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Let's be off... to Elysium!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch.

Unlike the more Space Opera-oriented Xenoblade Chronicles X, this sequel follows up on the more Science Fantasy-oriented setting of the original Xenoblade Chronicles, though it still features new characters and a setting separate from the original.

A young man named Rex lives in the world of Alrest among an endless ocean of clouds, where the last remnants of civilization live on the backs of colossal beasts called Titans. He finds Pyra, a mysterious being known as a Blade who grants him tremendous power, and together they go searching for Pyra’s long lost home Elysium, the ultimate paradise for all of humanity. Unfortunately, many different factions are after Pyra as well; this is because Pyra is the Aegis, a legendary, powerful Blade which is said to grant her Driver control of Elysium and all of Alrest. It is up to Rex to defend Pyra from all of these different antagonists on their way to Elysium.

Yasunori Mitsuda, ACE, Kenji Hiramatsu and Manami Kiyota return as composers, while Masatsugu Saito (Cyborg 009 Call of Justice, Expelled from Paradise) and Tetsuya Nomura handle the character designs.

You can watch the first trailer here.


Xenoblade Chronicles 2 provides examples of:

  • Action Commands: Like the previous games, the player is prompted to time a button press or mash a button during Chain Attacks and specials in order to maximize damage output. The salvaging minigame also consists of three timed presses.
  • A Day in the Limelight:
    • The latter half of chapter 4 deals with Tora finally resolving his father's disappearance.
    • Part of the first half of chapter 7 features Nia coming to terms with her Flesh Eater Blade nature and revealing it to the party.
    • Pretty much every non story Unique Blade has their own Heart-to-Heart and/or sidequest that further explores their personality.
    • The final mercenary rank-up quest has Queen Raqura and Roc in prominent roles.
  • Alternate Calendar: In Chapter 3's opening, Pyra gives the date as "Amathatober 5th, 4058." This trope only applies in the English version; in Japanese, she simply says it's September 5th, 4058 AD.
  • And Then What?: The Architect asks Rex what his plan is for when he catches up with Malos. It takes him a second to think of something.
    Rex: I'll punch him in his stupid face... then probably get a drink with him or something. That's the sixth rule of the Salvager's Code: first have a punch-out, then drink to forget. Then the friendship's all set. I'm not old enough to drink, though.
  • An Economy Is You: The economy of Alrest is in a steep recession as the game begins, since Titans are dying and harvests are getting worse each year. This translates in gameplay to high prices and poor item selections at shops, but you can personally take it upon yourself to fix the economy by spending all that gold you get from adventuring. Here's how:
    • Some Titans (Argentum, Gormott, Uraya, Mor Ardain, Tantal, Leftheria, and Indol) have a Development Level, shown as a one- to five-star rating in the shop menu. As you buy and sell items at stores on that Titan, complete Merc Missions, and talk to the townsfolk, the Development Level rises.
    • As the level rises, you can take special Merc Missions to increase the selection at various stores. Get the full selection available and buy at least one of every item in any shop (excluding Core Chip, Accessory, Salvaging, and unique shops), and there will be a deed of ownership available the next time you visit that shop.
    • Buying these deeds gives all your characters very useful and permanent passive buffs, such as increasing your running speed and item drop rates. The shopkeepers' dialogue will change to reflect the fact that you are now their boss. Lastly, many NPCs will thank your party personally for singlehandedly stopping the decline of the global economy.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • Defeating a Unique Monster permanently kills it. You won't be harassed when revisiting the area, and by examining the grave, you can have a rematch without having the struggle with the spawn conditions all over again.
    • NPC party members will hold off using their special combos until you order them to, preventing AI from wasting their specials.
    • Players can keep track of debuffs thanks to the debuff timer at the top of the screen.
    • Blade affinity milestones that are finite or liable to become empty grinding (like landmarks discovered or distance walked respectively) are counted retroactively when possible.
    • NPCs with a star on their speech bubble still have new stuff to say. For anyone who want to exhaust all their dialogue, this is very useful.
    • Sidequest objectives are marked if they can only be completed at certain times of day. Additionally, collectables required for a current quest will be omitted from crafting menus.
    • At the end of Chapter 3, Pyra is very temporarily removed from the party. If the player's been too clever by half anticipating an upcoming boss and Engaged another Blade in her slot, the game will quietly put Pyra back in her proper slot.
    • After Chapter 8 when Indol falls all of the stores and sidequest important NPCs (save for quests that specifically begin in that area) from that area move to other Titans across the world, avoiding becoming Permanently Missable Content.
    • An NPC introduced in a Season Pass quest addresses the Guide Dang It! related to Premium Cylinders mentioned below- after completing the quest, he can manufacture Premium Cylinders for free, provided the player gives him the appropriate materials.
    • For those who find points in the game too difficult, Patch 1.3.0 adds Easy Mode, which can be switched into in the games settings.
    • Patch 1.3.0 also adds the ability to "lock" Blades, preventing you from accidentally releasing them and pinning them at the top of the Blades submenu, making common Blades with useful field skills quicker to find.
    • Patch 1.3.0 adds a Bard in several towns in a New Game+ that sells valuable items in exchange for Bonus Exp, presumably so that any Exp obtained upon hitting level 99 doesn't go to waste. The one in Argentum sells one extra accessory slot for each character. The Bard in Torigoth sells bundles of 20,000 Ether Crystals in exchange for Bonus EXP for those who aren't very good at Tiger! Tiger! Fonsa Myma's Bard sells Legendary Core Crystals, cutting down on farming. The two more notable bards are one Alba Canavich that sells Ultimate Weaponry, which is otherwise only obtainable via Completing a Unique/Rare Blades Affinity chart. The other is in Tantal, which sells Overdrive Protocols, which are only obtainable via a few chests, completing a driver's Affinity chart, releasing a 4-crown Common Blade with a complete Affinity Chart or through item gifts given to those who bought the Expansion Pass.
    • Patch 1.5.0 adds the option to turn off the Action Command system in combat (aside from continuing the next phase of a chain attack,) so you can sit back and watch all the flashy moves and explosions as they do perfect full damage automatically.
    • Patch 1.5.0 adds an option to turn off enemy hostilities, meaning that enemies that are within your level range or higher won't automatically attack you if you get near them.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap:
    • Rex finds himself on the receiving end of one from Mythra during the group's second encounter with Zeke. He ends up shattering the camera, which starts the battle proper.
    • When Brighid smacks Rex for giving up on saving Pyra.
  • Art Evolution: There's quite a difference between the reveal trailer and release.
  • Artificial Brilliance:
    • When you have the proper arts available to you, the AI is surprisingly smart with Driver combos (Break-Topple-Launch-Smash or blowdown, in order).
    • A big part of the game's battle system is chaining together the special arts into combos, however they must be done in specific order. Naturally, if an ally has that available, they will then swap to it - even if it's in the Third blade slot (which is rarely used by the AI)
  • Artificial Human:
    • Poppi the artificial Blade, created by Tora due to his own inability to become a Driver. Torna eventually builds an army of artificial Blades to combat Indol.
    • Blades themselves: not only are many of them humanoid in shape (and in some cases, like Pyra, virtually indistinguishable from humans), but since Core Crystals were built from material originally created to replace dying brain cells, all cores from which Blades are "born" are in fact artificial human brain tissue.
  • Artificial Stupidity:
    • In spite of the AI being smart, they can also be a little dense at times. Notable with tank blades (Especially Tora) who sometimes get so focused on tanking that they won't even run to get the potion that's right there next to them - assuming you or our third ally will pick them up. It's generally advised that, unless the player were to take on healing duties, that your "healer" only use Healing Blades, or to place the non healer blade in the third slot that they rarely swap to.
    • Your AI-controlled party members are also not very good at avoiding environmental hazards, and unlike the first game, will continue to attack an enemy with Spike, even if the resulting damage will kill them.
    • When you get the ability to have your Drivers use three Blades, the Blade you put into the third slot will often be the lowest priority, (Tora's an exception for most of the game) so if you were to say, give your tank a healing blade and put it in the third slot, they will not use it even when the party obviously needs healing.
    • The Bonus Boss Tyrannotitan Kurodil has a unique auto-attack that hits both in front and behind it that actually deals more damage from the back. The AI often does not take this into account and will continue to stand behind it as it rapidly drains their health.
    • If the player-controlled character and one other go down in battle, the remaining AI character will always move to revive the player first even if the other one is much closer to them and may well be the team healer. If the player character isn't revived after enough time, the battle automatically ends as a loss.
  • Astral Finale: The endgame takes place in a Space Station far above the planet, the same space station where Klaus undertook his experiment that led to the creation of the universe of the original Xenoblade Chronicles.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Just like its predecessors, some high level Unique Monsters and other monsters are particularly massive, especially the Squoods and Cloud Sea King Ken, which are on par with some of the largest monsters in Xenoblade Chronicles X.
  • A Taste of Power: During Chapter 1, Jin and Malos join temporarily and will make short work of most of the monsters. Additionally, any time a tutorial introduces a new mechanic, they'll often let the player put it in practice immediately, such as skipping some of the setup required or relaxing time limits.
  • Batman Gambit: Rex manages one in Chapter 2. It's made clear that there is no way the team will be able to defeat Mòrag after she effortlessly cleaves Rex's most powerful attack in half redirecting the blast. Rex uses this against her when he runs away and uses a similar blast making it seem like he's just predictably spamming the same trick over and over again. In reality, Rex knew that Mòrag would deflect it and positioned both him and her in such a way that the blast was redirected into a water tank - depowering Brighid for long enough to escape.
  • Battle Couple: In Fonsett Village, Corinne mentions to Pyra that a lot of old stories feature Blades who married their Drivers, obviously talking about Pyra's feelings for Rex.
  • Biblical Motifs: It wouldn't be part of the Xeno franchise without a few references.
    • Right at the start of the game, Rex tells the story of how when the lands were first created, people lived in paradise together atop the World Tree with the The Architect. This is a reference to the Garden of Eden and the Book of Genesis.
    • In Japanese, Pyra is always referred as "ten no seihai", which literally translates to "The Holy Grail (of Heaven)."
    • There's a bit of a lampshade thrown in in the final chapter. When Malos discovers the real names of the Aegis (Logos, Ontos and Pneuma, Greek for Mind, Body and Soul) he asks about their meaning. Klaus's answer amounts to "they mean your creators were pretentious fools."
  • Big Bad: Jin, the masked leader of Torna, serves as the main antagonist. Until it's revealed that his supposed Dragon Malos is the true Big Bad, and Jin is actually carrying out his will.
  • Bilingual Bonus: A character at Argentum in Chapter 2, in discussing salvage points, says you should "leave luck to heaven". "Leave luck to heaven" is the English translation of the Japanese name 任天堂, more recognizable in the West by its romaji, "Nintendo".
  • Bleached Underpants: Several of the unique Blades were designed by hentai artists. This is pretty obvious with Pyra and Mythra, but keep in mind that Dromarch and Roc were designed by the same artist.
  • Bleak Level:
    • The Land of Morytha, a post-apocalyptic modern city at the bottom of the Cloud Sea. Nothing there but decaying buildings, what are implied to be heavily mutated zombies, the rotting corpse of the old Torna Titan, depressing music and a number of sad plot twists. You don't even get the day/night cycle, only a neverending stormy sky.
    • And even more tragically, after an entire game of looking for it, Elysium itself turns out to be a long dry desert, in a space colony entirely devoid of life (people and monsters alike) save for the old, decrepit Architect himself. As Rex himself puts it, "There is nothing here!"
