Xenogears 17: Better Living Through Death(s)

The good bookFei Fong Wong discovered late in his journey that his “true” personality had been fractured into separate pieces, and he only obtained Xenogears when he reckoned with all of the parts of himself. While such an ordeal would be confusing for anyone, this was particularly crazy for Fei, as he had also lived multiple lives through the centuries. And now he had memories of all of those lives. So can Fei (and us) learn from his multiple lifetimes of adventures?

Abel was Fei’s first incarnation. At the dawn of humanity, there was Cain and the Gazel Ministry. This gang advocated for the resurrection of Deus, and the majority of the freshly hatched population was into that nonsense. Abel opposed it, because he believed man should be more independent… which makes a certain amount of sense, as Abel was literally the only “real” human in this solar system. Of course, this led to some conflict with Cain and friends, and Abel was murdered. But an incarnation of Elehayym attempted to save Abel… before taking a fatal energy blast to the chest. So Abel and Elly died more or less together, though Elly likely bled out on the prehistoric floor first.

About 6,000 years later, “Abel” was reborn as Kim Kasim. Kim was an accomplished scientist and horrible date. Despite being a brilliant man who invented nanotechnology and could literally create life from nothing, he was one of the most cantankerous people in the Zeboim civilization, and spent an entire Deusmas dinner talking about how everyone on the planet was a jackass (except him, of course). Luckily, that era’s Elly was a nurse, and she fell hard for the misanthropic Kim. Together, they went on to birth/build an immortal nanotech woman named Emeralda. Unfortunately, this process was fraught with political danger, and, when Kim attempted to hide his new lifeform with a terrorist organization, that era’s government showed up, and murdered the heck out of everybody. Oh! And Elly died horribly in a hallway attempting to defend Kim that time, too. Presumably, Kim died slightly later than her, as he sealed himself in a room with Emeralda, and likely just mundanely starved to death inches away from where his baby mama’s blood painted the walls.

Don't make eye contactBut do not worry, as the wicked society that led to Kim and Elly’s horrible deaths was wiped out by nuclear annihilation anyway. The survivors went on to establish the nations that were more familiar to modern Fei and Elly, and, about 3,500 years later, Sophia was born. Sophia was the latest incarnation of Elly, and, with her metaphysical connection to Deus, she possessed high etheric abilities. Unfortunately, she was also sickly, and… Well, we covered this before. She met Lacan, the reincarnated Abel/Kim. She met Krellian, the man who would go on to try to create god. She met Roni & Rene Fatima, who were just a pair of good dudes. But, in the end, this Holy Mother decided she had to sacrifice herself to save everyone (Lacan particularly included), and she died in the fiery, suicidal crash of the Excalibur. But this time her “Fei” lived much longer… which led to him killing 98% of the population in pursuit of -the power-, and then trying to kill everybody left a few centuries later. So, in this case, Sophia/Elly sacrificed herself for her friends… but most of her friends turned out to be murderous dicks, and the world she loved mostly got obliterated by those same friends. Kind of a downer for a generational martyr.

About five hundred years later, we reach the final incarnation of these star-crossed (usually) lovers. Fei and Elly now lived in a world that was generally obliterated by the previous generation (though, now, a whole new obliteration was on the table. There were zombies!), featuring the final remnants of humanity shambling around and maintaining a giant robot battle arena for some reason. The most interesting place on the planet is a desert containing a dead dragon (that really should have been mentioned somewhere in history), and the most prominent remaining human is a centuries-old Elvis impersonator with amnesia. But Fei and Elly have a chance for a happy ending this time, as at least they are both still alive as Fei enters the belly of the beast in an attempt to rescue his millennia-old damsel. Have they finally learned that martyrdom has only ever made things worse? Will there be a happy ending for these two? Well, the scripture tells us about the tale in the next chapter…

