XenosagaA game for the Playstation2 platform released first in February of 2002 on the Japanese market, then in February of 2003 for the American market. Released by Monolith Studios and published by NAMCO, it is Episode I in a six-part series, which "began" with the game Xenogears, released in 1998. Xenogears was originally released by Squaresoft (now Square-Enix), but Square sold the right to the charecters and story to NAMCO in 2001.
It is the year TC 4767 (4,767 years after mankind abandoned the "AD" calendar, somewhere in the 2400's AD; "TC" means "Transcend Christ"), and mankind lives almost entirely in space, or on artificial colonies. The capitol of all known space is Fifth Jerusalem, where the Galaxy Federation supposedly keeps watch over mankind. Nanotechnology is commonplace, but new frontiers are still being reached using it. Nanotech's largest use has come in the last ten years, when a mysterious enemy known as the Gnosis began to attack man's colonies seemingly indiscriminately. It is largely believed that the Gnosis were brought into the universe by a madman named Joachim Mizrahi, but there is more to that story than the public really knows.
Vector Industries-- the largest corporation in existance, and the primary arms manufacturer for the Galaxy Federation-- is currently researching new ways to use nanotechnology to build an unstoppable battle android, code-named KOS-MOS. This is quite controvercial, since androids have been replaced for many, many years by artificial life-forms known as Realians, which have proven far more effective in combat. However, Vector Industries and their head of R&D, Shion Uzuki, have other ideas. Shion, a simple researcher traveling on the starship Woglinde, becomes involved in a conspiracy not only to control the mysterious Gnosis, but to reshape the destiny of all mankind...
While the timeline of Xenosaga does not correspond completely to that set out in Xenogears, the two are largely still synchronous. TC 4767 is indeed the year that this all goes down, according to the Xenogears Perfect Works Book, but in that same year the Eldridge is supposed to have been launched; no mention of that is made in Episode I, but perhaps Xenosaga Episode II will answer some more of these questions.
Many believed that the artwork in Xenosaga was not quite up to par with expectations, the charecters often suffering from what some called the "vacant soul-less eyes" phenomenon that poorly-drawn Anime suffers from. Others weren't quite satisfied with the battle engine, or the use of the large mecha known as AGWS's (Anti-Gnosis Weapon Systems), the "gear lookalikes". Many were quite content with the game, on the other hand, and the game sold very well. As of the date of this record, NAMCO plans to release Episode II in North America without question.
In Mid-2003, NAMCO also released a special version of Episode I in Japan called "Xenosaga Reloaded", which featured the English voice-acting.