  • Bloodless Carnage: In stark contrast to the previous games, there's not a drop of blood to be seen even in scenes where you'd expect it, such as Jin stabs Rex through the heart near the beginning of the game or when Vandham stabs himself with his scythes to fuel himself with ether and is subsequently slain by Malos. Briefly averted in Chapter 2 when a Gormotti man fails to resonate with a Core Crystal and Rex even notes all the blood, but the blood is a light blue color and most players may mistake it for a flash of light from the crystal. And then there are flashbacks to when Tora & his family failed to resonate with Core Crystals and have nosebleeds, but this is clearly Played for Laughs.
  • Bonus Boss:
    • As with the previous games, there are a few bosses that exceed the player's level cap of 99.
      • At level 100 is Gladiator Orion, who resides on the Cliffs of Morytha
      • At level 104 is Reeking Douglas, who appears in the Brigand's Hideout in Gormott.
      • Pernicious Benf, a level 109 Behemoth, lives in the Aegishammer crater on Temperantia.
      • At level 110 is Cloud Sea King Ken, who appears on the ice fields in Tantal under specific weather conditions.
      • The level 114 Mk. VII Arek appears where you fought Amalthus in the World Tree.
      • At level 117 is none other than Artifice Ophion, who can be fought at the location of the Chapter 7 boss fight at the Cliffs of Morytha.
      • The Old Factory in Mor Ardain has Chickenheart Dagmora, who is at level 120.
      • Finally, at level 130, you have Tyrannotitan Kurodil in the Profaned Place in Temperantia.
    • After completing Bana's Secret Treasure and Farewell, Good Friend, Niranira can give you a quest to track down an anti-Ardainian organization Bana was involved in that was mentioned in the latter quest and its predecessors. At the end, you fight Don Dondon, Bana's father, piloting an Indoline Star at Level 70, the same level as the Final Boss.
    • There is an Ardun in Torigoth that you can feed, becoming bigger and gaining levels in the process. If you keep feeding it and don't kill it, it will eventually become a level 99 Unique Monster called Relentless Arduran. It also happens to be a good punching bag for farming Legendary Core Crystals.
    • The Challenge battle Mode has many high level Unique Monsters that go far above the level of the players up to Level 200. The Level 200 miniboss however is only meant to be weakened slightly before using Shulk's vision to stop it killing everyone while exploding. The real high level Unique Monster is a Level 150 Gogol named Immovable Heir Carlos, which has somewhat high attack power, can become awakened and possesses almost 40 million HP. There's also an upgraded version of Cloud Sea King Ken, an Ardanian Kurodil and True Rosa.
  • Boobs of Steel: Pyra (and by extension Mythra) is a legendary Blade who has tremendous physical power and she's one of the bustiest characters. Brighid is also very busty and is considered the strongest Blade in Mor Ardain. Finally Poppi gets bustier in her more powerful forms.
  • Bowdlerize:
    • Nintendo of America and Nintendo of Europe has had a long-standing history of changing religious references in their games, and while the English script of the game is no exception, the changes are unilateral and not necessarily a bad thing.
      • The Japanese script uses "rakuen", which translates to "paradise" or "pleasure garden" as a descriptor of the world where humans lived in peace with the God of Genesis on top of the World Tree, an obvious reference to the Garden of Eden and the Book of Genesis. The English script makes the Christian references less obvious by changing "paradise" to "Elysium", which was an ancient Greek concept of the afterlife where mortals chosen by the gods would spend eternity when they died. Then again, there's a track that's named "Elysium, in the Blue Sky", in English, in the Japanese sound selection.
      • The "God of Genesis" was changed to "The Divine Architect", which still conveys a great creator.
      • Pyra is referred as "the Aegis" in English", and "The Holy Grail (of Heaven)" in Japanese.
    • When Pyra says she has a way to make the money needed to pay off Poppi's materials, Gramps replies "Don't tell me...your body?" in Japanese. In the English subtitles and dub, while the implications are still there, the wording is a bit more vague: "Nothing illegal, I hope!"
    • And then there's the weird case of a certain Heart-to-Heart where Pyra and Brighid find an "experimental custom armor" Tora built for Poppi. In the original Japanese, it's a skimpy bikini. In the English version, it gets censored into... a Playboy Bunny costume, which is arguably just as lewd.
  • Boy Meets Girl:
    • At its most basic level, this is the nature of the game's plot. The game's director even acknowledges that.
    • The final chapter's name is even 'And thus, boy met girl' (except for the German translation, which calls it 'His Last Gift')
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: The season pass' initial content includes a number of goodies, such as a handful of Blade cores, extra money and salvaging cylinders, pouch items, overdrive protocols, and 30,000 units of ether crystals. This is downplayed as the first item in that list doesn't really combat the overall RNG Blade Core draw system much.
  • Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": Barring Nopon and the sapient enemy races like Tirkin, all the races of Alrest are called humans, even when some of these races vary significantly from baseline humans. Leftherians, Ardainians and Tantalese are as close to human as you can get, but then you have more fantastic races like the Gormotti (look human but have feline features), Urayans (have pointed ears, exotic hair colors and scaled skin) and Indoline (tall and lanky, have pointed ears, bluish skin tones and longer than average lifespans).
  • Cannibalism Superpower:
    • Flesh Eater Blades. By consuming the flesh of their Driver, they forfeit their immortality but retain their form even after their Driver dies; this can also unlock various other powers. There are also Blade Eaters - humans implanted with part of a Blade's core crystal, who then gain limited access to the Blade's powers. Amalthus becomes one to gain Haze's Blade-neutralizing ability.
    • In fact, the majority of the game's primary cast has this in some form. On the hero side, Rex and Zeke are both made Blade Eaters to heal mortal wounds, and Nia is a Flesh Eater. For the villains: Jin, Ahkos, and Patroka are all Flesh Eaters, with Mikhail and Amalthus being Blade Eaters.
  • Can't Catch Up: Averted, party members typically join a couple of levels ahead of where you might normally be, retroactively receive the party's full quota of Non-Combat EXP, and are given the party's average total weapon points applied to all weapon classes. In fact that last one often means they'll be slightly ahead of the rest of the party when they join. As a result, it's often Rex that's left behind in terms of Non-Combat EXP.
  • Can't Drop the Hero:
    • Averted. Once you finish the first chapter, you can put anyone at the front of the party to control them. Once you have four party members, you're perfectly welcome to bench Rex if you want.
    • Played straight with a party member's primary Blade who, with the exception of plot events, can't be disengaged from their Drivers. Especially Poppi, who is the only blade Tora can use. The exception is when Rex becomes the Master Driver in Chapter 8 and can bond with the Blades of other Drivers, save for Poppi, though even then he can't ever disengage Pyra/Mythra.
    • Patch 1.3.0 adds the ability to send a party member's primary blade on Merc Missions, including Pyra/Mythra and Poppi. Granted, this can only be done on a New Game+.
  • Cat Folk: The Gormotti, a cat-eared race that inhabits the Imperial Province of Gormott.
  • Cat Girl: Nia, being Gormotti. She also meows, and has other catlike affects in and out of battle.
  • Censor Steam: Used to hide girly bits during the Hot Springs Episode. This also cleverly hides Nia's Core Crystal, which is located on her chest, without giving the player a single clue - save for an incredibly vague comment by Mythra.
  • Character Select Forcing: A subversion - When Rex becomes the Master Driver late in the game, the game is quick to give and actively encourages the player to use Brighid, the blade tied to Mòrag. It will even go as far as swapping her out from Mòrag's top spot with another blade after finishing the previous boss so Rex can have easy access to her. The player is free to not use her on Rex, but it does clue them in that the initial run through the Land of Morytha is going to be a rough one without some kind of tank on hand since Rex is alone with a blade-less Guest-Star Party Member.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Bana offhandedly mentions that Jin asked specifically for Leftherian salvagers, which is how Rex lands the job that throws him into the plot. It takes about two thirds of the game before it's revealed that Rex's native Fonsett was founded by the hero Addam, and not only can only Leftherian people open the seals on the Aegis, he hid the Third Blade in a cave directly under the village.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • In gameplay rather than story. When Chain Attacks are introduced, the tutorial mentions how to trigger a Full Burst, but this is the epitome of Awesome, but Impractical at the time: it requires a precise party setup, a minimum of four element orbs on the enemy, and note-perfect execution of the Chain Attack. Needless to say, there's a dearth of opponents who can take four Blade Combos without keeling over that wouldn't wipe the party in the meantime. Much later in the game, Pyra's True Aegis mode is all about racking up element orbs rapidly and helping her allies knock them down efficiently, making Full Bursts a very satisfying way to end boss fights.
    • In Tantal, Pyra threatens to kill herself in order to save Rex. Akhos thinks it's a blatant bluff since Rex would die if Pyra did, but Jin goes along with it; Malos later explains that Pyra would have transferred the rest of her core to Rex right before she died, fully repairing his heart and letting him survive without her. He also mentions that this is only possible because the Aegis can operate without a core for a short time. At the very end, Pneuma transfers her core to Rex before her Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Combination Attack:
    • Every level four Blade Special is a combination attack between Driver and Blade—either passing the weapon back and forth (Roc's Crimson Storm), both wielding the weapon at once (Pyra's Burning Sword) or wielding one half of the weapon each (Brighid's Azure III: Soulfire). All of them are extremely powerful, with the party invincible for the duration of the attack.
    • Chain Attacks return from the first game. This time party members take turns unleashing Blade Specials.
    • In Chapter 10, you unlock a a unique Level 4 Blade Special between Pyra and Blade form Nia that requires Rex to have both engaged and at maximum affinity. The version used depends on who you start the attack with- Nexus Force for Nia's Water special, and Union Sword for Pyra's Fire.
  • Combos: Two types, both limited by debuff timers. Advance the combo before it runs out, or you'll have to start over.
    • Blade Combos are performed by executing a lv1, lv2, and lv3 Special of the proper elements in order. Ex.: linking Fire-Fire-Light produces "Nuclear Blast"; Ice-Water-Wind produces "Dead of Winter". There are 24 working combinations. Blade Combos deal high damage, temporarily seal off nasty status effects, and pop out an Element Orb that powers up your big-shot Chain Attack.
    • Driver Combos are performed by linking the Break, Topple, Launch, and Smash debuffs in sequence. Most weapon types have one Art capable of inflicting one of these effects, so proper setup beforehand is the key. Driver Combos amplify concurrent Blade Combos, stun the enemy (they can't thrash you while flipping helplessly through the air), and ultimately release free goodies like money and items mid-battle.
    • Running a Blade Combo and a Driver Combo concurrently is referred to as a Fusion Combo, which extends the combo timer for both components.
  • The Computer Is a Lying Bastard: There's one type of challenge in the affinity chart that doesn't fully explain the context of what must be done. "Deal X Damage in One Hit" cannot be done through a special blade art. It must be done via an auto attack or driver art, and is best done on the weakest enemies where their defense stats are lower.
  • Continuity Nod: The Architect is none other than Klaus, or rather, Klaus' good half. The same project used to turn the other half of Klaus, Galea, and one of the ship's AI into gods in the original Xenoblade's world, used his power to recreate life in the desolate universe he ruined.
  • Cool Airship:
    • The Argentum Trade Guild's Titan is too small to have its own biome, so it carries a ship underneath where its citizen live. In addition many smaller Titans have technology grafted onto them to use as weapons of war or transport.
    • Torna's Monocerous airship, being a giant battleship built during the days of Torna. They even have a bigger one called the Marsenes that can also transform into a Humongous Mecha.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: After you properly take care of Bana, Niranira punishes him by making him run in the hamster wheel. He knows he deserves this punishment, but he's also come to enjoy running in the wheel. You have to threaten to destroy the wheel just to get him to tell you how to open the giant treasure chest in his room.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: As befitting a theocracy, the Indoline Praetorium has this aesthetic, with shiny white buildings and tall towers.
