References - Terms
[Prophetic name for Id.]
The second coming of Christ. In the game, Id is called the 'second advent', and he is meant to herald (and cause) the destruction of the world.
[Japanese term for seraph - PW only.]
According to version one of int's translation, the mobile weapons were called 'aeons,' not 'seraphs.' They're very similar, but aeons hail from Gnostic legend, not Hebrew. Aeons are emanations from God, and charged with helping human souls unite again with their creator; their counterparts, the archons, opposed them.
Gnosticism is not my primary area of study, so this probably isn't very precise. For more information on the reference, see the entry for angels.
[Name of the People of Solaris (only in Japanese version).]
Ahuras were angels in Aryan lore, and in Hindu lore they fell to evil and went to war against the gods, much as the fallen angels did in Christian lore. In the game (or the Japanese version, so I've been told), this is the term used for the people of Solaris. Ideally they are the people of God, but in reality, they have become tainted.
[Suffix for Omnigears (only in Perfect Works).]
'Bara' is a Hebrew word, which I suppose means 'creation.' I know it best from the opening line of the Bible: "Bereshit bara Elohim (In the beginning God Created)," which was hammered into my head only because the Zohar spent so much time on that line. :p
This could mean many things. In the game, 'gear-bara' means 'omnigear' (or at least, that's how it was translated), so using 'bara' could be another way of telling us these are the gears of genesis - their true forms. Since omnigears fuse mechanical and biological matter, you could also look at them as a type of new life: Anima Relics breathing life into inanimate objects, reminiscent of the exercise of creating a golem. (I should check that, and see if 'bara' is in the plans at all.)
It works well with the use of 'El-' in the names of omnigears, which brings to mind 'Elohim.'
Angels, Malakh Angels
[Deus's celestial soldiers.]
Quoted from A Dictionary of Angels: (Hebrew, "malakh") -- the word derives from angiras (Sanskrit),a divine spirit; from the Persian angaros, a courier; from the Greek angelos, meaning a messanger. In Arabic the word is malak (a Jewish loan word.) In popular usange, an angel denotes, generally, a supernatuiral being intermediate between God and man (the Greek "daimon" being a closer approximation to our notion of an angel than angelos). In early Christian and pre-Christian days, the term angel and daimon (or demon) were interchangeable, as in the writings of Paul and John.
In the game, 'angels' were the beings of either Krelian or Deus's creation (perhaps both) that were sent out to destroy all civilization. They could only be harmed by one of their own kind, or the equivilent - the omnigears. 'Angel' was also an element of attack, which Deus and its pillars used in the last battles. The use of the term "Malakh Angels" on disc two is redundant, since "malakh" means angel.
[Series of gear-enhancing relics and the characters who can use them.]
The aspects of women, and the aspects of men, respectively. In the game, the Anima Relics were meant to align with a special group of people called the Animus (though not all were men), who supposedly lived through multiple generations.
[Ramsus's cologne (only in Perfect Works).]
(This is the name of Ramsus's scent -- see his shrine for the rest of the information.) According to Azusa: "Antaeus was a Giant who was the son of Gaia, the Earth. He would force strangers to wrestle with him on the grounds that if he was the victor, he would get to kill the loser, and he always won-- because, being the son of the Earth, every time he was thrown to the ground he would be regenerated and strengthened.
The person who finally defeated him was Hercules, who won by holding Antaeus in the air so he couldn't draw strength from the ground and strangling him while he was aloft.
There was something about there being so many victims of his that he was building a roof from their skulls, or something. ^^;; At least, that's what my book says..."
[The Diabolos War.]
"Diabolos" is the devil, in both religious mythology and other languages. The devil is himself a fallen angel, however. In the game, Diablos was the force of gears that Grahf awakened on the ruins of the Eldridge to wipe out humanity - they were prototypes, although for what is not specified. Current speculation says they were the prototype 'angels'.
[Prefix for omnigears.]
This term, along with the syllable "yah," was used as a suffix when creating the names of angels in various mythologies. As quoted from A Dictionary of Angels: "...Angelology came into full flower in the 11th-13th centuries when the names of literally thousands upon thousands of angels appeared, many of them created through the juggling of letters of the Hebrew alphabet, or by the simple device of adding the suffix "el" to any word which lent itself to such manipulation."
Related to the word "elohim", which is "a term for God or angel." Although in Xenogears the word "el" is used as a prefix on the names of the omnigears, the meaning is clear. The Omnigears are higher forms of the normal gears, of equivilent power with the angels that Deus creates. Fits better than the spanish definition ("the"), at least. ^.^
[The game's version of magic.]
