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  #751  
Old 08-11-2016, 12:43 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 4-3

Post 3 in an update that started on the previous page...



Or worlds, as the case may be.



Again, with dialogue like this, and the Yeshua thing from Episode 2, there is strong evidence that chaos was intended to be Jesus very late into the franchise’s development, but somebody chickened out at the last minute. I guess there were just two Yeshuas hanging around Jerusalem talking about the power of Man and whatnot.



Garden of Gethsemane, guys.



Or, put another way, chaos. Ya know, it’s nice to have a clear good guy that opposes order for a change. (And guess how I play SMT games.)



Meanwhile, we’re off to Canaan and Juli Mizrahi discussing Roth. He’s the talk of the town!



We already know that Yuriev knows nothing about Roth either, but Canaan and Juli agree that Yuriev likely just doesn’t care about anything but T-elos.



Anywho, back to rescuing the Elsa, since nobody else seems to care. The general consensus is that Omega could puncture space/time and save the boys… and that’s it. Sorry, it’s hard to find a phase transfer cannon in this economy.



Omega isn’t exactly available for rentals.



Oh, but KOS-MOS! KOS-MOS could get this done! Yay KOS-MOS!



Except that’s probably illegal, too…



But, hey, if they’re tossing her in the trash anyway…



Canaan admits that he was basically built for espionage like robot-stealing. That isn’t strictly accurate...



Meanwhile, Margulis is worshipping at the altar of Heinlein, who, again, is telling Margulis to sit this plot out.



Specifically, Margulis wants Omega back, but Heinlein isn’t having it. Legitimately, Proto Omega did get the last Ormus leader into a spot of trouble.



“Seriously, dude, lay off. I got this.”



That would be the name of the last Space Pope… which was never actually mentioned during Episode 2.



“Seriously, just take the rest of the act off. We’ll call you when it’s time to invade Michtam.”



Unlike with Space Pope, Margulis does seem to genuinely follow Heinlein, and is willing to be sent to bed without any dessert.



Meanwhile again, Wilhelm and Red Testament shout riddles at each other.



Shion… truth… searching… it’s basically the bizarro version of the Nephilim/chaos conversation.



chaos believes in a world of infinite possibilities and “not just one future”, Wilhelm is all about one, limited world, and getting everything you can grab within those confines. Have you picked up on these guys maybe being rivals?



I guess T-elos has a dream buster?



Speaking of broken dreams, now Allen has to tell Shion that KOS-MOS is not only cancelled, she’s literally getting melted down for spare parts.



Juli swings on by. She always likes seeing Allen. She thinks he has a weird face. Reminds her of a rodent she cared for as a child.



“I have her number memorized in six different languages, ma’am.”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #752  
Old 08-11-2016, 12:51 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 4-4



“I’m going to need you to construct a life-sized, styrofoam KOS-MOS decoy…”



Back at the hotel, Shion is talking to Doctus again. There isn’t any info on what Shion was doing after talking to Nephilim, but I’m pretty sure she was hanging out in the hotel lobby, holding a sign that said “Will perform odd jobs for double techs.” There were no takers.



So, shocker, there’s no information anywhere on Roth. We already knew this from the last update!



“Or he’s your undead fiancée. Or maybe both?”



But Doctus has a lead…



Apparently T-elos’s space coffin (she has to have one, right?) may have been on a Hyams transport ship.



As we know from like one line of dialogue in Episode 2, Hyams is a business front for Ormus/U-TIC, so bad guys are involved! Gasp!



Or it’s all a feint. Do we need this much intrigue surrounding Dark KOS-MOS and her creator? (Answer: No.)

Like everybody else in this universe, let’s talk about Roth for a hot minute. First of all, I want to chastise this series of scenes (going back to last update, incidentally), because basically everyone, good guys and bad guys alike, are talking about how Roth is such a mystery and who could he beeeee? They’re whacking you over the head with “pay attention to this new character, he’s not just some rando we introduced at the last minute, he’s important, dammit!” and dragging in a new, unnecessary mystery with his introduction as well.

Personally, this kind of thing drives me nuts, particularly in our current inject-all-media-as-quickly-as-possible society. Like, it’s cool that you want to make Roth a secret, XS3, but we’re going to solve this mystery inside of a few hours, and you know some jerkass on the internet is posting a topic on Gamefaqs right now that says “Wow, who expected Roth to be Kevin” (maybe even I’m that jerkass). It’s a weird kind of problem, but “simple” cliffhangers like “who’s that guy” really don’t work in an environment where the solution is just a few hours away. Trying to explain six seasons of Lost is complicated, but revealing “who died at the end of season 4” takes all of twelve seconds.

And, to be clear, I’m not saying mysteries are bad, simply that when the answer is short and simple (Roth is Kevin), don’t act like it’s a big deal.

But something clever does happen during these scenes.

First of all, if you’re really paying attention, you know Red Testament/Kevin is Roth, or at least that Roth is working for Wilhelm. If you include Margulis whining about Omega (and, by extension, Roth and T-elos), Wilhelm and Red Testament are the “team” that doesn’t ask who this mysterious Roth could be. At this point, you may have already guessed that “the princess” from the first scene is now T-elos (uh, we’ll get into that later), but the simple fact that Wilhelm and Red-T don’t seem to care about Roth (when everyone else does) speaks volumes about their prior knowledge (and Wilhelm’s skill as a manipulator). It’s the old “when the answer to the riddle is elephant, what’s the one word you can’t use?” These guys are the elephant.

But the really cool bit is Nephilim. Nephilim is on Team Omnipotent, so she knows what’s going on, and, naturally, knows Roth’s identity. That whole “there is a person that wants to save one person but is going to destroy the universe doing it” bit? She’s talking about Roth, too. If you want to get all multiple personality, she’s talking about Kevin. And, technically, she’s talking about the overarching theme of this entire episode. We’ll obviously talk about that more towards the end of the game, but it’s a clever bit of plotting that Nephy basically reveals to Shion/the player the entire reasoning for everything that happens for the complete game.

So it’s a dumb mystery that involves too much setup for very little payoff, but there’s at least one ingenious bit in there. That’s more than most plots can boast.



Aaaaaaand Miyuki jumps into the chatroom.



Just in time to present the data on Suou Uzuki.



ARE YOU GETTING THE IMPRESSION THERE’S A THEME FOR THIS UPDATE?



Roth Montel! … I mean… Suou Uzuki! Sorry, forgot which mystery we were dealing with for a minute.



So Papa Uzuki was the government appointed inspector for U-TIC. Just a reminder: U-TIC wasn’t wall-to-wall bad guys at Suou’s time, but it’s pretty much assumed they’re still responsible for Old Miltia getting sucked into a big ol’ double blackhole. One way or another, Suou was in pretty deep with the wrong people.



Miyuki tries to help…



By noting that Suou might not have been evil, just incompetent enough to accidentally wipe out an entire planet.



Shion takes Miyuki’s... consolation in stride, and, again, claims that it doesn’t bother her. Nope. Not bothering Shion at all. Noooo sirreeee.



Shion is firmly in the “my father is responsible for the deaths of millions” camp. But it doesn’t bother her! Just, ya know, a thing that happens.



And Allen is calling! Great timing, slick!



Really great timing!



Later, Shion wakes up to Allen. She stops screaming after about three minutes.



