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    Speed Guide by JRKerr

    Version: 1.4 | Updated: 06/03/02 | Printable Version | Search This Guide

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                         XENOGEARS
                        Speed Guide
                        Version 1.4
                   Metempyschotic  Memory
                   06-16-99 thru 04-08-00
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Xenogears and subsequently mentioned
    characters are the property entirely of Square.
    Square is part of the "Holy Trinity."
    Capcom, Konami and Square. Don't mess with them.
    (Zangief, Ken, and Blanka belong to Capcom)
    ----------------------------------------------------
    J.R. Kerr wrote this faq. This is my intellectual
    property. No one may edit any version of this faq
    that is to be shared. For your own personal use on
    one computer, you may edit out all this jargon or
    select bits of the tips you need. I will not profit
    from this faq in any way. Anyone may distribute or
    post this faq anywhere they like provided my name
    remain on it. I will use powerful internet voodoo
    to eat the soul of anyone who posts my faq without
    my name on it. I will only answer e-mail with no
    attachments, sizes under 6k at: jrkerrdog@hotmail.com
     
    I am also at geocities.com/jamesrkerr
    ----------------------------------------------------
    CONTENTS :
    ----------
    
    [01] Why did I decide to write this?
    [02] Prerequisites for reading this FAQ.
    [03] Disc One Character Strategies
    [04] Disc One Gear Strategies and Definitions
    [05] Disc Two Character Strengths
    [06] Disc Two Gear Set-Ups
    [07] Special Notes on Rico
    [08] 12 Omnigears/Relics + Recipient
    [09] Ether Response and Alignment
    [10] Credit and Thanks
    
    ---------------------------------------
    WHY DID I DECIDE TO WRITE THIS FAQ?
    ---------------------------------------
    
    [0] People can get to Solaris in 40 hrs with EVERYTHING.
        From there it is your call to finish inside another
        15 hours or fully explore for another 40.
        So if you want to replay, you can do it in
        65 hours or 80. Its up to you.
        The middle third of the game is a big long story tunnel
        and I recommend getting a rapid-fire controller and taping
        down the x button for 12 hours.
    [1] The number one reason is that the purchasable english
        strategy guides and net-available FAQs seem to ignore
        certain "hidden" attributes of both the characters and
        then later the gears.
        It is as if the Japanese-to-English Square USA team
        decided to "dumb it down" for us again.
    [2] Even though the game is fairly linear and
        doesn't offer many "choose-your-own-adventure" moments,
        there are many "points-of-no-return" where you can
        miss certain items.
    [3] The average polled run-thru times I see are at 100 hours
        whereas I am finishing under 70 on replays.
        The game is fun to explore fully the first time,
        but when you want to run back thru, it'll be much
        easier if you know what's really going on.
    [4] Moreover, all the FAQs/Guides tend to be shy about
        "who is the best." Obviously, Fei is a perfect "10,"
        but then I believe Stier, and Crescens to be "10"s also.
    
    ---------------------------
    PREREQUISTES FOR THIS FAQ :
    ---------------------------
    
    [1] I recommend the Brady guide for maps, names and places
        but I suppose any guide will do.
    [2] Other FAQs. I haven't picked a favorite yet,
        they all seem to cover the incidentals of like,
        "grab the necklace from the dresser" and such.
    [3] A healthy disregard for the character design of
        Citan, Bart and Siebzehn. These characters/gears
        are not possessed of much upgradability in the
        attributes that I find key to a quick success.
    [4] A forgiveness of Chu-Chu's lame character design,
        because she winds up being the most important anchor
        with +50,000 hit points and the ability to heal your
        other gears during battle.
    [5] An unrewarded love of Rico, there is more to him
        than you might guess. His gears are the best.
    [6] A comfortable feeling with getting to the Rico jail scene
        with little help; it isn't that messy up to this point.
    [7] Believe me when I tell you: Rico and Emeralda are the
        characters you want on screen almost always. Some
        level gaining with Chu-chu is necessary for the end;
        but she'll only cost you an extra hour at the end to get
        her pumped up (with the Hercules Ring).
    