  • Cutscene Incompetence:
    • Several times, winning a boss battle rewards you with a cutscene of that boss kicking your ass anyway.
    • Averted in a few areas in which Blades are weakened and they can't use their powers to escape the situation. Tora then points out that Poppi isn't affected as she is an Artificial Blade.
    • The party will appear oddly incompetent during several of the cutscenes for the optional Blades' sidequests, being overwhelmed by monsters that should by no means pose a threat to them, and not using Mythra's abilities in situations that would be perfect for them. Still, this is not necessarily a bad thing, as it gives rare Blades their chance to shine.
  • Cutscene Power to the Max: Other times, you have both party members and the boss you just fought all but flying around the map while fighting.
  • Damager, Healer, Tank: Blades come in three primary flavors: Attacker, Healer, and Tank.
  • Damage-Sponge Boss: The last part of the last main section of the sidequest to get Poppi's final form is a level 50 boss with HP in the millions. The boss itself isn't dangerous, save for the fact that it activates spike damage at low health (which, given the millions of health, is still fairly threatening), but that can be counteracted by setting up and using a good Chain Attack that includes Ascended Pyra/Mythra, who you will have by the time you unlock the quest. Appropriately, most of the bonus bosses listed above also have upwards of 15,000,000 HP to burn through.
  • Darkest Hour: A couple of them in the story. The first being at the end of Chapter 3 where Torna corners the protagonists and quickly defeat them, and even kill Vandham who tries to pull off a fruitless Heroic Sacrifice. This is what triggers Mythra to finally awaken within Pyra. And later a larger one at the end of Chapter 6 where once again Torna corners the protagonists only this time Jin shows off his absurdly powerful abilities that overwhelms even Mythra, causing Pyra to surrender herself to them to keep the rest of the party alive and leaving Rex a depressed wreck.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Chain Attacks. They're the best way to deal huge amounts of damage and can get you more EXP and better items. Trouble is, they use up all of your Party Gauge, so if one doesn't end the battle, you won't be able to revive any fallen party members for a while.
  • Death World: The neutral Titan of Temperantia is a bit like one. It has absolutely no vegetation, the water is all poisonous, and very few things live there. And those that do live there are among the highest level enemies in the game. A major plot point is also Mor Ardain and Tantal slowly becoming one through rising/lowering temperatures respectively as a result of their dying Titans.
  • Decomposite Character: The first game's Bana has his role split between two characters: this game's Chairman Bana, who acts as the greedy criminal while also keeping the name, and his father Don Dondon, who is the Arc Villain for a sidequest chain, fights while piloting an aerial enemy, and is the strongest boss in the game ignoring random Unique Monsters. To hammer it home, after Don Dondon is beaten, both can be seen running on the wheel like the original Bana. Also, this game's Big Bad Duumvirate takes their key aspects from the first game's Big Bad Zanza: Amalthus as Control Freak with god-complex who is responsible for multiple calamities and Malos as Omnicidal Maniac with a Monado who intends on wiping out all life.
  • Developers' Foresight:
    • There are a total of six Pouch Expansion Kits to be obtained in the game, yet the party does not exceed five Drivers at a time. The sixth is just in case you "wasted" one on Vandham.
    • Speaking of Vandham, it's entirely possible to fill out his affinity chart. Furthermore, in New Game+, he even gets his own expanded affinity chart just like the other Drivers.
    • Most content from Indol is relocated to other areas in the game once it is locked off, including quest objectives that aren't initiated there. The stores themselves simply sell items that were available in previous regions, save for one store which is relocated to Fonsett.
    • Some rare blades' affinity charts (such as Perun's or Floren's) require unique tasks to be done throughout the game, some of which can be found in the aforementioned Indol. The maximum available amount of examples possible actually exceeds the required quota to unlock those particular nodes, meaning that none of Indol's examples are actually required.
    • It is possible to jump from Tantal's upper level to the lower level using a pool of water at the bottom. To prevent this from skipping part of the journey of the main quest, the pool is frozen over until you use field skills to thaw it.
    • There is a Heart-to-Heart between Rex, Zeke, and Mòrag in the World Tree where they discuss wether or not Elysium actually exists. If you view this Heart-to-Heart after actually reaching Elysium, the dialogue will change, with them wondering wether the ruined city they saw was really Elysium. Notably, this Heart-to-Heart doesn't have any choices to make, only changing whether or not the player has reached Elysium.
    • One of the responses to Finch's Heart-to-Heart changes depending on whether or not the player reached Tantal (specifically when Finch desires to see a snowy place).
  • Disc-One Nuke:
    • There's a rare ATK-type Blade named Sheba that only emerges from a certain Core Crystal. This Crystal can be purchased for 500,000 gold at an early-game shop in Torigoth. With a lot of smart salvaging, you can obtain her long before you start gaining that much from normal gameplay. Her affinity locks are also cash-based, so simply keep salvage-selling to unlock them. In battle, Sheba has a battle skill that increases damage for every female characters in battle (not including herself), and another that increases damage for every coin collected in battle. When fighting several enemies at once, this means that her damage can increase drastically for every enemy defeated, and doing this with a team of mostly female fighters can quickly give her an absurd damage multiplier. Even against single enemies, she isn't entirely powerless since her level 3 special has a high chance of dropping coins. Finally, her final battle skill reduces her aggro gain, making it easier for your tank to hold aggro even when your damage is sky high.
    • Thanks to the random nature of Blade resonance, any Rare Blade that the player pulls early can potentially become this.
    • Certain Core Chips can be found in treasure troves far before they normally become available. Most notable are a Coil Chip in Argentumnote  which would normally be first available in Mor Ardain, and a Wood Chip in Torigothnote  that completely destroy the first few chapters.
  • Dope Slap: When Pyra discusses the issue of raising 60,000 gold for Tora, Gramps jumps to the conclusion that she intends to sell her body. A swift chop from Rex to the back of the head sends him crashing to the floor. Gramps later returns the favor when Rex completely bungles trying to give Pyra emotional support.
  • Double-Meaning Title:
    • The title of Chapter 7, "The Fear She Carries", refers to both Pyra/Mythra's fear of her own power as well as Nia's fear of revealing her nature as a Flesh Eater.
    • The title of KOS-MOS's quest, "Artificial Intelligence" refers to KOS-MOS as well as the Artificial Blades.
    • T-elos's quest, "Lingering Resentment" refers to not just the grudge the Indoline Monks has against Rex and his friends but T-elos has against KOS-MOS as well.
  • Downloadable Content: An Expansion Pass was released alongside the game itself, promising to add support items, new quests, new rare Blades, a new challenge mode, and even a new story. The new story campaign is a playable flashback to the Aegis War, starring Addam and his allies as they face off against Malos. And the new challenge mode gives the players the chance to recruit Shulk and Fiora as allied Blades.
  • Dual Boss: Several, including Brighid and Padraig in Chapter 2, Malos and Akhos at the end of Chapter 3, Mikhail and Patroka at the end of Chapter 4, Jin and Malos at the end of Chapter 7, and finally apparitions of Tora and Zeke in Chapter 10.
  • Dub Name Change: Almost every character had a name change across languages, exceptions being Rex, Tora, and Nia. One of the more important ones was Homura to Pyra—"Homura" means "flame" in Japanese, and the English writers wanted to make sure the flame imagery in the name got across to people who didn't know any Japanese. Similarly, her other self "Hikari" has her named changed to "Mythra" in English—"Hikari" means "light" in Japanese, while the English version plays up her power being "mythical", being named after the Persian god of light Mithra. Also, the term "Aegis" in the English script was originally "Ten no Seihai" in Japanese, or Divine Holy Grail.
  • Duel Boss: The Chapter 1 boss fight is a duel between Malos and Rex. Later, in Chapter 10, you fight consecutive Duel Boss battles against apparitions of Nia and Mòrag.
  • Dump Stat:
    • For players who have no desire to use common Blades in combat once they have amassed enough Rare Blades, all of their battle-related stats can become this as they have no bearing on Field Skills or Merc Missions.
    • For thought cloud ideas, this, alongside One Stat to Rule Them All, varies between Driver characters, depending on the player's preference for Blades. A player who doesn't want any more Fire or Water Blades on Rex, for example, has no use for his Bravery stat any more.
  • Earth All Along: The universe of 2 is revealed to be the original universe after Klaus' experiment, the Architect having created the Cloud Sea to restore the planet's surface.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mostly averted in the main game (Rex even noting it isn't a simple thing to forgive, while at the same time imploring that one should try to anyway), but happens in a few Side Quests, the most extreme being one in Indol where you have to stop a child who has hired a mercenary to kill another child all because she got into the choir opening that she wanted. There is some justification in that the girl is poor and believes her shot at a better life for herself and her parents was "stolen" but her Murder Is the Best Solution reaction is still oddly glossed over and she faces no actual consequences.
  • Elemental Powers: Each Blade has one of eight elements: fire, water, lightning, earth, ice, wind, dark, or light.
  • Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors: The elements are divided into opposite pairs: fire/water, ice/wind, earth/electric, and light/dark.
  • The Evil Empire: Subverted. Early events portray Mor Ardain as antagonistic and aggressively expansive, and the first official we meet is a corrupt, incompetent buffoon. As the game progresses, it turns out that they're not nearly as evil as first glance would have you believe; their politics of conquest are mainly driven by the fact that their capital's Titan is dying and quickly becoming inhospitable, and their highest-ranking officer even joins your party as official business, without needing to defect.
  • Evil vs. Evil: What the conflict between Torna and Indol essentially boils down to. Jin wants to exterminate humanity and the Architect to create a world where Blades can live free; Amalthus wants to stop Torna from doing so and prevent anybody from even meeting the Architect, but goes about it in the most horrific way possible. Malos, meanwhile, just wants to kill everything; it's his ideal that Jin follows but he is the way he is due to Amalthus's influence when he resonated with Malos's Core Crystal.
  • Evolving Credits: The title screen changes its background to show the area that will be the primary focus of the current chapter. After completing the game, it shows Rex, Pyra and Mythra (And Nia, as of the 1.3.0 update) holding hands while facing the World Tree from the new land.
  • Exact Words: When accused of planning to stab Rex in the back, Pyra comments "I couldn't do that. I don't have a knife," a case of her being adorably Literal-Minded. This becomes much, much Harsher in Hindsight on a repeat playthrough, since Pyra is absolutely planning to betray his trust. Since her goal is to kill herself, this allowed her to hide her intentions and keep Rex's enthusiasm up without technically lying.
  • Faceless Goons:
    • Lampshaded verbatim by an Urayan soldier in Chapter 6. He says that they're all just "faceless goons" who obey their orders. CO says jump, they jump.
    • Played with earlier when you talk to one otherwise identical Driver in Mor Ardain, and he turns out to be a minor NPC you met earlier in the game.
  • Facial Composite Failure: Nia's wanted poster in Gormott is depicted with Dromarch's face instead of her's. It takes Nia five seconds to tear it to shreds.
  • False Flag Operation: Jin almost manages one when he hijacks an excavated Judicium Titan weapon from Ardanian hands in the neutral zone of Temperantia and uses it to destroy a fleet of Urayan ships. It is only due to the mediation of Indol that prevents all out war from breaking out between the two nations.
  • Fantastic Measurement System: Distances are measured in units called "peds" and "titanpeds," which are essentially the equivalents of meters & kilometers.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture:
    • The Empire of Mor Ardain mixes both Roman and Imperial German influences. The localization also gives them a strong Scottish flavor - "Ardain" is a Scottish Gaelic word for "pride." Its people have Gaelic names and sport thick Scottish accents.
