XENOGEARS: A ROPE OF ROBOTS (part thirteen)

When last we saw our intrepid but increasingly annoyed heroes, Fei had won the D Block Prison Giant Robots Battles and was now their rightful king! Or ...something. Close enough. Rico passed over the title of Battling Champion to him peacefully, but he is actually very sad!

He sneaks into the barracks to talk to his giant robot, Stier. I guess if your only true friend in prison is a robot, you do get to talking to it. Gee, Rico, maybe you should have taken them up on that full pardon thing after all.


Saddle up, buddy, we're gonna assassinate us a Kaiser!

Oh dear. Meanwhile, Elly and her crack team of dorks are on deck back in Bledavik. There are a bunch of ships docked here, but apparently only one control ship, which means the other ships are being steered by the power of someone's mind. Sure, that is as good a first assumption as any.

Who could be in charge of this mission? Someone weird, no doubt!


Hello, Elhaym.

Oh, never mind, it's just a pink-haired elf lady. She is apparently Elly's college roommate or sorority sister or something, and she is annoying and refers to her by her full first name. Only that one half-senile aunt on her dad's side calls Elly Elhaym! It is not really the catchiest name.


Oh, uh, hi, Dominia.

Yes, that is much better. Dominia explains that she is going to be piloting the primary battleship, the Hecht, due to her extreme awesomeness. She doesn't even need an escort! But, you know, as long as Elly is here and all. Elly demands to know what the target is, and after some annoyed hemming and hawing Dominia reveals that it's an electricity generator in Nortune. As in, a nuclear plant.


So.... we're in fact destrying the entire country.


IT WILL BE GLORIOUS

Kislev has a gatekeeper, you see, which is what the Executioner and the Kaiser were talking about several parts back. This narration is still unsure what a Gatekeeper is specifically, but the upshot is that she set him up, as Gebler considers this a security hazard and now has something they can write on the insurance claims when they blow Nortune up to kill that one guy.


I am having some seconds thoughts. ...no, actually, they are pretty much the same as my first thoughts. Maybe we don't have the right to just go around destroying land-dwellers' cities!


Whatever, it's for their own good. Land-dwellers suck.


Aren't... you a land-dweller?


Only ethnically! I was converted at gunpoint years ago!


Oh! Awkward.


Yes. Anyway, I'm going to prove myself! I can contribute to the mass murder of stupid land-dwellers just as well as someone who is not a land-dweller.

This game is going for some kind of record in immediately diagnosable syndromes in its characters. Everyone needs a hobby. The Hecht and its fleet take off from Bledavik towards Nortune. Meanwhile, in Nortune, Fei is being shown Rico's digs.


Well, they're nice, but what happened to Rico?


...!!!!


My non-bomb collar portrait! It's back!!


Well, you won, bro!


Hammer too! Oh, non-bomb collar portrait, I love you best!


But seriously, what happened to Rico?

Funny story, actually! During the group league bouts -- the giant robot group league bouts -- Rico's gear went out of control and smashed into the Kaiser's box! No one has heard from Rico since! But the Kaiser seems to be okay, because he wants to meet Fei once Fei's done rolling around in Rico's lovely apartment. Anyway, Fei's rank has been upgraded from A to S, which is an alphabetical order unique to Japanese video games, and he now has access to Nortune's civilian block.


But... I want to leave Nortune and never come back!


Not so fast, Fei! We have to figure out a way to get your giant robot out of here!


Man, fuck that giant robot!


They have probably moved it to another dock, so Hammer will have to go find it.

They split up, so Hammer goes and does... whatever it is that Hammer does, and Fei and Citan go to meet this Kaiser. But Rico gets there first!

He mutters to himself about not being able to use the door and opts instead for a nearby air duct. This narration has seen its fair share of ridiculously people-sized air ducts in fiction, but an air duct big enough to accommodate Rico has got to be freakish. What the hell kind of air molecules do they have in Nortune? Fei and Citan arrive as well, going through doors like civilized folk. The Kaiser is still engaged in the primary duty of any good politician: playing with his organ.


