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Days and Nights
Friday, March 28, 2003

Yeah, I think a lot of people are just about finished with Xenosaga now. Well good. It's time for you people to move on to things like Wind Waker.

That said, this is the last bunch of Xenosaga letters I had to put up. Mind you, a couple of them towards the end aren't Xenosaga exclusive, just to warn you. Some of the letters do contain spoilers however, (though not as much as last time), so if you either haven't played the game or are not very far, I'd stay away if I were you.

So, did the lot of you acquire GBA SPs? I would have if a) it was a necessary purchase (ie I didn't already own a GBA) and b) if I had cash. I do plan on getting one eventually, but even my E3 funds are a bit hurting at the moment. For those of you who have one.. I envy you all. Not to say my GBA is BAD, but man, I sure could use that backlit screen, especially nowadays... it would sure help out my Zelda kick. Except for OoT of course, whenever I get it, and Wind Waker whenever I can afford/borrow it.

I guess there's not much else in my immediate gaming future, except Symphony of the Night. Oh well. Link's Awakening and A Link To The Past are pretty fun anyway.

Whee, time for some Xenosaga-ranting letters.

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S...now?

Well, I was sitting here enjoying the pleasures of a snow day, and as somewhat of a fanboy, I couldn't resist writing in XD

This was by far the most impressive game I've ever played, and I had the highest expectations going on. It could have veeery easily disappointed me, and it did not on any level. Enough with that, though ^^

There's some incredibly spoilery things that I'd like to hear your opinions on. ^_^

Now, in my opinion, KOS-MOS' blue-eye mode is activated whenever she is using her own human will to protect those she cares about. You can hear emotion in her voice when she says "Shion, will feeling pain make me...complete?" She is sacrificing herself for the sake of those she cares about in both scenes that her eyes turn blue (even though she's pretty much invincible, anyhoo....) I think this sacrifice was also displayed by her appearance on the cross in Encephalon.

A lot of other theories have popped up about her "personality change" in these scenes, though. Some say the blue was the result of her drawing power from the Zohars, some say it's Nephilim manifesting herself in KOS-MOS, some say it's chaos manifesting himself instead.

The whole "it's chaos controlling KOS-MOS" type thing doesn't really make sense to me because in the first scene where her eyes turn blue, chaos has no part in the scene. If they truely wanted to connect the two things, eye color change and chaos, he would have to be present in both scenes where the change occurs. I do agree that chaos was very involved in KOS-MOS' actions in the end, though. Although I don't think he's the reason her eyes turned blue, he is the cause of her giant angelic wings that bring her to safety(we can see his hands glowing right before her wings sprout). KOS-MOS was planning to die for the lives of the people on board the Elsa, but chaos saved her.

Anyway, that's my opinion. What's yours? ^^

Great column, and great site!

Oh, and I'm trading my chaos lithograph for someone's KOS-MOS litho right now (I'm quite the KOS-MOS fanboy *coughs at his fanart submissions >_>). I think that's the only one besides the chaos and Shion ones, isn't it?

~Pigeon

Fanart submissions, you say? Considering I work here, you'd think I'd be checking out the other sections more often... I saw some not so nifty KOS-MOS art over at certain other sites.... yikes. Hell, I'm not even a fan of doujinshi-version KOS-MOS art, but I'll give yours a fair chance, I promise. :P

Yeah, I think the crucifixion-like scene in the Encephalon was the best example of KOS-MOS sacrificing herself... but that should be an obvious one for anyone who gets the equally (if not more blatantly) obvious Christian reference. (Dare I say Catholic? I mean, they're the only ones who put up crucifixion statues in their churches. :P) Anyway, the way I see it, KOS-MOS is programmed to protect Shion. Of course, as I've said many times, even Shion doesn't know the extent of KOS-MOS' ability or anything like that, so her mentions of 'pain' two or three times throughout the game, along with the eyes, do seem odd.

Out of Nephilim, chaos and Zohar, I'd think the most likely source would be Zohar. chaos, as you say, makes no sense... though he has some sort of connection to KOS-MOS... either that, or a strange attraction to her. :P She, Nephilim and Zohar have a link that would most likely be explained in the style of Xenogears and come off as really complicated and long winded, if it were to be explained. If it was Nephilim manifesting herself in KOS-MOS (which does sound like a neat theory, by the way) I think the results would have been somewhat different... but I don't really think that Nephilim really needs to manifest herself or show herself physically in any sort of way.

