Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht

released on Feb 28, 2002

Xenosaga: Episode I - Der Wille zur Macht, the first chapter of a trilogy, is a Japanese-style sci-fi role-playing game, sharing many common themes and gameplay elements with Xenogears. The battle system is not unlike the one used in Xenogears (combo attacks, AP and EP gauges, etc.), but random encounters are eliminated. Instead, the enemies are now visible and battles can be avoided. During combat the few upcoming ally and enemy turns are shown onscreen, allowing the player to make strategic decisions based on who will act next. A rolling slot moves with each turn as well, conferring a bonus such as added damage or bonus XP for any action on that turn. If the enemy would be in position to take an advantage then the player can expend a character's "boost" gauge to cut in and act next, although enemies can boost as well, and enemy boosts always over-ride player boosts.

Each character has a unique tree of Ether spells they can learn by spending Ether points earned in battle, with lower spells requiring spells above them to be purchased first. After a spell is purchased, so long is it does not require a unique talent of that character, the spell can also be purchased and learned by any other character that can afford double its normal cost. The Anti-Gnosis Weapon Systems can be equipped with different weapons and accessories and can be used in combat provided that a character has enough AP on that turn to board their AGWS.

Released on


More Info on IGDB

Reviews View More

This game has decent characters and an interesting story premise so far. The gameplay system as it is was actually pretty cool once you got the hang of it and the boost added a lot of fun strategy (I could see this being the start of Xenoblade chain attacks). Unfortunately the boss fights are so insanely stupidly designed that it actively ruined most of the fun I could have had using it. From massive damage AOE attacks that would just wipe out your team or huge heals at low health that would extend the boss fight it got very frustrating to put up with it all. If the bosses were easier or you could get more money from normal monsters to fund grinding I'd maybe give this game the 4 stars but I just can't based on the gameplay experience I had. The few nods to Xenogears and concepts later used in Xenoblade games were cool to see at least.

You will pay for this takahashi!

story is cool in the second half
i feel nothing towards shion and kos-mos
allen, ziggy, momo, jr, and the people on elsa were cool and thats about it

I am too stupid to follow the plot but I liked a lot of the ideas and some characters. I had little to no fun actually playing though unfortunately.

Remember how Miyazaki had Sekiro, Kojima had Peace Walker, and Akifumi Kaneko had Wild Arms 4? No one is immune to imperfection; everyone has a work that falls short. In the case of Takahashi, it's Xenosaga. Perhaps I'll find more enjoyment in it if I eventually complete the trilogy, but for now, it's strikingly average when compared to Xenogears and Xenoblade, which is truly a disappointment.
This game represents Takahashi's most cryptic, least captivating, and most bewildering creation. Regrettably, it's often for the wrong reasons. Visually, it's not exactly eye-catching either; character design has always been a weak aspect of Takahashi's works, but the Xenosaga series takes this flaw to the extreme. The game features a cast of characters that look downright silly.
I genuinely feel that this narrative structure does no favors to the essence of Takahashi's game design. In Xenogears, you'd gradually uncover the truth after an initial cutscene, but it was connected by a coherent thread of events. Xenosaga, on the other hand, bombards you with isolated facts lacking a cohesive narrative to follow. While I am aware of Xenosaga 3's positive reputation, I'm not sure if I'm up for playing Xenosaga 2 at this moment. Only time will tell.

Bought this on release hoping for something on par with Xenogears...this was far from it. I was so disappointed with this game, I did not buy 2 or 3... of which, looking at the current prices these games are going for, was a huge mistake on my part.
I do want to eventually play through the trilogy, and Episode 1 again. I feel I may have been too young to truly comprehend this game and what it was actually attempting to say. I know when I replayed Xenogears it was much better on my 2nd playthrough... I feel the same would apply to Xenosaga. But until that time, it sits at a 2.5/5 experience from what I remember.