Headscratchers: Xenoblade

  • The Bionis and Mechonis are standing in an infinitely large ocean. The sun still rises and sets. Where does the sun go at night?
    • Looking at the sunset from an open area, like the Bionis Leg, reveals that the sun doesn't go down the horizon, it vanishes before reaching it. One of the heart-to-hearts reveals that the "stars" in the night sky are actually just ether; who's to say the Sun and the Moon aren't just ether that looks like the real deal too? This would especially make sense when the true nature of Zanza and Meyneth is taken into account. They made it so day and night looked like what it was back on Earth, but without the "other celestial bodies out there" part.
  • Why do the Machina have breasts? And why do they bounce? What sort of metal does that?
    • Because they're beings made in the image of a human, and humans have breasts.
      • That does explain the existence of the breasts, but doesn't explain the Jiggle Physics. My theory is that they are made of a metal with a relatively low melting point mixed with whatever the Machina use for skin. How? Why? Who cares! It's Fanservice!
  • Why did Dickson shoot Shulk? I understand all the god stuff but why did he do this? Was it necessary to trigger the transformation? Or was it purely an asshole move based on the decision Shulk was coming to?
    • Both it seems.
  • Not so much a complaint as an observation- does anyone else see the symbol of the Testaments on the back of Alvis's jacket? I can't shake the feeling that it's the exact same symbol, but heck if I can make any connection between Alvis and the Testaments- even speaking as someone who believes all the Xeno games are on the same timeline.
    • If you notice, it's the same symbol as on Meynth's Monado when it's embedded in Fiora's chest. It's likely her symbol.
  • After the Mechonis Core, there is a very real concern about Fiora running out of power and dying before the quest's end, as her cardiopulmonary systems were being provided power by Meyneth's Monado. The first thing we see after Junks lands at Colony 6 is Fiora presenting the first Replica Monado to a comatose Shulk. Would it have been so unreasonable to say to Vanea, "Hey, think you could make me one of those? Sorta triangular, about, say, this size?" I know that the problem is solved by the epilogue, but as a quick fix to take some of the stress off of Fiora's, Dunban's, Melia's and... well, everyone else who spotted the issue with her body straight away's mind. Additionally, as the issue at hand would have been her machina body running out of power, couldn't you conceivably have used one of the two potential solutions to extend Neonik's life for Fiora?
    • It's possible that none of these would have worked. The Replica Monados might not have been able to supply the same energy that the genuine ones can, and Fiora's condition, and possibly her architecture, are considerably different from Neonik's.
      • (Original Poster) I can accept that the replicas weren't as powerful as the real deals, but at their base they at least had to have some means of either storing or converting ether energy out of the air to provide the energy blade the weapon used. As to Fiora's architecture, take this into account - on first meeting her, Linada, the machina doctor, mistook this strange robotic woman for one of her people, not realizing that she was a Face unit until the party actually mentions it. While their problems weren't identical (Neonik was dying from being damn near 10000 years old, Fiora is dying because Meyneth isn't powering her heart and lungs anymore), they boiled down to something very similar - their power systems were failing, and a shot of energy from an old Machina unit was enough to repower Neonik for another 20 years. Of course, if Fiora's power really couldn't be restored, it makes the usage of Final Cross REALLY irresponsible post-Mechonis Core, since the whole thing shakes out to "Massive blast of Monado power hits stuff".
      • Sure, but given that no other Machina have Monados powering them, it's quite possible that Fiora's power system is a unique technology and incompatible with other power sources.
      • (Original Poster) Fair point. That said, since Vanea was the one who originally put together the Fiora/Meyneth/Face Nemesis combo platter, she would probably have been the one most qualified to put together a stopgap system to keep the one remaining piece (Fiora) from terminally powering down. Also, while Gadolt doesn't survive long enough for this to matter, would all pilots of Face units, separated from their respective mecha, eventually succumb to cardiovascular failure, or is Fiora's problem entirely unique? I seem to recall that even with Meyneth on board, early on you still needed to scavenge parts from a wrecked Mechon (piezoelectrical unit, if memory serves) to prevent a complete system failure of Fiora immediately following your arrival at Junks. Then again, Fiora did suffer some rather critical... system damage in the process of getting taken in the first place (Impaled with Extreme Prejudice - not good for one's internal organs), and Linada did express some surprise to find that most of Fiora's innards simply weren't there anymore. So it could well be that her imminent shutdown (and lack of necessity to eat) was more a function of "Metal Face stabbed me with claws as long as I am tall" than "Meyneth isn't providing me limitless free energy". I know that Vanea eventually points out that some modification has to be done to a Homs to make a Face unit work, but maybe Fiora's modifications were a bit more extreme out of necessity, rather than simply to make her invincible to standard Monado damage.
