Xenosaga Episode III Part 23a: The End of the Universe

Previously on Xenosaga: Shion was the director of Vector R&D First Division. She was anxious to activate the KOS-MOS project, a sentient android that also doubled as an anti-gnosis weapon. Shion decided she would enter a virtual reality construct to oversee KOS-MOS’s mental development. Then a bunch of stuff happened, and now her ex-boyfriend and boss are working together to reboot the entire universe. Somewhere in there, Junior got a puppy.

Before we begin, I’d like to note that this update is going to be a whopper. I have tried to make the majority of these updates approximately 150 to 200 screenshots, because, as was wisely recommended to me by you, the audience, like a year ago, it allows for a greater amount of discussion. This update is going to be… let’s see here… 389 screenshots. Really? Couldn’t do an even 400? Whatever. Point is that this is going to be a long’un, so get some cocoa or something.

If anything gets confusing (haha, “if”), our next update will be the mandatory “what the hell just happened” post. Please look forward to it! Additionally, we’ll be saving any character denouements for a later post as well. Again, going to be a long enough update as is.

And, incidentally, I did consider slicing this nonsense into more digestible sections, but XS3 crams all this nonsense down your throat at once, so who am I to argue with the director’s intention?

We’re starting with a gif? Okay, fine. Welcome to THE FINAL ROOM. The Brews just followed Kevin in here, and Wilhelm is chilling with some crazy glowy orb and a pair of mechs. The red mech is ES Judah, Kevin’s ES, and it never actually gets to do anything in the whole trilogy.

And Abel is suspended in the fetal position at the center of all this nonsense. Kid has not had a good… ever.

Wilhelm wordlessly snaps his fingers…

The party’s ESes appear. Oh boy! Maybe this fight will involve those giant robots we poured so much cash into.

Even before you acknowledge Wilhelm’s godly powers, you may recall he is Vector’s CEO, and is completely responsible for the construction of the ESes. You don’t need a backdoor when you built the house.

“I had a feeling it wouldn’t be a good idea to leave them in your hands any longer.”

Finally, a villain that realizes you remove the heroes’ mega murder machines first.

But on the downside, that means any ES equipment/”leveling” became completely useless like an hour ago.

“You don’t mind do you Yeshua?”

Could we have one villain that isn’t wholly obsessed with one particular party member? No? Fine.

So the Anima Relics are extracted from the party’s ESes. Is that going to…

Oh, all the ESes start falling over. Guess they’re done now. While I didn’t capture it, the ES Judah also drops like a fly. Wilhelm has got the last mech standing.

And now all twelve Anima Relics are orbiting the compass thingy.

And someone welded the Zohar in there, too. Fits like a glove.

Yes, please give it a name. I’m tired of typing “thingy”.

Shion identifies it as Zarathustra, an object with a name so annoying, I’m going to have to copy and paste it like a hundred times this update. Wilhelm compliments Shion on her insightfulness. That doesn’t happen very often.

But Wilhelm has already got eyes on using Shion like… Oh, hi Kevin.

“Kevin, you suck. Why did I hire you? Was it the same day I hired Allen?”

Ziggy doesn’t even want to acknowledge whatever crazy nonsense is happening here (Ziggy, like the rest of the party, is probably still trying to wrap his head around “That Mary Magdalene?”), but he is anxious to interrogate the perp on this whole “Hey, aren’t you the president of Vector” thing. This also serves as a reminder that this is the first time everyone is meeting Wilhelm at all after three games.

Wilhelm claims that the only one that knows the real Wilhelm is chaos. Just another would-be god obsessed with a random Realian Justice Warrior.

“Anyway, spent enough time talking to you losers. Wanna help me destroy the universe now? K?”

Never trust anyone that uses phrases like “such an incredibly human choice.”

“And don’t ask me why such a simple equation required a plan that involved time travel and the destruction of multiple planets.”

When will people in ancient times learn to stop making doomsday weapons?

… What? Mary Magdalene and chaos are responsible for all this nonsense?

Uh… thanks?

Dammit! Would someone please talk to chaos about the destruction of the universe!

Wow, really digging “awakened” Shion.

But chaos doesn’t answer. Wilhelm decides to fill in the gaps.

“Everything that makes up this universe is connected by the collective subconscious. ‘Redoing’ everything from nothing by acting upon that collective subconscious, and sending everything into the flow of imaginary time. This is the role I gave to the eternal circle, Zarathustra.”

