The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 34: Episode 21 - Nosferatu

Chapter Twenty One: Nosferatu

Music: Intermission

Oh dear. The title of this episode bodes poorly, particularly after what happened last time.

We’re just about entering the final stretch, meaning a lot of the remaining villains are going to bite it in the upcoming chapters. But who will be our final opponent? Jimmer again? Or perhaps Zephyrs and his new Ifrits? Let’s play on and find out.

Music: Danger

: What the…?! Hey! All these Spheres are burnin’!

: What happened? What is…this…? Is it the Armed Civilians making a scene?

: Yes. All over the country, residents are acting up. They are attacking all governmental facilities, including residential ones. There have been civilian casualties as well…

: I was planning on looking into their motivations, but there is no time for that now. To think Ares’ defeat would add fuel to this fire…

: The relatively low number of remaining troops were destroyed before they even had the opportunity to stage a counter-attack. The rebels use their momentum most efficiently, attacking the military accurately at their most critical points.

: Of course, since they have Zephyrs on their side. He is a bonus to them militarily in that nothing gets by him unnoticed.

: We’ve really let loose a monster. Seeing the situation, I regret that I didn’t shoot him down before.

: Razma, there’s no ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’ in history. In life, you are faced with a choice. You make it and you go forward. You aren’t allowed to retrace your path.

Unless you make another save file before the critical decision point.

:…too out of control. They remind me of a child excited by the prospect of a new toy.

: In the case of men, though, the difference is that their toys usually tend to cost a little more…

: I can’t dispute that, but something that hurts others is not a toy. Whatever its name may be, it is a weapon!

: Them jerks’ve gone past bein’ childish – they’re the crap of humankind! They ain’t never, never, never gonna get away with this!!

:…ones who can do it, and we should do it!

An alarm sounds on the bridge.

: Oh! I have intercepted an emergency signal! The location…is right near here!

: Near here? Yeah, it is. But that’s strange…there aren’t supposed to be any military facilities in this area…unless…civilian towns are being attacked?!

: Aye-aye!

: (Mr. Deckson…please watch over us!)

This should read ‘Nosferatu’.

Music: Uncontrollable Fear

BIS arrives to find the entire city engulfed in flames.

: Let’s say this was done by a coupla crazies from BAHRAM, and not BAHRAM as a whole…they still gone too far. This is whack!

: Rather than being for Mars and the Martians, this looks more like something that would be done by someone who doesn’t care at all about either…

A civilian LEV stumbles out of the burning ruins!

: Hmm? A civilian LEV?

: Hey! Are you okay?


: Children? What about children?!

: Please! Help these children! They’ve been…going after…the kids…

But before BIS can do anything…

Brainy Ned appears.

: Aaaaaaarrrrrggggghhhh!!

: But…they’re no match for an immortal like me! Heh!

: That voice…it must be Ned! How dare you! And this city…did you do this?!

: *Cackle* Took you long enough! Hmm? Oh, but isn’t someone missing? Eh? I wonder what happened to him…heh heh heh!

:…attack this sphere?!

: Heh heh…ole Zephyrs never planned to cooperate with BAHRAM from the beginning! All we want is to complete the Ifrit…After that, we’ll claim everything we want! That’s all there is to it!

But before anything else can happen…

:…did you have to park so far away?

…Twede shows up.

: Mr. Twede!

: Ned Noachim, former head of the pirate group ‘Scarface’. Arrested thanks to the testimonies of your so-called friends, but bailed out by Dezeele Zephyrs; following this incident, you received a position in the military…

: Shut up, shut up, shut uuuuuuuuppp!! Don’t remind me of my past! None of you are leaving here alive!

So now we know why Ned was so enraged when Mebius namedropped ‘Scarface’ way back when she first appeared. It brings back painful memories of being stabbed in the back by his fellow pirates.

: Erm, are you all right? Vjaya can be somewhat tricky to manoeuvre…

: Right now we need some additional fighting power. He’ll have to be able to handle it.

: Heh heh…it won’t make any difference if you have one extra!

: What’s happening?

A bunch of enemies appear in the middle of the map.

: There’s a bunch more of ‘em! We gotta take ‘em all down, from one end to the other!

: Wait, the Raptor…it’s carrying something. Oh my God, it’s…!

: We…we’re floating!! I…I’m scared! Helpppp!!

: Lemme down! Lemme down from here!!

: Mama! Mamaaaaa!!

Damn, looks like Ned is up to his old tricks.

Scott Dolph, your translations are mostly good but this is just silly.

: *Cackle* Now what are you going to do?

: You’re kidnapping children?! What is wrong with you? What are you trying to do? Release all of them at once!