Though I wonder if it's at all plausible that KOS-MOS wasn't totally programmed just to be a cold android. Maybe Shion, or more likely Kevin, programmed a 'personality' based on someone he knew. I mean, it's possible... look at that computer Samus had to deal with in Metroid Fusion. :P Not that it would really explain the blue eyes (I still think that's Zohar), merely just an explanation as for why she'd show any sort of personality at all.

 
Just me sneaking as many letters into this edition as possible.

I just beat Xenosaga and it rocked! The only thing I didn't like was the Christian Symbolism. I survived though. You know Shion's voice sounded like Yuna's. Any comment on that? I played Xenosaga without cheat codes until I got to the rescuing people part then I found some cheat codes and used them right away. I know lame. But I HATE leveling up. I just want to move on with the game. I can't stand not knowing whats going to happen and having to sit there day after day leveling up. I might rebeat it without the codes for challenge. 'Course with the gameshark codes the battles became about as much fun as watching cheese melt. Only watching cheese melt is a bit more intresting. In any case I still loved the game. I loved it very much and I can't wait for the 2nd one!

I don't think jr sounds or looks like a girl! I thought his voice was sooo cute (puppie cute wise). Thats just my opinion though. Do have any Idea how long the next Xenosaga will come out!? I can't stand waiting! Somebody in your letters earlier said 2 years per release. I doubt that. But is there anyway you know when the next one is commin' out? Also Early in the game, I think in her dream sequence with the little girl. an shadowy figure came but not long enough for you to realy examin. I was rebeating the game and I swear that shadow had chaos' form. Maybe theres more to chaos then meets the eye? Care to comment on that?

-The Lizard

I still don't get why everyone thinks Shion and Yuna sound alike. Sure, at times... but they're both female. I was seriously not a fan of Yuna's actress at all, and Shion's was much better most of the time. And as much as I hate the battles, I hate using cheat codes more. The last real cheat code I used - DDR boot codes don't count, since I only inputted them to PLAY THE GAME, PERIOD - was my friend putting codes in his GameGenie so you could have infinite lives or a certain status forever in Super Mario World. God, that made the game more boring than any cheese melting fest ever.

Of course Jr. doesn't look like a girl - he looks like a Japanese guy. Wait, you mean to tell me that not all Japanese people's eyes are that huge? Whoops. my bad. But yeah, his voice can be little kid cute, when he didn't sound arrogant or like he was going to lose his mind. As for Ep II release, the 2 years thing was only that person's guess. I think we would get it around mid 2004... fall at the very latest. That's only... a year and a half! :P

There's always more to chaos than meets the eye.. we don't even know what he IS. Actually, about as much as I was able to find out, outside the game, was that he's from Lost Jerusalem. I didn't even notice the shadow in that scene though.

 
Square fanboys can really BOTHER me sometimes.

All right I confess Xenosaga looks like a great game. And it has a great story. This mail host is good to talk about it. but I fear there are issues that must be brought up. My counsin cool person. name is liz. sighns letters the lizard, she has e-mailed you many times before. She beat the game in three frickin days.No not 72 hours of game play, 3 days with also getting sleep eating and doing shcool work. she recieved the game friday night. Did not play it till saturday and beat it monday. now it looks like a great game and all but 3 days of game play. what the heck. it took me longer to beat one of my little super nintendo rpg's. then it did her too beat xenosaga. heck i took me longer to beat fricken Jump man (old name for original donkey kong) then it did her to beat xenosaga. They expect us to pay 50 bucks for that little gameplay. Hey rent it and you will have it 2 days more then you need it. (5 day rental). I am sorry if I offended any body but this is rediculos. Good god! I know why they will make all the sequels. They want you to pay 50 bucks for each part of the game instead of 50 for the whole game. yeah three days times 13 games = 39 days yeah that is a good game. I swear I would be as good FFX. Or at least as long. Why do you people rave about how good it is. I know you love RPG's. (I do too) Don't let namco cloud your judgment it isn't Square. Look what you people have done to me. I have gone in to obbsesive whine mode and my letter isn't even short. MUST CALM DOWN! on that that note I will leave you in disgust. exept for Lizard who showed me the light, and Liz who will show everyone else my letter and they will see the light.

