Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars (2001)

by Ji-yeong
6 minutes read


A strategic take on the Zone of the Enders series, The Fist of Mars combines turn-based gameplay with mecha combat, set against the backdrop of a Martian resistance movement. It’s a game that challenges players to think tactically and customize their approach to warfare on the red planet.


Expanding on the Zone of the Enders series, The Fist of Mars brings turn-based strategy to the forefront, inviting players into a tactical struggle for freedom on Mars.


“Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars” is a captivating game that was developed by Winkysoft and published by Konami in 2001 for the Game Boy Advance. The game is story-oriented and is based around turn-based strategic mecha combat.

The story is set in the year 2173. Humankind, in the search for a valuable resource called Metatron, has expanded its reaches to Mars and the moons of Jupiter, and full colonies have been established. However, Earth keeps a tight rein over the colonials, known by the derogatory term “Enders”, and discrimination is commonplace. Food supplies are short, movement of citizens is controlled, and many Mars inhabitants have tried to rise up against Earth, but to little avail.

The game follows the story of a 17-year-old boy named Cage Midwell, a worker upon the interplanetary express ship “Bonaparte III” with his close friend (and idol) Ares Enduwa. However, on a routine journey, Cage spots a woman creeping into the cargo holds, and follows her. As he does this, the ship is attacked by a powerful black Orbital Frame. Cage and the girl, who introduces herself as Myona Alderan, climb into a mysterious LEV held within the ship and escape, eventually crash-landing on Mars.

They are quickly caught and are accused of being the ones responsible for the crash. On top of this, Myona has completely lost her memory. However, shortly after their imprisonment, they are freed by an “Anti-Terrestrial League” leader called Deckson Geyse. His faction, BIS (Born In Space), quickly come and rescue them, and Cage finds himself caught up in the escalating conflict between Earth and Mars.

The game is structured in a manner resembling an anime television series, with 26 “episodes”, each containing one mission. Each episode (with the exception of the last, which is purely storyline-based) consists of a series of story scenes, followed by gameplay, and closing with another series of story scenes. Between episodes, the player can purchase equipment and upgrades for their mecha, and save the game. A directory of terms and characters is available, gameplay may be saved at any point during combat, and story scenes can be fast-forwarded, reversed, or skipped completely. Also, meeting certain criteria in-game can lead to different endings and missions.

“Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars” is a game that offers a rich and immersive storyline, set in a universe filled with political tension and conflict. It provides players with a unique blend of strategic mecha combat and a narrative that unfolds like an anime series, making it a memorable experience for all who play it.


The game features a diverse cast, from resistance fighters to enemy commanders, each with their own backstories and motivations. The protagonist and their allies are deeply involved in the resistance movement, offering players a personal stake in the battle for Mars’s future.


Focusing on turn-based strategy, The Fist of Mars requires players to maneuver units across grid-based maps, engaging in tactical combat. The game emphasizes strategic positioning, unit selection, and effective use of each unit’s unique abilities. Experience gained from battles can be used to upgrade and optimize units, enhancing their effectiveness in future engagements.


Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars stands as a distinctive blend of mecha action and strategic gameplay. While it may not have reached the heights of its predecessors, it offers a solid, tactical experience for fans of the series and the genre.

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