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    A 
  • Accidental Innuendo: Fans have made a lot of jokes at the expense of "Lanz wants something a bit meatier", one of the most heavily repeated post-battle quotes, commonly turning it into a kind of Ho Yay dick joke.
    • While the Driver Combo did end in "Smash" in 2, this game renames it the Smash Combo to differentiate it from the Burst Combo.
  • Adorkable:
    • Zeon spends a lot of the game as a dutiful soldier, but many fans find his enthusiasm for farming potatoes because of his Ascension Quest to be memetically endearing.
    • Taion's typically serious, even uptight demeanor frequently gives way to numerous moments of extreme awkwardness or dorkiness, much to fans' delight. Special points go to him losing his composure whenever Eunie teases him, and when he has the biggest Squee reaction of the party to seeing a baby for the first time in the City.
    • Valdi is a young engineer who is absolutely enthusiastic about Levnises like a kid with expensive toys, giving them names like "Mechafriend", "Cyberchum", and "Robobuddy". Despite his awkward people skills, he never fails to be friendly and forgiving towards anyone who has wronged him.
    • Queen Nia's pitiful attempts to hide her brash and crude personality under a persona of grace and queenliness come off as both hilarious and endearing.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation:
    • Eunie and Taion demonstrate a lot of what seems to be Belligerent Sexual Tension and have a couple of scenes of more overt Ship Tease, but while it's heavily implied that they are mutually attracted to each other, it's never outright confirmed. Thus, there is still some room to interpret their relationship as a particularly Tsundere variant of Platonic Life-Partners whose Cannot Spit It Out issues stem from being too proud to admit that they're Vitriolic Best Buds rather than being nervous about their growing feelings for one another. A lot of Eunie's insults to Taion can be interpreted as light Romantic Ribbing that he's too dense to pick up on, but at the same time since she's The Gadfly, it's also possible she's acting flirty on purpose purely to enact the heterosexual equivalent of Gay Bravado as good-natured trolling. For a specific moment that sparks a lot of debate, the ending scene where Eunie says Taion is her fourth best friend, could be read both literally as her way of expressing to Taion that she sees him as Just Friends, or as flirting with him in a particularly Trolling manner (the latter being Word of God's stated intent with the scene)? It's even possible that it was a roundabout way of saying Taion is the most important person to her, since Eunie likes to collect Fourtune Clovers. Another possibility is that she's telling him he's chronologically the fourth person to achieve best friend rank with her.
    • The nature of Taion's feelings towards Nimue are also subject to a lot of interpretations, including whether it was the love of a pupil towards his respected mentor, a familial love for the closest thing he had to an older sister or mother figure, or a one-sided romantic kind of love. The game itself never definitively establishes which one it is, understandably so as the soldiers of Aionios are not raised to understand the concept of either family or romance to make the distinction. While many of Taion's scenes with Nimue and Isurd suggest the first two and depict him as something of a Shipper on Deck for them, his Ascension Quest does a lot to suggest the latter. Specifically, he gets very flustered talking to reborn Nimue because of his emotional baggage over her past life in a way that Eunie (Taion's Implied Love Interest) considers Cannot Spit It Out. Likewise, Eunie herself seems to think that Taion had romantic feelings for Nimue, since she's shown being envious of the attention he's giving her and expresses a desire to be more like her out of a believe that Taion Has a Type. Some of it extends the other way as well; young Nimue is also shown staring at Taion and Eunie together with an ambiguously suspicious expression, which has been interpreted by some as her noticing their affection for one another and being a bit of a Shipper on Deck for them, but also the possibility that she may have developed a crush on the now-older Taion and thus is jealous of his and Eunie's growing closeness.
    • Meanwhile, Lanz and Sena show a seeming complete absence of anything resembling romantic interest in each other despite their Birds of a Feather closeness and Interlinking being commonly interpreted Romantic Fusion (although as Future Redeemed clarifies, this isn't necessarily the case). This isn't helped by how Lanz is the most stoic member of the group, and has a hard time opening up to others. This causes their bond to be interpreted in a few different ways. The ending cutscene, where Sena calls her partner Lanzy near the end, with Mio (to whom her affection has similarly been interpreted in various ways) being the only other person to receive such a privilege, and Sena starting to cry after telling Lanz she'll always think of him when training, with Lanz also saying he'd do the same, similarly emphasizes their very close bond without clarifying the nature of it.
      • Many see them as being just as much of a couple as Noah/Mio and Eunie/Taion, but are simply too early in their relationship or too Dumb Muscle to properly acknowledge their feelings, or that they are already attracted to each other and know it but are attuned enough to not feel the need to be open about it compared to the other four.
      • Others interpret the lack of overt romance elements and the fact that Ouroboros power is shown to not require any kind of romantic or familial relationship as a sign they really are just Platonic Life-Partners or Like Brother and Sister and feel that the Implied Love Interest subtext would be more accurately described as The Not-Love Interest in their cases.
      • Some go a step further and see any potential for romance as undercut by Incompatible Orientation due to one or more of them being Ambiguously Gay, usually Sena whose sister-like affection for Mio gets more emotional focus than her bond with Lanz and is seen as having shades of a Pseudo-Romantic Friendship. As for Lanz himself, he does have a few scenes interpreted as Ho Yay, many of his most emotionally charged relationships are with other male characters.
    • At the end of the game, a photo reveals what seems to be Rex married and having had children with Pyra, Mythra, and Nia. This has led to some perceiving the dynamic as a bisexual polyamorous relationship, where Nia is also involved romantically with Pyra and Mythra. Supporting this interpretation is their evident closeness established in 2, including a scene of Nia pushing Rex out of the way to claim Pyra and Mythra's hands for herself, Nia's attire resembling theirs, and her wielding weapons reminiscent of their primary armaments the way a Driver would wield a Blade's, after that very dynamic was used to represent romance in the past game.
  • Angst? What Angst?:
    • Mio coming to terms with Miyabi's Heroic Sacrifice is a major part of her character arc. Sena was also saved by Miyabi, but if she's also distraught about it, then she doesn't make that obvious. However, Sena has her own issues that make up her character arc.
    • In the ending, it's implied that everyone in the City will be erased as the world is rebooted, since they are all combinations of both worlds. None of them seem to mind this, besides Ghondor joking that when she is reborn centuries down the line, she hopes she gets a better name.
  • Annoying Video Game Helper:
    • Passing by a canteen with a Hero active in your party will have them comment about wanting to grab a bite. This happens almost every time you pass one, even if you've already eaten and currently have a meal's effect active.
    • As a result of the the last game being criticized for not having very good tutorials, this game tries to alleviate this issue by having many more tutorials that do a better job at explaining certain aspects of the gameplay. However, there are a lot of these tutorials in addition to a number of them forcing you to go into the menu and do specific things before you're allowed to continue the game. This now creates a problem of the game over explaining things, which can slow the gameplay to a crawl.
  • Anvilicious:
    • The game's message that War Is Hell is very unsubtle, with it being hammered in from pretty much the start of the game how bad the war is. The soldiers all being child soldiers makes it rather obvious to begin with, but all of the party members express varying degrees of dislike for fighting or war in a very What a Senseless Waste of Human Life manner, numerous characters comment on how they don't even know why they are fighting anymore but just are, and almost all the colonies after having their Flame Clock destroyed are relieved that they no longer have to fight to keep the Flame Clock from running out. This is made even more blunt once it becomes obvious the war between Keves and Agnus is a Forever War, which doesn't make it very subtle.
    • Relatedly, the game is, much like its predecessor Xenogears, rather open about its politics in contrast to previous Xenoblade games, where any political commentary was at best tied to very broad allegory; in particular, the game is highly critical of class stratification while preaching class solidarity. Throughout the colonies and the City, the characters express the importance of mutual aid, resource distribution and cultural exchange, while discouraging political apathy, inaction or stagnation and pointing out how the ruling elite (Moebius) abuses their power in various ways. While there is a benevolent ruling elite in the real Melia and Nia, they show that they earned their positions of leadership by taking on the responsibility required of them, directly helping their people and solving their problems.
    • The game is very unsubtle about its stance on maintaining the status quo and the often systemic nature of human evil. The villains are stated by Word of God to represent Corrupt Corporate Executives, hedonists, and other selfishly privileged elites who manipulate people and conflicts to benefit off of the status quo despite how terrible the conditions are for everyone else. Similarly, the game is rather blunt about the necessity of armed revolution to correct injustice when it's on such a wide level. Those from the heroic faction who are opposed to the revolution are referred to as "conservatives", and while they are not completely irredeemable, they are compared to a lesser form of Moebius. The heroes even choose to essentially destroy the current world (itself a stand-in for various contemporary oppressive systems) to force things to move forward instead of staying the same.
    • The game is also very overt in its message that the revolutionary overthrow of oppressive power structures is only half of the battle in creating a better world. Most of the colonies continue to face major problems either of their own making or of the people around them after the Consuls ruling over them have been killed, and the majority of sidequests involve helping them acclimate to their new lifestyle and addressing the deep-seated material and social issues that persist after their liberation. Similarly, one of the minor antagonists depicted in the game is a faction in the City known as the radicals, who exist as the ideological opposites of the conservatives, but are shown to be substantially worse, as the radicals are so obsessed with overthrowing Moebius and the act of revolution that their idea of an idealized society is a cruel military junta with few human rights, in contrast to Monica's more heroic faction, and they seek to kill anyone with power who does not align with their ideology. Notably, unlike the conservatives, none of them are shown being willing to work with Ouroboros in any way other than wanting to control them, and they are given no sympathetic characters.
  • Applicability:
    • Much of the story is about power and resources. The Flame Clocks can be seen as an allegory for money, food, rent, or any other burden one might feel saddled with in society. All the talk about Moebius being parasites preying on everyone else in a terrible world that they created, as well as several heroic characters quoting phrases from Karl Marx and Pyotr Kropotkin, and Word of God's statement that Moebius are intended to represent the selfish human urge for wealth, power, and fame, together sounds a lot like criticism of predatory capitalism in particular.
    • The game began development before but was released shortly after whistleblowers exposed the techniques social media websites use to create artificial sociopolitical conflict, much like Moebius engineering the pointless war between Keves and Agnus.
  • Ass Pull: The official artbook includes an interview with series creator Tetsuya Takahashi, in which he answers fan questions about the plot. While most of these details were either already heavily implied or make sense, some fans were upset and befuddled at the ability of humans to directly transform into inanimate objects once transported within Aionios, a take which caused the other developers in the interview to be just as baffled as the fans were.
  • Award Snub:
    • When the 2022 Game Awards nominations were announced, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was nominated for Game of the Year, Best Score and Music, and Best Role-Playing. It was not, however, nominated for Best Narrative, which earned quite a lot of side-eye. Fans of the game's Superlative Dubbing were disappointed that none of the voice actors were nominated for Best Performance.
    • Sadly, it didn't even win a single category at the Game Awards either, despite the glowing praise it got from fans, with even non-fans considering its loss in the Best Score category to God of War Ragnarök utterly baffling. There is at least some consolation in the form of the absolutely stellar and memorable flute performance from Pedro Eustache for XC3's bout in the orchestral medley for the Game of the Year Award Nominees stage presentation.
  • Awesome Art: Characters' eyes and eyelashes are highly detailed and rendered in a fashion that looks very painterly, and they often move in small and subtle ways to add a further sense of naturalism.
  • Awesome Bosses: Whenever a battle involves multiple Heroes, either on your side or against you, you can count on it being a memorable fight.
    • The final battle against Z is a multi-stage setpiece. The first stage of the battle involves him sealing off the party's Ouroboros powers and throwing multiple obstacles in their way, showing them painful memories from throughout their adventure, until they can break free of their shackles and use multiple Ouroboros Order Chain Attacks against him. Afterwards, he warps into his One-Winged Angel form and assumes the forms of X's and Y's faces to take on the Kevesi and Agnian halves of the party, respectively, making the fight seem hopeless until Melia and Nia send some of the Heroes you met throughout your journey to each half of your party, each one with their own Pre-Asskicking One-Liner, all interlaced with cutscenes of both Queens turning their respective Castles into their Ferronis forms and attacking Origin. Finally, the party reunites and the Queens themselves warp in to help with new battle-ready outfits, using enhanced versions of their skills from their original appearances and giving you a preview of how they'll fight when recruited in the postgame.
    • The "Heroes' Frontline" Challenge Battle gives you a chance to take on most of the base game's Heroes in three waves, showing how powerful they can be when teamed up against you. Especially satisfying is if you can properly set up a Chain Attack to take out several of them at once.
  • Awesome Ego: Of the six Ouroboros members, Eunie is the one who acts the most high and mighty, with her initially viewing everyone besides Noah to be below her and often needing of her assistance. As the game progresses, though, it's shown that Eunie's haughty behavior is a way for her to quell her prior trauma, making her bloated ego something to sympathize with, especially when she has to confront that trauma.

    B 
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Noah is the most divisive of the main six party members, with opinions split between those who consider him one of the best written characters and an extremely compelling Tragic Hero whose Only Sane Man disposition makes him a strong grounding presence and wise Warrior Poet, and those who consider these same traits to make him a featureless Vanilla Protagonist who is less compelling than the rest of the party and whose focus shortchanges the arcs of other characters like Mio. Much of the debate centers on Noah's juxtaposition with his Foil and Evil Counterpart N, a past incarnation who made very different life choices and ultimately went off the deep end, and how it either enriches Noah's character greatly with the additional context it adds, or diminishes him by highlighting his own lack of personality and sequestering what could've been his most compelling qualities onto a separate character.
    • N is also controversial for similar reasons to Noah. While the fandom mostly agrees on him being a good and interesting villain compared to his predecessor Kevin Winnicott, there is a lot more debate as to how well the story sells the Tragic Villain aspects of his character. One part of the fandom adores him as a complex and tragic Jerkass Woobie whose descent into insanity and abusive behavior is a perfectly logical consequence of the trauma and manipulation Z put him through, while the other half finds him Unintentionally Unsympathetic because they find the characterization gap between him and the significantly more virtuous but also blander Noah too vast and reliant on Informed Attributes to buy Noah's claim that he relates to N's experiences or that he has any remaining good qualities left for Noah to redeem him through.
    • Ghondor. Half the fandom adores her for her extremely rude and in-your-face Sir Swears-a-Lot attitude, which is hilariously awesome in a Crosses the Line Twice way, and think her developments in Sena's Side Story are an interesting deconstruction of her character flaws that makes her more understandable and sympathetic. The other half finds her Jerkass behavior unbearable and too unsympathetic, making her a Jerkass who actively drove Shania off the deep end without being called out for it to the extent she deserves. Her English voice acting is also a significant contributing factor, dividing fans between those who find her entertainingly hammy and over-the-top, and those who find her annoying or poorly-acted compared to the rest of the otherwise-praised dub. Her voice is even more divisive to Australian fans, who recognize her accent as painfully fake, and whether it's in an entertaining way like Guernica varies from person to person.
    • Shania, big time. Either she's a huge Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds whose Face–Heel Turn and Freudian Excuse for doing so are some of the most compelling character beats in the story, or the justification for her Going Postal makes her come off as even more pathetic in the face of people who have gone through worse suffering in their Crapsack World yet did not lash out the way she did. There's also debates about whether the story does a good job of handling her fall from grace in such a way that it explains her actions without trying too hard to justify them, or if it leans too far into making excuses and making her Unintentionally Unsympathetic. Another reason she's so divisive is that her quarrels with Ghondor consume much of the Ascension Quest for Sena, who is already perceived as getting less plot focus than the rest of the main party, making both Ghondor and Shania come off as a Spotlight-Stealing Squad. Unsurprisingly, fans of Shania tend to hate Ghondor, and vice-versa.
    • Consul J, for similar reasons as Shania. Either Joran's evil acts are understandable and sympathetic as the natural result of Z taking advantage of a mentally-fragile boy by bombarding him with selective past memories the same way he did with N, and his character arc sends a fascinating aesop about the dangers of falling into the mindset of trying to escape oppression by joining the oppressors, or he's an unsympathetic and petty jerk who is oversentimentalized more than he deserves, and whose actual aesop amounts to, "Mauve Shirts and Red Shirts need to accept their lot in life."
    • Z, while generally seen as a step down from the previous main antagonist of the last game, is torn on his overall quality. Many have complained about how he is mostly just waiting in Origin, not doing much aside from recruiting other Moebius members, and remarking about fate and keeping "The Endless Now". The fact that he is actually the desire of humanity fearing change and those who want to keep things as they are split the feelings even more, as though the idea of fighting a concept did turn some heads positively as it somewhat justified his Flat Character, others disliked this turn as many saw it as just doing it to not make another character with personality and goals. However, there are those who are fine with what he does, being a Cold Ham character who serves his purpose of fighting a core feeling of humanity greatly, which at the very least, most can agree makes for a great Final Boss.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: In a game otherwise fairly serious in tone and light on any puzzle gameplay, the "trick ruins" found around the world feature slide puzzle-esque challenges in the shapes of giant talking mechanical Nopon faces that yell "correctamundo!" when you solve them. It's not until after you get through one of them that they're justified in their wackiness: they were designed by a fairly eccentric Nopon NPC to be intentionally fun for people to find and solve. Fittingly, one of them guards a dragon superboss who itself is guarding Riki's Legendary Biter.
    Trick Gate: FRIENDS SHOW! WHAT FRIENDS GOT!
  • Broken Base:
    • The developers have stated that most of the game's antagonists, the Consuls, were deliberately written as Flat Characters and Card-Carrying Villains without much in the way of sympathetic motives or major plot relevance on purpose, as part of the game's message about the systematic nature of evil. Admittedly, few will argue that the Consuls as a whole are good villains or anywhere on the level of previous ones who were praised for their complexity and moral ambiguity. But whereas one half of the fanbase agrees with the decision and finds it a clever one (even if they don't always find the execution perfect), finding the Consuls entertainingly hammy in a Love to Hate way and the soldiers' lives and struggles to adapt to liberation to be the real antagonistic force worth focusing on, the other half hates the decision, believing that the Consuls' lack of depth and personality causes a good deal of They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character and actively hinders the quality of the story and the game's ability to make its point.
    • The game's Bittersweet Ending is a significant source of fan arguments, both before the release of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed DLC, which functions as a major Mind Screwdriver for much of the game's unanswered questions, and after:
      • After the base game's release, the ending's ambiguous nature produced three distinct camps. One camp hates it, believing it rendered the whole game and everyone's efforts to liberate the colonies and help the Heroes grow and bond completely pointless since (SPOILERS), on top of it being incredibly vague about what happened to the casts of the past two games and leaving a lot of plot questions unanswered or open-ended. The other two camps loved it, finding it an incredibly emotional send-off to the game's characters that, at the very least, works in a vacuum. Of the ending's fans, one camp believe the ending to be more on the sweet side, accusing the haters of having misunderstood the game's plot and themes, and pointing to Noah hearing Mio's flute and vanishing as proof that at least the child-aged inhabitants of the two worlds were able to reunite and that liberating the colonies was still important and what would allow the Heroes to follow suit, while the other part believe the ending to be deeply bittersweet, that the open-ended ambiguity and lack of answers is deliberate and part of the charm as an example of the game's message about taking risks and not letting the fear of the unknown be an obstacle, and the cast never seeing each other again after being reborn perfectly fits the game's message about letting go of the past and moving on. All three camps of fans accuse each other of misunderstanding the game's themes and messages, although the latter defenders tend to get along better with the haters.
      • Post- the release of Future Redeemed, the Broken Base wasn't abolished so much as significantly reorganized. The Stinger to Future Redeemed reveals that the worlds of the first two games were able to successfully merge with each other to create a proper fusion of both planets, thus guaranteeing that everyone on Aionios as well as their friends and families would be reunited in a peaceful united world, and that liberating the colonies and helping them form connections with each other was exactly what allowed it to happen, essentially validating the former camp of ending defenders as well as mollifying a good deal of the ending's haters. However, the latter camp of fans who liked the original ending on its own now hate it, believing Future Redeemed's followup to be a pandering copout that flies in the face of the base game's message and robs the ending of its poignancy and tragedy, while a portion of the ending's original haters continue to hate it, believing it should have been able to stand on its own without the need for additional content.
    • The infamous photograph in the game's ending that depicts the fate of 2's cast and (what is heavily implied to be that Rex had children with Pyra, Mythra, and Nia all at the same time). Cute and Narm Charm, or lurid and just Narm? It's common for either side to accuse the other of holding extremist political beliefs and reading in subtext that doesn't actually exist without much middle ground. The former half find it a wholesome followup to the implications of the NG+ screen from 2 and a progressive, rare depiction of healthy queer Polyamory in popular culture, while the latter interpret it as a strictly-heterosexual harem centered exclusively around Rex as a family-friendly version of Bed Full of Women, and can be subdivided further into two categories: those who see the harem ending as a good thing and a fitting reward for Rex being such an All-Loving Hero, and those who see it as a bad thing due to believing it's pandering to 2 fans who liked the game for Ecchi reasons and typically used Rex to self-insert, or believing the picture has regressive undertones due to backing down from the Ambiguously Bi and polyamorous implications at the end 2 and is OOC for insinuating the characters follow old-fashioned and sexist gender roles. Also, while the polarization is to be expected given Rex's Base-Breaking Character status, paradoxically many of the most positive reactions to the picture come from former haters and fence-sitters who now praise him for being Rescued from the Scrappy Heap due to his seeming newfound sexual prowess, assertiveness, and manly badass design, while a lot of the most negative responses to the image come from longtime Rex fans who support a polyamory outcome but loathe how it was presented for the above reasons and view these newer fans as a Misaimed Fandom.

