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Shulk (シュルク) is the main protagonist of Xenoblade. He likes to think things through and is very methodical in his approach to most situations. Early details show that he is able to wield the Monado due to the fact that he was one of the only known survivors on a previous expedition to retrieve the sacred weapon. He first acquires the sword when his home, Colony 9, is attacked. His first act upon acquiring the "destined weapon" is to fight for an end to the war with the Mechonis and avenge Fiora.
A God I Am Not: After defeating Zanza, Alvis gives Shulk the ability to remake their world so that the inhabitants of the destroyed Mechonis and dying Bionis still have a place to live. He uses this power to fulfill Meyneth's last wish, creating a world without gods, and then relinquishes his power, presumably living out the rest of his life as a mortal.
Back from the Dead: Twice, in fact. First, when he died in the Monado expedition when he was a child, and brought back to life by Zanza to use him as a vessel. The second time, when Dickson shoots him and Zanza abandons his body. This second time, he comes back with Alvis' intervention.
Badass: He can take on creatures twice his size almost from the very beginning. And it all goes up from there...
Shulk's case is also a rare example of a Berserk Button getting unstuck as a plot point. Not long after it's revealed that Fiora isn't dead after all, he goes back to being an All-Loving Hero, to the point of offering mercy to Fiora's almost-killer while Dunban is about to finish him off.
To be clear, he still wants revenge on Mumkhar for what he did to Fiora and the Emperor, but not so much as to be blinded by it.
Beware the Nice Ones: Usually he's the nicest guy around, but will fight tooth and nail to protect the people he cares about. Up to Eleven if that person is Fiora.
Chick Magnet: Both Fiora and Melia have feelings for him. He's also rather popular with the girls in Colony 9.
Childhood Friend Romance: With Fiora. Victorious Childhood Friend example; Everybody who knows Shulk and Fiora can tell they love each other and have for a long time, and they are pretty much a canon couple by the end.
The Chosen One: Zigzagged. At first it's not clear whether he was explicitly chosen by the Monado or whether there was something else at work for a long time.
It Sucks to Be the Chosen One: It turns out that he was chosen by Zanza... because he happened to be near to the Monado and he needed a vessel. Not to mention the fact that the being who chose him was a colossal jackass.
Combat Clairvoyance: The Monado gives him the ability to see the future, specially during combat. Or so he thinks at first...
Combat Pragmatist: Has special moves revolving around both Back Stabbing enemies and kicking them while they're down. Most characters have moves like this, but Shulk's are especially prominent since he never gets more than 8 normal Arts and thus never needs to swap them out for others.
Dead All Along: He died as a young child, back on Valak Mountain where the Monado was found, when Dickson found him with the other dead Homs. For most of the game, the only thing keeping Shulk alive is that he's a Soul Jar for Zanza.
The Engineer: It generally only comes up in the start of the game, where he's looking for metal to make weapons and machines as well as researching the Monado. It also comes up mostly in sidequests, a number of which involve various people asking him to fix or build things for them. He's also fascinated with Nopon and High Entia engineering, and will occasionally make small talk about it. In the main story, though, it sort of gets dropped in favor of him discovering the power of the Monado firsthand.
Amusingly, it seems Shulk hasn't ruled out using other weapons just yet. Some of his after-battle dialogue consists of asking Sharla and Melia if they could teach him how to use a rifle/ether magic, respectively. In both cases, Dunban scolds him for being willing to give up the sword so easily.
Hollywood Atheist: Subverted. He never openly rages against the heavens or acts like a douche. Instead, he very calmly and understandably tells Alvis that he doesn't believe in anything that he can't physically see.
Skeptic No Longer: After it becomes clear to him that the battle between the Bionis and the Mechonis isn't just a myth and that the repercussions of that fight are what led to the current crisis, he realises that he can't ignore what he isn't aware of and becomes more of an Agent Mulder.
I'll Kill You!: Says this word-to-word to Metal Face after it kills Fiora.
Magic Feather: The Monado turns out to be something like this. While its mechon-killing powers are very real, Shulk's power to see the future turns out to be all his own, as he discovers in the late-game when he loses the Monado to Zanza.
Say My Name: He really goes crazy with this trope, and even does this more times in the Japanese dub! Especially when Fiora is with Shulk at the beginning of the Fallen Arm arc, he does this repeatedly, in succession.
Sympathy for the Devil: He feels sympathetic towards every major antagonist he meets, or at least wishes he could have found a peaceful solution. It doesn't matter if they're a Well-Intentioned Extremist or not, he will deliberately and knowingly invoke this attitude towards them all.
Take Up My Sword: Downplayed, in that the person who he's taking it from (Dunban) is still alive, but can't wield the Monado any more without risking his health.
Why Did It Have to Be Caterpillars?: One of his Heart-to-Hearts with Reyn reveals that Shulk is afraid of caterpillars due to Reyn putting one in his drawer. This never interferes with the gameplay though.
"I'm coming along as well. I'd feel better going with you boys than sitting at home worrying about you."
Voiced by: Carina Reeves (English), Eri Nakao (Japanese)
Fiora (フィオルン, Fiorung) is the childhood friend of Shulk and the younger sister of Dunban. Naturally she has a soft-spot for Shulk and often cooks for him as he is grateful for the thought. She has a theory that Shulk has no taste buds and therefore no sense of taste.