      • As far as we know, even though the game doesn't flat out confirm this, the pulsating red lights that only Faced Mechon have (Shulk notes this in the first encounter with Metal Face after they find out the Monado can't damage him) are transparent artificial arteries/veins through which the blood of the pilot flows. This is what makes Zanza's Monado confused about the nature of the "thing" that it's hitting, not being able to distinguish Homs from Mechon, and therefore causes it to deal no damage (until Zanza lifts the restriction). So with that said, we can assume a Faced Mechon's pilot's body is surgically modified to have ports which connect his/her Homs blood vessels with those of the Mechon. When the pilot voluntarily exits the Mechon (for example, Mumkhar on Valak Mountain and Galahad Fortress), some software on the Mechon that manages its circulatory system makes sure to shut those ports and keep enough blood inside the pilot's body so that he/she doesn't faint or die from anemia (lack of blood). However, both Fiora and Gadolt were ejected from their critically damaged Mechon's wreckage, so it's safe to assume that control software wasn't working anymore and that's why they were so weak afterwards: a large portion of their blood was left inside the wreckage of their respective Mechons. This is only speculation, but seems plausible.
  • If some High Entia have been interbreeding with Homs up to the present day, but most Homs speak of them as though they were long extinct or a fairy tale, is there an explanation for this that doesn't involve kidnapping?
    • Well, it's established that there used to be more Homs settlements before the war with the Mechon. Could be that some of the old colonies that were destroyed were closer to High Entia lands.
  • So in Satorl Marsh, Dickson has a line about how he feels bad about deceiving Shulk and co. Yet as soon as he makes his treachery known, he immediately switches to his true persona of a smug, unrepentant Jerk Ass of near Card-Carrying Villain levels who flat-out gloats about deceiving the heroes, making that line seem rather out of character in hindsight. So... What was the point? Was it just a narrative cheat to make Dickson seem like he might not be that bad despite obviously being up to something? Or an attempt at Hidden Depths that was ultimately left unexplored?
    • Chances are any kind of attachment he had to Shulk meant jack to him once Shulk started to go against the plans of his powerful long-standing master. After all, he's only known Shulk for what is essentially a passing second compared to his who knows how many years of immortality.
    • My assumption was always that he wasn't serious about feeling bad, but was simply saying it jokingly.
    • Narratively speaking, the purpose of that line was to show Dickson shouldn't be fully trusted so from the player's perspective his betrayal doesn't come completely out of nowhere. In universe I reckon it is hidden depths. His jerkass tendencies are really over played but when it comes down to it he let's the characters go on to fight Zanza saying he's not prepared to die for his god, even though he does so immediately afterwards. In truth he didn't want them to see him die, possibly out of shame or possibly because he doesn't want it affecting Shulk's psyche for the upcoming battle. I reckon the character is conflicted between caring for Shulk, his devotion to Zanza and his Nihilistic/blood knight tendencies that makes him not want to care about anything, born from being a creature older than recorded history.
  • At the end of the game,we see how the Bionis and Mechonis are created. Klaus wanted to turn all humans into gods but then did a Apocalypse Unversial Class 4 which just left Zanza and Meyneth as Gods (along with Alvis) and forms the Titans in the endless ocean where the game takes place. I find some problems with that back story. First, how does the party still see an Earth-like planet before fighting Zanza when the reformation was clearly on Earth? Second, who decided on Klaus's, Meyneth's, and Alvis's fate in this world? Is there a greater god in all of this? Finally, what in the world happened with the ending? The Titans are now destroyed but how is Colony 9 still present and how did the other races make it to Colony 9 when there it is usually a dangerous and long path?
    • 1. It's possible that Zanza keeps an illusion of Earth and its nearby planets out there because, on some level, he misses it.
    • 2. We're talking about an event that turned two humans and a supercomputer into gods and destroyed the previous universe, so who knows how the mechanics behind something like that would work.
    • 3. After Shulk recreated the universe, there were once again planets and land outside the Bionis, so everybody got off the Bionis and built a new Colony away from it.
      • I interpreted this one as "Shulk took the stuff that was Bionis and Mechonis and incorporated that into the new planet". Hence why Colony 9 appears almost identical to how it appeared on Bionis, and perhaps more importantly, allowing the people living on Bionis to keep their homes and scientific materials, which helps with the whole "Explore this vast new universe!" idea.
  • So there's Colony 9 and Colony 6, where are all the other colonies then? (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ect...)
    • Destroyed in previous Mechon attacks presumably.
      • More or less confirmed by a Heart-to-Heart between Melia and Dunban on the Fallen Arm. One of the options while talking about Mumkhar says that he originally came from a colony that had been destroyed.