    -----------------------------
    INITIAL CHARACTER STRATEGIES:
    -----------------------------
    
    [00] Decide before you start playing if you want the badges;
         the reward at the end of the game is minimal for them,
         a Power Ring S and an S charger which you can just buy.
         So I almost recommend skipping them.
         If you have a saved game where you missed one
         (I missed the H+S the 1st time) don't re-start!
    [01] Don't leave the first town without the Mermaid's Tear,
         all the stuff at the bottom of the well and the spider web.
    [02] Don't leave Citan's hill without the spider and
         Midori's ring.
    [03] Don't hit the forest without better hat and clothes
         and two deathblow combos. Rings? enh, you pick.
    [04] Unequip Elly before she runs off, if you are a completionist
         freak like me and want to have one of everything in your
         inventory; the pilot's items do not come back with her.
    [05] Weltall's "Old Circuit" is the bomb.
         You'll only ever have a few. Keep it on him until
         you can get Simp Circuits for everybody (much later on).
         Response and Defense are nebulously defined and you won't
         see the attributes change on the gear menu~ but they will
         always perform better in battle with Old or Simp Circuits.
    [06] Make Bart fight out of his gear in the cave. His whip is enough
         to kill the big jellyfish and throughout the game, you'll notice
         the gear-size monsters tend to ignore out-of-gear people if there
         is another gear on screen. Cool, huh?
    [07] Don't fuss with earning lotsa money from battles
         early, because the shops will continue to sell the same stuff
         on the first continent until you start the Billy versus
         the Wels ship subquest.
    [08] Play the "merry-go-pop" games and such until you
         also get the iron helmet etc. It is inexpensive to play
         and you can sell the stuff you win at a profit.
    [09] Do give the little boy a loan. He will sell you meat later
         that is easy to score $200,000 from when you resell at the
         end of the game at the Kaiser town's vending machine.
    [10] The beret wearing girl in the tournament is the best
         place to stall. Go easy on her, no combos/deathblows.
         Even heal her sometimes. She will get angry and poison you
         worse if you weren't nice to her in the tent and then
         stalling during her battle. Big Joe is easy to stall too,
         but has that weird sometimes one-hit crowd kill.
         The "stalling" should allow you enough time to expore
         the sewer with Bart and get the nugget out of the fishtank.
    [11] Let Rico beat you after you knock 1000 HP off him.
         He is particularly vulnerable to ether attacks.
         Yes, I know the girl before drains EP. You have Rosesols
         and an Ether Doubler, right?
    [12] You should have a backup save prior to trying to
         remove your collar. Whether Hammer will offer to buy it
         is totally random (like chocobo breeding), so reset and
         try again. It is like $5000.
    [13] Sewer hunting is the first place you want to "waste time"
         gaining levels. You have Citan and Rico. Get started now
         with building up Rico's combo attacks. He is the hardest
         to complete for these. Fei gaining huge levels will mean
         that Maria/Emerelda/Elly/Chu-Chu join your party at
         signifigantly higher levels and they won't need as much
         screen time. Bart gets left out of the mix a little, but
         his fuel economy sucks so you don't want him later anyway.
    [14] AS SOON AS YOU GET THE SUBMARINE:
         Go back to the southeast shore of the continent and
         drive up into the sand, use the secret road to Nisan.
         Go back to buy AT LEAST 4 ETHER DOUBLERS AND 2 HOLY PENDANTS.
         If you don't have money for it, try to fight
         sea battles for the sellable drop items.
         These items are not purchasable later (only one more
         of each is win-able and it takes FOREVER to earn the Battle Points).
    [15] MAKE RICO FIGHT OUT OF HIS GEAR:
         Keep at least one gear on screen:
         the enemies will tend to hit the big gear and ignore the
         little Rico whacking for no damage but many points toward
         learning combos. This is good for Fei too.
         Stop when they have everything subsequent to the 7 pt combos.
    [16] INITIALLY USE ELLY FOR YOUR "ANCHOR"
         If things go awry: Elly's character has ether doubler
         and such equipped on her person and E Circuits/Power Magic
         filling her gear slots, so that even a low-level Elly
         can whack 10,000 points of damage off with magic or Aerods.
         Never let Elly take a turn, and if she does don't use fuel
         on anything but Aerods. If her fuel is spent, swap to Billy's Gear.
    [17] The elusive "Simp Circuit" is a drop item from a rarely occuring
         gear enemy called Shinobi. This gear part is exactly like an Old 
    Circuit.
         Every Gear should use one or the other equipped in the first slot
         at all times. The "defense" circuitry continues to be worth it all
         the way through the end of the game. Shinobi occurs in the cave
         north of Nortune when you go to steal the big battleship.
    [18] YOUR GOAL IS TO ACQUIRE MARIA/CHU-CHU/EMERALDA AT LEVEL 60 OR BETTER
         Boost everybody all the way up on combos during the
         Wel fights and Sea Battles.
         Also: you need Fei at level 80 for "Yamikei" the coolest deathblow!
    [19] BILLY:
         Is really cool on the ground as a character fighter, but even
         with the ether doublers has a sub-standard gear, since all his best gun
         attacks are elemental based. (It is a nightmare to bring him thru
         the Final Seraphim dungeon). His fuel economy is also really bad
         and he isn't even very fast.
         The Jesse Gun isn't as strong as Aerods/Yggsadril/2nd Infinities.
         You really want his "heal everybody" spell as soon as possible,
         it comes sooner than Citan's "affect-all"/"heal."
    [20] WHEN FEI LAYS DOWN, HURRY TO GET HIM BACK:
         His X,T,X is key for mutliple sellable duneman isle drop items.
         He should hit level 95 to 99 by end-game for speed's sake.
         If he scores his last 6 pointers early, have faith that he's
         earning points toward 7 pointers you can't see.
    [21] BEFORE YOU ENTER SOLARIS:
         Have at least one 7 pointer on Fei.
         You may want some higher Elly combos as well, but
         concentrate on her spells-learned, she's got them all, right?
    [22] EMERALDA IS THE BOMB:
         There is nearly no disadvantage to her.
         She only suffers in that, although she gets mad and has infinities
         ready all the time; they use a lot of fuel for her gear
         and with few HP, she'll need to waste too much fuel to heal
         (But she is perfect when paired with a +50,000 HP healing Chu-Chu).
         Take extra time to play cards for her dolls.
         You want them equipped on her person EVERY TIME she is in a gear!
         You get truly wacky miraculous things out of her gear
         when she has Billy/Fei/Elly dolls equipped (but leave a slot
         for an ether doubler).
    [23] Don't leave the Flying City without the
         stuff out of Wiseman's Room.
    [24] There is crazy money to be had wandering back down
         into the vent pipes after you get Maria OUT of your party.
         Let Emeralda go nuts!
    [25] YOU ARE SAVING MONEY FOR AT LEAST 4 POWER MAGICS.
         Personally I like to have 6 for 2 on each person
         with an added Simp Circuit; but you may like to keep
         1 Simp 1 Frame HP50 and an Ether Armor on Rico's.
         (Rico's Gear Magic is really bad).
    [26] Cheat at the card games by using rapid-pausing.
         Queenie is tougher than the "penguin" at the end.
         The Goggles and Shoes for Citan you need to keep him
         equipped with all the way thru the game:
         attack/evade percents aren't drive-able.
    
