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    U-DO Query

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    Neosmith

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    U-DO Query

    Post by Neosmith on Sat May 18, 2013 9:31 pm

    Some of you probably know that I am of the opinion that U-DO had been something quite different when the series began, a position that brought a certain amount of derision and mockery from other fans and a large amount of reactionary exasperation on my part.

    Over time, I've come to the realization that negative reaction to the idea that U-DO could've been something else arises from the implications that it carries for Tetsuya Takahashi. Somehow, saying that U-DO wasn't a higher-dimensional entity became synonymous with saying that Tetsuya Takahashi is not a genius, a position that many that treasure Xeno find insulting.

    I never meant to denigrate Takahashi or Xeno with the assertion that U-DO was an AI initially, but that's how it became perceived by some people.

    Talking about U-DO at this point is akin to beating a dead horse. Yet, as I will be completing my U-DO article later this summer, I wanted to first pose a few questions regarding U-Do to some of the Xeno-fans, as I am curious if I am in the minority of thinking about U-DO's alternate origin.


    1. Do you think that U-DO's explanation in Episode 3 and beyond fits with what we've seen in Episode 1? Why or why not?

    2. Do you think that U-DO's identity is important to Xenosaga as a whole and to Tetsuya Takahashi's legacy?

    3. If U-DO wasn't initially what Episode 3 explains it to be, would that matter to you? Would it retroactively alter your perception of Xenosaga for the better or worse?
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    katimus_prime
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by katimus_prime on Tue May 21, 2013 8:08 pm

    Aw man, I had something really intricate typed up on my phone and then it died!  Serves me right for trying to use my phone to post on the boards.  Anyway, let me preface this by saying that all of the following is based on my own opinion and speculation and has a high chance of being factually incorrect.  As such, I don't expect people to agree with me, and in general, I don't speak for the rest of XU.

    1. Do you think that U-DO's explanation in Episode 3 and beyond fits with what we've seen in Episode 1? Why or why not?

    I think Episode 3 U-DO became a vehicle to carry Abel (and his resemblance to Fei Fong Wong) to the fans,  It sort of became Xenosaga's answer to the Wave Existence.  The reason I think this is because after Episode 2, I don't think Namco trusted Monolith anymore and wanted to cash in on the Xenogears money and directed Mr. Takahashi to do things he may not have done if he were given complete creative freedom.  Episode 1 U-DO fits more with Xenosaga's original arc as something that alters peoples' will to be together with others.  Personally, I think Episode 1's U-DO fits a lot better with the conflict of the Higher/Lower Domain collapse threat than OMG, LOOK, IT'S FEI.

    2. Do you think that U-DO's identity is important to Xenosaga as a whole and to Tetsuya Takahashi's legacy?

    I think the presentation of U-DO's identity ending up so rushed went a long way to discrediting and separating it.  Abel and Nephilim in Episode I didn't really seem all that terribly connected to U-DO at first, but they were still present to give fans a reminder of Fei and Elly.  All and all, I think for Xenosaga, the most important message U-DO was trying to convey was a metaphor for how people break off and become distant from one another, and how that doesn't need to happen. Bonds can be re-forged, breaks can be repaired and things that have been knocked down can grow again stronger if effort is put into them.  The fact that they stamped Abel's face on it hastily without explaining it well cheapens the experience a little, but I personally think it was something they did to get the game published.  Even working just as QA for a game company, developing a game takes so many years, and so much passion, dedication and patience, that if it were me and I had to make a few story compromises to get something published, I would.  As for Mr. Takahashi's legacy, I think it was secured with Xenogears.  Why do I think this?  Because a lot of money, time and effort were put into Xenosaga because he had done Gears.  Nintendo WANTED the Xeno prefix on Monado to sell it.  It has a positive and familiar connotation to it.

    3. If U-DO wasn't initially what Episode 3 explains it to be, would that matter to you? Would it retroactively alter your perception of Xenosaga for the better or worse?

