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  • 8.8: The game got glowing reviews in all of the continents it was released in... with the exception of EGM's review.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Dickson. Did he truly never care about Shulk and only took care of him so he could rear up a good vessel for Zanza? Or did he start to feel some affection for his adopted son?
    • There's also the matter regarding his death: Did he really shoo Shulk away out of a desire to deny him satisfaction from seeing him die, or was he trying to spare him the pain of watching his surrogate father die in front of him?
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  • Animation Age Ghetto: Being a non-realistic T-rated game on a console usually given flak for its lack of mature entries has caused some to overlook it. Curiously enough, its spiritual predecessor Xenosaga also was on the recieving end of similar complaints.
  • Awesome Art: For a Wii game, the game's appearance holds up well even with games released on the HD duo and PC, thanks to the highly detailed art direction.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Out of the main cast, Shulk is particularly divisive, since there are people who consider him a compelling main character while others find him extremely boring, despite Tetsuya Takahashi's aim to make people not dislike him like some did with Shion in Xenosaga: Episode III.
    • Riki. There are those who see him as The Scrappy, given his habit of ruining dramatic scenes with his grating voice, childish concerns and speech patterns (as well as the fact that a lot of his Character Development come from Heart-to-hearts, which are optional whereas everyone, even Reyn and Sharla, speak in and get Character Focus during the main story). There are others who find him absolutely hilarious and enjoy the fact that he is both comic relief and also a character with depth in his own right from said heart-to-hearts. And then there are those who love him for his surprising usefulness in battle.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
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    • The revelation that Metal Face is really Mumkhar may not be so shocking given the fact that they both use a very unconventional weapon, have the same battle posture, and have a similar voice. Many note that they immediately knew that Metal Face was Mumkhar the second they saw Metal Face.
    • Similarly, the revelation that Faced Mechon have Homs inside them may not be too surprising considering early on the game went out of its way to show that the Monado can't harm Homs. They above example doesn't exactly help this any, either.
    • Dickson's reveal to be Evil All Along would probably feel like more of a shock if nearly every cutscene featuring them didn't go out of its way to make them look and act as suspicious as possible. The same goes for Lorithia. Both also double as Obvious Judases.
  • Character Tiers: Even though a lot of people make a good effort to use all the characters equally, in terms of end game teams...
    • Shulk, Seven, and Melia are considered to be the best characters in the game. Shulk has the most balanced move-set in the game, and the Monado arts is an excellent answer to a lot tricky situations in the game. Once you get Dunban's Critical Drain skill on Seven and unlock Seven's fourth skill branch, said character becomes the single best tank in the game, with some arguing Seven is the single best character in the game period with this setup, being able to dish out and take a lot of damage at the same time. Melia is also a very heavy hitter with her ether arts, and has the best topple lock command in the game, though this is only if she's controlled by the player. It's not uncommon to see a lot of people recommending this party for taking on the optional super bosses, with some arguing it's the only way to beat the final super boss of the game. The only problem with this team is that it might be difficult to use all three's full potential. But with a combinations of vision warnings and art selection it is duable.
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    • Behind them, Dunban and Riki are of the good, but Overshadowed by Awesome. Dunban is an all around Lightning Bruiser, but starts falling behind late game compared to Seven. His attacks and auras are also still behind Shulk's raw damage output and Monado arts in terms of usefulness. Riki is a fantastic damage over time abuser and has surprisingly good tanking abilities and has a great healing art, but falls behind Seven in regards to the tanking and his damage over time abuse eventually starts falling behind the raw damage output the above characters can dish out, and doesn't make as much of a difference with how sky high some bosses HP are, and Melia has a few attacks that cause damage over time effects as well, in addition to dealing more damage. Healing also starts to become a non-issue in the late game once you get Seven set up, and Shulk can cover that surprisingly well with his Light Heal art. Their saving grace is that their AI, save for a few arts, are much better compared to Shulk's and Melia's.