Jo Jo the controler of all that is after he says:

Three days? I believe it. It may be hard, but it's not a very long game. Go read her letter above by the way, I'm sure the main reason she beat it so fast were those cheat codes she used. That's even less fun. I'm sure it would have taken at least a week without those. And six episodes for $50 is practically stealing, even if it might not be worth $50 per episode, it's worth a heck of a lot more than $50 for all of them. Of course, I do think $50 is worth it, even though I already owned two copies by the time the US version came out. Sure, you can beat six games in a month and a half, but you have to have absolutely no life whatsoever. A lot of us work and go to school and want to do things other than sit on our asses, making said asses and our thumbs go numb as we stare at the TV and push buttons on the controller.

By the way, you really should go and play a game yourself before going off on long whiny tangents on how much it sucks. Because it's really annoying when people do that. (Case in point, Zelda GC...)

PS. Square isn't the only company capable of good RPGs. If you honestly think that, you have problems. Go play some non-Square RPGs or something, especially before forming an opinion on them.

 
Maybe we're not only human!

Hey Liz,

Am I dreaming or in one scene in Xenogears is the Abel, not much older than the Abel "look alike," is shown making contact with the Zohar right when the Eldrige and Dues went mad? Also the 'Wel's. The Gnosis. HMMMMM maybe a different word for identical things that happen to people. Why is Monolith so enamored with making humans into something "more than Human"

Isn't it a little foolish to think about all of the plotholes and problems because we all probably missed some line of dialogue that explains everything?

I replayed through Xenogears right before I played Xenosaga, I missed a lot. Maybe everybody missed something to. There was a lot going on.

Like a magician
Keep watching the left hand while my right hand keeps pulling rabbits

Arthur
The Once and Future King

Yeah, Abel made contact with Zohar aboard the Eldridge and it somehow made him the sole survivor. I forget how. And the Wels and Gnosis ARE similar, but I don't recall the Wels being attracted to Zohar. The Gnosis were also a hell of a lot more interesting looking though. I don't know if it's 'more than human' really, just 'things other than human' in half the cases it seems. Though it IS a futuristic setting, so you can't expect the cast to be little more than human...

Of course everybody missed something in Xenogears. I mean, there was more text in that than there was in the Bible. The story is also complicated as all hell, and things are easy to miss. But, there's still bits of missing plots I'm sure, which are answered either by Perfect Works, or sometime in the future episodes of Xenosaga. The problem with Xenogears was yeah, there was a lot going on. Far too much, at that, especially in the backstory, of which there was about as much as, well, the current storyline. And sometimes they just bounce back and forth between each, too fast and too many times.

 
It disturbs me as to how many MOMO fanboys there are.

I have finally put Xenosaga to rest. Now I can bore you to death with a hastily typed list of the pros and cons of the game. I'll even throw in a little commentary about some odd little things that I noticed.

I apologize if I cover something that was beaten to death in the Big Xenosaga RPGFan Mailbag Update. I wouldn't know; I didn't read it. The idea of an entire column on one game conjured up mental images of drooling, idiot fanboys who want to see a Shion/KOS-MOS sexual pairing...or, God forbid, Jr. and MOMO. I hope that didn't occur, for your sake and the sake of humanity.

So, what did I like? Pretty much everything that wasn't a battle.

So, what did I not like? In case you didn't catch the subtle hint in the previous line, I did not like the battle system. It would have been TONS better if you switch off the attack animations. I saw Angel Blow so many times, I though I was going to vomit. If anything at all needs to be retooled for Episode II, it's the battles.

Speaking of which, I find it odd that the attack spells are still useless. They may even be more useless than they were in Xenogears. I wonder why they even bothered putting them in.

That's the end of my like/dislike list. As you can see, the game has far more positive traits than negative. Hopefully we'll get to see Episode II before 2010.

Now that the good and the bad are out of the way, let's take a look at the ugly:

chaos. Don't get me wrong; I liked chaos as a member of my group. He's one of the most useful characters in the game. He's probably the most mysterious character, too. The game really sets him up to be an enigmatic character that possesses untold power. Sorry, I don't buy it. He may be the most powerful being in the universe, but I cannot take him seriously. Why? Simple: the shorts. Did you see how damn short they were? I find it hard to believe that someone with his power would traipse around in a pair of Daisy Dukes. And wearing them on top of a leotard-like outfit...such a fashion faux pas. Speaking of short...

