Xeno Emission E3

by Choco (Mugitani Koichi)
Translated by Gwendal and Jinx

[Page 35]

"Some necessary tools for the adventure that is design"

It takes courage to set out on a journey to a place where no one has trodden before, a place where no kind of safety is guaranteed. But that is different from a reckless courage. You should gather the tools you need for an adventure, and nurture the kind of courage that is based on real experience. [Lit.: ...and hold evidence-based courage]

The Compass of Order

I designed the Compass of Order, depicted on the back of the Xenosaga Episode 3 logo, with the sextant as its motif. To understand the reasons behind each of those details, I purchased a sextant when I set out to design the logo.

sextant, "S-E-X-T-A-N-T": Sextant [This part basically has the word "sextant" in roman letters, spelled out in katana and in then in "proper" Japanese with kanji]

It is an optical instrument made to calculate the position of a ship by observing the known positions of heavenly bodies such as the sun, the moon, stars and planets. It can be seen in the center of the picture on the left-hand page, the instrument with the yellow frame. The name comes from the central angle of the frame, which is 60 degrees as 1/6 of a circle, so this [part] does not apply to the form of the Compass of Order.

[Page 36]

Concept artwork for "Xenosaga Episode 3: Also sprach Zarathustra" by Koichi Mugitani (CHOCO)


Thank you very much for purchasing "Xeno Emission E3".

This book contains the design work done by Koichi Mugitani (CHOCO) for the PS2 RPG "Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra", released by Namco Bandai Games in 2006.

The concept for this book is to provide commentary on the graphic designs, as well as an understanding of the intentions they were created with. Please understand that some of this content was not used in the actual game, and that these should not be considered part of the official setting.

The "Xenosaga" trilogy is now complete with the addition of Episode 3, but the setting itself was designed as one large work. For this reason, some of the content in this book is fairly old and was made more than 6 years ago. There are also some sketches I haven't been able to publish until now, and I have tried to collect and compile these to the best of my ability. [This book] also shows the transformation the creators underwent during the long process of making this game, so please do appreciate that as well.

I can only speak for the things shown in this book. I would make me happy if those who read it enjoy it and apply their reasoning and imagination to the various hopes and expectations that went into this game.

Koichi Mugitani/CHOCO

[A certain day in December 2006]

[Page 38]

Image text: Four thousand years in the future, we've found our reason to fight.

Image illustrations

Until the last game, EP2, I was just working on design behind the scenes, but for EP3 I was also asked to stick my head out and make visual materials for publication. I drew the illustrations shown on p-6-7 of this book for the EP3 posters, and they ended up as my final work on Xenosaga.

I got several suggestions from the director for the specific contents of the posters, such as having them match Mr. Tanaka's image illustration from EP1 (where KOS-MOS is embraced by Shion from behind). The one they chose was depicting the final scene from EP3, with a badly damaged KOS-MOS floating in space. Since they showed me the storyboard for the final scene when they were consulting with me about this, I ended up being spoiled! (Cries)
Even though I made sure not to read the last chapter of the scenario...but that aside, as you know if you've finished the game, KOS-MOS ends up being badly damaged, and it was a difficult order to show that on the poster without spoiling anything.

So I came up with a few different layouts.

In the one shown above, KOS-MOS is floating alone in space. Her hair and E.S. hand hide the damaged parts. The floating petals symbolize her bond with Shion. Personally, I like symmetric compositions. The image shown here is a test version I made to confirm the layout, but the text is wrong. Instead of "our reason to fight", shouldn't it rather be "our reason to live"?

[Page 39]

Left image: Four thousand years in the future, we've found our reason to fight.

Right image: Do we live to fight, or do we fight to live?

"So, I finally got to meet you."

Since they couldn't change the fact that KOS-MOS' right arm was damaged, I had to do some cleanup and switch the arms around halfway through. To hide the damage, I had KOS-MOS take on a posture with her body arched backwards and her arms held out, hiding her lower body and her right arm. With her normal posture, she would also have gotten in the way of the logo.

I hoped that people wouldn't notice anything when they saw the poster hanging above the counter in a store, and then realize how damaged she was if they took another look at it after finishing the game. Still, making this kind of illustration is a bit of a dangerous approach to take towards those fans who might react very badly to spoilers.

The Shion I drew isn't Miss Uzuki, but rather "Shion, whom I couldn't protect". She wears the same clothing as chaos. This scene, where the awakened KOS-MOS is reunited with the phantom of the "ancient Shion" seen through the pendant, and who tells her "so, I finally got to meet you" after 6000 years, shows a situation that is slightly different from how it appears in the actual game.

The smile on her face when the "ancient Shion" is about to lovingly embrace her...when I was drawing that, I tried at least 10 times without getting it right. I had the order that KOS-MOS wasn't supposed to have any facial expressions, so I tried to give her a look on her face that said "just a little more, and I'm going to cry, I'm going to cry, aah, I'm going to cry!".
KOS-MOS also wants to hug Shion back with her remaining arm, but it's broken, so she can't move it anymore.

[Page 40]

Character illustrations

I was asked to make illustrations for 9 characters; the playable cast + T-elos. Initially, I was supposed to "draw everyone" (actually, I was given a list with "everyone" written out in the preferred order :)), but since they knew all about my somewhat slow drawing style, we ended up doing things the way I mentioned earlier.

Since the polygon characters were already done when I made these illustrations, I focused more on that image rather than making design sketches. I normally design females, so they were easy for me to draw. When it came to the males, it became more a matter of looking at the setting and trying to come up with something that fit.

For the style [lit.: touch] of the illustrations, I devoted myself to "Kunihiko Tanaka emulation" and tried to imitate his drawing style through research and practice, but I got the order that they wanted me to draw in an earth-like way.*
That said, since I wasn't drawing that way at the design stage, I went for a style that was a kind of moderate compromise.

*[There's something going on here I'm not understanding properly. I tried searching around quite a bit, but couldn't really find anything to clear it up. Literally, he says he was ordered to draw "in pictures of the earth/land". Perhaps he means the specifications were to draw them in a style that was 'down-to-Earth'.]

Back when they were published for the first time, I saw comments on the Internet like "This isn't CHOCO. Who drew these?", but when I showed them to some of my friends who are artists themselves, they saw it was me right away by the painting [style].

I usually finish by erasing the main lines, but since I got an order that they wanted me to keep them in, they're still there.

While the EP1 character illustrations are seen from the ground level, this time I set them at waist level height.

[Page 42]

Shion Uzuki

Shion and KOS-MOS Ver.3 were the first things I drew. To get them done in time for the first announcement at the [Tokyo?] game show, I drew a quick pitch of just these two, so they're a little rough because of that.

In order to make them convey the feel of the character on their own, I exaggerated every part of the character illustrations, and focused on giving them an emotional impact. I imbued them all with a so-called "iron feel".*
I gave Shion more fur and a bigger chest.

*[Yeah, really unsure about this one, seems like some kind of idiom I can't figure out.]

Actually, in the illustrations I made for my private use, she didn't have the MWS. I prepared one version where she had it and one where she was unarmed and let them choose whichever they wanted to use.


The leading machine for the second half. :)
She looks rather young compared to the model in the actual game, doesn't she?

To reflect the sharp silhouette of her body, I had her strike an imposing pose. I also drew her alongside KOS-MOS2 and T-elos and lined them up in the same way as [the characters on] p.40 to see how it would look. (When I lined them up like that, the light coming from all three bodies converged into one. But only [this version of] her ended up becoming silhouetted.)
However, they weren't lined up like that in the actual published version...

I said earlier that I left the main lines in, but for the hair on these three, I added them in on a later revision.

[Page 43]


Because the deadline was still far away, and the details were sparse, it took me a very long time to draw her. I think I was painting for about a week. I included ornaments like the striking shoulder molds that weren't strictly in the specifications. [A little unsure about this last part, sorry]

I drew her skin and pose in a coquettish way, and [afterwards] I thought "hmm, maybe I overdid it a little...?". But when I heard Mrs. Mariko Suzuki's performance, I thought "ah, this isn't bad at all". However, the hole in her abdomen is placed too low. It's covered by her hair.

