Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Videogame talk/analysis: Xenogears Part one: Introduction and Deus.

If you've read this blog for any length of time, then you know that I'm a big gamer. And that video game narratives, in particular, is what first inspired me to become a writer. and to me, one of the most complex and emotionally draining stories ever told in a video game form is Xenogears. And when I say complex, I'm not screwing around. The lore (backstory) of this game alone is over 10,000 years worth of future history and deals with such themes as Deicide, transhumanism, mental health (most notably depression and pain, but also the Freudian theory of the Ego, Superego and the ID) , religion, life and existence, sexuality, genocide, cannibalism and good God the list is too long to go on. But this complexity only serves to make you think, and to me, that is one of the hallmarks of the great Science Fiction stories. Asimov couldn't have written this better. But anyway, what I want to do today is talk about some these themes and ideas as they are presented in the game. But since this game is so complex I'm gonna have to divide this up into multiple parts.
Oh, and one other thing. Unless I need to provide context. I'm not going to give a shot for shot retelling of Xenogears' plot because then we'd be here all day. If you want to know the lore and overall plot of the game, then provided below are two amazing lore videos by Youtuber Terracorrupt The first video deals with Xenogear's future history and the second will deal with the plot of the game itself. I'll be referencing these videos a LOT, so it's best you familiarize yourself with them before reading on or you will be very confused. I'll wait.

The Zohar
All caught up? Good.
The Zohar as it appears in game.
The Wave Existence.
The Kadomony.
Let's start with the obvious, The sentient weapon responsible for all of this mess, Deus. For those who don't know, 'Deus' is the latin word for "God." And for the planet where Xenogears takes place, this is quite literal. As stated in the videos, Deus is responsible for all intelligent life on the planet. In the context of the game's story, though, he's not literally, "God", but a machine originally created by space-faring humans to be used in an intergalactic war that quickly went out of control. What's powering such a machine you might ask? The Zohar, an object originally discovered on Earth (as in our Earth) thousands of years before the start of the game. In order to control both Deus and the Zohar, the aforementioned space-faring humans created The Kadomony, a biological super computer capable of creating organic life...somehow. It was originally was placed in the eye of the portion of the Zohar. As stated in the video, shortly after The Kadomony was complete, it somehow managed to capture and imprison a being from another dimension called The Wave Existence. What exactly the Wave Existence is we aren't 100% sure. But it's described in-game as a "Divine Being" But that could mean any number of things. Could it be God (or A god)? an angel? a devil? we just don't know. Regardless of its divinity, what we do know is that it is not of our plane of existence, it's trapped within the Zohar, and it wants out. But we will get to that later. When Deus crashed into the planet where the game takes place, It separates the Kadomony and Zohar and then uses them to create the Mother of Humanity. In a way, you could imagine the Kadomony as the planets "Adam" while the female that it creates as "Eve". and it's this Eve that gives birth to the humans on this planet. Why would Deus need a human race? Well, it wants to repair itself, and it needs organic and mechanical parts to do this. In other words, it needs to eat humans to repair itself. That's really morbid when you think about it. But anyway, On the religious symbolism side of things, The back story I've explained here could be seen as a Science Fiction retelling of the Biblical story of Genesis, and Deus, The Kadomony, and The Zohar could be interpreted as the Holy Trinity. With Deus as the father (obviously), the Kadomony as The Son, and the Zohar as the Holy Ghost (Thanks to the Wave Existence). But if Deus is god, then it is a false god, an idol if you will, that gets its power from an actual divine being (supposedly) trapped within the Zohar. And, as previously stated,  The Wave Existence wants out of The Zohar. The only way to free the Wave Existence is to commit an act of Deicide on Deus. And it is this struggle that forms the foundation of Xenogear's plot. I say, "foundation" because, as previously stated, it's a bit more complicated than that. But we will get to that in another post.
Xenogear's Eve.

And that's where I'm going to stop for now guys, I hope you enjoyed this. And if you want me to go on, well let me know in the comments.

I'm out. later.      


No comments:

Post a Comment