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  -XS Main
  -Part 1 :: [07.21.03]
  -Part 2 :: [08.06.03]
  -Part 3 :: [11.22.03]
  -Part 4 :: [02.10.04]
  -Part 5 :: [07.14.04]
  -Part 6 :: [08.05.04]
  -Part 7 :: [10.12.04]
  -Part 8 :: [01.23.05]
  -Part 9 :: [05.24.05]
  -Part 10 :: [01.20.06]
  -Part 11 :: [10.12.07]
  -Part 12 :: [06.30.11]
  -Part 13 :: [02.17.12]

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"Turns out Dabas was looking for something called a 'Burning Gem'. And just what is it with RPG folks that they can't figure out any time something has a name like 'Burning Gem' that they're about to go somewhere that might end up with them coming home in a body bag?"
     -Kelly, Legend of Dragoon Part 6

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Xenosaga : Part 4
By Sam
Posted 02.10.04
Pg. 1 : 2 : 3
In hour three of this maddening sci-fi train wreck, Shion and Lieutenant Virgil were about to get thrown around like rag dolls by those incredibly improbable and, dare I say it, continuity-defying Gnosis. I chose to end the recap on a "cliffhanger," and by that I mean "suspenseful if you're stupid enough to think the game designers would do us all the huge favor of offing Shion this early in the game." That said, let's see how they're faring, shall we?

Virgil is knocked to the ground by the Gnosis, and goes spilling out of his A.G.W.S. unit, glowing with icky Gnosis cooties. Shion backs slowly away from the Gnosis, until her all-too-familiar ass backs into the wall. The phallic-headed Gnosis swings a limb forward, grabs Shion bodily from the floor, and begins to work his life-sucking charms on her. I would find this very amusing, to say the least, but Shion ruins it for me by making groaning and moaning noises the entire time, which is most definitely in my top five list of Things I Could Have Happily Died Without Hearing. Oh yes, and she writhes around, wiggles her legs and makes orgasm faces. Sometimes I really hate this game.

Extreme Close Up! WHOOOOOOOA!!!

As the Gnosis continues to strangle her in its way, the camera zooms in WAY too close on Shion's face, presumably to capture her oh-so-realistic facial expressions during this pivotal moment in the game. Or to help fanboys live out their sweaty sex makeout fantasies with their television screens. Whatever. Anyway, it's supposed to be all dramatic and shit, except we all know Shion's not going to die. Also: being this "close" to Shion makes me feel dirty, like she's mouth-breathing her stupidity on me.

Since this isn't horrifying enough, Shion also starts in with a wankover. "I guess...this is it...I'm die..." Don't fucking tease me, bitch. As she's "thinking" about this, we get a montage that we can assume is Shion's life flashing before her eyes. Funny thing, though, is that it's all stuff we've either seen happen or seen her flash back to (i.e., Kevin) since the game started. So every important, memorable event in Shion's life has apparently happened in the past few hours, save that one saccharine, idiotic nighttime chat with her dead boyfriend. That, or Shion's attention span is woefully short. Far be it from me to rule that out. The montage includes a glowy shot of Red, and when we return to the actual events at hand, Red is actually standing in between the Gnosis' legs, staring in her crack-addled manner up at Shion. They could have chosen to put Red anywhere in this scene, but the final decision was to have her as close as possible to the monster's genitalia. Way to go, game designers.

What event should Shion's life-flashback montage have included?
All those times her parents dropped her on her head as a baby
Her cow-tipping teenage exploits on Second Miltia
Her rejecting Corey, again and again and again
Who cares? I just wanted her to DIE.


Shion, in yet another attempt by the game designers to show us how good and pure and caring she is, wankovers concerning Red's welfare. "What's...this girl...doing here...? ...seen her...before...? ...not safe there... away..." I'd ridicule the ellipses but I've had to deal with much worse than this. Anyway, since Shion is incapable of speech at the moment (yet I still have to hear her voice), she just gives up on warning Red and resigns herself to chalky death. Shion's eyes close and the screen starts to fade to white, because OMG LIEK SHION IS GOING 2 DIE!!!!1111!!!11

Now, remember when I said I ended the last recap on a cliffhanger? Well, I guess this is the "real" cliffhanger, again with the caveat that we know Shion is not going to die this early, if ever. But I dropped the ball, and ended the recap a bit earlier than I should have. Forgive me? No? Well, fine. I didn't want you at my action figure tea party, anyway.

