Previously on Xenosaga:
This is the story of a girl
Who built a robot that could destroy a whole world.
But while she looks so sad in flash~backs.
Allen absolutely loves her when she smiles.
(Which is rare)
Easy to forget: the entire reason The Brews went through a harrowing trip 15 years down memory lane was to retrieve KOS-MOS’s memory of five days ago. Shion has got that data now, and it’s time to hand it over.
Lapis is pleased, and notes that everyone shouldn’t go anywhere for the foreseeable future. Not really a problem, considering modern virtual reality allows these guys to friggen time travel.
Mary and Shelly, who spent the entire adventure, I don’t know, eating ice cream in their room, are sure glad everything’s back to normal.
The actual party… is a little more shell-shocked.
Um… we’ve run out of party members, Lapis. Like, Allen’s right here, and he’s the mascot…
Oh, yeah, guess that’s why Mary and Shelly were so upset. They were separated from their boss/paramour for, what, three hours? Had to be dreadful.
Gaignun (now with a woman on each arm), asks how it all went. I want to reiterate that, to everyone else in the universe, the party only “went through” downloading a file.
But Shion and Junior go over the actual events of last update, and, yes, everyone remember that Red’s real name is Nephilim. It will come up in like ten minutes.
She kinda is, she kinda isn’t, but it’s still bad news for everybody.
Gaignun is also going to get busy pretty quickly, because… yeah.
Meanwhile, off in the park, here are the two characters that will never, ever be anywhere near getting busy.
Alright, this scene is important (and completely bizarre). Allen is upset because Shion was upset.
Shion was last upset when her fiancée was gunned down protecting her from her favorite robot which she then decapitated. Guess it takes a lot to get Shion upset.
Allen notes that, yeah, she’s juuuuuuust a bit emotionally guarded.
And, yes, Allen, she thinks of you as nothing more than a subordinate. Mainly because you are, weenie. I mean, come on, you could barely muster the will to ask her out before… everything happened, and since then it would be very easy to write off your every move as a survival mechanism. “Oh, no, Shion, it’s cool, I’ll just die in this escape pod, you get on that new ship. I’ll be fine.”
As opposed to only sheepishly following the party and occasionally claiming MOMO’s mom might be a traitor.
chaos, no doubt contemplating blowing his cover and teleporting away to anywhere but here, comforts Allen. He’s… technically correct here, but it’s going to take a while.
Allen, once again, is just an unappreciative wiener.
But he’s getting better!
chaos, as ever, only has kind words to say about the guy whining about his not-girlfriend.
“And has anyone ever told you you look almost exactly like the president of the company I work for? You guys know each other?”
And the scene closes with chaos talking about how kindness makes the universe go ‘round. Serious time? This is a generally emotional scene where two male characters open up about caring for people. I literally cannot immediately think of another JRPG where this happens. At all. Guys are allowed to fist bump and fight and whatnot, but straight up “she was crying and there was nothing I could do” is something that real (as in reality, not trying to judge anyone’s EQ here) men talk about on occasion. It’s also coming out of a character that has primarily been used for comic relief in the past, so this could potentially make him a more three-dimensional character.
And then we’ll spend the rest of the update making “he’s so gay” jokes at his expense…
Alright, over to the President’s office.
Helmer is confirming that all charges were dropped and hooray and whatnot.
“Thanks” is all Helmer gets for planting a sleeper agent in the Universal Government years ago for just such an occasion.
I was not kidding earlier. Some kinky stuff went down moments before Helmer called. Mutantcest?
This will also be important: U-TIC is still after MOMO. Junior can hear this. Remember this, Junior! REMEMBER!
“And I wonder if they’re going to do it within the next half hour.”
And switch over to Shion, awake in bed lamenting the fact that she just did exactly what she wanted to do for the thousandth time.
It’s better than jail!
Maybe Shion is so empathetic because it lets her focus on other people’s problems… She immediately starts worrying about how sad MOMO looked after the whole ordeal.
And then she thinks of poor, doomed Allen, who apparently actually worked up the nerve to ask Shion out so maybe she could vent about the whole “watching your parents die all over again” thing.
Shion reflexively shoots him down.
Shion actually laments being so mean to Allen, but writes it off as, “I’m not quite myself.” Newsflash, Shion: you have never treated Allen as anything other than a genderless homunculus. I’d say “robot”, but, ya know.