    --------------------------------------
    INITIAL GEAR STRATEGIES / DEFINITIONS:
    --------------------------------------
    [00] GENERAL STRATEGY:
         Have ALL characters when in gear equip
         1. Holy Pendant  = double infinity use
         2. Ether Doubler = double ether machine effect
         note: the MPG are the same on all gears for
         light, mid, and fierce hits; but Frame HP usage
         and sp. options, etc. are way different!
    [01] DON'T WASTE A DIME ON HEIMDALL:
         It is all for naught, since you won't need this gear at all.
         Save it all up for FENRIR later (if you like Citan).
    [02] FORGET SIEBZEHN:
         Siebzehn can buy all he needs.
         But he sucks anyway: He does have infinities but he doesn't get "mad"
         like Stier and Crescens, you'll see so few that it is like they aren't 
    there.
         He is really slow and his MPG is almost as bad as ANDVARI's.
    [03] BART'S 1st GEAR IS BETTER:
         It matches punch for fuel quite well and has good well-rounded
         attributes. The ANDVARI is a gas-hog and is way over balanced
         for offense over defense. Stop playing with Bart after he gets 
    Omnigeared.
    [04] ELLY IS YOUR FIRST ANCHOR:
         She needs all spells quickly, then she lives in VIERGE with
         every available upgrade until the Thames, when you should stop
         buying for her. Her combos are funny, but they are all elemental
         so you may not even want to bother with her. Robot guards dislike
         her elemental attacks.
    [05] RESPONSE IS THE BEST NON-MAGIC ATTRIBUTE:
         It'll be your turn slightly more often and you won't miss/might
         be able to dodge the full percent of damage.
         Old Circuit/Resp Circuit/ Magnetic Coat on at all times.
         Response is better than A/B/C/D cicuits at environment compensation.
         The O2 canister doesn't work as well as the regular circuit.
         Also, the Simp Circuit is a drop-item that boosts
         both response and defense. It proves to be nearly as useful as
         the Magnetic Coats.
    [06] EQUIPPED CHARACTER ITEMS AFFECT THE GEAR:
         Most notably the ether doubler and ether veil.
         The speed shoes don't seem to help.
    [07] BILLY'S GEAR, RENMAZUO:
         Only use the ether mid hits.
         Never use the elemental light hit pistol!
         Use ether doublers and E Circuits/Power Magic (x2?)
         for HUGE, CRAZY damage! The AA mid gun is the one that isn't elemental
         so wait til you have it for Renmazuo.
    [08] ONLY ONE ETHER DOUBLER PER GEAR:
         More is wasted. But you CAN double up the Power Magics/E Circuits
         for insane magic damage.
         The reason you buy many is so that you can lose Elly's if you use
         her fighting Hammmer (disc 2). Magic/Aerods will bring him right down 
    for the
         Trading Card.
    [09] ARMOR IS NEAR A TOTAL WASTE OF SPACE:
         Except for the later Anti-Angel Armor, you will never need to
         waste a slot with extra armor. Keep selling all your extra
         dropped item armors.
         (Ether Armor is only really helpful versus Kahr's Omnigear)
    [10] RICO'S GEARS ROCK:
         Either Stier needs little help.
         He won't even use half an 8000 fuel tank to hit a Frame HP70/90.
         His MPG rules! You can be sure that you want to hit his
         Zangief-like infinites as often as possible.
         (and they come almost as often as Emeralda's)
         He has other built-in attributes on his gear, check them by
         comparing his gear unequipped to other people's
         (Citan's Fenrir has these too).
    
