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Released in Japan in June 2010, Europe in August 2011 and the US in April 2012, Xenoblade Chronicles is a science fiction RPG developed by Monolift Soft. The game follows a young man named Shulk, who wields the titular Xenoblade - an energy blade called the Monado - against the Mechon in order to ultimately save the world. Contrary to most other JRPGs, the game is less focused on cutscenes and story, instead employing an open world design that allows much of the world to be explored from the beginning of the game.


Best New Game+ time: Single-segment 3:40 by Nicholas 'Sir VG' Hoppe on 2012-07-26.

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Author's comments:

I can see the future, but can it be changed?

Speed Run Rules:
* Single Session
* New Game+
* Takes Damage to Save Time
* Defeats a God

Notice: Even though the game skips all cutscenes, this speedrun and this text will contain MASSIVE SPOILERS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. (BTW, did you know Aerith dies in Final Fantasy VII? WOW bet you didn't know that!)

Xenoblade Chronicles is one-third of the Operation Rainfall trilogy. This game, alongside The Last Story and Pandora's Tower, were part of the online petition to get Nintendo of America to release these games in the US. As of this writing, Operation Rainfall has been mostly successful, with Xenoblade Chronicles released in the US already and The Last Story due for release in August.

The world that exists appears to be endless sea, with only two titans called the Bionis and the Mechonis being land for living on. On the Bionis lives the Homs, Nopon, and High Entia - organic life. On the Mechonis lives Mechon - mechanical life. The Mechon can only be harmed via a sword called the Monado. At the start of the game it is wielded by Dunban, who uses it at the Battle at Sword Valley. However, since he isn't able to truly wield it, he loses the capability to use his right hand. At the start of the game proper, the sword is being studied by Shulk. However, when the Mechon attack their hometown of Colony 9, Dunban tries to wield the sword again, only to quickly collapse under the pain the sword causes him. Shulk takes control of the sword and begins to have visions, leading him to win fights against the Mechon. However, just when all seems to be going their way, a Mechon with a face appears, halts Shulk and the Monado in their tracks, and kills Shulk's friend, Fiora. This leads Shulk and his friend Reyn to head out of Colony 9 in pursuit of the faced Mechon and avenge their friend's death.

The game continues with an amazing story across expansive areas that make up the Bionis (and then later onto the Mechonis). There's even a day/night system which changes monsters that appear in the area. Weather too can change and cause special monsters to appear. Numerous side quests are available (400+!) and an battle system which continues to develop the farther into the game you go. It really is an experience that must be enjoyed - this run does NOT do the game real justice.

Let's start by explaining why a New Game+ run was chosen. When you beat the final boss, you're able to keep any weapons and armor equipped, along with 30 more of each type. You're also able to keep 60 items, all collectables and gems, and any progress made in your arts, skills, and team affinity. Other things like location affinity and quests completion is reset. With this, you can easily go through the game in quick fashion. In fact, I think a reasonable time on an "Out of the Box" run is not going to happen. I've seen walkthoughs and heard reports of people even using EXP cheats and STILL winding up with 19+ hours. While SDA has let up on the "7 hour soft limit", it's still not a reasonable goal, in my opinion. Thus, New Game+ is likely the only choice.

Even though armor stays on the character in NG+ runs, all gems are stripped, so you have to reequip them when starting a NG+ run. The only ones that stay on are on armors that have them fixed on there. There are 3 types of armors - ones without slots, ones with fixed gems (marked with a U) and ones with equippable gems (marked with a S). Same thing with weapons, only there's a chance for 1, 2, or 3 slots. For most characters in a NG+ run, I simply need to focus on weapon strength, although Melia is the exception (her art skills are Ether based, so thus I more need Ether Up gems). Quick Step up gems are an absolute must as well, mainly on Shulk and Melia, since both have sections on their own.

Next, I must cover about monsters. In this game, monsters will not attack if they're more then 5 levels below your character. So if your lowest leveled active party member is Lv 30, a Lv 25 monster will attack, while a Lv 24 one won't. The only exception to this are Unique Monsters, which you can identify by their name (when you select them on the battle field) having a fancy frame. They will attack you if they see you (have an eye on their identifier), hear you (sound waves), you use an ether attack close by, or attack directly. Bosses will attack regardless, since they're usually special triggers.

Last major thing to note - the game is extremely nice in TURNING OFF THE TUTORIALS ON NEW GAME+. HELL YEAH.

Now that some of the basics are covered, let's get into the heart of the game.

Prologue - Sword Valley
Party: Dunban, Dickson, Mumkhar

This section is easy. Destroy a few Mechon in 3 waves, and it's over. They're all destroyed in 1 or 2 hits. After that, skip some cutscenes and begin the game proper.

