Xenosaga Episode III, Xenosaga DS, Baten Kaitos II Announced
09.14.05 - 3:48 PM

Editor's Note: As Xenosaga Episode III is a direct sequel, this story does contain spoilers for the previous games in the series. You have been warned. -John

Monolith Soft today revealed three new RPGs, Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) for PlayStation 2, Xenosaga I and II for Nintendo DS and Baten Kaitos 2: Hajimari no Tsubasa to Kamigami no Shishi (The Wings of the Beginning and the Heir to the Gods) for GameCube.

Xenosaga Episode III takes place one year after the events of Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Boese (Beyond Good and Evil). The game will finally shed some light into the mysterious past of series protagonist Shion Uzuki, thereby offering a conclusion to the epic storyline. Following the end of Episode II, Shion has left Vector Industries and joined an underground organization. She also learns that Vector has decided to end the KOS-MOS project. This poses further questions about the intentions of Vector Industries' president Wilhelm. Furthermore, a mysterious android named T-elos will appear in front of Shion in Episode III. The main cast has remained unchanged, with Jr., MOMO, Ziggy, KOS-MOS and Co. all making their return in the series' third installment. One of the keys to Episode III's story will be the question of whether or not KOS-MOS actually possesses a soul. Players will also learn why she is protecting Shion under any circumstances.

As with the two previous installments, battles will be fought with either your characters or mechs. The development team at Monolith Soft is apparently adding new mechs to the E.S. series models introduced in Episode II, like E.S. Asher. As far as character battles are concerned, Monolith Soft promises more speed this time around. Deadblow techniques have also been confirmed to make their return.

Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra has yet to receive a release date in Japan.

Previously only known as Xenosaga DS, the series' debut on Nintendo's popular dualscreen handheld system is now officially known as Xenosaga I and II. However the game will not just be a straight port of the series' first two installments, but rather a remake featuring a new story, an altered battle system and different character designs and visuals. The game wil now have a greater anime touch, but still feature the massive movie sequences the series is so well known for.

Xenosaga I and II has yet to receive an official release date.

Baten Kaitos II is the sequel to Monolith's original GameCube RPG which was released in Japan in December 2003. Like the original game, Baten Kaitos II will be released for Nintendo's current generation platform. Nintendo will be acting as the game's publisher.

Baten Kaitos II will take place 20 years before the events of the original, putting players in charge of a green-haired protagonist named Sagi. Sagi is a bright young man affiliated with an elite unit of the empire. The game's heroine is a colleague of Sagi's, by the name of Milii. Gilo is a puppet travelling the world with Sagi in order to find the reason for its existence. While many new continents and characters will be introduced, those who played the original game will also encounter a lot of familiar locations and faces returning from the first game. Story-wise, Baten Kaitos II will shed some light into the mysteries related to an occuring disaster. It was also confirmed that the (Magnus) card battle system will make its return.

Baten Kaitos II: Hajimari no Tsubasa to Kamigami no Shishi will be available in Japan this December for 6,800 yen ($61.47 USD).


Chris Winkler

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