Good Morning, KOS-MOS (A Girl And Her Android)
Encephalon Training Ground Edit
The intro shows us how some scientists and/or archaeologists made the biggest discovery ever, the Original Zohar, and then skips thousands of years into the future of mankind when we travel the depths of space on some kind of "Star Trek". I want to know what happened to the Zohar! Maybe we should keep playing and we'll find out. It was probably stripped for its gold, then cast back into the sea. That's what really would have happened around our time. Anyway, we meet Shion Uzuki, Allen Ridgeley, KOS-MOS, and the rest of Vector Industries' Second R&D Division aboard the Woglinde in deep space. For those of you who don't know, Allen is the true Hero of this trilogy. At least from my reckoning. Sure, he's not a playable character until the 3rd game, and even then only as a guest, but still, I feel for the guy, we're bros. After a successful startup of KOS-MOS' Encephalon program, "Chief" (Shion) dives into the Encephalon with KOS-MOS and meets her in the virtual training grounds.
Here we will begin our standard battle and field tutorials. Talk to KOS-MOS to initiate combat procedures. Select the tutorials if you need in-depth information, especially if this is your first time playing. If you are ready to move on, select "Switch to Real Combat" to begin your first ever real Xenosaga battle. Just use ranged attacks () and you should pull out just fine. After the cutscene, Shion will attempt to explain explodable objects. All you need to know is that when you see one, press WHEN you want to detonate it (timing is important if it's one of the traps you're blowing up, wait until enemies are nearby to give them negative status effects or give you bonuses when you fight them). Anything that's not a trap can pretty much be blown ASAP. I'll let you know if there's anything you should avoid disintegrating.
You'll notice you're gaining Tech, Skill, and Ether points after battles. Ether points you can spend as you wish, I'll point out wise choices as they arise. Skill points you will use to acquire certain skills from equipment that you may add onto your character in the Skills portion of the menu. Generally, save these for when you know you will need certain skills in major fights, as they are somewhat hard to come by. With Tech points, the first thing you should do, really, is save up to upgrade the Speed of your techs from "LW" (Low) to "HI" (High). It's a one-time purchase on your techs, and it makes them infinitely more useful in battle as you can now use them with only 4 AP instead of 6.
By the way, Boost will not carry over into your next fight, so use it if you got it.
A good portion of the enemies you will fight at this time are M-Type (Mech) foes. When fighting M-Types, think logically. Would you run up in the face of a Death-Droid and punch it? Or would you keep a safer distance and blast it with lasers? If you chose the first option, your picture must be labled in your high-school yearbook as "Most Likely To Die". If you were anyone but the person in that photo, use your attacks to get the most bang for your buck. FYI, B-Type (Biological) foes seem to be weak to either or attacks except in specific instances, and G-Type (Gnosis) foes will pretty much stomp your face and resist a good deal of damage until you get some good special abilities or speed up some good Techs.
Go straight into the lower area, to the right is a broken car you may obliterate (pretty fun, huh?). Break the wall on the path past the car and search the cavity to find a MED KIT. Head close to the yellow cylinder (IT'S A TRAAAP!!!) and detonate it when the spider-robot above gets near to the ledge. Initiate combat with it while the electric trap is active to gain an easy victory. Now head to the bottom-left of the screen to find a ladder. Climb it to the storage room up top, but don't detonate the door first. Use or to target the red trap inside first. Blast it and then the door, and fight the soldier inside to claim another easy victory and the item in the chest, 2 MED KIT S. Go back down and head north to the opening in the wall. At this point, I won't tell you to fight or run, just do what you feel is necessary. I'll only suggest it when it's a really good idea, or mention it if it's unavoidable. Enter the warehouse when ready.
Inside, our objective is just past the yellow and black striped door to the north, but we have to unlock it first. Head up the stairs, then left, and blow up the box on the walkway to the south and exit the building for a second. Blow up the next box (but not the item...? I've always wondered how that worked exactly...) and claim the REVIVE inside, it's yours now. Re-enter, and head to the door on the left. Inside here heal up KOS-MOS before you move to the stairs. At the stairs begins our first A.G.W.S. Battle!
Shion will enter her A.G.W.S. and the tutorial will explain all you need to know about these cumbersome mechs. This isn't too hard to win, just remember to aim for extra points at the end of battle by killing the enemy when the gold coin shows up on your turn in the Event Slot! After battle, those jerks outside the Encephalon will turn all of the drones into Gn-Gn-Gnosis! Use the save point behind you.
Important note about the Gnosis here. Stay on top of your heals. Not heels. Heals. The Gnosis here can overwhelm you quickly if you don't use Shion to cast MEDICA or use MED KITS. Gnosis are generally pretty resilient foes.
On the right side of this room now, head down the ladder to reach the previously blocked-off section of the first floor. The explodable crate on the left contains Gnosis. Shion is currently very weak against these foes. KOS-MOS on the other hand, does fairly well against them with her ranged attack. The crates on the right hold and ETHER PACK and 2 MED KIT S. Continue right and remove the junk to discover SEGMENT ADDRESS NO. 10. Segment Addresses hold really valuable items behind them, once you can unlock them by finding the corresponding Decoders. Both Adresses and Decoders are spread far and wide across the universe, so you'll be doing a lot of backtracking for the good stuff.
Head back up the ladder and enter the door on the right. We're now in the locked office. Grab the shiny key, it's the MISSION KEY, and it's what we need to open the big door downstairs that we saw when we first came in. Blow up the obstruction and exit right. Go back downstairs and open up that door. You should have enough Ether points to get Shion a new Ether. Remember to set it after you purchase it. Make sure you are in good fighting condition, heal up, etc, then head into the room and toward the red crate. Boss Time!!!