One Year Later - Colony 9 & Tephra Cavern
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Fiora, Dunban

The party in this section will vary. You never have more then 3 of the 4 above. This section is kinda like Midgar of FFVII fame. Huge area, but it's just the tip of the iceberg that is the world.

Boss: Ancient Machine. Normally if you play this at any level below Lv 8, these guys are tough. On NG+? One hit with Stream Edge can kill them both.

After this boss, fast travel is disabled. I have to hoof it back to the Main Entrance. Once Fiora leaves after trying to visit Shulk's workshop, that's it - she's gone. Anything she was wearing/equipped with will be what she has in a NG+ run. Game will remove all of her gems automatically after the battle with Metal Face (thank you game!).

Boss: Metal Face. Normally this is a very major battle, since the Monado can't hurt it. However on NG+ you'll see the True Monado easily kick it's butt. Well, it would, if it wasn't for the game enforced damage cap. You'll see this show up a LOT on NG+.

Onward - Tephra Cavern
Party: Shulk, Reyn
After the events at Colony 9, a pathway has opened up, allowing us to head towards Colony 6.

Boss: Arachnid Queen. Normally a spot where you learn about how to block techs via Shulk's Monado Shield. However, I don't need it. I basically run up to the boss and easily kill her in one hit.

And Upward - Bionis' Leg
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Sharla
After heading through the Tephra Cavern, we head out onto the vast plains of the Bionis' Leg. The day music here is really nice. First we check out a burnt out buggy, then save a young lad named Juju. We help him get back to camp and then meet his older sister, Sharla. She's a gun totin' woman who's also a medic. And her gun shoots healing bullets. Bizarre, huh? Juju gets mad at her and runs off, leading us into our next boss fight.

Boss: Mechon M71. This boss goes down so fast, it ran off and cried to its daddy.
Boss 2: Mysterious Face. Impossible to win. I just take it down to the damage cap then run around until the battle ends.

At this point, it takes me back to the refuge camp for plot stuff, but I say "screw this!" and leave.

And Outward - Colony 6, Ether Mine, and Central Pit
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Sharla, and later Dunban (w/ special guest Dickson)

I quick warp back to Spiral Valley to save on some backtracking, then head over to Colony 6. Since the gates are closed, the only way though is to go though the Ether Mine and into the Central Pit. The place is littered with Mechon, but they're all in uncare mode...for the most part. There's a couple of required fights to remove some barriers deep in the pit, but they all die in a hit or two. Once at the bottom (no, I can't just jump down - the game doesn't trigger landmarks if you're dead), I meet Mysterious Face again, who (normally) we learn a little about.

Boss: Xord. This is a two part fight. The first ends after enough damage is taken. After this, cutscenes dictate that the boss falls into the ether river which would be enough to kill a man. But a little bit later, he comes back. Then he can be killed and all weapons work, since he's been severely damaged from falling in the ether river.

I will make an interesting note on Xord. If you do some of the side quests early on in Colony 9, you meet a friend of Shulk named Desiree. Her father is a smithy who loved to hammer things, but died some time back. His name? Xord. Coincidence? Not a chance. It's one of the subtle things that you normally wouldn't catch on this early in the game - in regards to who the Faced Mechon really are. Normally you won't figure it out until Prison Valley. But that doesn't mean that Monolith Soft didn't give clues. This is one of them. The other was WAAAAY back at the beginning when Reyn tried to control the Monado and when it went nuts and hit Fiora, but didn't hurt her. Crafty, Monolith Soft. Very very crafty.

Dickson is done with his one fight with up and is no longer playable, but leads us on towards the next area we need to go to.

And Upward some more - Satorl Marsh
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve)

Satorl Marsh has some interesting aspects. The biggest being that at night, high leveled monsters exist on the main path. Luckily for non NG+ Lv 99 players, they don't attack unless you attack first. Well, except for Veteran Yozel, but he only appears during a thick fog at night.

During this section, on order to proceed on, you need to collect 4 items in order to perform a ceremony. Well, it's not much of a ceremony. All that happens is some stupid bird shows up to die 5 seconds later. Heh.

Boss: Satorl Guardian. Not much to say. Though a funny little bug can occur if you have a fast enough Quick Step gem. It's possible that when you beat it, if you progress far enough, you'll wind up in the stairs. It's only a minor graphical bug and you can very easily get out of it. But it's funny as hell though to see the characters stuck in the stairs. :)

After a climb up a bunch of vines, we head into the Bionis' Interior.

Interface Spoiler - Bionis' Interior
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve)

This area simply appears to be a pass-through from Satorl Marsh to Makna Forest. But what's interesting is this is one of the first major interface spoilers. Once you reach this area, you get a collectopaedia page. However, there's not a single collectable to be had - they don't show up until the 2nd visit, which is VERY late in the game. Now there's some other minor interface spoilers earlier - the Tephra Cave having a major area locked out for now, but that stuff is small compared to the fact that there's a ton more to this. You expect a Tephra Cave revisit (and it's not plot mandatory either). This area was just stupid spoiler.