    C 
  • Canon Fodder:
    • The month where Mio had to pretend to be M while playing The Mole for the Lost Numbers is extremely popular subject on Archive of Our Own, especially because it allows authors to explore M and N's dysfunctional relationship.
    • The true names of each Consul that haven't already been established (minus the cases where there would likely be no name to begin with) are a potential guessing game given that they are the first letters of their former identities.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal: Consul N and M being past versions of Noah and Mio. Even if someone was unfamiliar with the Xeno series of games, where this idea has been around since Xenogears, the fact they both look like Noah and Mio, share the same voice actors, and they are introduced around the time that the game reveals people who die are brought back to fight again makes it pretty obvious they are past incarnations of the two leads. The real mystery turns out to be how they exist at the same time as the current Noah and Mio, and just what this means.
  • Catharsis Factor:
    • After the Trauma Conga Line that was the end of Chapter 5 for Ouroboros, learning that Mio and M switched bodies and Out-Gambitted N so that M would die in Mio's place is nothing short of satisfying, especially with the epic Villainous Breakdown N has upon finding out that his plan to force Noah over the Despair Event Horizon ended up backfiring on him.
    • Consul D was the Starter Villain of the game, and became worse and worse the more we knew about him. A crazed sadistic Serial Killer even before becoming a Moebius, the guy became Eunie's walking Trauma Button because he killed her on a previous life. So it's very satisfying to see his partner, Consul J, who's a revived Joran in the form of a Consul, after having been talked back into his good senses sacrifice himself by keeping their interlink and making them explode in the Cloudkeep. Especially because he finally begs for his life after all the lifes he swept.
  • Common Knowledge:
    • The post-credit scene of Mio mentioning Noah fading from her memory as part of her last diary entry is commonly cited as evidence that the inhabitants of each world completely forgot about their experiences within Aionios and about the existence of the other world as a result of Origin resetting them to their original states, essentially rendering the entire game's events meaningless. However, given the diary's context, it's clearly referring to Mio's last day within Aionios as Origin was in the process of rebooting the two worlds, not after she had already returned to Alrest. While it's not impossible that the party lost their memories of the other worlds after the reboot, this scene is not proof of it.
    • Mio being Nia's daughter is something that is so widely accepted by fans that it's hard to believe it's not actually confirmed by the game. While there are many hints provided by the game, such as Mio's uncanny resemblance to Nia, both being Gormotti and having Flesh Eater core crystals, the fact that Nia is confirmed to have a child implied to be Rex's that shares her features, and there are many scenes between the two characters in a way that implies a greater connection than simple comrade-in-arms, the game stops short of stating that the two are related or that she's her daughter as opposed to a more distant descendant.
    • The identities of the Founders of the City are very enigmatic, and some of the known facts about them get mixed up with speculation. The first misconception is that they are the first Ouroboros; they are not, and in fact the City they founded is not even the first incarnation in Aionios. They are, however, the Founders of the second City. The second misconception, which came more common with the Story Expansion trailer, is that Founders Reid and Cassini are Shulk and Rex, due to the Founders' statues resembling them. In reality, they are the Founders' mentors, whom were chosen to be represented over the Founders themselves.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • Whenever playing an Agnus class, expect one of your Master Arts to be Flash Fencer's Cross Impact, due to its low cooldown and the sheer usefulness of its buff (which boosts the power of your next Art) — unless your team has another way to pass Power Charge to your teammates, in which case the Flash Fencer's Hidden Thorn is also popular for its large damage multiplier.
    • Alternatively, expect to be using the Yumsmith's Flashback or the Incursor's Glitter Stream arts, given that they are Break arts. In particular, most optimized teams feature Sena in her default Ogre class, with Flashback as a Master Art; the Ogre's "Fury Smash" skill makes it the best class in the game for starting Art combos, and Sena is the best Ogre because she is the only one whose Blade can be upgraded.
  • Complete Monster: While Z has agency issues, several of his subordinates, known as "Consuls" in public and "Moebius" in private, have no such concerns:
    • Consul D was an exceptionally sadistic Agnian soldier named Blackblaze Dirk before he became a Moebius, a complete lunatic who would go about lopping the heads off everyone he encountered with a pair of self-made claws. As a Consul, D is a savage Hero Killer responsible for the murder of numerous named heroes in the story and the massacre of entire Colonies, such as Colony 18, where one of his casualties was one of Eunie's past selves. Close to his death, D is revealed to keep a gigantic collection of severed heads, each from a child soldier he's slaughtered, whether they fought or begged or were on his own side, as he admits all that he cares about is the "superlative feeling" of murdering the innocent over and over in a Forever War he knows is bogus.
    • Consul F is the eerily polite Consul of Colony 0, serving as a behind-the-scenes string-puller in the Keves-Agnus war. F uses assassination, information control, and other duplicitous forms of subterfuge and sabotage to ensure the war continues unendingly and countless lives are lost to maintain his power. F has altered his Colony to transform the soldiers into robotic puppets who hang on his every word at the youngest age possible, and now plans to sacrifice them all to power his machines of destruction. When his favored soldier Segiri pleads for the lives of her comrades in exchange for her own, F commends her selflessness only to murder her allies anyway.
    • Consul X, one of the original Moebius selected by Z, meets the heroes in the midst of massacring her own Colony after it goes Gold, gleefully slaughtering dozens of her own loyal soldiers all for having fought for a goal she knew would result in their demise the entire time. When the heroes confront her later on, she's playing the Devil on the shoulder of the traitor Shania, encouraging her to betray the heroes and embrace her worst traits. When Shania fails her, X decides to annihilate the City, a refuge for thousands of civilians who have freed themselves from the Forever War and found normal lives for themselves, all because she wants a spiteful "last laugh".
    • Consul Y, another of the original Moebius selected by Z, is a Mad Scientist extraordinaire, whose creation and implementation of the Flame Clocks serves to make him arguably the most active cause of the unending Keves-Agnus war. Designing the Flame Clocks to require all those installed with them to have to kill their enemies simply to survive, Y is a smug, prideful braggart over his hand in perpetuating the atrocious war, noting he built the Flame Clocks out of nothing but curiosity. Y currently plans to implement an entirely new Flame Clock design, meant to turn the corpses of those lost in Keves-Agnus into his mindless, memory-wiped slaves, and to test his new design, Y poisons the entirety of Colony Omega to revive them as his zombies.
  • Contested Sequel: While this game is considered a major step up from the past two numbered entries in terms of gameplay, polish, and presentation, the writing is an example of this, with fans highlighting the strength of the character and sidequest writing compared to last games, and the heavyhanded yet pertinent social commentary, while detractors pan the villains and criticize the overarching plot for being simultaneously more simplistic and less well-explained than in 1 and 2, along with a strong midgame but weaker last act when the past two finales excelled. Other points of debate are the somber and less bombastic tone of the soundtrack, the increased amount of Author Filibuster scenes which some players find meaningful and others consider pretentious, and the graphically and technically more impressive but less distinctive map designs. A very notable divide stems from the lack of previous characters and explicit Continuity Nods for most of the game similar to Pokémon Black and White, which made the game a great entry point for new players but created a sense of "unfamiliarity" for some series veterans who were expecting a more explicit crossover.note 
  • Crazy Is Cool: Two of the game's Heroes stand out for this trope.
    • Ashera of Colony 11 is well-liked by fans not just for her Game-Breaker Chain Attack abilities, but also for her (intentional) similarities to Dunban and for her unhinged obsession with battling, along with her interactions with the other characters (especially Eunie). Many of her fellow squadmates in Colony 11, such as Widow, Clad, Knoquehardt, and Hexen, are also well-liked for sharing many of her hilarious Ax-Crazy personality traits, to the point that some of them get excited at the prospect of fighting the Queen of Keves because she's secretly a battle robot.
    • Triton is a Moebius turned benevolent (and senile) who adopts the appearance and mannerisms of a classical pirate. He spends his days sailing the seas with his crew, insists on being called "Cap'n Triton", and loves to fight monsters and tell tall tales. Like Zeke from the previous game, some of the Ouroboros members can't stand his antics, making for some hilarious interactions, while fans can't get enough of said antics.
  • Creepy Cute: Consul W acts extremely childlike and comes close to murdering Ashera, but the fact that she acts as a Beleaguered Assistant to R while also being incredibly somber makes her come across like a cute, albeit creepy, little girl.

    D 
  • Diagnosed by the Audience:
    • Sena was interpreted as autistic by some fans due to her feelings of isolation despite her outgoing nature, her fixation on working out (a special interest), and her tendency to pick up other characters' speech quirks (which can be interpreted as a form of echolalia). Her saying "Yippee!" when selected for a chain order also drew comparisons to the TBH creature, which was a popular meme in autistic internet communities.
    • Likewise, Nico from Colony Mu is often thought of having autism. Her Third-Person Person speak is seen as how autistic people can develop it as a way to reinforce identity that comes from communication difficulties from an early age.
    • Valdi's extreme obsession with machinery, to the point of interfering with his ability to lead his colony in battle and in general, causes many fans to view him as autistic. Likewise an ambiguously-worded conversation where Riku inquires about his Nopon-built gauntlet, which he states was given to him as a gift for his recovery from a past injury, has caused some fans to believe Valdi is an amputee and uses the gauntlet as a prosthetic, especially after Future Redeemed, where that happened to Shulk, with Riku building him a replacement arm.
  • Disappointing Last Level: It's generally agreed that, while Chapters 6 and 7 have their high points,note  they are generally weaker than the rest of the game, and the new areas explored don't help matters.
    • Like Agnus Castle, the Upper Aetia Region hosts a few story highlights,note  but is generally seen as the weakest Slippy-Slidey Ice World in the series — which is even odder considering that Swordmarch already exists as that kind of environment. Upper Aetia is generally seen as an underdeveloped region with a lack of variety or interesting features, and it doesn't help that very few sidequests take place there; it's generally agreed that the Black Mountains in Future Redeemed, the third snowy biome in the XC3 suite, is far superior.
    • Chapter 7 begins with the much-reviled Origin Metal Fetch Quest, a part of the game generally seen as Padding. Yet, once the party gets to the final dungeon, Origin, it's generally viewed as one of the weakest endgames in the series due to a lack of environmental variety compared to previous final dungeons and an overabundance of aggressive flying enemies.
  • Draco in Leather Pants:
    • Some fans have been willing to overlook The Mole's actions even if Shania willingly throwed in her lot with Moebius and painted a target on the City that could've killed thousands by seeing her as a victim of circumstance, citing how Ghondor was unknowingly worsening Shania's self-esteem with her Brutal Honesty, her mother showed No Sympathy towards Shania's aspirations that didn't involve the City's protection while doing little to help the City herself, and Sena was acting as a Morality Chain who could've kept Shania on the straight and narrow. It also doesn't help that There Are No Therapists, as is standard with many JRPGs, so Shania's defenders are willing to view the Jerkass comments that she throws as more so desperate cries of anger, and favourably look at her characterization in Sena's Ascension Quest.
    • While a lot of the fandom reaction towards N typically has a habit of exaggerating from the opposite direction, his Byronic Hero good looks net him a fair amount of whitewashing of the fact that his relationship with M post-resurrection was a toxic one with elements of emotional abuse to it. While he does have a sympathetic backstory and complex motivations as elucidated in Future Redeemed, and it's implied M's deathwish was already present from the beginning as a result of the circumstances of her return and not solely as a result of N's mistreatment of her, his emotional distance, known habit of Lying by Omission and his further excuses to maintain the charade certainly didn't do much to make her mood better and dissuade her from that path. It's to the point that some fans claim M made things worse by not communicating with him, that her suicide was unnecessarily cruel to him, selfish of her, etc. whereas the game paints it as more a act of desperation and necessity and makes it pretty clear M did try for a long time to communicate conventionally but nothing she tried got through to him.

