Part 36: Episode 23 - God Save Us!Chapter Twenty Three: God Save Us!
Welcome back. Apologies for the lengthy wait, it's a combination of being at that stage in life where you're trying to find a job and finish educational work at the same time, flagging motivation and this update just being really damn long.
Last time we defeated Bolozof yet again, this time after he was mindjacked by Jimmer via the Self-Binder. Sadly the battle also resulted in the death of Nadia, but with the location of Jimmers base now in BISs hands theres no time to waste on moping around. Speaking of Jimmer, the very first scene in this chapter features him
: Bolozof I expected you to be much more useful, but you have only bought me a little time Heh heh heh. I suppose it is not all that surprising. Now, I must take care of business before the BAHRAM geriatrics club starts moving
A door hisses open and Most Definitely Not Amante steps in.
: What did you think you were doing?
: Are you able to become a totally different person just by changing your name and face? Who cares that you were born on Earth doesnt that make you nobility here on Mars? Why would you try to hide that?
: Aha, it was you When I asked you to sneak into Acemos as a spy, I did so in order to manipulate Zephyrs as I saw fit. It was not so you could fill his head with unnecessary information.
Aha, so thats where Zephyrs got his information on Jimmer from. Interesting. Of course, we already know that Amante is actually a triple agent thanks to what was revealed in the previous route.
: dont you?
: I knew it. Thats why you didnt make it. Ridley was chosen because
: has only soaked up the good graces of his parents fortune!
: *Sigh* Theres no hope for you. Thats why you could never excel Because you cant recognise the value in other people. And now, youre nothing but a common traitor
Amante produces a gun and shoots Jimmer!
: You should have just run off and lived out the rest of your days peacefully This is what happens when you insist on harbouring the kind of ambition your means cannot handle, Mr. Aegis.
: Your role in all of this is now officially over. This place will be ash soon and your suffering and worries will all be gone Sweet dreams, Ani Aegis.
Well now! That was an interesting scene. It revealed a great deal about Jimmer that was only implied before, and some that we straight up didnt know, like the fact that hes actually an Earthling. This, despite being a member of BAHRAM, with its distinctly anti-Earthling sentiments. Perhaps he had Martian parents? His character file doesnt say so its impossible to tell. Either way it seems that he was once in the running to become the overall leader of BAHRAM, but his heritage meant that Ridley got the job instead. This led to Jimmer attempting to assassinate Ridley, and when that failed he ran off and began plotting his revenge in secret.
In a way hes actually quite similar to Zephyrs. Both harbour an intense dislike for one of their contemporaries, both are fairly smart but fall into the trap of thinking theyre cleverer than they really are and both have massive issues with hypocrisy. Pretty much every character in the game is a hypocrite to one degree or another, to the extent that Im beginning to think it might be one of the games themes, but Jimmer, Zephyrs and Bolozof are probably the worst offenders.
Music: Every Day
: Over in the northern Hellespontos mountain range right about there.
: Its very close to where Miss Myona left Testament. I wonder if she was headed there to begin with?
: I doubt she knew Jimmer and company were hiding there. She was probably planning to die in the mountains.
: Yes. On the other hand, it makes me think that something must be hidden there.
: My kids
: Yeah. And Ares and Myona.
: Yes. Thats what she said.
: What if she refuses to come back with us? What then?
: If that happens
: suffering right now, I want to have my chance at trying to save her.
: Hmm. I thought you would say something like that.
: Excuse me, but you two are being too soft about this.
: If you think that youre a man, go and grab her. She was frightened! That was why she left in the first place. When a guy says that it was her will, thinking that it makes him seem more understanding of women, hes just a wuss making excuses!
: Youre a man, arent you?! If you like her, you owe her at least a You have to keep living! If you dont say it, how do you think shes going to know?
: (A wuss ?)
: Cage, if she didnt care for you she wouldnt have come out here that much I can say for sure.
: Every person in the world, somewhere in their heart, is hoping to meet that special someone. You can either wait patiently, or seek that person out yourself.
: Thank you.
: (Somewhere in their heart No! Stop, Warren! It has nothing to do with you! Nothing whatsoever )
: No, stupid! Of course I didnt put one on you. Why would I do that when
: (Oh guess he dont really care bout me after all )
: Im always going to be by your side anyway?
: Pinhead! Its your fault for not listening! Im not saying it again!
: Why not? Come on, just one more time!
: Take responsibility for your own actions!
: I heard it loud and clear! Please always be with the rest of us, too!
: Oh, thank you so much for the compliment!
: It wasnt a compliment!
Yeah, Phil is definitely messing with him.