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 17

Original Stream Night: June 8, 2021
Night of the Schools’ Rivalry

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Fanboymaster brings us the best introduction in this whole Xenogears project with Kishi and BEAT also immediately available.
  • Caliscrub arrives shortly thereafter with a welcome to the open/destroyed world of Xenogears.
  • And then Abby Denton! And Ample Vigour!
  • Let’s talk about our favorite Lou Bega moments!
  • “This is Big League Chu.”
  • Duuuuh?Jeanie joins as we visit the completely wrecked world of tomorrow.
  • Welcome to an underground city that Hammer apparently mentioned once! Let’s see Rico and Emerelda’s Gears in use for maybe the first time.
  • Fanboymaster mentions that he is surprised the Golgo 13 author, Takao Saito, is still around. He died three months after we recorded this stream…
  • “Please tell me the full story of Big Joe.”
  • “Who the hell is Kim?” “Fei’s Kim!” “Fei’s Kim!” “Fei’s Kim!” “Fei’s Kim!”
  • We’re heading to the desert triangle island. And maybe Gogo is Adlai Stevenson. It really cannot be disproven.
  • “They’re trying to steal our precious sand!”
  • Ample Vigour discovered that Breath of the Wild is good once he started running around and doing nothing. We’re also doing nothing while exploring this desert, so it’s surprisingly relevant.
  • It momentarily appears that I managed to get the glitch where I parked my airship on the Duneman Isle, but we overcome.
  • We get a history of BEAT being blocked on twitter as we revisit the fighting arena to see all the Gear weirdos.
  • The last man of the sea“Nobody would try to make Xenogears nowadays. Because game development costs money!”
  • When did we rescue Ramsus!? I have been paying attention! And I don’t remember it happening! Don’t lie to me, Xenogears.
  • Is Violent Ken more violent than regular Ken? Who knows. Let’s talk to Dan.
  • Did I mention Bongo Bill has been here for most of the night? I can’t remember when he showed up.
  • At least he sticks around for dolphin family relations. It… is hard to explain.
  • Oh, hey, there’s that sword forge/unequip thing just like we would eventually see in Xenosaga.
  • And then we close with a entering the final dungeon. Get ready for a big ol’ finale!

Next time on Xenogears: The end! Part 18/20

That's gonna happen

Wild Arms 3 Part 39: Rise and Grind Virginia

Happy New Chapter! It is January 30, Shark Day. Sharks are magnificent animals, but encounter them at sea and you are dead meat. So what good are they, you ask? Well, they make great food items and ornaments… You get the picture. I’d leave them alone if I were you, though.

Previously on Wild Arms 3: The Prophets are defeated! Yggdrasil is deactivated! Janus died! Twice! As far as our intrepid heroes know, they just saved the world, and everything is going to be good forever.


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The audience knows better, though, as the anime intro updated to include new threats. Also: there is still a videogame to play, which is a tipoff that there might be more dangers around the corner.


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Virginia is trapped in the Daddy Zone.


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It is nice that Virginia has gotten some time to spend with Werner recently. I bet her 10-year-old memories of her absent father were starting to degrade.


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Hey, this could double as a recap…

Xenogears 16: Know Thyself

Everybody has got oneKnow thyself, know thy god.

Krelian was an assassin 500 years ago. Unfortunately, he was not a very good assassin, and fell in love with his target, the 13-year-old Sophia. Krelian had a good seven years with Sophia before she became politically active and started hanging out more with her “childhood friend”, a pretty boy painter. But, potential infidelity and/or grooming aside, when Sophia was permanently lost to a suicidal combat maneuver during the Shevat-Solaris War, Krelian karened out. His anger at a manager that would allow such an injustice was so all-consuming, he vowed to create a new manager that presided over a world where the good would never be sacrifices.