Again, Shion knows exactly what is happening in this relationship, and is having a harder and harder time brushing it off.



And, again, Shion experiencing headaches that literally knock her unconscious for hours is explained with, “Ya know, been working a lot.”



“I had to ride like seventeen monorails!”



“Something about saving the digital life of… KAN-MAN? I may have written this down wrong…”



In a startling display of caring for Allen, Shion notes that talking to Juli on the Durandal will unfortunately cancel their date. I know this sounds kind of “washing my hair”, but remember that an eight hour (round trip) elevator ride is involved.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #753  
Old 08-11-2016, 12:58 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 4-5



But Shion, perhaps just happy that someone came rushing to her aid when she was passed out on the hotel room floor, suggests they go out for their date now. Like, now-now.



After all those cutscenes, you’ve got control of Shion again, but it’s a fake, you’ll be back to cutscene land the minute you step on the elevator.



Date time at the park! I hope Allen used the right leftover ingredients to score extra relationship points.



“Not as nice as that private beach I was on two days ago, but it’s good.”



“I was going to order half the menu just to see the look on your face.”



Allen… tries to be smooth? Yeah, good luck with that.



I guess… they’re just eating ham? Like… ham snacks? Thought they were eating crepes or something, but, no this is just a glorious future where a young couple can swing into the local hammery for a heaping helping of hamdingers.



Déjà vu, dude.



This is the logical end point of all philosophy. Ham.



Aaaand the moment is over, she’s talking about her ex. Pack it in, Allen, you’re done.



“I… Really don’t need to hear about this, Chief.”
“I understand, Allen. Anyway, Kevin Kevin Kevin Kevin Kevin…”



Here’s this dummy that will certainly never enjoy delicious ham.



Doctus apparently has a stealth mode, and I guess it’s just a reminder that Ziggy had the ability to turn invisible for like six seconds back in Episode 1 and then it was never mentioned again.



Doctus is on to you, Canaan!



Or… Canaan has no idea what she’s talking about.



Doctus wants to interrogate Canaan about Program Canaan, but he’s got no clue what’s going on here. Really, Canaan, your own name isn’t in your database?



Apparently!



So Doctus, now convinced Canaan is on the up-and-up after thirty seconds of questioning, hands over all her information on Project Canaan. Maybe she’s not naïve, just really lazy, and wants someone else to continue the research.



Yeah, she doesn’t seem like the trusting type.



The following morning, let’s make it 100% clear that Shion went to bed alone.



So now you really can re-explore Fifth Jerusalem if you so desire. Look at this great… hotel hallway? Wow.



The elevator to space exists exclusively for Shion, even if the Durandal is now parked up there, and it has a crew on par with the population of a small town.



See? There it is.



We saw chaos earlier. KOS-MOS is being turned into Pepsi cans. We’ve got Shion, Junior, MOMO, Ziggy… I feel like we’re forgetting somebody.



Ah, yes. Also recall that Shion distinctly asked about Jin and his Elsa exploits, let’s see here… two nights back.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #754  
Old 08-11-2016, 01:04 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 4-6



So everybody heads to the bridge (didn’t this ship used to have a meeting room? … Wait, maybe no one wants to go back there after it became a makeshift prison cell), and Juli, Canaan, and Miyuki are waiting there. What? Did Helmer have a hair appointment?



“She could be used for so many purposes! Like… uh… Can I have her?”



Junior gives a rundown of the whole “Elsa trapped in a space hole” thing. Didn’t chaos already cover this before?



Basically, if too much time passes, the Elsa will wind up stuck in phase space. That’s where gnosis come from, so it’s probably not too hospitable.



And, naturally, Shion immediately realizes that KOS-MOS is the secret to saving the Elsa. Good job, hero, Canaan figured that out yesterday.



Ziggy has tennis lessons later with MOMO (they’re going to play doubles!),so he cuts to the chase: let’s steal KOS-MOS!



Shion resolves to commit this crime against Vector and rescue her robo-daughter/friend… for the good of the Elsa. Sure.



Man, Shion just woke up, how are going to kill enough time to make it night again?



Yes!



That’s the stuff!



Allen was watching over Shion in the Durandal medbay, and now it’s Jin’s turn. The men in Shion’s life are… subtle.



I always feel like these two should have more to talk about…



“Yeah, I couldn’t believe that you were lounging around a beach for the last six months and not meddling.”



“Remember when you were like five and made that random passerby water flowers for you? You’re a born meddler.”



"Being human, having your health. That's what matters"



And Jin leaves an herbal remedy behind for Shion. He doesn’t draw any attention to it. Just leaves it there. Dork.



Off the Durandal, back to town.



Juli gets about ten seconds of character development when she notes she might be a little conflicted about the whole “building doomsday weapons” thing.



And admits that she’s doing it in the name of her late, potentially crazy husband. Fun fact: the entire reason he got into trouble was he was building doomsday weapons.



“I have determined KOS-MOS is more than a weapon in the thirty seconds we spent together on screen.”



“Unlike the human-based Realians, KOS-MOS is composed entirely of machines. How much real difference do you think there is between the bundles of protein that make us, and the machines that compose her? We're both a wave that makes up this universe. The only difference is the number of ripples. I think if we have hearts and minds, then it's evident that she would have them as well.”

So KOS-MOS is more human… because she’s not a Realian? Huh?



“Well, I was talking to this ghost yesterday and… Oh, never mind.”



“Believe in your own private doomsday bot. One robo-mom to another.”



Junior warns Shion (you) to finish all your business in town and stock up on supplies. It won’t be a real issue, but this is the last chance to complete those whacky Fifth Jerusalem sidequests. When you’re all done, hit the hotel again to start the mission.



Second warning to make sure you’re equipped for an incoming dungeon. Again, it absolutely won’t matter.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #755  
Old 08-11-2016, 01:08 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 4-7



On the way through the Space Port, make sure to check out Porte, a little girl that immediately identified Allen as useless. Awesome.



I am so damn ready for this incessant series of “town updates” to end that I made a beeline for Allen at the hotel. Oh, he has a tutorial for us!



Here’s the Skill Line for Xenosaga Episode 3. It’s really straightforward: you learn four skills per node, and each node requires progressively more skill points. As you might expect, skill points (SP) distribution becomes a lot more generous as the game progresses, so, while we’ve only got 36 SP after the entire first dungeon, we’ll earn that much SP in a single battle in later areas.



The three kinds of skills you’ll learn are Ether Skills, which are predominantly ether (magic) based, Tech Skills, which are generally based on physical stats, and Abilities, which automatically “equip” and upgrade your stat parameters.



Each character has two different branches that predominantly focus on one objective. Shion’s upper branch grants a lot of support and healing skills, while her lower branch is more about offensive ethers and techs. As another example, Ziggy’s two branches are based on either doing HP damage or Break damage. As you can just about see in the shot above, once you completely finish a branch (which won’t happen until a lot of the game is completed), you’ll earn a special “mystery” skill that is supposed to exemplify the branch. For most characters, that winds up being some “kill you all” ether or tech.



And, in one of those weird ways that gameplay and plot comingle poorly, Allen gives Shion all of his skill points. Those are transferred by… Nope, not thinking about it.



When you’re ready to rescue KOS-MOS, tell Allen it’s time, and we’ll fast forward to the espionage hour.