    • Gormott can count as one for Wales, with the resident Cat Folk Gormotti sporting Welsh accents. It also has plenty of green.
    • Uraya is a mix of English architecture and culture with Australian wildlife and accents.
    • Torna has a distinct Japanese flair. Their warriors wear Samurai armor and wield Japanese weapons. They also have Japanese names in the Japanese version.
    • Indol is one for the Vatican.
  • Finger in the Mail: Referenced when Akhos comments that they should have done this with Iona during the climax of Chapter 3.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Despite being utterly sociopathic when it comes to human lives, Torna's Drivers tend to have breakdowns when their Blades are reverted to Core Crystals. This is because Torna's Drivers are actually Blades themselves, and so have a sense of kinship with them.
    • Nia's true nature as a Flesh Eater Blade is hinted at a couple times. First with how she reacts to Cole/Minoth revealing his Flesh Eater nature. The second is her reaction to Obrona interfering with the ether flow in the area, she clutches her chest as though it is effecting her directly. The third is when she shares a bath with Mythra, where the latter notices something about Nia's body, with the latter insisting the former keep it a secret. The fourth is that she was a member of Torna, an organization made up (almost) exclusively of Blades.
    • When talking to Praetor Amalthus, Rex has a vision of seeing him as Malos implying that Malos might be controlling him in some way. This turns out to be a Red Herring, as it is later revealed that it isn't Malos manipulating Amalthus but that Malos is the way he is because of corruption from Amalthus.
    • Mythra's presence is foreshadowed a number of times by Malos and other characters noting Pyra looks different from how she did in the past.
    • In Chapter 6, Rex is suspicious of Praetor Amalthus after being freshly invited to meet him. When Rex questions if Pyra will be okay alone with the Praetor, Nia immediately dismisses his concern: "He's the Praetor, dimwit. What's he gonna do, eat her?" Chapter-by-chapter, this sentence unravels from a joke to a legitimate fear; Amalthus is one of the big bad guys and someone who did, in fact, eat a Blade, likely against their will. This wasn't a one-time thing, either; near the end of the game, he demonstrates the power to rip out Blades' Core Crystals and absorb them into his body, essentially "eating" them.
  • Final Death: Most Blades can come back to life after their Driver is killed as long as their cores remain intact, but due to Pyra sharing her life force with Rex, if he dies, she'll die too. Pandoria is similar, with a piece of her Core implanted in Zeke. Flesh Eater Blades are another exception. They can continue to operate without their Drivers being present, but they lose their Healing Factor, and can grow old and die just like regular humans, albeit they may still live for centuries.
  • Five Races: Each of the Titan's inhabitants have this sort of dynamic even though they are referred to humanity as a whole.
    • Mundane: One of the most common in the setting and mostly occupy Mor Ardain, Tantal, and the fallen Torna.
    • Stout: The people of Uraya tend to be bulky and have rocky or muscular features, giving the appearance of large dwarfs at times.
    • Fairy: The Cat Folk of Gormott are among the more physically unimposing races, being the shortest on average next to the Nopon, and also tend to be crafty.
    • High Men: The people of Indol are very elf-like, with their tall stature, pointed ears, grey fair skin, and unusually long lifespans. The nation of Indol is also one of the most revered nations in the game.
    • Cute: The furball Nopon making their return live throughout all the nations, but the Argentum Trade Guild is comprised almost entirely of them. While physically unimposing they are shrewd businessmen and some, like Chairman Bana, carry a lot of authority.
  • The Four Gods: Directly alluded to in the Japanese names for Azurda (Seiryu), Dromarch (Byakko), Roc (Suzaku), and the von Genbu family.
  • Future Imperfect: Zeke is quite annoyed whenever Pyra and Mythra point out that pretty much everything he knows about the hero Addam is wrong. Even minor things, like Addam's supposed favorite food, are wrong. This is because the Tantalese royal family isn't actually related to Addam at all, so they just made everything up.
  • Gainaxing: Almost all Blades with a sizable bust tend to jiggle a lot when moving, some more than others (Pyra/Mythra are rather subdued, Perun jiggles like jell-o at the slightest motion, Dahlia is somewhere in-between).
  • Gameplay and Story Integration:
    • Various non playable characters will usually have new dialog reacting to recent major events in the main story.
    • Poppi's status as an Artificial Blade is reflected in Gameplay just as much as it is in-story:
      • Mechanically, Poppi is buffed by finding parts. Among these parts are those can change her element and her role in-battle, something that other Blades (besides the Aegis, for reasons that're explained in-universe too) cannot do.
      • On several occasions, the Blades are weakened, explaining some characters Cutscene Incompetence. Poppi, however, is unaffected. The same happens in a dungeon in which Blades are weakened but not Poppi.
    • In New Game+, Mikhail of Torna can be recruited as a Blade. Unlike the other six members of Torna, Mikhail is not an actual Blade and cannot be summoned from a Core Crystal. He instead waits for the party in an secluded area after completing a quest that allows anyone not named Tora to bond with him.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation:
    • Non-story Rare Blades (obtained from random Core Crystals or sidequests) will help the party out in battle, but they do not appear in cutscenes unless it's their own Heart-to-Heart and/or sidequest.
    • There are several times when you're trapped somewhere for various reasons, such as your party being swallowed by Uraya's Titan. Most of the time, you can fast travel elsewhere just as you could any other time. A particularly egregious example of this happens in Chapter 2, while rescuing Nia and Dromarch from the Ardainian ship. After busting both of them out of their cells, there's nothing stopping you from hopping back to Argentum to shop. However, if you want to trigger the boss fight and move on to the next chapter, you HAVE to keep exploring the ship and exit through its main entrance.
    • A number of post boss battle cutscenes will show the boss having a clear advantage over you, despite their defeat just moments ago.
    • Due to Pyra's sharing half of her life force with Rex, she does not regenerate from injuries automatically unlike other normal blades. And even normal blades can die if their core crystals get destroyed, the tactic which various characters use during cutscenes. Yet, in gameplay battles, Pyra and normal blades cannot be targeted by your and enemies' attacks, nor is Pyra at all impeded by injuries Rex suffers during gameplay battles
    • In the latter half of Chapter 7, Nia is shown fighting in her Blade form throughout the rest of the chapter, despite that in gameplay you could have set her back as a Driver.
    • When Jin briefly rejoins the party in Morytha, he simply reuses his player character model and artwork from the beginning of the game. Including the mask that at this point hasn't been worn for about three chapters.
    • During the final chapter, Pyra and Mythra have their powered-up form activated by the Architect, and remain so in all cutscenes. However, in gameplay this fails to stick, and you have to activate the form the usual way.
    • Doing early game sidequests with additional party members can lead to them showing up in cutscenes but not doing anything. Of note is Vess's recruitment quest, where Mòrag and Zeke will just awkwardly stand in the background while Rex, Nia, and Tora enjoy some dumplings. Electra's Blade Quest is even worse in this regard, as it's the only one that can potentially have Vandham in the party, but since the quest itself takes up a good portion of the game, Mòrag and Zeke will show up towards the end of it. Zeke will even mention watching Electra growing up before his eyes even though he probably wasn't even there if the player summoned Electra early enough.
    • A sidequest involves following a nopon named Foorara as he travels around Alrest. Finding him in one area and talking to him will cause him to move to the next area, where the process will be repeated until he comes back in Argentum where he started. After meeting him in Mor Ardain's Hardhaigh Palace, Foorara's next location will be Indol. If the player didn't find him in Indol before it becomes inaccessible in chapter 8, then he will instead be found in Mor Ardain's port, claiming to have fled Indol. Problem is, it's entirely possible talk to him in Hardhaigh Palace AFTER Indol gets destroyed. So Foorara will express his desire to visit Indol... and then immediately go to the port, claiming to have fled a Titan that had already sank to the bottom of the cloud sea at the time.
    • Rex's hookshot is apparently long enough to salvage from the World Tree itself but not long enough to cross the gap separating him from Pyra/Mythra in the ending cutscene.
    • Lampshaded in the production notes detailing the new Blades added by the New Game+ mode; it acknowledges that you'll be able to acquire the Torna Blades as allies while they're still enemies in-story, which totally wrecks the story, but since this is a repeat playthrough it doesn't matter.
  • Genius Loci: The game's landmasses are massive, sentient Titans.
  • Ghibli Hills: In true Xenoblade fashion, gorgeous vistas and enjoyable exploration are par the course.
  • Golden Snitch: Boreas' quest "Hero of the Nopon" involves being challenged by "Yumyum the Burglar" to collect certain items before he could. After you fairly beat him in the first two rounds, Yumyum refuses to accept defeat. He declares the first two were just a warmup, and the 3rd round decides it all. Nia calls him out for making stuff up as he goes.
  • Goldfish Poop Gang: Zeke and Pandoria act like this, running into and fighting the protagonists multiple times before something bad happens to them. In truth they are representatives of Tantal, and want to have some fun with the protagonists before inviting them there, which is when their bad luck interrupts them.
  • The Good Kingdom: The Kingdom of Uraya, whose domain is entirely contained within their Titan. They have a mastery of biotechnology that all the other nations apparently lack, and a deep respect for nature. Their military even falls under The Unfought category since there's little need to fight with them story-wise.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Averted. While "Titan's foot!" is the most common exclaimation, some characters do use actual swears.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Praetor Amalthus, given he is the one who awoke Malos who proceeded to absorb some of Amalthus's worldview and decide to destroy everything. He does step down to an active villain in Chapters 8 and 9, but it is clear that Malos still needs stopping.
  • Grey Goo: the Cloud Sea is actually a mass of re-constructor particles that happen to have the same density as water when compacted, but spread out at their surface. They don't just wildly self-replicate though, instead breaking down anything that lies inert for too long and rebuilding pieces of pre-apocalypse technology with the resources.
  • Grimy Water: Purple water that deals damage can be found scattered across various Titans, usually in remote or polluted areas such as Uraya's mouth or next to the Ardanian military base in Gormott. In some areas, such as Temperantia and Spirit Crucible Elpys all of the water is dangerous.
  • Guest Fighter: KOS-MOS and T-ELOS from Xenosaga can be recruited as rare Blades.
  • Guide Dang It!:
    • Premium cylinders are very limited in number, but there is a way to buy them. Good luck figuring out how without a guide.note 
    • Several sidequests require quest items that might give you a general area to search at best. If you're lucky, there will be a merc mission or an informant to give you a heading. If you're not, good luck searching every nook and cranny of the game world.
    • The effect of blade boosters and thought cloud stats also go unmentioned. Each of the four types boost the likelihood of bonding with a blade with two of the eight elements.
      • Bravery: Fire and Water.
      • Truth: Wind and Ice.
      • Compassion: Electric and Earth.
      • Justice: Dark and Light.
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Kingdom of Tantal is an isolationist state. The inhabitants are the descendants of the survivors of the lost kingdom of Torna, and claim it was founded by Addam, the original Driver of Mythra. However, this claim is false, and the isolation is due to wanting the truth kept secret.
  • Hitbox Dissonance: The game's one Background Boss deals with the logistical challenges of this by having a hitbox that covers the entire (massive) arena it's fought it. Meaning the party will be swinging weapons in places not even tangentially related to the boss's physical space, and still connecting.
  • Holding Back the Phlebotinum: Mythra can only make use of Siren's lasers when the sky is unobstructed, lest she risk collapsing whatever happens to be in the way on top of her and the rest of the party. Naturally, most boss fights after this point either take place inside or concoct another reason for Siren to not be used- such as the Judicium Titan weapon having unstable and explosive fuel that would kill the party if Mythra tried to shoot it down with Siren.
