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    #-C 
  • 8.8:
    • While a score of 34/40 (9/9/8/8) from Famitsu isn't by any means horrible, the reviewers' explanations regarding the score generated chaos within the fanbase, specifically, they cite "time and effort" is required to traverse the world, excessively long cutscenes, issues with spoken dialogue being deemed "slow" and a lack of explanations regarding gameplay mechanics. However, some players don't see these necessarily as "cons" to an Eastern RPG of this degree and scope.
    • Kotaku's preview with the game, not unlike Kotaku's other 8.8 review with Xenoblade.
    • Gamespot gave it an 8 at the end of their review, but said X's subsystems are confounding, that its mission structure is vague, and doesn't offer enough time for the player to explore freelynote . This caused quite a bit of backlash from players who disagreed.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • During Gwin's introduction scene he offhandedly quips that Irina's kissing Elma's ass. Later you find out that he has an unrequited crush on Irina, while her admiration of Elma may not be entirely platonic. So was his comment snark, or a sign of jealousy?
    • Dagahn is much smarter than he appears. Does he tag along with Ryyz due to some long-standing bond, or to keep her in check?
    • The Ganglion's motives for exterminating all humans. The Ganglion species fears human/Samaarian DNA since it can melt them down with little effort, but they paint their extermination campaign as a holy mission and try to keep this a secret from the lower-ranking races in the organization. Furthermore, Luxaar tries to deny that humanity is a failsafe against them while trying to justify its extermination. Luxaar also seems genuinely surprised to learn that human DNA is fatal to his species, which implies that the myth was intended to be used as propaganda, but was also correct by chance. Is the religious zealotry just a cover for the Ganglion seeking to get back at the original Samaarians for making them a Servant Race? Do they find the idea of a relative primitive race being their creators' descendants so humiliating, that any evidence of this getting to the lower-caste races (some of which were enslaved by the Ganglion) could potentially undermine the Ganglion's political legitimacy? With the Ma-Non mentioning that the organization is a Samaarian crime syndicate, the Ganglion could be just trying to further consolidate power in the Samaar Federation and one of their big steps is exterminating any other species biologically related to Samaarians and erasing all evidence of their genetic ancestry (which could also explain Goetia destroying the Lifehold piece that contained the Library of Congress) while recruiting/enslaving races living in the Federation. And who's to say they haven't overtaken the Samaar Federation already, and humanity is the next target for tying up loose ends?
  • Anti-Climax Boss:
    • Harvey, a BLADE thief, is fought at level 15 while the quest involving this battle is available at Chapter 7, well after the player is above level 25. The real threat are the indigens on the way to the battle site.
    • Gadd. During his third battle, his level is no higher than when he was fought last time. The real threat in the battle is the new Skell that fights alongside him.
  • Awesome Ego:
    • H.B. thinks that he's the greatest BLADE ever, but between being one of the best party members and how entertaining some of his egotistical behavior is, he has quite a few fans.
    • Male Cross with the "Rebel" voice. Almost all of his lines in battle are very cocky, which adds to his Escapist Character status.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • The Ma-non species. Some people love them for their quirkiness and find them cute, while they get on others' nerves due to their chipmunk-sounding voices.
    • H.B. While plenty of people hate him for being such an Insufferable Genius, others think his haughtiness, and how it plays out in affinity missions, makes him one of the more interesting recruitable party members. He's also this gameplay-wise; a lot of people are turned off by his character ditching the gatling gun for the assault rifle, but it gives him a second art for inflicting taunts and Last Stand. In some cases, he's better than Lin as a tank!
    • Bozé is perhaps the most divisive teammate within the fandom:
      • For his detractors, his Fantastic Racism against all xeno-lifeforms comes completely out of left-field and his Freudian Excuse does little to actually validate it. Other detractors interpret him as a mouthpiece for how "great" Japanese culture and philosophy are, along with Tough Love and Macho Masochism. Others, while initially off-put by his racism are more forgiving towards him due to his complicated personality and his Character Development, as long as the player stood up to his xenophobia.
      • The boss of his last affinity mission being difficult to defeat without the right strategy or equipment is a huge pain in the neck, and is only rivaled by the boss of Yelv's last affinity mission, where the ideal strategy is lest costly. Having a full set of Candid & Credible armor and attacking from range (ie luring the boss to an area not surrounded by lava) makes the battle much easier.
