Season 2, Episode 32
Dark River titlecard
Air date 1994
Written by Eric Lewald and Michael Edens
Animation by AKOM
Episode guide
The Price of Courage
The Art of War

"Dark River" is the 32nd episode of the second season of Exosquad.


Marsh, Burns, and Marsala go to South America to retrieve a Terran geneticist named Albrecht Ketzer, who the ExoFleet hopes will help them discover a weakness in the Neo lords. Although they destroy a Neo patrol they encounter, Draconis becomes aware of their presence in the rain forest. The three are then attacked by green humanoids, who succeed in capturing Nara. They take her to their village. She awakens with her arm hurting. Ketzer is there, for it was he who altered the natives, as well as himself. Ketzer notifies her comrades of her whereabouts, and they soon arrive. The Neos also pick up the signal, and Draconis is convinced by Medusa that he will be rewarded if he were to personally lead a successful attack. Medusa then reports to Livia that Draconis only serves for the sake of his own gain, not out of loyalty. Ketzer asks for the help of the exotroopers in attacking the nearby city Manaus. When they refuse he reveals that he has injected Nara with a retrovirus that will alter her DNA to make her like them, but has a compound that will prevent it if they help him. Just then the Neos launch an attack on the village, forcing both the villagers and the exotroopers to flee. Draconis is killed for disloyalty on Livia's order by a group Neo lords, ending Neo pursuit. Marsh tells Ketzer to recreate the compound that will cure Nara, but Ketzer says that he lied when he said there was a cure. Marsh wants to take Ketzer back to the ExoFleet, as were his orders, but Ketzer escapes when his altered humans distract the exotroopers with the possibility of an attack.


Click HERE of a detailed synopsis of "Dark River"


  • When Ketzer speaks of how he made the indigenous people strong:
Burns: "You've turned them into freaks, robbed them of their humanity."
Ketzer: "I've helped them to adapt, to improve. You find us ugly because we don't look like you, we'll see how your opinion changes when you're one of us."

Significant events, revelations, and other notesEdit

  • Nara Burns has been injected with a retrovirus designed to alter her DNA, and there is no apparent cure.
  • Ketzer said, "I injected her with the same DNA formula I use on myself," and later "You will help me destroy the city or watch your Lieutenant Burns slowly become what I am." The first makes it sound like the present tense, as though he still takes injections. Either way, these two statements would imply that Nara should end up like him.
  • Exactly what Ketzer's formulas do to the people that he administers is unclear. Their skin becomes green, so perhaps their cells have chlorophyll and can photosynthesize. Four carried Nara's e-frame, so they are probably also stronger than the typical Terran.
  • When the pictures of the expert Neosapien geneticists are shown, it does not appear as though any of the portraits is of Praetorius. Was he a secret Phaeton has been keeping since before the war, or did he simply develop his skills once the Neos had taken over?
  • The first Draconis clone is dead.
  • Ketzer and his band of altered humans are still on the loose.
Season 1
Fall of the Human Empire
"Pirate Scourge" • "Seeds of Deception" • "Hidden Terrors" • "Blitzkrieg" • "Resist!"

Veil of Doom
"Target: Earth" • "A Traitor Among Us" • "Scorched Venus" • "Sabotage"

Into The Heart of Darkness
"Abandoned" • "The Brood" • "Betrayal" • "Defying Olympus"

Season 2
"The Gathering" • "The Embassy" • "Pirate's Ransom" • "Ultimate Weapon" • "Expendable" • "Mindset" • "The Last Man" • "Dragon's Rock" • "Inner Dark" • "The Dogs of War" • "The First Step" • "The Greatest Fear" • "Flesh Crawls" • "Behind the Shield" • "Venus Rising" • "Miracle" • "Under the Skin" • "Ultimatum" • "Warrior Brood" • "The Dream War" • "No Surrender" • "Fire Ship" • "Martian Luck" • "The Lost Patrol" • "Call of the Unknown" • "Heart of Mars" • "Winged Fury" • "Night of the Traitor" • "Trial by Combat" • "The Perfect Warrior" • "The Price of Courage" • "Dark River" • "The Art of War"

The Fall of the Neosapien Empire
"One Small Step" • "Fifth Column" • "The Last Jump" • "The Night Before Doomsday" • "Abandon Hope"

"Beyond Chaos"