    Since it has been so long and I may have just inadvertently smashed and confused everything you were attempting to talk about to bits (and for that, I apologize, Neo), I don't think it would have altered my perception of the series.  I started playing Xenosaga with a lot of distrust about it in me - - the oversexedness of KOS-MOS on the box used to put me off, as I remember Xenogears predominantly for its male characters, but it won me over.  I saw Cherenkov as an analogue for Ramsus, and even though he was gone from the series after 2/3 of the first game, I kept going because his story brought me into contact with Margulis, who upheld both the Solarian villainhood AND Ethos-flavored stories I had absolutely loved in Gears.  It proved to me that the message and philosophy behind both stories was valid, and from the same place.  I like what these stories seem to say to me - that rejecting others based on arbitrary things like cultural and religious intolerance is a very big and egregious waste of time, if you sit up and give something a shot, it might work, and just the general feeling that you're not alone, and there will always at least be one person who seems familiar to you.  

    TL;DR, people need each other. (This is also a theme in Xenoblade.)

    The details of these stories are innumerable. I only tend to hang on the ones that I care about the most, but it doesn't mean the ones I don't care about aren't important (in fact, a lot of them are quite the opposite).  The fact that Xenogears has branched off into so many different IPs makes me feel really awesome.  I am sad to never have gotten a "Xenogears 2", but for Xenogears 2 to happen, time would have to reverse itself back to when it was still in development.  When I think about the stories I would love there to be relations or similarities to, take for instance, Final Fantasy 6, I realize that no other game story has been expounded upon as much as Xenogears has.

    TL;DR, regardless of U-DO's identity, the Xenogears seed is strong in Saga.  I personally feel that it didn't need the "real unicorn horn" Episode 3 got wrapped in.  The masses weren't understanding the subtlety of Saga, so Namco probably tried to put as much superficial Gears throwbacks in as possible to sell it, but I liked what it had become and I want to see where it may have gone.


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    Neosmith

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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by Neosmith on Thu May 23, 2013 5:47 pm

    Alright, Kat, thanks for sharing. Your perception is quite interesting, especially in regard to the Gears-Saga connection.
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    katimus_prime
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by katimus_prime on Thu May 23, 2013 6:01 pm

    Thanks!  Sorry for being tl;dr.  ^^  I generally keep to myself about it because it probably looks crazy and is most likely factually incorrect.


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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by Neosmith on Thu May 23, 2013 7:59 pm

    @katimus_prime wrote:Thanks!  Sorry for being tl;dr.  ^^  I generally keep to myself about it because it probably looks crazy and is most likely factually incorrect.

    What do you mean by "tl;dr. "? I'm not sure I understand.

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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by Guest on Thu May 23, 2013 8:38 pm

    Interesting...*starts reading* shame I don't have much time to read it all and reply,but I'll do it later,thanks you two!
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    katimus_prime
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by katimus_prime on Thu May 23, 2013 9:10 pm

    Ah, tl;dr stands for Too Long;Didn't Read.  ^^;


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    kare_reiko
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by kare_reiko on Sat Jun 01, 2013 7:59 am

    I'm happy I keep myself for a while to answer your topic about U-DO.
    Yesterday I beat Soma Bringer, you know game that was wrote and produced by Soraya and Takahashi duet after Xenosaga.
    Once I posted topic on godsibb about similar things and characters compare to Xenosaga. Soma bringer show much of Xenosaga themes like visitors/genosis, characters personalities, scenes, the bad ones... Well I won't be bringing up it all again. But one in the ending catch my eye yesterday.