      • He shares the same loadout as Lao, resulting in a bit of a Power-Up Letdown (although to Bozé's credit, he manages to be available in the endgame). As such, some people are grateful for his presence when they're looking for Ultra quality Sniper Rifles.
      • He's nowhere near as handy or spectacular to the other DLC characters gameplay-wise, as HB's min-maxed tanking loadout, Yelv's Glass Cannon gambit with Essence Exchange, and Alexa's Maximum Voltage and Overclock make them genuinely handy in times of need, while Bozé's Vortex and Slayonet arts aren't too special. Even Lao has him beat in Afterburner!
    • Murderess is probably second to Bozé in terms of being divisive. Some people are appealed by her being the Token Evil Teammate with Hidden Depths and a Dark and Troubled Past. Her detractors are still adamant on her infamous Establishing Character Moment during her recruitment mission (where she backstabs the team, takes all the monetary rewards for the mission, and whose posse can become That One Boss).
    • Lao is also divisive. Some see him as a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds who only wants to see his family again, and others sympathize with him for his crusade against humanity. (His family wasn't chosen to board the White Whale while other assholes made it insteadnote .) They also side with Lao regarding the story's Transhuman themes; he sees what humans did to survive as not natural and doesn't see the citizens of NLA as human. Other players see him as irredeemable and hate his guts for stabbing New LA in the back and for joining the Ganglion, who partly caused the aforementioned problems in the first place. Such players wish Elma or Rook got to shoot him in the head after he's defeated in Chapter 11. Then there's a third party who believes that Lao's reasoning made sense, but his actions still warranted punishment and were satisfied with Lao being put behind bars after Chapter 11.
    • Ryyz is probably the most divisive member in the Ganglion ranks. Her detractors dislike her due to her laugh and voice, and being a copy-paste of Goetia (especially after being so quick to replace her after the latter's rather anti-climactic death). Not to mention that she's even less sympathetic than much of the Ganglion high command, since unlike her colleagues (who attack humanity due to them being the genetic key to their destruction), Ryyz torments humans for kicks alone. Her defenders say she has a more diverse personality compared to some of the other fanatically-devoted Ganglion high commanders, the unorthodox take on the Brains and Brawn dynamic in her partnership with Dagahn, being the pilot of the Zu Pharg (some even find the Boss Banter between her and Dagahn hilarious), and the subject of Wild Mass Guessing in regards to her species (and possibly unused content involving the Qlurians). The worst the defenders will say is that They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The Divine Nopopon quest. You meet the Nopon gods, shapeshifted into various Indigens, and have to fight all of them to fully decode a stone tablet that turns out to be a list of rules for the Nopon on how to look cute. It's the only time in the game you encounter something that's explicitly supernatural, it's very silly, and is the first and last time you hear anything about the Nopopon.
  • Breather Boss:
    • The Chapter 11 boss, Prog Ares. The bosses before and after it are some of the toughest in the game, and while it has more health than either of the Chapter 12 bosses, it's a lot more straightforward. It fights solo, doesn't summon flunkies, it doesn't spam a ton of nasty debuffs, is fought in a decently-large flat room, and only uses ether attacks. The tricky part is that it can become invincible to ranged or melee attacks, but that can easily be solved with a tactical adjustment. Getting to the boss is the hard part of the chapter.
    • The Almandal (Goetia's Skell) in Chapter 7 is a more unanimous example. Since the Skell license is obtainable after Chapter 6 and pretty much every player chooses to unlock it immediately, the Almandal is a breeze even when using the level 20 Skell.
  • Breather Level:
    • Everything between Chapters 9 and 10. The Affinity Missions needed to unlock Chapter 10 are incredibly short and easy and Chapter 10 itself is basically one big boss fight. No major plot revelations occur either.
    • Brotherly Love, the last Affinity mission with Phog and Frye, is much easier than their previous one, Blitzkrieg. Brotherly Love is a Fetch Quest with no necessary fighting, contrary to the mission requiring Frye, and has its share of funny conversation. Blitzkrieg, meanwhile, is a quest full of Fake Difficulty mixed with A Very Special Episode.
    • The same can be said for A Gift for Hope. Hope's previous mission, A False Hope, has a Surprise Difficulty battle against Ornella and her Definian friends, while A Gift for Hope is, again, mainly a Fetch Quest.
