A swarm of Gnosis in outer space.
Unknown (summoned on Michtam/Miltia)
Pilgrimage Fleet
Xenosaga Episode I
I loathe your beauty.
I loathe your charm.
I loathe your strength.

Gnosis, also known as the Pilgrimage Fleet, are monstrous entities shrouded in mystery. They are the main enemies and battle fodder of the Xenosaga series, appearing in many different forms and size.

They were apparently first seen in T.C. 4747, having destroyed the planet Michtam due to the Galaxy Federation's failed Zohar control experiment. However, it was only during the Miltian Conflict on Miltia in T.C. 4753 when they arrived en masse, having terrorized humanity for the last 14-15 years.



Jr. explains the Gnosis.

The Galaxy Federation has begun various anti-Gnosis projects such as the Zohar Project, building weaponry to combat them with companies such as Vector Industries and Hyams Group. The S.O.C.E. is dedicated to investigating the Gnosis threat. KOS-MOS and T-elos are specially designed Vector androids to combat the Gnosis. Other anti-Gnosis equipment include A.G.W.S., A.M.W.S., the Durandal, the Woglinde, the Merkabah, the Rhine Maiden on the Dämmerung.

Anatomy of a Gnosis[edit | edit source]


Xenosaga Episode I HD Cutscene 085 - X-BUSTER!!! - ENGLISH

KOS-MOS using X-BUSTER against a fleet of Gnosis attacking the Elsa.

The Gnosis are, for the most part, non-physical existences. The Gnosis exist in a unique dimension separate from the physical plane called the imaginary number domain. Normally, it is impossible for humans to come into contact with them. By activating the Hilbert Effect, Gnosis within the radius of the effect are drawn into the real number domain, aka the physical world, allowing them to be affected by conventional weapons. Gnosis also have to enter the physical world in order to attack an opponent, giving a small window of opportunity to counterattack.

Strangely, despite their destructive powers and later displays of obvious sentience, the Gnosis are mostly composed of pure salt, aka sodium chloride. When translucent, they are composed of water and sodium hydroxide.

A Cyclops, fused by a Gremlin and A.G.W.S.

Gnosis also appear to have the ability to possess machinery and integrate it into their body, thus giving themselves extra abilities based on the machinery they possess. A Gnosis of the "Gremlin" type possessed an A.G.W.S. unit and was able to use its weapons.

Additionally, what looks human on one side looks like a Gnosis on the other side. Everything that exists in the physical world also exists in the imaginary number domain, which is why there are even Gnosis planets, such as Cathedral Ship. This is due to the physical and imaginary domains being two halves of the Lower Domain.

The main factor that makes Gnosis arrive in the physical domain is the energy of U-DO, ported through the Zohar. [1]

History[edit | edit source]


Joachim's True Intent

The Gnosis appear during the Miltian Conflict.

According to Jr., Gnosis have been reported throughout history, albeit in very few sightings and nothing near the scale at which they currently appear.

It was only during the Miltian Conflict in T.C. 4753 that the Gnosis came into human's dimension en masse. It was this event that caused the dispersal phenomenon that was destroying the universe to rapidly advance.


Xenosaga Episode III - Chapter 7 - Inescapeable Reality - Zohar Resonates with Both Shions

The Gnosis arrive from Shion's despair.

During the Miltian Conflict, a young Shion Uzuki witnessed the brutal deaths of her parents, Suou Uzuki and Aoi Uzuki, at the hands of 27-Series Asura combat Realians. This drove Shion over the edge of despair, causing her latent abilities to resonate with the Zohar stored in Labyrinthos, resulting in direct communication with U-DO. In response, U-DO opened a portal between the real and imaginary realms, and the Gnosis entered the real realm en masse.

How a Gnosis is Created[edit | edit source]

Kevin's mother as a Gnosis.

Gnosis are the form of people who have rejected others and the world. They seek salvation. Faced with being overcome with loneliness and fading away, they choose instead to return everything to the beginning."

When a person is alive, two parts that come into play: a consciousness that exists in the imaginary number domain, and a physical body that serves as that consciousness's 'anchor' in the real number domain (ie the physical world). While in this state, through the limited senses of their physical body, a person's consciousness is only able to perceive the real number domain. So, while that physical body serves as an anchor to the real number domain, it is also a prison, limiting the consciousness to a single prison cell.

