Xenosaga II, "Who" - Staff messages (2003)

Original text from Sep 06, 2003. Translated by Gwendal, 2012

This is a translation of Staff messages from MonolithSoft's website back in 2003 originally found at

"Here it is...sorry for taking so long. I'm sorry if things are unclear at some points, but I have to admit I had a bit of trouble with some parts of it. He really seems to like using metaphors and really complicated sentences at times. Anyway, I hope you'll get at least something sensible out of it."
- Gwendal (GameFAQs forum, Feb 23, 2012)


Original plan/Direction/Scenario Tetsuya Takahashi

I'm sorry I haven't written anything in a while, everyone. Takahashi here.
Time flies like an arrow, and it's only a little longer until the release of Episode 2---that is to say, next
year---, and it's surprising to think that two years have passed already. I tried starting with some normal greetings, even if the release of Episode 2 is approaching, since I don't really feel nervous [lit: any sense of impending crisis]. Arai and Hagihara [?, think these are names anyway] are right next to me---and I'm here too (laughs).

No, I've decided it's a good thing rather than a bad thing---or isn't that the best way to go about it/say it? (Laughs) [I'm really uncertain about those two last sentences there, sorry about that]

Actually, I finished writing the first draft of the plot and script [this word can also mean "screenplay", but I don't think that applies here] last fall, and right now I'm in the middle of organizing/overseeing the series.

In any case, now that that's settled, I'm struggling day and night to repay you, our loyal customers, for sticking with us. This is really hard work. Anyway, speaking of hard work, we have to expect that this will continue for 2-3 years. [I think, not 100% sure].

Of course, I have to make sure I don't forget the content I've already thought up and don't make it predictable for the user (laughs), [something about "not making it an organization written from the back of the back", probably some kind of idiom I don't understand properly], while making changes time after time to the extent that what I had from the beginning goes up in smoke.

That result is, how should I put it...it's like unwrapping a diverse cloth wrapper with a rather pleasant feeling, I suppose...? That is how I think of it (but I'm still in the middle of the writing process, so...)
Yes, in the end XXXX will [do something to] OOOOOOO, this is still burning (budding/sprouting?)...perhaps. [Note that the two words he uses, "Burn" and "Sprout", are both pronounced "Moeru" in Japanese, so this might be some kind of pun or wordplay].

In any case, before that, there is still Episode 2. I'm working on/made the first draft of the script, but I get really nervous when I think about how Arai is going to use the abilities of the Monolith staff for the first time to cook that recipe into a delicious game. Unlike this time, when I've been so busy, I'll rather be enjoying the launch of Episode 2 more from a user's position.
[This part starts getting more complicated, so if there's a mistake it's probably there. I think he's saying that he made the (first draft of the) script, but is nervous about how Arai will handle turning it into a game. I guess there's some tense thing I'm getting wrong here, which is very possible.]

So, after this my plan is first of all to tightly weave together the ongoing Xenosaga story. In any case, that's my top priority (laughs). After that, I don't really know at this point, but naturally one thing I'd like to do would be to make a supplement to Xenosaga itself to expand the Xeno world--a new work involving the time period/axis [not sure here] and characters.

After that...hmm. There's been a marked decline in high fantasy-themed works lately, so I might want to try making something like that, or maybe something that takes place in the present day rather than SF...I feel like doing a variety of different things. I don't know whether or not I have any news about any of that for the users (laughs), but if I get the chance I'd definitely take the challenge.


"Here's Arai's entry. He certainly had a high opinion of his own game, that's for sure. :P "
- Gwendal (GameFAQs forum, Mar 01, 2012)

Director Kou Arai

Hello, nice to meet you. Kou Arai here. I've taken up the baton from Takahashi-san this time to serve as director for the first time. (I planned and made the designs/layouts for the towns and dungeons [among others] up to Episode ?)
[2, I guess? The original just says ? due to some technical problem with the website]
Very pleased to meet you. [Yes, he introduces himself again for some reason]

So, the concepts this time for Episode ? are to make it..."Flashy!", "Understandable!" and "Easy to play!".
[The next sentence is a bit hard, especially with all the ?s. I think he's saying he'll stay true to the feel of the Xenosaga world but evolve things in other ways, but I'm not 100% sure]
When you get to play the game for yourself, I think you'll agree that it's exactly this that is [the essence of] "Xenosaga".
(Please wait just a little longer)

As for the story...
Being a direct sequel to Episode 1, it starts where the previous work left off, with Shion's group escaping from the Wheel of Heaven and landing on Second Militia. [I don't remember what these were called in the English version of Episode 1, sorry about that]

In summary, we'll introduce you all to another grand part of the Xeno world, and Episode ? will be focusing on Jr. in particular. [Such as] The unpleasant things that have taken place in the past between him and those characters related to him. And the fate born from that, the cross he has to bear...
As the story progresses, we'll get to see close-ups of the "human" parts hidden behind Jr.'s bright, cheerful face.

