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  • 8.8:
    • Gamespot's 7/10 rating drew ire because of the reviewer's noted dislike of the genre (and because he'd never finished a Japanese RPG).
    • In general, reviews that dinged the game for mechanical complexity caught blowback, particularly if the outlet didn't express similar complaints about the equally complex previous Xenoblades.
  • Adorkable: Pandoria has the cute nerdy look and is very devoted to Zeke to the point that she cheerfully imitates his poses during their encounters with Rex and the party prior to officially joining them. However, Pandoria still performs a variety of poses with Zeke during idle animation.
  • Accidental Innuendo:
    • The "secret" Nia asks Mythra to keep from the others during the Furo Scene is being a Flesh Eater Blade, but can seem like a case of... something else.
    • "Tora dreamed of tasty sausage the size of Poppi!"
    • Putting in an Art item in Tora's bag makes Poppi QT very excited. Maybe a little too excited. "Meh, meh, MEH! Poppi's heart full!"
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Maybe Malos knew he needed stopping, but decided to be the heroes' final test. He even implies so when he rejects Rex's offer in the ending.
    • Did Amalthus's mother shove him off the cliff so that he would evade the soldiers hunting them? Or was she trying to give him a mercy kill?
    • In Vess's sidequest, it's entirely possible that Mabon knew that he was near death, and sent the party on those jobs to clear some lingering regrets.
    • Did Haze caressing Jin's face as she died indicate that Blade's regain (or at least can access) their past incarnation's memories in their final moments of life? It seems like one of the few explanations for how she could in a matter of seconds go from hating Jin to feeling affection for him.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • Tora avoids being the next Tatsu, and arguably has more impact on this game's story than Riki did his own. In general, the Nopon have received some considerable Character Rerailment from X, as the greedy part of their character trait is now shown in a more negative light (such as with Bana), while making a few Nopon characters far more reserved. He also lacks Riki's weakness of being unable to fight in shallow water.
    • There are no enemies that hide and ambush you, and can be targetted freely, akin to the first game. Even the enemy type that would normally fit perfectly on Mira, the Blants, can still be targetted and engaged (or be bypassed) traditionally even when they're burrowed in the ground.
  • Award Snub: The 2018 Game Awards failed to nominate Xenoblade 2 for any rewards, despite Xenoblade Chronicles X releasing in the same timeframe and getting some nominations.
  • Awesome Ego:
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • The (supporting?) protagonist of the story, Rex. Defenders of him like his Everyman Unchosen One depiction who is doing great things with his opportunities in a Thematic Series series usually known for the opposite. However, detractors of him will point out he still feels like a boring Vanilla Protagonist and generic Stock Shōnen Hero who's the subject of unjustified Character Shilling, on top of an unappealing character design compared to the main characters (along with Shulk) and a voice that, while not completely bad, has plenty of moments where his tone doesn't match the moment. A third camp doesn't mind his voice and will point out some characters' questionable deliveries as well, and are willing to accept his weaker points as a protagonist in favor of his optimism and perseverance, but will agree that he gets too much attention throughout the story.
    • Pyra is widely liked due to her genuinely nice personality and wife-like qualities, such as cooking. However, a good number of people will point out how she comes off as generic, and that she is less developed as a character, ultimately serving as a plot device to her other forms, Mythra and Pneuma - to the point of being completely and unfairly being overshadowed in-game by them.
    • Mythra is also this, mainly for her Tsundere tendencies. Her fans like how she develops sufficiently over the course of the story and find her personality amusing and her gameplay and powers to be outstanding, while detractors will point out that her interactions with Rex are a bit too unfair. A third camp embraces both sides and is willing to forgive Mythra's initial harshness to Rex, and her reputation improved notably after the Torna prequel fleshed her out as a character and gave her much-needed Character Development.
      • Both forms of the Aegis are this as a whole, too. While their characterization and growth as one whole character is interesting to watch and relatable, like Rex, some people think they take too much from the main story away, despite being the plot's main driving force.
    • Tora, just like previous Nopon party member Riki. He's either adorable, funny, and surprisingly useful and powerful with his Poppiswap mechanic, or annoying and creepy with his voice/speech patterns and apparent maid fetish that he uses Poppi as a vehicle for.
    • Ursula is one of the better healing Blades in the game but the fandom splits on whether or not it's worth going through her long and grindy sidequest.
    • Dagas. His haughty attitude bothers many of his haters, not helped by his sub-par initial affinity chart. His fans argue that he's a beast in combat once his second affinity chart is unlocked after his quest, and that he has an Awesome Ego.
    • Sheba is either a Disc-One Nuke with a unique design, funny mannerisms and outrageous character interactions, or too expensive to acquire and develop, with a personality that's more insulting than funny, and a non-existent character arc, depending on who you ask.
  • Best Known for the Fanservice: Pyra, Mythra and some of the optional blades take up so much of the conversation that people unfamiliar with the game can easily mistake what it's actually about. And it only got worse when they were made playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate!
  • Better Than Canon: The Spirits image for Mythra in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has a fair bit of Adaptational Modesty, covering up her cleavage and giving her black leggings. Though some fans have complained about the censorship, quite a few other fans turned out to like the redesign overall or even prefer it to the original (mostly those who find the over-the-top Stripperific nature of her original outfit to be ridiculous), and others have noted it looks a lot like Elly's outfit. It was later added into both the main game and the expansion as an Aux Core for Mythra in an update a week before Smash's release, and admittedly it wouldn't be as well-liked if not for it being one of the absolute best Aux Cores in the game; some speculate that the censorship would have gone over more poorly (akin to the censorship in the Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG) if not for the fun little Mythology Gag added to the original game. It also provides a nice option for cosplayers who don't want to show as much skin as Mythra does normally or can't make convincing Fake Boobs.note 
  • Breather Level:
    • The first half of chapter 5 sees the party trekking through the Leftherian Archipelago and visiting Rex's hometown. The archipelago is fairly linear and none of the monsters are too difficult... if you go left.
    • Kora's Blade Quest has no battles in it and is mostly just a humorous vignette series.
    • The "Leadership Qualities" Rank 4 Mercenary Mission, merely requires Rex to listen to a bunch of interviewees for a position and make a decision to pick which one to hire. Contrast the Rank 3 quest "A Test of Strength," which involved fighting many overpowered enemies.
  • Broken Base: Was the update removing the repetition of the Ardanian Soldiers saying, "Think you can take me?! Don't forget me! You're done!" an Author's Saving Throw that kept another "You'll pay for your insolence" from happening, or did it remove the most charming aspect of the Ardanian Soldiers, especially with how much of a Fountain of Memes Captain Padraig is?
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • There's some dark pleasure in releasing weak, unwanted, or hated blades. Hearing their pleas or angry outbursts is just the icing on the cake.
    • For a cross-game example, many would find enjoyment in beating up Tatsu during the challenge This Year's Heropon.
    • As always, defeating Territorial Rotbart and other strong monsters that terrorized you in the early game is sweet, sweet, revenge.
    • A huge example is killing Malos in the main story's final boss battle, after his smug, Holier Than Thou reign of terror across Alrest.
    • Replaying Chapter 7 on New Game+, because Pyra and Mythra stay with you irrespective of story events, and make the frustrating levels and bosses much easier while also providing earlier access to Pneuma. In other words, you get to sic them on Malos as payback for his capture and horrible treatment of Pyra during the previous "cycle".
  • Character Tiers: Just like the first game, all characters are usable but some optimize better than others. A more detailed breakdown can be read here.
    • Rex is, for the majority of the game proper, considered the best character. He has access to Mythra and later unlocks the ability to use every non-Poppi Blade in the game, while Mythra gets a unique Super Mode. During the early game after unlocking her, you can also receive an exclusive and already refined Chip that further bolsters Mythra's critical hit ratio through the roof. While there are a few Blades that are slightly better overall than Mythra, she manages to stick it out throughout the postgame, and finds her way onto most teams due to her ease of access and high payoffs. Rex also fares vary well with other Blades, most of which can also be used on Mòrag as an alternative, such as Fiora, Elma and Corvin; on Rex, Elma in particular has very good synergy with Mythra due to her Dark element and the fact that Mythra can fill the Overdrive gauge more quickly than her.
    • Tora, although faltering throughout the story for a good amount of time, has access to three Blades, which just happen to be the three Blades that Rex can't use. These happen to also be very customizable (both in their role and element), depending on the build you plan, and by default include a serviceable defensive tank (Poppi α), the best (non-DLC) evasion tank (Poppi QT), and far and away THE best and most customizable Blade in the game (Poppi QTπ). You'll need to achieve Ether Points from Tiger! Tiger! to be able to customize each form to their fullest (easier said than done), and the sidequest to Poppi QTπ is a little lengthy and can only be achieved during the endgame, but if you're able to fill in the requirements, Tora becomes one of the two best characters in the game alongside Rex (and arguably the best). On a New Game+, Tora completely foregoes the Difficult, but Awesome aspect of upgrading Poppi and becomes very easy to power up via trading Bonus EXP for ether crystals and Master Mods, making him indispensable for NG+ players. In fact, having a postgame team without Tora is akin to a Self-Imposed Challenge, as more than any other Driver he can be used to fill gaps in the team's Blade Combo and Driver Combo setups, even with the sheer power and utility of Rex's, Zeke's and Mòrag's optimal Blades.
    • Zeke and Mòrag may be Overshadowed by Awesome (Zeke as a Fighter, Mòrag as a Tank), but still remain good units throughout the game. They are still very good during the postgame, but due to Rex and Tora filling their intended niches and doing them better, Zeke and Mòrag are most commonly used as Drivers for Blades that provide unique team support such as Shulk.
      • Mòrag and Brighid are an agility tank pair whose damage output spikes as they dodge attacks, but that buff goes away if Mòrag changes Blades. Nevertheless, she's considered a very acceptable replacement to Tora, at least before the Nopon gains access to his (and THE) most powerful Blade during the endgame. However, during the postgame and with access to DLC, Mòrag manages to catch up again simply via her ability to bond with Blades in general, being one of the best Drivers for Shulk, Fiora, Elma and/or Corvin while Tora is limited to Poppi's three forms.
      • Zeke has a number of powerful arts with the already strong offensive Great Axe and Ether Cannon Blades (and indeed is generally agreed to be the character that uses Blades with those weapon types best, notably his Great Axe animations being roughly double the speed of Nia's for instance), but otherwise only really approaches the top level characters with his Eye of Shining Justice ability, which is only accessible on New Game+ and locked to Pandoria, who is mediocre otherwise for an offensive Blade due to her moves being very slow (albeit flashy and hilarious). While he can be a fantastic Driver for powerful Blades such as Shulk, Dagas and KOS-MOS, the problem remains of his generally slow attacks and low Agility, making it harder to play to his strengths than with Mòrag, especially when it comes to keeping aggro off him. As such, he is far more viable as a player character than an AI-controlled one, due to the Difficult, but Awesome aspect of using defensive and evasive Arts at the proper time with him. As such, if not player-controlled then Zeke is most often used as a Support Party Member with Shulk and/or Dagas.
    • Nia is a Crutch Character, similar to Sharla from the first game. Her full party heals are potentially life-saving and she's indispensable during the main story, but post-game optimization can make her redundant. She's far more powerful as a Blade, and a good emergency option for Rex due to her powerful healing and decent (but not spectacular) offensive abilities - and using her as a Blade doesn't let you use her Driver form. She also has the worst exclusive Blade out of the main party members; while Nia herself is customizable enough to be decently useful late-game and post-game, Dromarch is considered one of the weakest Blades in the game for his disappointing stat modifiers and passive abilities, and being outclassed by many other healers.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome: Playing as Rex, or using the Rex, Nia and Mòrag team from Chapter 5 onwards causes problems because Tora has two story segments where he's by far the better party leader.
  • Complete Monster: The egotistical, giggling Dr. Castrofari has children all over Alrest drugged and kidnapped as fodder for his twisted experiments, which aim to forcefully augment his specimens into artificial Blades. When Perun confronts him on his deeds, Castrofari offers to let the children go if Perun surrenders herself as his next subject—only to laugh and confess he'll murder all of the children anyways, giddily announcing his intention to experiment on Perun until she’s nothing but a withered husk.
  • Contested Sequel: Debate on whether it lives up to the original (and X) started even before it released. Detractors call out the use of modern anime tropes and the story's tone, mourn the loss of selectable gear, and rip into the new affinity system and "gacha" mechanics. Supporters praise the battle system, the main companions, the subtlety in the story and character interactions, and the story's later twists. Both groups, however, largely agree that both games' area design, exploration and music remain up to par.
  • Critical Backlash: On the surface, lots of people are quick to dismiss Rex's English voice. However, more people who played the game to the end are willing to state that Al Weaver's performance as a whole isn't as bad as others make it out to be, and his yells sound better by later chapters. For the former, people cite how Rex manages to sound good when talking in humorous moments, and even crying, such as when Gramps seemingly dies in chapter 2, and when Vandham is Killed Off for Real in chapter 3. For the latter, while the strength of his yells being as strong as Adam Howden's is up to debate, Al Weaver's still capable of pulling off a solid performance even considering the lack of proper voice direction, such as everything leading up to Pyra's capture at the end of chapter 6, his confrontation with Jin in chapter 9, and the mid final boss cutscene.
