Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra Edit
My name is BlackAlbedo, and I'm a Xenoholic. I can't help myself. I mean, I DO help myself. I help myself to all the Xenosaga I can get my hands on. I just can't HELP myself. Catch my drift? That's why I present to you today, my Walkthrough for Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra. It shall be the final Walkthrough I write for this wiki for a while, until I can go over the other Walkthroughs I have written and un-noob them, touch up some things that need touching up, you know. I appreciate any help I can get, and I'm open to constructive criticism and suggestions. If you must edit my Walkthroughs, please keep them as intact as possible while you do it. You may not like my jokes, but they're mine to make nevertheless. With that said, lets get into the good stuff.
I'm going to copy and paste directly from my Xenosaga Episode I Walkthrough's introduction, as all of this information is standard Xenosaga protocol. Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra is a fairly standard RPG. It has characters whose lives you meddle with, it has traditional turn-based battles with some cool tweaks, and it has a menu screen, to which you will refer frequently. If you've played any Final Fantasy, you can grasp Xenosaga's functionality pretty quickly.The game is played by running your on-screen character from point to point triggering various events, messing with options in the menu when you need to, and transitioning to and successfuly completing battles which will occur when you make contact with on-screen enemies or at certain parts in the story. That's all there is to it. Oh, and if you want to watch the entire cinematics (which I highly suggest you should, you could get lost pretty quick if you don't) you should remember to play this only when you have a couple of hours to spare or sacrifice. Hey, I'm not gonna tell you how to live your life... well... technically since this is a walkthrough, I WILL be telling you how to live your life, but if you need to turn off your PS2 and get back to real life all of a sudden, it's probably wise to skip the cinematics, find a save point, and get out there. You can always watch them on Youtube later.
Gameplay / How To Play Xenosaga Episode III Edit
Yiiiikes... If you really need to read this section, then you really skipped the first two games, didn't you? Well, that's what it's here for, I guess. You're missing out if you didn't play the other two. I also understand if you just like the way I write. I know I can be quite entrancing at times, so even if you know how to play Episode III already, please, read on... :)
To interact with objects/people/aliens and to confirm decisions or make commands you need to know where your Circle Button is, because that's the button that does all of that. It looks like this . If you want to generally cancel out of certain menus, look real hard for the X Button. It looks like this . To open the main menu while running around, locate the Triangle Button () at the top of the right side of your controller and press it. When you want to blow stuff up with your mystic-future-space-powers, and you have the object targeted, press the purple Square Button () in order to obliterate your target. You may also use the and Buttons to change between multiple targets. Holding while moving will make your character walk, which can help you sneak past some enemies from time to time. In Episode III there is a new feature. You will see a Trap counter in the bottom-right of the screen as you run around. If you have Traps, hold to project where your Trap will be tossed, then press to toss it. Use again to detonate it at the right time. Cool! Our own traps to use and abuse!!
Battles in Episode III are completely different from those in the previous two installments. It's no longer a matter of pressing or or to hit Zones or make Breaks or any of that shit. Now you have one command for attack (hurray for simplicity!) and a list filled with skills called Techniques (Tech), as well as a list full of your acquired Ether. Techs are centered around doing mainly one of two things: dealing larger damage than normal attacks, or dealing moderate damage with larger Break damage. More on those in a couple of paragraphs. Just know that is still confirm and is still cancel. Also, and will display your character's current status information and and will still function as your Boost buttons.
will pause your game outside of battle, and you can even pause cinematics in order to shake a piss once in a while. Or press to skip them entirely if you're one of those people who dislikes movies or anime or the particular combination of both. Now you know how to navigate the various stages of gameplay. Lets discuss basic strategy, shall we?
You've conquered Episode I. You've done everything there is to do in Episode II and all in all, you've proven that you are capable of overcoming great odds in battle. However, the greatest challenges Xenosaga can present are yet to come. Prepare for battle! Keep your guard up, stay sharp!
