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Plot Analysis by MMitchell

Version: 0.2 | Updated: 08/13/2002

Compiled and written by Matt Mitchell
Document Version 0.2 (8/13/02)
Contact Email: matt_in_nihon@yahoo.com

This document is my own intellectual work. As such, if you would like to use
it on your webpage or in your FAQ/walkthrough/guide, written approval from
myself must be obtained.
This document (C) copyright Matt Mitchell 2002.

The newest updates to this document can be found at the following locations:
 My Personal Hosting Site

:: Document History
Version 0.1 - Initial document. Main sections are in place, as well as basic
 (8/12/02)    information for each section. A lot of the info was just jotted
              down so I wouldn't forget it, so expect better organization in
              later updates.
Version 0.2 - Added a few things to the Contradictions section and further
 (8/13/02)    tightened up the feel of the document.

:: Contents
1) Introduction
2) Historical Summary
3) Historical Timeline
4) Contradictions
5) Further Analysis
6) Conclusion

:: Introduction
Welcome to my "analysis" of the game Einhander. Right now, you are probably
thinking, "Whoa! It's a SHOOTER! What possible analyses can there be? You
shoot things and they blow up!" This is very true; however, Square managed to
throw in a rich history with quite a few references to mythology and the Bible
and whatnot while they were making one of the better shooters of our time. So
please, read on, and gain an appreciation for the underlying meanings
contained within this spectacular game...

:: Historical Summary
Einhander, although simply a shooter, has a very rich and deep background that
will please many history buffs.

The game takes place 50 years after World War III (called the Great War in the
American version of the game). According to the timeline given in the manual,
WWIII would have ended around 2192. The basis of the war was due to the colony
of Selene that was established on the South Pole of the moon 100 years prior.
Selene started to express its wishes for indepence from the Earth, leading to
war between the moon and the Earth. This is why World War III/the Great War
was also known as the Interplanetary War. This seems to have been the mother
of all wars; the Earth was burnt to the ground by the moon's superior
weaponry. Most of the Earth's surface was reduced to a wasteland, with few
major cities left standing. The war eventually ground to a halt after both
sides lost many lives. The remaining nations unified to create the Empire. It
would appear that Germany was the nation that rose above the rest, because its
influence can be seen throughout the whole game. In fact, the Empire's capital
city, Sodom (called Gesetz in the American version), was built over what was
left of a major German city. The ruins you see on the "secret" path in the
first stage are the remains of the old city, before WWIII. The remains of the
Autobahn are down there as well, not to mention an unexploded ICBM missile
launched during the war.

A period of uneasy peace lasted for 100 years. This peace was broken by the
moon colony; Selene was in need of agricultural nitrogen that could only be
obtained on Earth. The Second Interplanetary War began in 2242. Once again,
superior weaponry utilized by the moon decimated the Earth's forces. Surrender
seemed inevitable. However, the greater supply of resources available to the
Earth slowly turned the tide of the war and forced the lunar forces to retreat
back from whence they came.

Because of their defeat, the Selenians began development of a prototype weapon
system codenamed "Einhander." It utilized state of the art starfighters and
pilots trained to carry out suicide runs with them. These fighters were sent
to Earth to break through the Terran defenses time after time in the ensuing
two year period. This leads up to the events in the game, which begin on the
12th of December, 2245. A group of three Einhander fighters have been sent to
Earth on another suicide run, your character and ship being one of them...

:: Historical Timeline
2092  -  The lunar city of Selene was established near the South Pole of the

2092~ -  Due to increasing separatist sentiments on Selene, war breaks out
2192     between the Earth and the moon for the lunar colony's independence.

2192  -  After heavy losses on both sides, the First Interplanetary War ends
         with an uneasy ceasefire agreement. Due to bombardment from the moon,
         the Earth is reduced to a barren wasteland save for a few larger
         cities in scattered nations. These remaining nations, under German
         leadership, unify to form a single Empire.