    • This is further backed up by Rex's appearance in Pyra and Mythra's moveset in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While he doesn't have that much of them, his lines completley avert the Dull Surprise moments he sometimes had in his home game. Special mention goes to the blade special lines for their Final Smash, as they sound more energized in comparison.
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Flying enemies. They're aggressive, can easily spot you, move fast, usually have long-range attacks, are typically higher level than other enemies nearby, and will chase you for very long distances before being shaken off. Taken together, you either die quick or have a grueling battle ahead of you. And in Chapter 9, there are many extremely powerful Super-Persistent Predator flying enemies that will make it impossible to properly fight the Indolese troops and monsters without getting caught up in an extremely deadly pandemonium of dragons, birds of prey and religious zealots out for blood. Have fun!
    • Enemy Drivers, both humans and Unique Monsters with a Blade. They have access to Blade Arts and have extremely high block rates when using Arts, making your Arts hard to charge. Enemy Blade Arts can apply the same status effects as yours, heal, or otherwise make your battle unpleasant.
    • Scouts/Runners. Not tough on their own, they attempt to summon nearby enemies, up to and including Unique Monsters.
    • In Tiger! Tiger!, the red sharks are the only enemy that actively pursue the player. They also take multiple hits to take down (usually two, but the faster ones in later stages take three). If one of these foes get too close, the player is bound to take damage, losing their power up or treasure in the process.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Turters, Zeke's pet turtle, for being both a Team Pet and a Ridiculously Cute Critter. There's even a Twitter account dedicated to him.
    • Thanks to the Ardainian Soldier voicelines, Captain Padraig is loved by fans even though he's a faceless character and stops being important after his boss fight early in the game. It helps that he has a memorably goofy helmet and some funny cutscenes while he's around.
    • The Massive Melee Mythra Aux Core. Intended as a quick Mythology Gag about a year after launch (due to Mythra's outfit needing to be censored for her Spirit in the all-ages Super Smash Bros. Ultimate), it ended up becoming a recipient of Complacent Gaming Syndrome because of its enormous critical hit rate boost for Mythra, and some people praised the outfit itself for being less narmfully Stripperiffic than Mythra's default outfit. The reveal of Mythra as a playable DLC fighter for Ultimate, still in the Massive Melee outfit, ensured that it would become more widely known than her default one.
    • Poppi QTπ is by far the least plot-important of the Poppi forms, being optional content, but she is also by far the most popular for her incredible power and customizability and for upgrading Poppi into a sleek, badass Ms. Fanservice.
    • Quite a few optional Rare Blades have ended up incredibly popular with the fans.
      • The Guest Fighters from previous games in the Xeno series - KOS-MOS and T-elos from Xenosaga, Shulk and Fiora from Xenoblade Chronicles, and Elma from Xenoblade Chronicles X - all qualify as this for their references to their respective games and for being among the most powerful Blades in the game. Shulk especially, since his appearance in the Super Smash Bros. series was many people's introduction to Xenoblade, to the point that people who played Xenoblade Chronicles 2 as their first Xeno game were delighted to see him nonetheless.
      • Wulfric for being a sympathetic shy, super nice guy who only wants friends in spite of his monstrous appearance. He's also a really powerful Attack Blade that the plot hands to you.
      • Zenobia for being a powerful Blade who loves beating up enemies.
      • Boreas has a very fun and quirky character and is not only one of the best healers in the game, but can be maxed out as soon as you acquire him and is fairly easy to obtain by rare blade standards.
      • Perceval, for being a former assassin that now fights for the downtrodden and an excellent offensive tank.
      • Adenine for being a Badass Bookworm and having an ability that increases a fallen enemy's item drop rate.
      • Finch for being an agility-boosting Shield Hammer Blade, thus making her viable on Mòrag. She's also a super adorable anthropomorphic bird whose forgetful nature is actually a useful skill in battle, giving a chance for arts and specials to instantly recharge.
      • Praxis and Theory for being Heterosexual Life-Partners that share complementary designs and the stars of an extensive but rewarding chain of sidequests that showcases Character Development. The two of them are also capable Blades in their own right, with Praxis being a decent attacker with good offensive skills and Theory being one of the better non-DLC tanks in the game.
      • Fan la Norne/Haze, Lila, and Dughall's Dolmes were all Blades that were present in the base game but weren't made playable, much to the dismay of players. While Lila and Dughall's Dolmes didn't quite make the cut, Haze went on to star in a DLC 30+ hour prequel, along with other fan-favorites such as Lora, Jin, and Addam.
      • Speaking of DLC, the three new DLC Blades - Poppibuster, Crossette, and Corvin - all became favorites in their own ways. Poppibuster is a Light element Blade that can be transferred to any Driver without Overdrive Protocols and is widely considered to be the best Shield Hammer in the game; Crossette has a cute design and personality and is a favorite among speedrunners for her deceptively powerful combat capabilities; and Corvin is powerful offensive tank with a versatile set of skills and a unique weapon that grants a Smash art to anyone long before you're supposed to have one.
  • Epileptic Trees: Plenty of them, mostly spawned by the game's ending and The Reveal of its connections to the original Xenoblade:
    • In Morytha, the card picked up by Rex after defeating the Infernal Guldo is noted to resemble Galea, the human scientist seen with Klaus in the opening cutscene of the final chapter. Galea also just so happens to be Meyneth from the first game, AKA the soul of the Mechonis. Given that Klaus was split into the Architect and Zanza, the latter of which is Meyneth's enemy and the soul of the Bionis, some people have been speculating that the Infernal Guldo is the evil Literal Split Personality to Meyneth, much like how Zanza was the evil half of the Architect.
    • The identity of Ontos, the missing third Aegis core, was the subject of debate for a long time. The most common consensus was that Ontos went on to become Alvis/the Monado in the first game, which was supported by Malos wielding a Monado with similar arts to the original Monado, and Mythra having similar foresight powers that the Monado granted to its wielders. Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition ended up confirming this, giving Alvis' new model a red Aegis core.
    • The end of the first Xenoblade has Shulk wishing for a world with no gods, with Alvis telling him that it will be populated by many different species that would all walk "hand in hand". At the end of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, the Architect's final gift to the species of Alrest is to disperse the Cloud Sea and have the titans form a new continent. However, fans have speculated as to whether the Architect instead sent the people of Alrest to Shulk's new world without Gods, or if Alvis sent the people of Shulk's world to Alrest instead. Further complicating things is Gramps saying that they were crossing a "rift" when descending into Alrest's atmosphere from the space station above the World Tree, leading to people debating if he meant a dimensional rift, or a metaphorical one.
  • Even Better Sequel: While Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is a Contested Sequel, some aspects are agreed to be better than in the original game.
    • The combat system is considered even better than the first game's, similar to Kingdom Hearts II compared to Kingdom Hearts. While quite intricate with a high learning curve, assigning different Arts to Blades can be easier to understand than the Arts toolbar from the first game, and is more customizable to boot. Additionally, the Driver Combo and Blade Combo systems add more layers of depth that can result in some truly flashy, impressive and satisfying combat when mastered.
    • The exploration is at least as good as the original's. Alrest's Titans are all Scenery Porn in their own right, and densely packed with sights, treasure, and monsters.
    • All of the party members are equally useful in their roles into post-game, unlike the first game where Reyn and Sharla were much less tactical than other party members.
    • The facial animations in 2 are far better at emoting than the more realistic but also flat faces of the original. That is, until the original's remake for the Nintendo Switch came.
  • Evil Is Cool: Jin and Malos are cool. The former for his tragic backstory and really cool powers and the latter for being Mythra and Alvis' evil twin with a hammy yet no-nonsense personality and a freaking Monado.
  • Evil Is Sexy: All of the organization of Torna, which makes sense since they were designed by Tetsuya Nomura.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception:
    • Calling the game a "waifu-collecting" game, or judging the entire game solely on the fact that it's Best Known for the Fanservice is an easy way to start a multi-page flamewar.
    • While the inconsistent English voice direction does have its obvious lapses, using said moments to invalidate the entire dub and/or the voice actors' competence is also an easy way to rile fans up. Rex gets hit with this the worst. This is because despite these, the game has hours of dialogue, and the entire cast have fine moments of their own and sound more adjusted to their roles as the game goes on. The same even goes for Rex.
    • Labelling Poppi as a "sex robot", Tora as a Loveable Sex Maniac, or anything similar simply because of the questionable in-universe design choices is another easy flame war starter. Despite that, Tora never does anything with them. It's also shown in the same chapter they're introduced that Tora had genuine reasons for building Poppi in the first place, which are further explored in Chapter 4, along with why she even has such design choices.
  • Fandom Rivalry: With the other games in the Chronicles series.
  • Fan Nickname: Similar to the first game's "Seven", Blade Nia and Pneuma are called Catalyst and Coffee-with-Milk to hide their existence from new players, referencing their weapon and a conversation from early in chapter 8 respectively.
  • Fetish Retardant:
    • The gratuitous Jiggle Physics tend more toward the comical than sexy.
    • Pyra's regular outfit emphasizes her breasts, which jut out at an odd angle. The poncho she wears early on (and can be acquired later as an optional outfit) is considered by some to be a big improvement.
    • Dahlia (or Tsuki) is supposed to be another Ms. Fanservice, and while she has her fans, others find her Gag Boobs and animal traits more off-putting than sexy.
  • Friendly Fandoms: Fans the Xenoblade franchise took a liking to Astral Chain at first sight. An incredibly common reaction to Astral Chain's reveal trailer assuming it was the next Xenoblade game.
  • Game-Breaker: Has its own page.
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The Titans are named for the Seven Deadly Sins. In Japanese, they are simply the traditional Latin names of said sinsnote . The English localization also keeps the theme naming, but it's not as obvious because you'd have to have good knowledge of multiple languages to get it:
      • Argentum: Derived from the Latin word argent meaning silver, associated with greed.
      • Mor Ardain: Mor means "big" in Celtic, and "Ardain" is derived from ardan which is Gaelic for pride.
      • Gormott: Derived from the French word gourmand for gluttony.
      • Uraya: Derived from the Japanese word 羨ましい urayamashii, meaning "jealous" or "envious". For bonus points, Uraya is a giant whale, a species often associated with Leviathan, a demon who itself is tied to envy.
      • Torna: Derived from the Dutch word toorn for wrath.
      • Indol: Derived from the English word indolence for sloth.
      • Tantal: Derived from the English word tantalize for lust.
    • Then, we have several Titans that are named after the Seven Heavenly Virtues:
      • Leftheria: Rex's hometown is Liberalitas in the Japanese version, while "Leftheria" is derived from the Greek word λευτεριά lefteriá which in turn is a shortened version of the word ἐλευθερία eleuthería for liberty. The original Latin meaning of liberalitas is similar to charity, which is one of the Virtues.
      • Temperantia: This wasteland is named after the Latin word for temperance, another Heavenly Virtue.
      • Judicium: Yet another Latin virtue: justice.
      • Spirit Crucible Elpys is named after Elpis, the Greek personification of Hope, another Heavenly Virtue.
    • The names of Mòrag's Driver Arts with Brighid may look a bit odd to the casual player, being all some variant of "Azure II" and then another word. However, there are a handful of times where she actually calls out the names in cutscenes and more significantly during special moves, and she specifically says "Azure Striker: Form the Second/Third: [Art name]." This is actually derived from Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) manuals which categorize stances as "form the first/second/third/etc" and allow the combatant to string several fighting techniques together in a continuous flowing movement.
    • In the "Growing Up" Heart-to-Heart, Tora announces the name of Poppi's planned 3rd form: "Quantum Technochampion π", explaining the name came to him when he was deciding whether to enter a swimming pool with his right or left foot. One principle of quantum physics is "superposition", which states that a quantum system can be in several states at once, even if those states are seemingly contradictory. Such as, entering a pool with both your right foot and your left foot.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Viewing the Maelstrom cutscenes via the Events Theater and then immediately skipping them results in Rex apparently falling into an unseen abyss.
    • A few precise jumps allow you to go over a particular spot of Temperantia's Ancient Wall. From there, you can explore the massive inaccessible portion of the titan, and even swim under or around the map. Swimming too far drops your character through the Cloud Sea before respawning them in front of the Ancient Wall.
    • Killing the boss of the Ancient Ship without ever drawing your weapon (only possible in New Game Plus thanks to spike damage) brings up the normally unseeable name of the next area: Dreamworld Elysium.
    • Electra's "Mastery of Thunder" nodes stay lit upon transitioning to a New Game+, which means Electra can complete her Affinity Quest without viewing the prerequisite scenes across Alrest needed on the first playthrough.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • The Phantasms fought at the end of chapter 7 are the most frustrating boss in the main story. While they attack slowly and don't have much health, the battle can take forever since each Phantasm will summon two new Phantasms whenever it is close to death. There is nothing you can do to prevent the new Phantasms from being summoned, as the Phantasms summoning them will evade all attacks until the summoning is finished. The idea is to kill them all at once in quick succession, but this is complicated due to the dungeon's gimmick preventing you from being able to use any blade attacks past level 1, which consequently means that blade combos can't be executed and chain attacks are less potent.
    • Thanatobeast Andraz, the boss of Zenobia's personal sidequest, is no pushover for a Level 65 boss, with health in the millions and a few attacks that hit like a truck. What pushes it into this category as opposed to That One Boss is that the most dangerous things about fighting it have nothing to do with the Thanatobeast itself, and more so to do with the surrounding area. The boss is fought in an area of Temperantia surrounded by a poisonous pool that drains the health of any party member who stands in it, and if that's not enough the area also is infested with Goddamned Bats like Jadas Upas, which can inflict "Shackle Blade" status, that have a tendency to join the fight if it goes on to long. The best strategy to fighting the Thanatobeast is to trigger the fight, then immediately flee and run towards the back of the cave it just burst out of and hope that it follows the party back in and then praying your AI party members stay in the cave.