    Aletheia

    It's a lot like Xenosaga's U-DO. It's existence that don't contain one soul but many ones. It have amazing power that people there use as Soma. For whole game it was showed as bad existence, that hate humans. In the end humans fear it and banish it outside of planet and build a huge tower and ring that guard Aletheia form coming back.
    What's interesting is that all said it was bad one, making visitors and wanted to destroy world, like U-DO was shown in ep1, ep2 in the and when tower was destroyed it turn out that Aletheia wasn't bad. It was tower, that was build because of humans fear of it, fear of humans by their self, power etc, convert energy of Aletheia into bad thing.
    When I was read all that I for impression that Aletheia was closer to U-DO than Wave Existence to U-DO.
    You should check it yourself, but I think Aletheia is unchanged idea (by Namco and cuts) of U-DO.
    So now coming back to U-DO alone. Bad one U-DO was summoned thought SoN, Lemegeton etc. but U-DO that talk thought Abel isn't bad. I wouldn't be surprised if explain for different views of U-DO would be similar to ones that was in Aletheia part. That it was human fear and doing that made U-DO bad. Maybe after changes by Namco in ep2 Takahash and Soraya couldn't get back and explain it in right way as they could in Soma Bringer?


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    katimus_prime
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by katimus_prime on Mon Jun 03, 2013 12:56 pm

    That is a really cool theory, Kare! I really wish I knew more japanese enough to play Soma Bringer on my own, or at least that the translation for the story was a little more complete.

    Monolith seems to always get cut-off midsentence in what they're trying to say with their games, and it takes a low profile title for it to really come across. I know a lot of people are angry that Xenoblade in comparison to Saga and Gears and they have every right to their feelings and opinions, but working in QA for a game company has made me see that there have to be changes made in order to sell a game. I'm not saying it's right or okay, but that's how it currently is. Being able to work on something without so much overhead scrutiny and expectations would be a game dev's dream.

    Sorry if that was a little off-topic, but when people say that the Xeno series is dead, I respectfully disagree, because an idea can't die. It can be misplaced, buried or unpublished and silenced, but it never dies. That's why I kind of still stalk the hell out of Monolith and play every title I can get my hands on, because I'm crazy and have this feeling everything they do has the potential to fill in parts of stories they didn't get to tell.


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    kare_reiko
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by kare_reiko on Mon Jun 03, 2013 4:58 pm

    Kat, Soma Bringer is translated by fans into english for long time. Someone done it almost when game was up, few months later.
    I don't have pre-patched rom or patch alone, but I can send you translated game and you can always buy one to be legal Wink.

    I just find it pretty interesting, I didn't remember it much but really Soma Bringer is more close to Saga/gears in some places then Blade was. And U-DO and Aletheia was one of those things.

    Xenoseries is maybe not dead, but fandom of Saga and Gears is. I myself wonder if it worth to continue my animation projects, even now when I get hands of better computer and it's ready to go... I just don't know if I want put a lot of my time into something that in the end will be useless. I won't do it as professional studio nad as I say fandom is almost dead...


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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by Guest on Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:46 pm

    I have to get some scheduled time to read this all instead of just superficially,and even I not having played XB or XG those ideas of you guys sound pretty interesting,I'll do some research in due time and make my own (book) post here XD
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    katimus_prime
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    Re: U-DO Query

    Post by katimus_prime on Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:43 pm

    Wow, I didn't know that about the Soma Bringer translation, Kare. X_x I got a skills and functionality translation patch back in the day, but I guess the story translation slipped past my notice! I'll poke you about that later. (I think I have the original Rom and the caish to buy the import)

    For a game series that's 15 years old, we were doing pretty well on fans for a really long time. I really didn't expect there to be such a huge rift in the fandom over Monado/Xenoblade, but it is a huge difference between them. Like I said before, I'm not the only person with an opinion here on XU, so if anyone wants to slap me around and prove me wrong point by point, you're welcome to it.

    Your animations are an inspiration, Kare. It's still up to you to put the time in on them, just as much as it is for me to put the time in keeping XU up (I'm not doing it for my sake). I've still got a lot of love left in me for Gears and Saga, and one day I hope they're able to get the rights from Square and Namco for Xenogears 2 and Xenosaga 4. I think it's worth the trouble.


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