The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 28: Episode 15 - Cracks

Chapter Fifteen: Cracks

Music: Intermission

Welcome to the first proper mission of the alternate path. From here on out I’ll be skipping the unit upgrade screens. Just like The Darkness That Came From Light, this chapter will see the introduction of the armed civilian rioters. I’ve reused some screenshots from that mission in places where the dialogue is the same, but if there’s a horrible discrepancy I’ve missed then please let me know.

Music: Sadness

: He’s still unconscious, but he’s stabilizing.

: Okay. How are things going on your end?

: The media is all over it. Well, it concerns the bigwigs on Earth…It’s probably just a harmless ratings strategy.

: Unfortunately, because of their trickery we weren’t able to catch Zephyrs…but I know that what we did has reached the Martian people in some way. We’ve surely succeeded in making Zephyrs’ footing at least a little shaky.

: We have been able to recover the Vjaya, but have not managed to find Mr. Ares…Do you think Mr. Ares is the perpetrator of the crime, like Zephyrs said?

Nice one, Phil, but we already know from the other route that you know Ares really did it.

: Of course not! That’s…a load of crap!


The door hisses open and Robin enters.

: Oh! Ms. Robin!

Just like before, the scene shifts to Cage’s room here.

Music: Every Day

She enters Cage’s room anyway.


: Come on, say something…I thought you weren’t here, with your lights off and everything.


: Hey, aren’t you hungry? It just so happens that I have some of my special multi-vitamin soup…

: Cage…about Ares…

: You know, my plan was to defeat Zephyrs…and after everyone had been avenged…I was going to follow Ares. I don’t have anything I want to do. I can’t even think of anything I might potentially want to do. I was born in space, on a ship. I don’t really feel like settling down on the ground somewhere.

: But…Ares…I feel totally lost right now…I’m all alone again…Ares…What am I supposed to do? Tell me, Ares…Have you been lying to me? Have you been deceiving me, all this time?

: Well, er…

: I know. I have Pharsti too.

: Whether or not Ares is here, nothing can change the fact that you protected tons of innocent lives. This place is sure to become more peaceful because of you. You should have more confidence.

:…Confidence. I guess so…

: Absolutely. What’s the hurry? Let’s find our goals together. I’ll help…oh!


: What?

: My…memory…

Unfortunately, just like before the scene is interrupted by Phil.

: No. No, no, no, it’s not like that. We weren’t doing anything, were we Cage?

:…(So it is like that…There’s no chance for me.)

: What happened? You came here for a reason, right?

: Please just come to the strategy room!

There are a number of differences between this scene and the one we’ve seen before. Cage never asks for his Button back, his woe-is-me spiel includes a bit about Ares’ deception that wasn’t there before and Myona has apparently regained at least some of her memory. Phil’s reaction is also different, being more sad than angry, perhaps because Myona and Cage aren’t in a compromising position when he walks in.

Music: Tension

: You couldn’t hear? I said ‘fight together with them’.

: What happened? Is everything all right?

: There are riots erupting all over Mars right now.

: Riots?

:…hope – but at the same time it unleashed all the anger that’s been accumulating over the years.

: I don’t see the Earthlings doing any investigations or making any official comments, probably to protect Zephyrs. That’s a major problem too.

: I understand how they must feel, but…riots…

: That won’t be necessary.

: H-hey, that’s not funny.

: Thanks to you, these anti-Earth sentiments have spread beyond the confines of this county, and have infected all of Mars.

:…join them, it will add more fuel to the fire. It is our chance.

: And the fire will turn into a catastrophe which will burn the entire planet to ashes. Robin, are you serious?

: Yes.

: Unlike me? What do you know? I’m…I’m…

: Let’s go.

: Razma!

: Sticking around here and arguing is pointless. There’s nothing to debate about. We’re going to stop them, right?

: I agree. We’re the only ones who CAN stop them. I understand how they feel, but rioting is not going to help matters at all.

: Robin, I’m sorry, but I know that Deckson would have said the same. So I can’t obey you.

: Deckson...that's true. He would have said so...

: We are indebted to you. If it weren't for you, we wouldn't be here right now. But individual strength never wins against the strength of an organization. If we let this go, the flower will be picked before it has a chance to bloom. The same thing almost happened to us before...You were the one who taught us that.



Once again BIS abandons Robin’s plan, leaving her and Twede alone.

