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Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur
Macht
Developer(s) Monolith Soft
Publisher(s) Namco
Director(s) Tetsuya Takahashi
Producer(s) Hirohide Sugiura
Artist(s) Kunihiko Tanaka
Yasuyuki Honne
Writer(s) Tetsuya Takahashi
Soraya Saga
Norihiko Yonesaka
Composer(s) Yasunori Mitsuda
Series Xenosaga
Platform(s) PlayStation 2
Release date(s)
JP
February 28,
2002
NA
February 25,
2003
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (
I Zenosga Episdo Wan Chikara e no Ishi) is
a role-playing video game developed by Monolith Soft and
published by Namco for the PlayStation 2 and the first title in the
Xenosaga series. Der Wille zur Macht, "The Will to Power", is a
reference to Friedrich Nietzsche's posthumous collection of notes
and unused aphorisms, which was intended to become his magnum
opus.
[1]
While supplies lasted, players who pre-ordered Episode I
received a limited-edition artbook featuring original art from the
game.
Episode I begins the trilogy that centers around the characters Shion
and KOS-MOS. A young woman employed by Vector Industries,
Shion aided in the creation of the battle android KOS-MOS and is
present throughout much of the game. During this game, the U-TIC
Organization attempts to steal one of the powerful Zohar Emulators,
sources of energy used by humans.
Episode I was written and directed by Tetsuya Takahashi, director
of the PlayStation game Xenogears. The Xenosaga series is often
claimed to be a spiritual prequel to Takahashi's earlier game,
although the game's creators deny any real connection.
Contents
1 Gameplay
2 Plot
3 Development
3.1 Censorship
3.2 Xenosaga: Episode I Reloaded
3.3 Xenosaga Freaks
4 Reception
5 References
6 External links
Gameplay
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Genre(s) Role-playing video game
Mode(s) Single-player
Distribution DVD-DL
During battle, each character's health
is displayed at the top of the screen
In Episode I, the player
controls a party of up to
three characters, one of
which represents the
group on the map screen.
Players progress through the story by crossing areas and fighting various
enemies and bosses along the way. Enemies are not encountered
randomly; they patrol fixed locations on each map.
[1]
When the player
touches an enemy, he or she will enter a battle. Like most RPGs, battles
in Episode I feature turn-based combat, which involves a numeral system
that determines health (Hit Points), magic/mana (Ether Points), and
damage. Status effects are common in Xenosaga, and feature both
beneficial and detrimental effects. Benefits include increasing damage or
defense, while detriments include falling asleep or being poisoned. Characters gain experience points after each
battle and when a character obtains a certain amount of points, he or she levels up. When a character rises in level,
his or her statistics increase accordingly, although there are other ways to increase them.
Episode I introduces several new features during battles. When a party member attacks, his or her "Boost Gauge"
increases. If he or she attacks on a specific turn, this increase may be furthered. When the gauge reaches at least
Level 1, that character may use the Boost command to "Normal Boost", which usually results in he or she
immediately receiving a turn in battle directly after the present character. However, the enemy may use a "Counter
Boost" to override this normal one. Each character can attain up to three Boost levels in one battle. During battle,
players can board mechs called A.G.W.S.. Although the A. G. W. S. units generally feature special attacks and
higher statistics, they are limited in turns, ammunition, and actions (for example, a character may not use any healing
ethers or items when he or she is inside an A. G. W. S., also the A. G. W. S. will retain damage after the battle that
cannot be restored normally).
[1]
This system is similar to the "Gear" battle system from Xenogears. When attacking
an enemy, a character may initiate a string of different attacks. However, the number of attacks that may be used is
determined by the amount of Action Points (AP) that the character has stored. Characters usually obtain four AP at
the start of their turn, but they can also save up to six unused points. There are items which can increase the normal
4 AP to 5 or even 6, allowing more actions to be performed. Different actions take different amounts of AP.
In addition to monetary and experience awards after each battle, characters will obtain Ether, Tech, and Skill points
upon completing a battle. If the battle ends on the "Points Boost" turn, even more points will be rewarded. Ether
points can be spent to obtain new Ether, or character-specific magical spells. Tech points are used to either
increase stats, such as attack power, Hit Points, and dexterity or to improve the power and usefulness of Tech
attacks. Finally, Skill points can be used to obtain special commands, status attack guards, or other features.
[1]
Episode I features no universal world map, but the player can travel to several regions of the game through the
EVS (Environmental Simulator), a location replicator/virtualizer also seen in Episodes II and III. Other features
include an in-game database, several mini-game "plug-in" systems that can be accessed from Shion's portable
UMN console, and an e-mail system that allows players to make playful decisions that have little significance to the
main plot.
[2]
Episode I, 2, and 3 includes a treasure hunt side-quest, in which the player may find decoders for
eighteen locked doors scattered throughout the game. The doors lead to various treasures and skills. The game
map features a small radar that detects the locations of enemies and allies.
Plot
