XENOGEARS: A ROPE OF ROBOTS (part thirty-eight)

Now that the red-haired dude in kabuki make-up is out of the bag, so to speak, it would seem that our heroes have some things to discuss. What do you do when the main character puts on a catsuit and turns into one of the main villains?

Actually, let's back up.


So I am totally a spy. Or I was a spy, before the country I was spying for blew up.


We should probably kick you out anyway!


Yes, you would certainly think that. Anyway, my three year mission was to keep an eye on the Contact, one of the random terms we have been using to hide the fact that we are talking about Fei, and see if he seemed at all prone to exploding into an alternate personality and killing scores of people at a time.


The good news is that after some QAing from editorial, my report will be pretty much finished!


WHY AREN'T WE KICKING HIM OUT RIGHT NOW?

Citan treats the party to a flashback to a conversation with Cain in what is, again, I can only assume, 1998's idea of cyberspace.


Just give me the short version.


I have determined that the Contact is not our enemy! He is a rather nice boy who likes to paint and eat raw fish and only occasionally explode into an alternate personality that kills scores of people at a time.


Well, that's a relief!


We should also stop putting limiters on everyone.


Yes, that program was getting unwieldy.


I will leave everything up to you then. I hereby atone for my crime.

Back on the Yggdrasil -- did you think this story had returned to chronological order? Ha ha. THIS STORY NEVER RETURNS TO CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER -- Citan explains to Jesiah and Sigurd that the Contact is the "man of God" who will "take the people of this world with him to a new horizon." Fei's resume was clearly not looked at very closely when he was chosen for this position, and Citan admits that he has no idea what any of this really has to do with Fei, technically. The Emperor is just kind of bonkers, maybe? Maybe.


So who the hell is Fei?


Oh, you know. Just Fei.


It is just that Fei destroyed Elru, nearly killed Ramsus, destroyed Lahan, destroyed Vanderkaum's fleet, sank the first Yggdrasil, killed Rico's men in Kislev, nearly killed everyone over Emeralda, and destroyed Solaris.


I have to admit I am more concerned about that than I am with this "man of God" business.


Maybe you should start busting out some jarringly out-of-place DSM-IV terms for us.


Gladly!

Citan explains that Fei has a minor but troubling case of dissociative identity disorder. This has much been clear to the audience for some time now, but in Xenogears DID has symptoms like sudden changes of hair color and impossible shifts of wardrobe, in addition to screwing with your giant robot if you happen to have one, which you likely do. Xenogears DID is not fucking around.


You mean like multiple personalities?


You are making this up.


Fei has an alternate personality that calls himself Id. Fei was stable during the time he lived in Lahan, but Id began to manifest himself after Fei met Grahf again.


As you probably know, Fei worked with Grahf as an assassin known as Id before he came to live in Lahan.


WHAT


UH, NO, WE DID NOT KNOW THAT, ACTUALLY


Oh? Well, you do now.

Citan just kind of leaves that there and wanders off to talk about destroying God again, but this narration would like to take a moment, because this brings up some troubling questions about Xenogears's timeline. The destruction of Elru is supposedly one of the things Fei/Id pulled off during his career as an "assassin" -- which is not really how this narration would refer a guy kicking robots over -- but the thing is that Fei was brought to Lahan when he was fifteen, and I'm not going to pull out Perfect Works again to look up when Elru was destroyed but it's supposed to have been at least a couple of years before that. The point I am crawling my way towards very slowly is that this:

is supposed to be like a thirteen-year-old boy. That is kind of fucked up! But it's pretty typical of Xenogears, where everyone feels about ten years older than they are.

What were we talking about? Right, Grahf. Grahf wants to destroy God, but he needs Id in order to do it, and Id has been stuck being lovable and bumbling and painting for the last three years and hasn't been taking calls. Grahf needs Fei to be Id again, but Grahf cannot control Id, so Grahf has some ongoing issues with his God-destroying plan. Why does Grahf want to destroy God? Oh, ha ha, all in good time. Everyone is caught up on Grahf, so now it's time to flash back further to when Citan had Fei in a bondage suspension harness and prodded him with a stick until he turned into Id back in part 35. The game is now in a nested flashback.

This narration is trying very hard to make sense.


Well, if it isn't the asshole trying to pass himself off as a doctor!


I am regretting this decision already.


Where is Fei now?


Fei? Which Fei?


...There are more than two of you in there?


...I don't want to continue this conversation without an attorney.


Our Fei, the Fei who has been hit on the head a lot, where is he?


He's asleep.


What do you mean, "asleep?"


I mean he's asleep. You yelled at him until he freaked out and he fell asleep.


Is that how schizophrenia is supposed to work?


Schizophrenia is not a dissociative disorder! God, where did they even find you?

Id is much cattier about finding himself in a bondage suspension harness than Fei is. That is one point in his favor. Citan has been fronting like he knows all about how DID works, but it turns out here that Id has to explain it to him slowly and using small words. You know, Cain, maybe sending a doctor would have actually been a good idea? If this was something everyone knew about? Citan has been revealed to just be an asshole with a sword who talks weird, and he didn't even have his sword until like an hour ago.


I am having a hard time understanding you. Can you word this more vaguely and ominously?


FEI IS A TENANT OF THE ROOM OF COWARDICE AND HE HAS TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE FRIENDS


Ah, now we are talking.

Id explains in a roundabout way that Fei is a subordinate personality to his, so while Id is aware of what Fei does when Fei is active, Fei just kind of passes out when Id is running around. That is likely for the best. Id says that Fei shouldn't exist at all, really, but after Khan caught up to Grahf and they had their fight, Khan somehow sealed Id off and the vacuum left behind created the current Fei personality. This narration doesn't think that is how DID works, like at all, but okay. Citan wants to know what this room of cowardice business is about, but Id gets agitated and says that he is stupid and this is all her fault and he's going to kill everybody once he isn't in a bondage suspension harness! Normally a little thing like that wouldn't slow Id down much, but expending too much energy would knock Id off the stage in favor of Fei again and then he wouldn't get to kill anybody. Citan agrees that this is a bummer.


So I was under the impression that multiple personalities were caused by horrific and scarring childhood trauma. Does that sound familiar to you?


Fuck you, I'm out of here.

Citan now bounces out of flashback mode entirely, returning the story to the throne room in Shevat. This is very strange formatting for an exposition dump. He tries to explain the multiple personalities thing to the party with a metaphor involving operating systems and sandboxed programming, but half of these kids don't know what to do with a C prompt when they see one so that's not gonna fly.


All right, I will put this plainly. The reason Fei does not remember anything prior to three years ago is that he has only existed for three years. He does not actually know anything about how to act or behave beyond what he picked up and was able to mimic from the villagers in Lahan. That is why he keeps flipping out and being an asshole about fighting in a giant robot.


I was wondering about that! Fighting in giant robots is a perfectly well-adjusted activity!


So if Id is the core personality, why hasn't he just taken over yet?


Well, I do not believe that Id is the core personality. He is very evasive and bitchy about it, but he mentioned something about a coward. I think that this is the original personality, and he is the one that chooses which of the other two will be active at any given time. But seeing that he keeps letting Id surface at all, he is probably as much of a bitch as Id is.


As long as nothing threatening happens to him, the Fei we know will be allowed to continue to exist. But unfortunately, Fei lives in a Square RPG.

Next time: the actual end of disk one. And then this party will REALLY get started.

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