What the fuck is up with Abel?



The boy named Abel is a key character in both iterations of Monolith’s 6 Episode series. Invariably, this kid embodies one of the central mysteries in both Xenogears and Xenosaga, with his deep connection to each series’ Wave Existence being the centerpiece around which his character centers around.


However, the role Abel plays in both series, alongside his connection and relationship with a certain redhead, who’ll show up later in this blog entry, is most definitely different. Not all differences are, however, key differences of the settings itself.


Let’s start with Abel’s role in Xenogears, which is certainly where he was the most relevant, given the last of his incarnations is the game’s protagonist, Fei Fong Wong. Abel was a young boy who, per pure chance, stumbled upon the Zohar Event Modification Engine during one of its connection experiments to Deus, the one which likely resulted in the demise of a whole planet. From Xenogears: Perfect Works:

A mysterious boy accidentally stumbled upon a top-secret military research installation, and upon contact with the Wave Existence, he was imbued with unfathomable powers.

Abel’s finding of the Zohar, which had previously trapped the Wave Existence inside during the connection experiment, granted this universe’s God the possibility of granting the kid all his power, with the purpose of freeing him from his prison in the 4 dimensional universe. This way, Abel became the Contact, a human with all the power of the Wave Existence at his disposal. From Xenogears: Perfect Works:

The one who contacted the Wave Existence 10,000 years ago and became the origin of Fei's reincarnation. The boy called Abel made contact with the Wave Existence which had been captured by Zohar, the phase transfer engine that was part of the Deus System. Zohar caused the incredible energy of the Wave Existence to pour into Abel. Because of this, Abel was destined to be reborn as the Contact over and over again.

The Contact is the one who is meant to destroy Deus and thus free the Wave Existence to return to the higher dimension. The Wave Existence incorporated both Abel's human nature and the Mother's Will in the present dimension, and in order to return to its own dimension, it must achieve a reversal of this.

After the Deus experiment went places, the weapon system is dismantled and shipped on board the Eldridge, to be safely disposed of. Abel was just one of the many settlers on board the gigantic spaceship. Deus suddenly activating and taking over the ship prompted the Captain to activate its self-destruction, causing the remains of the ship to fall into some unknown planet. Deus initiated its resurrection program there, by giving birth to a whole new humanity, thanks to his main element, Biological Computer Kadmoni.

A wrench was thrown into his plan though. Abel survived the Eldridge’s explosion and subsequent crash, probably thanks to the Existence’s power (confirmed in Perfect Works), and established himself on the planet, being the only human there whose source was not Deus. The original humans, Emperor Cain and the Gazel Ministry, established themselves as the rulers of the new mankind on their god’s behalf. Cain himself began to be worshipped as a god himself, and Abel seemingly didn’t take his shit. What happened later is history, as Cain killed Abel. From Perfect Works:


Intellectual life forms have begun to increase on the planet where Fei shall live. Also, Emperor Cain becomes the founder of a new generation of mankind and is venerated as a god. Abel, the sole survivor of the Eldridge crash, is repulsed by this belief and seeks a new way of life.

0010 Emperor Cain was accepted by the people as a deity. Abel was repulsed by this belief. Abel's rebellion became Cain's nemesis.

0011 Emperor Cain strategized a plan to eliminate Abel. However, Elehayym sacrificed herself for Abel and died for him instead. Miang contemplates this.

Elehayym’s involvement is also mentioned, but I’ll come back to that later. Anyway, from here on, the Contact becomes a recurrent figure through the history of the Xenogears world. Abel’s soul will keep endlessly reincarnating, his memories dormant within his genetic code, as well as the power of the Wave Existence, to accomplish his eventual task of becoming “the Slayer of God”: destroying the Deus System and freeing the Wave Existence from Zohar.

Despite not being called “Abel” anymore, his later incarnations, Kim, Lacan and finally Fei, would continue Abel’s mission. Kim, for example, was a scientist in the civilization of Zeboim, the third civilization to be wiped out due to them not being adequate parts for Deus. Lacan, who was more significant, was manipulated by Myyah to bring about the latest civilization reset of the planet, the Day of Collapse, in which the Diabolos wiped off a ninety something percent of the planet clean of humans. Important to note is also his relationship with Karellen, his best friend, who would eventually go on to become one of Episode V’s main antagonists, if not the main one. While Lacan’s soul managed to reincarnate into Fei, a split off soul that originated off Lacan’s after his incomplete contact with the Zohar, Grahf, was left haunting the world.

