- Aug 13, 2023
Well, at least it's a certainty that Xenoblade is getting some new people into Xenogears and Xenosaga. With the way modern games are/are headed I can only imagine more and more younger folk who are passionate about the hobby will go back and play older stuff for something different.I'm in basically the same boat, with perhaps the added feeling of annoyance that it seems the only way the older games might matter is through Xenoblade rather than by standing on their own two feet. But hey, new generations, new stuff to play with, I guess.
Yeah, I suppose. Aside from Ep 2, I only know him from some Mega Man arranges I used to listen to. Kajiura is still definitely my favorite composer for the series though, even above Mitsuda, and I wish she composed for more games in general. The other thing I know her from is .hack//sign, which also had a fantastic soundtrack. I did watch Madoka as well but that was so long ago, I don't remember a damn thing.Hosoe is, honestly, just badly suited for Xenosaga. I've played other stuff that has featured his music like, say, the Zero Escape series, and his music does a really good job at enhancing that atmosphere. It's just that Kajiura was a better fit for Xenosaga as a whole. I do think Mitsuda was the series' sound, but without Kajiura we wouldn't have gotten quite a ton of outright bangers out of this series. Takahashi said once that there's inspiration from existing movies, and he's a fan of Russian cinema... I wonder if the atmosphere from Tarkovsky's Solaris might have been an influence? The feel outer space gives there is quite similar and, come on, we already know he's watched that movie 100% due to Xenogears.
Also, regarding KOS-MOS' design... an interview with Takahashi appeared just last year that revealed something really interesting about her. Apparently, Takahashi originally planned KOS-MOS' design direction to include making her similar to Bellmer dolls:
I can get behind that as well (big fan of doll joints) but I think KOS-MOS looking more like a proper humanoid did work out quite well. For one, with the high level of technology present in the setting, it would feel quite out of place if she looked like that when we've got all these realians and perfectly human looking androids (like Yuriev's secretary in Pied Piper iirc) running around. Ziggy looks the way he does because he's explicitly using old tech, for example. I also think the prototype's unfinished look is just right for what it is: a prototype. KOS-MOS's beauty and her "assets" are a strength of the design as well, they give her a kind of soft motherliness which both fits well with the idea of her being a kind of "incubator" for Maria and a protector of Shion, and that fits the Maria part herself when she awakens, too. Maybe that wasn't necessarily the original intent, but it's just another thing I like about her.In the end, only the KOS-MOS Archetype ended following this design direction, but it was what Takahashi originally planned all versions to be like. Incidentally, the Archetype is Takahashi's KOS-MOS' favourite version (he's always thought of her as a vessel for Maria, he says. And there's no reason for the vessel to look so human-like). However, he thought he had to make compromises to appeal to the fans (that is, a certain kind of fan, Takahashi explicitly went with a design that was currently popular market-wise), so he kinda just handed Mugitani some pictures of some of one of his favorite porn actress and requested he draw a robo girl in a bondage outfit. Takahashi says that he learned to compromise on his own desires (that is, the Bellmer Doll look) thanks to this, given KOS-MOS became a hit character.
The Archetype incidentally is the one KOS-MOS look that gives off the most "eldritch", monstrous and alien feeling out of all of the frames. And it does somehow remind of the alien, incomprehensible air of otherworldly-ness that also floated around Deus in Xenogears.
Yeah, I want to get into that kind of stuff more. My biggest problem when it comes to my entertainment these days is that I've spread myself quite thin across a lot of things. Only lately have I really gotten the urge to narrow my tastes down a bit and really dig deeper into the things I'm more passionate about, like the Xeno series.You should at least play Tribunal, given it serves to complete the main story with some points that needed closure. I've been basically sorta "studying" the lore of The Elder Scrolls since 2012 or so, in an on and off basis. I can say that it's probably the most potentially unique WRPG series in the market... in the not all that capable hands of Todd Howard and crew. Todd Howard is also the main culprit of the writing being dumbed down since Oblivion, starting with the dumb Cyrodiil retcon (also, go figure, Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies were the big hit when Oblivion was about to come out).
What happened with the dumbing down of Elder Scrolls is also something that happened to another favorite WRPG of mine, Deus Ex. Man, those later games are a disgrace.