    • The Final Boss: Artiface Aion. The boss wouldn't be difficult except for the mid-fight interruption that dispels your Blade combo and the boss's Instant Kill that can only be dodged via Blade combo.
    • Artifice Ophion isn't too hard for a Bonus Boss once you get used to it and are proficient with the Blade Combo system. However, what pushes it into this territory is its arena, which has a walk-off ledge that your character can easily fall off with any sort of movement aside from Driver Arts. Combine this with the fact that most Driver Arts will drive your characters forwards non-stop (albeit thankfully not off the ledge on their own), and the Artificial Stupidity of your teammates walking off the ledge for no good reason, and you have a battle where you'll die more times to gravity than to the boss' attacks.
    • Two other bosses made even more frustrating via Artificial Stupidity are already brutal Bonus Bosses: Gladiator Orion, and Elma in Elma: Redux. They have attacks that create a damaging fire terrain effect around them (alongside other nasty effects) and while any sensible human being would know to avoid the fire until it dissipates, your AI teammates will think of nothing but to Attack! Attack! Attack! and end up dying, wasting your time and/or your Party Gauge and maybe even losing the entire battle for you.
  • Growing the Beard: Chapter 7 is generally considered to be where the game's narrative truly hits its stride, as just about all the major plot-relevant mechanics have finally been introduced, the writing becomes more thoughtful and philosophical, and the story starts dropping Wham Episodes left and right.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Blade Nia's Fortitude skill. Quoth the first line of it "The power to endure hardships." She had her share before the game and even after it since she doesn't really get what she wants in the end. Especially given how it levels up — by entering battle alongside Pyra or Mythra. She is improving her Fortitude skill by facing the truth of her situation.
    • Jin killing Fan la Norne/Haze. It's a tragedy when it happens. It's even worse after playing Torna ~ The Golden Country where Haze says she'd hate to be the Blade of someone like Amalthus.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Finch's habit of garbling up peoples' names becomes a bit funnier when IGN made an infamous review of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, naming Dunban "Duncan" and Reyn "Rain".
    • Boreas has already been compared to Kirby due to their very similar personalities. Even funnier however, is that come Kirby Star Allies, a new coincidence came in the form of the game's final boss, Void Termina, whose first form's head resembles Boreas'.
  • I Am Not Shazam: Pneuma does not actually go by that name in-game — fanon merely gave her that name (derived from the original name of Mythra's core crystal) to better differentiate her character from her two other forms. Likewise, the character is not a third separate personality, like a newcomer might suppose — she's actually a combination of Mythra and Pyra's personalities. Nevertheless Super Smash Bros. Ultimate uses the name for her Spirit, which is as close to making it canon as possible.
  • It Was His Sled: Zeke and Pandoria joining up, since trailers and promotional material made it obvious. It DID have the side effect of obfuscating the fact that Mòrag joins first though.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Malos is a monstrous Blade who does some horrible things throughout the game, but he puts up some formidable fights, is the source of many iconic story moments and boasts a fantastic voice performance by David Menkin in the English dub. It makes for a very memorable villain who is simultaneously cool and utterly despicable.
    • Bana is an incredibly corrupt Nopon who sells weapons to terrorists and attempts assassinations and wars just for the money, even to the point of being one of Torna's main enablers without being directly involved. But being a Nopon, he is also Laughably Evil thanks to his ridiculous Large Ham performance and his equally ridiculous Humongous Mecha Robot Maid Rosa.
  • Just Here for Godzilla:
  • Like You Would Really Do It: Chapter 7's climax involves Pyra in an apparent vegetative state, her memories stolen by Malos. Absolutely no one playing expected it to stick.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The enigmatic Jin is a Flesh Eater Blade who used to be revered as a hero known as the "Paragon of Torna". Jin succumbed to despair and misanthropy after his kingdom's people were slaughtered and he lost his Driver Lora, and proceeded to found the Organization of Torna with a cabal of fellow misanthropes. A taciturn No-Nonsense Nemesis, Jin curbstomps the heroes almost every time they meet and lectures protagonist Rex on his own personal failings. Jin's most impressive gambit comes when he nearly orchestrates a war between two separate nations as a diversion to his attempt to kill the Architect himself and destroy the world. Not without an immense level of honor, Jin is ultimately so impressed with Rex's personal growth that he gives his life to save Rex and defeat Amalthus in the endgame, recanting his misanthropic ideals and coming to peace with himself. Tragic but utterly driven, the heroes themselves pledge to remember Jin as a "splendid soul" in spite of his atrocious actions.
  • Memetic Badass:
  • Memetic Loser: Many players use the Mayne Driver in Torigoth as a punching bag due to being one of the only unique enemies to respawn in the middle of a town. Despite having a Blade, his low level means that it won't be long before the party is one-shotting him every time they pass by.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "THINK YOU CAN TAKE ME?" "DON'T FORGET ME!" "YER DONE!"note 
      • Has become an Ascended Meme as of the introduction of Challenge Mode, at least in the English version. The description of one of the challenge battles is this: "Imperials mostly small fry, get forgotten easily. But these ones not done! Friends think friends can take them?"
      • "Think you can take me?" found its way into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate when Pyra and Mythra were added, via Mythra's down taunt. She will also sometimes say "You're done!" when swapping in from Pyra.
    • Blushy-crushy.note 
    • *angry Welsh Catgirl noises*note 
    • The shot of Pyra drinking tea in Chapter 4 has also been pretty exploitable.
    • This picture of Mòrag is often used alongside the phrases "This is the culmination of years of training!" and "There's a reason why I'm Special Inquisitor."
    • "I am Roc! Always have been, always will be!"note 
    • "I often wonder whether we are growing as a people... or in fact, regressing."note 
    • "These 'I got KOS-MOS!' posts keep getting smarter/subtler..."note 
    • "I'll bash you up proper next time, I swear!"note 
    • "Wrong! But also right! Truth is complicated!"note 
    • "I love you, and all you guys!"note 
    • "Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Everbero! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue! Rogue!"note 
    • Malos the Tank Enginenote 
    • "In Indol, there are a great many paintings that depict all manner of hells... but I think... real hell... might be closer to something like this." Explanation 
    • Simpleton. Explanation 
    • "Indeed!" Explanation 
    • "Flora heals an aching soul!" Explanation 
  • Mis-blamed: The English voice acting got a lot of flak for some of the Narm-filled performances until Skye Bennett revealed while streaming the game that sometimes, the voice actors received entire scripts without the voice direction or context necessary to make situation-appropriate performances, meaning many of the more questionable line deliveries were the result of the voice actors' guesswork. Additionally, she mentioned that said dialogue was mostly done in one take, which implies that the voice actors probably didn't get to re-do any off sounding lines even if they wanted to.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Bana crosses it when he attempts to assassinate the leaders of Uraya and Mor Ardain all to start a war so he can rake in more profits.
    • Freudian Excuse or no, Amalthus crossed it when he had an entire Titan destroyed (or rather, the remnants of its populace as shown in The Golden Country) to cover up his failed attempt to steal Mythra.
    • If you didn't hate Malos' guts before Chapter 7, then subjecting Pyra to the Aegis equivalent of a lobotomy by stealing and erasing her memories just to restore his own power and gloating about it to the heroes certainly will.
    • The villain of Perun's sidequest, Doctor Castrofari, crosses it with his willingness to kidnap children from all over Alrest in order to turn them into Artificial Blades For Science!.
  • Moe:
    • Poppi is a cute, lovable Robot Girl whose loyal, childish personality and inexplicably American-accented Nopon speech make her a very endearing character. As she evolves into her QT and then her Q Tpi form, her appearance becomes less "cutesy" and more "sexy" but she keeps the same base personality and stays firmly within this trope. Her "sister" Lila also firmly falls into this trope after being rescued from her brainwashing, caring deeply about Poppi and being excited to see her succeed and get upgraded.
    • Pyra is a sweet, kindhearted and adorable girl and one of the most lovable and sympathetic characters in the game. While Mythra is a bit more prickly, she isn't without her moments of this either (moe and tsundere traits go hand in hand, after all).
  • More Popular Replacement: Tora is the game's resident Nopon party member. Unlike Tatsu, who embraced every negative stereotype of a Nopon and played it straight, being an unplayable character, and generally being a pain in the ass, Tora, like Riki before them both, is a proper party member. The fanbase for both Tora and Riki are split evenly, as Tora is a serious case of Magikarp Power, eventually getting one of the most powerful blades in the game, while Riki's usefulness throughout his game remains linear, as well as whether or not Tora's increased involvement in the story compared to Riki is a good or bad thing.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
    • The unique theme that plays when drawing most of the Rare Blades.
    • Any prompt from your Driver teammates whenever they carrying out the Break-Topple-Launch-Smash combo. Tora's "Tumbly-Tumbly!" comes to mind.
    • The "Down!" voice clip that plays when a Chain Attack finishes an enemy and enters Overkill mode, especially if it's against a tough unique monster or a superboss.
    • The short tune that plays when you defeat a Unique Monster.
    • The metallic ding sound that plays when enemies attack you during a state where you're invincible (during the third Special of a Blade Combo, a level 4 Special, or a Chain Attack), since it means the enemy's attack just got negated. Especially satisfying if it was one of the enemy's more annoying or powerful attacks.
    • "Make your dreams a reality!" Usually because it signifies that Rex can now go ham on whatever monster you're facing.
  • Narm:
    • Rex's "Chaaaaaaaaarge" and "Taaaaake THIIIIIIS!!" sound more like Dull Surprise or the VA not even trying. Even worse, at the climax of chapter 7, he hits exactly the wrong tone in a yell at the end of the scene, ruining the very emotionally-charged moment.
    • "Aaaaiyah!" A long-winded and amazingly stiff battle cry emitted by Rex, sounding nowhere near as tough or angry as it should. Even worse is because of the Japanese version of the game having done the same, it's done not one, but thrice in the same cutscene, the first two not even one minute apart.
    • Some of the cutscenes in the English version, and to a lesser extent the Japanese version are a Hong Kong Dub. While this may result in a more natural performance, there are many instances where a dramatic line is delivered before the character's body actually reacts, which just looks plain silly especially when said line is Punctuated! For! Emphasis!, such as Zeke's Establishing Character Moment. The cutscenes were apparently animated before the voice acting was recorded in either language,note  which is the norm in anime but doesn't translate well to a 3D video game.
    • While most of the game's English voice acting is at least passable, Patroka's line delivery is often rather bizarre. The same voice actress plays the Rare Blade Agate, who doesn't suffer this issue, so it may very well be intentional.
    • The completion of sidequests ends with a victory jingle. This skews dramatic quest conclusions, such as Vess' quest, which ends with her Driver dying and her returning to her core crystal.
    • There's also mercenary missions often completing after dramatic cutscenes, guaranteed to create a Mood Whiplash.
    • The cutscene that plays after defeating solo Malos in Chapter 7 ends with Nia hurtling him off a cliff by forcing his somatic cells to replicate at a disturbingly fast rate. Seems like a pretty cool, if a bit terrifying scene and all, until you actually start thinking about the logic of it and realize that Nia essentially gave Malos cancer.
    • It is entirely possible to One-Hit Kill the final boss of Chapter 9, Amalthus, by using a blade combo that ends with a Level 3 special that inflicts Blowdown to make them fall back into the hole that they crawled out of. This is actually a valid strategy for speedruns as this boss falls under That One Boss.
    • Near the end of Chapter 10 you can access a Heart-To-Heart with KOS-MOS where Tora, Drommarch and her driver are looking down over Alrest from the orbital space station, talking about how beautiful the view is. What turns the scene unintentionally hilarious is that this is all happening while Malos is using the artifices to rain down death and destruction on Alrest. Something that the characters are just casually watching. To make it worse, if you already had KOS-MOS before reaching this point in the story, then you access this Heart-to-Heart mere seconds after the characters were saying they had to hurry to stop Malos.
    • The Jiggle Physics in the game can be so extreme it's hilarious. Certain female characters with an ample bust will bounce a lot at the slightest movement (particularly Perun and Vale), including just appearing onscreen in cutscenes even. The latter is usually due to a quirk of the physics engine, where if the camera's view of a character's model changes positions between cutscenes the game will interpret it as the body moving, and thus cause jiggling seemingly out of nowhere as if their chest is alive. This seems to be addressed in the Torna the Golden Country DLC where Jiggle Physics are practically nonexistent.
    • Version 1.5.2, marks the return of the player deciding to enforce this with the characters' outfits in serious moments with the addition of swimsuits.note  For instance, any cutscene in Tantal with the characters talking about the climate of the area (Notably Nia clinging to Pyra) turns into straight up Hypocritical Humor. This also includes the party's defeat and the capture of Pyra.
    • The Ringblades have four moveset clones based on it's animations: Mikhail's fans, Obrona's twinblades, Fiora's knives and Elma's katanas, in which they all have some attacks that has the user tosses them out like boomerangs. While this does visually work for the ringblades and fans, it looks rather silly when it's done with the twinblades, katanas, and knives.