I'm not sure what else I have to say about her design, but making the color illustrations for her was fairly annoying, and I wouldn't want to draw them again. I feel grateful towards the modelers who took care of the modeling job [so I didn't have to].


This is one of the quick pitches I drew to be shown at the game show along with Shion. Since she has an antagonistic relationship with T-elos during the first half of the story, lining them up beside each other as shown above gives a symmetric view.

It brings out the contrast between them, with KOS-MOS taking a mechanical pose and keeping her face expressionless towards T-elos, and T-elos sticking out her hips while KOS-MOS sticks out her chest. Compared to [other characters] in this setting, those two seem to be showing off their chests a lot, don't they?

The design of her headgear turned out slightly wrong.

[Page 44]

Handwritten note: So MOMO's special weapon should be a bow this time?


MOMO had been a plump loli in EP1, but she became a slender loli in EP3.

There was a lot of trial and error with the polygon model, and the final version ended up looking younger than the one they showed me while they were working on it. Because of that, I think she looks somewhat more grown up in these illustrations.

Initially, I went with a pose like the one seen in the upper left illustration, but since the patterns on her beret and her stockings were hard to see properly, I revised it. It doesn't work very well as seen here either. [Unsure about this one, since it uses one of the same idioms I struggled with a few pages back]
When I realized that, I thought it'd be better to give her a pleated skirt with more character.

People say that MOMO's breasts are very well-developed, but actually they're not all that big. She's just wearing clothes that emphasize them. So in these illustrations, I'm using shadowing to show the size of her breasts, but since it's very hard to "draw something that isn't there", I had to do it over many times.

Just like with Shion, I prepared one version of MOMO with her special weapon, and one where she's unarmed. I wasn't at all sure what weapon she should use, so I ended up having her wield a bow with her right hand. [A little unsure about the nuances, but should be the general idea]

Also, I'm sorry. The design of the corset was a mistake. The line below her chest shouldn't go up like that, but rather be level with her back.

[Page 45]


chaos looks more grown up, and his frizzy hair makes a comeback, while his face and clothes were designed by Monolith. He kept coming out looking too much like a child, so I had to redraw him many times.

For the benefit of girls who get all tingly looking at boys' hips, I gave him low-riding pants.

Since chaos doesn't have a special weapon, I prepared a separate version where he has glowing hands instead.


Junior was also designed by Monolith. When I saw his clothes, I thought "okay, this is for the girls", so I tried drawing him with narrow hips, narrow collarbones and a big mouth (maybe I'm prejudiced?). But then they quickly asked me to please make his mouth smaller. Maybe it was me who misunderstood...?

Since his guns could only be low-polygon models, I decided to take something from Jr.'s retro [gun] hobby and make them into ColtM1911s with custom parts. But the color is stainless steel.

[Page 46]

Jin Uzuki

Having big brother Jin going from a Japanese style to more of a Chinese feel was also a Monolith design. I apologize for saddling him with those complicated clothes. I feel like I spent most of my time [working on him] drawing his clothing. When I was drawing it, I didn't really understand the construction of what I was looking at. So I had to study the construction on my own, and break it down to express it [in my own way]. It's like big brother Jin was [something, having a hard time making out this one due to the page fold]

I prepared the three poses seen above, and had Monolith choose one of them. Sketch C...is doctor Citan.

As for his face, I tried drawing him with a big mouth again, but I was still asked to redo it. Apparently, a bigger mouth makes him look suspicious. Surely big brother Jin isn't suspicious, is he?

[Page 47]


Ziggy. He's the only one whose design didn't change. In comparison, the rest of his design is rather chaotic. The polygon model, Mr. Tanaka's design and Mr. Yuuki's design all have different faces. The mechanical parts on his legs are also different depending on which design you're looking at.

Which means that I had to break it all down and start over, going with my own interpretation. The circular things on his thighs are cooling intakes, and below that are levelers for filter exchange. The parts on his knees with the X-and-dot-shaped pattern are shock absorbers made from rubber. And the hole in his abdomen doesn't seem like it's anything more than a ventilation duct to prevent heat buildup between his legs. Yep, that's definitely all there is to it. I didn't really figure out what the visible actuator was for.

At the time I drew the sketch seen below, his special weapon was going to be a jackknife, so since I didn't know it'd be changed to knuckles, I drew him with a knife. I thought a more deliberate pose would suit the calm and collected Ziggy better than a flashy action pose, so that's what I went with.

His face didn't turn out well at all, so I had to do it over many times.

[Page 49]

VXA-0001c "Dinah Firina"

After the end of EP3, this Dinah Type 2 unit was newly built as a first step in the ES reconstruction plan, based on an improved version of Dinah's blueprints. However, since the Vessels of Anima which were used as generators have been lost, it's equipped with a Robot Academy-brand "elde-x4" generator instead. Since the machine originally couldn't [even] withstand the limited output of a Vessel of Anima without a L.O.A.D. unit, its performance shouldn't be much worse with the output of the new generator within the Limiter parameters. For convenience, the model number and naming follows the same sequence as the [older] machines equipped with a Vessel of Anima.

Based on this description, Lunatica handled the modelling of the redesigned Dinah.

As improvements to [the original] "Dinah", they modified the silhouette of the shoulder bindings and added more details to each part.

[Page 51]
Character design

To my surprise, I only received orders for female characters.

Until EP2, I was only designing [characters'] clothes, so there were times when there were mismatches between the characters I couldn't do anything about. For EP3, I designed their appearances to be appealing as a cohesive whole by making sure to take everything into account, including their faces. Consequently, the design work proceeded using the character drawings seen here as a foundation.

Even if I say "character design", since the visual Mr. Tanaka came up with for EP1 was supposed to be the ultimate template for everything [lit.: a foundation until the bitter end], doing character design for EP3 was a job that was strongly influenced by an awareness of merchandising.*

*[Alternative interpretation: "A job that was influenced by an awareness of merchandising and trends", but I think the first one is more likely.]

When it comes to character models, it seems they did some experimentation at Monolith too, and they also made some of the character models using the ones from EP2 as a base. In the end, it wasn't all a result of them using my designs unaltered; rather, the people at Monolith made them into models that would match up with the other characters, and it all came together in a visual that could be called the "final manuscript". I then drew the character illustrations based on feedback from [the making of] those models.

My design policy was to make a reconstruction incorporating the essence of Mr. Tanaka's work and the realism of the EP2 models, combined with a well-balanced popular appeal based on the demands of our existing fans and new users, while also making sure the overall impression wouldn't seem shallow.

[Page 52]

The third incarnation of KOS-MOS

I've already said much on the subject of KOS-MOS in EP2, but with the addition of her sister machine T-elos in EP3, I suddenly had to design three different versions of her.

KOS-MOS had already become one of the key visuals of the series, and getting the design of her Ver.3 right was vital, since it'd be a frontrunner for publicity.

In terms of the story, the concept that she'd keep the same body as Ver.2 with a version update applied didn't change. To be perfectly honest, keeping the old design would have been just as well, but since a degree of freshness was very important to [sell] her as a product, I gave her a minor update. Personally, I tend to think of it as Ver.2.1 rather than Ver.3.

By the way, the designations "Ver.3" and "Ver.4" were added later, and during development we referred to her various versions by the slightly sad terms KOS-MOS (1) and KOS-MOS (2). This sad designation can be seen in the text accompanying the sketches.

Image caption: Rough sketches from the early stages. It shows the conceptual differences between the three sister [machines]. In the beginning, Ver. 3 had "a loud silhouette with over-the-top parts attached", while Ver.4 had "a simple silhouette that had a few brush-ups applied". In the end, it turned out the other way around.

[Page 53]

Ver.3 vs Telos

Since the first half of the story portrays a rivalry between Ver.3 and T-elos, the order I received was for a design that would make them look good together when the time came for them to confront each other. For that reason, I designed these two at the same time.