The communicator beeps.
: What? A communication?
: No, just a data forward. It looks like a communications log Good lord!! Its !
: What is it?
: by a ballistic missile.
: A ballistic missile?!
: Which makes their target
As in the previous route the UNSF decides to cut their losses and just nuke the shit out of Jimmers base.
: What the ?! Why? Did we get busted with the hacking?
: Oh no Myona and the abducted children are in danger! We must hurry!
But before anyone can react, the perimeter alarm goes off.
: Th-theres something at twelve oclock! Its a gargantuan Frame of some sort!
: If they think were going to let them rain on our parade, theyre dead wrong! Come on, Cage!
This should read God Save Us!.
Well, well, well. Look who it is.
: It looks similar, but its definitely been fortified further. Be careful.
: Everyone! You already know this, but there really isnt much time. Try to make it quick!
: A difficult request, as always.
The Saoshyant retreats.
: Okay, then. I dont know who the runner is, but we know its not Ned. Even if its new and improved, we should still be able to defeat it more easily than last time. Lets get them once and for all!
: That voice! Could it be?!
: You Enders have been a real thorn in my side. But now it is finally my chance to put an end to all of you.
: depending on how you look at it. Now I have obtained my very own army made up of soldiers who obey my every command. Behold my military!
Eight Ifrits suddenly appear!
: Theyre all Ifrits.
: Razma whats the deal with the tracer ?
: Huh? Why are you asking me now?
: H-hey, theres no need to get all ! Hey the Ifrit
: Self-Binder system, but it seems they are useful in another respect, judging from your faces. An added bonus, heh heh.
: You scum! I wont stand for it!
: You wont stand for it? Hah! I need nobodys approval! The worlds most brilliant human mind does not need encouragement or permission! Go, Ifrits!
: *Cackle* The other children have already left for the Nests! The events which are about to ensue in Hellespontos will keep my name alive on Mars forever! Hah hah hah!!
: Cage, there is no time. Let us attack the Frames that those three are on without causing them to explode, then disable them.
: How do we attack so they dont explode?
: The Ifrits design is just like Testaments. The placement of the internal systems should be the same. I can show everyone where the wiring of the Self-Binder system is installed If everyone can get as close as possible and plan their attacks carefully, we should be able to save them!
: become sane again? Its dangerous but I guess its our best shot. Okay! Lets try it!
: Please be careful If you attack from too far away, there is the risk of inadvertently damaging the reactor. All attacks must be executed from close range!
In other words, melee attacks only. The game also gives us control here.
Player Phase Music: Sudden Assault
Enemy Phase Music: Atrocity
So, looks like were up against Zephyrs again. He appears to have outlasted pretty much every other villain at this point, but thats pretty much entirely down to luck. Hes brought eight Ifrits, six Raptors and two Nerokerubinas with him, and unlike the previous mission all of the enemies will advance together on the AIs turn.
Although three of the Ifrits have children on board, the other five are all unmanned and are actually better pilots despite Zephyrs claims.
Zephyrs himself is riding an upgraded HarutMarut. The Harut2 has 200 more Shell and 5,000 more HP than the old version, and its weapons have also received a damage buff. He can also still fire even after moving, so staying at range isnt really an option.
Anyway, the Ifrits are the closest threat, so lets deal with them first.
They cluster up, which makes them look more threatening than they are since the ones with the children in them will retreat after we rescue them. Those ones are the three in the middle so its a good idea to chew through the first two Unmanned ones before attempting a rescue.
Yukito and Mebius score our first kill.
Cage then takes out a second with a little help from Double Action. Now we can rescue all three children in one turn thanks to Warren and Vjaya.
: What ? What was I doing until now?
: We have succeeded in saving her.
The Ifrit disappears. Now all thats left is to rescue the other two, which Vjaya can do easily thanks to Double Action.
: Huh? Its wobbly
: We have succeeded in saving him.
And now finally for the blonde kid.
: Oh God
: We have succeeded in saving him.
: Okay, good.
And with that, eight Ifrits suddenly become a much, much more manageable three.
Of course, even three of them can do some damage. One manages to take off half of Warrens HP in a single attack. At 75% accuracy its extremely hard to take these guys on without using IBS.
With IBS its pretty much a cakewalk unless you get careless.
Yukito, Semyl and Phil demonstrate this by taking out one of them.
Cage, Twede and Warren follow up by beating down the second-last Ifrit.
Unfortunately Cage and Twede cant finish off the final Ifrit because nobody else is in range to deal a finishing blow.
Warren narrowly avoids being taken out by it on the AIs turn.