  • It's established that at Ose Tower, Zanza killed Shulk and the only reason Shulk appeared to be alive was because Zanza acted as his life force. Why is Shulk still alive and able to move on his own completely fine after separating from Zanza? If Shulk depended entirely on Zanza to live, shouldn't he have returned to being a corpse the moment Dickson shot him? Did Alvis do something to revive Shulk? I feel like the game addressed legitimate concerns with Fiora's split from Meyneth but didn't really explore the Shulk/Zanza aftereffects that well.
    • The game reveals that Meyneth used the last of her power to give life back to Shulk just before she died. Alvis was then able to bring his consciousness out of the coma.
  • Egil would need a lot of raw materials to build his Mechon army. That's fine; the Mechonis is pretty big, so even if they only mined bits of the Mechonis' interior here and there, that would probably provide enough metal and such for a whole bunch of Mechon. But that doesn't excuse the giant freakin' replacement arm that Egil was also responsible for building. Seriously, how the heck did he get enough material for a new arm without turning the Mechonis' insides into swiss cheese?
    • Well the inside of the Mechois Field is very open. Compareing it to the Bionis' knee too, the fallen arm looks somewhat small to me. It's possible the arm used to be meater but Egil mined it down to the bare bones, in a somewhat literal sense. What we see is just the interior skeleton design with the muscle and flesh parts being used to make the new arm.
  • About Arglas and Zanza: it was stated that Arglas was the soul of the Bionis and was possessed by Zanza. But it was also stated that Zanza created the Bionis, just like Lady Meynet created the Mechonis. So did Zanza create the Bionis with a mind of his own, made a sword for his body, waited for thousands of years for Arglas to pick him up, then destroyed and replaced Arglas's mind?
    • No, Zanza was the soul of the Bionis. Arglas was just a dude who found the Monado, picked it up, and got possessed by Zanza. When Zanza first shows up at Prison Island, the body he's inhabiting was originally Arglas's.
  • About Zanza and the Monado: it was stated that Zanza and the Bionis Monado are one-and-the-same. However, Meyneth **has** a Monado, rather than **being** the Mechonis Monado. Was something messed up in the translation?
    • I don't know what exactly the game said, but wasn't it Alvis who was one and the same with the Bionis' Monado? I don't know about the Mechonis' Monado, but I think Zanza and Meyneth are on similar standings in regards to their blade.
  • MAJOR endgame spoilers, but seriously, couldn't SO MUCH have been avoided if Egil told Shulk and Co. what was going on? Egil offers to do this at one point... by offering to turn them into Face-Mechon and THEN explaining. Why bother doing that when you could just drop in, and say "Hey, let's have a chat about what we're fighting for." Obviously, Shulk was too mad to listen on Valak Mountain or the fortress, but by the time they reached the Fallen Arm and met with Miqol they would've listened. Who knows? Maybe they could've made a decision like, I don't know, chuck the Monado in the ocean? Blow up Prison Island? (Which has been done before, mind you.) Poor Communication Kills and all that, but I still feel like so much could've been avoided by just telling the party about Zanza.
    • If memory serves me correctly, Egil did not see Shulk after the Fallen Arm until literally right before Mechonis Core, where he did finally explain all this. After that... I think Shulk and Egil's conflict had come too far to just stop.
    • OP here. While you're right in that they don't meet Egil again until the fight at the Meyneth statue, my main question is why didn't Egil try to talk to them before that? It's not like, you know, they were storming the Mechonis or anything. Overall, Egil's actions after Galahad Fortress seem kind of questionable. He sees an immense power that he (likely) considers to be Meyneth's Monado, and... does nothing? Even if he thought Shulk and co. died from the fall (Likely, since later he shows surprise that they met with the Machina. "Even my own people have turned against me," Or something like that), does he really have no knowledge that the Face Unit he JUST FINISHED MAKING had an encounter with a group of Homs, Nopon, High Entia and Robot Girl? Or that Vanea went to meet them? What was he so focused on? Anyways, rambling aside, I don't get why he didn't just hop in Yaldabaoth, fly down maybe 10 stories and meet with them again. I mean, what better person to talk to about the situation than the wielder of the Monado? (You are right in that after the battle with Egil there was no turning back, but still...)
    • Yeah, that seems a bit odd. The best explanation I can come up with is that Vanea had shown Shulk and Co the history of the Mechonis (you know, Zanza attacked Mechonis for no good reason history). I think, just maybe, Egil appreciated that Shulk wouldn't have accepted the whole "Monado is evil" point of view until he saw this history. Were it not for the second encounter with Jade Face between 'history of Mechonis' and 'finally explain all of this', there would be a logical explanation for this plot point.
    • Given what happened to Arglas, instant possession, it seems quite possible Egil assumed there was no use talking to them. That Shulk was his actual enemy. He even calls Shulk Zanza in the capital. Honestly given the guys backstory and how big a pain in the ass Shulk and co have been, the fact that he was willing to talk to them at all in the capital is pretty big of him.