(You can also see a tube on the mini map in the corner leading from one of the other areas if you look VERY closely.)

Welcome to the Jungle! - Makna Forest
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), and later Melia (Reserve)

Makna Forest introduces us to our newest party character, Melia. In her grand entrance, her guards all die to a mysterious being, known as a Telethia. By the time our heroes reach her, she's been knocked unconscious and is in dire need of help. So what's a grand hero to do? Go off on his own to save her. Strange, huh? It takes 3 people to watch her and 1 to explore a vast forest (mind you he's NEVER been there before!). Smooth move, heroes.

Boss: Telethia Spawn (x3). Stream Edge takes out most of their HP, then single arts finish the rest of it.

So after beating them and getting the stuff that's needed to heal our poor wounded girl, Melia joins the party. From here we head over to Frontier Village, home of the Nopon race.

And Inwards - Frontier Village
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), and later Riki (Reserve)

And in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles we're introduced to...VOLLEYBALL! NOPON EDITION! No, seriously. Riki is introduced by bump (Melia), set (Shulk), and SPIKE (Reyn)! Poor joke character. I'll make it up to you by letting you be in my party at some random point in the game that I so decide. I'll let you know when.

At this point, we decide to go after the Telethia that attacked Melia. Back to Makna Forest we go!

And Outwards - Makna Forest (Revisited)
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve)

*sings* Traveling though the forest, past uber high level monsters! Nobody gives a hoot about them, just pass by them with ease! Off to a corner of the first, covered with some dead leaves...

Boss: Telethia. I beat it, it tries to regenerate, then I remind it that I know Radix. It promptly falls over. The end.

Spiraling About - Frontier Village (Revisited)
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve)

We're brought back here, where I simply warp back up to Melia and then we all agree to go to Eryth Sea. A teleportation system is at the very top of Frontier Village. Off we go!

Anybody want to go for a swim? - Eryth Sea/Alcamoth/High Entia Tomb/Prison Island
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve)

I'm lumping these four areas together for this section of these comments because I very quickly jump back and forth between them (mainly Eryth Sea and Alcamoth). In fact, it's pretty easy to forget where you're going and if you can fast travel or not in this section of the run.

First off it's a direct path though Eryth Sea to Alcamoth. At this point we get greeted by masked members of the High Entia race. Melia goes off on her own to the throne room while the rest of the party are sent to Whitewing Palace. Melia is in fact, a princess of the High Entia (hence the guards protecting her in Makna Forest). She's been called upon to lead the High Entia race after her father passes away, even ahead of her brother (and he has no issues with this at all...surprising!).

After some time at Whitewing, the party heads off to help a guy who's being stared at by 4 Kromar (lizard like beings). Shulk eliminates them one by one. It's kinda funny to watch, since as I kill them, none of the others do all. Silly Kromar. So after saving him from a staring contest, the man leaves and we return back to Whitewing palace, where Shulk and crew are attacked by several masked High Entia.

(Note about this fight for non-NG+ players: GET SHULK OUT OF THE PARTY BEFORE YOU REST. Shulk is completely worthless for this fight! Remember at this point, the Monado can't hurt beings of the Bionis. The True Monado, aka Monado III, can, so thus I can use him in NG+ runs.)

Alvis, who Shulk met earlier, tells the crew that Melia is off to the High Entia Tomb to visit her ancestors (for their blessing in becoming the next in line), but that an assassination attempt is in line. Everybody goes to check it out. You control both Melia (alone) and the rest of the party going though two completely different paths - Melia, this easy route (being a High Entia, the place has no issue with her being here) and everybody else, the hard route (YOU GUYS ARE OBVIOUSLY ROBBERS! TO THE POOL YOU GO!). After everybody gets though, we hear the potential assassin calling Melia a "filthy Homs half-breed". What does she mean? Who cares, KILL HER!

Boss: Tyrea and Solidum Telethia. Another fight where Shulk has issues for non-NG+ players, as Tyrea is a human, so the Monado can do jack.

So back to the prior question, what did Tyrea mean by calling Melia a "filthy Homs half-breed"? Well, it comes down to the basic biology of the Homs and High Entia. High Entia were once Telethia and contain a gene that can cause them to regress back into them. However, over time, they've found that the gene that causes this can be breed out of their genomes by mixing it with Homs genes. So every king in a long succession has taken two wives - one of pure High Entia blood, and a Homs wife. Yet despite the desire by the High Entia is do this, they still treat the half-Homs High Entia with shame, forcing them to wear a mask for ceremony. The logic in this is kind of bizarre, but interesting. This is also why Melia's headwings are considerably smaller then other High Entia's. This trait is a typical side effect of not being pure High Entia. Note I said typical - Tyrea is an exception. For those curious about this, play though the game until you get a sidequest involving her late in the game. The quest doesn't appear until after Mechonis Core. It's called "Melancholy Tyrea", a surprise quest that appears outside of Colony 6 at Watchpoint Junction (the quest finishes at Makna Forest, where Shulk fought the Telethia Spawn).