    • At the bottom are Reyn and Sharla. While Reyn is a great tank at the beginning of the game, he again falls behind Seven once you get Seven set up, and while he has some of the highest damaging attacks in the game, his arts just recharge way too slow to use them effectively. Sharla is a pure Crutch Character. She's useful starting out, but her healing abilities just end up dragging battles out far longer than need be and eventually can't keep up with the damage output of enemies, and she barely gets any attacking arts to deal with this problem.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Zanza, the god of Bionis, is the mastermind behind the game's plot and a monstrous excuse of a deity whose insatiable pride ruins countless lives in an effort to prolong his own. Revealed in the sequel to be one half of the scientist Klaus who accidentally destroyed the universe in his experiments, Zanza became a cruel monster who repeatedly exterminated all life on Bionis through the Telethia whenever they drifted away from him, even possessing the noble giant Argas and managing to destroy Agniratha in his attempt to destroy the rival goddess Meyneth alongside all Mechonis. Living on in the Monado after he was sealed away, Zanza murders a young Shulk and the expedition team who discover the Monado before reviving the boy and using him as a host for years. In the final act of the game, Zanza has Shulk killed again by his disciple Dickson to take form once again, transforms the High Entia into Telethia to repeat the extermination of Bionis all over again, and murders both Meyneth and Egil before destroying Mechonis, dismissing everything and everyone as mere bacteria and food to sustain his own cruel existence. Even in spite of all of his hollow justifications for the perpetual cycle of misery he has created, Zanza is revealed at heart to be nothing more than the definition of megalomania and endless arrogance, disgusting almost every single being who knows of his true evil.
    • Originally a slimy, cowardly weasel of a man, Mumkhar ends up becoming something far worse entirely. After smugly leaving his close friends Dunban and Dickson to die on the battlefield, he is captured by the robotic Mechon and turned into one of their own, and willingly betrays his people by throwing in his lot with the Mechon and aiding them in their conquest. Going by the name of Metal Face, he leads a squad of Mechon in an attack on Colony 9, slaughters scores of people, and personally murders Dunban's sister Fiora, all out of hatred, envy, and spite towards the man, and gleefully brags about it to Shulk, her Love Interest. Later on, he leads an assault on Eryth Sea, which ends with him killing Sorean, the emperor of the High Entia. After his final defeat at the hands of Shulk and company, he doesn't hesitate to try to murder them all after they decide to spare his life. Fueled entirely by spite and cruelty, Metal Face cements his status as one of the party's most hated enemies.
    • Dickson starts the game off as a seemingly helpful mentor and father figure to the protagonists, before revealing himself in the climax to be the vilest of Zanza's disciples and a willing aide to the destruction and recreation of the universe, shooting Shulk to release Zanza into the physical world. Cheerfully asserting that he's Not Brainwashed when they propose he is, Dickson attempts to murder all of his former comrades while helping to lead to Telethia slay all life on Bionis. When the High Entia army shows up to save the heroes, he and fellow disciple Lorithia convert them all into mindless Telethia, including Melia's brother, Kallian. Dickson descends on Colony 6, now the residence of the surviving people of Bionis, with more Telethia, hoping to exterminate them all, taunting Melia and Kallian that he may be Meia's boyfriend in the next life.
  • Cult Classic: It's a hardcore game on the Wii and it only had a very limited run exclusively through Gamestop in America. Despite this, it's considered one of the best Eastern RPGs of its generation.
  • Demonic Spider:
    • The Unique Monsters. They're always much stronger than the other nearby monsters, and some of them tend to pop up as the player is fighting other weaker monsters.
    • Taken to extreme heights at the Eryth Sea, where even exploring the islands and coastlines will get you killed for sticking your neck out wrong by an entire hoard of level 80+ monsters that you just happen to run across while attempting to fill your item collection. Makes coming back through the areas much later, appropriately leveled, extremely satisfying.
  • Disappointing Last Level: While the game is considered to be excellent, there are those that consider that the game takes a dive in quality starting from the Mechonis Core. While the Wham Episode when Zanza reveals himself rises the quality of the story back, there's still flak from some regarding quality of the level design, since there are very few new areas and most of those aren't nearly as exciting as earlier parts of the game, coupled with some backtracking.
  • Ear Worm: If you spent any time at all solving the Bionis' Leg quests, Gaur Plain will. not. leave. your. head. for. weeks.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    Reyn: That's one cool prince.
    • Xord as well, thanks to being a hilariously hammy and memorable Starter Villain.
  • Ending Fatigue: After going through three very long dungeons the party finally reaches Egil, who is responsible for almost all the problems everyone is dealing with on the Bionis and the Fallen Arm, and there are some late game plot revelations which are to be expected. Then there's a very satisfying final boss fight that's epic and mixes things up a bit. But after the party defeats Egil there are even more plot twists and the real Big Bad is revealed. At this point if the player is going through the game normally the time has clocked in at about seventy hours. If the real Final Boss was fought there it would be fine, instead the player has to go through two more dungeons and several more cutscenes, and at this point it's difficult to continue caring because the plot that's been driving most of the cast has been rendered insignificant to make way for the new villain's much grander and more destructive, but far less personal goal.