I already said we were!



“I think we can handle basic dungeon protocol, Allen.”



I never get tired of the fact that Junior arbitrarily can’t stand Allen. You make one racist comment…



Aw, Shion actually seems to be respecting Allen. The power of ham!



Actually, I feel like we do, because we’re going to stop this update here.

Next time on Xenosaga: Stealth is for poor people.


But before the next update… If you recall, The Brews of XS1&2 were a marriage of convenience. Everyone just kinda accidentally converged on the Elsa, and then everyone had the mutual goal of returning to Second Miltia. After that, everyone worked together for MOMO’s Y-Data dive, and then everyone had to pool their powers to race to Old Miltia/Proto Omega. Also remember the first two games took place over the course of two weeks, tops. Now it’s a year later, and, by the end of the next update, we’ll have the whole, exact same gang back together.

Why?

Ziggy is there for MOMO, right? But why is MOMO there? Why has MOMO been palling around for a year? Jin… just took a new job? The nigh-omnipotent chaos has nowhere else to be in the universe? Doesn’t Junior have a company to run?

So, rather than me just bitching about it next update, somebody no-prize a reason that this exact party has been hanging out together for the last year. Bonus points will be awarded for creativity or completely insane fan theories.

Have at it, TT!
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  #756  
Old 08-11-2016, 01:20 PM
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aturtledoesbite aturtledoesbite is offline
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Ok let's see here.

MOMO: Has literally no other friends. Also her mom's involved and she just wants to make mommy happy.
Junior: Is still trying to get a date with Sakura MOMO.
Jin: Has realized that none of these baka gaijin know how to properly wield the Blade, so their keikaku would be doomed from the start without his mastery.
chaos: The player is the most chaotic force in this programmed world of code and reused art assets, so clearly he's just sticking around because he's already looked at the past, present, and future of everyone and everything and watching you grind gnosis for hours is the only way he can feel alive anymore.
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  #757  
Old 08-11-2016, 06:13 PM
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Shion had been experimenting with group mind control on the side while working on KOS MOS. This is why after over a year after quitting her original team still calls her "chief." It also explains Allen, but that could be regarded as a failure as it went a bit too far.

So when she met the various members of the current crew, she used a slightly lower level version of her program and thus they come the moment she subconsciously calls. Which means Allen shows up, but again, failure. Sadly there's a feedback function in the current version that makes her kind of care about the others, but at the same time it gets her kill bot back, so it's not a bad deal.
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  #758  
Old 08-11-2016, 06:22 PM
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chaos explained it with help from the anthropic principle.
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  #759  
Old 08-11-2016, 07:09 PM
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So, God (or chaos?) help me, I started a playthrough of XS3 to go along with this LP. Mostly I remember it being the game in the series I liked the most.

Before starting, let's just say this game isn't the most friendly with PCSX2, at least when you use hardware modes. DX9 runs much slower than DX11, but the former doesn't have the really annoying problem of making the screen darker off and on for no apparent reason. The emulator also really doesn't like the game's light/shadows. The game's text also looks really gnarly at higher resolutions, but that's something to expect. It sure makes the "Previously on..." screens look like neon nightmares though!

This might come off as sadly obvious, but wow all of the talking. I mean, there's so much of it. The worst part is that the fact a good chunk of it is now soulless mugs talking to one another, so the pacing is now EVEN WORSE. And also, more often than not, there's no music playing in the background for some of these long talky scenes. (Or perhaps that's the emulation, though I doubt it.)

From viewing the story so far, I have the idea that everyone in the universe is a complete jerk. Especially Shion. Allen's a complete idiot/wimp, but he actively just bows to this completely awful person because he...loves her, I guess? Shion (and the rest of the team) is also completely awful to Miyuki as well, as you'll later see in the next update.

So yeah, I hope to try and play ahead of the LP's pace so I can just focus on reading the captions and (hopefully) get more out of the plot than I currently am. Because, yeah.

The following is a preview of the next update...

"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"It's just a scratch."
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"It's just a scratch."
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"TRY AGAIN IN 10 YEARS!"
"It's just a scratch."

Seriously, Goggle, if I haven't already said as much, I really appreciate the LP so far.
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  #760  
Old 08-11-2016, 08:37 PM
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I hate this game for many reasons, but the fact that Shion goes from clueless moron to actively being a shit is one of the top five.
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  #761  
Old 08-15-2016, 09:07 PM
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His name means red cloak.
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  #762  
Old 08-19-2016, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yama View Post
His name means red cloak.
Wait... "red cloak"... you mean Roth Mantel is secretly... Red Mantle?



No... something isn't right there...
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  #763  
Old 08-19-2016, 04:49 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 5-1

Incidentally, I want to point out, once again, that I appreciate everyone reading this and contributing and whatnot. I also like being reminded of stuff I've forgotten, like how MOMO has absolutely no friends. But seriously, I wouldn't be doing this without such a great audience, and I am, somehow, enjoying this.

Previously on Xenosaga: Shion and Allen went on a date! Also, KOS-MOS is going to be destroyed if we don’t rescue her, but that isn’t nearly as interesting.



But I suppose it is more pending, so let’s hop on the Gilbert Godfrey Memorial Monorail and infiltrate a heavily guarded government weapons testing facility.



We’ve nearly got The Brews back together, but with the fun addition of Allen and Miyuki. Or has Allen always technically been a team member? He’s kind of a party member in the same way that minigolf is a sport…



Miyuki is apparently on the team because she’s a l33t haxor, and Allen has the best knowledge of the layout. Shion sees this whole adventure as something like “take your infantile children to work day”.



Somewhere, Doctus sneezes, and doesn’t know why.



Oh, hey, they actually address that! … Kinda. Poorly.



She literally just said that!



Basically, we’re taking the backdoor into exactly where we were before.



And Miyuki is subbing for the absent KOS-MOS so we have a perfect seven person party. For any Miyuki lovers out there, this is her last turn as a guest character in the game, so use ‘er if you got ‘er.



We’re officially in a dungeon zone now, so we’ve got a little display for our Traps count. Danger time!



See? There’s the almost complete party. Everyone basically fulfills the same purpose as the previous episodes: Shion and MOMO are mages (though MOMO is a little more offensive this time around), chaos is more red mage, Junior is quick, Ziggy can take a hit, and Jin is fairly balanced. When KOS-MOS finally joins us, she’s the living (kinda) weapon, as usual. Miyuki is basically a limited version of Shion, for the curious…



Because she, unfortunately, cannot learn any skills. Lame.



But everybody else can! It’s not like you have enough SP to “buy” anything at this point, but at least you can scope out the possible skills if you want a little preview of specialties. Jin learns Armor Pierce right off? Man, somebody on the XS team liked Auron…



Remember all those warnings about “you better be prepared for a dungeon” last update? Well, they’re useless, because there’s a blue Shop Plate right here. Since you can’t return to town, there is a shop available at the start of this dungeon, and you can stock up on consumables at will.



Sadly, the shop doesn’t update this chapter, so it only stocks weapons and armor for Shion (and, technically, MOMO, since she can wear most of the same armor as Shion [but not weapons]). This isn’t completely a bad thing, as, having only completed one dungeon, you likely wouldn’t have enough cash to outfit the rest of the party anyway.



