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  -XS Main
  -Part 1 :: [07.21.03]
  -Part 2 :: [08.06.03]
  -Part 3 :: [11.22.03]
  -Part 4 :: [02.10.04]
  -Part 5 :: [07.14.04]
  -Part 6 :: [08.05.04]
  -Part 7 :: [10.12.04]
  -Part 8 :: [01.23.05]
  -Part 9 :: [05.24.05]
  -Part 10 :: [01.20.06]
  -Part 11 :: [10.12.07]
  -Part 12 :: [06.30.11]
  -Part 13 :: [02.17.12]


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"Before Cecilia can reply, TBBM Einsteins: 'His Majesty wanted to wipe out the Callers of this village and used us to do it!' No fucking shit. I honestly wouldn't be surprised if his next line was 'Hey! That package was full of Bombs!' It gets worse. Cecilia reacts to TBBM's 'revelation' as though he's just been told the secret of eternal life. 'Incredible!' he exclaims, as I try to find salvation at the bottom of my wine bottle. Now, I know this version of the game was primarily targeted towards kiddies, but for God's sake, give them some credit."
     -Ben, Final Fantasy IV Part 2




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Xenosaga : Part 2
By Sam
Posted 08.06.03
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In the last recap, we met two dumbass wankers and a sexy robot. More importantly, the first hour of the game helped me realize three things:

1) Everything looks like a penis.
2) The entirety of Xenosaga's dialogue is senseless jargon.
3) Shion is a stupid bint and I want her to die.

These basic truths will only solidify themselves in the recap to come. Oh boy, you can hardly wait!

 
At least ONE person around here sees Shion for what she is.

We pick up exactly where we left off, as Shion is about to go to the bridge and report to the Captain on the KOS-MOS Project. Since she's a big time-waster, Shion first takes the chance to talk to her Vector underlings. One of them lets her know there's a Special Item inside Encephalon. Shion goes to fetch it, but this time she doesn't have KOS-MOS in the party with her. This means she has to fight all the fake Gnosis from inside her A.G.W.S. This may seem like a big pain, but it means I don't have to hear her wanky cries of "Spell Ray!" and "Lightning Blast!" nor her equally wanky end-of-battle speeches, and for this I am glad. Shion reaches the red Vector box that she and KOS-MOS had to find last time, to discover inside it a "Battle Passport." Upon checking the description of this item, I see it is used to play an A.G.W.S. mini-game. Well, I'm so glad I spent 10 minutes of my life recovering that! Oh, how essential! The Battle Passport goes into Shion's item inventory, never to be seen or heard from again.

The other Unitards don't possess any interesting information, but one of them complains to Shion regarding her concentration on "KOS-MOS' aesthetic sensitivity system." The Unitard thinks they should be working more on her weapons technology. Apparently Shion is more concerned with her weapon of mass destruction appreciating the beauty of spring and the sweetness of a baby's smile. God, she's dumb. Finally, Shion exits the lab. Corey calls "Okay, good luck!" after her, and continues to stare at the closed door after she's gone like the extremely pathetic lost puppy he is. The Unitards, as before, have a good laugh at his expense.

...with purty boobies.
 

Shion girly-runs her way through the corridors, pausing to check a crappy, un-detailed map of the ship, the Woglinde (pronounced whoa-glin-day). Since Shion is aboard the vessel, I am appropriately renaming it the Hoglinde. Not too far from the map, we hear a loud beeping sound. Why, Shion's got mail! (Note: the beeping is accompanied by the controller vibrating for a few moments. I'm assuming that Shion's email gadget also vibrates in this manner. Funny? Yes. Disturbing and wrong? Also yes.) This first email Shion receives is an excuse to explain the U.M.N. (Unus Mundus Network--ouch, that would be the "There's even inane psychology references to deal with, ha ha!" Mallet). The email itself has some more information on the Connection Gear--which is not the Boom Stick at the moment, since we're not allowed to blow up things in the Real World. Wah. There's a whole lot of technobabble regarding plug-ins for the Not-Boom Stick, including something that makes it possible to "use imaginary machines and storage interspersed throughout the U.M.N." I'm not even going to ask.

 
Everyone needs to know where Shion's room is. ...Oh, ew.

Once Shion's read the email, she has a conversation with a hopping white rabbit. You read that correctly. The bunny is an A.I., and basically functions as Shion's avatar on the network. Figures. Shion banters with Bunny about the Not-Boom Stick, including more of Shion's bragging about getting prototypes of every Vector product in existence. Shion begins to explain (for my benefit, only I don't care) the U.M.N., but Bunny soon takes over. I figure that maybe Bunny just wanted to take the player instruction out of Shion's hands, except that it is also explaining things to her. Shion even asks questions of it, though she should already know everything it's telling her. Just so you get the idea:

Bunny: So, Vector Com. finally announced their latest model of Connection Gear, the RIOS.
Shion: They sure did. But guess what! I had the "RIOS 680RR" model even before they made their official announcement. With my Connection Gear, I can get all sorts of information by establishing and maintaining an on-demand network with the U.M.N.

