Xenosaga Episode III Part 10: Fashionably Late

Previously on Xenosaga: I don’t know, it’s all starting to blend together. Shion did something reckless and potentially dangerous because of issues with some men in her life, but it worked out alright. Allen was insulted. I’m pretty sure there were some bad guys somewhere in there talking about nebulous, evil plans, too.

Oh, right, it’s the past, and Feb and Virgil are both alive. Virgil less so.

Note that Virgil doesn’t know (Kiddy) Shion’s name. A long, long time ago, someone stumbled onto Gogglebob.com with the search “why doesn’t Virgil recognize Shion”, obviously referring to their Woglinde encounter fifteen or so years later (than this scene). Here’s a fun question: do you remember every eight year old you’ve ever met? And there is evidence Virgil has face blindness

This is one of those “prequel problems” you see a lot. It was established that Feb was literally the last thing on Virgil’s mind when he died, so we know they had a significant (at least for Virgil) relationship. But when it comes time to actually see that relationship, it has to all be established in a time frame that will still hold the audience’s interest (you’ll note that both characters have the handicap of not actually being in the main party, either). So, like Romeo and Juliet, theirs is a love that is lasting and eternal and based on like two days of knowing each other.

I guess the explanation is that Virgil never knew true kindness before or after Feb. D’aww.

“Well, I am a professional killer.”

“To a soldier, orders are absolute.” Gawrsh, where have I heard that before?

This scene ends with Virgil plopping himself down like a disgruntled teenager, but then he admits that Febronia is a pretty good chef. It should digest well in his stomach. That thing was Feb’s just yesterday.

And across town, we’ve got… Oh son of bitch.

Yep, it’s not enough that Young Kevin and Kiddy Shion were dimly aware of each other at Labyrinthos, they also have to have had a plot significant conversation.

Same ol’ dichotomy: Shion believes in life, Kevin… not so much.

Kevin asks why Shion didn’t just take the easy path.

But you gotta please your mom/loved ones.

The mere suggestion that Dr. Uzuki wouldn’t care about Shion’s little project causes her to… seem a little more familiar.

Yes, Kevin, please mansplain to a child why flowers are stupid.

Love of Shion’s life, everybody.

Well, everybody that doesn’t have allergies.

Eh, I’m starting to understand how this relationship worked.

Kiddy Shion has had enough. Kevin! Time to get to work!

“You’re not my mom! Yet!”

“Sitting is something!”

Just a reminder that Bunnie is an ubiquitous children’s mascot in the Xenosaga universe. Shion doesn’t mysteriously have a watering can that matches her future PDA mascot. Maybe this is a sign that there’s always going to be a part of Shion that’s childish. Or she’s just a giant nerd.

Kevin is ill-equipped to repel the assault of a small child.

*Whip cracking*

So even Young Kevin eventually relents to Kiddy Shion’s demands. Remember that for ten hours from now.

Daddy’s here! Spoilers, we’ll find out that Suou is well aware that half the staff at this place are murderous sociopaths, Kevin included. I’m assuming that this is another sign that Suou isn’t the best parent.

“Gotta go see Mom, you’re on gardening duty.”

Kevin Winnicot: bossed around by a second grader.

Meet the adult boss, same as the kiddy boss. Hey, scientists, rebuild my robot!

I’m glad that Professor’s upgrade to “real” character didn’t diminish his antics.

Shion “finished” the KOS-MOS project without Kevin. The original KOS-MOS prototype was destroyed after she killed Kevin, so Shion was definitely responsible for KOS-MOS V1. But I guess she needs Professor to rebuild the modified V3? Is… is Shion just lazy?

Allen is suspicious of this plan, and very afraid that KOS-MOS is going to be turned into the KOS-TANK or something. Allen is an idiot.

But Professor is on the case! Maybe not for altruistic reasons…

Keep this in mind when you see KOS-MOS’s new “outfit”.

Professor and Assistant Scott need time to work, so… No… I don’t have to…

Allen is the lucky one.

Yes, the store! Let’s go to the store!

Allen x Assistant Scott shippers rejoice.

The shop technically updated last update, but you didn’t have the full party available, so now let’s really shop. There’s a good reason the game prompts this, incidentally.

I can’t remember if I checked out the armor last update, so maybe this is new? I don’t know.