Thanks, that clears up exactly nothing.

Gasp!

“The two Abels” are Abel (the kid) and Abel’s Ark (the giant pulsing spaceship/dungeon). Don’t judge, if you were God, you’d have scale issues, too.

Apparently this was accomplished by sticking Abel in the center of Zarathustra, and suckering Abel’s Ark into paying attention to only this planet. The Brews probably are inadvertently responsible for this, too.

Well, good for you.

“You keep saying ‘maiden’, but… uh… regarding Kevin…”

Okay, so, just to be clear, Shion activates Zarathustra, KOS-Mary guides everyone into Zarathustra, and then the universe reboots and starts all over again. Oh, crap, this is the same plot as Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy 13.

Shion claims mankind doesn’t want a do-over, but Wilhelm has some evidence to the contrary…

Yep! We’ll get into it more in the wrap-up, but apparently the “secret” of the gnosis is that they’re all humans that rejected reality. And if that sounds crazy, consider how attached you’d be to reality after being attacked by a unicorn.

Gnosis are people that don’t want to die, and would rather become goblins. And they have magical powers because, hey, why not?

“So did that convince you?” “What? No.”

“Okay, what if I show you a magic trick?”

“Or just torture you until you agree. I think we’re all aware that violence is the only answer.”

Well, since she’s screaming in pain, I’d assume he’s giving her a telekinetic massage. What do you think he’s doing to her!?

“I’ve been watching you guys for years, I may have grown a tweak vindictive.”

“Don’t need both your hands to use a key.”

Shion routinely fights monsters with fire breath. She’s actually pretty resilient at this point.

Most of the party is just floored by this show of force.

KOS-Mary really would rather not watch “her maiden” suffer.

“Can’t you, like, give Shion cake until she’s more agreeable?” “No, this is faster.”

Hey, Allen has a permanent portrait change thanks to his injuries last update. Neat.

Aaaaaaand flashback!

“Do you two have any important memories where you’re not half naked?” “No.”

Oh, that was Kevin imagining his sexy past. Horndog.

Shion calls out for her vaguely omnipotent ex. You’ll note that she’s not asking Allen if he’s available.

“I’m sorry if I summoned a giant robot to kill you.”

So Kevin finally decides to lend a hand.

Kevin has betrayed Wilhelm! I think that makes him a good guy now! … This also means we’re four for four with Testaments leaving Wilhelm.

“Wow, didn’t really think you’d help. Also, I nearly broke my neck falling from the ceiling, but, still, thanks.”

Wilhelm might be down an arm, but he apparently still holds some sway over Kevin.

“I have always known you were doing it all for nookie.” “C’mon…”

Kevin, were you even paying attention last update?

Things aren’t looking good for this character that has been nothing but an asshole up until ten seconds ago.

Oh, and I guess his act of betrayal didn’t help at all, anyway.

“The joke here is that I am making literal what some…” “I get it.”

Yeah, because watching her ex sacrifice himself to save her life would weaken her resolve.

I swear this scene is stuck in its own time loop…

“And could you bring me my arm while you’re at it? Please and thank you.”

KOS-Mary is conflicted about going so far against Shion’s will.

Allen, you’re allowed one heroic moment. Don’t push it.

Surely democracy will stop KOS-Mary! Wilhelm is outvoted!

Or… not.

“I knew there was a reason I left you standing.”

Yep, Mary Magdalene was responsible for sealing the Anima Relics in her crypt. Mary Magdalene is partially responsible for giant robots, just as the Bible always said.

“How does it feel… to be betrayed by someone you once trusted, Shion?”

How does it feel to be carried over the threshold by your favorite bot?

“And I’m going to keep narrating, because I so rarely get to talk to anyone other than Kevin.”

“Just a little further. Heeeeere, Mary.”

“On a technicality.”

But… the key is shattered!? You go, girl!

“Great, now instead of the universe being destroyed and rebooted, it’s just going to be regular destroyed. Reeeeeeal great.”

“He’ll be… what’s the opposite of immortal? I’ve forgotten.”

“We can’t do a thing to change anything now, but, ya know, just want to check.”

Bang!

Here’s your big emotional beat for this quarter of the finale: Mary realized she couldn’t disobey Wilhelm (because it would mean hurting chaos… we’ll get into that), so she knocked herself out, and let KOS-MOS take over. KOS-MOS has grown her own robo-heart over the course of the trilogy, and she has the strength of will to protect Shion over the cost of the universe. It’s everything Shion ever wanted!

