Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra[a] is a role-playing video game developed by Monolith Soft and published by Namco Bandai Games for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. It is the final entry in both the Xenosaga trilogy and the larger Xenosaga series, which forms part of the Xeno franchise. Concluding the narrative of Xenosaga Episode I and Episode II, Episode III sees Shion Uzuki and the battle android KOS-MOS search out the origins of the hostile alien Gnosis while being hunted by Shion’s former employers and four powerful humans called the Testaments. Gameplay is carried over from the first two games, featuring exploration of environments through a linear narrative, while battles follow a turn-based system featuring multiple leveling systems and combat with both a human party and mecha.
Concept work for Xenosaga Episode III began during the later development of Xenosaga Episode II in 2004. The development team’s aim was to address issues raised by fans and staff with the previous two Xenosaga games, along with bringing the story to a satisfactory conclusion. Due to the decision to turn the intended six-part series into a trilogy, the original draft for Episode III was substantially reworked. As with previous Xenosaga titles, the subtitle was drawn from the work of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. While the game was praised by critics and went on to sell over 340,000 copies worldwide, the mixed response to the Xenosaga series as a whole left Monolith Soft staff in a state of low morale, partially leading to the development of Xenoblade Chronicles.