Black Latte Pocky
Wednesday, March 19, 2003
You know, I really need to stop trying to write my columns in Japanese, because.. well, it really, really does not work.
With that out of the way, I told you guys I'd be putting up a Xenosaga-specific column, so here it is. Okay, so not all of it's really spoilerific, but fairly big chunks are, and if you really don't want to hear anything about the game, nor are not very far into the game, I think you're better off staying away for the time being, and either reading the last update (3/17) or... waiting until the next update, this weekend.
It's kind of hard not to obsess over Xenosaga when you beat the game, since the ending is so open-ended and leaves many questions unanswered. Not to mention the game DOES take place in the universe of the most puzzling game (story wise) of all time. There's about a hundred thousand theories out there surrounding Xenosaga and Xenogears and I'm always willing to hear more. And I'm actually discussing them here, since I don't even get the time to discuss them anywhere else.
On a weird random note, some radio station here is calling random phone numbers and giving them $1000 if the person who answers tell them that that radio station is their favorite one. ($5000 on Mondays.) ...What an odd contest.
By the way, today's update is really long. Beware.
|I'm always sleep deprived. That's why there's Starbucks.
Xenosaga has deprived me of sleep. To much sleep has been deprived of me... I can't take it anymore! But the gameplay hasn't caused this sleep deprivation, oh no... the story has! I've spent many a night looking up at my ceiling and trying to solve questions. I've played Xenogears so I wasn't basing my questions on nothing. My questions ranged from: 'KOS-MOS looks like Miang. What happened there?' 'That password that Shion types in the beginning of the game is from the Eldridge. AH-HA! Oh no... wait... what?'. So... is there any blatant answer in Xenosaga that I somehow missed?
Another thing... When you beat Xenosaga, it lets you save. Why are you saving? What's the point of that? Is Episode 2 that much of a direct sequel? But then if Episode 2 is a direct sequel to Ep.1 than how many Episodes are there gonna be!? Is Monolith going to make different series with name Xeno in the title? AHHH!! THE WORLD HAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN!!
One more thing... I heard that after just a few weeks of the Xenosaga release in Japan that Monolith Soft began production on Xenosaga Ep.2. That news is sort of good... it means there's more of this wonderful Saga to come... but we'll all have to wait another 2 years, well that's for Japan... everyone else we'll most likely have to wait another year.
And the final thing... While playing most RPGs I think the particular game that I'm playing is like the best game every created. This happened to me with Legend of Dragoon. Now, when I look back on it I realize that game pretty much sucked and that I waisted about 70 hours of my life on that game!
Thanks for reading!
Pff, I doubt the Xenosaga gameplay has caused any sleep deprivation for anyone. The questions Xenosaga raises can't really be answered by Xenogears... well for the most part anyway, unless a heck of a lot more is revealed in the second episode. And... KOS-MOS looks like Miang? I didn't think so, but even if she does, there's really little to make a connection of, since for starters Miang doesn't show up until after the Eldridge crash and isn't quite an android.
In case you missed it, near the end of the Encephalon Dive, the 'Ye shall be as gods' line came up again. Remember KOS-MOS being tied up on the cross and Shion said the line, while seemingly making a sign-of-the-cross-like gesture over her? Yep, strong Christian references there, what with giving that impression that KOS-MOS is... well, like Jesus in some way (and really, there are some parallels), who WAS ... well, like/as God. No, KOS-MOS isn't here to take away all our sins, but she's pretty damn mysterious, even to Shion, so who knows what she'll pull in Ep II.
As for saving at the end of Episode I... well, there's no New Game + feature, but I've seen so many instances in games where you can save at the very end, when there doesn't seem to be any reason to. Actually, try loading up the save next time you turn Xenosaga on, and tell me if anything interesting happens. Ep II... we don't know HOW direct it will be, but hopefully direct enough, since Jin Uzuki (Shion's brother) will be in it, and so will Margulis. I have the feeling that II will feature at least some of ep I's playable characters, but it's way too early to tell, as is the possibility of save files carrying over.
There will still only be six eps, and I sure hope they all get here, or at least Japan. According to rumors, Episode II news is supposedly nearing, and the Japanese version would be out by the end of the year, but that could change just like the release of Ep I (and every other game in history) did. I'm sure the lot of you will agree when I say that I really hope that the localization doesn't take as long this time... even though it was awesome this time around.
|This is a long one.
