Previously on Xenosaga Episode 1: The entire crew of the Woglinde died. Virgil died. Every Realian that tried to help died. Shion, Allen, KOS-MOS and Cherenkov lived… but they were set adrift in space. On the plus side, KOS-MOS got to stretch her legs a little.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the general vicinity, here’s a shiny new ship…
That can successfully identify a graveyard.
Here she is, the bridge of the Elsa von Brabant. Unlike the bridge of the Woglinde, the Elsa is staffed by like three guys, and all of them won’t die within an hour.
This is Tony, he’s the pilot.
Here’s Hammer, he’s the navigator/l33t superhacker with mad skillz.
And our captain, Captain Matthews. He doesn’t seem to have a first… Wait, whoa, hold on there. Zoom in! Enhance!
"Caution! I’m a boozer! Banzai! Banzai!" There’s little I can add to that. I just wish everyone in Xenosaga was forced to wear a hat that explained everything about their personality. Hell, I just wish every time Shion had some freakout about KOS-MOS being so inhuman, she was stared down by a cap that read, “I’m a robot, dummy (Banzai! Banzai!)”.
Anyway, these guys are salvaging parts from a Federation wreck, which is apparently frowned upon. They’re like vultures.
Oh, wait, my bad. Wait, how did you hear that?
Oh! Looks like they hit the motherload.
There’s some debate on vaporizing space bodies, and Tony is against it. You ever consider this in things like the Star Trek universe? Like, with all the ships exploding every episode, there’s gotta be a lot of random space bodies just hitting the Enterprise’s windshield like space flies. And then they get sucked into orbit around planets and… where was I?
Oh yeah, corpses hitting windshields.
Guessing light blue hair and heels are just…normal spacewear in the future?
There’s a neat trick here where, true to the game’s themes on artificiality and what is a man notions, the crew waffles between calling the body “it” for a corpse, or “she” for a person that should be respected. After all, the gang doesn’t have a clue as to KOS-MOS’s true heritage.
They might have an idea now, though.
For the record, she’s got the crew hooked into her radio frequency or whatever. The game is actually pretty good about there being no sound in space.
There is more than a little concern over the talking space robot woman hanging out on the ship.
When dealing with an unknown life form, it’s always best to lie through your teeth and claim to be a good person.
And make sure your underlings are in on the con.
KOS-MOS demands to be taken to Second Miltia, but Captain Matthews doesn’t see a wallet on mysterious space girl.
KOS-MOS, ever the sweet talker, demands compliance else she’ll shatter the only thing standing between the good captain and the vacuum of space.
I love that Captain Matthews is the kind of guy to taunt the mysterious invincible woman that is just casually hanging out on the outside of his ship.
KOS-MOS cracks the window while Tony is literally praying for deliverance. For all the religious imagery in this series, it’s nice to see a character actually be religious. Or at least foxhole religious…
Captain Matthews relents, and KOS-MOS delivers her own little taunt by claiming they should have just taken the easy way.
And KOS-MOS gives another warning on the way in… which turns out to be prescient, as Tony has his hand on the accelerator. KOS-MOS isn’t even inside the ship yet, and she’s already running the place.
Away, Space Coffin!
KOS-MOS isn’t inside for five minutes before the Elsa gets another call.
It’s the pod people!
In space, no one can hear you whine.
Allen and Shion are adrift in space, no one around for lightyears, everyone they knew from the Woglinde is dead, and Cherenkov is hanging on to the pod for dear life… and Shion is concerned about where KOS-MOS went.
NEWSFLASH: Allen is an incredible coward.
Shion calls Allen a miserable pile of loser, Allen whines back, and it’s revealed that this whole conversation is being broadcast to the Elsa. If KOS-MOS could be embarrassed by her mom and step-dad, she would.
Allen claims that Shion would think of him being an android a negative thing, as opposed to the reality of the situation, that Shion thinks an android is her super best friend forever. Team Elsa finds this lover’s quarrel amusing.
Apparently it’s protocol to video message back and forth with unfamiliar ships in the future. This means that everyone that encounters the Elsa is immediately greeted by a man wearing a hat that outlines a probable drinking problem.
KOS-MOS tells Shion and Allen to chill, she’s got this. She can head to Second Miltia with the Elsa, you guys just go ahead and float aimlessly in space.
Shion asks a legitimately good question, as she sure didn’t program KOS-MOS to run across the galaxy an hour after waking up.