Anyways, back on topic. After visiting Melia at the Imperial Villa, we learn that Melia's father has gone off to Prison Island to awaken Zanza, a being trapped within the confines of the island. He has the power to unlock the Monado's full powers. Once you do so, the Monado will be able to harm the faced Mechon, but at the same time, it can harm beings of the Bionis. So it's a bit of a double-edged sword. But in order to Shulk to beat the Mechon, he knows he has no choice. Metal Face does try to stop Zanza from doing this, but fails to do so.

Boss: Metal Face. Now armed with a fully capable Monado, Shulk shows Metal Face who's boss.

Just when the battle seems to be won, a mysterious new faced Mechon appears and blocks Shulk's final blow, taking the damage and revealing the core of this new Silver Face Mechon. a HOMS?! Oh, but the surprises don't end there. This Homs woman reveals her face...and it's...FIORA?! ZOMGWTFBBQ?!?!?!?!

Suddenly, the scope of everything in regards to the Mechon has changed for Shulk. The truth has been revealed...Face Mechon are piloted by Homs, which is why the Monado couldn't harm them before. This fight begins a change within Shulk, wondering if the fight against the Mechon is really the right fight. This will come more into light once you go though Valak Mountain and Sword Valley and battle Metal Face in both locations.

But for now, the party returns to Alcamoth to mourn the death of the king of the High Entia. At this point, Melia's brother agrees to take charge while Melia leaves with the party to battle Metal Face, save Fiora, and head towards the Mechonis. The way to reach it is via Valak Mountain, which leads towards Sword Valley, where Dunban fought the Mechon one year ago. The way there is though a section of Makna Forest that has been blocked off via a bridge, but a ship will take us from Eryth Sea to that location.

Into the Cold - Valak Mountain
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve)

We've arrived at Valak Mountain, which is part of a giant wound that was received during the battle eons ago between Bionis and Mechonis. Think of Valak Mountain as a giant scab on Bionis. Ok, yeah, that's creepy. So I guess...think of kittens? Puppies? Giant fire-breathing dragons? Yeah, think of something else.

The first goal of the party is to reach Harict Chapel, where the Sealed Tower exists. This place has been frozen over with ice since it was last visited by an expedition of Homs 14 years ago. This Sealed Tower was once where the Monado was kept after Zanza was locked away at Prison Island. First off the crew need to get inside, so a quick battle with Conflagrant Raxeal gives us a magma rock.

After a rest at Sealed Tower, we continue across the rest of Valak Mountain at just before we reach the end, Fiora appears and begins to talk with Shulk and crew. As Shulk suspected, Fiora's memories of him and everybody else she knew is gone. But just before she can explain what's going on, Metal Face shows up and threatens her life is Shulk doesn't hand over the Monado. Shulk, the brave fool his is, complies. Metal Face is revealed to be a Homs as well - Mumkhar, one of the comrades of Dunban at Sword Valley 1 year ago (who was believed to have been killed).

(Note: Now for those that have watched the video to this point and wonder why Mumkhar looks completely different in the intro battle from your first playthough, even though he's not a party member will understand why. In NG+ runs, Mumkhar will keep his Mechon body, since the game sees no point in hiding this reveal anymore. Yes, it's a bit of a plothole, but then again, the original Monado still exists at Shulk's workshop and Dunban drops the Monado III even though he doesn't possess it, among other things.)

Just when all seems lost with Mumkhar in control of the Monado AND being able to remote control Metal Face to continue threatening Fiora, Melia comes to the rescue with an ether attack. This single attack knocks the Monado out of Mumkhar's hands and blows away Metal Face without hurting Fiora. It's a bold and yet interesting move, given that if it went wrong, Fiora would have been dead (again). Melia the savior...or potential Murder The Hypotenuse? Watch cutscenes and other gameplay with Melia and decide for yourself.

Boss: Mumkhar. Much like the fight at Prison Island, Mumkhar doesn't stand a chance against the Monado since it's power is unlocked.

At this point, a new Mechon shows up. He says he is the leader of all the Mechon and is fighting against the tyranny that is Bionis. He takes Fiora and retreats back to the Mechonis. Time to head over to the Mechonis!

And Across the Way - Sword Valley
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve)

Finally, we're on the Mechonis! Well, technically we're just on the SWORD of the Mechonis. But who cares about technicalities!