I'm rather fond of EP2 KOS-MOS' design, so I kept her as the same character at heart wih some additional parts added as a "version upgrade". I had an order for her to start wearing headgear again, so to capitalize on Ver.2's design, I kept the DSSS on her forehead and added some headgear to it, with a slender frame almost like [those seen in] glasses. Actually, with the balance of the additional frame, the position of the DSSS had to change slightly.

Ver.3 and T-elos had the same silhouette and were made from the same components, but at the same time, the different design themes in their details gave them a feeling of being opposites. It was about the images of "sunlight" and "shadow", "white" and "black", "technology" and "a classical form", and "the inorganic" vs "the organic".

Top image caption: Ver.3 vs T-elos

Bottom image caption: Ver.3 headgear variations

[Page 54]

Mussel shell style

When I was doing body designs for EP2, there were rather strict limitations on the number of polygons available, and it made things a lot easier for me when I could design freely for EP3 without having to worry much about those kinds of limitations.

[In the story,] Ver.3's body was a continual undertaking that had been brushed up as time went on, rapidly tuned up like an F-1 machine. That's the concept I was working from. However, with this approach alone, the emotional component was a bit lacking, so I had her expose some skin to make [the design] more stimulating. If I had to say, I'd claim her showing skin on her chest and the emphasis placed on that was a result of an order from the Monolith side. They told me to "sex her up a little!", so I had her show more skin around her hips, waist and stomach, but then they said "she's showing too much" of her stomach, and I kept adjusting it up and down like a zipper. Most of her backside is hidden by her hair, but I made it in a "reverse T-back" style, and it inadvertently ended up being quite suggestive. As far as I know, the first person who did it this way was Mr. Takehiko Itou. [The Internet tells me that's how this name is supposed to be read]

By the way, "slipper plates" is a word I came up with. That's the style with a plate rising up above the end of the heel, as seen with VX-10000c, Asher, and so on. The first time I used that name for it was with the parts on the feet of Graphride in "Senko no Ronde", designed by [Shuuji] Sogabe. The name comes from "something kind of slippers-ish" [a bit unsure about that last one, sorry].

Bottom image caption: Reverse T-back style.

[Page 55]

The return of the gel parts

The characteristic, semi-transparent gel parts from Ver.2 weren't there anymore, so I gave each part of her semi-transparent crystal parts instead, since I wanted that to remain as a feature they should have in common. By putting glowing crystal parts on the tips of her hands and feet, I wanted to create an effect where her actions would result in a reflection on the screen along with her movements.

She is equipped with large crystals on her thighs and wrists that serve as weapon transmission units, but unlike Ver.1, the holster on her thigh is attached to her left leg instead. Considering how she'd look next to T-elos, I placed it as an inversion of hers, but partway through [the design process] I decided the more logical position was better and reversed it. It's probably easier for her to move around this way, too.

As you can see from the upper illustration, I thought up a gimmick where her shoulder pods and the slipper plates on her heels would start glowing as they extended. Then I realized that the regular shape of her [shoulder] pods was too simple and a bit sad, so I made this extended shape their default form. That change was a bit problematic, since it went against the concept of "a brushed-up design without any glaring gaps", but since it made things more [visually] stimulating with the screen reflection effect, I think it turned out OK product-wise.

By the way, when I say "a design without any glaring gaps", I don't mean a design without any gaps in it at all, but rather to avoid ending up in a situation where "it could have been done just as well in any number of other ways".

Image caption: KOS-MOS with her stomach zipper too far down

Box: EP3 KOS-MOS (1) Image

Handwritten note, top: Limiter disabled-mode?! The details ended up a bit different from this drawing.

Handwritten note, bottom: I moved the holster on her right leg to the left leg, and made it smaller. [Reasonably sure about this one, but not 100%]

[Page 56]

KOS-MOS Ver. 3 final revision

...where her shoulder pods and heel slippers ended up with rather complicated designs, as you can see in the illustrations below.

The forehead frame on her headgear is attached to the forehead DSSS, taking the form of concentric circles. Like the DSSS, it is compatible with glasses to improve her observational ability. I forgot to draw the string that goes around the back of her head in the character illustration [seen here]. I'm sorry.

This is a bit of a digression, but since I have good eyes even though I'm an artist, I've never worn glasses in my life until I gave it a try the other day. I've had opportunities to draw characters wearing glasses in manga before, but people who don't wear glasses themselves can't understand how it feels. If you just look at pictures of them, you won't be able to really understand their properties or how they relate to your face, and without that understanding you can't draw them very well. It's just like how you can't draw a hand holding a gun properly just from seeing it in pictures.

When you're preparing the tools you need to leave on an adventure, you'd better make sure they're the real thing.

[Page 57]

Box: EP3KOSMOS(1) Face

Caption: \/Her choker is the same as that worn by EP2 KOS-MOS.

[Page 58]

A yakitori [skewered, fried chicken] design

In the maelstrom of different expectations swirling around the Xenosaga designs, this KOS-MOS [design] was probably right in the heart of the storm.

Because of all the advance publicity, I had a late start, and since this version exposes a lot more skin in-game than Ver.3, it ended up as a crucial design. Speaking strictly in terms of the story, the design was supposed to be a gradual evolution into a more sensible form due to incremental upgrades as time went on (Dural [from Virtua Fighter] is a prominent example of this). However, as a result of the failures of the EP2 design, the strength of the brand fell significantly, and they decided to start over based on the EP1 design. Consequently, my orders were for a return to the more popular Ver.1 style.

As time went on, the result was a design that took feedback from users into account, had a light feel while still keeping the flavor of the great ingredients intact, like with Kyoto vegetables. It also had the rich spicyness of yakitori given ample time to roast in its tare sauce*, while being marketable at the same time. [This was a pretty long and complicated paragraph full of elaborate food metaphors, so I might have missed some nuances, but I think this is the gist of it]


[Page 59]

Mistaken pigtails

Even though I say that, I wasn't necessarily unwilling to create that design. In this case, the designer's best intention ended up being refined [by others].

My orders from Monolith were to stay close to the design of Ver.1, so for her hair I decided to give her pigtails. "Pigtails?! So you really want to make her into a cutesy girl this time, then?"
I drew her the rough sketch on the left page based on that frank interpretation. With the still undetermined character models in mind, I thought what I'd drawn wasn't very good, so I drew it again in a few different styles. I used the Chinese-style party dress I designed for KOS-MOS during the EP2 days as a base for the design, before applying details with a Ver.1 theme.

However, it seems like the director's intentions were different, and he wanted me to simply divide her hair into two separate parts instead. Later, the hair bands associated with these mistaken pigtails became the starting point for the design of her cat ear-shaped headgear. In the end, she had chains hanging from the golden plates attached to her headgear, and her hair divided into two parts. By the way, in the copy of "Xenosaga Legends" I got my hands on the other day, this Ver.4 didn't have that golden plate attached to the back of her head. Did they forget about it?

I designed Dinah for EP2 as a more mechanized version of KOS-MOS [a bit unsure about this particular word, sorry], and for Ver.4, I used feedback I'd gotten on Dinah's design.

[Page 60]

A poor man's KOS-MOS

Like Ver.1, the concept for Ver.4 is bondage fashion and physical restraints. Her silhouette shows how much of a different impression she makes compared to the radiant, navel-focused Ver.3.

Also, in the story, unlike Ver.3 that was the result of a huge project using state of the art technology and had a "cool and premium" appearance, Ver.4 looks more "rough and warm", like her body was put together by Hakase and Shion's group in a downtown workshop using whatever materials were at hand. It's a "poor man's KOS-MOS", to sum it up in a few words. I tried to show that in ways such as using generic belts since they wouldn't have had any custom parts available [in the story], making her clothes wrinkled and applying many tears to her clothes.