2242  -  Selene, lacking essential agricultural nitrogen, rekindles the flames
         of war with the Earth. The Second Interplanetary War is once again
         dominated by the moon, but the Earth's superior supply of resources
         and manpower allows them to eventually drive the Lunar forces back to
         the moon. This defeat leads the Lunar military to begin researching
         new prototype starfighters to be used in suicide runs against the
         Earth forces. This program is codenamed "Einhander."

2242~ -  During the following three year period, numerous runs are made by the
2245     Einhander program. These runs strike fear into the hearts of the
         Earth's forces and begin to call the Einhanders the Angels of Death.

2245  -  Your character is sent to Earth on his first, and most likely last,
         run. The date is December 12th.

:: Contradictions
Einhander, although an excellent game, wasn't accepted as well as it should
have been in the gaming community. Perhaps this was because Square didn't feel
the need to promote a small side project like this, and instead focused on its
main series that brought them the cash. Because of this, not a lot has been
released about this game. There are contradictions abound, mainly between the
in-game story and the information in the manual. I have attempted to compile
this into a semi-coherent record for the sake of fans like myself, but there
are bound to be discrepancies. This section is for that purpose: pointing out
those differences and trying to rationalize them. Read on.


The first major difference that comes to mind is the reason for the Second
Interplanetary War. The manual describes the reason as Selene's lack of
agricultural nitrogen that the Earth possessed. However, the in-game text says
that Selene demanded that the Earth return the holy land of Sodom (Gesetz in
the American version; see the Analysis section later for details on this name
change). This is the largest discepancy that I have found, and never really
seems to be cleared up. Perhaps this was the reason Selene used to cover up
their true motives, but that hardly seems likely. Most people (notice I said
most, not ALL) would need a more concrete answer to fight and die for, not
simply to gain a moral victory. If the Selenian leaders simply said "They have
what we need, so we will have to take it by force" I think that that would be
received more readily and result in full cooperation of the people...


Was there an actual World War III, or wasn't there? I am inclined to believe
that there was indeed a WWIII, as well as the First Interplanetary War. How do
they relate? Here's my theory:

World War III took place maybe a decade or two before the colony of Selene was
established. Once again, Germany made an attempt to gain territory and power,
and managed to emerge victorious over the other nations of the world. The
Germans expanded their borders and set up a rather sizeable empire. At the end
of the war, the defeated nations formed a sort of secret alliance and began to
build the lunar colony of Selene under the guise of lunar research. The
Germans approved of this plan, hoping to benefit from the colony. After the
colony was completed, large portions of the populations of the defeatednations
who held feelings of resentment towards their German rulers migrated to the
moon. Once there, these colonists made it clear that they intended to gain
independence from Germany and from the Earth. This leads up to the year 2092,
when war breaks out between the Earth and the moon, marking the start of the
brutal First Interplanetary War...

Hey, this is far from official, but I think that it all ties together neatly,
no? The only thing missing is a motive for Germany starting World War III;
perhaps the mysterious religion of Zonnay has something to do with it?


Is the city of Sodom/Gesetz the only remaining city in the world? That's
another good question. If you read the in-game introduction, it says that the
lunar colony demanded the return of the Holy Land from the Earth's remaining
nations, yet even in the instruction manual it says that Sodom is the only
large city remaining on Earth. This is stated twice, actually; once in the
manual's introduction and later in the description of the first stage near the
end of the manual. So which one is it? Are there still a few scattered nations
left all over the world, or is Sodom the only city left that's worth speaking
of? Who knows?


Another point of contention would be the Public Peace Force. This is the force
you fight in the first stage of the game, the capital city. The manual states
that they are a special police force under immediate control of the Church.
"Whoa, what church?!" you might ask. Well, upon further inspection of the game
manual, it appears that the capital city also houses the main temple of the
Zonnay religion. This and the fact that its church controls the police forces
of the city add to the mystery of the whole "holy land" aspect of the game,
but sadly, none of this is ever explained any further...


