Previously on Xenosaga: … Forget the last two updates. Think back before all the sidequests, think back to a time when we were just making our final approach on The Patriarch, the malevolent mastermind behind the destruction of Old Miltia. You there now? Good. Here we go.
Yep, right about here. The final choice before…
Welcome to The Patriarch’s giant shiny death dome.
As per villain tradition, Patriarch compliments The Brews on making it this far, bwa ha ha and whatnot.
But our good friend has come back to us! Yep, Albedo is back and encouraging me to quit this ridiculous game. Well, if you insist…
Oh, fine, I’ll stick around, but only because Albedo is making that adorable face.
Albedo is back on the stage a whole five seconds before he starts taunting Junior. “Happy to see me?”
“Hey, guys? Main villain over here. Pay attention to me.”
Albedo volunteers to join the party! Ha, wouldn’t that be a hoot?
And then The Patriarch insults URTV pride, and Albedo is through playing.
So he starts flying around shooting laserbeams. This… I want to say he’s never done this before. Like, was he just waiting for an appropriate time to show off the fact that he’s friggen Superman?
But it doesn’t matter, because Padre commands Proto Omega to blast Albedo out of the sky.
Albedo claims he’s invincible….
And then dies. Or at least fades away to nothingness. Again. Dare we dream that this is the death of Albedo?
One last creepy statement for the road!
If anyone wants to photoshop a despondent Junior watching his brother fade from existence into, I dunno, Junior holding a giant lollipop or something, feel free.
Wasn’t enough that he destroyed an entire planet, now that he murdered Albedo, it’s personal.
“Wasn’t he your bitter enemy?”
Uh… yeah. I’m as confused as anybody here.
But Junior has apparently become a psychopath, and he called dibs on Albedo slaying. Wait your turn, kid!
Alright, boss fight. This is the technical final boss of the game. There is one more fight after Patriarch, but it is almost completely impossible to lose there. Like with all the big bosses recently, steal an Awakening IV to earn a new double tech. Or sell it. Whatever.
You may have been expecting a fight against the giant mech, Proto Omega. Well, bad news, Proto Omega doesn’t do a damn thing for most of the battle. It just sits there, silently judging everybody.
Frankly, the best part of this battle is after you deplete Patriarch’s HP, he’ll fall over, a fake victory screen will appear, and then Patriarch will shatter your victory screen to start a second round with full HP. Ha, the game expected the party would be a max level Shion, KOS-MOS, and MOMO.
Second Phase Patriarch has much greater evasion. Incidentally, Patriarch is primarily weak to physical attacks, so a KOS-MOS, Jin, and Ziggy or Junior battle party would likely work well.
Proto Omega is supposed to start unleashing powerful attacks when Second Phase Patriarch’s HP drops below a certain threshold… but I killed the old man too fast. Sorry!
I don’t think you know what that word means.
There’s some typical bad guy banter about how can’t you see that I’m trying to make the world a better place and yada yada yada.
Like many Xenosaga boss fights, we didn’t really accomplish anything with violence (is this a moral?), but Patriarch at least seems to be inconvenienced by his beating.
Patriarch finally reveals why Proto Omega is so powerful: it contains a UMN Phase Transfer Cannon. If those words mean nothing to you, it means that it has a gun that can teleport a bullet anywhere in the universe. The universe is doomed, and Patriarch isn’t even going to have to leave his chair.
First target: The Brews. Second target: Second Miltia. Third target: that one Taco Bell that always makes you ask for more of those little sauce packets.
But… the whole thing stops working before it can fire off the first shot. Oops?
“The Zohar does not exist for your sake.”
Okay, thanks mysterious trio of lights that are appearing overhead.
And our mystery guests are talking like Wlhelm earlier. Oh, that probably means.
Yep, Testament party. And they brought their ES crafts, too. See, there’s that ES Dan from ES Dinah’s maiden voyage on the right.
Blue Virgil has only been a Testament for a week and he’s already tossing energy balls around willy nilly.
And the Patriarch is vaporized while deluding himself into thinking he’s all powerful. First clue that you’re not omnipotent? You’re dead now.
Black Testament, a pretty quiet guy…
Apparently sees something smile-worthy.
