The Zohar (also called the Original Zohar to differentiate between the Zohar Emulators) is a source of power believed to be unrivaled in the Xenosaga universe. It serves as a portal between the Upper Domain of U-DO and the Lower Domain of the human collective consciousness (Unus Mundus). This legendary artifact is rumored to be capable of eradicating the Gnosis and ushering in an era of universal peace. It also powers Zarathustra which resets the universe to a blank slate for Eternal Recurrence, therefore, the Zohar is a requirement for Wilhelm to achieve his goal.
Originally it was used by ancient people to power the Relics of God. It was later discovered on the floor of Lake Turkana in Kenya in 20XX, an event which directly led to Earth being abandoned. However, the Ormus Society claims that they have been the people bound to the Zohar for eternity. Ormus is not the only known faction after the powers of the Zohar.
The Zohar is perceived in the Real Number Domain of the Lower Domain as a golden monolith. Visually distinguished by an aquamarine jewel, the Original Zohar is not to be mistaken for Joachim Mizrahi's Zohar Emulators, which are not as powerful. Zohar Emulators have red Hebrew letters instead of a jewel. The Hyams Zohar Emulator appears to have a blue letter.
Anyone who comes into physical contact (direct or in the beginning of Episode I, through a space suit) with the Zohar or its emulators vanishes from physical space. Unmanned vehicles or auto-techs, however, are unaffected. The Episode I guide claims this is due to 'the power of one's will'.
The Original Zohar is called "Marienkind," which means "Child of Mary" in German. According to the Original Design Materials, this name represents Jesus Christ. However, the U.M.N. database in Episode I gives yet another reference, saying that this also refers to a fairytale by the Brothers Grimm (Jacob and Wilhelm) about a girl who receives the keys to the 13 doors of heaven from Mary, the mother of Jesus.
The Original Zohar also serves as the logo for Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht.
- The people of ancient Lost Jerusalem are the first to perceive it
- Mary Magdalene's followers hide it under Lake Turkana
- Vector Industries excavates it and transfers it to Toronto, Canada to research. Grimoire Verum uses it in a link experiment with Nephilim Verum.
- After Lost Jerusalem disappears, Ormus transports it to planet Michtam (Abraxas) for safekeeping and more research
- The Galaxy Federation transfers it to Miltia, where research continues
- The Miltian Conflict occurs, leaving it there, inaccessible in the Abyss
- MOMO Mizrahi's copy of the Y-Data leaks, and several parties rush to acquire the original Zohar at Miltia. The Patriarch Sergius XVII obtains it and attaches it to Proto Omega.
- Proto Omega is destroyed, leaving it to float in space
- Abel's Ark appears, absorbs it, and disappears
- Albedo extracts it from Abel's Ark and returns it to Michtam
The name Zohar (Hebrew for "splendor" or "radiance") is a reference to an important book in Jewish mysticism.
The Zohar was also based on the Zohar Modifier from Xenosaga's spiritual predecessor Xenogears. In Xenogears, the Zohar Modifier appears as a simple golden monolith with a turquoise eye rather than Xenosaga's ornately designed monolith and jewel. The Xenogears monolith also lacked the "arms" of the Xenosaga monolith which give it the appearance of a cross. In Xenogears, the Zohar Modifier serves as prison for the Wave Existence, and is an essential part of Deus' core engine. The Zohar Modifier is the device used not only by Deus as a source of energy, but also the player character and NPC gears. It is also the source of the populous' ether abilities.
- The Zohar also is similar in appearance and usage to the Monolith from Arthur C. Clarke's 2001: A Space Odyssey.