The Let's Play Archive

Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

by Scintilla

Part 39: Credits

Credits and Post-Credits Scene:

Now that the game is finished it’s time to meet the people who made it.

Music: Credits Theme

Shigemitsu Takamiya was both the Senior Director and Senior Producer for Fist of Mars. He appears to be a Winky-Soft veteran who is now the head of the entire company. Notably he was one of the programmers for the very first Super Robot Wars game for the original Game Boy way back in 1991. His full portfolio can be found here.

Atsushi Kamata is listed as a director but he is also credited with drawing some of the backgrounds. Those were the days when development teams were still relatively small and people could have multiple roles. From what I can gather Zone of the Enders: Fist of Mars appears to have been Kamata’s first game. He went on to work on a 2003 Transformers game and the 2004 Yu-Gi-Oh Capsule Monsters Coliseum, both for the PS2.

Naoya Inui also went on to work on the Transformers and Yu-Gi-Oh game. It seems like all of them were done by the same core team. Interestingly he appears to have left Winky Soft at some point and signed on with Nintendo to work on Super Paper Mario as an Assistant Director.

Atsushi Kamata has already come up.

Kayo Buma designed the maps and also worked on the event graphics. He also worked on Capsule Monsters and Transformers, after which he helped to design the Battlefield CG models for the PS2 title ‘Shaman King: Power of Spirit’.

Kenichirou Matsumoto is another core team member. As well as the other games he also worked on the SNES title ‘Chō Jikū Yōsai Macross: Scrambled Valkyrie’, a side-scrolling shooter based on Macross.

Konami clearly need no introduction.

Akira Tanizaki appears to not have worked on any games since this one. He previously designed the title logo for an obscure Mahjong game on the TurboGrafx CD, but aside from that I can’t find out anything else about him.

Kazuyoshi Horikawa went on to be one of the planners behind Rondo of Swords. He probably cackles at the thought of making people suffer.

Masahiro Sho is another core team member who worked on a lot of the same games Takamiya did.

Yasuaki Mori and Kunihiro Takedomi are also core team members. Ryouhei Inaoka was only involved with the programming and doesn’t have any other games to his name, which makes me suspect that he might have been a freelance programmer of some description.

Similarly I can’t find anything else on Kouji Kurosumi.

Both Yoji Shinkawa and Toshio Noguchi are Konami heavy-hitters. Shinkawa is a Metal Gear Solid veteran who has worked on every single game since MGS and has also had a hand in the rest of the ZOE series. Noguchi is less prolific but he still worked on the other ZOE entries and his most recent contribution to the industry was as a character designer for Kid Icarus: Uprising.

Katsuzou Hirata is another unknown who only worked on Fist of Mars. We’ve already met Kouji Kurosumi. Shimoyama is a core team member.

Nishimura is another Konami supervisor who worked on a ton of games related to the Metal Gear and ZOE franchises.

Kayoko Miyashita doesn’t appear to have worked on any other games or done anything notable since Fist of Mars.

Lots of names here. Yoshiharu Buma is a core team member, as is Noriyuki Iwamoto. Masaki Kondou worked on Mega Man 4, and Hideomi Sasaki only worked on Fist of Mars. We’re already familiar with Kouji Kurosumi and Kayo Buma.

Atsuki Toda is another core team member.

We’ve already come across most of these guys. Masato Nakamura is a core team member but he also worked on Virtua Fighter 4 and was part of the audio team for Final Fantasy VIII. Shuujirou Nakade is another member who only worked on Fist of Mars.

Hiroyuki Fukuda is interesting because unlike most of the others he had been very active in the past five years or so. He’s been involved with Resident Evil 5 and 6 as well as Lost Planet 2.

Tatsuya Fujiwara worked on a number of other games after Fist of Mars. Like Kazuyoshi Horikawa he also went on to work on Rondo of Swords. Susumu Nakamura worked on less games but his portfolio includes the original Tales of Phantasia and Namco X Capcom.

Scott Dolph has done a ludicrous number of things, mostly relating to localization / translation issues but also some audio stuff for an incredible number of Konami titles. He’s been involved with pretty much every Metal Gear Solid game and all of the ZOE series to boot. His full portfolio is [url=,51519/]here[/url].

