Disc 2 is like that because they had to push the game out the door to meet a deadline. But honestly the game is SO LONG as it is, if disc 2 was fully fleshed out, it would be crazy.


It would have needed to be split in half into two games like Trails in the Sky FC and SC


More like FC, SC AND 3rd.


The 3rd was never even intented to be bulked with FC/SC. Kondo felt certain plot threads needed an introduction/conclusion before moving on to other arcs.


That myth still endure to this day. Very annoying. Please read https://kotaku.com/the-real-story-behind-xenogears-unfinished-disc-2-1796151112 Tldr: disc 2 is a bonus to wrap the game up.


It's one of those things. I entirely get why people were upset or felt let down. In my eyes it wasn't a deal breaker but it is definitely the most over the top example of cut content I've seen with the possible modern exception of FFXV now taking the crown. Which is a pity. It's a lot of cool content that really deserved to have the proper execution the rest of the game had. Still, if I had to choose between the truncated second disc and having the game outright scrapped I am glad we got the former.


I'm still really surprised the budget/deadline myth is still around after that interview haha, figured it would have permeated through the fandom It was going to just end with disc 1.. he thought that would be shitty but their team was young and inexperienced so disc 2s style was the solution It wasn't a rushed job, just a bonus to give us the story, which is fine and why we all still love it after 20 years. If it ended at disc 1 I doubt it would have the same staying power since almost all discussion and theorizing is from the back half


One of my very first posts on Reddit was on how I thought that Xenogears disc 2 actually works very well in context. Basically, up until the end of disc 1 the game is a normal JRPG, where you assume that you're working towards a goal in pretty standard fashion. We're confident along with the characters that it's all going fairly successfully, all basically thinking 'we can do it!'. The plot twist at the end of disc 1 undoes all that. For most of disc 2, the world is going to crap and there's nothing we can do about it. Fei is a wreck, completely crushed by everything that's happened, and the other characters while trying their hardest are very much low on hope. The situation is thoroughly out of their control. In my view, this is the unintended brilliance of disc 2. Just as the characters are quickly and jarringly losing control of the world's situation, so too are you, the player. And you're only returned an element of control when the characters go for one last-ditch attempt at saving the world. The contrast you see is drastic, with all the locations you've previously visited basically gone. It's like FFVI, but arguably worse and even more bleak. Thus, even if Xenogears disc 2 was a result of hard economics, I think that intentionally or not it fits absolutely perfectly with the story it's trying to tell.


Game format aside, the story content on disc 2 was just so much more interesting than disc 1 that it's hard for me to even comprehend thinking disc 1 was better. A majority of what makes Xenogears great to me is from something that happens on disc 2. Granted I'm sure said content could have been even better if it was fleshed out more, but yeah.


I enjoyed disc 2 because i was so bored of the battle system by end of disc 1 it was a sigh of relief to find out I can just get the story resolved for me without putting up with anymore long dungeons with a million battles. And, my favorite part of the gameplay, gears battles, became more common. I liked it. Meanwhile disc 1 was littered with really annoying things like the Kislev sewers, the Tower of Babel, and the massive dungeon at Solaris. (Seriously, if disc 2 had these kind of dungeons it would be worse off!!) But disc 1 had exploration, a lot more attention focused to the supporting characters, and all that which disc 2 had sorely missed. Overall I'd still prefer disc 1 method but disc 2 had a lot of advantages and so that's why to me it wasn't much of a drop off. I still enjoyed it thoroughly. Then again I"m the type to enjoy games like Steins Gate which are visual novels in interactive format. I can deal with that kind of thing but it's not for everyone and an RPG shouldn't be intentionally designed that way. tldr: disc 1 > disc 2 but disc 2 is still good overall.


yeah i'm not sure why people bemoan not getting the chance to go to a bunch of pointless dungeons


My feeling about it as someone whose favorite game is Xenogears is I would have loved the opportunity to spend more time in that world. I didn't mind the change in story telling approach so much. In fact, I kind of liked it. But I would have liked to be able to revisit a lot of disk 1 locations just as optional content to see how they were affected by the changes in the world. There are obvious story justifications for some places being cut off, but other places are just sort of gone for no apparent reason. And it was pretty obvious Elly's Omnigear was all but completely added to the game. We get to see it fight in an unplayable fight. I would have loved a chance to actually play it. I would have loved to see the last two Anima relics used on Seibzehn and Crescens too. It's just a shame to see things like that left out and know the whole story wasn't told. The only game that has made me feel that way since is Metal Gear Solid V.


do people really like the kislev sewers, solaris dungeon, and the tower of babel? is that what they missed?


