Tetsuya Takahashi, director of the upcoming Xenosaga, was recently interviewed by Gamespot Japan, and Video Senki has been good enough to translate the interview. The conversation covered many aspects of the game which have already been explained, but a fair amount of new information was also revealed. For one, Takahashi revealed that not only does humankind struggle against the Gnosis race in
Xenosaga, it is divided into two factions itself, causing further conflict. In order to combat the Gnosis, the AWGS and KOS-MOS robots were developed. The AWGS has now been described as being "able to detect the presence of Gnosis beings. Gnoses are vulnerable to attack only upon running into interference with some physical matter; that's their only weak point. This interference takes place only for a tiny amount of time, so the KOS-MOS android was developed to force Gnoses into more substantial forms."
From here Takahashi went on to explain how delineated the game and story portions of Xenosaga will be. "[He] wanted a game that could be turned into a drama if you extracted all the story portions and put them on video." The game portion, for its part, is somewhat similar to Xenogears; however, the three attacks of different strengths featured in the latter have been replaced by short, medium, and long-range attacks. Additionally, Gears will be present, but usable only once per battle, although it is possible to stretch that once out to the length of an entire battle. Parties will remain at a maximum size of three(plus Gears), and strategy will be an important element; although "You can finish the game by bulldozing your way through battles," the other options available make things much smoother once they become familiar. Speaking of familiar, items gained after boss battles will be dependant upon how long it takes to defeat a boss, as well as how it is done, much the same as in Xenogears. New in the prequel will be an item trading and collecting game, which is currently in the planning stages; in fact, rare items will be obtainable from this game.
Xenosaga is currently slated for a Japanese release in December of 2001. For the full text of the interview, check Video-Senki.