    • Niall's Heroic Sacrifice comes off as ridiculous to some, despite the tearjerking moments that follow afterwards. Players have criticized Niall for recklessly charging straight at Bana, who was just about to self-destruct the nearby Rosa, instead of staying in the barrier he told Aegaeon to conjure up to protect the others.
  • Narm Charm:
    • While some considered the Ardainian Soldier's lines of "Think you can take me?!" and "Don't forget me!" annoying, others came to love them to the point of them being mourned when they were patched out.
    • Malos's voice acting is among one of the most beloved performances in the English dub due to just how absurdly exaggerated it gets. Even if he is Chewing the Scenery at every moment, it's a sincerely well done performance.
    • The whole game feels like the plot to a shonen anime, and comes with all the over-the-top Narm Charm associated with those types of works.
  • Never Live It Down: Most detractors of the game's use of modern anime and Fanservice tropes will almost always bring up the bedroom scene between Rex and Mythra as one of the most dubious moments of the game's storytelling and overall quality.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Shulk, outside of his DLC appearances. He's not even seen, yet his one line in the finale is the biggest plot twist of the entire game.
  • One True Threesome: Naturally with Rex/Pyra/Mythra as it's the closest thing the game has to an Official Couple, but many fans ascend this to a OT4 by adding Nia to the mix, since she gets many Ship Tease moments with all three of them including confessing her feelings to Rex during Chapter 7 after revealing her true self. The New Game+ title screen even has Nia tackling Rex out of the way to hold hands with Pyra and Mythra.
  • Paranoia Fuel: While she isn't omniscient, Azami can always see her target, regardless of location.
  • Player Punch:
    • Word of God says the intended way to play the game is to start from Chapter 1-7, then play Torna: The Golden Country, then finish the game. Anyone who plays the game like this is in for a really nasty surprise in Chapter 8 when Jin reveals what happened while the credits were rolling for the DLC.
    • Chapter 6. Pyra is captured and set to be executed. You spend a significant chunk of the chapter without her or Mythra. Then, at the end of the chapter, she turns herself in and is captured again, which is played for all the drama that it's worth.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Pre-release, Vess was mocked due to her strangely proportioned face and her irritating Japanese voice. Once the game came out however many players warmed up to her thanks to her heart wrenching recruitment sidequest, not having to be summoned through the blade core RNG system, decent English voice, and generally being a useful healer with good field skills.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • As opposed to previous Xenoblade entries allowing you to move while attacking (since some Arts require specific positioning in relation to the enemy), this game's auto-attack requires you to stand still. Plus your movement speed in battle is significantly slower than normal note 
    • The game's tutorials leave a lot to be desired, from being overly vague on some topics to actively promoting bad habits and suboptimal playstyles for the game's combat, so much so that it's often considered a major reason for the game giving a bad first impression to a lot of players. Additionally, unlike the first installment, the game gives no option to read them again. The game attempts to mitigates this by letting you buy hints through Informants, but even those leave a lot unexplained.
    • The gacha mechanic is... not good. The random appearance of Rare Blades is supposed to make every playthrough unique and exciting, and encourage you to plan strategy around your build. Instead it encourages the worst kind of mindless grinding and a "Catch and Release" style of play that goes completely against the stated themes of the story. It's even worse due to the fact that generic blades in sub-slots a lot of the time are better than using all rares, meaning players have to go through tons of Com Mons to get what they want.
    • The map has a hard time showing exactly what vertical level of the area the player is on. The follow ball from X could have been helpful, or the multilayered map from 1.
    • Rex's first common Blade will become all but useless as you progress, so it's very irritating that the game never allows you to release it. This is to ensure Rex can't end up with no blade during a certain part of the story, despite the fact that most players would have a dozen couple much better blades by this point. It's very annoying having an almost worthless blade constantly taking up a slot.
    • A driver's default blade can not be disengaged for most of the game. This can seriously hinder your attempts to customize the driver's playstyle, since you can only choose two of their blades. New Game + averts this but requires you play through the game in the default way first.
    • Field skills require constant party shuffling, which gets really irritating when there are several challenges in a row that require different skills. Same for collecting collectables and salvaging. This only becomes more annoying with higher level skill checks that require multiple blades with the right skill. This is mitigated once you get a lot of Field Skills on your team Blades leveled up (wherein you will often find you don't need to shuffle out party Blades at all), but this takes a lot of time and many players don't realize the benefits until they start struggling with field skill checks late in the game.
    • Unlocking a Blade's Affinity Node requires you to actually visit their Affinity Chart to receive the bonus/allow progress on the next node. Forget to do that and you get nothing.
    • When party members come and go at the beginning of a battle, it's impossible to tweak which Blades each Driver is paired up with at the moment, and it's also impossible to convert bonus Exp, skill points, and weapon points before being thrown into the fray. This often makes the first go at bosses far more difficult than it should be if your loadouts are underprepared for the fight.
    • While the Blade Combo system is pretty fun, it's implementation leaves a lot to be desired- not so much with how the game integrates it into combat, mind, but rather how it's presented to the player. For whatever reason, there is absolutely no way to look at the flowcharts for Blade Combo's in-game aside from activating combat and firing off a Blade Special. This makes building a team very tedious, since you either have to go out and get into random battles to look at the flowcharts, go online and look at the ones on the wiki, or just have them memorized. This is downright necessary for a lot of the superbosses as well, which often require a lot of strategy, certain sealing effects and certain teamcomps to beat.
    • Aux Cores are a huge pain in the ass. In order to even use them, you have to refine them. In order to refine one, you have to go to a vendor and spend some resources to refine it. Don't have the resources? Better go find them. On top of that, there's no option to "bulk-refine" Aux Cores, so you have to do every. Single. One. Individually.
    • The only way to acquire upgrades for Poppi is by playing Tiger! Tiger!, a retro themed arcade game. While it can be fun, you will have to put a huge amount of playtime into it to fully upgrade Poppi, which can make it become extremely repetitive. Fortunately, an update added the option to play on an easier mode with no penalty, and New Game+ gives you the option to simply buy Poppi's upgrades instead.
    • Changing a blade's assigned driver requires you to use an overdrive protocol. Only three of these can be found in the overworld, with the only ways to obtain more are to either max out a driver's affinity chart or release a 4-crown common blade with max affinity(and only the latter method is repeatable). This ends up making the overdrive protocol veer toward being Too Awesome to Use, and discourages players from experimenting with different driver/blade combinations.
  • Scrappy Weapon:
    • The only rare Twin Rings Blade in the game is Dromarch (not counting derivative weapons with similar arts such as Fiora's knives, Obrona's twin swords, and Mikhail's fans), and the only Driver with a Driver Combo Art with them is Nia. Thus Nia is the only Driver who really benefits from investing in the category, while other Drivers prefer Bitballs (which have similar but better Arts, and Rare Blades).
    • Shield Hammers are a mild example. There are two categories of Tank Blades: face-tanking Shield Hammers and dodge-tanking Chroma Katanas. The party's single (standard) Tank Blade specialist is an Agility tank while Tora usually fills out the shield tank role... And cannot use standard blades. Other Drivers can use them in mixed builds, but benefit more from specialization. Most rare Shield Hammers at least have decent special abilities that make them somewhat worthwhile, but most of them aren't the greatest tanks either.
  • Self-Fanservice:
    • Some art of Nia tends to amp up her chest area or her curves a little. While these tend to be minor, they're enough to be noticeable in these cases.
    • An inverted example, but some fan art of Pyra and Mythra also tend to reduce their breast size so the angles their breasts stick out don't look as odd as they do in some shots in-game.
    • Drawing Mythra with a Tomboyish Ponytail is surprisingly common thanks to Rex commenting on how he prefers that hairstyle on her as Pneuma along with this trope.
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer:
    • The Tiger Tiger 8-bit game in Tora's House is surprisingly addicting, and is the only source of the items needed to upgrade Poppi. Slips into a Scrappy Mechanic when you realize the Master Mods and Light elemental core have single-digit drop chances. Luckily NG+ lets you buy the items outright.
    • Salvaging can also be pretty addicting and very profitable.
    • Sidequests are everywhere. Spotting a new quest marker on the map is an invitation to stop doing the main story for a while.
    • Gathering all rare Blades in the game is a common goal for completionists. Gathering tons of Rare Blades early in the game is a very distracting goal.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Meeting and talking to the Archiect better known to fans as Klaus from the first game and the subsequent re-contextualizing of the entire game is probably the most significant and most talked about scene in the game.
    • ...except for The Reveal that Nia is a Flesh Eater Blade, which is probably the game's emotional scene and its narrative high point.
  • Signature Song:
    • Counterattack is the most popular cutscene theme, which usually plays during moments where Rex and the party have the advantage, such as when Mythra or Pneuma awaken. It also has a remix in Smash Ultimate.
    • Drifting Soul which plays during the aforementioned reveal that Nia is a Flesh Eater, as well as Vandham's death and a cutscene before the final boss. It also appeared in Pyra and Mythra's reveal trailer for Smash.
    • Mor Ardain - Roaming the Wastes is the most popular overworld song by a large degree, being used often in Youtube Videos. It also is in Smash.
    • You Will Recall Our Names is the most popular battle theme, used for some bosses and Unique Monsters. Similarly to the rest of them, it is in Smash Ultimate.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: The plot moves at a slow pace until about Chapter 3 or 5, depending on who you ask. Some may even argue that it takes until Chapter 7 to really hit its stride, as that is when the game finally finishes introducing all its major mechanics.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • In Chapter 2, Rex devises a plan to depower Mòrag by exploiting Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors and sending a tank full of water clattering to the ground. When the top falls off, it looks a lot like a bowl filled with jelly instead.
    • When falling below a death barrier with ground underneath (such as Uraya's tail), your character's model will still be in their falling animation, but awkwardly floating above the ground, letting you move them around a bit for a few seconds before respawning.
    • Female characters' breasts briefly jiggle for no apparent reason when the camera cuts to a new angle during cutscenes. The game engine likely counts this repositioning as movement and plays the appropriate animation. note 
    • Portable mode's low resolution, combined with the game's heavy anti-aliasing, makes everything more blurry than intended. Bizarrely this doesn't apply to menus or the HUD.
    • During in-engine cutscenes there is an invisible field around the party that prevents background characters that perform their walk cycle from photobombing the scene. As a result, background characters will sometimes visibly fade out of existence as they approach the party, only to reappear a few meters away. This becomes especially noticeable when it happens to large monsters.
    • The early cutscenes in Torigoth can run at abysmal frame rates even in docked mode and after plenty of patches to improve it, mostly due to the demanding lighting.
    • In the Cliffs of Morytha, the area is designed to appear as a giant series of cliffs positioned above a gigantic, black pit below the area. However, by walking to the southern section of Morytha Falls (where Machine-Gun Julio's tombstone is) and looking towards the north, it is very easy to see the world's model, instead of reaching down to emulate a cliff, simply cuts off flatly, in a manner very similar to floating Super Mario 64 levels such as Whomp's Fortress.
    • Characters all have various idle animations to help them express personality or feelings. Unfortunately, only their bodies animate while their faces remain neutral resulting in motions where the face clearly should animate to match the motion but doesn't.
    • The Torna Blades in NG+ sport "unique" weapons that are actually palette swaps of pre-existing weapon classes. For the most part they work well (even with Akhos giving his Driver an axe instead of a bow).... except for Sever and his weapon. Despite the sword-like appearance of Sever's Tonfa, it is modeled after the Knuckle Claw weapon class. As a result, his Driver will instead be attacking with the sword's hilt and their free hand rather than with the actual blade. Sever himself will still use the blade in some of his specials, however.
    • Certain game assets may be loaded in before their textures are finalized(particularly after fast-traveling or salvaging), making them appear very smooth and simple for several seconds.
  • Spiritual Successor: In typical Tetsuya Takahashi fashion, many of the characters and plot aspects of this game can be seen as direct successors to those from Xenogears and Xenosaga. The alternate costume colors make the acknowledgments to their inspirations explicit.
    • Character-wise, Zeke is an exiled eyepatch-wearing prince with Hot-Blooded tendencies like Bart Fatima,
    • Poppi is a little girl with childlike speech patterns made of advanced robotic technology, who can transform into a more mature and more powerful form, like Emeralda. Outside of the thematic similarities with Emeralda, Poppi QTπ is a very obvious reference to KOS-MOS and T-ELOS.
  • Squick:
    • Depending on how you look at it, the romance between Rex and Pyra. Setting aside the fact that one of these characters is technically hundreds of years old, Pyra has the appearance, mentality, and voice of an adult woman, while Rex looks like a younger teen. Possibly made worse when you realize it's the other way around, and that Pyra has only experienced several weeks of life, outside of the Elysium dream realm, at most by the time she starts falling for Rex. It's not much better for Mythra, who's only been alive for perhaps less than two years outside of sleep and some time in the Elysium dream realm.
    • Tora's maid fetish, given Poppi's pre-pubescent intial appearance, has some rather... unfortunate implications. Mitigated by the fact that he never does anything to or with her, as well as Poppi's other two forms, the fact that she is a robot, and that Pyra and Bridgid punish him for it later.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: The first part of the background music for the Old Factory/Cliffs of Morytha sounds very similar to the beginning of the theme song for Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
  • Superlative Dubbing:
    • While the English Dub of the game is generally considered a mixed bag overall, there are several standout performances. Of note is David Menkin's performance as Malos, which has been near-universally praised by everyone who has played the game with the English dub. Skye Bennett is also well-liked as Pyra and Mythra and Pneuma, giving the character(s) just the right amount of charm and likability and pulling off a flawless standard American accent (to the point that some people believed that the dub was an International Coproduction rather than exclusively UK-based). Other acclaimed performances include Kirsty Mitchell (Mòrag), Daniel Barker (Zeke) and Stephen Critchlow (Bana). Adam Howden and Carina Reeves, who were praised as Shulk and Fiora in the first game, also return to voice their characters as Blades.