    E 
  • Ending Fatigue: To cap off a long game (even by Xenoblade standards), the sequence after the Point of No Return is also incredibly lengthy. The final boss fight itself is two phases, but the first phase has a number of sub-phases where the party is doing little damage and it's interspersed with lots of cutscenes to pad out its length, and the second phase also has a number of sub-phases interspersed with even more cutscenes, but none that reduce damage. Altogether, the final boss can easily take upwards of an hour to tackle, even before getting to the ending cutscenes, with the game's finale easily taking as many as two hours to complete (or more, as losing to the boss at any point sends you back to the last save point, meaning you have to go through the cutscenes and filler battle sequences all over again).
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • Even though it was made clear through prerelease footage and story beats that he wasn't going to last long, Mwamba garnered a lot of fans who loved him for being a Machina, being a genuinely Nice Guy, and in an ironic sense, having a silly name. Thankfully, he appears as a new incarnation near the end of the game and becomes a prominent NPC in City sidequests. Some fans consider him to be this game's equivalent of Captain Padraig. The creators acknowledged this in Aionios Moments, noting the irony that he was was designed to be The Generic Guy even if he proved to be anything but.
    • Consul K, the game's comical Starter Villain (much like Xord and XC2 Bana), garnered a lot of attention and fans for his Laughably Evil nature, delightfully hammy delivery, and Sophisticated as Hell vocabulary despite surviving for less than a chapter.
      K: It's the big bad boss! Boo!
    • Consul V also has fans who consider his Dastardly Whiplash personality and extremely hammy voice acting (frequently described as Skeletor-esque) to be funny and entertaining, despite his Small Role, Big Impact status and only being truly prominent in Taion's Side Story.
    • Some of the Heroes are completely optional, but have managed to become very popular despite their lack of relevance to the main plot:
      • Triton quickly became a fan-favorite for a multitude of reasons: being a Token Heroic Orc among the Consuls, his unique Soulhacker class that lets the Ouroboros claim Unique Monsters' Arts as their own, and his Pirate characterization and accent.
      • Fiona is another optional Hero that became popular quickly, mainly due to the sheer amount of trauma she undergoes during her Hero Quest in addition to her design, making pretty much everyone pity her. Not only that, but her Signifer class is also pointed towards as being one of the best Healer classes in the game.
      • Ashera is one of the most popular Heroes despite being completely optional to recruit. Gameplaywise she's one of the very few Tank Heroes and comes with some downright Game-Breaker Chain Attack abilities. She's also a Expy of Dunban (one of the most popular characters in the franchise), her Crazy Is Cool personality wins over a lot of fans in her own right, and her sidequests are some of the most praised for her absolutely hilarious, Les Yay-filled, and surprisingly complex interactions with Eunie. Her being an attractive character without relying much on fanservice also helps too.
      • Teach is popular due to his good looks, his being a heroic Indoline party membernote , and his characterization as a harsh but fair Reasonable Authority Figure, and his enigmatic past which is only hinted at in-game but intersects with fellow fan-favorite Ashera and is very prone to Fanfic Fuel.
    • Oleshandra is a very minor NPC who doesn't even have any voiced lines but is nevertheless very popular for her cute Hospital Hottie design and and being a Nice Girl in Colony 4 sidequests.
    • Even though he's merely a Companion Cube, Valdi's Mini-Levnis, dubbed by him as Mechafriend, grew a near-immediate cult following due to being a Big Damn Hero who saved Valdi at the last second from Consul Q.
    • Dorin and Bambam are a pair of random NPCs who stand out for having some of the funniest sidequest chains, usually involving them popping up and getting into trouble at completely random places in the world. While the party consider them a nuisance, fans find their antics hilarious.
    • Nico is an extremely minor NPC from Colony Mu who nevertheless manages to stand out for her unusual speech patterns which fans find positively adorable.
  • Epileptic Trees: The announcement trailer set off a frenzy of theories.
    • Noah's design and name recalling Fei's from Xenogears, the plot's premise of a Forever War between two armies of mecha with names beginning with K and A, and the presence of a shadowy council prolonging the war reminiscent of the Gazel Ministry has caused a flurry of speculation as to just how heavily the game will homage story elements from Xenogears, and whether it will be the story to finally touch on Part 6 of Perfect Works (or will, alternately, be some kind of broad-strokes re-imagining of Part 5, aka Xenogears itself).
      • The second trailer only amplified the Xenogears comparisons, as Noah and Mio's Ouroboros form is a dead ringer for Fei's Gear, Weltall, with the Robot Hair-like appendage from Elly's Gear Vierge thrown in for good measure. The Direct brought us Sena and Lanz's Ouroboros form, who's hair-hands resemble Crescens, Emeralda's Gear.
      • The small amount of art shown from the Collector's Edition artbook takes the comparisons even further by showing a young Mio in the same dress as Nephilim: the Xenosaga expy of Elly. The Direct also showed that Mio and Noah's Ouroboros form (with her in the lead) takes design cues from KOS-MOS.
      • The Direct trailer is filled with a bevvy of what seems to be Xenogears Mythology Gags, such as the presence of what seem to be Grahf and Id Expies, and the reveal that Swordmarch (which starts with the letter S) is the location of a refuge city which some fans speculate to be a Shevat Expy. The theories then shifted from whether the game will be retelling aspects of Xenogears or not, to speculation of how much of that game's script it will lift wholesale.
    • Likewise, due to the Fog Beasts from Future Connected being Gnosis Expies, there has been a lot of speculation as to whether 3 will incorporate further plot elements from Xenosaga. Fans pounced on the first trailer's mention of "Ouroboros" as a sign the UMN (which has an Ouroboros for a logo) and Collective Unconscious might make a return, while mentions of the Flame Clock led to theories about the heroes operating on a cosmic time limit and the imminent collapse of the Imaginary Domain as a plot element. These thoughts were reinforced by the Direct trailer which implies that the war is being fought over Life Energy and that the world is on an infinite timeloop which the heroes are attempting to break out of, similar to Zarathustra. After it came out, a lot of fans believe that Xenoblade 3 is heavily based off plotlines that were hinted at but went unused in Xenosaga due to its famously Troubled Production.
    • While Xenoblade Chronicles X was curiously skipped over in the chronology to the official announcement of 3, that hasn't kept fans from trying to figure out a place for it in the franchise anyway and that 3 is actually a Stealth Prequel to X, in the same manner of 2's biggest twist. The most common theories are that the land the heroes are fighting on is actually a past version of Mira (Oblivia has the ruins of ring structures which fans have noted resembles parts of Mechonis and the Keves colonies), or that they are the Samaarians mentioned in the backstory to X. Once the game came out, fans theorized that the source of Aionios, the supercomputer Origin, persisted after the two worlds rebooted to create Mira as a protector of endangered species, and that the descendants of the City went on to become the Samaarians. As it turns out, the game is not indicated to be in direct canon with X, but nevertheless inherits quite a lot of its story beats as well as some aspects fans believe were lost in the mass cuts to X's final content because of its also famously Troubled Production, such as Aionios being a spiritual Expy of Mira and Origin of the White Whale, focusing on the preservation of human souls within a megacomputer after their homeworlds were destroyed.
      • There are other theories that X is in continuity with 3 as a prequel, with it being explained that the phenomena that trapped the White Whale and its pursuers on Mira was actually Origin's activation which they were accidentally pulled into, and that Mira is actually the original version of Aionios before it is reshaped into the version we see today. The inhabitants of New LA were eventually assimilated into Keves and Agnus, which is how they have access to Elma's Full Metal Jaguar class. Furthermore, considering that Lao is found by a person heavily resembling a Consul, there are more theories that Lao eventually became a Consul himself.
    • With the reveal that the game is set in the future of the previous games, people began to worry that Mythra's promise to Poppi that she would destroy her if she became a threat to the world would play a role of the latter survived until 3, with many fans theorizing that Poppi will end up an enemy that must be defeated, though most fans hope that this won't be the case. It fortunately isn't, as Poppi shows up alive, well, and still on the good guys' side in the ending.
    • The reveal in Aionios Moments that some characters from the past games were transformed into inanimate objects when Aionios formed, the most prominent examples being Fiora as Lucky Seven and Pyra and Mythra as Noah's armguard, while Reyn's soul was stored within one of the Origin metal shards launched a bevy of theories as to which other characters became which objects and even sometimes entire locations. One commonly agreed-upon theory is that the Nopon Biter found at the bottom of Maktha Wildwood is Riki himself, as opposed to it being a memorial to his death. Other popular targets of speculation include Nimue's clock, which suspiciously seems to have been made from someone's Core Crystal, as well as the otherwise-unexplained return of the Mechonis Sword and Dannagh Desert after they were destroyed in their respective games.
    • The end of the game features a big reveal regarding the cast of Xenoblade Chronicles 2that Rex married Pyra, Mythra, and Nia, with each bearing a child who is strongly implied to be Rex's. Which that in mind, speculation regarding their identities has been abound since the release of the game:
      • Nia's child is all but said to be Mio (or at least, her original incarnation), based on interactions that they have during Nia's Hero Quest and after Nia is reawakened that heavily imply the relationship between the two. Not only that, but Mio's Core Crystal is nearly identical to the one that Nia has, and she shares physical similarities with Nia, such as her silver hair and Gormotti ears. Likewise, while the above picture heavily implies that Rex is Mio's father, Nia being a common recipient of Trans Audience Interpretation, as well as Mio's Super-Speed and other abilities being similar to what Mythra was known for, has resulted in some fans holding out that it was actually Pyra or Mythra with whom Nia conceived Mio. This latter theory would get a boost in attention after the Aionios Moments artbook showed concept artwork that gave Mio Pneuma's Core Crystal at one point in development after her Gormotti traits had been finalized.
      • Pyra's child was much less obvious for a time, with people debating if they even are preexisting characters encountered in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. For Pyra's child, a common theory was that Cammuravi is her son, being a World's Strongest Man with fire-themed physical traits, implying that he is either a Blade or a child of one, before Glimmer (a direct expy of Pyra confirmed to be Rex's daughter) was revealed for Future Redeemed. Many continue to speculate that Cammuravi is related to her in some way given that she was gifted a proper lifespan by Rex, although concept art would show that he had a different-looking Flesh Eater Core Crystal in development.
      • Mythra's child is even more debated, as the blonde hair color isn't one that any of the Agnian Heroes in the game possess.
      • The most common guess early on was Isurd, due to the fact that Mythra's child has forehead markings resembling Isurd's Tron Lines and that he uses light-based disc launchers; as Pyra's confirmed daughter Glimmer has darker hair than her mother, the same could hold true for Mythra and her son, as some children in real life develop darker hair colors later in life.
      • Another popular candidate is Alexandria, since her Core Crystal is shown in some shots to have a more emerald color (supposedly unique to the Aegises) with a shape that resembles Mythra's earrings, and she is a Critical Hit Class like Mythra as well as an Attacker to round out the role trio with Mio and Glimmer.
      • Some have even speculated that D, of all people, may be her son because he's the only prominent blonde Agnian character in the game, and has a similar face structure to adult Rex's (with all the trauma that would entail). His name can also be read in Japanese as "gifted ruler", or “the people's ruler”, similar to "king" (Rex). His Core Crystal and real Blade are also unseen. The fact his eyes are a shade of dark-amber rather than golden are a counterpoint, but it could be a result of lingering genetics. However as time went on this theory has largely been derided by the fanbase at large and is mainly just considered a joke or annoyance.
      • After the Version 2.1.0 update, fans then started to jokingly point to Miibomii (a Nopon) as Mythra's child due to their prominent visual similarities, sometimes also theorizing that Tora is the father.
      • The most out-there theory with some degree of sincere supporters is that Crys, despite being Kevesi, is Mythra's son who somehow managed to cross sides.
      • Aionios Moments would show a design of Mio with a Pneuma-shaped Core Crystal replacing her regular one, which led to a new theory that at one point Mio was Mythra's daughter during development, which gave rise to the idea that Mythra's unnamed child is Mio's twin sibling and that both may have been conceived by Nia rather than Rex.
    • Following off the above, the identities of the cast's parents in general is a popular hotbed of off-the-wall theorizing within the fandom, despite (or in many cases, because of) the game generally going out of its way to avoid explicitly confirming anything more than a small handful of incredibly obvious ones.
      • The most common theory for Noah's parentage outside of the Malos reincarnation theory is that he is the son of Shulk and Fiora and that his black hair is the result of recessive hair color genes that showed up in Dunban but not Fiora or Nikol, her known child with Shulk. Others speculate he is Dunban's own son with an unnamed Homs woman and that his sword abilities and Warrior Poet personality were inherited from him. A third popular theory is that he is the son or grandson of Vangarre (Vandham in Japanese) and that is where his descendants got their surname from. The fourth popular theory is that he is Melia's son (with Dunban or Shulk as the most popular fathers) due to their narrative ties together and to parallel Mio and Nia.
      • When specific parents are invoked for Lanz, the most common theories tend to be that he's Egil's descendant from a past relationship, or that he's not just Reyn's Expy but also his son with Vanea or another Machina woman (both bolstered by his Nostalgia costume being a mix of Reyn and Egil's outfits), or that he's the son of Dunban and Vanea due to some very vague Ship Tease with Vanea during 1's ending, sometimes with further theories that at least one of the other Machina Heroes (usually Valdi or Segiri) is also their descendant and Lanz's sibling.
      • Eunie is often speculated to be the daughter of Melia, since Eunie and Melia both mention feeling an instinctual connection to one another because of their headwings despite Melia already having many guards who are fellow High Entia, which could be interpreted as a hint at a familial relationship. People who subscribe to this theory either believe that Melia found happiness with an unnamed Homs consort or that Shulk is Eunie's father as part of a polycule between them and Fiora, drawing upon her wing and eye color and the datamined model for Shulk's mother having brown hair. Others theorize that, due to Eunie's feisty attitude and her Nostalgia costume being a cross between the two, she is the daughter of Fiora and Melia somehow, or that her mother is Tyrea, who successfully overcame her Fantastic Racism enough to settle down and have a child with a Homs.
      • Taion doesn't resemble any specific major character from 2 or Torna: The Golden Age, but that hasn't prevented some from theorizing that he is Perun's son due to their similar skintones (although, Taion is described as being based off a Blade Eater and thus a modified human rather than part-Blade). Others speculate that he is the son of Jin, whether with Malos or someone else, bolstered by his Nostalgia costume being Jin's and their Core Crystals looking ever so slightly similar, or that he is Corrine's grandson and thus Rex's adoptive nephew. Yet others speculate that he is a son of Aegaeon due to their similar Western Samurai aesthetics and his Tactician Talent Art sharing a name with Aegaeon's.
      • While Sena is clearly connected to Brighid in some way, and overwhelmingly believed to be her daughter, it's muddied by the fact that unlike other confirmed Blade descendants who inherit identical Core Crystals to their parents, hers is a different shape from Brighid's. The most common theory is that she is Brighid's biological daughter and that the other parent is Morag (sometimes in accordance with the fan theory that she's a trans woman), since her eye color vaguely resembles Morag's while her hair color and style seem to be traits that run in the Ardainian royal family, followed by Niall, Rex, or Zeke fathering her on Morag's behalf. Others believe that Brighid may have had her with another Blade, Aegaeon being the most popular candidate, explaining Sena's higher proportion of Blade-like traits. A third theory is that she is a pure Blade who was awakened from a Core Crystal the old-fashioned way by either Morag or Brighid, and her resemblance to Brighid is similar to what happened between Lora and Haze.
      • Noah's mentor Crys was extremely commonly believed to be Shulk and Fiora's son since the trailer first dropped due to his design resembling a mix of the two, as well as his kind heart and mentorship being considered reminiscent of Shulk's endgame values, which he symbolically passes onto Noah. Future Redeemed would reveal that Shulk and Fiora did have a son together, but that his name was Nikol and that he was a Generation Xerox. Nevertheless many believe that Nikol was not an only child and that Crys and Nikol were brothers, especially since the concept art would highlight Crys as having intentional similarities to Shulk in a tongue-in-cheek way. Furthermore, those who also theorize that Noah was part of that family believe that the relationship between Crys and Noah was a result of unconscious Big Brother Mentor instinct coming through. Others theorize that Crys is the son of Shulk and Alvis, given that Crys resembles Shulk but not Fiora and has Alvis's eyes, as well as a personality and role in the story which heavily mirror Alvis's.
      • Ethel being a prominent Kevesi dual-wielding swordswoman who plays very similar to Fiora to the point of having several arts and skills named after hers, as well as her being the rival of Cammuravi who is commonly theorized to be descended from Pyra and Rex, has resulted in theories that she is Shulk and Fiora's daughter, with her hair color a result of residual influence from Galea/Meyneth. Others theorize that her silver hair and overall visual similarity points to her being a child of Melia who lacks wings due to her diluted heritage, with Shulk, Fiora, or Dunban being the most commonly suggested other parent. Yet others argue that she is Shulk's daughter with Alvis, created via the latter's godly abilities or genderqueerness and relative similarities in demeanor and appearance to A.
      • Ashera is a Gender Flip Expy of Dunban, and looks, fights, and acts extremely similar to him, with the most parsimonious and common theory being that Dunban simply settled down with a fellow Homs after the events of 1. Other fans who believe Dunban and Vanea got together consider Ashera to be their half-Machina daughter who mostly took after her human side (and that she may be Lanz/Valdi/Segiri's sister), or that she is the daughter of Reyn and Sharla who idolized Dunban growing up (or was adopted by Dunban after her biological parents died) because of her red eye color making her the sister to Panacea. Yet some others believe that she is the daughter of Dunban and Sharla, explaining her having shared physical traits of both.
      • Alexandria is frequently theorized to be Zeke's daughter due to wielding a weapon resembling his Big Bang Edge and having red hair akin to the Tantalese people. It's debated who is the mother, with some believing it to be Morag due to her speed and focus on criticals, and others believing it to be Pandoria due to Alexandria's Blade traits (although her horns resemble the now-dead Obrona's) and the Ship Tease between Zeke and Pandy which if true would make her either Linka's half or full sister.
      • Fiona is commonly thought to be Elektra's daughter due to being a petite girl who shares her horns and her hammer's mitsudomoe symbol on her drum.
      • Nimue is popularly believed to be Dahlia's daughter because of their similar crystalline limbs which are said to be made out of ice. Another theory is that she is the child of Jin and Malos due to Jin's ice powers and horned mask and Malos's dark hair color as well as her being a huge influence on Taion who is heavily associated with Jin. After Aionios Moments revealed that her design is based off of Theory's, Nimue being her daughter became a common theory among fans.
      • Zeon is sometimes speculated to be the son of Melia with Shulk or Fiora due being a visibly heavily-hybridized High Entia with hair and eye color resembling a shade of blue-green in between Shulk's or Fiora's, as well as being the leader of Colony 9 which is named for Shulk's hometown. Fans of this theory also point to Future Redeemed as evidence since Shulk's moveset makes heavy use of the Awakening buff, just like Zeon's Guardian Commander class.
      • One theory as to D's ancestry involves him somehow being the son of Shulk and Fiora despite being Agnian, due to his blonde hair and the irony of Fiora having a child who would grow up to resemble the man who killed her in the past.
      • Other than the above sibling theories, Valdi is often speculated to have been an orphan adopted by Shulk to explain why he's such an Expy for him even though the chances of them being biologically related are next-to-nil.
    • The lingering identity of Consul A, who does not appear in the main game but is implied by Consul I's notes to exist, has been subjected to all manner of theories as to who they might possibly be. While the most basic theory is that Consul A is just another random masked figure like the majority of the in-game Consuls, some theorize that Consul A might actually be an existing character from the series' past, such as Alvis or the Nopon Archsage, or even from the non-Blade games, like Abel or Albedo. Others theorize that Consul A doesn't actually exist at all and Consul I was lying or incorrect, or even that A stands for all of Aionios itself. The Alvis theories gained a lot of steam with the preview for the DLC campaign, which shows the character very prominently in it, although Jossed with the actual DLC which indicates Alvis and his two components Alpha and A are all opposed to the Consuls, though some still hold to the theory since A elects to become the new backbone of Aionios, a goal that resembles Moebius's, as a form of Enemy Mine.
    • While sometimes proposed as a joke answer, the theory that the Nopon Archsage is Consul A has a surprising amount of circumstantial evidence backing it. He shares his Japanese voice actor (Akio Ōtsuka) with Z in this game and Bana from Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and his English VA Adam Howden, in addition to (and as a result of) voicing Shulk in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, also voiced Zanza, the Big Bad of that game. "Adam," "Akio," and "Archsage" all starting with the letter "A" doesn't help his case.
    • There's a fan theory that Mio's class was originally intended to be a Healer class while Taion was going to be an evasion-based Defender, but that they switched roles relatively late in development to make Mio less of a carbon copy of Nia and her Twin Rings. People who subscribe to this theory point to the fact that Mio's inherited classes and her best class ranks are all consistently Healers, that Taion's Tactician arts are references to the dodge tanks Brighid and Aegaeon, that switching them would make each Ouroboros pair a unique combination of roles like the Future Redeemed party (rather than two Attacker-Defender pairs and a double-Healer pair), and that Taion's Mondo are particularly prone to Gameplay and Story Segregation in cutscenes relative to the other default weapons, being able to accomplish defensive tasks that his class can't actually utilize in-game but which would be very handy abilities for a character intended to be a dodge tank, as signs of What Could Have Been.
    • Ever since and even before the released teaser for the DLC story expansion confirmed the return of Alvis, people have been theorizing about the DLC also having the return of another character thought long-dead: his "brother" Malos. Signs people take as evidence include a photo their voice actor took with Harry McEntire that fans have taken to mean they possibly recorded together. Relatedly, others also note the overall parallels Ouroboros and more specifically Noah shares with Malos, such as a shared Art, the name and distinct purple color of Noah's weapon Sword of the End, and his overall portrayal as the one responsible for destroying the world, albeit in a more heroic fashion. Relatedly, many fans have theorized that Noah may be a reincarnation of Malos, who upon his death was reborn in the "other" world with a chance to live out a proper life this time, due to Noah's heavy destruction/end-theming. A few take this even further in theorizing that Galea was reincarnated as Mio in Alrest as well.
    • While initially not getting much attention, Masha's ascension quest mentions she became the head of House Cassini after the previous head stepped down, with some people theorising that the former head was none other than the Founder of House Cassini Linka. The evidence used is that, as someone that wasn't assimilated by Origin, Linka would have the same immortality that the likes of Shulk, Rex, Melia, Nia, and Riku had meaning it's possible that she's still alive by the time of the base game, despite there being over a thousand years between the base game and DLC.
  • Even Better Sequel: While debates rage on about people's favorite game in the main trilogy, XC3 is generally agreed-upon to be the strongest of the three in the gameplay department, removing many of the dated elements of the first game and many of the controversial aspects of the second, while streamlining and improving on others.
  • Evil Is Cool:

    F 
  • Fan Nickname:
    • "Mr. Wild Ride" for the Ouroboros-like creature the party fights in the release date trailer. The name is derived from his quote that also mentions the "passage of fate", the Arc Words for the first game. When the June 2022 Direct Trailer revealed that one of the people that fused into him is named D, some fans decided to go a step further and call him Wil D. Ride. With the reveal of his real name, this would make him "Wil 'Blackblaze' Dirk Ride".
      D: It's a wild ride, this "passage of fate".
    • In Xenoblade tradition, the classes for Heroes Melia and Nia provide easy nicknames in "Royal Summoner" and "Lifesage" for those who don't want to be spoiled as to those characters' identities.
    • A variation: Z's name is supposed to be pronounced "Zed" in both British and American English, but some American fans pronounce his name "Zee" regardless. Other American fans spell out his name phonetically as "Zed" to make the pronunciation clearer.
    • Because of Riku's much deeper voice compared to previous Nopon characters, fans have taken to calling him "Chadpon" or "Gigapon".
    • Isurd is often referred to as Jerma due to his prominent physical resemblance to the streamer.
    • The Hero and Ascension Quests for Segiri are often referred to as "Sena's true Hero Quest", since the one that goes by that name notably has her Out of Focus, instead mainly focusing on Ghondor and Shania with Sena being little more than a witness to both of them, unlike the Hero Quests for the other Ouroboros members.
    • Most of the Agnian characters have Blade-like qualities, but age more naturally, leading to the assumption that they are descended from human/Blade pairings (one is heavily implied to be the child of a specific pairing). Fans quickly named them "Bladelings."
    • Matthew: The founder of House Vandham was generally referred to as "Fei Fong Wong" before his official name was announced as a result of his near-identical appearance to Fei and him being a martial artist.
    • In-game, both the real and fake Queens of Keves and Agnus are referred to interchangeably by their titles and by their names (Melia and Nia, respectively). While many fans follow the same conventions when trying to avoid spoilers, it's a different story for spoiler discussions. In the latter case, it's more common for fans to use "Queen of Keves/Agnus" to refer to the fake Queens, if not more conventional nicknames such as "robo-Melia" or "Fake!Nia", while always properly referring to the real Melia and Nia by their names, especially since they actually have those names and didn't merely steal them for Moebius' charade.
    • Mythra's child with Rex, who would be the half-sibling to both Mio and Glimmer, is often referred to as "[REDACTED]" by fans who don't believe any of the various theories that they are an in-game character in 3 or its DLC.
  • Fandom-Specific Plot:
    • Fics exploring the Ouroboros learning what sex is (they receive The Talk when they first reach the City) are extremely common. Related, the theme of the Ouroboros discovering their new sexuality is pretty much universal in any shipping fic.
    • A common plot point is characters introduced in 3 discovering that they're related to a character from previous games. Some examples include:
      • Mio discovering that she is Nia's daughter is so incredibly common that it's easy to forget it's not actually confirmed in-game.
      • Related, some fics put forth the idea that Sena is the daughter of Brighid and Morag (since she shares Brighid's burning hair), which also makes her an honorary cousin to Mio.
      • Usually just a Crack Fic joke, but Eunie turning out to be Melia's daughter shows up here and there.
    • The Ouroboros meeting the heroes from the previous games (usually after the Origin reboot) shows up a lot. Again, expect Mio to discover that she's Nia's daughter, and meet her father.
    • After the events of the game, Lanz went on to marry Joran. Lanz has a lot of Ho Yay with Joran, who was once in an abusive relationship with D. Joran ends up dying, and his death hit Lanz the hardest. With Joran being revived at the end of the game, some like to think that Lanz and Joran grew up to become a happy gay couple together.
    • Mio's family is a huge subject of fanfic and speculative fanart, with it being all-but-confirmed that Mio is Nia's daughter, given that it's also implied Rex is her father and Pyra and Mythra are also her mothers, with a lot of humor centered around the absurdity of their massive family. Some people extend the scope of the family even further, including Malos and Alvis as her uncles, and that's not even getting into Zanza and his connection to Shulk, Meyneth, Dickson, etc. This eventually extended to include Glimmer and Mythra's unnamed child thanks to Future Redeemed.
    • Due to the nature of the soldiers, there are a lot of fic that explore the past lives of characters that appear in the game.
    • The ending explaining that everyone has a bit of Moebius within them, there are some fanworks that explore what would happen if certain characters were members of Moebius.
    • On a more humorous note, it’s not uncommon to write Crack Fics about Rex forcing Noah to marry all his offspring as opposed to just Mio, in a sort of Take That! to the game’s ending. With the reveal of Shulk’s son Nikkol and how he is shipped with Pyra’s daughter Glimmer, he too must also marry not only her siblings, but also Noah as well.
  • Fanfic Fuel: The entire game is absolutely ripe with this, since the game revolves around characters who are Ambiguously Related to characters from the first two games. This leads to all sorts of fan theories trying to guess who is related to who, and what would happen if the characters from 3 met their ancestors from the other games. What kinds of adventures would they go on together?
  • Fanon:
    • While the games themselves seem to suggest that the ten Terms map strictly to the corresponding equivalent human biological ages of 11-20, and that everyone in the cycle had their age ranges from their original worlds scaled to match, the dramatic degree of Artistic Age in characters like Ethel, Ashera, and Cammuravi or Valdi and Fiona has led to a popular fan theory that Origin just took them at the age they were when it activated plus the equivalent of ten human years after that, without adjustments, so such characters look significantly older/younger because their lifespans cover a different age range than Noah and friends.
    • The game itself doesn't outright confirm it (instead there are a number of similarities and possible hints), but players generally accept the idea that Nia is either Mio's mother, or at the very least is her predecessor.
    • Any fanworks that mention Taion's eyesight will assume he is short-sighted. While he doesn't wear glasses in his early Terms, it's never explained why he needed them later on.
    • The identity of Mythra's child, unlike Nia and Pyra's, who are implied and borderline confirmed to be Mio and Glimmer respectively, is not hinted at in neither the main game nor Future Redeemed, but several ideas about what they would be like if they did appear onscreen are particularly popular among the fandom.
      • The most common fan interpretation is that she had a son and named him Milton.
      • Likewise, many fans believe their personality would be like Nia and be snarky, short-tempered, and have a foul mouth like her, since Pyra's implied child Glimmer acts a lot like Mythra, while Nia's implied child Mio acts like Pyra. Relatedly, many believe that they would be an Attacker class to round out Glimmer being a Healer and Mio being a Defender.
    • Relatedly, there is a common theory that Shulk and Fiora had three children to match with the belief that Rex had a single child with each of his implied wives. Typically, these three children are commonly believed to have been all sons, to match with the theory that all three of Rex's children were daughters, or that they were two sons and one daughter for those who believe Rex and Mythra's unconfirmed child was a boy. Future Redeemed would only confirm the existence of a single son named Nikol, but it is commonly believed that Nikol had two siblings. Due to the ubiquity of speculation around Crys as Shulk and Fiora's son before the reveal of Nikol, those who believe this theory usually assume Crys to be one of Nikol's two siblings, and that Crys was older.
    • While Shulk and Rex being unlockable Heroes in the main game is likely meant as nothing more than a cute Bragging Rights Reward and is most likely non-canon, multiple fans have tried to come up with explanations for how they managed to show up given that they sacrificed themselves to the Trinity Processor at the end of Future Redeemed. These theories range from the sincerenote  to the silly.note 
    • While an older Fiora is never shown directly onscreen, it's popular among fans to assume that her prototype default costume of a frilly pink shirt and shorts, which still exist in 1 as an unlockable alternate piece of gear (her Makna Type I, to be specific), turned into her outfit of choice.
  • Fountain of Memes:
    • Eunie, who shares Reyn's Cockney accent and tendency for repeatable, heavily quotable soundbites (ironically moreso than Lanz, who is Reyn's direct Expy). Among the most infamous of her lines is "Lanz wants something a bit meatier", but her various bizarre euphemisms and incredibly blunt foul mouth are also popular with fans. She's also one of the most expressive characters, and her goofy facial expressions are the source of many other memes. Uniquely (or rather, Eunie-quely), she's just as much of a meme in Japan as she is in the West, with many fans making memes and remixes of her voice lines (including, coincidentally, the equivalent of the "something meatier" quote).
    • Lanz himself is no slouch either when it comes to memes, since he's also brash and Hot-Blooded like Reyn and is pretty much based on him. Lanz is the MVP after all, you were all thinking it. Other popular quotes include "Woahhh, I got a rare doodah right here!" when finding rare collectibles, or "I'll use my thinking muscles for this!" during Chain Attacks. And like Reyn, he's also the subject of some memes since Noah calls him a lifesaver like Shulk does for Reyn, and there's the infamous "Lanz wants something a bit meatier" line by Eunie.
    • Sena, being the only Ouroboros member with a Valley Girl American accent in contrast to the English and Welsh accents of her teammates and having an equal amount of heavily quotable soundbites (most notably "I'm the girl with the gall" and "Yippee!"), along with her Plucky Girl facade.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • One quickly developed with fans of Shin Megami Tensei IV given that Noah's character portrait resembles Flynn's portrait thanks to their black hair ponytails and identical pose of reaching for their swords in the same manner. For bonus points, both Flynn and Noah are aged 18 and have Samurai themed influences in their presentation that's juxtaposed with them having western names (Flynn is Irish, and Noah is a Western spelling of the Prophet Noah). The fact that the plots of both SMT and XC frequently involve the heroes battling against a God inspired by themes from various Abrahamic religions helps.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 also garnered lots of appreciation from Final Fantasy X fans from its very reveal, due to how similar off-seeing from 3 was to sending off souls from X. Come the game's release, and the revelation of various aspects of the game's plot resulted in even more comparisons between the two games — with fan artists taking note of it.
    • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 came out shortly after Amphibia ended, so some fans of that show quickly started to see it as a successor of sorts. They’re both about a group of three friends who end up exploring a different world, while they (well, at least one of them) find a group of friends from said world whom they always travel with. The main character, (Noah and Anne respectively) develops a very special connection with one of their new friends (Mio and Sprig respectively), and their new friendship is an integral part of the work that they came from. They also both have a message about change. Even their villains are incredibly similar, with N being similar to King Andrias, and Z being similar to The Core.

    G 
  • Genius Bonus:
    • The borderline-dystopian societies of Keves and Agnus are lifted almost directly out of Plato's The Republic. According to Plato's "perfect society", people are ruled by intellectual "philosopher-kings" with souls of gold, as opposed to the common masses with souls of more common metals like iron, tin and copper. Art and history are commonly censored and private property doesn't exist.note  The very concept of the family unit has been eradicated, and childbirth is extensively-monitored by the state, with Plato even theorising the existence of reincarnation within the book's pages. The game shows that society for all it's worth: a nightmarish hellscape of constant war and racism, slavish devotion to military hierarchy and their immortal queens as the only form of "family" they know, and little in the way of art or culture all run by scared and traumatised Child Soldiers. Even the colonies' ranking system is ripped straight out of the book, and its status as a lie to signal to Moebius on good colonies to feed on is based on how Plato called likening souls to precious metals as "The noble lie". Beyond that, The Republic is also one of the texts found in the Nag Hammadi library — a collection of texts forming the "canon" of Gnosticism, from with the Xeno games take heavy influence from.
    • A quest in the City is a Romeo and Juliet parody. In the English localization at least, all the Romeo Expy's lines are written in iambic pentameter (10 syllables per line, 5 stressed and 5 unstressed).
    • The true nature of the twin worlds of Agnus and Keves draws a great deal from particle physics and quantum mechanics. The two worlds originally began as one (ie. planet Earth) before they were separated, much in the same way that a particle and its anti-particle can be formed through pair production. A particle and its anti-particle will naturally be drawn towards one another thanks to their opposite charges, which will result in the two annihilating each other and being reduced to photons — which is exactly what would happen with Agnus and Keves. Z intervenes and causes the twin worlds to freeze in time at the moment of their merge, but the fusion is unstable, resulting in entire parts of Aionios being eradicated in a surge of energy — the Annihilation Effect.
    • Related to the above, it is stated that the two worlds were able to communicate with each other via the medium of light, and that the information on the two worlds and the souls of their inhabitants is fed into Origin's archives via motes of light. Physics researchers were able to demonstrate in 2018 that light interacts with both matter and antimatter in exactly the same way, making it the perfect compromise medium for safe communication and data storage.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff:
    • Similarly to his predecessor Reyn, while Lanz is liked well enough by the Japanese fanbase, he's the least popular of the three male party members. By contrast, Lanz is far more popular in the West due to the English translation and voice acting turning his character into a Fountain of Memes.
    • Riku also gets more attention from Western fans because of the memetic quality of how unexpected his voice is, causing fans to treat him as a Memetic Badass. In Japanese, Riku merely has a basic high-pitched Nopon voice and so doesn't receive the same amount of attention in Japan.
  • Goddamned Bats: The Ropls end up being Aionios' equivalent to the ambushing enemies of Mira. Encountering them on an equal or greater level makes them Demonic Spiders as they keep watch over suspiciously empty zones or choke points in caves. Encountering them at lower levels turns them into nuisances that still attack the party despite being much weaker than they are.
  • Goddamned Boss:
    • Are you enjoying the brokenness of the Signifer class? Have fun with Kilocorn Grandeps. It's the easiest and lowest-leveled superboss, but its "Breath" Art removes all buffs from anyone it hits and replaces them with nasty debuffs. Anyone reliant on the class' buff-stacking strategy is in for a nasty surprise.
    • Dreadwyrm Nizoont isn't the hardest superboss, but its "Heat Scream" Art makes it completely invincible for a few seconds. This doesn't make the fight too much harder, but it is annoying and only serves to draw out the battle — especially since it only uses it at random and not to strategically avoid certain attacks or Arts that you used, with the only way to remove it being the Troubadour's "Twin Moons" Art or the Soulhacker's "Snake Eyes" Art.
    • The "Heroes Frontline" Challenge Battle, which pits you against most of the base game's Heroes except Ethel, Triton, Cammuravi, Melia and Nia, turns multiple Heroes into this. The first wave has Zeonnote  and Gray,note  the second wave has Ghondornote  and Segiri,note  and the third wave has Fionanote  and Juniper.note  You can use a Chain Attack to quickly dispose of the more annoying Heroes while inflicting heavy damage on others through AOE usage, but the fight becomes much harder and more frustrating if you're going for a time record. There's a reason why the battle gives you 15 minutes to get an S rank; not using Chain Attacks is a downright Self-Imposed Challenge.
  • Good Bad Bugs:
    • Choosing the Soulhacker and Martial Artist classes when using the clothing of certain class will have the Soulhacker and Martial Artist's Blades unload, giving the characters the appearance of being a true Bare-Fisted Monk.
    • When standing at an odd place in the world, character models can glitch out and rapidly vibrate in place to much amusement. Sometimes they will also overlap each other during Rest Stops as a result of a memory leak, leading to moments like Noah clipping on top of Taion while the latter is poring over a map.

