Video Game: Xenoblade Chronicles X

aka: Untitled Monolith Soft RPG
A grand destiny awaits.

"Together, we resolved to forge a new way of life here on Mira, come what may. New LA was our beautiful lie to ourselves...Truth is, we were adrift, heading into the unknown. Our native home was gone, swallowed in a shroud of light, and our future was uncertain: we had no idea what fate lay in store for us...Only that we had to keep living in order to see it."

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 mech combat as one of its key gameplay aspects and massive 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).

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 'Divisions' that the player can accept different missions from throughout the game. Joining a Division also yields a unique benefit:
    • Curators specialize in item collection and tyrant extermination. This Division bestows an increased critical hit rate.
    • Harriers specialize in combating indigens. They also inflict more damage with melee weapons.
    • Interceptors specialize in fighting tyrants. They do more damage with ranged weapons.
    • Reclaimers specialize in treasure box recovery and data probe installation. They have increased item drop rates.
    • Pathfinders specialize in exploration and data probing. They recover HP at a higher rate.
    • Mediators specialize in quest completion. They can earn TP when using Arts.
    • Prospectors specialize in resource acquisition. They have bonuses to defense.
    • Outfitters specialize in investments towards Miranium and arms manufacturers. They provide bonuses to money earnings.
  • After the End: The game's narrative follows the survivors of the White Whale and their efforts to forge a new life on Mira, after being forced to flee Earth's destruction.
  • Aliens Are Bastards: The humans doesn't want any part of the alien war and they shot most of them down as the humans tried to escape Earth.
  • Alien Invasion: Subverted, since there wasn't an actual invasion. Rather, the Earth was destroyed in the ongoing war between two alien races. One of whom, has continued to pursue the survivors with the intent of eradicating them.
  • 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."
  • Artifact Title: Averted in that while the Monado from the first game is absent in this one, the title still has meaning due to the military organization the Player Character joins being called "BLADE".
  • 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.
  • Autobots, Rock Out!: Going up against any of the Tyrants is a tall order. So they're highlighted by the accompaniment of "Uncontrollable", instead of the game's usual battle theme. It becomes a near literal example, once you're outfitted with a full party of SKELLS to take them on.
  • 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.
  • Badass Crew: BLADE is a military unit trained to be NLA's line of defense against hostile Indigens and the Ganglion. But only the elite among them, such as the Interceptor faction, possess the skill to go up against Tyrants. Or have what it takes to qualify as a SKELL pilot.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: If you want, male party members can be decked out in full-dress military garb and business suits.
  • BFG:
    • Characters in the Shield Gunner job class can be equipped with various assault rifles, mini-guns, beam cannons, and gain range and accuracy bonuses while using them.
    • The SKELLS can be outfitted with far greater firepower, such as the "Super Weapons"; especially the Graviton Assault rifle, Hyper Railgun, and the Six Cannon most of all (seen @1:41-2:40).
  • BFS: Your party members can be armed with swords of the standard and beam weapon variety, some of which are as big as the characters themselves. Doubly so, for the ones that can be equipped to your SKELLS.
  • Bonus Boss: As in the original, there are certain enemies that're far stronger then the usual Indigens found scattered throughout the world. As such, they're referred to as "Tyrants"note  and, depending on which one you're fighting, the degree of difficulty can range from only slightly above normal - to being tough enough to make the Final Boss seem like a joke by comparison.
  • Bowdlerise: The North American and European versions of the game alter Lin's skimpy bikini costumes to be less revealing. They also remove the bust-size slider from the character creation menu, which is left intact in the Japanese version.
  • Bubblegloop Swamp: Primordia derives its name from the fact that it's marshland territory (seen @1:29-2:17), though much of it is grassland set near the coast.
  • 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.
  • Cartography Sidequest: One of BLADE's primary missions is to explore and map out planet Mira, in order to gather data on the indigenous wildlife, search for resources, and to recover wreckage from the White Whale; particularly, what's left of the Lifehold. In return, you'll be rewarded with EXP, Miranium (the in-game currency), and SP which can be used to increase your skill level in your chosen field.
  • 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.