    • Around Chapter 6 (where the plot becomes more serious and dramatic), the English dub improves considerably, with stronger performances from the main cast (most notably Rex) and far fewer infamous narm moments. This quality was then carried over and improved upon in Torna: The Golden Country, which had a dub that was more widely praised all around.
  • That One Attack:
    • Arts that summon reinforcements or inflict Blowdown are an obvious example. The former can make a simple fight far longer and more brutal, while the latter can easily interrupt one's attacks and stun the player momentarily. It's for this reason that the Dark and Wind Blade Combos are the most sought after in the game.
    • Bonus points to Blowdown in areas where you're in danger of falling. What is normally just a nuisance becomes a potential One-Hit Kill.
    • Shackle Driver prevents ANY action that requires your Driver to do while it is active. You can still block attacks, activate Blade Arts, and benefit from max Affinity... but that's pretty much it. And considering you cannot attack the enemy in any way, it's not like those will be useful, except for blocking.
    • Later in the game there are bosses that will attempt a One-Hit KO on your entire party. It's advisable to attempt to finish it off with an extended chain attack or use the animation in a Level 4 Blade Art to negate the damage before this can occur. Such examples are Artifice Aion's Prometheus, Artifice Ophion's Falak Buster, and Tyrannotitan Kurodil's Ultra Annihilation Flare.
    • Stunned Swallow. And for that matter, any enemy Art that induces some kind of counter or spike damage effect when they're attacked. This is partially because you'll have little warning as to when an enemy uses it, if any, but also because even if you do anticipate them, your AI-controlled party members will fall for them every time they're used. Similar, although much rarer, are enemy Arts that temporarily create environmental hazards, since, like counters, the AI isn't very good at avoiding them.
    • Farting attacks, used by various monsters. Not only are they unnecessarily vulgar and squicky, but they also inflict Stench, which causes Blades to want to keep their distance from Drivers and prevents them from building up Affinity. But that's not why they're so dreaded - they always, invariably, hit the whole party for huge damage and blowdown, often resulting in a Total Party Kill. As if that weren't enough, Immovable Heir Carlos's fart attack inflicts Doom on everyone it hits. Have fun!
    • Attacks that summon minions to lock up the Party Gauge such as Minirosas, Ghost Elmas and Ardainian Musses, which are usually only seen in Challenge Mode. Sure, you can't use Chain Attacks, but worst is that you can't revive any teammates or be revived yourself if you die, so if you're done, you're done. And if you manage to defeat said minions, your Party Gauge will still be empty even after becoming usable again, undoing any progress you made building it up and keeping you at risk of losing badly if you die.
    • Any attacks that inflict Doom, which is a delayed One-Hit KO against any Driver. Aside from Blade Arts that remove debuffs (which aren't that reliable), there are only a few specific ways it can be avoided: Lv. IV Blade Specials (which require charging and preparation), third-stage Blade Combos (which also require charging and preparation), and Chain Attacks or Pneuma (which again require charging and preparation), and equipping your Drivers with Fighter's Circlets or Seven-League Circlets (which are very rare and can only be obtained from Challenge Mode, and use up an accessory slot and limit your options). Your Drivers therefore won't always be ready to cope with Doom and can't even use Blade Combos to seal it like other status ailments. And the best part? On Bringer of Chaos difficulty, superbosses that cause Doom also have lots of attacks that drain the Party Gauge (thus making it harder to attain a Chain Attack or Pneuma), and in Challenge Mode they will undergo Elemental Awakening if you use a Blade Combo on them (thus discouraging the use of Blade Combos).
  • That One Boss:
    • Chapter 3's penultimate boss fight against Akhos and Malos. Akhos's Blade, Obrona will constantly inflict the Shackle Blade debuff, which prevents the player from using Blade Specials while also reducing Affinity. Both of them are also Drivers, which means they can interrupt the player's combos using their max Affinity barriers. Coupled with how hard both of them hit, and you got a tough boss fight ahead of you. To make matters worse, Vandham is Killed Off for Real midway through the boss fight, which may be a problem if you've been relying on him for some time. Thankfully, you also get Mythra at the same time during fight.
    • Chapter 4's penultimate boss fight against Patroka and Mikhail also deserves a mention. Patroka's attacks hit very hard, while Mikhail acts as a tank who can interrupt the player's attacks and forcibly draw all aggro to him. And just like Akhos and Malos, they're both Drivers and can gain max Affinity barriers to shrug off player attacks. And while Mórag does join the party midway through the fight, they'll only have one Blade available to help. Although thankfully should you lose with Mórag in your party, you can go and awaken more Blades on them.
    • Chapter 10's phantom party members easily fall into this. For starters, Rex is on his own, and without Pyra/Mythra or even Nia to help. He must fight all of his other party members in sequence, and they're usually a higher level than he is (and these bosses are indeed the same level as your party members when you last left them). Without many ways of healing himself, it takes a certain strategy to get through each phase of this nightmare. The worst by far would be phantom Mòrag, who attacks fast, and without mercy. It's highly advisable to make use of a Shield Hammer Blade just to survive, or to cheese the fights by taking your party to an inn and leveling up Rex and only Rex.
    • All of Jin's boss fights. If he isn't completely avoiding all damage and hitting the entire party with Blowdown with Empty Moment or forcing Launch with Stunned Swallow, he's running through the entire Driver Combo at once to deal ridiculously high burst damage with Heavenly Disrupt, cancelling any affinity bonuses with Skyward Slash, sealing off healing with Zero Zone, and dealing high damage to the entire party with Bladeless Blade. On top of that, his high natural evasion rate means even hitting him is difficult. The only thing really holding him down is that he's a Glass Cannon supreme; the fight where this isn't the case (the fight with him and Malos atop the Cliffs of Morytha) is generally considered one of the most difficult bosses in the game not only because Malos is quite difficult on his own right when you fought him alone before but also for the first phase of the fight it's the only Jin fight where you don't have Pyra/Mythra.
    • The fight against Malos is similarly hard. Just like the Jin and Malos fight, Rex doesn't have Pyra/Mythra, so if you use him, your damage output is severely dampened. And all of his moves are frustrating to deal with. Striker Edge can deal heavy damage and inflicts knockback, so if your tank gets hit while they're on the edge of the crater, they're bound to fall. Monado Cyclone inflicts Blowdown on the entire party and Malos can use it far more often than his other arts. Jail prevents you from using your specials which is incredibly obnoxious if you were in the middle of a blade combo. Armor reduces the damage Malos takes and also reduces the time you have to do your Blade Combos. Monado Eater deals heavy damage AND lowers your Blades' affinity. And finally, Monado Buster deals heavy damage and inflicts Blowdown on his target, although he typically only gets to use this once during the fight. All in all, this equals to a boss that can continually hamper your damage output and is difficult even a few levels above his.
      • Mercifully, on a New Game+, Pyra, Mythra and Pneuma are unconditionally available throughout the whole game and can be used against those two for a much fairer fight.
    • If the player doesn't set up orbs quickly enough to finish him off with a chain attack, Amalthus can be quite tricky. Guilty Road deals high damage to one character and inflicts blowdown, which can potentially launch your character straight into the bottomless pit in the middle of the arena. Domination shackles your Blades, God Rage makes him temporarily invincible and launches the entire party, Sacred Arrow can KO your entire party if your are too close too him, and Resurrection will restore a good portion of his health. In addition, his auto attack is one of the most powerful in the game, meaning that if your tank ever loses the aggro he can run through the other characters in seconds.
  • That One Level:
    • Uraya's stomach can be a labyrinth for players unfamiliar with the place. To get to Fonsa Myma, the gang must dislodge a dam in order to open up a floodgate (which happens to be heavily guarded by a few enemies that can deal Blowdown and Knockback, which has the potential to ruin a lot of progress), plus there are a ton of hostile, aggressive enemies on the road. Word of advice: Ignore the giant staircase seemingly leading up to the city; there's no way to access it without getting to Fonsa Myma proper first.
    • Going through the old industrial district in Mor Ardain is a chore. It's another labyrinth full of windy turns, locked doors, and misleading passages, along with high level enemies watching the outdoor path.
    • The second half of the Old Factory in Mor Ardain can be very difficult if you've neglected to equip Rex or Nia with any Tank blades. Even if you have however, it remains difficult to traverse because the game takes Tora—who is the party’s dedicated Tank by default—from you, leaving you to go through the rest of the dungeon and the first phase of the boss with only two party members.
    • The journey through Tantal can be quite the journey in all the wrong ways. Like Uraya, it's a cryptic maze with misleading passages, often going through Guide Dang It! levels of design. The gang must hop from island to island on the way down the lower levels, often needing to make improvised bridges to get across. This place is also full of obstacles that require a lot of ice mastery to overcome.
    • Chapter 7 is That One Chapter's worth of this trope:
      • The Spirit Crucible Elpys is one long, twisted dungeon full of narrow pathways, a wide variety of hazards surrounding them, and enemies that have easy access to the Blowdown effect. To make things worse, the interior of the cave inhibits Blade abilities, preventing you from using past level 1 specials and thus sealing off the Blowdown (unless you somehow managed to equip one of Poppi's forms with a Wind Elemental Core) and weakening healing Arts. To top everything off, the first time you go through the area you'll be doing so without Pyra and Mythra, meaning Rex isn't dealing nearly as much damage. Even if you have the DLC, forget about using Shulk, Fiora or Elma on your first playthrough because you can't take them into Alrest until you beat the game once.
      • The Cliffs of Morytha are even worse. Full of aggressive fliers at high levels (including a deadly Unique Monster, no less), windy tunnels, cryptic passages, and well as having two of the hardest story bosses in the game, this place is an absolute nightmare to trek through. Like the Spirit Crucible Elpys, Pyra and Mythra will be absent the first time you get through this area. Fortunately, the DLC provides easy access to Crossette and Corvin, two very powerful Blades with the same elemental typing that can work as temporary substitutes, and unlike in Spirit Crucible Elpys, they can be used at full power.
    • Chapter 8 specifically the Land of Morytha. For one you are restricted to only Rex for most of it, and while he does have the master program and a new form of the Aegis, the player still won't be able to use chain attacks and special combos are harder to pull off. The area is also comprised mostly of enemies with high HP, can change their element to match your current element, and have a suicide attack if you don't kill them fast enough. The area is also full of thin hallways where you are guaranteed to encounter multiple enemies at once. While players will initially be happy to use Pneuma after a whole chapter of having to rescue Pyra/Mythra and having them unavailable, many of them will likely be forced to use her as a crutch to get through the level instead of just enjoying her new powers.
    • Chapter 9. There is a section where you cross a long open air pathway to get close to the next story point but there are a ton of flying enemies circling around. Getting into a battle with one especially in certain areas draws several of them into the battle overwhelming you.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Every rare blade has a quest chain that must be completed to either receive the blade or unlock their power on the affinity chart, and the worst by far is commonly agreed to be Ursula’s. Her affinity chart is one of the most heavily integrated with her personal quest, and most people agree that if you want to use her, you might as well leave the last tier locked. Her quest neither requires completion of a difficult task nor continuous effort on the player’s part, but if you want to complete it, Ursula needs to be sent out on special mercenary missions so many times that you basically won’t be able to use her at all for nearly the entire length of the story. How long does it take? Assuming you're sending her out as often as possible with the best Blades to support her and speed things up, it takes 16 hours (real-time) to unlock her final tier.
    • Another worthy mention is building Vess' Dumpling cooking skills. She must make 100 Dumplings, and the primary ingredients for them aren't the kind that are commonplace all over Alrest. The best place to farm Salty Soil, for instance, can possibly be made much harder to access once the mission "Farewell Good Friend" is completed, which spawns level 90 Drivers all over.
    • A more commonplace example would be "Deal X Damage in one hit", especially for Healer blades. This is the only quota that cannot be filled through mercenary work, and it can be a difficult deal to deal damage in one strike.
    • Included in the Expansion Pass Quest set is "Midnight Feast", where the player must gather various ingredients and experiment with them. Only one recipe works. Good luck figuring which one it is without looking it up, all the while wasting valuable food items!
    • Getting 50,000 points in "Tiger! Tiger!" needed for Poppi's Affinity Chart is not an easy feat for those who are not good at the game. It requires a near-perfect run of having full health and have collected (and held on to) all of the ether crystals and treasure chests in the level, which is no walk in the park even on the easiest level (Level 1). The score also has to be obtained in a single go, which will result in a lot of runs consisting of trial-and-error in order to get it. Mercifully, it can be completed via Merc Missions instead, and Poppi's upgraded forms don't have this same requirement (meaning you can bypass it if you want to go solo QTπ on Tora as the playable character or on New Game+).
    • Unlocking Perun's second tier in the Affinity Chart is major Guide Dang It! that has very vague details on what to do. You basically have to go around in every town and find a person with a trophy icon above them and do a mini-sidequest that will increase the level. There's one problem with this: not all of them add to the affinity count. Thankfully, if you get Perun late, the game will count any good deeds you already did, and some of the good deeds are repeatable, preventing her Affinity Chart from being Permanently Missable Content.