Dickson shows up to offer us some aid. While it doesn't matter for a NG+ run, for the first time travelers, the offerings of weapons that damage Mechon (besides the Monado and the sword that Dunban has after Central Pit) is a sight for sore eyes. No needing to waste time with Monado Enchant during every battle.

If you look at the introduction videos, it appears that the spot where Dunban was fighting at was at Monado Wound. The reason why I believe this is the case is that since there are ether waterfalls behind where the battle is taking place, the spot behind them has to be the Ether Storage Area. While I go though the upper parts of Ether Storage Area, Monado Wound is a spot that I don't visit on the run. Another fun thing to know. Anyways, back to the run.

To go though Sword Valley, I need to unlocks gates along the way. The first is at Ged Fortress, which allows me to get though 6th Gate and 5th Gate. The 2nd is at Dolgan Outpost, which unlocks 4th Gate. There is a 3rd gate further down, but I don't need to go though it. (Why there is no 1st or 2nd Gate is beyond me.) Once I'm through 4th Gate, I can pass though the upper deck of Ether Storage Area towards the Port Access Pathway, where the next boss battle awaits.

Boss: Mumkhar (in Metal Face). The final battle with Mumkhar is where you truly see Shulk's change in his personal feelings on this war. Dunban is bound and determined to kill Mumkhar for being a traitor and killing his sister, when suddenly Dunban's blade is stopped by Shulk. Dunban is wondering if Shulk is going to traitor him too, but a long winded, yet reasonable message gets though that Shulk has lost his desire for revenge and now only longs to seek the truth and end the war between the beings of Bionis and Mechonis. Mumkhar doesn't care and tries to kill them all, but a fatal mistake leads him to his death. Not even a vision from Shulk can save him and he is impaled and falls from Sword Valley, never to be seen again.

(Well, Mumkhar is never seen again. Sword Face winds up at Fallen Arm. Once you arrive there and go near Digit 5 Beach, head back towards Digit 4 and locate the Black Wreckage landmark. This is the remains of Metal Face. The reason it's called Black Wreckage actually stems from Metal Face's original Japanese name, Black Face. Obviously you can see why this name was would NEVER fly in the US, even if you know there are other Faces identified by color [Gold, Silver, Green/Jade, Brown, etc.].)

After this, we head over to Galahad Fortress.

And Inward We Go - Galahad Fortress
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve)

Galahad Fortress is basically a giant plant that deals with the inflow of Ether (the blood of the Bionis) to be used for power on Mechonis. It's also a base location where Faces can be repaired. After shutting down parts of the base, we head deep inside to face Fiora and Gold Face. It's during this point when Fiora is able to resist Egil's power and act on her own, though the destruction of Galahad Fortress causes her to tumble deep into the unknown. Shulk jumps after her and everybody else is sent tumbling down shortly after.

After the Unknown - Fallen Arm
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla, Melia, Riki, Fiora

After a terrible fall and a mysterious dream, Shulk finally comes to, having wound up on a beach at Fallen Arm, which is the left arm of Mechonis that was severed during the battle with Bionis eons ago. At the shore of the beach lies Silver Face and Fiora. After some water (delivered in a pretty romantic way), Fiora comes to. Initially Shulk expects nothing to have changed, but Fiora recognizes Shulk, much to his surprise and delight. Fiora talks about what she was feeling and the mysterious woman that is inside her. While she is unsure of exactly who she is or what she wants, she knows she has to help. So Shulk and Fiora head across the Fallen Arm towards Hidden Village, where a race of machines called Machina live. These beings are different then the heartless Mechon - they are basically human-like robots.

During this time, Shulk and Fiora and joined by Reyn and Sharla. Dunban, Melia, and Riki also make their way over to Hidden Village on their own. Congratulations's your one time party join! Hope you enjoyed the 20 foot walk to do nothing.

Once inside Hidden Village, we learn that Fiora's mechanical body is in very bad shape and needs some work done to keep her going. We also meet Miqol, who is the father of Egil and his sister Vanea. Miqol is much different then his ruthless son and actually asks the party to kill him. Pretty deep request there.

During this sequence, Fiora and Sharla are removed from the party - Fiora, for obvious reasons, and Sharla as she's working with Linada to take care of Fiora. During this time you can get some interesting insight if you "talk" to Fiora on the life support bed she's on. The most interesting of the character thoughts comes from Melia, who is still harboring a crush on Shulk at this point. She does wonder if she can compete with Fiora, being that Fiora is Shulk's childhood friend.

After talking with Miqol, the party goes to find a part necessary to help Fiora at Digit 5 Beach. There is a more direct way there though Hidden Village, but that path is locked until you complete a couple of quests. So because of that, I just swim around. After getting the part, I walk back a ways to get the Connecting Bridge landmark to appear, so I can fast travel back to that spot later. I then return to Junks to give Linada the part so Fiora can be healed (for now) then head off to find a place to rest.

