Xenosaga Episode III Part 22: Love in the Time of Testaments

Prevously on Xenosaga: Shion found Jesus! And then Kevin!

Here he is!

Shion is excited! She’s outrunning a cyborg and an android!

“’Sup?”

Kevin, she’s successfully murdered every living thing between here and the Elsa. You should be scared.

Kevin has all the answers! Make Shion great again!

Kevin decides that it’s time to reveal his amazing backstory. Get popcorn!

Back when Kevin was a young’un, probably all of five minutes after he was ejected from a burning Michtam

A creepy albino decided to pay the wee child a visit, and tell him the universe was on the way out.

Do you suppose Wilhelm recruited the majority of his U-TIC/Ormus goons the same way? Like, he just started spouting nonsense at a young Margulis, and that was that? Though I can’t really see Margulis playing on a swing set…

Yes, eternal recurrence occurs eternally. Story checks out.

And thus, Surly Kevin was born!

“First, I shall obtain for you one juice box. Cherry! All is going according to plan…”

4,000 year wait to hang out with some toddler?

“He was president of two out of three of those organizations. That ain’t bad.”

“And that takes us up to about when you met me during the time travel incident. Any questions?”

“To awaken Mary Magdalene, I created KOS-MOS as her vessel. In it I placed her consciousness, which had dissipated in the U.M.N., and entrusted her to you.”

Well, guess Mary being “reincarnated” in KOS-MOS wasn’t an accident, at least.

“Shion, he’s a bad guy, get yourself… Why are you smiling?”

“Got better, though. Wilhelm has a really great healthcare plan.”

Reminder: the immediate result of KOS-MOS killing Kevin was Shion blowing KOS-MOS’s head off. That creates a… kind of bond between two people.

“Not true! I genuinely dislike all of you.”

Look, this is an abusive relationship. It’s not even a metaphor for an abusive relationship, it’s just an abusive relationship that happens to involve one party committing fake(ish) death by robot. Here’s your complimentary “I got caught in my lie, but, baby, please, forgive me.”

“Baby, you know I’m gonna love you forever.”

What? Allen is evolving!

You go, Allen!

Uh… we’ve kinda been breaking every third law in the Federation to save the galaxy, so maybe dial it back, dude.

I swear I’ve read messageboard feuds that read exactly like this. Start correcting his grammar next, Kevin!

Kevin catches Allen in the logic of “Well, what’s your plan?”

Hold MOMO in your hands, and if she doesn’t bring you joy, throw her out.

“Search your feelings, you know it to be true.”

It’s a shame the support group can only provide random anger.

And bullets. Wait, did Shion just shield Kevin from Junior?

“Shion! Testament! Baaaaad!”

“Shion, this is me, the closest thing you’ve had to a father for the last decade, telling you that I don’t approve of your boyfriend. There, that should work. Shion always listens to… Oh fiddlesticks.”

Again, the whole party literally saved your life a bunch of times over the course of the last year. Remember Jin rescuing you from cyber prison in A Missing Year? Remember the whole party playing babysitter with Kiddy Shion? … Wait, does that count?

“We don’t pity you! You’re thinking of Allen!”

So nobody in this party acknowledged the Pellegri/Margulis stuff going on. Both of U-TIC’s bigwigs had big, depressing conversations with Jin, and the rest of the party sat back and pretty much just listened. There’s no sign anyone said anything to recognize that Jin might be having a rough day. Someone finally says something about Pellegri… and it’s Shion throwing the event right back in her brother’s face. Damn, girl, harsh.

Even Allen caught some heat off that burn.

“I’m only asking because I still have the wedding gift I bought from the last time you were with this idiot. It’s a fondue set. It’s a better gift than you deserve.”

“Yes, that’s right. I’ve decided… that I’m gonna go with him. Don’t interfere anymore.”

Shion you picked the worst time to finally start being decisive.

“Welp, gonna have to kill my sister then. Knew it was only a matter of time.”

“He’s got a sword! Did you see what he did to Margulis?!”

Got that right.

“Please leave. We have to destroy the universe now.”

“Shion Transport Devices One through Six, you’re dismissed.”

Shake harder, boy!

Guess this is going to lead to another cinema fight that…

Oh snap, it’s an actual battle. Like… a battle-battle! The Brews vs. Shion and Kevin! Shion is on the wrong side!

Shion gets a major HP buff to become a villain. She’s also strong against a variety of status ailments that would normally impact her. Lame, Xenosaga! On the plus side, these stats are “set”, she’s not actually using any stats based on her “real” level, so no need to worry about the repercussions of my cheating ways.

Huh. Kevin isn’t much stronger than Shion. Note that Shion and Kevin both have rare, completely unique armor to steal. We’ll cover that at the end of the update.

