Video Game: Xenoblade Chronicles X

Xenoblade Chronicles X, previously code-named X, is the (thematic) sequel to the cult Wii hit Xenoblade, developed by Monolith Soft for Wii U and published by Nintendo, released in Japan on April 29th, 2015 with an English release slated for December 4th, 2015.

In the year 2054, two alien races began a battle in near-Earth orbit. The collateral damage from the battle did a number on the planet; humanity was left with no recourse but to evacuate shortly before the planet was completely destroyed.

Two years later, one of the Colony Ships able to escape the chaos mostly unscathed - an American evacuee ship called the White Whale, holding the city of New Los Angeles - was attacked by one of the two alien factions, which had been tailing them the entire time. Thanks to the efforts of the military bravely fending off the attack, particularly those of a high-ranking officer riding a mech, the ship manages to crash-land on the closest hospitable planet, Mira; however the damage from the fight caused the pods containing the cryonically-suspended citizens to be scattered all over the planet's surface on the way down.

You play a player-created character, awakened from one such pod by one of the White Whale's staff, Elma; you must aid the struggles of those of New Los Angeles to survive, settle and thrive on Mira, a world filled with exotic locales and creatures.

The game features Badass Mini-Mecha and very, very large open world environments filled with Scenery Porn. The character designs are by Kunihiko Tanaka (character designer for Xenogears and Xenosaga Episode I), the music is composed by Hiroyuki Sawano (of Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn, Attack on Titan and Kill la Kill fame), and the game is being executive-directed by Tetsuya Takahashi (director of previous Xeno- games).

While the title implies a direct connection to Xenoblade, it was at first stated to have no relation to the previous game early on, but in 2014 at the Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3 it was confirmed that it was more of an indirect successor; while there are notable similarities in the battle systems and UI design between games, Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X share no relation in terms of story or setting other than some philosophical ideas. In addition, there are said to be more elements such as playable mecha and initially a red stylized 'X' logo used for the game that recalls that of Xenogears, harkening to previous Xeno- games in early previews and teases.

View the three trailers here (January 2013 Nintendo Direct), here (E3 2013) and here (E3 2014). Gameplay video can be found here (early 2014 Direct; gives a basic glimpse at combat, both in-mech and on-foot) here and here (Treehouse hands-on at E3 2014, Days 1 and 3 respectively; both broadly cover the opening half-hour of the game).

WARNING: The game has now been released in Japan. Make sure to mark spoilers accordingly, and proceed reading at your own risk.

This game provides examples of:

