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Stage 8: Ghost Town

 

Review by Chris Guanche

April 21, 2006

 

Summary

 

As the battle engine speeds away, one of Helmecion's men calls an officer named Boyle. Helmecion tells Boyle that Merowlink is chasing after him and has kidnapped his niece. He orders Boyle to kill Merowlink and get his niece back alive if he can. Back at the train, Lulucy bandages a soldier who was injured during the bandit attack. The train finally gets moving again, and Merowlink thinks about Ganard's last words. He asks Lulucy what relationship she has with Helmecion, and she says he's her uncle. The train approaches the abandoned city of Kerama, but it stops at a military checkpoint. A soldier boards the train with a photo of Merowlink and examines the passengers. Merowlink and Lulucy try to creep away, but the soldier spots them. The soldier chases after them, but Keik puts his foot out in the aisle and trips him. Merowlink and Lulucy run out of the train and steal a motorcycle with a sidecar. Merowlink drives toward Kerama, and the APC opens fire. He tells Lulucy to take the wheel while he shoots at the APC with his rifle. As they approach Kerama, Lulucy spots a group of AT Flys in the sky carrying several ATs. In his custom Bounty Dog, Boyle orders his men to attack without hurting Lulucy. A Bounty Dog patrols a dark corridor, and Merowlink surprises the pilot. Moments later, another Bounty Dog and Boyle's Bounty Dog find a Bounty Dog standing still. The Bounty Dog steps forward and trips a wire, causing the other one to automatically fire its machine gun. Boyle jumps back and fires missiles. He then enters Kerama's main corridor and finds Merowlink and Lulucy driving off. He gives chase, but Merowlink fires at some rubble, which knocks the Bounty Dog off the side of the level. Boyle fires out a grappling line and swings down to another level. More Bounty Dogs attack and box Merowlink in, forcing him to drive onto a bridge passing over Kerama's core. Machine gun fire causes Lulucy's sidecar to break away, and another shot hits the motorcycle, causing Merowlink and Lulucy to fall off the bridge.

 

Soldiers report that no one could've survived that fall, but Boyle orders the men to go down anyway and search for bodies. Merowlink and Lulucy emerge from the water, and he tells her they have to move quickly before they're found. They enter an area with liquid tanks, and Merowlink tells Lulucythey're filled with polymer ringer solution, which powers an AT's muscle cylinders. Merowlink opens the valves on all the tanks, and Lulucy notes that the solution smells awful. Merowlink tells her that the polymer ringer is very explosive, so they can use that to blow up the attacking ATs. As they wait, Lulucy tells Merowlink that she's a member of the Kabia nobility and that her real name is Flurel C. Helmecion. Merowlink is surprised to hear that Lulucy is nobility, and she tells him that one never knows what can happen in life. She says that her father died long ago, and soon after that her mother committed suicide. Her uncle then stole her money, which is why she's now a drifter. The ATs approach from above, and Boyle orders his men not to open fire because he can smell polymer ringer. Merowlink and Lulucy try to escape, but Boyle's Bounty Dog blocks them from the front and two Bounty Dogs flank them. Boyle gets out of his Bounty Dog and tells Lulucy that she's grown up. She asks him if he's following Helmecion's orders, and Boyle says he has to stop Merowlink because he's a traitor. He tells Merowlink to surrender, but Merowlink attacks him and tries to use the pile banker as a bayonet. He stabs repeatedly at Boyle, but Boyle dodges and kicks him away. One of the Bounty Dog pilots grabs Lulucy, and Merowlink attacks Boyle again. Boyle knocks Merowlink down and begins to choke him with the rifle. The AT Fly takes off with Lulucy, and she calls Boyle a traitor. Boyle is momentarily distracted, allowing Merowlink to break free. Boyle jumps back into his Bounty Dog and tells Merowlink he'll give him a chance to escape. An AT Fly picks up the Bounty Dog, and Merowlink jumps onto it. He positions the pile banker to kill Boyle, and Boyle tells him if he does that, his quest for revenge can't continue. Another AT Fly swoops down and shoots at Merowlink. Boyle yells at them about the polymer ringer, but it's too late. Machine gun fire hits the polymer ringer, setting off a massive explosion. The AT Fly carrying Lulucy escapes and flies away from Kerama, and Merowlink crawls out of the ruined city.

 

Commentary

 

Things are certainly heating up now. This episode picks up directly the last left off, with Helmecion making his escape and Merowlink learning of his connection to Plan Bang Doll. There's quite a few revelations in this episode - mainly that Lulucy is Helmecion's niece, and that he robbed her of her family's riches. Merowlink's on the run as usual, but this time it's a bit different because he has to protect Lulucy and fight off the enemy. Also, in Boyle he faces a competent enemy who isn't evil like the officers Merowlink has killed before. Boyle soundly beats back Merowlink, but he also gives him a chance to live. This episode ends with another cliffhanger, so we'll have to see what happens next.

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Overall Rating

Full StarFull StarFull StarHalf StarNo Star

4 out of 5 stars
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Merowlink Episode 8 Merowlink Episode 8

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