  • Colony Ship: The opening cinematic shows each of the Arks were carrying a habitat unit, equal in size to a small city; each being intended to colonize inhabitable worlds in hopes of helping mankind replenish their numbers. But the White Whale was pursued and eventually destroyed as it was pulled into Mira's gravity well.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Psycorrupter and Mastermind are support classes geared towards crippling the enemy with debuffs and bolstering the party's resistance. The downside? You'll only be able to use knives and ray guns. Plus, you won't receive the same attack/defense/and HP bonuses the other job classes do.
  • 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.
  • Downer Beginning: The game begins with an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • Dual Wielding: Only characters in the Commando job class can equip dual pistols and dual swords.
  • Dub Name Change: Some of the names were changed in the English localization.
    • BLADE's full name was changed from "Beyond the Logos Artificial Destiny Emancipator" to "the Builders of the Legacy After the Destruction of Earth".
    • The "Dolls" were changed to "Skells".
    • Some of the characters were renamed, like Ru (Changed to L). Other character's names were simply respelled (Van Damme to Vandham and Guin to Gwin.)
    • "Overeds" are referred to as "Tyrants".
    • "World Enemies" is changed to "Nemeses".
  • 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 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!
    • New Los Angeles bears some resemblance to Midgar.
  • Floating Continent: There's various bit of land floating in the air in many places.
  • Foreshadowing: When Cross meets Elma, she asks Cross if he or she remembers Earth, his or her home planet. In the Japanese version she made a point to correct herself, which draws more attention to her choice of words.
  • 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.
    • In the Western version, B.L.A.D.E will stand for the Builders of the Legacy After the Destruction of Earth
  • 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 creates their own fully customizeable avatar; including their name. But your fellow party members and NPCs will only address you as such during onscreen text (i.e. scenes that aren't voice acted), not during cutscenes.
  • Heroic Mime: Zigzagged. For the most part, your avatar is limited to calling their attack names and a few lines in battle, but doesn't speak during cutscenes. Instead, you'll occasionally be given a prompt, followed by 2 or more responses to choose from.
  • 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.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: In stark contrast to most of the costume and armor sets of the previous game, the ones found in Xenoblade Chronicles X are not only awesome to look at it, they're fully custmoziable. During GameXplain' 3-hour livestream, Derrick shows you can even set the characters' headgear to be invisible (@1:06:13-1:10:09). Plus, there are costume sets that're referred to as "fashion armor". A vast improvement from before.
  • 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.
  • Job System: Each character is pre-designated to one of the game's 15 available job classes, but your player created avatar is the only one allowed to switch between them. The one you choose will determine which weapons you'll be able to equip and which Arts you can learn. Once your skill level in any job class reaches lvl.10, it will be marked "Mastered", allowing to keep all Arts you've acquired from it.
  • Jungle Japes: Noctilum with its tropical jungle and many bodies of water.
  • Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: The game's "fashion armor" sets allow you to dress up female party members in evening wear and accessories. They'll be armed and ready for a night on the town, spent mowing down enemies with melee weapons and heavy artillery!
  • Laser Blade: The photon sabers utilized by the Blast Fencer and Galactic Knight classes. They generally deal beam damage, but variants capable of inflicting heat, electric, or even physical damage exist.
  • Lemony Narrator: The narrator for the English-language "Survival Guide" videos, who becomes more dickish with each new video.
    "If Map View is too difficult for you, consider staying on Earth to witness its destruction."
  • Lethal Lava Land: Cauldros puts strong emphasis on the lethal aspect, as the heat generated by its fire storms causes your party to rapidly lose HP. Plus, there are numerous lava pools that act as an additional environmental hazard; making it the Xenoblade equivalent of Norfair.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: In addition to all the NPCs scattered around NLA and other parts of the world, X offers at least 19 playable characters. Plus, there's 4 more that are available as DLC which Monolith will offer free of charge, for the western release.
  • Loads and Loads of Sidequests: There are numerous sidestory missions, ranging from peacekeeping around NLAnote , to resource and data gathering. But the two biggest undertakings, by far, is recovering the Lifehold, which amounts to a massive search and rescue operation. The other is to fully map out the planet itself - all 400sq. miles of it.
  • 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: SKELL combat is one of the game's key gameplay mechanics and story elements. They're just over twice the size of their pilots and can transform into various land vehicles for faster travel. And eventually, you'll unlock their flight upgrade.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Applies to the Tyrants as a whole. Experienced BLADE members know they aren't to be taken lightly and are usually best avoided, unless you're outfitted with a SKELL... and can still prove dangerous even then.