And then Kevin uses the confusion to stab Wilhem. When did he get sword hands?

“Seems like a plan, boss.”

“Are you being sarcastic? I can never tell with you.”

“We’re destroying the universe?” “Shhh, Allen. The adults are talking.”

Oh, Mr. I’m Responsible for the End of the Universe is finally going to chat?

He’s said that at the end of every Xenosaga Episode so far, so I’m assuming yes.

“I’ve got these heroes helping me out! And Allen!”

Heroism is never on time.

Abel: still here, still having a bad day.

Oh, I guess the whole glowy magic thing is going out of control.

Zarathustra? Which part is… Meh, not going to try to figure that out.

There’s a Zarathustra Storm going on, and Wilhelm’s AMWS is tearing pieces off the ESes. Incidentally, I incorrectly identified Wilhelm’s craft as an ES earlier in the LP, it is merely an AMWS, because it doesn’t (and didn’t) contain an Anima Relic. Maybe it got jealous? It is still named Joshua, though.

“If it continues like this, the universe will eventually dissipate and vanish.”

So, yes, the heroes destroyed the part of the system that reboots the universe. The destroyer part is still ready to go. Good job, guys.

“Do it, or I… Are these your intestines? Would cutting these hurt you?”

“If I should stop it, then what? What will you do with this tremendous energy? With these countless wills that reject each other, that have nowhere to go?”

Basically, Zarathustra is going nuts because it’s powered by a whole lot of gnosis, but all that energy has nowhere to go now. We were going to send it back to the big bang, but someone screwed that up.

And Joshua continues to tear up the ESes. Here’s the ES Dinah losing a head.

Oh! Wait! Yes! We’re good at that! MOMO, get the med kits!

Wilhelm, that is off the table. Stop looping on yourself.

But…. No.

Wilhelm: surprisingly shortsighted for an immortal.

But Kevin has an idea! Hey, he always was a smarty.

“Are you using both of your arms just to taunt me? That’s childish, Kevin.”

“I refuse to continue to let you do as you please!”

“You probably guessed that from how I’m repeatedly dismembering you, but I wanted to be clear.”

Kevin is… shooting out waves of purple energy? Uh… sure.

“Whatever the hell ‘that’ is!”

“And then at least you’ll shut-up.”

“Don’t do this thing you’re doing that I’m told will kill you!”

Oh, okay, I guess he’s merging Cannibal AMWS Joshua with Zarathustra so we have a final boss to defeat. How considerate!

“You’re just saying that so you have an excuse to not join the battle party!” “So!?”

“Try not to die!”

You live in a JRPG plot. It kind of is…

Shion has the steely resolve of a Vector R&D chief.

Aaaaand final boss time.

What we’re looking at here is AMWS Joshua merged with every other ES (go ahead and try to pick out all the pieces. ES Dan’s wing is a gimme), the Zarathustra mechanism, and the Zohar. Technically, considering just one ES is supposed to have the power to destroy armies, this battle should be over in twelve seconds, with Shion and friends vaporized at the starting bell. However, we’ll claim that Kevin’s energy is weakening the creature, so it’s merely a pain in the ass.

Note that Zarathustra is resistant to nearly every element, has a lot of HP, and is technically Machine class. Also, Zarathustra does not offer any steals, drops, or EXP points. This isn’t Mega Man Battle Network, and the boss does not get more powerful if you’ve collected everything in the game. Thus, other than wanting to watch the ending again, there is never a gameplay reason to beat the game more than once. This stands in stark contrast to XS2’s “farm the final boss” setup.

Like the final boss of XS1 (though not XS2), we’re fighting a monster that is dramatically larger than every (on foot) creature in the game. The attack animations seem so piddling…

Zarathustra starts the battle by being pretty status ailment-heavy. Reminds me of Yuriev.

Then comes the pain. Kinda. MOMO has that “absorb physical” accessory equipped, so Zarathustra technically net healed the party, even if Shion is down half her health points. It’s the thought that counts.

Like the battle with Omega Uniwhateveritwascalled, there are a lot of messages that mean… something, I’m sure. Probably getting ready for a giant attack or something? I don’t know.

Oh, there it is. This attack, again, net heals the party, but it completely wiped our break gauges. We’ll repay the favor in a moment.

Oh no! Not whatever…. Man, how many times have I made that joke?

