TGS 2005: Xenosaga Episode III unveiled

Monolith Soft is developing the third--and final---installment to its popular sci-fi RPG series.

Besides giving the public its first look at Metal Gear Solid 4, the latest issue of Famitsu magazine has the first details on Xenosaga Episode III. Bearing the Nietzschean title Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra, the game will be the final installment in the Xenosaga trilogy. Like the previous two Xenosagas, Episode III is being developed for the PlayStation 2 by Monolith Soft and will be published by Namco. No release date has been announced at the current time.

Xenosaga Episode III will take place one year after the end of Episode II and will once again focus on the adventures of series heroine Shion Uzuki and her friends. Party members confirmed to be in Episode III include JR, KOS-MOS, and Ziggy. The graphics in Xenosaga Episode III will be in the more-realistic style of Episode II, as opposed to the cutely deformed look of Episode I.

Episode III takes place after Shion resigns from her job as chief engineer of Vector Corporation's R&D Division when she discovers the company is involved in the destructive Gnosis Phenomenon. She now works together with an underground organization called Scientia, which is attempting to expose Vector Corporation's wrongdoings. After her departure from Vector, Shion learns that her old employer has canceled its KOS-MOS project--just as a mysterious android named T-elos, which strikingly resembles KOS-MOS, appears. It's expected that Episode III will reveal many of the mysteries surrounding the series, such as the Vector Corporation's true objective.

Xenosaga Episode III will once again feature two battle modes: character battle, where party members directly fight with enemies, and robot battle, where they duke it out inside giant mechs. Character battles will feature three-member parties as in previous installments. The game has abandoned the complicated zone system from Episode II, and the powerful tech attacks from Episode I have been brought back.

GameSpot will have additional information about Xenosaga Episode III from the 2005 Tokyo Game Show floor.

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