: Are you crying, Dana?

:...That'll be the end of them. Are you satisfied?

:...This is work. To me, it's nothing more, and nothing less.

: There was no reason to get in their way. In fact, that was a complete misappropriation.

:...I knew I should have just left then and there...

: What do you mean?


: Twede!

: Twede, you...

:...I am in a state of shock myself. Until now, I would never question any command. But I could not abandon you. Even if it meant that I had to disobey orders...

: Then...why?

: Tying up loose ends. With the company...

: What are you...You wouldn't...

Twede knocks Robin out.

: Egh! T-Twede...I...can't...

This scene was pretty much the same as it was in the other route. The mission itself is a little bit different, however.

This should read, ‘Cracks’.

Music: Uncontrollable Fear

:...We came to stop you....!

: Now you shall see our anger that has been building during all these years of exploitation and tyranny! Freedom for Mars!

: Stop! There have been casualties! Wake up! Stop this at once!

: Stay out of this, you Earthling dog! We will never rely on you for anything again! Take this!

: Ughggghhh!

: Haaaahahahahah! That's what happens!

: P-please stop! Our city is going to be destroyed!

: Shut your mouth! Are you siding with the Earthlings too?

: Hmph! If you're going to say things to dampen our determination.....

: Whah?! What are you doing?!

: Aaaarrrghhhhhhhh!

: could you...?!

: Ha ha ha! Another piece of trash gone from Mars!! Haaa ha ha ha!!

Once again, Task Force Acemos shows up to make things more complicated. This time though they show up to the north and south rather than the west.

: Hunh?! It's not possible!! Ugghghgh!

: *Snicker* We were doing you Enders a favour by running this place! What a laugh...It's not your place to pretend to have power! Hah! Who's next?

: *Gasp* Run!

: If we let them go, it'll just lead to an increase in Enders.... Make an example of them. I want each and every one of them shot!

BIS units spawn in to the west this time.

: Hm?? Is that...

: It's B-BIS!

: Damn! There have already been casualties!

: Perfect timing! You guys are on our side, right? Hurry up, fight with us!

: What? Wait, I get it...BIS is wussing out just like those Earth-folk. Pathetic! We'll clean both of you out!

:...Why? Why are you doing this? Why do you have to fight? Ares didn't die for this! And I didn't struggle every day until today so that I could....see THIS! But still...Why?!

: Cage...your mental condition is in a state of disarray. Please calm down. I am sure that if you would talk with them...


: He-Helppp! Somebody stop them before everyone...The town...!

: The first thing is to get people out of here! We'll take the construction LEVs and approach the civilians, and lead the way out of danger...As for the other LEVs, well, never mind. Just destroy them! Let's get going!


: Cage, can you hear me?

: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard you the first time...I got it.

The game gives us control here.

Player Phase Music: Sortie
Enemy Phase Music: Sudden Assault

Mission Map:

The aim in this mission is the same as it was in the main route’s mission fifteen. However there are a few key differences. Enemy placement is one of them – instead of going head to head with the rioters Acemos have chosen to go with a pincer movement, attacking from both the north and south. There are also far more Acemos units and far fewer rioters, probably because BIS failed to topple Zephyrs. Regardless, our goal is still to take down anyone who isn’t in a Construction LEV. I won’t spend too long on this mission since we’ve done it once before.

Warren grabs the Server, then everyone moves east.

The rioters attack the Acemos units but fail to make an impact.

Razma and Warren take out the Missile LEV above, then Yukito and Mebius destroy the first Armed Civilian LEV.

Cage damages a Beam Gun LEV, then Phil and Semyl shuffle up a bit.

Mebius is damaged by a Laser Blade and Beam Gun hit, but manages to evade several more Beam Guns and a Missile strike.

Acemos also manage to damage the remaining rioter with a Beam Gun hit despite having only 27% accuracy.

The rioter’s counterattack is less than effective, however. Now it’s our turn again.

Cage and Semyl take out the Machinegun LEV, whilst Mebius and Warren tag-team one of the northern Beam Gun LEV’s.

Meanwhile Yukito eliminates the final rioter. I move Phil up and the turn ends.

Phil manages to evade two Beam Gun shots.

Mebius suffers another hit from a Laser Blade, then a follow up from a Beam Gun pushes her into the danger zone.

Cage also gets winged by a Beam Gun, but manages to evade a melee attack directly afterwards.

