What the hell happened?

Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
PlayStation 2 / Namco
February 2003

The original Xenosaga's prologue is set in Africa, sometime in the 21st century. During an archaeological dig at Lake Turukana, a huge golden monolith known as the Zohar is discovered. The significance of the event and the true nature of the Zohar are secrets that the series will guard closely until its very end.

The actual story begins over four thousand years later, set in deep space, far from Earth. In the new calendar system, the year is TC 4767, and Earth is but a long lost memory - remembered only as Lost Jerusalem.

Brains, beauty... and more brains and more beauty
The main story begins as the space cruiser Woglinde recovers a monolith floating in space... one that bears a striking resemblance to the Zohar from the prologue. In fact, it's not the same, but merely similar - a Zohar Emulator. In the Vector Corporation research facility on board, Shion Uzuki, a female researcher at Vector - the leading R&D Company in the world of Xenosaga - is testing a new female combat android named KOS-MOS. Shion co-developed KOS-MOS with Kevin Winnicot, a senior researcher who died when the prototype went berserk. Later, as she passes the Emulator, Shion has a vision of a mysterious young girl named Nephilim. This is the first of many visions she will have of the girl - a key mystery in the series.

Also stationed on the Woglinde is Lieutenant Louis Virgil - a soldier with a strong prejudice against the artificial humans known as Realians, though his scarred face a sign that he might have consumed the very same biological contents that Realians are composed of. That night as the Woglinde is attacked by the Gnosis - an invading alien force that has plagued humanity for years - Shion is horrified at how deep Virgil's hatred for Realians goes. He knows the self-detonation code for the combat Realians and is more than willing to use them as bombs to attack the enemy.

During the disaster, KOS-MOS is awakened and comes to Shion's rescue, killing every Gnosis in her way - and even gunning down Virgil when he blocks a target. As Virgil dies, he utters a single name: Febronia. Shion is shocked that KOS-MOS would trade a life so easily to save hers, but has little time to consider it. The survivors escape the Woglinde and are picked up by an independent ship known as the Elsa, run by a carefree but efficient mercenary crew.