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Episode I mainly serves as an exposition for the characters and the developing plot. After Dr. Matsuda discovers
the Original Zohar in 20xx AD in Turkana, Kenya, the focus shifts to the transport of a Zohar Emulator aboard the
Galaxy Federation starship Woglinde. The Zohar Emulator was discovered in the wake of the disappearance of the
planet Ariadne. The Woglinde is also the current location of Vector Industries' KOS-MOS development project
headed by Shion Uzuki. The project proceeds through a test experiment on the battle android KOS-MOS, during
which a mysterious young girl (Nephilim) is encountered. After the test, Shion has another vision of Nephilim while
investigating the Zohar Emulator. Eventually, the Woglinde is attacked by a group of Gnosis who are after the
Emulator. This attack is partly orchestrated by U-TIC Organization operatives Vanderkam and Cherenkov, who
wish to acquire the Emulator for their boss, Margulis. During the attack, KOS-MOS is activated suddenly, the
Gnosis escape with the Emulator, Shion and Cherenkov are touched by Gnosis, and the U-TIC operatives escape
(sans Cherenkov, who joins up with Shion and crew). Federation Lieutenant Virgil is also shot by KOS-MOS in a
friendly fire incident and dies. After the Woglinde is destroyed, Shion, Cherenkov, Allen Ridgeley, and KOS-MOS
are rescued by the Kukai Foundation's Elsa starship, which was investigating the ruins of the Woglinde as potential
salvage.
[3]
On the starship, the group encounters a mysterious boy, chaos, before asking Captain Matthews to
escort them to Second Miltia.
Meanwhile, Margulis explains the significance of U-TIC's plan to recover the Original Zohar from Old Miltia.
Thereafter, Vector's CEO, Wilhelm, is shown ordering Red Testament to "gather the necessary factors". Cyborg
Ziggurat 8, nicknamed Ziggy, is assigned by the S.O.C.E. to rescue the 100-Series Realian Prototype, MOMO,
who was kidnapped by the U-TIC Organization because she carries the Y-Data, which contains the steps to
finding the Original Zohar on Old Miltia, among other information. The S.O.C.E. then orders Ziggy to bring
MOMO to Second Miltia for extraction of the Y-Data. Ziggy reaches the U-TIC headquarters (Pleroma) and
rescues MOMO. However, the duo is chased by U-TIC operatives in hyperspace until they encounter the Elsa.
The two parties meet, defeat the pursuing U-TIC forces, and decide to join together on their journey to Second
Miltia. During this incident, the never-aging U.R.T.V. unit, Jr., is attacked by a U-TIC battleship while investigating
the Woglinde wreckage for any signs of the Zohar Emulator. His group is unable to find the Emulator.
After stopping at the Dock Colony, the Elsa runs into the Cathedral Ship, a planet-sized Gnosis created from the
missing planet Ariadne and made complete with the Zohar Emulator taken from the Woglinde. While escaping the
Cathedral Ship, Cherenkov mutates into a Gnosis and is killed by the party (from having been touched by one from
earlier, though Shion was also touched by one and shows no ill effects). The Elsa and the party are rescued by Jr.
and his Durandal starship, which was passing by in search for the Emulator. Jr. apprehends the Zohar Emulator
from the destroyed Cathedral Ship and explains that he now has the twelve Emulators, but that the Emulators only
contain a fraction of the power that is housed by the Original Zohar, trapped on Old Miltia. Jr. takes them back to
the Kukai Foundation, where the party is introduced to Jr.'s fellow U.R.T.V. unit, Gaignun Kukai. The Galaxy
Federation files charges on the Kukai Foundation for the destruction of the Woglinde based on a U-TIC-created
forgery combining the battles between the Woglinde and Gnosis and between the U-TIC and Durandal. In order to
prove their innocence, Shion Uzuki leads an Encephalon dive to into KOS-MOS's subconscious to retrieve an
encrypted and verifiable recording of the Woglinde's actual destruction by the Gnosis. In the Encephalon, Shion and
Jr. navigate a world based on childhood memories from the Miltian Conflict. The party meets Febronia, Febronia,
who explains that a time will come where KOS-MOS will encounter the wave existence known as U-DO. She
then requests that Shion free her sisters from their captivity. Febronia also states that all factions involved must
travel to Old Miltia.
U-TIC realizes that their plot to distract Kukai and Miltia in order to apprehend MOMO has failed, so they
dispatch Jr.'s brother and fellow U.R.T.V. unit, Albedo, to formulate his own strategy. Albedo decides to activate
the Song of Nephilim, which generates a Gnosis attack around the Kukai Foundation. In the confusion surrounding
the attack, Albedo kidnaps MOMO and brings her to the Song of Nephilim. Shion and the party go to the Song
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and defeat Albedo, but before escaping, Albedo successfully searches MOMO for the Y-Data and extracts an
incomplete copy. Afterward, the Blue Testament appears and demands that the party travel to Old Miltia. The
Song deactivates and the Gnosis attack is thwarted. However, Albedo summons Proto Merkabah, the space
station created by Joachim Mizrahi, in an attempt to destroy Second Miltia and the Kukai Foundation. Albedo
quickly destroys the entire Federation fleet in the region with a single salvo. He then prepares to fire on Second
Miltia. This does not adhere to the plans of U-TIC, but the Blue Testament, revealed to be the previously-killed Lt.
Virgil, decides to let it continue.
Inside Proto Merkabah, the party encounters Albedo, who summons a Gnosis to "test" the party and to buy
Albedo time to escape. Albedo sets Merkabah on a collision course with Second Miltia, which the party stops by
breaking the space station into thousands of pieces. However, during re-entry, the Elsa's heat shield begins to