Action Girl: From the very beginning she's as proficient knife user. And then there's her Mechon body, in which she's capable of giving KOS-MOS a run for her money. A sidequest even mentions that Fiora was once considered for the Colony 9 Defense Force (much like Reyn and Dunban).
And I Must Scream: She says that during the time she was Egil's minion, she was fully aware of everything that was happening, yet couldn't do a thing to stop it.
Back from the Dead: Although turned into a Mechon. She is revived to serve as Meineth's vessel.
Eleventh Hour Ranger: With traits of the Sixth Ranger in personality as, after becoming part-Mechon, she's noticeably a lot more serious and battle-ready. Despite this, she never loses her kind nature.
Childhood Friend Romance: With Shulk. Victorious Childhood Friend example; Everybody who knows Shulk and Fiora could tell they love each other and have for a long time, and they are pretty much a canon couple by the end.
Childhood Marriage Promise: An early heart-to-heart implies that she made one with Shulk after having an argument with Dunban. If you choose to bring it up, though, Fiora will get mad at Shulk, stating that she was too young to know what marriage meant at the time (but secretly finding it sweet that he remembered).
Did You Get A New Hair Cut?: Shulk awkwardly tries to invoke this on her during the epilogue. It's pretty clear he does notice that she has her Homs body back, but he pretends not to in order to get out of showing a preference for either one.
Dub Name Change - She's called "Fiorung" in the original Japanase ("フィオルン" written in katakana). Nintendo of Europe's localization team probably modified it because "-ung" is, in most European languages' phonetics, an exclusively male name ending.
Dual Wielding: Both as a Homs, using a pait of kinives, and as a Mechon, this time with a pair of swords.
Tsundere: Type B. She's kind and sweet most of the time, but she will bring out her hot temper if you get on her nerves.
Unwilling Roboticisation: Though she takes it in stride later on, even discussing some of the advantages of being a mechon, like not needing food or sleep. And considering death was the alternative, it's not hard to imagine she would have picked this option willingly if she was in any condition to be asked.
The biggest advantage Fiora sees in having the Mechon body is that it allows her to stand with and fight alongside Shulk against any enemy, and boy can she ever. Fiora still prefers her human body, though, and she gets it back in the epilogue, courtesy of the Regeneration Chamber.
Walking Spoiler: It's pretty much impossible to say anything about the plot without spoiling her (temporary) death two hours into the story. Before it was decided to leave spoilers unmarked in this page, most of her tropes were covered in white!
"OK, I got it. I'll make you a promise. Shulk won't even get a scratch."
Voiced by: Jay Taylor (English), Eiji Miyashita (Japanese)
Reyn (ライン, Rein), one of Shulk's childhood friends, he is the second character introduced into the game. Although he is a member of Colony 9's Defense Force, he can often be seen at Shulk and Fiora's side. Reyn is the stereotypical fun-loving joker of the group. He uses an oversized shield-gunlance, which can switch from shield mode into gun or lance mode.
Overshadowed by Awesome: It forms part of his Character Development. He used to protect the weedy Shulk when they were young, but later in the game he realises that Shulk has become strong enough to protect himself. He then decides that even if that's the case, he can still watch his friend's back.
Practical Taunt: "Mad Taunt" is his Talent Arte, which greatly boosts Reyn's aggro for a limited amount of time. Thereby, diverting attention away from other party members, keeping them safe from harm. And since he has multiple Artes that increase aggro and refills his talent meter, he's usually able to reuse Mad Taunt just as it's effect has begun to wear off.
Replacement Goldfish: Mocked. When Sharla starts comparing him to her fiance, his response is "What am I, some kind of Gadolt substitute?"
Undying Loyalty: It doesn't matter how dangerous the going gets, Reyn will never ever leave his friends' sides. Especially not Shulk's.
Unknown Rival: He seems to consider Gadolt his rival for Sharla's affections on a subconscious level, despite having never met him. He eventually grows out of it, though.
Why Did It Have to Be Spiders?: Although it never gets in the way of gameplay, one of his Heart-to-Hearts with Shulk reveals that Reyn is afraid of spiders due to Shulk placing one in his shoe.
Worthy Opponent: Somewhat. They're not quite hostile, but his strength and determination are eventually respected by Gadolt.
You Remind Me Of My Younger Days: Dunban compares him to how he used to be and he's spot-on. Watch how Dunban acts during the prologue cutscene and then watch any five minutes of Reyn in action. You could swap their character models around during this time and nobody'd be able to tell the difference.
"We may die if we take a stand here. But staying gives us the chance to change our destinies."
A high-ranking soldier of Colony 9, Dunban (ダンバン) was originally thought to be the only one capable of wielding the legendary Monado, and used the weapon to great effect against the invading Mechon at the Battle of Sword Valley, one year prior to the game's main story. During the battle, however, the Monado took a considerable toll on Dunban's health, so much so that his right arm is now almost completely paralyzed, and he is thus no longer able to wield the Monado, as any further exposure to the weapon could potentially kill him. However, he is still able to effectively wield a katana with his left arm to fight against enemies.
Heartbroken Badass: Even if he doesn't show it, it's clear that Fiora's apparent death affects him.