  • Humongous Mecha: Not as common as prior Xeno games, but still important in the plot, including a white mecha called Siren that serves Mythra. These machines had been developed on Earth in the 21st century and fought in its final war before Klaus activated the Conduit. The generic term for them is "Artifice" and the most powerful Artifice ever created, Aion, serves as the Final Boss with Malos as its pilot. The third is a bonus boss that you can encounter on a cleared game file.
  • Hufflepuff House: Two of the Titans that sank during the Aegis War aren't even named during the story. It doesn't make a difference, but it's odd that nobody musing on the backstory (several of whom were there) even says the names out loud.
  • Infinity +1 Element: The Light Element acts a bit like this. Light element enemies are pretty rare so it will seldom be resisted. Only two Rare Blades - Mythra and KOS-MOS - have it, generic Blades never do, and Poppi's equippable Light Core is the most difficult to findnote . There is a reason why the legendary Aegis's power primarily comes from Light.
  • Innocent Innuendo:
    • After agreeing to be partners, the very first thing Pyra asks Rex to do is touch her chest. She's obviously talking about the glowing crystal sitting on top of her sternum, but Rex still has a mild double-take.
    • While exchanging insults Nia calls Zeke a "one-eyed monster" in reference to his eyepatch. The rest of the party pauses to try and educate her, while Rex gets slapped into next week (and a boss battle) by an embarrassed Mythra.
  • Innocently Insensitive: While overlooking the ruins of Morytha, Mythra gives a speech about how overreliance and abuse of technology leads to humanity's downfall... to Poppi. Who, being the sweet robotic child she is, is immediately distraught by the idea that she might cause the death of everyone she loves.
  • Instant Expert: Rex picks up toppling enemies with his anchor after one demonstration from Vandham, who took years of trying to get it down. Justified, as Rex has plenty of skill with one of the primary tools of his trade, and already used that anchor for several off-the-book problem solutions in cutscenes prior to this.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • Averted with Vandham. He has a full Affinity tree, dialog exchanges with the rest of the party for incidents in the field, and a bit of dialog that suggests the reason he won't bond additional Blades is story-driven. Needless to say, he doesn't live long enough for that to be relevant.
    • Subtly played straight with Mòrag. The fact that she can bond with additional Blades and being required for a few sidequests implies that she won't meet the same fate as Vandham, despite claiming to only temporarily join the party. The fact that Mòrag will join the party is practically given away if the party decides to do a sidequest in Mor Ardain the second it becomes available. The sidequest in question leads to a murder investigation, but you are blocked from proceeding until you get the help of someone familiar with Mor Ardain. At that point, there's really only one candidate for this: Mòrag.
    • You get Blade Nia at a point where Pyra's been kidnapped by Malos and Jin for the span of an entire chapter (pretty long time), with seemingly no way for our heroes to have the power to save her, especially after recently failing to get the Third Aegis in order to defeat them. It seems like they might be permanently unable to save Pyra before she's taken to the world tree. But if you look in Nia's skill tree, you'll see that her Fortitude Nodes say that she must fight alongside Pyra/Mythra in order to level these up, spoiling that you do eventually rescue Pyra/Mythra and get them back in your party. This being such a big plot point makes you wonder why they didn't just set those key nodes to be question marks like Roc in order to avoid spoilers.
    • Played straight with the silhouettes in the Blade Album. Brighid and Pandoria are pretty unmistakable, and the fact that they're located up at the top alongside the other main Blades of party members gives a heavy hint to Mòrag and Zeke's eventual joining. Poppi's two evolved states are also quite noticeable, nestled between her base state and Roc despite no additional party members joining between Tora and Vandham. Aegaeon's silhouette would also imply that something is going to happen to Niall.
    • Done with Floren in the Mercenary Missions menu. Assigning Floren to a job that requires a Blade of a specific gender reveals that Floren's a guy, but the boy himself never tells the party this until the end of his sidequest, in which they all react with complete surprise.
  • Internal Homage: The boxart depicts a scene with a red sword planted on a grassland (that is part of a Titan) and facing another Titan from a distance, a nod to Xenoblade Chronicles boxart. The only difference is that the wielders are visible.
  • It Began with a Twist of Fate: Rex only got only involved in escorting Pyra to Elysium because Torna had hired him to help salvage the ship she was sealed in. Justified in that Torna needed a Leftherian to open the door that sealed Pyra.
  • Just Before the End: The reason why Mor Ardain annexed Gormott is because of the imminent threat of Mor Ardain becoming uninhabitable because of the rising temperatures due to the Titan dying. The protagonists also later ponder if something similar is happening to Gormott due to its crops starting to grow less.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: Or in this case, affection discretion shot. In the ending, after Pyra and Mythra are revived, with a push and a nod from Nia, Rex starts walking up to the two, but the cutscene cuts to the chapter end card before he can show any kind of affection. This is most likely left to the player's imagination, but even so, anyone who got attatched to Rex and/or the Aegises were probably left with a void of not seeing them finally embrace after all that's happened, ship teases included.
  • Lag Cancel:
    • A core mechanic of the game. After an auto-attack, the player can cancel into an Art, Blade switch, or Special. This removes lag and builds up the special meter more quickly. One can also cancel Arts into Specials to make them more powerful. Each party member can obtain an upgrade that allows them to Lag Cancel Arts into other Arts themselves.
    • You can also interrupt auto-attacks by flicking the L-stick, making your character take a half step and immediately strike again. Very useful for skipping long, heavy swing animations.
  • Laser Blade: Pyra's weapon is a red sword that can ignite a serrated green blade of light, giving the impression that the sword is on fire. When Mythra manifests, the weapon transforms into an outright double-bladed sword of bright light.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: The game's official patch notes for the version 1.3.0 update spoils Akhos and Patroka's identities as Blades.
  • Invented Linguistic Distinction: All over the English dub. Every nation/race of Alrest is distinguished by a different dialect, mostly borrowed from parts of Britain and provided by authentic actors.
    • Leftherians all sound like north Englanders.
    • The Gormotti all speak with Welsh accents, typically southern ones.
    • Ardainians all sound Scottish, usually Glaswegian in particular.
    • Argentum as a nation is something of a melting pot, but members of the native Nopon race typically speak in lower class southern English accents. The Nopon also retain their unique dialect of broken English and odd terminologies from the previous Xenoblade games.
    • The Tantalese also speak like southern Englanders, but have a more upper class sound closer to Received Pronuciation. They share this with the people of the long dead nation of Torna, implying that Tantal inherited this from them.
    • Urayans are one of the few races to use a non-UK dialect, speaking like Australians instead. They even use distinctly Australian words like bonzer or crikey.
    • The Indoline are another exception, speaking with an American accent. However, they specifically have a more Mid-Atlantic sound, which is an accent that mixes elements of American midwest with English Received Pronunciation, so they're not quite as atypical as they could be.
    • Blades as a race lack a nation or culture to learn language from, but for whatever reason they all have American accents. Unlike the Indoline, they aren't restrained to any particular one. Though most of them speak with "typical" midwestern accents, there are some variations, including New York and Dixie. Nia and technically Azurda are the only shown exceptions to this, but both are also far from regular Blades, with Nia being a Flesh Eater fused with a Gormotti and Azurda having completed his evolution into a Titan and long since forgotten his time as a Blade.
  • Leaked Experience: Benched party members still get full experience and skill point awards (they even get some extra bonus experience in the process). The only thing they miss out on is weapon points, which can easily be compensated by items that boost weapon points obtained by maxing out blade affinity charts.
  • Lighter and Softer: The tone of this game in comparison to the first game. Not surprising, considering how the first game's plot revolved around a quest of revenge and killer robots, with an event that could be considered painful, unwilling transformation mixed with genocide.
  • Living Weapon:
    • All Blades are immortal Guardian Entities who are able to materialize weapons and can cast spells and attacks, but need Drivers to wield them. They also have the ability to quickly recover from injuries unless the Core Crystal on their bodies is destroyed, or their Driver dies. Monsters are not exempt from being Drivers. Neither are special Blades.
    • Special mention to Ursula, a cute little Blade whose summoned weapon is a live polar bear. note 
  • MacGuffin Girl: The Aegis, a legendary Blade sought by many factions in Alrest; she also goes by 'Pyra'. Or 'Mythra', depending.
  • Magic Feather: The third sword Addam sealed away is completely inert, and honestly serves as bait for a deathtrap to kill off anyone greedy enough to want that power. Reaching it alive and fighting off Addam's own phantasms to access the sword requires the strength of character to open Pyra and Mythra's hearts and access that power naturally.
  • Marathon Boss: Some of the bosses in Challenge Mode have an absurd amount of HP and defense, such as the Strategizer Nitro which is Level 200, and you'll barely be cracking a Hundred damage in each hit unless you have Phase Transition Tech (Which are only on T-Elos and KOS-MOS). However that one you're not actually meant to beat, just weaken it enough until Wave 3. The ones you actually have to beat that count as this are Immovable Heir Carlos which has 38 million HP, and upgraded Cloud Sea King Ken which has 50 Million HP. Even with everyone at S+ rank (Including Poppi QT Pi) and with 8 orbs, it can be very hard to kill them in the chain attack, let alone get an Overkill.
  • Meaningful Echo: One that spans all the way back to the first Xenoblade where Klaus hears Shulk's Pre-Mortem One-Liner to Zanza about felling a god as the Xenoblade 2 protagonists are fighting toe-to-toe with the godlike Aion.
  • Merchant City: The Argentum Trade Guild.
  • Meta Twist: In contrast to the wicked gods of past games in the franchise, the Architect is just as benevolent as the world's population believes him to be.
  • Meteor Move: The Smash finisher of the Driver Combo, dealing large amounts of damage while also spawning a round of the enemy's drop rewards.
  • Mid-Season Upgrade:
    • In a late chapter, Rex gains the ability to equip any Blade in the party (except Poppi), while Pyra and Mythra get a Super Form that improves her damage output by a factor of 10 and lets her choose what element her specials are. Rex also learns to Dual Wield Pyra and Nia in a level 4 special if specific conditions are met.
    • The same chapter has a sidequest that upgrades Poppi to a powerful third form.
  • Mighty Glacier: Strength-based Tanks fall into this category due to the nature of their Arts, which immobilize them to increase defense.
  • Minovsky Physics: Ether particles. They're present in the atmosphere, and Blades draw them in to pass that energy on to their Driver, allowing them to use Arts. The particles can also be gathered using technology and the energy they contain used to perform work via machinery. If something or someone can can remove ether from the air (such as Obrona's abilities, or the atmosphere in the Spirit Crucible), Blades are starved of the energy they need to fight, either underperforming or being paralyzed in severe cases. Ether particles are also subject to the Laws of Thermodynamics. When Jin chills an area to absolute zero, ether particles lose their energy too.
  • Mirror Match: The boss fight with Akhos, Mikhail, and Patroka at Tantal. It's three on three, they have the same Damage Healer Tank setup the player probably is, use skills like aggro management and position, and debuffs only last as long on them as they do on you.
  • Money for Nothing: Averted in a lot of ways. You'll need a lot of gold to obtain and max out several of the rare Blades, and raising the Development Level of the various Titans will certainly burn a hole in your wallet.
  • Money Multiplier: A Chain Attack can push its unlucky target to death and beyond. Once the enemy's lifebar runs out, a "Bonus" counter begins to accumulate. The more damage you deal with the rest of the Chain Attack, the higher your EXP, gold, and item winnings will be.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Pick a female story or rare Blade and they probably are one.
  • Multiple Endings: An extremely mild example. There are two versions of the ending cutscene, depending on which name you picked for Pyra and Mythra's Pneuma form. The only difference is that the camera pans across one girl who smiles at Rex, before zooming in on the one whose name you chose who says something to Rexnote  before the scene cuts out.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Just like the first game, the Bonus Boss Nopon does not play the typical unique monster theme, instead it plays Rosa's battle theme.