    -------------------------
    DISC TWO CHARACTER GUIDE:
    -------------------------
    
    [00] You have both the Deathblow Gainer (Wizardry) rings, right?
         Get Rico/Emeralda pumped! It's okay to score
         Billy/Citan too, but I would skip Bart's altogether.
         Their 7 point char deathblows feed their type-less infinity gear 
    combos.
    [01] You get people again in the Relic Caves.
         Quit working on Elly and Bart.
         DON'T FORGET TO HIT THE YGG CANNON FIRST
         on the super-dimensional Gear Yggdrasil IV!
         It uses up 9000 Fuel, so if you wait, you won't get to see it!
    [02] Keep Rico and Emeralda on, with mild
         switches for Chu-Chu just to keep her within
         15 levels of Fei.
    [03] Take special note of the bots that guard the hall
         down to Billy's relic. You will return for them later.
    [04] NOTHING BRINGS HAMMER DOWN LIKE ELLY AND EMERALDA
         Hit him repeatedly with the girls' magic
         while saving up with Fei for infinites.
         YOU'VE GOT TO GET THE T-CARD!
         (Yes, you get the Rico heir "lines" with Rico there, but
         it doesn't help him reclaim the throne or anything).
    [05] Once the T-Card is yours, return to the bots mentioned earlier.
         They routinely drop Cast Ar when you have T.Card which resells like
         Gold Nugget. You also get 3 at a time!
         The bots are also a good place to earn up your combo points.
         This should be the second time you "waste time" building levels.
    [06] The money you need is not only for Big Joe's
         gear upgrades (which are not always the best)
         but more importantly for the HP boosters.
         Feed all of 'em to Chu-Chu.
         Her "gear" is a muliplication of whatever her "character" has
         so that she can wind up with WAY OVER 50,000 HP.
    [07] The magic attack DRIVE is good for
         pumping Emeralda and Chu-Chu, but remember that
         Chu-Chu can use an Ether Doubler with the Goddess Robe and Chu-Chu Idol
         for humongous heals on the gears, so she doesn't need
         much magic pumped.
    [08] Swap Mermaid's Tear for Mermaid Ring.
         Always keep this on Emeralda unless its Gear Time,
         and then you swap for 2 dolls and an ether doubler.
    [09] Let Emeralda grow up.
         There is good stuff back down there anyway, so you
         might as well. You won't feel like such a pedophile
         anymore, either.
    [10] After enough bots-for-dropped-then-sell-money; change over
         to Duneman Isle level-gaining.
    [11] Fei should be dropping the big dragons with three hits
         at nearly 5,000 pts of damage a pop.
         Citan and Bart are exceptionally badly equipped for Dragon fights.
         The dragon will appear randomly and with different
         elemental status so that sometimes fire heals him and
         sometimes wind will heal him. grrr...
         Use Emeralda for support-fire and Billy(or Chu-Chu's) heal/speed magic.
         NOTE: Chu-Chu's spells are NOT element based even though
         they have names like "forest wind", etc.
         She can beat the hell out of elemental monsters.
    [12] You can get multiple drop-items: Blessed Helms, Kaiser Helms,
         Swords, etc. They sell for a huge amount.
    
