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YMMV / Xenogears

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: The Dark Id did a Let's Play of this game and came to the opinion that Citan was Xenogears' Greatest ASSHOLE (though with some tongue firmly in cheek).
  • Ass Pull: Bart "finds some documents" off screen that tell him the Administrative building in Nortune is really a gigantic Gear, which Bart pilots just in time to fend off the Solaris war machine.
    • Granted, the records that Bart found was most likely stored within Aveh's old archives and written by his ancestor Roni Fatima, whom as Perfect Works mentioned, did find the Gear in Nortune's site and ordered his caravan crew to repair it. It would make a little sense if Bart mentioned it (which he didn't).
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Billy finds out that the Ethos are secretly evil kidnapping murderers and his whole religion is a lie. Billy is upset by this for about a sentence.
    • Part of this might be due to the rushed nature of the second disc, which might have led to more scenes of appropriate angst otherwise, but none of the cast are that upset over almost everyone on the planet getting killed. Billy lost an orphanage, Rico lost a city, Bart lost an entire kingdom of people who adored him, but all they are worried about is saving Elly.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: The Post-Final Boss, Miang, or what's left of her, is pathetically easy. Granted, there are reasons for that...
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Several, but the most notable comes in Shevat. Maria learns that her father is all but dead and is confronting the fact that she will have to fight his last creation, which speaks with his voice. Then Chu-Chu shows up, inflate to gear size and engage a scripted battle that is impossible to lose, managing to provide neither challenging gameplay nor story development.
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  • Catharsis Factor: You know Uroboros, that ridiculously weak Post-Final Boss that Krelian tosses into the ring against Xenogears? That's Miang, or what's left of her. Unlike the rest of the game, she has no tricks up her sleeve, nowhere to run to, and no way of stopping Xenogears from going into Hyper Mode and paying her back for all the pain she's caused. Have fun.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Miang Hawwa is eventually revealed to be the true driving force of the game's conflict. Initially Ramsus's wallflower assistant, Miang turns out to be an ancient being with one goal: to prepare humanity for harvest by Deus. The "Eve" of the world, its first woman, Miang has helped to manipulate human history by running an Ancient Conspiracy, causing countless wars and conflicts with countless deaths. Miang demonstrates nothing less than cruel satisfaction at her manipulations, rubbing it in her lover Ramsus's face how he was a failed prototype of Ramsus's rival Fei to break his already fragile mind. Miang awakens Deus and causes the genocide of almost all humanity, in addition to having made it her personal mission to destroy the happiness of lover Fei and Elly's past incarnations every time they reincarnate.
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    • Bishop Isaac Stone (originally Stein) is an agent of Solaris and one of the darkest and cruelest villains in a game full of soldiers fighting for honor and their beliefs. Having long ago murdered Raquel, the mother of Billy, all because she chose Jesiah over him, Stein continues the conspiracy of the Ethos by taking in orphans and lost people, only to send them to Solaris to be experimented for their secret weapon, and killing any survivors who became Wels or Reapers by sending out priests who he tricked into believing him. After the Ethos tries to break away from Solaris using weapons they found inside an ancient ruin, he begins to massacre them, leaving very few survivors. After being caught up by Billy, a young man who was devoted to Ethos, he gives him a Breaking Speech by telling him the monsters he killed were actually people that Solaris mutated.
  • Disappointing Last Level: The infamous Disc 2, where the gameplay is replaced by a bunch of cutscenes interspersed (with occasional boss fights and one or two short dungeons) and control is taken away from you until the final dungeon opens up.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Miang. Good lord, Miang.
  • Fanfic Fuel: It's eventually revealed that Miang can continually awaken in any woman after being killed and we only ever see a handful of incarnations of her out of almost a thousand from a period of almost ten thousand years, it can be fun to imagine what she did in the rest of her lives that weren't shown and how they impacted the world of Xenogears.
  • Fanon: The strategy guide gives Emeralda's the surname "Kasim" after her "father", Kim Kasim. Official materials don't usually follow suit. Fan materials, however, frequently do. Probably because the other official materials aren't available outside of Japan. During the game, Karellen (Krelian in the English localization) appears with blonde-colored hair. In the Nisan flashback scenes, however, he has midnight blue-colored hair. The hair color change is never explained in the game or in Perfect Works leading to a few theories to explain it with the most common one being that his hair changed color presumably as the result of Nanomachines prolonging his life.
  • Faux Symbolism:
    • In a game that arguably handles many of its symbolical and mythological themes quite well at times, a lot of the towns are named after months in the Jewish calendar for no adequately explained reason.