Fei is the incarnation of Abel that finally manages to fulfill his mission: despite his psyche being badly damaged, which led to his developing of multiple personalities, he manages to unify them all and awaken his power as the Contact, which allowed him to destroy Deus, free the Wave Existence, and all of the new mankind.

Now, let’s jump to Xenosaga. If Abel exists within this series to, what’s the deal with him? Abel gets exposure only in the last segment of the Xenosaga series, making him a character that’s not as relevant to the plot as he was in the series’ blueprint. At least not in what we saw, but I’ll get to this issue later. To the Xenosaga cast, he’s a mysterious boy (suffering from what seems to be autism) that serves as the pilot of Omega Res Novae, one of the Relics of God, which has been rehabilitated by the Salvator Faction of the Federation, led by Dmitri Yuriev, as one part of the anti-Gnosis system that’s to succeed Vector’s KOS-MOS.

Later on, however, we get the truth about Abel’s identity: he’s U-DO himself. Or rather, he’s the way U-DO’s observation of the Lower Domain is perceived in its Real Number Domain. In simpler terms, he’s U-DO’s human avatar within the universe:



From the Xenosaga III Perfect Guide:

In order to observe, it is necessary to make contact with the lower domain. Abel and Abel's Ark are the forms of its contact. The former is for observing the real number domain of the lower domain, and the latter is for observing the imaginary domain.

The "observation terminals" can be thought to be one of the partial functions of U-Do's main unit. When a lower domain existence becomes aware of U-Do's act of observation, they perceive it as the figure of Abel in the real number domain, and as a visualization of Abel's Ark in the imaginary domain.

Abel and Abel's Ark exist only because U-Do observes the lower domain. And because humans, who exist in the lower domain, can also perceive them, they are able to know of U-Do's existence. But if U-Do were to stop its observation, the two terminals would vanish, and the means to perceive U-Do would also be lost from the lower domain.

And from The Truth of Xenosaga:

When U-Do's act of observation is seen from the side of the lower domain, it is recognized as "Abel", which had the appearance like that of a young boy in the real-number domain (substance), and as "Abel's Ark", a phenomenon where the existence of the imaginary-number domain (consciousness) is perceived in the real-number domain.

While Abel is U-DO’s observational terminal in the Real Number Domain, the gigantic Gnosis known as Abel’s Ark (which ironically looks like Xenogears’ Eldridge ship) is his Imaginary Number Domain avatar, while his true Wave Existence form is higher than all of this, being an Upper Domain existence. Xenosaga’s Abel is merely an extension of the series’ Wave Existence for the purpose of observation, and not an independent human child that just, mysteriously, came upon the Zohar and received the Wave Existence’s power. This difference in concept sets an unprecedent divide between both versions of the character in terms of their nature.

And before anyone says so, I’ve already consider theorizing that, just maybe, Abel in Xenogears was a literal avatar of the Wave Existence too. Xenogears: Perfect Works just explains Abel coming into contact with the Wave Existence as “chance”. It doesn’t bother explaining why a damn child was running around a facility obviously run by the military for such a big project, like Deus:

Abel accidentally stumbled across the Deus\Zohar connection experiment and the facility that housed it.

Abel's unknown background and reasons for being near the Zohar are pointed out in Perfect Works, suggesting this was a question that Xenogears Episode I would have addressed:

The boy who made contact with the Wave Existence that advented into Zohar during serial mobile experiments with Deus and Zohar. Afterwards, he was a passenger on the Eldridge. He was the lone survivor at the time of its crash. His origin and his reason for his being near Zohar during the serial experiments are unknown.

However, even though Perfect Works was vague in this issue, and someone could easily argue this was just teasing for more revelations in Xenogears Episode I, the game Xenogears itself heavily contradicts this theory by having the Wave Existence address Fei, during contact, as a separate existence from itself, back when he was Abel:


Given this was not explicitly retconned in Perfect Works, nor did the book give us any reason to doubt this part (despite lots of stuff in that particular conversation, such as the origin of the Zohar, being retconned by it), it is almost assured that this is a difference in concept between the two universes: the original and the reboot, something that is to be expected.

One key difference I wish to point out is their relationship to a certain redheaded female character that plays a large role in each’s Abel’s development: Elly (Xenogears) and Nephilim (Xenosaga). Both of these girls, being absolute look alikes, are deeply intertwined with Abel.