Liz, you wacky crazy Vancouverite you (Is it just me, or does Vancouverite sound like some kind of futuristic metal?)! You're back!
Bah! While you were away, John answered my last email. Can you tell me why would anyone answer an email not addressed to them, especially when they had no clue as to what the context was?
So, how was the weather on Second Miltia?
Well, I'm more or less enjoying XenoSaga right now. The thing that most bugs me about it is that it suffers from Xenogears Disc 2/Hideo Kojima-itis. I didn't pay $80 CDN just to watch movies, even if they are really good. They really should've struck a better balance between gameplay and story. Maybe something like 70/30, or possibly 60/40. You know, like, maybe the characters don't need to have VA speaking parts ALL the time. To paraphrase Googleshnng over at rpgamer, "It's not a game, it's an anime passing itself off as a game." But me, I prefer to say, "Hey! Who got their anime in my videogame?" Also, the fact that I've heard that it ends like Golden Sun also does little to endear it to me right now.
You know, if they wanted to do a XenoSaga anime, then why didn't they just DO one? I'd buy it. It'd have to be all CG graphics, natch.
So, I mostly agree with your review, particularly about the environments. Blah. It may be the future, but they don't need to look like some Allan Smithee (see, Jason X; Hellraiser 4...on second thought, don't) sterile sci-fi movie set, do they? Also, they have an ugly N64 graphical quality about them at times.
Music: Most of it's good (Save for that one theme that plays when everyone's together in the Elsa's restaurant for the first time. BARF!), there's just not enough of it and it's not as robust as Xenogears soundtrack. Also, no background music in any of the areas is inexcusable. Xenogears did it too, but somehow did it better (probably all those cool machine noises in the Goliath Factory). Xenogears also had at least five different battle themes, and XenoSaga can't even cough up one for boss battles? That said, would you recomend the soundtrack? I'm hemming and hawing over whether or not to buy it.
Overall so far? 85%.
Argh! I'm addicted to XenoCard. 1/3 of my game time has been spent playing it.
What's the best way to make money early on in XenoSaga?
It's weird how the game is set several thousands of years in the future, and yet they're still using DVD-ROMS and cellphones. The only thing I could think of that could explain that is that they possibly went through some kind of technological dark age at some point in the past (Maybe that's what T.C. means?).
It seems rumour are already flying that we won't get to see the remaining episodes (Note to MonolithSoft: Try combining some episodes onto one disc. e.g. have 2 and 3 on the same disc.). Now while I try not to put much stock in rumours, I've also decided that I'm content with just having an excellent game (Xenogears) and a game that's merely very good so far (XenoSaga, of course). After all, if they hadn't put 'Xenogears -- Episode 5' at the end of the credits of Xenogears, then we wouldn't have known or cared about a prequel. Don't get me wrong, though. I'd be just as upset as the next guy if we didn't get the full series, but not overally so. Which brings me to my next topic....
Episode 6: How? Everything had been wrapped up in a nice tidy package at the end of Episode 5, so what's left to do? Not to mention the Zohar (I miss the old cycloptic version of it) kinda went boom along with Deus. No Zohar, no story arc (And wasn't the Zohar from Xenogears man-made AND the original?).
Is it just me, or does anyone else think that Junior looks like a little girl the first time you see him?
Here's an interesting XenoSaga related factoid: It seems Penfield Mapping is named for the noted Canadian neurosurgeon, Wilder Penfield (Love that name. And yes, he was born in the States, but he moved to Montreal and got his Canadian citizenship. So there, Yanks! =P).
Wilder Penfield mapped up what many of the various regions of the human cortex do. He found it out about them by accident, since he was originally trying to find a way to treat epilepsy. Since you're a Canuck, I'm sure you remember that infamous 'Canadain Heritage Moment' vignette which featured a critical moment in his career, and also gave us the catch phrase "I smell burnt toast!" If you want to learn more about him, go here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpenf.html
Do you know of a good website that has in-book pictures and a halfway decent translation of Perfect Works?
In Xenogears, do you remember if levelling up your characters affected your Gears performance?
Does anyone who lives in Vancouver actually go to Wreck Beach, or is it more for the tourists?
If you're looking for something entertaining to read, I'd recommend you pick up 'How To Be A Canadian' by Will and Ian Ferguson. It's hilarious book that pokes fun at our foibles and idiosyncracies as Canadians.
