Category Archives: Xenogears

Xenogears 13: Solaris

Let's motorWe have spoken a lot about -the power- over the course of these sermons, but what can one do once they have firmly acquired and established -the power-? Solaris offers an answer: sinful decadence.

The Sacred Empire of Solaris was founded some 800 years back, but did not come to true power until 300 years later when it all but conquered the world during the Shevat-Solaris War. And, centuries after those conflicts, Solaris’s government controlled the actions of nearly everyone on the planet. But what was happening within the walls of that flying fortress? Well, it depended on your caste…

Solaris is supported by a large group of “workers” that are practically indistinguishable from slaves. They work all day and night, and are punished with death at the slightest sign of insubordination. This is considered wholly normal and necessary by all Solaris citizens, and is happily consumed by the citizenry that stands at the higher castes. Oh, and speaking of being “happily consumed”, Solaris also mulches its have-nots into a Soylent Green Slurry, so the rich eat the poor without a second thought. The powerful devour the weak, even though the only reason the weak are labeled as such is a simple accident of birth.

But once you get past the dietary restrictions, what do the rich do in this society that holds all -the power- on the planet? Nothing! They are idle, and frequently spend their days watching holo-programs (while those on the surface of the planet have barely mastered the phonogram). They exercise their bodies not through actual work, but in home aerobics. And when their emperor appears to tell them that strange people have invaded the country, and said people are to be executed, they happily agree that their master’s bloodlust must be sated. Mind you, this is still a city where dissent from anyone will be chastised via pursuit through the sewers by attack triangles, so it is possible the population is just afraid to speak out against any injustices. But then again, those guys zooming around in their hover go-karts don’t look too broken up about the state of their civilization…

Looks painfulBut where does this all lead? Well, despite the fact that Solaris had easily the best showers on this planet, it still could not maintain -the power-. Even though there were multiple high-ranking Solarians involved in the invasion of Fei Fong Wong, none were strong enough to stop the terrorist martial artist with a giant robot. As a result, the whole of Solaris was obliterated by the actions of one man, and the wicked kingdom was brought low.

So learn from the sins of Solaris! Do not use -the power- to build an idle nation, fore it shall be ground to nothing by a ponytailed slacker.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 13

Original Stream Night: May 4, 2021
Night of the Simulated Theme Park

Random Stream Notes

  • We’re going to start by beholding the Final Fantasy 7 Tifa cameo! Welcome back with Kishi, Caliscrub, and fanboymaster
    Nice Poster
  • BEAT does not know who Elly is. Still.
  • Hey, this was back when they announced Elon Musk on Saturday Night Live. Remember when he was only subtly impacting our entertainment choices?
  • Also, BEAT watched Netflix Voltron, but failed to remember the Voltron lions are… lions. They are not dogs.
  • Elly’s Mom is wearing the same outfit as Allen of Xenosaga. The lore implications of this are terrifying.
  • BEAT’s dad knew a guy who had a full-length poster of himself in a closet. Like Elly. And Elly turned out fine.
    Stop looking at you
  • Jeanie for real joins for the first time as Elly hacks her dad’s computer! Historic!
  • “You call people named ‘Stan’ ‘Satan’?!”
  • Mega Man 4 is the most unremarkable game Kishi can think of.
  • BEAT would rather talk about Nicholas Cage, but watching Citan force a cannibalism is allowed.
  • As I have to deal with dumb Xenogears codes, I am invited to talk about Warzard. Hey! Now you can play that game on modern consoles.
  • After Fei throws up, I relay my story of being a giant Mortal Kombat / videogame nerd back when I was 12. So little has changed
  • WeeeeAnd then we talk about watching our family members die in arcade games and Oregon Trail.
  • Square Enix, please call me. I have wonderful ideas for Kingdom Hearts x Xenogears. I promise to be good.
  • A conversation about developer crunch leads to some heavy sighs about the industry and that one Avengers game.
  • Oh good. We’re talking about the Ken Penders extended universe for some reason.
  • Final Fantasy 10 allows you to just decide not to die, which is not unlike downloading yourself to a TV sphere.
  • Hey! Fei is eventually trapped in the Matrix! The second one! With the Architect!
  • “When you do post this, I will pay attention to that.” BEAT? Are you paying attention now?
  • And we’re going to stop before the big action happens. This would have been a good place for Xenogears 1 to end…

Next time on Xenogears: A shocking explanation of absolutely nothing.