  • Mundane Solution: As shown by Brighid, there's an easy way for reincarnated Blades to remember their past: write a diary. Unfortunately, the shortcomings of said solution are just as mundane, in that it's hard to keep your journal safe when your Driver is dead and you're a motionless rock. She admits that she's rather privileged in that regard, being a treasured imperial heirloom that has entire chronicles written about her life.
  • Musical Nod: The main battle theme contains snippets of You Will Know Our Name.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The game takes place on the bodies of various giant beasts called "Titans," similar to how Xenoblade Chronicles takes place on the Bionis and the Mechonis.
    • The glowing green icon within Rex's sword has the same shape as the Zohar from Xenogears and Xenosaga and the Lifehold modules from Xenoblade Chronicles X. There is also the Conduit, which is outright Xenoblade's version of the Zohar.
    • Territorial Rotbart returns once again, reprising his role as a level 81 Unique Monster the player can encounter (and die horribly to) early on.
    • Immovable Gonzalez returns as a level 90 unique monster. Poppi makes a comment that she feels strong enough to move him.
    • Tora, a brown Nopon with tan markings, shares his name and design with Tatsu's business nemesis.
    • When initiating a Chain Attack, a mini-cutscene plays with the party members in Ass-Kicking Pose and V-Formation Team Shot, similar to Shulk's Final Smash in Super Smash Bros..
    • Once again, the Corrupt Corporate Executive Nopon is named Bana.
    • The only thing keeping Rex alive is a red sword lending its life force to him, making his situation similar to Shulk.
    • This game's Vandham may not have the signature "square-taches", but his Blade sure does!
    • Vandham has an X scar on his face. The original Xenogears X logo was a possible facial marking you could apply to your character in Xenoblade Chronicles X.
    • Like the English dub of the first game, the English dub of this one gives the protagonist a European accent.
    • The main character, and the Deuteragonist, are two of the earliest party members, are opposite genders, and are a biological life form and a being tied to a plot-relevant, bio-android race.
    • KOS-MOS appears as a Rare Blade, wielding a pair of weapons that resemble Zohar
    • Zeke sometimes yells "I'm really feeling it!" during battle.
    • The Torna vessel Monoceros is named after the Indigen from Xenoblade X.
    • The Nopon Muimui shares his name with a Nopon named Muimui from Xenoblade X, with both being weapon developers.
    • One of the earliest party members is a Gadgeteer Genius that uses Shield-type weapons (and is one of the earliest tank members), and a story mission involves them being a Superior Successor who completes an outstanding invention started by family members. Does that describe Tora, or Lin Lee Koo?
    • The Dragon in the Brionac/Lindwurm sidequest chain is a Nopon named Zadazan. In the first Xenoblade, a Nopon named Zazadan was one of Bana's pawns; the mastermind behind this chain is this Bana's father, who takes on the Bonus Boss role.
    • The Blade Bots Torna begins to use by the end of the game all wear a very similar mask to the Faced Mechon.
    • In Perceval's personal side quest, he fights against a group of assassins called the Bloody Lobsters. In Xenoblade X, a side mission had you dealing with a delusional terrorist known as the Blood Lobster.
    • Malos' special abilities are the Monado's abilities from the first Xenoblade Chronicles. "Monado Buster!", "Monado Armor!", "Monado Eater!"
    • KOS-MOS's Merc Mission group name, "Erde Kaiser", is a reference to the Humongous Mecha of the same name from her home series.
    • The way Aion gets destroyed is the same way Zanza gets defeated. In addition the songs that play in each game for the final bosses defeat also play at the start of the game. (Grandeur plays when Shulk and Reyn see Mechonis in the distance, and Awakening plays when Pyra revives Rex)
  • My Rules Are Not Your Rules: On occasions where you fight enemy Drivers, they simply don't obey the same rules your party do, having access to four Arts to your three. Taken Up to Eleven on the occasion where you're fighting a party member, as the AI-controlled versions of them have abilities that the player simply lacks; the fake Nia in the final chapter has the ability to Topple with Dromarch equipped, for example, while Tora has a Taunt effect.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Torna. They're after Pyra, due to her reputation as the Aegis, and have some purpose beneath the Sea of Clouds. They are named after one of the Titans that were lost during the Aegis War and are comprised of Flesh Eater Blades who want to destroy humanity, whom they believe to see Blades only as tools.
  • Never Trust a Trailer: Several things.
    • The character trailer paints Vandham as a constant threat to the heroes. Vandham only fights the heroes once to test his skill against the legendary Aegis, and then becomes their guide around Uraya, and is even a Guest-Star Party Member. Lastly, Vandham ends up dying at the hands of Torna.
    • The Character trailer also paints Mòrag as another threat who is determined to stop the Aegis at all cost due to its destructive power. She is in fact a Reasonable Authority Figure and later joins the party permanently.
    • In relation to the above spoiler, the character trailer paints Zeke as the fourth party member. He's actually the fifth and final party member.
    • The trailers also paint Jin as the Big Bad of the game. And while he does act as the leader of the antagonistic group Torna, he in the end he and the rest of the group are just being used by Malos.
  • New Game+: Similar to the original Xenoblade, this game's version allows you to carry over several different aspects of the game into a new playthrough, such as EXP, money, town development, affinity charts, and even your rare Blades. It also enables story-based Blades such as Pyra and Dromarch to be sent into Merc Missions, though the Merc Missions themselves will be reset, as well as all of the side quests and Heart-to-Heart scenes. Most significantly, it also allows you to use any member of Torna outside of Jin and Malos in your party, including Akhos, Patroka, and Mikhail, as Blades. You will even be able to use the trio's original Blades of Obrona, Perdido, and Cressidus, respectively, and can also get Malos' Sever from Chapter 1.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Talking to the people in Torigoth after defeating Mòrag reveals that you kinda made a mess, and nobody's really happy about it.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: As the ending demonstrates, the World Tree was going to collapse soon and destroy life on Alrest. If Malos hadn't tried to get his hands on the other Aegis, Rex would have just remained an ordinary salvager and Pyra would have remained deep under the Cloud Sea, effectively guaranteeing that life on Alrest would end—though to be fair to Malos, he had no way of knowing that.
  • No-Sell: If the player unleashes a Chain Attack, Level 3 Blade Combo finisher or a Level 4 Blade Special during an enemy's attack, that attack will not do any damage against anyone in the active party, even if it's a One-Hit KO move. Arts that provide evasion during execution also full under this label.
  • Non-Combat EXP: Experience from quests and merc missions isn't applied immediately, but rather added to a "bonus EXP" pile that can be spent to level up when resting. It's perfectly possible to beat the game comfortably without spending a point of it, but if you do get stuck, it eliminates the catch-up grind.
  • Oddly Small Organization: The global terrorist organization Torna is made of a whooping five people (six if you count Nia), in spite of their theft of a large number of Core Crystals early into the story that they could have easily turned into soldiers. When lampshaded late into the game it's one of the more obvious hints that Jin and company aren't nearly as cold as they want to be.
  • Once a Season: Just like in the original game, at one point of the story the main protagonist dies and comes back to life via some force related to the Mythical/Legendary Weapon of the game. This time, it's the weapon herself that revives Rex.
  • One Stat to Rule Them All:
    • For common blades, Field Skills are this. There are many obstacles in Alrest that require certain field skills to overcome, or various collectible zones to gather items where field skills can improve one's results. They're also used with frequency in Merc Missions, either as a mandatory quota or as an optional recommendation to speed up the process. A common blade with nine circles' worth of field skills may actually be worth keeping around for some time.
    • Those seeking KOS-MOS would consider Justice to be the number one priority thought cloud stat.
  • Only the Chosen May Wield: Only those with aptitude can become Drivers. The unworthy are harmed or killed with a single touch of a Blade's core crystal. Driver don't even have to be human, as shown with the Elder Arachno on Uraya or the Nopon that fell on the World Tree.
  • Organic Technology: Even though we never directly see it it is mentioned that the fallen nation of Judicium were experts at biotechnology. After all they were the ones who created the first Flesh Eater Blades. Titan weapons and ships are also shown to be a bit like this, having technology used to manipulate their organs and movements.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Mor Ardain is a humanoid Titan.
  • Our Titans Are Different:
    • The Titans are creatures varying in size with several the size of continents, having entire ecosystems and civilizations living on their bodies. Titans are near immortal with small ones even living on the backs of the giant Titans. They wander around the Cloud Sea away from Elysium and never stop growing in size.
    • Small Titans are used as ships and war machines by mortals, making a number into Cyborgs to fire weapons or move the way mortals wish.
    • Titans are the next life cycle of Blades after they have lived long enough. Once they grow large enough in size an ecosystem begins to develop and they birth new core crystals, from which new Blades are eventually born so the cycle can repeat.
  • Permanently Missable Content: Overall very little when compared to the previous two games in the series.
    • Feeding the Ardun in Torigoth will eventually turn it into the level 99 unique monster Relentless Arduran. Kill it before then however, and it's permanently dead.
    • Indol becomes inaccessible during chapter 8, but the only content that becomes lost are the two quests that start in Indol. A number of quests that don't start in Indol still require you to go there, but those requirements will just be moved elsewhere following chapter 8. Shops will be moved to other areas as well. Affinity charts that require doing unique actions all around the world (such as Floren's Beguiling Charms and Perun's good deeds) will still have enough of the required things in the rest of the world to complete it.
  • Piñata Enemy: There are a number of enemies that can drop valuable loot, but an apparent mention is the Tolen Krabble that spawns from salvaging at Mor Ardain's docks. It's often farmed for Core Crystals.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: Averted, Rex continues his salvaging career throughout the game as a side activity. It's a way of Money Grinding and getting some rare materials.
  • Player Nudge: Unlike levels 2, 3, and 4, which open at the start of new chapters, level 5 of Tiger! Tiger! opens up, complete with unskippable event popup, at a pretty arbitrary moment. It's the same time the completely optional sidequest to unlock Poppi's third form opens up; heading to check out the Tiger! Tiger! machine requires the player to walk past Tatazo and his sidequest marker.
  • Porn Stash: During the Poppi Buster DLC quest, you acquire the "Not-safe-for-work Folio."
    A mysterious book that Soosoo hid. Its contents are not exactly wholesome.
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Perun's personal blade quest involves her investigating the disappearances of children from all over. You eventually discover a kidnapping ring that leads back to the old factory in Mor Ardain. While no details are explained, it's mentioned that the children were going to be used as experiments for artificial blades.
  • Power Nullifier: Certain military factions employ "stasis webs", a technology that restricts the airborne flow of ether to a trickle. This renders most Blades helpless.
    Captain Padraig: Ha! This is an ether net!
  • The Power of Friendship: Rex quotes this word-for-word as a battle quote. As the director said he wanted to make a more optimistic video game, it's almost certainly intentional.
  • The Promised Land: Elysium, a land full of verdant hills and land as far as the eye can see where both Rex and Pyra have seen in visions. Unfortunately it turns out to be of the Cynical Flavor, the land being abandoned ever since Klaus's experiment and deteriorating into a rusty desert. However in the ending it jumps back into Optimistic Flavor with Klaus creating a new land for the new humanity.
  • P.O.V. Sequel: The game's set in an alternate universe as Xenoblade, with Shulk being a Hero of Another Story from Rex's point of view. In fact, it runs concurrent with the events of the original.
  • Power Source: It is implied that the Conduit was utilized as one as the World Tree was constructed, as when the Conduit vanished the World Tree began to destabilize.