    • And again with The Matchmaker, Lao's second Affinity mission. His first, A Friend in Need, involves fighting a Vigent on foot. The Matchmaker is another A to B Fetch Quest where the most difficult part is waiting to gather Enduron Lead if the player somehow doesn't have any already.
    • Downplayed with Climbing the Ladder. While the enemies in that affinity mission aren't an absolute pushover, it's far more straightforward and indicative than The King of Fear, which features a level 40 boss in a mission with a minimum level requirement of 32.
  • Broken Base:
    • While the score by Hiroyuki Sawano is near-universally praised, the fanbase is divided on two songs: Black Tar and New Los Angeles. Both compositions are largely divisive as to whether the rap and lyrics make the compositions more awesome or hurt them by being too Narmful. Others feel it's fine to have vocals in the battle theme, but the choice of lyricists and vocalists could've been better due to the Gratuitous English.
    • The Reward Tickets are either considered a cheap way to get materials for no effort while other see them as a necessity as level 60 gear and Skells requires multiples types (and a lot) of materials from high-leveled enemies, some of them who only have a few or one of their species on the entire planet while others in the same camp say that Monolith Soft should had integrated the tickets without forcing the players to complete Squad tasks and Squadmissions via playing online and being able to get them through credits or Miranium.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Elma's true body. The game spells it out with all the foreshadowing and appearing in a trailer. There's even an affinity mission where Elma comments on how the characters would likely be shocked at her real body. The mystery is poked at so much that everyone can see the twist coming; the only true "reveal" left is the details.
    • Lao is a traitor. Anyone who plays a lot of JRPGs or watches/reads Japanese Media probably noticed he had the stereotypical look of a villain. And then there's his Freudian Excuse and discontentment, which is hinted at every time he levels up and in every Affinity mission. And he gets a lot of Affinity missions which all serve the purpose of showing that he disappears for long stretches of time. He's got all the makings of a Final Boss long before the reveal. This ends up getting played with, as he makes a genuine Heel–Face Turn in the second to last chapter, only to later turn up as the Final Boss anyway, but that's only incidentally achieved via a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Frye and Phog being brothers. Phog mentions that he has a brother shortly after recruiting him, and you recruit Frye on an Affinity Mission where Phog can't be in your active party. The Affinity Mission where you recruit Phog also can't have Frye in the active party if you happen to recruit Frye beforehand. The two of them won't join the party if the other is. The biggest clue, however, is how often Phog mentions Frye during battle. The game treats the later reveal of the two being brothers as an important discovery, but there's too little effort to keep it hidden and so little consequence for the reveal.
    • The true identity of the Blood Lobster. The only other character the Blood Lobster is located close to on the affinity chart is Justin, the nutjob obsessed with the concept of heroes vs. villains who never exactly established just which side he was on. Then the location of the 99th lobster is on Justin's person, seemingly for no reason other than connect Justin to the quest while simultaneously making him seem less suspicious; while this may throw off suspicion for some, this comes long after the shapeshifting Definians have been established, and the Blood Lobster's hideout is the Definian stronghold, making it even easier to see the incoming plot twist. You can actually tell him after his reveal that you knew all along, but he passes it off as his Evil Laugh giving it away.
    • Alex being a villain. Upon seeing him for the first time (he appears after Chapter 5), he'll rant and rave about how xenos shouldn't be trusted. Upon accepting his request he'll ask Rook to gather some xenos for a private seminar, whilst slipping some unpleasant details and ambitions. Anyone who knows a glimpse of human history will know that his seminar is anything but.
  • Catharsis Factor: There are a lot of enemies that will give you grief when doing missions, such as infiltration missions. Upon obtaining better weapons, higher levels, and powerful Skells, one will find a deep satisfaction of going back to destroy said enemies, especially Ganglion Bases.
  • Complete Monster:
    • Grandmaster Luxaar is the lord and master of the Ganglion Coalition, a galaxy-wide crime syndicate and tyrannical empire that Luxaar rules with cruel fanaticism. In his quest for "purity" across the cosmos, Luxaar regularly commits genocide against entire races, enslaving those he does not exterminate and often forcing innocents to follow his rule lest he subject their worlds to similar fates. Upon learning of humanity and its connection to the Ganglion's former masters, Luxaar deems humankind a plague deserving of annihilation, and proceeds to lead an assault on Earth that wipe out billions of humans, after which he pursues the survivors across the universe. Luxaar's insane xenophobia comes to end after he massacres his way through dozens of human soldiers and attempts to murder the twenty million sleeping vestiges of humanity.