This is more noticeable in the case of Xenogears’ Abel. Elly was born out of Abel’s desire for a mother, which was heard by the Wave Existence. A “mother’s will” was inserted within the main element of Biological Computer Kadmoni, Persona, shaping it into Elly. After the new genesis, Elly was born in a new body after the original Mother (Persona’s main body, awakened as Myyah Hawwa) differentiated herself into both Myyah and herself. Elly sought Abel out and their relationship evolved from mother-child to lovers, staying that way through all of the new planet’s history. As the “Counter Existence” to the Contact, Elly was kind of his destined lover, a part of the Wave Existence (in this way, Elly is kinda similar to Xenosaga’s Abel, when you think about it), essential for the Contact’s full awakening and who always sacrificed her life in case Abel’s was threatened. Her multiple incarnations have been killed in this way multiple times: She sacrificed against Cain to save Abel, she sacrificed herself to Zeboim’s soldiers (under Myyah’s command) for Kim’s sake, and did the same as Sophia to defeat Solaris. However, as the main body of Persona, Deus’ central element, she was also part of System Deus, and key to its complete resurrection.


From Perfect Works:

Abel accidentally stumbled across the Deus\Zohar connection experiment and the facility that housed it, where he made contact with the Wave Existence, and as a result, a woman took form within Zohar. In the game, the Wave Existence takes Abel's "Will for a Mother" and creates Elehayym.

Again, from the same book:

When Original Elehayym is in the 'On' state, it becomes Deus' Miang; when the Original Elehayym is in the 'Off' state, it is the Wave Existence's "Elehayym."

After creating Cain, founder of humanity, Miang Hawwa split into both Elehayym and Miang; after that, Abel's "Will for a Mother" was granted by the Wave Existence as a product of this process. The sole purpose of this differentiation was to provide Abel with a "Mother" independent of the Original Elehayym so that she could guide the prospective Contact. Had the Wave Existence not descended from its higher dimension, this differentiation would not have occurred.

In Xenosaga, Nephilim was not some will created by the Wave Existence for Abel’s sake. She was born on Earth much before mankind’s thrust into space, when Lost Jerusalem was still accessible. She was Grimoire Verum’s daughter. It turns out that her father was the key investigator on the Zohar and the creator of the Lemegeton program, which could boot the damn monolith up. Grimoire, being the good father that he is, decided to use her daughter as a test subject in a Zohar connection experiment which, surprise, ended with her being shifted to the Imaginary Number Domain. From the Perfect Guide:

In the era of Lost Jerusalem, the Zohar was discovered at Lake Turkana in Kenya, and during the Zohar's link experiments, the first test subject, Nephilim, vanished. Due to Program Lemegeton, which her father, Grimoire, wrote from having deciphered ancient documents, Nephilim came into contact with U-Do and shifted to the imaginary number domain.

Nephilim came to be closely watched over by U-DO, who sensed something special within her. We don’t know what this is, as this was left a mystery, likely to be explored in the reboot of “Episode V”. However, it is noted Nephilim was never contaminated upon contact with U-DO like others, like Yuriev, Albedo or Voyager were, nor did she turn insane:

U-Do sensed something special in Nephilim. Although she was a human who existed in the lower domain, she felt as if somehow different from other humans. Therefore, Nephilim became a special target of observation for U-Do.

In fact, even after Nephilim came into contact with U-Do, she never took selfish, hostile, or treacherous actions like Yuriev or Voyager who had fear carved into them, nor did she fall to the madness of contamination.

This was what indicated Nephilim's unique characteristics, and it was the reason that U-Do recognized Nephilim as something special.

And, actually, Nephilim may have been endowed with something that U-Do was looking for.

And now we come to learn that Abel’s true purpose for even existing was to observe Nephilim, from a Real Number Domain perspective that is, as U-DO wishes to see her from all sides. If he hadn’t taken notice of Nephilim, he’d been content with Abel’s Ark observing the Collective Unconscious, and Abel would have never appeared in Xenosaga at all. So yeah, there’s clearly a connection between Nephilim and U-DO/Abel, as his main priority remains Nephilim’s observation:


U-Do, who had achieved contact with Nephilim, further wished to observe Nephilim from many sides. For that purpose, it began to observe the imaginary domain's Nephilim from the real domain as well, and extended its observation terminal into the real number domain. That was the appearance of Abel.

And that was the reason that Abel's appearance coincided with Nephilim's disappearance.

As a result, although Abel possesses various functions as an observation terminal of the real number domain, his first priority is to observe Nephilim from the real domain side.

For this very reason, Abel has interest in Nephilim. Abel drew Nephilim's portrait because he was always conscious of her as a special target for observation.