    • Most jarringly, if ironically easy to miss, the Ethos is structured like and has symbols similar to those of Christianity, especially the Catholic Church, with confessionals, cross-like shapes, and bishops. In its theology, however, it is completely lacking a historical Messiah figure and due to that has more in common with Judaism or Islam, doctrinally speaking, than with Christianity, meaning all those crosses, habit-wearing nuns, cassock-wearing priests, and hierarchical/practical similarities to the world's largest Christian church are misplaced, sometimes severely. The most blatant of these loosely-Christian references is a scene with three crosses on a hill with a name very similar to "Golgotha", the Hebrew name for the hill where Jesus was crucified; but even the most Messiah-like figure in the game (from a Gnostic-type religion, not from Ethos) didn't die by Crucifixion or anything remotely like it.
  • Fetish Retardant:
    • All of the pixellated nudity— even if the character designs make you think you'd want to see it, it's really not exciting. At all.
    • The implied Chu-Chu orgy in Shevat qualifies too, though that one takes Fan Disservice to horrifying levels.
  • Game-Breaker:
    • For much of the first disc, Vierge + Ether Doubler + Power Magic = one shotting bosses with Aerods. Ether Doubler does exactly what it sounds like: doubles the power of any Ether attack, at the expense of also doubling the EP cost. What makes this combo truly broken is that Aerods don't have an EP cost; they're powered by Fuel. Thus, they get massively buffed by Ether Doubler for free. A bit later you get the Power Crisis which causes the user to deal more damage at lower HP - except it's a bit too effective, losing even a few HP makes the user the most powerful attacker in the game and at low HP you can kill a gear sized enemy on foot.
    • The Holy Pendant doubles the duration of in-battle effects on the equipped character. Possibly due to a programming oversight, this bonus also extends to Gear combat, which means that the equipped character can spend up to six turns in Hyper Mode. Miss your chance to buy one? Never fear! You get one for free when Billy joins you.
    • More generally: Citan is obscenely powerful, due to his high HP and the highest Agility stat in the game. The Power Crisis accessory is obscenely powerful, due to increasing the equipped character's attack power by huge margins as their HP gets lower. Equip Citan with Power Crisis, let him get hurt, and you have an unstoppable death machine on your hands. And just in case you don't think he's broken enough, later on he gets his sword.WordOfGod has stated that this wasn't actually intentional, as his massive speed was supposed to be in line with Bart's speed, meaning while he still would be amazing, he wouldn't be finishing his second turn by the time everyone else but Emeralda would be getting to their first turn.
    • Equipping Elly with three Power Magics and using Aerods (or ether) is less of a nuke than an Ether Doubler, but they aren't Permanently Missable and are the optimal alternative. Most bosses can be taken down after four or five hits with Aerods on Power Magics, at least while Elly's still in the party.
    • She may not quite be a Gamebreaker since you can only get her in a side quest before the final dungeon, but Adult Emeralda deserves a mention. She gets a hidden 20% bonus to both physical and Ether attacks, she's got the second best Agility after Citan, and all of her other stats will boost for every single level-up, including unusually good HP gains, so if you haven't been leveling up your characters much, she really has a lot to gain from her upgrade. She combines all of the best traits of Fei and Elly. Not a coincidence, given that their previous incarnations created her. And even though the final dungeon is Gear based, her high Ether stat does carry over into her Gear.
    • Bart's "Wild Smile" ability qualifies, due to the fact that in can affect most bosses. The effects also stack, so while one casting results in "enemy usually misses", two or three means "can't hit the broadside of a barn". He also already knows it as soon as he joins up and the game has a way of telling you that you'd better use it if you want to live by making the first boss after Bart joins nearly impossible to defeat without using it on him.
    • Rico. You can play him in a few ways. You can give him accessories to make him as fast as all the other characters, giving him preemptive attacks over enemies. Or you can boost his strength even further with accessories and he can clean up when his turn comes up last. Being the last to go, he can also use healing items or whatever's needed to prepare for the next round. Otherwise, Rico steamrolls over everything to end the fight.
  • Good Bad Translation: While the line about Yui beating Citan and falling in love with him while he's recovering is actually a mistranslation (according to Perfect Works), it's widely considered an awesome story element and is well-enshrined in the fandom by now.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • The Gazel Ministry were essentially SEELE in computer form. Ten-some years later, and Rebulid's SEELE turn out to be AI themselves, and in both cases the Gendo analogue deactivates them before the climax.
    • The use of nanomachines as a catch-all device to move the plot along has gotten only funnier after Metal Gear Solid 4 became infamous for doing the exact same thing nearly ten years later.
    • In the second ending movie, Maria runs with her arms outstretched and behind her back.
