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In the 21st century, a group of scientists discovered a mysterious monolith near the Lake Turkana in Kenya. The substance contained within it, which later received the name Zohar, has quickly become a source of immense power. Humanity was eventually able to reach the stars, founding the Galaxy Federation and colonizing known space.

In the year 4767 T.C. (Transcend Christ) or 7277 A.D., according to the old year-counting system, humanity has long left the planet Earth, which has been renamed Lost Jerusalem and erased from star maps, the way to it no longer known. The original Zohar substance has been proven to be too dangerous, and was sealed on the planet Old Miltia, most humans resorting to use less powerful device called Zohar emulators instead. However, some organizations still long to re-discover the true Zohar, believing it to be the path to Lost Jerusalem.

Meanwhile, a new race of aliens known as Gnosis has emerged. The Vector Corporation decides to develop an android called KOS-MOS to be the ultimate weapon against the Gnosis. Shion Uzuki is a young engineer leading this project. After having completed KOS-MOS, Shion and her team are attacked by the Gnosis. Through a series of events, Shion becomes the target of the terrorist U-TIC organization and other mysterious figures, whose goal seems to be the secret path to Old Miltia. Other characters become involved in the conflict, and eventually Shion realizes that she is not alone in her struggle, and that the initial Gnosis attack was but a small part of a complex, multi-layered conspiracy.

Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht, the first chapter of a trilogy, is a Japanese-style sci-fi role-playing game, sharing many common themes and gameplay elements with Xenogears. The battle system is not unlike the one used in Xenogears (combo attacks, AP and EP gauges, etc.), but random encounters are eliminated. Instead, the enemies are now visible and battles can be avoided. During combat the few upcoming ally and enemy turns are shown onscreen, allowing the player to make strategic decisions based on who will act next. A rolling slot moves with each turn as well, conferring a bonus such as added damage or bonus XP for any action on that turn. If the enemy would be in position to take an advantage then the player can expend a character's boost gauge to cut in and act next, although enemies can boost as well, and enemy boosts always over-ride player boosts.

Each character has a unique tree of ether spells they can learn by spending ether points earned in battle, with lower spells requiring spells above them to be purchased first. After a spell is purchased, so long is it does not require a unique talent of that character, the spell can also be purchased and learned by any other character that can afford double its normal cost. The Anti-Gnosis Weapon Systems can be equipped with different weapons and accessories and can be used in combat provided that a character has enough AP on that turn to board their AGWS.


Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht PlayStation 2 Escaping the explosion blast
Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht PlayStation 2 These yellow floating shapes Shion's standing through are actual save points
Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht PlayStation 2 Chaos, another one of those mysteriously powerful characters
Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht PlayStation 2 Opening cinematic, thousands of years before the actual game takes place

Promo Images

Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht Screenshot
Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht Screenshot
Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht Screenshot
Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht Screenshot

Alternate Titles

  • "ゼノサガエピソードI:力への意志" -- Japanese Title
  • "Xenosaga Episode I: Reloaded" -- Japanes Re-release Title
  • "Xenosaga Episode I: Chikara e no Ishi" -- Japanese Title
  • "Project X" -- Working Title

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Pseudo-philosophical space operas can be hazardous to gameplay Unicorn Lynx (181446) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Squaresoft should learn a lot from this game MAT (229909) 4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars
Goodbye Final Fantasy...Hello Xenosaga Bog Trotter (8) 4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars4.71 Stars
Great mila morrison (2) 4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars4.86 Stars

Critic Reviews

1UP 2002 A 100
Digital Entertainment News (den) Aug 03, 2003 9.7 out of 10 97
Diehard GameFan Mar 04, 2003 9.5 out of 10 95
RPGFan Mar 18, 2002 91 out of 100 91
IGN Feb 24, 2003 8.8 out of 10 88
Adrenaline Vault, The (AVault) Mar 28, 2003 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
Games TM Aug 14, 2003 8 out of 10 80
RPG Kingdom Jan 01, 2007 15 out of 20 75
Super Play (Sweden) Jun, 2003 7 out of 10 70
UOL Jogos Mar 24, 2003 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60


Topic # Posts Last Post
So, uhm, Nietzsche? 13 Unicorn Lynx (181446)
Jun 09, 2012



Like Xenogears before it, Xenosaga has a companion artbook published with it that contains original artwork used in the conception of the game as well as details on characters, events, locations and background story. It should also be pointed out that some of these events are *modified* (like the game) from those listed in the similar Xenogears: Perfect Works guide.

History and language

  • Like Xenogears, Xenosaga is full of references to the Bible and to Jewish mythology in general. For example, the mysterious energy Zohar means "glow" in Hebrew and is one of the central aspects of Jewish mysticism (Kabbala).
  • The sign written on Zohar is Alef, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet.
  • One of the game's main characters is called Ziggurat. Ziggurats (also spelled Zikkurat or Ziqqurat) were tower-temples in the ancient Mesopotamia (today's Iraq). The famous Babel Tower was most probably also a ziggurat.
  • The scientist Joachim Mizrahi, one of the game's central figures, has probably Israeli ancestors. "Mizrahi" is a popular family name in Israel, and the word itself means "eastern" in Hebrew.
  • Another Biblical trivia: the 13 Zohar emulators possessed by Kukai Foundation are named after the 12 pupils of Jesus and Jesus himself (Child of Mary). The Zohars are also numbered - by letters of the Hebrew alphabet, that also serve as numbers (alef = 1, bet = 2, etc).
  • Did you notice how Albedo always calls Momo and other Realian girls ma pêche? This is a common affectionate word used in French language, but literally it means my peach. Does it have any other meaning in the context? Yes, it does: momo also means "peach", this time in Japanese.

Special edition

Got about $200 to burn? For that cash, you can pick up a Special Edition Box of Xenosaga, which comes with the game on two DVDs (with different artwork on the discs), an artbook, a keychain, a portfolio, and a cold-cast statue of KOS-MOS.


  • GameSpy
    • 2003 – PS2 RPG of the Year
    • 2003 – #10 PS2 Game of the Year
Information also contributed by Unicorn Lynx and WildKard

Related Web Sites

Unicorn Lynx (181446) added Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht (PlayStation 2) on Apr 21, 2002
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