    H-I 
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Future Redeemed makes N an even more tragic figure in light of the reveal that the context behind his attack on the first City was not what it initially seemed to be, as N and the scrabs he brought with him killed so many there to stop an even greater enemy — Alpha — from destroying all of Aionios. His murder of his son, previously depicted as his Moral Event Horizon, is revealed to have been an accident when said son intentionally jumped in front of his blade to stop him from killing Alpha, who was actually possessing his granddaughter and N's own great-granddaughter. The following destruction of the first City wasn't planned but rather the result of said son then exploding due to his Ouroboros powers going out-of-control with his death, which then cuts to N staring blankly at all of the devastation as the newly-revived M shows up.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight:
    • By the end of 3, Ouroboros and everyone else have to be separated because Origin has to start, and the worlds must be split apart. While bittersweet, the Ouroboros promise to one day be reunited and meet again. According to the post credits scene of Xenoblade Chronicles 3: Future Redeemed, after the worlds split, they quickly remerge, but this time without the threat of annihilation events, allowing everyone (including Noah and Mio) to reunite and the people of the City to one day be reborn.
    • Ouroboros arriving at the City and eventually being given their own home in it in the City's own version of a "Homecoming" ceremony, as well as the kindness shown to them by Monica and Ghonodr, becomes much more heartwarming once it's revealed in Future Redeemed that the Founder of House Vandham was a descendant of the incarnations of Noah and Mio that would become N and M. All of a sudden, Noah and Mio arriving at the City for the first time becomes a very literal homecoming to them, with Monica and Ghondor quite literally being their family.
  • He's Just Hiding: Because of the Inferred Holocaust that comes with the City having to be removed from existence along with Aionios for the worlds to separate again, while the game itself (via Melia and Ghondor) implies the people of the City will eventually be born in the future, some fans envision that after the ending, the City residents were evenly allocated across the Xenoblade 1 and 2 worlds, if only to give characters such as Monica, Travis, and even Shania (since Joran is present in the ending) a satisfying conclusion. Future Redeemed confirms that the people of the City had their data recorded by Origin to ensure they would not be wiped from existence once it reboots, with Alpha having planned to take them to another dimension intact.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Fans used to meme about the replacement of the iconic Territorial Rothbart with its Replacement Scrappy Jingoistic Gigantus. At least, until Future Redeemed revealed the real reason for its absence: your party literally murdered its offspring a thousand years ago, cutting its family short.
    • The ending scene of Noah tossing the Lucky Seven into the ocean during the finale to celebrate the end of the eternal war has good symbolic value, but takes on a much funnier tone when Future Redeemed explains exactly what's inside the sword. The sword contains the souls/memories of the parties of the first game as well as Pneuma, so he's essentially tossing the old cast into the drink.
    • Ghondor complaining about her name became this after Future Redeemed revealed that she was named after her ancestor, who was also N and M's son. Which means that Ghondor is unknowingly throwing shade on Noah and Mio, whose past incarnations were indirectly responsible for her having that name in the first place, especially given N and Noah's shared reputation as a Giver of Lame Names.
    • A lot of laughs were had over the fact that Xenoblade Chronicles 3 would not be the last JRPG to have Harry Lloyd voicing a Demiurge Archetype Big Bad in control of an "ark" called Origin, particularly since Final Fantasy XVI would come out less than a year after 3.
    • In Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Ouroboros and Moebius are mortal enemies. The second season of Loki (2021), which came out in 2023, introduces Ouroboros, who is a friend and ally of the heroic Möbius.
  • Ho Yay:
    • A lot of fans find Eunie and Ashera's antagonistic friendship pretty charged in a Foe Yay Shipping way, due to Ashera's fondness for provoking and teasing Eunie who responds with flustered annoyance, to the point that Sena openly hangs a lampshade on the Vitriolic Best Buds aspect of their relationship. Ashera's Ascension Quest even has the two arrange for a Mutual Kill pact, but one that is clearly out of affection for one another and has Slap-Slap-Kiss vibes. Especially since one of their exchanges during the quest has Eunie threaten to throttle Ashera only for her to admit it would probably be a nice way to die.
    • Although Lanz and Taion have the most initial hostility towards one another, they learn to trust and confide in another as the story progresses, but nevertheless take a lot of potshots that can be interpreted as Belligerent Sexual Tension, particularly since their dynamic isn't that much different from the more overtly romantically-charged one Taion has with Eunie.
      • When Noah and Mio Interlink for the first time, Lanz and Sena attempt to imitate them the next morning in front of Taion, who is somewhat annoyed that Lanz assumes Sena is his partner instead of himself despite their previous antagonism. Given that Interlinking is sometimes treated as a metaphor for a romantic relationship, and given Taion is initially even more against the idea of Interlinking with Eunie (who is a veritable Ms. Fanservice who hadn't said anything to particularly piss him off at that point), it's been interpreted half-jokingly by fans as Taion being a more Tsundere variant of Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock.
      • For Lanz's part, Chapter 4 has a conversation between Lanz and Taion realizing they actually agreed on something for the first time. Lanz takes the opportunity to upgrade their friendship to the next level by setting up a high-five, only for an embarrassed Taion to storm off with a very stock Tsundere reaction straight out of a Romantic Comedy. Instead of being upset at being left hanging, Lanz just chuckles to himself before settling on an oddly dreamy expression and tone of voice.
    • Eunie has a tendency to call people "love" a lot of the time, including other girls. It's mostly meant to be a neutral term of endearment, as is used quite liberally in the Cockney dialect that Eunie uses. But at one point, Sena refers to her as "Eunie-love" (while asking her to join her in the bath no less), which causes Eunie to get particularly defensive in a way that can come off as Armored Closet Gay.
    • Sena's bond with Mio is generally characterized as a Senpai/Kohai kind of relationship, with early official descriptions of Sena stating she sees Mio like a sister, but it also overlaps with Pseudo-Romantic Friendship, and is notably given as much or more focus than her bond with her Interlink partner Lanz, which tends to be treated more like close-but-Platonic Life-Partners in contrast. There's a flashback to when the two met where Mio reaches across a canteen table and touches Sena's hand, cutting her off and causing her to look up at Mio, slightly slack-jawed. Many interpret the scene of her confessing to Noah that Mio tells him things she won't tell her and encouraging him in her place, without fully understanding how to express it, as her being this game's iteration of the staple Romantic Runner-Up.
    • Taion's love for his mentors Isurd and Nimue comes off as unusually intense by the standards of the game's mentor-mentee relationships, to the point that it's not uncommon for players to come away with the impression that he might have possibly been in love with either of them at some point. Especially since the prospect of Isurd's wrath drives Taion into suicidal despair.
    • While Mio is the idol of Colony Gamma, Kyrie's starry-eyed adoration of her, and her excitement at getting to take personal lessons with her to a point that her fellow Gamma trainees find odd, causes her to come off as an admirational Stalker with a Crush on Mio.
    • Namuki's eagerness to get Lanz naked. It's being done For Science!, but the homoerotic innuendos are milked for plenty of laughs.
    • Much of Lanz's intense sorrow and fixation on Joran's death can come across as not just typical regret but also the angst of someone who was never able to confess his feelings until it was too late.
    • Noah's outlook on offseeing, and a big part of what causes Mio to start to fall for him, was startlingly similar to the one held by Miyabi, who was so dedicated to Mio that she sacrificed her life to save her and Sena despite having more life left. Relatedly, Mio and Noah exchanging their flutes is treated as a significant Relationship Upgrade; it's noted that Mio's flute originally came from Miyabi, giving that relationship similar subtext. Mio is also only able to restore a reincarnated Miyabi's memories by using her music to communicate the intense feelings behind their past bond together, and Miyabi's Heroic Chain ability is all about raising Mio's TP (which, due to the Gameplay and Story Integration behind how TP functions, implies that Miyabi is completely devoted to Mio and Mio alone).
    • While the Queen of Agnus [[spoiler:(specifically, the real one) ended the last game having confessed her love to Rex, and is heavily implied to have had a child with him, the nature of her relationship with Pyra and Mythra who are also strongly implied to have become Rex's wives is more unclear. As a recruitable postgame Hero, she wields spectral copies of their swords and incorporates their appearance into her outfit and hair, but it's left ambiguous whether it's for platonic reasons (as friends content to be Rex's wives together) or romantic reasons (not just being co-married to Rex but to each other Polyamory, continuing off some Les Yay implications between Nia and the Aegises from 2). That Rex is revealed to have become a temporary avatar for Aionios via Heroic Sacrifice in Future Redeemed in Aionios while Pyra and Mythra shapeshifted into Matthew/Noah's gauntlet (and thus no way to see the characters clarify these relationships) probably didn’t help with the ambiguity.
    • Likewise, the outfit of postgame Hero true Melia Antiqua incorporates elements of a character she already had Ho Yay with, this time Fiora. More specifically, she wears a purple version of the red diamond pendant Fiora wears around her neck, which some fans have interpreted as Coordinated Clothes and a sign of that their friendship in 1 may have evolved into something more. Melia's Ascension Quest also has her talking about a dearly cherished friend who meant a lot to her and was a great inspiration in her youth, who in context could be interpreted as Shulk, who she did once have an explicit crush on in the first game. However, while he does appear in her flashback montage of fond memories of the events of 1 and Future Connected, it ends up closing off on a quizzical lingering shot of Fiora instead. The base game, Future Redeemed, and the artbook's explanations for the true nature of Lucky Seven taken together namely that Melia created Lucky Seven as a product of her heart resonating with Origin, that it contains the soul of someone incredibly dear to Melia, and lastly that it was forged specifically as a vessel to store Fiora's soul so that she could change the world, point towards Melia considering Fiora to be the most important person to her.
    • Ghondor and Shania's extremely charged friendship-turned-enemies dynamic, which ends in Ghondor cradling Shania's dying body in a particularly tender embrace as she whispers words of apology, is a rich source of Foe Yay Shipping and for some people also a Dry Docked Ship. Many view Shania's desire for Ghondor's approval as a Woman Scorned with an intense infatuation, especially given that the two are deliberate Foils for Sena and Mio's healthier relationship, which is also popularly interpreted as a hopelessly one-sided crush.
    • The real Melia and Nia became a very popular ship soon after the game's release after it was made clear that the two had formed a very close friendship and care a lot about each other, on top of the existing romantic subtext for the bonds formed between other members of Keves and Agnus. It helps that their banter with one another comes off to many fans as having flirty vibes.
  • Improved Second Attempt:
    • A common complaint about the writing for the first two Xenoblade games as well as Xenogears (which Xenosaga also received minor praise for averting), was the tendency for character screentime to be massively unbalanced towards or against certain party members, resulting in the main characters getting too much focus compared to other more interesting party members (this being one of the major reasons for Rex, Pyra/Mythra and to a lesser extent Nia and Lora being so divisive), while others like Rico, Billy, Sharla, Mòrag, and Zeke tended to quickly become Out of Focus once their major story arc was over. Conversely, one of the big points of praise for 3 from fans is that, while not perfect, it manages to strike a much more consistently balanced division of plot relevance for each member of the party throughout the game.
    • Much as Amalthus in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was considered by many people to be a do-over Expy of Krelian that succeeded at correcting that character's writing issues, N is considered to be the same for Kevin Winnicott from Xenosaga. Kevin was intended as a Tragic Villain fans were meant to Love to Hate, but was such an obnoxious Smug Snake that most just saw him as an Unintentionally Unsympathetic Scrappy who actively dragged the game down. Likewise, Shion siding with him near the end was extremely controversial, and many believed it crossed the line from realistic Love Martyr behavior into nonsensical, to the point that Takahashi openly condemned the scenes in hindsight. It seems he made good on that, as M openly rejects N's abusive behavior towards her, that N's most monstrous and Kevin-esque moment is revealed in Future Redeemed to be a lot more morally complicated than Kevin's was, and N's tragic backstory and smug cruelty in the present are written in such a way that fans actually enjoyed seeing him get his comeuppance instead of wishing he wasn't in the story at all.
  • Inferred Holocaust: The game's ending deliberately leaves it somewhat ambiguous what the ultimate fate of the City population is, in light of Origin restoring Melia's world and Alrest back to their former states, especially since the City population are new life who doesn't belong to the original version of either world. A comment from Melia implies the City's people were also recorded in Origin (the City's people being shown when Melia mentions "future lives"), and Ghondor expresses the belief that she will eventually be born in one of the restored worlds, but the most cynical interpretation of the ending is that the City inhabitants were completely erased from existence along with Aionios itself, an outcome that Ghondor and Monica (assuming they even thought it was a possibility) nevertheless gracefully accept in exchange for time being allowed to flow properly again.
  • I Knew It!:
    • Pretty much everyone correctly guessed that the Queen of Keves is Melia Antiqua, which the closed captions in the release date trailer accidentally revealed. While technically true, the one in the trailer is a robotic Evil Doppelgänger, and the real Melia has a presence later on.
    • Most fans theorized that Silvercoat Ethel would join the party despite being initially presented as an prominent antagonist for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was a glimpse of Sena wielding their weapon in pre-release gameplay clips. The official NOA website briefly listed them among the recruitable Heroes by accident before withdrawing the image, seemingly confirming these theories. As it stands, the site is half-correct, as Ethel is indeed the first Hero, but unlike the rest of the Heroes, is only with your party for a single mission before leaving for most of the game.
    • As Xenoblade Chronicles 2 screamed at the top of its lungs that it was pushing Polyamory with Rex, Pyra, and Mythra, it came as no surprise that Rex married and had children with both, but a theory that circulated amongst fans was that the New Game Plus title screen showing the trio holding hands with Nia too confirmed her addition into the group. The ending of the game thus shows a photo with Rex having married Pyra, Mythra, and Nia while also giving them children.
    • Fan art and insistence on the subject of Pyra and Mythra having children with Rex was somewhat popular though disregarded as a fringe theory due to their Blade nature. The ending showing Pyra, Mythra, and Nia having Rex's children proved those fans right that Blades, or at least the Aegis and Nia due to her special nature as a Flesh Eater, could reproduce.
    • Near pretty much everyone correctly guessed that Shulk and Rex were the mentors of House Reid and House Cassini's founders.

    J-L 
  • Jerkass Woobie:
    • Ashera is a Blood Knight whose sanity isn't all there, but it's hard not to feel for her after her Ascension Quest reveals why she's that way. She has Past-Life Memories that resurface every time she nears her 10th Term, of being beheaded in the age when Homecoming was a rather unceremonious execution. The scar on her neck comes back every lifetime, along with the pain, and the pain gets worse until it drives her insane and leads to her killing herself or getting herself killed. Given the Off-Seeing version of Homecoming started a thousand years ago, Ashera may well have gone through this ordeal dozens upon dozens of times.
    • Consul S, A.K.A. Shania. Her sister died when she was young, forcing her to join the army and dashing her wishes to become a painter. Her loving father died soon after, leaving her with her abusive mother. Likewise her childhood best friend Ghondor's attempts to get her to follow her artistic passions with Tough Love only worsened her inferiority complex. Eventually Shania would meet with Consul X, who pushed her into betraying The Lost Numbers and nearly getting the entire City destroyed had Mio not been able to warn them to evacuate beforehand, eventually leading to Shania killing herself after her failures. Shania would later revive as Consul S in Sena's Ascenscion Quest and attack the City herself, only to be stopped by Ouroboros again, and dies in Ghondor's arms, finally understanding how she wanted to pursue her own goals instead of her mother's. While they may have acted like a Jerkass to the main group, especially taunting them as they were about to be executed in the eclipse, things could've turned out differently if life didn't give them the short end of the stick.
  • Jerks Are Worse Than Villains: Despite only appearing in Sena's Ascension Quest, Shania's mom is the most unanimously hated character in the game. While the villains this time around are less well-liked compared to previous examples in the series, they tend to be treated with either indifference or mixed reception due to the fantastical scale of their atrocities. Shania's mom, on the other hand, refuses to let her pursue her passion as an artist and expects her to act like a member of the Reid family. When Shania is Killed Off for Real as a member of Moebius, her mother chooses to Speak Ill of the Dead instead of acknowledging her own role in her daughter's Sanity Slippage. The fact that she's supposed to be an ally while acting this way makes her more loathsome than if she were a villain. Even Consul D is liked more due to being more entertaining and being rather intimidating as a villain, despite his various atrocities.
  • LGBT Fanbase: Despite the game ostensibly going the heterosexual Everyone Must Be Paired route with all of the protagonists as well as putting many of the Heroes into Ship Tease-filled close friendships with other-gendered characters, and making heterosexual reproduction and biological families be a major plot point, the game nevertheless has a fairly strong LGBT following due to having themes that, while universal enough to be relatable to all audiences, resonate especially strongly with queer fans.
    • Regarding specific themes, the heroes' goal is to challenge repressive, sterile social norms that suppress loving relationships of any kind by overthrowing a wealthy elite filled with arrogant old people who insist on maintaining the status quo, and a somewhat antagonistic faction are outright called "conservatives". Likewise, though a midgame cutscene seems to have the message that Babies Make Everything Better, it's later harshly subverted by Sena's Ascension Quest, in which the same character responsible for the above message coldly notes that having children is not actually a guarantee of happiness and that plenty of biological parents are abusive and unsupportive to their offspring for various reasons, (supplemented by Future Redeemed's message that loving adoptive parents are just as important or better). In addition, several of the newly liberated colonies celebrate their freedom by becoming a platonic Family of Choice, and are shown to be just as content with their aromantic relationships as those who do pursue romance and biological families.
    • Regarding specific characters:
      • Juniper pulls in many queer fans due to being an explicitly nonbinary character with a cute Catperson design and a likeable personality who is admired by their peers and whose gender identity is respected and treated as perfectly normal by the setting.
      • Eunie and Taion are also very popular with queer fans, especially bisexual and trans fans, due to having fairly gender-nonconforming Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy personalities and appearances, being popular recipients of Trans Audience Interpretation, as well as their implied attraction to each other as well as having a lot of Ho Yay with other characters of the same gender making them come off as Ambiguously Bi.
      • Lanz and Sena have a lot of gay/lesbian fans due to their bond with each other being easily interpreted as platonic, while their bonds with other same-gendered characters can be seen as homoerotic, along with Lanz having a Heroic Build and Sena being a Cute Bruiser, traits seen as appealing to gay fans.
      • Nia, the real Queen of Agnus, retains many of the queer fans from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 who were endeared to her Trans Audience Interpretation via her backstory as a Flesh Eater, but now with the added element of her being implied to have been in a polyamorous relationship with Rex, Pyra, and Mythra. Many of these fans were also drawn in by Mio due to her similar physical traits.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • While the writers certainly pulled out all the stops in trying to convince the player that Mio was going to die at the end of Chapter 5, it’s questionable how many players really expected it to happen. The writers arguably tipped their hand by having the rest of the party also slated for execution; even a player who bought Mio’s Homecoming was likely to be skeptical of the entire party being killed.
    • When the player is shown the apparent destruction of the City at the hands of Shania, it could be hard to believe it'd stick, given the fact that there's a good amount of game content in that area. Surely enough, it doesn't, and the area avoids becoming an Alcamoth. The City was safe the whole time thanks to M's warning to Monica and the Lost Numbers.
    • In Chapter 4, Noah is forced to draw Lucky Seven against the Kevesi Queen, who had just been confirmed to be Melia Antiqua from the first game and making it seem like he has no choice but to kill off a popular character in self-defense. Then the Queen breaks down and malfunctions, revealing herself as a robot. The real Melia is imprisoned but still alive, and is rescued in the final chapter.
    • The game also tries to convince you that Moebius D kills Nia as she awakens. Even assuming that the player either forgot or is unaware of her massive Healing Factor, it would render the entire arc too much of a "Shaggy Dog" Story, to say nothing of killing off a popular character in such a way. Sure enough, Nia turns out to be fine, aside from some brief grumbling.
  • Love to Hate:
    • Consul N is regarded as Kevin Winnicott without the warped focus that led to him being The Scrappy. While a genuinely horrific Hope Crusher, he manages to have enough pain in his backstory that leaves him sympathetic enough to be tolerated, but refuses to make excuses for his behavior, leading to a very satisfying comeuppance when his own wife uses his scheme to drive his Heel–Face Reincarnation Noah over the Despair Event Horizon by killing Mio to pull a Heroic Sacrifice to save them and the rest of the party — the very same wife who he massacred his own descendants to resurrect against her will.
    • The duo of Consul D and J has been praised for being a very well-developed pair of Consuls, while also doing an effective job of how monstruous Moebius can be. Both serve as two contrasting characters who seek power for varying reasons, with J searching it for effectively being envious of everyone achieving more than him in his past lives combined, and D searching it so that he can extend his never ending catharsis of killing people. D would be doubly so than J, as while J did become very hatable when he was revealed to be Joran reincarnated, he did manage to get an Alas, Poor Villain moment in his death, D never did so, remaining a hammy, hatable, and intimidating antagonist all the way to the end.
  • Low-Tier Letdown: While every class is usable (at least when player controlled) to a greater degree than in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, with the large amount of classes available to the party, there's bound to be some that perform worse than others.
    • Defenders as a whole fare pretty badly in this game, to the point that many dispense with them altogether. The biggest issue is that, with the exception of Lone Exile (which has a Lightning Bruiser moveset), Zephyr (which attacks fast enough to spam its one Aggro-generating Art frequently) or a Tough Soul or Dodge Soul Soulhacker (which can be given high-damage Arts meant for Attackers that let them attract aggro more easily while retaining the tankiness and/or agility of a Defender), most of them are terrible at maintaining aggro, or have few-to-no options to even generate it in the first place, despite it being their very job. That the game-busting Protector's Pride skill (obtained from Guardian Commander) and the Fraternal Badge equip (obtained from Puzzled Raquinu in the Rae-bel Tableland) can speed up Arts cooldowns to mere fractions of their normal rate if non-Defenders are targeted, even further disincentivizes the use of Defender classes at all, and both can be obtained before the game's midpoint. The class system provides a wealth of Master Arts with invincibility windows, making it possible to configure various Attacker classes into ersatz Dodge Tanks, particularly when synergized with the above, rendering Face Tank classes almost useless and the better Dodge Tank classes merely good as opposed to great.
    • The Stalker class, inherited from Juniper. Its main gimmick is getting a damage boost when attacking enemies that are at low health or suffering from the Bleed status effect, neither of which is useful because a party that can get enemies to low health doesn't need the boost and because debuffs are not reliable in this game. Most of the class's arts are weak and very slow, with several Skill and Arts wasted on aggro reduction when it does such pitiful damage that aggro gain isn't a problem to begin with. Rapid Shot sounds good on paper, as it has one of the highest power multipliers and gets an extra boost if you attack from the side... but the name is ironic as the animation is so long that it's better to use Arts with weaker multipliers but faster animations, and it's at an anti-synergy with the Night Hunt stance art that boosts attacks from behind.
    • The Machine Assassin class (from Segiri) is a debuff-focused offensive class which has the problem of being available at the point of the game where enemy debuff resistance is too high for it to be relied upon. There's also the added "bonus" of having a debuff resistance-reducing Art that itself can be resisted, as well as its arts being incredibly slow to recharge. It can work decently well when paired up with Taion's Ouroboros form, which massively decreases enemy debuff resistance simply by being active, or with a Shackle Ring, whose special effect dramatically increases the chances of debuffs landing, but as with Stalker, it gets easily outclassed by Attackers that require far less setup. The class (as well as Segiri) fares better in the Archsage's Gauntlet mode, as the "Debuff to Break" and "Debuff Rate Up" emblems can help it do its job properly, but there are other classes and Heroes that can also inflict debuffs and offer additional utility such as combos.
    • For Heroes:
      • While the Soulhacker class is considered to be unique and excellent with enough investment, the Soulhacker Hero, Triton, is not. Unlike an Ouroboros member with the class, he is unable to use the "Soul Hack" skill to learn Arts from Unique Monsters, and is stuck with middling stats and basic Arts, going against the very reason for the class' existence. He also only has a base TP of 10, and his Heroic Chain ability is one of the worst in the game, as it randomly adds or subtracts 50 TP from the final total, making it a high-risk low-reward maneuver. His Chain Order is rather underwhelming, as it adds only a paltry amount of TP to the remaining party members, compared to the Heroic Chain abilities of Teach and Fiona, who add more TP and can do so more than once in a Chain Attack. The only reason to use him on your team (aside from quests that require him) would be to unlock the Soulhacker class for other party members if you somehow don't want to use Lanz, his class inheritor, as one.
      • Juniper, along with their class being considered one of the weakest in the game, is considered one of the worst Heroes to boot, due to both of their Chain Attack abilities being extremely weak (and being either copies or downgrades of Gray's) and because their Arts animations are exceptionally long, making their already poor damage output even worse; Liberation Arrow art has them spin in an incredibly slow circle before actually firing the arrow, making it quite possibly the worst art in the entire game. It doesn't help that they are an Attacker class, meaning they have no alternate means of providing utility to the party, unlike Defenders who provide AOE buffs and can absorb enemy aggro and damage for a time, or Healers who can revive and support the party even without useful Arts.