WHEW! That was exhausting.
P.S. Do you watch Cone High?
P.P.S Any plans to post candid, quasi-cheescake photos in your column like Nicole did? *grins*
Ehh, the weather could have been better. There was too much rain IMO, and a few too many hailstorms. No wonder I love being back on the Durandal so much - no friggin' storms to worry about, unless you count those meteor storms... and no, not MOMO'S meteor storms.
Trust me, if the game REALLY suffered from Kojima-itis, a) The gameplay wouldn't have been so stale, b) the story would have just plain SUCKED in the very end, instead of just leaving us with a million questions and c) there would be more conspiracies than there are stars in Xenosaga's galaxy. Anyway, yes, the game does feel too cinematic, at least in the beginning. Farther into the game, you do get to play a lot more, so it doesn't totally have Xenogears Disc2-itis, at least. The cutscenes themselves remind me very much of an anime, and I think either Xenosaga or Xenogears would have worked well as an anime. I loved the anime scenes in XG, and I liked Fei and Elly's voices, but they would seriously have to hire a different actor for Bart, even IF his 'JERK!' line is beyond amusing.
Nah, I just thought Jr. sounded like a little girl. Which he... sorta does, til you get used to him, as.. you know, a little boy. Seemingly one, anyway. I wish I could remember how you can make money early in the game, other than playing a hell of a lot in the Casino and turning your coins back into G. If you've accessed the EVS thing on save points, I think you can go back and either look for human enemies, the only ones who drop money, or enemies who drop barter items like scrap iron or kobold blades, which you can also sell for cash.
Xenogears also didn't have.. you know, almost every area lacking in music. From what I recall, that path/hill up to Citan's house didn't have music, and.... I can't remember whether the Stalactite Caves did. Xenosaga, however... again, only two dungeons have music, and one is REALLY ANNOYING. The game has great music too, and that just bugs the hell out of me, having to deal with some very deafening... silence. Still, when there IS music in XS, it's awesome, and I'd recommend the soundtrack in a heartbeat.
I've never heard that rumor about the episodes, but part of me wouldn't be surprised if all six episodes were never made. After all, the next episode is always going to depend on the success of the previous, and if sales decline towards the end... well. Of course, if Monolith gets five eps out, it really would be a waste to skip ONLY the last one.
Zohar... from what I recall, it was made a shit-ton of time before Xenogears, and was just around for a really long time, until it was destroyed in Xenogears. (Or was it destroyed?! We may never know!) Its purpose, I don't think was fully known in XG, and isn't even begun to be known in XS... and of course, it's sealed off and sought after by at least three different groups.
I've often wondered myself how an Episode 6 would work, unless it's just kind of like a series epilogue of sorts. I would see what Perfect Works says, but the only translation I knew of online is... uh, offline right now. Sigh. Someone out there has also been translating Xenosaga Official Design Works, but I've only seen a small portion, about the U-TIC translated so far.
I don't think that character levels in Xenogears really affected the Gears performance, which I think depended on gear upgrades and accessories and the like. I could be wrong, since it has been a long time, although I think Xenosaga is also the same situation.
Eh, the most Canadian Heritage moments I remember involve Jacques Cartier, I think. I saw so many of the bloody things a long time ago, but it's been a long time since I watched a whole lot of TV.. so. As for Wreck Beach, I wouldn't know, since I've never been.. during the day, and I never plan on it. I went at night once, when it's actually.. not treated like a nude beach, and when people just show up and have bonfires. Kinda neat, but you've still got the weirdos...
(What the heck is Cone High anyway? As for pics.. I've been asked by a few people. Maybe if you're lucky.)
|What would they name a GC Mario RPG?
Nothing mindblowing here, just wanted to point out a few connections I haven't seen mentioned yet.
1. In the ending movies, you see a child playing with blocks, and the kid looks exactly like Fei Fong Wong from Xenogears.
