The Let's Play Archive


by The Dark Id

Part 147: Episode CXLIV: What Lies Beneath the Lighthouse

Episode CXLIV: What Lies Beneath the Lighthouse

Welp. Here we are folks. The final sidequest of Xenogears. This too is unmarked on the World Map. But it is at least slightly easier to figure out than Duneman’s Isle.

It seems that between discs, the mysterious Aquvy lighthouse took it upon itself to become a proper map location and not just an oddity of the landscape. So, let’s take a gander at this new locale. In order to complete this bonus dungeon properly, Emeralda HAS to be in our active party. But that’s alright, since Emeralda is cool in my book.

“It’s just the right height, so they made it into a lighthouse... But nobody knows what’s inside of it.”
”...Did ANYONE actually build anything on this planet or is it all just repurposed crap from thousands of years ago?”
“I am beginning to get that feeling. Yes.”
“So...what’s down there?”
“How should I know? I was busy enough studying Ethos scripture, running an orphanage, and fighting Wels for the church to go adventuring in the middle of nowhere.”
“...So nobody has looked to see where the thing they converted into the lighthouse leads?”

Man, this thing does not at ALL match up with its World Map size scale. The average Gear is what? Three stories tall? This thing has to be a mini-Babel Tower if we’re barely above the base.

In any case, it seems the islanders in Aquvy just climbed to the top of this tower, stuck a rotating light on the top, and called it a day. Nobody saw any reason to see where the huge service elevator led or...heck, the source of the electricity to power the lighthouse’s light.

A long elevator ride later...

At the end of the elevator ride we arrive in...modern day Japan...?!


...Oh my GOD it’s Drakengard all over again! I can’t do another rhythm game like that. I had to tear out a part of my soul and sacrifice it to the gods of reflexes and patience to do it last time. I’ve only got so much soul to give up to things like that!

“...We've come a long way from there..."
”You were not even there for that point of the game. How on earth do you know what that city looked like?”
“Uhh, hello Philly. I’ve been reincarnated like a bajillion times throughout history. I used to live in this neighborhood like 4000 years ago. We’re at the corner of umm... Miktam and Samson Street. There used to be a convenience shop that had awesome gyros over on the next block.”
“Aren’t you a bit weirded out having the memories of every past life you’ve ever lived...?”
“Eh. It was wiggy at first. But then I realized I pretty much gained the innate ability to sorta kinda understand what in the hell was going on with everything. So that’s nice... I was running out of pages in that notepad I was carrying.”
“I see.”

So welcome to the Zeboim bonus dungeon. It turns out Square actually is going to let us explore that underground dead city. It just took 40 hours ago from its initially appearance for that to pan out...

Unfortunately, the chunk of Zeboim we are exploring is only a few blocks large. But there is quite a bit to see around town. I hope you like backstory fluff because 99% of the in-game info on this era is coming up in rapid succession.

As we explore the streets of the city, occasionally Fei will remark we can enter one of the abandoned buildings. There will also be some lights from working electricity from the explorable buildings. Man, those electricity bills must be insane after neglecting to cut off the lights for 4000 years.

Our first stop is some manner of office building in the center of town.

This leads to...spotlights? Oh gawd! THE CHAIR! RUN FOR IT!!

Oh wait.... Video cameras? The Narration Zone didn’t have those. Just a projector screen display...

Oh. Spiffy. We found the Zeboim news television studio. Today’s forecast is partly cloudy with an 80% chance of the end of civilization.

Unfortunately, there isn’t anything to be done with the studio proper. I doubt Fei would make a very good news anchorman. Now Citan Uzuki? There’s a man I could see cheerily informing the populace of the latest casualties in wars abroad, rapes, and murders in the town during the course of that day.

Upstairs we find a control room for the station’s broadcasts. But most importantly, if we fiddle around with the central console we will be able to view some interesting archives. Let’s take a look.