KOS-MOS is getting orders from… somewhere. You’d think someone would demand to know who is delivering these orders, but… nope. The gang just randomly wonders aloud, and nobody ever directly asks the traditionally forthright robot. Anyway, go to Second Miltia, don’t bring a guest.
Allen objects to this plan on the basis of not wanting to die.
KOS-MOS explains that his fears are incorrect. Monster Island is more of a peninsula.
Shion, again, objects. It loses something in the subtitle, but Shion is totally using Mom Voice at this point. It won’t be the last time.
Okay, maybe you can hear it now.
Shion is using mom-tone, but acting like a teenager. Take us aboard OR I SWEAR TO GOD I’LL KILL MYSELF.
Allen objects to being part of a murder/suicide pact, the wiener.
There’s some kind of prime directive nonsense going on here, and Shion should know how to exploit that. When it’s life or death, Shion knows not to appeal to KOS-MOS’s emotions, but her programming. See, I knew you had it in you.
Thinking about it…
Mom, you always do this! You’re not the boss of me!
Don’t you walk away from me, missy!
Allen has made some seriously poor life choices.
Shion has the resolve of a soldier… Allen has the resolve of a carpet cleaner.
And something amazingly important happens. Did you see it? Well, yeah, chaos shows up, but more than that.
chaos makes the scene, but more importantly, he’s able to sneak up on KOS-MOS. A lot of people miss this, but here’s KOS-MOS vision, and she’s reviewing the tape in the top right corner… did that white haired kid just bend all of space and time so he didn’t have to walk through a door? Does this make him lazy or omnipotent? Or both?
So, yeah, this is chaos, and he encourages everyone to let Shion (and Allen) board the ship. KOS-MOS is still too shocked to object. Also important: chaos treats KOS-MOS like another human instantly. Of course, neither of them is human… but it’s the thought that counts.
And everyone immediately agrees with chaos, because he’s just so affable.
It helps that they don’t even have to go out of their way…
So here we are, all aboard the Elsa. Cherenkov is probably in the back hosing all the space debris off.
Shion apologizes for any issues her daughter may have caused.
Shion is told that chaos was the main reason they got aboard. It’s cool that her subtitles know not to capitalize the dude’s name.
chaos is super nice to everyone he encounters. Dude would probably give a gnosis a hug (FORESHADOWING).
Captain Matthews admits that chaos basically gets the run of the place because he’s helped them out of a number of jams. Well, gawrsh, I wonder what that means.
And Shion pulls an immediate tonal turn and faces KOS-MOS with Mom Voice again.
No television for two weeks!
KOS-MOS might be cleverer than she appears. She admits that she may be damaged, and requires maintenance, so she requests usage of the ship’s lab to run some tests. “Mom… I… I wasn’t feeling well. Can I have some chicken soup and just go to bed?”
Shion isn’t buying it, though.
Sniffle, sniffle. Please make me better?
Shion is still a bit hurt by the whole “had to commit suicide to get your attention” thing.
You want to be a good mommy, don’t you?
Shion apologizes for all the drama, again, and chaos admits that he’s enjoying the show. It’s probably a nice change of pace from Captain Matthews’s drunken ramblings.
Tony has contained his libido for a whole five minutes at this point, and finally hits on the only human woman on the entire ship.
Tony is my new favorite character.
Captain Matthews is basically your drunken, racist uncle… IN SPACE!
But chaos thinks she’s just like everybody else. Inhuman little nerd…
Cherenkov got all the parts of the Woglinde crew off his space suit, and approaches the captain to ask about stopping at Senir.
Captain Matthews is either afraid of the military, or genuinely a nice guy (it’s probably the first one), so he agrees to drop off Cherenkov wherever.
Minor hiccup, it appears that an errant gnosis has dropped by.
Yes, Shion, that’s what I said. And bad news, KOS-MOS already headed down to the hanger.
And Cherenkov gets his head palmed. Man, he just took off his spacesuit, too.
Cherenkov is getting a little salty about the whole thing.
Captain Matthews signals chaos, and the kid responds like this is a normal occurrence.
No it isn’t. Our battle robot is taking a powder, and Cherenkov is about to become a powder.
chaos, you can’t just high-five a gnosis away.
Or… maybe you can? Alright, what the hell was that!?
Cherenkov is a little worse for wear, but still all flesh and bone. Not unlike how Shion got saved, come to think of it.
That would not have been my first guess.