At this point the party decides to head into Mechonis towards the capital, Agniratha, to confront Egil. We receive the Bulkhead Key which allows us to take a path from Fallen Arm to the foot of the Mechonis.

And Up In New Terrain - Mechonis Field
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve), Fiora (Reserve)

Mechonis Field has one of my favorite pieces of area music in the game. Which is great, since this area is HUGE. It's a 7 floor monster. This is nothing like Frontier Village, which even though it has more floors is much smaller and considerably more contained. Here you have to take elevators and walking floors to get around the place. What I would so give to just be able to fly though this place...

At the top is the bulkhead, which is a big long tube that contains our next boss.

Boss: Jade Face. Normally you're suppose to play a bit of a hiding game by ducking behind the barriers so you can avoid Jade Face's long ranged Linear Laser shots. Shulk says SCREW THE RULES, I HAVE QUICK STEP GEM! I can't get to Jade Face in any less then 2 visions. After dealing a couple of hits, the battle ends and Jade Face reveals himself to be Gadolt, Sharla's love interest. Unlike Fiora, his memories have really been wiped out (Egil removed it to avoid a weakness of Faces) and has no recollection of Sharla. Or so it would seem...

After the fight, we have to travel though the bulkhead again and then on towards Central Factory.

Into the Heart of the Beast - Central Factory
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve), Fiora (Reserve)

Much like Mechois Field, Central Factory is another monstrous area that makes up a large area of Mechonis (I imagine it's likely the chest area). What's interesting is there's some small portions near the top that are barred by an electric barrier that has a switch only on the other side. It's as if the game is saying we'll be able coming from the other way some time in the future...

The main goal of this area is to create a bomb to get though a gate so I can climb to the top. Three enemies hold parts to them, after which I can take it to the Maintenance Wing to turn the parts into an explosive. After this it's all about climbing up and up, shutting down a few barriers, then though a transporter to Agniratha, the capital of Mechonis.

The Height of Sorrow - Agniratha
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Sharla (Reserve), Melia (Reserve), Riki (Reserve), Fiora (Reserve)

As the various races of Bionis begin their assault on Mechonis and the Mechon, the party arrives at Mechonis' capital, Agniratha. The city carries such a sorrowful tune, it really makes you wonder about what kind of beauty that this place use to have. While there are still inhabitants, it's all soulless Mechon. The Machina used to live here before the attack by Zanza (using Telethia) sent many of them into hiding at Fallen Arm.

The goal is to activate 4 pillars to reach the Meyneth Shrine, where Egil is. After activating all 4 pillars and activating the transporter to the shrine, just before we can use it, Jade Face (Gadolt) appears and starts to attack the party.

Boss: Jade Face (Gadolt). The scene surrounding this boss is quite interesting. I've enjoyed reading/watching Tsubasa Chronicles. Now why do I bring that manga/anime into this discussion? They have a saying in common: "While the heart may forget, but body never does." In Tsubasa, Sakura loses all of her memories of Syaoran, but certain actions that occur remind her of things that she can't understand why they feel familiar. In Xenoblade Chronicles, as you watch Gadolt fire on the party in cutscenes, he's continually missing Sharla. And it's NOT by accident. His mind may not remember Sharla, but his body does. No matter what Egil did to Gadolt, he wasn't able to completely remove Gadolt's memories (and thus the weakness of Faces).

The fight itself is challenging and presents the first time I actually use a chain attack in the run. The reason for this is that Jade Face calls two shield monsters during the fight. These monsters use an ability the forces the party to lock onto them, rather then Gadolt until they are defeated. If I use a chain attack, I can finish off Jade Face before this happens.

Upon his defeat, Meyneth (still in Fiora) restores his memories. The party is unable to help him further at this point and leave him behind to go confront Egil.

Boss: Egil/Yaldabaoth. Egil proves his toughness in that after getting a Monado slice to the arm, he simply goes "Whatever", grabs Shulk by the face and throws him away like a toy. After this, Egil sees that even the Goddess he's worshipped (Lady Meyneth) has betrayed him and goes apeshit.

At this point, all hell breaks loose. Egil offers up his body and soul to take over Mechonis and reawakens it, pulling the sword of the Mechonis out of Bionis, sending hundreds, if not thousands of Homs and Mechon plummeting to their deaths from Sword Valley. The heroes are only saved via Gadolt using himself as a shield (thus allowing Meyneth time to awaken and be able to create a floating barrier around the heroes) and a lucky save by Alvis, Miqol, and the Junks ship from Fallen Arm (when Meyneth's power fails her and is unable to maintain the shield). Thus begins the final showdown with Egil in hopes of ending this war between Bionis and Mechonis.