It doesnt last long once our turn comes again.
The oncoming Raptors target Semyl first, but since I fully upgraded her HP and Shell she easily shrugs it off.
Zephyrs and his Neros are also closing in, but thats not too much of a problem since well be able to inflict massive amounts of damage on the Raptors before he gets in range.
Twede, Razma and Twede again take down the first.
Semyl and Mebius kill the second.
The third falls thanks to Phil and Warrens efforts.
Cage and Yukito take out the fourth.
I love Double Action.
Warren and Cage take hits from the remaining Raptors, and Zephyrs keeps on trundling forwards.
Twede finishes off the injured Raptor whilst Phil repairs Warren.
Meanwhile Razma scores a lucky critical which lets Semyl swoop in for the killing blow against the other Raptor. Now that both Raptors are dead its time to start on the Neros.
Ugh, these guys are still enormous piles of HP.
Enormous piles of HP with equally enormous attack power.
Also, the first time Zephyrs attacks someone we get a scene.
: Previously it was used as Neds overall defence mechanism, but he had emotional and mental problems that interfered with the system. But this time its different. I have obtained the perfect specimen One that listens to every word I say, and fits the necessary criteria in every way!
: Oh, no
Dun dun duuuun!!! Its Ares!
: At the moment he is but a puppet who will answer only to me. Well, I dont even know if I should refer to him as he at all. In truth, he is just another part of HarutMarut.
: Come now. He already died once. I have given him another life in the name of science!
He finally said it! SCIENCE!!
: What I do with a corpse is my own business! He was destined to end up this way.
: (Its useless hes not responding to my voice at all! What am I supposed to do?!)
So, Ares is onboard the HarutMarut. I cant possibly see any way that thats going to backfire on Zephyrs at all.
Also Twede is a fire magnet this turn. He escapes the final shot and we thus return to your regularly scheduled Nerokerubina beatdown.
After an eternity the damn thing finally explodes. The 3,000 cash is worth it though because this is the last chance well have to earn money on this playthrough.
Shouldnt be much longer now.
Twede does better this turn and evades both of the attacks made against him.
After taking an incredible beating the other Nero falls. Now its just Zephyrs left.
Once a certain threshold of damage is reached a scene occurs.
: gone wrong?!
: This is your finale. You will die along with me
: What did you say?! Is this your doing?! There is no way that your own will could have survived! Why?!
: Zephyrs. It is that simple
: You little !! No! You couldnt have been planning this from the very beginning?!
: I dont know whats going on, but this is our chance! Come on, Pharsti!
Despite what it sounds like this scene has no in-game consequences. Zephyrs will continue trying to murder us until we take him down.
Zephyrs manages to hang on with just a sliver of HP left.
By this point however hes out of ammo for Wisp Meteor, forcing him to rely on the less accurate Flame Bullet attack.
He bites the dust almost immediately afterwards.
: produce these results Brilliant! Utilizing Metatron, humans can be elevated to a whole new level of being. This is exactly what I have been searching for Angels wings that will take me to paradise!!
The rest of the scene is nearly identical to Zephyrs death scene in Mission 22 of the original playthrough.
: 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 new 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 HarutMarut begins to explode.
: Heh heh heh I wanted to get closer to that genius better, and brighter than anyone else heh heh heh heh
: Oh yes I knew knew you would be! Ha ha hah!! Hardiman now you see I win
And thats the end of Zephyrs. For good this time.
: Cage, look!
Ifrits spawn in all four corners of the map.
The Ifrits all gather around the spot where Zephyrs went down
Then they vanish, and the HarutMarut reappears!
: HarutMarut has bounced back? It used its Metatron reserves? But how is that possible
: A Ares?
: Zephyrs is dead But this HarutMarut contains the remote control system for all Ifrits. I can use this to manipulate the Ifrits and order them to invade Mars
: But why?!
: my revenge is not yet complete. The Martians are just as responsible for all of this, because they let Earth intimidate them into silence.
: No! Revenge wont do any good! And besides
: And thats not all, either!! The children who were used in those experiments they are victims too. They were given up by their parents, who were more concerned about their own personal gains.
: always shifting the blame onto someone else. They refuse to acknowledge their own faults and expect the rest of the world to take responsibility. Those children who were part of the experiments never knew what it was like to be loved and I have an obligation to avenge their lost, despairing souls!! I will let their anger be known throughout the world! I will strike a blow against it on their behalf!
: The HarutMarut is almost ready to attack.
Music: Offence and Defence
The final stage of the map is a rematch against the HarutMarut, reanimated after absorbing the Metatron within the Ifrits and piloted by Ares. Unfortunately the vast majority of our units are out of range, with only Cage and Twede capable of inflicting damage this turn.
