Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner
Zone of the enders 2nd runner.jpg
North American box art
Developer(s) KCEJ
Publisher(s) Konami Computer Entertainment
Designer(s) Shuyo Murata (writer/director)
Hideo Kojima (producer)
Artist(s) Yoji Shinkawa
Kazuma Kaneko
Tsubasa Masao
Composer(s) Maki Kirioka
Norihiko Hibino
Akihiro Honda
Toshiyuki Kakuta
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
PlayStation 3[citation needed]
Xbox 360[citation needed]
PlayStation Vita[citation needed]
Release date(s)
Genre(s) Action
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Rating(s)
Media/distribution DVD, Blu-ray Disc

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, known in Japan as Anubis: Zone of Enders (アヌビス ゾーン オブ エンダーズ Anubisu Zōn obu Endāzu?), is a video game that was developed and published by Konami for the PlayStation 2 in 2003. The sequel to Zone of the Enders, the game was produced by, and is closely associated with Hideo Kojima. The game is based around mecha combat. Most mecha were designed by Yoji Shinkawa, the character and mechanical designer for the Metal Gear Solid series, with the exception of Lloyd and Inhert who were designed by Kazuma Kaneko of Megami Tensei fame. The character illustrations and select mecha illustrations were created by Tsubasa Masao.

A variety of weapons, enemies, and boss battles have been added to the game. The "Special Edition" PAL and NTSC-J versions of the game featured a variety of additions and extras to the game, including new VR Training options, added scenarios, more difficulties, a music video featuring a remixed "Beyond the Bounds" theme, improved anti-aliasing and graphical optimizations, and new Orbital Frames for Versus Mode, among other improvements to the game.

While the previous installment of the series covered themes such as the loss of innocence and the morality of killing, this game featured themes such as camaraderie, duty, vengeance, and mortality.

Today, the game is considered a rarity. In their July 2007 issue, the Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine included The 2nd Runner in a list of hard-to-find PS2 games, along with ten other titles.[citation needed]

Contents

Gameplay

Jehuty shielding against the attack of a boss enemy. Enemy health is indicated on the top of the HUD, while player health, energy, and sub-weapon are below.

Throughout Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner, the player controls Jehuty, the Orbital Frame piloted by Dingo, from a normally behind-the-back third-person viewpoint that centers itself between the player and enemy when locked on. The gameplay is linear, eschewing the "world map" of Zone of the Enders in favor of consecutive stages in which the player must defeat large amounts of robotic enemies, as well as other Orbital Frames and combat vehicles. The player can fully repair Jehuty by collecting Metatron, and save their progress at the beginning of each stage. The player can level up by destroying enemies, and collects "sub-weapons" by defeating bosses. Depending on the player's storyline progress, the capabilities of Jehuty can change. After certain missions, the player's performance is ranked with a letter rating; the entire game is given a score as well.

The player can unlock "Extra Missions" during the course of the game, as well as replaying the game with any incarnation of Jehuty. The game also includes a single- and multiplayer versus mode.

Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner also includes an unlockable 3D remake of the original Gradius arcade video game called Zoradius. In Zoradius, the player uses the Vic Viper in fighter mode, flying through a tunnel and shooting down various non-humanoid enemies from the game to gather powerups to increase the Viper's firepower and shields. Roughly halfway through the stage, the player has to fight through an area full of ring-shooting Moai heads, also a staple of the Gradius series. The game ends in a Boss fight against the Train boss, also from the main game. The music and sound effects used in Zoradius are taken from the first Gradius arcade game, composed by Miki Higashino.

Plot

Characters

The game’s protagonist is Dingo Egret, a former BAHRAM pilot who, at the beginning of the game, works as an ice miner on the moons of Jupiter. After he finds the orbital frame Jehuty, he is attacked by Nohman and his BAHRAM troops. After his capture, he is mortally wounded, but is saved after Ken Marinaris, a disgruntled member of BAHRAM, has Dingo wired into Jehuty’s life-support system. As the game progresses, Dingo and Ken get to be close friends.

The protagonist of the first game, Leo Stenbuck, returns in this game as a NPC (Non-playable Character). Between the first game and this one, he hid Jehuty on Callisto to prevent it from carrying out its mission to self-destruct in BAHRAM’s base Aumann, because he had become close friends with Jehuty’s A.I., A.D.A.

Story

The game begins with Dingo Egret, the protagonist, working at a mining facility on Callisto. He inadvertently discovers the Orbital Frame, Jehuty, that was hidden there by Leo. When he is attacked by BAHRAM forces who have come to seize it, Dingo climbs into Jehuty and engages the attackers, which include a female Orbital Frame runner named Ken Marinaris. During the battle, Dingo enters the BAHRAM battleship, seemingly defeating Nephtis, an Orbital Frame controlled by an A.I. program based on Viola's fighting style, but is subdued by Anubis, Jehuty's superior counterpart controlled by Col. Ridley (Nohman) Hardiman, leader of BAHRAM.

