XENOGEARS: A ROPE OF ROBOTS (part one)

Hey, everybody! Who wants to play Xenogears?

If you're under twenty-five, odds are: not you. Because it is totally not on the PSN yet1 and it costs like $50 on eBay! Also it doesn't play so well on anything that is not a fourteen year old PlayStation!2 Well, kids, thank god for the internet. It really brings out the old people with too much time on their hands.

So let's just sit back and pretend this is Xenosaga for a few minutes.


We're under attack!!


What? Who's attacking us?


Checking sensors... It's God, sir.


God? ...That's what the sensors say?


Yes, sir. The readings are quoting Genesis. A lot.


I guess it could be the Borg. They usually stick to the NT, though.


No, you're right, definitely God. Computer, set the ship to self-destruct!


In a Square RPG, if you meet Yahweh on the road, you kill that son of a bitch.

The ship is destroyed and the remains crash on a convenient nearby planet. A naked lady emerges from the wreckage!

This may be explained sixty hours from now, but it will never actually make sense without or even with the three hundred page supplementary texts. Welcome to Xenogears.

So, where are we. Ah, a Square RPG. That means two vaguely pre-modern kingdoms are at war! Nobody remembers why, or indeed cares. The tide of the war was changed recently when the Ethos Church excavated ruins of an ancient civilization and repaired some hundreds-year-old humanoid robots, because that is what churches do, and everyone bought some. They hit all the buttons until they did something, and they are now fighting the war with giant robots that no one actually understands. This war is stupid.

For a while one of the kingdoms, Kislev, had the upper hand because their ruins of ancient civilization were better or... something, sure, why not. All hope looked lost for the other kingdom, Aveh, but then a mysterious army came down from the sky, overthrew the king, installed a puppet figurehead, and started kicking Kislev's ass all over the continent. Yes, things are looking up for Aveh!

So, have a doomed little village. It has nothing to do with anything.


Riding in a giant robot is awesome!

He shoots down some other giant robots. They get back up.


Riding in a giant robot sucks!

Everything is on fire!

Wait, no, Fei, our ostensibly lovable main character, is painting something where everything is on fire!

This story structure is brilliant.


I like to paint abstracts where everything appears to be burning and dying! This certainly says nothing about me as a person, as I am peace-loving and normal. And like a nine dan in a martial art that no one else in this town seems remotely familiar with.


Well, you were brought here broken and bleeding three years with no memory of who you are by a man no one knows or has seen since!


...Good morning.


Morning!

There are people in Fei's living room planning a wedding! People in peaceful little villages have no sense of boundries.


Hey, it's the guy with no memories who was brought here three--


My name is Fei, Timothy.


Right, that's what I said, Fei. Anyway, we are planning my wedding to our friend Alice, who you never had a chance with since you are a fatherless outsider and all.


Yup.


You should go talk to her, she seems down for some reason. Dames, am I right?


Ugh.


Hey, Alice, what's up?


WE NEED TO ELOPE.


Well... that would certainly result in a very different game. But you don't seem to be an incarnation of God, so you have to marry the meathead.


My taste in women is very precise.


Well, it's not like there's anything more irrelevant in any video game ever than the social politics in Lahan. Go visit the suspicious doctor and borrow his camera for my doomed wedding.


HELLO, FEI


Oh God, Alice's extremely creepy brother!


HAVE YOU SEEN MY SISTER'S BOOBS


If only something terrible would happen to this village so I would never have to talk to you again!

Fei goes to visit Citan, the village's doctor. Citan lives on a mountain, which is separated from Lahan by a forest full of blood-thirsty wolves. He is a very bad doctor.

Citan is fussing around a work shed with a giant robot crab on top of it.


Hey, Doc, you in here?


mumble mumble alien technology mumble mysterious past mumble must kill God mumble


Doc?


Oh, Fei, I, uh, did not see you there. But you are just in time to see this music box!


Oh. Yeah, that's... a music box, all right.


So what do you think? They say music helps people REMEMBER THINGS they may have FORGOTTEN, whether THEY WANT TO THINK of them or NOT. Music is a VERY MYSTERIOUS THING.


...Alice wants to borrow your camera.


Oh, sure thing!

Fei spends all day at Citan's house and eats all of his family's food, because he also has no sense of boundries. Then he heads back to Lahan through the forest full of blood-thirsty wolves in the middle of the night. Suddenly, giant robots fly by overhead!


I am pretty sure the Weather Channel did not mention robots.


FOLLOW THOSE ROBOTS!


YOU ARE THE WORST DOCTOR EVER!

The robots are attacking Lahan! For some reason! These are some seriously inept giant robots, as they don't appear to protect their pilots at all.

One completely unharmed giant robot ejects its dead pilot and Fei briefly hallucinates an image of himself as a creepy child sitting in the cockpit. Even though this is not Eva, he takes this as a sign that he himself should get into the giant robot.


Riding in a giant robot is awesome!

He shoots down some other giant robots. They get back up.

One of them shoots Timothy!


Riding in a giant robot sucks!


Wait... no... okay, it's awesome again!

Fei blows up Lahan. Lahan's survivors do not appreciate this and send him into exile!


You can probably get to Aveh through the BLACKMOON FOREST.


Are there wolves in Blackmoon Forest?


No, just dinosaurs.


Well, all right, then!

Fei heads into Blackmoon Forest, which contains no black moons, but does contain a pissed off redhead with a gun.

Citan does not know his forest wildlife very well.


$#@$%^%#@^%##@!