:…any of its operators! But we have our agenda to consider, too. If the effectiveness is the same it’s much better to use young children, who have impressionable minds, rather than adults, who are harder to control. Simple, isn’t it? And there’s more than enough of them running around Mars!

: You’re trying to install these children and use them as tools? A travesty…I will not allow it!

: Calm down, tough guy. If you fight, these children will get hurt. Don’t you care about them? Eh? Awwwww, poor little kids. You don’t care what happens to their little lives? That’s tragic…it brings tears to my eyes!

:…one, you have no tears either.

: *Cackle* All talk! But hey, I don’t care if you disobey. You attack the Raptors, and they’ll be destroyed – along with the Martian brats!


: Cage. Although there is some risk involved, it is possible to rescue those children.

: After manoeuvring this Frame very close to the enemy machine, we can rescue them directly.

: B-but is that safe? I mean, the enemy’s moving too, you know?

: These are the types of things I am here for. Do you not have faith in me?

: Yes!

: Everybody, we’re going to…

: We heard it all. Get to it!

: Okay!

: Okay, I’ll try.

: We’ll either go after Ned, or act as Cage’s shield.

: This goes without saying, but do not attack the Raptors until Testament has safely rescued all of the children!

The game gives us control here.

Mission Map:

Player Phase Music: Counterattack
Enemy Phase Music: Impact

That’s a lot of fire. Still, it’s not too bad since the flames don’t inflict any penalties on units passing through them. In fact they’re actually beneficial since they’re treated as open terrain, which lets our slower units advance more easily. Regardless, our main duty here is to rescue the four children being held captive by the Raptors. It’s simple enough; all we have to do is move Testament next to them.

Oh, and Twede is replacing Deckson as the Vjaya’s pilot.

He’s not nearly as good as Nadia, sadly. Still, he’s better than Deckson.

I decide to take an aggressive stance for this map and move all my units up. There’s no time limit or anything, I just don’t feel like baiting the enemy out this time.

Hilariously, on the enemy turn one of the Raptors moves down to attack Warren, putting itself next to Testament and resulting in the hostage being auto-rescued.

: Stop moving! Stay Calm! Pharsti!

: Eek! Hey! You’re a little aggressive!

: I am sorry. The child has been accounted for. It is now safe to attack that Frame!

Other happenings include Phil dodging a Beam Gun shot and Mebius taking a Laser Blade to the face.

Lots of enemies have moved up to engage us, though Ned and the units surrounding him remain where they are.

Semyl, Warren and Twede remove the hostage-less Raptor. Twede earns a few levels in doing so since he joins at level 28.

Phil shoots down the Security LEV that Cage nearly killed on the first turn.

Meanwhile Yukito and Mebius take out a second Security LEV. Now it’s time to rescue another hostage with Testament…

: Now! Hurry!

: Waah! It was so scary!

: The child has been accounted for. It is now safe to attack that Frame!

Sadly I have no units left to do that this turn.

Warren takes a hit but that’s okay since it makes it easier for him to trash that same Raptor next turn.

Again the enemy Raptor attacks Cage, and again the hostage is auto-rescued. Guess this is an advantage of playing aggressively!

: Pharsti! Now!!

: I-I-I-I made it!

: The boy has been rescued. It is now safe to attack that Frame!

Warren gets attacked again, but this time manages to evade. Both Security LEV’s flail around ineffectually and fail to accomplish anything.

There’s only one hostage left, and he’s on the Raptor to the left of Warren.

I can rescue him with impunity by attacking the Raptor to the north of Warren.

: Mama!! Maaaammaaaa!!

: (He’s so confused he can’t even see us!)

: (…)

: Excuse me, little sir! It’s dangerous over there, so come over here instead!

: Pha-Pharsti?!

: You saved me! Thank you!

: Phew…it worked. It is now safe to attack the Raptor.

And with that, all the Raptors are now fair game.

Semyl and Phil take down one.

Warren obliterates the one Cage just damaged.

Razma and Twede team up to destroy the eastern Security LEV.

Unfortunately the last two enemies survive, but that’s fine because they’ll be dead next turn.

Remember when Security LEV’s were vaguely threatening? Me neither.

Raptors, on the other hand…

Ned’s core group of Cyclopses and Mummy Heads finally start to move, though Ned himself remains where he is.

On my turn Twede destroys the final Raptor. I’ll be sending him off to grab the Local Server over the next few turns.

Also Yukito finishes kicking the Security LEV to death.

I move everyone up and end the turn here. Once Ned’s remaining followers move down I can smash them and carry on up to where the big man himself is.

They move down as expected. Let the smashing commence!

Yukito and Warren take out the first Cyclops, whilst Semyl, Razma and Phil eliminate one of the Mummy Heads.

The second Mummy Head goes down when Twede stops by to help Cage murder it on his way to the Local Server.