The camera finally gets away from Shion's face to show Red, glowing a bit more brightly than before, as if to say, "Bitch, don't you steal my melodramatic thunder!" She and the Gnosis look to the right, where a small hole seems to be burning through the wall. Suddenly a blue laser beam breaches the wall and zaps the Gnosis in the wrist. It recoils and lets Shion go. Not to be upstaged by anybody present, Shion falls to the ground on all fours, and remains in that disturbing position for several moments, coughing and sputtering. You know, it occurs to me that counting the flashback to the "incident" two years ago, Shion has already lucked out of an untimely demise four times in this game. So we're going to start a Shion Cheats Death Count (SCDC: 4). But whatever the number is, add 50 to it, since we can assume Shion has nearly died due to her own stupidity at least that many times in the past.

The wall bursts open at this point and--surprise!--KOS-MOS walks calmly into the room. "KOS-MOS?" Shion says, because it's some other super-powered android with blue hair. Then with sudden and startling speed, KOS-MOS runs behind the Gnosis, whips out a big gat, and zaps it with extreme prejudice. Then through the hole in the wall KOS-MOS blasted comes Corey, worried sick about Shion (and probably very excited to find her bending over like that). The two of them don't even bother leaving the room before they exchange exposition. Corey explains to her that KOS-MOS saved pretty much everyone else and got them to safety on the "training ship." All Shion can say to this is "KOS-MOS!!" for a second time. Yes, it is KOS-MOS. We all know her name, Shion.

Yup, she's also a Jedi.

KOS-MOS' visor flips down as she prepares to do something undoubtedly cool. Shion gasps when she realizes that it's "the Hilbert Effect?!" She struggles against Corey, as if she wants to stop KOS-MOS from doing it. But she's too late, as a wave of energy blows through the room, and through space outside, making all the Gnosis solid. This means they're not invincible anymore, so KOS-MOS wastes no time in obliterating them with a variety of cool weapons. So why did Shion want to stop this? I do remember that the earlier simulation went wrong right around the time KOS-MOS was going to test out the Hilbert Effect, so maybe that's Shion's problem. But frankly, I can't see a downside to making the Gnosis mortal. It's not like they have a lot of options at this point. But everyone present acts like KOS-MOS is a horrible freak. Virgil swears some more to convey his shock, while Corey uses this excuse to hold Shion close as they both stare at KOS-MOS fearfully. His desperation is just sad. Some more Gnosis appear in the elevator, but KOS-MOS wastes no time in materializing two humongous nine-barrel machine guns and blowing them away. Then she explains to Shion that they're going to the hangar, where both the Golden Penis Plate and the last escape pod await. "My assigned duties are to verify and preserve the integrity of that object and to protect the Vector staff members." So KOS-MOS has to protect a giant penis...and Shion and Corey. How fitting.

"KOS-MOS..." Shion says AGAIN, and is about to voice her various stupid concerns over this plan of action when Corey spots something big falling through the ceiling of the room. It's one hell of an ugly Gnosis, which has also assimilated some A.G.W.S. parts. Battle time! Shion cries, "I've come this far, I can't lose now!" like she's been single-handedly killing Gnosis all over the ship or something. Shut up, Shion. For this battle, and until the group reaches the hangar, my battle party is Shion, KOS-MOS and Virgil. Guess what? As he can't use techs, skills, or ethers, let alone put any points into those things, Virgil probably isn't going to be a permanent addition to the group. But he laughs maniacally every time he guns down a Gnosis. He's fun. Following the battle, everyone runs into the corridor to safety, right before KOS-MOS blasts a hole in the window, sucking all the now-solid Gnosis out into space. I don't care if she was made to be Shion's lesbian sex toy. She's awesome and I love her.