But Krelian was not honest with who he really was, so this plan had a few hiccups. For one thing, his plan to create a new god would sacrifice nearly every human living on the planet… which is a bit of a hypocritical move when you are doing this “for” one dead lady. He also gained the ability to control who lived or died through nanotechnology, and unilaterally “sentenced” a few random Shevat and Solarian leaders to immortality. Did he use his ability to grant eternal life for a good reason? Nope! And, in pursuit of his goal, he tortured and experimented on people for centuries. He even tortured Elhaym Van Houten, who was the living reincarnation of the woman he purported to love! And he tortured Chu-Chu, too! Which is just unpleasant!

In short, Krelian wanted to create god, but he ignored how he had turned from the divine long ago.

Watch the pointsThen we have Lacan, that painter that Sophia seemed to dote on. Lacan had significant self-esteem issues, and thought painting a portrait of “the Holy Mother” that happened to be his friend/potential paramour was beyond his capability. Then, when Sophia died, he blamed himself, and decided it would never have happened if he was tougher. In pursuit of -the power-, he hooked up with a purple-haired war criminal, and attempted to steal strength from god. However, this ended poorly, with 98% of the planet’s surface population being obliterated in the ensuing chaos. And that wasn’t enough! This was right about the time that, thanks to a gross misunderstanding of some well wishes, he vowed to live to see the end of the world. And if that apocalypse wasn’t happening anytime soon, he would help the world get to the last page all the faster.

And considering he then spent the next 500 years manipulating everyone within a 500-yard radius into similarly and fruitlessly chasing -the power-, it is easy to see how he could bring about the end of everything. He even manipulated a traumatized child into being a living weapon. Which is all the more tragic when “old” Lacan had power all his own all the while…

But that brings us to that traumatized child. Fei Fong Wong was a mere babe when Lacan attempted to steal -the power- from Fei. But Fei’s father, Khan, fought to protect his son, and, in the ensuing melee, Fei’s deific power was released. This instantly killed Fei’s mother, Karen, and left the youngster in a mental quagmire that plunged his “normal” personality into hibernation. This left us with a Fei identifying as Id that seemed to live for death and destruction. And when this Id hooked up with Lacan (now known as Grahf), the two of them got up to a few hijinks that involved a surprising amount of genocide. Eventually, a third personality in Fei emerged to suppress the murderous Id, but this third persona had no access to the memories of the previous two. In short, Fei was a third of the person he could be, with memories that only stretched back a few years.

But, despite/because of more recent traumas, Fei was able to come to an understanding with all of his personalities. Even if this process caused him untold pain, Fei was able to reckon with his true self. As a result, Fei was able to make true contact with god, and obtain the fabled Xenogears, a Gear that was powered by an extra-dimensional energy source entirely separate from Krelian’s machinations.

And were Krelian or Lacan ever able to find their god? Well, considering Fei killed that giant slug before he even achieved enlightenment, outlook is not too good there.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 16

Original Stream Night: June 1, 2021
Night of the Bravest Fencer

Random Stream Notes

  • Beat, Fanboymaster, Jeanie, Caliscrub are here at the start. Kishi is on their way! At the very least, we’re gonna fight god!
  • That’s our god?”
  • Kishi arrives for the start of our militant atheism.
  • “The god bug thing isn’t hot enough.”
  • We discuss exactly what Grahf is wearing. I feel Xenoblade Chronicles 3 eventually answered any questions about what we are supposed to be looking at.
  • BEAT sees Chu-Chu crucified live for the first time. Why would that puffball even inflate for that?
  • Look, this game was translated by Richard Honeywood sleeping under a desk. Please excuse any typos from Wiseman.
  • “It not only has two heads…
    What is even happening here?