Okay, so Shion has been working on a battle robot to combat the gnosis for at least the last three years, probably longer. There’s also the entire AGWS and Combat Realian fleets, and the advent of the Hilbert Effect. Basically, there’s an entire giant industry dedicated to combating the gnosis through mechanical means, and somehow this kid can just palm gnosis away? You better believe she needs an explanation.
Ah ha ha I suppose that’s right…
Wasn’t really expecting that question, going to need a second to think about it.
Yep, perfectly reasonable explanation.
Oh, come on, Allen! Don’t be a dick, be a dude.
That’s right, we’re not going to get an explanation on chaos anytime soon, but maybe we should take a closer look at the guy.
chaos, first of all, spell checker, always spells his name with lowercase letters. Combine this with the fact that “chaos” is the natural opposite of KOS-MOS (which means “order”, and is always in uppercase), you might expect, as I did for my entire play through of Xenosaga, chaos to eventually reveal himself to be an antagonist, or at least one of those “soft” traitors like Kain Highwind (spoilers!?). I’m going to say this now so that we’re clear: that never happens. Don’t be like me, because chaos, soft spoken enigma that he is, is just genuinely a nice guy, and while he may have a covert agenda, he is, literally, on the side of the angels.
Having said that, I know what you’re thinking, “Come on, Goggle Bob, I see where this is going: chaos has super anti-gnosis powers, can teleport, has white hair and dark skin, ‘holy’ element abilities, is friendly and amicable with everyone, and is eventually revealed to have once been known as ‘Yeshua’. chaos is Jesus, right?” Well, no, sorry, chaos is not Jesus.
chaos was merely a disciple of Jesus. It’s confirmed later when they’re both in the same scene. But I can see where there’d be confusion.
In the meanwhile, chaos is going to hang out with the party for the long haul, and no one ever really questions how he does everything he does. Except Allen. Allen is a shit.
Also, I guess this is what a Middle Eastern dude looks like in anime space.
Anyway, the scene ends with some random banter, and the only important thing is that it’s mentioned that Captain Matthews is deeply indebted to Master Gaignun, whoever that is. Could be a cat for all we know.
Super Host chaos is going to see everyone to sleep, and leave the bridge knuckleheads to do whatever they do when the main party isn’t around.
You said it, boozer.
MEANWHILE in an entirely other place, here’s Master Wilhelm.
Master Wilhelm is having a conversation with a fellow in a red cloak, who, because I’ve already started calling the little red haired girl “Red”, we’ll call this guy by his actual codename, Red Testament. They’re basically summing up exactly what just happened… hey! Who’s doing the LP here!?
Important: Wilhelm asks Red Testament how KOS-MOS would react if Shion were in danger. You’re not supposed to think too hard about who in the universe could know how Brand New Fighting Robot KOS-MOS works.
Wilhelm says stuff like that.
Wilhelm is, in a game full of schemers and plotters of all shapes and sizes, the king of manipulators. Dude pretty much is the big bad of the whole series, and he’s earned that title by secretly being behind everything. Think I’m exaggerating? Well, great news, this guy? He’s Shion’s boss. And take a big fat guess who is issuing these mysterious orders to KOS-MOS. Spoilers and all, but it doesn’t really matter if you know that Wilhelm is behind everything, the whys and hows of how he does what he is does is so much more interesting. Like, we all know the American Revolution was fought between the Americans and the English, but all the little stuff in between is what matters to a story, not who won. Yeah, Wilhelm will eventually fail, because he’s the bad guy, but why and how he’s set up all the little dominos is basically the story of Xenosaga, and I’m not ruining anything by saying, ya know, keep an eye on this dude.
Wilhelm has a host of flunkies called The Testaments, and their big thing is that you’re not supposed to know their true identities as they float around and generally menace the party. Red Testament is right there, Blue Testament just joined the crew, Black Testament has been around for a while, White Testament will join up after Tommy Oliver gains Saba the Saber, and Green Testament left some time ago to pursue a woman named Mona. The Testaments all have cool Zords, and make wonderful boss battles.
And we close the scene on a cryptic word about waiting for another to awaken (Tommy), and apparently these guys are inside some kind of space pyramid. That’s always good!
Despite the fact that literally all that happened is a series of skippable cutscenes, we get a save prompt, because up next we have another series of skippable cutscenes. Buckle in!
… Or not, because I need a break, and the next bit has absolutely nothing to do with anything we’ve seen before.
NEXT TIME ON XENOSAGA: Ziggy and the Bot spin all the greatest hits of yesterday and today!