MOMO, the pedophile's delight. Could it have been possible to give her a shorter dress? I doubt it. There were times in that game where I just felt...dirty. There should be laws against showing that much underage lingerie...oh wait, there are. It would have been even worse if they hadn't changed The Scene. Seriously, we either didn't drop enough bombs or we dropped them in the wrong places. Freaky Japanese. When there's a culture that produces stuff like that AND tentacle rape hentai, then there is something seriously wrong with the world. Then again, they do give me Castlevania...I suppose it balances out in the end.

Zelda, I await thee with bated breath. And that's all I have to say. Peace.

The Darkrider

P.S. The new comic still sucks

Nope, no KOS-MOS/Shion or Jr/MOMO pairings here. No Ziggy/chaos either, much to my relief! Man, it really gets me how many people have asked if Xenosaga had lesbians. Are they not going to play the game for something else? Guess not.

Alright, so someone understands me on the battle system dislike thing. What I failed to mention in the review was having to se the same techs over and over til you get better ones. I know I complained about the slow action in battle big time. But seeing the same attack, and HEARING it a bazillion times over was starting to drive me mad.

...the shorts? You too? I wish I could remember what went through my head when I saw them. I think the first was something about chaos looking like an interesting women, then about the bad fashion statement the outfit - well, shorts was. He looks like an old woman actually. Then, it took me a while to get used to the fact that chaos was male. And rather fruity looking. He looks cool when you don't have to see his outfit though... I mean, even some of the gayest men won't wear that. I hope.

Okay no, we're shooting MISSILES into the wrong places - the wrong country even! (Go US military stationed near Iraq!) At least you Americans aren't parading missiles loaded onto the backs of trucks down parades though. THAT is just weird.

 
I hate that song for so many reasons. And the Song, too.

Hey how's your day going? I haven't finished Xenosaga yet but I've gotten very far into, I don't know how close to the end, but I've just entered the Song of Nephilim I think thats the name. I think the battle system is more entertaining than others, as long as it doesn't get too overused, the story is great but I might just be fond of it because I played Xenogears I'll wait for others opinions on that one(kind of like Star Wars Ep I,II are enjoyable more because they are tied to the first Star Wars trilogy than stand alone greats).

I sort of like the customizable characters except its really annoying with having to level up 6 characters and only 3 gain the actually points to improve techs, ether, and skills (luckily I think they all do gain at least a portion of the exp points as long as they are in the party). I wish more rpg's would include universal leveling up for all characters, a FFX system in which rotation is possible while in battle to make sure all participate, or some other system that allows you to experience and get attached to all characters but also doesn't make it a hassle to level them up (some games get really annoying like Arc the Lad with 8,9 or even more characters).

On smaller notes I think Skies of Arcadia was one of the greatest games I ever played. The world map was great, ship battles, pirates, exploration, etc. was just really fun. Of course getting SoAL for the Cube after playing the original reminded me why I only played it once. The random battles just get painfully irritating by the time you get past the 30 hour mark and I hoped that would of have been one of the bigger priorities to address in the remake. Finding all the discoveries is almost impossible, save the pure masochists out there just glutton for punishment. Hopefully the sequel will address the problem ( I mean at least allow a no encounter object for late in the game when all you want to do is visit older areas with weak enemies).

As for FFVII I won't comment on whether a sequel is justified because there is no information on what shape it would really take. I'm not sure it would be a good move but some people had a problem with FFX-2 just because it broke a somewhat foolish protocol of absolutely no continuation of the story ( I like the progression from one FF to the next but to write off any spinoffs can smother out a good thing sometimes). Anyway I know you didn't like FFVII too much and if it weren't the first rpg I ever played I might not like it as much myself but it did help to legitamize the genre to the mainstream audience and for the most part thats been a good thing ( as long as your good at weaving out the hopelessly, junky rehashes that were inevitable). Sorry for writing such a long response, I know some people think anything over 4 sentences is a chore to look at, so thanks for reading.

Chris

Let's see. That would be... the second to last dungeon. Yup yup.

