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Trivia / Xenosaga

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  • Bad Export for You: The series had a god-awful treatment in Europe. For starters, Episode I wasn't even released but, in one of the most baffling publishing decisions in a genre popular in Europe for its baffling publishing decisions, Episode II WAS released. And in a really neat, almost-collector edition-level packaging. Too bad it was only (badly) translated into French and German (in a time when Spanish and Italian translations were already common place) and with one of the worst 50Hz conversions in the entire 6th Console Generation, which is saying something. As for the plot, the game included a DVD with a few hours worth of cutscenes from Episode I to put European audiences up to speed... sort of, since it barely counted as a barebones version of the plot of the first game. The game obviously flopped hard, so Episode III wasn't even considered for an European release.
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  • Cross-Dressing Voices: Jr. is voiced by Bridanne Siddall. In a much more minor example, Wendee Lee voiced kid Gaignun in Episode III.
  • Executive Meddling: Numerous - the main brains behind the series were axed by the time the third game came out. The radically different Episode II was a result of this trope as well, which pretty much led to the series being reduced from six games to three. Ironically, the third game seems to be the most true to its spiritual predecessor and is generally regarded as the best in the series.
  • Franchise Killer: The series was meant to span six games (not counting spin offs)... Episode II sure fixed that. Luckily, at least Episode 3 was able to happen before the series was canceled.
  • No Budget: Episode III seemed to suffer from this. Full CG cutscenes were used only for action scenes, many actors were reused in the dubbing, some cutscenes have extensive slowdown and there were more than a few questionably translated lines. This game was also made during the time that Namco was being bought by and merged with Bandai, so money was likely spread more thin than usual.
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  • No Export for You: Xenosaga I&II, Pied Piper, Xenosaga Freaks, and A Missing Year. None of these managed to be released out of Japan, leaving many overseas fans in the dark regarding lore and plot elements described in them.
  • Old Shame: Although "shame" may be a bit too strong of a word, Tetsuya Takahashi and Soraya Saga have never expressed any fond memories from the development of this trilogy on interviews, always lamenting its Troubled Production. Also, despite the fact that it got a pretty loyal and passionate fan base that endures to this day (and that has even grown a bit thanks to the success of Xenoblade Chronicles) the series relatively poor reception by mainstream audiences was, in Takahashi's own words, "mortifying" for studio members at the time. Takahashi has also gone out of his way multiple times to express how, after working in this series, now he thinks the use of cutscenes to as the main mean to deliver narrative is "outdated". The fact that Xenoblade Chronicles took the most opposite approach to both gameplay and story telling one could think of also reinforces it.
    • Another one would be Shion's characterization in Episode III, which turned the protagonist of the trilogy into one hell of a Base-Breaking Character. Takahashi didn't take this reception well, to the point that one of his main concerns while writing Xenoblade Chronicles was to make sure the protagonist was likable during the entire story.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • The dub of Xenosaga The Animation was done by ADV Films in Texas, so no one kept the voices they had in-game. The Japanese dub of the entire collective franchise managed to keep pretty much everyone who was assigned to that character from the start. Richard Epcar, the voice of Ziggy through all three games, stated that he didn't even know there was an anime, or that it was being dubbed in Texas. Otherwise, he would have flown over there from California and auditioned for Ziggy.
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    • The Japanese track of Xenosaga the Animation also had several cast replacements.
  • Talking to Himself: Crispin Freeman as Albedo and Nigredo/Gaignun has several instances of this.
  • Troubled Production: Production on the game suffered through a number of issues, some of it internal due to the lack of experience of many of their key staff members (for instance, main planner and later director Koh Kojima had just graduated from University when he started working on Episode 1), some of it the result of Executive Meddling that resulted in the original writers and directors leaving the project by the third game. Among the various issues, Takahashi has mentioned that the engine they used for the first game was extremely faulty and difficult to get up and running until the last year of development. Hence the game's notoriously long cutscenes, which he describes as a means to flesh the games out with content while the staff wrangled with getting the gameplay to work.
  • What Could Have Been: The story was originally going to be very different for Xenosaga II and III before Executive Meddling caused the scenario writer Soraya Saga to be dismissed and the original script by Takahashi to be discarded. A portion of the old script was retained for the Pied Piper cellphone game, while others appeared, either on Episode III or in ''Xenosaga I&II". Among some of the things that were originally planned to happen for Episode II:
    • Citrine would reunite with her URTV siblings. (Discarded)
    • Shion's past history with Febronia. (Appears in Episode III)
    • Junior rapidly growing to an adult with both options available during battle. (Discarded)
    • The ghost of old Miltia. (Never confirmed, but likely this is the party going into a simulation of Old Miltia (while believing it was time travel) in Episode III)
    • The death of Sakura. (Appears in Xenosaga I&II)
    • Gaignun vs the Zohar emulators. (Discarded, although probably was part of the scene where Yuriev takes control of the emulators in Episode III)
    • Junior and Albedo vs U-DO vs KOS-MOS 3rd armament. (Discarded)
    • Shion's spiritual seeking/witnessing/awakening. (Appears in Episode III)
    • The truth about KOS-MOS. (Appears in Episode III)
    • Conversation between chaos and the Red Testament. (Discarded)
    • Conversation between Nephilim and Abel. (Discarded)
    • An antimatter annihilation of Albedo. (Discarded, although likely by being modified from its original version)
    • For a bit more detail, there is an old Xenogears fan forum (spoilers beware) that documents the previously mentioned points while adding a bit more of context.
    • Several potentially awesome scenes were removed from the scripts of all three games, some being added in later, but not when they were originally supposed to be; and some were completely forgotten about. The most obvious example being the fight between Jin and Margulis, which was in the trailer for the original game but ended up being in Episode II. Another being a potential plot where KOS-MOS eventually got strong enough weapons to destroy a planet, which Shion was supposed to prevent. Also, chaos, the guy with the ability to destroy the universe, sits around and hangs in the background doing...well, not much. Just shopping and having cryptic conversations most of the time.
    • A remaster was planned, but, according to Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada, it failed the “market analysis” and was scrapped.
  • The Wiki Rule: The Xenosaga Wiki.
  • The series makes its debut in Super Robot Wars but not as a crossover with other mechs but rather in the Gaiden Game Endless Frontier.
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