Xenosaga Episode III Part 12: Another Stupid War

Previously on Xenosaga: Everything went really well with The Brews stealing back their Anima Relics and powering up the ol’ giant robots… but then Shion blew it when she tried to save her ailing mother. And then she freaked out over her dead fiancée returning from the grave! Come on, girl, stop caring about people!

So now she’s stuck in the official U-TIC time-out chamber.

Shion recalls that Virgil made a comeback in cloaked form, so… uh… Testaments are the afterlife?

Shion?

This was two hours ago.

So Shion has officially been captured by U-TIC, and she’s drawn the attention of (younger) Pellegri and Margulis. There’s only an entire war brewing, so interrogating some random weirdo should take precedence for the commander of the troops.

Of course, Margulis is interested because she reminds him of his super best friend 4-ever, Jin.

Pellegri has written erotic friend fiction about Jin and Margulis.

And Suou and Kevin are going to be involved in this bad guy party, too. Awesome.

The excuse for time-displaced Shion being the center of the universe (again) is that Margulis smells a mole, and it’s not because Kevin has started stinking of topsoil recently.

Back downstairs, Suou and Kevin are discussing the fact that Kevin has been working on murder-bots.

Suou is objecting to the Asuras being activated, and we know it’s an Asura that eventually kills him. If anyone is doing their English homework right now, that’s an example of dramatic irony.

Kevin assures his victim that it’s all going to be okay.

Suou ain’t buying it. We’re nearing the end of our big Act 2 here, so it’s time for Suou to start revealing that he’s secretly been a good guy (and sane?) all along.

And I’d say that Young Kevin is starting to reveal how he’s the machiavellian schemer that’s wandering around in a red cloak… but he’s basically been a dick since we met him, anyway.

“And I’m certainly not going to offer any easy explanations for the audience!”

“I have quiet objections to killing an entire planet.”

Interrogations do usually bring people together.

Alright, I’ll level with you all: I try to take Xenosaga seriously on its own terms, and, while it may occasionally seem… insane… I’m treating the franchise as seriously as it seems to take itself, and my analysis of individual scenes reflects that. That said, this is right about when Xenosaga starts to slip into “stupid” territory. We’ll look at the details more as we go forward, but, basically, it’s easy to write a villain as intelligent and calculating when all they have to say for two games is, “Ah, yes, everything is going according to plan.” When we finally get to the point where they have to reveal that plan, and it all turns out, I dunno, this entire plot was an excuse to skip leg day at the gym, it puts a different light on the proceedings. And, naturally, since the villains have to fail, a great many schemers in this plot have to suddenly become giant morons to get the plot moving in the good guys’ direction. You see this in a lot of media, not just videogames, but watch for it going forward in Xenosaga.

As an example, for this scene, everyone is suddenly an idiot. Right off the bat, Shion blows any illusion of keeping a lid on that time displaced knowledge of hers.

Margulis plainly states his intentions.

Ridiculous cliché.

Shion, again, destroys any hope of hiding her own familiarity. Then again, this bit is completely in character.

Suou immediately starts defending himself to a random prisoner/potential saboteur.

Shion blurts out further details on secret future info.

Margulis confirms the spy’s “secret” knowledge, and still knows nothing about her.

Nobody has touched her, at all, since the last empty threat. As the scene ends, Kevin shouts out his social security number for no reason.

Meanwhile, Feb dashes over to the Elsa to relay some important news. Hey, which one of you nimrods gave Feb our home address?

Jin and Allen are having a conversation back in the men’s dorm. Or Allen is at least staring at Jin very intently.

Allen is reflexively concerned about Shion. Jin… already rescued Shion once this year. He’s tired.

Jin brings Allen up to speed on the whole “Shion found out our dad might have been a terrorist, and I know better, but I didn’t feel like telling her why” thing.

“And if that winds up killing her, I’ve been thinking about turning her room into a walk-in closet.”

It’s possible that Jin is just as crazy as Shion, but he doesn’t talk about it as much.

She randomly loses consciousness at least once a day. Is that normal in the future?

The same illness that makes Mama Uzuki a coma patient for the entirety of the franchise? That can’t be good.