2. The uniform worn by Vector personell is vitually identical to the uniform worn by officers from Solaris.
3. Dr. Juli Mizrahi. She looks an AWFUL lot like Miang.
4. Finally, one of the odd plot points from Xenogears was genetic memory and reincarnation. I believe that, based on their personalities, some of the Xenosaga characters may be previous incarnations of Xenogears characters. Ziggy/Rico , MOMO/Maria (although her being an artificial human would seem to point to a link with Emeralda, they are not rally all that similar personality-wise) and Commander Cherenkov/Commander Ramsus. Both of them are...well...pretty crazy, and at one point someone (I forget who) refers to Cherenkov as "Garbage." If you played Xenogears, you will see the significance of that. Also a pretty obvious link between Jr. and Bart. They have fairly similar personalities, and are both referred to as "little master" or "young master."
Thanks for reading, I hope you found some of my thoughts interesting.
1) Well, there are theories that it's Abel, the first Fei, but I had thought that Abel didn't exist until the time the Eldridge existed - and crashed - which I don't think was even close to happening in Ep 1, or we would have heard a LOT more about it.
2) Hmm.. yeah, they are similar, not too identical, but still rather notable. Though I have yet, at this point, to find any parallels between Vector and Solaris.
3) They look pretty similar yeah... but that's probably as far as their link goes. You know... for obvious reasons.
I don't know if there's too much of the reincarnation business going on at this point in the timeline. Maybe it's just not obvious to me, maybe I'm trying to avoid the fanboyism of desperately trying to find obscure links between the two games, I really don't know. The most notable of your examples would be Cherenkov/Ramsus, since their situations are really identical there. Jr. and Bart isn't too far off either, since Bart's pirate crew does remind me of Jr. and the Kookai Foundation in ways.
Bah. I'd totally forgotten about the young master thing.
|Enthused? I'm short of having my own Xeno site.
Came across RPG fan the other day while looking up when Episode II might be released. Ah, it pleases me to find someone who's so enthused about Xenosaga and the Xenogears timeline in general. That's what sparked me to write this. I've done a ludicrous amount of research on the Xenoworld and, while I'm no expert, I know a bit about the games. I'd be interested in knowing your thoughts on these theories and bits of information. (I just beat Xenosaga no more than 30 minutes ago, by the way.) I'm not sure if you've read Perfect Works or not (I haven't, I'm getting this info from sites I've been to that have), but Xenosaga: Episode I is really Episode II, part I. Xenosaga: Episode II would be Episode II, part II. If all continues according to the Xenogears SL, then Episode II should end with the crashing of the Eldrige.
HOWEVER! This may not necessarily be true. According to the creator of Xenosaga/gears, he was not able to tell the story how he wanted to when creating Xenogears. So, Xenogears might not be legal tender regarding the Xenoworld storyline. ;-) In which case, when the next episode is released, we might end up seeing a twist in the SL, and things might not go according to our expectations.
As far as Xenosaga goes, I've come up with a few theories of my own. However, I'm not going to dwell on them too much until Episode II comes out. After which, they SHOULD be answered. I hope.
But there's one thing I noticed in particular. When Cherenkov gets the device to awaken KOSMOS, was that... Kevin... who gave it to him? I saw the little purplish bit of hair underneath the hood. In any case, this theory is possible (only those on the team would have access to a device that boots KOSMOS up)... but why would he do that? Considering Shion was his girlfriend, and he was leading the development...... Well, I wonder if that will be adressed in Episode II. I guess Kevin might not be as good as we (or Shion) would like to think.
Also, Nephilim happened to mention that KOSMOS was waiting for Shion in Miltia. There are also mentions of the 'archetype' (the first KOSMOS), and it seems to be differentiated from the current one. So, are there 2 KOSMOS in existence? Or were, perhaps, both put into one machine? (Hence the red eye when emotionless--the Android KOSMOS, blue eyes when emotional--the real KOSMOS with the emotions Kevin spoke of).
Also, regarding the Nephilim/Elly comparisons. Nephilim does wear a Nisan cross (although there's no such thing as Nisan as of yet, that's what I'm going to call it). But where did she come from? Is she an image projected by the Zohar? This seems viable to see, seeing as how in Xenogears, Zohar used Kadomony to create Elly in its (well, actually, Abel's) ideals (Miang being created in Deus' ideals). It might also explain how Shion was saved from the Gnosis and suddenly gains a sixth sense. ;-)
And what about our split second scene of the Fei look-alike? That could be Abel (he DID exist around this time, because, theoretically, he contacted the Zohar on the Eldridge, and survived the crash). However, what's the deal with the white room? Has he already made the contact with Zohar? Who knows. I'm also interested in the 'Abel's Ark' reference.