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • With Final Fantasy XII, due to similar battle systems and a similar overworld structure. Fans of either game regularly argue that their game is the other game "done right".
    • Also with Final Fantasy XIII, due to coming out at around the same time yet having very different takes on exploration. Players who criticized XIII for being too heavy on No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom would often praise Xenoblade for going out of its way to avoid that with its Wide Open Sandbox structure. It's plot about humans going up against gods defying fate and given special powers is also akin to Final Fantasy XIII, which was release a few months prior to the Japanese version of Xenoblade.
    • With the other Xeno games, Xenogears and Xenosaga. Many Xenoblade fans go as far as to consider it the only good Xeno game but fans of -gears and -saga tend to criticize -blade for being, story-wise, more traditional and not as deep as the others.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Melia/Dunban has a sizeable following due to the two having great rapport in their Heart-to-Hearts, being seen as the most mature members of the party and thus having a lot of compatibility, and the fact that the two of them aren't taken at the end of the game.
  • Faux Symbolism: Mostly averted given the thick symbolism of the "series" history, but they just couldn't leave it alone completely: A character does get crucified once for no real reason.
  • First Installment Wins: A Vocal Minority believes that Xenoblade Chronicles is far superior to both Xenoblade Chronicles X and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The former is viewed as a severe case of They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and is criticized for introducing less likable characters. The latter is criticized for having way too many tutorials, bad English voice acting, inferior character design, and a bland story.
  • Fountain of Memes: Reyn. His English voice actor's delivery makes all of his lines extremely quotable.
    • It's not like Shulk, Dunban, Riki and Fiora aren't chock-full of memorable quotes, either.
  • Game-Breaker: See details on its own page.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: It apparently sold more in America than both Europe & Japan (and was only carried by a single retailer on top of that).
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Everything in the story from the Mechonis Core and onward. Once you start to see Mechonis attack Bionis, including in Yaldabaoth's fight where you have two minutes to stop a Vision of it destroying Bionis, it just gives the player an idea of what's really at stake at this point. And then, Zanza is revealed, as well as the true natures of Dickson, Alvis, and the fate of the High Entia, kicks the story into absolute holy shit mode.
  • Hype Aversion: To be expected, since the game is often called the "Best JRPG of its generation", even being ranked among the likes of Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII.
  • Iron Woobie:
    • Good lord do Melia and Fiora take horrible torment with grace.
    • Dunban is crippled and both his wartime allies were secretly against him.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Metal Face is quite enjoyable, if only because he's such a jerk. Then again, his Japanese voice is the Norio Wakamoto himself...
    • Lorithia on the other hand, is a genuine case of this because of what happens from Zanza's reveal onwards.
    • Speaking of which, Zanza himself is such a colossally amoral bastard who freely admits most of the things he does are For the Evulz that going after him feels immensely satisfying, and the reveals and plot twists surrounding him are generally agreed to be awesome, so he's pretty well-liked in this regard too.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Egil is a Machina, the leader of the Mechon army, creator of the Faced Mechon, and the mastermind behind their invasion of Bionis. Egil was once friends with Arglas from Bionis with whom he discussed the idea of leaving the world of Bionis and Mechonis in search of new worlds, and of peace and coexistence. However, when Arglas was possessed by Zanza and laid waste to Mechonis, Egil swore revenge and, when both titans were put to sleep, began attacking Bionis hoping to wipe out as much life as possible on the titan so that, when Zanza returned, he would be more vulnerable to kill. Once Skulk learns of his past and confronts him in Mechonis Core, Skulk offers a chance to let go of revenge and change the world together. But thanks to Zanza's timely resurrection, Egil instead gives his life so the heroes can escape, placing his hopes they can kill the evil god without resorting to the extremes he went to.
  • Memetic Badass: The Territorial Rotbart, a Unique Monster in the Gaur Plain who has become synonymous with being one-shotted in the early game, to the point where they brought him back for both XCX (in the form of a Suspiciously Similar Substitute) and the sequel.
  • Memetic Loser: Juju, for being such a pathetic character that does nothing useful (except for constructing a park out of Rainbow Slugs).
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Lorithia turning Kallian and all his men into Telethia, then her and Dickson gloating about it certainly counts as one for the both of them.
    • Dickson crossed the horizon when he killed Shulk by literally shooting him in the back, right when he and Egil were about to make peace.
    • And of course, this list wouldn't be complete without Metal Face rampaging through Colony 9 and killing Fiora, especially when you know why he did it in the first place.
  • Most Annoying Sound:
    • "I'm feeling it!" Yes, we get it Shulk... you only said it 8675309 times. As stated above, this line hit Memetic Mutation come Shulk's invitation to the fourth Super Smash Bros. game.