disintegrate. KOS-MOS' and chaos's combined powers form angelic wings to prevent the Elsa from being
destroyed. Meanwhile, Albedo discovers that the Y-Data is protected and tells U-TIC that MOMO will have to
connect to the U.M.N. before he can retrieve the rest. While these events are transpiring, Wilhelm stares at his
Compass of Order, understanding that his plans have started in full motion.
Development
Episode I was designed by Tetsuya Takahashi, director for both Xenogears and the rest of the Xenosaga trilogy.
Many other developers from the Xenogears team joined Monolith Soft and the Xenosaga world is loosely based
on that game.
[2]
When Xenosaga was first announced, it was supposed to be a six-part game series, spanning
three consoles and several years.
[2]
Episode I's soundtrack was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda and performed by the London Philharmonic
Orchestra.
[2]
Mitsuda arranged the traditional song Greensleeves and wrote several new songs.
[2]
Two versions of
the game's soundtrack album have been released, as well as a single for the main theme of the game, "Kokoro".
During cut scenes, voice actors act out much of the game's dialogue, with over fifteen hours of cinematic cut
scenes.
[2]
Censorship
Episode I dealt with the censorship of several cutscenes in the North American release of the game, a majority of
which take place during a confrontation between the game's main villain and another character. This was done
presumably to avoid any possibilities of the title receiving an ESRB M rating. A scene involving an arm being
snapped was softened for the North American version. In another scene of noticeable censorship, a character
draws out a knife, which he uses to cut off his arm and head. For Western release he simply rips off his limbs
without the use of a knife. A scene where a character draws out information by "reaching inside" another character
was also altered; instead, he simply puts his hand over her face in the North American version.
Xenosaga: Episode I Reloaded
In a mid-2003 effort to drum up hype for the upcoming Xenosaga: Episode II, Namco released a special version
of Episode I called Xenosaga: Episode I Reloaded in Japan, which featured the English voice-acting and a few
special features. These included two additional armors which serve as alternate costumes for KOS-MOS and
MOMO, and a theatre mode in which the game's cutscenes can be played at will (provided they have already been
played in an existing saved game).
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Aggregate scores
Aggregator Score
GameRankings
83.87%[7]
Metacritic
83 out of 100[8]
Review scores
Publication Score
Edge
7.7 out of 10[4]
Famitsu
33 out of 40[5]
GamePro
4.5 out of 5[6]
GameSpot
8.1 out 0f 10[1]
IGN
8.8 out of 10[2]
Reception
Xenosaga Freaks
On April 28, 2004, Namco released Xenosaga Freaks in Japan, a supplementary game including a Xenosaga-
themed word-puzzle game based on Namco's Mojipittan called Xenopittan, a comical adventure game Xenocomi,
the complete dictionary of terminology from Episode I enhanced with audio and video clips, and a playable demo
of Episode II. This is the closest that Xenosaga has come to Xenogears' Perfect Works anthology beyond the
Original Design Materials.
Reception
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht received praise
from critics, earning a generally favorable 83% on
Metacritic.com.
[8]
Most critics enjoyed the well-developed
plot and characters, but argued that the long cut scenes ruined
the pacing of the game. Episode I was given
GameSpot.com's "dubious honor" award for the "Most
pretentious game of 2003". GameSpot did however praise the
game in their review, scoring it 8.1 out of 10.
[9]
Critics agreed that the game's strongly developed characters
were a highlight. GameSpot.com's Greg Kasavin wrote that
"Despite the amount of time you'll spend with all these
characters, Xenosaga isn't very heavy on character
development, but its cast is endearing nevertheless."
[1]
Noting
that the game's characters do not stand out for costume
design or weaponry, IGN's Jeremy Dunham said that the cast
is "possibly the most realistic portrayal of protagonists we've
yet seen on the PlayStation 2" and that "the depth of each personality is so vast that it's akin to that found in modern
literature."
[2]
The game's plot found more mixed reviews, although it gained much praise. Kevin Jones of
GamingAge.com stated that "Xenosaga has that extra special something that has been missing from RPGs for the
last couple of years, an enthralling, profound story that leaves you truly wanting more."
[10]
Jones believed that the
character designs and animation styles in Xenosaga were not up to par with expectations, though. Dunham
explained that the game's complexity would be too intimidating or "inactive" for casual gamers, but "For those of us
who like this sort of thing, however, Xenosaga is a deeply enriching thrill ride towards the cosmos."
[2]
Christian
Nutt from GameSpy disliked the length of the game's reliance on cutscenes, claiming that it slowed the pacing of the
game.
[11]
Critical reception of Episode I's gameplay was mixed. GamePro's review criticized the complexity of the battle
system mechanics, including the A.G.W.S. battles and tech point system, later admitting that the "strange tweaks
Xenosaga makes to the standard system are pretty intriguing".
[6]
Dunham warned players that they must stay
"open-minded" about the seemingly small percentage of actual gameplay compared to the number of cut scenes,
stating that "there's plenty to do, despite what you may have heard elsewhere."
[2]
He praised the combination of
attacks and Tech attacks the players have the ability to use and the mini-game Xenocards.
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References
1. ^
a