And, for posterity, we’re starting this dungeon at the 3:15 mark.



Incidentally, there’s nothing to this little starting area except the save/shop plates. Otherwise, you just walk onto yet another monorail. I only bring this up because when you may reenter this area later, you still start at the same “nothing” opening area and have to wait for this stupid monorail. Not that I’m bitter or anything…



Alright, now we’re in a real dungeon. The first area is basically a series of catwalks and soldiers milling about.



Kudos to the designers of this area, I appreciate how this “early” dungeon offers a lot of vantage points that allow you to see the soldiers walking around and plan for battles accordingly. You can play with traps at will, and practice sneaking up on monsters for back attacks. It’s tutorial-y without being overt about it, and that’s rare in this or any other JRPG.



This area also seems pretty much built for the fact that the game just dumped five new characters into your party (Shion and Miyuki are the only returning fighters from the last dungeon). Most of the enemies are the same (or very similar), so you can switch around your party configurations to see how Junior usually acts first, or Ziggy hits hardest.



And since your boost gauge is going to be filling often, feel free to play with those Special Attacks, too. Remember, you get bonus EXP for “finishing” an enemy with a special attack.



Side note: I’m pretty sure these guards are deaf and blind.



Another way the game encourages you to swap party configurations is through characters repeating the same stupid win quotes over and over again with every victory. Considering your more powerful fighters are more likely to land the finishing blow more often, get ready to hear Jin or Ziggy’s victory quotes constantly.



There is a little bit of a “puzzle” to this area that simply involves pushing blocks into place. Nothing too complicated if you’re smarter than a toddler.



MOMO is still using her bow from XS2. This makes MOMO’s star wand one of the few “things” that didn’t escape the orbit of XS1.



Like any dungeon worth its salt, we’re back to finding Red Segment Doors in seemingly off the beaten path locations. I like that this guy is guarding a door that literally can’t be opened by anyone but us.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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Old 08-19-2016, 04:54 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 5-2



Just a reminder that Jesus Christ element is out for this game, so chaos is attacking with generic, I dunno, fuzzy energy. Three games, and still no one asks what that kid’s deal is.



Remember that everyone has “weapons” now, so Ziggy has very visible “knuckle” upgrades for battles. This is his standard model, but some of the later upgrades are more interesting.



After the catwalk area, everyone comes out on the platform that we saw upon entering the CAT Testing Grounds the first time. I guess this whole little area was just to avoid those hulking AMWS.



Now that NPCs aren’t milling about, we can loot all the treasure chests in this place at will. Yay! Money!



Probably a more interesting dungeon would have deactivated the monorails and made the party explore the tunnels between areas. But, nope! Monorails ahoy!



Here’s this spot right outside the viewing arena. Soldiers that were once friendly NPCs are now enemies we must beat to death (or at least unconscious). No one feels bad about this for some reason.



Hey, Ziggy’s first special attack is that rocket launcher summon from the end of XS2. Neat!



And now we can nab that treasure that one NPC was noticeably blocking before.



This is one of those things I was complaining about during the equipment discussion. “Acquired Van Brace” tells the player nothing, so, pretty much any time you find a new treasure, you have to bop into the menu and check out what kind of accessory you acquired, what it does, and whether it is better than anything your party is currently wearing. And even then, descriptions like “1/2 Attack Down” sound more like something that stunts your attack or something, but, no, it’s referring to the fact that you’re more resistant to “attack down” status. The whole experience seems to make the game slower, which is never good.

I’m not saying that having a host of accessories is necessarily a bad thing, simply that the whole setup required just a tweak more transparency. Even just “Acquired –Necklace- Van Brace” would help…



Back to random battles. I tried to properly capture Jin’s special attack, but it moves so fast, you can barely tell what’s going on. So here’s Jin standing near a particle splatter that used to be a monster. Incidentally, recall that I maxed out Jin’s strength, so any damage values are insane (and same for KOS-MOS later)(and MOMO's EATK earlier).



Past the viewing area are three numbered monorails and a save point. I want to say we used… number four last time?



Welp, guess we’re not going that way.



Let’s try #6 for no particular reason.



Not going this way either. Fun fact: one day we’ll earn the key for this door, and behind it is probably the best secret boss in the Xenosaga franchise.



Now for monorail 5.



Yay! Plot is happening!



I know Shion is being a jackass, but I can’t get mad at her for saying something I’m sure I’ve said before. Wait… am I a jackass?



Ruh-roh.



Allen is quietly snickering.



So we have to go the long way around. Who would have expected that to happen in a JRPG?



I complimented XS2 on acknowledging XS1’s sucky, mute dungeons as a bad thing, and adding background music and puzzles to break up the monotony of boring hallways filled with monsters. Unfortunately, XS3 reverted to the old ways, and occasionally tosses you a dungeon (like this one) that is completely silent. Wait, my bad, it’s not completely silent, there’s a constantly repeating PA system announcing nonsense like there’s been a break-in or Abel is missing or whatever. This gives the area less a feeling of late-night espionage and more that you’re in a super market near closing and, “would the owner of a red Celica please report to the parking lot. You parked over four handicapped spots...”

It gets annoying.



Anyway, the next area is a shiny series of platforms. I think this is supposed to be the sort of “above” staging area of the demonstration zone. This is where the gaffers corral gnosis or something.



And backstage is crawling with robots and soldiers.



We’re making vertical progress!



There are two switches that must be pushed to create platforms that will allow The Brews to progress.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #765  
Old 08-19-2016, 05:00 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 5-3



But every time you hit on those switches, something… ominous happens.



Speaking of switches, there’s a little puzzle here where you have to blast platforms to rotate into a completed bridge. It’s pretty straightforward: there are four blocks, and each block will rotate with the adjacent blocks when blasted. Play the corners, and you’ll have a bridge in no time.



Second platform/monster switch.



And, a little higher up, here’s our completed catwalk for pressing the switches. If you missed either switch, get ready to backtrack.



In the next room, we get a glimpse of what was released by those switches.



Whoops! Oh well, we’ll probably never see that thing again!



The next room takes us under the pathway we used on our initial tour of the building.



Oh no! We have to fight our beloved AGWS from XS1! At least I’m assuming these guys are the AGWS from XS1, as I never used the damn things, and thus can’t even recognize them.



The AGWS are kind of like sub bosses in that they’re unique enemies… but this guy went down after one Ziggy attack (and he’s not even a hacked Ziggy). So the AGWS suck? Sounds about right.



There are two separate AGWS battles. I wonder if the XS staff didn’t just have the AGWS models lying around and decided to toss ‘em into a fight or two.



Afterwards, the party takes a quick second to give the AGWS a tiny benediction. Done? Okay, now let’s never speak of them again.



Hey, another door, and we actually have a key for this one. We got it in Juli’s room at the start of the last update, incidentally.



Oh boy, a weapon for KOS-MOS! Not that you’d know that from anything the game tells you. Feel free to hop through your equip menu to find no one right now can equip it, though.



We’ve somehow looped all the way around to the other side of that door Miyuki couldn’t open. See? It all worked out… aside from accidently releasing a massive monster.



If you test Miyuki’s route, you’ll obtain some kind of Final Fantasy bird monster bangle. It prevents poison, because that makes perfect sense.



