Soraya's FAQ's from 2005

Soraya's FAQ: (Ver 1.)

This FAQ page was temporarily placed on Jan/19/2005 due to hundreds of inquiries arising from unexpected media coverages of Jan/18/2005 about my leaving xenosaga series. This page may be removed without notice because I prefer not to put game-related articles (excluding a short resume) on my website. I just wanted to clear up some misunderstandings.

Firstly, this is not a breaking news. The fact has long been known well in Japanese game players because it can be seen in official articles about the game. I wonder why people suddenly have an interest in the matter. I have no intention of announcing this loudly. And I sincerely hope people would leave me and my site in peace. Can you imagine what it feels like to be reported worldwide that "Look! That woman lost her job because her writing may have been so boring!"?

Q1. How could you desert the series? You Traitor! (01/19/05)
A1. I never did. A couple of years ago, the new team had decided to refresh the series. Simply I was one of the people not invited to the new voyage.

Q2. Why could you make such a stupid decision to leave? (01/19/05)
A2. It is not my decision. Supposedly previous story I wrote in the first episode did not appeal to the new team's taste. I'm working on freelance basis. If clients say they don't need my work anymore, that's all. No conflicts, no quarrels there were.

Q3. What are new with the refreshed episodes after you left? (01/20/05)
A3. Official announcements read that it has a new look, new sounds, easier story to read, more explosions.

Q4. Whose idea is that changeover? (01/20/05)
A4. Commonly it is for the game director to decide. New episodes after the first one have a new director as is officially known.

Q5. Do you have a marital problem? (01/20/05)
A5. No. Our relationship is very very peaceful. Isn't it too personal question?

Q6. Are you Mr. Kunihiko Tanaka? Or are you related to other Tanaka artists? (01/20/05)
A6. No. I am Soraya Saga (the pen name) a.k.a. Kaori Tanaka (the birth name) and Mrs. Takahashi. Tanaka is very popular surname in Japan.

Q7. May I ask you a question about your spouse? (01/21/05)
A7. Sorry. I can't make any comment about his business.

Q9. Why aren't there Mitsuda, Tanaka and Takahashi in the 2nd episode? (01/29/05)
A9. I can't make any comment about other people. A number of official comments from the new team mentioned Takahashi and I were marginally involved in the 2nd episode by contributing the first version of the script. (The actual script for the 2nd episode is shortened and adapted for the most part by Monolithsoft.)

Q10. What was your last contribution to the series? (01/30/05)
A10. The early version of script for the 2nd episode, and rewrites of the script for The Pied Piper. (I rewrote The Pied Piper free of charge.) I haven't heard from the team since October 2002. I saw a promotional video by courtesy of another dept. in February 2004. And in April 2004, I learned what the adapted game was like.

Q11. Did your past contribution leave your mark on Episode II ? (01/30/05)
A11. Very fragmentarily. The scenes for analyzing Momo in the UMN administration center, memories of Sakura in Momo ENCEPHALON are tolerably faithful to the original.

Q12. Will your past contribution leave your mark on the future episode? (01/30/05)
A12. No. They've had a new writer since the second episode. I don't know what the new story will be like.

Q13. You said it is a great pleasure to bring out the Episode II. Wasn't it true? (01/30/05)
A13. It was supposed to be a great pleasure in the beginning. Even now I wish it were.

Q14. Did Takahashi send you home? (02/01/05)
A14. No. As you all officially know, now he is not in a position to make the decision.

Q15. Your leaving doesn't really matter. Episode II will go well in America. (02/07/05)
A15. Thank you for letting me realize my worthlessness. Enjoy Episode II.

Q16. How much did you write for the first episode? (02/08/05)
A16. I wrote a half of the story and script.

Q17. You may be an expensive artist. So they kicked you out. Isn't it? (02/10/05)
A17. My average annual income has been less than one-tenth of company employees' annual income. Do you think it's expensive?

Q18. Is the parent company responsible to the changeover? (02/12/05)
A18. No. The parent company has been kind enough to allocate reasonable budgets, development times, and promotional campaigns for the series. I've been grateful to them for their help.

Q19. Come on, Speak out about the situation. Don't be so cryptic please. (02/12/05)
A19. No. I can't. There are inquiries I can answer and so many inquiries I shouldn't answer.

Q20. Why did the new team shorten the original story? Was it religiously or politically sensitive? (02/16/05)
A20. No. It just had more chapters for much more hours of gameplay.

Q21. Did they rewrite/alter Takahashi's plot and script too? (02/17/05)
A21. Yes. It has been officially known.

Q22. Is the new writer responsible to the alteration? (02/19/05)
A22. I don't necessarily think so. In a teamwork environment, every writer must write as directed.

Q23. Are you playing for attention? (02/20/05)
A23. Nobody has to pay attention to this matter. I just wanted to keep being faithful to the people loving the game. I hoped some informations could wipe out many concerns about it. Sorry if my answers had upset you all.

Q24. I want you to come back to the saga. (02/20/05)
A24. Thank you. But I know well the saga no longer needs Saga. Don't worry. It will go on.

Q25. Who did actually write the script of Xenogears? (03/03/05)
A25. Gears? Mainly Tetsuya Takahashi did. I wrote the part of (the script about) Bart and his family, Billy and his family and the former Elements*. (I like the Jesse's gun.) Mr. Kato wrote the part of Maria, Chu-Chu and Lahan village and Shevat. (Lahan village sequences are many Xeno fan's favorite, also Maria's sortie scene was very impressive.) Mr. Tanegashima wrote the part of Esmeralda, the yggdrasil's crews and Elements girls. (I love Esmerald's cuteness.)

