Amber Michelle (myaru) wrote,
Amber Michelle
myaru

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Xenogears replay 002: Grahf is fancier than I remember.

You know, I just realized today: I think everything before Aquavy is boring as hell.

Also, Shitan = Stephen Colbert. Seriously - look at him.

You're welcome.

Okay, story. You have to keep in mind that we're finding it hard to take certain things about this game seriously - the dialogue, for example. The game might throw a dramatic scene at us, say the moment in Blackmoon forest when Elly threatens to shoot Fei, and as soon as she says "Drop your weapon!" (but he doesn't have any weapons!) my husband says on Fei's behalf - "I can't drop these guns!" and holds up his fists, and we all crack up. So much for drama.

Speaking of dialogue - after finding out Dazil doesn't have any parts for Weltall, Shitan decides it'd be a good idea to salvage broken down gears in the desert, and tells Fei to stay put like a good boy. So what does he do? Naturally he runs out into the desert, steals some poor soldier's motorcycle and leaves him to die (yeah, 'sorry' will cut it, I'm sure!), and follows the good doctor. As soon as Fei finds him - or rather, is found - somebody new crashes the party and confesses to instigating the Lahan incident for kicks.

Grahf: A greater power... is what I need to fulfill my mission. I sent those Gears into that land as a catalyst to awaken the power in you... To make contact with you.

Fei: As a catalyst!? You mean you caused that intentionally!?

Grahf: That's right. The death of your loved ones... And you powerless against it happening... The grief, the screams from your heart born out of the tragedy… There! That was the catalyst
for triggering your power.

[...]

Grahf: Hah, hah, hah... You resemble your father.

Fei: My father? You mean my dad? You know my father!?

Grahf: That was... a most delightful scream. I was enthralled by it. Nothing is more beautiful than a scream of death.


We were waiting for the dad line. I mean. It will live in my memory forever! But what gets me is Grahf's dialogue. I remembered him as more... oh, monolithic? Formal? Maybe that's Rune's fault - it was all him, and the game was actually lackluster. Grahf should be fucking Shakespearean, and instead he's talking like a cheesy cartoon villain. Alas. :/ For the record - since I think my post on this was locked - the original Japanese dialogue was slightly less redundant, in that it used two completely different words for "father" with different connotations, as follows:

グラフ: ふふふふ。 …似ておるな。  父親に。
フェイ: 父親?  親父?  お前、親父を知っているのか?!


We came to the conclusion "父親" is basically a way of referring to someone else's parents (vs. your own), while "親父" is more intimate and less formal; so in essence, Fei was just repeating what Grahf said verbatim, and then clarifying. I still think it's ridiculous and redundant, but this is Xenogears. And yes, this is more than anybody wanted to know. :P

This just furthers my theory that Square dropped a thousand page script on the translator's desk and was like, "Can you have this done in a month y/y? :D" That would explain everything!

Now back to the story. After Grahf verbally sucker-punches Fei, the Aveh army shows up to grab Weltall! And Shitan mutters that he should've guessed the army would be looking for it; bringing it into the desert was a dumb idea. I'm inclined to agree except for one thing: given Shitan's seeming motivation to get Fei the hell away from Lahan, and the fact that he's, y'know, A SPY, my theory is that every time something unlucky happens to Fei, Shitan did it on purpose.

So I'm just going to play the game with this in mind. It'll be fun! He couldn't have engineered Bart's trigger-happy appearance OR COULD HE, but he works it to his advantage pretty quick, now doesn't he?

Now that I've blundered my way through the damned stalactite cave and made it to Balthazar's place, I think Fei AND Bart are morons. They're perfect for each other.

Old Man Bal: Haven't you heard of this story...? They say that humans and God lived together in a paradise in the sky. With God's protection, there was no fear of death, and natural disasters were entirely unknown. Then one day, humans ate a forbidden fruit which gave them incredible wisdom. But God drove mankind from the paradise for their sin. Bitter at having been driven out of paradise, humans used the wisdom they had to make giants. With these giants, they planned to challenge God himself. But God poured his wrath down on them. All who defied God were destroyed. But God himself did not escape unharmed. Taking paradise with him, the wounded God buried himself deep beneath the ocean to sleep for eons. Before going to sleep, God used his remaining power to create right-hearted humans to live on this planet. These people are said to be... our ancestors.


I find this interesting for a few reasons, and none of them are the right ones, just so you know. It's close enough to the Garden of Eden myth that when I used to think back (say, for fic purposes), I assumed it was more or less the same. As it turns out, it's more like a weird mix of Eden and... Babel? (Appropriate!) Yeah, that's it. Insert pretentious analysis here. My main interest was in the hilarious commentary on evolution that preceded it. "Pfff, that evolution crap? Clearly, according to these fossils, humans spontaneously sprang into existence ten thousand years ago!" And god is a machine. Who came first, Xenogears or Angel Sanctuary? (This is actually a difficult question to answer, as AS doesn't reveal the nature of its god until the end...)

Oh yeah, and there's the allusion to the opening movie that I totally missed the first time I played this game (forbidden fruit --> you shall be as gods) and the giants are obvious in context with the game, but sound like a thinly-veiled allusion to the Watcher story and the Nephilim specifically. Only, this is the one story ripping off Genesis that doesn't seem to use them for inspiration.

Unless - I wonder if there is an argument to be made for omnigears = nephilim (or to take it further, the relics as angels - Watchers, don't ask me how that works because I have no idea - or angel equivalents). My memory of canon is too dim to offer any insight. It's just, considering the nature of the "god" in this legend, and that omnigears are kinda sorta a merging of human and angel... yeah, anyway. This is totally off in left field, I know.

I'm kind of curious when and where the game will drop hints like the allusion to the opener, since it's almost too subtle for the kind of player I was when I first picked Xenogears up. :/ I was pretty dumb when I was eighteen. I don't think I even cracked open a bible until I finished this game. Then again, that's not unusual, if my classmates in college were anything to go by.

Huh, yeah, this was a pretty useless entry.


[Edited to clarify.]
Tags: public: xenogears
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