Previously on Xenosaga: Albedo tore the Y-Data out of MOMO’s mind from within the Song of Nephilim, so the party ran in to moderately inconvenience the villain and chase him off to like twelve feet away. Blue Virgil made the scene to keep everybody busy, though. We now resume with Blue Virgil ready to…
Screw it, let’s leave. You’re given full control of the party after the Albedo battle and the ensuing cutscenes, and, given you’ve got another boss battle to go, it’s best to retreat, heal, equip any extra skills, and return after a good, hard save.
22:20, if you want to combine that info with the last update and figure out how long everything is taking. We were at 21:14 before the Third Tower, if anyone is curious. This game does not move quickly.
Okay, all rested and ready for a fight.
If you started the battle immediately or left and spent twelve hours grinding, you still resume this cutscene with Junior on his knees and the party exactly where they were standing when Albedo fled. You could claim that this means the “break” was a mere gameplay concession and “not canon”, or you can be cool and assume MOMO called a time out, and everyone carefully remembered exactly where they were before they left to have tea and crumpets. Blue Virgil complied, as he is nothing if not a gentleman.
Anyway, Blue Virgil doesn’t feel like revealing his identity right now, and is playing that stupid game where you answer a question with a question. A rose by any other name? Sweetness? We could be here a while.
How about I perceive you as someone who has a name. What would it be then, hm?
Blue Virgil kinda sorta vaguely alludes to the fact that he got better from being dead by… believing in himself? Maybe he just believed in the Wilhelm that believed in him.
Do people that speak in riddles not know they’re doing it?
Junior is tired of this. He was tired of this like three updates back.
That’s gonna be a boss fight.
So here’s Ein Rugel. Before we get into details on Blue Virgil’s alter ego, let’s flash way the hell back to when Ziggy commented on Cherenkov morphing into a gnosis was “just like that day”…
There’s the frame. Look familiar? When Ein Rugel sticks his arms out, you’re looking at pretty much the exact same silhouette. Yes, this is completely deliberate, because Ziggy’s backstory involves Blue Virgil’s metaphorical brother, Black Testament, who also has the ability to shift into a (this) gnosis form. Of course, Ziggy, in this moment, doesn’t say a word, so you only really pick up on that foreshadowing if you remember that one stupid frame from like ten hours back.
Anyway, actual fight: Ein Rugel isn’t all that bad, he’s one of those bosses that is constantly either buffing his own attacks (so use what passes for Dispel in this game) or inflicting status effects on your party (so use a multi-heal spell). Like most boss battles, you just have to “keep up on” any damage/status taken, and you should be fine.
I also decided to use Shion’s weaponized fan-service on the boss, mainly because I like the idea of Shion faux-seducing Virgil until he dies or gives her stuff. I was glad I did, as he forks over the Master’s Pendant, an accessory that grants 1.25x EXP per battle. This is the only “copy” of this accessory in the game… and, yeah, I got it because I thought it would be funny.
Whack Ein Rugel around enough, and he’ll transform into Doppelwogel, a winged, demon-bird thing. Boss battle, phase two.
This boss is considered “far”, so, again, Junior is the only combatant that can use all of his moves. I’ve been informed that this boss is ideal for AGWS, but, after the previous two bosses (Albedo in Simeon and Rianon SE) possessed moves that were built just to kill AGWS and only AGWS, I can’t imagine why anyone would risk breaking out the mechs. But, hey, it’s an option.
In the end, Junior kills the jerk, and he dissolves like any other gnosis.
Shion finally gains a multi-hit tech attack, guys! It’s like Christmas morning!
Blue Virgil shifts back from gnosis mode to cloaked mode. This is, obviously, significant, as gnosis transformation is a one-way street for anybody not wearing a plague mask.
And, again, despite not having much of a problem with the fight, the party looks like it’s on its last legs, while the enemy is unfazed.
Seriously, the explanation for Blue Virgil aiming a “Isn’t that right, boss?” at chaos is because, basically, Blue Virgil is space racist, and can’t tell chaos from Wilhelm. This doesn’t mean it didn’t spark like four years of internet debate, though.
“I’ve got an appointment at 3 to menace some Realian schoolchildren, so I gotta go.”
“Before you leave, could you tell us all your plans? Please and thank you!”
Blue Virgil addresses Shion directly, and asks her to come to… ugh, can we just say Old Miltia? Or is it Lost Jerusalem this time?