  • Ho Yay:
    • Citan and Fei both bring the Ho Yay despite Citan's marriage to Yui and Fei's and Elly's Reincarnation Romance. There's dialogue referring to their sharing baths. They share a bed for a "light nap" in a scene full of Double Entendre. Citan reacts rather jealously to the thought of women and Fei at least twice. Also, Id outright says he "likes" Citan, with fully homoerotic implications. Also, outside of gameplay, Citan and Fei (even as Id) hold back in fighting each other, well before Fei's love for Elly gives him temporary control over Id.
    • The official 4koma crack manga makes one-sided Bart/Fei and Bart and Sigurd having sex canon.
    • Citan and Sigurd are heavily implied to have been a couple at some point in their days at Jugend, and one of the creators once created official art of them.
    • The rejected plotline for the Elements bonding via sex.
    • Rico and Hammer, and Hammer flirting with Citan.
    • Sigurd is heavily implied to be gay.
  • Inferred Holocaust:
    • Almost everyone on the planet is dead by the end of the game due to either becoming part of Deus (who is blown up at the game's end) or getting killed during the many catastrophic events of the game. The handful of survivors only have one working Gear (even if it's incredibly powerful) left to protect them from the dragons and dinosaurs running around the planet, the group of people in charge of finding new technology are dead, and the technology needed to get off the planet may have been irrecoverably damaged, depending on what Deus did to the remains of the Eldridge. It isn't impossible that the remainder of humanity survives past the events of the game, but it'll certainly be an uphill battle for them.
    • Fei's "final fusion." Dissociative Identity Disorder does not work like that, and that he is now living with the memories of all of the death and destruction Id has caused and Id's emotions - as well as all of his other alters and reincarnations etcetera - that "fusion" was likely merely a shock reaction and forced to hold it together to accomplish his destiny. So, you have a very unstable DID patient who's likely to break once again, except now he has the only Gear on the planet and one with immense power.
  • Iron Woobie: You'd never know how much childhood trauma Bart went through if Margie didn't tell you.
  • Les Yay:
    • The Elements. In particular, Tolone and Seraphita are never seen outside each other's company.
    • Miang admiring Elly's beautiful eyes before hypnotizing her has been noticed by the fandom.
  • Memetic Molester: While Miang's experiments as Karen are stated in the story to be for the purpose of finding the Contact, one can't help but wonder whether some of the probing she did to Fei as a child was really necessary... On top of that, she comments on how "handsome" Fei is when he participates in the martial arts tournament, knowing that he's that same child who grew up. And don't think the girls are safe from her, either. Miang saves Elly from Dominia's wrath, only to get alone in a room with the Gebler-officer-turned-traitor and... admire Elly's eyes before hypnotizing her. We know about Miang's "arrangement's" to sabotage the Yggdrasil's engines using Elly, but were those the only ones?
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "Chu-Chu dies for your sins!"
    • "Master, Sir, did you just see my MAD SKILLZ?!"
    • Interpretations of what the random English voice clip is saying during boss music. Sometimes it's "Total sentence imposed ten years" (which is what the clip is actually saying) but sometimes they come off as "Total sets in the gas chamber" or "Sex in front of trash can"
    • To a lesser extent, "This video has violated YouTube guidelines".Explanation 
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The input of commands in battle.
    • The sound of EXP being added up at the end of battle.
    • Half of the game's in battle sound effects.
  • Narm:
    • Chu-Chu died for your sins!
    • The scene where the characters are drinking tea... and the teacups float up to their mouths. They messed up teacups.
    • A scene in the ending wherein Elly trips, and Fei tries to go catch her. Fei shouts "EEEEELLLLLYYYYY!" while flat out diving to the ground like he's jumping off a diving board.
  • Nausea Fuel: The entire food processing plant.
  • The Scrappy: The cutesy mascot character, Chu-chu, is pretty widely reviled due to being obnoxious, vaguely creepy, nearly useless in battle, and incredibly at odds with the bleak, cynical tone of the game.
  • Spiritual Adaptation: This game bears a lot of similarities to Neon Genesis Evangelion, to the point where it often feels like outright plagiarism. The story is filled to the brim with Humongous Mecha and symbolism linked to Judeo-Christian theology, the protagonist is a very psychologically-troubled teen forced to pilot a mech he wants nothing to do with, there's a massive Gambit Pileup between the Omniscient Council of Vagueness and the Big Bad who are both planning to invoke an Assimilation Plot on the human race for their own reasons, and both ultimately discuss the same dichotomy of what constitutes a more ideal existence for humanity: one without pain or individuality, or one rife with suffering but an opportunity for people to come together. Heck, both works also ran into financial difficulties at the end, forcing the creators to get a bit...creative in how they wrapped their respective stories up.