“What's this movie...?”
“A record of the Zeboim culture that died out 4000 years ago.”
”And those are some bitching fighter planes. Word of advice...if they ever re-invent those...NEVER go to any air shows involving ‘em...”
“Considering society completely collapsed over the last month...I’m not going to worry about that too much.”

”Oh, check it out... Old political debates. Those were wacky times. No Sky Nazi conspiracies. Just old white dudes imagining up Sky Nazi conspiracies... Not really much better, to be honest...”

“Stop it! Who is this woman...?”
”What woman?”
“The one behind the man in the suit with the O’Brien curl.”

“Miang, as she appeared in the Zeboim era. But I don't know who her host body was. She resided at the side of the Prime Minister, manipulating the world behind the scenes.”
”...I *really* hope she doesn’t make Elly get that stupid haircut.”

“To resurrect Deus?”

“In the beginning, yes. But later it was different. Many people then, couldn't have children. They were defective humans... So... she did it over again.”
”Did it all over again?”
“Yeah... Miang...? Kind of a bitch...”

“Right before man was about to be killed out by war, a new being was born to foster the next generation. Remember the missiles in the Mass-driver facility? That was the most important thing to the Zeboim people."

"Because of that, we now are descendants of the few strong people who survived.”

“A nation of fanatics looking for their own living space...believing in religious sect leaders and gathering around totalitarian rulers. These people were cut off from the next generation, thanks to genetic damage and would have died out, if left to their own devices. So, Elly and I took the hopes of the people and created Emeralda..."

Well, that was enlightening. Our next stop is just up the street at the intersection. I’m not certain as to the traffic laws regarding giant robots on the road. I suppose we’d have to use hand signals before turning. That might be problematic for Emeralda...

The party piles into the next location...

Next up we have a...derelict convenience store. You know, it’s sort of sad that this is probably one of the most interesting dungeons in the second disc and it’s just an abandoned Japanese town. Anyhow, there is more fluff to be had in this locale. This time in magazine form (sorry, no pretty pictures.)

Strange engines discovered in structures buried underground in ancient times, the "Sub-" or "Slave Generators" (hereafter abbreviated as "S.G."'s) have, after diverse study, become widely known to have their output divided into 3 levels. However, it has been ascertained that a higher mode exists that far surpasses these output levels. For convenience's sake, we shall call this 'Hypermode'.
Hypermode is invoked at a certain probability when an S.G.'s attack level reaches three. The explanation below covers the various conditions and probabilities for invocation, that we have been able to ascertain at present, assuming that a S.G. has been installed into a humanoid fighting machine (or "Gear"). In all cases, a basic constant exists, which we observe to be approximately the value of 5. The probability is computed by multiplying this constant by one tenth of the percentage that the HP have been reduced.
For example, if a Gear's HP has been reduced by 50% of its total, then the chance of invocation would be 5 x 50/10 = 25 (X) So in this case, when the Attack Level reaches 3, there is a 25% chance that Hypermode will set into action. Also, apart from this, there are modification values, which are added to the basic value accordingly with the release of each attack from levels 1 to 3. In other words, the chances of Hypermode being invoked increases the more a Gear attacks and the more the Gear is attacked. The S.G.'s Hypermode induced by the aforementioned probability can emit immeasurable amounts of energy, so from that aspect may appear ideal for use as the master-engine of a fighting machine.
However, in reality they have not yet progressed to the level of use as power for actual warfare due to reasons such as their unpredictability and the fact that no Gear-frame exists that is rigid enough to possibly endure these energy emissions.
”Must be GameFAQs Monthly.”

That is the only magazine on the bottom floor. But we can poke around the upper areas for a couple more bits of reading material. I’m not sure why two stores are connected via a back staircase. That doesn’t sound like the best business move in the world.