    M 
  • Magnificent Bastard:
    • Teach is the current Commander of Colony Gamma, where Mio, Taion, and Sena are currently appointed in. When first met by the recently transformed Ouroboros group, he sends them to a far away place from the Colony to seemingly kill them, but later clarifies that it was to test them and see if their good will hadn't gone away because of the recent power they got. Later in his Ascension Quest, we learn that he was previously known as the "All-Slayer Oleg", who was infamous for having battles won with many casualties of his own men, with one particularly bad Pyrrhic Victory making it so that he wanted to change his ways, faking his own death and, with the help of Consul G, ensured that he would be known as Teach from later on. Although he's known for putting his troops in rigorous training that would make even the most resilient give out, he still wants what's best for them, and is willing to do anything to protect them, even avoiding violence if it's not needed.
    • Crys is an Off-Seer from Keves who later became part of the evil Moebius. One thousand years ago, he grew tired of Homecomings being little more than unceremonious executions after a soldier's tenth Term, and with the help of Consul M, successfully convinced Consul V to retool Homecomings into ceremonies where a soldier is sent off, removing them from the cycle of death and rebirth. He continued his Off-Seeing through multiple reincarnations, and in his final reincarnation, became Noah's mentor as an Off-Seer. Reborn as Consul C, he's tasked with eliminating Ouroboros and joins forces with the Queen of Keves to guard the last piece of Origin metal. However, he uses this as a ploy to murder the Queen and give Ouroboros the Origin metal, but not before fighting them to the death to see if Noah and his friends are indeed Worthy Opponents against Moebius. In his last moments, Crys takes the time to point out how there's no telling what will happen once Moebius is defeated, and he's proud of Noah for coming so far. Noble, crafty, and desiring the best for everyone, Crys was a figure Noah was honored to have learned from.
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Riku, thanks to his incredibly manly English dub voice. It gives him super strength! It's gotten to the point where fans (ironically or otherwise) speculate that there's more to him than meets the eye and he's secretly some sort of ancient being or outside cosmic force. When Future Redeemed finally revealed his "big secret" — namely, that he was the seventh Founder of the City and a descendant of Heropon Riki (biological or adoptive) — it only helped his reputation even more.
    • Mwamba, who despite having minor plot significance on account of being such a blatant Mauve Shirt, fans like to claim that he would have decimated the enemy. Like with the Morbius (2022) memes, this would come in the form of Mwamba going "it's Mwambin' time!" on account of his own funny sounding name.
    • Jansen became this after propositioning Monica, which many fans interpreted as him having insane Balls of Steel.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • N, for achieving the previously-unthinkable feat of being cucked by himself.note  Any discussion regarding him will usually end up circling back to that, for better or worse, and will almost always bring up him screaming about Mio like in his Villainous Breakdown.
    • Consuls O and P became the fanbase's punching bag about the same time they became Mio's. Despite the imposing appearance of their Interlink form and their role in Ethel and Cammuravi's deaths, the game otherwise treats them as a Bumbling Henchmen Duo, they never regain any momentum after Mio's Megaton Punch, and their ultimate fate as Self Disposing Villains due to them stupidly ignoring the Overheat alarm means that they get no respect in or out of the game. Noah refusing to send them off afterwards is just the cherry on top. Ask any fan what O and P's defining character trait is and they'd likely reply with "dimwitted" or "incompetent".
    • The Queen of Keves. In-game, she's a tough boss and a formidable foe who forces Noah to draw Lucky Seven against her, malfunctions only due to her real counterpart's interference, and later on gets taken down for good in a surprise attack from Crys only because he pretends to ally with her. Fans, however, take her two "deaths" as evidence that she's Made of Explodium and treat her as a Shoddy Knockoff Product to the real Melia, often comparing her to poorly-functioning computer hardware.
    • Jingoistic Gigantus gets this simply for not being named "Territorial Rotbart". While it's basically Territorial Rotbart in all but name, fans treat it as if it's an inferior copy and that its being one whole level lower than both versions of Rotbartnote  makes it significantly weaker. Bombastic Rotbart Jr. of Future Redeemed, which is an entire 70 levels lower, is treated as if it's more powerful and/or legendary simply because of its name.
    • Triton, who is explicitly getting a bit senile in his extreme age, but given how he has a TP of 10 in Chain Attacks that has the potential to decrease by 50 upon reactivation as his hero chain attack quirk (for the record; TP is generally associated with how intelligent a character is, with Lanz and Sena both having 15), fans like to exaggerate just how bad his mind is slipping.
    • Hackt, in stark contrast to Mwamba. Whereas Mwamba is a Mauve Shirt that dies to D who fans like to portray as the strongest character in the game, Hackt is a Red Shirt that also dies to D who fans tend to forget the existence of due to his unremarkable design, and those who do remember him often like to joke about how he's The Friend Nobody Likes.
    • The Titan of Uraya ends up being notably shafted in both its debut game and here, with the corpse of the Titan often being subjected to Annihilation Events (natural or otherwise), its insides being less reminiscent of the original Uraya's natural beauty and more of a rehash of the first game's Colony 6 Ether Mine, and there being no Agnian heroes of Urayan origin (the closest equivalent being Monica and Ghondor Vandham, who are actually from the Lost Numbers). With Vandham in 2 being relegated to being a Guest-Star Party Member and the country as a whole being Out of Focus in its story, it's jokingly agreed upon that Uraya can never have nice things.
  • Memetic Molester: Consul Y has gained this reputation among fans for getting uncomfortably touchy with a brainwashed Miyabi.
  • Memetic Troll:
    • Somehow, Wario. As a result of the Nintendo Store being the only way to order the Special Edition of the game, there was an overflow of people trying to order it once it went up, resulting in the website failing to keep up with everything and ultimately having the page removed, which meant anyone with the link was instead sent to a page with a picture of Wario telling them the item they were looking for doesn't exist. Due to how widespread it was among the fanbase, it didn't take long before people began joking that Wario was preventing them from buying the game or outright stealing copies.
    • Likewise, Jimmy Neutron turned into one after someone claiming to have a review copy posted a fake leak of music from the game and sent the fandom into high alert for fear of being spoilered prematurely, only for it to turn out to be the theme song of his show.
    • Manana, due to the period of time when Food items were bugged and most of them didn't work. Fans took to portraying her as a scam artist who provided the party with fake food to rip them off of their Nopon Coins and rare ingredients.
  • Mexicans Love Speedy Gonzales: American fans tend to love the stereotypical Valley Girl accent and speech quirks the English localisers gave Sena. It also distinguishes her from the rest of Ouroboros, who have English or Welsh accents.
  • Moe:
    • Mio's Cute Kitten traits, including her Expressive Ears, spirited yet friendly and welcoming personality, adorable Welsh accent in the English dub, and her courage in the face of her incoming demise and her past traumas, all make her very endearing to players.
    • Taion is declared by many Japanese fans to be the most moe character in the game due to the wide gulf between his outwardly stoic behavior and his true personality as someone who is deeply caring and nurturing (a popular example being his excited reaction to seeing a newborn), which is considered very "gap moe". Likewise, other traits like his terrible cooking, frequent tsundere moments, tendency to be teased by other characters, easily-flustered, Adorkable nature, and his Trademark Favorite Food being the same as Pyra'snote  are seen as evocative of past franchise heroines like Pyra and Mythra, who were also known for having heavy moe appeal, resulting in the Japanese fanbase in-joke that he's the true heroine of 3 over Mio.
    • Sena is an easy candidate, as on the surface, she's kooky and bubbly, but underneath it all, she's shy and suffering. The fact that her design is pleasant on the eyes makes her even more endearing in this regard.
    • Fiona is a cute and sweet young Commander of Colony Mu who wears a Sailor Fuku like a schoolgirl. She also goes through much suffering yet still maintains her innocence and grows stronger from her experience.
    • Many of the new monster species are designed to resemble real-life animals in cute ways that cause players to regret fighting them if they can help it. Amonies are giant anemone-like creatures with friendly smiling faces, and then there's the Ottils, adorable and friendly Playful Otters who will cheerfully leap out of the water to crack seashells on their bellies. An NPC who gives a quest requiring Ottil item drops even lampshades the unpleasantness of having to fight them because of their cuteness. Even some of the monsters from previous Xenoblade games that were already considered at least somewhat cute — such as the rabbit-like Bunnits and capybara-like Kapibas — are made even cuter with improved fur textures.
      Sena: Oh my sparks, the cutes!
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • D/Blackblaze Dirk crossed it before the events of the game when he killed people and kept the heads of his victims as trophies when he was a human, while having sadistic pleasure on the whole thing.
    • F crosses it when he attempts to murder Segiri's allies after she pleads for their lives in exchange for her own.
    • K crosses it when he uses the Flame Clock to steal the lives from the soldiers of Colony 4 to heal his wounds, causing a lot of casualties.
    • V crossed it before the events of the game when he murdered one of Ashera's previous lives, and did so with such unrelenting force that he left her with a permanent scar in every new incarnation that continuously delivers pain to her.
    • X crosses it when she uses Shania's intel on the City's whereabouts, points Agnus Castle's cannon at Swordmarch, and attempts to destroy the City with an Annihilation Event.
    • Y crossed it before the events of the game when he unleashed a poisonous gas throughout Colony Omega and murdered everyone in it slowly and painfully, save for Mio and Sena, whom Miyabi saved at the last possible second.
  • More Popular Replacement: Riku and Manana are widely considered to be the best Nopon party members in the series, lacking Riki's missing Character Focus during the main story, Tora's more perverted tendencies, and Tatsu's overall obnoxiousness. Instead, Manana is well-liked for her Supreme Chef skills and Genki Girl disposition that make her a Badass Adorable. Meanwhile Riku isn't even a comic relief character at all, has a surprisingly deep voice for a Nopon, and is instead much more of a Yoda-like figure to the party and Noah, and humbly mentions that he's just a common garden variety Nopon. Which is a Cassandra Truth, given that while he is biologically a mundane Nopon, and it's implied that all Nopon are functionally The Ageless in Aionios like him, Riku appears in Future Redeemed where he was shown to be as helpful to the Liberators as he is to Ouroboros.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: Any time you hear Noah unleash Lucky Seven, it is going to be glorious to listen to. When you hear the sounds of his sword striking his enemies when he uses Tachyon Slash and especially Final Lucky Seven, then you know that his opponents will die, if not take severe damage.
    Noah: I'll tear it all down!

    N 
  • Narm:
    • Playing with subtitles on can sometimes result in scenes being unintentionally made comical due to the way the subtitles try to phase grunts, screams, or other small noises the cast make. A good example is in Eunie's Side Story, where after a dramatic scene where Consul X talks about how Humans Are Bastards, the subtitles phrase her spitting like noise of disgust as "(blows a raspberry)", which is too comical for how serious the conversation is at that point.
    • The big twist of Chapter 3 is the reveal of Consul J's true identity, but the character looks and sounds the same as when the heroes remember from years ago. This makes a chubby kid in a villainous costume teleporting around and stabbing doppelgängers in the back far more funny than shocking.
    • During the Wham Episode of Chapter 5, the affinity chart updates to reflect Shania's betrayal and minor NPC Anton's death. Depending on which party member you're leading with at the time, their reaction will be hilariously unfitting, such as Noah saying "It seems some relationships have changed." Similarly, when the chapter draws to a close, you're left on a silent screen that would usually be accompanied by Mio's diary and her narration, truly driving in the sense of despair after seeing her die. This is undermined by Noah cheerfully announcing "It's good to keep a record" if you choose to save the game.
  • Narm Charm:
    • Part of the ending, for fans of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The whole twist of Rex having children with three female Blades; Pyra, Mythra, and Nia, who all seemingly gave birth at the same time can come off as ridiculous and downright hilarious depending on what culture you live in, and how out of nowhere it is, based on the fact that it was never explained if or how Blades can have children or not. On the other hand, it was already implied by the Evolving Title Screen once the game was completed that something of the sort must've happened, and heartwarming to know that Rex, Pyra, Mythra and Nia found happiness among themselves and started a family that they always wanted. It also makes Rex's "I love you... and all you guys" line to Nia much more Heartwarming in Hindsight.
    • The heavy use of Unusual Euphemisms like "spark" and "snuff" as a ratings-safe way to get away with otherwise strong language is no doubt very silly-sounding, but a lot of players ended up enjoying it all the same because it works as a clever bit of Woolseyism, and also because the delivery for said lines, especially when it comes to "spark" in particular, already sounds as if they dropped an actual Cluster F-Bomb anyway.
  • No Yay: There are some people who don't like the idea of Rex having a harem, or at the very least, having Nia part of said harem, and would just settle for him sticking with Pyra and Mythra. Rex's Base-Breaking Character status in 2 is a major contributor, along with Ship-to-Ship Combat and Fanon Discontinuity.

    O-R 
  • One-Scene Wonder: Poppi's singular appearance during the credits was enough to make the fanbase lose their collective minds.
  • One True Threesome:
    • The most popular polyamourous ship involves every member of Ouroboros, making it an OT6, with some preferences for the OT6 often clustering around the component OT3s of Noah/Mio/Sena and Eunie/Taion/Lanz. Said OT3s will also sometimes manifest as OT4s that add Miyabi to the former and Ashera to the latter for good measure.
    • There is also Nia/Rex/Pyra/Mythra for those that interpreted that relationship in the past as polyamarous, but that one has more moments in the second game. Given that Nia/Melia is also a popular ship, some people take the polycule relationship even further and extend the foursome to a fivesome of Nia/Melia/Rex/Pyra/Mythra.
  • Padding: The search for Origin Metal shards at the start of Chapter 7 involves traveling the world and retreading old maps to find generic items without much fanfare, with fans unflatteringly comparing it to the infamous Triforce shard hunt towards the end of The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Many fans believe the game would have been better off making each of the main party's Ascension Quest mandatory and rewarding players with a shard at the end like Noah's quest does, which would actually make the main story longer, but make the task to retrieve the pieces feel more purposeful.
  • Platonic Writing, Romantic Reading: All three Ouroboros Interlinks in the game involve opposite-gender connections, of which one is an Official Couple and another one receives a lot of overt Ship Tease, to the point that it is commonly assumed to be a direct form of Romantic Fusion where any Ouroboros/Moebius Interlink is interpreted as a metaphor for some kind of couple. As Future Redeemed would clarify, though, romance is not actually an implicit component of Interlinking, as none of the Union Combos (the predecessor of full Interlinks, held back only by technological limitations) are implied to be romantic in nature, and a couple of them are explicitly shown to be familial instead.
  • Rainbow Lens: With the reveal of the photo at the end, which shows Rex seemingly married and had children with Pyra, Mythra, and Nia, some have begun to perceive the dynamic as a bisexual polyamorous relationship where Nia is also involved romantically with Pyra and Mythra. Supporting this interpretation is their evident closeness established in 2, Nia's attire resembling theirs, and her wielding weapons reminiscent of their primary armaments.
  • Replacement Scrappy:
    • Jingoistic Gigantus is a more tongue-in-cheek example. While it isn't much different from both incarnations of Territorial Rotbart aside from its name and being at Lv. 80 instead of Lv. 81, fans jokingly pretend that its "replacing" Rotbart is the worst thing that ever happened to the series and a crime against humanity.
    • Pulipuli is a more traditional example, compared to Bana from the previous two games. Many fans find him to be Unintentionally Unsympathetic given that his actions result in the destruction of Dorrick and Mechafriend, the former of which the player and Valdi worked on extensively and the latter of which had multiple Tear Jerker moments. Fans also dislike his creepy obsession with Alexandria as a motivator for his actions, all while lacking the intrigue of XC1 Bana or the Laughably Evil traits of XC2 Bana.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Zeon's voice actor, Neil Newbon, would later gain much more fame the following year for his Star-Making Role as Astarion in Baldurs Gate 3.