Ugh, I suppose to progress the plot, we have to… Argh…

At least it’s… jumpy?

It’s HaKox!? everybody! Rejoice at the stupid minigame du jour.

Credit where it’s due: HaKox!? does its best to look like a “real” game that might actually exist in a few millennia. If there are any time travelers reading this, please let me know if they got anything right.

As you can see, there are six worlds of HaKox!?, and they each offer a different prize. Worlds are unlocked as the plot moves forward. This isn’t because you need to know any plot to play the game or something, but if you unlocked Junior’s ultimate weapon way ahead of the difficulty curve, it might make Hakox!? actually worthwhile, and we can’t have that.

So here’s the game: you watch your chosen character automatically walk from the start point to the exit square. Wow! Doesn’t that sound fun?!

As you can guess, the paths get more complex as the levels proceed. In some (pretty much all) stages, your digital avatar may wander off the path and fall to his/her doom.

Here’s where some interactivity comes in to play: some blocks match buttons on your controller (like Circle here), and tapping or holding that button will move those blocks. The challenge is moving those blocks into position at proper times to assist your walkers.

Some stages spawn multiple characters, ala Lemmings. In this board, for instance, you must properly move the top block into place to make sure… Argh, you can figure it out.

I’m already done.

Look, HaKox!? isn’t the worst thing in the world, it’s just kind of boring. It’s the kind of game that might actually succeed on a cell phone when you’re waiting in line for the Weird Al concert, but to play it “instead” of Xenosaga Episode 3 seems crazy. XS3, unlike its ancestors, has very good pacing/plotting for inspiring the player to move forward and “see what happens next”, and rarely presents a situation where you might want to take a break (“I have to do this stupid forest dungeon again, XS2?”). Couple this with XS3’s nonexistent post game, and there really isn’t ever a good time to play HaKox!?. There’s a significant push to get to that final boss, and then after he’s in the ground… why bother with this nonsense?

So, screw it. I’m not 100%’ing XS3, I’m playing it to see what the franchise has to offer, and I completely understand everything HaKox!? is inside of ten minutes. It’s a distraction, the end.

For the record, you may eventually win at least one red door decoder, Ziggy’s swimsuit, and the previously mentioned Junior’s ultimate weapon from playing HaKox!?. I went back and checked my final save file from my original game of XS3, and found that I didn’t bother with those optional items then, either. So at least I’m consistent.

And, yes, the best part of this whole stupid waste of a game is choosing Ziggy, and listening to him apologize as he falls off the board and into the abyss. He’s so polite.

The explanation for everyone you know being a playable character in HaKox!? is that Professor and Assistant Scott modded this arcade cabinet. Also: Junior is an idiot.

Shion admits that the game has calmed her down (for some reason… maybe she just likes seeing extra versions of herself?), and apologizes for being kind of a jerk up to this point. HaKox!? brings people together!

So Shion is going to take yet another “rest”. Girl has the stamina of a snorlax.

Yay! Time for KOS-MOS to come back to us!

Aw, no KOS-MOS.

So there’s a part missing or…?

. . .

Allen is the sad trombone of people.

Professor declares that Shion is needed. Not you, Allen.

I choose to believe that “Kevin’s notes” were basically a series of Ikea-esque diagrams, and Professor has little use for such things.

But it looks like a special guest is coming to play…

Shooooooower time!


See? Now you know how it feels to be an omniscient ghost girl.

“But I alone, may have a chance to change everything.”

Just gonna write off the whole rest of the party, eh?

Shion wonders what KOS-MOS would have to say about the situation. I think she’s confusing KOS-MOS for Spock again.

She literally showers with that necklace on. Is that normal? I don’t know from jewelry.

Please welcome special guest face, Kairi of Kingdom Hearts.

Incidentally, this scene was slightly censored for NA because Shion’s silhouette was, I guess, a little too suggestive of actual nakedness.

So, uh, I guess you’re allowed to traipse around nudity, but only thiiiiiiis much.

Allen is the exact kind of person that works with someone else for years and still introduces himself as, “It’s me, Allen.”

Do you put your clothes on to talk to your dog? Neither does Shion.

KOS-work is just what the doctor ordered.