  • Proud Merchant Race: The Nopon are as business-minded as always. They're arguably the most exemplary of this trope they've been yet in the series, now running an entire Merchant City.
  • Random Number God: Drawing Rare Blades is heavily subject to chance. There are ways of skewing the selection in your favor (certain character stats increase the likelihood of getting certain elements), but ultimately you just have to be lucky. Though the game does throw you a bone: if you use a certain number of cores without getting any rare blades, the game will guaranteed that you get one on the next draw. There are a total of 15 blades sorted into 5 columns that can be obtained through the pity method, and your save file determines which 3 of those 15 that you are guaranteed to get.
  • Realpolitik: While most of the international intrigue goes on around the party rather than involving them, what's there is portrayed rather realistically, particularly between Mor Ardain and Uraya. As an example, even after the near-miss that almost caused total war is exposed as a False Flag Operation Mor Ardain still owes reparations for their negligence. A Heart-to-Heart later reveals that they didn't leverage this for money or supplies, either; they demanded shared control of Gormott, a much longer-term solution to several problems that also disadvantaged Mor Ardain.
  • Reassigned to Antarctica: With its openly corrupt ponce of a governor and and guard captains that don't know what color emerald is, it's clear Mor Ardain is using the underdeveloped-by-their-standards Gormott as a dumping ground for the dead weight. Exploited by some of the guards, who were smart enough to know this backwater settlement was unlikely to be attacked again and got transferred there on purpose.
  • Recurring Element:
    • This game marks the third appearance of the Nopon race and a character with a name that starts with "Van" in the series.
    • The Zohar, named "The Conduit" in this game, makes its return, being an artifact that has been a part of the Xeno games ever since Xenogears
    • This game, like the other Xenoblade games, includes a level 81 Gogol-type Unique Monster whose name means "Red-beard" — in one of the very first areas.
  • Redheaded Hero: Pyra, who has a similar color palette to the new sword.
  • Red Herring: The heroes know that Bana is planning to attack a meeting between the leaders of Uraya and Mor Ardain, but do not know how. After some intel gathering, the crew gets the following bits of info: a Nopon has been seen buying lots of poison, the cooks are of the same species as the staff of the Old Factory, a number of terrible-smelling ingredients has been shipped to the meeting location, as well as an unexplained giant crate. The natural deduction is that he's going to attempt to poison the food... which only results in the party beating up a bunch of innocent cooks, while his real plan was the much less subtle smuggling of a Humongous Mecha in the aforementioned big crate.
    • We learn Azurda is the real name of Gramps fairly early on from Malos and Pyra calling him that. Given Malos is a villain and Pyra clearly knows more than she lets on, it seems Gramps might be some major backstory revelations coming up related to his true name. When we come to Rex's hometown, his aunt calls Gramps Azurda without any build up or reaction from anyone and it never gets brought up again. Though Gramps does turn out to be a guardian for where Adam left the third Aegis Sword.
  • Revision:
    • The flashback to Klaus' experiment is expanded upon the one in the first Xenoblade Chronicles, with a couple alterations. First, it was revealed that the space station was under attack, with mecha being used in its defense. Second, it revealed the existence of a Zohar-like artifact known as the Conduit, which was what Klaus was using in his experiments. The flashback however retains much of Klaus' dialogue from the first game, and even does a shot-for-shot remake when the experiment actually happens.
    • It is implied that the planet KOS-MOS drifted toward at the end of Xenosaga Episode III: Also sprach Zarathustra is Earth Klaus and Galea inhabits.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized: Torna fights to liberate Blades from the control of Indol, who control Blades and treat them as slaves. They don't care how many humans they have to kill in the process, and they aren't that worried about the safety of Blades who get in their way, either. Furthermore, they blame the Architect for making Blades the servants of humans in the first place, and so they want to kill him too—even if it upsets the balance of the world he created. They would rather the world end than have it continue as it is.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • If you're paying close attention during the cutscene right after the tutorial fight, you can see the elevator extending from the top of the World Tree to the First Low Orbit Station. You can even see this in normal gameplay just by looking at the World Tree.
    • The darkness powers displayed by Malos in chapter 1 and 3 should not be possible given that his Blade, Sever, has wind as his element. This is an early hint that Malos may be more than he appears...
    • In the opening cutscene of chapter 5 where Addam spars with Lora, Mikhail as a child can be seen sitting with the others while eating.
    • Nia gives several hints that she is a Blade.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: There is very little that will survive a chain attack of any length, let alone a Full Burst, short of a story boss or particularly tanky Unique monster. The rewards dropped by enemies killed this way are at least doubled, however, so it's worth doing.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: The Nopon are back and as adorable as ever. It's repeatedly acknowledged in universe as well, with the nopon knowing they are cute and characters finding it hard to hate even villainous nopons. This is actually an Exploited Trope. One quest reveals that an ancient Nopon discovered that by changing the Nopon language into the cute way they now talk, other races would better perceive their cuteness, which would make it easier to exploit them for money. They used to talk just the same as everyone else with proper grammar and syntax.
  • Rising Empire: The Empire of Mor Ardain is moving on its way, having recently (a few years before the start of the game) assumed control over Gormott.
  • Rush Boss: At level 120, Chickenheart Dagmara is the second-most-powerful Unique Monster in the game, but its HP is extraordinarily low compared to its fellow Bonus Bosses. It still hits like a freight train, however, so the fight is unlikely to last more than two minutes before either side wins... or Dagmara flees the battle.
  • Sad Battle Music: The Power of Jin plays during Jin's boss battles which reflects on Jin's sadness and desperation.
  • Save Scumming:
    • A notable aversion: The game saves every time you activate a Core Crystal. Since you can obtain rare Blades even from common crystals, this is to prevent players from unlocking all the good rare blades early on in the game without spending many core crystals.
    • Played straight with the first common Blade Azurda gives Rex. This can be abused to ensure that the common Blade that emerges (which can never be ditched) has two crowns rather than one.
  • Scenery Gorn: Just as there are places that are beautiful there are a handful of places that are large in scope of devastation. Of note is The Land of Morytha and Elysium, being places that humanity used to live in countless years ago.
  • Scenery Porn: As usual for the Xenoblade series.
  • Sequence Breaking: With a bit of grinding, it's possible to do Heart-to-Hearts for late-game blades like Sheba and Herald before certain story events occur in the main game.
  • Seven Deadly Sins:
    • The namesakes of seven of the Titans, in both Japanese and English, though it works slightly differently in each. The Japanese names are the Latin words for the sins as they are, whereas the English version opts to use names derived from words for the sin or related terms in multiple different languages. For example, Superbia, Latin for pride, becomes Mor Ardain, derived from ardan, the Scottish Gaelic word for pride. Similarly, Gula, Latin for gluttony, becomes Gormott, derived from the French word for a gluttonous person, gormand.
    • In the final chapter, squads of lv90+ enemy Drivers appear in the Olethra Playhouse. They are named for several of the deadly sins.
  • Sex Slave: It's alluded that this can be the fate of unfortunate humanoid Blades who fall into the wrong hands. When discussing why he was attacked by bandits, Zeke mentions they were probably after Pandoria, since she's "quite human-looking for a Blade", and "They line [Core Crystals] up with pretty little pictures of the Blade inside".
  • Shmuck Bait:
    • The "Profaned Place" in Temperantia has several lizardmen kneeling before something that can't be seen due to being frozen in a block of ice surrounded by a miasma of darkness. You can dispel the miasma and melt the ice with Field Skills. What is the result? Congratulations, you just removed the seals on the Level 130 Bonus Boss!
  • Shout-Out:
    • Tora activates Poppi by using the energy of a lightning storm.
    • The entire scene with Rosa is a long series of Super Robot anime references:
      • Rosa is a direct reference to Mazinger Z. The pilots even manage to coin in the "becoming god or demon" classic tagline. One extra joke got missed by the dubbers, who renamed the upgraded "Great Sakura" into "Giga Rosa".
        Bana: NOPON GO!
      • The entire sequence where Bana jumpped into the tube to get to the fighter is a reference to Getter Robo.
      • Poppi creating a barrier to protect itself while transforming is from GaoGaiGar.
      • Poppi's Badass Arm-Fold is another reference to Getter Robo.
      • The symbol Poppi creates during the transformation sequence is a reference to Voltes V.
      • Poppi's transformation dialog in Japanese is a reference to Getter Robo.
        Poppi: Change JK-Mode, Switch on!
    • An a Heart-to-Heart between Zenobia and Mythra in the Land of Morytha, if the idea that Mythra and Zenobia fought against each other 500 years ago is brought up, Zenobia says "she strives to the the very best, like no Blade before me."
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: The Titan Genbu has nothing but snow-covered tundras, leaving the Kingdom of Tantal unable to produce enough food on their own. The Endless Winter weather is due to Tantal being blackmailed into producing Core Chips for Indol. Said production involves harnessing the majority of Genbu's ether flows, leaving little energy to maintain a warm climate.
  • Soft Water: No matter the height, if you jump into any water deep enough to swim in you'll take no damage. The lone exception is if you jump into the Cloud Sea at low tide, in which case you just went into a Bottomless Pit.
  • Space Whale: The Titan Uraya is a continent-sized flying whale whose residents live inside it.
  • Standard Status Effect: On top of the series' signature Break and Topple, this game introduces Launch and Smash. Linking all four in the correct order makes a complete Driver Combo.
  • Stealth Sequel: While it seems that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is merely an Alternate Continuity compared to the original like how X was, it's later revealed that the world of 2 was created by the Architect, who happens to be the good side of Klaus, the evil side being Zanza from the previous game, after his actions destroyed the world in his experiment.
  • Steam Punk: Mor Ardain's primary aesthetic, due to their Titan's poor health causing it to overheat. On one hand, it means the place is quickly turning into a desert, on the other they get lots and lots of free energy to power all their machinery.
  • Suddenly Voiced: The Tirkin have speaking roles in this game unlike their counterparts on Bionis, both in cutscenes and in normal combat.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: While there are many mook enemies that stand little chance against your party even if they are on your level, this is still overall averted in the game in the sense that once you become a good number of levels higher than an enemy they will usually not attack you (unless you attack them first). You can walk right past some very imposing creatures and they will ignore you, sensing that attacking you would be foolish. Only Unique Monsters will attack you regardless of level.
  • Super Strength: Some blades exhibit obvious versions of this, but to a lesser degree all Drivers have it as well (namely we see Rex and others jumping far greater distances without help than any human could under normal strength), along with various degrees of superhuman agility and durability. The stronger the Blade and the stronger their bond with their Driver the stronger both become. It makes Drivers the most sought after soldiers for the various governments.
  • Synchronization: Due to sharing half of Pyra's life force, Rex and Pyra feel each other's pain and injuries. Late in the game Zeke reveals he did something similar with Pandoria, with her giving Zeke half her core crystal to keep him alive.
  • Sword of Plot Advancement: Pyra's Aegis sword, which conceals immense power and thus is sought after by many factions- either to use it for themselves, or to destroy it.
  • Take Your Time:
    • Happens in Chapter 6, when a superweapon punctures a hole through Genbu's head, compelling itself to submerge into the Cloud Sea. Zeke states that the party has about three hours to save the Titan before it completely submerges and all of Tantal dies from the Cloud Sea's pressure. However, an hour in-game is equivalent to a minute in real time. Even if the party isn't being distracted by sidequests, they would still take at least an in-game day to get from Theosoir to Genbu's head on foot.
    • An even more egregious example occurs in the Final Chapter. Cutscenese show Artifices from the First Low Orbit Station raining destruction down on Alrest, but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from Skip Travelling back down to the surface to complete sidequests, even in areas that were explicitly shown under attack and none the worse for wear.