Like a lot of the “final” bosses (in XS3, not elsewhere in the franchise), Zarathustra picks up the ability to shift its defenses and weaknesses partway through the battle.

At one point Zarathustra “regrows its arms”. No idea what’s going on there. Didn’t even notice it losing arms the first time…

Here’s something you don’t see every day. Technically, all you need to do to end this battle instantly is summon Erde Kaiser Sigma twice. That’s all it takes! But, just for the fun of it, I summoned Erde Kaiser Sigma when Zarathustra was “randomly” immune to physical attacks. This means that Erde Kaiser Sigma, the strongest attack in the game, did exactly zero damage.

But it did completely empty Zarathustra’s break gauge. Considering it has 999 BP, that doesn’t happen very often.

And I have no problem beating a cannibal bot while it’s down. Battle over. For the record, there isn’t even a “results” screen.

And, yes, that’s it for any interactivity in Xenosaga. For the absolute end of the franchise, the final boss being one form seems kind of… anti-climatic? Maybe there’s a version of the final battle that is an ES fight against ES Judah followed by fighting “regular” Wilhelm, and then a battle against the “final” Zarathustra… but, nope, one fight and we’re done. What’s more, the usual response to Zarathustra seems to be “how can I best cheese this fight”, so I want to say a lot of people just used Erde Kaiser Sigma and were done with it. Again, very anticlimactic for a three part JRPG series.

Though I suppose violence never solves anything in Xenosaga.

“Abel’s controlled by the system and I’m the operator. If I should somehow, suddenly vanish, this world… and the universe will—“

Be destroyed. We get it!

“You may be right, but I– I want to believe in the light of human beings’ will.”

Only betting the entire universe on that roll, chaos.

Wilhelm has been working on a mean Regis Philbin impersonation for centuries, but nobody ever gets it anymore.

“That does sound like you, Yeshua.”

So, did you two used to date… or…? Oh, never mind. You’re dead now.

And someone finally decides to look at the broken Shion Pendant, and there are a pair of flower petals in there.

So, naturally, we’re going to have a feelings-off about it.

“Perhaps, I wanted this from the very beginning. Since the day when I first met you, I may have been waiting for this day to come.”

When you first met her? When she was, like, seven?

Oh U-DO, you did mean that.

Yep, the flower petals wedged into Originally Kevin’s Mom’s Pendant were from flowers from Shion’s Miltian garden. Kevin might never have brought it up, but he never forgot the little girl that forced him to water flowers one time. This is inordinately creepy.

“I should not have been allowed around children.”

Do you, Shion? Do you really?

All the hopes and dreams about eventually making out with that seven year old.

“Precious memories I may have blocked for some reason.“ No, seriously, remember that Shion was completely shocked to find that she knew Kevin as a child.

"I’m just trying to get closure before you die like everybody else in my life."

Shion claims that it was all thanks to Kevin that she was able to “make it this far”. Remember “this far” is “just about destroyed the universe”.

“Probably got another twenty minutes before the credits roll, anyway.”

“That’s right. You’ll be fine now.”

End of the universe, Kevin.

Kevin is glad he was able to see a happy Shion again. What was so happy about today, again?

“The world… is waiting for you.”

Wake up, dummy.

And back to Final Room.

So I guess Kevin and Wilhelm are good and vaporized now. Yay! We’ve beaten all the bad guys! Drinks are on whoever inherited Wilhelm’s prodigious assets!

Oh, wait, Zarathustra is still here.

“We’ve accomplished nothing! Dammit!”

Have you tried hitting it? Oh, right.

Awesome, chaos has a plan.

And now we’re in some white dimension with the children.

“So, that is your wish?” is all we get out of this scene, dialogue wise. I guess Abel can only speak when no one is looking.

Abel is free! Yay!

And Nephilim is with him! Just a reminder: these two are the child doppelgangers of the twin stars of Xenogears, so I think it was contractually mandated that they had to eventually hang out together.

Would you like to share the decision with the rest of the class? No?

I think they just gave Shion an aneurysm.

“This phenomenon is being caused by the wills, the Gnosis gathered in Zarathustra with nowhere to go. Together with Abel, I will gather all those wills into me… and dimensionally shift this entire region of space to the land of origin.”

New plan! Instead of watching the universe explode, we’re going to take all the extra souls and toss them back to the land of origin.

Which would be Earth, because I guess souls are comfortable there, or something.

Then why are we bothering!?

