Tag Archives: xenogears

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

Xenogears 14: Time is Running Out

My robot!Phew… Okay… So I have been informed that things are going a bit long, and we only have time for a total of five more sermons (including this one). That is going to truncate things a bit, as all the important things happen in Fei’s journey from about this point on… And… dang… Did I really waste two entire lectures on Fei doing nothing in prison? Woof. I am sorry. In the future, I hope I can pace these things a bit better.

Let’s see here… what to focus on… what to focus on…

We covered Solaris exploding last time? Oh, good, so we don’t have to…

Oh! Id! Yes. Id was secretly Fei all along. That is interesting, right? And, while Fei does not immediately grapple with his “inner” Id, he does gain a limited kind of control over his Weltall’s ability to enter Id mode. Given he successfully destroyed a centuries-old fortress the last time he let Id loose, this is something of a game changer for the man that is gathering more and more of -the power-.

And speaking of which, Ramsus was able to defeat Fei in one battle shortly after the fall of Solaris. We will talk more about Ramsus later… uh… if we have time… But his Omnigear leads to one of his few clear victories, and that is important to a man that has previously spent his entire life losing. … But we will not dwell on the fact that he was a significant loser about ten seconds after Fei got that Id upgrade…

HUGS!Oh! And Elly! Her parents are killed before Solaris is detonated (which, let’s be honest here, they would not have survived that explosion, so this was a delayed death at best), but then she successfully talks Fei/Id down from the rampage that destroyed her home. And then when Fei is caged for the crime of committing a genocide shortly thereafter, it is Elly that aids Fei in a daring escape. Thereafter, they reconnect emotionally before separating so Elly can join her step/real/magical daughter in a raid on the Mass-Driver Facility. And that was likely a pretty amazing adventure all on its own, but we don’t really have any information on that, because the population of the world is transformed into zombies shortly thereafter.

Oh, but before that, there was a Fort Hurricane, and a town that turned into a giant, transforming Gear, and that Gear used a flying ship as a cannon, and… Crap. Did we not even mention Grahf and the Executioner at this point?

Gah! We’re out of time!

Look, we will pick it back up with the Anima relic next time. Uh… For now… Um… The moral is that knowing how much time you have left is really important.

Even Worse Streams presents Xenogears
Night 14

Original Stream Night: May 11, 2021
Night of the Jumping Flash

Random Stream Notes

  • Do you like horny bunnies 2? How about robots? Welcome back to Xenogears. Caliscrub and Kishi are here with the usual crew.
  • “Is Billy Bart? Are they different?”
  • BEAT actually cares about Hammer! It impacts our reactions to his betrayal.
  • Hey, remember Executioner? Remember!?
  • “Why is there an FMV here?” Welcome to Weltall turning red and solving some mysteries.
  • BEAT is bound and determined to never address Xenogears, even as the most interesting parts of the game happen.
  • Good little dudeMags thinks we are old enough to be nostalgic for “He-Man and Betty Boop.” Let this be our epitaph.
  • We will live the rest of our lives hearing nerds talking about Neon Genesis Evangelion, and there is nothing we can do about it.
  • “Citan is there to make sure nobody starts a food fight in the cafeteria.”
  • Let’s talk about Legends of Tomorrow being good while Krelian talks to the TV sphere.
  • INSERT DISC 2! We’re here!
  • BEAT demands more games based on Queen songs. Ogre Battle is right over there…
  • Do rejuvenation tubes exist in real life? I keep asking this.
  • Aw, we all talk about our COVID vaccine experiences. Memories…
  • Please do not notice Weltall 2’s lack of a pelvis.
    We need more joints
  • While Fei is fighting Vengeance again, Caliscrub is losing at Street Fighter.
  • “Enjoy these JPEGS, because that’s it.”
  • As the plot really kicks into high gear (after a gear skirmish), we attribute this breakneck pacing to a really intricate plot… that doesn’t work. “They’re super over scope” is the best explanation.
  • For our giant zombie fight, Kishi once again makes great battle recommendations after the fight has already started…
  • “By the way we’re just in a dungeon now.”
  • Really good plots can sound terrible if you’re just reading a wiki of it… And that is basically what we have here. Welcome to the remaining Wiki of Xenogears.

Next time on Xenogears: We’re all gonna get laid!

