E.S. (Ein Sof, translated as "no end," "unending," "there is no end," or Infinite) are massive mecha similar to A.M.W.S., equipped with Vessels of Anima as its energy source, which draw power from the Zohar and grant greater power than the standard mobile weapons available in the Xenosaga universe. E.S. are primarily used by U-TIC and Vector Industries.
Additionally, every E.S. (and Vessel of Anima) is named after a child of Jacob in the Book of Genesis. These mecha are similar to the Omnigears from Xenogears, and their names correspond to the Anima Relics, which powered those units.
Each E.S. is at least above the achievable speed, strength and power of the A.M.W.S., several E.S. have been noted with teleportation abilities.
They can only be piloted by people who resonate purely with Anima, otherwise the pilot will not be able to get the E.S. to operate at all. It is the pilot's will to operate the craft, that enable the Vessels of Anima to draw power from the Zohar.
It is unknown how old they are. Pellegri comments in Episode II that they are "thousand-year-old relics" - it is unknown which of the E.S. she is referring to.
List of E.S. Units[edit | edit source]
Asher[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Asher
An E.S. Unit piloted by Canaan during the Miltian Conflict and Jr. during the events of Episode II. chaos co-piloted during both periods. Initially equipped with a Shield Lancer system on one arm and a gatling cannon on the other. It can optionally equip a flight booster and a powerful energy cannon capable of destroying several A.M.W.S. units in one shot.
In Xenosaga III, Asher is reconfigured toward Jr.'s combat style and is capable of being outfitted with the greater assortment of weapons out of all playable mecha. It is installed with Erde Kaiser's power generator halfway through the game, and thus is the only E.S. still capable of operating after its Vessel of Anima is absorbed by Zarathustra.
Dan[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Dan
The black disc-shaped mecha piloted by Voyager, the Black Testament in Episode II and Episode III. Of all twelve E.S., Dan with its movable shield chassis is the largest and heaviest and is second only to Judah in terms of attack power. It has large fanned wings, and is accompanied by a series of black cannon drones. Due to its size, it can ram targets and cause heavy damage.
Dinah[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Dinah
A complex, high tech E.S. unit capable of transforming between a more traditional-looking craft and a more humanoid form that was constructed to work with KOS-MOS' systems. It is the only known craft in the Xenosaga universe capable of entering and exiting hyperspace without having to interact with the U.M.N. first. E.S. Dinah is capable of flying to anywhere in space from anywhere else in space without having to go to specific U.M.N. Column areas to initiate hyperspace gate-ins. Designed specifically for KOS-MOS, it interlinks with her space bike and primarily uses beam weapons.
It can still perform the X-buster attack and utilize the D.S.S.S. sensory system. In Episode III the frame is altered, sporting a larger set of wings and additional energy weaponry. At the beginning of Episode III, the Dinah is in the possession of Shion Uzuki as her personal craft, though it is officially on loan to the Kukai Foundation from Vector. Like KOS-MOS, Dinah is considered to be obsolete technology by this time, although it is actually still quite powerful.
Gad[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Gad
It is revealed in Xenosaga I&II that E.S. Gad is a U-TIC Ein Sof that is undergoing restoration along with E.S. Joseph. While Gad is out of commission, its Vessel of Anima is partially aligned with Richard's AMWS Pilum and codenamed P.S. Gad. In Episode III Gad's Vessel of Anima is fully aligned with Pilum and it becomes E.S. Gad. Gad looks remarkably similar to Pilum, although has a taller headplate reminiscent of a Bishop's miter. Between it and its partner E.S. Joseph, Gad is geared for the offense role of the team, armed with rapier as its primary weapon and the ability to summon the Naglfar, a beam cannon nearly three times its height. In Xenosaga III, it gains a shield like the one used by Scutum/Joseph.
Issachar[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Issachar
An older E.S. Unit piloted by U-TIC Commander Pellegri under direct orders from Margulis. Uses the weapon system Aird, similar to the Vierge’s Aerods and the Crescens Claw which bears the name of the gear Crescens from Xenogears.
Issachar also appears in the anime adaptation of Episode I, Xenosaga: The Animation. In the anime, Pellegri had been following Ziggy and MOMO since they left Pleroma. When the Kukai Foundation is surrounded by the Federation Fleet before arriving at Second Miltia, Margulis authorizes her to use Issachar to covertly break the blockade (which the U-TIC Organization orchestrated in the first place).
Her mission is to destroy the evidence clearing the Foundation of guilt in the sinking of the Woglinde by hacking into KOS-MOS' Encephalon and corrupting the data. She is stopped when chaos and Jin Uzuki break into her Encephalon Dive and prevent her from accomplishing her mission.