Shion basically echoes her normal role in the party. She’s there to buff Kevin and occasionally attack.

That’s probably a good idea. I mean, what if this is a Breath of Fire 2 situation and…

Ziggy! No!

Oh, she’s fine, Ziggy just broke her BP. Yes, this is a 100% normal battle. It is incredibly disconcerting to see Shion on the wrong side of the battlefield, but otherwise, you can treat this fight like any other Xenosaga skirmish.

So let’s try out Junior’s Level 3 Special Attack while we’re here.

Kevin… isn’t all that strong, either. Come to think of it, this battle is easier than pretty much any other XS3 boss battle. Oh my U-DO, Shion only makes her allies worse! She’s been holding us back!

Even Kevin’s big fire attack barely registers. That’s 1302 total damage done among three people. That’s like a mosquito bite.

Eventually Kevin goes down.

And, yes, if you “kill” Kevin first, Shion will remain and fight for her unconscious man.

Until KOS-MOS guns her down, at least. That’s for saying we never rescue you!

Only the winning party gets EXP, Shion.

As ever, violence solves nothing in Xenosaga.

“Allen, Junior has never liked you. Don’t push it.”

“I came here to look after Shion. I am terrible at my job.”

For a guy that thinks Allen is completely useless, Kevin does seem to be wasting a lot of time addressing his concerns.

“You’re not even a complete battle party!”

Legitimately, saving the universe probably requires at least four people.

“Well, I mean, I assume. Like, I still don’t really know chaos’s deal.”

Oh snap, Allen with the burn. If you’re so great, why are you dead?

“We killed ‘em all!”

Allen just reminded me, I don’t think I’ve run from a single battle in this franchise. Neat. Doesn’t have anything to do with the narrative, but still, neat.

“Granted, she is thick as a brick, so that is a bit of an uphill battle, but my point still stands!”

“And maybe I have poor bladder control!”

The Rosa Parks of confused space saviors.

So Kevin decides to just wreck the poor guy.

“You smell awful!”

“Ha ha, standing joke. Just give me a second, I’m charging more lightning.”

I admire how well XS3 sells this scene. Junior (who does not like Allen) is watching in horror, MOMO can’t look, and Allen’s limbs… aren’t supposed to wobble like that.

That’s Kevin insulting Allen in the caption. Allen would reply, but he’s checking to make sure he still has a tongue first.

Hm?

At this point, Shion is less “pleading” and more, “Come on, Biff, leave this turkey alone so we can make-out in the back.”

“Be glad your stupid onesie is wedgie proof!”

“How many ribs are you going to sacrifice, hm?”

Allen finally retorts.


Here it is folks, the exact moment senpai notices.

“Even if you have been creepily watching us all this time.”

“This might just be the brain damage talking, but you’re a jerk!”

Now Shion is emotionally on board with Allen maybe not committing suicide by Kevin.


“I can evidently take it.”

“Because… I wanted to spend my life together with her.”

Duh.

Okay, I insult Allen a lot. It’s a running gag, and Allen is an easy target. I’m not proud. But Allen turns around three games worth of buttmonkeying in one scene. No small feat.

Do you think he even notices he’s treating Shion like a possession?

“Even if that was the case, the feelings I have won’t ever change for her.”

Allen… less so.

“Hey, KOS-Mary, why don’t you say something? Shion actually likes you.”
“Oh, let the doofus have his moment.”

Kevin wants to “keep” Shion, Allen wants to “save” her. Neither perspective is all that healthy, but at least one is dramatically less douchey.

“I won’t lose to someone like you, who has only run away! I’m taking Shion back, no matter what happens!”

“Just give me a second to get my crossbow out…”

Uh-oh…

Kevin goes for the kill…

But KOS-MOS with the save!

KOS-Mary cheers Allen on. Come to think of it, chaos said Allen’s feelings would eventually reach Shion way the heck back during XS1.

“Three-way?” “Allen, don’t ruin this.”

“I’ll get you a wheelchair.”

“It’s almost like my friends are trying to save me or something. But that can’t be right, my friends don’t do that.”

Kevin thinks KOS-Mary is more T-Mary.

But, nope.

Kevin: has control issues?

We’ll get into the nitty gritty of the Mary/Wilhelm relationship later. Um… don’t imagine anything lewd in the meanwhile.


“Allen would ask you the same thing if he could stop spitting up blood.”

“I know seeing Allen fall down usually cheers you up, but look past that.”

Again, when Xenosaga wants to be good at silence, it is.

And Kevin’s little outburst…

Doesn’t get quite the result he expected.

“Kevin, all I ever… wanted was to be with you…”

“… even if that meant that I was being used, even if I was being deceived, as long as I could be by your side, I thought it didn’t matter.”

