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"We also learn that, rather than kissing Atamoni's ass, the Phandarians worship their king as a god. I could make a comment here about elderly British ladies worshipping our monarchy even though they're little more than parasites, but I won't."
     -Ben, Tales of Destiny Part 2

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Xenosaga : Part 13
By Sam
Posted 02.17.12
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3 : 4 : 5 : 6 : 7
In our last installment, I stupidly risked my sanity to recap 11 hours of this game, which, if memory serves, were 100 percent comprised of Albedo talking and giggling while he raped MOMO. Good times. The gang also fought off a Gnosis invasion and made their way through the Phallus of Nephilim before failing to blow it up and preventing it from being used as the buttplug for Proto Merkabah, yet another of Joachim Mizrahi's unnecessary research facilities.

Where we stand now: Albedo is sitting inside Proto Merkabah with his finger on some penis-shaped button, delaying in blowing up Second Miltia in case Jailbait shows up to confront him again. But before Jailbait does exactly that, our heroes have a few final loose ends to tie up--it's not like Albedo's going anywhere, right? No rush.

My spirit human.

After a good 20 minutes spent re-equipping characters and A.G.W.S. and resetting skills, techs, and ethers--what can I say, I'm obsessive-compulsive--our heroes tackle the first item on their to-do list: filling out the Segment Address file. The party found two decoders inside the Phallus, and the first one opens a door on the Elsa. I'm sure I don't want to know. Jailbait heads down to the ship's catapult deck to open the door, finding a handy pair of Speed Shoes. These increase speed by 25 percent, so onto gluefoot Ziggy they go. The other decoder is for a door hidden in the basement of TALK TO ME!! over at Mos Eisley. Captain Matthews reluctantly agrees to fly there instead of, I don't know, flying to Proto Merkabah before Albedo destroys a planet. In the basement, after blowing up piles of junk that Professor Hobo would probably suck dick to tinker with, he finds the door, and behind it the body of his still-unfinished robot. Professor Hobo really will suck dick for this.

But before returning to the Foundation to get his Voltron on, Jailbait enters the colony's clinic. Inside, he finds a young, sadly mute girl named Luty, one of the survivors of Ariadne getting swallowed by the universe's most irritating space whale. You may recall that, during their Cathedral Ship adventures, our heroes pilfered some flower seeds from the florist in the Mall of Ariadne. At some point after that, because Luty here loves her planet's native flowers so much, Shion returned here to give her the seeds. I know she did this or I would not be able to recap this scene, but I sure as fuck didn't recap giving Luty the seeds. I probably fast-forwarded right through that part because I didn't want to see Shion agonizing about her weight in the clinic again. My bad. Anyway, Shion discovers that Luty has grown flowers from the seeds and compliments her efforts: "Oh, it bloomed! What a cute and pretty flower. It's just like you, Luty." Luty goes "Yeah..." because Shion is making her feel awkward, but Shion is of course delighted that she said anything at all. She even says that Luty will be "fine now," because watering a plant and saying one word mean that her trauma has been permanently overcome. But as thanks for looting the flower seeds and then handing them to her, I guess, Luty gives Shion a Tech Upgrade Z. And given how behind I am on everyone's techs thanks to putting in the bare minimum effort, it's a welcome gift. Shion says she'll "treasure it," and I immediately use it on MOMO, just to make Shion a liar.

Finally, Jailbait takes Shion's hacker blood money and goes on a shopping spree at TALK TO ME!!, replenishing the group's supplies of consumables, buying new armor for everyone and a new hammer for MOMO, new A.G.W.S. weapons and upgrades, and even the AG-04, an A.G.W.S. for MOMO that looks like a bathtub toy. I just realized how much Jailbait splurged on MOMO--yes, I almost did write "splooged" by accident--and have to conclude that Jailbait and I are trying to cure MOMO's PTSD by spending a ton of money on her. I feel like a divorced parent trying to buy my child's happiness. There are two other A.G.W.S. available: the VX-4000, an overpriced replacement for one of the party's current A.G.W.S.; and the AG-05, a behemoth of a machine on sale for 300,000 fucking space bucks. Yeah, I don't want MOMO to feel that much better. 40,000 space bucks better is fine.