Joseph[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Joseph
It is revealed in Xenosaga I&II that E.S. Joseph is a U-TIC Ein Sof that is undergoing restoration like E.S. Gad was. While Joseph is out of commission, its Vessel of Anima is partially aligned with Hermann's AMWS Scutum and codenamed P.S. Joseph. In Episode III Joseph's Vessel of Anima is fully aligned with Scutum and it becomes E.S. Joseph. Joseph looks remarkably similar to Scutum, although like its partner Gad, it has a taller headplate. Of the duo, Joseph is designed for the defensive role of the team, as it chassis holds heavy armor. Its main weapons are a large polearm in its right arm and a thin shield in its left arm.
Judah[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Judah
The machine piloted by Kevin Winnicot, the Red Testament. Kevin's mecha is red, much like his cloak and appears to be a humanoid mecha similar in configuration to E.S. Dinah with spiky wings instead of solid ones and blades attached to its arms. It only appears twice in Episode II, once on the Ω System and once in the epilogue, but appears in Episode III extensively. Its flat horns are reminiscent of the villain Grahf from Xenogears, and its wings are similar to those of the Weltall-Id. It, and the redesigned E.S. Simeon, is the only E.S. to not participate in a battle in either gameplay or the storyline. The Episode III database describes E.S. Judah as a fierce fighting machine capable of striking targets through the U.M.N., making it nearly impossible to defend against.
Levi[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Levi
The black mecha piloted by Margulis in Episode III. Margulis' E.S. is quite similar to Pellegri's E.S. Issachar; a very dark black and orange mecha that carries a giant-sized sword with two floating wing-like attachments similar to Issachar's Crescens Claw. These attachments also function as a logical drive. It was originally designed as a multi-role unit, but because its pilot prefers melee combat above everything else, it has been stripped of most of its longer-ranged weapons. It is instead equipped with a long sword for close-range combat and kunai like objects which are thrown from the arms of the unit.
Naphtali[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Naphtali
The blue machine piloted by Luis Virgil, the Blue Testament. It is briefly glimpsed in Episode I after Proto Merkabah appears. It next appears at the end of Episode II with the other E.S. of the Testaments and again in Episode III when Virgil confronts Shion and her friends on the landmass Rennes-le-Chatâeu. It also appeared as a boss battle in Xenosaga I&II for the Nintendo DS. Naphtali was made primarily as a mobile gunnery platform, as it possesses a scorpion-like body with numerous built-in guns and a large rifle that can be teleported in.
Reuben[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Reuben
Reuben appears for the first time in The Missing Year, as an E.S. under the jurisdiction of the S.O.C.E. that is loaned to Jin Uzuki by Juli Mizrahi. E.S. Reuben is Jin Uzuki's new E.S. unit and in keeping with the tradition surrounding his character it is an agile mecha wielding two katana and is painted dark green. Although it lacks long-range weaponry and is lightly armored, Jin's style of combat compensates those deficiencies. It bears a striking resemblance to Fenrir of Xenogears.
Simeon[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Simeon
Albedo Piazzolla's E.S. Unit. Like the E.S. Issachar and E.S. Zebulun, Simeon uses the weapon system known as Aird. Along with Albedo, it dematerialized half-way through Episode II and while Albedo later reappeared, E.S. Simeon did not. E.S. Simeon's system is known as the Relic Drive. This drive fuels the E.S. by absorbing the 'Will' of living beings.
In Xenosaga: The Animation it directly absorbs a Kirschwasser seen bound to its Vessel of Anima and transforms into a giant bio-organic monster with hundreds of tentacles and a gaping maw. It is reduced to a pool of molten flesh and comments from chaos and Jr. suggest that it didn't have a proper Vessel to begin with.
E.S. Simeon is later seen in the anime's epilogue restored to its original mechanical form. The mecha seen piloted by Albedo as the White Testament at the end of Episode II and in Episode III is indeed E.S. Simeon, or more precisely Simeon's Vessel of Anima aligned to a new mecha chassis. The new frame has no legs and a series of dragon-like extensions rising from the shoulders. These extensions may be meant to resemble the many heads of the Hydra, which would be fitting considering the inborn ability of the pilot. The new E.S. Simeon is not fought at any point in Episode III and only appears once at Rennes-le-Chatâeu.
Zebulun[edit | edit source]
- Main article: E.S. Zebulun
An E.S. provided by Vector Industries constructed especially for use by MOMO Mizrahi as it is the only playable E.S. Unit capable of using Ether in Episode II. Like Issachar and Simeon, this unit makes use of the Aird system, a set of remote-controlled gun drones. Like Dinah, Simeon and to a lesser extent Issachar, Zebulun undergoes a remodeling for Episode III. The bashing blades that encompass its arms and the blades on its heels are removed, its arms are connected to its shoulders instead of its head and a pair of small wings are attached to its hips.