She gets over it quickly, though, and returns to worrying about Nephilim and Feb. Legitimately, if I were Shion, I’d be happy that that mysterious ghost girl I’ve been seeing was an actual (virtual) person, and not just a hallucination.
Shion can barely face two days ago. Seriously, is Cherenkov good and repressed yet?
Yeah, you and the rest of the people following this plot.
Alright, back in control for the first time since Virtual World. It’s time to… go apologize to Allen? Eh, a quest is a quest.
For the record, here’s where the timer from last update actually belongs. Nearly seventeen hours in, and I think we just established what our heroes are supposed to be doing.
Mail call! KOS-MOS is back in the party, and now she’s got a new weapon (that we’ll never use), and a new tech attack that is, seriously, the best tech attack in the game. I’ll explain why when we can actually use it, but for now, it’s called the X-Buster, and it’s going to send the mavericks packing.
Aaand we’re back to Allen being comic relief. We can literally find him by following the trail of a man that was openly weeping over being rejected by his not-girlfriend. Haha, what a [insert homophobic slang]!
Allen: suicidal at the prospect of losing a lunch reservation. Looks like he headed down to the surface.
And we find him in the not-so-subtly gay bar. Once again, this isn’t a gay bar, this is a bar that is simply run and decorated with every muscley gay stereotype someone could render.
Shion immediately forgets that she was going to apologize to the doofus, presumably because he now appears to be having fun without her.
And Allen forgets all that silly “let’s talk about our emotions” crap and decides to give Shion a couple of tickets to the gun show.
Shion never apologizes, and decides to leave. I cannot imagine why these two have such a corpse of a relationship.
Meanwhile, back in… some kind of throne room?
Oh, it’s Albedo again, and he’s cradling a dead Realian. Well, she might not be dead, but I don’t think her neck is supposed to do that.
He tosses the poor girl aside, and starts ranting about “the song” again. Remember, that was lil’ Albedo’s shtick, too. Some people never grow up…
Like a kid on Christmas morning.
Dum de dum, chaos hanging out on the bridge of the Elsa… which is currently docked completely within the Durandal. I guess he just wants to look busy. Hey, you hear something?
Junior and Gaignun do. Hey, it’s that thing Junior was expecting about 50 screenshots back.
chaos flips when he realizes what he’s hearing.
This… might be the first time in the game that chaos is genuinely off his cool. He also probably looks like a nutbar, because nobody else can hear “the song”.
And we flash over to Wilhelm’s space pyramid. I appreciate that, while waiting for the good guys to screw everything up, the bad guys sit around playing holo-chess. Better than the usual Dark Emperor archetype, lounging on a throne and barking out orders for every cutscene. Oh, wait, Albedo…
Red Testament confirms he’s one of the chosen that gets to listen to Crazy Radio. Hey, R.T., do you always wear that mask? Seems like it would make eating difficult…
Yep, Wilhelm is a fan of saying cryptic nonsense all the time.
Nothing cryptic about explosions, though!
The Federation Fleet is getting blasted by… something. I swear those blasts look familiar, though…
Ah, yes, I remember those readings from the Woglinde.
Wooo Space Whales here to party!
Everybody out of the pool and into the laser death ship! How long do you figure it takes to evacuate an entire city via those shuttles that fit, what, eight people?
Shion (who is always inexplicably on the bridge when things start to go crazy) has her priorities straight, as usual.
KOS-MOS comes when called. Good girl. Do you want a KOSSY-SNACK?
Hilbert Effect time! Note that if KOS-MOS wasn’t around, like one space whale could probably wipe out the entire colony. Now those dorks are solid, so they’ll bonk into that space bowl like giant goldfish.
chaos seems to have reclaimed his generally cheery attitude, and is ready to assist with the evacuations.
Before requesting further help from KOS-MOS, Shion considers that “she will destroy a planet” thing. Yeah, you might want to cut down her EXP intake.
But Shion pushes through it and reaffirms her trust in KOS-MOS. No one else even thinks to object… probably because they’re afraid of God-Slayer Bot.