Take your time to think, since it's turn-based and nothing will happen until you make a move. I will make a valiant effort to explain specific combat scenarios and their accompanying strategies when we get there, but for now you will need to accept that from time to time you will need to make your own decisions. Here's how you make the good ones:
I don't think I need to lecture you on rock-paper-scissors, just learn what is weak to what and use those attacks. The real finesse of battle comes from using Boost wisely and often. Boost accumulates by dealing damage to enemies, and will stop at 3 levels standardly. You'll see in the top-left corner of the battle screen that it tells you which characters are going to move next. Cutting in front of your enemy by utilizing Boost (Hold / and pressing , , or can often save you from a world of hurt, if you can finish off the foe before its next turn. However, using Boost in excess can leave you up shit creek without a paddle in some of the longer fights. It is wise to conserve your Boost for when you know the shit is about to hit the fan. Boost is exactly the same as the way it was presented in Episode II. Instead of each character having their own Boost gauge that empties after every battle as in Episode I, there is one Boost gauge for the whole party which remains from fight to fight!!! There is also an enemy Boost gauge which is displayed under our Boost gauge, which to our great benefit DOES NOT carry over from battle to battle! This is different from Episode II. Remember that when preparing for big fights. Boost has another use in Episode III that I will mention at the end of the next paragraph...
There is no more Event Slot! THAT'S different, eh?? You no longer need to time the extermination of your enemies to gain extra points after battle, or to avoid giving them Boost, or what have you. You CAN still acquire extra points, however. It's similar to the "Overkill" idea from "Final Fantasy X", but not quite like that. In Episode III, if you use a Special Attack to finish a foe or foes, you will get what's called a "Finishing Strike" bonus, which will fill your characters with a LOT more points and money after battle (1.5x, or 50% more!). When you get some good AOE Special Attacks, you will want to power them up by using them a lot (the more you use them, the more powerful they get) so you can wipe out entire strings of enemies in one go and get the Finishing Strike for TONS of points. Special Attacks consume Boost levels, though. It's a tough price to pay, but at least it's easily replenished.
Episode III continues the use of E.S. crafts. It differs from Episode II, however, in that the E.S. don't have their own levels anymore. They are once again upgraded with Frames and other parts which can be purchased (shops are back btw :D) at various equipment shops around the universe. E.S. battles are a whole 'nother ball game. The Boost gauge and Break meters are all removed. It's just E.S. vs enemies. There is a new feature for these battles called "Anima Awakenings". Similar to Boost in character battles, the Anima gauge charges when attacks are landed by the E.S. When it hits a certain level, it may be activated. Better and stronger attacks are available at higher levels. You'll see how to use these wisely as the game progresses. I think it works very well as an alternative to character battles, especially when AOE Awakenings are available. You can reap hordes of EXP using these.
Remember to always watch the turn order, it's critical to successful strategy.
As for actual battle mechanics, Episode III's are so simple that I've pretty much covered the gist of it. There are no more Zones to hit in battle, so no ABBCBAB bull shit to Break your enemies. Nope. Just Break gauges. The red gauges under the green life bars are those gauges. When someone is in BREAK, they are completely incapacitated for 2 turns! Sucks for you, GREAT when it happens to Bosses! They are also more vulnerable to Critical Hits, are unable to guard or counterattack, and take more damage in general. It IS rather inconvenient sometimes when you BREAK a foe but are not prepared to launch your best attacks. It does get annoying when that happens, but if it does, just make the best of the time you have while they are in BREAK and if you need to BREAK them again, do it if you can.
As a final note, Skills and Ethers have changed greatly in this game. Everyone has their own Skill tree again, like in Episode I with Ethers, but it branches in 2 main lines, the A line and the B line. Each line is structured to make your character play a defined class, and the two lines are defined according to the character's strengths. Pay attention to the titles of the lines and the Skills (Skills meaning Techs and Ethers both) which you are purchasing to know the general role of each character as you develop them. Much later on, toward the end, it is nice when you get the opportunity to unlock both lines with massive amounts of points you potentially accumulate. But you WILL want to stick to one line, as you WILL need higher level Skills for the later and tougher Bosses. Usually, the A line is the character's main class, the role they are used to fulfilling from the previous episodes. It is recommended to build up the A line first, but if you think you can do better with a B line, just stick to that B line.
I have retained the color coding method from my Episode I and Episode II Walkthroughs so as to highlight important items and information. REGULAR OL' ITEMS, KEY ITEMS, SEGMENT ADDRESSES, CHARACTER EQUIPMENT, E.S. EQUIPMENT, LOVE.
I hope I've laid it out well enough by this point. Lets play the damn game, eh?