With a design based on the Heisenberg proposition's S Matrix, which is the solution to the Uncertainty Principle's reciprocal relationship of particles (or Cosmic Wave), it was thus also known as the 'S Matrix Engine' or 'Heisenberg Engine'. In principle, assuming all phenomena of the immediate future, including the present, are potential phenomena, it actualizes the most convenient phenomenon amongst these active subjects as the actual phenomenon and accordingly takes advantage of the resulting energy potential displacements.
”Anyone understand a word of that...?”
“I’m afraid not.”

But at the awards' ceremony, when he went to shake hands, he slipped, hit his head and went home brain-damaged, burnt out and thinking he's Elvis...
”They...can’t be talking about the same Big Joe we keep running into... Right...?”
“To be honest, I do not think that would rank in the top ten of weirdest things we’ve encountered.”
“Man, I am taking SUCH a long vacation when this is all over...”

There is one final accessible ground level location just a couple buildings east of the convenience store. No time like the present...

Music: Flight

Most of Zeboim has no music outside of a Silent Hill sounding industrial clanking of metal and grinding of gears in the distance. But this random café sees it fit to have Flight blaring over the loudspeakers. And why is that, you ask...

Why, it’s because our apparently 4,000 year old teleporting Elvis impersonator stalker is hanging out in Zeboim’s ruins. Sure...why not?

The four chests around Big Joe respawn every time we enter the room and contain random loot. Nothing particularly good, and more often than not utterly useless. But swag! As for Big Joe himself...

“It's Joe's shop, so of course it's all Joe brand.”

So, Big Joe has opened up a shop for us in Zeboim. What exactly is he selling, you ask? Well, he’s got an Item Shop and a Gear Shop. On the item side...

He’s got a collection of narcotics that would make a pharmacist blush. Big Joe is selling every single type of status improving Drive available in the game and he’s got an unlimited stock. If for some crazy reason we wanted to make Chuthulhu into a decent character, pumping her full of drugs from Big Joe until she’s in a full blown ‘roid rage is the way to do it. But, I’m not too interested in drug use at the moment.

On the other side of the coin is Joe’s Gear Shop which sells amazingly broken endgame items. The highest level Engine available is the OMEGA100, which has fantastic power output at the cost of having only 1000 Fuel. But that isn’t too much of an issue, as sticking that on a decent Gear will have it dishing out 2000+ HP damage with just a Weak attack.

We can also buy some top of the line accessories to augment our asskicking potential. Most notable is the GNRS50 which increases engine output by 50%. I stuck the OMEGA100 and a GNRS50 on Xenogears along with a Z Charger (charging fuel restores 500 units) and a bit of a Deathblower 1 (the best Level 1 Deathblow it unlocks only costs 10 fuel.) We cannot heal Xenogears with this build. But when its Triangle attacks are doing 3000-4000 HP of damage and its Level 1 Deathblow is knocking off 5000-6000+ HP every other round...we’re not going to need to heal too much.

This shop also sells top tier armor which everyone we plan on using in the endgame ought to have installed. Stier and Seibzehn’s best frames are also sold at Big Joe’s shop but I don’t see either of them getting much action again.

In any case, that is the culmination of Big Joe’s weird ass. He’s some 4000 year old guy from Zeboim that runs an awesome shop in the back of an abandoned café. More closure than most characters in Xenogears.

Returning to the street...

Across the street from Big Joe’s haunt is yet another lit up building that is rather easy to miss. We cannot actually enter it and explore.

Instead, running as far back as we can reach into the place will unlock the best weapon in the game for Renmazuo. That about does it for the Zeboim streets.

Further down the path we come upon a large open parking lot with a cracked open hole in the asphalt. Again, this is pretty easy to miss as there is a huge open area here leading up to some manner of military installation that looks much more promising. But nope. We want to go into this random crack in the ground.

The hole leads to an abandoned subway tunnel that seems to stretch on for a good long pace. I’ll meet you folks on the other side. Things might start getting weird...

Big Joe Backstory According to Perfect Works