Here’s my party for most of this update. I’m tired of looking at Shion and chaos after the last dungeon, and everybody here has decent multi-hit attacks, which will be important. MOMO is on healing duty, KOS-MOS needs the exercise, and Junior will be important for one reason we’ll cover shortly.
I don’t know how you top “diving headfirst into a gnosis battlefield” with more recklessness, but I’m sure we’ll find something.
Down on the surface, there’s a line to evacuate. At least everyone is being orderly with their terror.
Good news! The beach is safe and devoid of gnosis!
The AGWS garage, which is literally stocked with rows of anti-gnosis weapons is safe, and no one there is doing a thing to help. It’s hard being the main character sometimes.
Alright, here we are in town, the actual “dungeon” of the day. The Mayor (who we somehow missed on our other trips through town) will sell you anything you need. Convenient that he’s carrying around a cache of guns and cyborg weapons!
And he’ll keep you updated on exactly how many people to save. Oh boy! It’s a “find all the red coins” mission!
As you may expect, the streets are wrecked, and crawling with gnosis. Oddly, every area thus far has had very distinct “only appearing in this dungeon” gnosis, with only the occasional “cameo” of a gnosis from a different area. About 80% of the gnosis in this area, however, are all recycled from the previous update’s virtual Miltia. I don’t know if this is meant to indicate that “old” Miltia and current Kukai Foundation are under attack by the same gnosis fleet/weapon (which is accurate), or if the designers just got lazy, or perhaps this dungeon was a late addition, and there wasn’t any time to make that many new gnosis.
Whatever the case, now that you have full control of your party makeup and a few more levels, these guys are a cakewalk compared to the Shion/chaos days of that stupid forest. Here’s MOMO showing off one of her new techs, and she’s not even that great at attacking!
So, as already advertised, your goal is to find the thirteen survivors scattered about town. The east side of town is hide and seek, while the west side of town is basically a straightforward dungeon “maze” with survivors scattered along the path. A good example of east side fun is this fellow in the big, wide open bar, hiding behind/with the muscle men cutouts. You’d have to be a little bit blind to miss him, but the “challenge” is exploring this area at all while gnosis are creeping about.
But those gnosis are really no big deal, because KOS-MOS has her X-Buster. It’s costly, but upgrading the X-Buster to fast and maximum strength should be your number one priority from this point in the game on. Nothing can survive the X-Buster. And, yes, the X-Buster is the same tummy laser KOS-MOS employed to destroy an entire fleet of gnosis a couple updates back. I suppose this version is a little toned-down, and doesn’t involve the vacu-suck feature, but it’s still nice to get a “cutscene weapon” on your side.
Alright, back to exploring. There’s a treasure chest and a gnosis behind the counter at the bar, but you can’t reach it quite yet. Guess it’s time to go explore outside Allen’s favorite hangout.
Here’s the reason Junior will become a fixture in the party: this jellyfish gnosis is considered “far range”, but its weakness is to physical attacks… which most characters don’t have in a long range variety. Junior does, though, which makes the encounter consistently trivial. There’s pretty much going to be a monster like this every dungeon from now on, so guess who gets a permanent spot on the A-Team?
This guy… doesn’t count. The inn’s owner wants you to retrieve his “treasure” from the vault you weren’t allowed to access earlier. Rather than just telling you the combination, though, he dispenses a fairly imprecise clue. Thanks, dead guy!
But before heading over to the safe, we loot the inn and find a swimsuit behind the counter. Score!
The swimsuit has the worst available defense in the game for a piece of body armor, but it ups your T.Pts earned by 25%. This… is marvelous, and you should do everything possible to max out Tech Points and earn faster, stronger techs. Unfortunately, it doesn’t “fit” Ziggy or KOS-MOS, else I’d have one of our hard hitters equipping it at all times. Given your average mook from this point in the game on isn’t much a threat by itself, it’s a good idea to always have someone wearing a swimsuit, just make sure you heal him/her after each battle.
It also changes your character’s model to beach mode. This is only true for battles, though, so you can’t have Junior staring down his arch rival during a climactic cutscene wearing only his shorts. More’s the pity.
Anyway, if you go all the way up to the attic, you’ll find a picture of a happy family, and the birthday of that dead dude’s daughter. Can you figure out the combination, now?
Yep, 1028. Time for treasure!
Aw, treasure was family all along. What a twist! Eleven to go.