  • Stoic Woobie: Rico, though he became more of a conventional Woobie when losing Hammer undid his stoic façade. Rico was still tough, but never quite as stoic after that.
  • That One Boss:
    • Redrum! Instant kills (that heal him!), area wide damage (that also heals him!), a ton of negative status ailments, and the highest HP of any boss fought up to this point by far.
    • Subverted with Opiomorph, who is more of a Puzzle Boss. Her attack strength is based on how much damage you do to her. If you do a lot of damage, she hits you with a lot of damage back. If you do no damage, she can't hurt you. Normally your first instinct when her move's timer starts is to pile on as much damage as you can to kill her before it lands. This is possible, but if you fail, a Total Party Kill is more than likely. However, if you apply damage slowly and take the time to heal and recharge fuel, Opiomorph becomes a cakewalk...a very long cakewalk, but still.
    • Id in Zeboim certainly qualifies, especially if you haven't been leveling your characters enough. He attacks multiple times in one turn and is so strong he can kill most party members in one or two attacks. He also likes to dodge Deathblows, which few other enemies can do consistently.
  • That One Level:
    • The Nortune D-Block Sewers are one of the longest, most annoying parts of the game. The level is a long maze, making it easy to get lost (despite the game giving you maps) and Redrum is That One Boss.
    • The Tower of Babel is an entirely vertical level made up of long jumping segments: if you fall, you end up back at the start. The platforming controls are abysmal and unresponsive, and the camera only has a few angles you can look at it from (and not every platform is aligned with these camera angles, making it extremely difficult to line up the jumps you can make). Another problem with this level is the high random encounter rate: in Xenogears, when a battle is triggered you can move around normaly while it's being loaded, but you can't jump, so you may end up walking off the ends of platforms and falling accidently because of it.
      • As a final insult, you spend the entire level in your Gears, which have the ability to fly. After finishing the jumping portion of the dungeon, you see a short cutscene which is introduced by the Gears flying a few hundred feet to get to the final area of the tower.
    • The last dungeon of the first disc goes on longer than the Kislev Sewers and the Tower of Babel combined. To be fair, this is technically because it is two dungeons (Soylent System and Krelian's Lab) linked together. Making it even more annoying is that nearly every enemy has absurd Ether Defense. This hurts when Elly is one of your required characters. Krelian's lab is difficult not because of the length or encounters, but because since it's all very samey-looking hallways, it's extremely easy to be running in circles for over an hour.
    • Deus, The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. It's a huge, multi-level maze with an obscenely high random encounter rate, almost all of which are Seraphs. While the game gives you maps of the interior, they really aren't that useful, and they don't help with the switch puzzle on the lower levels. Did we mention there's a switch puzzle on the lower levels? Also, for one final kick in the teeth, at the end of the dungeon, you can visit Shopkeep Johnny, who has an option to teleport you out of the dungeon with no confirmation, meaning if you misclick, you will have to redo the entire dungeon.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Every playable cast member that is not Fei, Elly, Citan, or Bart have an interesting backstory and possible character arc that is never elaborated on. Rico is the secret prince of Kislev, Billy is the one remaining member of a religion that turned out to be evil, Chu-Chu is a member of the only other race of sentient beings on the planet which is going extinct, Maria controls a giant semi-sentient robot that may or may not be her mother, and Emeralda is the only sentient colony of nanomachines in existence. Emeralda does gets an expansion of her backstory in a side quest in late Disc 2 (she's the daughter of Fei and Elly in a past life), but it's easily missable if you don't have a guide.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Krelian was clearly supposed to be seen in a sympathetic light at the end, and both Fei and Elly are shown to forgive him for his sins, going so far as to beseech him to return so he can atone. However, the fact that he had turned traitor to join Solaris, ruled the world from the shadows for 500 years, conducted all manner of gruesome experiments on people during that time, was willing to commit genocide on the entire human race, wiped out 90% of the population, and frequently mocked those he wronged, all because he lost the woman he loved, does not afford him much love from many fans.
  • Wangst: Not that there isn't plenty to legitimately angst about in this world, but sometimes, the characters go a little overboard in whining about it all.
  • The Woobie: Fei, with a side dose of Paranoia Fuel and Nightmare Fuel. He's unaware of his alters up until the fall of Solaris, and misses time - but he sees the missed time as being asleep/dreaming or a blackout. He literally doesn't know until that point that that's not actually sleep or a blackout - but his alter manifesting and lots of murder about to go down. His final fusion leaves him aware and with all of the memories of Id as well as of his reincarnations and his other alter.


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