  • Abnormal Ammo: The guns do use bullets in this game, but it appears they also fire some form of energy substance - similar to Ether in Xenoblade.
  • Adventure Guild: B.L.A.D.E. is one and in fact has 8 factions called 'Unions' that the player can accept different missions from throughout the game.
  • Alien Invasion: The settlers' reason for abandoning Earth. Not just one alien race, either; two races, at the same time, who were at war with one another. Unfortunately, Earth was collateral. The story trailer implies that at least one of the two species has followed the evacuees, with the intent of finishing what remains of humanity off.
  • Alien Sky: Not so much during the day, but there are four very prominent moons visible in the night sky.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The party is surrounded by three monsters at one point, who are quickly wiped out by a Telethia that appears from the sky and finishes the three. Once it gets done chowing down on one, the beast observes the party before deciding to leave.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: Referred to as "Skells", which is short for "exoskeletons". In the original Japanese, they're called "Dolls".
  • Apocalypse How: The game's opening cinematic shows the people of Earth being forced to flee a Planetary Physical Annihilation, due to Earth being caught in the crossfire between two warring alien races.
  • Arbitrary Headcount Limit: Your party consists of up to four members, and your avatar is always one of them. Inactive party members remain back in NLA, meaning quick traveling there is necessary whenever you want to adjust your formation.
  • Arc Words: "That is the Destiny of Growth."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Some monsters are several stories tall, and tend to easily squish all but the most prepared of on-foot characters. Taking them on in Dolls is generally preferable.
  • BFS: The characters and mechs in the trailers appear to have swords around the same height as themselves.
  • Awful Truth: Cross turning out to be a robot and not truly a human. Is also a Call Back to the original Xenoblade as the Main protagonist, Shulk, turned out to be a re-animated corpse and not a normal Homs.
  • Back Stab: Back Slash makes a return, though it's hardly the only art that gets a damage bonus when striking from behind.
  • Bonus Boss: As in the original, there are numerous, stronger then usual monsters scattered throughout the world, this time referred to as Overed. They range from only slightly tougher then a normal enemy to being tough enough to make the final boss seem like a normal enemy by comparison.
  • Calling Your Attacks: As in the original, your characters will shout the name of whatever art they're using (Though a few will instead use a phrase), and some bosses get in on it, as well. While it generally doesn't apply while piloting a Doll, anyone who's in an Ares model will call out the names of its signature weapons.
  • Chainmail Bikini: A lot of the armor sets inexplicably are a lot more revealing on female characters. It gets sillier when some of the so-called "heavy" armor sets actually cover far less then some light armors do.
  • Character Customization: The player character can be customized in looks and name, a first for the Xeno series.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Guns tend to do their damage in multiple small hits. This generally makes them better at boosting the power of Overclock Gear, which increases in the strength based on the number of hits landed while it's active.
  • Darker and Edgier: While the original wasn't exactly light-hearted, X can be rather merciless to its NPCs at times, with its quests building a rather significant headcount...some of which may result from your decisions. Not even Nopon are exempt from this.
  • Dub Name Change: Some of the names were changed in the English localization.
    • The "Dolls" were changed to "Skells".
    • Some of the characters were renamed, like Ru (Changed to El). Other character's names were simply respelled (Van Damme to Vandham and Guin to Gwin.)
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: In the opening, the Earth becomes the focal point of a fight between two warring alien species. Unfortunately, the fight does a number on the planet, forcing humanity to launch several colony ships to escape, shortly before the planet is completely shattered.
  • Epic Tracking Shot: Much like the beginning of Xenoblade in Sword Valley, we get an incredible shot of New Los Angeles when entering the city for the first time.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: The Mirezauros, which resemble brontosaurus but have heads reminiscent of a praying mantis. They're among the largest monsters in the game, and a prominent part of Primordia's scenery. They're also safe to approach for a closer look...save for the one with the bright red markings.
  • Expy: The E3 2014 trailer shows a few characters who bear a resemblance to ones from prior Xeno- titles:
    • Lynlee is a dead ringer for MOMO.
    • Lao looks very similar to Dunban.
    • A woman named Elma who we see in the forest during the trailer's introductory scene, whose very name and meeting with the Player Character in the forest hearkens back to Elly meeting Fei in Xenogears.
      • Her dark skin and blue eyes take fans back to KOS-MOS and T-ELOS.
      • Her true form bears a near identical resembles to KOS-MOS with long blue hair, a similar outfit to KOS-MOS's 3rd form and even a similar pod to boot!
  • Floating Continent: There's various bit of land floating in the air in many places.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The trailer specifically mentions B.L.A.D.E, Beyond the Logos Artificial Destiny Emancipator, which we find out is the organization the player character joins that operates on the planet.
  • Gratuitous English: Like in Xenoblade, occasionally prompts to hit the B button will appear; hitting the button in time offers various subtle rewards. There are two levels of success; hitting the inner circle (hitting the button a little late, but still in time to be successful) will tell you that you've "Succeeded". Hitting the outer circle (precisely when hitting the button would no longer be considered "too soon"), however, will tell you that you've "Huge Succeeded". (Un)fortunately, this turned out to have been beta text, as later videos have shown that it's been changed to "Success" and "Perfect," respectively.
  • Hello, Insert Name Here: For the first time in the series, the Player Character can be named and fully customized by the player.