As for the game systems...
The main parts will basically be inherited from Episode 1. Of course there'll be a new essence, but I wouldn't presume to change the fundamentals. So, what I set out to do thoroughly was to "Extend the good parts and get rid of the bad parts", which is a simple but significant "evolution".

Flashy action scenes with huge robots!
Event scenes with spectacular expressiveness!
Game scenes with a dramatic increase in tempo!
Anyway, I want a lot of people to play it. We will soon complete a new, immersive and addictive world of Xenosaga.
Look forward to it!!


Advisor on the original plan/First draft of the script
Soraya Saga

Hello. Like with the first game, I was in charge of collboratively writing the original plan and the script (just the first draft this time around). Since working with Takahashi goes quickly, it's been three games and seven years.
Including his older works, like in a basso continuo, "bonds between people" come to the fore by turns in Takahashi's works. This time, too, individual beings are following their particular paths, sometimes hurting each other and sometimes supporting each other, and we would be happy if you would join us in following them. Depicting the complicated nature of people who cannot be divided by a simple duality is also something I would consider a particular trait of this work.

In this century, where anyone could be confused trying to find a path of coexistence between so many different worldviews, we wanted to deepen people's consideration of the world while creating our story. This time, I'm waiting for my first draft to go through the editing and revision process on-site that will give it some essential polish as a game. But, unpolished writing aside, apart from the long-awaited reunion between the Uzuki siblings, Episode 2 will contain:

-The definitive showdown between white and black
-MOMO became stronger than you'd expect
-Ziggy's story continues in unexpected silence

So all in all, make sure you don't miss it. Finally, I'd like to take this chance to thank our steadily growing number of overseas users.

[Written in English:]
I'd like to sincerely thank you for your support. It is a great pleasure for us to bring out the episode II.Let the saga take you!


Scenario Norihiko Yonesaka

Hey, everyone, how are you? This is Yonesaka, and I'm in charge of the scenario this time. Development is moving towards its climax right now, so I've been really busy lately. When people are busy, their hearts can run wild, but even when I was asked for comments and wanted to say things like "Hey, that doesn't work at all, you idiot!", I managed to keep my mouth shut, and I feel proud of myself for that. [Yes, this sentence really is that long in the original text too]
(Note: I don't really think like that, I enjoy giving comments. Honestly!)

Anyway, what I'm really supposed to talk about here is the story, right? But if you've been reading the first comment, hasn't the person behind the original plan and the director been talking about all that already!?
[...the first sentence doesn't mention any names, and it uses the English word "director", katakanaized to "direkutaa". A painfully literal translation would probably be something like:
"The person of the original plans, the director, [among other things], haven't they said various things?!"
I'd say he's referring to Takahashi and Arai, but these things can be hard to tell sometimes in Japanese.]

Since I'm such a modest person, you won't hear me saying something like "But it's not what I've written!"...
(Note: I don't really think that, it's just a joke. Honestly!)

[I think that's how these two paragraphs should be interpreted, but I'm not 100% sure. Makes sense with the joke comment, though]

But since I'll just be spoiling things if I say more than that, I don't really know what to do...
On this occasion, I also feel that it'd be nice to just speak freely and don't hold anything back, would that be okay?
(Note: Ah, that'd probably be bad, hmm...)

But for now, even if it means destroying that nice feeling, I shouldn't ruin anything about the Xeno world (that's important). I'll let [people] enjoy director Takahashi's vision and [something about] the Xeno world (very important). That depends me working hard day and night [I think, bit unsure here].
[The sentence about "director Takahash" uses the Japanese word "kantoku", which the dictionary tells me translates to "director", but also other things such as "boss", "coach" or "overseer". It's the same word that's been used to refer to Takahashi as director throughout the various interviews and messages, so I assumed it is the same here. Maybe he's using it more in a sense of "overseer" here, as in overseer or director of the entire series?]

So while I enter this next phase of development with great nervousness and try to get through this trying time, we depend on you all to just patiently wait a little longer.

"This guy really is a lot more informal and silly than Takahashi, it seems. He also tends to switch between very formal and informal language a lot for some reason."
- Gwendal (GameFAQs forum, Mar 01, 2012)


Main Programmmer Toshiaki Yajima

Soo, I'm writing since I'm past the deadline. Sorry about that. I didn't really know what to write about, but I'm going to do it anyway.

-About Episode 2

[I know] there are some negative opinions, but I'd like those who hold them to reconsider things based on what we have now. To be honest, I had my doubts too until I saw it on screen. Even though I understood the reasons and goals they had in choosing that presentation, I...however, when I saw it in motion, I changed my mind and thought "Hmm, maybe it's pretty good like this after all".
Compared to the last game, the graphics are more than twice as good in my opinion. Our newly built polygon engine and the skill of the designers make a big difference. Would it be too much to call it "top class"?