    S 
  • Salvaged Story:
    • While Xenoblade Chronicles 2 promoted a message of love and tolerance and denounces authoritarianism and systemic evil, it's received some criticism for handling those themes in a way that comes off as overly centrist, milquetoast, and/or simplistic to be satisfying, with the main points coming down to accusations of bothsiding imperialismnote , demonizing revolutionaries and activists who challenge the explicitly oppressive status quoExplanation, and of portraying the solution to systemic evil as a matter of stopping problematic individuals rather than enacting broader policy/social change note  In contrast, 3 is all about systemic evil, class conflict, War Is Hell, and revolution, and handles these subjects with much more nuance for those who found 2 lacking, acknowledging that systemic evil usually cannot be resolved by defeating any one individual, and that while some revolutionaries can be extremist and harmful, sometimes the system is so rotten that it must be changed or removed to clear the way for a more just world, to the point that the heroes are the revolutionaries. Likewise, Rex's apolitical philosophy adopted by House Cassini is depicted with more nuance; their disinterest in taking political sides or pushing for social change isn't necessarily treated as the right solution to evils like Moebius, but their The Anti-Nihilist mindset provides a net good in terms of boosting morale for those who are politically active, avoiding the Golden Mean Fallacy pitfall. It helps that Future Redeemed also does a lot to rehabilitate Rex's own seeming complacency in the eyes of critics by depicting him as one of the main leaders of a band of anti-Moebius revolutionaries who is just as in favor of entirely scrapping the system as Ouroboros are.
    • The ending to 2 left many players unsatisfied because, while the main villain behind Blade oppression was defeated and the land shortage issue was resolved, the inequitable Blade-Driver system criticized by Jin remained unchanged. It also didn't help that 2's heroes tried to view it positively. However, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 hints at significant pro-Blade social reforms in Alrest, as seen through the egalitarian Agnian culture and the election of Nia, a Flesh Eater, as queen. Additionally, discussions and new characters in the game suggest that Blades can now have children, indicating that Klaus used his powers to eliminate one of the key biological constraints contributing to Blades' subservient status, allowing them to pass on their legacies while alive.
  • Salvaged Gameplay Mechanic:
    • The Hero system as a whole is Monolith's attempt to correct for the most common gameplay criticisms of the Blades system from 2 while retaining its strengths (such as the ability to recruit a large cast of allies with interesting designs, characterization, and gameplay mechanics). For example, the recruitment of Heroes is now tied to story and sidequest progression rather than being reliant on the greatly despised randomized gacha system to obtain them. Likewise, Power Creep had a tendency to make a lot of Blades outright useless, especially if the RNG gave them to you after rolling the better ones, but the Class System and Master Arts/Skills ensure that even the weakest Heroes can still offer some degree of utility to the party.
    • This game introduces a great deal of Anti-Frustration Features aimed at addressing various fan criticisms of past games' battle systems. Chief among them is the ability to freely switch between characters mid-battle, resolving issues with Artificial Stupidity and the viability of the break-topple-etc combo system; this had been one of the most common complaints dating all the way back to the very first release of XB1. Other updates include quick-dash options to address the limited mobility issues in 2, plus specific arrow indicators on the UI to better notify positional attacks (particularly since several classes are built around that mechanic).
    • The concept of master arts being obtainable by leveling classes on a character and using them on any compatible class remedies the issue of a completely static party and arts composition of Torna despite mostly having a party consisting of the same six characters.
    • Pre-release trailers for 3 emphasized the return of customizable gear after one of the more heavily criticized aspects of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was its lack of it, along with base designs that were also considered bizarre enough to be in sore need of it (unless one bought the costume DLC). The trailers also highlighted the ability to override outfits with other costumes as a kind of Fashion Gear similar to Xenoblade Chronicles 1 Definitive Edition, for those who were concerned that the best classes would be locked to ugly costumes or vice versa.
    • Field Skills were one of the most despised aspects of 2's gameplay, where they were originally tied to the Blade gacha, which resulted in a lot of tedious rotation of team blades, and particularly unlucky players would be forced to grind for hours or even days to get the right Blades and Affinity nodes just to progress past certain areas. 3 significantly revamps them by making some Field Skills Metroidvania-esque traversal abilities that are permanently granted to the whole party after completing the right quests, and others are buffs that are straightforwardly unlocked by leveling affinity with Colonies.
    • Relatedly, a common criticism of 2 was the absurd amounts of time many players would have to spend in the game's labyrinthine menus fiddling around with equipment, Blades, and Affinity Charts, especially since rotating them for Field Skills would reset their equips. 3 streamlines menus significantly, and while the issue of spending a long time micromanaging loadouts in menus isn't completely gone, the game at least will remember what Arts and equipment you've manually equipped upon switching out and back in, saving on a great deal of tedium. A postgame patch also added in the ability to remember party layouts to allow for switching with far less tedium.
    • The tutorials for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are infamously terrible for a multitude of reasons, between being simultaneously too frequent and too simplistic to properly explain the game's complex game mechanics, to being Permanently Missable Content after their first viewing, to in some cases being so poor as to actively mislead players. They're often held up as one of the biggest reasons dislikers of 2 ended up dropping the game. 3 on the other hand goes out of its way to provide detailed and tutorials for every mechanic it introduces, which can be viewed in the menu at any time and also offer practice training missions to get the hang of it. While a lot of fans feel that the game perhaps overcorrected with the tutorials and leads to a Slow-Paced Beginning, you can skip them on replays, and it's overall still considered a step up from the last game.
    • The Collectopaedia from 1 and X returns after its absence from 2 and Torna was sorely lamented, and while fans still miss the lack of world-building item descriptions for loot and collectables, this time the Collectopaedia is a category of sidequests tied to cards on individual NPCs instead of regions and can be completed directly from the menu, essentially serving as a more interesting and significantly streamlined replacement of previous games' 20 Bear Asses Fetch Quests. Moreover, many of them give players the option to bypass the grinding by using easily-found Nopon Coins and are mostly optional compared to 2's Affinity Charts which served a similar purpose but gated core gameplay mechanics and abilities behind them.
    • 1's version of Affinity Charts is back, but now with the Anti-Frustration Features of having NPCs now display a special icon and be marked differently on the map if they haven't been talked to yet or if they have new dialogue, to address players' frequent gripes about how the Affinity Chart was a Guide Dang It! to fill out and update.
    • Item orbs are back, but this time they will tell you what type of items are inside ahead of time as you approach them. You can also just buy them in bulk at Colony Plants if you're in particular need of certain items, to cut down on the infamously laborious grinding for rare orb drops by having to canvas the entire map for them and waiting for them to respawn. Also, any monster loot and item orbs you run into in the middle of a battle are automatically picked up to further reduce tedium.
    • The news that players could initiate combat in deep water was met with much approval, given that swimming enemies were notoriously Goddamn Bats in past games, since they would often aggro players from afar with no way to retaliate unless you were at the very shallow edge of the water. Worse, swimming enemies had a tendency to move out of range of players, forcing them to have to swim back out to aggro them and start the battle all over again. In the case of small characters like Riki, water monsters would often be treated as out-of-range even in puddle-deep water, leaving you down on entire party members for no good reason. 3 also grants a jump function in deeper water that lets the party climb back onto any solid ground that is low enough without needing it to be a gentle incline.
    • The metagame for past Xenoblade entries frequently favored hard-hitting offense and evasion-based tanking, with healing-centric characters often becoming regarded as useless Low Tier Letdowns past the early game. X acknowledged that by dispensing with dedicated healers altogether, though that came with its own issues. In an effort to overcome this persistent balance issue, 3 made it so that Healer classes are the only ones who can revive fallen party members and revived characters start with very little restored health, incentivizing players to continue utilizing healers into the latter parts of the game. The game also lacks the general Crit-Heal mechanic that largely invalidated Healers (though it still exists, it's limited only to the Hero Masha and her Lapidarist class), and Healing is determined by a separate stat to prevent players from just running an entire party of Attackers and Defenders equipped with healing-based Fusion Arts as a Cheese Strategy. In fact, Healers have been rebalanced significantly enough that several of the game's best classes are Healers. Relatedly, it no longer costs Party Gauge levels to revive allies, so you don't have to worry about using a Chain Attack too soon and getting wiped out in retaliation if the enemy survived, as was all too common in 1 and 2.
    • The 1.20 patch for the 2nd wave of DLC balances the frequency of the post-battle lines, so you won't only keep hearing "Lanz wants something a bit meatier" or "I'm the girl with the gall!" over and over. At the same time, it doesn't outright remove these lines, avoiding the criticism Xenoblade Chronicles 2 suffered when it patched out the Mor Ardanians' most memetic quotes. The memetic lines will still play, just not as often.
    • Arts that did extra damage against an enemy's side or back were usually dismissed as negligible in Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X, and flat-out detrimental in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, with the effort of moving around being not worth the time and with better arts being available. Here, directional attacks in general are made useful by contributing to an Attacker class' Talent Art gauge, and the ability to quick-dash in battle makes getting into position much more intuitive without interrupting combat flow despite the ability to attack while moving still being nonexistent. It also helps that there's now a visual indicator showing you the enemy's position in relation to your character so that you know when such Arts will work.
  • The Scrappy:
    • Consul U is considered one of the worst Consuls in the game, which is particularly notable given that she was written to be a deliberately-unlikeable Hate Sink on purpose, to the point that Juniper's Ascension Quest is one of the most widely-disliked due to her presence. In said quest, she comes off as a very Obviously Evil Smug Snake and a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, who nonetheless is not treated as a joke by Ouroboros and manages to fool them with a rather obvious evil plot that comes off as OOC. She's especially considered obnoxious due to the fact that she's prone to Evil Gloating, with her monologues going for minutes on end due to her intricate vocabulary, and she usually tends to do two or three incredibly long monologues before Ouroboros is even allowed to fight a boss.
    • Likewise, Consul R is hated for similar reasons. Being a villain that we're supposed to take seriously who plays an important part on Ashera's Hero Quest and Ascension Quest, while both of them play off seriously and are very dark, gets cut off when she takes screentime. She's one of the most arrogant Sore Losers of the Consuls, while also having to rely on Consul W to one-up Ashera herself, and ends up not doing anything interesting with her alliance with Consul W, while also sharing with U an obvious plan that's thwarted rather easily. Not helping matters is that she's one of the last Consuls to be fought, so by that point, the player's probably tired of their regular antics, much less R's shenanigans.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • While series longtimers are already familiar with the series' tendency to punish players for overleveling, the Bonus EXP mechanic the game promotes is seen as a huge trap for newcomers, especially since the game already makes it very easy to become overleveled as is. In particular, the game doesn't make clear that you can only gain aptitude for learning new classes by fighting enemies within five levels of the party member equipped with that class, that some party members naturally learn classes slower than others, that being higher-leveled significantly decreases the amount of class points you receive after a battle, and the fact that you cannot level down until beating the final boss (unlike in 1's Definitive Edition, which let you level down at any time), so learning and leveling classes can become a slog if you're not careful. For those who purchased the DLC, thankfully one of the Nopons within the Land of Challenge will let you purchase class unlocks with Noponstone if you're overleveled and not yet in the postgame.
    • Ambush enemies from Xenoblade Chronicles X return with a vengeance, with these hidden enemies attacking the party if they get too close regardless of their level. The one saving grace in this game is that there are no decoy models of these enemies; each burrowed model of these enemies is always an enemy, taking some of the Paranoia Fuel away.
    • Crafting gems becomes a lot more tedious when it demands a specific quality of monster materials for each gem. You can't substitute a higher-quality material for what a gem demands, meaning that you can't use a purple-grade material for a white-grade blueprint, for example. The lack of the means to trade for materials/collectibles with the NPCs you meet in the world only helps exacerbate this issue.
    • It's understandable given their origins that Keves arts recharge over time while Agnus arts recharge via auto-attacks. However, the timers for Agnus arts tend to be shorter on average by comparison, and by timing art usage with auto attacks or using the right Gems, these cooldowns can be even shorter. There is no such workaround with Keves arts aside from the boosts that the Troubador class provides (which itself is only available in the late game), making the wait times that much longer.
    • The Soulhacker class allows the party to collect Arts from Unique Monsters they defeat. However, for some reason, this is not retroactive and the player will have to refight all the enemies they already defeated (and massively outlevel). Since the Soulhacker is unlocked more than halfway through the game, that's a lot of bosses to curb stomp. This is not helped by how in order to steal the skills of Unique Monsters, the party needs to have someone with the Soul Hack skill... which the Soulhacker hero, Triton, does not have, requiring the player to either waste a party slot on the Soul Hacker class until it acquires enough skills and arts to become viable, or spend the Nopon Coins to skip the Rank up to 10 and give the Soul Hack skill to a different class.
    • The Fast Travel map gives players the option to set the time between morning, noon, afternoon, and evening for any location they arrive at, with the default set at morning. While this was intended as Anti-Frustration Features for people who don't want to miss content due to arriving in a location at the wrong time, most fans felt it wasn't an issue that really needed correctingnote , and instead find that it adds frustration due to the amount of fast traveling that needs to be done, resulting players spending the vast majority of the game in the early hours of the day and missing out on a lot of night-specific content including half of the field themes. Of note is the option to travel to late afternoon and midnight, but not early night.
    • While fans enjoy the game's Chain Attack system and its accompanying peppy Theme Music Power-Up well enough, the fact that it overrides even more awesome, and often dynamic, battle themes such as against the Consuls and other story bosses with unique themes in a manner similar to Vision Reacts from 1 and Wir Fliegen from X? Not so much. Especially since a well-done Chain Attack can make quick work of many bosses, so you spend more time listening to the Chain Attack melody than the actual boss melody itself, and the option to turn it off is one of the most heavily requested features among players for patches.
    • On the subject of music, while Melia's and Nia's unique battle themes have been very well-received, if turned on in the Options menu, they override all of the game's varied battle themes unlike the similar option in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. This means that Elite and Unique Monsters in all regions use the same theme as regular monsters, allowing for far less variety; to say nothing of New Game Plus, where their unique music tracks can override important story battle themes like the Moebius theme and ruin the mood.
    • Similarly, the menu theme is very pleasant and lovely on its own, but the amount of time spent on the menu and the map function can make the early portions of the track become quite repetitive through overuse, especially because it comes at the expense of being able to listen to field tunes in the background.
    • Players are excited about using a boat for exploration in Chapter 5, until they take actual control of it for numerous reasons: The controls are a little too realistic as the boat cannot turn while stopped and its turning radius while moving is enormous, making tight movement almost impossible. Second, the boat will turn in relation to the camera rather than the way it's facing, so the player may end up suddenly going in the opposite direction while adjusting the camera. Finally, the Erythia Sea is enormous and the map scoping on the boat isn't really any larger than when mapping on foot. Even knowing where all of the locations and landmarks are, it can easily take 10 hours or more just to map out the sea, so the boat quickly loses its novelty long before then.
    • Debuffs, or rather, debuff resistance. The higher the difficulty, and the stronger the enemy, the more they can resist debuffs. When fighting a boss or unique monster in hard mode, the vast majority of attempts to debuff them will simply fail, utterly gutting the viability of classes like Tactician, Stalker, or Machine Assassin. There is a master skill, Sappy-Sappy Drain, which increases debuff success rate, but only by a measly 25%, and will barely make a difference most of the time. Fortunately, debuff-based strategies are more viable in the Archsage's Gauntlet mode where various emblems can increase debuff success rate even further and give them additional benefits, making characters such as Tactician Taion, Riku & Manana, Segiri and Shulk much more viable and making powerhouses like Melia and Masha even better.
    • While DLC Hero Ino and her Noponic Champion class are considered reasonably average-to-decent if not amazing, the Inoswap function necessary to boost her stats is widely considered to be a Power Up Letdown, since it requires a great deal of effort to track down enough HD Ether Cylinders to fully power her up, another chore that helps compound the nature of being overlevelled in the game. Much like Supply Drops, the enemies that surround an HD Ether Channel must be eliminated before its contents can be extracted, and will respawn at already-conquered channels, making it a very time-consuming task. The most frustrating part is that the benefits only affect Ino herself, and given that most Heroes are regarded as offering mediocre on their own and are primarily chosen on the basis of their effects in Chain Attacks or their healing/buffing capabilities rather than their combat functions.
    • New Game Plus resets the party's Field Skills, which disables Sequence Breaking and closes off much of the game world. While this would be mostly fine as climbing and zipline grinding are unlocked again fairly early on during the story, and scree walking can also be unlocked early, the player must replay Segiri's Hero Quest in the late game to regain access to hazard neutralization, and said quest in itself can be a bit of a hassle to unlock.
  • Ships That Pass in the Night:
    • After the game's release and the reveal that the real Melia and Nia were Good All Along, some fans started shipping them due to the handful of scenes of them interacting and talking about each other showing a strong mutual respect and closeness.
    • After the Aionios Moments artbook elaborated on Future Redeemed's reveals about the makeup of Noah's Veiled Sword namely that Lucky Seven contains Fiora's soul and that the Pneuma core within Matthew's gauntlet is not just a general one but which contains Pyra and Mythra's individualized consciousnesses, fans began shipping Fiora with Pyra and Mythra due to the Visual Innuendo of one being "inside" the other.
  • Signature Scene:
    • Noah first unsheathing the Lucky Seven to cut down Colony 4's Flame Clock during Chapter 2, notable for one of the few uses of "The Weight of Life" in the game.
    • The scene where the party learn what babies are in the City is one of the most talked about, and remembered, parts of the game for players, on account of the heartwarming nature of the scene, and being something of an emotional climax to the group's work to reach the City.
    • Despite only appearing for a moment in the ending, the photograph of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 cast, with a grown-up Rex and Pyra, Mythra, and Nia having his children, largely thanks to it being leaked via broken street date, as well as videogamedunkey unwittingly spoiling it after his video of the game.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: Chapter 1 is very long and slow-paced, taking about three times as long as Chapter 1 of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 did to get to the same point in the story. Not helping matters is that it's bogged down with tutorialsnote  and the player spends most of the chapter limited to the Keves trio of Noah, Lanz and Eunie with only basic Arts and auto-attacks. Thankfully, when the Keves and Agnus crews join together in Chapter 2, while things are still somewhat linear, the game significantly opens up and the majority of the game's key mechanics are introduced by its conclusion.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Since the trailer announcing the game, fans declared it to be one for Final Fantasy X, given the core premise of a JRPG in which sending off departed souls is a major focusing point of the game, and even more when later trailers revealed the core plot being about how The Hero's main Love Interest is due to die in the near future.
    • Numerous Shin Megami Tensei fans have noted that the inciting incident that kicks off the game's plot is extremely similar to Digital Devil Saga. The story begins with a team of soldiers who, due to the nature of their Forever War world, have no understanding of things like 'children' gain transformation powers from an egg shaped object, a faction that exists mostly independently of the Forever War that has been negatively impacted by the previous, evil version of the main character and at least one of its characters has reached memetic status because of their exaggerated accent.
    • There have been a few Amphibia fans who immediately started to see this game as a successor to that show, especially since it came out mere months after the show ended. They are both about a group of three friends who end up traveling to a different world, while the main character travels with people from the other world. Noah and Anne both start to develop a blossoming friendship with someone from said world; Mio and Sprig respectively, that is a focal point of the plot. Even the two main villains of each respective work are incredibly similar, with N and King Andrias having near-identical backstories, and Z and The Core having incredibly similar concepts behind them.
  • Stoic Woobie: Taion is initially cold and somewhat abrasive, and even once he loosens up, he still refuses to present himself as vulnerable by keeping a poker-faced demeanor at all times. However, this, combined with his tendency to stay out of the front row in a battle, is the result of him having to flee Colony Lambda in his early Terms, causing him to believe he was responsible for the death of his mentor, Nimue. With him seeing it as his biggest regret, Taion refuses to let himself be outspoken lest it brings his allies to the brink of death again, with Noah and Eunie collectively helping him to come out of his shell.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The English dub of the game is excellent, with the voice cast nailing the emotional rollercoaster their characters go through and proving that the inconsistent dub quality of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 base game was just a fluke. Special attention has been given to Harry McEntire and Aimee-Ffion Edwards, both of whom had to pull double duty as leads Noah and Mio and antagonists N and M. The former of whom is also praised for being able to give heartwrenching screams on a level comparable to Adam Howden's famous ones as Shulk. It's also the first game in the series to have characters' lip movements properly synced to both the English and Japanese dialogue, fixing the infamous Hong Kong Dub problem of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and improving on how the other games in the series (including Torna) matched their English dialogue to the Japanese lip flaps for the most part but still had some flubs.