Considering how tough the bosses can be and thus, how much you'd have to level up, the battle system does get overused too much by the player... it got to the point where I could go online and talk to someone, while knowing what buttons to press on the controller without looking at the screen. Yeah, fun.

I found the idea of characters not in your party gaining levels kind of silly anyway since it kind of kills the point of 'experience' points. Experiencing what? Sitting on your ass when someone else is doing al the fighting? I like that Xenosaga made you level up characters on your own - it just seems more realistic and a challenge to me. Maybe I'm just masochistic. Plus, if you don't level up some characters, they'll never get their deathblows. FFX's battles were fun, but the fact that you were able to switch characters in and out made the game hellishly easy. Good thing Xenosaga only had six characters.

I've heard lots of whining over SoA's random battle encounter wait.. is it as bad as Xenogears, guys? Cuz in some parts of Xenogears, it was REALLY bad. And as much as I'm a masochist, I love no encounter items as long as you don't get them too early. The best one is the Moogle Charm for going up that DAMNED Fanatic's Tower in FFVI. Yes indeed.

Well, as much as I whine about FFVII, gameplay wise, it was great. The chocobo breeding and racing was addicting. Graphics wise, it was the best in its time. It's the story I can't understand. No, it wasn't difficult... but the story was so overrated. I don't get the fascination with Cloud, Sephiroth, Aeris, any of it. The story just didn't seem well told, or well put together, or... something. The difference between FFVII and X was that VII had very much of a conclusion. So did X it seemed, til you saw Tidus at the end, THEN FFX International had that damned epilogue. I know it's FF tradition not to have direct sequels, but if it's good, then fine. So far FFX-2 looks promising. I just don't see how a VII-2 could work that well.

 
Randomness.

Dear Liz

How come Xenosaga only sold 500,000 coppies in japan? This was truly a great game. I give mad props to Tetsuya Takahashi and Yasunori Mitsuda(the man behind the music). Im willing to wait another two years because I know they will do a very good job. Albedo will go down with Sephiroth as one of the best villians ever in a rpg. Have u heard any of the music in FFX-2? It will suffer with the absence of Nobuo Uematsu. What was square thinking. Unless they want Uematsu san to concentrate on Final Fantasy 12. Do u have any info on FFXII? The only thing I have seen is the poster from two months ago. We'll getting back to Xenosaga. Didn't Kevin (Shion's lover from two years ago) give the device to commander Cherenkov or was I just seeing thigs. I think Xenosaga and Xenogears will have some of the same elements but they will be an entirely different game. Kosmos and Chaos make a great couple. I wonder how episode 2 is going to be like and if will follow the Xenogears perfect works. Instead of speculating Im just going to wait. Im sure monolith will not let me down by making a Xenosorry peace of crap episode 2.

Actually, 500,000 copies is really good in Japan. I think I've said why many times here already, so I'm not going to bother again. :P Eh... Albedo isn't really my favorite villain, but I know he'll become more interesting in the next episode. Irksome enough that you want to kick his ass, yes. No comment on Sephiroth. *shudder*

The music in FFX-2... I haven't heard much, but what I HAVE heard is pretty different from X. The battle theme is uh, rather upbeat. Apparently there's some more traditional game music in there, and it's good. I'm considering getting the OST despite not having heard very much. It makes sense that Uematsu would be concentrating on FFXII though, plus he's also composing the music for Hanjuku Heri VS 3D. I almost forgot about that. It sounds like such a fruity game, I wonder what he'll come up with...

We don't know for sure if it was Kevin, but there's really no one else it could be, with hair like that. Which raises all sorts of interesting questions, like if he had any ulterior motives and that kind of thing. AND CHAOS AND KOS-MOS ARE NOT A COUPLE! :P They have a connection, and it's not necessarily romantic... it CAN'T be, since she's.. well, not human. (And how many human/android relationships have you seen?)

And for the last time, the story isn't following Perfect Works. At least, not precisely. Listen, people. :P

 
Closing Thoughts

Blah. Well, not much to say, other than I'm all Xenosaga'd out. Course, if you still have something to say on the game go ahead and spit it out. If not, go ahead and rant about FFX-2 and Wind Waker or something. The topic is due for a change next week anyway. Just let me sleep...

~ Liz, who hates becoming lactose intolerant overnight. Or something. (letters@rpgfan.com)



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