Memetic Badass: Considered to be one in-universe at first due to his use of the Monado and the fact that his doing so is entire reason why the Homs weren't wiped out a year ago. Subverted as the group comes to understand that, for all Dunban's Badassery he's still a normal person and is not to be put on a pedestal.
Blood from the Mouth: When he tries to wield the Monado again during the Mechon raid, the strain on his body eventually causes him to vomit blood and collapse.
Cherry Blossoms: His Talent Art creates cherry blossom petals with each successful action.
Combos: Worldly Slash, Electric Gutbuster, and Tempest Kick gain additional effects if they're used after Gale Slash.
Furthermore, Thunder affects enemies in an area of effect behind him; Gale Slash sends him straight through smaller enemies (if he's close enough) and Tempest Kick fisishes with his back to the enemy, so Thunder is best used after one of these (essentially weaponizing the Badass Back).
Crazy Awesome: An in-universe deconstruction that shows what happens when somebody actually tries running on the Rule of Cool. During the Action Prologue, he's the only one who can wield the Monado and somehow manages to defeat the Mechon through the liberal application of Leeroy Jenkins tactics. He's so wild and unpredictable that Dickson ends up referring to him as a "Beast". He doesn't have any strategy, tactics or planning. Just a crapload of balls and a total disregard for the danger that his own life is in... and it works, but he loses the use of his right arm due to being overloaded with the Monado's power. Despite this, he still thinks he'll be able to use the sword. This turns out to be horribly wrong as when he tries to be Crazy Awesome again, he can't take the sword's power and nearly ends up getting himself killed. Cue Shulk picking the sword up...
Took a Level in Badass: Dunban takes his level in badass by taking one in common sense. After he gives up the Monado, he becomes a lot calmer and much more responsible. This is most noticeable during his reunion with the party, where he tells Shulk to understand his limits after their second battle with Metal Face comes to an abrupt end. The Dunban of one year ago would have recklessly charged the Mechon without a second thought.
Emotional Bruiser: According to Fiora, however, he's a massive softie underneath the badass persona he presents to everybody. This eventually shines through as he connects more and more with the party on an emotional level and reveals his Shipper on Deck hopes for her and Shulk.
Captain Ersatz: He also bares a lot of superficial resemblance to Auron, both being one armed sword users who helped save the world previously. However, their personalities and fighting styles are very different.
Eyepatch of Power: He can wear one as a head gear. And he doesn't seem to loose any depth perception, for some reason.
First Episode Spoiler: If you were able to correctly deduce what was happening in the opening scene and why he said those lines to Shulk, you may have spoiled the final act of the plot.
Glass Cannon: He's arguably the game's best damage-dealer, and he can dodge most anything if you spam agility gems on him, but when he does get hit, he gets hit hard.
Epitomized by two of his Abilities. One of which massively improves Agility, and one of which increases the Aggro he draws, but both of which require him to be wearing absolutely no armor.
Not So Stoic: Despite normally being so as noted below, Dunban notably loses all control when he learns Mumkhar was behind the attack on Colony 9, to which his desire for revenge is on the same level as Shulk's
Walking Shirtless Scene: He has Inner Peace, a skill that greatly increases Agility when he's completely void of armour, creating a rare case of shirtlessness being a legitimate strategy.
Warrior Poet: Recites a badass Haiku about war when using Blossom Dance.
World's Best Warrior: Was considered this before losing the use of his right arm. He was widely regarded as a living legend, and him wielding the Monado is the only reason the Homs weren't wiped out in the Battle of Sword Valley.
"I swear I won't stop until I've scrapped each and every one of you!"
Big Sister Instinct / Mama Bear: Just try to hurt Juju in front of her. Even if it takes her a long and painful trek through an Ether Mine, she will find her brother and she will put a bullet between the eyes of whoever took him.
Boobs of Steel: If we're going by a defensive physical power rather than an aggressive one, then sure.
The Chick: A more mature and level-headed version, but she counts.
Combat Medic: She's the primary healer, although she'll spend a lot of time fighting as well due to the insane cooldown times on her healing Arts.
Expy: Her skill with a gun marks her as the successor to Billy Lee Black and Junior (and she also shares the former's role as team healer). Personality-wise, though, she's not especially similar to either.
Liking A Shadow: Her friendship with Reyn seems to be based mostly off his similarities to Gadolt. Reyn eventually catches on to this, but realises that he can't compete with him, leading to a "I Want My Beloved to Be Happy" moment.
The ending implies they may have gotten together for real after all, though.
Princess Melia Antiqua (メリア) is a powerful mage who lives in the Royal City of Alcamoth prior to the games events. Her arts focus on summoning elemental spirits and ether magic. She becomes the leader of the High Entia after Sorean dies.
All Love Is Unrequited: She clearly has feelings for Shulk. Unfortunately for her, he only has eyes for Fiora.
Glass Cannon/Magikarp Power: Her health growth is horrible, worse than what Fiora started at. In the first few moments when you control her, she has abyssal attacks that would be more reserved for the other powerful characters, like Riki. However, her attacks are guaranteed to hit, and are usually extremely powerful when leveled adequately, along with being able to stack while on reserve.
Kuudere: She acts very formal around Shulk, even as she develops love for him.