    • Late in Godfrey's Blade Quest, you are required to find four civilians and get to them to safety during a monster attack in town. While the monsters themselves are marked on map and the quest bar, the civilians are not. This can force the player to run around all over the city until you run into them by accident.
    • Get too far in Chapter 10 and the Superbosses and accompanying flunkies appear across Alrest. Nim and Perun have Affinity Quests in areas that get level 90+ enemy populations. Doing those quests gets... interesting, after that.
    • The Challenge Mode battles are hard by design, and are required to complete the Affinity Charts for the DLC crossover Blades (Shulk, Fiora and Elma). But a few stand out as especially annoying or unbalanced, and would qualify for That One Boss if not for their being optional:
      • "Reinventing the Gogol". Required for Fiora's Affinity Chart, the match pits the party against waves of Gogol enemies. The main Lv. 150 boss, Immovable Heir Carlos, is hyped up as a successor to the infamous Territorial Rotbart and Immovable Gonzalez. He has insane Break resistance, making Driver Combos harder to pull off and effectively requiring you to have Tora with Poppi QTπ on your party. His "Feral Beat" art shackles all Drivers and eats up one segment of the Party Gauge. On top of that, his Venom Cloud attack inflicts Doom on all party members, which is an unavoidable insta-kill and is described under That One Attack. Finally, when enraged, Carlos is guaranteed to use the Wild Wave attack, which is designed to be a Total Party Kill and is difficult to avoid via natural evasion (and thus needs to be treated similarly to Venom Cloud).
      • "Cloud King's Revenge" is required for Elma's Affinity Chart and is a rematch against a souped-up Cloud Sea King Ken. Ken hits like a truck with his auto-attacks (which inflict Break) and "Rear Whip" back attack. His "Cloud Breath" art is easily his most annoying, as it inflicts massive party-wide damage, drains the entire Party Gauge if all hits connects, and summons legions of reinforcements that are sure to gang up on the aggroed Driver and tear them to pieces. His "Tentacle Storm" Art, like in the Unique Monster battle, also inflicts massive party-wide multi-hit damage and Blowdown on each hit. Fortunately, actually using Elma during the battle lets you use the reinforcements somewhat to your advantage; if you activate Overdrive and use an AoE Special like Mythra's Photon Edge, it's likely to kill most or all of the reinforcements and fill up your Party Gauge a significant amount, possibly even making up for the drain from Cloud Breath.
      • "Mk. VIII", required for Shulk's Affinity Chart, is a battle against robotic enemies. Wave 2 throws multiple Nitro Sovereigns and a Lv. 200 Strategizer Nitro at you, all of which will attempt to use their self-destruct move to end the match and kill the party. There are multiple ways to get around this, the most obvious of which are a Fire Blade Combo to seal self-destruct and/or making sure Shulk is out when the Strategizer uses the move so that you can avoid it with his Vision. The main boss, True Rosa, is mostly fair except for one move: she will summon three Minirosas that each lock a segment of the Party Gauge. While they don't have much health, she will do it over, and over, and over again, and the "Ultra Bang-Bang" summoning Art can't be interrupted with Driver Combos. This adds another level of Character Select Forcing, requiring a Dark Blade Combo to seal reinforcements; Dark is the hardest Blade Combo to pull off because of the rarity of the element, the lack of truly excellent Dark Blades aside from Elma, T-elos and a Dark-type Poppi QTπ, and the fact that it needs at least 2 of the same element in a row. Oh, and Bana and Muimui aren't piloting Rosa this time around, meaning the fight is completely humorless and there aren't even any funny lines to laugh at to make your repeated deaths less painful.
      • By far the worst and most infamous Challenge Battle is "9th Imp. Armored Div.", required for Shulk's and Elma's Affinity Chart. The main boss is a Lv. 130 Ardainian Kurodil, an even more brutal version of an already difficult Bonus Boss, and it throws everything at you to make sure you can't do a thing to it. For starters, it constantly enrages (even from the start of the match) and inflicts enormous spike damage in its enraged state if you attack it, requiring the player to have some means of healing or defense against said damage. It's near-impossible to Break, making it hard to perform Driver Combos on it even with a maxed-out Tora. All its arts hit like a freight train, and on Bringer of Chaos difficulty they're also Rage Strikes that drain the Party Gauge. Like Immovable Heir Carlos, it also has a party-wide Doom attack (Murder Ray) and a flat-out Total Party Kill that is hard to avoid and makes it invincible (Ultra Annihilation Flare). And then the difficulty of the fight is cranked Up to Eleven with the other waves of enemies that appear while you're fighting Kurodil: an Ardainian Sharper who will snipe at you to drain the Party Gauge, Ardainian Drages that also have Party Gauge-draining attacks, and Ardainian Musses that lock up the Gauge and, unlike the Minirosas, can take a beating. Some players believe that the fight on Bringer of Chaos crosses the line from "a challenge" to flat-out cheap and unfun.
      • "Elma Redux". Possibly tied with Ardainian Kurodil for the most infamous Bonus Boss, this battle is required to use Elma outside of the Land of Challenge. She starts the battle by summoning three Ghost Elmas that lock up the Party Gauge, and will continue to do so until you use a Dark Blade Combo to seal reinforcements (once again Character Select Forcing). Although using it on Elma herself activates Elemental Awakening, one can get around this by using it on one of the Ghost Elmas. There's no way to free the Party Gauge until all Ghost Elmas are defeated (even if there are more than three), meaning the fight can get downright hellish if the AI isn't being very cooperative with its Blade Combos. They're also more hardy and dangerous than the Minirosas or Ardainian Musses. Finally, when you get to the fight with Elma herself, she's a doozy of an opponent; she constantly enrages just like Ardainian Kurodil, has massively damaging Arts, great evasion, and a very dangerous "Combat Limbo" Art that shackles the aggroed Driver and creates a damaging area of fire around her, which the AI happily ignores as they burn to a crisp. The only reprieve is that, if you manage to hit her, she's susceptible to Driver Combos because she's a human-sized opponent and doesn't have additional Break resistance.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!:
    • Customizing party members' outfits is gone, meaning you're stuck with the default outfits.
      • Unless you have the expansion pass and are willing to grind for the alt-color outfits (and the few true alternate costumes).
    • The Affinity Chart in the first two games tracked NPC locations and relationships. In this game it's an individual's Skill Tree.
    • Enemies now aggro based on sight alone, unless they're non-hostile. Earlier games had a variety of triggers for enemy aggression.
    • You can't make changes to your loadout before boss fights anymore.
    • NPCs don't have audio clips when spoken to, unlike 1 and X. Hearing them talk in a cutscene can be REALLY jarring.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Roc. Rex inherits his core crystal and bonds him in chapter 4, after which he and his 100% unique field skill play no further role in the story. Especially bad in chapter 7, where Rex wields the Dual Scythes during a cutscene. With Pyra/Mythra being benched in that chapter, it could have been a perfect opportunity for Rex to bond with Roc and for the two to reminisce about Vandham.
    • Vandham. Cool Old Guy with a unique design and good chemistry with the party, who dies in the same chapter he's introduced. His death is supposed to be a major turning point for Rex, so it's surprising how little he's brought up.
    • Tora. Fairly prominent in the first half of the game, his arc basically ends after chapter 4, even though Artificial Blades are important during the endgame.
    • Aegaeon completely disappears from the story after Niall's death returns Aegaeon to his Core Crystal, appearing only in a Heart-to-Heart and a late-game sidequest.
    • Dromarch. Outside of being Nia's personal butler, he remains a Static Character for the entirety of the story. While he is present in a majority of cutscenes and participates in a number of Heart-to-Hearts, his interactions with the cast never give the audience more insight into his character or give him character development. Even his interactions with Gramps, as nice as they are, are few and far between. He gets it particularly bad in Chapter 7, the chapter that puts a great deal of focus into Nia's character development. Rather than seeing their relationship with each other explored, the most we get with Dromarch is the reveal that he was the former blade of Nia's "father". By the end of the game, Dromarch is left with no arc explored and no character development.
    • Dolmes, Dughall's Blade. Some fans were disappointed that he was never added as a recruitable Blade in postgame updates, especially since he sports a very unique design and how some players felt sorry for him being mistreated by Dughall. He does appear as a boss in one of the challenge battles of Challenge Mode from the DLC, however.
    • Lila, who was also never added as a recruitable Blade. Although this is somewhat mitigated by how Poppi QT shares much of her moveset.
    • True Rosa in Challenge Mode. While the fight itself is fairly well-done and is challenging but fair even on Bringer of Chaos, many fans found the Rosa fights during the main story to be hilarious thanks to Bana's and Muimui's Large Ham voice clips. True Rosa, meanwhile, is completely silent and apparently pilot-less, making her come across as little more than a Creepy Doll version of a Humongous Mecha and causing the battle to lack the laugh-out-loud moments of the story ones. It wouldn't have meant much for Bana and/or Muimui to return in the battle, seeing as Challenge Battles have little regard for canon, or even for True Rosa to be piloted by Tatazo or someone similar with a new set of comical voice clips.
    • While many fans were elated that Shulk and Fiora returned as DLC Blades, the superboss battle that unlocks them for use during the main game is against a bunch of generic dinosaur enemies with no real connection to the first game rather than, say, Metal Face or a similar boss from Bionis/Mechonis, which would have provided for a much more coveted challenge and an easy contender for Best Boss Ever if designed well.note 
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The Garfront Mercenaries after chapter 3, despite Rex being named their leader, come up once more during the story and rarely in sidequests.
    • Rex becoming the Master Driver lets Rex engage any Blade in the party except Poppi. The party never remarks on the ability nor the costume change, and the term Master Driver is mentioned exactly once, in a different context.
    • The scene with Queen Raqura that takes place after Niall's sacrifice. Raqura mentions her suspicion regarding the Aegis, which hints that Uraya could become an enemy to the main party, but the scene has no impact on the plot. It's particularly egregious when Queen Raqura is directly involved in the final Mercenary Rank quest yet seems to have completely forgotten about her concern with the main party.
    • The Internal Reveal that Nia is a blade in Chapter 7. While there is a bit of contention following the scene, it's immediately dropped, rather than used to explore the theme of death further due to Nia being able to revive characters shortly after death, but choosing not to at previous points of the story. The issue is never brought up again.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The first common Blade Rex gets is a guaranteed wind element Knuckle Claw, almost guaranteed to be the worst quality (due to character level playing a direct factor in how many crowns a common blade will usually get). Rex's Knuckle Claw Arts aren't the best, and it's stuck on Rex forever, even in New Game+. note 
    • Godfrey is a Shield Hammer Blade who buffs you at low HP and has a damage bonus against higher leveled enemies—an oxymoronic combination. Going one step further, all three of his Field Skills are only used during Merc Missions and his personal sidequest.
    • Newt, as a fire-element Chroma Katana who boosts HP. Katanas are the dodge tanking weapon, and they're best wielded by Rex and Mòrag, who both use fire Blades.
    • Kora generates potions and keeps them on the field and heals you while you move. Far less useful than it sounds since potions are usually plentiful and moving in combat is discouraged, as characters' movement in combat is slowed to a crawl and risks losing affinity with their blades. Not helping is that as an Electric Knuckle Claws blade, she's only really viable on Nia, as the other viable Knuckle Claws user, Zeke, already has Pandoria as his signature blade.
    • Poppi QT is a rather underwhelming blade for Tora. Poppi QT is an evasion-based tank blade that starts out with a fire element core, which immediately becomes redundant when Mòrag and Brighid become party members not long after. Poppi QT's weapons also provide Smash as her driver combo art, which AI Tora rarely uses. The only real uses for her are additional elemental coverage not provided by the other Poppi forms (via Elemental Cores), and using her Smash to complete Driver combos (which, fortunately, the AI does exploit if it sees the opportunity to carry one out).
    • While Pyra is about as popular as Mythra character-wise, it's a different story in gameplay, where she has the misfortune of being a So Okay, It's Average Starter Mon. But what makes this even worse is that Mythra is a Game-Breaker, even after Power Creep, and utterly outclasses her sister in almost every area, giving many players no reason to use Pyra directly. Many fans agree that this imbalance in Mythra's favor was unfair to Pyra given that she was likely intended as the Aegis' more iconic and recognizable form, and it really says something that her most common use in Min-Maxing is to equip her with the extremely weak Amethyst Chip just to give Rex a sizable Agility boost when using Mythra.
    • On the characters that are way too good there is Poppi QT Pi, who stands as the best Blade in the game who can do almost anything better than anyone else can, being able to be any type and being the most customizable character in the game. Most of the hate is because a maxed out Poppi QT Pi at S+ trust can make Challenge Mode a joke, even on Bringer of Chaos difficulty due to the Fusion Combo technique (which involves Nim and all Poppi forms) allowing you to kill the upgraded Cloud Sea King Ken in Bringer of Chaos in less than 4 minutes. (Keep in mind, the Challenge Mode version of this in Bringer of Chaos has over 125,000,000 HP), making it really easy to cheap through even the hardest parts of the aftergame.
