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Thread: Xenogears: Damn you Final Fantasy VIII!

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    Pac-Man (Level 10) hezeuschrist's Avatar
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    Default Xenogears: Damn you Final Fantasy VIII!

    So I'm playing through Xenogears right now, and wow... awesome game. I'm just about finished with it (will probably beat it tomorrow) and as I'm going through disc 2, it's like they stopped trying. The story they're spoon feeding me is interesting, and I can think of a million excellent and dramatic ways to portray it to the player rather than text with a picture and your character sitting in a chair.

    So, what's the deal, where did the effort go? I'd be really interested to hear the full story behind the absolute lack of... interaction on the second disc. I heard from a friend that deadlines for FF8 had to be made and production went there, but I don't know if that coincides with Japanese release dates, but it does with the US release dates (FF8 was released 9 months later than Xenogears stateside). I guess it was kind of obvious during the early stages of the game. The first 6 to 10 hours of the game is saturated with anime and CG cutscenes, but they don't exist again until the very very end of disc 1, and even then it's only 20 seconds worth.

    Did FF8 steal the budget or what?

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    Alex (Level 15) maxlords's Avatar
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    Maybe, but some of the more risque scenes were cut from the US version too...
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    As it was described/deciphered from the tons of stories revolving around the game; the group that were working on this were doing it almost on a "pet project" type of situation. Square didn't like the idea of the game from start to finish and rushed the group heavily throughout the entire production. When deadlines started appearing faster, Square gave no lienency and forced the complete and total rush job you see there. This is why they are re-making episode five on the PS2 when it comes around. You'll notice episode one was released by Namco. They were smart enough to pick up the group that worked on Xenogears after they got fired from Square.

    Xenogears is almost the bastard little brother of Squaresoft. They don't like it, and would have prefered it if it was never released.

    At least, this is how it was described to me. Apologies if there's proof somewhere that this is incorrect.

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    I'm definitly starting to agree with the "disc 2 is a rush job". Even though I'm still ne winto disc 2 (fighting the thing in the Soylent factory) I'm getting that feeling. I loved Disc 1 and kept playing many times just to build my combos to see what new cool attacks I could get for my players and mechs. The ending for disc 1 was like...wow.
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxlords
    Maybe, but some of the more risque scenes were cut from the US version too...
    If you have some evidence of this, I'd like to see it. As far as I know, it's just a rumor that has never been proven.

    But yes, the second disc of Xenogears was indeed rushed to get the game out on deadline. The director, Tetsuya Takahashi, apparently took a page from the last TV episodes of Evangelion and went with an art-house tone for most of the second disc. Still, the game gives you dungeons and some secrets later on, so it's not all sit-and-watch.

    However, I doubt that Xenogears drew much contempt from Squaresoft. It may have begun as a pet project, but Square tried to hire programmers for it through magazine ads (thus causing people to speculate that the game was Chrono Trigger 2). They also released quite a bit of Xenogears merchandise.

    And though Square may have rushed Xenogears, it's generally held that they did the same with Final Fantasy VII. In fact, many RPGs suffer from hasty writing and fragmented perspectives towards their conclusions. Xenogears even handles its rush-job drawbacks better than others, I think.

    And for the record, I don't think that any of the people who made Xenosaga were fired from Squaresoft. They simply quit to start their own development house, much in the same way that Treasure was founded by Konami programmers. However, one of the reasons for the departure of the director of Xenogears was, in fact, Square's unwillingness to make another Xenogears title. Of course, this probably wasn't due to some corporate distaste for the first game, since the company's neglect of non-Final-Fantasy properties has also denied another Threads of Fate, Vagrant Story, Parasite Eve, or Front Mission.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG
    This is why they are re-making episode five on the PS2 when it comes around.
    I have been told by Namco folk, and read in at least one gaming outlet, that Xenosaga's six-episode story arc is entirely different from Xenogears's six-episode story arc, that the two series share creative personnel but not a plot. In other words, Xenosaga Episode V, presuming it happens, will NOT be a remake of Xenogears, which makes sense. Monolith Soft surely doesn't want to cover the same creative territory, and probably couldn't if it wanted to, since Xenogears is owned by Square.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zmeston
    Quote Originally Posted by AdamG
    This is why they are re-making episode five on the PS2 when it comes around.
    I have been told by Namco folk, and read in at least one gaming outlet, that Xenosaga's six-episode story arc is entirely different from Xenogears's six-episode story arc, that the two series share creative personnel but not a plot. In other words, Xenosaga Episode V, presuming it happens, will NOT be a remake of Xenogears, which makes sense. Monolith Soft surely doesn't want to cover the same creative territory, and probably couldn't if it wanted to, since Xenogears is owned by Square.

    -- Z.
    Zmeston is entirely correct, I think, though there are signs that the Xenosaga series will share a few concepts with the Xenogears episodes. Takahashi mentioned that Xenogears turned out to be different than he had first envisioned it, so he decided to start another line of games in a similar vein.
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    Yeah, I heard about Xenogears being Xenosaga Episode 5, but I never heard it officially. Not only that, but Xenosaga is by namco and they sure don't have the rights to Xenogears and the ideas within.

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    Well things are likely to occur similarly leading to something like the chain of events of Xenogears at one point of another.

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