Part 150: Episode CXLVI: AlphaEpisode CXLVI: Alpha
Weve come a long way folks. But here we are at last. The end of Xenogears...the final dungeon: Deus.
We arent going to crash the Epoch into Lavos or anything that dramatic to begin our journey toward slaying a god. Instead, we are just unceremoniously dropped on a conveniently placed landing pad for giant robots. I guess a human made interplanetary invasion weapon has to adhere to some construction safety guidelines.
Just a few steps ahead of the heliport we find an access panel that slides open to give us access to Deus proper. We can turn around and leave at any time before entering this hatch. But once were in, the party is stuck here for the long haul. But, I think we are ready to tackle Deus.
The party hops into the hatch...
...The mapping? Why did we need to map Deus? I do not like the sound of th
Oh for FUCK SAKE!
I hope you werent under the impression that Deus would be some freaky bio-mechanical monstrosity within given its rather fleshy looking exterior. Nope. None of that is happening here. Deus is filled with endless empty corridors straight from Tron all configured in a sprawling maze like fashion with little to no direction given and a very high random encounter rate. I am going to go ahead and declare Deus the worst dungeon in the game because it is a triumph in bad design.
As I said earlier, the hallways are just endlessly copy and pasted. The only except is sometimes there is a little laser device that sweeps the hall and might do a whole 50 HP of damage if you
Anyway, back to that map. The map only tells us of our current position as indicated by the little box with a cursor over it in the center left. And thats it. I have marked with a big MSPaint S where the solitary save point between here and just before the final boss is located. And I have put a helpful MSPaint red dot where the exit to this area is located. Ill go ahead and spoil what is down every other unmarked path so I do not ruin the surprise: THERE IS A DEAD END WITH FUCK ALL!
There is quite the high random encounter rate in Deus. Though the first areas enemies arent too difficult. There are giant robot missile platforms that...well take a guess...
There are also big gay giant robots with laser nipples that fire heart attacks that will confuse unsuspecting party members. Not really a problem unless Xenogears gets confused. A sexually confused Fei lashing out at a cold society for 5,000+ HP of damage is problematic.
And last but not least are Deus Seraph angels we have heard so much about but have yet to see beyond the Narration Zones hallowed halls. The Seraphim are ghostly giant robots which come in many forms. They are all fairly sturdy fellows and their attacks vary on what variety we are combating.
Usually their names give a fairly good description of how they will attack. For instance, Sword Seraph stabs folks in the face. Earth Seraph eat their spinach, grow a Popeye arm, and bunch enemy Gears in the teeth.
What we really have to watch out for is the Seraphs Halo attack, which summons a holy ring from the heavens to spank the entire party for 9999 HP of damage. This is quite the punch for a random encounter enemy. There are accessories (dropped by the Seraph of course) which decreases Angel attacks by varying degrees (with a super rare drop eliminating them completely.) Luckily, it isnt too hard to pour on the Deathblows and waste Seraphs before they start firing off Halos. Especially with Xenogears broken Omega100/GNR50 engine combo one-shotting most of them.
Anyway, after about fifteen minutes of slogging our way across this map we finally come to the northeastern exit to the REALLY fun part of this dungeon.
But first, it is time for something entirely different. After the first dungeon crawler, we emerge on a platform above an abyss. Hoping in and...
...We are treated to a nauseating neon descent down a shaft while dodging random laser beams as the entire corridor spins in circles for no readily apparent reason. I would recommend getting someone else to play if you have motion sickness and/or have been drinking that evening.
After that bogus adventure through Deus Tron Guts we end up here...
...Fuck my entire life.
So our ultimate goal is to reach Deus rectum in the center of the map. To do that, we are going to need to do the mainstay of any great PSX era video game: Flip some goddamn switches! Since we, once more, have forgotten that Gears can FLY. They can all fly! In the next update they will be flying. Even Chuthulhu can goddamn fly!
But, the trouble is we are given absolutely no indication as to the location of these switches or how to get to them via this clusterfuck of bridges and slow moving elevator platforms. That is compounded by another little detail...
...This isnt the only map on this level of the dungeon.
Exit the main catwalk filled area will dump us in more copy and pasted corridors filled with a high encounter rate with an enemy table exclusively filled by that Seraph.
And there are two of these little encounter filled maintenance duct regions, all connecting to different points on the map. We are given no indication as to which exits leads where, other than trial and error. In addition, we cannot switch maps to compare entrances to exits to get our barring. Just a big fuck you, figure it out! This is it. The worst dungeon. We have found it.
Here are a couple of maps I found online that point out all of the entrances and exits through this trainwreck of level design. Basically we need to go from the start to point A. In the vents from A to C to flip the first switch. Then from there we go to D. Then from D to E to go move some platforms to get to the other switch. At that point the bridge to the center is formed. Shit if I could even tell you which entrance led there... I think it was F...?
Like a fucking half hour later...
After getting lost and going in circles for what seemed like an eternity, we finally are given the honor of jumping down Deus rectum to head to the final boss antechamber.
But not before another 40 seconds of freefall laser dodging!
After all that we end up...right back where we began during the Merkava sequence seven hours ago...
Yup. They literally just copied and pasted that part for the final stretch of Xenogears. Like I said, I am almost positive Merkava was going to be a proper dungeon, but they didnt have the time to design somewhere half way decent for inside Deus. So a few snips and here we are!
Shopkeep Johnny is even still waiting over to the east for some last minute repairs and item purchasing. He also has a new option to escape this cursed dungeon. But be very careful in picking that one. There is no are you sure about that...? prompt or the like.
Just straight back to the World Map Fei and the gang go. Oh and you need to re-do the entire dungeon. No thanks Shopkeep Johnny. No thanks...
Thankfully, there are no additional boss rushes or an angsty Ramsus barring our path. Just a quick walk to...
A big fat hole in the ground. Apparently Deus hasnt really bothered to move much since its Eye-Mummy Dome phase. Oh well, I am not complaining. I have seen enough Xenogears dungeons to last me a lifetime. Hell, Id take grinding in the Junk Heap for a few more hours to this mess.
But enough bitching from me. See you jerks at the final battle. Buckle up. It might start getting weird...
Seraph Angels Concept Art