Oh, sorry, we didn't mean to... interrupt you.


It happens to the best of us. It's good to meet you, Fei! I'd like to join forces with you!


Oh, I... I don't play the organ.


Ever?


Well...

This extremely unfair summary of this conversation is interrupted by Rico crashing through the ceiling onto the rug.


YOU


Uh, wrong number, sorry!

Rico hightails it. He is the worst assassin ever! As you would expect, really. He's seven feet tall and green. He runs down the hall to a room being guarded by a couple of guys loudly talking about how no one can enter this room except for the Kaiser and his wife. Well, these guys are stupid and the scanner is broken, because Rico uses the 'hey, I think I hear the Kaiser calling you!' line on them -- which would not have even worked on stormtroopers -- and they run off, and Rico gets into the room!


What's that smell?

He who smelt it dealt it, Rico. Aaaand it's flashback time! Rico thinks back to when he was a child hanging around his mother, asking her why he looks different from the other kids, and why they call him an unearthly abomination against God. But she can't really answer him, as she is busy dying of Dramatic Coughing. But she lives long enough to tell him that his father is a great man, even though Rico never asks a goddamned thing about his father.

Since Rico is standing around having flashbacks instead of hiding, he is quickly found, by... Fei! Fei has apparently been hired on as freelance security as the actual security here is balls.


Are you stupid or something?


Little bit.

They are joined by the Kaiser, who is indignant! The DNA scanner on the door is not supposed to let anyone in who does not share DNA with the Kaiser or his wife. The scanner must indeed be broken! Yes, there is no other explanation.


Whatever! Arrest this man, he has tried to kill me twice now!

Don't worry, guys, this scene in fact has no significance whatsoever! ...No joke, the game never revisits this. I know, what.

Fei and Citan leave the Kaiser's place and run into Hammer! Hammer has found Fei's giant robot! He wants to tell them all about it, right here in front of these armed guards, and Fei's eyes just about roll out of his head as he drags him somewhere safer.


Your giant robot has been moved to an underground dock in D Block!


Ughghgh.


There are two ways in: through the arena, which would be easy, or through a supply train tunnel, which would be extremely dangerous.


Well, I'd rather get hit by a train than go back to the battle arena.

This plan is apparently viable because now that their bomb collars have been removed, they can move around in areas where they would have been killed for trespassing before. Fair enough, but it does raise the question: your bomb collar goes off if you step on train tracks? This train's schedule must be a nightmare of delays. Fei sends Hammer off to look up this train's schedule, as it were, and he and Doc head back to (deep breath) D Block. But someone is waiting for them!

It's Rico's gang of toughs! Hey, weren't you guys all murdered in the sewers? Apparently the local gimp outlet only sells three models of suits, so these guys could be anyone, really. Fei does not want to be baptized anymore -- you only need to be baptized once! Paul said so! -- and tries to warn them off, but they do not want to fight! They want him to help Rico!


We just helped him get arrested.


You should not say that very loudly, Fei.

Okay, so apparently there is a whole stupid political plot afoot involving our old friend the Ethos Church. The Ethos used to have a huge foothold in Kislev politics, but when Sigmund came into power he had them all kicked out, so now they sit on the battling committee and mutter assassination plots amongst themselves. Not much else to do in D Block! Only now Sigmund is mucking up the battling system as well! And since Sigmund is a big racist against furries, the Ethos chose Rico as their fallguy to send in after him.


Oh my God, I do not have time for this, get to the point.

Well, unfortunately, as we've seen, Rico is a terrible assassin, so he's been caught and is scheduled to be executed tonight. You have to save him, Fei!


I was told by someone who supposedly has access to the game's script that I could leave D Block once I won the giant robot battles. What the hell ever happened to that?

Look, this narration does not remember this stretch of the game very well. It has put a lot of effort into blocking it out.


Son of a bitch!


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