    • Nia as a Driver has it both ways. In the main story Nia when equipped with Crossette can perform powerful Fusion Comboes all by herself, which makes her the best Driver for speedrun. In post-game and Challenge Mode, however, Nia finds herself outclassed in every weapon type. Rex is better with Twin Rings and Great Axes; Mòrag is better with Megalances and Chroma Katanas; Zeke is better with Ether Cannons and Bitballs; and Tora has the single best Blade in the game and is the best character for Driver Combos, hands-down (which invalidates the fact that Nia gains exclusive Driver Combo Arts on some weapons). The number of Blades that are best on her (Obrona and arguably Sheba) can be counted on one hand, and they are mid-tier at best. Additionally, if Nia is in her Blade form, she's probably the single best healer in the game, but she can only be equipped to Rex and prevents her from being used as a party member.
    • On the opposite end of the spectrum from Nia is Tora. While Tora and the Poppis may seem like the best Driver and Blades on paper, actually playing the game reveals a different story; most of the really good things that the Poppis (full invicibility, taking half damage from everything, doing damage on a level with specced out Mythra, etc) can do is locked until endgame. Until then, Tora will spend the majority of the game with two blades, which significantly axes his damage output and just how well he can tank, both from the perspective of how good he is at tanking (Poppi Alpha is certainly the best tank, but tanking damage is ill-advised until you're fighting the superbosses and can actually stand to take the damage) and how good he is at drawing aggro (if he's in a team with Mòrag he won't hold aggro for long, even when player controlled). This is exacerbated by one major factor: rate of use. If the player is at all a completionist or wants to do lots of sidequests (and to be honest, to even fight the superbosses the player will at least need to do some sidequests to gain EXP and strengthen their blades) then Tora falls completely by the wayside. The player needs to focus on filling out the affinity charts for the scores of other Rare Blades they have, and a lot of the requirements on the affinity charts aren't something that can be done by spamming Merc Missions. This means that the player will often need to build teams around completing the affinity charts and especially building up trust with their blades, unless they want to waste hours abusing salvaging to get pouch items, which just gets plain tedious. Since the player has five drivers to control, four of which use Rare Blades, Tora simply gets sidelined for most of the game in favor of filling out the other blades. Additionally, while the Poppis are given the option to change their elements well before endgame, they're technically barred from doing so until part of the way through chapter 6, due to a story cutscene forcing Poppi Alpha to be earth element to work well with Brighid in order to bust out of a cell. After that point the item that allows you to build elemental cores is attainable, and rather quickly at that, but that's still quite a bit of time between getting the second Poppi and getting the ability to change elements, especially if you're doing sidequests. And even without taking sidequests into account, that's still a long period of time where Poppi Alpha is stuck as earth, which severly limits the full range of abilities Poppi can use. Of course, once endgame arrives Tora becomes one of the two best characters, but until that point he is solidly in Mòrag's shadow.
    • Ursula is one of the strangest examples. Originally she was considered a Game-Breaker of a healer that required a lot of hard work to max her out due to her lengthy sidequest which people hated; but when Challenge Mode came out and the game had insane amounts of Power Creep, Ursula's special ability "Beary Healing" stood out less and less, and typically wasn't the healer for choice anymore, with many more people using Nim or Crossette because Fusion Combos became really strong when combined with QTπ and Overdrive. How good she actually is ended up becoming swiftly debatable with many people starting to prefer the Crit Heal strategy on DPS Blades. In addition, her sidequest still takes an awfully long time to complete and because she's now considered a low tier by many, completing her quest is nothing more than a Bragging Rights Reward.
  • Too Cool to Live:
    • A respectable mentor to the main protagonist, a badass leader of a mercenary group with a clear understanding of the shades of grey the setting is composed of, has a unique weapon and Blade, can't have core crystals bonded to them. Yep, Vandham might as well start picking out their tombstone now.
    • Haze/Fan la Norne. Their unique ability to nullify Blades let them hold off Torna and bring Jin down to a level the protagonists could match, so of course Fan la Norne is quickly killed by Jin.
  • Tough Act to Follow: Considering the near universal praise of the first game and the great praise of X, 2 had a lot to live up to and opinions comparing it to its predecessors vary.
  • Uncanny Valley:
    • Previous Xeno games had somewhat uncanny models; 2 has its anime aesthetic to avert that. That said, some Rare Blades look very odd in profile because they were drawn by guest artists. The fact that some animations appears to be the result of motion capture can also make the models appear uncanny due to the mixture of styles not blending well.
    • In the rare instance that a non-top-position Blade engages in post-battle dialogue and is replaced with the top-position Blade befre the dialogue is finished, the top Blade will appear to speak the previous one's dialogue with their lips moving, which can be startling at best and horrifying at worst. Mythra inexplicably speaking with Fiora's voice is Jump Scare material for those not expecting it. Azurda's voice clips are also counted as Rex's for some reason, meaning that Rex goes through his speaking animation both for himself and for Gramps.
    • All of the humanoid Artificial Blades have this to some extent, being obvious robots that mimic human appearance. Poppi has a bit of this throughout but is expressive and adorable enough to overcome it in most cases, coming across as similar to Astro Boy and Mega Man in her first form and becoming an absolute stunner of a Badass Adorable Ms. Fanservice in her final form. Lila starts out as this due to her "brainwashing" making her a mindless mechanical killer with Robo Speak, but climbs out of the Valley when she snaps out of it and her true personality shows through. Rosa looks the most uncanny of all, being a Super-Deformed Humongous Mecha with a more obviously mechanical appearance, but the sheer ridiculousness of her boss fights punctuated with Bana's and Muimui's hilariously hammy voice clips and banter quickly more than offsets it. Or at least in the main game; True Rosa doesn't seem to have a pilot and can send Minirosas to chase down the player while each locking down a segment of the Party Gauge, which is something straight out of a waking nightmare. Meanwhile, KOS-MOS, who is a Robot Girl and an actual Blade here, also gives off this vibe with her blank stare, unexpressive face and Robo Speak.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • KOS-MOS, or KOS-MOS Re: in the Japanese version, from Xenosaga appears in the game as a Rare Blade, based on her Episode I appearance.
    • The lack of any overt connections between X and the first game established Xenoblade as a Thematic Series. So the following characters being in 2 made players really surprised.
      • The Monado, and being wielded by one of the toughest bosses in the game Malos during the climax of Chapter 7, catches players by surprise in more ways than one.
      • Very few, if any, expected Klaus to appear again, let alone be the Architect, but even fewer expected Shulk (or more specifically their voice) in the finale reciting their lines from the final battle against Zanza, showing that both Xenoblade games take place at the same time.
      • The Zohar from Xenogears and Xenosaga, called "the Conduit," is revealed to be the object used by Klaus to create the universe of Xenoblade. Which also has the effect of connecting the first Xenoblade back to to those two games as well by way of Revision.
    • Version update 1.4.0 introduces two new blades : The Expansion Pass adds Poppibuster, an artificial Blade that can be equipped on any member of the party sans Tora, and KOS-MOS' rival T-elos from Xenosaga.
    • Challenge Mode adds two characters nobody expected: Shulk and Fiora as Blades for your party. Which means that you can have all the normal Drivers use the Monado.
      • One of the challenges involves Tora fighting other Nopon characters. This starts from minor characters from Xenoblade 2, then advances into fighting Nopon from Xenoblade Chronicles X, including Tatsu, then moves onto fighting Nopon from the first Xenoblade Chronicles, including Riki. The final enemy in the challenge is Monopon, the Nopon mascot of the Xenoblade 2 Twitter page.
      • A later update to Challenge Mode would see the inclusion of Elma, straight from Xenoblade Chronicles X, as a recruitable Blade. To say that players were surprised and excited at the prospect of having every Xenoblade protagonist in the same party would be an understatement.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Dahlia/Tsuki has been hit with a bit of this due to her extremely large breasts. Not helping is the spread of this infamous picture, in which a player who objected to her design deliberately glitched her model's rigging to make her back appear unnaturally hunched forward.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Amalthus. His final moments come across as this to many due to his actions causing many of the events in the story, and that his supposed generosity to refugees is undone by his desire to secretly kill them all with sadistic glee, eventually becoming even worse than the ones who killed his mother or took for granted his generosity.
    • Malos. His last stand can also come across as this due to carrying out Amalthus' most violent desires without any mercy or question, refusing to defy what Amalthus has shaped him into, and often gloating about his various atrocities. When Rex attempts to shake Malos out of it, the latter shoots the former's proposal down in flames. Like Dickson in the first Xenoblade, despite evidence to the contrary, some people believe Malos too is in total control.
    • Albina in the "Mellica the Chorister" sidequest. We're supposed to sympathize with her jealously over members of Indol's choir being essentially set for life, and her desperation to achieve that status to escape poverty. It's a little hard to, given that she's a child who hires mercenaries to murder another child and receives zero punishment for this. Her target instantly forgives and befriends her after hearing her backstory, while most players are left thinking Freudian Excuse Is No Excuse for what she did.
    • Generic Blades can easily fall into this, gaining no sympathy when being released because they're often The Load and assigned pointless/useless stats from the RNG system.
  • Vindicated by History: While controversial but generally well-received when first released, reception to Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has become more positive over time, first with the introduction of its fantastic New Game+ and Torna: The Golden Country (especially with the former opening up new possibilities with the battle system), then several years later when Pyra and Mythra's appearance in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate helped introduce many new players to the game. Since then, there has been a growing contingent of fans who prefer the game to Xenoblade Chronicles, which is no small feat considering the first game's groundbreaking praise.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Just like its predecessors, the world is wide open and beautiful. And this time the faces are good too!
  • What an Idiot!!: Bana is about to self-destruct Rosa inside an Ardanian battleship in hopes of killing off the main characters plus the leaders of Uraya and Mor Ardain. Niall orders Aegaeon to set up a barrier to protect everyone.
    You'd expect: Niall to stay in the barrier.
    Instead: Niall recklessly charges straight at Bana right as he detonates Rosa.
    Result: Niall faces the full brunt of the explosion, killing him, while Aegaeon reverts back into his core crystal and leaving Morag to tearfully mourn the loss of her cousin. Although, after having Dromarch divert the others away, Nia ends up reviving Niall from the brink of death as further foreshadowing of her true nature as a Blade.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: Chuggaaconroy has pointed out that the game can be seen as an allegory of Global Warming, with the main goal of the game is seeking a place which will bring total peace to all the titans, which as a result, will bring an end to all wars of the world. The causes of all the war tensions in the game are because the titans are dying and countries have to take land from other titans in order to survive, similar to how the rising sea levels are causing similar conflicts in real life. In one heart-to-heart, Nia finds out that Mor Ardain specifically has been using their high temperatures in order to make their society more prosperous, but they still have to deal with the fact that their titan is dying out soon. All of this evokes not only an Anti-War message but also a pro-environment one as well. That being said none of the developers have confirmed if this was their intention or not.
  • What The Hell, Casting Agency?:
    • Nia's English VA has a Welsh accent that sounds unusually adult for a girl who looks as young as Nia. Which can be seen as foreshadowing for Nia being a Flesh Eater - she is an adult.
    • Despite the fact that a lot of characters treat him as a kid, Rex has a noticeably deep English Dub voice for a 15 year old. His English voice actor is also not very good at screaming, which ruins some of the game's more emotional moments.
  • The Woobie: The Architect Klaus, who as a consequence of desperately trying to save his own world from destroying itself ends up destroying the world himself and sending his colleagues into parallel universes, including his friend Galea and half of his own body into the world of the first Xenoblade. And despite successfully recreating life on the planet he becomes despondent when seeing the new humanity follow the same path as the old one, including their own worst traits. This makes him not even try to stop Malos from activating Aion to destroy everything he created, seeing it as proof his atonement was doomed from the start. Thankfully seeing Rex and Pyra/Mythra's determination and optimism as well as hearing Shulk's last line to Zanza, allows him to finally make peace with himself and create a new Elysium for his created humanity to live in.
  • Woolseyism: Quite a few instances of Dub Name Change were pretty well thought out. Overall, the English translation takes liberties to transform the world into a British-isle-centric mythology, especially with Welsh influence.
    • Numerous characters have their names changed completely from Japanese to English, but retaining their Meaningful Name tropes:
      • A poppy is a kind of flower, and Poppi's Japanese name is "Hana", which means flower. Her alternative forms are puns on Japanese 'net slang for female elementary, high school and college students. The English dub changes this to puns on "cutie" and "cutie pie", keeping the slang while erasing the Squick.
      • Homura and Hikari are common Japanese girls names that mean "fire" and "light" respectively. In the West the girls are named Pyra and Mythra, which are not typical names but keep the theme with a Western bent.
      • Byakko, named after the Chinese mythological animal, becomes Dromarch, after the Welsh hound Dormach.
    • Nia calls Zeke "Shellhead". The accompanying One-Eyed Monster joke is based on a Japanese pun; rather than translate both awkwardly they're separate in the conversation.
    • "Flesh Eater" was originally "Man Eater" in Japanese. This changed in English due to the term having very different connotations, and to emphasize the cannibalistic aspect.
    • At the end of Chapter 7, Malos refers to himself as an "Eraser" in Japanese. The English dub changed this to "Endbringer" to connect to Xenoblade Chronicles X and that game's superboss "Telethia The Endbringer".

    Torna ~ The Golden Country 
  • Abandon Shipping: Before release, Addam/Mythra was relatively popular due to Mythra's fondness of Addam in the main game and the parallels to Rex/Pyra. Post-release, however, shippers jumped when Addam and Mythra's relationship appeared more familial and when a sidequest revealed Addam already has a wife. Their interactions paint them as a sort of father/daughter duo rather than as lovers, and Mythra's attachment to Rex is such that her premonitions of him are what help calm her down during the climax.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • The English voice acting is much smoother and fitting due to having proper voice direction this time around. The Hong Kong Dub moments are also fewer and further between, and more in line with a standard English-dubbed foreign animated work.
