Video Game: Xenoblade Chronicles X

aka: Untitled Monolith Soft RPG

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 the same year.

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.
  • 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.
  • Arc Words: "That is the Destiny of Growth."
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: As with the original, many of the game's enemies tower several stories (if not more) above your party. Which necessitates the use of the Skells.
  • 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.
  • Bonus Boss: World Enemies
  • Buxom Is Better: one of the customization options for the female character is enlarging her breasts.
  • Character Customization: The player character can be customized in looks and name, a first for the Xeno series.
  • Death of a Thousand Cuts: Guns do much less damage than melee weapons, but are a lot faster.
  • Dub Name Change: Some of the names were changed in the English localization.
    • The "Dolls" were changed to "Skells".
    • "Tatsu" is changed to "Tots".
  • 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: Some of the creatures found roaming in the overworld resemble sauropods and are just as detailed as the rest of the fauna, with their sheer size making for a seamless, active wildlife.
  • 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.
  • 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: Some of them aren't too friendly and they will try to kill you.
  • Humongous Mecha: The player is able to acquire giant mechs called Dolls/Skells which also double as Transforming Mecha. Some of the game's opponents will also have some of their own.
  • 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.
  • 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: similar to its predecessor
  • 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..."
  • 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.
  • 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 limbs of enemies can be targeted individually; Each part has its own HP indicated by a circle over the targeted part.
  • Transforming Mecha: Some of the mechs have been shown to have the ability to transform into vehicles in the trailers.
  • 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