I like two of those, at least. I agree that the sewers were tedious and frustrating, but they were legitimately creepy, and really suited the tone of that part of the game, where Fei has no clue what will happen to him next. Even now that I basically know how long they are and where to go, I still feel a bit uneasy when getting deep into them, like I'm not sure if I'll actually be able to make it all the way back if necessary. I wouldn't want to play a whole game of that, but as a single dungeon I thought it was fine. Babel Tower, I always found awe-inspiring. It is just so vast, and hearing "Omen" in the background creates a feeling of absolute eternal solitude. I understand that people have issues with the play control in the first section, but I personally never had any problem with it. The second section is also not particularly bad since all the enemy encounters there happen at fixed points on the map, so you can focus on the jumps. The Solaris dungeon, yeah, that was pretty boring. The part where you find all the mutated people in cages and they beg you to let them out, only to scream for your blood once you do, was pretty disturbing though.


Thank you, TC! I'm not as crazy about Xenogears as many people are, and the gameplay is the main reason for that, so playing Disc 2 and not having to deal with as many asinine dungeons as in Disc 1 honestly saved the game for me. Seriously, the Babel Tower and it's shitty platforming sections is one of my least favorite dungeons in the entirety of my entire video gaming history and the biggest contributor as to why I never replay Gears.


I haven't played it yet, but I liked the TV ending of Evangelion, so I feel like I'll probably like the ending of Xenogears as well.


To give it a parallel it is actually closer to how later in the series Eva relies on a lot of single frames with voice overs and other animation corner cutting to deal with their budget issues. Xenogears is a bit more pronounced than that, it because becomes a wikipedia entry literally listing out the events, but it is a similar break in presentation that alienates some fans. The actual ending is closer to End of Evangelion than anything.


I was more referring to the delivery of the last two episodes, not the plot content. I actually really liked the episodes where EVA had tons of voice-overs and stuff. The episode where he gets sucked into the zebra thing and talks to the wiggly white line is probably my favorite one in the whole series. I'm sure I'll enjoy it when I get there.


Yeah, for sure, but the reason I hesitate to make the comparison is because those two episodes are stylistically some of the more interesting things you'll see in anime that go out of their way to do as much as they can with as little budget as possible whereas disc 2 of Xenogears is just a straight out information dump in place of content. I still enjoy it, but yeah, I think it is better to consider it being a graphic novel than anything else.


Ah, fair point, and I agree. I guess we'll see when I get there then, huh?


Well, it did cut out certain important, or at least, what I would imagine to be important points most of which dealt with the supporting characters story lines. These would include: * The apparent death of Citan's wife, due to her absence in the last hub. * The apparent death of Billy's dad. * Better development of Rico's parentage. While clearly obvious, it was rushed as hell. * Emeralda's entire story line being relegates to a crop out side quest. While I myself am not angry about the way things turned out on the second disc, it's hard not notice some glaring points that could have been done better.


> looking at you Kislev Sewers Am I really the only one that was OK with this part?


Now there's two of us. It really wasn't that much of a labyrinth or maze to get through. While a bland environment, I think it worked great for being a sewer. Then the little cutscenes of that creature following you, chasing you, then attacking you.... and then its revealed how disgusting this monster really is. Then fighting it was even a challenge with its one-shot KO's. It was a great pinnacle to that moment in the game. I loved it.


I just completed Xenogears for the first time an hour ago and loved it! Disc 2 for me was jarring for sure. It disappoints me greatly that a lot of the most tragic aspects of the game are explained in text monologues instead of traditional scenes. I wish they just took out Kislev and added a section documenting humans turning into monsters instead. Even so, the story is incredibly mind-blowing, so it worked for me. Definitely, a more appropriate way to get a game out faster, with less budget than cutting story entirely (looking at you, FFXV). I wholeheartedly agree with appreciating the lack of filler gameplay in the second disc (although the 2 anima relics seemed like it was unnecessary and I'd actually call those filler).


Honestly, I didn’t find many gaps at all in the story, and all in all, Xenogears is one of my best experiences with an RPG. It’s possible that I was young when I played it and going through it again would crack my rose-tinted glasses. I really crave a remake!