    It has two torsos.”
  • “I’m Gyro Man.” “Here’s five dollars, please give me a sandwich.”
  • Let’s talk about the most expensive brisket Caliscrub has ever seen.
  • Please enjoy the great blue vs purple debate over Miang/Elly’s hair color. I’m with purple.
  • “That frog’s not a pervert.”
  • “I’m really proud of Fei for remembering who Rico is.”
  • There is a lot going on in flashbacks here. So, naturally, we discuss whether Fei smells bad.
  • Dan’s forehead is back! Hooray!
  • Nice dye job“What do I do to get that motorcycle?” “You pay twenty dollars, little Timmy.”
  • All the xeno-heads are “excited” for Fei’s imaginary journey through his subconscious. Buckle up!
  • Lacan is Grahf who is also Fei who is also Wise Man who is also Khan. You get all that?
  • “Look, we all killed mom. Together.”
  • “Is this going to turn into a rhythm game?”
  • Jeanie realizes how Xenoblade is related to Xenogears. Go fig!
  • “So how do I use the Zohar to mine for bitcoin?”
  • Let us always remember to store data in our introns. … Wait, that is a real part of DNA!?
  • If you want our first discussion on how the ending sucks, here it is after checking out Fei’s introns. To be clear: the ending as an ending isn’t bad, it is just that literally the entire world is dead.
  • Oh, I guess we’re never streaming Final Fantasy 8. Shucks…
  • “May we all be brave enough to be Goku.” “Oh! It’s a save point! My favorite character!” Thanks for watching!

Next time on Xenogears: What is considered optional in this universe?

I blame you, Dan

Wild Arms 3 Part 38 Interlude: Art Appreciation

Did you think we were taking a week off just because Janus died? Nope! Gotta post something on January 23, Odd Number Day. Even though half of all the numbers in this world are odd, why are odd numbers called ‘odd?’ Is it implicating that half of everything in this world is odd?

Previously on Wild Arms 3: Chapter 2 complete!


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And now that all the major players have made their appearances…

Back in the day, I always loved strategy guides. It wasn’t just about knowing what was happening/going to happen in a game, it was also about the fact that strategy guides (and their general gaming magazine cousins) were about the only place you could get “official” art of videogame characters outside of a manual. And this was huge when your protagonist was a 16 x 16 block of smeared pixels! Do you know how many different ways I tried to interpret Celes Chere back in 1994? There was Amano art of her with pants! Did her sprite have pants? Could I see them on my chiclet-sized television? A strategy guide might help!

Now, Wild Arms 3 was released in 2002, and that was well past the point that one needed a magnifying glass and guide to figure out what was going on. In fact, as has been noted before, Wild Arms 3 has some extremely detailed and expressive models. However, it never hurts to see what was “intended” by the art department, so let’s take a quick look at some official Wild Arms 3 art.

(Unlike the rest of the LP, click on any of the images in this post for a larger view)


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As was the style of the time, our first decent introduction to our team is available in the manual. I appreciate that everyone looks happy, and even Jet seems to be having a good time. Also of note…

  • Jet’s age is listed as ????, which is never not a red flag for “mysterious past”
  • Gallows is 6’ 3” and 220 lbs. He might be the most jacked mage in all of JRPG history
  • Clive is 5’ 8”, and his gun is nearly as tall as he is
  • Virginia and Jet are the exact same height. There is something about that that I find adorable


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And our villains get a page, too. While the Prophets are clearly implied to be evil, Janus seems to be described as almost heroic. Maybe aspirational? Regardless, he definitely comes off as the bad guy who eventually joins the heroes… But, as we all know now, that is not the fate for this JRPG Janus.

Maya is not mentioned in the manual at all, and that is a crime.


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Anywho, that’s it for good stuff in the WA3 manual. Just going to also note that I am not convinced that there are actual screenshots in this manual, but some kind of simulated, labor-intensive art going on. Speaking as someone who has spent the last year taking “real” pictures of Wild Arms 3, these examples do not look actually possible…

Beyond the manual, there was a Wild Arms 3 strategy guide, but I never bought it, because Wild Arms 3 came out at exactly the point in time that I was a poor college student that had to decide between purchasing strategy guides or buffalo wings for the week… And there wasn’t a free website called buffalowingfaqs.com.


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There was some free official art released on the Wild Arms website, though.


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I have had this nonsense saved as part of my pictures screen saver for the last two decades.


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I have always loved this piece…