Monolith Software has announced fresh details regarding one of the most anticipated RPGs of the year, Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Boese (Beyond Good and Evil). The game's beginning will show the Shion, KOS-MOS and the rest of Episode I's party arriving on Second Miltia onboard the Elsa following the events of Episode I.
There Shion, Allen and KOS-MOS will part with Jr. and head for the local Vector Industries' facility. There, KOS-MOS is supposed to be equipped with new weaponry and in the process, transferred to Vector's second R&D division, a step that is rejected by Shion. Her weapon of choice - the MWS - has been modified and boasts a lighter weight and optimized features. KOS-MOS will also feature updated weaponry in battle. One new feature of the battle system will be combination attacks, performed by two characters.
Among the locations the player will get to visit on Second Miltia are Vector facilities hosting the conglomerate's first three R&D divisions, the Moby Dick Cafe - which was frequented by Shion during her high school years - a gigantic spaceport and various town areas. As previously reported, Shion will also be re-united with her brother Jin.
MonolithSoft also revealed the reason the protagonist no longer wears glasses: During the Elsa's descent to Second Miltia, a little struggle between Jr. and Allen sends the latter crashing into Shion. To add insult to injury, he happens to step on her glasses, which had fallen to the floor as a result of their collision.
Furthermore, new information regarding Episode II's new mechs, the so-called E.S. series models, has surfaced. These new mechs differ greatly from A.G.W.S., which were introduced in Episode I, as they are smaller, high-powered human-interface weapons. Their special capabilities however, are a well-kept secret. In order to fight the Gnosis more effectively A.G.W.S. have been replaced with A.M.W.S., a lighter and enhanced version of their cousins from Episode I. The newest E.S. model is E.S. Dina, a two-seat model like the previously revealed E.S. Asher. It has been configured to cooperate with KOS-MOS and is hence capable of unleashing the powerful Hilbert Effect.
Finally, courtesy of Japanese site GameWatch, we have 36 new screen shots, as well as 4 new pieces of artwork, showing off much of these things, such as the E.S. Dina and Shion's new MWS. Worthy of mention is the handful of screens showing Shion and KOS-MOS in their Episode I attire, leading one to believe we will get to see why some of the characters look so different this time around. That should ease the panic of those wondering why the cast suddenly looks different. To access all of the new media, just check out the links below.
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Boese will be available in Japan sometime this year.