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New Objectives, and Xenogears

July 18, 2011

I find it difficult to write when I am not being forced to actually write. It’s probably because I treat it like a job more than an enjoyable hobby. But, I hope to change that.

Starting today, I’m going to try to write at least one thing a day, however short or long. Perhaps that will get me started on the supposed “grand project” I had in mind.

I started playing Xenogears a few days ago (I have owned it since 1998 when it was first released, but never really played it), and I noticed a few things.

1. There is a LOT of dialogue in this game! I mean, every single NPC has at least 3 or 4 text filled boxes to say, and that’s in the first town! Half of it is obviously intended to be witty banter, but the other half seems to be musings on life in general. Which is odd, when you think about “simple townsfolk” having existential quandaries as to the meaning of their own existence. It’s a bit weird for an RPG (as most would categorize these games, anyway)! Perhaps it is just my prior gaming experience (I just played Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door right before this), but it strikes me as wholly different.

2. Much of the game, for a PS1 game, is extremely fluid in transitions. The animations for characters in battle, and the in-game cutscenes are the same. Yes, there are animated sequences, but they’re there because of that 32-bit penchant for the FMW sequence, not really advancing the story. The “dungeons” (a forest counts, I think) use the exact same 3D models and animatec characters as the cutscenes and whatnot; it really adds to the flow of the story, and actually works a great deal better in immersion than much of its Squaresoft ilk. The battle system, especially, lends to this, as the animation is superb and lends itself to the character’s identities.

3. The game has an obviously dark vision of the “deity”, if you get my meaning. Our protagonist, Fei, starts with that common RPG stereotype, amnesia – oh boy, haven’t seen that before! But unlike most stories, his past catches up with him immediately and causes him to kill the same persons that took him in. Not understanding his situation, they turn against him and force him to leave. And then we get the “I want to die, suicide!” thing, which totally makes sense from that perspective. Or, as Citan said, he is a victim of the “dark, twisted fate of god.” God is also lower-case throughout, and I am unsure whether this is intentional (guessing that Citan is a monk/Buddhist of some kind in this universe) or not.

Whoa, that’s a lot for about 2 hours and 45 minutes of playing (though there was grinding in there – love battle systems and abusing them). Still, we’ll see – it’s 80 to 100 hours, right? I’m in for the long haul, whereas I wasn’t when I was eleven years old (perhaps Timothy’s death scene and the blood everywhere was tramautizing back then – I still remembered it even today).

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From → Video Games

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