Combat[edit | edit source]
E.S. crafts are not used in combat in Episode I because A.G.W.S. are controlled by the player. Vessels of Anima are not discussed in Episode I. Episode II not only introduced the E.S. combat, but established a completely separate combat system from that of the characters. Episode III saw a return of the E.S. combat system as well.
Episode II[edit | edit source]
Like the characters, E.S. crafts have no customizable frames or weapons. However, elemental advantage can still be gained through changing who the pilot or co-pilot is of the available crafts, which determines which special attacks are available. The Zone Break system is left out of the E.S. battle system, and only two crafts can be in a battle at once. E.S. battles require much thought, since once an E.S. craft is down, it cannot be revived, nor can it be replaced with the Reserve craft.
The three playable E.S. craft in Episode II are Dinah, Asher, and Zebulun. E.S. Zebulun has the unique ability to use MOMO's ether abilities such as Medica, making it a valuable member of the team, as Dinah and Asher cannot use Ether. The E.S. have their own levels, rather than stats based on that of their pilot. Therefore, powering up the main party will not gain EXP for the E.S. crafts, and vice versa. Battles must be fought as E.S. in order to level them up.
Episode III[edit | edit source]
Episode III makes the E.S. battle system much more practical than in Episode II. The Boost gauge for both allies and enemies is removed entirely from the E.S. system alone, and no E.S. craft can use Ether. Money and stores are back in Episode III, so the player can acquire plenty of E.S. repair items to sustain the party. Armor frames and weapons of various elemental affinities are once again available, allowing the player to adjust weapons based on the weakness of the enemies he needs to fight. Accessories can also be equipped in the form of Disks, providing helpful affects such as resistance to elements, halved damage while guarding, counterattacks, nullification of enemy counterattacks, and an increased maximum Anima gauge. A CPU determines how many slots are available for Disks to be equipped.
The E.S. battle system is that of a traditional RPG menu, as is the character battle system. A selection of attacks based on which arms are equipped are available under the "attack" command, and different weapons can be used at the player's discretion. Guarding is vital to weather attacks from bosses, and guarding restores HP every time, an ability which previously required an accessory in the previous two games. Since the Boost gauge is absent in E.S. battles, each E.S. craft has its own Anima gauge, allowing Limit Break-level attacks to be used during Anima Awakenings. The gauge fills through attacks executed by the user. Initially, each craft is able to only use Level 1 Awakenings, but as the story progresses, Level 2 and 3 Awakenings are unlocked at plot points. Each time, the maximum gauge raises to correspond to the maximum Anima Awakening available.
Anima Awakenings[edit | edit source]
Entering Anima Awakening increases the stats of the craft and enables a Special attack to be used. However, only one specific attack can be used, corresponding to which Awakening. For example, Zebulun can only use Aird Star in Level 1 Awakening, and can only use Aird Rain in Level 2 Awakening. Anima Awakening lasts for two turns, and if the player wishes, he may use normal attacks on both turns instead of using Specials. Care must be taken as to which element the user's Special attacks deal, because in some circumstances, a physical Level 1 Special may be wiser than a Level 2 Special of an element that the enemy resists. If an enemy is defeated by a Special attack, a Finish Strike is landed, doubling EXP earned.
Action commands can be executed if the L2 or R2 button is pressed with the right timing while a craft is attacking. Generally, the timing is that of just when the attack connects to the enemy. When the timing is successful, "CO-OP" appears and the summoned ally will perform one extra attack. The ally who attacks is determined by position relative to the E.S. whose turn it is: L2 calls on the left ally and R2 the right. Occasionally, successful timing of a Co-op may instead issue an "AMBUSH" message, in which both allies attack. Successful ally attacks during Co-op and Ambush attacks fill the Anima gauge of the E.S. whose turn it is.
Strategy[edit | edit source]
Four E.S. units are playable in Episode III: Dinah, Asher, Reuben, and Zebulun. Dinah is piloted by Shion and KOS-MOS, Zebulun by MOMO and Ziggy, Asher by Jr. and chaos, and Reuben by Jin himself. The characters present in the craft earn the EXP when the battle is over, with active participants earning more than inactive ones. E.S. boss battles typically require more preparation and planning than character battles, since once the party enters battle, they are stuck with what is brought in. Although characters can swap in and out any time, E.S. crafts only rotate upon the defeat of one active craft. Many late-game boss battles are tough, and even at max HP, a craft can be one-shotted by an enemy Special attack or counter, potentially causing the player to lose out on a perfectly full Anima gauge.