Bust cannon

Ver.1 was equipped with a "stomach beam" X Buster (or as Mr. Takahashi would say, the "Gamera cannon"), but this one has the Mega Smasher bust cannon instead. The KOS-MOS series all contain great energy. This is held in check through physical restraints, and that power is unleashed by removing the Limiters, like with control rods in a nuclear reactor. To show that great power, I gave them a design reminiscent of painful-looking major league training gear.*

The bust cannon sequence is shown on p.63, but I didn't think they'd actually make her breasts bounce out like that in the game. Viva Monolith! Even when I saw Noriko** expose her chest personally, I wasn't embarrassed, but I was a little embarrassed when I saw KOS-MOS' breasts. I think she asks Shion to sew a new one for her every time she destroys the cloth covering her breasts like this.

I equipped her with an ankle knife to balance the left-right asymmetry in the design of her legs, so I was surprised to see it playing an important role in the story. Thank you for using it effectively.

Top caption: The first design for the bust cannon.

Bottom caption: The lace pattern seen on her thighs and upper arms. It has the same motif as Ver.2's choker.

*[This part is a bit tricky. Maybe I'm way off, but I suspect it's some kind of reference to this manga: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_of_the_Giants]

**[Really unsure about the first part of this sentence, sorry. Mainly due to the word "Noriko", which I can't find any reference to apart from being a name. If you read it that way, he says he wasn't embarrassed when Noriko exposed her chest, but that doesn't make much sense here, does it?]

[Page 61]

Top caption: KOS-MOS isn't at all happy about showing off clothes. This design of her back isn't the final one. Since it was a bit sad, and I wanted the kind of complexity seen in Ver.1, I changed it as seen in the illustration below.

Middle caption: The final design for her entire body

Bottom caption: I'm sorry. Please imagine the knife design here.

[Page 63]

EP3KOSMOS(2) Mega Smasher sequence

1. The bolt in the center of her chest shoots out, and the belt bindings come loose.

2. The Limiters attached to the cranks on each part are released.

3. The special, big Limiter in the middle is released with a "nyurururuun" sound, pushing her bra upwards.

4. Her bra is cut apart, and her breasts bounce out. Each Limiter turns forwards. After this, it's the same as for T-elos with the fireball erupting.

KOS-MOS' panties

I've had offers after the game came out from people who wanted to know more about her panties for the sake of realism, so I drew these as a supplement. Based on the game, I felt her panties would cause inflation [guess this might be a Japanese euphemism?], so I wanted to make them "something to be appreciated". The decorative details show the difference in stance between the careless second development [a little unsure, but should be fairly close] and Shion, who loves her like her own daughter.

By the way, and this goes for Ver.1 too, the mechanical parts protruding from her back aren't grafted on top of the skin, but are rather mechanical parts that are showing through where her skin has been hollowed out. The reason for this is that if people could see a real-life KOS-MOS, I'd like them to want her to have skin for those parts instead after explaining this. However, as for what's below her panties, that's surely...!

[Page 64]
The illusionary T-elos

These were the first sketches I released to the world this time [ie. for EP3]. Many of you probably noticed this, but T-elos' name could be seen in the game as early as in EP1.

Since she has such an important role in the epic story of Xenosaga, T-elos was naturally part of Mr. Takahashi's plans from the beginning, and as shown on p.28 in this book, she was designed as an opposite entity to KOS-MOS in 2000, at the same time Ver.1 was designed. Since they ordered seamless design work for the Xenosaga series, there are some things that changed from the design stage to release, and when it comes to this particular version of T-elos, she was redesigned during the development of EP3 due to widening differences from KOS-MOS' design. For that reason, this entity that I call Ver.1 was never used in the actual games.

She resembles KOS-MOS Ver.1, but I got an order from Mr. Takahashi to make her face "like Elizabeth Hurley's", so she ended up different from KOS-MOS in that regard.

These days, you can find a lot of material by doing a single Web search, but things weren't so convenient back then, and I remember going to book stores to search for pictures of Elizabeth Hurley. In any case, I didn't find any good references materials, so I somehow ended up drawing [her like] a young woman with a chiseled face.

This is when T-elos started exposing the underside of her breasts. It seems like this is the way Mr. Takahashi wanted it, so...
Mr. Tanaka did some cleanup sketches of KOS-MOS Ver.1, but I don't know if he ever drew anything for T-elos Ver.1 too.

Handwritten notes, middle drawing: Skin [All of them says this]

Handwritten note, top right: Here's her face (at night). Wouldn't you think it's hard to draw shaggy shadows like that?

Handwritten note, bottom right: I could only find three pictures of Elizabeth Hurley, so the image ended up a bit unclear.

[Page 65]

T-elos reborn

Here's the T-elos you all know and love. I call it Ver.2 for convenience.

While I tried to make sure the [basic] visual came through [a little unsure about this first part, sorry], her height and drawing style changed drastically from Ver.1.

Since she was created by the Testament Kevin in the story, I used the design of the Archetype as a base and incorporated the sensibilities of a Testament by giving her classical, religiously-themed ornaments. I used the style of Gothic architecture as a motif, and my concept could be said to be making her a personification of a Gothic abbey.

Unlike KOS-MOS, with her mechanical body, T-elos, using the body of Mary, is made from flesh and blood. If you cut her, she will bleed. Since I got the keyword "Frankenstein" from Mr. Takahashi, I tried to incorporate the details of a Gothic abbey into her skin in a way reminiscent of embroidery, as seen in the illustration on the left. She has the same structure of shackles fastened by bolts on her chest as the Archetype, I made it look like [the lines] extending in three directions through the crank and ribbon look like a cross, or a rosary when seen from afar.

Since her first design exposed too much skin, I added the same abdominal muscles as KOS-MOS Ver.1.

[Page 66]

T-elos bust cannon

Just like KOS-MOS Ver.4, T-elos is equipped with the same gimmick in the form of the bust cannon. They omitted the sequence of her taking off her ribbon, but I was happy to see the [other?] complicated movements make a return appearance during the story.

The beam saber

The gimmick of a beam saber coming out of the armor on her left arm was a late addition, so it's presented slightly differently in the game.

I thought the fight scene where KOS-MOS and T-elos cut each other's cheek during their first round would be a good place to show the differences between a mechanical and an organic body, but I don't really think it was shown clearly enough that T-elos can bleed.

Top image

Box: EP3 T-elos Mega Smasher sequence

1. She takes off her bow ribbon.

2. The bolt in the center of her chest flies out. The bindings fastened in three different places come undone with a "ba-chin!" sound.

3. The limiters connected to the four cranks are released.
[]The knife-shaped limiter shines brightly.

4. The released limiters turn upright.
[]The crank attached to the large central limiter follows her cleavage and pushes the front of her bra downwards.
[]*The inside of the central ring is illuminated

5. There is a flash of lightning from the limiters and the center of her chest, and a ball of flame takes shape in front of her chest. Then it [erupts? I'd guess, but it's hard to make out due to the page fold]
I'm sorry. You'll have to image the fireball effect for yourselves. [Not 100% sure about this expression, but I think that's the intent]

Handwritten note: This part is [usually] hidden below the ribbon.

Bottom image

Top left:
Part B
Part A

Bottom left:
*The A and B parts rotate.
*As the B part rotates more, it goes in below the A part.
*The three holes on the B part turn upright.

Top right: Seamlessly connected to the material of the forearm.

Bottom right:
*Three beam sabers erupt from the three holes.
*Then she punches. Daedalus Attaaack!

[Page 67]
A girl with slanted eyes

Since it's stated during the story that she uses the body of Mary, KOS-MOS and T-elos had to have the same face. Their hair is slightly different. On the design side, since T-elos is a bit of a bad girl, I ended up giving her slanted eyes.

When it comes to the goggles, I didn't get any particular order for her to have them, but since sunglasses are essential for a bad girl, I naturally equipped her with them.

To the right is a rough sketch of the logo seen on her visor.

Images, top row left to right:

[]This part is a little thick. The difference in size is to emphasize the forehead visor.