    • Tyrea's scream when you fight her is extremely loud and ear-piercing, thanks in part to the filter over her voice that makes it sound distorted. You'll hear it constantly during her boss fight. Headphone users are hereby warned.
    • When you fight Disciple Lorithia be prepared to hear "You'll pay for your insolence!" a whole lot.
    • When you fight Disciple Dickson be prepared to hear "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!" a lot
    • Fiora's jumping sounds sound quite off, almost as if she's barely keeping herself from vomiting.
      • "Let's press on and on and on!"
    • Same with Xord, who constantly jeers "FEELS LIKE A FLY BIT ME!" anytime he's attacked when he hasn't been toppled.
    • Vanea's English voice sounds fine until she has anything to say in the more dramatic moments of the game, such as her brother's last stand and death. Then it dives straight into this.
    • Vision Reacts. It's not a bad song per se, but it overrides any other battle theme save for A Tragic Decision and the final boss's theme, and once it starts playing it plays for the remainder of the battle. Against enemies like Ancient Daedala, who use a vision-triggering attack as soon as the battle starts, you'll maybe get to hear two seconds of You Will Know Our Names before it's replaced with the repetitive Vision Reacts.
    • On a similar note, we have Enemies Closing In. Whenever someone gets knocked out in battle, or the party's tension greatly goes down, this song will immediately hijack the previous battle theme. The only way to restore the original battle theme is to revive all party members and get your tension back up. When facing against strong bosses or Unique Monsters, this song will be especially annoying to those who were enjoying An Obstacle in Our Path, or You Will Know Our Names.
    • In fact, the only fights in which you DON'T hear Vision Reacts and Enemies Closing In are the fights with Yaldabaoth in Agniratha, the battle against Bana and all phrases against Zanza.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The shattering-glass sound when you change the party's fate during a battle.
    • Now it's time for a Chain Attack!
    • The fanfare that plays when first encountering a secret area.
    • Loritihia's death scream when you finally beat her.
  • Narm:
    • Can be forced by the players themselves. Characters still wear their armor in cutscenes. Or... lack of armor. It's possible to go through the game's most serious and dramatic moments with everyone in Stripperiffic outfits. Case in point: it's possible for Fiora to go through all her scenes at the beginning up to and including her Heroic Sacrifice in a bikini. And since the game remembers what you gave your characters at those moments, all flashbacks later in the game will still show her in a bikini. It can be kind of a mood killer sometimes.
    • Also notable is that Fiora's new form has a very plot-significant piece in the center of her chest. Because it's plot important, whenever that plot point comes up, the camera meaningfully zooms in on her chest, which is a little awkward when she's wearing armor that's heavy on Absolute Cleavage, and considering that her Speed armour is considered the best armour for her, this happens a lot.
    • Xord's voice is either this or a case of Narm Charm. You probably wouldn't expect a gigantic mechanical abomination to sound like a Warhammer 40,000 Ork, and the fact that he's the first Mechon you hear speak makes it even more jarring. Admittedly he does make for a fairly entertaining Card-Carrying Villain, and the next Face Mechon you meet does manage to sound genuinely menacing.
    • Dialogue example: During the Wham Episode on Prison Island, when the Emperor, Melia's father, is stabbed and dying, Shulk gives an anguished "Emperor... I failed you." It's normally tragic and dramatic, but the fact that it's worded very similarly to a memetically So Bad, It's Good line from Dawn of War: Soulstorm (and Star Fox 64) might ruin it for some players.
    • Also on Prison Island, when we find out that Sorean really isn't going to make it, Melia starts crying. It would normally be extremely sad... except it's during a "simple" cutscene, meaning we hear her crying, while we watch her emotionless, eyes-wide-open face.
    • Tyrea's battle scream would be this if it wasn't played more than three times.
    • After Zanza makes his reveal, reclaims the Monado, and slices Sword Valley in half, hitting Egil as well. "Holy Shit!" Quotient at its finest, until you hear...
    • After the events at The Mechonis Core, you're back in Colony 6 once you resume control. However, if you've been making an effort to reconstruct the place, it's possible this theme might start playing immediately. Which is MASSIVE Mood Whiplash considering what just happened.
  • Paranoia Fuel: Territorial Rothbart, when you first enter Gaur Plains. Having that giant Level 81 sucker just wandering around when you're barely around Level 20 will have you spending about half those first few fights making sure he's nowhere around when you begin. And suddenly having the otherwise-awesome "You Will Know Our Names" start up out of nowhere is Nightmare Fuel in its own right.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: After meeting Tatsu in Xenoblade Chronicles X, quite a few players publicly announced that they miss Riki.