The Lancer: She provides a more practical counterpoint to Shulk's idealism in the beginning and eventually becomes one of his strongest supporters. Like many characters, she also has shades of being The Smart Girl, with her particular field being more ancient knowledge.
Summon Magic: Her elemental spells are this in a fashion, as they call forth an elemental spirit that can be fired to inflict damage.
Tranquil Fury: She doesn't lose her cool when Lorithea gives the Take-That Kiss to her brother, but it's clear to all that she's pissed.
Even earlier than that, she's the only party member to not be fazed when Mumkhar takes mechon-Fiora hostage in exchange for the Monado. Instead, her response is to Mind Blast him and Metal Face in rapid succession, freeing Fiora in the process.
Doesn't stop her from walking around Alcamoth with her face exposed as a party member. Then you run into some NPCs who unwittingly demonstrate that because Melia never showed her real face to the public as princess, she can blend into the crowd without anyone recognizing her.
"New Hom Hom friends! Meet this year's legendary Heropon, Riki! Riki live to serve!"
Voiced by: Wayne Forester (English), Yuki Kaida (Japanese)
Riki (リキ) is a member of the mercantile Nopon race. Although he looks like a child, he is actually 40 years old and has eleven children. A natural story-teller, he will go on at length about how he is actually the true legendary hero spoken of in the prophecies.
Dude, Not Funny!: Mostly. Even if it's in his nature to be optimistic, sometimes he is completely oblivious to people's feelings and, as a result, times things really badly; like declaring that he's bored and hungry in the aftermath of Melia's father's death. Counts as an in-universe example given that he's often called out for it by the other party members.
Dude, Where's My Respect?: Even though, if played right, Riki is one of the most useful characters in the game combining elements of thief and tank with some very useful XP boosting passive skills that can be shared with the others, the rest of the party treat him as a joke. Even if you have him as the lead character in the fight against the Makna Forest Telethia Reyn will mock him when he tries to claim credit for the victory.
Expy: Of, for some unfathomable reason, Chu-Chu. The entire Nopon race is an expy of the Chu-Chu race.
Fake Ultimate Hero: He'd have you believe that he's a legendary heropon. Nobody is really fooled, but they humour him.
Gradual Grinder / Stone Wall: He has a rather pathetic damage output... but his health and Battle Arts that focus on debuffing and slowly sapping the health of enemies allow him to outlast almost anything.
Hidden Depths: He's surprisingly empathic and responsive to the feelings of others... which makes his Dude, Not Funny! moments all the more glaring.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: An inversion. Although he's clearly a good guy at heart, his Pride still causes him to do some pretty dickish things. For example: After fighting the first Telethia, he pretty much takes all the credit... and most of the other Nopon seem to believe him.
The joke is lost a bit in translation. In the Japanese dub, Riki has a very high-pitched, childlike voice, which leads the party to be confused when his family shows up to bid him farewell. In English, Riki clearly has an adult voice, even if it's still high-pitched, so this comes as less of a surprise.
Sad Clown: A very possible interpretation of his character.
The Chosen One: Parodied. He is this year's Legendary Heropon. He was chosen by the village chief/seer, but it turns out he was "chosen" because he's in serious debt to the chief.
When he does repay his debt (by defeating the big, scary dinobeast [read: Telethia] all on his own), the chief sends him adventuring with Shulk and co. because of an ancient prophecy. Riki doesn't buy it for a second.
Tagalong Critter: Everybody else in the party has quite a big reason for wanting to fight the Mechon, be it avenging loved ones or trying to rescue them. Riki is pretty much roped into assisting them.
Dickson Soss is a veteran of the battle of Sword Valley a year before the events of the game and a comrade of Dunban and Mumkhar. He is a resident of Colony 9 and looks over Shulk, Reyn and the other residents. He claims to have found Shulk in the Valak Mountain with the Monado and his parents dead. Dickson raised Shulk as his own. It is later revealed that Dickson is a disciple of Zanza (Dickson of the Trinity) and only took Shulk because Zanza was using him as a host.
Age Without Youth: It's ambiguous, but it's quite possible that his age is frozen at the moment in time when he became Zanza's Disciple as he's never shown in a "younger" body.
AmbiguouslyNeutral: Dickson never does anything bad per se and he is always on hand to help Shulk, but a lot of what he says and the way he retreats from answering most of the questions presented to him presents the image of a man who is either helping out of an Enemy Mine situation or a knight in really sour armour.
Pet the Dog: Despite this, it seems that he does have a genuine soft spot for Shulk and Fiora.
Badass. He is stabbed through by Mechon, jumps into an impossible fight against things not even the Mechon-destroying sword can kill, flies around in a fighter on his own shooting down the hideously strong things, and pokes fun at the Hero.
BFG: That gun of his is easily longer than his arm, yet he effortlessly wields it in one hand.
Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: The morally grey cigar-smoking Badass variety. It becomes much more noticeable as the story approaches its climax and things get more difficult for everyone. Once Zanza returns he doesn't pick up another one until he dies.
Knight In Sour Armour: Goes hand in hand with his ambiguous neutrality. He's always on hand to help the heroes, but at the same time he's frequently dismissive and cynical. When he discovers that the Face Mechon are Homs, his reaction is basically, "So what? I gave up trying to figure them out yonks ago."