Oh yeah, I said I’d talk about exploiting the break gauge in our next combat-y update. I maintain that the introduction to the Break system is terrible, because it makes it seem like “this is how you beat bosses”, when it’s more like a random status ailment in most boss battles. In random battles, though, it can be amazing. Your average battle in XS3 doesn’t last very long, but you might be up against five (or more) monsters at once. What to do? Well, Ziggy is the damn champion of the break gauge, so feel free to have him “knock out” a combatant. Then you’ve got one less enemy to worry about for a round, and, by the time the creature has recovered, it might find that the rest of its cronies are long dead. This can be very useful in situations when you know one particular monster is a pain (like, say, due to using powerful attacks or annoying status ailments), so knock ‘em out of the game for a round, focus on the lesser mooks, and then come back for the killing blow later (maybe once your boost gauge is maxed out).

It’s situational, but if you manage your break abilities well, you can save a lot of time from battle to battle. Or at least save a lot of HP.



And we can find upgrades for ES craft that we’ve barely used. At least this treasure is marked as ES-related.



Almost there. We’re now on top of the Vector area. Last time, we just walked in through the front door…



?



We’d go to the Vector wing, but I guess the elevator has different ideas.



Okay, I know it’s just one of like six portraits, but I swear this is Jin finally getting pissed at his sister for yelling at Miyuki all the time. She’s doing the best she can!



Are we going to steal a space plane again?



Oh, cinema mode!



Hey, everybody that fought and destroyed Proto Omega? Here’s new Omega!



I enjoy the reminder that Junior is vaguely aware of Yuriev’s plans, and also regards his clone daddy as an idiot. Close family.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #766  
Old 08-19-2016, 05:06 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 5-4



Aaaaand Shion headache.



Ziggy, as ever, is the stalwart knight that catches the fainting maiden.



That would make a fine epitaph.



Hey, I’ve seen that kid before.



Fei’s Abel.



Guess Abel’s English teacher has been taking a backseat to mech training.



It’s always nice to get confirmation that Shion isn’t just imagining these cryptic children running around.



Abel just, ya know, wanders the corridors, occasionally drawing on the floor. He’s not creepy at all.



Junior suggests this is a trap, and Shion retorts that that’s kinda crazy. Junior, you are your brother’s twin.



Miyuki… I tried to defend you a second ago…



From about this point on, the dungeon is still “a dungeon”, but it’s missing any enemies until a certain blue-haired robot rejoins the team.



Following Abel, la la la.



But if you take a little detour, you’ll find a mysterious all white room and some blocks. Where have I seen that before?



Xenosaga: Episode 1, 2002



There’s a computer just outside that you’d think would provide some interesting information on the super secret projects that are going on in this basement…



But most of the reports just confirm that nobody knows jack about what’s going on. Boo.



Back to following Abel, I suppose.



That can’t be safe! And no way back, either.



Welcome to the trash heap for the facility. I would imagine this area to be… pungent.



And we enter cinema mode again with Allen falling over into a pile of trash.




Yay! Pratfalls have saved the day!



Shion, as you might expect, is not happy with this.



Alright, I could complain every update about how the “talking dialogue boxes” really suck compared to the “real” acting of the previous episodes, but I do admit you get used to it pretty fast, and not every scene needs to be acted out. That said, stuff like this, Shion’s silent resignation at the fact that Junior somehow still doesn’t get it (remember the conversation at the beginning of XS2 where Junior has to have it explained to him how KOS-MOS is more than a “weapon” to Shion), really enhances the humanity on display by these characters. Considering that “humanity” is a gigantic theme of the whole XS franchise, well… I try not to get mad at budget cuts.



Hooray!

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  #767  
Old 08-19-2016, 05:12 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 5-5



Other thing I enjoy: Team Vector just whips into action here, with their holo displays and everything. Despite the fact that Shion, Allen, and Miyuki are very different characters, they sort of form a nerd gestalt and get to work. It’s an amusing parallel to the usual three person battle party with the three person SCIENCE! party. See? Allen is useful!



Anyway, there’s a weird program running in KOS-MOS, and nobody knows what it is.



But now is not the time to worry about it, we’ve got to get R-66Y out of this dome.



“We need a Level 5 scientist for this.”



Please don’t let this be a Chobits situation…



D’aww.



We’re good, KOS-MOS is back in action!



And she probably needs to be cleaned.



Shion immediately hugs her favorite robot and apologizes for… well, she’s not being specific, but there are a lot of options.



KOS-MOS is indifferent.



Not “fine”?



Good leadership, Junior. Here I thought MOMO would want to play in the trash more.



KOS-MOS confirms that she’s good to go, so Miyuki is demoted to Allen-level guest status.



Honestly, I have no idea why the designers didn’t just go ahead and make Miyuki a permanent party member. She doesn’t really do much from this point on in the story, she could have easily tagged along and been another party mage. Maybe the writing staff just got tired of figuring out new ways for Shion to insult her.



There it is. The Brews are back in action. Somebody get KOS-MOS some exp!



Monsters pick back up right here in the dumpster, so feel free to get KOS-MOS back into combat rotation.



I think I missed you most of all, gatling gun.



Oh, Shion naturally learned Rare Steal after that battle. That will come in handy.



Like twelve feet from the dump, we’re back into talky time.



And it’s time for…



Oh, never mind, she’s fine.



Wait, no. Well, at least the floor is clean here.



Hey, Shion in U-DO land.



Aw, U-DO wants to be where the people are.



“So… William, then?”

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #768  
Old 08-19-2016, 05:17 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 5-6



And the scene ends with Shion finally getting the memo on who she’s talking to, while U-DO is just a pile of questions.



Everyone was concerned, but nobody got the poor girl a pillow? KOS-MOS should be able to teleport couches at will.



She’s so okay, she’s stuttering! That’s super okay!



Alright, elevator right back up, time to hit a save point.



The final challenge of the area involves evading a marching band of AGWS. If you keep up a good pace, you’ll only have to fight one AGWS, but I think you can fight all of them if you’re bored. I fought two, because I couldn’t stop laughing at F-Troop here.



Almost free of this place!



Ah, right, giant gnosis we released.



Boss battle! Here’s Aludra Calf. It’s weak to beam attacks, so stick MOMO in there and let her use beam-element “magic”. If you remembered to equip KOS-MOS with that weapon from behind the segment door earlier, she’ll also kick some ass. Also note the 100% drop for this beast is a Decoder key, and there’s a White Fragment for you if you decide to steal.



So do that. Thanks for learning that skill, Shion!



Despite appearing to be a bruiser, Aludra Calf seems to use a lot of ether attacks, so I guess whatever passes for the “shell” spell in this series would be a good idea.



This is technically the first “real” boss in the game (that is to say, a boss that isn’t totally tied to a tutorial of some kind), but it’s still a pushover. For being foreshadowed for most of the dungeon, there really isn’t much of a fight here.



Gee, I don’t know, maybe they’re testing the walking weapon that just killed it?



I guess there are no more guards left alive in this area. Time to go!



And, despite the fact that everyone just raided a Federation Military installation, maimed (at least) a hundred guards, and stole a weapon capable of destroying a planet, The Brews just hop on the space elevator and grab a ride on their ship.