  • Retroactive Recognition: For fans of Doctor Who, if they play with the English dub, they'll be surprised to find out Melia is played by Jenna Coleman, from before she got the role of Clara.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Spike damage tends to edge towards this: anything that has Spike aura automatically does a set amount of damage to anyone who attacks them and, naturally due to the enemies' vastly higher HP, the fact they end up getting hit a lot more often than your characters, your limited sources of healing and thus the need to rely more on evasion to keep your party alive, this tends to work far too much to their advantage. There are ways to counter it, but they're either temporary or require you to sacrifice far too many gem slots to defend against it, and you have no clue on what enemy has such defenses before you see the purple numbers popping out of your characters. In the heat of battle you'll likely not even notice that expect if you watch your character's health. Furthermore, the spike damage defense gems don't work on Spikes that cause status effects, which you naturally have no access to.
    • Another example would be the Ether Cylinders you get from gem crafting. In theory, they're a nice way to re-use gem components if you fail to get them over 100% during crafting, and could even be used to distill a single effect so that you can focus on it with Strong flames instead of Medium on the next run. Unfortunately, trying to exploit this feature often leads to your high-affinity party members "helping" the two characters push a desired quality over 100%, turning what would've been an awesome cylinder into an underpowered gem. This is especially annoying when you're trying to Mega-Heat gems (which requires you to push the quality to 300%, something that's only really possible with starting cylinder values of 150% or more) which gives them the maximum possible stat boost and creates another copy of the gem in addition to pushing the resulting gem up a rank that accomplishing normal Heat does, the end result being that the most consistent way to create 90+% cylinders is to purposefully leave a pair of characters at low affinity to minimize the % increase and chance of other characters butting in until you finish creating every possible gem you need for the rest of the game.
    • Enemy arts that trigger visions will probably be this for most players towards the end of the game. When initially introduced, they're a neat, interesting, and unique spin on standard combat that forces you to think strategically and to know you and your team's own abilities so you can appropriately counter. However, many late game bosses will spam these arts constantly, and too often they'll fire up a new one the instant the previous one is finished. For many players this can wreck the flow of the battle, as the player can't act during a vision, so it can become a frustrating game of stop and go by this point.
  • Shipping Goggles: There are some shippers who ship Shulk and Reyn. This is despite the fact that they each have an Implied Love Interest, (Shulk gets two) and not shown to be chaste at all. Even if you ignore that, Shulk and Reyn's friendship never goes beyond a friendship, so while they both care for each other, there is pretty much no Ho Yay to be seen between themselves.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: While the ultimate canon pairing of Shulk/Fiora is generally accepted, a lot of people think Shulk & Melia ultimately had more chemistry and was more touching. Certain scenes in the game do not help. It also doesn't help that Melia basically ends up alone compared to Shulk and Fiora. Though Melia doesn't seem to mind it much, that just comes off to the Shulk/Melia shippers as the writers clumsily Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends. Sharla pushes this in-universe before backing off.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: To put things in perspective: a player can reasonably spend 5 hours doing sidequests before even leaving the first town! The in-game tutorial even outright encourages it at one point, telling you to "come back to Colony 6 during breaks in the story." And lets not get into exploring all the areas, which the game encourages by rewarding the player with more experience.
  • Subbing vs. Dubbing: The English dub is very well done, to the point that many fans actually prefer it to the original Japanese, especially since the British accents add a lot of uniqueness and charm. Dunban is a prominent example, as his English voice is beloved for his gallant Large Ham tendencies, but his Japanese voice on the other hand is considered unfitting and even outright annoying during battles. However, there are many who consider the dub Narmy, particularly due to the over-the-top British accents, and Riki's English voice is often cited as more annoying than the intended "cute", and its gruffness spoiling the reveal that he's Really 40 Years Old. Luckily, international versions of the game offer the option to switch between English and Japanese voices at any time, so this wasn't much of a problem... until the New 3DS version cut that feature due to space constraints, Super Smash Bros. used the dub of its respective language, and Shulk's amiibo costume in Super Mario Maker had his Japanese voice in all versions.