Ziggy… is not smiling.
Hey, everybody, this is the guy that killed Ziggy’s family a hundred years ago! I wonder how Ziggy is going to process this information.
The answer is “poorly”.
And Black Testament (aka Voyager) redirects the missile barrage to nail Ziggy right in the back. Ziggy survives the blow… mostly.
“Voyager! Stop killing The Brews! We’ve got an entire other game to do that!”
Shion doesn’t say a word, but, like everyone that played Xenosaga Episode 1, Shion recognizes Red Testament’s voice immediately. No overt confirmation right now, but Shion has an inkling of an idea that her dearly departed fiancée might not be entirely departed.
The Testaments put their will together and resurrect Albedo. Dammit!
Albedo starts gathering U-DO, or using the Zohar to communicate with U-DO, or… something? Also, having messed up Ziggy and revived Albedo, the Testaments teleport away.
Yeah, I guess Albedo has been going on about U-DO for two games now.
“Everything floats here!”
KOS-MOS missed her big moment back at Old Miltia…
But she decides to combat this iteration of U-DO with that crazy tertiary weapons system from the prophecy. At least she can’t double blow up Old Miltia with this setup.
KOS-MOS vs. U-DO is not nearly as Earth-shattering as Nephilim made it out to be.
I guess Captain Matthews just knew it was time to swing in for a rescue. Tony must be getting good at this.
Despite his injuries, Ziggy volunteers to make an exit.
It must be nice to be mostly replaceable parts.
Take that you stupid wall.
Second episode in the trilogy, hero loses an arm. Checks out.
“Why couldn’t you have dropped us off here in the first place!?”
And the Elsa makes its retreat as the Omega System falls into an U-DO Phenomena. To be clear, KOS-MOS did find the time to hop aboard the Elsa, so we don’t have to go through any daring rescues (again).
As the Elsa evacuates, Albedo rambles on about his favorite Unknown Entity.
Back aboard the Durandal, Junior is ready to do what it takes to end this.
Apparently KOS-MOS shooting U-DO a whole bunch slowed the thing down, but It will be back to fighting form soon.
“Kill Albedo? Got it.”
Junior leaves alone.
So we’ve got the ability to wander around the Durandal. We can’t go down to the Kukai Foundation, but we can wander the halls and talk to NPCs.
Party consists entirely of Junior. If you’ve somehow ignored Junior up to this point, at least teach him the skill that allows him to see an enemy’s break zone (Memory). Oh, and we’re at 16:30, which means the “final dungeon” cost us a little less than two hours (14:47 when we started).
Your first impulse to advance the plot may be to hit the Elsa, but, nope, you want to go to the park and have a good think.
Shion is here for a little chat, ya know, to maybe attempt to reassert her protagonist status.
But, no, this is all about the relationship between mutant brothers.
“I mean, again? We did fight him three times already.”
“Me pensive, him connected to a gigantic god-like entity that will devour the universe.”
“Let’s talk about someone I probably won’t have to kill.”
MOMO apparently hasn’t left Ziggy’s side through his repairs, and Junior wants to check on the big lug anyway, so…
Back in the repair chamber (?) Dr. Mrs. Mizrahi is recounting the amusing tale of a bunch of nerds geeking out over “ancient” Ziggy’s tech.
“You’re really lending me… a hand.”
Hey, has anyone thought to tell Juli that her husband turned out to not be a lunatic? I think she should know.
And, because Juli can’t turn off being a manipulative person just because she’s in friendly mode, she asks that Ziggy extend his own lifetime warranty while MOMO is standing right there. Go ahead, say no, Ziggy, I dare you. Make the robot cry.
Coy, Ziggy. Coy.
Callback to hours ago.
Aw, we’re all buddy buddy now.
“You know, when you attacked that guy that killed your family. Does that bother you? That that guy killed your family? Huh?”
We have come to terms.
See? Remember way the hell back during Episode 1 when Ziggy warned Junior about not freaking out when running off to rescue MOMO and defeat Albedo. Now we’re all on the same (volatile) footing.
Really? Had no idea.
Ziggy is done being the cranky old man. Just do what you feel, Junior.