Meaningful Name: Probably why the localization team chose to write his name as Dickson instead of the more common spelling of "Dixon."
Though the latter would also make sense, as "Dixons" is a hardware retailer in the UK.
Might Makes Right: His stalwart belief in this is why he follows Zanza, whom he (understandably) believes is the mightiest being in existence and thus follows without question. He freaks out when he sees hints that Shulk could be mightier.
Mr. Exposition: Especially earlier in the game, as he guides Shulk and co. through the lower half of Bionis.
No Hero Discount: So, Dickson's rolled out some sweet new tech that can pierce Mechon armour. Hooray! Also, he expects you to pay for it.
Though this was probably a cover-up; he knew he was going to die, he just didn't want anyone to catch on.
Smug Snake: After the reveal, Dickson really loves to hit the party where it hurts with truths and taunts, like when he goads Dunban over the "victory drinks" they used to share.
Staring Down Cthulhu: Gets on the receiving end of this hard from Shulk near the endgame, noting that he hasn't felt fear like that in ages. In the climactic battle with him, it gets so bad that Dickson just gives up after Shulk deals a decisive blow, which is a far cry from his usualself.
The Smart Guy: A non-playable version. Despite not travelling with the heroes directly, he's still on hand to serve as a guide and provide tech support every now and then.
It's also shown that he served as Dunban's Lancer during the war.
Mumkhar (ムムカ, Mumca) is is first introduced in the opening scene at the Battle of Sword Valley, alongside Dunban and Dickson. We quickly find out that Mumkhar is an honorless fighter and is willing to flee battle and abandon his comrades to save his life. We also learn that he desires the Monado for himself.
Back from the Dead: Dunban's thought Mumkhar was killed fleeing from the Mechon assault. He was very wrong.
Body Horror: His Mechon body shows just how much of the Homs' organic body is removed during the Face conversion. To clarify: if you look closely, you'll see that the lower part of his body is hollow and can see that his entire spinal column has been replaced with something mechanical.
Buffy Speak: Some of his voice-clips from the very brief period in the intro where he's on your side display this.
Mumkhar: I'll draw 'em to me. Dunban! You do that... blue business ya do!
Dirty Coward: A possible contender for Most Triumphant Example. He deserts his war buddies to save his own skin barely five minutes after you first start playing the game.
Obviously Evil: Let's see here... Gravelly voice, hunched-over battle stance, bulging eyes, being a rude and self-serving little bastard from the moment of his appearance... Was Dunban seriously surprised by his betrayal?
Alvis (アルヴィース, Alviss) first meets Shulk when he is collecting some pure water crystals for Melia. They are attacked by a Telethia and Alvis teaches Shulk to use the Purge ability, while demonstrating he can use the Monado with great proficiency. Alvis is revealed to be the seer of the Emperor Sorean, and later one of Zanza's disciples.More than that, at the end he reveals himself to be THE Monado, and a computer AI that may have created Xenoblade's world.
Enigmatic Minion: The twist is he's a lot simpler and more benevolent than you would expect him to be.
Expy: Takahashi could have put chaos' or Wilhelm's models in some scenes and probably a lot of people wouldn't have noticed the difference. Even their personalities, voices (specially in Japanese) and even roles in the story are almost the same.
He also shares some similarities with Akise, sharing that they mysteriously come to help the protagonist and that it is revealed that they are of a much higher existance, Alvis being a sort of God and Akise being the Observer.
His true form in the ending looks a lot like the Wave Existence from Xenogears and it's also revealed that he was the power source behind Zanza - just like the Wave Existence was used to power Deus.
From a Gnostic standpoint, if Zanza is the Demiurge then Alvis is the "true" god who created the universe.
Exact Words / Foreshadowing: If you examine the script, you'll notice that Alvis never actually calls himself a Homs. That's just Shulk's assumption that everybody rolls with.
Actually, he kind of does accept being called a Homs, but only because it's part of his grand scheme, as seen here.
God Is Good: He's the true god of the Xenoblade universe. Zanza and Meyneth have just been borrowing his power. Furthermore, his goal is to free the Homs and Machina from Zanza's tyrannical reign. He just has a very longwinded way of doing it.
Meaningful Name: The Monad in Gnosticism is the first God, who created those that followed, which makes Alvis' endgame revelation somewhat clearer.
In computer programming, a monad is a structure that combines various functions into a sequence that can alter the state of a program. The Monado has a set of unique functions (powers) and can alter the state of the universe. In addition, one of the characteristics of a monad is that when you call one of its functions, the function will almost always return the monad it was called from. In other words, a monad is there at the beginning, and it's there at the end. The computer science analogy is doubly appropriate given Alvis' true form as an AI.
Unwitting Pawn: It's shown that he's unaware of the fact that his First Consort is attempting to off his daughter, which leads to the attempts on her life. Later, he becomes one of the many disposable pawns in Zanza's resurrection plot.
"If that weapon is truly the Monado, we shall be forced to take action."
Voiced by: Rufus Wrightnote Adam Howden was mistakenly credited on the Nintendo of Europe site. (English), Yukimasa Obi (Japanese)
Kallian (カリアン) is a member of the High Entia imperial family. Noted for being both a wise, responsible and understanding young man, many believe that he has the qualities required to be the next emperor of his people and the fact that he has chosen not to follow this path, instead supporting Melia in her own bid for the throne, has come as a shock to many of them.