    • The combat system eschews the much-despised gacha mechanic in favor of a fixed party composition.
    • Blade Combos are much easier to achieve than with the cryptic and dodgy system from the base game, where a single elemental orb would take a very long time to create. Now, elemental orbs don't depend on Blade Combos, and can instead be used to create them separately during battle, and a single special will add an orb to the opponent. In fact, it can act as a first step to properly learn the base game's more complex Blade Combos.
  • Even Better Prequel: The vast improvements made in the expansion, as well as the sheer amount of content offered with it made lots of fans consider it to not only be worthy of being called its own separate game, but one that is in many ways even better than the base game. This is due to a more streamlined battle system, better voice acting, and writing that eschews the cliches found early on in the original game. There are even people who claim that the game is as good as the first Xenoblade Chronicles aside from its comparatively short length (which is still longer than many other games and very significant for a mere DLC expansion).
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: There's a line of dialogue from Milton who says Mythra's cooking can "do more damage to you than any Artifice ever could". Guess what happens in the game's ending.
  • Game-Breaker: While all 9 party members are meant to be usable in their own right, some of them turn out to be especially potent when optimized.
    • Jin boasts the highest auto-attack value in both the main game and Torna (even beating out Shulk), while his Battle Skills bring his damage output to insane levels. Transmigration is like an enhanced version of the World Tree Drop item, increasing damage dealt by 50% on every Vanguard Switch; because Lora is intended as the party's main Break inflicter and Jin's switch-in move causes Topple, you'll likely by using Vanguard Switch a lot. Full Resonance is a clone of KOS-MOS' Hyperclock, boosting Jin's damage output by 100% while having him take 30% less damage at max Affinity. Lastly, Mind's Eye boosts his critical damage by 80%, making a "crit-heal" strategy just as viable on him as on Mythra. While two of Jin's Specials only have situational bonuses, his Lv. III Special, Ice Revolution, is just like Elma's Sliding Slinger in that it deals 100% more damage to higher-level enemies, which can be handy against the Bonus Bosses. Overall, Jin may not have the completely busted skills that he'll later have as a Flesh Eater, but regardless he more than makes up for the main game's lack of good Ice Blades.
    • Mythra, just like in the main game. Her Battle Skills of Foresight and Glint are as good as ever, and she's the only party member with access to the Light element (as all other elements can be equipped to Lora, Addam and Hugo via weapon changes). But now that she's a playable character, her very powerful former Blade Specials are now her Battle Arts, meaning that she can spam her multi-hit Lightning Buster as much as she pleases; the move recharges almost immediately due to its multiple hits working with Lightspeed Flurry, making it more spammable than any of Rex's Arts with her, and on top of that also has a critical hit damage boost of 85% at Lv. 5. This means Addam doesn't need to run an Ice Headband to boost the move's critical damage, and can instead use an accessory slot for an item like Shell Shoesnote  or a similar boosting item. While Lightspeed Flurry has been slightly nerfed from 100% recharge to 60%, it barely matters with the right pouch setup and the fast general recharge and multi-hit nature of Mythra's Arts, especially Lightning Buster. With the Massive Melee Mythra and Affinity MAX Atk Aux Cores along with a Modern Medal,note  she can cut enemies to shreds in a matter of seconds. Her new Specials are also worth noting; Twilight Striker bypasses enemy defenses, while Terminal Flash has its critical damage boosted by 85% just like Lightning Buster. Furthermore, similar to Pyra in the main game, Minoth with a Pentagon Chip becomes a Dexterity-boosting reserve for Mythra and Addam that stacks on top of Foresight, basically turning Mythra's moves into Always Accurate Attacks. The best part is that her passive benefits and battle skills also apply to Addam, should you switch to him in battle or simply just play as him.note  Overall, the playable Mythra here is like a combination of her main-game self and Fiora on steroids, quite possibly making for the single best Critical Hit Class attacker in both the main game and expansion.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Torna: The Golden Country features locations based on Japan and involves its destruction. A week before the release of it, Japan was hit with destruction directly affecting Nd Cube, developers of Mario Party and Wii Party whom are located in Satoru Iwata's home town. It caused Nintendo to delay a direct that would showcase it feeling that it wasn't the appropriate time.
    • Milton agrees to stay behind in Auresco only after Mythra convinces him that she and the others will be able to fight more effectively if he isn't around to worry about. Of course, being in Auresco is what ends up getting Milton killed, and Mythra is all too aware that she was the one who convinced him to stay there.
    • The tragic fates of Lora and Jin in the main game becomes even more tragic when it's shown that they likely only had a matter of days to recover from the fight with Malos when the Praetorium attacked the survivors of Torna.
    • Much of the dialog in the main game referring to events in this game hits harder now that we fully witness what the characters are talking about. Standouts can include Mythra's anger at having to break her seal and return to the real world, and Jin's sheer disdain when addressing Mythra when they meet again.
      Jin: It 'fell,' says the girl who sank it.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: A major draw of the game is the opportunity to play as popular Blades from the main game, such as Mythra, Brighid and Jin. Jin in particular was a very well-liked and sympathetic villain in the main game but was only a Guest-Star Party Member twice briefly; here, he's the deuteragonist.
  • Late-Arrival Spoiler: It's made clear at the very start of the game that Jin is a blade, which is supposed to be a major spoiler for the main game.
  • Moe: While Mythra had shades of this in the main game, her dynamic here with the rest of the traveling group makes her come across as very cute, like a bratty but well-meaning and caring child.
  • More Popular Replacement: Many fans will claim that Lora is a better main protagonist than Rex, for being an adult instead of a childish Stock Shōnen Hero, and for being a person who's just been randomly swept into the Aegis War and doesn't end up hogging all the attention in- and out-of-universe like Rex does.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Assuming the entire titan and many towns he'd already destroyed didn't do this, Malos breaks this by attacking the Torna city with his Siren, which kills Milton and puts Mythra into an Unstoppable Rage.
    • Gort's attempts to kill Lora because of simple pettiness due to Jin cutting his arm off. This is 17 years after he tried to kill Lora for resonating with Jin's Core Crystal that he stole.
    • It's revealed that Amalthus didn't become Praetor through honorable means. Rather, he poisons his predecessor and murders his superiors who would challenge his rule. Then he wastes no time in attacking the Tornan survivors in his effort to find and kill Mythra.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Pyra only appears at the end of the game and doesn't even speak, but the whole game contextualizes the reason for her creation (Mythra wanting to seal away her powers) and her appearance here sets up the entire story of the main game. It's also one of the very few times she, rather than Mythra, can be seen interacting with Addam. After beating the campaign, the title screen becomes a shot of Pyra sealed away in the Ancient Ship.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Or more accurately, the Base-Breaking Character. While Mythra was disliked for her Tsundere tendencies and occasional Jerkass moments in the main game, many players warmed to her due to the DLC fleshing out her character, giving her much needed character development, and showing just how much the War of Aegises traumatized her.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • While the community system itself isn't an issue, its integration into the game's progression is for many players. There are two gated parts of the main story which require the player reach community levels 2 and 4, forcing the game to a halt as the player must grind sidequests to progress. This is especially bad if the player's been ignoring sidequests up to this point, and comes across as a form of Fake Longevity.
    • Elemental Awakening returns with a vengeance. Unlike in the main game, there's no way to remove an awakening outside of simply defeating the enemy or breaking all its elemental orbs, making those tougher boss battles even more tough.
    • Unlike in the main game, pouch items can only be obtained by crafting and cannot be purchased. This often makes good pouch items Too Awesome to Use due to their rare ingredients, and means you'll be running out quickly while constantly replacing them.
  • Shocking Moments: Mythra going absolutely insane over Milton's death allowing her to move at the speed of light, and cause energy blasts so powerful they can destroy Malos' Gargoyles in a single hit. There's even a mecha battle where they're controlling their Siren's through sheer willpower and Mythra and Malos enter them by doing the pose of Jesus.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Malos' attack on Torna is one of the most discussed parts of the DLC due to the new remix of Amalthus - The Acting God and the tension along the battle.
    • The ending due to the amount of deaths. The fight scene between Bloodlusted Mythra and Malos is also insanely good, which helps too.
  • Signature Song: The battle theme of Torna is one of the most popular songs of all of Xenoblade, and the most popular Torna song. It ended up getting in Smash, similarly to the other popular songs of the base game.
  • Spiritual Adaptation:
    • To Revenge of the Sith, as both are prequels featuring the main character being a swordsmen that due to a certain tragedy with their loved ones dying turn evil as a result. In addition, both have one of the characters have a Big "NO!" near the end.
    • An arguably closer connection would be to Crisis Core. Both Torna & Crisis Core serve as prequels to their respective JRPG's, and feature a lot of the games' casts dying at the end, coupled with a white-haired swordsman going through a Face–Heel Turn, the death of The Hero who looks up to said white-haired swordsman, and a blonde sword-wielding central character from the original game suffering an emotional breakdown and being forced to witness said betrayal and death and then using some bizarre mental lock to hide away their memories and cope with the anguish.
  • Spiritual Successor: In the main game, the Aegis War is a deliberate throwback to the Diabolos War of that was alluded to briefly in Disc 2 of Xenogears during the flashbacks to the Shevat-Solaris Wars. Torna: The Golden Country, which expands on these events, is Takahashi finally getting a proper stab at telling the story he planned for this period corresponding to Episode 4 of Xenogears Perfect Works in full. Both take place specifically 500 years ago, and are centered around the ancestors/previous incarnations of the protagonists who get caught up in the midst of a ongoing political conflict which leads to a cataclysmic battle with mass casualties and the Cynicism Catalyst that drives one of the main villains to be what he is in the present day.
    • Jin is a throwback to Grahf in that both are 500-year old mask-wearing Anti Villains who turned to nihilism after the loss of a woman they loved, and ultimately go through Redemption Equals Death to save the party at the end. He's also the most powerful enemy the heroes encounter and responsible for the most difficult boss fights in the game. While the superficial similarities between them are less blatant, this makes Lora, who shares her red-tinted hair the Sophia analogue of this game.
    • Malos recalls Miang in the sense that they are ancient living computer programs who lack a will and goals of their own for all the cruelty they commit, working as The Dragon for a wicked master who serves as the primary Big Bad. Amalthus and Krelian, said main Big Bad, is a man who has become disgusted with humanity after witnessing its dark side, and tries to destroy all of it by playing the long game.
    • Addam's father's design is clearly based on that of Fei's father Khan Wong. And Adam's Japanese name "Adel" is one letter off from "Abel" - fitting for the predecessor of the main game's protagonist.
  • Starboarding: Those who didn't fully jump off the Addam/Mythra ship still see Mythra as having had a crush on Addam.
  • Take That, Scrappy!:
    • Mythra becomes the Butt-Monkey of quite a few jokes from the other party members, which may end up being this trope for those who didn't care for her Tsundere moments in the main game.
    • Mythra's "Girl's Talk" field skill is mentioned to "not be very useful", indicating how it's easily one of the most useless field skills in the main game.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • Team Hugo isn't bad per se, but the other two teams are far more potent; Team Lora has Jin for DPS and Haze for support and are the best Driver Combo starters out of the three teams, while Team Addam has Mythra for insanely spammable DPS with some party-wide support as well as Addam himself to extend and facilitate Driver Combos. Team Hugo, meanwhile, simply consists of dodge tanks who are good at their job but don't offer much else beyond their designated role. Hugo does have a Topple Art, but in most cases Lora, the party's main Breaker, will switch to Jin right after she inflicts Break to inflict Topple (whether player- or AI-controlled), making it redundant.
    • Minoth is a DPS attacker with some solid skills, but has to compete with Mythra for Addam's Blade slot, and can't ever hope to reach her godly level of power and usability. His Switch Art causes Break, which isn't much use because of the Vanguard Switch cooldown before being able to inflict Topple with Addam's Switch Art (and you can't always rely on Jin and Hugo to do the job for you), and he has a weird combination of Arts and Skills that both increase and reduce aggro, effectively canceling each other out.
  • That One Sidequest: Getting to 100 percent Community. You need to get both Monster Granny and The Nopon Halfsage. In order to get the former, you have to defeat 16 Unique Monsters. For the latter, you have to spend a total of 750,000(!) gold to buy the locations of four Golden Monsters and then defeat them. The highest-level monster is level 100, so you'll have to grind all the way up to the max level in order to do this. Clearing every single sidequest and the campaign will put you in the low 60's.
  • The Woobie: Mythra suffers a lot through this Downer Ending. She loses Milton because she wasn't going all out to stop Malos entirely, which makes her use an attack that ends up destroying Torna and kills Hugo, which means she wanted to be locked up entirely, until 500 years later, and at that point, all her old friends are dead, slowly dying or joined up with the very beings who caused her suffering in the first place.
  • Unexpected Character:
    • Just like Territorial Rotbart and Immovable Gonzalez, Erratic Goliante is another Gogol Unique Monster "returning" from the first game and can easily be missed during a playthrough.
    • While Rex appearing in the game's epilogue isn't much of a surprise, the fact that Mythra's premonitions of him play a significant role in the game's climax caught a lot of people off guard.

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