They didn’t even wear masks… Two party members were wearing Vector uniforms…



And as the Durandal departs, “Roth” and Blue Virgil are found hanging out in the vacuum of space. If you’re still trying to guess Roth’s identity at this point…



Yeah, more cryptic nonsense. Shion and KOS-MOS are related by some mystical nonsense? You don’t say.



Also I guess someone in there is “the thirteenth key”. Whatever. However, I would be very happy to see a version of Xenosaga that is just Blue Virgil mocking all this enigmatic boloney all the time.



Aaaand end of the chapter.



Chapter 2 ends at the 4:22 mark. That means that passable dungeon was a little over an hour of adventuring, and Chapter 2 accounts for about three hours of the game. Chapter 1 was twenty minutes.

Anyway, a chapter break sounds like a good spot for an update break, so let’s all chill until the Durandal ferries KOS-MOS to that space/time sphere.

Next time on Xenosaga: When was the last time this JRPG had a good cave dungeon?
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  #769  
Old 08-19-2016, 05:57 PM
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Boss battle! Here’s Aludra Calf.
If you re-arrange the letters in Aludra Calf you get Dracula Alf.

Which, let's be honest, would be a way better boss fight.
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  #770  
Old 08-20-2016, 01:01 AM
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I kind of want to know the localization reason behind having that irritating public intercom voice go on and on every five seconds. That's not how it works in the real world and um, you'd think people would have got the hint by then that they're looking for a pilot for that weird Omega robot thing that's in the facility.

Just...couldn't they program it to maybe have it not say it as much?

Funny thing about the localization: Apparently the translator/proofreader couldn't understand the difference between "led" and "lead" in the script, because I've spotted at least two incorrect usages during my playthrough. I think Jin might be the offender in both cases. Perhaps he's just not the best with the English language? (You can see one of the typos in this update, actually.)

Emulation fun: The game looks a LOT better when you turn off the widescreen patch for the game, as it isn't some stretched-out nightmare. Apply some scanlines and make sure the screen isn't shaking and the game looks pretty okay, with the exception of wonky lighting/shadows.

Also, U-DO really hates my graphics card. I have to switch AA off or any conversation with it grinds the game to half-speed. It does make its conversations a lot funnier though when they're in SLOOOOW MOTION.

So overall, how many concussions has Shion had during the last two or so updates? She's fallen down a lot.
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  #771  
Old 08-20-2016, 01:15 AM
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I think Jin might be the offender in both cases. Perhaps he's just not the best with the English language?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aturtledoesbite View Post
Jin: Has realized that none of these baka gaijin know how to properly wield the Blade, so their keikaku would be doomed from the start without his mastery.
More evidence to support this idea!
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  #772  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:08 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 6-1

For the record, between now and the next update, I'm going to go back and put together a Shion headache/concussion count, because... yeah... But this update is free of headaches! Yay!

Previously on Xenosaga: KOS-MOS was rescued by the genuine altruism of The Brews. Also, they kinda needed her advanced weapons system to save some other humans… but I’m sure that’s just a coincidence.



Alright, here we are in Gedalya Space. Uh… was this area identified as such at all before this moment?



The ESes are all here, and they brought technobabble!



We’ve also got some gnosis swarming the area, so keep an eye on that.



I guess we’ve already confirmed that Shion can pilot the ES Dinah by herself, so KOS-MOS decided to go outside and get some (complete lack of) air.



KOS-MOS’s tertiary weapons system (last seen during the finale of XS2… and before that during the aborted vision of the end of Old Miltia) is deployed.



This super laser completely tears through the gnosis…



But…



Not a scratch on the dome we’re trying to penetrate. Welp, guess this entire adventure has been for nothing. Who wants to go grab a porkroll?



Oh smack, I forgot about the power of believing in JRPG heroines!



… Or just turning the dial up a little more. I’m pretty sure that’s going to be more effective.



It ain’t anime until a protagonist inexplicably grows wings.



There we go! I guess that first blast was just a practice shot.



Unfortunately, the feedback (or something?) fries the tertiary weapons system. KOS-MOS herself is alright, but we won’t be able to use this planet buster ever again. Fare thee well, obvious plot device.



May as well mention this now: due to the circumstances we’ll soon experience, the party becomes “cut off” from the rest of the universe. The Brews are obviously all in their mechs, and we’ll also have Allen along for the ride… but no Miyuki. It’s never distinctly shown, but I guess there’s a deleted scene somewhere where Allen begs to have that extra seat in the ES Dinah, and Miyuki… gets left back at Fifth Jerusalem? Where she just robbed a government facility? Let’s not think about this one too hard.

I mean, Jin had an extra spot in his mech…



The hole seals up behind our heroes, and Mary and Shelley are left to mind shop. With Gaignun off being possessed by clone daddy, I guess these two are running the Kukai Foundation now. … The company will be bankrupt by Tuesday.



Well, I guess we did just determine “belief” works in this universe…



Roth and Blue Virgil are chilling back in that tomb from the intro. Hey, we might get some explanation on that in an update or so.



Never ever try to distinctly define the “assumed” family dynamics of Xenosaga. It… leads to a lot of incest.



I want to reiterate that Blue Virgil is my favorite testament by a pretty wide margin.



But Roth’s rebuttal is pretty alright, too. “Oh, I’m sorry, I thought I was talking to a transcended consciousness, and not a whiny baby.”



But here’s some real data: T-elos must destroy KOS-MOS. Hm, I suppose that is pretty obvious in retrospect…



Blue Virgil just wants to do something after two games of nothing.



Meanwhile, MOMO has determined that it’s cool if everybody wants to exit their gigantic, invincible, space-faring mechs. I mean, it’s an option, at least.



Now that everyone is on the same side of the dome, we get confirmation that the Elsa crew is just fine! Yay! Though we did have the brand new Anna lined up, just in case.



The crew descends into a comedy routine about six seconds after confirming they survived a deadly space hole.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #773  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:15 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 6-2



“That way we can all be trapped inside this dome… Wait… was that the plan?”



There is all sorts of useless dialogue in this scene, but the gist of it is that the Elsa’s engines aren’t working at the moment…



So what the hell, let’s explore a dungeon.



But before that, we’re back aboard the Elsa for the first time in XS3, so let’s take a look around what will inevitably become home base. Bridge looks about the same.



The… uh… hallway? Quad? Communal area? I don’t know… Looks about the same as during XS2. We’ve got a few plates here: one save point, one shop point, and the blue-green one is for UMN diving. That’s your ticket to revisiting old dungeons.



The shop has updated for the chapter, so now everyone can upgrade their equipment.



About once a shop update you see this kind of nonsense: Jin has the choice of a sword that ups his attack by two, or he can purchase a sword that ups his attack and adds three to his evade, but it costs an extra hundred credits. No one else has this “choice”, but next chapter, it’ll be chaos or Junior with the options. It’s… a weird way to add customization to the equipment buying process. Otherwise, it’s all just “buy this chapter’s new stuff”.



“Rare Brace” sounds a lot better than it is.



Venture a little bit past the plates and you’ll encounter a Bunnie. Turns out that Captain Matthews upgraded a few of the droids around the Elsa to be Bunnie models. I’m not going to say Captain Matthews was drunk when he made this decision, but he is a boozer.

John Bunnie is helpful, and will fork over a free ES generator. He doesn’t have any more to give, but he reminds you to go hit that shop again to buy new ES equipment.