On the AI’s turn Ned finally gets his arse in gear and comes down to take the fight to BIS. We’re going to have to stall him until Twede can grab the Local Server.

Thankfully that won’t be long, though.

The final Cyclops dies to Warren and Cage. The gameplay part of this mission is drawing to a close.

I have Mebius take a shot at Ned as the final act this turn. Now that all the children are safe we can finally beat his head in.

That might have been bad if I hadn’t healed Warren between screenshots.

As it stands though, this is pretty much it for the mission.

Unfortunately as before Ned’s cutscene auto-repair function will kick in once he goes below half health, so there’s not much opportunity for grinding on him. Not that you really need to, this route is generally fairly easy.

A Soulsection to the back is enough to ‘kill’ him after Semyl chips him down.

: What is going on here?!

: He is using all the internal Metatron in his Frame to self-restore…Restoration is hugely effective!

: See that? This is the new Frame the ole man gave me! It’s perfect for an immortal like me!

:…name of a mythical King who could not be defeated by gods or demons.

: Damn right, I can’t be defeated! I got an immortal body, the Orbital Frame ‘Ravana’!

: Does that mean attacking is futile…? How are we supposed to…

:…point. We must continue to fight until he can no longer restore himself.

You know how I said the gameplay part of the mission was about to end?

I lied. There’s actually a bit more this time.

It involves thrashing Ned until he dies again.

: Cage! Now is the time! We cannot give him time to recover!

: Alright!

: Whoa, whoa, don’t move. Look at this.

Three Raptors appear to the north!

: What?

: Cage! The Raptors are carrying children!

: Stop it, stupid! Don’t make weird noises! If you think you’ve lost, you really will lose, you know! Pauly! Are you okay? Hey. PAULY.


:…He fainted with his eyes open…

It’s the three kids from Semyl’s orphanage!

: Sis!

: Sorry! I was with them the whole time, but this still happened…

: No biggie! Is everyone alright?!

: Semyl, don’t worry about us! Just…

: You idiot! Stop talkin’ all that nonsense! Kids ain’t supposed to worry about that stuff!

: Stay put, and we’ll get ya’lls outta there!

Semyl gains 30 Spirit.

:…for you? Heee heee heee…pretty good planning, huh? I went out of my way to set up a little tragedy for you. Doesn’t it just make you want to cry? C’mon, throw down your weapons! Otherwise there are going to be three bright red patches over there…

: How could anybody be so cruel…?

: Because it’s fun, fun, fun! Now, while this is going on…

: Shoot! And there’s nothing we can do!

: Hm? Why isn’t it working?


:…Whhhhaaaaatttttt!? Wait a minute! I’m still here! Who’s the boss here anyway?

: What?! I’m not part of the machine, dammit!! I-I’m…?! Oh, God…The ole man…I’m…expendable? *Cackle*

: Cage! For reasons unknown, Ned’s Frame has begun the countdown for a self-destruct sequence! Now is our chance!


: Ned! Can you hear me?

: What? Did you come to finish me off? Or are you here to laugh at me?

: No! Get out of there! I’ll save you!

: Cage?!

Ugh, Cage, don’t you ever freaking learn?

: I attacked you once. But I don’t really want to hurt anybody! So this time…

: Oh, shut up! I don’t need anybody’s sympathy! It makes me want to throw up! You could never understand how I feel…How could you, when you get everything you want just because you were born with a cute face!

: Huh? What are you talking about?!

:…aren’t as honourable as you imagine! They will betray you! They will judge you by your looks alone! Nobody will bother to look any deeper than that!

: Ned…you…

: Heh heh. I’ll tell you what Myona is doing right now. She’s at the secret lab, together with all the kids I rounded up. Myona is mastering the Self-Binder system there, so she can act as a tool to make the brainwashing of all those children more effective!

: What?!

: Out of luck? How could you…

: What is so wrong about discriminating against Enders anyway? What is so wrong about being unjustly hurt? It happens every single day. It’s nothing special at all! Whether or not it happens to you is just a question of luck. Luck is part of a person’s destiny!!

: How about you, then?! Are you telling me that you were born with the right to look down on other people?!

:…I was…I was reborn! A human life is nothing! Be strong!

: What are you talking about?

: Heh. Who cares.

: It’s dangerous, Cage! Get away!

: Stop!

: Awh…Wish I could go back…to when I was with my boys…

Of course, the game isn’t going to let us actually rescue the mass-murdering child-hating backstabbing hypocritical psychotic pyromaniac. Although it is nice to learn exactly why Ned is the way he is. It seems he really snapped after the incident where his friends all turned on him, though he clearly wasn’t the nicest guy before then either.


: Vital signs are nil. He really is gone this time.

: He…didn’t like humans. That’s why he wanted to be…more than human.