Heroic Sacrifice: Attempts it twice. The first time fails and he becomes a puppet of Lorithea. The second time he sacrifices himself as a Telethia to ensure Loritheas death.
Knew It All Along: Kallian was well aware of the true purpose of the ancient tradition of every emperor's second spouse being a Homs. He knew that it would inevitably be the fate of all pure-blooded High Entia to revert to Telethia, and that it would effectively mean the extinction of their race unless they could sire enough mixed-blood High Entia to give their civilization a fighting chance for survival. As a pure-blooded High Entia himself, he knew even he would have been doomed to become a Telethia when the genocide finally arrived, and this is one of the biggest reasons why he endorsed mixed-blood Melia to become the new High Entia empress. When the end came, he finally revealed these things to Melia, and his remaining intelligence could then Face Death with Dignity.
To Be Lawful or Good: He will not accept saving either his sister or father when they are in danger if it goes against orders or the rules of their people. He realizes after his fathers death that he should be good regardless of the rules.
Evilutionary Biologist: As part of Zanza's Trinity, she is firmly committed to reverting the High Entia race to Telethia to further Zanza's aims.
Expy: Of Miang Hawwa, to an extent. She's the most prominent female villain of the game, though Miang was a) never as hammy as Lorithia, and b) never gets blindsided by anyone as badly as Lorithia does by Kallian. She also has shades of Krelian, especially as an Evilutionary Biologist.
Immortality: It's revealed that she assisted Zanza because she was promised this. Which is a little confusing because, as his Disciple, it stands to reason that a) She knew about him beforehand and b) Already had it to begin with, like Dickson. Whether this meant an upgrade from the standard Undying type that the Disciples have to a Class I is unknown.
Obviously Evil: Genre Savvy players will peg her as a baddie the moment they see her—if the red and black stripperiffic outfit wasn't enough, she spends maybe a minute on-screen before she's scheming to have Melia killed.
Tyrea is Yumea's daughter, and by extension Kallian's half-sister and an agent working for the Bionite order. She helps Yumea conspire to assassinate Sorean's daugther, Melia in the High Entia Tomb, but is interrupted and defeated by Shulk's group before she has a chance to kill her. She then escapes after her defeat and isn't seen again until after the Mechonis Core events where more of her origins are discovered. The party finds Tyrea in the front gates of Colony 6 and discover that Tyrea is Yumea's daugther by Melia. After recovering on Junks, she leaves the Colony only to find trace energy of Ether before being attacked. The party will then witness a Telethia attack the colony reconstruction HQ, and follow it to Makna Forest. When the party encounters the Telethia, initially thinking it to be a transformed Tyrea, they engage and defeat it. However, Tyrea soon appears unscathed and reveals the Telethia was actually her mother, Yumea, and thanks them for granting her peace before leaving herself. It is also revealed during this sidequest that she is also a half-Homs, despite her long wings.
Juju is Sharla's younger brother. He initially lives with his sister in the Refugee Camp, but he eventually tries to head for Colony 6, only to be captured by the Mechons and led to ether mines. After Shulk, Reyn and Sharla rescue him, he and Otharon go back to Colony 6 to try repair the town.
A Child Shall Lead Them: Oversees the rebuilding of Colony 6 while Otharon is out commanding the Allied Force against the Mechon.
What an Idiot: He makes a lot of really stupid decisions early on, which the party is quick to lampshade in-universe. Justified in that he's a child and doesn't understand the full consequences of them. He eventually matures beyond this.
Gadolt / Jade Face
"I'll be fine. I'll be able to keep my mind on the battle knowing you're safe."
Gadolt is Sharla's fiance and a colonel in the Colony 6 Defence Force. A bold, fearless man whom Juju looked up to as a father-figure, he went missing during a battle with the Mechon; leaving behind only his ether rifle.
Badass: Let's put it this way, Dunban, the resident in-universe Memetic Badass considers Gadolt to be a legendary sniper.
Blonde Guys Are Evil: Subverted. Despite looking like a thug, Gadolt is one of the most well-meaning and downright heroic characters in the game.
Broken Ace: He's the best shot Colony 6 has, a hero to its people, fiance to a lovely lady and an all-round good guy. He's also wrecked with grief and guilt over not being able to protect more people, to the extent that Sharla only narrowly saves him from crossing the Despair Event Horizon.
Despair Event Horizon: Only narrowly averted thanks to Sharla. His frustration at not being able to destroy the Mechon and having to watch his friends die on a regular basis caused him a considerable amount of rage and frustration.
Dying Moment of Awesome: Becoming a human shield (with his giant mechon) to shield the party from the collapse of Agniratha.
