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Stage 12: Last Stage

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 25, 2006

 

Summary

 

At the base, soldiers chase Merowlink and Lulucy under the assumption that they shot Helmecion. A squad of Scopedogs mobilizes and joins the chase. Yuuman receives a phone call and is told to follow Keik's orders. He then calls Keik and tells him he wants things finished quickly so that the base doesn't get wrecked. Merowlink and Lulucy reach a vehicle garage and come under fire from several soldiers. Lulucy hot wires a truck, and as they drive away, Merowlink fires at several oil barrels and sets off a large explosion. Several Scopedogs chase and open fire, but they slip and fall on fire extinguishing foam dispensed from the ceiling. Yuuman curses Merowlink for going into an area without surveillance cameras, and Keik enters the room and comments that the base isn't well guarded. Keik asks if a message can be sent to Merowlink's truck, and an officer tells him they can use the emergency radio system. Merowlink drives the truck through a narrow corridor and is chased by three Scopedogs. One crashes into a wall, but the other two continue their pursuit. A blast door begins to close in front of Merowlink, and the truck barely manages to get through. One of the Scopedogs slides under the door, but the other is crushed and destroyed. Merowlink then crashes into the Scopedog and smashes it against the wall. The pilot opens his cockpit and shoots at Merowlink to get revenge for his friend, but Lulucy pushes Merowlink out of the line of fire. As the truck veers away, the pilot falls out of the Scopedog. He panics and asks for help, and Merowlink tries to reach out to him. The Scopedog then falls back, and the pilot is killed when it crashes and explodes. Keik calls Merowlink on the radio and congratulates him on completing his mission. He says that Boyle turned out to be unpredictable, much like Merowlink. He tells Merowlink that revenge is stupid, and he asks him to remember the look in Schweppes' eyes on that fateful day. He tells Merowlink that Schweppes sold them out, but he doesn't believe it. Lulucy smashes the radio with her shoe and says Keik must have some trap planned. Merowlink thinks about Schweppes and realizes that Keik is right. While he's distracted, several soldiers open fire and hit Lulucy in the shoulder. Keik wants more Scopedogs sent out, but Yuuman says that's canceled because of strange movements in the Balarant space fleet. Keik reminds him of what Battentain said, and the base receives an emergency message about fleet movements.

 

Having escaped from the base, Merowlink bandages Lulucy's wound. She tells him everything is over now, but he says nothing. She asks him if he plans to go back again, but he still doesn't answer. She tells him not to go because Keik just wants to kill him for his own ambitions. Lulucy says it's stupid to go back, and Merowlink says he'll bet on his stupidity. He says he has to finish things and tells her to stay there, but she slaps him and runs away. Merowlink then rigs the truck with explosives and has it ram into one of the base's gates. As soldiers rush to the explosion site, Merowlink infiltrates the base. At the command center, Yuuman asks where Keik went and is told that he left. The command center momentarily loses power because the satellite transmission is being blocked in orbit by the Balarant. Yuuman orders his men to send a warning to the Balarant and prepare to fire the missiles. As Merowlink walks through a corridor, he's stuck when two blast doors close near him. He opens a hatch and goes outside. As he runs, he realizes he's on top of the missile launch bay. The launch bays suddenly open and fire missiles, and Merowlink wonders what's happening. Keik appears behind him and tells Merowlink that the war is starting again between the Gilgamesh and Balarant. Keik asks Merowlink if he still wants revenge now that he knows what Schweppes really did. A missile launches behind Keik, and the two begin shooting at each other. Keik tells Merowlink he doesn't understand the real meaning of the military. He says that Merowlink carried out his revenge because of the bonds of friendship, which mean nothing in the military. Merowlink shoots at Keik, and Keik asks him how he's survived with such poor skills. Merowlink hears a noise and shoots, but the noise was just Keik's lighter hitting the ground. Keik appears from the side and shoots Merowlink in the leg. He tells Merowlink that he's an idiot and should've acted as one. He says that many people are happy about the war resuming, but Merowlink can't be one of them. Merowlink then connects the pile banker to his rifle and smears his face in blood, saying he can't forgive Keik. Suddenly, Keik is distracted when a volley of Balarant bombs explode behind him. Merowlink rushes toward Keik, but the area they're in explodes, causing Merowlink to fall to a lower level. The base then fires rockets at the Balarant in orbit. Keik is about to shoot Merowlink from above, but another explosion knocks him in the air. As he falls, Merowlink fires the pile banker, impaling Keik. Keik says Merowlink's vision was better, and Merowlink counters that there's things that sometimes only idiots can see. Keik tells Merowlink to run away because he can probably live without war. Merowlink escapes, and the base is destroyed by Balarant bombardment. Later, Merowlink drives his rifle into the ground and sees Lulucy nearby. Having no need for the rifle now, Merowlink leaves it behind and walks toward Lulucy.

 

Commentary

 

The series ends on a high note with an action-packed finale. Merowlink and Lulucy are on the run from Keik and barely manage to escape with their lives. Keik provides another revelation about the Plan Bang Doll scandal, and Merowlink realizes he wanted to avenge Schweppes for nothing. Still, he decides to go back to the base and finish things off with Keik. Unfortunately for Merowlink, the war between the Gilgamesh and Balarant resumes at the same time. A base at war provides a great backdrop for the final confrontation between Merowlink and Keik. Keik was definitely a skilled opponent, and you can see that Merowlink won out of pure luck. Overall, this was a great, mature series that serves as a good companion to the VOTOMS TV series. It expands the world of VOTOMS and manages to have some great mecha combat, even though the hero doesn't use an AT. It also proves to be a good stand alone story, so it has a wide appeal whether you've seen VOTOMS or not.

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Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Merowlink Episode 12 Merowlink Episode 12

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