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This article contains spoilers for Xenogears.
I started Xenogears on my PlayStation Portable, hoping to finish it in only three months time. Instead, the Japanese role-playing game took almost a year to complete.
My lengthy journey is just a testament to the overly convoluted legacy of the six-part Xenogears chronology.
I really enjoyed how the game opened, although the first anime sequence is terribly confusing. In short, it starts with a simple spaceship crashing into Earth. A naked woman emerges from the rubble for some reason.
It all looked pretty epic and dramatic. This event, however, looked completely unrelated to my main character, an amnesiac named Fei Wong. Fei is a completely clothed guy, painting landscapes in a rural town called Lahan. I eventually gave up trying to figure out how that naked lady related to Fei.
Fei's best buddy is a doctor named Citan Uzuki. He apparently loves tinkering with robots and machinery. I figured that maybe the doctor knew something about that naked lady, but Fei has no memory of his entire past. I guess Fei is just completely clueless.
Giant robots then started to attack the village, so Fei decided to jump into one of the mechanical monstrosities to help save everyone. In the middle of this battle, a robot shoots one of Fei's friends. Fei then loses control and decides to use his machine to blow up the entire village.
Apparently, Fei is a psychotic amnesiac. I had a bad hunch that this might end up as nutty as all my other favorite robot-anime shows. Now that the entire village hated Fei, he had no choice but to leave for another home. At least Citan remained with him, I guess.
Fei decided to hide out in the woods, but then he ran into girl with a gun. Man, Fei's day couldn't get any worse. Thankfully, the girl seemed just as clueless as Fei, so I guess they made a nice couple. He even saved her life at one point in this section.
Too bad the girl, Elly, was an enemy soldier. She decided to ditch the party while Fei and Citan left to visit Mos Eisley. Actually, this was just Dazil, some desert city that bears a striking resemblance to Mos Eisley from the movie Star Wars.
From this point onward, Fei just kept running into even more insane situations. A prison ship captured Fei and Citan. A sand submarine then sank the prison ship. Fei jumped into his giant robot to fight a guy named Bart, who is in another giant robot. The two mechs sank through quicksand into the abandoned home of an old engineer.
Fei and Bart eventually became friends. They joined forces to save a priestess from another country. To be honest, this entire drama followed the typical format of a JRPG. It just happened to have giant robots and awkward references to Christianity. I love all the unique personalities, but I was still trying to figure out how any of this even related to that naked girl in the opening sequence.
Then again, this is Xenogears, the series where nothing was ever meant to make much sense in the first place. Technically, this 80-hour epic intended to connect together into one cohesive storyline. I already lost track of the entire story around the second disc of the game, however. At this point, the developers decided to summarize large portions of the narrative because it was taking too damned long to finish.
All anyone has to know is that everything wraps up neatly at the very end. Everyone lived happily ever after, even though this title is only episode five in a massive space opera. I suppose the remaining developers could revisit this saga in the future, but I'm glad that they settled this god-awful mess by making a better, shorter RPG called Xenoblade Chronicles.
How does Xenogears compare to other long Japanese RPGs from the original PlayStation era? Should anyone ever try to recreate the convoluted Xenogears experience ever again? Share your thoughts in the comments below.