    • Related to the above, as far as the main story is concerned the last few chapters of the game are a near continuous race/struggle between the villains and heroes to reach the top of the World Tree. However there are many side quests in other parts of the game world, including a major development for Poppi, that can only be started or finished after this race has started.
  • Technobabble: Lampshaded in the final act, when Pneuma says that they need to activate the World Tree's retro-rockets and launch it into space. No one else has any idea what she's talking about. In a variant, what she's saying is simple and correct, it just has absolutely nothing to do with the current situation because space elevators don't have rockets of any type. It was all just a distraction to get the team to the escape pods while she performs a Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
    • Becomes a Discussed Trope when a Heart-to-Heart reveals Tora has no idea Mòrag is a woman. Zeke comments that most humans can only tell male and female Nopon apart by the way they dress, so it makes sense for the reverse to be true. Mòrag's strict military dress and gruff voice caused Tora to confuse her for a man.
    • In Finch's Blade Quest, you must find a wayward Tirkin countess. Once you meet her, the only distinguishing feature between her and the other Tirkin is a large pink bow at the roots of her topknot.
  • The Cameo: A voice cameo, in the form of Shulk's Pre-Mortem One-Liner before he finishes Zanza off for good, signifying that the endgame of the original Xenoblade Chronicles was occurring in parallel to the sequel's.
  • Theme Naming: A number of the Blade Quest's cutscenes are given themed names. For example, Dahlia's quest cutscenes are named after flowers.
  • The Theocracy: The Indoline Praetorium, the government of the titan Indol. They're especially notable for being the group in control of the supply of Core Crystals, which is where Blades come from, giving them disproportionate influence over military matters.
  • Title Drop: Most of the chapters' titles are significant and get specific mentions in dialogue:
    • Chapter 2:
      Gramps: Perhaps 'aptitude' would be a better word.
    • Chapter 3:
      Vandham: Remember... to fight your war!!!
    • Chapter 5:
      Jin: Why are you the masters, and we the slaves?
    • Chapter 6:
      Malos: With wounds like that, they're done for. It's their biggest weakness.
      Jin: Your own Blade has been wounded so deeply, and all you can think of is yourself.
    • Chapter 7:
      Addam: When you take on the weight of all the fear she carries, then you will be her true Driver.
    • Chapter 9: More of a visual drop: the title is "Rain" and the final scene of the chapter is a flashback to the rainy night when Malos found Jin after the destruction of Torna.
    • Chapter 10 (applies only to the German translation of the game):
      Architect: This is the last gift I can offer you... the rest is up to you, my children.
  • Trauma Inn: Averted (characters heal rapidly outside of combat on their own). Inns are used to cash in Non-Combat EXP, wait for tides to change, and to activate or advance certain quests.
  • Turtle Island: Creatures of massive size (as in reach past the clouds) known as Titans comprise the landmasses in the game. Each one follows a certain climate, such as grassland, tundras, and oceans. The Titan Genbu is a literal one.
  • The Unfought: Out of the major military powers in Alrest, only Uraya's military is never fought in battlenote . Mor Ardain's soldiers are common mooks until Mòrag gives the heroes a pardon and even joins them later on, and Tantal's and Indol's armies fight the heroes under various circumstances.
  • Upgrade vs. Prototype Fight: Chapter 4 has Poppi get into a battle against Lila, who's made to be superior to her. Poppi wins due to her having a much better ether engine than Lila as well as being shaped by Tora's leveling up.
  • The Very Definitely Final Dungeon: The World Tree. A massive sprawling dungeon that begins midway through Chapter 8 and continues on for the rest of the game.
  • The Unreveal: At first the only people who call Gramps by a real name are "clearly an important antagonist" Malos and "obviously not telling the whole story" Pyra. It seems like his identity is going to be an important reveal... and then Rex's adoptive aunt casually calls him Azurda, revealing Rex has just never bothered to introduce him to anyone properly.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Hand Waved. Pyra is extremely recognizable, including her shaped and colored Core Crystal, but the party goes largely unmolested. Hand Waved by showing that by the time her description and bounty become common knowledge, so has the the party's reputation as combatants, so most people avoid picking fights. The exceptions are represented by enemy Driver groups in the field.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential:
    • In Torigoth, you can help raise a domesticated Ardun by feeding it, and as it grows up, it gains levels. However, unlike most domesticated monsters, it's still registered as an enemy and thus you can kill it any time (even when it's still a level 1 baby) for some easy Experience Points. If you do this, the person raising the Ardun will act like he doesn't blame you for what you did, but might consider not letting you help raise animals again. Completing the sidequest turns the Ardun into a very tough Unique Monster, which can be revived indefinitely after defeat like any other UM.
    • There's nothing stopping you from releasing Blades in droves, especially if they're common ones that don't meet your expectations in field skills or stats.
    • Once you get the Master Driver skill in Chapter 8, Rex can actually engage with any blade in the game from any driver save for Poppi, including story-based blades originally tied to their respective drivers. You can literally have Rex engage with the likes of Dromarch, Brighid and Pandoria while away from their original drivers and have those same drivers still fight in the party without them. The game even encourages you to use Brighid during the first half of the chapter since the other party members are separated from Rex, despite Rex not having nearly as good arts with the Whipswords as her original Driver. This is mitigated by the fact it's heavily implied to be consensual by all parties, and the Blades have battle lines that sound perfectly willing to be weilded by Rex.
    • Related to the Master Driver, you can also disengage Dromarch, Brighid and Pandoria and leave them at Garfort Village. They even have lines of dialogue when you interact with them, which includes both Brighid and Pandoria complaining about having nothing to do there.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: Killing the domesticated Ardun in Torigoth before it's fully matured will ensure that it stays dead for the entirety of your adventure. This means that it won't grow up to become a Unique Monster (which can revived indefinitely) and a good source for farming Legendary Core Crystals.
  • Villain of Another Story:
    • The Saviorite Rebels, mentioned only in passing during the introductory cutscene of the final chapter. They led an attack on the First Low Orbit Station, and were apparently threatening enough to warrant activating Aion. Although their threat was ended rather abruptly when Klaus tore the world apart with his experiment.
    • Zanza, the Big Bad of the first game, becomes one here. He's not present, but his imminent defeat at Shulk's hands sets up the Race Against the Clock for the final arc of the story (his death means The Architect dies too).
  • Violent Glaswegian: The Mor Ardainian soldiers in the English dub come off as this, especially so with their incessant battle quotes.
  • Weapon of Choice: All the Blades provide their Driver with some form of weapon; Pyra's is the red sword in the page image, though axes, shields, and laser rifles are other possibilities.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 8 begins with Rex and the others find themselves in a ruined modern city. This is followed by major reveals in regards to the Blade/Titan lifecycle, the true fate of the lost Kingdom of Torna, and discovering that the World Tree is actually plant growth surrounding a futuristic tower/Space Elevator that wouldn't look out of place in XenoSaga or Xenoblade Chronicles X. And that's only the first half.
    • Chapter 10. ALL OF IT!. It is revealed that the Architect is actually Klaus who activated the experiment, and he was genuinely trying to save the world, revealing that Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 took place at the same time.
  • Wham Line:
    • Chapter 7. The boss fight against Malos has him using a variety of new abilities with "Monado" in the name, the significance of which will be immediately obvious to any veterans of the first Xenoblade.
    • Chapter 10. The introductory cutscene. A firefight in the space above Earth. Mission Control attempting to analyze the situation. Then:
      Assistant: We're locked out by Professor Klaus.
  • Wham Shot:
    • One in the beginning of the first trailer no less. Our first glimpse of gameplay we see is Rex running through some valley with a mountain. Then said mountain starts to move. And shows its head. That's no mountain, that's a Titan.
    • After Rex picks up the third Aegis blade, he is shown a vision of a glowing light circling around the planet. Players who completed the original Xenoblade will immediately pick up the implications.
    • Upon falling to the bottom of the Cloud Sea, the protagonists discover the Land of Morytha, a post apocalyptic modern city. After that is many shots showing that the fantastical fantasy setting of the game is much more sci-fi than previously thought.
    • One that accompanies a Wham Line when the party meets the Architect, the reveal that his body is split in half. Players of the first game will know exactly what his other half became.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: People in Torigoth are not happy that the water tower got destroyed. In one particular sidequest, a group of NPC drivers even attack you when they learn that you were the one that destroyed it.
  • What the Hell, Player?: If you release a Blade (which you probably will do often with common Blades to make room for more Rare Blades or common Blades with desirable field skills), some of them will either be despondent or chew you out for discarding them. This is especially relevant in regards to the game's theme of Blade personhood (as being turned back into a core crystal is comparable to death since they lose their memories).
    Floren: So... I was just a tool to you, huh? Harsh.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?:
    • Blades are sentient and have their own thoughts and emotions but need a Driver to have any sort of form. The Flesh Eater Blades only further blurs the line.
    • The refugees on Indol, having lost their homes to war, started hating all Blades in general and try to have them banned. It sounds like Fantastic Racism at first, but Blades being what they are, the debate ends up sounding like a discussion about gun control more than discrimination.
  • Whoring: One easy way to farm Blade Cores other than smashing up a Unique Monster again and again is to constantly salvage from the docks on the outskirts of Mor Ardain. The Krabbles that spawn from it yield quite a few cores upon defeat.
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?: Blades are in a sense immortal provided their Core Crystals remain intact but lose their memory when their Driver dies, so the next iteration of them is like a whole new person (Brighid remarks that this means in a sense Blades actually tend to live much shorter lives than humans, since their driver is usually in their teens or adulthood before they are awakened). While Pyra observes this is not necessarily a bad thing as it means they aren't burdened with bad memories, a late game conversation reveals the party's Blades would prefer dying entirely. It is eventually revealed that blades, with the possible exception of the Aegises, are not truly immortal (though effectively extremely long lived). Assuming their crystals are not at some point destroyed, they eventually become titans which birth more blades, and the titans they became eventually die of old age. Also subverted with Flesh Eater blades and Blades bonded to Blade Eaters. Flesh Eaters can live for centuries but their human side eventually causes them to die. Blades bonded to Blade Eaters have their lives linked to the Blade Eater and will die for good when the person implanted with the piece of their Core Crystal dies. In Rex's case this turned out to be a link that Pyra/Mythra could break at will, being the Aegis, but for other blades like Pandoria this probably isn't the case (not that Pandora minds as she quite likes that no one will ever replace Zeke and that she will be able to pass on with him).
  • Womb Level: The people of Uraya and Tantal live inside their Titans stomachs. Downplayed in that aside from a few areas in Uraya, they are not really presented like one, looking more like a massive cave than the inside of a creature's body.
  • World Tree: Yggdrasil, the tree where the Architect lived alongside humans and shown in the page picture, is Pyra's ultimate destination. The tree is actually cover for a Space Elevator connected to the space station where Klaus performed his world-changing experiment.
  • Worthless Treasure Twist: Even worse than worthless. A late-game sidequest tasks you with hunting down the 11 Nopon Doubloons in order to open Argentum's most ancient treasure. You crack it open, and... discover a record of Azurda's shopping arrears from centuries ago. Which he took out to buy a gift for his girlfriend. And which you are now responsible for. Pay up.
  • Yaoi Fangirl: Mesulia in Tantal becomes this if you allow her with certain dialogue paths. She's a writer who asks you to perform a few tasks and draws inspiration from your feedback. If you choose the "friendship" route after defeating the monster and then collecting the ring, her final story becomes a massive success among female readers.
    Mesulia: And so contrary to my own expectations, I have written a book that's chock full of charming men! I think it'll be a hit! Oh, don't worry, I've used all the tropes that appeal to the masses!

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