March 16th, 2007

Miang: The Emperess

Death by fire or flood, in Zeboiim? :D

.... okay, search for the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn via library catalog is a big failure. Sigh. I really didn't want to PAY for that book right now, since I'm trying not to spend money by the bucketload. I didn't check my school library, so maybe that'll be more successful. ^^ Google gives me a long list of links for official pages (so, uh, which one is really the official page?), so I'll explore via lazy online research methods and see what comes up.

This is for a story, you see. Esoteric practices at the turn of the twentieth century have piqued my interest.

Also, reynardfox? I just found the old Uzuki family image file. :P ASGAFDASFDS

Aaaaaaanyway. OMG, I have more to say about Xenogears. (AUGH! Flashbacks!) But not that much, I promise. I was actually thinking more about Suikoden today, when I was awake enough to think about anything coherant. (The midterm paper I tried to write is hilarious.)

There must be a PW page or two on how Zeboim died, and I'm suddenly very interested in it. And while looking for it, I'm finding other things! Like:

Year 6081 (Ethos translation)
. . . Miang receives Kim's thesis and Miang, who is interested in advancing human evolution, meets up with Kim at the Federal Bureau of Medical Affairs. During the course of their conversation, Miang offers to sponsor a facility at which Kim may continue working on his research. Kim accepts the offer and again begins research and development on Nanotechnology . . .

This just gives me chills. I don't know why. The idea of Miang interacting with Fei or Elly in other generations is very interesting to me, because there's no precedent set by the game for how she would socialize with them. Besides the obvious, I mean. Part of me always wanted to think there would be a chilling spark of recognition deep down in either Fei or Elly, though they might not realize it. The game kinda sorta implies this when they show us Miang's transformations, where her host's hair morphs into that ridiculous electric purple.

That brings up a lot of questions, though. Karen's hair didn't change. The excuse used to be that her hair was too dark, but that doesn't make any sense if the Miang program overrides everything. :p I think we later concluded that the purple hair shown in flashbacks was just a design element built into the game/story direction, so we'd immediately recognize her, even though her incarnations aren't literally identical.

But hm. Miang's presence might change the host's physical appearance as we thought; perhaps Karen's didn't change as drastically because she was still fighting for control. Rune and I played a lot with the potential psychological battle between Miang and Karen, and also Kahn and Grahf. (And this is no longer related to Zeboim, ha ha! ^^;;)

Year 6053
Miang awakens as twin sisters (M0611 and M0612).

What I want to know, in relation to the upper paragraph: where in hell is her other half? Did she off it and merge again? Did it affect her in any weird ways? Throw us a bone, here.

But this is what I was looking for:

Year 6082
From p.12: . . . a large shift of the tectonic plates sent Zeboim to the bottom of the ocean, and has thus disappeared from the face of the planet. -- and from p.13: an all-out nuclear war explodes, destroying more than 90% of the human population with bombings, residual radiation, and BC (bio-chemical) weapons.

I hadn't read this for a while, so while I was thinking about Zeboim's demise, all I could dredge up was the vague account we get in the game, which talks about nuclear war, but not much else. Since Zeboim is at the bottom of the ocean - in fact, it has to be below the ocean floor to survive the way it did - I thought something other than bombs might have been responsible for the destruction of the nation, at least in part. It's just so neat and clean, sitting down there, that I wondered if it might've been built underwater to begin with. Honestly, if the city was blown to the bottom of the ocean, why is it still intact? Earthquakes are not that kind!

Also, I admit - since Zeboiim was one of the cities of the plain in Genesis, destroyed along with Sodom, I kind of wanted to know for sure how Takahashi got rid of it. Come on, it had to be biblical in proportion. XD

Zeboiim is also on the brain because it's one of the elements that made me love Xenogears so much. Not the city itself, but the feeling I had when I discovered it, and when the game revealed its history. When I go down to the city ruin, or see the Mass Driver facility, it's like I'm looking at a piece of real history, or at least something so vast that it leaves me with the sense that there's substance there, or secrets to be found. I can't put a name to this - it's a little like awe, or reverence; it's like I'm looking deep into a well of vision and seeing things that could be.

I think Xenogears falls short of real verisimilitiude because of its blatant references to earth history and symbolism, but it comes closer than any other game I can think of, including Vagrant Story - though in all fairness, in terms of actual achievement, VS tops Takahashi's work. The feeling I can't put a name to is something I remember from my first reading of Lord of the Rings.

It's the subtle references that do it. Forgetting obvious stuff like names, what Xenogears did right, I think, was leave us with only subtle hints to the vast history that the team created for their storyline. The game gave us just enough that our imaginations could run wild. Even though I wish constantly that I had more information, or more consistent or reasonable information, I think this is one area where the game did everything right. (And it's where Xenosaga does everything wrong, but that's another topic!)

This is something I always keep in mind when writing real stories, so maybe I notice it more now. Not back when I played, but. It's interesting to think about what made me like Xenogears so much, since it has endured well enough that I'm still talking about it today, when I've lost interest in the fandom and fan activity, for the most part.

Next: what Hikusaak really does with his Circle Rune. (No, seriously, I mean it.)