Fortunately, Cage scores critical hits with both of his attacks. The damage is enough to trigger a further scene.
: We have to go and save her
: Pharsti saving you was the first mistake we made. If you are going to be angry about anything it should be that. Had that not happened, I would not have had to use you like I did. That day was the start of everything!
: So I became part of that plan
: Pharsti decided to save you, a part of her was placed in that Frame. In return, she lost her memories.
: And that is this Pharsti?
: But they are not exactly one and the same. Its more like a skilful counterfeit. Are you surprised? There is no way the average human could do something like that. We were only able to do it because Zephyrs experiments made us less human. The two Animus Frames Iblis and Testament theyre just like us. Two unlucky siblings
: difference in the fact that you are important to me!
: Ah. But your other important person feels exactly the same way as I do.
: Thats a lie! Myona would never
: that, that is. Heh heh ha ha ha haaah!!
So Ares is deranged just like before. Even without the Self-Binder, being close to that much Metatron is probably not good for his mental health.
Twede whacks Ares, then Ares whacks him back harder. Absorbing the Ifrits also gave the HarutMarut back the ammunition for Wisp Meteor, which is annoying.
Not that it matters in the end. Ares goes down, with Razma scoring the winning shot.
: Heh heh you always were an inconvenience to me, causing problems But you finally helped me out. I appreciate that.
: I helped you out? What is that supposed to mean?
: I wonder if those kids are safe
: Heh heh. Finally now I can Goodbye, Cage
: A-Ares! Dont do it! Pharsti!
: He is safe. The cockpit block is unharmed. Mr. Ares is still alive
: Thank goodness. Lets hurry back!
Cage and the rest of BIS retreat.
lpix.org/1134573/Yukito Rage.png[/img]: Is it that bad? I mean, the way he was built into the HarutMarut
: Yes. I wouldnt look under that sheet
: If you want to check, I wont stop you But youll regret not making Zephyrs suffer more for the rest of your life.
: Hes not going to last much longer, is he?
: Either way, I suppose Ares was aware of the situation
: To tell the truth, I never really liked the guy. He did do some very bad things, but I guess deep down he really loved his family Why did this have to happen to him? Now I just feel bad
: (Razma )
The scene fades out. When it returns, were in the infirmary with Cage and Ares.
: (Ares )
: Hm where am I ?
Just as a quick aside, this CG picture is why I cut the credits out of the first playthrough. The credits themselves are sprinkled with CG images from the game, and this is one of them. Its minor spoilers, really, but better safe than sorry.
: Ares, you are so selfish. You worry about things by yourself, and you make decisions by yourself
: I had no other choice. I couldnt take my own life, and I couldnt attack Zephyrs directly. Ive been programmed that way. Even worse, when he was cut off and on the verge of death, I was forced to save his life. I really had no other choice.
: Then why do you have to go and die too?!
: the Bonaparte. And because of the crimes I committed, many innocent lives have been lost. Death does not release you from responsibility, but I could think of no other way.
: No, its never too late! Lets find a way for you to make up for your sins. Ill help you!
: Cage, do you still have that button?
: Yeah, yeah, of course. But more importantly
: Would you play that song? Please?
: S sure.
Music: Promise of Reunion
: sworn vengeance for his parents, and had no qualms about making other people suffer and you. Heh heh. Cage, you were always honest so defenceless and simple that it surprised me. I guess I was envious of you. You had everything that I had lost. I didnt have the courage to admit that to myself because if I did, it would undermine my entire existence. Until now I was just running away.
: Thats not true! You can do lots of things Ill never be able to do. I look up to you. Even now, youre what I aspire to be So dont talk about the past anymore!
: Heh. You can make your own decisions now. You dont need me anymore.
: You dont know the absolute despair of reality. That means that you have a future. I I can only live my life bound to the past; it is my destiny. But Pharsti I mean, Myona is different. She didnt know anything she was just dragged along by her wretched brother. Cage please save her. Save my sister. And look after her. Thats my final wish.
: Ares! No! If you werent here
: No, youre wrong. You can do so much more than you think. Otherwise, how did you get this far? Right? Even if youre alone, youre going to get much farther than I ever would. I wouldnt feel safe entrusting my sister to you if that werent the case *Cough* *Cough*
: Promise me, Cage take good care of my sister. Look after her in my absence
: I-I know. I promise! Dont say any more
: Heh thank you. I guess its goodbye...this time
The music and image slowly fade away
: Hey, Ares this isnt funny! Ares Ares?!
