Tag Archives: captain matthews

Xenosaga Episode III Special 2: Xenosaga Freaks LIVE(ish)!

Previously on Xenosaga: Hopefully the previous update provided all the answers, because now it’s time for all sorts of questions.

Xenosaga Freaks, mentioned briefly at the start of the Episode 2 portion of this LP, was a “promotional” Xenosaga game released in Japan a few months before the release of Xenosaga Episode 2. The Xenosaga Freaks disc contained some Xenosaga word puzzle games, a Xenosaga glossary of terms (which, you’ll note, is missing from XS2), a demo of Xenosaga Episode 2, and “Xenocomi”, a visual novel featuring The Brews killing time aboard the Durandal during some Episode 1 respite. For many years, this game was entirely out of the reach of American audiences, but some brave souls over at Xeno Underground not only translated much of the game, but also programmed the separate Xenocomi stories into simple executables.

Seriously, good job, Jintoki and Kare Reiko.

So, in the interest of covering absolutely everything about Xenosaga for this LP, I contacted Talking Time’s own BEAT about performing a video LP of this crazy bit of nonsense, and he was very gracious in helping me put together a stream of ludicrous twaddle with FanboyMaster and SpoonyBardOL. A recording of the stream is available here.

Since I technically stole BEAT himself for this gobbledygook, I’m also going to steal his general note format.

Notes! With Time Annotations!

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…

Xenosaga Episode II Part 15: Cliff Notes

Title

The full name of the game is Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut. Once again, we have a German Friedrich Nietzsche quote. The English translation is “Beyond Good and Evil”. The original Nietzsche book of the same name is predominantly a tirade aimed at previous philosophers, based generally on the concept that far too much of the old guard was wrapped up in faith and absolute concepts like good and evil. Nietzsche posited that Man should look past these outdated moralities, and that “the evil man” is no different than “the good man”, they just have different expressions of their needs.

The most obvious villain of Episode 2 is a religious figurehead (good man) who, incidentally, destroys an entire planet in pursuit of conquering the universe (evil man).


Additionally, Shion is asked to save the universe (good) by killing children (bad). Similarly, Junior saves the universe (good) by killing his brother (bad). In both cases, the “hard” morality of good and evil does not apply, as murder is made to be a kindness, and fratricide averts genocide.

And, as we’re reminded when Wilhelm literally calls the title out during his intermission soliloquy, Albedo is at the center of this fuzzy morality. Shion is able to rescue Cecily and Cathe… because Albedo unlocked Old Miltia in the first place… because he effectively raped MOMO, twice. An evil man did an evil thing and a good thing was able to be done by a good woman. Technically, Albedo may have the blessing of U-TIC, and The Brews the blessing of the Miltian Government, but both are operating in a legally undefined area according to the Federation Government as a whole.

In short, Xenosaga Episode 2 asks the player to consider that the good guys aren’t always good, and the bad guys aren’t always bad.

Now let’s look at the characters.

Xenosaga Episode I Special: The Animation Part 1

Oh yeah, I was going to talk about Xenosaga fanart!

Ah, that’s some nice fanart. I mean, it’s usually chaos that has the angel motif, but points for…

Wait, what? It’s an animation?

Oh no! It’s THE animation!

Xenosaga the Animation was probably a good idea at the time. Xenosaga Episode 1 is huge and sprawling and, honestly, kind of insane. It also only gets more exclusive as the franchise goes. I’m sure there’s some poor fool out there that bought Xenosaga Episode 2 thinking they’d be able to pick up and play and understand the plot without experiencing the previous, 30-hour game, and I’m sure that hypothetical customer deeply regrets that purchase. A “short” four hour primer on the plot probably could have helped anyone that was willing to jump into the series at a later entry point.

At least, that’s the theory. In practice, Xenosaga The Animation is kind of lousy.

XTA isn’t really all that bad, it’s just kind of… unfocused. It fails at being a worthy briefing of the Xenosaga series proper, because it plays fast and loose with a number of “important” characters, so joining Xenosaga Episode 2 after only having watched XTA would be jarring. It also moves at a breakneck speed, so I’d be surprised if a new viewer could even, say, catch chaos’s name (left alone the finer points of his spelling issues) on an initial viewing. XTA is also bad for anyone that’s already a fan of the series, because, for a series so dedicated to its own mythology, the canon here is crazy dubious at points, so I feel like anyone really into the series would spend half of any given episode ranting like Jeff Albertson. The other half of the script is lifted exactly from Xenosaga Episode 1 proper (complete with weirdo lines like Junior’s “I got a real name, but let’s just leave it at that for now. Good to meet ya.” That no human being would ever just let pass), so the series is entirely superfluous if you already saw the original material.

So, basically, Xenosaga The Animation exists for the exclusive purpose of overzealous LP’ers. Thanks, universe! Let’s watch!