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Stage 5: Battlefield

 

Review by Chris Guanche

May 13, 2005

 

Summary

 

Merowlink's bike breaks down while traveling across the desert. He camps out near a ruined airplane to get out of Melkia's acid rain. He accidentally pricks his finger on the thorn of branch from a tree with delusional properties. The plane suddenly explodes, and Merowlink finds himself back on Miyoite during the Hundred Years War with the members of the Schweppes Platoon. The platoon members take their positions inside a trench and watch for the enemy. A group of 28 Balarant Fatty Land Types approach and begin their attack. Merowlink wants to shoot back, but Schweppes orders him to wait until they get closer. Merowlink fires and destroys a Fatty, but Schweppes cautions him that the rest won't be destroyed so easily. As the Fattys move in, the rest of the men fire their rifles and take down only a few Fattys. A soldier is killed when he runs out of the trench and tries to shoot at the Fattys with his anti-AT rifle. The Fattys break past the defensive line and kill nearly all the soldiers in the trench. Later, Merowlink wakes up and is horrified to find that all his comrades are dead. He searches the trench and finds no signs of life. A Balarant patrol jeep approaches, and Schweppes tells Merowlink to stay down. As the jeep pulls up to the trench, Schweppes jumps on top of Merowlink. The Balarant fire into the trench to make sure everyone is really dead. One of the Balarant soldiers says he doesn't see any Scopedogs around, and the other says they look like Armor Hunters rather than Armored Troopers. He says they were used as decoys while the rest of the Gilgamesh forces retreated from Miyoite. After the Balarant leave, Merowlink opens his eyes and sees that Schweppes is dead. In his delusional flash, Merowlink recalls how the rest of the Gilgamesh forces abandoned them, and how after the battle he buried all of his friends and took their dog tags. Merowlink wakes up and realizes that the delusions must be coming from the tree.

 

Merowlink recalls the situation as it was back then. The Plan Bang Doll Battalion was assigned to protect a massive amount of jijirium stolen from the Balarant. Schweppes speaks to HQ over the phone and objects to his orders. He says he has a right to refuse orders if he gives an explanation, and he says he won't carry out a mission where his men have less than a 10 percent chance of surviving. He tells his men that he is going to HQ to straighten things out and have the order rescinded. After Schweppes leaves, the men debate what will happen. Some believe that they'll all be wiped out if they take on the Balarant alone. Later, Fox arrives and informs the platoon that instead of being Armored Troopers they're now Armor Hunters. They all object, and he tells them to go speak to Schweppes because he agreed to it. Outside, the platoon's Scopedogs are loaded onto trailer trucks and taken away. Schweppes apologizes, and the platoon learns that he was charged with a crime and demoted for objecting to their orders. The platoon fights valiantly with anti-AT rifles, bazookas and mines, but they don't stand a chance against the Fattys. After burying his comrades, Merowlink vows to carry on their will as the last man alive. He attacks a Balarant base and steals a car. Two Balarant helicopters pursue and attack Merowlink, and he jumps out of the car before it explodes. He destroys one of the helicopters with his rifle and hides behind a rock. His rifle jams while he tries to reload, and the helicopter is destroyed by two Scopedogs. Afterwards, Merowlink is arrested and court-martialed for the theft of the jijirium. Dogman, Fox and Snook testify and accuse Merowlink and the Schweppes Platoon of crimes they never committed. Filled with a desire for revenge, Merowlink escapes from the courtroom and steals the dog tags and anti-AT rifle. When the acid rain ends the next morning, Merowlink walks along a desert road and hitches a ride on a van filled with girls, including Lulucy.

 

Commentary

 

Instead of having Merowlink hunt a target, this episode shows the backstory behind Merowlink's quest for revenge. The members of the Schweppes Platoon faced the worst fate possible for a soldier- they fought bravely and were betrayed by their own forces and left to die. They were completely outgunned and outnumbered by the Balarant, but they still fought and died. Schweppes survived the assault and sacrificed himself to save Merowlink. The conspiracy to steal jijirium worked perfectly for those involved. They setup the Schweppes Platoon for the theft and leave them to die. If they're all dead, no one can refute their lies. Because Merowlink survived, they had him court-martialed. We see here that Merowlink and his comrades were all Scopedog pilots, and one wonders how good a pilot Merowlink was. He probably wasn't on the level of Chirico, but it would've been nice to see him in action.

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Overall Rating

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4 out of 5 stars
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Merowlink Episode 5 Merowlink Episode 5

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