I like the looks of this

Xenogears 12: Acceptance

I don't understandOkay… uh… This one is…

Today’s sermon was supposed to be about acceptance. See, Fei and Elly have just started a relationship of sorts, and now along comes Emeralda, who is a child that immediately identifies Fei as her father. This is a surprise to both Fei and Elly, and is further exacerbated by Emeralda apparently immediately loving Fei, but rejecting Elly. Elly, like many “stepmoms” in such a situation, literally does not know what to do, and, obviously there were now more troubles ahead for the young couple.

But…

Well, Emeralda is Fei’s daughter. Unfortunately, Fei doesn’t know that thanks to Emeralda being the daughter of Fei when Fei was experiencing another lifetime some 4,000 years earlier. Additionally, Elly is also effectively Emeralda’s mom, though with the same caveat. And what’s more, Elly and Fei in these earlier incarnations literally died so Emeralda could live. And “live” is a complicated descriptor here, as Emeralda is in no way biological, but a nanomachine colony. And she has a pet giant robot for some reason, too.

So, apparently, Elly is expected to accept Fei’s daughter from another marriage, but Fei wasn’t really Fei, and he was really married to Elly in the first place, and their daughter barely remembers any of this. She cannot even get her dad’s name right.

Oh, and a music box “Fei” gave to “Elly” four millennia back is somehow sitting in Citan’s workshop now. That doesn’t really complicate matters any further, but it does make the whole thing even weirder.

So today we still preach about acceptance. Accept that sometimes life is too complicated to convey with words.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 12

Original Stream Night: April 27, 2021
Night of Puzzle Bobble 4

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Abby Denton joins us from her home in Silent Hill, and then Caliscrub joins shortly thereafter. We have a full party tonight!
  • Do you pilot or steer a dolphin? The Elements attack, which raises all sorts of questions.
  • And then Kishi joins Xenogears party chat.
  • Skyghene, the flying Gear piloted by Tolone, looks like Transformers Cyberton’s Brimstone (who I misidentify as Terrorsaur on the stream). Take a look:

    I like flying robots

    I’m not crazy, right?

  • “What the fuck is a Mercury Melon?”
  • Somehow seeing the TV Orb leads to references to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and squirrel-based deaths. It all makes sense in context.
  • “Being the victor, I merely said ‘this game’s stupid’.”
  • Welcome to being underwater in a Gear. It involves a lot of jumping. So these are Super Mario Bros rules, not Mega Man rules.
  • What is even happeningI… may have gotten turned around in this cave. At least it leads to discussion of the imaginary Final Fantasy 7 Saturday Morning Cartoon and the Squaresoft Afternoon.
  • We are all squares on the stream according to BEAT. Please ignore any moments where BEAT claims I am the only square. This must be a lie.
  • As we find Crescens at the gate generator, we inevitably discuss if the robot masters of Mega Man are truly sentient. My vote is yes, because it is the only thing that makes Elec Man make sense.
  • Solaris is unfurled! Why does it do that? Who knows.
  • Fei is a 10,000 year incel. It is canon.
  • We visit a restaurant as Jeannie is invited on the stream for the first time. She’s an official member of Even Worse Streams as of this writing, and I literally forgot she ever wasn’t.
  • Let’s all get excited about the dark wings that will carry them all to their death.
  • “What? So he dropped upwards into the sky?”
    “Don’t worry about it.”
  • Male Wife and Girlboss is going to be a CBS comedy in ten years.
  • This looks importantKishi leaves a little early as we Metal Gear Solid through the vents of Solaris.
  • Was I the only person who ever pretended there were save points in my real life? I guess so…
  • And we break for the night noting that Solaris is a picture of decadence that coincidentally echoes the 80s.

Next time on Xenogears: What could have been Part 1’s thrilling conclusion!

Is this legal?

Xenogears 11: The Power of the Fatima Jasper

Pew pewLet us again consider the nature of -the power-, and how one must use it.

