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God Digs Giant Robots: Let's Play Xenogears!
Shield Of Doom

[table of contents]
Prison
In our last episode, the plan to liberate Aveh went wrong in almost every possible way. Now, let's see what happened to Fei, shall we?

We open to a man playing an organ, when one of his subordinates enters with news. The organ-playing guy, known as Kaiser Sigmund (of Kislev) asks about the news, and his subordinate explains it. Apparently, there was an explosion at the border with Aveh, caused by an exploding battleship. He also says that Sigmund's scouts have arrived at...something.

The subordinate goes on to explain that they found a stolen Gear and its pilot. The Gear is in the capital now. He also says that it was apparently with a pirate group, and that they'll have to deal with some black boxes.

He then suggests attacking Aveh now that their forces are weakened, but Sigmund says that they'd just be wasting their resources.

At this point, a messenger shows up to say that 'they' have arrived.

This is followed by the arrival of a Solaris airship, which resembles some sort of flying flower vase. A woman in a face-concealing mask meets with the Kaiser, claiming to be delivering something that will let him "pass through the barrier". She claims that she's here because Grahf was too busy to arrive.

Sigmund asks what the masked woman and her people want from him, and she replies that they intend to observe and guide his people. In return, she asks that the Gear that was captured and its pilot be transferred to D Block.

I then see Fei running through darkness, with a straight cross on a chain swinging back and forth in the background. This cuts to images of a young Fei, playing some sort of ball game with an older woman. This turns into a black-and-white image on a projector, which a child version of Fei is sitting in front of. Fei himself has no idea what's going on, but before he can think about it, a different child version of himself, this one with his hair covering his eyes, tells him that he "shouldn't be here" and the scene ends.

Fei awakens in a communal bedroom of some sort, having apparently been asleep for four days. The doctor tending to him explains that he's in Nortune, the capital of Kislev. He's been sentenced to D Block, the prison district.

Before anything else can be explained, some thugs show up with the intent of carrying out a "Baptismal Ceremony". They take me to see the "champ", who lives in a rather fancy-looking place. He's a big hulking green man with red hair, who introduces himself as Rico. He then explains that he and his people want to know how strong Fei is, which is what the "Baptismal Ceremony" is about.

They lead Fei into a dark alleyway, where Rico Slab Bulkhead explains that everyone sent to D Block is ranked by fighting four one-on-one battles against four specific dudes.

They give me time to prepare, but I don't actually need it because I'm fully healed after the last mess of cutscenes. As such, it's time to crush some losers.

First up is Leonardo, who can do around 30 damage with his attacks. He's nothing, and goes down easily.

The next opponent, Heinrich, is a bit tougher as you might expect. He still goes down without much trouble.

The third opponent, Vargas, has a powerful counterattack for any Deathblows I use. To avoid this, I use a combo.

Once Vargas goes down, I have to fight Suzarn, the one member of the group (besides Rico Butch Deadlift himself) who has a unique sprite (the others are recoloured Forest Elves). She has a pointy hat and a big scythe. She opens the fight by draining all of my EP, then repeatedly halves my HP until her 1-damage regular attacks can kill me. There's no real danger in this fight, so I build up a huge combo just for kicks.

With Suzarn down, Rico Bridge Largemeat fights me. I can't actually do enough damage to deplete his 65535 HP, and after boosting himself for 2 turns, he one-shots me by doing more damage than Fei will ever be able to withstand.

For defeating all four of Rico Punt Speedchunk's subordinates, Fei is ranked A. He then passes out, because he took over 1000 damage.

Fei wakes up in a nearby infirmary, where the doctor claims that Fei is exceptionally badass for winning all those fights then surviving against Rico Bold Bigflank.

Also, Fei's wearing a bomb collar now. It's keeping Fei from trying to escape.

Unfortunately, Nortune doesn't have its own theme music. Instead, it uses this, which we've heard before. Anyway, though, I'm in the living quarters, so I head upstairs to the cafeteria. Here, I discover a few things:

I also get some food from the cafeteria's apparently French employees. They get me a dish called Boosta Limit that's supposed to improve my response time. It actually has no effect, though.

I then head to the local bar, where I'm greeted by a giant humanoid rat named Hammer. He insists on calling Fei "Bro", and he's got black market goods to sell. His item shop sells the same stuff as the one in Dazil, but his equipment shop sells some new stuff:

The only thing I buy for now is the Metal Helmet (I got a Metal Jacket from Suzarn so I don't need that, and the other stuff isn't really necessary).

Trying to leave causes a guard to run up to me, claiming that there's someone from the Imperial Committee looking for me. The person in question is in the bar. She calls herself Rue Cohen, and she wants me to be a Battler. She explains that Battling is basically just Gears fighting things, and there's no barrier to entry. Fei refuses to participate, though, because he doesn't like Gears or fighting. Besides that, Fei doesn't even have a Gear, right?

Rue claims she can set us up with a Gear, but Fei's not going to change his mind. When he tries to leave, Hammer shows up to try to get Fei to change his mind. He's more interested in getting out of the prison than anything, though.

Returning to the living area, Fei encounter Hammer again, talking about the new doctor. Hammer's talking about this because it might help him establish new connections.

So, we head down to meet the new doctor, and...it's Citan! He asks if Fei's doing anything to escape, which he isn't at present. He explains that Bart and his crew are missing presumed deceased, with himself being the only one who got off the Yggdrasil.

Fei explains what happened on his end, and Citan explains that the Aveh troops at the border were wiped out.

Once Fei remembers that he was supposed to protect Nisan, he starts thinking about how to escape. Hammer brings up the problem of the bomb collars, which Citan thinks he might be able to deal with.

Citan gets to work on Fei's bomb collar. He manages to remove the safety device from it, so any further attempts to do anything about it might cause Fei to explode. Fortunately the bomb isn't likely to explode from any normal impact, but we've still got to do something about it. Hammer, meanwhile, buys the safety device for 3500 golds.

It should be noted that the amount of money you can make off of this is random. Sometimes the part Citan removes will be worth more, and sometimes Fei will stop the removal before anything can be done.

Now, actually getting rid of the bomb collar will require something less dangerous. Namely, winning our freedom by way of Gears and fighting. Every year, there's a special Battling tournament, and the winner is pardoned and given a high-paying military position. Of course, we'll have to fight Rico Splint Chesthair to do it. He's undefeated, having won 40 fights with absolutely no losses. Strangely enough, though, he has refused to be pardoned each time for some reason.

Once Fei's agreed to participate in the tournament, Hammer runs off to register him. Citan then brings up Fei's general dislike of Gears, which he's willing to deal with right now because it's his only option. They then proceed to get some rest.

I then cut to a giant floating sphere with talking heads on screens on it. This is the Gazel Ministry, and their job is to talk about recent and future plot developments in a stupidly cryptic manner. For now, they discuss someone who recently awakened after 3 years and is currently in Nortune. They know this because they've been looking at my save files.

No, that last bit is not made up.

The talking heads then discuss the excavation of Anima Relics, which they need for some reason. They then discuss their plans to get rid of that guy they don't want around by blowing Nortune up. This will be important later, of course.

Next time, we'll get into that tournament. Maybe.
9th Jul '11 10:19:28 AM flag for mods
comments
There are way too many tournaments in this game.
FreezairForALimitedTime 9th Jul 11
Oh, I hated this minigame. It's not that difficult, I just thought it wasn't any fun. Luckily you don't have to waste too much time on it.

Also, the fact that the Gazel Ministry is collecting data on you through the save points is a nice touch.
Fluid 10th Jul 11
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