  • That One Attack: Most attacks that hit the entire party can become this, especially early game. Until you have done halfway of the game (Which is about 50 hours), there is not many ways to avoid damage as Monado Speed only affects one character per target, and most other arts only affect one person. What makes this worse, is that unless you do a specific sidequest you will never find Monado Armour, which makes it really hard to protect yourself from them. The worst of the bunch is Titan Stamp, which are used by the Fortress-type Mechon units, as they do a lot of damage compared to other Ao E attacks. When you're facing against a Unique Monster version, it can go up to 5000 damage in a single hit which is enough to OHKO Shulk, Sharla, Melia and potentially Dunban (If Dunban doesn't dodge), and do heavy damage to Reyn, Riki and Mechon Fiora.
  • That One Boss:
    • Mumkhar in Sword Valley, for all the wrong reasons. First off, you're facing three large enemies - and the camera will instinctively draw you up towards them, resulting in you having a bit of difficulty seeing your own characters. If you get stuck against a wall (which will likely happen) it might go complete psycho on you and confuse the player into thinking they're closer than they actually are. The plus side is that they have large hitboxes - the downside is that it looks like you're running under them only for the game to think you're running into them, meaning they will box you in and allow the main boss to attack you, which means that if a character falls you might get stuck trying to weave your way around them to get to them.
      • Not only that, but all three enemies can poison you, and Mumkhar can force Daze on everyone. The only positive is that you'll likely have bought Anti-Mechon weapons from the shop at the entry to Sword Valley meaning you can free up Shulk's monado skills, but that's if you do buy them.
    • Bronze Face/Xord. When you fight him at the bottom of the reactor in Colony 6, he is completely and totally immune to status effects, except by a chain attack. The problem is that by this point in the game it is extremely unlikely that you will have the means to build up the Talent Gauge quickly, and the entire fight effectively becomes a Luck-Based Mission as you fight the Mooks that he spawns and hope that your party land crits to build up the gauge quickly.
    • Disciple Lorithia takes the Fake Difficulty to a new level, and can be either this or a Goddamned Boss depending on the player. The arena you face her in contains four large pools of ether, which do constant damage if you stand in it. Because she's so large, she will try to push you into the ether, and the AI is not programmed to walk out on its own, so the player will be forced to halt all attacks just to recall the AI partners out of the ether. Lorithia also has a ton of HP and all of her attacks are Ether-based, which makes evasion and Shulk's Monado arts useless against them. Many of her attacks will also cause statuses that can cripple the entire party, such as Daze, Topple, Confuse, and Art Seal. Melia is ideal for this fight but her low HP means she'll be destroyed a few seconds into the battle if you're not careful. But that's not all; she's also a Flunky Boss, and her flunkies will quadruple her defense as long as they're active, will constantly tag the player with arts that lower ether defense, and will self-destruct after a while.
    • The 2nd fight with Jade Face/Gadolt. He would be pretty manageable if not for the fact that he keeps his using his arts CONSTANTLY. You survive getting hit with one, just for him to start pulling it off again FIVE SECONDS LATER. God help you if you haven't been leveling up Monado Shield or Monado Armour. That's not even getting into Laser Bullet which hits everyone in the entire party, and only a high Monado Armour will stop the damage you'll be taking, even on the tanks such as Reyn or Riki it does way too much damage, and on Shulk, Sharla and Melia it's an automatic OHKO or very close.
  • That One Level:
    • Satorl Marsh. It's filled with bird enemies that are very aggressive and tend to dog you as you try to evade them, and unlike the wide open beauty of the Gaur Plain before it, is rather confined and dull-looking, at least during the daytime (but it's another story during the nighttime...) It also contains an aggravating fetch quest where you have to collect stones, and they are placed in the strangest places, including one across a poisonous lake. Have fun!
    • Alcamoth. Huge and with very few landmarks to teleport from, navigating the place is a massive pain. You have a limited amount of time to do most of them if you want 100% Completion. Hope you have a rubber band ready when doing quests there. And you need to go back there post-Mechonis Core for some more sidequests, and you have no access to landmarks at that time.
    • Colony 6's Ether Mine. It's a rather dull-looking underground area (that comes up in the story just after another, less annoying underground area), filled with Mechon that, at this point in the game, only Shulk can damage without Monado Enchant or a Topple effect. It's not actually that big, but falling damage will force you to go around the rim of the central pit several times before you can reach the bottom safely.