In 1650, Descartes proposed that there was an invisible medium in space called "ether". It had no mass and was not visible to the naked eye. He stated that a charged object could set up vortex motions in this ether, and these vortexes would travel to other particles and exert forces on them. (The full explanation can be found in an article in the Analysis section.) In the game, 'ether' was a force similar to magic, which was drawn from Zohar and used for various purposes - usually healing or attack spells.
[Key that raises Mahanon.]
It was brought to my attention that the term 'Gaetia,' which was 'ge-ti-a' in Katakana, resembles the title of the Lesser Key of Solomon - Goetia. Despite the similarity, I never made this connection. I even own the book. ^^ The Lesser Key is what you might call a spell book, containing conjuration instructions and pentacles, but it serves mainly as a guide to the demons Solomon supposedly called upon, and provides seals and illustrations, and so on.
In the game the Gaetia Key, usable only by the Gazel Ministry, was the tool they used to raise Mahanon and force the humans destined to join with god into mutating. I wouldn't say Wels are like demons, quite, but they share similar characteristics with the more traditional depiction of evil minions. So like the book, I guess you could call the Key a tool of summoning.
[Mentioned in Gazel conversations.]
Genesis is the first book in the Bible, and it details the origin of everything. In the game, the Gazel talk about the place of their 'genesis' - a reference to the place of their birth, and the beginning of the cycle.
[Protectors of Solaris.]
A class of ministering angels. Usually, each human has one guardian angel that accompanies them until death. According to Jewish lore, every one of God's creations receives an angel upon birth. Ancient lore also says that each of the countries of the world was attended by a guardian angel, but most became corrupted (the most notable examples being Rahab and Dobiel).
In the game, Cain's 'guardian angels' were both watchers over certain people (Shitan over Fei), and watchers over countries (Ramsus and Miang over Aveh).
[Biological computer that created the first Elly.]
Adam Kadmon is the primordial man in Hebrew lore, symbolized by the holy sephiroth. (From Encyclopedia Mythica.) In the game, Kadomony is the biological computer from which the Gazel Ministery was born at Cain's behest.
The dictionary definition: "Kahalakhah. (1) Duly; as should be; in proper form. (2) Audience, public."
The term 'kahal' describes different groupings of Jewish people. It was described to me as a type of parliament that headed the self-governed Jewish communities of Europe during the Middle Ages and onward. I've read that it can also be used for more religious gatherings. It would be nice to be more specific, so I'll probably edit this part of the entry later.
In the game the Kahal were labeled as Sophia's followers. The way she said it implied that they were like Krelian - meaning, a military following, which is why I call them her bodyguards. However, it might apply to all of her political followers as well, and the governing body of Nisan overall.
[Deus's Celestial Soldiers.]
[Rediscovered Zeboim-era technology.]
Nanomachines are microscopic constructs - as far as I know, this branch of science is still just a dream, but there is more extensive discussion in the World History section. In the game, Krelian and Melchoir (and Kim, before them) used nanomachines to enhance human medicine and machinery. Emeralda, Deus, the omnigears (after Deus's awakening), and Wels were all results of their studies.
[Pillars of Deus.]
Symbols of strength and support, upholding earth and heaven, and in some cases the divine throne itself. In the game, the Pillars of Deus were support mechanisms of the core machine, and if they're not destroyed before facing Deus itself, it will have their full array of attacks in addition to its own abilities.
[Deus's celestial soldiers.]
Quoted from A Dictionary of Angels: 6 classes of angels [Rf. 3 Enoch] closest to, or guardian of, the throne of Glory. They include the galgallim, the hayyoth, the ofanim, the seraphim. In the game, the angels (their origin in Merkava) guarded the way to Deus, along with their other purposes.
[Supercomputer aboard the Eldridge.]
The "secret of God," the angel of supreme mysteries, and author of the book Sefer Raziel (The Book of the Angel Raziel) where all earthly and heavenly knowledge is contained, some of which even other angels did not know. Raziel gave this book to Adam, and later allowed Noah to use it when he was commanded to build the ark. Raziel is sometimes head of the order of cherubim, and also an angel of the holy sephiroth.
In the game, the Razael Tree was the supercomputer aboard the Eldridge, which was said to contain the knowledge of God. In reality it contained data from the ship's voyage and the civilization beyond, as well as information on the Deus weapon system. The computer's banks resembled memory cubes, and the information was transmitted via a spiral around each.
