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Big Joe

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Big Joe
Big Joe.png
Species Human
Gender Male
Age 36
Appearances Xenogears

Big Joe (ビッグ・ジョー), originally Joey Balboa (ジョー・力石, Joe Rikiishi), is a character from Xenogears. He appears multiple times throughout the game and he is an enemy in the Aveh Battle Tournament.

Appearance and personality[edit]

Big Joe is a tall man with green hair and blue eyes. He has a tattoo of a pink star on his left cheek. He wears an elaborate pink outfit and a red heart necklace around his neck.

Big Joe is a rather goofy character that shouldn't be taken seriously. He has a high opinion of himself and loves to be praised by his fans.

Story arc[edit]

Joe is encountered by the party at various places throughout the world during the game. He can first be found in a bar in the town of Dazil. He is very drunk and complains about other patrons talking loudly, eventually scaring said patrons away. When talked to, Joe claims that "Booze is my life companion", that he does whatever he pleases, and that he could introduce himself but he'd be a different person tomorrow.

Fei later sees Big Joe during the Aveh Battle Tournament. Before the tournament, he can be talked to as an NPC and he asks if Fei knows his name. If Fei responds yes, Joe says the secret of strength is gratitude towards one's fans; if he responds no, Joe claims that he controls the world. Joe is Fei's second opponent in the tournament.

After Fei becomes Battling Champion, Joe can briefly be found in an alleyway in Nortune's A Block. He offers to show Fei something interesting for 5000 G; it turns out to be a trick, and Joe runs away with the money. If this encounter is seen, then after the Gebler raid on Nortune, Joe shows up on the Nortune city map and explains how to change party members at the Wildcat Bar. He also leaves the M Disk for the party to pick up where he swindled them.

When the Yggdrasil is docked at the Thames, Joe can be found chatting with an NPC on the Yggdrasil's deck. He berates the player-controlled character for disturbing his "amore time", and challenges them to a game of Speed. Joe is difficult to beat because of his high running speed; if he is beaten, he awards the player a LongDarkCoat.

He is also locked up in the Ethos Headquarters when they are attacked by Gebler. If talked to, he congratulates the player for saving him before running off.

Joe can be found contemplating life below a staircase in the Shevat Shafts during the attack on Shevat.

In Etrenank, Joe can be found in the civilian area. When spoken to, he does not address the party, but practices his dance moves.

Joe can be found in two locations after the party reaches Bethlehem: he works the Jukebox in Nortune's C Block, and operates the shop under the Lighthouse. (No explanation is given for how he moves between these remarkably far locations.)


Despite the rather goofy nature of his character, Big Joe has an elaborate history as identified in Perfect Works and paperwork that can be found in the Lighthouse. Big Joe was a hero from the Zeboim era. He was known as Joey Balboa. He had a variety of talents, won many prizes, was a master of fighting techniques and was quite a caresser. He was almost as popular as the rock band Ravine. He was a former WWW Heavy Weight Champion as well as a hit movie star. He was a player in the NBA, won the Wimbledon Grandslam, the baseball triple crown and the pulitzer prize. However at an awards ceremony while heading to shake hands and accept an award, he slipped, hit his head and became brain damaged, thinking he was Elvis.

Joe was a wealthy man and rather than use his riches for charity spent it on remodeling his mansion (which included an interior amusement park and fast food shops) as well as rare animals, a movie block and a submarine. At the age of 29, he arranged to preserve his body and make clones, investing in cryonic facilities and frozen hibernation techniques. The scientists freezing Joe's body made a mistake and froze him too quickly. As such the thawing techniques were not sufficient to revive him and he was left frozen for thousands of years. The people were sad at losing him and held a great funeral for him.

Zeboim would eventually be destroyed and Joe remained frozen for thousands of years. Approximately 4,000 years later the Ethos in excavating the Zeboim ruins found his frozen cryonic reactor. Not knowing what it was and believing it to be trash, they threw it into the ocean. The reactor would float along, eventually reaching the coast of the island where Billy would eventually build the Orphanage. There it was discovered by an 8 year old boy named Davy. Davy played with the device and ended up releasing the lock on the reactor. Joe emerged from the device in frozen condition. Through a miracle, the sand's heat woke Joe from his slumber. This scared Davy and the other boys playing and they fled from him. Joe dived into the ocean and swam all the way to the Ignas continent.

Upon reaching Ignas, Joe wandered around and in trying to recover his former glory he would start running a shop, which he operated in some Zeboim ruins, the Lighthouse. Discounting the 4,000 years that he was frozen, Joe is currently 36 years old.

As a boss[edit]


  • Big Joe's Zeboim name, Joey Balboa, is a reference to Rocky Balboa, the main character of the boxing film series Rocky.
    • The Japanese equivalent, Joe Rikiishi, is likely a combination of the names of Joe Yabuki and Toru Rikiishi, two major characters from the boxing manga Ashita no Joe.
  • Great Joe, a Gnosis superboss in Xenosaga Episode I, is a reference to Big Joe.


Text box portraits[edit]

Overworld sprite[edit]