Oh, the irony. While Elly existed for Xenogears’ Abel’s sake, Xenosaga’s Abel existed for Nephilim’s sake. It wouldn’t have surprised me if this had developed into full blown romantic love by the time of the second story arc. And no, I’m definitely not hinting at anything. During the whole story arc, Abel only exhibits great curiosity towards Nephilim, never outright love. What is this curiosity though? A “desire for a mother”, as his Xenogears counterpart had? I don’t think so, primarily cause, in this series, Abel is not a lost human kid who’s barely 7 years old, but an observation terminal of God himself. This difference in concept between the two series causes this motivation to become extremely unlikely.

Now that we’ve finished pointing out the main differences, a question comes to mind. Would have Abel and Nephilim gone on to play the same roles Fei (Abel) and Elly did in Xenogears, once the second story arc (which was this game’s reboot) started? This section of the blog will get into theories territory, as the last part of the previous blog also did.

Most people will answer with an outright “no” to that, given there’s no Eldridge in Xenosaga to carry Abel to an unknown planet, there’s no Deus to produce a crash landing nor to create a new humanity, the Wave Existence (U-DO) is not trapped in a “cage of fleshly existence”, Nephilim didn’t exactly originate from the Wave Existence, and Abel is not a human kid that can receive power from Big G God in the first place. Well, to all these people, I say, welcome to the world of reboots. Xenosaga (at least what we got of the series) was never meant to become Xenogears Episode I. It’s a reboot of it, a re-envisioning, re-imagining, whatever you want to call it. Therefore, the authors can allow themselves to rewrite certain things out, or make them happen in a different way, for whatever reasons they have (copyright laws aside). I’ll discuss some of these elements sometime in the future. Or maybe I’ll change my mind, I dunno.

I think it is indeed very likely that Abel and Nephilim would have taken Fei and Elly’s places as the central characters of Xenosaga’s second story arc, which would have probably been a re-envisioning of Xenogears, the same way Shion’s story arc was one of Xenogears Episode I. I don’t consider the relatively small role they had in the plot (well, Abel has quite a fair bit of importance in the plot, as Yuriev needed him for his whole ascension ploy, and he needed to be sealed by Wilhelm to carry out Eternal Recurrence. About that last one bit, we’ll revisit it in no time) to be an indicative of how big their role would have been in future Episodes. Despite the huge role the Contact and his Counter Existence (translated as “Antitype” in the game) played in Episodes II-V of the Xenogears timeline, I doubt some random ass kid would have played a huge role in Xenogears Episode I anyway. Same with Elly, who if anything, didn’t even exist until the final segment of said story arc. So their Xenosaga counterparts likely got more screentime than they were scheduled to in the Xenogears project. Personally, I love the rewrites they’ve done. They have gotten more interesting backstories, plus more screentime.

The ending of Xenosaga, despite appearences, manages to create the set up for a future plot line with shades of “freeing the Wave Existence” thanks to Zarathustra, the Relic of God that Wilhelm planned to use to create Eternal Recurrence. Zarathustra, to prevent U-DO’s observation of the Lower Domain influencing his time loop, seals “the two Abels”. Abel was freed from Zarathustra in the ending, leaving him to roam free again. However, Abel’s Ark was not even addressed to have been freed from Zarathustra, and both got caught in the dimensional shift created by chaos and Nephilim, getting transported to Lost Jerusalem. This would make U-DO unable to observe human consciousness, and would gimp him his influence upon the universe, which is pretty much analogous to how the Wave Existence was trapped (influence=sealed) in Xenogears. The only wrench one may throw to this theory is that the Zohar was detached from Zarathustra at the end, but this is the closest I've managed:




This is what the Perfect Guide tells us:

The Zohar, which is the door to energy of the upper domain, is inserted into Zarathustra. Due to this, U-Do's activity of observing the lower domain is sealed, and by weakening the link between the upper and lower domains, it allows to reduce the risk of causing Eternal Recurrence side-effects on other domains. Also, the flow of consciousness of the lower domain is freed from the effects of U-Do, which also had the purpose of controlling for the sake of Eternal Recurrence.

It’s also not like Abel is some powerless child, as he can effectively channel his true form’s power. He was the reason Omega Res Novae was more powerful than Proto Omega, despite using a mock Emulator and not the Original Zohar as a power source. From the Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra Database:

A unit based off Proto Omega, which was recovered during the fall of Miltia.

Recreated and partially upgraded by Dmitri Yuriev as an anti-Immigrant Fleet

weapon.

Although it does not house the Original Zohar itself, it uses Abel as its core

module and an emulator as an auxiliary, making its power far greater than the

original Proto Omega.