It’s been a trying day for Shion.
Hey, remember why we came here in the first place? To stop The Song of Nephilim from summoning more gnosis? We did it! Hooray for our side!
“We’re all okay with you being a freakishly powerful mutant, if you’re worried about that.”
“Did I almost kill all of you? Does this count as an apology?”
Junior is talking about Blue Virgil, but it’s pretty clear this is Xenosaga being clever again with Junior sorta talking about his reckless URTV side flipping out and nearly destroying the whole place. Who was that guy? Not me, nuh-uh.
So say we all!
“Welp, not gonna solve any problems hangin’ ‘round here.”
You can talk to the rest of the party before heading off, but, by and large, no one has anything interesting to say.
Exiting the room will take us back to the bridge of the Durandal. I guess everyone spent the walk to the Elsa and the flight back “home” in complete silence.
MOMO: still shell-shocked.
Rape analogy continues.
And MOMO blames her rescue on her lucky Junior charm. Ziggy is somewhere in the background grumbling.
Everyone moves on to the current plan to blast The Song of Nephilim into a billion pieces. Added bonus, MOMO’s deceased sisters will get peace… or something?
And we all have a lovely, life-affirming moment when we consider that all the dead Realians live on within MOMO’s memories. What? That was your takeaway from that nonsense last update? Really, guys?
What’s more, Junior tries to convince himself that that was what Albedo wanted all along: for the “forgotten” Kirschwassers to bond with their sister MOMO and gain meaning. I can’t tell if Junior is trying to see the best in his brother, or if he brained his damage last update.
Whatever the reason, it’s time to solemnly laser The Song into the next dimension.
Whoops, that didn’t go right.
That’s using your noggin’, chaos.
Remember when we said The Song had ceased functioning? Not so much.
It’s no longer singing the song of its people, but it is consuming gnosis like an enormous, triangular Kirby. It’s gone from blow to suck!
Junior: almost definitely brain damaged.
It’s a shame that I’m not doing a video LP, because Albedo maniacally laughs for a combined fifteen minutes throughout these scenes.
Something is happening!
Even Helmer down on New Miltia is peeking his head up.
Alright, so there’s Second Miltia, and The Song of Nephilim is that glowing triangle up in the top right.
And there’s our dwarfs-a-planet ship of the hour.
Helmer be not pleased.
Apparently this transmission is being beamed all over the universe, as Dr. Mrs. Mizrahi knows what she’s looking at.
MOMO knows, too. Holy cow that’s the Proto Merkabah.
For anybody just playing Xenosaga, this appears to be the next (and last) in a series of increasingly gigantic ships, but for anyone that played through Xenogears, this is revelation on par with finding out Matches Malone is secretly named Bruce Wayne. The Merkabah (well, Merkavah, but, ya know, translations) was part of the ship featured at the absolute start of Xenogears, the gigantic vessel that sailed the stars with Deus and crashed on the Chu-Chu planet, thus kicking off the whole thousand-year plot of Xenogears. After nearly an entire game of “I could kinda sorta see where this fits in with Xenogears, maybe,” here we have a gigantic, glowing “here be important stuff” ship of significance. This is the Proto-Merkabah. It was built by Dr. Mizrahi. In a way, in an instant, Xenosaga’s “place” in Xenogears’ story is revealed.
Ya know, assuming anyone at Monolith Soft feels like sticking to the script.
And this is obviously important, too, I guess. Guess it takes a whale of a ship to produce one lil’ MOMO.
Blue Virgil is nearby, observing the whole pandemonium from his scorpion-themed mech.
“Hey, stop talking in my head, Red Testament! And let’s stick to the codenames, Kevin.”
Oh my gosh! Blue Virgil has secretly been Virgil this whole time!
Red Testament (or maybe Wilhelm?) beams the Y-Data Albedo was scoping out last update to Blue Virgil directly.
Blue Virgil is apparently impressed with this pan galactic confuse-a-cat plan.
Just let me lay some brick for the sequel and I’ll get out of here.
Meanwhile, The Song of Nephilim plops itself into the Proto Merkabah, and MOMO explains that, yep, born there.
And then built a ship the size of a planet to give the kid a jumpstart. I guess this explains why MOMO is so radically different compared to most Realians. Emotion Chips take a lot of juice.