BOSS: DRONE GX Edit
ITEM: ETHER PACK S
Well, now it's Pretty-Miss-KP-X's turn to be the weak player (A rare role for KOS-MOS, but she's not at full-combat capabilities yet). Shion will board her A.G.W.S. for self-defense, if anything, and be the heavy-hitter of this battle. This is the easiest boss of the game, as it happens to be the first. Notice that Drone is weak to Slash attacks. All swords cause Slash damage. Shion's A.G.W.S. has a sword, and KOS-MOS can use R.BLADE if she gets 6 AP. The battle music doesn't change for Bosses. I reeeeeeeeeeeally wish it did. But, we have a darn good game otherwise, so I for one will overlook this obscenity. Regular battle music...... will have to do. Slice this guy open, then we're done with the Encephalon, for now.
Space Marine Cruiser Woglinde Edit
Finally! All of the Woglinde is available for our greedy hands. However! If you feel a tiny bit risky, save at the Save Point to the south, then talk to the guy immediately to the north working on the Encephalon Dive Device. He will send Shion back into the Encephalon, except WITHOUT KOS-MOS!!! The enemies here are STILL Gnosis, so what you'll probably want to do is avoid contact with all enemies, then make your way to the Boss room once again. Don't worry. You don't have to fight another Boss. You actually get to open that red crate from earlier, which contains a BATTLE PASSPORT. This Key Item is not essential to completing the game. It does, however, provide access at EVS points to an A.G.W.S. mini-game. You could always wait to come back here with more party members later through the EVS. EVS points (Environment Simulation Points) are places where you can access the Encephalon, as well as a few mini-games which are provided through Key Items you find laying about. EVS points look like Save Points with a blue title bar above them.
You are now without the Vaporizer Plugin which you used to blow stuff up in the training exercise. You will get it again later. Exit the lab on the right side. Head right down the walkway until you see the first turn. On the north wall is a map of the Woglinde's main corridors which I reccomend you reference if you are unfamiliar with the layout. I got lost a bunch my first time through. There's more maps around, too, so look for them if you get lost. Head south until you recieve your first bit of fan mail!!! JOY!!!.... Oh, damn; it's just a junk e-mail from Vector promoting their new Connection Gear models. Spiffy. I thought I turned my spam blocker on though... Ah well. Bunnie and Shion will explain how to use Connection Gear to check e-mails, view information, etc. You will also learn the basic functions of the U.M.N.. Head south into the next area to see a cutscene which demonstrates Allen's feelings for Shion. Allen will try to catch up with Shion to return her phone to her.
Shion has a full screen headstart, though, and no matter how long you wait for Allen his lazy ass will never catch up, so keep moving to the right. We are now privy to the worst the Space Military has to offer, a brutal scene of workplace violence, demonstrated by Lieutenant Commander Vanderkam. Does anybody have the number to Space OSHA? Shion gets distracted from this anyway, and begins to remember things about her and Kevin Winnicot working on KOS-MOS back in the day. After that, something odd happens as she walks past the Zohar, and Shion is drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Thankfully, while she's tripping out, none other than our "friend" the Lieutenant Commander steps in to save Shion from getting plowed in the head by an orbiting inhibitor device. Frustrated at being a good guy for a minute, he returns to pummeling his employees.
We are now free to continue onward, but before going anywhere you need to talk to the first man in an orange jumpsuit you see on the right side of the main walkway here. Not to progress the story, but only if you want some of the best upgrades and free cash later in the game. Giving this man your e-mail address will allow you to recieve important e-mails in the game at certain points later on. These e-mails you will get will ask for your input on several occasions. Your answers will be important, as they will bring you really good rewards, or really ...lame rewards. So remember to check here to see if you are saying the best answers or not before you reply to anything. YOU WILL MISS IMPORTANT E-MAILS IF YOU DO NOT CONFIRM WITH THIS ORANGE GENTLEMAN. After giving out your e-mail address, continue into the right room and up through the doors into our next hallway.
Ah, my main man Allen! He finally catches up to Shion and returns her stuff, only to have her ditch him again. Tough break, bro, maybe next time. Shion will tell us where her room is ( :D ), and mention we need to go there first, so keep heading north. You will see the bulkhead control room on the right. You can mess with the bulkheads and scare the guard, but it's just a novelty in the end. Be sure to log SEGMENT ADDRESS NO. 18 into our currently invisible SEGMENT FILE. We'll get it soon, but if you log it in now it will be there when we get it. Continue on to the next room on the right. This is Shion's room. Enter. Grab the MAINTENANCE DATA from the north desk, then try to go back to the hallway. Miyuki will send you an e-mail about Shion's weapon, the M.W.S. After reading that, re-enter the hallway. Head south, and take the first left corridor to reach the Realian Maintenance Lab.
In this room, speak with all 6 of the "ill" Realians at least once, or if you're in a good mood, until they feel better. After the 6th one, a cutscene will introduce us to Lieutenant Virgil. He's one sick puppy, but he only plays a small part for now. His vicious scar is of note here. I wonder how he got that? Drop something in the oil for the fries when he worked at McDonald's before joining the Marines? I dunno. I mean, I do know, but if you want to know you have to keep playing, suckaaas. Shion mentions DME Addicts, then we head north for the next cutscene. Shion first mentions her only surviving relative, her brother, and my favorite main playable character (Episode 2 and 3 only) Jin Uzuki, though not by name for a few minutes yet.
This page is now pretty long. We are advancing into the real stuff now, so Page 1 is HISTORY!