See? Shion isn’t stupid, just ignorant. Wait…

“But, now I know, that’s not true.”

“It’s wrong for me to sacrifice others for it.”

“If I do that, if I run away into the past, all I’m doing is repeating the misery inside me.”

Breakthrough! Boo-yeah! You could make the argument that everything that has happened in Xenosaga up to this point has been leading to this moment. Shion finally acknowledged her past, the good and the bad, and realized it’s time to stop running, stop picking at the past like an open wound, and live in an unfamiliar present. Moral!

Kevin… doesn’t get it.

Well, that’s nice.

“I’m sure we would be happy together. There’s nothing that I would want more. But, I can’t stand the idea of being the only one who finds happiness.”

The end of the universe would be a bummer, ya know.

There’s probably a bonus dig against Kevin in there.

Kevin: possibly a tweak self-absorbed.

“If you force me to choose, I won’t hesitate.”

“You know… those guys. Ugh, we really should have had some kind of vote for a group name in the last year.”

He is just not taking this well.

Shion stands firm.

“I am no longer your tool to play with.”

“You were always the bigger tool in this relationship.”

So you wanted to take a break?

Slow it down some, and have some space?

Well fuck you, too!

Welcome to the final Testament fight. Kevin isn’t messing around anymore, and now he’s clad in some kind of fleshy armor.

There’s probably some story being told here. We never fought Albedo as a Testament, but Voyager and Virgil both had the ability to summon a “buddy” gnosis. Voyager and Virgil both also, in earlier appearances (Pied Piper and aboard The Song of Nephilim, respectively) showed the ability to transform into gnosis. Kevin is not a full-fledged gnosis here, nor is he working with a gnosis helper. He is wearing gnosis like armor, and that probably is meant to establish Kevin as the super best Testament ever. Either that, or it was an excuse for Namco to sneak a version of SoulCalibur’s Nightmare into the game.

Limited Edition Nightmare Kevin is a bit stronger than Standard Issue Kevin. Kevin is considered BIO here, so further confirmation that he is not a gnosis. Note also that his steal is another piece of armor for Shion. Maybe he was saving it as a gift?

Kevin hits pretty hard here, and, yes, this battle is for real. Kevin is not in a good mood, and you’re likely to be on the defensive for most of the fight.

And sometimes he’ll just turn off his ability to suffer damage from key elements. Screw you, Kevin!

But he went down pretty quickly on this run-through. I know he’s got his own super powered special attack that is an instant kill, and he’ll infect characters with that damn gnosis touch status effect, but he just… didn’t for my fight. Maybe he was feeling down after getting dumped. Whatever. I remember this fight being pretty difficult ten years ago, but, maybe I should get over my own past.

Post battle… I guess Kevin feels a little better that he got all that out of his system?

“No, I wanted you to fall over dead.”
“Other than that.”

“Shion, if you just think about this logically, you’ll see that you should have sex with me.”

“Allen, on the other hand…”

“For this fight, or the universe?”
“The universe.”
“Oh.”

“I’m a dick. You knew this.”

And Kevin escapes through the nearby doorway.

And the final boss lies ahead. This is it, folks, one more fight and a whole lot of dialogue is all that stands between us and that final The End. We’ll discuss the full ramifications of the Kevin/Shion/Allen love triangle once at least one of those points is dead, but this update has already gone on long enough, so we’ll save that for another day. Consider this the final (gameplay) update prelude.

In the meanwhile, we can check out that great armor for Shion we stole off Nightmare Kevin.

And here are the other pieces of “armor” we stole during the Shion & Kevin fight. Shion’s “Research Uniform” you might recognize as the outfit she wore during the U-TIC Infiltration bit during the time travel story, and “White Shirt” is…. basically Shion in her underwear. This outfit appeared during that flashback to Kevin’s proposal scene… and you steal it from Kevin… By U-DO, Kevin has been keeping Shion’s panties under his testament robes for the last three years. What a freak!

Ugh, I might have to lie down after realizing that.

And, just to clear out the last few bits of miscellany before the finale, here’s chaos’s Level 2 Special Attack, which I don’t think ever actually got featured in the LP.

And chaos’s Level 3. This one is a buff, like MOMO’s final special, but this one grants re-raise/best ally/come back from the dead status to the whole party, which can be pretty useful. Funny how chaos has revive-based special moves in all Xenosaga games.

And, finally, here’s the Level 3 Special for ES Asher. I probably used this lightning attack at some point in the LP, but it goes quick, and I likely missed the capture as I was buzzing through another boring ES battle. Does the top dog of hell have anything to do with Xenosaga? I think not.

Okay, that’s it, folks. Get ready for the grand finale.

Next time on Xenosaga: Jin dies at the end.

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