[One of Shitan's arcane spells.]
"Curling Waves (Ripples)", or "Pretty, Small Waves Raised by a Zephyr". (This was Shitan's healing spell. Fits, doesn't it?)
(Thanks to Lydia for the site that contained this information!)
[Deus's celestial soldiers.]
"Firey serpent". 'Seraph' is a singular form of the term 'seraphim', which is both the plural and the angelic order. They have dominion over Fire, and in most cases are the highest in the celestial hierarchy. In the game, the 'Seraphs', also known simply as angels, carried out the destruction of the world's civilizations.
(See also: Seraphita.)
[Path to God.]
The Path of Sephirot is the path to God and enlightenment, and an illustration of the belief that God is the beginning and end of all. There are ten sephiroth: Kether (Crown), Chokhmah (Wisdom), Binah (Understanding), Chesed (Mercy), Geburah (Strength), Tiphereth (Beauty), Netzach (Victory), Hod (Splendor), Yesod (Foundation), and Malkuth (Kingdom).
In the game, the Path of Sephirot was very similar, symbolized by the meeting of the two angels in the Nisan Cathedral (and replicated in Merkava). But it is also taken as a more literal path to god, or Zohar. The sephirot diagram was also part of the symbol of Solaris, which you can see on the Merkabah (or, if you don't have a game saved, on our very own summary of Solaris).
[Computer in which Gazel Ministry are housed.]
A reference to the HAL9000 from A Space Odyssey - in the game, the SOL9000 is the computer which holds the data of the Gazel Ministry.
Sons of God
[Another name for Fei.]
The 'Sons of God' are mentioned briefly in Genesis as angels that descended to earth and fell from grace. In legend, these sons of God were a group of Watchers (also known as Grigori), who descended to earth intending to cure mankind of its depravity. In the end, they fell into lust and human weakness, and were branded as fallen angels, fated to remain outside of God's grace forever.
In the game, this term is used when Shitan refers to Fei, among other things.
[A defensive status in battle.]
In legend, the divine veil shrouds God's throne from the eyes of the angels. There's also a similar veil that lies between heaven and earth, which conceals the light emitted by the celestials and makes it impossible to see from one end of the world to the other. (Obviously, they didn't know the earth is round. ^.^) This veil supposedly came into being when Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden.
In the game, the veil status is a kind of ether defense - it shields you from a certain percentage of damage. You can see this in gear accessories like the Veil Doubler, Fire Veil Armor, Earth Veil armor, et cetera. Since ether is (when boiled down) an emanation from Zohar, it's an interesting twist of the reference. I have no idea if Takahashi intended this, but you never know.
[The ring found in Elly's DNA.]
The snake that eats it's own tail - I've heard it symbolic of the cycle of life and eternity, life from death, and so on. Princess Artemis provided a link that explains the symbolism better than I can: Of The Androgyne: The Serpent Ouroboros
Also, quoted from her email: "...the description there of Ouroboros is rather
interesting in light of its role in Xenogears--IIRC, Urobulos ring was only
present in a select few women, likely the Antitypes, and was surely a part
of System Hawwa (Miang) and Original Elhaym. Miang didn't quite beget
herself, but she obviously impregnated herself (so she could have Cain!),
could be said to have wed herself (by merging with Elly), and eventually she
would slay herself because she needed to return to Persona, the biological
component of Kadomony, so that Deus could awaken."
It's an interesting observation, I think. And as a not-so-interesting note, you can also find this symbolism in the Wheel of Time novels, most obviously in the rings the Aes Sedai wear, but also in other places. (I've got it on the brain! Sorry.)
[Deus weapon system.]
The name of God. It isn't supposed to be pronounced, and is comprised of the different tenses of the verb 'to be.' In the game, Yaweh is the term used to describe the Deus system and its parts - Deus, Zohar, and Kadomony.
[The Zohar Engine.]
I think this reference is twofold:
1) Literally, you could consider the book Zohar to be a gateway to God. It describes in great (symbolic) detail the way God emanates from the unknowable existence into Creation through the sephirot. In the game, the Zohar serves a very similar purpose, although it's also a prison, which mysticism would never support. Not the way I understood it from the game.
2) The Zohar's namesake is this sentence from Daniel 12:3 - "The enlightened shall shine like the radiance (zohar) of the sky, and those who lead multitudes to righteousness, like the stars, forever." Thus the name, 'Book of Radiance.'
You can really dig into this reference and find a lot of meaningful stuff. I'll do that in an article later.