Dr. Mrs. Mizrahi, however, tells a different story, that the Proto Merkabah was meant to explore the universe, go boldly and whatnot.
But the rest of the council, as usual, is only concerned about its weapon capabilities.
Apparently, for anyone concerned about the timeline, Mizrahi stuck MOMO up there, hit the startup button, went back down to Miltia, went crazy, dove off a building, and then, later, these dorks grabbed a freshly baked MOMO, and dumped the PM into a double black hole. Sounds legit.
Anyway, the Original Zohar is still back on Miltia, so at least this Death Voltron won’t be able to form the head.
But who cares, because Albedo has a doomsday weapon now.
There goes the entire Galactic Fleet that was threatening everybody last update. Sorry, intergalactic unnamed military servicemen!
A thing like that.
It wasn’t exactly built as a weapon, but if it’s got enough energy to get a MOMO going, apparently it can vaporize whatever it wants.
And Albedo is using it to suck up more gnosis for a refill. This… actually all makes a bit of sense, if you think about it. Everyone’s been talking about Mizrahi being a lunatic who invited the gnosis into the universe like some idiot opening Pandora’s Box, but, from what we see here, The Song of Nephilim draws the gnosis to our universe as a power supply for the Proto Merkabah, and then the PM makes miracles happen. It’d be a pretty sound device if it had a little more control over the gnosis swarming the universe. Just a shame that kind of thing always falls into the wrong hands.
Oh, and, yeah, I guess this is just like when KOS-MOS was sucking gnosis into her death womb a couple of updates back. I’m sure that’s just a coincidence, and has nothing to do with KOS-MOS’s dad being Mizrahi’s protégé.
Please do not look directly at the planet-killer charging its death array.
Guess the gnosis are a fine power source because they resonate with the Zohar, the only missing piece of this puzzle.
And, yes, to confirm, Albedo knows all this because he sucked the data right out of MOMO a couple hours (minutes?) ago.
Ultimate Troll now has the ultimate weapon, so gotta exploit that.
Ha, the albino is calling Junior pale.
Junior, just ignore him and he’ll go away. Or blow you up. Whichever. In the end, you won’t have to deal with him anymore.
Bum bum bum, gonna blow up a planet.
“I challenge you to a duel!”
Albedo still claims that all of Junior’s grandstanding is thanks to his personal grudge, and not because he cares about his buddies/foundation/planet at all. You guys haven’t hung out in at least a decade, Albedo, people change!
“Final boss out!”
“Take that bucket to 1999 or whatever, you should be a high enough level now.”
Exhaust port, reactor, whatever, use that force you got.
It sure would be nice if this game ever provided an actual map.
“If you pull this off, you’ll all be heroes. Except Allen.”
In the face of almost certain annihilation, Dr. Mrs. Mizrahi doesn’t even acknowledge her robo-daughter. Stone. Cold.
Anyway, we’ve got control again, and all that’s left is to head over to the Elsa and hitch a ride to the final dungeon.
Mail call! KOS-MOS’s final tech is delivered. Despite the awesome name, Rad Dragon is just another physical attack, and still pales in comparison to the X Buster. It’s not bad, it just seems entirely superfluous, and a lame “final unlock”.
Oh, if you followed the email chain about the l33t super hackers back at the Woglinde to its end, here’s where you’ll receive the final email. Turns out (and this is conveyed via a series of extremely boring emails), Vector created some advanced AIs, they got loose, and thought they were real people, but they were just AIs, and, oh, it’s so, so stupid.
What’s important is that you receive an unprecedented 200,000 bucks for your troubles, which is essential at this point in the game. Hope you remembered to randomly backtrack in the first town of the game!
Oh, and it turns out Shion’s PDA Bunnie is a similar, though benevolent, renegade AI.
Alright, time to save at 22:51.
Guess what? That’s nearly it for the game! Xenosaga doesn’t contain a bonus/post game dungeon, so when I say this is the final dungeon, I mean it, that’s it for Xenosaga Episode 1. That said, there are a few hidden bosses/secrets creeping around the game, and I’ve deliberately ignored them all in favor of doing one, single “bonus items” update, so guess what’s next before we actually dock over at the Proto Merkabah. I’ll give you a hint…
Next time on Xenosaga: GIANT ROBOTS! MAGICAL GIRLS! GREEEEEEEAT JOOOOOOOOE! AND FRIENDSHIP IS ETHER!