This talk of the "Great War" and World War III is rather confusing. By reading
the in-game text, it seems that there was indeed a third world war that was
responsible for the Earth being transformed into the wasteland that it is now.
But according to the manual, the First Interplanetary War is responsible for
all of the destruction. Further adding to the confusion, the manual says that
the first stage's boss "turned the world into a sea of fire during the old
world war." So what does this all mean? Well, I have a theory. Perhaps there
was indeed a third world war that took place before the First Interplanetary
War, and as the trend goes in World Wars, Germany dominated this war as well,
but actually managed to come out victorious instead of being defeated by the
allied forces. Their dominance was asserted over the nations they defeated,
and this dominance would later prove to be the key factor in uniting the
remaining nations left after the First Interplanetary War into one unified
Empire. However, just like the influence of the church, this is another topic
that might never be fully explained.


Right now, these are the only contradictions I can find within the storyline.
As I find more, I will be sure to update this section.

:: Further Analysis
In this section, I will do my best to explain the hidden meanings and the
references to mythology and religion contained within the names of ships and
locations in Eihander.


Endymion (pr. en-dim'-ee-uhn) : Endymion was the mortal lover of the moon
goddess Selene in Greek Mythology.

Astraea (pr. ahss-tray'-ah) : Astraea was a Greek goddess of justice. She
made her home among the stars and became the constellation Virgo.

Selene (pr. suh-lee'-nee) : Selene was the goddess of the moon in Greek
mythology. She had many different lovers, Endymion being her most famous. Her
sister is Eos, and her father is Hyperion. Use of her name is usually symbolic
of the moon.

Eos (pr. ee'-ahs) : Eos was Selene's sister and the goddess of the dawn. Her
father as well as Selene's was the Titan, Hyperion. Use of her name is usually
symbolic of the dawn.

Hyperion (pr. hy-peer'-ee-uhn) : A Titan from Greek myth. He and his wife
Theia have three children, two being Selene and Eos. His name means "he who
goes before the sun."


Sodom/Gesetz : This is perhaps one of the more interesting references in the
game. Let's talk about the American name of Gesetz first, because it's much
simpler to explain. "Gesetz" is German for "law"; the meaning behind this is
that this is the city where all law originates from since it is the capital of
the Empire. That's not too hard to explain, but the whole Sodom thing is a
different story.

First, to understand this reference, you have to know what the city of Sodom
was and what it represented. The city of Sodom was referred to in the Old
Testament of the Bible; remember Sodom and Gamorrah? Well, these cities (and a
few others as well) were centers of sin in God's eyes, and he planned to wipe
them from the earth because of that. The reason as to why Sodom was such a
city of sin is widely debated among theologians and practicing Christians, but
the fact of the matter is that it was considered an evil city. According to
that, it can then be assumed that Square wanted to portray the Empire as evil
and corrupt. How else would you want to portray someone that is supposed to be
the bad guy? Of course, there are numerous theological reasonings and theories
that I could cite to back this up, but it would be much easier if you would
just take my word for it. ^_^

Anyway, God ended up destroying the cities by raining down fire and brimstone
from the heavens. Square also threw in a nice bit of symbolism here as well,
since the Einhander comes from the heavens to rain destruction on Sodom once
more... Cool, huh?


The religous references don't stop there, though. If you pay close attention
to the text between stages 6 and 7, it seems that the leaders of Selene were
lying to the inhabitants of the colonies, telling them that the Earth was a
paradise unlike the moon. The pilot finds this truth out for himself, yet when
he tries to bring this news and truth back to his people, his own allies and
friends condemn him and put him to death (or at least attempt to). Does this
sound familiar? It should; the pilot is very reminiscent of a Christ-like
figure. This theory may be a bit of a stretch, but given the previous ties in
the game to religion and mythology, I am inclined to believe that it is indeed

:: Conclusion
Well, that's the end of my Einhander plot summary/analysis. I hope that you,
the reader, had as much fun reading over my thoughts and ideas about this game
as much as I had writing them down. Please feel free to email me any comments,
questions, theories, etc. that you have. Thanks for reading!

Matt Mitchell, 2002

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