So, what’s next? KOS-MOS offers battle tips?
Oh, MOMO, right.
“Nobody has seen Gaignun around in a while… And he’s Albedo’s brother, too… Huh, probably best not to think about it too hard.”
“Hey, remember when you were going to rescue me all alone? You would have died. Ha ha.”
“Come on, every party needs a white mage.”
“Nope, bad guy writes the rules.”
“Junior had to go change because he has explosive diarrhea. No, I can probably do better…”
MOMO has a brief flashback to Junior’s greatest hits… which is like two scenes. Remember when he got her that bullet? Good times.
“Wait… can I pilot my ES craft alone? Oh, probably.”
Okay, evidently that’s a yes.
MOMO thinks of a completely airtight lie.
And she breaks under pressure pretty much immediately.
No he didn’t. He very distinctly ran away without saying anything. MOMO, why must you turn this bridge into a house of lies?
Mary is into butt stuff. Got it.
So here’s the kinda final dungeon. Don’t be tricked by the save point, this isn’t so much a “real dungeon” as it is a series of hallways that lead to cutscenes. There are no random monsters, and the final boss… we’ll get to that.
Obviously, Miyuki is talking right now.
Or Albedo. Right, yes, that makes more sense.
Albedo once again taunts Junior with the whole “you’re going to get all your friends killed (just like you did me)” thing.
This is gonna be a long walk for Junior.
Each cutscene is punctuated with “walk forward some more”. I’m not going to show you this same stupid hallway every time it pops up.
Ah, here we are, flashback to the Yuriev Institute. Except I guess Albedo has his own entourage this time.
Kiddy Albedo wants to interact with U-DO so that Junior will put him down. Messed up kid.
Albedo gets creepier.
And creepier. Man, I’ll take Albedo’s brand of creepy over that stupid Patriarch’s sermonizing any day.
Next area is a version of Sakura’s bedroom.
And Albedo just plain wailing on the poor girl.
If you haven’t caught on, this whole section is basically a revisit of Albedo and Junior’s shared past through the repellent lens of Albedo’s perspective. The beat down of Sakura is disturbing, and that’s very deliberate.
At least “Sakura” doesn’t seem to be much of a person in this scene, and more like a literal punching bag. It… makes it a little easier to stomach (?).
Real charmer, that Albedo.
Junior can only take so much, and punches his bro across the room.
And “Sakura” morphs into MOMO.
You ever shut-up?
“She’s already been damaged. By my own hand!”
Ah, yes, it has been a while since we revisited that overt rape metaphor.
And Albedo is friggen licking his fingers as he recounts the event. Wow.
Junior is coming around to this whole “kill Albedo” idea.
“Let’s hurry up and finish this. When I kill you, I’ll have everything. It’s so disgusting… I’m sick of you clinging to me like this!”
Albedo calls the kettle black.
Next area. This one kinda looks like the throne room of The Song of Nephilim. Why did that place have a throne room, again?
This room is lousy mirrors, and that means it’s a good time for Junior to reflect.
“Yeah! Go get ‘em, boss!”
Ya know, I’m starting to think that Albedo is deliberately trying to get Junior to do something.
Junior once again enters Red Dragon freakout mode. If you didn’t see this coming, congratulations, and welcome to the Xenosaga LP!
But a much more “real” Sakura drops by and soothes Junior’s weary soul.
Time to move on.
Albedo is mostly naked, save lavender gloves and an Ouroboros necklace. He also appears to be connected to some machinery from the waist down.
Ah, there’s the Albedo from last Episode. Let’s hear about your brand new world, Albedo.
Yes yes, you’re better than everybody. Move along.
Albedo is smarter than every single human in the universe… according to Albedo.
Now we’re getting to the good stuff: Albedo plans to bring the entire universe into a higher plane. This will probably only kill 99% of everyone.
And back to the same old rambling.
“Happy days are here! They’ll name a holiday after me! That is, assuming they even have the concept of holidays on the other side.”
It’s good to have a sense of humor about genocide.
Junior is ready to stop this train now.
Could you stop philosophizing for ten seconds and let your brother kill you!?
“I’ve probably wanted to fight from the moment we were born.”