And speaking of Kadomony, seeing as how it's capable of creating biological beings... would one assume that the beings created are Realians? So, logically, all the 'human beings' on the Xenogears planet are Realians..? (Abel was the only true breed human on the planet). That might explain the strong effect nanotechnology had on them. As well as the limiters, etc, installed inside of them. This theory is kinda weak, though, and not really worth the thought. ;-)
I suppose many of these thoughts will be resolved future episodes (I wanna know more 'bout Feb, and why the hell Virgil is alive, and where Wilhelm stands on the scale of good and evil in his intent, seeing as how he's been a minor char thus far) Well, anyway, this e-mail is already ridiculously long, and I apologize. Don't feel obligated to reply if you don't have time (I'm sure running an awesome site like rpgfan keeps one busy), however if you want to talk Xenosaga/gears, I'd be happy to correspond.
Perfect Works? Well, bits and pieces, since I can't really access the translation right now. The timeline from Perfect Works has kinda been altered for the Xenosaga series, and I think the entire timeline as it appears in Perfect Works has Deus all through it. Not that he's in Xenosaga Episode I at all, but there's still too much not shown, so the Episode II, part I thing.. does make some sense. Heck, so does Episode I part I, not to mention I'm still trying to comprehend how Ep VI - if they ever get to it - will work. Ah, ridiculous timelines. It doesn't surprise me much if they didn't get to tell Xenogears how they wanted - Square put a few constraints on the development apparently, including time, and I believe that played a deciding factor in how Takahashi and co. WANTED to tell the story, and how they could do it - by defecting from Square. No, I don't believe that's THE reason they left, but I'm sure it helped.
For that first theory, right now Kevin's the only really plausible answer to that one. Remember that little was shown of him to us outside two (maybe three, four?) scenes involving him. Little else was heard of him either, and we don't know very much behind KOS-MOS' programming before Shion took over. So... if he had other motives/connections, we really have no idea. But if he does, I'd eventually like to hear them.
Nephilim is another complete mystery. While I doubt - okay, I'm not totally sure - that she's... a pre-carnation of Elly, her 'existence' could be, for all we know, somewhat similar, and she could just be made by the game's creators to physically look like Elly so we could make a link between the two. WHAT is she, I don't know. She seems to be not much more than an image created by Zohar at this point, except she's... well, not human like Elly was, hence she's not just something created to Zohar's ideals - she seems to be more of a messenger of sorts at this point to correspond between Shion/actual people and Zohar itself, with more purposes and revelations to come in Episode II. That Nisan cross is interesting though...
Ahhh, Abel. It still seems too early for Abel to have already contacted Zohar (at the end of Episode I) actually, he just seems like a child in that scene, since he's only really playing with blocks. Maybe it's just a foreshadowing of the next ep, when he would actually contact the Zohar? I wonder if Abel's Ark would refer to the Eldridge in some twisted way... Abel's the only reasonable explanation for the Fei lookalike in any case.
Well... Realians are created by nanotechnology in the case of Xenosaga. Sure, they hold similarities to the 'humans' in Xenogears, but the Realians were purposely made for weapon tendencies by Second Miltia/Vector, etc., plus it was a widely known fact in XS (it HAD to be), whereas Kadomony just kind of... did it, and the -Lambs- nor anyone around them really had no idea.
So I'm not the only one curious about Feberonia and Wilhelm... good. I'll say one thing though, that artwork of Shion hugging KOS-MOS really does make me wonder why chaos and Wilhelm are also both in it.
|That's a lot of years.
Thanks for clarifying Xenosaga's relation to Xenogears timeline wise. It didn't occur to me that episode 1's events took place before the crash of the eldridge. I had played the japanese version, and I was trying to make a connection from some of the events of Ep 1 to the eldridge demise. At one point I thought it could've been the Woglinde. Another, I thought Proto Merkabah was going to take the place of the eldridge in the timeline. Hopefully, the latter parts of the series will make more connections to Xenogears than Epi 1. I am quite excited for what the future holds in this series. I would love to see Episode 4-methinks it would reside in the timeline 600 years before Xenogears(Lacan and Sophia etc).
Funny, at one point I thought the Eldridge crash would be the Durandal. Not that that makes any sense, but I WAS playing in Japanese.