    • The Bionis interior. Thankfully it's short, because the place is full narrow pathways where you get attacked by Drakos Telethia that can knock you off, causing you to fall into the ether and die, and they fly so you can't knock them off.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Ingredients for a Brew in Frontier Village is a side quest with two outcomes. However, there are two problems. If you have all the ingredients for one of the options, you are locked on that path without any choice of backing out. The other problem is that Walnut Grapes, the ingredient for the "bad option" (both NPC-relationship and reward-wise) are incredibly common on Bionis' Leg in comparison to Bitter Kiwis being rare in Makna Forest (and they don't become available for trade until Central Bionis reaches three-star affinity). This means it's incredibly likely that you'll have at least the four Walnut Grapes needed for the bad option before you even accept the quest, forcing you to either get rid of some of those Walnut Grapes before it starts or Save Scum if you were blindsided.note 
    • Challenge 2 in Frontier Village, which asks you to kill Breezy Zolos, is surprisingly difficult if you do it as soon as you're able. Zolos will probably be on an equal level to yours, and is probably the first sidequest mark you'll fight who has a Spike aura, meaning you take damage every time you hit it. Not only that, but the area it appears in also happens to be prowled by a Level 98 gigantic T-Rex enemy who's all too willing to join the fight if he gets too close. Luring is key here, as is strategic fighting.
    • Building Colony 6's housing to level 2 requries a Fossile Monkey, which only drops in the Makna Forest. It has a seven percent spawn rate and only spawns in speific locations that are hard to find or dangerous to get to. You'll have to roam the forest so many times doing so and even though you need a single one, it feels like it takes forever since you have to go good distances to get to the spawn areas.
    • Reconstructing Colony 6's "Special" to Level 4. It requires 2 Rainbow Slugs, possibly the single rarest collectable in the game. They only spawn at certain times in certain areas on the Fallen Arm, and if you know the right time/location there's still only about a 10% chance the collectable will be a Rainbow Slug. And fans all over the internet still aren't 100% sure what the right times are, the only definite is they have to be at night. And you need two of them plus an extra one for your Colloctapaedia if you're looking for 100% Completion in that area too. Hope you like running around and around the same area for hours! This wouldn't be so bad were it not for the fact that one potential resident requires this upgrade to move there!
    • Building Colony 6's "Nature" to Level 3 is also a pain in the ass for the same reasons as Special's Level 4; finding 2 Ice Cabbages in Valak Mountain is just as difficult as finding the Rainbow Slugs. It's usually available only at night, and nobody's more sure than that. Only one NPC can offer it for trade, and he only trades it after an event near the end of the game. He can also be migrated to Colony 6, in which case he'll never be able to trade it to begin with. And yet another potential resident requires this upgrade to move there.
    • Getting Colony 6's special to level one isn't as bad, but still annoying. You need to a Light Rain Element that is only dropped by the Aqua Nebulas the Bionis Leg. Not too bad. Oh, the drop only occurs during a thunderstorm, which is a royal pain in the ass because you have NO CONTROL OVER WEATHER EFFECTS, and if you change time on the clock, it doesn't bother telling you what the weather is so you have to go on it from guess work. Even then, it's VERY rare for the Aqua Nebula to drop the item, and you kill them all, you have to wait for them to respawn and then get another thunderstorm going.
    • Getting to Know Dorothy is an example of a Classic Video Game Screw You, as this quest is only available post-Mechonis Core, where the items needed for this quest are located in the middle of a Telethia-infested city. Hope you prepared, or are a high enough level to tackle this one! Unsurprisingly, most people pick Minnie to be the better candidate in this series of quests.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: While not quite to the degree of its spiritual precursor, this is how some players feel about the party members of this game sans Shulk, Melia, and Fiora. In all fairness they do have Character Development and plenty of time to interact with one another, but most of these are shown in optional Heart-To-Heart or sidequests that can be easily missed and/or require some specific and sometimes unintuitive actions to unlock, meaning a lot of players can easily miss them on their first playthrough.
    • Out of everyone, Riki and Sharla are hit the hardest - Sharla at least has her early-game arc leave a dangling thread that is resolved later as well as a romance with Reyn. Riki on the other hand has no such arc.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Sharla, because the game's mechanics make healing less valuable than in many other JRPGs. The fact that she is very lacking in combat arts, combined with the inability to use her Cooldown Talent Art (itself a Scrappy Mechanic) in Chain Attacks, makes it difficult to perform lengthy Chain Links with her. Unlike many other examples of this trope, though, it's not so much that she is actually a detriment to the party and more that everyone else is just that good, and needing her to win non-boss/uniques much higher than you is a sign that your party is underleveled or underoptimized.
    • NPC Melia, mostly because of her Artificial Stupidity. Her AI's main shortcoming is the fact that she focuses on acting as a melee combatant despite being the least durable character in the game, yet her break-topple combo is never properly utilized. The AI also tends to use her actual primary attacks, the Summons, for their passive buffs instead, causing her to just stand there uselessly if she isn't trying to whack enemies with her staff. While she is still useful for her ability to rack up multipliers during chain attacks, and putting her in the party with Reyn or Dunban does make her a little more effective (as they will keep the heat off of her for a bit) it's not as effective as if the player controls her.