What seems to throw a wrench in the “Abel will eventually be Xenosaga’s Fei” theory is that his consciousness is not independent from U-DO, though we don’t know what was it that chaos transferred to Abel at the very end, when performing the domain shift. There’re no hints that it will ever be, aside from a passage from The Truth of Xenosaga that specifies how Abel “desires” to remain on the Lower Domain and to feel a connection to people, see past the flow of consciousness, which somehow has some shades of craving to be human:

Even though the system had stopped, Zarathustra continued to run out of control. Inside of it, Nephilim appeared before a crouching Abel. Abel and Nephilim-- two of the mutually-complementive existences that constitute the dimensional universe-- faced each other. Nephilim sensed the desire of Abel's will-- to remain in the lower domain, to want to feel a connection to all people, and to want to see beyond the changes brought about by human consciousness.

Furthermore, all pieces of the ending of Xenosaga seem to hint at a Xenogears like scenario. KOS-MOS, having awakened as Mary Magdalene and the bearer of Animus, transferred said power to Nephilim, who used it to gather all Gnosis who had gone berserk due to their rejection of union… into her womb. After doing this, she transforms into an adult form, insanely reminiscent of “Original Elehayym” in Xenogears. This is what the Perfect Guide has to say:

In the core of planet Michtam, the power of Animus, which had been freed from KOS-MOS, unified the vessels of Anima circling around Zarathustra and released the power of Anima. The power of Animus took the form of Maria from the era of ancient Lost Jerusalem, and likewise, the power of Anima became the form of chaos from that same era. Then, with the power of Anima dwelling in chaos, the power of Animus went to dwell in Nephilim.

Why did the power of Animus dwell in Nephilim and not KOS-MOS?

It was because the consciousness of Maria that was within KOS-MOS wished it.

Abel chose to remain in the real number domain, and Nephilim made a matching decision to his. Believing that such a new existence would become a new possibility that clears a way for the future, the power of Animus was passed down to a new generation.


This is oddly fitting, considering Michtam is also the name of the planet Deus went out of control in the outline of Xenogears Episode I given by Perfect Works. More Perfect Guide stuff:

The power of Animus that dwelled in Nephilim; the power of Anima that dwelled in chaos; U-DO who remained in the real number domain; and the Zohar.

These things, which had existed in the era of ancient Lost Jerusalem, were the reappearance of the relationship that links, in the real domain, power of the imaginary domain to the upper domain.

They gathered up the many rejecting consciousnesses that were causing the crisis of the scattering of the universe, and made a dimensional shift to Lost Jerusalem.

On Lost Jerusalem, they would weave a new history.

In order to construct such a history, the power of Anima and Animus may perhaps come to be used once again.

For the sake of widening the possibility of the future.

The only oddly matching thing, aside from those Xenogears elements like the Eldridge or Deus that are missing, is that this is going to take place in Lost Jerusalem (Earth) instead of in a random planet. Perhaps this was a way to explore why Deus was aiming for Lost Jerusalem when it took over the Eldridge, albeit in other circunstances.

So a “new history” taking place in Earth, no space travel available, with Anima, Animus, the Zohar and U-DO (Abel) present? Sounds like Xenogears to me, no clue about you. Only thing missing is mentioning how Nephilim would give birth as a new “mother” to the souls that became Gnosis, turning them again into people. Oh wait, the Perfect Guide also says that:

The rejecting consciousnesses that had become Gnosis went through the domain shift to Lost Jerusalem together with Nephilim, chaos, and Abel. There, they will perhaps build up a new civilization.

The Gnosified consciousnesses-- in other words, the strong souls that tend to refuse to go quietly into the Collective Unconscious-- they are turned into existences of the real domain and begin to live as people.

It is expected to become something altogether different from the history that had once occurred on Lost Jerusalem. The birth of organisms (and ecosystem) due to turning the Gnosified consciousnesses into real domain existences will become what greeted the new situation. The effect of U-Do and the Zohar will be there as well. So also will the effect of Anima and Animus. Perhaps a dramatic change such as that will be what leads to the possibility of a new future.

Alongside more hammering of the fact that the influence of the Zohar, U-DO, Anima and Animus would be there. Given that Nephilim now bears Animus (same as Original Myyah, as she bore it into her womb before giving birth to it as Cain and the Gazel Ministry), it is possible the souls she gives birth to will inherit some of it. Perhaps even become a governing council over the new humans once shit goes places because, being honest, things gotta go haywire for there to be some plot. Chaos will also re-appear in a “new form” (Takahashi did say it, KOS-MOS and chaos are the key Xenosaga characters. They would appear in all story arcs, although not necessarily in the same form). KOS-MOS, that is, Mary’s will which remained within her robotic body, would also come to awaken again.

Okay theory mode off. See you next time!