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Xenogears 06: Ricardo Banderas

Let's fightLet us consider the story of Ricardo Banderas.

At the age of 30, a man named Sigmund had become the Kaiser of Kislev. Sigmund had had a hard life, being one of the last survivors of the nation of Elru. As a result of his heritage, Sigmund was a demi-human, complete with elven ears. However, he could pass as a “normal” human, as pointy ears are easily hidden by a bright orange hat, and you barely even notice that hat when a guy owns a pipe organ the size of a giant robot. Kaiser Sigmund was very successful as a soldier and politician, and much of that can be attributed to his apparent normalcy.

Sigmund’s son… not so much.

When Sigmund’s wife Anne was pregnant, malevolent doctors in the employ of Solaris administered some nasty drugs. This caused the beastly traits of Sigmund’s genetics to present themselves harder, and, when Rico was born, he had a skin color only a Blanka could love. Anne and Rico were banished (Sigmund was unaware, of course). Anne was left to raise Rico alone in the slums, and, a mere decade after losing her position as empress, Anne had wasted away into death. Rico was now all alone in the world.

Even when Anne was alive, Rico did not have a good childhood. Racism against demi-humans was always on the rise, and being an orange haired freak did not help Rico’s reputation. After his mother passed, Rico was forced to steal to survive as a poor orphan, and the local law enforcement did not turn a blind eye to this undesirable’s undesirable actions. Rico, son of a kaiser, had a mere ten years as a free child, and was then sent to prison for the next twenty.

But despite being a detainee of a discriminatory system, Rico was able to succeed. Rico grew into his beastly strength, and was able to learn how to fight with all the intensity of a man that is 90% muscle. By the time Rico was 20, he had been accepted into the Battler tournament, and was granted his own Gear. A year later, he was the victor, and reigned as the undefeated champion of all prisoners in Kislev D-Block. His Stier Gear was S-tier, without peer.

CHOMPRico may have reigned forever had it not been for the arrival of Fei Fong Wong. No one can say if it was the power of the Slayer of God, his inclination toward not fighting brute strength with brute strength, or the fact that Rico had been injured previously while skulking through the sewers that caused Rico to lose. But Rico did lose, and, after so long as the undisputed champion, Rico was robbed of his identity. Shortly thereafter, a despondent Rico attempted to assassinate the Kaiser by crashing his Gear into Sigmund’s skybox during a fight. When that attempt failed, Rico attempted to raid the Kaiser’s home, but was unsuccessful and imprisoned once again. This time, Rico was to be executed via being dropped into a terrarium with a dinosaur. That is enough for most people…

But Rico survived! Rico was rescued by his rival, Fei. But Fei was only there because of the other prisoners that Rico had led in his time in D Block. Rico may have been a downtrodden prisoner, but he was still a good man who inspired others, and ultimately his soul was saved because those others decided to repay the favor. And, from there, Rico realized how his hometown was important to him, and decided to pilot Stier in an effort to save everyone. Rico was instrumental in protecting the nation that had treated him poorly for nearly his entire life.

Rico, despite everything, triumphed over his own adversity, and became a leader and liberator on par with his father.

And then he is never mentioned in the scripture ever again. Let’s assume he had a good time.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 6

Original Stream Night: February 16, 2021
Night of the Breath of Fire (4)

Random Notes on the Stream:

  • Starting by talking about potential Nintendo Direct announcements (the one that would premiere 2/17/21). Rumors of Zelda games are forever!
  • My Link is always Chaotic Lazy.
  • We have it on official recording that none of us ever believed Sora would be in Smash Bros. Ever. I predicted Xenoblade 2 characters. Pyra and Mythra were announced the next day. I am a genius.
  • “His name is S-Tier?”
  • Fei wins the tournament, Dominia is introduced, and we talk about the Smash Bros that canonically f$&@.
  • Looks niceAs Rico has a flashback to his childhood, let us talk about Namco Webcomics involving Chis Hastings.
  • Time to hate on Donkey Kong 64. Platforming can never be fun (according to Rare).
  • Big Joe is skulking around the alleys while we discuss Conker’s Bad Fur Day and the impossibility of it having a sequel. Oh, and Caliscrub arrives.
  • We have to rescue Rico while Caliscrub begs to know when Hammer will announce his mad skillz. Gonna be a while!
  • “Please, videogame. I just want to play videogame.”
  • Finally! Gameplay! With trains! And discussing Street Fighter launches!
  • Sodom should appear in more Street Fighter games. And, hey, we have a dungeon here.
  • The “just had an article about this” mentioned refers to Rockin’ Kats.
  • We almost have the Weltall back! And Balrog and Ed are dicks.
  • We rescued Rico! And we haven’t talked about Xenogears actually on the stream at all. All fighting games! All the time!
  • Here come Elly and her boys.
  • “Clowns are not a race.” Kinda!
  • “Wait. They’re star-crossed lovers and they both have a robot?”
  • Guards!  Guards!Yes, Fei and Elly take a moment to hop out of their Gears to survey their own destruction.
  • Please do not get me started on the Xeno-timeline. We are trying to fight a giant robot boss here!
  • Fanboymaster claims he would be inordinately surprised if Fatal Frame 5 ever left the WiiU. Guess what was released across all consoles the following October!
  • Elly is saved by Grahf while we discuss Punch-Out and Ashita no Joe yet again.
  • “Hit ‘em with the Blanka ball!”
  • “There’s a lot I like about this game, but I’m glad I’m not playing it” is the final significant thought before we call it a night.

Next time on Xenogears: Back to committing war crimes.