URTV daycare had to be the pits. No wonder Yuriev is such a nutbar.
Fight! Fight! Fight!
No Mortal Kombat? Fine.
Final boss fight! Despite all that talk of tearing each other to shreds, Albedo casts Best Ally (aka Life3 aka ReRaise) on Junior at the start of the battle. Like the absolute final battle of Final Fantasy 10, you literally have to try to die/lose during this battle.
But you can’t just brute force this battle, either. In one of those “the final boss of a JRPG uses the battle system’s gimmick to the extreme” situations, you have to constantly nail Albedo’s break sequence, else you won’t do any damage. Albedo’s break zone will change every time you hit it, and you will probably need to stock up to hit some of the later zones.
Incidentally, the “trick” here is that, if you know the skill Memory, Albedo’s break zone will be literally given to you every time you have a turn. At that point, the battle is pretty much as difficult as reading.
Albedo will fire off a move that reduces Junior’s HP to 1 as a final gambit, but he otherwise goes down smooth. And that’s the last enemy in the game.
Kinda? You were asking for it.
Yeah, nothing is more fun than a battle you can’t lose.
“We’re not foolish because we’re tools. It’s because we’re men.”
Oh, you guys are tools, all right.
Welp, time to fade away, Albedo.
Aw, the guy that was supposed to be immortal is the first to die. What a twist!
Alright, real talk? Something about the look between the bros and this line reading kinda plucks at the heart strings. … Now back to cynically mocking these two.
It’s hard being the middle brother.
And Albedo fades out with one last warning about Gaignun becoming Yuriev. Uh… might have helped to just state that, Albedo… but I guess that’s not your way.
Time to be carried off by a group of angelic Realians.
We have reached peak meaningless religious symbolism. I repeat, we have reached peak meaningless religious symbolism.
Junior curls up and waits to, I don’t know, get sucked into the vacuum of space or something. Sakura swings back in to move our lil’ hero into a better place.
This seems vaguely familiar.
Aw, Junior might talk a big game, but the enormity of gunning down his twin brother seems to be hitting home.
But Sakura isn’t going to let Junior sink into despair.
“Most of them mutants and robots!”
I reiterate, Junior did not make any such promise.
Oh, the other promise. Yeah, I guess that one still stands.
Yeah, alright, guess there’s a reason not to curl up and die.
“That’s the Rubedo that…that I love.”
So… can chaos summon ghosts… or disguise himself as them… or… Let’s not think about it too hard.
Nephilim, are you actually helping, or just being cryptic as usual?
Cryptic. Got it.
Yeah yeah, big stuff coming, we know.
And U-DO dissolves or something, and leaves behind only the Zohar. I guess Proto Omega is gone for good? Did that stupid weapon even work?
Guess the game is ending because Nephilim says so. Fair enough.
Junior is back aboard the Durandal, and no worse for wear.
MOMO gives Junior one of those impossible tackle/spinning hugs. I wonder how long Junior was actually “gone”. Like, maybe a half hour?
“I think he summoned your dead sister, MOMO. It was weird.”
Oh yeah, the game started with chaos saving Junior. Symmetry.
Shion wants all the deets.
Ha ha the universe was in mortal danger because two mutant brothers couldn’t get along.
Hey, yo, guys? Anybody remember that we left that object of infinite power just floating out in space?
Yay! After all that, we’re finally going to obtain the Zohar. Aw, and Episode 1 started with the last Zohar Emulator being retrieved, too. More symmetry!
It’s gnosis time again! We should be able to handle this.
Hrm? How big we talking?
Hey, Wilhelm is back. And he’s calling this thing Abel’s Ark. The last time that got mentioned was the ending of Episode 1.
Let’s see, the little dot is Durandal, and the bigger craft is the Dammerung, that Vector craft that contains entire cities…
And they’re both dwarfed by a gnosis that is inordinately huge!
Like, this thing has a few planets in there as decoration. Okay, they’re not really planets, but close enough.
Abel’s Ark is big. Abel’s Ark appears to contain an entire solar system.
And those bastards stole our Zohar! Dammit!
Then Abel’s Ark makes its retreat. Uh, yeah, I don’t think anyone is going to fight that thing anytime soon.