[]When the [visor of the] goggles are down, the top of her nose is hidden.

[]Organic-looking engraving. I used stained glass [windows] for reference.

Bottom row: The goggles are glossy black and solid [lit.: not transparent]. Since the left and right edges are covered by her hair, I don't think the goggles look that different even while the visor is down.

[Page 68]

T-elos' final form

The parts above the belt going around from her butt to her thighs looks like it'd get in the way of her moving her legs, doesn't it? It's not a problem when you're dealing with polygons, but it'd probably be really hard for cosplayers.

[Page 69]

Shion as a free spirit

Here's Shion after leaving the company and becoming unemployed. While designing her outfit, my thoughts were along the lines of whether she'd be able to afford those clothes, or whether she had any savings after working at a big corporation. To figure out how I should design the clothes for Shion, who'd become such a decidedly free woman after the time of EP2, I once again started making a lot of rough sketches. When it comes to her hairstyle, I received an order early on for her to have it pulled tightly back in a bun.

Variant H is a realization of the clothes they ordered for her from the beginning, but I somehow ended up expanding on it.

[Page 70]

Box: EP3 Shion's personal all-season clothing 1 Face

Formal wear

These are Shion's work clothes. I don't really know what the specific situation [that she's wearing these in] is, but in the end they weren't used in the game.

You could say that "for work clothes, these are fairly shameless!", but in a sci-fi world with all kinds stimulating visuals flying around, I don't think it's that outrageous a design.

I liked the idea of giving her decorative headphones, but since it turned out to be too suggestive, I ended up giving up on it.

[Page 71]

Box: Ep3 Shion faces

Left caption: []All-season clothing time

Right caption: []Summer clothing time

I really want glasses

In the beginning, I designed her hairstyle to be pulled back in a tight bun, in line with the order I received, but the image felt wrong. So in the end I gave her a design that would make her seem more active, as seen in the lower right [illustration]. I liked her original odekochan design too, but it was a bit too plain for the main character's hairstyle. [Not quite sure what he's referring too, seems like a brand of doll or something. Maybe some kind of anime slang?]

Shion's face is basically rather plain, so if you take away her symbolic glasses, there's not too much left of her identity, which would be a problem. I tried drawing her with her EP1 hairstyle to check this. Are there any points where the hairline subtly stops before her eyes? [A bit unsure about this one, sorry]
Thinking about this, I decided to make her forehead more visible.

What I call "summer clothing" is the outfit she wears during the time they spend on Pedia Island during the story. Actually, I made it a swimsuit and gave her a normal hairstyle. I also tried having her wear holo-sunglasses, but I gave up on the idea.

This is a bit of a digression, but she actually has something we can call "nose glasses" embedded in her nose like a piercing, right? Personally, I think that seems painful, so I wouldn't want them myself. But it doesn't look bad at all, so I wonder if it's too late to use the idea in a manga?!

[Page 72]

Various visions

It seems like the director had a rather clear vision in mind for her casual clothes, so I drew my suggestion based on that specific order. As a designer, if you have to give a suggestion based on the concept your client wants and the goals stemming from that design, you do all you can to realize it in an effective form. However, if you try to do this by making drawings from the very beginning, you end up having to draw them while still not knowing exactly what those goals are.

The keywords the director suggested were "active, but also elegant", which at first glance seems like a contradiction. But to draw an analogy with cars, it's kind of like the BMW M-series. I get it. (From the outside it looks like a laid-back, classy sedan, but the engine makes it a demon of a car)
So I set out to design a bold outfit with a casual denim jacket with inner parts made of classy leather. When you're designing clothing details for anime and games, unlike with the real thing, it's rarely effective to rely on the feel of the materials. I tried leaving that to the modellers at Monolith, since they were already hard at work on the textures and things like that. I also had an order that they wanted me to include a crest [or coat of arms] like you can see on the right-hand page, but since I really couldn't see any reason to do that, they allowed me to omit it.

Yes, it's hard to communicate intuitions. On the other hand, the development team has various visions they want to realize, and ones they don't want to exclude, and that's a new a new state of mind that isn't symbolic. Which is to say that making Shion's design was a project that was like shooting a lot of bullets in the hopes of hitting something.

[Page 73]

Various visions

[I skipped the three captions around the upper-right drawing, since they're exactly the same as the ones I translated on page 72]

Above the box: Crest variants. I searched for the right logo to use.

^A revision I made before the final version. The sneakers are different from the ones on the left-hand page.

The two drawings on the left are the final versions. I gradually reduced how much skin she was showing.

[Page 74]

She's matured

Not her breasts, her mind, that is.

Since MOMO's story and conflicts ended in EP2, she's more mature in EP3. As a result of that, I received an order to change the concept for her clothing that I'd used up to EP2.

I salvaged the basic design from something I suggested for EP2 and ended up not using (see Xeno Emission E2 p.58). The specific order was to give her a more cheerful image while keeping the concept of a uniform. Long, wavy hair. Not including the mark of the Mizrahi Institute anymore, things like that.

The beret was something I included in EP2 to help correct the proportion of her head compared to her body, but since it proved popular I decided to try using it again. I experimented with various other types of hats, but the beret suited her the best. The arm pads are there to protect her body from the bow string. I made the details on the corset, loafers and arm pads match Mr. Tanaka's organic drawing style.

In EP2, I got rid of her skirt to prevent panty shots, but since [I thought] "even if they can see some of her panties that go past her stockings, it's probably okay", I brought back the skirt. It's a very short skirt, but by making it plaited, it would wrap around her legs and make it harder to see her panties. Or that's how it was supposed to be, but in the game it could be turned around just from her running, and they'd end up being visible.

[Page 75]
She's more sexually aware

In EP2, she matured mentally and gained more self-assertiveness through having the will to be free, and as a consequence she wears various clothing ornaments. Unexpectedly, she has earrings too. Did you notice? You could say her chest has matured too, but they aren't actually all that big. I think it's just because the corset emphasizes them and draws your eyes there. They look fairly big in their own way in the MOMO nude bust drawn by Mr. Tanaka too right? I made her blouse open in the back, so you can catch glimpses of her back. It's a sexy little touch that was present in Sakura's one-piece, but I incorporated it into MOMO's outfit too.

To clarify how her outfit was put together, I went as far as to draw her underwear, but I was very surprised to see that the in-game polygon model also had a bra when I tried looking beneath the blouse. What the...? Viva Monolith!

Huh? Even though I didn't include it, the mark of the Mizrahi Institute was still there on the polygon model's beret. Since I used the already completed polygon model as a base for the character illustration, the Mizrahi mark was still there. [A little unsure about that last sentence, since it doesn't seem to make 100% sense]

BoX: EP3 MOMO full body

Captions left to right:

Panty stockings with flower design

Corset front hooks

Her back is visible through the open back of the blouse.

The back of the corset. Since there are patches, the blouse can't be seen from [hard to read due to small size]

[Page 76]

The tradition of the Xeno series

The swimsuit items have somehow become a tradition, and here they are. I recieved [more specific] orders for Shion's swimsuit since they'd be using it in a story scene, but I once again drew the ones for the rest of the cast as I felt like.

In the beginning, I thought Shion's swimsuit should be brown, but since that would be almost identical to the insides of her casual wear, I changed my mind. The director suggested "we should make it white and pink. That way it'll look sexier alongside her exposed skin."
Heh...! Oh, director...

This is a bit of a digression, but during development they let me play the introductory scenes, and at the time they hadn't finished modelling the swimsuits. So a stark naked Shion leaped out of the Dinah. They'd warned me about it in advance, but I still had a very good laugh.

[Page 77]

I did the other characters' swimsuits just as an extra service, since they don't appear in the story. I really wanted to create Ziggy's first swimsuit, so I made it a unique personal outfit. It looks like he's swapped out [parts of] his body for a gabon based one, but it's probably for the best if I don't try to give any serious explanations for that here, don't you think?*

*[Yeah, not quite sure what goes on in this sentence. Maybe it's a typo and he meant to say "carbon based", since only a diacritic mark separates "ka" from "ga".]

