BIS could live. Jimmer, Ned, Zephyrs and everyone else who helped cause the events that led to this moment are all dead. Only Amante still lives, leaving the narrative as mysteriously as she arrived.

We’re still not done though – there’s still the epilogue, which is composed entirely of dialogue. Stay tuned for it this weekend!