Monday, February 18, 2013

Xenosaga 3's MOMO's Last Line of Dialogue

Warning: This rant references some rather disturbing things. Just a heads-up.

Gee, I think it’s that time again--time to rag on something stupid about Xenosaga. Let’s many options. Maybe I could talk about how essential it is to the core plot for Shion’s suffering to be some of the greatest in the universe, yet for most of the series she never comes off as even mildly troubled, let alone tortured. Perhaps my thoughts on what a nonsensical plot turd the entire back-in-time-only-sort-of-not-really arc of Xenosaga 3’s story was! There’s always the character, chaos--the absurdity that no one in the party ever, ever properly questions his abilities or participation, the incredibly poor writing of having the entirety of his character revealed at the showdown with the last boss of the last game, the largely nonsensical and contrived nature of that revelation, and the lousy, inferior turn his personality took after Xenosaga 1.

Oh, no, wait, I know! How about that one moment in the ending when MOMO says, “Will you be sure to say “Hello” to Albedo for me?”

“Wait, The RPGenius!” you say, in that smooth, strong voice of yours that echoes with charismatic power.* “Do you mean to tell me that you’re going to take an entire rant’s worth of exception to a single line of dialogue?”

Of course I am. What part of “nitpicky RPG nerd” is confusing you guys? Besides, this really is kind of a big deal.

See, it’s like this. By the ending of Xenosaga 3, along with hundreds of other things that are weird and make little to no sense, the fan-favorite redhead in the cast, Jr., has absorbed the consciousness of his genetic clone-twin thing, Albedo, into himself, and now Albedo’s spirit or whatever is sleeping inside him. Jr. is going to join Shion, Allen, and several secondary characters in an attempt to find Lost Jerusalem (AKA Earth), a search which is going to take a very long time, if they ever find it at all. MOMO, on the other hand, is going to stay with her mom and Ziggy, and attempt to get civilization back on track after its galactic communications and travel network got slagged by the finale’s events. This is most definitely the last time MOMO and Jr. will see each other for a very, very long time, possibly forever.

So one problem I have with this line of MOMO’s is that, well, this is literally the last thing she ever says to Jr. face to face. Now, I think the jury’s semi-sorta out on whether Jr. and MOMO are in cute little puppy love (although I think the majority of players would say they are), but one way or another, they’re very close to one another, definitely closer than pretty much any other two party members are. So what the hell kind of final farewell is that? No expression of remorse or hope or anything, no wish for a safe journey or pledge to see each other again or anything like you might actually expect people who care about each other to say. Just “Hey, say hi to that dude in your head for me.” This line is what we get in place of an actual goodbye. There is so little understanding of the rudimentary basics of human interaction in Xenosaga that I swear it must have been written by fucking aliens or something.

This first concern, however, is a small complaint. My real problem with this line is WHAT IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST PLAYING BAGPIPE IN PAJAMAS IS WRONG WITH THE PEOPLE AT MONOLITH SOFT!?

I’m sorry. I’m sorry. What? WHAT? Did I just see MOMO pass on a cheerful pleasantry to ALBEDO? FUCKING ALBEDO?

Allow me to refresh your memories of something, Monolith. Let me remind you of a scene from your own game. Because apparently you guys forgot, I guess! Or maybe the writers for Xenosaga 3 never actually played Xenosaga 1! I don’t know! But I do know that whoever wrote this “Say hello to Albedo” line sure as hell didn’t know about this scene!

(Warning: The following scene from Xenosaga 1 will freak your shit right out, after it deeply disturbs you. Like, even if you’ve seen it before).

Oh, yeah, sure, Monolith! You bet! MOMO got to star in Albedo’s pedophilic snuff rape porno, then watch as the dude tore off his own head and stomped his boot through it...but there’s just no way that would have any lasting effect on her, or anything! It’s totally believable that she’d want to pass along some upbeat greetings to him! I mean, don’t all child victims of terrifying, emotionally-abusive kidnappings who somehow manage to survive their ordeal send their tormentors greeting cards each Christmas?

Normally, this is the point where I further delve into my reasoning, maybe explain why an opposing viewpoint’s defending arguments don’t hold water with me. But you know what? No. Not today. This is the end of the rant, right here. Because I just don’t have to do any of that this time. There’s no defense to be had here. Monolith Soft has a child (not that this would be better for an adult character, I should note) who went through 5 and a half minutes of freakish hell a mere couple years before extending friendly salutations to the sick fuck that, but for the incompetent twats writing MOMO’s character, should have scarred her psyche permanently and beyond recognition. Whoever came up with this line is one of the most incompetent, careless morons to ever write for an RPG.

* Sometimes I like to imagine that my readers are Keith David, voice of Goliath from Gargoyles. Yes, all of you are him right now. Deal with it.


  1. Son of a bitch.

    That scene in Xenosaga 1 is around where I quit the game. Not that I was actually enjoying the game up to that point, but I'm squeamish when it comes to stuff like physical and emotional abuse. Call me a pussy.

    But really? That line exists? That offends and confuses me more than Commander Allen Shepard. It's this kind of monumental screw-up that makes me feel bad for the character. You take a perfectly decent tool, and have to suffer through such a crappy script. Bah

    There is so little understanding of the rudimentary basics of human interaction in Xenosaga that I swear it must have been written by fucking aliens or something.
    I like to think better of aliens. Bad writing is bad, and I prefer to think that's a universal sin.

    Everyone is Keith David. All the time. Anyone who doesn't look or sound like Keith David is Keith David in disguise.

    1. Don't worry Ecclesiates I think everyone has mental scars from that sceen

    2. RE: Everyone = Keith David: I like the way you think, sir.

  2. OH yeah off topic (I have nothing to say about the acuracy of this rant) But I do recal you like the Hayao Miyazaki films so you must have been looking forward for Ni No Kuni which was actually animated and orchistrated by Studio Ghibli

    1. While I like Miyazaki's work as a general rule (not that Laputa nonsense or that Ponyo crap, though), I'm not a big enough fan that I really keep track of when he's making what. But thanks for the heads-up; I'll at least recognize the name once it comes out and know it's something to check out.

    2. Man, I love me some Castle in the Sky (Ponyo or Howle's Moving Castle are pretty weak on story, though).

      Also, I'll call your Keith David and raise that everyone should be Neil Kaplan(couldn't find the video I wanted, but it contains the same line that got me jazzed over the VA... wait for it...):

    3. Also, I'M BATMAN!... and strangely enough, Keith David...

  3. thats why i think MOMO and Jr. are the best characters and is really better than Shion cause you know they forgive even after everything him do , but i was expect one " i love you " on ending ( not really but will be cool )

    (Sorry my bad english i am Brazilian )


  4. so much time was invested into the momo, jr relationship and for them to just separate them like that with such a stupid goodbye really pissed me off...

    1. Y'know, I was so busy being pissed off by all the things I mentioned in this rant that I never even thought of this angle. But you're entirely right--for all the time that went into selling the idea that there's something significant between Jr. and MOMO, this is an exceptionally lame and disappointing end to it, isn't it? I mean, I'll grant you that, A, Jr. and MOMO's relationship has remained juuuuuuust barely undefined enough that we can't say with absolute certainty that it's romantic and B, this third game hadn't been paying much attention to the MOMO - Jr. relationship whatever its nature may be, but...even so, no matter how you slice it, you're absolutely right, Anonymous, this is just throwing all of that away with a quick, crappy goodbye.

      Thanks for pointing that out; I've got yet another flaw of Xenosaga 3 to mention/rant on for the future. At this point I'm collecting them like some obsessed hobbyist.