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Xenogears 15: People and Power

Let's go, ratToday we will (rapidly) examine people who came from nothing, but eventually obtained -the power-.

First, we have Hammer. While Hammer was friendly with one future god-slayer and one future popette, it is hard to say Hammer was ever a good person. He did good things, and he did help people in the prison of Kislev District D, but he was also an arms smuggler, which is decidedly not the most altruistic of vocations. Then, when the chips were down, he was easily coerced into threatening an innocent(ish) woman’s family. He failed at that (while incidentally killing the future holy mother’s mother), and was then rebuilt as a weaponized robot rat. Unfortunately, even with this power at hand, he still attacked his old comrades. And, when he had been summarily defeated, he found that his new masters had boobytrapped his body, and he was rigged to explode. While his former compatriots were able to escape, Hammer died bursting with agony in a pit in some forgotten cave. He came from nothing, gained -the power-, used it for selfish ends, and returned to nothing.

And on the subject of Hammer’s homicidal superiors, we have Ramsus. Ramsus was born to be something more, but was treated like trash since the womb(/tube). He worked his way up to a standing of some nobility, but then had a win-loss record of 60-1 for a solid six years with a “trash” martial artist (that would have rather been a painter anyway). As a result, despite clearly proving he has -the power- (just not all -the power-) Ramsus was convinced he was a loser, and would literally do anything to demonstrate he was something more. In a mad attempt to get the attention of his rival, he endangered an entire town of people, and even threatened to crush their holy mother (who, admittedly, was his hated opponent’s girlfriend). When that proved to be so pointless that it was barely worth mentioning, he then moved on to killing the Emperor of Solaris. And, yes, Solaris was mostly a smoking crater at this point, and it was hard to say what Emperor Cain was even ruling, but still. It was not a nice thing to do, and only served the purpose of further endangering the like sixty people that could be defined as humans at this point. Ramsus, like Hammer, used -the power- only to help himself, and even failed at that.

This is grand funBut this world is not so dark that you cannot see the light. Ramsus had a group of subordinates known as The Elements. Dominia Yizkor, Seraphita, Tolone, and Kelvena were all considered to be have-nots, as they all had disadvantages such as random etheric disabilities, cybernetic parts, or elf ears. However, they pooled their abilities to become a force that could threaten -the power-, and literally combined their strengths into a gigantic robot. And, like Hammer or Ramsus, they initially used this force to bully those that they blamed for their difficult lives. But after speaking to the woman that would shortly thereafter be manhandled by a raging Ramsus, they decided to use their vigor not for selfish reasons, but to help the man that had raised them up to -the power- in the first place. And, while this change of heart was partially facilitated by being beaten bloody by a team of giant robots (two of them piloted by former Elements that now had better jobs), everyone else mentioned at this point were defeated by Gears and still didn’t learn their lesson.

So use -the power- for good. And if you cannot bring yourself to do that, maybe use your own power to find something good. It will reduce the odds of self-exploding.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 15

Original Stream Night: May 18, 2021
Night of the Frontier of Sagas

Random Stream Notes

  • Never call me Microsoft Bob. Welcome back to Xenogears with BEAT, fanboymaster, and Jeanie.
  • And Caliscrub arrives as we are discussing super exciting spelling bees.
  • Do we have a tally of how many times we talk about Final Fantasy 7 on this stream? Let’s discuss concepts for Vincent Valentine.
  • The N-Gage is gross, but Tony Hawk Pro Skater 1+2’s team getting recycled in “Triple-A development” is grosser.
  • As the Elements appear, BEAT reveals he did not know the Sailor Moon cast was related to particular elements. How do you miss that?! You are experienced in JRPGs, man!
  • And then I lose power! In real life! What the heck!?
  • Who would even make this?Seeing the Playstation 3 boot screen may have been when we officially decided to play all the Mega Man Legends titles. That’s some more Even Worse trivia for you!
  • We’re back to playing the exact same thing! And talking about how Metallica proved they were squares.
  • We need more JRPG bosses like the Turks who will give up immediately.
  • And the Elements combine! Woo!
  • This was the first I heard of Voltron not being notable in Japan. It broke my heart.
  • Joe & Mac is announced on virtual console with Spanky’s Quest! Best stream ever!
  • We talk about Skies of Arcadia a lot on this stream, so let’s remember the dearly departed noises of a grinding Dreamcast as we hit our second dungeon.
  • “There are plenty of people that are just jackasses.”
  • All the puzzles ever intended for Xenogears wound up in one dungeon, and now we have to deal with that.
  • Let us all lament the loss of Hammer, the one character we unanimously liked.
  • Cain is dead. “Do we ever get an explanation for what is going on in that room?” “No.”
  • That's grossWould you take the Pope with you to fight street toughs? Would you have sex if a mascot monster told you to?
  • Yes, it was Ashley in Wild Arms 2 that got his Playstation 1 mack on, too.
  • We’re finally back at the Eldridge! From the intro! It would have been a nice dungeon! But we don’t have time for that now! Let’s take a break.

Next time on Xenogears: We kill God, and then get to some actually important stuff.

Enjoy yourself, kids
Chicka wow wow

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 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