Our turn again, and first thing’s first – heal Orcrist.

Second thing – take out the Missile LEV with Yukito’s grenade. Mebius then shoots down the damaged Beam Gun LEV with her Elfin Bow.

Warren now has access to Avelcaine, so things around him start spontaneously exploding.

Razma and Cage take out another enemy LEV, Semyl moves up and then it’s the AI’s turn.

Phil escapes harm from the Beam Gun LEV, but the Machinegun LEV manages to land a hit.

The Caliburnus also takes a hit but it’s so heavily armoured it doesn’t matter much.

Cage and Semyl take out the southern LEV.

Mebius and Razma destroy the penultimate enemy.

Finally, Yukito and Phil finish off the Acemos forces.


The Construction LEV’s retreat.

:…There is no response from the surroundings. Switching over to cautionary mode.


:…Much of the city had burned, hasn’t it?


: Cage?

: What happened, Cage?!

: I should have left Zephyrs alone! I did my best to protect everyone, and stubbornly stuck to what I thought was right – and this is the result? What a joke!

:…then I met Ares, and I started to understand that there were things I wanted to do, and that it was possible for me to do them…I was able to believe that! And then it turns out that it’s not possible after all…Ares is gone. I can’t do anything right! Ares, can you see me right now? Pretty funny, huh?

:…don’t you? Or were you not programmed to laugh?

: It’s an order! Laugh! Now!


The end scene is exactly the same as before. The screen fades out here.

Music: Every Day

: Hey, everything’s fine! We can’t sit and watch if there’s a group of people who think standing up for Mars means making a random ruckus! They need to be educated!

: Ditto. Even if it’s comin’ from you, I gotta agree with that one.

: But…Mr. Cage didn’t seem to think so today…

:…controlled. Of course, that’s not everyone, but Cage can’t see it that way yet.

: It must be tough for him. He just lost his best friend, and no longer has a clear idea of what he wants to protect.

: Hmm. Where’s Miss Myona?

:…Oh, I see…

Interestingly Phil’s reaction here is slightly different. Whilst he says the same thing as before, here he looks sad rather than neutral. The next scene is also different – it’s greatly truncated and takes place in a hallway rather than the hangar.


: Cage!!

: I want to be alone…I’m going back to my room. Don’t come after me!



Cage walks away, and there is the sound of a door closing behind him.

The next scene is entirely new.

Music: Tension

:…well, which is wonderful.

: Of course. It is my design.

: Is that right? I have heard something quite different…

: What is your point?

NUT. Who, as we know from the last route, have supplied BAHRAM with weapons in the past, presumably including the Tempest that Zephyrs plagiarised.


: Ah, well, it’s just as well. I am here today because of the new model we have been discussing. I am starting to grow weary of waiting for you to have it retrieved. Please keep in mind that there are limits to our patience.

:…Because of those forces who have been acting against me, unfortunately I am calling the project off.

Ryan smacks Zephyrs in the face and seizes him by the throat!

:…You should learn to be very careful what you joke about. I can imagine that you are in a very undesirable situation right about now. But making me angry is not going to make your situation any less undesirable. HarutMarut is important in business, yes. But even if it is mass-produced it will not make any impact on NUT. In order to break up their monopoly on the Martian market…no, the entire industry everywhere in the world…we need the Mindflow System. You should know this by now, but I know many men in the government. They would be more than happy to hear all about your colourful past.

: J-just a minute! I know the location of their hideout! The new model must be there. I-I’ll send my men over there immediately!

:…used to be. Do not be disillusioned.


The scene fades out…

Music: Mystery

:…Miss Myona? Is something the matter?

: Can we talk for a little while? Do you mind if I take a seat?

: This is the second time you have visited me in such a way. Please, come in.


The chime that sounds whenever the Mindflow System activates rings out!

:…interference waves, and I remember now…

: Myona?! Your memory? Ugggg…My control panel…what…is…this? What are you…trying to do? The force…who ARE you?!

: Who am I…?

: Just like…me?

Testament lifts off and the mission ends!

We’re starting to see the butterfly effect take hold here. Whilst the mission itself is pretty much the same the end scenes spun off in a completely different direction, with Zephyrs and Ryan still in the game and Myona flying off on her own rather than being kidnapped. The next update is also similar to its previous incarnation, so it’ll probably be another short one. Until then…