Bartholomew “Bart” Fatima sought -the power-. His home kingdom had been ravaged by war, his family murdered in a coup, and his own betrothed/cousin Margie had been intermittently kidnapped by an invading army. In response, Bart gathered a crew and weaponry to fight back, but his true desire was to uncover his lineage’s legendary treasure. This item was supposedly powerful beyond measure, and intended for use by the royal family when its country was in danger. But Bart had no idea where to find this gem. Coincidentally, Bart’s father had told him of a family treasure to be used in emergencies in the shed out back. But Bart never checked that out, because, ya know, the whole of his country being invaded didn’t rank as a substantial enough emergency. Really got to keep the powder kegs dry there. Even when half the population of Nisan was hiding in the very same crypt that held this unimaginable power, Bart still had not uncovered his family’s treasure…

Meanwhile, we have Marguerite Fatima, the Holy Mother of Nisan, Margie was unaware of this treasure, but when she joined Bart to uncover the secrets of the Fatima Jasper, she wasted no time. Her own dead mother’s eyes had been stolen by Geblar, and Margie wasn’t going to take any of this situation lying down. Even after being shot, she successfully scooted into the cockpit of her family’s treasure, the Omnigear, Andvari. Without knowing how to pilot such a thing, she successfully repelled enemy forces with a machine gun, and wasted no time in wielding this newfound power to protect herself. While Bart eventually commanded Andvari, it was Margie that fired the first shots, and showed everyone how -the power- could be used.

WeeeeeAnd then Bart took the reigns of royalty. And even though Nisan was in the very precarious position of having just regained its independence, Bart attempted to abdicate his responsibilities further. He wanted to make the country a republic, which is all well and noble, but he wasn’t giving up his Omnigear to some unknown council. The prince-now-king had the most powerful super weapon on the planet, and he wanted to use it to… I don’t know… go out for pizza or something. He could have immediately combined his firepower with political power to protect his nation for generations to come, but he thought the right thing to do was give half this strength over to the populace, and keep the other, more tangible half for himself.

Luckily, everybody voted to keep Bart in power anyway. And, while his reign would be brief thanks to his people being turned into sickly murder zombies shortly thereafter, at least Bart was convinced to use -the power- for good during the seven seconds he sat on the throne and was not commanding a combination airship/giant robot.

And we can safely assume Margie had everything under control in his absence…

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 11

Original Stream Night: April 13, 2021
Night of the Chronicles of Castlevania

Random Notes on the Stream

  • We’re starting by insulting that The Last of Us Remake… hey, this was just when it was announced!
  • I did talk to Citan’s family last stream! You can watch it! Please don’t make Kishi mad by claiming I didn’t!
  • We have an airship! Now let’s talk about Castlevania Chronicles. It is the memory card icon du jour.
  • Vanderkam and terrible one-off villains are discussed until we inevitably arrive at Trigun again. And then I predict a Trigun revival. O.M.G. I am psychic.
  • Very familiarMargie was supposed to have “all kinds of sick and nasty weapons” under her cloak. We got robbed of a good character.
  • Please enjoy learning about Matteus Issachar and Final Fantasy 7.
  • Final Fantasy Ever Crisis is mentioned as a thing that exists. This also prompts a comment about the marginally more related Xenosaga: Pied Piper.
  • I point out that the intro of Xenogears is practically a tour of the Xenosaga Durandal.
  • “I have always known I am not cool.”
  • Live, on stream, I confirm I have the Xenogears demo as part of owning Parasite Eve. We’ll get back to that on the final stream!
  • How many different videogames involve your characters opening a door for a villain? The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Chrono Cross
  • Charizard is the most popular Pokémon that will always appear. Hypno? Not so much. Go make a sandwich about it.
  • I’m glad Kishi is here to immediately note any items that were clearly cut but referenced in dialogue.
  • In Japan, Margie is Maru, the best cat.
  • Get 'em, Chu!“Final Destination is a stoner movie by association.”
  • The Kiwi is the ultimate chill creature, Taz-Mania be damned.
  • A lot of people lose eyes in the war. You know… the war.
  • What if God was a slug-a-bug? We will find out eventually! Let’s close with a distinct conversation about reflecting lasers across the universe.

Next time on Xenogears: We’re gonna go ahead and shoot a hole in the sky.

This is very straightforward

Xenogears 10: Maria & Chu-Chu

Make my monster growNikolai Balthasar was a brilliant scientist from Shevat who was kidnapped and forced into creating Gears for the nefarious Solaris. Solaris was dead set on creating the most advanced mechs on the planet, and Nikolai’s genius in the field of neurological research was unrivaled. With his coerced assistance, Solaris was able to produce inhumane Gears that “swallowed” a person and their consciousness whole, creating a Gear without lag or human error. And, in the end, after losing his wife and life to Solaris, Nikolai became an unwilling victim of his own creation, and was bonded to the Gear Achtzehn.