He has flippers attached to his hands and feet, and by using the Mabuchi Motors-like propulsion device on his back, he can glide through the water in an Acguy pose. [http://gundam.wikia.com/wiki/MSM-04_Acguy]

Top box: EP3 MOMO, Shion, Ziggy swimsuits Front

Bottom box: EP3 MOMO, Shion, Ziggy swimsuits Back

[Page 78]
Spells and the chains of creating

-What's hidden in the tragedy of Fou-

Fumihiko Sakata [If my name reading is right]

Mecha design and merchandizing with regards to anime

Commercial design work is just about the ultimate crystallization of having to wrestle with dilemmas in my opinion. Having to implement the intentions of your clients and sponsors, while still trying to find a way to imbue what you're making with your own individuality as a creator...
This was also clearly the case with Xenosaga and Mr. Mugitani's designs. Not just limited to design work, this is an inherent dilemma to any job based on producing things, one shared by all people.

When it comes to TV animation, merchandise and sponsors are absolutely crucial partners we couldn't live without, but it would also be wrong to say that they don't impose any limitations on the medium. To use "Mobile Suit Gundam" and "Mobile Suit Gundam Z" as examples, as the creators whose actions led to such an uproar said, I feel it's about what commercial mecha design really is, and that it's like groping around in the dark to figure out what lies behind that meaning. As a consequence of this, when it comes to Xenosaga, I can't forget the existence of Mr. Mugitani's design work. [Think I might be missing some nuance for the last sentence, but should be in the vicinity]

By the way, I became an animator after my "Gundam" shock grew ever larger during my high school years, so when it comes to "Z Gundam", I have experience working with original images. I'll decline in advance to share any speculation that might also be colored by that personal experience.

[Page 85]


Motors in the joints allow the extremely heavy arms and legs to keep accelerating and decelerating quickly, steel blades collide, armor is cut up at the molecular level in an instant.
Generators boasting tremendous output provide kinetic energy that is fully exchanged for zeal, and the red-hot parts keep glowing brightly.

Have you heard about "ROBO-1", where remote-controlled robot enthusiasts compete with each other? A few days ago, I was allowed to touch KHR-1 for the first time, and that experience was really like a dream representing my hopes for the future.

Their operational time is still short, and they can't move can't move as nimbly as the robots found in the world of anime. Also, when the motor is running continously during matches, there's a lot of heat buildup that reduces the performance of the joints, so cooling is a big challenge.

In motor sports such as F-1, when the car decelerates, the kinetic energy from the extremely rapidly spinning tires is turned into thermal energy in the braking disc. Did you know that's the reason why the disc in the middle of the wheel becomes red-hot and glows?

Considering this, when you think about robots in anime moving extremely rapidly, wouldn't there be the same kind of energy transfer within the joins in their bodies, causing each part [of the robot] to glow red from the radiation? That would be a big problem for any flesh-and-blood humans in the vicinity.

I was imagining things like that while I created the illusionary fight scene between the Reuben and Judah. Reuben's sword, weakened by heat on the molecular level, would have its tip cut off in an instant by Judah's Tiger Knife that can cut anything.

[Page 88]

Dinah - Minor update

In terms of the story, there wasn't any reason for the Vector-model ES units to change too much from their EP2 versions, so I basically only did a minor update to satisfy the demands of the game system.

The parts I changed for Dinah were the following 5 points: adding a rotational axle to the head, adding guns to the shoulder and hip binders, changing the shape of the back binder, changing the shape of the lower leg, changing the shoulder ring.

Coloring changes

As for colors, while I didn't change the overall color scheme for the whole body, I made the color saturation more restrained to better match the feel of a serious story. I didn't change the white parts to a pearl color or anything like that.

Changes to the lower legs

In EP2, I added ankles in accordance with my order from Monolith, but when I tried playing the game, I thought "So it turns out the ankles really weren't needed after all to tell the story properly?!"
For the EP3 Dinah, I suggested a version that would walk on tiptope and with an emphasis on her silhoutte as a vessel to promote the spread of robots without ankles, and it was readily accepted. When Dinah has stopped on Pedia Island standing on tiptoes, there's a small stand that extends out from her, but that wasn't part of my design.

She's equipped with a powerful generator that keeps running once you turn it on, like a nuclear reactor. So I thought that such a stand wouldn't be necessary, since she'd be able to keep her balance on her own even while stationary.

[Page 89]

Changes to the back binders

Unlike the EP2 version, where the back parts had a flower motif, for the EP3 version I changed them to a butterfly motif instead. I really struggled to make the complicated transformation mechanism and silhouette match up.

I made this change to improve her appearance and to accomodate the addition of the Buster cannon gimmick as her special attack. I designed her to satisfy the two requirements of being able to fold up her back binders and function as a spaceship, while also being able to move in an unpredictable way to unleash her special attack. At the same time, I also had to make sure not to ruin her beautiful silhouette and seamless impression. Monolith didn't order me to do these things, but they were rather aspects I wanted to incorporate as a designer.

The Vector-model ES units have a shared design for the area around their cockpits, but since I added an axle to the EP3 versions to enable their heads to turn around, the faces give a slightly different impression compared to the EP2 versions.

Image caption

^Image of a space ship parked on the sea shore.

In the initial version of the story, there was a situation where Shion was staying on a space ship that would be parked in Second Miltia's yacht harbor like a cruise ship. The ship would have weapons containers that had been changed to residential blocks, one of which would be Shion's room. I imagined something looking elegant and refined after reading cruise magazines and the like, but in the end it was changed to a situation where she built a cabin on an uninhabited island and stayed there instead.

I thought it would have been very interesting to have the spaceship and Dinah floating there side by side in the sea, but then again, we'd probably have had an awful time with the yacht harbor setting if we'd actually done that.

[Page 91]

The special move Buster cannon

With the gimmicks of the Buster cannon and the ability to transform into a spaceship, this became a very complicated construction. You have to master Anima Level 3 in the second half of the story to be able to see it during the game, but I was moved when I saw it actually working just as it should according to the setting.

We ended up not using the idea of the space ship form floating in the ocean, but as can be seen in the opening of the game, it turned into a space ship that would wait in standby in planetary orbit and had to be used to for long-distance space travel, which was more realistic and turned out well all in all. It was good that the reason for her spaceship transformation gimmick didn't turn out to be pointless.

[Page 93]

Adding the head rotational axle

In EP2, she didn't have a moveable axle attached to her head, due to the seamlessness of the parts. This made her less expressive, and we'd end up with situations where her head would have to be forcibly turned around to show her line of sight properly during the game. I'm sorry about that.

Because of all this, I added a rotational axle to her head [for EP3]. In terms of work flow, I designed Reuben's head first, then based the other mechs on that.

Even though it would be a lot of work, I thought I might do a complete redesign of the head area itself too and tried doing that (some of those plans can be seen in the rough sketches on p.30). However, since I got few results with my changes and they'd just end up wasting the resources from the EP2 version, I settled for only making the minimum of necessary changes.

Dinah Firina

In relation to the commissioned 3DCG Lunatica made for us this time, I changed a few subtle points. The shoulder binders gave a rather silly-looking impression, so I added some details to help mitigate that.

Top box: EP3 Dinah 2 Head parts

Caption: Part of the left rabbit ear (attached to the oblique line part)

[Page 94-95]

Asher - Minor update

Among the Vector-brand ES units, Asher is the one I made the fewest changes to. Like with Dinah, I changed the coloring to fit the tone of the story better, added some details and a rotational axle for the head. I received the order to "give it the feel of a more realistic Gundam" as a guideline for the detail polish I was doing.

I made his shoulder spikes stretch out a little further to fine-tune his silhouette.

For the clean-up whole-body sketch, I traced the EP2 polygon model of Asher, so it was easy to draw and has exactly correct perspective. :)

Caption: If I'd added the rotational axle to the head just like that, the neck would have been too long and the balance would have been incorrect. So I adjusted it by moving the cockpit part more into the chest instead.