Interesting to note if you watch the cutscenes as Mechonis reawakens is that it now has two whole attached arms again. It seems bizarre, since Fallen Arm doesn't disappear and magically reattach itself. So is it because Egil took over control of Mechonis that it was able to regenerate the left arm? There's no direct explanation as to why, but that's my best guess. Why Meyneth doesn't have only one arm when she appears is a bit of a mystery too, but since she had an extremely long time to heal, it's much more likely that it was repaired, unlike the instant repair job that Mechonis seems to have received.

After arriving at Junks, we're off to go to Mechonis Core to face Egil. During the time here, there's no fast travel and one special quest for a weapon for Fiora, which requires to to talk all the way down Central Factory. Interesting to note is that while you can't reach Mechonis Field, you CAN reach Agniratha...even though it should be completely destroyed. But hey, I don't care about any of that. It's off to face Egil! But first, that stupid Apocrypha Generator needs to croak.

Boss: Apocrypha Generator. This is the generator Egil used to basically shut down the Monado during the fight at the bottom of Galahad Fortress. To keep Egil from using it during our final fight with him, we destroy this first. After this fight, not only is Egil no longer able to shut down the Monado again, but Shulk is able to unlock a new Monado skill, Cyclone (anybody that's in break status is toppled). This technique is GREAT for unique enemy fights, especially the uber level monsters.

Boss: Yaldabaoth. This fight is once again damage capped...kinda. After a certain near death damage level, the game prevents you from dealing more damage until a story event happens. Three energy devices appear around Egil and a story quest/vision happens. If you fail to destroy these energy devices around Egil in 2 minutes, it's INSTANT GAME OVER. THERE ARE NO CONTINUES, MY FRIEND. Ok, maybe not quite. But the attack will destroy the Bionis. What is kind of disappointing is that there is no show of this like some bad game over (like Chrono Trigger's "But the future refused to change." bad ending). The game simply just fades to black and you respawn outside of Mechonis Core.

At this point, Shulk goes into uber ninja mode, managing to prove he's faster and stronger then Superman, initially dodging and then reflecting Yaldabaoth's sword (yeah, it's damn impressive). Shulk then leaps up and cuts off Yaldabaoth's head, exposing Egil. At this point Shulk hears a voice telling him to KILL HIM! Shulk knows what he's about to do is wrong and with some encouraging from Fiora, he's able to stop just inches away from Egil's face. At this point Shulk and Egil decide to make peace and end the war and the game ends right there.

Except it doesn't. A shot rings out, hitting Shulk and killing him. WHO DONE IT?! It was...DICKSON?! He's gone all traitor too? WHAT?!

At this point, 15 zillion shocking revelations come out. The short of it is that: Dickson is a bad guy. Shulk was being possessed by a God (Zanza) much like Fiora is (by Meyneth). Meyneth is killed by Zanza, who takes her Monado and disappears. Bionis reawakens and destroys Mechonis, but not before Egil gets one last parting shot in. And for a parting gift, Zanza turns the High Entia into Telethia. So shit has hit the fan.

Junks (with the crew, including a dead Shulk) head to Colony 6, hoping for a chance to regroup. Unfortunately, the Telethia attack is relentless and the heroes fight desperately to survive. And just when all seems lost, Shulk returns, wielding (in non NG+ runs) a replica Monado, created by the Machina people. It still capable of all that the original could do (damage Mechon, damage people, etc) but in the sense of the plot is weaker.

At this point, the only thing the party can do is to take out Zanza and his trinity of disciples (Dickson, Lorithia, and Alvis). So into the Bionis Interior, via the hole that Egil's final attack made!

Return to the Inside - Bionis Interior (Revisited)
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Melia, Sharla (Reserve), Riki (Reserve), Fiora (Reserve)

Now that we've returned to the Bionis Interior, all collectables are now available. Telethia appear everywhere (including the area visited on the first time though) along with other life forms. The party travels through on what pretty much amounts to nerve cells of the Bionis, passing by ether (the blood) and various blood cells. What kind of weird biology is this? At the top I swap out Shulk for Melia and change the time to night. Melia works much better for the boss fight at the heart of the Bionis.

Boss: Disciple Lorithia. While you can directly damage Lorithia right away, taking out the various cores around her makes the fight go much quicker. This fight on the first playthough can be very difficult, since he cores do explode and it's very easy to get hit with a confuse status (combined with the numerous ether pools which eat up your HP in a hurry) can easily kill an unprepared n00b. Tread carefully and prep your gems well.

After being her, a path appears leading to Prison Island, leading to the final battle.