  • So... for all the brouhaha it took to get Xenoblade released in North America, why oh WHY did it get such a short run? At first I assumed the game was never for sale in our stores because I live in Flyover Country (Many of our stores only get one shipment of games every quarter - and we didn't even have Amiibos until February. This area has several million people living here, OI!) but then I found out it was the same everywhere else - even if For a game that was in such high demand in North America, why only release a short number of copies? Good thing we're getting a New 3DS version - which I hope has a longer run. (It'll actually be cheaper than the wii version - plus the system.)
    • Pretty sure NOA severely underestimated how popular the game would turn out to be in North America. And the NA release happened pretty late in the Wii's lifetime. We're very lucky to have gotten it at all.
  • How is Zanza's soul in two places at once? Meyneth said that Zanza's body was trapped in Prison Island and Zanza's soul (the Monado) was confined to Ose Tower in Valak Mountain. However, his "body" belonged to Arglas. What was the point in separating the body and soul if the body is not actually Zanza's? How is Zanza able to remain in Arglas and Shulk at the same time?
    • Because he's a god.
    • I think of it this way. Zanza is broken into three parts. His sentient mind is trapped within Arglas, that's how he was able to be imprisoned on Prison Island. His soul is further broken into two parts. One is within the Monado and attempts to bend anyone who uses it to his will (however it isn't sentient). The other half is within Shulk. When Arglas is freed and then killed, Zanza's mind is released and rejoins with either the half of his soul in the Monado or Shulk (which doesn't matter, since both are together). When Shulk dies all three pieces reunite.
  • What is Prison Island? It's established the High Entia ancestors didn't build it, only used it, and at the end of the game Zanza goes there in order to enact his genocide/travel to a realm beyond scheme implying it has a connection to the original experiment. To further this (something I forgot about until replaying it) at the entrance there is text no one can translate but is similar to the symbols on the Monado which I assume are Japanese, I know the final symbol means God anyway. So what does this inscription say and what importance does Prison Island have in the overall existence of their world? Is their a corresponding structure in Mechonis that can be picked out?
    • I believe Prison Island may have been built by Giants, considering the size of its furniture.
  • If Egil was aware of Dickson being Zanza's disciple and was able to recognize him at first sight, isn't it incredibly odd that none of the Machina we meet remember anything strange about him? Egil's father Miqol witnessed the Bionis/Mechonis fight firsthand. He clearly knows about Zanza. Why does he say "I scratch his back and he scratches mine" in regards to Dickson when Zanza is the reason Machina were nearly driven to extinction? Why do all the Machina welcome him into the village with open arms? If Miqol is six thousand years old, and Egil is younger than him, and Machina such as Eiz and Neonik were alive when Zanza attacked Meyneth, why does nobody find the presence of Zanza's disciple extremely suspicious?
    • When Egil recognised Dickson, he had just done something despicable, and Egil could connect the dots from there. Miqol and the rest of the Fallen Arm residents see only a genial Homs, and have no reason to suspect that Dickson may be the Giant that served Zanza.
  • Where is the metal for the Mechon and the Machina coming from? Were Meyneth and Egil just hollowing out Mechonis?
    • Yes. In all probability at least. Most of what you explore of the Mechonis is very open interior while the Bionis is mostly the outside surface.
  • This is very minor, but bugs me to this day. After the Bionis Interior, we see Vanea finishing up a new face Mechon, Fiora. Some pretty cool villain foreshadowing, right? But then, a voice on the speaker says "Lady Vanea, Master Egil wishes to see you." Umm... Who was that? Wasn't the whole thing about Egil that only Vanea agreed to follow him? Where did he get a secretary?
    • Computer with an automated voice.
  • I'm having a hard time conceptualizing the different climates and environments on Bionis. Valak Mountain, for example. It's apparently so cold thanks to being "as high up on the Bionis as you can go," but it's pretty clear that spoiler Eryth Sea and Prison Island are higher—and they're pretty tropical. So how is Valak Mountain, the right arm of the Bionis, so cold? In the same vein, how are Satorl Marsh and Makna Forest even able to stay on the Bionis? They're both relatively flat, but they're on the waist and back, respectively. It doesn't make sense.
    • Due to its position, the right arm of the Bionis is constantly under the shadow of the rest of the body of Bionis, which gives Valak Mountain its cold climate. Satorl Marsh is located on an indentation found along the waist of the Bionis and visible from Bionis Leg, which is why it has its "C" shape; and Makna Forest is on an horizontal "plate" that comes out of the titan's back found beneath the floating Eryth Sea. Here are some pictures with the different locations of Bionis for reference.