    -----------------------
    FINAL CHARACTER SET-UP:
    -----------------------
    [00] I know it seems cocky to suggest all the following, but just set it up
         as such and then compare what it does to stats. I had a hard time 
    letting
         go of stuff like the Memento Chain, and letting Rico-not Fei have the
         Dark Armor~ but it works way better that way!
    
    [01] FEI - Manly Mantle
               Power Crisis
               Trader Card
         Why? Because he's tough. He gets so strong with Yamikei he doesn't
         need his gear anymore. The Manly Mantle + Power Crisis work great 
    together!
         If Fei's the last guy standing, his defense and attack go up!
         He is also the only character that really has room for the T.Card.
    
    [02] CITAN - Mumyo Sword
                 Hero Costume
                 Super Goggles
                 Premier Shoes
         Why? Because the attack/evade attributes are the only attributes that 
    can't
         be "sourced" with Drive. Moreover, Citan has a huge HP advantage, so he 
    does
         not need the armor like the other characters do. Likewise, he's the 
    best
         recipient for Hero Costume, because his Renki/Sazanami will keep 
    everyone
         alive, so his defense won't drop.
    
    [03] BART -  Death Adder
                 Kaiser Helm
                 Kingly Armor or Golden Vest
                 Evasion Ring
    [04] RICO -  Dark Helm
                 Dark Armor
                 Momento Chain or LongDarkCoat
    [05] BILLY - Godson
                 Kaiser Helm (the dragons drop them, you can have three)
                 Kingly Armor or Golden Vest
                 Ether Doubler
         The above three get lumped together because you kind of need to decide~
         okay I'm not going to play with one of 'em. There is a deficit of
         cool armor for the male characters. Rico kind of needs the Dark Armor
         to survive the Dragon eth attacks. Billy kind of needs more defense to
         compensate for poor HP. Bart doesn't need much, but his HP is low 
    enough
         to make evasion a must. He is not that fast either and doesn't pack a 
    wallop
         like Billy's middle guns with eth doublers. So I tend to leave Bart 
    alone
         and set up Rico for defense and Billy for offense. The LongDarkCoat 
    does
         NOT give Billy a +10 to his attack! agh!
         Jessie Blasta and Cannon will damage at 9,999 with 3xPow Magics
         Rico can hit Frame HPs with a bonus economy on fuel consumption.
         Bart's Ygg Cannon is bizarre. Higher ether doesn't help it hit harder.
         the only advantage to Bart in/out gear is "wild smile."
    
    [06] ELLY -  Pyscho Rod
                 Angelic Robe
                 Starlight
                 Ether Doubler
                 3x Power Magic on Vierge (Aerods go BOOM)
         Okay. You can let her leave the party
         with the above items equipped. You will find better items later.
         Just make sure that you have 6 more power magics for Emeralda and 
    Billy!
         She leaves the party for a long time immediately after fighting Hammer
         so you won't have time to unequip her, and you need to use her for 
    Aerods
         to drop Hammer before he self-destructs.
    
    [07] MARIA -  Blessed Helm
                  Blessed Habit
         Maria does not get helped or hindered with much else~ there is little
         to both her and Siebzehn. You will never see a 9,999 attack from her
         unless she is using an infinity combo. And she in/out of gear is SLOW.
    
    [08] CHU-CHU -  Goddess Robe
                    Ether Doubler
                    Chu-Chu Idol
         Chu-Chu never has great attacks. But with DRIVE she can withstand
         Angel Attacks no problem and then heal your gears for between 1,500 and 
    6,000
         HP at a time. Then her MP is refillable, so that you can't lose and you 
    have
         all the time in the world to save up for infinity combos if you want to
         see everyone's.
    