An aside, since I've been watching myself flip through shop menus for the last 20 minutes: one of the things I loathe about this game is how opaque the process of buying upgrades is. The armor and weapons menus only display the flat stats of the item, without indicating whether the item would be an upgrade or a downgrade from whatever is equipped. I mean, this is covered in RPG Design 101, right? The character equipment menu displays that information, but apparently they forgot to extend that same UI function to the shops, which means, if I haven't memorized the stats of the currently equipped items or I don't have the guide handy, I get to exit the shop and open up the character menu to see what they have equipped and whether the stats are better. Fun! Also, the menu for A.G.W.S. weapons is a quagmire of incomprehensible model names and acronyms, which exacerbates the issue. No wonder I spent 40 percent of my hours played with a goddamn menu open.

Seriously, look at this bullshit.

His errands at Mos Eisley completed, Jailbait returns to the Kukai Foundation to pay a visit to Professor Hobo. To my irritation, the title card says this is "Part 1" of the final chapter of Jailbait's adventures with this machine fetishist homeless person, which means it's not really the final chapter at all. This must have been an unnoticed early warning sign for Hollywood splitting up all these franchise movies. The difference is that I actually looked forward to getting an eighth Harry Potter installment.

This episode is entitled "A Friendship in Crisis!" Never mind that the friendship of Professor Hobo and Ass-istant Scott was already in crisis last time--it's in mega crisis now, apparently. Jailbait finds Professor Hobo alone in his lab, obviously missing his twink but too stubborn to say so. Instead, he passive-aggressively sighs and then denies being upset about anything. Plowing forward, he basically asks Jailbait to hand over the robot's body so they can complete the robot just to spite Ass-istant Scott. Oh my God. Please just fuck already.

Professor Hobo, solo, bangs at his controls like a monkey as the robot body is lowered into the work area. When the crane hands pull up, carrying a giant metal fire flower, he says, "How's that?! An essential section for the giant robot, the 'Kelbim Dragon' is complete!! Just remember, the 'Kelbim Dragon' is a joint part of the giant robot, so unfortunately, you won't be able to summon it during battles!" Wait, what? I mean, I don't really care because I was never going to use any of these shitty non-Voltron summons anyway, but why even name it and show it off if it is not a stand-alone machine? But the Professor seems to realize himself that this is stupid, and cries, "Wait a minute!!" when Jailbait talks to him again. Since all the pieces of the robot are now present, he sets about putting them all together. "If Assistant Scott hadn't defied me, he would have been present at this historic moment," he adds. Yeah, he's totally over him! He's gonna head to the IRON MAN and do body shots after this! Ass-istant Scott "forgotten," Professor Hobo slaps his arms against his controls again, but they don't respond properly and lightning shoots out of the console. This seems like a technical issue, but apparently machinery can dangerously malfunction over matters of the heart. "...I knew it," Professor Hobo sighs. "I knew that this would happen. The most important thing in creating a giant robot is the power of friendship!!" No, it isn't. The most important thing in creating a giant robot is having a bunch of pieces of robot to hammer together. He goes on balefully, "After fighting so much with Assistant Scott, I'm unworthy of creating a giant robot." That's so stupid I can't even respond to it.

Jailbait is not pleased that the spat between Professor Hobo and Ass-istant Scott is keeping him from having a robot to play with, so he resolves to get them back together. Professor Hobo doesn't know where Scott is, and all he'll say is, "Friendship and justice. I knew that one could never ever be apart from the other." What does justice have to do with this? I can only imagine that Professor Hobo's been playing the Anal Attorney series and now his feelings of lust for Scott are intermingled with courtroom fantasies and old man erections hidden beneath judge's robes. Because there's pretty much no other place in the entire game he could be, Jailbait sets out to find Scott in Districts 26 and 27.