The full explanation is that they can’t stop the end of the universe, but they can buy humanity some time. Well, that’s helpful. Are you going to give us a timer or something?

And that’s a load off!

Turns out the glitch in the system here has been chaos this whole time. The Anima Relics that are damaging the fabric of reality came directly from him.


And Mary Magdalene used her Mary-powers (or… something) to suck the Anima Relics out of chaos and stick ‘em in that crypt. Eventually, they were unearthed and used to power giant robots. This act also killed Mary Magdalene, but it’s cool, because she got to come back as a robot herself.

And chaos, now de-Anima’ed, became merely an immortal with general magic powers, and not super duper Anima powers.

And chaos had no idea why he was born with UNIVERSE DESTROYING POWER this whole time. He was just as confused as anybody else! I guess he didn’t want to reveal his 6,000 year old origins until he was completely sure.

But chaos has discovered the real UNIVERSE DESTROYING POWER is friendship. Or whatever.

Dammit…

“6,000 years is a pretty good run. Don’t worry about it.”

“I’ll be seeing you in all the old familiar places…”

How much slower!?

“Um, we only have 10,000 years to fix this problem? Gosh, uh…. Hrm… Let me put this on my to-do list…”

“Listen to me Shion. The key to saving all lies in the land of origin, Lost Jerusalem. I, and the Gnosis, the wills of countless people, will all return there. For mankind to survive, you must do what must be done in this universe… and then come find Lost Jerusalem. Shion, I know you and the others can do that.”

“Find Earth within the next 10,000 years. Got it. Totally doing that.”

We’re done with text boxes from here on out, folks! Grab the popcorn!

Guess who else is staying with chaos.

How long did XS3 last? Shion spent the last six months without KOS-MOS, and was then reunited for, what, a week?

Please note that this is KOS-MOS talking (and emoting!), not KOS-Mary.

Yes, Shion, KOS-MOS has a heart.

“That’s unusually vague coming from you, KOS-MOS.”


“Like, you know, building me.”

“We can hang out, watch G Gundam. It’ll be fun.”

“Hey, if you get invited to any cross-over games, bring me, too.” “No promises.”

There it is. A “real” hug between Shion and (100%) KOS-MOS. Only took the end of the universe to get there.

And everyone (minus KOS-MOS and chaos) hops on the ES Asher to hightail it out of there. Why is the Asher still operating? Well, you may recall that the Professor stuck an Erde Kaiser generator in there during the time travel adventure. So ES Asher, despite having an arm torn off by Joshua/Zarathustra, is still operating. Professor inadvertently saved the entire party!

Bye KOS-MOS! Bye chaos! Bye ghost girl! Bye little boy that is apparently God!

And away we go… Wait, why didn’t we just fly here in the first place?

“I’m gonna call the gnosis, and you shoot ‘em.”

Oh, right, Mary Magdalene powers.

KOS-MOS, did you know chaos’s deal this entire time? Well, since after Cathedral Ship or so, at least?

KOS-MOS… crosses the streams?

Oh, no, that’s just the spirit of Mary Magdalene escaping to get some air.

Mary draws the Anima Relics back to her…

And assembles her very own chaos. Or Yeshua, I guess.

Hey, remember that one special attack from XS2 that featured chaos and KOS-MOS dancing? Does… does that count as foreshadowing?

And chaos reabsorbs his Yeshua self.

Mary returns to Nephilim, not KOS-MOS. Change of venue?

Wilhelm claimed that Mary had gnosis summoning abilities, so I guess it’s easier to use those abilities as/with Nephilim, and not KOS-MOS, who is going to be running defense.

Good morning, Zohar. Hey, never realized how much that monolith looks like a cross in silhouette.

Meanwhile, in space, Abel’s Ark is doing… something? Making the area negative? It’s kind of neat to look at, at least.

And here comes the party.

Doesn’t make Asher’s escape any easier, though.

MOMO is the friggen gnosis whisperer all of a sudden.

That’s what KOS-MOS is for, honey. Now put on your helmet.

“Will be fine”. That’s what you want to say.

Oh, pshaw, we just handled a full dungeon of these dorks. Don’t worry so much!

Find Earth within 10,000 years! There’s a deadline!

The Brews acknowledge that they still have a job to do, so hope for the best with our missing teammates.

Shion regretfully nods in agreement.

Meanwhile… oh smack, they are having a tough time. I guess they thought the gnosis, a group of creatures that exist exclusively because they can’t stand the universe, would go quietly?