In the hallway, Corey is whining some more. "Really Chief. I feel like I'm going to have a heart attack just watching you." To keep his numbah one special lady safe in combat, Corey hands over a capsule containing her real VX-10000 (her A.G.W.S.). You'd think I would be bothered by the fact that her entire A.G.W.S. is contained within a capsule she can carry around, but I'm so accustomed to games using Pokémon Physics that it doesn't even seem weird anymore. Corey asks Shion if she remembers how to use her A.G.W.S., and I can't figure out what the in-character answer would be. Her real character dictates that she wouldn't know, despite already having a tutorial on this, because she's dumb. But the character she's supposed to be would be smart and remember. None of this matters because I skip the fucking tutorial anyway, but I'm just taking yet another opportunity to point out how Shion in general does not make sense. Shion tells Corey, "Of course [I remember]! I just got a little confused with all that's been going on." Even when I try to make her sound smarter by having her remember, she still makes herself sound stupid.

Corey tells her to be careful, as he wouldn't know what to do if the love of his life deservedly perished. Shion was looking at the wall, and completely missed his wanky, if heartfelt, concern. No matter. Corey will have plenty of time to cry about this later. And we're on the way to the Golden Penis Plate's penisy resting place. I now have the option to change the visible character running through the Hoglinde's corridors, and I immediately give that honor to KOS-MOS. It's little things like not having to constantly stare at Shion's buns of steel that keep me relatively sane. Of course, by the end of this game I'm going to be batshit crazy anyway, but hey, I don't want to look at Shion's ass when I don't have to. Leave me alone.

Ooh, back up! Feldman is packin' heat! AHAHAHAHA!

Now that I don't have to avoid the Gnosis, getting through the Hoglinde is much less of a pain, but I still want the place wiped from existence. Normally you don't have to spend the first four hours plus of any RPG in one place, so it's worn out its welcome by a country mile. At this rate, especially with KOS-MOS' super-badass attacks (which, of course, are particularly effective against Gnosis, even though the person who designed her knows nothing about Gnosis, but WHATEVER!) the party soon comes to its destination. Jerkinov is still there, trying to do something surely sick and wrong with the Golden Penis Plate. Whatever it is, it's not working, and slamming the control console, he shouts, "Will my death be for nothing?" God, does he ever stop with that shit?

Virgil and Corey provide cover from the Gnosis while Shion runs unarmed into the area. I laugh my ass off at Corey, who is desperately trying to look badass with his pithy little gun. Shion spots the one remaining escape pod, and then Jerkinov, who asks what they're all doing there. Right back atcha, buddy. Before either of them can whip out the Exposition!Hat, a bunch of insectoid Gnosis crawl into the hangar. They're promptly blown to buggy pieces as KOS-MOS makes her entrance. She's still sporting her colossal machine guns, and I'd say every guy in the room feels inadequate for this, but the Golden Penis Plate is already there to provide that feeling. "So..." Jerkinov says, taking in all of KOS-MOS' curves like the raging perv he is, "it's functional..."

KOS-MOS, Virgil and Corey are still unloading their clips at the Gnosis, and Virgil is really making a grand old time of it. "Come and get it, you bastards!" he yells, in between insane cackles. He's got spirit, you have to give him that. Shion picks up a rifle from the rack (a gun rack, not her boobs) and starts firing herself. It's not an automatic weapon, and she's a horrible shot, so who knows why the fuck she's even bothering. More importantly, she now is facing the door, so she doesn't notice when two more Gnosis drop down from the ceiling right behind her. She turns around very slowly to see the ghosts, as if she's in a Scooby Doo episode. At least she doesn't shout "Zoinks!" and jump into Corey's arms.

Hey baby, wanna kill all humans?

Virgil notices right away that Shion's in trouble and whips his gun around (heh) at the Gnosis closest to her. KOS-MOS also notices a moment or two later, and in her lightning-quick calculations she figures the best shot at the Gnosis is right through Virgil's back. So she shoots him. A lot. As he's spitting blood into the air, and as KOS-MOS is still pumping bullets into him, he has a sepia-toned vision of a pretty girl in a church. "Feb..." he sputters, and that's all she wrote. KOS-MOS doesn't miss a beat, and continues shooting through Virgil at the Gnosis. Hey, I like the guy and all, but that was just cool. Unfortunately, it leads to a wankfest of truly epic proportions.

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