MOMO’s function in XS3 is “walking intercom”.

Febronia reveals that Shion is being held at Labyrinthos. … Uh… when did Feb find out about the whole “that woman is future Shion” thing? She sure ain’t talking about Kiddy Shion.

Let’s see here… Shion has encountered four named characters since her incarceration, and one of them is her dad. So I’m betting it’s… Margulis that is protecting her.

Jin comes up with a plan!

Junior, chaos, and Jin all know the Miltian conflict well, what with having played the opening of XS2 an’ all.

So let’s rescue Shion when Miltia is embroiled in a bloody, chaotic war that leads to the destruction of the entire planet. What could possibly go wrong!?

And let’s bring Allen! That will somehow make this operation more likely to succeed!

Thank goodness!

After a whole ten minutes of being free of the place, it’s time to go back to Labyrinthos.

“I can’t reveal any plot points, so just call me Ms. Deus Ex Machina.”

But who cares about these clumsy attempts to plug the plot holes? Allen is now a member of the party!


He’s gonna help fight and everything! For posterity, here are Allen’s stats compared to Junior’s. As you can see, Allen is… Allen. I guess the fact that Allen can even try to compare to a mutant genetically built to destroy God is a point of pride.

Unlike our last trip over to Labyrinthos, we now “have” to revisit the town area along the way.

Deez (love your ancestor’s photoshops!) greets you on your final visit to the Miltian Capital City. This is your last chance to enjoy the final town in the Xenosaga franchise. Well, before it’s on fire.

May as well swing into this mostly empty building I missed on my first trip through. Hey, Update File. Nice.

And on the roof is a kid who lost a balloon to a cat. How… how did that happen?

If you want to help out the kid, you’ve got to use a trap at the end of the cat’s usual perch, and, when it’s close, activate the trap.

After gassing a defenseless kitten, you’ve got to “grab” the balloon, which involves smashing the circle button in the most finicky way possible. Hopefully you snag the balloon, else you have to exit and reenter the area to reset the “mission”.

That’s kind of a pain in the ass, though, so I’ll leave this kid to get his own damn balloon. The only reward for this quest is some ice cream, so screw it. I mean, in the original timeline, there was no benevolent android to rescue the balloon, so what’s the worst that could happen?

Hey, there’s that exact strip of highway from the UMN dive of XS1. Remember guiding Shion and chaos through that area and having to fight a million stupid kobolds? … I remember…

And there’s that Linda, standing in the exact same spot. Poor, doomed Linda.

We’re about done with the city, so time to head out and…

Oh, random cinema scene.

The invasion approacheth.

And jetfuls of soldier clones with it.

Hey, Junior is up there and down here.

“It’s the beginning of this planet’s nightmare.”

“Nightmare” implies the planet will wake up again…

And, for absolutely no reason, here’s Young Jin creeping around the nearby woods. I guess this is just to confirm that, yep, Young Jin is here, too.

Aw, memories of ol’ Green AMWS. We hardly knew ye.

Kiddy Shion, how does your garden grow?

That’s what happens when you try to plant flowers this close to a gigantic metaphor.

Kevin, this is the end of the world, an event you apparently planned. Don’t you have somewhere to be?

So Kiddy Shion runs off to a certain fateful encounter at the church.

“No one… has the ability to lead others to the truth. Our powers are… too limited.”

That’s what you get out dead flowers, Kevin?

“Only those who possess… divine power can accomplish that.”

So Kevin signed a deal with the devil because he didn’t have the strength to protect an eight-year-old’s poorly planned flower garden? Worst villain ever.

Meanwhile, Sellers and Margulis are discussing their escape plans. At least someone is on the ball this update.

Oh, and we lost Feb. Who Suou asks about without even noticing his daughter is missing.

“We’re boned.”

Margulis lays out plans… that don’t actually happen.

But, sure, let’s deploy those whacky combat Realians that are absolutely not ready to do anything… but kill.

Everybody seems to really trust Kevin. Well, everybody except the dude who dies.

Suou just won’t shut-up about this whole “I want to live” thing. What a whiner.

It’s funny, but U-TIC seemed to really think they were going to pull this whole “Miltian Conflict” thing off. Instead of, you know, accidentally destroying an entire planet.

