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Xenogears

MobyRank MobyScore
PlayStation 3
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...
PS Vita
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PlayStation
91
4.0
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Description

A 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.

Screenshots

Xenogears PlayStation The game is rich on diverse areas and even diverse world maps! Here I'm exploring this desert world in a gear; a controllable vehicle, a dungeon entrance, and a city are nearby
Xenogears PlayStation Battle in a sunken ship! We have just recruited Billy, who uses guns in battles
Xenogears PlayStation No, I'm not in the gear - I'm those tiny colored dots! We are exploring a gigantic city here!
Xenogears PlayStation Gear battle in a cave! Choosing your attack type - watch the fuel!

Alternate Titles

  • "Xenosaga Episode V: Xenogears" -- Semi-official series designation
  • "Project Noah" -- Working title
  • "ゼノギアス" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Ye shan't be as gods if ye pilot mechs with German names PlayStation אולג 小奥 (169544)
Ye Olde Bible Could Use Some Japanese Mecha In It PlayStation St. Martyne (3562)
The reason why even after some slips I still respect Squaresoft PlayStation Zovni (9360)
Potential ruined at every corner. A huge let-down, a frustratingly stupid game. PlayStation kbmb (399)
Mechs, mutants, machinations, and lots of half-assed gameplay in between... PlayStation Idkbutlike2 (23)

The Press Says

HonestGamers PlayStation 1998 10 out of 10 100
RPGFan PlayStation Jun 22, 2002 98 out of 100 98
IGN PlayStation Oct 20, 1998 9.5 out of 10 95
RPGFan PlayStation Dec 17, 1998 92 out of 100 92
GamesAreFun.com (GAF) PlayStation Apr 28, 2003 9 out of 10 90
Darkstation PlayStation 1998 9 out of 10 90
Netjak PlayStation Aug 27, 2003 9 out of 10 90
WomenGamers.com PlayStation Aug 16, 1999 9 out of 10 90
Gamezilla PlayStation 1998 87 out of 100 87
Game Revolution PlayStation Oct 01, 1998 B 75

Forums

Topic # Posts Last Post
2D Sprites? 3 Ash Ligast II (1651)
Aug 17, 2009
Preparations for the final boss 2 אולג 小奥 (169544)
Sep 28, 2008
Question regarding gear deathblow skills 6 Ash Ligast II (1651)
Sep 04, 2008

Trivia

1001 Video Games

The PS1 version of Xenogears appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Artbook

A 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)

Controversy

There 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 Usage

The 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

Kislev

Kislev, the name of one of the two rival empires of the game's universe, is actually just a month of the traditional Hebrew calendar!

References

  • There's a ton of sci-fi references in this game, both to the obvious japanese "giant robot" series, as well as some western sci-fi. For instance, the elements final form of attacking you is by joining their gears in an exact replica of all the Super Sentai (Power Rangers, etc.) sequences; When the Yggdrasil joins the Norturne city to form the super-gear you see it's called the "Super Dimensional Gear Yggdrasil" this is a reference to the old Robotech show were the big city-ship SDF-1 transformed itself in a giant robot (on the original japanese version (Macross) the ship was called Super Dimensional Fortress Macross).

  • References to western sci-fi include the name of the ship in the opening, the USS Eldridge (remember the Philadelphia Experiment?) and the Soylent System, which is, of course, made of peopleeeeeee!!

  • Heavy references to the Bible are found in abundance in "Xenogears". The old legend about the first humans who ate a forbidden fruit and thus "became like gods", which is the core of the game's story, is taken from the beginning of the Old Testament. The Babel Tower also appears in the first book of Moses. There are some subtler references. For example, the three wise men Gaspar, Balthasar, and Melchior are the exact names of the three mages who visited Jesus in Bethlehem.

  • Lucca from Chrono Trigger makes an appearance in Xenogears. She can be found right in the beginning of the game, in Lahan's Information House, teaching you about save points.

  • The name of one of the key characters in the game, Citan Uzuki, is a reference to Dr. Gitanes, the hero of Square's very first game, The Death Trap. Also note that both characters are doctors.

Special edition

There 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.

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Fred VT (22739), Charly2.0 (30721) and msl (335)