As a prisoner, Dingo is assaulted by Ken. Nohman arrives moments later and asks Dingo to join him. When Dingo refuses, Nohman shoots him, ordering Ken to dispose of the body. Instead, Ken has Dingo revived and placed inside Jehuty. When he comes to, she explains that Jehuty is acting as a life-support system, and if he leaves Jehuty, he will die. She then tells him that she is a UNSF spy, working undercover. Helped by Ken, Dingo escapes the battleship with Taper, a soldier with the UNSF who was hiding within the ship, and heads for Mars.

On Mars, Dingo is radioed by Ken, and she explains the situation. He is then attacked by Leo inside Vic Viper. While Leo at first tries to argue that he should be the one piloting Jehuty, he abandons his attempt after realizing Dingo cannot leave the frame. After several battles on the planet, Dingo runs into Nephtis once more and battles her. Ken arrives in her Orbital Frame Ardjet, but the A.I. within Nephtis possesses Ardjet, forcing Dingo to disable the Orbital Frame to purge the computer virus. Dingo manages to purge Ardjet of the Viola A.I. Ken climbs into Jehuty and, together, they seek out Lloyd, a BAHRAM scientist who can upgrade Jehuty, allowing it to stand a chance against Anubis.

Dingo and Ken find Lloyd after traversing through his heavily-secured complex, ending with a battle with Lloyd himself. After defeating Lloyd in combat, he agrees to upgrade Jehuty. While Jehuty is being upgraded, Lloyd tells Dingo about "Project Aumaan", a giant battle station capable of destroying everything around it, with a possible range of the known universe. Just as Jehuty is fully upgraded, Nohman flies in and attacks Dingo. Dingo is able to escape, but Ken is left behind, and Lloyd is killed.

Dingo meets up with Leo again, and they travel to Aumaan. Once there, they battle what they think to be Anubis, but it is later revealed to be a decoy with Ken inside. Nohman cripples Jehuty and flees the facility, destroying it. Ken tells Dingo and Leo that Aumaan is actually on Phobos, the largest moon of Mars. The three enter compressed space, where Dingo battles Anubis along the way. Upon reaching Phobos, Dingo does battle with Nohman again, this time destroying Anubis, but not before Nohman can activate Aumaan. Dingo is able to prevent the detonation by throwing Anubis' head into the core, and escapes with Leo.

During the credits Dingo is seen emerging from Jehuty with no ill effects. Ken rushes over and embraces him.

Soundtrack

ANUBIS Zone of the Enders Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Zone of the Enders
Released March 19, 2003
Genre Electronica, J-pop
Length 68:43
Label Konami Music Entertainment
Producer Konami Music Entertainment
Zone of the Enders chronology
Zone of the Enders Z.O.E Original Soundtrack
(2000)
ANUBIS Zone of the Enders Original Soundtrack
(2002)

The soundtrack to Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner was released March 19, 2003 on the album ANUBIS Zone of the Enders Original Soundtrack by Konami Music Entertainment. The album was composed by the same artists as the previous album, Norihiko Hibino (日比野 則彦?), Maki Kirioka (桐岡麻季?), Akihiro Honda (本田晃弘?), Toshiyuki Kakuta (角田利之?) and Shuichi Kobori (小堀修一?).

The game's theme song, "Beyond the Bounds," was composed by Maki Kirioka and performed by Maki Kimura. (Lyrics) A remix of the song, titled "Beyond the Bounds (Mitsuto Suzuki 020203 Mix feat.Sana)" also included on the soundtrack, is played during a music video extra in the PAL and NTSC-J "Special Edition" versions of the game, and appears on Pop'n Music 8. Non-English parts of the lyrics of "Beyond the Bounds" were influenced by the Finnish language.[1]

Reception

 Reception
Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
Metacritic 82 / 100 (Based on 33 Reviews)
Review scores
Publication Score
GameSpot 8.5 of 10
GameSpy 3 of 5
IGN 8.6 of 10
Official PlayStation Magazine (UK) 8 of 10
GameTab 83.58%

The game was praised for its beautiful visuals and graphics, fast and intense boss battles, and excellent controls. The game received positive reviews from game sites, though its short length, cluttered story, and voice acting have been widely criticized by several critics. Though some viewers claim that the voice acting was okay and wasn't as bad as many claim it to be.[2] It received a score of 7.5/9/8.5 from Electronic Gaming Monthly: the second reviewer called it "the best game I've played since Metroid Prime", but the first and third reviewers, while praising its gameplay as "breathtaking" and "consistently challenging", bemoaned its linearity, repetition and short duration.[2]

Sequel

External links

Notes

  1. ^ http://www.konami.jp/gs/game/zoe2/english/news.html
  2. ^ a b "Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner Reviews". Internet Movie Database. April 30/August 15, 2010. Archived from the original on April 30, 2010. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0363435/usercomments. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 

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