    T 
  • Tear Dryer: The end of Chapter 5 is a brutal Wham Episode where the party is imprisoned for a month as they're helpless to stop Mio's Homecoming that will leave her Deader than Dead, culminating in the moment where Mio Disappears into Light in front of them. Things don't get any better until the moment where M reveals she was Mio all along, as the real M switched bodies with Mio to die in her place.
  • That One Boss:
    • Moebius B, the boss of Zeon's Hero Quest, is a sharp Difficulty Spike due to his high health, hard-hitting AOE moves, and most dangerously, an attack that will shackle all healers in your party, which the AI, if left on their own, will basically never escape from. It's not unheard of to be overleveled for the fight and still struggle.
    • Remember how powerful Melia was in Xenoblade Chronicles 1? This game pits that power against you with the Queen of Keves boss fight (granted, it's not against the real Melia, but it's still a headache). She will use her Elementals as Status Infliction Attacks of Damage Over Time on your party members, such as blaze and poison, but that's nothing compared to her returning Mind Blast. This Art not only causes massive AOE ether damage, but will also inflict the annoying and devastating Seal Arts status on anyone it hits, locking them out of using Arts until it expires. While overleveled teams won't suffer too much, teams whose levels are even slightly below the Queen's will be in for a world of pain. It's been said that this is the first main story fight to demand Chain Attack proficiency. Oh, and the much tankier superboss version of her in the Archsage's Gauntlet fought together with Consul Crys? You will suffer.
    • The mandatory battle against Agnus forces on Corne Island in Erythia is especially challenging for being an otherwise ordinary encounter since the soldiers come with a pair of Testudos who can repeatedly summon reinforcements.
    • The first phase of the fight with Moebius M (or rather, Mio in M's body) has the potential to completely turn the tides against you with the simple trick of hijacking control of one of the Ouroboros characters and having them attack you. This goes double if they've activated their Ouroboros form, not only taking control of the other half of that party, but dealing devastating damage to anyone who remains, making it incredibly easy to get wiped out for those not paying attention to what Moebius M is doing. The second half of the fight has the party realize what's going on in-universe, and doles out the ability to attack said controlled party members in an effort to shorten its effect, but it's still an incredibly deadly move that can spell Game Over in a flash. Queen help you if you're on New Game Plus and she takes over Noah with Lucky Seven active. Justified in-story because Mio's been traveling with you the whole time, so of course she'd have firsthand knowledge of how all your party members fight.
    • The last boss before the Point of No Return in the final dungeon is Moebius Y. He hits like a truck but is also a heavily armored Damage-Sponge Boss and so he takes Scratch Damage from even the most powerful attacks. His most devastating Art, Glorious Typhoon, is a multi-hit attack that already hits hard but also inflicts Bleed if your characters aren't dead already, and he has another horrid Art known as "Body Trap" where he will grab and disable one of your party members for a few seconds before slamming them for massive damage. Be prepared to die to him lots, and lots, and lots of times.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • In general, sidequests revolving around getting specific items to turn in to fill up a completion bar are very tedious and annoying. The worst versions of this are the ones which take that idea, and force you to get specific items that then "combine" into specific parts that have to be turned in. Not only do these take a long time to do because of hard/rare to find resources, but it effectively doubles the amount of item farming because you need enough of every item per part to turn enough in. The Dorrick sidequest at Colony 30 in particular is especially bad at this.
    • Zeon's Ascension Quest is not particularly difficult, but very long and full of repetitive backtracking, requiring a lot of traveling between Colony 9 and Colony Tau, and has an annoying mechanic where you have to wait for the weather to change to rain multiple times in a row. There is a nearby Nopon you can pay to instantly make it rain, but it doesn't always work and costs 10,000G per attempt. As if to make this worse, if the area is raining and you do complete part of the quest, the game forcibly changes the weather to not be raining after, forcing the player to either wait or pay more.
    • The unnamed Armu Breeding Quest combines the poor aspects of multiple collection quests with the rain mechanic from Zeon's Ascension Quest. For the former, there are three bars per herd. While the first two have easily purchasable items that grant the most progress, in the third each item only raises it by 2 or 5 percent, with the purchasable items being a 2 percent increase. You then need to wait for rain or pay a Nopon 10,000G to summon it before returning to Colony Mu to select a pair to breed. This process repeats 5 times minimum and if you don’t select the correct pairings could theoretically go on forever.
    • Tau-Tirkin Alliance can be completed very quickly by breaking the alliance, but doing this has permanent repercussions to the affinity chart. Completing the quest the "right" way, on the other hand, involves collecting dozens of several different types of items from the Maktha Wildwood, requiring the use of fast travel to and from the zone to reload the collectibles. While you can receive many of the items from various NPCs at Colony Tau, this method is easy to miss. Some items are also most easily found in the lower Maktha Wildwood, which you are repeatedly told not to go to even after receiving the quest (due to high level monsters and the abundance of corrosive water).
    • Prepare for some truly obscene amounts of grinding if you want to max out all the gems. While the early-mid levels aren't too bad, each gem starts requiring ridiculous amounts of materials starting at level 9, with level 9 requiring 10-20 of five different material types, and level 10 requiring thirty of each. Think you can skip the grind with Nopon Coins? Think again. Each max level requires 99 gold coins. Admittedly only a minority of the gems are useful enough to max out, but if you naively use up Gold Coins on other things before realizing how useful they are then you'll be in for a lot more work late game.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some meme-loving fans were upset that the high-leveled Gogol in Millick Meadows is not a new iteration of Territorial Rotbart, but rather a Suspiciously Similar Substitute known as Jingoistic Gigantus — especially given that Immovable Gonzalez does make a proper return.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • Among the main party Sena definitely gets the short end of the stick. Although the game is an Ensemble Cast, her main arc of wanting her friends to see her strong receives noticeably less character focus, drama, or screentime in the main plot than the other five, and the main focus scenes she does have focus equally or more on other characters. Likewise, whereas the other protagonists' Ascension Quests further their character arcs, Sena's is mostly about Ghondor and Shania, with Sena herself relegated to an onlooker. The only quest line that gives Sena a significant amount of screentime is Segiri's (and is considered by the fandom to be Sena's true Ascension Quest), but not only are they optional, Segiri is easy to miss as one of the hardest Heroes to unlock.
    • Cammuravi. Pre-release, he was set up as a potentially important character, and while he does get some moments of badassery during the main story in Chapter 4 promptly before dying (such as being a Genius Bruiser who has a notable Code of Honour), very little is done to explore his character outside of his rivalry with Ethel. Although the party does encounter a resurrected version of him in Chapter 6 who can be recruited as a Hero, again very little is done with him, as his Hero Quest again mostly revolves around his relationship with Ethel, and his Ascension Quest is largely nonexistent and tied to Ethel's.
    • As an unfortunate consequence of having a lot of characters on the villainous team, the vast majority of Consuls only exist to be bosses of Hero/Ascencion Quests, and thus don't have the development to stand out as anything more than your average Monster of the Week. Of note is Consul L, who only serves as a boss fight in Eunie's Ascension Quest, is never seen untransformed, and is nothing more than Dumb Muscle, and Consul W, who has one of the more distinctive helmets, personalities and powersets of the Consuls, but only exists to be one half of Ashera's Ascension Quest's Dual Boss (with only a few minutes of screentime and less than ten lines).
      • Consuls X and Y are members of the original Moebius, behind only Z himself in the group's hierarchy, and play crucial roles in making Aionios the oppressive hellhole that it is. And yet, they're treated as barely an afterthought. Much of Y's screentime is relegated to Mio's Ascension Quest, and while X plays an important role in the main plot, it's possible to go through the whole game without fighting her at all. To add insult to injury, neither of them get proper death cutscenes after they're finally defeated, simply fading away like any generic enemy.
    • This was one widespread criticism of Shulk and Rex's integration into the main game as Heroes. While many people were delighted to unlock them, especially as their addition was completely unannounced, the game makes a point to explain that their classes can't be used by any of the Ouroboros members and they can't appear in any cutscenes, and their voice lines for interacting with the main party are rather limited.note  Some fans found that this robs them of one of the biggest selling points for crossover Heroes, arguing that Melia and Nia fill that role because of their full integration into the story and setting and unique quests and dialogue, along with the fact that the Ouroboros can use their classes and learn their skills.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • Some fans were highly disappointed that the game didn't elaborate any more on Klaus, the Trinity Processor, or any other aspects of the universe's creation, right down to not having any further context on Alvis being Ontos or even anything directly about the Fog King (when Future Connected was stated to be a tease for the future of Xenoblade, yet has no role in the story). Black fog plays a substantial role in the story, but its relation or lack thereof to the Fog King is as yet unexplained. These fans were hoping that XC3 would be a Grand Finale to the "Klaus saga", only for it to be a mostly self-contained adventure that happened to take place in a fusion between both previous worlds. It turns out that this part of the lore was reserved for Future Redeemed, with Alvis, now Alpha, playing a prominent role.
    • The Reveal of Moebius' ability to Interlink served to further highlight the sheer might of Moebius, the mystery behind them and the Ouroboros powers, and Foreshadow the fact that D was Interlinking with J, Joran, when you fought him the first time. Despite this however, D & J and O & P are the only times where you fight anyone from Moebius utilizing the Interlink function, which could have potentially led to some unique boss fights. Especially egregious is the fact that there are times where you fight two Moebius at the same time, such as R and W in Ashera's Ascension Quest, yet it never seems to occur to them to try Interlinking to get some kind of edge.
    • A common issue people take with Sena's Ascension Quest is that despite the name, it has very little to do with her, instead being primarily about the personal drama between Shania and Ghondor. While Sena was previously established as a foil to Shania, and it is implicitly hinted at during the plotline that the proceeding events represent Shania as Sena's Shadow Archetype, Sena gets relatively little to actually say about the matter, with many feeling that Segiri's quests do a better job at representing her.
    • Many players feel this way about Ethel's Ascension Quest and the lack of followup after she's re-aged into an adult. Aside from the fact that the quest itself is extremely short, the game doesn't explore the ramifications of her return at all. Despite the fact that she was the Commander of Colony 4, and that Bolearis' character arc revolves around his insecurities about taking over her role, bringing her back to Colony 4 yields few reactions (Bolearis will say he must be seeing things but that he is happy to see her again regardless, and Ethel herself will note Colony 4 feels familiar). Many believe that Ethel's return merited a sidequest, if not a sidequest chain, exploring the reactions of Bolearis and the rest of Colony 4, or at the very least a cutscene showing it.
    • Late in the game, Ouroboros has to collect the very rare Origin Metal around Aionios in order to upgrade the Boundary ship to break through the great sea's storm and reach Origin itself. The problem is, most of the Origin Metal is just found in random places throughout Aionios, so it's a quick, uninteresting fetch quest with the occasional enemy fight. Noah's Ascension Quest is made mandatory for the last Origin Metal piece, with many players feeling like the other party members should've had their quests mandatory as well and tack on the Origin Metal as a reward. That would extent the gameplay and give the rest of the team a turn in the spotlight, as well as improving their original classes alongside Noah and Mio. This would also solve the issue of Moebius X's optional appearance in Origin. If Eunie's Ascencion Quest isn't completed, X does not appear in Origin and she's just replaced by a group of Moebius mooks.
    • After it's revealed that Miyabi was revived, retained her memories from the past, and became a recruitable Hero, some were disappointed with how she barely had any interaction with Taion. After Miyabi's supposed death, Taion essentially replaced her as the third member of Mio and Sena's little group. With Miyabi returning, this could have led to some great interactions between the two of them, as they could have discussed their time working with Mio and Sena, and it would have been quite cool to see Miyabi officially Passing the Torch to Taion.
  • Too Cool to Live: Guernica Vandham is the first Lost Number seen in the game, and survives for an even shorter time than his near-identical Alrest counterpart — barely getting any time to know the main characters after granting them their Ouroboros powers.
  • Trans Audience Interpretation:
    • Eunie is sometimes headcanoned as a trans woman due to having Boyish Short Hair and a nonbinary voice actor in childhood along with her especially tomboyish personality and the fact that she wishes she could be more feminine in Taion's Ascension Quest, leading to some interpretations that she may have been initially raised as a boy.
    • Taion's figure is more androgynous than Noah and Lanz, and his default outfit covers his entire body in loose-fitting clothing, leading to some interpretations of him as a trans man trying to hide his features until the bonus DLC costumes revealed he has noticeable pectorals underneath. That the first officially released Interlink concept art between him and Eunie was overwhelmingly feminine-looking (later reveals showed there are two forms depending on who is in charge, and Taion's is more conventionally masculine-looking) also initially led to some fans interpreting him as a closeted trans woman at first.

    U 
  • Underused Game Mechanic:
    • There are four Traversal Skills in the game, but while Wall Climbing and Rope Sliding are used frequently and are key parts of the world design, Scree Walking (the ability to walk up certain steep slopes) and Hazard Neutralization (which lets you walk through poison swamps) are considerably less common, and will rarely find use outside of the quest you unlock them in. There is likely a reason why the former two skills come from Heroes (Valdi and Juniper respectively) whom you are required to recruit.
    • Ether Channels. Ether is an ingredient in Gem Crafting, but you only need to craft a particular Gem once for the entire party and can skip ranks if you have the materials for those of a higher rank, and it's needed to reboot Ferronis Hulks the first time you encounter them, but those show up rather infrequently and usually do not cost a lot to restart. Despite NPCs complaining about their struggles with Ether resources, Ether Channels are plentiful, and by the time you encounter late-game quests that require Ether you'll likely be topped off at 99/99 Ether Cylinders. Ino's upgrades require a separate category of HD Ether Cylinders, forcing the regular Ether Channels to remain redundant in the long term.
    • Skirmishes only offer rewards the first time, so there is little reason in revisiting them more than the first time, unless you desperately need the regular experience or monster item drops they provide.
    • Odd Shards (A.K.A. Origin Shards) are very commonplace, but are only used for a single sidequest near the end of the game, to upgrade the weapons for the playable character's starting classes. If the player has been exploring a lot, they'll end up with enough shards to upgrade all 6 weapons by the time they finish the sidequest, and any shards collected after that have no use.
    • Invoked with the Flame Clocks. You get a tutorial about them, you're told how the strength of the Clock will affect your stats... and you're freed from the system forever after one more story quest. The rest of the world is still tied to this mechanic, but the player characters are no longer using it.
    • Defender Roles. Aside from Mio and Lanz, who are gotten at the start of the game, there only exist three Heroes whose Classes provide a Defender Role, those being Zeon, Ashera, and Monica, compared to Healers having six Heroes and Attackers having ten (although one of the Attackers can be any role). Anyone who wanted more Defenders on their team is completely out of luck. Furthermore, only two of them (Mio's Zephyr and Ashera's Lone Exile) are considered to be genuinely good in the XC3 metagame, while the three other Defender classes fall under Low-Tier Letdown for their inability to draw enough aggro. Even worse, the "Protector's Pride" Skillnote  further disincentivizes teams from using Defenders so that they can benefit from shorter Art cooldowns, to the point that many team compositions use a Full Metal Jaguar (an Attacker) as their dodge tank. Possibly aware of how limited they are, Monolith Soft decided to make the very first DLC Hero, Ino, be a Defender.
  • Unexpected Character: While the Queen of Agnus of Keves and Agnus where expected to be Melia and Nia respectively, many people did not expect for Poppi to show up in Nia's castle in the ending, as well as a picture showing Rex, Pyra and Mythra alongside Nia, showing their children, even if that last one almost reaches It Was His Sled status due to how unexpected it was.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic:
    • Shania gets this a lot for her choice to sell the party out to Moebius and her two attempts to have the entire City destroyed. While she does have a Freudian Excuse of an abusive mother, Ghondor having been a poor friend to her, and X whispering in her ear to explain her turn, fans still felt that the havoc she wrought was massive Disproportionate Retribution given that characters with even more tragic backstories are in abundance, and that the Alas, Poor Villain death she received wasn't really earned, with some even making unflattering comparisons between her and Hitler, due to both being disgruntled artists-turned-soldiers with genocidal intentions. While some viewers did find her reasons for doing so sympathetic, her smug and self-entitled personality after the reveal made it seem like she's crossed the line into being a Hate Sink, only to suddenly get an Alas, Poor Villain death on two occasions, which made it harder for some to feel sympathy for her.
    • A minor example: You may think twice about doing the Tau-Tirkin alliance quest the pacifist way once Tirkin raiders steal the party's food supplies when they aren't looking, forcing them to get sidetracked to find some more rather than to track them down and take them back, in addition to that method being extremely tedious.
    • Pulipuli from Colony 30. Motivated by a creepy obsession with Alexandria, he sabotages the construction of Dorrick in a misguided attempt to impress her, for which he is Easily Forgiven. Then, late in the game, after Dorrick has been built — with considerable effort from the residents of Colony 30 and us, the players — and is ready for operation, Pulipuli hijacks Dorrick and Mechafriend (an Ensemble Dark Horse who has already been the subject of some Tear Jerker scenes) resulting in Dorrick being blown up and Mechafriend performing a Heroic Sacrifice to shield Valdi from the blast. Once again, Pulipuli is Easily Forgiven, because he just wants to have friends and has low self-esteem, with Valdi even comparing his own (well-intentioned, accidental) screwups with Pulipuli's (deliberately malicious) actions. Mitigated by the fact that Mechafriend is rebuilt and Pulipuli is then punished by being forced to provide Hamster-Wheel Power to the Colony.
  • Unpopular Popular Character:
    • Triton. The main party is frequently annoyed by his eccentric and forgetful nature, and oftentimes seems to merely tolerate him at best. The fans, however, love him, both because he's a playable member of Moebius and because his pirate persona is hilarious.
    • Dorin and Bambam drive the main cast up a wall with their stupidity whenever they're encountered, which is the exact reason the fanbase finds them entertaining.
  • The Un-Twist: Ethel joining the team as a Hero. While early trailers attempted to present the character as an antagonistic figure, a lot of other information presented about them lined up with that of all the formally introduced Heroes, and preview footage showed the heroes using their weapon in combat. As such, nobody was surprised that they were the game's first Hero, even before the site accidentally leaked them as one. Although, few people expected that they would also disappear for most of the game's story and be killed off in a dramatic fashion, even if the game does provide a way to add a version of her back to the party towards the end.

    V-W 
  • Vanilla Protagonist: Noah's tendency to be the most consistently level-headed Straight Man and Nice Guy of the party, and a consistent source of stability for the others results in a significant portion of players considering him the blandest of the main cast, for better or worse. While Mio and Taion have a lot of personality traits in common with Noah, and in-story it's why they get along so well with him, they tend to be regarded as more interesting due to being more upfront with their insecurities and eccentricities.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion:
    • Valdi's youthfully androgynous features have resulted in many players initially assuming he was a young girl with Boyish Short Hair at first.
    • Quite a few assumed Juniper to be female at first, but the game's internal code makes it clear that they are supposed to be nonbinary.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not Political?: While the game is usually pretty upfront about its political message, with possible metaphors having little ambiguity as to what real-world concepts they represent, others have been interpreted in more subtle ways. For example, some fans have interpreted the gradual but inevitable complete destruction of Aionios through Annihilation Events that can only be averted if the heroes succeed at dismantling their current way of life as a Green Aesop about climate change and environmental destruction, similar to the decline of inhabitable Titans in Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
  • The Woobie:
    • Jumbo Tirkin from Ghondor's Ascension Quest. He's introduced as a fearsome enemy who menaces the human soldiers, but it's revealed he was only trying to look out for his growing children in a land that has become increasingly inhospitable to him and his people as constant warfare and scant resources keep pushing him into the range of human soldiers, and he'd be all too happy to move away if they had a safe place to stay. The quest ends with him being mortally wounded by enemy soldiers while trying to protect his children. It's enough to make players think twice about fighting Tirkins afterwards.
    • Consul M. She was forced into immortality and becoming a Moebius as a result of N destroying the original City in exchange for her living forever — something that she never asked for or wanted. She then spends centuries completely alone with only the other Moebius for company, and takes the first opportunity she can to derail the Forever War constructed by the Moebius and Z. Even until the end, she still hopes N would see reason, and even dies for good in hopes that he'll have a Heel Realization. A hope which is unfortunately not realised, up until she reunites with him after his defeat.
    • Both of the Queens are this — the real Queens, if that weren't clear enough. Both Melia and Nia communicated and worked together to build Origin, a system to reboot both their worlds, after their inevitable destruction, only for it to spawn Z due to the fears and doubts of all the people whose data was stored within. After creating his hellish "endless now", Z then captured Melia to use as a living battery and deployed a Rotten Robotic Replacement to steal her throne and build up an image of her as a ruthless, warmongering tyrant for hundreds of years. All of this while Melia couldn't do anything to help her people but watch from within her captivity, forge Lucky Seven, and possibly exert mild influence over the robot's functioning. Nia fared better, creating the Ouroboros Stones and helping to found the eponymous team, but was still forced into (voluntary) hiding to escape Z's clutches while he had her own evil replica take up her throne. It's heartbreaking to realize that these two iconic heroes did everything in their power to save their worlds and people from annihilation, only for it to be turned against them and for them to watch helplessly as a Forever War unfolded before their eyes with their people turned into little more than commodified pawns.
    • Poor Fiona has had it rough. She's the leader of the small Colony Mu, where although everyone loves her, her hero quest truns her once peacful colony into trouble. Her best friend Irma turned out to be a Consul member who was raiding her Colony with the purpose of sending some life force to the Colony's Flame Clock, and when she gets revealed to be the villain, she has to fight her and ends up killing her, not being able to redeem her. Everyone in her Colony were being controlled by them, so they went unaware with their affair only knowing that something happenned between the two, leaving Fiona to bear with the memories of that event. After that, the Colony starts to have problems with how to manage themselves, and almost end up fighting, with Fiona having to deal with most of it. At the very least, she ends up growing from this, and grows into a competent leader.
  • Woolseyism:
    • The mobile fortresses that make up Colonies are called "Iron Giants" in Japanese, which was translated to the more distinct term "Ferronis" in English to maintain the same theme naming established by the first Xenoblade game, given that Bionis and Mechonis were Woolseyisms of what were simply referred to as "Giant God" and "Machine God" in the original Japanese.
    • The generic mild Japanese expletive "kuso" is translated into a variety of terms in the English script, usually Hold Your Hippogriffs invented swear words such as "spark", "snuff", and "mudder". Many fans like the change, as corny as it can sound, because of the way they allow some of the characters to be quite foul-mouthed without pushing the ratings too high, and provide a lot of additional worldbuildingnote  as well as Memetic Mutation value not present in the Japanese script.
    • In Chapter 2, a small scene at Colony 4 has Sena address Eunie as "Eunie-chan", which Eunie reacts negatively to and asks that she just call her Eunie. This is supposed to reflect Eunie's speech pattern and attitude (she speaks femininely, but very informally), but doesn't have a matching system for an English speaking viewer. Instead, the localization ties it better to Sena's character arc by having her call Eunie "Eunie Love", which is how Eunie addresses people at times, and having Eunie react in a way that makes it sound like she dislikes being called it. This fits better with Sena's character as someone who struggles being herself, so she tries to imitate other people in some way, and sets that idea up earlier than the game normally does.
    • Many fans find that Riku's very unexpected low voice in the English dub makes him more amusing and memorable than his basic high-pitched Nopon voice in the Japanese original. Many also argue that his English voice is more fitting to his stoic and mature personality unlike previous Nopon companions — and makes him stand out that much more from Riki and Tora.

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