    • Player-controlled Shulk, by virtue of being too good and Boring, but Practical. The Monado gives him access to many useful abilities, including some that none of the other characters have (e.g. he's the only reliable defense against area attacks with Monado Shield and Monado Armor, and Monado Purge is the only reliable way of removing Spike or other active Auras). That many bosses and Unique monsters require use of the Monado to be taken down effectively doesn't help anyone who would like to use someone besides Shulk in your small 3 man party.
    • On the other hand, NPC Shulk is hated almost as much as NPC Melia for similar reasons. The AI isn't the best at positional attacks and has a nasty tendency to waste his Talent Gauge unnecessarily, such as spamming Monado Enchant against Mechon when the entire party already has Anti-Mechon weapons equipped, making it difficult to counter visions when they arise. Which doesn't sound too bad, except he has a nasty habit of using Battle Soul repeatedly to fuel his frivolous use of the Monado, meaning it's common to see Shulk drop from full health to red in a few seconds without the enemy even needing to get an attack in. And unlike Dunban, Shulk doesn't have any Arts to replace it with. It is possible to de-equip Battle Soul (press 2 in the Art Menu using the Nunchuck control scheme) but this is the only time such an ability is even useful.
  • Tough Act to Follow: The original Xenoblade is often considered one of the Seventh Generation's most underrated games and one of the best JRPGs of all time, so inevitably later games in the Xenoblade series have been compared, favorably or not, to the original despite Nintendo putting more promotion behind them.
  • Uncanny Valley: Scenes that are not fully animated (the "dialogue" scenes) suffer from Limited Animation in movement and facial expressions. This combined with the lack of detail in some textures and models creates an uncanny effect.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: While the character models take a noticeable hit from this, the vast, thriving world you explore is well conceived design-wise and lavishly detailed, with its own ecosystem, weather effects and day/night cycle, with surprisingly good draw distance to boot. And this was all pulled off on an aging system that's only slightly more powerful than the original Xbox. Notable examples include the Gaur Plain, a grassy field with huge cliffs and rock formations, and the Makna Forest, with a huge group of waterfalls that you can actually explore for yourself and filled with realistic flora and fauna. As one reviewer noted, the 3DS port is arguably the best-looking game on the system, despite its graphical quality being far inferior to the original Wii version.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: Some fans of the English dub aren't fans of the Japanese voice track, not because the actors are bad per se but because of some very strange casting choices - like Norio Wakamoto, Japan's undisputed King of Large Hams and villains, being cast as the Smug Snake Mumkhar.
  • WTH, Costuming Department?: A lot of people dislike most of the armors of the game so much that they refuse to put the characters anything but the standard outfits and maybe a one or two better-thought armors. Even if that means having worse stats. The worst offenders are the heavy armors, which are ridiculously bulky and over-ornamented. Also Stripperific with Sharla and Mecha Fiora, even to the point of Fetish Retardant.
  • The Woobie:
    • Even with all of what the rest of the main cast has to endure, Melia gets hit hardest and most often. It begins even before Shulk's team meets her: Her best/closest/only friends and bodyguards are killed while on a mission to destroy a Telethia, her stepmother tries to have her assassinated, her father is killed before her eyes, one of her advisers turns traitor, and a good number of her people- including her brother and stepmother- are turned into Telethia. So to summarize, by the end of the game, her whole family is dead, only a tiny fraction of her people are still alive, and she knows that she's lost out to Fiora when it comes to winning Shulk's affections. She definitely got the rawest deal out of all the party members. And despite all this, she keeps her chin up and resolves to continue shouldering on.
    • Shulk doesn't get off too much better. He lost someone very dear to him near the beginning, Fiora. He's also an orphan who was taken in and raised as a son by The Dragon. Not to mention he constantly suffers through both his friends who have lost many comrades and carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders since only he can wield the Monado after Dunban is crippled. Later on, it turns out he was a puppet for the Big Bad and is shot in the back and killed by Dickson, the one man who was like a father to him. He's brought back to life, but damn. The Big Bad proceeds to attempt to destroy the entire world because he's god and he can do what he wants. Shulk finally ends up making everything right in the end by wishing for a world without gods.
  • Woolseyism: A specific example with the surnames of the High Entia royal family. In Japan their last names are simply Melia, Sorean, and Kallian Ancient, whereas the English translation gives them the much more regal-sounding Antiqua.

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