Xenosaga

In Xenosaga, a group of child-like artificial humans, nicknamed Kirschwassers, are conceived by Dr. Joachim Mizrahi. These 99- Series Observational Realians are eventually retired, phased out and cast aside as a newer, more perfect model, the 100-Series, is introduced.

Kirschwassers somehow seem fitting to represent the Xenosaga trilogy.

Monolith Soft had huge plans for the series. The initial story was to span across six games, but due to the disappointing sales of episode two, Xenosaga would be cut down to a mere three games.

For those who have never experienced Xenosaga, or never could continue the story of KOS-MOS, this was a huge loss.

Fans moved on, but the trilogy never would seem to disappear completely from the world of JRPGs. KOS-MOS would occasionally make surprise appearances in other games, accompanied by a couple of other characters from the series. Figure after figure of the game’s beloved battle android would be released, and three spin-off titles were published exclusively in Japan. There was also an anime and manga adaption of episode one.

No matter how far we moved away from 2006, the year Xenosaga’s last episode was released, large pockets of fans continued to keep the series alive through fan sites and raising the demand for related merchandise.

Having said that, we aren’t getting another Xenosaga. There will be no Xenosaga Episode IV: Der Antichrist, or some other variation of the name borrowed from a book by philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The series never departed from the PlayStation 2, and now Monolith has long since moved on from Namco, having been acquired by Nintendo, with whom they released Xenoblade Chronicles.

The game is its own world, with no relation to the Xenosaga series outside of small similarities and namesake. Xenoblade is newer, arguably better to some, yet it still cannot fill the void that will always be there as fans long for another episode of Xenosaga.

It’s sad we will never know what else became the heroes in Xenosaga’s universe outside of episode three’s ending. Asking for a fourth episode seems like an unrealistic request, but an HD remake is well within Bandai Namco’s capabilities.  An impressive story that spans three games long, unedited and upscaled to be enjoyed on the consoles of this generation. It would be a fitting tribute to a game no one could ever truly forget.

ShionShion Uzuki and her brother, Jin, as they appear in Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Bose.


WHY XENOSAGA?

Bandai Namco has a sizeable library of games that are deserving of a revisit to them, but something about the Xenosaga triology just kept clinging on to stay relevant. The spin-offs, the merchandising, and surprise appearances by KOS-MOS in several titles keep reminding us that she once had a game of her own.

And if you lived outside of Japan, you never got the full experience of those games anyway.

When Xenosaga headed west, Europe’s introduction to the trilogy only started with episode two, arguably the weakest link of the three. They received a special edition, which included all of the cutscenes from the first game, but is still nothing compared to actually experiencing it.

North America received a watered down version of the titles. Ask any western Xenosaga fan about the localization, their biggest gripe will probably lie in the massive amounts of censorship within the games. Some scenes seemed to make little sense in the localization, especially for those who played it without realizing things had been edited. Seeing Shion stare down horrifically at her blood covered hands is almost comical when you remove the blood.

Even in its imperfect, and sometimes half-complete form, Xenosaga was still loved by many during its short run. A more perfected version could do more than just introduce the series to new fans, but could also attract old fans to revisit the series and have the experience they should have had all those years ago.

KOS-MOS
KOS-MOS, as she appears in Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sparch Zarathustra


HOW YOU CAN HELP.

As demonstrated by previous pushes to command the attention of a game company (see Operation Rainfall), it takes quite a bit of work to garner enough buzz to warrant action. This is where fans come in.

Operation KOS-MOS is an established fan collective attempting to gain a large enough following to warrant a Xenosaga HD port. Their plan is simple enough, and similiar actions have worked in the past. Using social media and online petitions, the group could potentially cause a big enough stir that Bandai Namco acknowledges the fans and fulfills our request.

Recently, Bandai Namco’s Katsuhiro Harada tweeted to Xenosaga fans, asking they voice their interest in an HD collection.

To Xenosaga fan community.

I do understand that you all are desiring “Xenosaga HD collection”.
Also, I do appreciate all your passionate comments.
I do understand your feeling to “tweet every day until the day Xenosaga HD collection comes real”.
However, what I need in order to achieve your dream, is not to have tweets from the “same person” sent to me every day.
It has been a long time since Xenosaga has been released.
It really brings back memories of those days they were developing the first Xenosaga staying up all night, when the TEKKEN Project was also staying up all night on the same floor at office.

A while back, triggered by the overseas version of Project X zone, I have conducted a research and calculated if there is a business chance for Xenosaga HD remaster.
It was a very simple research at that time. Yet, research does cost money.
And at that time, I was not able to seek business chance.
In other words, I was not able to find the necessary market size that will pay for the development fee needed to create the HD remaster.
Back then, the reactions on SNS and unique users were rather few in number.
It may be that I didn’t work hard enough.
Measures such as kickstarters are as of last resort, and at any rate we will not have a chance of winning as it stands now. It will not gather people by crowdfunding without creating some kind of big movement to support it.
To be honest, I was about to give up and I’m troubled.

What I need, are the voices from many fans.
This is a little different from having “messages sent every day from the same person”.
Although I do understand the deep love for the game, more than that, the cheers from as many “unique users” as possible is what is needed.
Digging further, I will not be able to believe comments like “I’ll buy 100 copies!”. Most companies will not believe in it.
It is not realistic for one person to tweet 100 times every day, or buy 100 copies alone.
It’s more realistic if you bring 10 fans to the game (not to mention, it wouldn’t mean anything by having the same person suddenly creating alternate accounts. I will be able to tell those).

What’s important in these kinds of cases is the number of unique users.
It means more to have 100 people mentioning they want the game one time, rather than having one person repeating it 100 times.
A miracle would happen if several tens of thousands are gathered at the end.
Of course, involvement from the company is needed for this but…

KOS-MO1S“Good Morning, Shion.” KOS-MOS and Shion Uzuki, as they appear in Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht.

Contacting Harada via Twitter is one way fans can push for the project. Another would be to follow Operation KOS-MOS on Twitter and keep up with their current projects to show support for the series.

Xenosaga’s story is timeless. It’s a tale that promises the thrill of a space voyage and links to events centuries in the past. A journey that explores themes from famous philosophers, a narrative punctuated with an OST of legendary proportions, and a cast that will stay with you forever. It’s a game fans have truly never forgotten, and one new and old JRPG fans deserve to have another chance at.

There’s a moment in Xenosaga, in which a promise is made that we’ll meet again one day. That was one of my favorite moments in the series. I’d like to think of that promise as coming true sometime soon. Xenosaga was the series that helped me finally realize I always wanted to be a part of the video game industry somehow, and help produce or market titles like it.

I want to see the trilogy given the proper release it should have originally received around the world, and one more chance with my favorite band of heroes.

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