Congratulations fellow Xenogears fanboy! You just had one of the best JRPG experiences you could have in the genre. Imagine playing it back then in the times of "no internet" and not knowing that it was due to budget cut that the second disc was like that, and you will enjoy it even more. Exactly your reasoning. Most of the people that are JRPG grinders have that problem where they sink in 80-90% of the game and then just kinda drop it at the end, some times even without finishing it. Or just madly rush through last parts because they are about to drop it. And Xenogears due to its weird pacing change in disc 2 is completely devoid of that problem. They drop all nonessentials for you. Like "You know, we are aware that you are kinda sick of grinding and endless dungeons already, here is the main plot points and ending, you're welcome." And even though back as a child I new that something was off, I only learned that it was budget and all that stuff that it was, maybe 10 years after I first played through it. So I also was happy about the second disc of the game, despite what the popular opinion about it being bad is. Xenogears is my all time favorite JRPG. It's one of the most mature and deep JRPG in the genre even today. But for the time of release it was absolutely mind blowing and there was nothing like it in terms of the story. Multiple layered end game plot twist was hardest to wrap your mind around. The scale of it is immense spaning across the length of multiple civilizations and they even threw heavy stones at philosophic things like religion, humanism, self-identification which was unheard for the time. Such a masterpiece.


>learning that I would have to go through very few dungeons in disc 2 was exciting. >Xenogears is a great game I feel like learning that the second disc of a 'great game' has very little gameplay shouldn't be exciting.


I agree.


I was kind of relieved with the 2ND disk too. A lot of the dungeons were annoying and a chore. The whole game was amazing but took a ridiculous amount of time to complete even with the shortened 2ND disk.


>Perhaps the main reason why I enjoyed disc 2 was how it cut out essentially all filler and was a streamlined experience. I don't see how cutting out potential game content qualifies as "streamlining". And I'm not just talking dungeons here. There are lots of story moments that deserved in-game set pieces rather than to be summarized by some person retelling their events. And the storytelling itself takes a major hit. A number of party members barely utter a word in the second disc and certain characters mysteriously disappear without so much as a word about what happened to them. It's a very rough and tumble experience, and it's made all the more disappointing by the fact that this is supposed to be an RPG.


I played Xenogears three times. While I enjoyed it, the story problems begin to emerge in Disc 2, and that's without even considering what was cut for time and budget (like certain Omnigears or the resolution of a couple storylines), not to mention certain design choices that weren't a problem in disc 1, but are in the second. For example, the combat on foot becomes largely irrelevant, despite being IMO better than the Gears combat. Then, the story gets incoherent with the gameplay systems themselves - seriously, if [Zohar is an infinite source of energy, why do Gears need fuel? That was a big oversight](/spoiler) and simply tries to dabble into philosophical reasoning without much success (something that Soraya Saga did again, with worse results IMO, in Xenosaga Ep. I). There's even a point in which I feel the script - but this may have been the English translation since I never had the chance to play it again in Japanese - becomes involuntarily comedic - [When Elly meets up with the others captured by Krelian and declares his love for Fei](/spoiler) I personally believe the lack of dungeons is the least of Disc 2's issues.


I actually thought the fuel thing was explained in-game... Though it's been so long that I can't remember what the actual explanation was, so I could be wrong.


That was pretty much exactly my sentiment: http://jhipst3r.blogspot.com/2015/06/xenogears.html


Yeah the game is much more highly regarded for its story than its gameplay. I never had any problem with disc 2 but it would have been nice as well to have a finished game.


I just like the fact that Disc 2 exists. I think it was kind of an evolutionary dead end, in that clearly later games have not adopted that style of storytelling and probably shouldn't, but that's what makes it fascinating. In any case, the game took on such a cosmic scope that there was no way to convey it with dungeons and battles anymore - narration was just as good a way as any other.


It was NOT a streamlined experience. They did NOT cut out filler. It was the result of deadlines and funding. You might have enjoyed it. But do not imply the utter falsehood that it was even remotely by design.


Those aren't mutually exclusive. One can acknowledge that they wouldn't have designed it that way if they were not pushed up to a deadline with limited budget, and at the same time acknowledge that they sat in a room and decided "how can we finish this game? and cut out a lot of the potential filler in order to meet that limitation. (while also cutting a lot of potential good stuff too that Idkbutlike2 mentioned in his post just above) It's just a question of what was more important to you, the bad stuff they cut out or the good stuff they cut out.