: Ug ugggg A reeees
: (Ares Im happy to have met you, too really )
: Ill keep our promise. Dont worry. You can go ahead and relax. Ill take care of everything.
The scene ends here. Unlike the previous route, Ares is not the final boss.
I really like this scene, even though weve pretty much heard everything Ares has to say here before. In the other route the fact that Ares was living on borrowed time was never really apparent until the final battle, and even then it was simply an offhand remark about how his medication wasnt working anymore.
Unfortunately the next scene is uncharacteristically retarded and I have to wonder just what the writers were thinking when they wrote it. Youll see what I mean soon enough.
: Um hey. So, how are they doing?
: Theyre hangin in there. No side effects from their exposure to the devices. Jojos still out, but Gilberts back to his usual self, sayin How can a real man sleep in this situation?
: I see.
: A little while ago, he
: Oh thats sad.
: Yeah. Lets leave them alone for a little while.
Semyl pinches Razma!
: You dont look right frowning. If you wanna make em feel better, that aint the way to do it.
: True. I really dont feel like myself right now
Razma thumps Semyl!
: Thanks, Semyl.
: Thats the way you thank a person?
: Nah, that was for pinching me earlier.
The door to the infirmary opens and Cage steps out.
: Hey. Are you okay?
: Yes. If I spent too much time grieving, Ares would get mad
: Damn straight! Theres time until the attack! In that case
And heres where the retardation begins.
: Whoa, when did you
: What cant you have? What are you talking about?
: Huh?! Wh-what?! Whatre you
: Did you not hear me? I said, we are retreating.
: Screw that! How could we agree to that?! Sorry, but Im going to go right ahead and
Twede produces a gun and shoots at Razma!
: Oh, youre going to shoot me now? Thats cute. Go ahead, if you think you can
Twede shoots at Razma again!
: You dirty rat!!
: Please tell us why.
: Dont attack Twede. We would not make it in time if we went now. There is a larger possibility that all of us would get caught up in the attack. It is our responsibility to keep you safe, now that Deckson is no longer with us
: Responsibility? Wow, that sure is impressive! But you guys are dead wrong. Boss showed us the meaning of courage by risking his own life to help others. No matter how loud we scream from our safe haven, no one is going to hear us!
: life is too precious? Come on, Cage, Semyl
: Theres no need for that. It IS dangerous, and it may end up killing everyone.
: Cage, how could you
: Whah? Thats ridiculous!
: Cage. Please do not make me pull the trigger.
: Pharsti, can you hear me?
: Saoshyants communications circuit
: Lets go!
: Yes. Preparations have been made. Shall I come and get you?
: I will not allow it!
: Thank you, Mr. Twede. Please tell Ms. Robin that I am going to get Myona, regardless of what happens.
: Im going too!
: Me too!
: Hey!! Whats that?! Why you gotta say it like
: I get it. Go. Semyl! Grab pops!
Semyl tackles Warren!
: Stop that! Semyl!
: You are willing to act as a shield to allow him to go?
Razma tackles Twede!
: Ive got no plans to die, though. What are you doing, Cage? Go!!
: Razma thank you!
Cage runs off.
Music: Every Day
So yeah, that sure was a scene. Warren and Twede decide, completely out of the blue, to pull out and let Myona die, despite being within striking distance of Marleblanke Dite. Theoretically this is to save their lives but Twede then freaking shoots at Cage and co. in order to force their compliance. Let me repeat; he shoots a freaking gun inside a cramped hallway where the bullet could easily ricochet and kill one of the people he is supposedly trying to protect! In Warrens case its particularly retarded since he explicitly gave Cage his support right before the mission began.
I have no idea why this scene exists. Its dumb on every conceivable level and I like to pretend it never happened.
: You two
: You lose. Warren, Twede. Both of you.
Thank god Mebius agrees with me.
: Pops you thought you could drug us and get away with it? Im still tingling
: I thought you were telling us to relax because this is an emotional time I shudder to think that I was about to be tricked.
: It was only a small amount, but it cant be passed off as a joke. Youll pay for this
: Oh, and Robin was fuming too. I hope you understand that none of us are going to take your side, Twede.
: *Sigh* I feel like I got the short end of the stick.
: If this was what was going to happen I should have made an LEV that comes when I call huh? What did you just say?
: I take it back.
: Semyl exactly how long are you planning on hanging from my neck?
And with that, the penultimate chapter of this playthrough draws to a close. A lot happened, most notably Jimmers death at the hands of Amante. With Zephyrs and Ares also out of the picture, who will our final villain be? Find out next time.