Zanza (ザンザ, Xanthe) is a giant that Shulk beholds in a vision and learns the secrets of the Monado from. Although he is shrouded in mystery, his knowledge and eventual empowerment of the Monado prove extremely beneficial to the party.... Until they realise that he's actually the real Big Bad. The giant is actually named Arglas and was Egil's closest friend before discovering the Bionis Monado and being possessed by the evil god within: Zanza. Considered to be the soul of the Bionis, Zanza is the being responsible for all life on it and its attack on the Mechonis. Since Zanza requires a physical body to maintain his existence, being unable to remain in his spirit form forever, he has locked all life on Bionis in an endless cycle of death and rebirth: wiping out everything and creating life anew once life on Bionis reaches a certain point. This is because, if his creations evolve too much and leave the world he has created behind, then he will be without a living host and ultimately die.It is eventually revealed that he was once a human scientist named Klaus who destroyed the previous universe in an experiment to create a new world and, together with Meyneth, became a god of the new one.
Arch-Enemy: Subverted. One is lead to believe that the High Entia are his, because they sealed him away. The honest truth is that he doesn't care about that - chalking it up to the nature of mortals - and instead wants to see Shulk kick Mechonis' ass.
Good Is Not Nice: While he helps Shulk, he's kind of a dick towards Face Nemesis/Meyneth - who tries to speak with him and has no malicious intentions whatsoever. The morality of the scene is completely inverted when you realise that she's actually the goodie in this scenario.
Light 'em Up: He wielded the Monado against the Mechonis in the past, specifically in its "sword of light" form that was used to strike the blow against the other titan.
Take Up My Sword: Kind of. He once fought against Mechonis and encourages Shulk to take up his fight.
Troperiffic: You are seeing how many tropes he covers, right?
Walking Spoiler: We really cannot stress this enough. Don't read the tropes below unless you've already finished the game.
(MASSIVE) Spoiler Tropes:
Zanza's true form.
It's All About Me: He is utterly incapable of acknowledging the value of anything that isn't himself.
Believing Their Own Lies: The ending reveals that Zanza is not half the god he thinks himself to be. He's actually an Expy of the Demiurge in this Gnostic story - as Alvis makes very clear after the final battle.
Bishounen: His form upon awakening. Not surprising, considering he's basically Shulk with longer hair.
Blue and Orange Morality: It's implied that he isn't capable of understanding that the beings of Bionis are living beings with their own individual lives. To him, they're just food... which still doesn't even begin to justify what he does, as the other god (Meyneth) understands that they are people and not food or bacteria.
Chekhov's Gunman: He's introduced as a One-Shot Character who's relevant for one plot point and is never heard from again... until much later in the game when it turns out that Zanza was one of the most influential people in the world.
Expy: He's basically Deus with a speaking role. Out of all the previous Xenocharacters to get a counterpart in 'Blade, this guy is probably the most similar to the original. Furthermore, he has the High Entia revert to Telethia - something that almost exactly parallels humans mutating into Wels for Deus.
For the Evulz: Even though he wishes to maintain his existence, Zanza doesn't really have much of a reason to be such a colossal jackass about it, especially when Meyneth has been maintaining her existence just fine without resorting to such tactics. Zanza's not a Well-Intentioned Extremist, he has no Freudian Excuse... He just crosses the Moral Event Horizon with each appearance like it's going out of fashion purely because he can. He even admits this to be his modus operandi when he explains that he gave the Telethia intelligence, creating the High Entia, on a random whim.
Manipulative Bastard -> Smug Snake: He clearly fancies himself as a Magnificent Bastard, and to his credit actually does start out quite manipulative. Once he gets both Monado's, however, he just throws all planning out of the window and starts wallowing in his own pride.
Omnicidal Maniac: He's created a cycle of destruction and rebirth where, the moment life on Bionis looks like it's going to escape from it and abandon the old world, he possesses one of them to use as a vessel, devours everything else and creates life anew so he can live forever.
It gets ramped Up to Eleven when he decides to kill everything that isn't himself before recreating the world.
One-Winged Angel: He has a total of three different forms during the final battle.
Villainous Breakdown: Starts to have one midway through the final battle, centered around the fact that he can no longer see the party's future, but Shulk can still see his. By the time Shulk breaks out the True Monado, Zanza's breakdown goes into full-swing.
No! How can you still have visions?!
We Can Rule Together: He tries asking Shulk to be his new Disciple... It goes down about as well as you'd expect.
You Can't Fight Fate: In stark contrast to the rest of the game up to then, which was full of Screw Destiny, both in story and in battle. His first few lines during The Reveal are him telling you that all things up to that exact moment were predestined, and he goes on to say that they cannot fight the fate he has decided for them.
You Monster!: Absolutely every single character who knows of his existence regards him as completely and utterly evil and without a single redeeming quality. Not even his subjects try to defend him: they sidestep the issue altogether.
Egil is one of the main antagonists of Xenoblade, being in charge of the Mechon forces. A member of the Machina people, beings born from the Mechonis, he and his friend Arglas, the giant from Bionis, worked together to ensure a peaceful future between both the peoples of both titans. However, when Arglas was possessed by Zanza and laid waste to Mechonis, Egil swore revenge and, when both titans were put to sleep, began attacking Bionis with an army of Mechon: hoping to wipe out as much life as possible on the titan so that when Zanza returned he would have less ether energy to absorb and thus be more vulnerable to attack. Due to his thirst for vengeance, he has been abandoned by his people but continues to fight against the Bionis nonetheless. He has his own personalized Humongous Mecha, Yaldaboath, of which he is seen in for the majority of his Appearances.