So at this point, it seems like Shion knows how the thing works, right?

Bunny: Yeah. The U.M.N. has two very important roles in this world governed by the Galaxy Federation government. One role is traffic infrastructure via leaps in space. As a result, even interstellar travel is made easy.
Shion: I see. And the other role?
Bunny: The U.M.N. is an information source that uses a large, decentralized network system.

Now she needs things explained to her. Okay...

Shion: We employ agent-like A.I. called Procurators like yourself to navigate us around this giant network called the Unus Mundus Network, or the U.M.N.

AUGH! What the hell is going ON here?

Bunny goes on to explain emails, or emails, to Shion, even though it's made perfectly plain that she's used the email program before. But she still bobs her head vacantly throughout the explanation, as if everything she's hearing is news to her. To this I can only say, "...Whatever." Finally, they discuss the Vaporizer Plug-in, which is what turns the Not-Boom Stick into the Boom Stick. It sounds like it's about to be approved for Real World use. Hooray for blowing shit up!

Bunny reminds Shion that she needs to go see the Captain now, as much as she'd like to sit here and talk to a holographic rabbit for hours on end. "You're right," she replies. "I better go to the bridge to see the Captain." Thanks for clearing that up, Shion.

Why do game designers plague us with colored text?
We're drooling morons and don't understand normal text. Duh.
They thought giant neon flashing arrows were too over the top.
"Oooh, look at all the pretty colors! Squee! Well, back to the crack-smoking!"

 

After checking out the other emails she received (mostly explaining equipment and A.G.W.S.), Shion resumes her journey toward the bridge. But now we get to go back to the lab for a stupid cut scene with Corey and the Unitards. Again, they ridicule him for being Shion's little bitch, and again he tries to act like he doesn't like her in that way. For his own good, I wish he were telling the truth. Alas.

Corey is still whining to himself about the lack of respect he's shown when he comes upon Blue Hair Unitard #2, the one who dared question Shion's ridiculous decision-making before. Corey deduces that the kid is still skeptical of Shion's "reasoning," but then Corey remembers that BHU #2 is new to the First R&D Division. This means he doesn't know that waking up KOS-MOS is a Sensitive Subject with Shion. Both of them seem to know what happened to make this so, but neither says anything that could clue in the rest of us. This isn't the end of the vague alluding to that "incident" from two years ago.

Corey notices at this point that Shion, her ineptitude knowing no bounds, forgot some of the research data. He says a little too loudly that he'd better get it to her before she reaches the bridge. Oh, don't worry about that, Corey--it's going to take her a while. The Unitards see this as the perfect excuse for the Wankress and her Knight in Shining Wank to be alone. He brushes them off, even when they all wish him luck in scoring some Shion booty (gag) as he leaves the lab. But once he's alone, he wanks about how he's too much of a pussy to ask out his braindead boss. "It's not like I don't want to..." he opines. "I just...can't..." I can't help feeling bad for him; after all, he is desperate enough to like Shion.

Speaking of Shion, we're back to her POV again. She's walking through what must be the cargo bay of the Hoglinde, because we can see the Golden Penis Plate hovering ominously nearby. As she walks, Shion ends up bearing witness to some military-style verbal and physical abuse. Several young men in orange coveralls are taking a beating from a man with a large purple X tattooed across his face. That had to hurt. As he smacks the boys around, he calls them "slackers." Repeatedly. The avid Back to the Future fan in me can't help but nickname him Strickland. Anyway, Strickland is pissed off at the coverall boys because of some accident. He screams some military "motivational" stuff at them, Gunny R. Lee Ermey-style, like "If you got time to be sorry, you got time to get your ass in gear!" Watching from above, Shion giggles, because seeing other people reamed out and beaten up is so funny. Well, it would be if it were me watching it happen to her. After she's done amusing herself at the pain of others, Shion wanks, "Boy, I guess not every department's run like ours." I'd make a comment about not every department having a soul-sucking twit as its head, but...wait, I guess I just did.

At the thought of her own department, Shion flashes back to some time earlier in her career. She's in a lab at nighttime, and rain is pattering the windows. Sad music in the background. Shion's the only person there, which is supposed to show us that she's a Dedicated Career Woman™. I'm going to assume she forgot where her house is, so she just stayed at work. Explaining everything in the context of "Shion is a retard" makes the whole game a much gentler experience for me. Another person enters the lab and asks Shion why she's still there. "Killing yourself over work won't get you very far," he says with concern. Oh, if only she had killed herself over work. Shion greets the man, who turns out to be a cute bishounen type named Kevin. Kevin's there to check on the Dedicated Career Woman™ and to bring her a steaming mug of coffee. Clearly, he's Shion's boyfriend--I simply refuse to believe that anyone short of a love interest would give her this much thought. Then again, I don't want to believe that anyone would take that kind of interest in her at all, but sadly, I know I'm wrong about that. After all, there are the fanboys. OMG TEH BOOBIEZ!!!111

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