And, yep, the shop has ES items. Well, it doesn’t have any ES weapons…



But you can purchase generators, frames, CPUs, and accessories.

A quick rundown: weapons up your attack power (and sometimes change elemental affinity), frames up your HP, generators (pictured) up your EN, so you can perform more attacks per round…



CPUs let you equip more accessories…



And accessories are… accessories. Every accessory has a “slot” rating, and the better accessories take up more slots (and require better CPUs). I highly recommend buying the Sensor, as it’s an automatic “scan” command that only requires one slot. Very useful.



Oh, “accessories” are known as “discs”. Who cares? Incidentally, it doesn’t “work” like you’d expect, but it appears the ES Dinah absorbed both KOS-MOS and Shion’s inflated POW and EATK scores. This impacts special (anima) attacks, but not regular attacks.



Past the new bunnie is Cabrillo the droid. Anyone that has already played XS3 knows that Cabrillo is worse than Hitler. We’ll revisit him later.



The Elsa Diner/Bar looks about the same as XS2. And now there aren’t any math puzzles! Yay!



But there is this arcade machine. Hm. Nah, don’t really feel like playing that right now.



Like before, there’s a male and female cabin, but now the game actually recognizes the gender of your lead character and bars entry. Cute.



The men’s dorm has a droid that watches you shower. He wants to make a “legendary sword”. Freudian.



The women’s cabin houses my homeboy, Bunnie Bob. Bunnie Bob has a wife and kids and a job down at the box factory that he absolutely hates… but the game doesn’t really get into that much. He’s currently into rocks minerals.



The downstairs of the Elsa has changed quite a bit. That stupid roulette wheel from XS2 is gone, and now there’s a sort of universal command center.



It can project a hologram of the universe. That should come in handy for at least one cutscene.



The Professor and Assistant Scott still have Robot Academy downstairs, but it’s changed around a little bit (and lost the rad urban motif). Oh, hey, looks like Dark Professor is still around and mailing postcards.



Dark Professor’s general dark-professorness is introduced here during the first act of the game… and it won’t pay off until just about the finale. Odd choice.



Also, this is where the “where to look” clue is dropped. Remember this for fifteen hours from now!

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #774  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:22 PM
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I can’t believe this information will eventually be relevant.



Assistant Scott is milling about Robot Academy, just, ya know, assisting and stuff.



The familiar consoles of Robot Academy are located here. Scott’s terminal allows you to read up on a sidequest that won’t be available for a little while, while Professor Hikari’s console will give you information on Erde Kaiser models. Too bad we don’t have any giant robots yet.



Inches away is a hidden –golden- Segment Address Door. It requires Key #9, which is mandatory at this point in the game (it’s a 100% drop from the monster at the end of the last update). Behind this shiny door is…



Erde Kaiser! What the hell!?



Yep, we just earned Erde Kaiser. Check Professor’s console to confirm the data on our first Erde Kaiser.



In XS1 and XS2, we obtained pieces of Erde Kaiser, and each proper “pair” unlocked a new attack. Arms, Legs, Head, and then Complete, if you recall. Now we’re going to wind up with the same number of “attacks”, but we’re collecting individual Erde Kaisers. The EKs we saw in previous episodes are all returning (Erde Kaiser, Erde Kaiser Fury, and Dark Erde Kaiser), and eventually we’ll earn an all new Erde Kaiser (alluded to just a few moments ago). It winds up being basically the same “difference”, except now we’ve got a host of giant robots.

The downside is that each Erde Kaiser (except the final one) is now much weaker. Each EK also now has a related element, so you might get some use out of this “weak, early” Erde Kaiser because it will murder any lightning weaknesses. Good news, though, is that anyone can now summon Erde Kaiser, so you’re not limited to Shion casting these “spells”. It still winds up being based on EATK, so Shion is going to be a naturally better summoner than Ziggy, but it is convenient if you absolutely need to attack a whole enemy party on Jin’s turn.

Also, since I maxed Shion and MOMO’s ETAK… well, don’t think much is going to survive that.



Beyond Robot Academy is the hangar that holds the ESes.



There’s also a small room in this area that is home to KOS-MOS’s space coffin. I guess that makes this her bedroom?



Getting flashbacks to Xenogears’ Yggdrasil here. That’s probably intentional.



Oh, and if you want, you can hit that blue-green plate from earlier and revisit a few locations. So far, our only choices are the opening hacker dungeon, the beach, and the Testing Grounds from last update.



But feel free to go back to any area and open some segment doors. You’re not going to find a giant robot, though.



Alright, that’s everything to see in the Elsa. Let’s hit the launch elevator and get this plot rolling again. Incidentally, the clock is at 4:46.



I’m not certain why or how this particular stop was chosen, but here we are at some indistinct spot on Floating Landmass. I guess this is where the Elsa crashed?



This is our first ES dungeon, and… it’s a cave. Everybody ready for some spelunking?



There are droneish little bots floating around, so, naturally, combat. Your first battle grants a little tutorial on “chains”.



Basically, if you keep hitting an enemy, occasionally another party mech will join in and add an extra hit. It’s fundamentally an excuse to chain the weaker attacks to stronger attacks, as opposed to just using strong attacks all the time. It’s also fairly random, and, in at least one boss battle, might get you killed. Remind me to bring that up a whole heck of a lot later (I won’t forget… I won’t ever forget…).



Anyway, this entire dungeon is stocked with monsters that are numerous, but kind of weak. In general, you should be able to put down at least one drone per turn. I guess the “lesson” here is to properly manage your engine reserves so you use the most attacks per round, but it’s remarkably straightforward.



Unrelated to anything, XS3 is one of those games that grants full EXP to the active party, and then partial EXP to anyone on the sidelines. During an on-foot battle, you’ve got four people in reserve to your three person active party, but almost everyone participates in an ES battle. Jin is the only non-double, so there’s probably some min/maxing trick to always having him be the reserve ES, so the other six people in the party soak up all that valuable EXP. Or it doesn’t matter at all. I don’t know.



The start of this dungeon is basically just hallways. Woo blasting rocks.



As you can see, we now have generators that are capable of allowing more than one attack per round. This makes ES battles more interesting than during the Margulis battle, but it’s still basically a matter of going from weakest attack to strongest (and maybe toss the middle one… let’s see here… in the middle?).



Even in these cramped hallways, it’s not that difficult to back attack the drones, so try to do that. ESes do seem to move faster on the overworld than in XS2, at least.



Okay, I need to get this out of my system. You see that? That’s the second and main area of this cave dungeon. We’re going to be scaling that cliff side. Notice anything else about this capture? Yes, you will note that the ES Dinah is naturally hovering. That’s because it can fly. Xenosaga has been pretty smart thus far about having dungeons that had ceilings, but this is some classic Xenogears “why can’t we just fly up” nonsense, and it bugs me every single time.



And here’s a geocrystal. This one is just chilling off in some corner, but its indestructability will become an issue shortly.



Go up a little, and we discover the gimmick of this area. The only way to break a geocrystal is to drop another geocrystal on top of it. In this case, we’re just doing it for giggles, but later…

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #775  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:29 PM
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GoggleBob GoggleBob is offline
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 6-4



Since we’ve got to fight these drones up and down this mountain, the anima gauge fills pretty quickly, and you’ll have ample opportunity to utilize special attacks. Unfortunately, none of the special attacks hit any more than one enemy, and the monsters go down after one round anyway… so there isn’t much incentive here to “waste” your anima gauge on these flunkies. At least you get extra EXP...