A long long ago, back in 1994, I wrote a story about a young soldier of fortune with multiple personalities. Takahashi proposed the plan to our boss. Though the plan was rejected because it was too sci-fi for RPG, the boss kindly gave us an advice "Why don't you make it into a new game?". Then I came up with an idea about a deserted A.I. with feminine personality who becomes an origin of new mankind in the unexplored planet. Takahashi refined the idea into more deeper and mystic love story. After the main story and integral sideplots were done, Tanegashima applied a sense of humor and his knowledge about science and military hardwares. Kato added a poetic and mysterious touch to Maria's story. An alchemical reaction of various creativity made the game enjoyable like a plate of all-you-can-eat. (I decided to answer this question because endless rumors about it have been around for a long time. I made this answer the last time to mention these games. 03/05/05)

*Takahashi wrote Citan. Saga wrote Hyuuga.
** I have NO intention of claimimg credit for Xenogears, Xenogears PW, Xenosaga. Takahashi deserves credit for those works. Especially the history of Xeno-universe is attributed to him.

Q26. I read that you attempted to suicide. Were you kicked off because of a mental unstability?(03/13/05)
A26. No. The fact is just the opposite. You're getting it wrong way up. Please stop making false assumptions.


Thank you for your support to the game. Please refrain from overestimating my abilities. I'm just one writer. Episode II and III may have talented people of their own.

Lastly, I want to thank you all who sent me heartwarming messages. I had lost confidence in my own ability in past several years. Your messages have let me know that a lot of people are loving the game.

Again, Now I'm no more than a person outside the project. Please do not send your inquiry and feedback regarding Episode II or III to this site. The customer service of the company responsible for the game is:

- Soraya

Soraya's FAQ: (Ver 2.)

# Leaving was not Soraya's decision. Soraya was told goodbye same as in the case of other Episode I artists including Mr. Yasunori Mitsuda, Mr. Kunihiko Tanaka, and the Mr. you-know-who. (Please do not ask Soraya who he is.)
# Soraya is a freelance artist.
# There was no particular reason behind the displacement of old artists. The new director of Xenosaga II/III just wants the saga all new.
# The official advertisement says the new saga will have new sounds, new designs (as seen in Epsode II) and more easier story to read (as seen in the disc 2 of the Episode II).
# Soraya and Tetsuya Takahashi were marginally involved in the Episode II by contributing the first version of the script. (It was not a plot outline but a complete script including actual characters' lines.)
# Soraya's last contribution to the saga was the first version of the script for the Episode II and rewrites of The Pied Piper. (The game for Vodafone sold in Japan 2004)
# The shortened/adapted script of the Episode II is by Monolithsoft.
# You can see Soraya's mark she left to the Episode II in:

      * The conversation between Juli and Ziggy
      * Momo Encephalon (In first version, It was not Juli's idea of destroying Momo's memory, but a subcommitteeman's. Juli hesitated.)
      * The story about U.R.T.V. (with the exception of the chapters after Momo Encephalon and young Albedo's verbal abuse/violent acts against Sakura. They were added by Monolithsoft.)
      * Albedo's short speech about the higher dimension. (His last words "You look like you lost your sweetheart ... anyway I hate you both" were added by Monolithsoft.)

# Soraya doesn't know what the story of the Episode III will be like. The new writer of the Episode III will write a new story in his style. (The chapters after Momo Encephalon and Disc 2 are his style.)
# The new team has the right to change or ignore Takahashi's plot outline.
# Soraya and Takahashi have been willing to help the new team if requested.
# Soraya can not comment on Takahashi's current status.
# Soraya wrote approximately half of of the script for the Episode I. She is responsible for:

      * Ziggy and his family, Voyager, Momo, Mizrahis, Godwins, Yuriev, U.R.T.V.s, and the part of Shion during her stay in Durandal and the Kookai Foundation

# Soraya is not an expensive artist.
# Soraya has created no delay.
# The parent company is not responsible to the changeover.
# The Episode II had the same amount of budget as the Episode I.
# The first version of the script by Soraya and Takahashi was not religiously or politically sensitive. It had just harmless chapters like:

      * Ziggy's past history (as seen in The Pied Piper)
      * U.R.T.V.'s past history (as seen in the Episode II)
      * Shion's past history with Febronia (removed)
      * Jr's rapid growing (removed)
      * Both juvenile and grown-up Jr. switching available in the battle (removed)
      * The ghost of the old Miltia (removed)
      * The death of Sakura (removed)
      * Brief reunion with grown-up Citrine (removed)
      * Gaignun vs Zohar emulators (removed)
      * Jr.'s transformation/overdrive (removed)
      * Jr. & Albedo vs U-DO vs KOS-MOS 3rd armament (removed)
      * Shion's spiritual seeking/witnessing/awakening (removed)
      * The truth about KOS-MOS (removed)
      * Conversation between chaos and the red cloak man (removed)
      * Conversation between Nephilim and the boy with the blocks (removed)
      * An antimatter annihilation of Albedo (removed)

# Removed chapter/events were rejected/deleted subjects. It's highly unlikely to be shown in the future Episode.
# Soraya has no intention of playing for attention. No one has to pay attention to this.
# Soraya has no option to come back. And she knows well the saga no longer needs Saga.

- Soraya