  • Heroic Mime: Aside from saying the names of his/her artes and a few lines in battle, the Player Character doesn't seem to have any dialogue.
  • Humans Are Bastards: One might think that humanity's dire circumstances might've promoted greater unity among them, but deception, backstabbing, and other shady business is still commonplace, both among the civilians and BLADE members. Some of them also prove to be less then accepting of their alien visitors...sometimes to a deadly degree.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Zu Hagg, while outwardly appearing to just be a spacecraft, turns out to be one of these.
    • While not nearly as huge as the previous example, the Vita still towers over Dolls, being more then twice as as tall.
  • Interface Spoiler: The first time you have a Heart to Heart with each of your different party members, you'll receive an achievement for it. Well, except for one of them, that is...
  • Jail Bait: Like in Xenoblade, it's possible to take off all the armor of characters, including Lynlee, who is officially 13. However, age of consent in Japan is 13.
  • Laser Blade: The photon sabers utilized by the Blast Fencer and Galaxy Knight classes. They generally deal beam damage, but variants capable of inflicting heat, electric, or even physical damage exist.
  • Mile-Long Ship:
    • The settlers leave Earth on an enormous mothership, which seems to double as a colony on their adopted home planet.
    • The Ma Non ship shown casually hovering above New Los Angeles in one of the presentations is not too shabby either, being nearly as large as the city itself.
  • Mini-Mecha: Similar to prior Xeno series games, Mechs are present, and the player is able to drive and do battle with them.
  • New Neo City: The Hub City is named New Los Angeles.
  • Off with His Head!: While most monsters only lose tails, horns, or maybe a limb on occasion in battle, Mirezauros aren't so fortunate and can have their heads removed if their necks take enough damage. Doing this simply causes them to reveal their real head that's normally concealed within their chest, though.
  • Pistol-Whipping: The Assault Hammer/Buster arts for the assault rifle both have you bludgeon your target with it, potentially knocking them down or stunning them, respectively.
  • Preexisting Encounters: Carried over from its predecessor; enemies will litter the landscape, and the player can seamlessly transition into fighting them at will.
  • Real Is Brown: Averted (see the Scenery Porn entry).
  • Relationship Values: Every party member has these, and raising them is necessary to take certain quests. They're also needed if you're interested in striking a conversation with them while they're on a break.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Nopon are confirmed to be returning. They're native to planet Mira.
  • Scenery Porn: Though still in development, the game already features a wide variety of terrain and exotic landscapes, like its predecessor. As seen in the exploration trailer released by Monolith Soft for the 1.14.15 Nintendo Direct.
  • Screw Destiny: The implication of the acronym B.L.A.D.E. - Beyond the Logos Artificial Destiny Emancipator.
  • Sequel Escalation:
  • Sequel Hook: There are many mysteries and unanswered questions and one of the two alien races that destroyed the Earth is still on the way.
    "This story is never ending..."
  • Shmuck Bait: Don't be too eager about rushing into collect every last item you see, as the game will rather quickly educate one that much of Mira's native wildlife can be surprisingly sneaky...
  • Shout-Out: As said in the Nintendo Treehouse Live @ E3, there are some nods to previous Xeno- games, even the ones before Xenoblade.
    • One of the opening sequences of the first cutscene is a direct shot-for-shot remake of the opening title of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
    • The mass exodus of ark ships from Earth at the beginning of the game mimics that of the backstory of Xenogears, where humanity also left Earth en masse on emigrant ships.
    • One of the ships crashes on to an alien planet, which is where the main game takes place, also a nod to Xenogears, where the same thing happened sans the involvement of an Eldridge abomination and the fact that in THIS game, most people survive.
    • A character refers in voiceover to "a vessel with which to meet our lord," which would seem to echo late-game plot points in both Xenogears and Xenosaga.
    • Wels is the name of Elma's favorite Skell, but don't worry, the Skell isn't a mutated human.
  • Sniper Rifle: The firearm utilized by the Long Lancer and Star Crusader classes. While it hits about as hard as one might expect, its range isn't actually much better then the other ranged weapons, and needs to be boosted with arts, devices, or skills before it can hit enemies at somewhat appropriate distances.
  • Space Opera: Though the gameplay shown as of E3 2014 has been confined to land and sky, the plot dealing with interstellar war between multiple alien species is beginning to shade into this.
  • Spoiler Title: One of the soundtrack's name is Lao Chimera Telethia.
  • Subsystem Damage: The parts of enemies can be targeted individually; Each part has its own HP indicated by a circle over the targeted part, and breaking a part can disable attacks and/or yield extra loot after battle.
    • This also applies to your Dolls, as taking too much damage may result in the loss of an arm or leg, and the ability to use arts associated with it. Thankfully, they automatically repair themselves after battle.
  • This Is a Drill: The massive Drillpile super weapon for Dolls is a hybrid of a drill and a pile bunker, as the name might imply. It also does more damage when hitting things from behind, which is likely to make it the butt of many an inappropriate joke.
  • Transforming Mecha: All of the Dolls have a vehicle mode they can switch into whenever they please. Depending on the model, you might end up with a three-wheeler, four-wheeler, or even a tank.
  • Video Game Settings:
  • Virtual Paper Doll: The gear you equip can be seen on your character. In fact, once you beat the game, you unlock a fashion equipment option, which lets you choose how you want your character to look without altering your stats.
  • Warp Whistle: Using the Wii U's Game Pad, players can warp to areas they have already visited.
  • Wide Open Sandbox: In contrast to its predecessor Xenoblade, which was more of a stage 5 on the Sliding Scale of Linearity vs. Openness.

Alternative Title(s):

Untitled Monolith Soft RPG