To the Final Battle - Prison Island (Revisited)
Party: Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, Melia (Reserve), Sharla (Reserve), Riki (Reserve), Fiora (Reserve)

Unlike the first visit, we now get to explore the entire dungeon. All collectables are available (and unlike Bionis Interior, the page appears now, instead of on the first visit). The path inside leads to an arena, where Dickson taunts us with various monsters to fight before lowering the floor. The switch to reraise the floor is reached by going though the kitchen. Yeah, this place is a messed up path of mayhem. After reraising the floor, we're able to open a path to reach the upper floors of Prison Island. After ringing a bell and fighting a dragon (who has a nasty counter - every time you hit it when it's not toppled it does spike damage - damage that can't be lowered via armor, only spike gems, which I don't have any equipped), we can then head back to the top, where Zanza (possessing Arglas' body) once was. Once you go into the teleporter after the dragon, there is NO RETURN.

(As an interesting gesture, the game locks out the ability to save after the point of no return, to prevent the game from being unwinnable.)

Boss: Disciple Dickson. First part ends after 50% of Dickson's HP is gone. After this, the cutscene makes it look like Dickson is beating us handily (somehow). But with a couple of blocks by Fiora (and then Shulk), the party is able to stay alive. But just when all still seems lost, Melia uses her special attack to stop Dickson and begins the rousing speech, leading everybody to rally for one last go. I must say, Red Oni (Fiora) Blue Oni (Shulk) get a nice power walk before the 2nd part of the fight begins.

And after cleaning Dickson's clock, he rage quits on us, then promptly dies behind our back. Ha?


And then suddenly, we wind up walking though outer space. No idea why, no real explanation. But hey, it makes for a cool setting for the final battle. Right? After more discussion and an offer to Shulk by Zanza (who promptly tells him to take his offer and shove it) the three-part final battle begins.

Final Boss: Zanza

After the first form, Zanza changes his form, telling us to witness his true form and despair. Seriously, is he taking lessons from Dracula or what? But what's interesting is if you go into the fight with a level close to Zanza. If you do, you get reaction commands that seem to appear out of nowhere. What is this, you ask? Well, if you hit the reaction command, Shulk can actually continue to witness visions...even though he doesn't possess the Monado (though really, he hasn't had it since Mechonis why the change now? PLOT HOLE!). After the 2nd part, Zanza get furious as to how Shulk is still able to have the visions, to which Shulk simply shows how awesome he is and pulls out his own Monado. Yeah, EAT YOUR HEART OUT, ZANZA!

And upon the defeat of the 3rd form, Shulk kills Zanza. Now wait a second, you say. There was a trinity of disciples. Why hasn't Alvis been fought? Simply put, Alvis really isn't on Zanza's side. Alvis is actually a computer program that was used by Klaus (who later became Zanza) to destroy our universe and create the new one the character live in. He gives Shulk the power to basically be a god, to which Shulk declines, saying he'd rather live in a world with no need for gods. And peace is restored. The end?

One thing that goes in between the opening part of the ending and the last part of the ending that isn't explained in cutscenes is about Fiora. One of the big reveals has to deal with the last major cutscene, which has the player walking around Colony 9 from one of the character's point of view. Dunban tells us that it's Fiora. But why the sudden first-person view? Well, because during the time of the ending, the Machina managed to turn Fiora back into a real girl. AWWWWW.

The events of what happened are only explained in Xenoblade Secret Files, a special book released only in Japan (so far). Basically, Linada (the medic from Junks) was able to finally create a machine to give Homs back their human body, so they weren't stuck in machine bodies for the rest of their lives. The machine took 6 months to restore Fiora's body, but I say she looks pretty damn good, given the game's stated disregard Egil and the Mechon had for her when converting her to a Mechon.

And thus, ends Xenoblade Chronicles. You're allowed to create a save and carry over any equipped weapons and armor, along with 30 other weapons, 30 other pieces of armor (of each type), 60 items, all collectables, and your levels, art/skill progress, and party affinity. Maps, Achievements (Trials only), and location affinity do not carry over. Gems are also automatically removed from your party members.

And with all that long winded explanation, that's Xenoblade Chronicles. If you've read this and never played it. Even though I pretty much spoiled the plot for you. But hey, I warned you. Nobody to blame but yourself!

Until next time.

This run is Copyright (C) 2012 Nicholas "Sir VG" Hoppe and IMAMYTH Colosseum ( and and is allowed for downloading and private viewing. Permissions for hosting this run have been granted to Radix and Speed Demos Archive. Public viewing of this run is prohibited without prior permission from the creator. The selling or distribution of this run for profit in any way, shape, or form including (but not limited to) selling on eBay and television for profit is prohibited without prior permission from the author. Video hosting sites (i.e. YouTube, etc) may host this video in part or in full, as long as full permission is granted by the author. Any violation of the above listed may result in legal action. Xenoblade Chronicles is Copyright (C) 2010-2011 Monolith Soft/Nintendo.

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