HA HA
Chrono Trigger always made this less ominous

Xenogears 03: The Will to Fight

Go go Dan!Fei Fong Wong has seen troubles. A man who once fancied himself a simple artist has been forced to fight others. And, every time Fei has embraced -the power-, he and those around him have suffered. When he gained the Weltall, his home village was obliterated. When he saved his friend with that same robot, he was banished to a sandy Hell. Now, when the deposed prince and sand pirate Bartholomew Fatima asks Fei to fight for his noble cause, Fei denies his new friend. Fighting has gotten Fei nowhere, and it is clear that nonviolence is the most direct route to peace.

And then Fei returns to Weltall to fight and repel an invading force of gigantic robot knights.

And then Fei joins a fighting tournament.

And then Fei fights a man that seems to exist only to fight.

And then Fei fights a man beloved by all.

And then Fei fights a woman addicted to drugs and violence.

And then Fei fights a ghost of his past, filled with resentment for the first time Fei fought.

And then Fei fights an even murkier shadow of his past, this time fighting only for the sake of fighting.

And then Fei fights a general that is himself suffering because of Fei’s unknown past.

So Fei learned a valuable lesson about his own possible passivism: never try.

In Fei’s world, violence is the path of the divine.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 3

Original Stream Night: January 19, 2021
Night of The Symphony (of the Night)

Random Notes on the Stream

  • There’s a coffee machine on the Yggdrasil. Huh.
  • BEAT claims to be paying attention, but he also asks, “are the pirates robots?”
  • As the kidnapping of Margie is discussed by non-robot pirates, we acknowledge the best JRPGs just steal everything.
  • “Fei has problems, but not problems we can fix.”
  • Fanboymaster lets me know that we need to get the Xenogears archives up. This stream was on January 19, 2021, and the first official Gogglebob.com upload of the Let’s Play went up on October 12, 2022. Only 631 days! I am not ashamed!
  • Powerpoint carpetI compare Legend of Legaia to the 2020/2021 COVID response. I should write an article about that…
  • “Are you there dad? It’s me, Bart.”
  • BEAT and Goggle Bob were taken to the criminal factory for mentioning Totally Spies.
  • … Oh yeah… Nothing in the game has happened at this point. I guess some dudes invaded.
  • It was inevitable we would start discussing the finer points of Neon Genesis Evangelion during a giant robot JRPG…
  • Robot Alchemic Drive sounds completely insane/grandmacidal.
  • Ramsus and Miang are introduced floating around in a Xenosaga-esque ship.
  • As the bad guys discuss their plans, we discuss the (then) pending Biden inauguration and Homeboys in Outer Space.

  • Here’s Aveh! Time to discuss Shasta McNasty.
  • “Welcome to Fiesta Day!” It’s the Xenogears Millennial Fair!
  • Abby Denton stops by as Fei straight up gets drunk.
  • Make way for the Ponytailed Slacker.
  • “I think Kingdom Hearts is just Xenogears with a budget” – Abby Denton
  • Caliscrub enters as our heroes eat at the local Red Lobster.
  • Let’s play hide and seek! Like in Breath of Fire 3!
  • Let’s discuss the Dead Rising franchise! It’s all about the wizard staffs!
  • Don't look too closelyAll Virtual Reality games are Wii games. This is my belief. At least for now.
  • Aliens from Planet Funkass are all that. Anyway, this section took forever because I didn’t know what I was doing. It happens.
  • “Why does Dan look so old!?”
  • And, obviously, as the fighting tournament finally begins, we discuss Murphy Brown at length.
  • Somehow, talking about Big Joe leads us to Hudson Hawk.
  • “Dan was born into male pattern baldness. He was molded by it.”
  • While Bart is in the sewers aqueducts, Abby explains how the poop bunnies work in Brave Fencer Musashi. Foreshadowing for future streams!

  • Okay! Bart is making some progress in the not-sewers, and we’re discussing random twitter users who might be Nazis.
  • Bart has got some stealthin’ around to do while we talk about the many martial arts of Ranma ½.
  • Soraya Saga created Edgar Figaro, Sabin Figaro, and Bart. She definitely has a type.
  • On a personal note, I am so bad at this area, even just rewatching this sequence in an effort to make this post makes me want to fast forward…
  • Remember when we had to fight Shion in Xenosaga Episode 3? Good times.
  • Away we goI need a map for Xenogears. I need a map desperately.
  • Margie and Chu-Chu are rescued by Bart! Oh boy!
  • And Bart dies! It was immediately after a save point, so it wasn’t a big deal, but Bart absolutely was not prepared for Ramsus.
  • So I got frustrated and cheated/taught my characters all their death blows. Hooray?
  • While encountering Elly again, Abby performed her rhyming shmyming routine on the stream for the first time. To my knowledge, she has escaped justice, and has suffered no consequences for this act.
  • And then Kishi stopped by for the first time!
  • “Never trust tiny popes.” “What if they’re really cute, though?” “No!”
  • There is some religious learning going on thanks to Kishi’s mysterious “notes”.
  • And we close as Abby defends this bit of the game. She is correct that this section is a tour de force of Xenogears, but these videos seem to indicate they may not be perfect…

Next time on Xenogears: Let’s give Ramsus a hand.

No, not Ryu
Where have I seen this move before?

Xenosaga Episode I Part 17: Love, Justice, Courage, and Giant Robots

Previously on Xenosaga: I guess the final dungeon appeared? Does anybody care? It’s time to hit the side quests.

We’re kicking this one off with a visit to a certain scientist in the Kukai Foundation. Technically, this bit is available as soon as you swing by the Kukai Foundation (Update #11, right after the Beach Episode), but I’m smooshing the whole adventure into one update, because that’s how narratives work.

So here’s Shion encountering Professor for the first time.

“Mysterious Old Man” is not a fan of humanity in general, though it’s entirely possible he’s just generally misogynistic. And excitable. Professor is not meant to be a role model.

He also might be a tweak self-centered…