There’s an explosion! Somewhere! It’s… very hard to capture an off-screen explosion in a screenshot LP.

Ah ha ha, hijinks.

Man, she gets dressed fast. Especially considering I have no idea how that outfit works. It’s like shorts over some kind of swimsuit with an open belly? And a fuzzy crop top? I’m not future style savvy.

I suppose we can save the fashion conversation for later.

Professor and Assistant Scott are blasted out of KOS-MOS’s repair bay. Hey, Black Testament? I’m pretty sure you could have beaten these guys with a leaf blower.

This is only here so we can see Assistant Scott’s awesome custom jacket. There’s some clothing I can understand!

Black Testament isn’t into masks. Everyone that would recognize him is dead… mostly.

Get ‘em, pa!

chaos helps the wounded, and the rest of the crew lays down some suppressing fire.

And… it’s not doing any good.

Captain Matthews advocates doing absolutely nothing while Black Testament walks out with KOS-MOS and her space coffin.

But look who is here to help.

Lies!

Gee, I don’t know, maybe something to do with KOS-MOS?

… I feel like I have to remind everyone this guy is also known as Voyager… Voyager doesn’t answer his old buddy with anything but energy blasts.

Which Jin repels, because I guess he hasn’t done anything recently.

And Ziggy goes for the ol’ s-CRY-ed flying punch.

It’s not very effective…

“If we need healing ethers, we’ll call you!”

Hey, isn’t this the first that someone from the present has joined our party in the past? Hm.

Shion has an immediate reaction to the whole “kidnapping my robo daughter” thing. She knocks over Professor and Assistant Scott to…

Dammit! Ziggy just tried that! Does jumping enhance attacks that much?

Well, guess not. Force choke time.

“We apparently have absolutely nothing that can stop you, but please listen to us!”

… I just realized that KOS-MOS might be sleeping in a future pokéball.

And some kind of shiny purpleness happens.

What could that mean?

This is badass (KOS-MOS waking up just to save Shion), and a fine callback to KOS-MOS’s initial XS1 activation.

She always comes out hand first.

And she “woke up” in XS2 to save Shion from Black Testament (and his ES Dan), though she only used her bed as a motorcycle that time, and not an awesome projectile weapon.

Voyager is still pretty good at blocking.

But KOS-MOS is using giant pipes as nunchucks and… did I mention that the entire budget of this game went to KOS-MOS fights?

“Yet I bet in combat she’ll be exactly the same for some reason!”

KOS-MOS V4 is 100% and ready to go. Want to have a boss fight?

Swanky posing, everyone.

I think this party is pre-chosen. It’s appropriate, though.

Voyager will helpfully let you know who he is going to attack next. Apparently he is targeting party members with low HP, and that happens to be KOS-MOS, somehow.

In one of the greatest injustices in history, Ziggy is not allowed to use the choke attack on his mortal enemy. Stupid cloak.

So here’s Voyager. He’s weak to fire, so pulling MOMO out to cast some fire ethers would likely be a good idea. Note that he’s considered a biological enemy, but not “human”, thus the lack of choking.

You can steal a Venom Ring, which is appropriate, as most of Voyager’s attacks involve poison. Also, maybe to show his mastery over his Testament “body”, Voyager doesn’t transform into a gnosis monster, just randomly summons one for attacks. Maybe it’s his heartless? I don’t know.

And he can steal HP. Yay.

I think this is the strongest attack he has. It might not seem like much, but if your party isn’t protected from poison, a multi-character poisoning can really put your gang behind in turn utilization.

There was only ever one way this battle could end.

Of course, like so many Xenosaga bosses, he just gets right back up like nothing happened. Incidentally, this fight can be pretty tough, because there are literally no battles between the fairly weak Mai and Leopold and this fight against an impossible monster man. You do have (almost) the full party together prior to Shion’s nap, though, so I guess you could grind against old dungeons if you’re absolutely stuck.

Ziggy reaffirms his connection with Voyager. If you missed Pied Piper or the ending of XS2, this is pretty essential.

Ziggy believes that many conversations are enhanced by gigantic cannons.

Voyager can deal.

Aw, he knows his name. I suppose that this also doubles as foreshadowing for other testaments being “real people”.

And it turns out Ziggy was deliberately distracting Erich so KOS-MOS could get in position.