What?


*^#&@%#-- oh, hell, I haven't taken English since high school.


Drop your weapon!


I don't have a weapon.


Uh... turn around! Put your hands on your head! I'll shoot!


So... is this your first day as a forest wacko?


Tell me how to get out of this forest or I'll shoot you!


Then shoot me!


 


 


What?


Yeah.

Suddenly, the redhead is attacked!


WUSSUP


No, ELLY, MY SWEET!

Fei fights the imp! It has like 20 HP. It is shame we never see that gun of Elly's again, because she could use it. She is unconscious for a long time, as you would be if you got your ass kicked by an imp. Fei builds a fire and talks to himself for a while until she wakes up.


...Okay, so... where was I. Right! I'll shoot you!


I can't say I'm particularly intimidated at this point.


Whatever, surface dweller Lamb.


...It's Fei, actually.


Oh. Um, I'm Elly.


Yeah, I thought you looked like an Elly.


Huh.

They agree that sleeping in the terrible forest at night is way safer than trying to get out of it, so they both take a nap. Fei dreams that he is sitting in the desert while a line of creepy silent people walk past, ignoring him.

This really does not ever make sense.


Fei, wake up, you're creeping everyone out.


So, what's a crazy guy like you doing in an awful forest like this?


Oh, you know. Sleepy village got inexplicably attacked by giant robots, tried to save everyone, got everyone killed instead. Typical Tuesday.


...You say your sleepy village got attacked by giant robots?


Yeah! You know anything about that?


Who, me? Why would I know anything about that! I certainly do not know anything about that.

Elly has a flashback, proving that she knows everything about that. In fact, it was entirely her fault! She and her fellow soldiers were apparently taking Kislev robots out for a joyride and then got shot down by Kislev in Lahan. Whoops!


Nope, I do not know anything about that at all. I'm just going to whistle off-key now.


It was all those soldiers' fault! They suck! They are probably ugly and fat, and smell bad, too!


WELL I THINK YOU ARE UGLY AND FAT AND SMELL BAD


What?!


YOU ARE A COWARD!


DAMN RIGHT I'M A COWARD!


NO YOU-- dammit, Fei, this is not how you have an argument.


BLOOD DEATH CRUSHING BONES NO ONE KNOWS THE TROUBLE I HAVE SEEEEEEEEN


holy shit


SOB WAIL GNASH TEETH ETC

Elly is creeped out and wanders off. She has another flashback! This time she is surrounded by corpses and whining that it was not her fault, she wasn't even supposed to be here today! In fact, she is terrible at everything!

Clearly this is someone else's fault!

Man, you guys, remember Chrono Trigger? No one was all fucked up in Chrono Trigger. Well, except Janus, but no one liked him anyway. I wish I were playing Chrono Trigger right now.

Then Elly is attacked by a dinosaur.


That's weird, I feel like I'm forgetting something.

He hears Elly screaming!


Oh, right, the dinosaurs.

Fei runs after her to save her! She is unconscious again. Elly is pretty much the worst soldier ever, no matter what the game goes on to say. Fei tries to fight the dinosaur but has some trouble, as it is a fucking dinosaur. But just in the nick of time, he is saved! By Citan, piloting a helicoptor, carrying the giant robot Fei destroyed the town with.

God bless those perfectly normal country doctors. Fei kills the dinosaur! With his giant robot.


That was fantastic, Fei! It was just like an old fairy tale where the hero kills the dragon with a giant robot.


Doc, what the hell are you doing here? I'm supposed to be in exile.


Er, I, uh... thought you might... miss your robot.


I hate that robot! It is too powerful!


But with great power comes great responsibility! Anyway, it is awesome, and you should take it.


Who the hell are you?


Oh, you are awake! I am an old perfectly ordinary friend of Fei's.


I... see.


Anyway, you two look tired, so you should get some sleep while I fix this giant robot.


We just woke up!

No one listens, and somehow it is magically night time again. Fei goes to sleep, and Citan works on the giant robot. It is called Weltall, but this narration does not yet feel the urge to dignify the giant robot with a name.


mumble mumble wasting my degree mumble


Oh, Elly, you are still awake! Ha ha.


...yes.


[Let us talk inside some random punction where it is more comfortable!]


[!! You speak random punctuation?]


[So, let me guess. You are the one who stole the giant robot that crash-landed in Lahan. You and the men you left to die are probably in the Gebler military and are wanted by Kislev.]


[Whoa, what the hell!]


You should probably leave before Fei realizes that everything is your fault and hits you with a rock.


But I want to apologize to him for calling him names!


Is that not pretty much what you guys do all day, call the surface dwellers names?


Well, sure, but Fei is different! He saved me from a dinosaur!


And an imp!


...Yes, you should probably go.

Elly leaves, presumably to get lost in the forest again. The next morning, Fei wakes up and reveals that he was only pretending to be asleep and he heard the entire conversation! You should have stuck to random punctuation, Citan! But Fei is not angry.


Eh, you can only be so angry at a girl who gets beaten up by an imp.


So how are the survivors from Lahan doing?


Oh, they are fine. My wife is taking them to a certain place where they will be safe.


...How come we can't go to a certain place where we'll be safe?


Because then the game would be much, much shorter. We should instead wander out blindly into the desert and see if we can find a town where we can buy parts to fix your robot.


Well, that plan sounds failproof! Let's go!

1ha ha, disregard that, it is totally on the PSN now. I have been writing this thing for a long time.
2though as far as I know this is still true. awkward!


IndexNext