Suou persists as the voice of reason. An Uzuki as the voice of reason? Did Miltia explode on Opposite Day?

And Margulis and Sellers both independently tell Suou to go screw his courage to the sticking place somewhere else. Wonder if U-TIC would have been slightly less insane in a decade or so if Suou had kept all his organs in place.

Back to the main party, and the chaos outside Labyrinthos. Uh, I mean… pandemonium? chaos himself is just standing around observing, as usual.

Reminder: Allen is a battle party member. Woo!

Our first soldier serves as an even better reminder. It’s happening! Allen’s got his own custom crossbow (… okay?) and everything!

And he’s got a few ethers to use, too. Yes, Allen literally has a weaponized version of making your soul feel worse.

Oh, and MOMO deals more physical damage than Allen. Hm.

But who cares? Allen is victorious!

Alright, enough Allen time. The ANTF is still wall-to-wall sealed…

So your only option is descending into Labyrinthos again.

But this time the center Command Room is open.

It’s not a shortcut or anything, but there is treasure to be had. This ominous sounding necklace just ups your EP or something.

Venture a little ways into the familiar Labyrinthos dungeon of last update, and here’s that door that Shion used.

So now we’ve got a whole new(ish) dungeon area. Our first stop is the other side of Suou/Kevin’s lab, and, yep, the Asuras have busted out of their pens. That should be fun!

Labyrinthos is a land of hallways.

But, hey, a Golden Segment Door hiding in the wall. The last Golden Segment Door granted us an Erde Kaiser, and this door is no different. Unfortunately, we don’t have the key just yet, so we’ll be back later.

Dungeon and enemy soldiers continue. Allen is a temporary party member (sorry to say), but he does learn new, uniquely Allen skills as he gains levels.

Big Shot is useful for damaging the enemy’s break meter and making Allen look like an idiot. He tries.

Conversely, here’s MOMO using her proper Level 2 Special Attack. That Realian knows how to work a bow.

More Labyrinthos. This little area appears to be some kind of storage depot, and hides a number of soldiers and boxes to explode. Also, the hallways are really narrow.

And at least one decoder. Not the one we want, though.

A little past that locale is a familiar room. The door is locked, but at least we can see Shion is alright. Guess those “ways of making you talk” got sidelined the minute Junior’s army showed up.

And I guess it’s time to check in on our favorite prisoner and her daddy issues.

“God, you’re rude. Who raised you?”

Hey! We didn’t have to go through the effort of rescuing Shion at all!

Suou tries to justify how he’s been a constant heel since we started observing him, but Shion doesn’t want to listen.

So… righteously… conflicted…

“Also, you’ll be dead in… do you have a watch?… I think like an hour?”

Aw, Suou is releasing Shion out of the pure goodness in his heart. … Man this guy is a terrible scientist.

Oh, and I guess because it’s hard to find a decent babysitter.

Suou has got to watch over Mama Uzuki, so be a dear and find my daughter, please?

And Suou finally admits that the only reason he’s helping Shion is because he totally wants to bone her, Lorraine Baines style she resembles a family member.

Unlocking handcuffs is going to take a few minutes because…

The Brews still have to complete this dungeon.

On the way to the interrogation room, there’s a really obvious chest with a key that unlocks the Staff Room a few hallways back.

Sneak into that Staff Room, and you’ll find that Shion’s tendency to leave her PDA behind is apparently an inherited trait.

Enough dilly-dallying, time to rescue our fearless leader. She is the leader… right?

Bad news: Pellegri was still watching the prisoner, too.

There’s good evidence that Pellegri was listening the entire time. Suou, you’re the worst double agent, ever.

Yeah, right, Suou, just play it cool.

Dammit! Suou’s true allegiances are revealed! And conveniently in front of his time-displaced daughter.

“I hope nobody interrupts us!”

Jin-shock!

This is the first time in the trilogy (though not the anime) that Jin and Pellegri have been face to face.

These two have a history. It was probably romantic.

Okay, definitely romantic.

There was also pretty clearly a love triangle thing going on, too. Jin likes Pellegri, Pellegri likes Margulis, Margulis inexplicably has Jin’s swimsuit in his room.