  • New Neo City: The Hub City is named New Los Angeles.
  • No Name Given: The name of the alien faction that fought the Ganglion over Earth and shot down the White Whale is never revealed as well as a mysterious Black Testament - like character who approached Lao in the epilogue.
  • Non-Combat EXP: As in the previous game, you mainly earn EXP by exploring the world map and discovering landamarks, hidden areas, completing sidequests and story missions.
  • 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.
  • The Overworld: The world map is said to be approximately 400 sq. miles - spread across five continents, floating land masses, and the islands out in the ocean. And the only way you'll be able to fully explore it is by unlocking your SKELL's flight capability.
  • 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).
  • Reality Ensues: Xenoblade Chronicles X is part Life Sim:
    • If you wanna earn currency in this game, you've gotta get a job by joining one of 8 factions, then check the missions board to see which ones are available. While you're free to choose any mission, the ones that fall under your faction's job description are the ones that will earn you the most Miranium.
    • SKELLS aren't just given to anyone and you can't simply walk in off the street and apply for one either. The upper management of BLADE chooses who qualifies to take the certification test become a SKELL pilot, based on their job performance. Meaning, the higher you raise within the ranks, the better your chances of being selected.
    • They're also expensive. You'll need to purchase their equipment, armor, fuel, and you'll need SKELL insurancenote  to cover the costs of repairs, or to recover it in case it gets destroyed. Your insurance will only cover you the first three times it happens. After that, the cost of recovery will have to come out of out-of-pocket. Or you'll have to go without one.
    • Your ability to mine resources out in the field depends on which skills you've invested in (archeology, mechanics, etc.) and your current level of expertise. You'll also need to launch data probes to see what types of resources are available in each area and there are different types of probes.
    • It also deals heavily with economics, as you'll need to invest in arms manufacturers and R&D. Players can either use Miranium, or cash in CPnote  to acquire new gear. Or, you can opt to have them create specialized gear from rare items and materials you've gathered (@7:08-7:25).
    • Since Mira is an uncharted planet, one of BLADE's primary tasks is recon. Research probes study the indigenous wildlife to determine which ones are hostile and which areas are safe to explore. While data probes help them find resources that can be used to further support NLA.
  • 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: As with the original, its spiritual sequel offers a wide variety of terrain and breathtaking vistas. The amount of detail in New Los Angeles alone is a vast improvement over either of the Colonies. Made moreso, once you get your first SKELL and gain the ability to fly — you may even get to see an electromagnetic storm!
  • Screw Destiny: The implication of the acronym B.L.A.D.E. - Beyond the Logos Artificial Destiny Emancipator.
  • Sequel Escalation:
    • The last game's world was already about the size of Japan, but since the Skells are five times bigger than the characters, this game's world is five times bigger than the previous game's.
    • Just how expansive is this game? At one point, Monolith was worried one disc wouldn't be enough.
    • To put that in perspective, a YouTuber named Griffon Li Britannia posted a video showing the elapsed time it took to sprint from the outermost edge of Oblivia, to Noctilum's outermost edge was 31 minutes. And that was travelling in a straight line, while ignoring both the northern continents and the islands, out in the ocean!
  • 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..."
  • Shifting Sand Land: While Oblivia is mostly desert terrain, it has oasis regions and waterfalls as well.
  • 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.
  • Skillgate Character: The class selection menu describes the Striker as being "beginner friendly," since it grants you a balanced mix of attack/defense/and HP bonuses as you increase your skill level. However, it doesn't gain as many specialized Arts and skills as the Commando and Enforcer classes do.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Subverted. During the third segment of Derrick and Chuggaconroy's Q&A series, they explain Sylvalum's terrain is neither snow or ice. It's pollen (@10:43-11:13).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Weapon of Choice
  • Wham Shot: In The Stinger Elma enters Central Life in a room containing a supercomputer that housed the humans's consciousness but discovers that it was destroyed upon impact. This leaves her clueless, as the destruction of the Central Life computer would have caused all the humans to die and all the Blue Bloods to shut down, yet the Blue Bloods are still functional.
  • 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