“KOS-MOS, get your chainguns primed.”

“That’s what I’m here for, chief.”

We’ve made it back to the trolley stop in the caves beneath the research facility beneath the cathedral in the section of the city that is a few short blocks from the Elsa. We’re almost there!

Everyone exits the Asher…

Well, almost everyone.

“I’m a mean, green anti-gnosis weapon.”

Shion! We just covered this!

“Those 10,000 years will go by fast. You are a procrastinator, Shion.”

“I left the house key in my other shorts on a planet I’m not sure exists anymore!”

Yes! Another Shion breakdown!

“Though your friends are dropping like flies.”

“Shion, I know that I was never a very good brother.”

Legitimately, Jin has been saying this about himself since he was introduced. Self-loathing is an Uzuki genetic trait.

Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon…

“So please, let me be… your brother one last time.”

Suicidal brother.

Baka!

“Shion, the universe is collapsing, we should probably be going.”

“You did literally save my life repeatedly.”

“Also, I stole your TCBY Frequent Yogurt Card and never told you!”

“I just told you!”

Loose definition of “wonderful” here.

“And live in a universe that, you know, exists.”

“Allen, my friend, she’s a troublesome girl, but, please, take care of her.”

Jin does the paternalistic, macho gesture of “handing off” the woman to the obvious suitor. This kind of thing always bothers me, but it’s very Jin, so I’ll let it slide. You know Jin has a stash of drawings where he’s doodled himself in samurai armor.

Allen is cool with it, though. This does have a little extra oomph thanks to these two always discussing Shion when she knocked herself out.

“chaos is usually right about these things, so I’m sure we’ll all be together by Thanksgiving.”

“And besides, as a scholar, I have some interest in this land. This special land called ‘Lost Jerusalem.’"

“I hear that’s where the cronut was invented.”

“Time to go die! Thanks for the robot!”

And away he goes. Anybody else want to go get their fool ass killed? No? Good.

“Jin, I know I never said it, but I was happy. In my heart, I was so happy to be your sister.”

“Like, literally never said it.”

“Travel down the road… and… and back again.”

“I seem to have wet my Asher.”

Ya know, this would be a little more meaningful if this was actually his own ES…

Meanwhile, on the Dammerung, Vector’s planet-sized home ship.

By U-DO, remember this sub plot? The UMN system, the space internet that also controls all ship laneways in the galaxy, was maintained by Vector, but nobody knew where it came from. That was mentioned during the prologue chapter, and then never again. Now it’s relevant! Turns out Wilhelm was keeping that “underspace” going, and now that he’s gone, well…

Basically all the space highways are done, and that’s how Xenosaga-era space ships get around, so… Hope no one has to get anywhere.

We’ve apparently got ten minutes before space is just space and “warp” is no longer possible.

Shion just inadvertently destroyed the known universe with the help of your boss and Mary Magdalene, duh.

The Brews are hitting a bit of a snag with their escape, as it turns out every gnosis ever is kind of a roadblock.

Good thing we still have a smidgen of a battle party.

Aw, Junior is protecting MOMO. At least someone remembers she exists.

MOMO is probably the inadvertent MVP here. With KOS-MOS back with the Doom Patrol, MOMO’s Hilbert Effect is the only thing keeping the local gnosis corporeal.

Shion attempts to give a pep-talk, but she’s interrupted.

Mega Allen to the rescue!

She’s not exactly melting into a puddle, but Shion does like a sentient creature that is handy with a machine gun.

Allen gets to finally be cool. Congrats, kid, you earned it.

Looks like those bruises cleared up, too.

Meanwhile, back at Final Room, KOS-MOS is zooming around, doing her best to kill every gnosis in the universe.

KOS-MOS has a bit of trouble with a giant gnosis, but Jin and the ES Asher fly in with a helping hand.

“Don’t worry chaos, now you’ve got a super fighting robot and Jin: dude with a sword.”

Miraculously, The Survivors make it back to the Elsa. Reminder: they initially used the ESes to navigate this cityscape, and they weren’t even beset by packs of gnosis then, either.

Oh, that Captain Matthews.

“Universe… ending… no time… to explain…”

“chaos… god… or… something? Really… confusing…”

“We’ve gotta find Earth. Does this ship have a map?”