Here we go with some straight up gobbledygook. Despite the fact that your party could easily hover around that geocrystal, apparently you have to navigate a giant, stupid maze to find a geocrystal to roll over this obstruction. Ugh.



The nearby cave leads to a path that will eventually get us where we need to go, but there are a number of branches and forks. Combine this with the fact that this dungeon could best be described as “nondescript cave”, and we’re in a NES style “have I already been here” labyrinth. It’s not completely horrible, since at least monsters don’t respawn, but it still seems poorly designed.



Where am I? I sure don’t know.



One path leads to an ES treasure. Equip immediately for extra HP. Yay!



Another path allows you to shatter a geocrystal, but not the geocrystal you want to shatter.



However, if, after completing this area, you make the trek aaaaaaall the way back down, you’ll get a prize. See that lil’ tiny icon? Come back later.



Is this the same place as the last screenshot?



Hey, here’s a chain in action. Yay for party members helping out and not just standing there motionless!



One path leads to a dead end. Now you’re actively trying to waste my time, XS3.



Alright, cool, geocrystal to push. We’re done with this place.



And… it falls and misses. Dammit!



More cavery.



Here we go, final stop.



Nailed it! Good! Now we don’t have to do that again.



Shion arbitrarily credits KOS-MOS with pushing a rock. Gotta keep that positive reinforcement rolling.



Thankfully, the game automatically deposits you back at the entrance to the maze area, so you don’t have to get lost on the way back (or maybe everybody flew down just to annoy me).



But you still have to double back to fish out that treasure I mentioned earlier.



Return this Rough Geocrystal to Bunnie Bob (he has the cutest kids) at the end of the game, and you’ll acquire a super weapon. Miss this part entirely, and, when it’s relevant in fifteen hours, you’ll have absolutely no idea where to look. Your choice.



There’s also a red segment door down here. It’s not gold, so I’m not going to remember it at all.



And now back up the path. Argh.



After many battles, all that remains is this cave at the top.



Uh, a cave?



Man, if MOMO were capable of sarcasm, she’d be my favorite character right now.



Can you see the writing on the wall? And did Junior just reveal he’s Jewish?

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #776  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:35 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 6-5



Or maybe not.



“And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.”

MOMO actually comes up with the translation.



Or maybe she’s not actually translating it.



This was in the Y-Data? Jesus, those Gideon guys can stick a Bible anywhere.



And laser outta nowhere!



Hey, it’s an unfriendly scorpion looking mech. I swear we’ve seen this somewhere before.



Right, it’s Blue Virgil’s ES Nephtali.



Keep in mind, for the party, that was like ten minutes a year ago. I guess you remember a jerkass in a blue cloak.



Blue Virgil must be in a sharing mood.



Either that or his mask was getting hot. Probably a lot of moisture in this cave.



“That guy I knew for like a half hour a year ago on that ship that exploded and killed everybody!”



Virgil, are you… heiling?



Yeah, ya know, no one ever tries to steal these mechs that have the strength of entire armies…



Though I guess it isn’t much of a thing if you have a better ES.



Hey, no fair shooting before we get into an actual battle!



“Wait, Lieutenant! You're right! It's true th-that... that was—“

Shion is trying to apologize for that whole “my robot killed you” thing…



But Virgil isn’t having it. I do appreciate that Shion just immediately assumes Virgil is out for revenge, and not working on secret orders from an immortal Vector executive.



“We were doing that before you started shooting at us!”



I guess the letters make their cutie marks glow or something?



Everyone is confused, and Virgil taunts the party some more. I’m glad someone is finally saying, “Did you ever wonder where special attacks actually come from?”



“It's quite simple! That is the kind of place this is, to those Vessels of Anima that you're using.”

Well, that explains nothing.



Thank you.



We have literally two doctors in the party! And Junior can kinda read Hebrew!



Alright, for real boss fight time. The gimmick du jour involves your anima gauge going haywire all battle. Don’t worry about it too much, and unload when it’s full.



ES Nephtali isn’t much of a thing. He’s your first real ES boss, and, since you don’t have that many options at this point, the battle is basically confirmation that you’ve learned to chain attacks (and you had plenty of practice across the dungeon).

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  #777  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:41 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 6-6



May as well throw ES Dinah’s special attack at the dork.



It’s more like annoyance!



After Virgil’s little interlude there, it’s probably a good idea to defend. He’s about to unleash this crazy laser barrage, so you’ll want to be prepared.



I’m a cheater with practically unlimited resources, but this is a reminder that, unlike XS2, you can now use items to heal during an ES battle.



MOMO with the kill. Or was it Ziggy? One of ‘em.



Then why are we about to get EXP, hm?



Yay! Ziggy learned choke! That’s going to come in handy.



Yeah, three against one doesn’t exactly seem fair.



She’s a doctor!



“No, you’re dead. Yo’ mama’s dead!”



And a familiar voice descends from the heavens.



White Testament meets the party for the first time. Well, he meets the party for the first time wearing a mask, at least.



Virgil? You have like two weeks seniority over Albedo, tops.



I think testaments get bored easily.



Junior is not going to spend two episodes sussing out the identity of this testament.



Albedo just ignores him. I guess he’s not in a talking mood for once.



And… something is yanked out of the ES Nephtali.



That’s what those things look like.



Oh yeah, I guess the party doesn’t actually get to view the scan data, so they had no idea Albedo and Virgil were piloting ES craft.



Divorced from its vessel, the Nephtali collapses into a heap. I guess we won’t have to fight that thing again.

Also, for future reference, that’s one vessel out of twelve. That count will pick up again later.



And, without so much as a wave, Virgil and Albedo leave on Albedo’s ES, the Vessel of Anima in tow.



But… stuff is still happening?



“That's what I tried to tell you! Like I said before, that's the kind of place this is. Oh well. Good luck figuring it out!”

Virgil, you’re still not helping.



And the ESes shut down.



Guess we’re hoofing it.

CONTINUED NEXT POST
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  #778  
Old 08-26-2016, 03:42 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 3 6-7



“That’s how JRPGs work, Shion. I’ve played a lot of them.”



So, yes, the rest of this dungeon is sans-ES. Just as well, Ziggy’s legs had gone into sleep mode.



Oh, this looks promising. Everybody loves ancient architecture and incongruous shops and savepoints.



And I’m going to call it at 5:21. ES dungeon down, now it’s time for the on-foot portion. What secrets await us here? Find out next time!

Next time on Xenosaga: Legends of the Hidden Temple.
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  #779  
Old 08-29-2016, 02:30 PM
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Default Xenosaga Episode 1 Really Fast

Hey kids! Did you know that today is the ten year anniversary of the release of Xenosaga Episode 3? It's true! Oh boy! I love birthdays.

I brought presents!



Not that it has anything to do with XS3, but whatever, it's the thought that counts.
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  #780  
Old 08-29-2016, 04:21 PM
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TirMcDohl TirMcDohl is offline
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Default

Choke.

Choke is good.

Choke is life.

Choke is situational.

The situations where Choke is useful are the best moments of the game.
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