On Del the Funkee Homosapien's 1999 song Proto Culture, he mentions the cult classic game Xenogears with the above words. Since Del is in love with both video games and obscuria, it is not that unusual that Del should mention it.

However, why he should mention this specific game, and with this specific line, still bears some explanation. Del is a very careful and methodical lyricist, even when he is having fun, so he probably has some meaning here, aside from just making a good rhyme.

One thing to consider is that while most of the other games mentioned in the song are either full of popular nostaliga value, or are well known modern hits, Xenogears is a little outside the mainstream of gamer culture. The Squaresoft fanboy/girl is culturally closer to the culture of manga, anime and science fiction than to gaming as such, partially since Squaresoft is known more for their characterization and plots than their gameplay. Xenogears (although I have preserved my sanity and not actually played it), has a plot that is full of gnosticism and dystopia.

People who have heard Del's 2000 Deltron 3030 album (which should be everyone on everything2) know that dystopia and gnosticism are two of his major themes. And those familiar with hip-hop culture and black culture in general know that apocalypse is often referred to. In the late 80s and early 90s, hip-hop groups from the realistic Public Enemy to the esoteric Wu-Tang Clan or Busta Rhymes included themes of apocalypse. And the quality of this apocalypse wasn't subtle: a worldwide conspiracy of oppression would be brought to light and destroyed.

1999 was a different year, and Del was personally very different. He had spent years outside of the hip-hop mainstream, studying Asian culture high and low. So even after the rather Manichean struggle of Deltron 3030, with mech warriors fighting against cyberwarlords, he concludes his journey not with a battle, but by realizing that "life is like a dream, when I die I wake up". Thus, from Xenogears, Del gets his fears relieved, by realizing that life is just a dream, giving a slightly sideways spin on the traditional hip-hop obsession with apocalypse. Even after thousands of years, the thought of liberation from samsara is a relieving thought.

One thing I do wonder about, is if the story of Mother Sophia, who had to spend so many eons before being released, relieves Del's fears, what the story of Lin Dai-Yu, whose penance was so much shorter, would do.

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