-About being a programmer

The most important thing for a game programmer is physical strength. (Laughs) No, seriously, it is. If you have to take time off before the deadline because you're in bad shape, you'll be holding up the whole team. In my opinion this is one of the basics of being a company worker, that you should always make sure to take care of your health.

The next most important things are probably curiosity and amibition. For example, by broadening your horizions, taking in new information and putting your own spin on it. Or by not being satisfied just by making one function and algorithm and having something work, but rather thinking about a way to make it more efficient. Another thing you wouldn't expect to be important is getting along well with others. You might think people in this line of work are shut-ins, but there's a lot of interpersonal interaction. If you have skill and experience, and are competent at what you do, you'll naturally be good at your job, so you probably won't have to worry too much about these things.

Hmm, now that I've gotten started I'm thinking of various things I could write about, but I'll be in trouble if I don't hand in [my work] soon, so I'll stop here. Is it too short? Too long? Pointless? I'm sorry for rambling on without any clear plan.


Producer Tomohiro Hagiwara

Hello, everyone.

Currently, everyone is working hard day and night developing Episode 2 so we'll be able to deliver a good game. We got a lot of feedback, especially after the announcement, so the development team is very enthusiastic. Based on our reflections on the previous game, we're continuing development to make Episode 2 easier to play, more enjoyable and more beautiful.

A few days ago, I played the opening parts, and I feel I got feedback that it's shaping up to be very good. The music is also particularly good, and I wish all of you could hear it [lit.: it's such a shame that I can't let you all listen to it].

The trailer we showed at the presentation in July will be included with Reloaded, launching in November, so please do pick up a copy and take a look at what our goals with Xenosaga are and where the series is headed.

Finally, there's one more thing. I've been thinking I want to prepare something that would let you get some first-hand experience of the game before it's released. I still don't know what form it will take, but I'll tell you about our preparations for it next time, so please wait for it.


Katsutoshi Yamamoto

We had a lot of feedback that the battle system was a little complicated in the last game, so for Episode II, we aimed to make it simpler than last time. But when we tried actually making it, it turned out to be pretty complicated anyway...

If you make sure to attack the enemies weak point zones, I think you'll probably be able to progress without too much trouble apart from bosses.

And this time around, we've increased the variety of music that plays during battles, so please do enjoy it when you get to play the game.


Planner/Battle director
Shimamoto Makoto

"Compared to the last game, we really increased the tempo of the battles!" Our work on the battle system could be very briefly summed up like that, but I'll elaborate a little more.

In a turn-based RPG, you might be thinking "bleh!" at the prospect of having signs on screen showing everything including character actions, but you'll get used to it after one dungeon. Also, there's been a new evolution to the OOOO system you know and love from the last game! (Note: There's a hint in the public screenshots)

The traditional huge robot battles (even if they weren't really that huge before) are awesome this time! (Note: Compared to the last game, the concept is different) Oh, and [he/that guy] is coming! [Really not sure what he's talking about here, sorry]

As someone in charge of the battles, it's been really hard to get it right...since design-wise, there are characters who are too strong. Speaking of that, there were some characters who were like the Four Heavenly Kings before too. People said they're rely on them whenever they got into trouble during battles and things like that. So, what should we do this time? We have to think about how to balance the new factors.

Well, since I'm almost out of time, I'll briefly sum up. The game will be inheriting the system from Episode 1, but we've increased the tempo, added more strategy, +a, so you could really call them new battles. So please wait to experience the brilliance making up the conflict of Xeno battles.


Designer/Effect parts supervisor
Inukai Taizou

Hello, Xeno fans! I'm Inukai, in charge of effects for the Xeno series. I work day and night to create things like the results of attacks and spells. This time, the effects will surpass our last game, Episode 1, in volume and quality.

By adding color to the environments through supporting effects, we've made them much more convincing! We've made the popular, flashy effects from the last game even flashier! The very, very, very, very, very, very unpopular slowness of the battle effects has been sped up so much that's almost untypical of the Xeno series. ^^

Everyone's favorite characters have also been powered up. By changing her from an anime style or a realistic style, we've made Shion even more sexy! KOS-MOS is even cooler and Jr. is even more stylish! chaos is even more mysterious! Ziggy is even hotter! MOMO is even more lovely (now there's an outdated word)! And "that person" is...

So, we're also experimenting a bit with the direction...(oh, I want to say it, I want to say, but let's leave it for later)

Anyway, please wait for it! I'm sure you'll also show your nerve/guts. [Not quite sure what he means here]

Our days working on the game continue on, and I'm imagining all your happy faces, one person at a time, while doing my best with the game and bracing myself to get yelled at.

Please wait just a little longer now. I definitely think we'll be able to send you a present that'll exceed your expecations.

by the noble young orange (cryptic)


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