|This article pertains to Xenogears: the sub-database of Xenosaga Wiki.|
Xenogears deals with many themes and topics.
Despite that the game was given a T for teen rating by the ESRB, the game discusses and deals with a lot of mature and controversial subject matter, such as religion, genocide, sexuality, discrimination, and more.
The game is known for its religious allusions, containing overtones of Gnosticism, Jewish mysticism, Jungian psychology, humanism, and Abrahamic religious symbolism, as well as questions about the nature of existence, humanity, culture, faith and religion.
According to Xenogears Perfect Works, the storyline is intended to ask the player what they would do in each case, as well as the power of 'blood' (connections between people), and fate.
Other interpretations see it also as a story about breaking from fate, and the fight to freely choose one's own path.
|This section contains theories based on the research or speculation of one or several fans. While based on official information, the theories themselves may not be officially verified by developers.|
Major themes[edit | edit source]
Psychology[edit | edit source]
Xenogears delves into philosophical and psychological issues, using and examining terms and ideas from Carl Jung, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Sigmund Freud.
The most obvious allusion involves the nature of the game's protagonist, Fei Fong Wong, whose Freudian ego, superego, and id are discussed at length throughout the course of the game. Fei had subconsciously repressed his memories because of his unpleasant childhood. However, his desire to remember elements of his past eventually leads to his discovering the truth about who he is and what his relationship with the character known as 'Id' is. This repression also relates to the Jungian concept of the shadow.
Distinctly Adlerian in nature, however, are the actions of certain characters, such as Ramsus, whose actions are driven by an inferiority complex that stems from unconscious 'nodes' that often permeate exterior behaviors of an individual.
Although not distinctly psychological, allusions to the theories of the German philosopher Nietzsche are found in game. For example, there is the concept of the eternal return, which, in Xenogears, correlates to the recurrences of the Contact and the Antitype.
God and religion[edit | edit source]
|“||God? Where does such a being exist? ...Can't you see that such a divine being just never existed from the beginning? And you don't seem to realize this, but you yourself were passing judgement on sinners as much as we were!||”|
Like preceding Japanese media such as the Megami Tensei series and anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, Xenogears incorporated themes and references from various Abrahamic religions.
The plot of Xenogears involves the main character killing a man-made creation called Deus of the "Yabeh interplanetary invasion system". The protagonist Fei is called the "slayer of God" and the game contains a song called "One Who Bares Fangs at God".
Xenogears examines the relationship between humanity, deities, and the free will to choose. Sophia says, "Faith in god... Do not look for it on the outside... For it is something one must build from within oneself..."
The Wave Existence tells Fei, "God... some would refer to me as that. From a certain point of view, it is right to view me as such. But at the same time, I am not."
Another theme is how religions and religion institutions, when not examined or questioned, can be used as a tool and a weapon by those manipulate others. Xenogears has a religious institution called the Ethos, which is engaged in shady manipulation and corruption, preying on refugees and children who come to them for help.
Society[edit | edit source]
|“||Think about it. What's the purpose of fighting each other on such a tiny planet as this? Fighting out of fear of being hunted into a corner... Rushing in to fight as if there were only so many 'reserved seats' to the rights of life... Starting a war is stupid. Inciting it is also stupid. Killing people as an act of terrorism or as a protest of against wars that kill people is just as stupid. You're all fools!||”|
Humanity is being ruled by a secret organization held within the floating city of Solaris, which controls the aspects and facets of society and manipulate people through propaganda and psychological warfare. One tactic used is the Soylent System.
The governmental bodies of various countries on the surface instigate and divide people to fight among themselves, both in secret and openly, for various reasons.
Characters such as Kahran Ramsus, Ricardo Banderas, and Dominia show the conflict that can arise from ideas that some are more inherently valuable than others, whether it be due to societal differences, genetics, or differences they themselves perceive.
Human nature[edit | edit source]
|“||You humans are truly unusual living beings, aren't chu? You're all like shattered fragments of a mirror.
Xenogears contains examples of the dangers of people following ideas blindly without thought or question, the dangers of hive mentality and manipulation can occur. It deals with destructive thought patterns, and how difficult it is to undo them.
Another theme is how children are affected, both positively and negatively, by the actions of their parents, such as Fei, Elly, and Maria Balthasar.
Humans seek and want a place to belong - a place to call "home". The protagonist, Fei, loses everything - his mother, his village, his friends (Timothy and Alice). Early in the game, he is exiled from Lahan and considers suicide because he has nowhere left to go in the world. Citan says, "It is much easier to be given a place to belong to than to make one yourself." Fei says, "I, we, everyone... we just want to make a place where we can belong... That's what we were fighting for... But now..."
Humans don't get along and are so different from one another, with conflicting beliefs and opinions. Karellen says, "Humans will never come to understand each other. You said that she is the person you love. But can you say that you even truly understand each other? All humans do is place themselves at a comfortable distance from each other and call that 'mutual understanding', 'spiritual unity', or 'true love'... but it is all lies! Man cannot associate with others without first deceiving themselves. That is the way that they were created."
Yet, humanity's strength is because they are different, with a variety of opinions and beliefs, so that humanity, as a whole, can have a well-rounded view with all perspectives.
By nature, humans are intrinsically and inherently flawed. However, every human is different and has different strengths, talents, and flaws and weaknesses. Marguerite "Margie" Fatima says, "God could have created humans perfectly... But then, humans would not have helped each other." Elly says, "Some things only the weak can feel... But weakness does not make them servile. It's because they are weak, that they can develop kindness... and never look down on people. That is where real human interaction comes from. Everyone has weaknesses. Even you did at first. Your weakness drew you to each other... And made you grow strong. Never forget those feelings. When you all lived together side by side..."
Topics[edit | edit source]
This is a point list of other notable topics touched on in Xenogears. It deals with and examines:
- Anima and animus - A major theme of the game.
- Art and the power of art
- Classism, racism, and ways society can divide itself
- Collective unconscious
- Consciousness (its development and evolution)
- Dysfunctional and abusive families
- Free will, the power and physical manifestation of mental will and thought
- History, and how culture and beliefs can change over time
- Humans trying to play the role of "God" (Ye shall be as gods)
- Life and existence
- Mental health (mental illness and depression)
- Sexuality (Xenogears contains three implied sex scenes between Myyah/Ramsus, Elly/Fei and Kim/Elly. It also contains themes of rape, child molestation with the Ethos and children.)
- Technology and its role
- Transhumanism - Karellen, who has merged with nanotechnology
- Trauma - Fei by Myyah resulting in Id, Elly by her accident, Ramsus by Id, Bart was so traumatized by Shakhan's torture that he had difficulty using a whip