The Evil Genius: He's the primary antagonist until Zanza reveals himself and by far the most intelligent, being the creator of the Faced Mechon and the instigator of all the Homs-Mechon wars.
Expy: Of Krelian, in the sense that both are the biggest Well-Intenioned Extremists of their respective games. Both take it upon themselves to reshape the world, even if it means destroying the universe and dooming its inhabitants as a result.
Krelian's Omnigear, Amphysvena, even shares the same 'tailed robot' motif as that of Yaldabaoth. Hell, to some extent, they're even composed of two robots in one!
He also has a good amount in common with Magus, in that they are both initially portrayed as the Big Bad before revealing that all their efforts were meant to destroy an even bigger evil than themselves, with the party only being antagonized because they happened to be in the way.
Fallen Hero: He once sought to create a peaceful unity between the peoples of Bionis and Mechonis, but Zanza crushed that dream when he possessed Arglas.
Heroic Sacrifice: His final act of redemption is the save his newly minted friends (and his sister) from Zanza by using the Mechonis itself against him and actually makes his eventual defeat possible.
Not So Different: The hero swears vengeance against the man who slaughtered his people and shattered the peace between Mechonis and Bionis. Now who am I talking about? Shulk and Egil, or Egil and Zanza? In this case, it's a heroic inversion in that it's Shulk who points this out, not Egil.
Rage Against the Heavens: He seeks to eliminate Zanza, the soul of the Bionis. When Lady Meyneth tries to make him stop, he declares her a traitor to her own people and declares that the world no longer has a need for gods like her.
Really 700 Years Old: At least. He could be one of the oldest characters in the game outside of Zanza, Meyneth, Alvis, and Miqol.
Summon Magic: He's capable of creating Mechon during the fight with him, presumably by pulling their components out of Hammerspace and piecing them together with what looks a heck of a lot like telekinesis. Or magnetism.
Villainous Breakdown: It's subtle, but the you can definitely hear the sense of heartbreak in his voice after Meyneth makes it clear she's not on his side anymore. Him telling her that the world doesn't need gods comes off as him cursing her for betraying him while holding back tears. He regains his equilibrium for the final battle with him, though.
We Could Have Avoided All This: He realizes all too late that he could have could have avoided all this senseless death and pain if he'd trusted in the people of Bionis, who turned out to share his (and Meyneth's) desire of a "world without gods".
The Extremist Was Right: Zanza proved to be exactly as irreconcilably evil as Egil painted him to be. And while his methods were horrific and resulted in the deaths of himself, Meyneth, and the Mechonis (not to mention the death and/or forced conversion of countless innocent Homs), Egil did manage to weaken the Bionis just enough for Shulk and company to reach Zanza and finish him off.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: It's hard not to feel sympathetic for him, considering Zanza took over his friend's body and committed mass genocide on the Machina just so he could continue his vicious cycle of causing apocalypse to keep himself alive. Too bad that Egil's plan to kill Zanza would have resulted in the destruction of the Bionis, where Homs and other races live in.
Metal Face (黒いフェイス, Black Face) is the first primary antagonist and the first Faced Mechon introduced in Xenoblade. He is the main reason Shulk begins the journey to the Bionis head. Is eventually revealed to be Mumkhar.
Arch-Nemesis: For Shulk, Reyn and Dunban. Especially Dunban, once his true identity has been discovered.
When you add in the deaths of the inhabitants of Colony 6 and the Emperor, both Sharla and Melia also have their reasons to hate him. So that's pretty much the entire party except for Riki. And maybe Fiora, but since she rejoins the party long after Mumkhar's death, it's hard to say.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If he hadn't needlessly antagonized the Monado wielders to the point of wanting revenge above anything else, his side would have found things a heckuva lot easier. His loose cannon status even contributes to Egil's decision to brainwash the next batch of Faced Mechon (including Gadolt) so they don't have the same problem.
Starter Villain: A pretty nasty example given that he gets the better of the protagonists in the first two encounters with him. It isn't until a decent portion of the way into the game you even learn that he's working for somebody else.
Strong as They Need to Be: His level goes up each time you fight him. This leads to an odd case when you fight Mumkar on foot, since he's at a higher level than Metal Face was back on Prison Island.
Token Evil Teammate: Okay, he's technically a member of the Five-Bad Band, but all the others simply want to stop Zanza from destroying everything. Metal Face is simply driven by jealousy and spite.
Troll: He loves pissing off Shulk. And he does this very very well.
The Obi-Wan: In a very strange manner. His big mouth basically drops all of the hints that Shulk needs to seek the truth about Faced Mechon, even if he didn't mean to.
Sanity Slippage: Being turned into a Mechon clearly did his sanity no favors. At one point it's implied that he doesn't even remember his own name, and only responds to it because others have called him by it.
Shout-Out: Probably unintentional on the Japanese side, but his big bruiser physique and bucket jaw call to mind the Orkz of Warhammer 40,000 fame, which his English VA intentionally plays up. His main weapon is even a warhammer!
Vanea is Egil's sister and the daughter of the Machina chief. She does not like what Egil is doing and has asked him many times to stop killing life on Bionis. She tells her brother that she only wants a world where everyone lives in peace including him. All atempts have failed however. She is also the person who implanted Meyneth into Fiora's body.