Wilhelm appears to be addressing chaos with this name. Jesus Christ, chaos’s real name is, basically, Josh? What a let down.
chaos appears to be chilling on a wing of the Durandal, just enjoying the vacuum of space. Guess he can talk in space, too. Hey, didn’t you say this last game?
Can never tell when Wilhelm is being sarcastic…
Time for the staff roll. Like XS1, the credits scroll by while some quick slice of life scenes play out. Looks like Junior found himself a pet.
This is healthy!
If by “tough” you mean “rat”, then yes, I agree.
MOMO returns home to MOmom.
Juli wants Ziggy to, ya know, maybe hang out some time. Ever been bowling? You look like a bowler.
Ziggy now has a permanent job on Junior’s payroll.
But he can be transferred to MOMO duty for important missions or trips to Lego Land.
And, obviously, this is Junior’s doing. Also, Ziggy decided to go with that life-extending procedure after all, because duh.
Meanwhile, Jin and Shion are at the Dammerung spaceport.
Jin is going to join the Elsa crew to track down more info on Ormus.
Shion takes the time to remind Jin that he’s a quitter.
“The universe has been imperiled four times in the last two weeks.”
D’aww, Shion doesn’t want to see her brother die screaming in agony.
chaos and the Elsa crew wave out the window as they disembark.
Allen is only waving because he accidentally left all his stuff on the Elsa.
And Miyuki gives not a damn for Allen. Has anyone floated the theory that Allen is a figment of Shion’s imagination yet?
Gonna say that’s accurate. Like 33 updates worth of stuff.
Allen just wants a damn vacation. What, your hour at the beach last week wasn’t enough?
Paperwork waits for no weenie.
KOS-MOS? You’re still here?
And zoom out. Thanks for playing, everybody!
Oh, wait, one last clandestine meeting between Wilhelm and the Testaments.
“So this is the Y-Data. But there’s a great deal missing.”
“But both he and the U-TIC Organization have completely poured through the Realian’s main database.”
“He only went as far as the subconscious.”
Yeesh, we’re still not done with the Y-Data?
Yeah, let’s pick up that thread another time.
“When the path to Lost Jerusalem is opened, KOS-MOS will awaken.”
Oh, right, we completely dropped that “let’s find Earth” subplot from the end of the last game. Guess we do have to investigate that Y-Data some more.
“So, what will you do with him?”
Oh yeah, during XS1’s ending. As seen here:
Yes, I seem to recall Wilhelm was talking about it being a shame that Albedo had such a minor role…
Wait… you don’t suppose…
A new Testament?
WHITE TESTAMENT!? DAMMIT!
Yeah yeah. See you next time, you damn immortal albino.
Game complete at 17:13.
And we’re back at the title screen. Now would be the time to boot up that clear data and perform all those crazy sidequests.
And let’s see here, our “real” final count for the game is 28:20. That means all the “bonus content” from the two sidequest updates took a little over ten hours. Yeesh.
Now here’s a more “balanced” save file. This is the memory card from my original clear of Xenosaga Episode 2 billions of years ago. As you can see, completing all the sidequests while playing the game proper… came out to about the same time spent. Like, a few more hours.
But while the ES levels are about the same (37 new data, 34 old data), the on-foot levels are way different. Shion is level 56 in the new data, level 43 on the old data.
This is because I never completed the three bonus dungeons on my original playthrough. As a result, I never fought Dark Erde Kaiser. Also, I never cleared Matthews’s debt. Hey, when I said Xenosaga Episode 1 broke my desire to ever 100% clear another JRPG, I meant it. Kind of funny that the times are so close to each other regardless, though…
And, finally, here’s the double tech we earned from stealing from Patriarch. This double tech is actually useful, as it will cast Best Ally (Life 3, ReRaise) on your whole active party. Pretty useful… except it’s a rarity to actually have MOMO and chaos in the same party, and switching either out after performing the skill will negate the benefits. So our final dual tech is as situational as the rest.
Next time on Xenosaga: You’re not getting off that easy! Let’s look at Xenosaga Episode 2 as a whole! I completed ten hours of sidequests, that has to mean something.