    [09] EMERELDA - Executor's Gown (only if T.Card at Miang)
                    Vivid Turban
                    Mermaid Ring
         CRESCENS - Fei jr. Doll
                    Elly jr. Doll
                    Ether Doubler
    
    
    
    
    --------------------------
    DISC TWO GEAR STRATEGIES :
    --------------------------
    [00] GENERAL STRATEGY:
         Have ALL characters when in gear equip
         1. Holy Pendant  = double infinity use
         2. Ether Doubler = double ether machine effect
         GEAR EQUIP:
         1. GNRS50
         2. Z Charger
         3. FrameHP 30
    
    [01] WELTALL 2 IS WAY BETTER THAN XENOGEARS:
         Enjoy it while it lasts.
         Hitting your Infinities will never come easier.
    [02] IFF FENRIR:
         You won the Citan goggles/shoes from the card game, right?
         Keep them on for "critical" Gear Sword Hits.
         Don't miss the gear-sword re-forge Kishin to Kijin the best one.
    [03] IFF ANDVARI:
         Don't put Big Joe's crazy engine on him or he'll
         run out of fuel faster than anybody.
         You are essentially bound to keep a Z charger on him.
    [04] IFF SIEBZEHN:
         What are you nuts? There's no reason to use him.
         Infinities come seldom, bad MPG, no magic; and special options
         that don't always work? His fierce, X, hit: always misses!
    [05] ELLY'S:
         No spoilers, but don't bother upgrading her gear.
         Her uh, second gear, will take care of itself.
    [06] RICO'S:
         STIER the OMINIGEAR RULES! even Kahr's isn't as good.
         The best MPG! He can with the 8000 fuel tank hit Frame HP70s
         two or three times!
         Keep the Better Buyable Magic Defense Armor on!
         Always keep at least a Frame HP50 on him.
         This omnigear will be READY FOR INFINITIES almost
         at a par with Emeralda, only Rico won't run out of
         fuel after 2 pops.
         It is kind of sad that there aren't hard-enough
         enemies for Rico at the end of the game.
         His "Iron Kaiser," "Drill-Kaiser," and Zangief-like piledriver
         are the reason for the season.
    [07] EMERALDA'S:
         oh baby. magic to cry over. She is so fierce and so fast
         with so many critical hits and infinity-readiness; that it
         doesn't matter that she has poor HP. She'll never fall.
         (Especially if you use Chu-Chu just to heal her every round)
         I swear that it almost feels like you can beat the
         Nephtali (Alpha Weltall) gear with Emmy and Chu-Chu. I took near
         200,000 hit points off him before I gave-in to his invincibilty.
         Remember to keep 2 dolls on her character with an ether doubler
         and then 2 Power Magics and a Mag Coat on her. (IFF Chu-Chu)
    [08] BILLY'S:
         Jessie Cannon is good for 9,999 damage on one enemy.
         Sometimes.
         The mid hits with eth doub and 3xPowMagics can give you
         instant 5,000s sometimes, but many times it will heal who you
         are fighting if they absord ether (many at the end do).
    [09] Chu-Chu. man.
         Equip the idol, the ether doubler, and the Goddess Robe.
         You'll be healing like 5 to 6K hp for every shot
         that a boss can steal that much.
         Remember to have boosted her HP with Big Joe's HP drive.
         I think her max is 60,000 HP but you'll be fine with
         over 50K. She'll never fall.
         Yes, I know she is worse than pokemon for design, but she
         really does have it in healing gear ability. (She can refill
         her EP during battle and doesn't have to "charge" for fuel).
    
    ----------------------
    SPECIAL NOTES ON RICO:
    ----------------------
    
    [01] Number one thing is that his MPG makes his gear the best.
         He also has all-terrain advantages over the other gears.
         Then his infinities will be ready more often and wreak more
         havoc.
    [02] His character deathblows don't earn up in order:
         You gotta mix up his previous 3 to earn the last 2.
         Then his character based fire-lariat moves will get
         you in trouble with elementals.
         (unless they are suited in which case an ether doubler makes
         it go BOOM. Good in a gear too.)
    [03] His mother's necklace.
         Keep it on him for the whole game.
    [04] Set it and forget it:
         Knight Helm and Knight Mail with Momento Locket~
         put them on during the sewer fights.
         He'll be over-defended at first, but he gains so much Defense each 
    level~
         that you never really have to change his equipment all the way until 
    the
         end of the game. If you need him for Duneman Dragons~ the Dark Helm, 
    Armor
         and Coat round him off nicely.
    [05] His ending.
         There isn't one?
         argh! I find the lack of a scene with his dad recognizing him
         as irritating as an un-resurrectable Aeris.
         Square rushed this game? Cut his scene for more CG?
         grrr... I'd have voted for less CG and more story!
    [06] The "M-Project" has renamed Rico
         as "Sufradi." He is serving as an experiment for the
         transfer of altered types into alignment with the omnigear relics.
    [07] "Drill Kaiser" is a wind-based elemental infinity.
         Try to hit "Iron Kaiser" instead.
    [08] I anticipate the flood of e-mails that will
         complain about Rico's speed versus Citan's.
         Before you send any: ask "Do I like Ken better than Blanka?"
         If you like Ken better, don't e-mail me.
         If you otherwise feel I am being unfair to the
         wicked slicing sound of Citan's swords, we can debate
         the built-in attributes of FENRIR vs. STIER.
    