Take that
This could have been an entire game!

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

Year in Review: 2022

Disappointment of the Year: Pocky and Rocky Reshrined

Take a dipIt wasn’t bad! And it was even a pretty good Pocky and Rocky game! But, after decades without a Pocky or Rocky, it really felt like there could have been more done with the franchise. Or maybe the issue was simply that it was released right around the same time as Cuphead’s Delicious Last Course DLC, so Pocky and/or Rocky had to try to shine in the shadow of an amazing take on the shoot cute giant creatures genre. Whatever the case, this game felt like the sequel to a game from the 90’s that completely ignored the fact that there has been a whole heck of a lot of great games released since said 90’s. And that doesn’t make a bad game, just a disappointing one…

Compilation of the Year: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Cowabunga Collection

Do you recognize him?This was an amazing year for compilations and/or remakes. We got Capcom Arcade and Neo Geo Pocket compilations! A whole pile of Capcom fighting games! Klonoa! Artisanal Atari! Death Smiles for some unknown reason (also, that technically was released in 2021, but it was December, so I’m going to count it)! But the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles take the cake, because their compilation runs through such an unusual gamut of choices. You have beat ‘em ups! Fighting games! Action games! A Gameboy Metroidvania! All on one cartridge/disc/download, and all united by including games that feature Renaissance artists with Japanese weapons. And all the games included are at least passable! Except Genesis Tournament Fighters! Whatever! I can’t stop shouting! Cowabunga!

Remake of the Year: Radical Dreamers

PointyI have spoken of this at length already, but the fact that we now have a playable, English Radical Dreamers is amazing to me. This slot was going to go to Live-a-Live, which seemed like an equally unlikely SNES English rerelease that by all accounts has the objectively better graphical upgrade… but screw it. I gotta go with my gut on this one. I had been waiting for Radical Dreamers since before I ever saw a Nintendo 64, so finally playing it on my Nintendo Switch was a surprisingly significant experience. And it included an unexpectedly friendly goblin, too. Can Live-a-Live say that?

Title of the Year: Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid: Burst Forth!! Choro-gon Breath

This award is traditionally granted to a game that is playing it straight and just incidentally thinking it was a good idea to include the word (?) “UnderBirth” in its title. However, this year we have a comedy game based on a comedy series featuring comedic characters, so it is entirely likely this title is intentionally funny, too. That said “choro-gon breath” is complete nonsense, and there is no universe where that joke lands in any way. I did a google search! The only result for “choro-gon” is this game! What does it all mean!? Can someone help me with this shouting problem!?!

Game Most Recklessly Encouraging Obesity: Kirby’s Dream Buffet

Go Kirby!In a weird way, it is a shame that Kirby’s Dream Buffet is just a silly little racing game. I love it! But it is bite-sized, and even my Kirby-loving heart was only able to wring a few hours out of the experience of gradually earning Kirby more and more hats through gluttony. Regardless, it is likely my favorite surprise experience of the year, one of two remarkable Kirby games, and is worthy of Master Hand and Crazy Hand clapping for the Kirb blobs.

Game with the absolute worst release date of the Year: Persona 4 Arena Ultimax

Such friendly friendsDon’t get me wrong, I am happy to see any “retro” game released on modern consoles, particularly a fighting game that is reliant on online matchmaking. Ain’t nobody suplexing robots back on the Playstation 3 anymore. That said, March 2022 was a weird ass time to see this game resurface. There were rumblings (now coming to fruition) of “back” Persona titles being released on the Nintendo Switch, which is practically the best system in history to host a Persona game (chat with buddies on the big screen, go to portable mode when you must stalk through 50 floors of a dungeon). We had just seen at least two releases of Persona 5 on other systems, and we even had that dancing game or the beat ‘em up to keep us company as vaguely new content. And then we have the Persona 4 fighting game. Not Persona 5, currently featured in Smash Bros, but Persona 4. And the majority of this playable cast was already available in Cross Tag Battle, a game currently continually on sale for two bucks. And… what was the point of all this again?

Persona 4 Arena Ultimax, you were always a great fighting game, but your release date in 2022 was a rainy day.