It’s nice that someone remembered that chaos was originally “just” an Elsa crewman, so Captain Matthews and his buds would naturally be hit hard by losing the lil’ guy. chaos was also probably the only dude on the ship that knew where everything was in the storage room, so this is a double loss.

No waiting for extra party members this game.

Away we go!… Would the sky even be gray if all of space was randomly changing color? Shouldn’t Abel’s Ark be blocking the sun entirely? … Is there still a sun in this solar system?

Doing… pretty okay here.

Whoops, got your giant sword stuck.

Time to bail out.

And the last ES is detonated by the coolest pilot ever.

Incoming gnosis sword! Not a big deal, I’m sure we’ll be fine.

Or not.

Welcome back to Xenosaga Censorship Theatre. We haven’t had any changes between regions since the Durandal invasion, but we’re back to The Land of No Blood now. Above is the “painful but whatever” NA version, and below is the original Japanese bloodbath. This scene is also accompanied by a lovely splorch of blood dribbling out of Jin in the Asian version.

Doesn’t look too bad, though.

The Japanese version includes a wonderful “sound of a sword being pulled out of human flesh” effect. The NA version just looks like Jin missed his scabbard by thaaaaat much.

chaos is concerned about his bleeding buddy.

Jin wins his final duel, and he gets another free sword!

In Japan, it’s clear that he’s been practically bisected.

“It cool, everybody! I’m just drunk! See? It’s okay!”

Jin’s vision is getting a little blurry.

Not usually how one describes a battlefield…

Jin has a fun little flashback to accompany his death thoughts.

Even XS2 scenes are included!

Which “Shion is sad and needs to be consoled” scene is this? You decide!

“I long for those hectic and chaotic days that once were. But this, too, is pleasant, in an odd sort of way.”

Here’s the last of the blood/edits. As you can see, things look a bit more dire in the original.

And Shion does the “immediately recognize when someone close to you has died” plot telepathy thing. Yes, Jin is capital D dead. That’s the end for this old soldier.

Meanwhile, chaos and Nephilim are gabbing like old friends.

At least until chaos looks back.

This is technically the third time Jin saved chaos. Maybe fourth? I don’t know if it counts if you do the same thing twice in a half hour.

Still a few space whales to go.

KOS-MOS and chaos exchange knowing glances.

Oh, did I mention that KOS-MOS lost an arm somewhere in all this nonsense? Damn fragile Figmas.



“Shion. Thank you. I know that I failed to protect you back then, but, this time… I will!”

Shion spent a lot of time inspiring loyalty and being an absolute jerk this game.

“Flying Boob Blaster, activate!”

This is gonna sting.

KOS-MOS just suicide bombed the last of the major gnosis. Had to be a better way to handle that…

“Welp, watched all my friends die. We done yet?”

“Is that a ‘yes’?”

Let’s see, the Zohar is an uplink to God, Abel is an uplink to God, and the planet is currently within Abel’s Ark, which is also an uplink to God. I’m assuming Nephilim is an atheist.

Lake Turkana, Kenya?

Nephilim then instantly grows up. Sure, whatever.

God hasn’t even seen so much as a skin mag before.

And I guess we have some kind of Triforce thing going on.

Woooo~ooooooo

Wooooooooo~ooooooooooo

“Let’s outrun… whatever is happening here!”

Reminder: the UMN columns just dissolved, and those were our main ticket out.

Keep yelling at Hammer! Maybe that’ll help!

Gotta foreshadow your deus ex machina a little bit.

Sad Shion!

But Shion gets another random psychic flash.


Shion thinks there’s one UMN column left. Third star from the left, and straight on till morning.

When will people learn to stop arguing with mentally unstable heroines!?

“See! MOMO’s got my back on this!”

“I mean the guy, not the abstract concept.”

Away we go!

Not quite!

Captain Matthews… suddenly gets operatic?

“This ship is a Lohengrin-class passenger-freighter. Its form is like the ‘Knight of the Swan.’”

Yes, we’ve got time for one random opera joke.

Followed by the most anime thing you can ever shout.

And the swan ship grows swan wings during its swan song.

And everything up ’til now was so meticulously planned!

And… they’re gone.

Everyone is momentarily stunned…

But awaken to find the gravity of the situation has left them.

Captain Matthews spent nearly the entire franchise in that chair, and he didn’t even have a seatbelt?

“We’re… somewhere in space.” “Thanks.”

Incoming!

Right. UMN is gone, and so are the super future ways to communicate. We’re back to 21st Century tech.

And who is that contacting the Elsa?