    -----------------------
    SPECIAL NOTES ON BILLY:
    -----------------------
    [01] Oddly, the LongDarkCoat will not give Billy +10 attack~
         it just gives him +10 eth defense.
    [02] The Jessie Cannon is a great attack! It is almost as
         good as Aerods if he's got Eth Doub and 3 Pow Magics.
         Likewise his mid shot will come off like a lev 3 attack
         with no waiting.
         Not as good as Aerods becuase it only targets one enemy, not all 
    enemies.
         Same with Jessie Blasta on Disc 2.
    [03] There is no ammo for his good guns after you get to Babel Tower.
         It is as if they force you to stop playing with him for a while.
         Then the godson ammo becomes available long before you can buy the gun~
         so that they remind you later, "okay, you can play with Billy again."
    [04] When Billy (and also Rico) get their Omnigears~ take note that their
         engines and armor get downgraded. You may not want to waste money on 
    better
         than what they have prior to the Anima Caves. It is money wasted.
    
    ----------
    SUMMARILY:
    ----------
    [01] This game is really fun, but it is irritating that unlike a
         Konami or Capcom game~ you can't skip through the story scenes
         if you want to replay.
    [02] The game just isn't hard enough.
         Tricking out the magic means you wallop 9,999 off enemies
         starting at Elly level 40.
         I wish there were Ultimate Weapons like Emerald and Ruby.
    [03] I wish we could have played through the Mass Driver/ Soylent Sufal
         bits and not just gotten flashbacks and boss fights.
         Oh well.
    [04] I wish there were more monsters. It is boring to have only 2 monsters
         per area at the end when there are only maybe 10 areas open.
    [05] However, I'll never save over my "First and Last" file~ the
         battling arena with the jukebox and Fenris unlocked are nice things
         to go back and play with later.
    
    -------------------------------------
    TWELVE OMNIGEAR / RELICS + RECIPIENT:
    -------------------------------------
    [01] JUDAH     = KRELIAN
    [02] ZEBULUN   = RAMSUS
    [03] NEPHTALI  = GRAHF
    [04] REUBEN    =  note: these four were aligned
    [05] SIMEON    =        500 years ago: one to
    [06] LEVI      =        RENE and one to
    [07] ISSACHAR  =        MIANG. Other two?
    [08] DINAH     = ELLY
    [09] ASHER     = CITAN
    [10] DAN       = BART
    [11] JOSEPH    = BILLY
    [12] GAD       = RICO
    
    NOTE: Fei's Weltall I + II, then Xenogears are NOT Omnigears!
          Fei is the Anonelbe which is more powerful than persona elements 
    (relics).
          In other words, he doesn't need a slave generator since he made
          his own contact with the Zohar wave existence.
    
    -----------------------------
    ETHER RESPONSE AND ALIGNMENT:
    -----------------------------
                  RESPONSE     ALIGNMENT    CATALOGUE NUMBER
                  --------     ---------    ----------------
    [01] FEI      infinite     infinite     001589750
    [02] ELLY     infinite     infinite     6920188-Z
    [03] CITAN    240          98           584921547
    [04] BART     210          90           221589542
    [05] BILLY    290          92           321658-11
    [06] RICO     160          85           M-PROJECT SUFRADI TEST MIXTURE #
                                            000-215914
    [07] MARIA    170          74           unusable-54109854
    [08] EMERELDA N/A          N/A
    [09] CHU-CHU  N/A          N/A
    
    
    --------------
    BIG JOE NOTES:
    --------------
    [00] There is a newspaper in the store underground.
         Read it multiple times to find the story of
         Joey Balboa, a 4000 year old athlete.
    [01] This newspaper also has specs on the
         Engine specs for the Eldridge.
     