While he's there, Jailbait plays my favorite game, Talk to Everyone, and picks up some newly spawned items. Since the Gnosis attack, the citizens of the Kukai Foundation have been hard at work fixing up the place, which I guess means hiding all-new items in the dumpster and the crates behind the IRON MAN's service elevator. The members of the Lavare family at the dry cleaner's are no longer bickering and have resolved their differences, and the same goes for the couple at OUR TREASURE, but probably because they're dead. THEIR TREASURE, though, has resolved to run the inn in their memory. She wouldn't let a little thing like the death of her parents keep Shion from enjoying a one-night stand with the Foundation's finest Gaignun look-alike prostitute.

Why not both?

Over at King's auto body shop, King is still acting like a cat lady, which the young lady playing with his cat seems to have just noticed, because she cries, "Aaaaah! King's acting like a woman! He's scary!" This is new how, exactly? As for the two young "lovers" that were rescued inside this very shop, they're back outside BAKERY PACMAN, being passive-aggressive with each other, a favorite pastime in the Kukai Foundation. The young man, Johnny, is convinced that the young lady, Mina, doesn't like him because she's a bitch to him all the time. But that's just how ladies are, am I right? High five! Mina, for her part, clearly thinks that Johnny is stupid and useless, and actually is kind of being a bitch to him. Whatever. I'm sure Johnny's new understanding of female "reverse psychology" will come in handy when he heads over to the IRON MAN tonight, which we all know is the hottest nightspot in the universe for attractive young ladies.

The strategy guide, for all its failings in assisting with things that actually matter, provides a sidebar explaining how to trigger Shion's last email: an advertisement for Soul Calibur II. I didn't follow these instructions because, despite spending hours of my day playing and recapping this game, I still have some respect for myself.

After picking up a couple Skill Upgrades and a Tech Upgrade and boring himself half to death with small talk, Jailbait returns to the IRON MAN and finds Ass-istant Scott among a group of idiots at the bar who are listening, spellbound, as the bartender lies through his teeth about fighting a Gnosis "with his bare hands." The bartender's primary objective with this story, obviously, is getting into the pants of gullible ass-candy like Scott. Of course, Scott is making it even easier on him by getting snockered and crying a lot. He may as well have a sign around his neck that reads, "Will give handjobs for stimulating engineering discussions." Anyway, Scott is moaning into his appletini, "Damn it! Damn it! Why doesn't the professor understand? Why won't he listen to my opinions? I'm...I'm...I'm just worried about the professor, that's all..." I thought this was less about listening to Scott's opinions, and more about Professor Hobo being a drunken, abusive asshole. Scott wails on, "Damn, I need a drink! Damn eccentric, hardheaded geezer! I don't care anymore. He'll regret it later when he's all alone! The professor can't even do anything by himself. He really can't do anything without me." Yeah, what's he going to do, fist himself? He's old and probably can't bend back that far. But Scott is still talking, without any encouragement whatsoever from Jailbait: "He's probably having problems right about now. The professor might even be crying. Damn! I know he needs me! I can't just leave the Professor all by himself! Professor, just hang in there. I'm coming to help you!!" Holy crap. That speech would convince my church-going grandmother that these two are gay.

Jailbait apparently follows Scott back to the lab without my permission, because after a black screen we're back there for Part 2, entitled, "Friendships are Forever... The Messenger of Love, Justice, and Courage!! Erde Kaiser is Here!" I know I've milked the Sailor Moon references for all they're worth in these recaps, but seriously, look at that shit. I'm a little worried that this robot is going to come out looking like the Pink Princess. "Old man!" Jailbait yells. "We brought your assistant guy!! Let's hurry up and make the giant robot!" For real. I could do with less discussion of feelings and more giant robot construction.

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