The inn connects to the bar through the second floor for some reason, and there’s a button that will raise the gate that prevented everyone from exploring behind that counter. Oh man, I hope the bar has another swimsuit!
The top floor of the inn has roof access. The roof is not sure footing, so you’ll slip and slide down, and you have to use a little bit of skill to “steer” your character where you actually want to go.
If you… don’t try, you’ll wind up on a catwalk over the street. This leads to…
A building across the way that allows you to see that some dude is hiding in a dumpster under a very obvious roof ramp. Seems easy enough: on the next trip down that hot tin roof, hold left.
But since it’s easy to hit the ground floor again, let’s investigate that previously inaccessible bar area.
Hey, another rescue! Ten survivors remain, but no extra swimsuit.
Alright, now we’re falling off the part of the roof we’re supposed to aim for…
And now we’ve got nine left. Hey, nice goggles, dumpster dude.
You can hang left even harder on the roof, and find this “secret” passage that leads to a door decoder. Even when people’s lives are on the line, it always pays to explore!
Alright, that’s everybody from the east side of town, now we’re hitting the west, where that purple fellow that gave us the history of a statue is now… hiding on top of a statue. How’d he get up there? He’s shaped like Danny Devito.
Salt statue, dude. Salt. Eight left!
It didn’t come up during our last two visits, but there is an east and west exit from this town area… when everything isn’t on fire. During the “invasion” portion of the game, the second exit is blocked. Wooooonder why.
Larva Dolls, the gnosis that were in permanent “reverse” mode back in Virtual Land, are here on the west side of town. Now they have a new trick: upon “death”, they’ll transform into Larva Faces, which are more powerful versions of their generally sluggish larval forms. They’re still not all that threatening, but it does effectively double the battle length, so boo on these jerks.
The Laundromat Owner is chilling in the Laundromat, naturally enough. She’s concerned about her missing son…
And didn’t think to check if he had escaped up the giant honking ladder five feet away. Sometimes I wonder how NPCs make it through the day…
The ladder leads to the rooftops, and we can see a poor widdle cat being menaced by a Larva Doll. I’ll save you, kitty!
KOS-MOS, arbitrarily blow up that wall!
There’s the kid. So with mom already off to save her own butt, we’ve got six remaining.
The bakery owner can be spied through a nearby window. For the record, I believe this fellow is implying that children’s dreams are… bread. Children of the future have poor imaginations.
Rarely seen in Xenosaga Episode 1: this dungeon has a series of switches, ladders, and walkways that will make a “return visit” must more pleasant. Most Xenosaga dungeons are straightforward “hikes”, so it’s nice to deal with a “maze” style dungeon that makes re-exploring for a possibly missed rescuee easier.
A pack of bug bears down, and a baker saved. Five left, and I wonder if any of them will be the butcher or candlestick maker.
King’s HQ/Garage has a dude being menaced by a hulking troll.
And upon the troll’s defeat, you will find that the guy was acting as bait to save his girlfriend. D’aww. Hey, Johnny, maybe next time you want to draw the threat away from the person you’re protecting. Just saying. This is a double save, so three remain.
But in the box behind the rescued duo, we find… this thing.
The trick is that Pink Bug here is another destructible object, and if you’re trigger happy, he’ll go up in flames, and you’ll never talk to the “pink doll” (clearly purple) that has “Talk to Me” emblazoned across its chest. As you no doubt remember because you’ve been paying attention to Xenosaga Episode 1 minutia like a hawk, Pink Bug is the missing mascot of Talk to Me!! , that shop back at the dock colony. Because we spoke to random kid Tom, Pink Bug will share with us extra info.
His “Great Story” will reveal the location of a door decoder key that will eventually unlock a super attack for Shion, and, to be clear, it is literally impossible to find the key without speaking to Pink Bug.
And then he takes a picture (remember that KOS-MOS is our party leader right now), and claims he’ll email it along later. What a friendly inanimate object!
Back to the carnage, King himself is hanging out on the second floor of his base. Like the Laundromat Owner, King is concerned about another family member… his cat. Eh, have to admit, I’m more likely to be worried about a pet than a family member in the event of an emergency. I picture most cats sticking around in a disaster out of sheer stubbornness. Anyway, King takes the rescue count down to two.