    ---------------------------------
    RESPONSE TO A RECENT FAN INQUIRY:
    ---------------------------------
     
    [1] How in the heck did you do 1000 points of damage to Rico even with an 
    ether doubler and guided shot? I played it several times and had several 
    different equipment set-ups. Ether Doubler and ether stone was the most 
    powerfull it seemed and was not even reaching 200 points per guided shot. 
    Any hintís on level to do that? And does it make much of a difference or is 
    it just to say you did? 
     
    well, I seem to remember that this was the first time I played through so that
    my levels were ridiculously high. I had to have had an ether doubler on and
    whatever else makes magic hit harder... isn't there a magic up spell?
    I think I just used Fei's simple ether shot too... I can remember his hands
    together praying... it wasn't his kung fu.
    
    [2] Which is better Simp Circuit/Old Circuit or Resp Circuit/Magnetic Coat? 
    And in the beginning what else should gears be equiping? Before getting 
    Frame fixes is there a batter setup than 3 old Circuts or 3 Magnetic coats 
    or should I not completely avoid the other stats. I do tend to get a lot of 
    misses from the enemy but when they hit seesm to hit harder. The reason I 
    ask is that you get Magnetic Coats before you get simple circuts, and as 
    soon as you can de-equip Heimdal you have 3 Old Circuts including the one on 
    Weltall, are Simp circuts any better than the 3 Iíve already got or are they 
    just so that every gear can have one on them? 
     
    I believe simp and old circuits are the same. The simp circuit is a drop
    item from those musha (bug) samurai robots whose name escapes me.
    They are in the cave north of the Jail city. So, if simp is better, its mainly
    because you can get more than three of them. Also, don't forget that you
    need balance on your team. You'd be best off with only one dedicated magic user
    in the back row and then one bruiser (all armor) guy in the front row.
    Billy and Fei are the two easiest guys to keep out of their gears.
    
    [3] What Merry-go-pop game and what kid needs a loan? Even with a 
    walkthrough I donít see what your talking about for that part of the game. 
    
    When you control only Citan during the fight show... walk into the middle
    section of the town. This is where those scary purple golem guys have tents
    set up for you to play games. Citan can go into their tents which are bigger
    outside than inside and then play these weird/hard games.
    In fact, success at merry-go-pop is the only way to acquire some piece
    of armor in the game. It was either iron helmet or iron armor.
    
    [4] What does MPG mean? Miles per Gallon? 
     
    yes. Rico can use FrameHPs for a fraction of the fuel cost compared to others.
    
    [5] For being a guide that says you are trying to get people to Solaris in 
    40 hours it doesnít seemlike there is much in the way of help for people 
    before Solaris and it is mainly written with the idea of finishing the game 
    at least equipment wise. Or maybe your just trying to tell people what they 
    want to do at the end of the game so they donít wasste time on things they 
    wonít need before they get their. 
     
    well, the game is kinda linear before that and I also felt like I didn't
    need to repeat things found in other purist walkthrus. Many of the other
    FAQs will spend a long time telling you how to get the wedding dress and
    so on; therefore I felt I might even be plagiarizing if I mentioned all that.
    
    [6] I really enjoyed your guide. It putís a lot of opinion into the game and 
    it is a complete opposite to what the other FAQís say about Rico and Stier 
    at least, but at least you backed it up and showed how to do what you say 
    you do and even though I havent gotten their yet Rico is already a favorite 
    of mine. Not really a question just thought you hsould know 
     
    thanks
    
    [7] Do you have any hints on what to do and what not to do to get through to 
    the Rico jail scene any faster without wasting time on something I wonít 
    need later? I canít use them now but Iím already planning on replaying the 
    game after I beat it and a few other games I still need to finish. 
     
    Considering that I have not played thru in a long time... I can't
    really advise farther than to say that the most important things
    about the jail business are to eat lots of the ether cooking, get the
    necklace from the kaiser's bedroom, and get the hammer bounty for 
    safely removing the collar (random).
    
    
    --------------------------
    SPECIAL CREDIT AND THANKS:
    --------------------------
    
    [01] Beth for letting me play.
    [02] Square for giving me escape.
    [03] Alex for his years of video-game co-insanity.
    [04] Dave "my controller is broken" Wallin.
    [05] Ben "Pokum Taco" Groves for always floating me quarters.
    [06] CJayC
    [07] Kao Megura for killing Ben Lansing.
    [08] Amaloo
    [09] Old Man Murray
    [10] Whoever designed Notepad. Bless You.