Achtzehn was a formidable beast of a Gear. Fused with a Nikolai who seemed to lose all empathy for humanity, it was a monster set to destroy the whole of Nikolai’s former home. Fei and his friends stood up to Achtzehn, but it utilized an Anti-Gear Psycho Jammer that disabled all Gears controlled by traditional pilots. This left Maria, Nikolai’s daughter, and the Gear he had created for her, Seibzehn, the only Gears that could stand against this massive threat.

Oh, and there was Chu-Chu, too.

The scripture is… okay… A host of theologians have all but deemed this portion of “history” as… apocryphal. If taken literally, one is to believe that before humanity was ever on this world, there were creatures known as Dotesque Chu-Chupolin. These beings were intelligent, had their own culture, lived in the woods, and, most importantly, were larger than houses. However, those wily so and sos at Solaris found them to be a (gigantic) nuisance, so they installed limiters on the chus, causing them to shrink down to stuffed-animal size. But apparently Fei’s dad (?) was a researcher on these creatures, and he escaped with some chus (?) that had their limiters removed (?), and one of these chus became the companion/pet (?) of Margie. Margie was in Shevat when Achtzehn attacked, and this “Chu-Chu” grew to enormous size to fight alongside Maria.

Is it supposed to do that?And, look, despite how many artists love depicting a giant, pink puffball hanging on the cross, you do not need to believe in the “literal” history of the Chu-Chu to understand the parable here. Chu-Chu was little more than a teddy bear, and Maria was a traumatized teenager of barely 13 (standing in the shadow of a queen that was supposedly 522). They both banded together and repelled a man who had grown into a scientist that could no longer distinguish friend from foe. The “wise, learned man” was defeated by the meekest and most inexperienced defenders around. Whether Chu-Chu could become titanic is immaterial to the fact that this creature somehow assisted in saving people. It is meant to draw a metaphoric parallel between those that think they cannot succeed, and a similarly unsophisticated organism saving the day.

Chu-Chu and Maria worked together to be the heroes of Shevat. You can be a hero, too. That’s the moral. You do not need a mammoth rabbit-mouse thing to reinforce that concept.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 10

Original Stream Night: April 6, 2021
Night of Quistis Trepe

Random Stream Notes

  • Welcome back to Xenogears! There are not glorious HD squats here.
  • We immediately compare Final Fantasy Amano illustrations to Aqua Teen Hunger Force gags regarding pianos and MP3 conversions.
  • Hey, remember The Granstream Saga? It is better than Chu-chu Land.
  • Would you like a discussion of the comic strip BC thanks to Sega CD title BC Racers?
  • I guess that hurtsPlease enjoy as I check a FAQ to figure out what the heck I am supposed to do to activate the next bit. Talk to a rocking chair?
  • We meet Queen Zephyr while we discuss how gachas should be illegal.
  • Citan’s family is here. Grandia 3 includes your mom in a JRPG. These things are marginally related.
  • Elly has been voted off the island as Maria joins the party. … Oh wait we kept Elly. Sorry, Billy.
  • As we skulk through tunnels with Maria, talk of Final Fantasy 9 leads to talk of SaGa Frontier and Asellus being gay as heck.
  • We discuss Breath of Fire 2, Oddworld, and other games that have influenced our views in weird ways.
  • And Kishi arrives while we are still trying to find our way through these stupid tunnels.
  • “Snowpiercer was in fact inspired by Xenogears.”
  • I assume my Gears are going to survive the onslaught, but save anyway. This is good planning!
  • Kishi brings up their notes for helping the fact that my Gears are a miserable failure.
  • Puppy!“If you want to save fuel…” “Nope!”
  • After two or three game overs, I finally decide to upgrade my Gears. This may have been the issue!
  • Now we can actually make progress. And, yes, despite my objections on the stream, this is uploaded without editing my many losses.
  • “I wiggle in the air to assert dominance.”
  • We are all, obviously, excited by Chu-Chu finally attaining maximum power.
  • Kishi is quiet during the Chu/Giant Robot fight due to really liking the music involved. I can’t blame ‘em.
  • Chu-Chu notes her pure heart as we close.

Next time on Xenogears: Remember Bart? Sure you do! He’s back! In Omni-Form!

Dangerous girl