The previously “guarded” switch is now abandoned, and it’ll open up a new path across the rooftops.
And now we get to save a cat! Note that KOS-MOS cannot talk to animals. It would be stupid to design a combat android that could incidentally communicate with pets.
The cat counts as a person… for… some… reason? One to go!
Looping back around the rooftops will lead to this area of the Laundromat, which hides our last person, and (who cares about human life?) this hidden door that houses some robot legs. Just so you know.
Good on you for knowing your place. We’re done! Yay!
… But we still have to walk out of here. Xenosaga really needs an Exit spell.
On the way back to main street, the Mayor has moved slightly, and the street itself is clear of gnosis (though all interior areas are still crawling with them). Guess all we have to do is walk out of here and…
Oh, right, dungeons have bosses.
You can walk back to the inn very easily at this point and utilize its save point and rejigger your party in peace. I’m going to slide Shion into the party, because, like everyone else in the party (and a few moderately hearty infants) she has more HP than MOMO.
Behold the Gigas, who will always start the battle by splitting into two entities. That’s not good!
The Gigas Twins are not twins at all, and will use different attacks/suffer from different weaknesses. Left Gigas is weak to ether attacks, and attacks with mostly physical blows.
And Right Gigas uses ether attacks, but is weak to physical blows. Of course, they’re both constantly using multi-hit attacks, so you might be too busy dying to realize the trick of it.
They both whip out additional, hard hitting attacks when A. HP gets low, and B. when a twin dies. It’s up to you whether you want to attack both at once (thus hopefully negating the “you killed my brother” attacks), or focus on one exclusively until its dead (which would avoid being hit by two critical health reprisals at once). I go with the “hit everybody at once route” because, after Tiamat’s revivals last time, I expected this dork to respawn if you left one brother to linger. That doesn’t happen. Good.
Junior actually wound up with the final blow on both Gigases. They didn’t die simultaneously, but close enough to make my strategy seem sound. Note that this boss fight, thanks to high levels of damage on both sides, will likely be over, one way or another, pretty quickly.
And Junior got a new attack for his trouble. Guess we have something to try out in the next dungeon.
Alright, everybody’s rescued, let’s get out of here.
And cutscene to the Federation Army getting their butts handed to them. You believe what happened to the Woglinde now, guys?
Oh, joy, Albedo joins the fray.
Albedo’s mech is apparently no joke, and he’s indiscriminately detonating entire Federation ships and gnosis alike. Remember this for later.
We can’t all be named characters, Albedo!
Meanwhile, the stupidest thing in the game happens.
The whole party is on the way back to the Durandal, but MOMO is lingering, helping the injured back on the surface.
This is MOMO’s bag, so it’s no surprise that she’s helping out how she can.
And away everyone goes. Without MOMO. Ziggy, your entire job is to.. no? Just gonna leave her there? Junior and Gaignun were just discussing U-TIC’s aims and… guess you forgot? Alright, not like there hasn’t been an incident every update that reminds everyone that U-TIC is trying to capture MOMO at every possible opportunity. I’m sure she’ll be fine in the bedlam of a mass-evacuation.
The Brews aren’t gone five seconds before a sinister shadow starts creeping up on MOMO. Seriously, Ziggy, did you take a blow to the head?
Alright, back on the Durandal.
Christ, Shion, it’s been a whole minute. Seriously, this is the dumbest thing in the game.
Let’s turn around and go right back for MOMO. I hope she’s okay after being arbitrarily left alone for two minutes of gameplay.
Womp womp womp.
WE WERE JUST THERE!!!
Back on the Durandal, again, we’re routed to the Residential Area.
Umm… uhh… geez… could… Does anyone have a mop?
Allen is wandering around the Residential Area with a medkit. It’s kind of amusing to consider that we have 99 of those things in our inventory.
“She’s not with you guys? You all have been a continuously inseparable party for days now, right?
Oh, yeah, now Ziggy reactivates.
Does nobody have a cell phone in the future? Can we send her an email?
Meanwhile, MOMO is passed out… somewhere.
Well, shucks, if only we could have a flashback to explain that.
Ah, good. Five minutes ago.
Yeah, I’m sure this isn’t a trap. I guess it was either this or rent an ice cream truck.
“Daddy” leads MOMO to a dead-end alley, because of course.