b

c

d

e

f
Kasavin, Greg (2003). "Xenosaga Episode I"
(http://www.gamespot.com/ps2/rpg/xenosaga/review.html). Retrieved November 30, 2009.
2. ^
a

b

c

d

e

f

g

h

i

j
Dunham, Jeremy (2003). "Xenosaga Episode I at IGN"
(http://ps2.ign.com/articles/387/387085p1.html). Retrieved November 30, 2009.
3. ^ Matthews: Relax, ya moron Were gonna grab what we can while taking care of this little rescue. With this
mess, I bet theres no one left alive, anyway.Monolith Soft (2003). Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht.
PlayStation 2. Namco.
4. ^ Edge staff. Xenosaga Episode I review. May 2003, p.97.
5. ^ 2 - I []. Weekly Famitsu. No.915 Pt.2. Pg.72. 30 June
2006.
6. ^
a

b
"Xenosaga Episode I at GamePro.com"
(http://web.archive.org/web/20090205175710/http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/28344/xenosaga-episode-i-
der-wille-zur-macht/). 2003. Archived from the original
(http://www.gamepro.com/article/reviews/28344/xenosaga-episode-i-der-wille-zur-macht/) on 2009-02-05.
Retrieved November 30, 2009.
7. ^ "Xenosaga Episode I at GameRankings.com" (http://www.gamerankings.com/ps2/519264-xenosaga-episode-i-
der-wille-zur-macht/index.html). Retrieved November 30, 2009.
8. ^
a

b
Metacritic staff. "Xenosaga Episode I" (http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps2/xenosaga).
Retrieved November 30, 2009.
9. ^ "Most pretentious game of 2003" (http://www.gamespot.com/gamespot/features/all/bestof2003/day3_10.html).
gamespot.com. February 13, 2003. Retrieved 2006-01-17.
10. ^ Jones, Kevin M. "GamingAge review of Episode I" (http://www.gaming-age.com/cgi-bin/reviews/review.pl?
sys=ps2&game=xeno). gamerankings.com. Retrieved 2006-01-17.
11. ^ Nutt, Christian (February 13, 2003). "GameSpy review of Episode I"
(http://archive.gamespy.com/reviews/february03/xenosagaps2/). gamespy.com. Retrieved 2006-01-17.
External links
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (http://www.us.playstation.com/PS2/Games/SLUS-20469) at
PlayStation.com
Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht (http://www.mobygames.com/game/xenosaga-episode-i-der-
wille-zur-macht) at MobyGames
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?
title=Xenosaga_Episode_I:_Der_Wille_zur_Macht&oldid=618140138"
Categories: 2002 video games PlayStation 2-only games Japanese role-playing video games
Xenosaga games
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