[Page 96]

Zebulun - Full model changes

For the EP2 Zebulun design, I was told to "just do it however you like", which was a good excuse to play around a bit too much with eccentric [details]. Since that irregular joint design led to the mech really "having difficulty moving", I received an order that they wanted me to change it to a more standard humanoid form.

At first glance, the look of the lolita concept didn't change much, but the only parts I didn't change were the aerods. I ended up redoing everything else from scratch. [[At least I "aerods" is what he's referring to, since I get a ton of Xenogears results and little else when I Google the term]

Even though I designed the EP2 version to emphasize the silhouette resulting from it being equipped with a cruiser unit, it wasn't used, so this time I designed the buttocks part as a complete unit. Since I didn't have to keep doing trial and error or retries this time, everything [seen here] is the final version, apart from the rough sketch below.

[Page 99]

Year 2000 design Unused during the game

The illusionary AGWS

You might be asking "why [talk about] an AGWS at this point?", so I feel like I have to provide some commentary on this machine now. The reason is that this machine ended up as the base for ES Reuben's design.

Naturally, I designed this one while EP1 was in development, and it was my last design project for the AGWS units. I turned it in, but they never used it in the game. As you all know, the AGWS units were no longer needed according to the story after EP1, and after designing countless varieties such as the VX and AG series, I had a lot of them left over with no place to use them. I think they didn't use some of them because I was late turning them in, but on the other hand, even if I'd been on time there might not have been any places to use them anyway.

The seed [lit.: egg] of ES Reuben

My design concept was "Japanese style". I decided on a new grid style where I made heavy use of straight lines and orthogonals. [I have no idea what that is even in English :P]
It would be a machine with the proportions of a short-legged, macho Japanese judo master, or to put it another way, a close combat specialist inspired by Street Fighter 2's Ryu.
Their proportions, fighting styles and things like that are different, but I applied the details I came up with when I was designing this machine to bring ES Reuben to life.

[Page 100]

A laquered machine

Its exterior has the feel of laquerware, or maybe piano black. The red accent lines brings out the Japanese feel (see p.30).

I reused the graphics of the coiled CNC belts I applied to each part to make it seem more rigid for ES Reuben's design.

[Page 102]

A samurai-style robot

I received the order to design this robot at the same time as those for the other ES units during [development of] EP2, but since I wouldn't be used in the game, I postponed it. I had the design concept and the silhouette from the beginning, but I still spent quite a bit of time on it and kept revising it.

For its appearance, I transferred Jin's "calm, collected adult man" demeanor to ES form. I gave it a bulky physique with a well-toned stomach, while also keeping in mind that it should have the Japanese body shape suited for an old-fashioned kimono. The repeating pattern from the chest to the stomach were inspired by the collar of a kimono, while the waist binder was inspired by a kimono worn open to expose the chest. When you're trying to show strength in robot design, the usual and trite method is to give it "angry" shoulders, but since a macho person would have a well-developed trapezius muscle running from the head to the shoulder, that makes for a nice silhouette with sloping shoulders instead. To give Reuben that feeling of calm strength and adulthood, I emphasized those sloping shoulders. The proto-Reuben I designed afterwards, on the other hand, looks more youthful and blue, and has "angry" shoulders in its concept. [A little unsure about the last sentence there, sorry]

Top caption:
>My first idea for Reuben's space flight unit was that it'd take the shape of a giant sword. It would be called the "Rosewood sword". The two standard models [a bit unsure about this exact word] would be "ebony" and "sandalwood".

..no, I didn't really have any idea about those other than Rosewood, so I just came up with some names for them.

Bottom caption:
^Reuben and Naiad. Aren't they just the spitting image of each other?

[Page 103]

A similar hairstyle

In the first rough sketches in turned in, the head area was very similar to Naiad, who appears in "The Igunaju Cross Gates Station The No.00" [a Japan-only manga made by Mugitani, apparently], so I redid it. I tried drawing them side by side to check...they are pretty similar, aren't they? Consequently, I tried suggesting various other patterns, but none of them really worked, so I somehow went back to the original form after all.

Head and ankles

At this point, the details were fairly close to the final version. But before I started on the EP3 design, I received orders to add a rotational axle to the head and, lo and behold, to give it ankles. I'm a member of the Committee for the Spread of Ankle-Free Robots, but I thought I'd better add them this time, since this would be a robot that was based on swordplay action, and so would need to be able to assume the same poses as a human being.

[Page 104]

Kurama tengu

I added joints with a pitching feature to the head and ankles, and also the cockpit and torso parts while I was at it. At that time, I envisaged the appearance of the joint parts to be a jaw hidden behind a scarf like a kurama tengu, so I personally decided to give it the codename "Kurama". It was only much later it got the name "Reuben".

This kurama tengu-shaped head was initially rather unpopular on the Monolith side, so I tried coming up with various other patterns. After suggesting variations like the ones you can see on the right-hand page, I somehow settled on the original kurama tengu shape after all. There's quite a few patterns I initially gave up on but that later turned out to be OK.

Things that grow with time

This is just what I think, but the client I hand the finished design over to is my first costumer, in a manner of speaking. (Continues on p.106)

[Page 106]

I can't take that client's reaction as a microcosm of the market as a whole, but that frank reaction is still a very important consideration. However, if they give me a positive reaction right after seeing it, or are "very taken with it", that reaction is still rooted in [their] existing values, and prepetuating it to [those] with new values will definitely take time.

When the car I'm driving now, the TT, was released, its excessive originality didn't leave anything but a negative impression on me. The breakthrough was a development (not change) in my value system that came gradually as time went on until the day I actually purchased one, which is something you can't [simply] get from a good first impression. [I think that's fairly close to the mark, but this sentence is pretty complicated, so I might have missed some nuance]
Consequently, the customers in the marketplace have some time to form those values, from the time of announcement until the day the product goes on sale. On the other hand, what I want from my client in the here-and-now is an opinion from someone with a keen sense of aesthetics, but who hasn't had the time to go through that process of change yet.

Collarbone joints equipment

Like the VX series, Reuben has collarbone joints. Thanks to this fact, it has a greater degree of freedom, as well as the ability to hold a sword properly with both hand. Unlike the Gundams (except the initial designs for Strike Gundam), it can assume the action poses that are essential to a samurai. On the other hand, this high degree of freedom [of movement] made me worry about the horns on his head interfering with things, so I tried experimenting a bit.

What I thought at the time was that "it's really a shame that as a manga artist, I don't even own one Japanese sword to use for inspiration".

The tools needed to embark on an adventure are (snip) [Yes, it does just cut off like that for some reason]

[Page 107]

Active counterweight

When I was putting together the general design, I received an order to include some kind of plates near the back and waist. I think it might be because they found the silhouette too bland.

So I just added some plates onto the back just like that. When I added it, I tried to make it a convenient part, and to justify it in terms of the story, I gave it the function of being a counterweight for an actively moving machine that would smoothly absorb its movements. For example, it would move in response to the robot swinging its sword around to negate the unsteadiness. While in space, without a firm footing and the ability to do this, the robot wouldn't be as good with a sword. In terms of Gundam, it's similar to the AMBAC system. Actually, the Knight of Gold also has a similar device.

On screen, it's also convenient for when the robot is freely moving through space. [Slightly unsure about this one, sorry]

[Page 109]

Reuben final version - whole body assembly illustrations

When I was doing clean-up on the whole body, I drew the [all the] parts and used Photoshop to put it all together. That was useful for seeing otherwise hidden places and understanding the whole construction properly. I was also able to do some final, subtle balance adjustments.

Lower back binders added features

The direction of the sword's blade was the wrong way around, so I added a mechanism to correct it. The separation lines included from the beginning weren't designed to take this mechanism into account, so I quite enjoyed finding things afterwards when I looked at it, thinking "I didn't use this part!". Wasn't there a scene with Reuben drawing his sword...?

