Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

So, a track from 1998's Xenogears contains samples from Marlon Brando's son's manslaughter trial

Illustration for article titled So, a track from 1998's Xenogears contains samples from Marlon Brando's son's manslaughter trial
Screenshot: Bizkit047

Xenogears, a PlayStation One role-playing game made by Square back in 1998, is probably best known for its dense fiction—a sci-fi world where people pilot giant robots while fighting against a world-ending plot filled with allusions to Carl Jung, Sigmund Freud, Friedrich Nietzsche, and the Abrahamic religions. It also, for reasons we cannot comprehend, features a boss fight soundtrack that includes a sample from Marlon Brando’s son’s 1990 manslaughter trial.

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Though enterprising Xenogears fans on GameFAQs located the sample’s origin a few years ago, the bizarre trivia resurfaced yesterday thanks to a tweet from @RPGFanCom. As an attached clip explains, players have long been curious about what was being said in a distorted sample from the boss fight track, “Blazing Knights.” After discovering a longer version of the same sample—a man’s voice saying “Total sentence imposed is 10 years in the state prison”—was used in a song called “Ammo Clip” from 2002's Command & Conquer: Renegade, a GameFAQs user going by “wzrd517" was able to track them back to the verdict given in Christian Brando’s trial for the murder of Dag Drollet thanks to the 2015 documentary, Listen To Me Marlon.

God only knows how the game’s composer, Yasunori Mitsuda, ended up with the sample or why, aside from the reasonable expectation that nobody would even know what it says, it was included in the track. Considering its use in another video game soundtrack, we assume someone threw the sentencing clip onto some sample database that Mitsuda pulled it from. But, knowing that Xenogears fans will comb through every bit of the game to unpack the thematic relevance of its various references, there’s probably a long message board thread out there already puzzling out a grand theory of how Christian Brando’s trial ties into its story.

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Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.