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Stage 2: Colosseum

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 14, 2005

 

Summary

 

Merowlink rides his motorcycle across the desert and heads for Tapping, a port city located near Kummen. He walks through the streets and stops when he sees several punks toss a man named Bolf out a window. The punks punch Bolf and tell him that if he doesn't have their money, he'll have to pay out of his body. Bolf hides behind Merowlink and tells the punks that Merowlink is his bodyguard. The punks attack Merowlink, but he flips them onto the ground and beats all of them up. As he leaves, the punks tell Bolf that he has three days to pay them back. Bolf tells Merowlink they can make money together, and that he can get him a contract with some friends he has at Assemble EX-10. Merowlink ignores him and goes inside a bar. Inside, Lulucy wins a card game and spots Merowlink sitting at the bar. She joins him at the bar, and he buys her a drink to pay her back for helping him before. She decides they're even and tells him that the base was in quite an uproar after he left and Dogman was killed. She asks him why he came to Tapping, and he answers that it's for no particular reason. He stops when he sees a picture of Galvin Fox reflected in a mirror. He runs over to the poster and stares at it. Lulucy explains that Fox is a Battling champion known as the "Invincible Silver Fox of Melkia." She says she played cards with once and thinks he's nothing but a talentless killer. Merowlink asks her where the Battling arena is and storms out of the bar. He runs to the Battling arena and watches a match between Fox's custom Scopedog and a custom Standing Tortoise. Merowlink recognizes the Scopedog's arm shields as one of Fox's trademarks. Fox pulls up next to the Standing Tortoise and punches the head repeatedly until it is ripped off. He then pulls the pilot out of the cockpit and crushes him in the air for a victory pose. Merowlink sees that Fox's victory pose hasn't changed either. Bolf catches up to Merowlink and asks him if he wants to participate in Battling. Merowlink says he'll do it if Fox will be his opponent. Bolf tells Merowlink he'll get him a good AT, but Merowlink insists on fighting by himself without an AT.

 

At a bar, Merowlink goes over a list of the items he needs and gives it to Bolf. At the bar, men joke about how they're betting all their money on Fox. Lulucy tells Merowlink that he shouldn't be working with a fake matchmaker. When Bolf leaves, Merowlink asks Lulucy for a favor. At the Battling arena, Fox yells at his maintenance crew for not having finished work on his Scopedog yet. Lulucy enters the AT hangar and gives Fox a bouquet of roses. She asks him to win the battle and tells him she's his number one fan. When she leaves, Fox spots a pair of dog tags on the floor. In the shadows, Keik watches Fox from a catwalk. The next day, Merowlink enters the Battling arena and is jeered by the crowd. Everyone bets their money on Fox, but Lulucy bets on Merowlink winning. Fox enters the arena and wonders if Merowlink has come for revenge. Walls rise out of the ground and reconfigure the arena as a maze. Merowlink runs parallel to Fox's Scopedog and dodges his machine gun fire. Merowlink evades Fox's attacks, and the crowd complains that they don't want to see a game of hide and seek. Fox chases Merowlink and slides over a landmine. His Scopedog is damaged, and Merowlink appears out of the smoke to attack. He fires his anti-AT rifle, but Fox blocks it with his arm shield. Merowlink fires again and damages one of Fox's lenses. Fox unleashes a barrage of machine gun fire, but at his distance the shots are to inaccurate to hit Merowlink. Keik watches the battle and concludes that Merowlink is better than he expected. Fox chases Merowlink and barely avoids another landmine. He gets close and picks up Merowlink with his right arm. Bolf yells for Fox to crush Merowlink, and Lulucy asks him if he bet on Fox, to which he answers yes. Fox tells Merowlink he'll send him to his friends in the Schweppes Platoon. He attempts to crush Merowlink with both hands, but it doesn't work. Merowlink tells Fox he's seen his tricks many times on the battlefield. He pulls out a portable jack hammer and drives it into the cockpit. The crowd is shocked by Merowlink's victory. Bolf is disappointed over his loss of money, and the punks from before return and demand that he pay them what he owes.

 

Commentary

 

Merowlink's travels bring him to Tapping, a city near Kummen. Battling seems to be as popular here as it is in Woodo City where Chirico competes for his life. By a coincidence, Merowlink runs into Lulucy again. Although he doesn't say much of anything, it seems as though she has some attraction towards him. To hunt down Fox, Merowlink teams up with Bolf, a con artist in the vein of Gotho and Vanilla. However, whereas those guys believed in Chirico's skills, Bolf doesn't believe in Merowlink and bets against him. That certainly costs him a lot at the end when Merowlink wins with the handy jack hammer trick. Bolf mentions having some friends at Assemble EX-10, and I wonder who he could've been referring to. There is no established timeline for this episode, so we don't know if Chirico and his friends are in Kummen yet. The truth behind the betrayal and Merowlink's quest for revenge is still unexplained, and hopefully it will be covered in the future.

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Overall Rating

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3.5 out of 5 stars
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