INTAC are a localization company who have brought a fair number of games to Western shores, including Lunar Knights, Lollipop Chainsaw and Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes. I haven’t been able to find much on Violet Media, I assume they fulfil the same function in mainland Europe.

Takashi Kinbara was also behind the manual design of pretty much every Beatmania game ever.

Ichiro Kutome is another Konami veteran with an awful lot of Metal Gear Solid experience under his belt.

Masahiko Iwasaki is yet another longstanding Winky Soft employee. Momoko Suzuki has done a ton of QA work on Super Robot Wars, Dynasty Warriors, the Ar Tonelico series and Beatmania. Yoshiko Hotada is another freelance debugger from what I can tell, and RMC are an outsource testing group I’ve been able to find very little about. Ditto Dreams.

For the Special Thanks we have Sunrise, the animation studio behind the ZOE anime, and a few Konami staff members who said nice things about the game as it was in development.

And finally, we have the companies as a whole. That wraps up the credits. But aren’t we forgetting someone? Someone pretty important, without whom this game probably wouldn’t have been made?

Yeah, we are. Hideo Kojima, the man behind the entire Zone of the Enders franchise, doesn’t get a single mention in the credits. It seems like he had absolutely nothing to do with this game, not even as a creative consultant. The most likely explanation is that he was working on Metal Gear Solid 2 at the time and a Game Boy Advance project was not a priority, but it’s still a little odd that he isn’t mentioned at all, even in passing.

Still, the staff who made this game are pretty interesting people. Thanks, guys, for making a game I enjoyed playing.


Well now. That last scene certainly was interesting. And a little confusing if you don’t know the proper context! Some of it will make sense if you’ve played the first game, like ‘Leo’ obviously referring to the protagonist and the original pilot of Jehuty.

The most important thing to note about all of this is exactly who Amante is talking to. She refers to him as ‘Ridley’ at the end, someone she’s already mentioned once or twice in the main story route. Ridley, aka Ridley Hardimann, is the son of Rikoah Hardiman, the man who pioneered OF technology. That’s an important name to bear, but Ridley has another, even more important name that doesn’t come up in Fist of Mars.


That’s right; Amante is talking to the overall villain of the entire series. The thing is, as far as I can recall we don’t actually find out that Nohman’s original name was Ridley until the second game, which makes Amante’s conversation much clearer in retrospect. This scene ties the game into Zone of the Enders: The Second Runner and goes a long way towards establishing exactly where Fist of Mars stands in relation to the series as a whole.

In the short term the winners of Fist of Mars are BIS, but when looked at as a whole the man who came out best from the whole thing was none other than Nohman. A whole host of powerful figures who could have posed a threat to him like Zephyrs, Jaeger, Jimmer and Bolozof are dead. Thanks to BIS and Ares the UNSF armed forces have been gutted, rioting has destabilised most of Hellespontos and the Martian government is still reeling from the blows inflicted upon it by Jimmer and Zephyrs. And that’s not all; Zephyrs’ demonstrated ability to create Orbital Frames by himself is clear evidence that Earth can play the same game BAHRAM can. By sending Amante to help expose Zephyrs’s research Nohman simultaneously put the fear of God into the other BAHRAM higher-ups by demonstrating that they were about to lose their technological advantage.

In other words, Nohman has successfully manufactured a scenario wherein BAHRAM has no choice but to escalate the terrorism into all-out war, all while ensuring his enemies are as weak as possible in order to generate the maximum amount of carnage. Who could stop him at this point? BIS? They’ve pretty much disbanded. They have other responsibilities now. Cage and Myona are no longer with them and they’ve lost their most effective weapon in Testament. They aren’t a threat, which is why Nohman tells Amante not to bother murdering them.

Fist of Mars is full of people manipulating other people, with pretty much everyone intent on screwing someone over via convoluted plans. But in the end, the only one who accomplished everything he set out to do was Nohman, and he did it while barely lifting a finger.

Tl;dr – BIS did all of Nohman’s work for him and Mars is now ripe for the chaos which engulfs it in Second Runner.