I think it's only common sense that the later episodes would have a closer relation to Xenogears, what with the timeline differences between all the episodes and all. I honestly don't get why so many people (on message boards, other people writing in, etc.) expected more in terms of Xenogears relations from a game that takes place 15,000 years before. Must be more of that fanboyism I suppose.
I'd really like to see more about the Lacan/Sophia/blue-haired Krelian/Queen Zephyr eras of the timeline later on in the series though.
|Random Xenosaga musings.
Welcome to another letter from me, because I leave work in 25 minutes and don't feel like doing anything constructive until then.
You will be happy to know that you convinced me to make Xenosaga my next RPG play; Suikoden III will have to wait. I got it on Monday, and last night I finally played through to the end of the "opening act." It took me a little over 5 hours; I have no idea if it's supposed to take that long, but it did for me. Here are my thoughts on the game so far:
1. Am I the only person to notice that Allen looks just like a character from the Thunderbirds TV show? You know, the one with the marionettes?
2. Why hide save points in closets?
3. I like Kos-Mos; she's "Terminator" for the anime set.
4. Why can't all the "good guy" ships be fitted with a "Hilbert Effect" thing like Kos-Mos? Sure would make fighting the gnosis easier.
5. People who complain about the graphics are dumb; they look fine to me.
6. I don't think I'm going to like Shion; she whines too much. "Why did you have to shoot him, Kos-Mos!?" (Kos-Mos' answer should have been "You created me, for crying out loud! It's not my fault you made me a cold, passionless killing machine! And why on earth did you put me in this metallic swimsuit thing, anyway?"
7. I got the soundtrack, too, and I was shocked to discover that the main theme song was sung by Joanna Hogg, better known as the lead singer for the Irish band Iona, which I have been a fan of for years. It was one of those "It's a small world after all" moments that we all have from time to time.
8. I get the feeling, after playing for 5 hours, that I now understand maybe 1% of what is going on in the game.
(I don't expect you to print this letter, I just thought you would like to know of my amusing experiences with the game so far. And if I never get around to playing Suikoden III it is your fault!)
Aaron W. Thorne
I just thought I'd let everyone else know of your amusing experiences. Feel free to be embarrassed now.. maybe, though there is FAR worse.
The Hilbert Effect isn't exactly the easiest thing to do, see. I forget the technobabble behind it all, but basically, there's a reason KOS-MOS can equip it, whereas more conventional arsenal couldn't. Speaking of KOS-MOS, could it be that there's a male who actually doesn't like her outfit? (Though really, Shion didn't create her - however, she DID do the last two years of programming on her, soooo...)
Wait, did you ever play Xenogears? Joanne Hogg sang the two vocal songs on that OST too, so if you ever stumble upon it, I'm sure you'd like said vocal pieces. As awesome as Iona is.. they need to tour North America sometime. I have some albums and MP3s of their stuff... so pretty! Celtic music rules anyway.
1%? Trust me, you understand, well, not a hell of a lot more than that, even after you beat the game. I guess Namco just wants to make sure we're horribly anxious for Episode II.
|Mmmm.. 3D Fei.
Missed you lots during your absence, heh. Hope all is well with you. I just have a couple questions regarding....Xenosaga! For one, why did square abandon the series? Also, Xenogears is episode 5 correct? and Namco is planning to go that far as well I hear. I'd like to know how namco would do that game in "their version" of the series. Would they have Fei and Elly in 3-D? I would have to say that would be quite weird.
Well, Square didn't really abandon it... there wasn't much to abandon really, since a fairly large portion of the Xenogears team left Square to form Monolith. Again, they wanted to tell the story in their own way, and Square had too many constraints on them. Xenogears was Episode 5 in the Perfect Works timeline, as as far as how Namco would do it.. well, who knows. They're telling the story differently, plus they won't be able to remake Xenogears due to Square still holding many of the XG copyrights. I think the Episode V or VI, or whichever, will tell parts of Xenogears from different viewpoints, though honestly, I don't see us going through the journey as a 3D Fei.
Well, that turned out a bit longer than expected. To give you guys a break from all this talk about Xeno, I'll emit the XS letters just for the next column. If you still want to share your thoughts/theories on the game though, I'll answer a ton more next week, so feel free to send 'em in, in any case. if not, well, you know the drill. Write in about anything you want.
~ Liz, ever so sugar-deprived. (email@example.com)