Somebody Shion recognizes…

Hooray!

Yep, the Dammerung got shoved into the same sector of space as the Elsa.

Convenient, particularly when you consider that the Dammerung is a mobile planet’s worth of tech and resources.

So, uh, is Miyuki the President of Vector now by default? Like, what’s the chain of command here?

Time skip!

After resting for some unknown number of days, it’s time to get out there and find Earth. We’re down to only 10,000 years remaining!

No UMN columns, so space travel is rough.

“And I think my favorite beach doesn’t exist anymore, either.”

Have Shion and MOMO spoken since, like, midway through XS2?

Guess The Brews are dividing up exploration responsibility.

What? Is MOMO on doggy duty? Hehe, “doggy duty”.

Ah, I suppose that makes sense. MOMO is the daughter of two Mizrahis and kind of a living computer, she’s probably technically the smartest anything in what’s left of the universe.

“So water my plants. Bye!”

MOMO asks Junior to say hi to Albedo whenever that dangling plot thread gets tugged again.

I suppose MOMO has completely forgiven Albedo at this point. Or at least wants to play nice with Junior’s last living (kinda?) relative.

Junior is, as ever, Junior.

And Junior charges Ziggy with robo dad duties.

“Don’t worry about me… but thanks for paying for that upgrade… in the… southern departments.”

So Shion, Allen, and Junior are heading off to explore the universe with the crew of the Elsa, while MOMO, Ziggy, Juli, and Miyuki keep track of civilization. Probably a good split.

Note Allen’s posture. Dude has got it together.

Away we go, again.

That’s Alby the Dog talking. Turns out he’s been narrating the entire franchise. … Or that’s a complete lie.

Captain Matthews and his crew never change.

Since the entire damn Kukai Foundation is probably dead now, Mary and Shelley got transferred to helm duty. And, look, Helmer survived! I don’t know if this is meant as confirmation that some “gnosis” planets returned, or simply that Helmer got on an escape ship in time, but whatever, it’s good news either way.

And Shion and Allen are chilling in the mess hall, looking out over the stars.

Like at the beginning and midpoint of XS2, Shion logs a little soliloquy while various scenes play. I’ll block out the whole quote here:

“Jin, now I think I understand what Wilhelm wanted to do, just a little bit better. His methods may have been wrong, but now, I think I understand the logic behind his reasons. Living the same life over and over again, but living those lives without any regrets is what really matters. That’s probably what the ideal vision of being human is all about. However, we humans are really not that strong. And we know that we can’t live like that. We’re creatures that are much more flawed, weak, and smaller than that. We hurt others, we lie to ourselves, we hate, we blame others, we regret, but, even if we are weak, and even if it is our fate to disappear entirely. I think the will to change the future is still an important one. We must try to change the things around us, little by little. Even if it is one step at a time, And even if everything is already pre-determined, it’s not something for us to be sad about. No. On the contrary, the future is overflowing with hope. And we have infinite paths to choose from.”

There’s a brief bit of nonsense in there to confirm that Professor and Assistant Scott are along for the ride as well. And I think that’s Bunnie Bob helping them out, too. Good ol’ Bunnie Bob.

Doctus is helping out aboard the Dammerung.

Miyuki and Togashi have successfully bankrupt Vector’s universal empire inside of twelve minutes.

Mother and daughter are working together to make space a better place.

Ziggy has made a new friend.

And Shion and Allen…


I think the kids are going to be all right.


Okay, I guess the whole franchise has been a Shion penned “letter” intended for an absent chaos and KOS-MOS. Jin is chopped liver.

And then it’s time for the staff roll. The previous XS episodes still had stuff to foreshadow, so their credits played opposite random movies. No such entertainment here. Eh, I suppose Xenosaga has earned it.

Wait a tick, something is coming into view.

Or someone.

Apparently chaos’s consciousness (or at least his voice) is stuck in a very damaged KOS-MOS.

“I guess both you and I still exist in this world, after all. As long as people… as long as the universe desires it, we will continue to exist.”

Xenosaga is an unerringly optimistic story.

KOS-MOS gets the final line of this gargantuan story: “Good-night.”

Thanks for the funding!

Hm?

We’ve got incoming.

Looks like Shion is going to find a friend on Lost Jerusalem, after all.

This has been…

Fun.

Next time on Xenosaga: The game’s over, but I’m not quite done yet. Let’s review what in U-DO’s name just happened.

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