I’m not certain if MOMO is terrified, or just confused by Swan Man, Avenger of Crumbs.
Repressed memories are the best memories.
Not liking where this is going.
Woof, not certain how I feel about the fact that dead Realians apparently have a distinct odor. Please never elaborate on this, Xenosaga.
Meanwhile, the Federation is still getting their collective asses kicked.
And General Baldguy here notices that the gnosis are all moshing into the Kukai Foundation. Welp, better destroy an entire space city’s worth of people to hopefully make this battle end faster.
Back in MOMO land, #100 identifies #97.
And I guess we know where we are? Well, at least MOMO does.
Oh boy! Let’s have a tea party!
Flashback to… this looks like that creepy building from last update. I’m assuming this will be before Mizrahi’s amazing diving showcase.
It’s a much gentler Mizrahi speaking to a floating-in-a-jar MOMO. Guess this is #97’s memory of being jealous of her younger sister.
This is a “real” memory of what MOMO described earlier: Mizrahi apparently believes that MOMO could become human through being a good lil’ girl.
Or maybe MOMO can become a specific human?
And then a quick flash to Albedo beating the hell out of not so mighty #97. No question on why she’s pretty much dead in the present.
Yes yes, why else would we use those crazy fuzzy borders.
File sharing is caring.
“Anyway, gotta go. I’ll bring back a juice box if I remember you’re slumped over there.”
Things are looking grim back on the Durandal. Nobody likes to stare down a million space lasers.
We get confirmation that the Zohars are properly locked down, so why are the gnosis attacking?
Junior and Gaignun finally employ that telepathic link that was mentioned way back during Junior’s introduction… to talk about music.
I guess this song is only for the ears of super cool awesome people.
Well, at least Allen wasn’t invited to the party.
Kid, you live on an artificially constructed planet filled with mutants, and at least one of your employees is an ageless quasi-god. Just roll with it.
Anyway, Gaignun and Junior both agree that things are going to get worse before they get better. Wonder why that is…
Wait a tick, you don’t think it’s Albedo, do you? Has no one noticed his giant mech zooming around destroying stuff? Have to rely on a feeling? Okay.
Anyway, MOMO has made her way through Daddy’s Place to the central… throne room. Albedo kidnapped MOMO just to leave her in some dank hallway?
And things aren’t looking up in this neck of the universe, either.
MOMO barf-cries, and…
Yep, this dork.
Big Realians don’t cry?
Got it in one, kid.
Where does he keep getting these girls!?
For those of you not particularly versed in German/drinkin’, that roughly translates to “cherry water”.
Good. Did we already cover that Albedo is a misogynist and a murderer? Because check that box.
I’m actually kind of surprised Xenosaga didn’t go the extra mile and make up some particular term for people that are anti-Realian. Virgilesque?
“The human race, fearful in its weakness, built this world in a futile attempt to elude the abyss they call mortality.”
Oh…kay? Can we just read about this on your Livejournal later?
“Culture…civilization…all delusions created by a powerless race, and of little use, like a barren woman.”
“But amidst all this, you continue to exist as an unfettered soul, free from the shackles of flesh and blood…”
Smell the glove.
We’re driving straight into Nope Town…
Oh. Hey. That’s not so bad.
“But what you lack is reality. And that is what I shall provide you with…!”
The creep makes a big deal about this farewell to arms.
And it’s back!
Then he totally loses his head.
Yeah, this is not the kind of guy you want calling you a “beautiful peach”.
I guess he’s using some kinda terror-telepathy here? You mean there was a point to all this nonsense?
Note that you can actually see terrified MOMO reflected in Albedo’s eyeball. Neat detail.
Yep, MOMO makes a connection with like two people, and one of ‘em is the archenemy of this freak.
Head respawns, hairstyle intact.
… He? Jesus Christ, could you tell us who you’re talking about?
“There’s enough of it, we can afford to waste as much as we want. Like my head, you see?”
You… have a collection of heads? Dynamite.
And we close this update with MOMO taking a good ol’ terror nap.
We had a pretty worthwhile “mini” dungeon, and a whole lotta ominous portents regarding things getting worse before they get better. It’s straight on ‘til morning from here, folks, so stay tuned!
Next time on Xenosaga: Flight of the Valkyries and other ditties.