:…through a pact. But he forgot to include humans in that pact, because he thought he was so superior to them. That is how he met his end.

: Superior…even though he was only human, too.

: Cage, let us go and rescue those children.

: The Raptors holding the children are moving!

: Damn, they’re taking them away!

Three Cyclopses appear in front of the Raptors!

: Get out of the way! Mooooove!!

: The Raptors are leaving the immediate battle area!

:…do something you can’t do!

: Shoot! This little…! Let me go! Let go of me!!


The Raptors retreat from the field.

After this the game dumps you back onto the map yet again for a final fight against the three Cyclopses. It’s nothing too interesting and the combat isn’t anything we haven’t seen two dozen times already so I hope no one minds if I just skip straight to the next narrative bit.

: Cage, I am very sorry. They have gotten us completely. The support troop that came afterwards deployed a powerful jammer. Unfortunately, I do not know where they went.

: Oh…well, thanks for trying.

: Everyone…

BIS withdraw and the gameplay segment ends. For real this time.

:…with. They must be regretting it right about now. Twede, don’t you know anything?

: I am terribly sorry, but this area is wracked with confusion right about now. I have no information as of this point.

: No solutions at all…

:…do? Why can’t I be more like him?! Can we really win like this?!

: Hey, pops. What’s gotten into you?

: Yes, it’s so unlike you.


: Yukito!

: What does that mean?

: Nothing!!

: Fine. But it’s terrible that there’s nothing we can do…While we are sitting here like this, the children are in grave danger. We have to do something…


Razma hits Semyl on the head!

: You can’t afford to be blue right now! This is the kind of time that you have to be your usual hyperactive self!

: But we don’t even know where they are…

: So you’re giving up? Already?!

: We just need to know where they are, right?

: You…you know where they are?!

: Yeah…if all goes as planned, we might be able to figure it out. Myona’s there too. It’s worth a try…

The scene fades out. When it comes back we’re in an unfamiliar location…

Music: Black Ops

: Hmph. He was entertaining. He was in jail after his friends sold him out, and I rescued him from his desperate state. He would do everything I told him to do, and the energy he put into his work was impressive. But he was a little careless, and that was his downfall.

: You are free to be sentimental, but that was not what I was getting at. Zephyrs…you do not seem to understand in the slightest why I carried out that rescue at the price of such danger. Do you have no feelings of goodwill?

: ‘Feelings’? Of course I can comprehend, Lance Jimmer…or would you prefer that I call you ‘Aegis’?

: The next time you change your identity I recommend you change your bone structure as well.

: You have too much time on your hands. And you were finally given the results just now?

: I must say I was surprised to learn that you were the Aegis. Ani Aegis…Rising star of BAHRAM, with an exceedingly superior resume…and yet all of a sudden, you disappear. According to one theory, your…


Jimmer pulls a gun on Zephyrs!

: Is this how you tried to get rid of Hardiman’s son? You failed on that account.

: Aha. Is this your idea of ‘goodwill’? Its definition has changed a lot, I see! Bolozof!

Bolozof enters the room!

: What?!

: I am aware that you tried to use Ares to defeat me, you sly, parasitic crow! I don’t need you to make my mark on the world! I can do it on my own!! Bolozof! Do it!


Bolozof fires!

But he was aiming at Zephyrs!

: I told you not to order me around. I think I’ll have more fun working with him than with you anyway.

: Zephyrs, it seems you were the careless one! Heh heh heh…

: You…!

Zephyrs collapses to the ground.

: Heh heh heh. Thank you.

: You better not misunderstand. I let you live because you could be useful. You better remember th…ugh!!

The Self-Binder chime sounds!

: Heh heh. Is something the matter?

: N-No!

: Then let us move on to our next plan. You aren’t satisfied yet, are you?

: Y-yeah.

Jimmer and Bolozof leave. But after they’ve gone…

: Zephyrs.

: H…how did you get here…?


:…not! After all, I am the ‘chosen one’!)

And with that, the mission ends.

We obtain the most broken ability in the game from this mission’s Local Server.

Well now, that was interesting. Not so much the actual mission, but the scene that occurred right at the end of it. We learn that ‘Lance Jimmer’ is actually an assumed name and that the man calling himself that was once part of BAHRAM’s upper echelons of power. If what Zephyrs says is true then he had an altercation with Rikoah Hardiman’s son at some point, and the fallout from that forced him to change his identity and go underground. This is particularly pertinent information when you remember who Rikoah Hardiman’s son actually is.

It’s been theorised by multiple characters before now, but this pretty much confirms that Jimmer is not actually part of BAHRAM and is simply using their name and reputation in order to achieve his goals. It probably wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to imagine that he’s stealing their resources as well. Regardless, this information is only divulged in the alternate route.