DLC of the Year: Guilty Gear -Strive-

Did you see that?I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but mankind knew they could not change society, so instead of reflecting on themselves, they blamed the beasts. And, sometimes, that beast is DLC. The current state of gaming is one where DLC is often promoted longer and harder than its parent game. Every announcement has to be an event, and every new stage, character, or mode has to be the greatest thing to happen to the genre since the last time someone asked you to get excited about the same guy you’ve been seeing since 1994. That said, the DLC for Guilty Gear -Strive- has done something no other fighting game has done with its DLC: it made Bridget a girl. And good for her! Sora in Smash Bros. is important or whatever, but I’m pretty sure this is the first time DLC has made a person come out. Testament being nonbinary is also a nice bonus. They like potatoes. They just think they’re neat.

System of the Year: Xbox X|S

Hack away!Xbox quietly took this title for 2022. I now have all the current generation systems (thank you Stranger of Paradise for inspiring that Playstation 5), and, while the only unique game for the Xbox X|S that has struck my fancy has been a pretty standard flight simulator, it is also the only system that currently goes back four generations with its game library. So I can play some crazy ray-tracing adventure with a fox that looks like Link, or I can go back into the archives and easily play the likes of Final Fantasy 13, Jade Empire, or even just Xbox Midway Arcade Classics. The other systems play some oldies, but, as someone who has been accumulating a terrible collection of games that go back to the Atari, the ability to instantly boot up titles I purchased opposite the Playstation 2 or Gamecube is amazing. I now actually regret buying many games on something other than the Microsoft console du jour, as (miraculously) it seems like it is only the Xbox that genuinely cares about backwards compatibility, and not just reselling the same game over again. And it can play all sorts of Toejams & Earls. Worth the price of admission right there.

Game of the Year: Xenoblade Chronicles 3

Let's JamI have a lot to say about Xenoblade Chronicles 3, and you will read that meandering essay on this site eventually. But in the meanwhile, just be aware that this game managed to soak up approximately 90 hours of my life, engage my imagination, and be a fun-to-play game all the while. My general enjoyment of Xeno-titles has been extensively documented on this site, but I need to make one thing abundantly clear: this is the first Xeno-game I can recommend without hesitation. After decades, they finally got it right! And the characters, plotting, and general tone are only, like, 5% embarrassing. Max. I cannot even say that about Elden Ring and its silly little horse man! Oh, and this is also a game I never expected to be anything better than general “good, but not amazing” Xeno quality, so that probably gave it a rank up, too. Look, it’s just a good game that came out of nowhere (“nowhere” being “literally years of experience and anticipation”), so it wins. It just plain wins.

Oh, and best soundtrack of the year, too.

Games I’m sure are great, but I haven’t played: Gotham Knights, God of War Ragnarok, Bayonetta 3, Sonic Frontiers, Stray

Look, it seems like a lot of games came out in the October-November window. I know that happens a lot, but it still hit like a ton of bricks this year. I know I will at least get to the Sonic game. God of War is a firm maybe… After I play the last one… that came out four years ago…

Also, I looked back at previous years’ “games I will play eventually” lists, and I just got to a 2017 game this year…

Gogglebob.com Introspection 2022

AgreedThis was a weird year for a lot of reasons, but the “arc” of the site was particularly surprising. I tried to dial it back a little and exclusively focus on the Wild Arms 3 Let’s Play for the Summer, but then I wrote FGC articles while I was on the break, started publishing them in the Fall, and had enough of a “backlog” that I could produce new content easily for the rest of the year. And then I started writing about the Even Worse Streams videos (thanks to having a lot to say about Chrono Cross), which has become a consistently weekly thing in an effort to finally post those Xenogears videos from 2021. So now the site is consistently updating three times a week for the first time since Spring of 2018, and it is during a time I was trying to “cut back”. Guess time makes fools of us all… or… something…

Regardless! Here are some favorite FGC articles of the year:

FGC #618 Body Harvest
FGC #625 Double Dragon 3: The Rosetta Stone
FGC #628 Popeye
FGC #630 Record of Lodoss War: Deedlit in Wonder Labyrinth
FGC #634 Martial Champion

And that’s ignoring everything from this year I already linked.

Here’s to 2023! The year I end the FGC!

What’s next? Random ROB has chosen… E.V.O.: Search for Eden! Speaking of games featured on Even Worse Streams, it is time to look at the tale of a fish becoming a human despite the fact that monkeys still exist. Please look forward to it!