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DescriptionA war has been raging on the continent of Ignas between the Kislev Empire to the north and the kingdom of Aveh in the south. It has gone for so long that people have forgotten the cause. As a mysterious organization known as "Ethos" introduces an ancient technology in form of huge mega-robots, the tides are turning. Gebler, a military organization with an unknown agenda, is pulling the strings and supports Aveh to regain its authority over Kislev.
A failed attempt to steal one of Kislev's new Gears, a giant robot named "Weltall", leads to a fight between a group of Gebler and Kislev guards in the remote town of Lahan in the outskirts of Aveh. One of the villagers, Fei Fong Wong, impulsively takes possession of "Weltall" and steers it to fight. As Fei's best friend Timothy is killed during the battle, he releases a massive wave of energy and destroys the whole village together with one of his close friends, Alice.
After this tragedy, Fei is blamed for the destruction of the village and the death of his friends. Pursued by military governments and mysterious forces, Fei sets out on an epic quest for answers and his own forgotten past.
Xenogears is a Japanese-style RPG with a few distinguishing features. The characters have the ability to jump, which must be used on several occasions to access specific locations. There are two types of combat in the game: standard and gear. In standard combat, the characters fight with equipped weapons, learning and performing different combos that can be executed in one turn. But often the heroes will have to explore dungeons while piloting giant robots called "gears". Gear combat follows different rules: they are able to perform actions until they run out of fuel, therefore the player must concentrate on finishing the enemy quickly. It is possible to equip various accessories on the gears, including those that will let them partially restore fuel. Gears cannot level up, but can be upgraded in workshops.
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The Press Says
ArtbookA companion artbook called Xenogears: Perfect Works exists. In addition to containing tons of original art from the game, it also contains details on events, character names, places and references to the backstory including all the other Xenosaga games (published years after Xenogears)
ControversyThere was some controversy surrounding the US release of Xenogears regarding the religious context of the title. Apparently the game was originally going to be heavily edited during the translation process. The reason? the game makes use of lots of catholic references (the Babel tower even appears as a location in the game) and makes some...controversial allegories on the game (ie. -SPOILER- the major religion on the planet turns out to be an entire fraud and a front to exploit people, etc). Fortunately save some item/monsters renaming the entire translation ended up being faithfull to the original.
German Language UsageThe creators of Xenogears made much use of the German language, in particular when naming the gears. A large amount of gears' names are actually German words. For example, "Weltall" means "universe", and "Stier" is "bull". Two gears are named Achtzehn and Seibzehn: the first word means "18", and the second would have meant "17", if it were not incorrectly spelled: the German word for 17 is "Siebzehn". Another gear is named "Vierge"; this is not German, but French, and means... "virgin". Hmm. If you say so... ;D
KislevKislev, the name of one of the two rival empires of the game's universe, is actually just a month of the traditional Hebrew calendar!
Special editionThere is a special edition of the game available in Japan as part of Squaresoft's Millenium Collection. The game is the same but can be found on two different packages with brand new cd art, one featuring Fei and the other Elly. Also the Fei package comes with a Fei and Bart plastic figure and the Elly package comes with Elly and Chu-chu.
Information also contributed by Ash Ligast II, Unicorn Lynx and WildKard.
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msl (335) added Xenogears (PlayStation) on May 24, 2001