When that person dies, they lose their physical body, and in turn lose their anchor to the real number domain. They become an entity that purely exists in the imaginary number domain, where everything is exposed, including the malice and darkness that exists within themselves and others around them.

That person's consciousness begins to be drawn and swallowed into the Collective Unconsciousness. Usually, a person may initially fear this process, wanting to instead be kept a separate entity, but this initial fear isn't enough to resist being drawn into the Collective Unconsciousness. The consciousness is able to endure this level of deep contact, then properly accept its unification into this whole.

A Gnosis happens when a consciousness's fear is strong enough to reject this unification with the Collective Unconsciousness, instead remaining separate. The further they withdraw from the Collective Unconsciousness's gravity, the more they transform into Gnosis.[2]

Although the term 'Gnosis' generally applies to consciousnesses that seek dispersal, everything that exists on the imaginary number domain is composed the same as a Gnosis. This is also why Abel's Ark is seen as a giant Gnosis, yet at the same time it is not a Gnosis.

This slow rejection and dissipation over time begins to affect the imaginary number domain. When the number of Gnosis exceed a critical point, the imaginary number domain itself will begin to break down.

Gnosisification[edit | edit source]

A human Federation soldier turned into salt by a Gnosis during the Gnosis invasion of the Woglinde in Episode I.

If someone is touched by a Gnosis, they either die by breaking down into salt, or become Gnosis themselves. The latter of which occurs if one is touched but survives. However, Shion Uzuki was touched by a Gnosis and failed to turn into a Gnosis. Gnosis are human wills who resonate passively with Anima to the point of seeking dispersal and destruction. Because they fear and reject other people, they reject the entire collective consciousness of humanity. This rejection is so complete that when they are drawn into the real number domain, they react violently out of pure terror, killing humans and fellow Gnosis alike in order to destroy any source of their fear.

Gnosis feasting on corpses.

People who become infected with this fear by contact with Gnosis may also become a Gnosis themselves if they submit to the fear or try to escape from it. People who resonate purely with Anima do not become Gnosis, which may be why Shion never turns into a Gnosis after being attacked and almost whitened.

Size and shape of Gnosis[edit | edit source]

Gnosis come in various shapes and scales.

From a human's perspective in the real number domain, it may seem as if Gnosis are able to form groups or tribes. However, Gnosis do not form into groups, as they are unable to recognize the existence of each other. All Gnosis see themselves as the only one.

That said, Gnosis can and do clump into groups if they have the same "wave-movement", forming different shapes, becoming larger in scale, etc. As they are beings of rejection, they do not become one being.[3]

Due to the variations in their external appearance, the standard practice is to categorize and name Gnosis after mythical, legendary, and folkloric creatures. Examples of these are Goblins (top-heavy white bipeds), Golems (gangly humanoids with flexible arms), Manticores (large greenish caterpillars) and Gremlins (fishlike beings, one of which merged with an A.G.W.S. in Episode I as a boss on the Woglinde). Other common types include boxlike whales and amber-skinned seals.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Gnosis is the Greek word for "knowledge".

Gnosticism is a system of beliefs which teaches that salvation is achieved through the pursuit of the knowledge of the supreme divinity.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • For unexplained reasons, the Gnosis appear in Encephalon dives throughout the series. This is because Encephalon dives are often connected to the U.M.N. This is why it's possible to encounter Gnosis in the Encephalon, as the U.M.N. uses the Collective Unconscious as a network infrastructure. Gnosis exist in the same region, namely, the imaginary number domain, and so this is why the Gnosis encounter rate is high within the U.M.N. and Encephalon.
  • An unnamed Federation soldier onboard the Woglinde in Episode I comments prior to the impending attack that he personally does not believe that the Gnosis exist. However, he does mention to Shion that the existence of Gnosis has been disputed for millennia, dating back even to the era of Lost Jerusalem. He even goes so far as to suggest that the Loch Ness Monster was actually a Gnosis.
  • In the story of Lot in the Bible, his wife is turned into a pillar of salt after looking back on the city of Sodom.
  • During their invasion of the Woglinde, the Gnosis displayed the ability to "possess" machinery, one of them taking over an AGWS and then using its new body to wreak havoc. This ability has only been shown once.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht[edit | edit source]

Xenosaga: The Animation[edit | edit source]

Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra[edit | edit source]

  1. Perfect Guide, "05. What were the Gnosis?".
  2. Perfect Guide, "05. What were the Gnosis?".
  3. Perfect Guide, "05. What were the Gnosis?".
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