But whatever, Pellegri is a full-fledged zealot now.

So interesting and so perceptive that I think we will now fight with knives.

Pellegri boss fight. This is the first we’ve fought her on foot, and she’s flanked by two surprisingly resilient U-TIC soldiers. She’s weak to ice (Jin’s specialty), and Allen can actually come in handy in this battle, as he can be on break duty for the extra soldiers.

Pellegri has some powerful lightning attacks, which I guess is meant to stand in contrast to Margulis with fire and Jin with ice.

Other than that, she’s a pretty straightforward fighter.

Hope you enjoyed your Allen time, this is his final battle. Don’t worry, he’s okay! He just has had enough excitement for one game.

“Dad, I’d like you to meet… nah, never mind, would take too long.”

“Welp, I better get out of here before I see Future Jin and get very confused.”

Yay! Everybody gets a participation trophy for Shion’s rescue.

Jin, this conversation could have saved us a lot of trouble if you brought it up an hour ago.

So we’re teleported back outside, and now it’s night. Specifically, it’s the night of the descent operation, so, timeline wise, we’ve caught up to the start of XS2.

Laser crossbow, you were too precious for this world.

A moment of silence.

Welcome to… let’s call this “Old Miltia: Final Form”.

In the future, if you revisit Old Miltia via the UMN, you’ll only be able to visit the Final Form version. The idyllic town is gone forever, and, in its place, an area that is, per Xenosaga tradition, mostly on fire.

Scroll up to see this same ramp area in happier times. At least we can now explore the previously busy road areas.

Mail call!

TirMcDohl of Old Jerusalem writes:

The reasons I love Xenosaga 3 are:

A delightfully clever moment when the heroes travel back to Old Miltia in the past somehow, and ES Asher, piloted by Past Canaan and Past chaos, drops their beam rifle, and it nearly crushes time traveling Jr. He yells up at the ES Asher, and current, time traveling chaos looks sheepish and apologizes.

… And then the note gets cut off. Stupid fax machine. But just for you, TirMcDohl, here you go!




Can’t be omnipotent all the time.

Back to exploring wrecked Old Miltia.

There are some AMWS wandering around. Remember when we had an ES to battle these dudes during the start of XS2? You can either punch hard metal, or avoid these encounters. Plenty of room to run.

Also plenty of places to hide treasures!

And Federal Reports!

So many Federal Reports!

Ziggy’s Level 2 Special is a lot of wind up and a lame pitch.

But it does remind us that explosions are always a good thing. Blasting this U-TIC transport will yield another Federal Report.

Just past that overpass…

The Song of Nephilim kicks in.

The blocking of this one shot is clever, because, in the past of right now, chaos and Jin are meeting for the first time. … Or it’s just a coincidence.

Also clever, if you use the nearby binoculars to scope out the highway, you’ll see that the debris have fallen in such a way to create the “dungeon” of XS1 for that matching, kobold-y area.

Climb back on the roof, and, if you didn’t save the stupid kid’s balloon, you’ll find him dead. Failing minigames kills.

And another nearby corpse (I had nothing to do with this one!) hands over another Federal Report.

Really, game? Another shop reminder? In the middle of a literal war zone?

But I’ll take it. Oh boy, new weapons! I’m a rock star!

You will score 80,000 bucks if you decided to exploit future knowledge to win the lottery. There’s a whole stupid chain of “talk to everybody” with the NPCs, but the numbers are always the same, 68-37-12. There. Saved you having to check Gamefaqs.

And speaking of screwing with history, here’s another big middle finger to the polite player. If you left the ice cream truck open, the owner gets smashed during the invasion. However, if you were a dick and closed the shutter on the poor shopkeep, he survives, and will grant you a one-time use, full HP heal ice cream cone. It’s completely unintuitive, but I guess it works off the logic of being something you’d do in a New Game+ (there is no New Game+).

Well, I’m good and depressed now. Time to leave town.

And we’re going to close this update as we approach Feb’s church in search of Kiddy Shion. Gawrsh, I hope Feb stayed on the Elsa where it’s safe!

Next time on Xenosaga: Let’s talk about our feelings until we’re all dead.

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