Hilbert plus…

Right through the chest.

That would have probably made more of an impact on someone that can’t breathe in space. Red Testament’s voice chastises Black Testament for wasting time.

“If she has awakened, then we must devise our next move”

Little harder to kidnap someone when they’re awake, eh?

Voyager speaks for the first time in the franchise (not counting spinoffs).

“I’m sorry, but it seems your time is up. You’ll pay for what you have done. We will settle this later at a more appropriate time.”

I guess he’s still pissed off at Ziggy for not joining him a century ago? Some people really know how to hold a grudge.

“Hey! Only my girlfriend calls me that!”

“Zounds, MOMO, how long have you been there?”

Jin confesses that you can only stab an invincible monster man through the chest so many times before things start to get dicey.

But who cares? Free hugs!

KOS-MOS apologizes for dying.

Shion accepts.

And then passes out. Aw, she was doing so well.

Welcome to the beach! Remember this spot?

Yep, it’s where we had such a lovely conversation with Cherenkov. Guess we’re back. I hope that fartknocker isn’t going to show up.

Oh, we’ve got a different special guest. I’m assuming this is “future”, dead Mizrahi.

“Don’t you think waves resemble the relationships between people? They ebb and flow, as if feeling the distance between them, and repeat that process eternally.”

Hey, at least he isn’t talking about sand. Hate that stuff.

Shion reacts with a hearty, “What?” That’s about what I’d say, too.

Ducks could be said to be like waves. Get to the point, old man!

Shion asks Mizrahi point blank what his relationship with her father is… and he dodges the question. I’m not sorry you’re dead, doctor!


“Words can completely change their meaning depending on the mind of the listener. They can change into good ones or into bad. Some words cannot be conveyed. What one thinks is good will not always lead to good results. You’re a scientist, too. Then you should understand.”

So, sure, let’s just start farting at each other, and hope that properly conveys our feelings.

“I still want to know! Without knowing, how do I know where I stand?”

“I have to have something to tell my therapist when I get back!”

Buh?

Thanks for caring, old man I just met. Kinda.

Shion is as confused as the audience, and Mizrahi claims he’s being “helpful” for the sake of his late daughter. What did you promise, Joachim? To always be as vague as possible?

Joachim claims he promised to make a peaceful world for Sakura, and he wants the same for Shion. Whatever you say, ghosty.

“Don’t do anything you don’t want to. Be true to your feelings. Do that, and she will answer your call.”

Yeah, sure, tell Shion to do whatever she wants. That will end well.

And who is “she”?

Hey, it’s that’s woman we briefly saw during the T-elos battle. I guess I do see a resemblance to a certain robot.

“Could you get me a dream interpretation book?”

I don’t get siblings.

Jin is going to try to out-stoic Ziggy this update.

Welp, he knows his sister.

Allen comes to bring Shion some food.

But decides to hide over in the corner and spy on his crush and her brother (check the left of the screenshot).

Shion is all about time travel saving her loved ones.

But look at Mr. Protect the Universe here.

She was a lot less dangerous when she was just getting teenagers to water flowers.

“And maybe so causality doesn’t collapse.”

Shion proposes raiding Labyrinthos for the anima relics. Seems like everyone is on board. Beats sitting around watching Matthews clip his toenails.

And we sorta don’t have a choice, because the universe is going to explode if we do absolutely nothing. Man, catch 22, that time travel.

As you can probably guess, the next update will be infiltrating Labyrinthos, but before we close out for the day, let’s check the ol’ database.

Seems that the in-game wiki currently assumes you did not play Pied Piper, as “the details are still unknown”. Go out and buy that cell phone game, kiddies!

And it’s not mentioned in dialogue, but apparently Professor used Erde Kaiser parts to build KOS-MOS V4. Kick ass! Our little robot is now part giant robot!

Speaking of our favorite (not giant) robot. Who wore it best?

V1 “I woke up like this” (Episode 1)

V2 “Isn’t it cold with no skin on?” (Episode 2 midway)

V3 “Destined for failure” (Episode 3 start)

V4 “Revenge of the garters” (Episode 3 now)

I’m kind of a fan of the transparency of V2, personally, but what’s your choice?

Next time on Xenosaga: Precious MOments.

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