[Page 112-114]

I designed this machine during the development of EP1 in 2000, at the same time as the VX series, so the first time it appears in one of the games is in the final scene of EP2. In the beginning, the plan was for it to square off against the AGWS, so it was the same size as them (refer to Albedo on the lower part of the right-hand page). However, when its appearance was postponed, it ended up at ES size instead. Originally, it wasn't supposed to be equipped with a Vessel of Anima, so I didn't think about including that [when I designed it].

The order I received specified that they wanted a machine that would use its [accompanying] bits to perform long-range attacks from afar, so I came up with a design that would stand upright like a control tower instead of personally moving around and joining the battle.

Since the Testaments have such a strong religious feel to them, I gave them an organic mold and silhouette that would express a different personality to the technology of the AGWS [and similar machines]. I focused on ornamental beauty rather than a practical, functional beauty.

The two Simeons

By the way, this Simeon got its Vessel of Anima design from the Simeon designed by Mr. Ishigaki (we don't have different names for them to tell them apart, so it's a bit confusing) in the middle of the story, in a kind of generational succession.*
We both designed a "personal craft for Albedo" at the same time, so maybe you could have guessed from the beginning that we'd do this kind of swap. When we looked at each others' designs, they were completely different, so I wonder if the orders we received were different too?

*[Not quite sure here if he's using "story" metaphorically or literally in terms of the games.]

    Image caption

The "R.I.P." on Simeon's final design is usually associated with graves, but I came up with it in the beginning, when I had no idea what kind of people the Testaments were. They really could have been dead!

Due to various circumstances, we weren't able to show any battle scenes with Simeon during the story. However, internally at Monolith, we did enjoy a clip of Simeon flying energetically around in space.

[Page 115]


A Testament mech that made it into EP1 (even if it was just a quick glance). The order was for a bombardment machine equipped with numerous pieces of artillery.

Since it could be called a substitute body for the former soldier Virgil, the body frame emphasizes practically, more so than the other Testaments. It was said it shared a fate with Simeon, so I [tried to] insinuate that, and it appropriates parts from the VX-10000 series. If there had been a scene during EP1 with the VX-10000 fighting the Naphtali, we could have used that to show an effective contrast between them, but...
The frame of this machine also grew in size during development, but the appropriated VX-10000 parts didn't grow to quite the size of their genuine counterparts.

The kinds of guns equipped to each compartment [of the machine] were all based on SH and RP designs.*
But the coloring of the Testament mechs was entirely done by Monolith [Soft] staff.

*[This one is a bit tricky. As far as I can tell, it could be referring to companies (which seems most likely considering the next line), styles of gun design or even named people. The character involved is usually used as a suffix as a more polite form of "Mr.", but it can also mean "clan" or "lineage".]

[Page 118]


I think the order I received was for a machine made for close-quarters combat. In between all the very colorful Testaments, I wanted to make something that was cool in a slightly more mundane way, and I decided on an aesthetically emotional design concept that would suit a robot belonging to a ladies' man like Kevin. As a former Vector employee and one of the designers of KOS-MOS, [his robot's] design shares some elements with hers.

As you can see from the rough sketch below, the design became bigger during development, so I worried about whether that would prove to be a problem in during combat. However, there weren't any opportunities to find out about this, even in EP3, so...

A poor child [Think this is some kind of idiom I'm not quite getting again]

Even though it's a machine based around action gimmicks meant to be used in combat, it was never even seen in battle once, which is a bit of a shame. Which is why I created a fight scene involving the Judah for this publication, even if it ended up being only in my imagination. It was the same with the Simeon, but maybe they'd already provided animations [lit.: motions] and things like that for it...?

[Page 122, 124-125]


A Testament mech with the good fortune to appear in EP2, EP3 and the DS game, and it was even lucky enough to get a proper fight scene in EP3. Its great, final-boss-like appearance probably proved fortunate.

The order was for a machine that would manipulate space-time, so I imagined something with a cloak like a magician's and used that as a base. Initially, it had a human-shaped body, but in the end the cloak became too big and the body ended up almost as an afterthought. I was worried it'd end up as a gimmick where the it folded up to became a beautiful hemisphere, but the Monolith staff reproduced it magnificently.
Everything except the rough sketches on this page made it into the final game.

It seems like the Monolith staff made the T183 Oculus and T190 Dens that appear in the EP2 movie parts and in EP3 as enemies based on Dan's design. They're like skewers, just like Dan.

    Image caption

Since it was supposed to manipulate space-time, I thought about mysterious battle patterns. The player mech is still a VX.

It was annoying to even draw the details on the inside of the cloak. I was really surprised they managed to reproduce it so faithfully.

The person on the body is so small you barely even notice them. Having someone being skewered, then crucified and restrained on top of that is quite a crazy design, but since [the robot's] controller Voyager is a crazy person too, it worked out well. Didn't it?

[Page 126-127]

E.S. Joshua
    Having been decided to be the Last Boss since the onset of Ep1's design, this is the craft that was requested. The vision of the last boss was clearly made by Mr Takahashi from the beginning. Because the design itself wasn't ready in time for Ep1's development, it was drawn around the time of Ep2.
    I scribbled out an extreme design such as overwhelmingly violent and vicious, and an abstract figure typical of a "Last Boss", but Joshua was intricately designed to avoid such a thing, and I designed him with the thought that he would exude the persuasive power of "strength".
    Because the rough sketch on the right that was first drawn gave nothing but a violent and rough-seeming impression, it was scrapped.
    The impression of Wilhelm that Mr Tanaka previously drew was all about "fearsome, with elegance, and with strength", so I had to be conscious of the appropriate craft for him to ride.

The Boy Wrapped in a Scarf
    The vision that was suggested from Wilhelm was a figure that plays a cello.
    The keywords "cello", "musical instrument", and "treble clef" were derived and considered as the design concept.
    The elegant curves of a stringed instrument; the beautiful black skin of a piano. Bringing in details such as these, the lines surrounding the body express the swirling heart of the network in a treble-clef motif.
    Although the vision that needed to aim for that was accomplished, because that figure was too emotional and abstract, work to replace everything in the mecha without destroying that image ran into difficulties and took time.

(triangle up) The Joshua first considered. It's not the FF12 logo.

(triangle right) The image of Wilhelm elegantly playing a cello.

(triangle down) Joshua stationed, slumping over the dock in the shape of a piano. It's a fitting image, but it never materialized.

(pic) - T-4. Dock in the shape of a chair.
(arrow indicating "Wilhelm")
{hard to see kanji, but here's my guess}: slumped over a dock that looks like a piano. or something.

[Page 129]

^The tentative form I ended up with after a long struggle
I went through a lot of sketches to get there, but even others than myself wouldn't see anything but "soggy lines" in them, so I'm not going to publish them.

[Page 132]

^Parts for the head area. It doesn't have eyes or a mouth, so it's "screaming". At the time, they still hadn't decided how the receptacles for the Vessels of Anima were supposed to look, so I didn't think about including a place where it would have been.

[Page 133]

ES Joshua final version

[For this mech], I took an abstract image and turned it all into mecha parts. Due to a lack of time, I ended up having to hand it over to the modellers without doing any clean-up work on the back side.

However, what actually appeared in the game was...

Joshua made his first appearance in the last scene of EP2, and there he had the correct silhouette as per the design, but when he reappeared at the end of EP3, the cable that's crucial to his silhouette had been omitted for some reason.

I think I'll refrain from commenting on the robot known as Zarathustra that appears afterwards.

Bottom caption: Testament Wilhelm machine T-4

[Page 134]

To all those who have played the Xenosaga series, and all those who worked on developing the Xenosaga series, I appreciate all your efforts. Thank you.

[Page 135]

Mr. Yoshihiro Yonezawa, president of Comiket, passed away on October 1, 2006. I humbly pray that my old friend may rest in peace.

Kouichi Mugitani (CHOCO), who was born the same year as Comiket