(part sixteen)

So when we last saw our heroes, they were all dead! Again! We should probably stop pretending to fall for that. But for the official count, for a long time Fei was alive and Bart was believed dead, and now Fei is believed dead and Bart is alive. So the shounen protagonist battle now stands at 1:1. The shounen protagonist battle is far from over.

Fow now, though, we have to check back in on the Gazel.

Who are... watching TV? That's a pretty sweet TV. They are upset that Ramsus is leaving Bledavik, because he is supposed to be looking for something called the Anima Relics. If you have played this game, you know what the Anima Relics are, and if you haven't, you won't care for like another 60 hours of gametime, so let's just leave it at 'Ramsus is not a very good commander.'

...So it was the trauma.

Nay. In this case, Knigret... It was the severe external wounds.

No one in this game is named Knigret. No one. Let that be a lesson to anyone trying to make sense of the Gazel. They are pretty much just gossiping about your save states again and saying bitchy things about the party members. Many of them possess the Animus factor! Is it coincidence or fate? Are they just attracted to him? (!!) This is just like five hundred years ago! Is it drafty in here? Damned kids.

As previously established, he is headed to Aquvy. What is Aquvy?

It is about one third of the world map, is what it is. Glad we cleared that up! ...wow, Xenogears takes place on a really small planet. Someone named Krelian is very keen on Aquvy, as the ruins of a four thousand year old city are hanging out under the ocean there. There is, unfortunately, someone in this game named Krelian.

And now, live via satellite, it's the Emperor!

Yes, the ruins of ancient Zeboim, which possessed the science of nanotechnology! The Ethos have been keeping its discovery secret for the past nineteen years!

Are you going to let them get away with that, Cain?

Cain does not particularly care about the Ethos. Good call, Cain! You are not named ominously at all. They continue to bicker about not knowing what Krelian wants with stupid nanotechnology anyway, and hey, weren't you guys going to kill him, and they never thought he would go down that easily anyway, hmph! God, the Gazel. They snootily inform Cain that he is having emotions again, and he should have that looked at.

Cain, we are 'gods.'

That always works out fabulously, yes.

Meanwhile! People we ostensibly care about have found themselves shipwrecked!

Fei and Elly are alone, floating on the wreckage of... something. They have less than two days' worth of food and little in way of actual shelter! And there's no sign of any of their friends!

I'm sure the others aren't dead. They have character portraits and everything! Anyway, I'm going to catch fish.

You should go pick berries or something!

I have made regrettable life choices.

Fei is right, though, the others are totally okay. Bart and the pirates rescued Citan, Rico, and Hammer. Citan apparently missed hitting the Yggdrasil after all. God, Citan, you aren't good for anything. Rico is excited about meeting pirates!

Hi, I'm Bart! And you're... huge, dear god.

I'm Ricardo Bandaras, actually!

That is probably a lot of fun to say, come to think of it, if you are all rolling your Rs and shit. Bart is very contrite about having shot down their ship, not realizing that Citan had chosen not to share that bit of information with the huge guy.

you what

Oh, um, yes. Well, you see, we thought Kislev was launching their counter-attack against Aveh, and... oh my god it was SO AWESOME you should have been there!!

Well, I guess you were there.

Ha ha!

Rico pounds the snot out of Bart. He pretty much deserves it! Meanwhile, back on the floating bit of wreckage, Elly has worked out that their giant robots are stashed underneath this platform they're on -- which does not make any sense at all -- but they can't get at them. If they could get at them, they wouldn't really be shipwrecked. But if they'd lost them, this game would stop being about giant robots so much! Smooth, writers.



Well, he shows her!

I am not eating that.

Oh, come on! A little raw unidentified fish never hurt anybody!

Fei is never going to get laid at this rate. But then, suddenly, an adaquate reason for changing the subject appears!

It's that UFO again!

Whatever, UFO. It's just stupid Shevat.

Shevat! That's where Wiseman said my parents are from!

Shevat is like Solaris, it's a country in the sky. It usually maintains a pretty high altitude over Aquvy Islands, so I don't know how you could have seen it before.

That's a burrough in the sky at best. Maybe a commonwealth. I'm not giving it 'country.'

Back on the Yggdrasil, Bart is also looking up at the sky, and he is sad that he shot down a ship and this time just got Doc and a bunch of furries for his efforts. Where could Fei and that girl Bart doesn't like possibly be? That girl Bart doesn't like probably would not have punched him in the stomach like that.

Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight....

Wait a second, that's no moon!

Did you want to speak to me about something?

Oh, right! So it turns out that my Dad had this ship, which is identical in absolutely every way to my old ship. Nothing weird about that, but I noticed that the crest on the bow isn't Aveh's! It's something weird!

Hm! It appears to be Shevat's crest!

My goodness, what a coincidence! Everyone is talking about and occasionally looking at Shevat, so the next place they are headed to must be... not Shevat at all, actually. FORESHADOWING, WHO NEEDS IT. Meanwhile, Fei and Elly are getting bored with being shipwrecked. It looks like so much more fun in the movies!

Set adrift. Just like life. Am I right?

I shouldn't let you bait me like this, but what are you talking about?

I've been helping people everywhere I go, but only because I had nothing better to do, not because I wanted to help! Well, I did want to help. But I also didn't! I just wanted people to like me!

That's not true! You've thrown childish fits about having to help plenty of times!

They compare notes, and they agree that neither of them have fulfilled their hopes and dreams by the ripe old age of eighteen. Elly doesn't really want to be in the military! Fei doesn't really want to be a shounen protagonist in a Square RPG! For some reason Elly thinks back to earlier that day, when Fei tried to eat his fish and promptly threw up. Oh, Fei. She gave him some military rations instead, which were apparently just as gross, but he ate them anyway.

If all I cared about was survival, I would have kept those rations! But making you eat them made me feel better. So you can do things for others for selfish reasons, it's okay.

Oh. I thought you were finally so fed up with me that you were trying to poison me.

That too.

They wank on for a while about what happiness really is and whatnot. If you have seen any anime ever or have gotten stoned with philosophy majors, you have heard it before. Even Elly gets a weird sense of deja vu, like she and Fei have had this conversation already. But that is impossible, because they have only just met! Ha ha! They are clearly just about at the point of seeing roasted turkeys when they look at each other, but luckily enough, they are rescued by a ship the next morning!


Welcome to the Thames!

We've died and gone to hell.

We pretty much deserved it!