    • Alex is a BLADE who blames the destruction of the Earth on any xeno, regardless of how they're affiliated. Tricking Rook into gathering a number of xenos and attending a seminar that will take place in the wilderness, Alex uses this excuse to attempt murder on the xenos attending as the start of his Final Solution. An opposing group led by Eliza condemns the actions of Alex and his terrorist friends, and in response, Alex tries to have Eliza assassinated during an assembly to advocate human-xeno cooperation. Later, the player finally confronts Alex at Cauldros, where he's seen conspiring with Ganglion forces—the same Ganglion forces who actually did destroy the Earth—to bring about his genocidal ambitions.
  • Complacent Gaming Syndrome:
    • It's easier to count the amount of people not running Ether Blossom Dance builds online than it is to count the sheer number of people who do run them. Thanks to being really easy to use, the materials for getting them being relatively simple to find and farm, and being really, really powerful, it's often the first "Uber" build people go for with their characters. The amount of guides on how to make the most optimal build of it online doesn't help, either.
    • It's also uncommon to find a player that isn't a Prospector, seeing as how they constantly end up at the top for Division Rewards.
    D-F 
  • Demonic Spiders:
    • Any enemy that is too powerful for your team too handle will get on your nerves more so than in the original for several reasons. First, the enemies are more densely packed so it's likely to encounter a high level enemy while fighting a lower leveled enemy. Second, if an enemy spots you and you try to run away, they will actively chase you even in water or a radically different elevation level. Finally, there is simply a lot of higher level enemies in places where players are too low leveled. All of this make the enemies something to beware before fighting or traversing.
    • The Zigs. Zigs are the Ganglion's automated anti-air turrets, and are often found in their bases. Compared to regular enemies, Zigs have an increased aggro radius, meaning that they can detect your characters from very far and engage your group. Zigs also possess an higher level compared to the monsters which are normally found in the area, and are as big as Skells, thus their attacks will stagger your characters if you are on foot, making fighting them with Skells all but mandatory. Even then, certain types are capable of toppling Skells and leaving them open to attack. Finally, they don't move, which means that if you want to get rid of one, you need to fight it head-on, and more often than not they are surrounded by other hostiles soldiers (or, worse, by other Zigs).
    • Ictuses. Their level is usually many times higher than other indigens in the area, they hit like tanks, are fast, and they are the aggressive type as well. They are also very fond of dropping from the ceiling to annihilate your party. The worst part about them is how quick they can move, making them impossible to outrun on foot. They skitter faster than characters can run on foot, and they are so big that most bodies of water characters need to swim in, they can just run across with no problem, unlike smaller enemies that usually can't cross water.
    • Sylvalum has several Xe-dom patrolling the area. While neutral when on foot, when in Skells, they become hostile. It's all too easy to run into their large aggro range, especially considering their huge size and fast pace, and there are plenty of indigen encounters that may take place in their patrol routes. Considering that their levels average late 40s to mid 50s, they have staggeringly huge amounts of health, and deal boatloads of damage on top of their powerful attacks, it's all too common to get annihilated by one while travelling or have them decide to join a battle and then annihilate you.
    • Sylvalum is also home to Aeviters, enemies that look like gargoyle statues until an unfortunate victim comes too close. Gigantic, hard-hitting, and aggressive no matter what, they're also in proximity to other enemies, some of which are mission targets.
    • Vigents and Viragoes are humongous, quadrupedal enemies that will smash up anyone unfortunate to get in their way, and most of them are aggressive. They're very resilient against most types of damage, and have an attack that will send even Skells across the room! It doesn't help that a few of them are That One Boss in some missions. Vigents in particular attack anything on sight, Skell or no Skell.
    • Barnabas the Despot, who coincidentally is a member of the Vigent family, is a Tyrant example who can give players grief long before they are able to fight him evenly. The main reason is because he always wanders during the day. And by wanders, that means "runs at an incredible pace." He's always moving at full speed, and he's fast enough to nearly outrun a Skell. Getting out of the way on foot is nearly impossible unless you spot him in advance. He's also a level 65 Vigent with 1.4 million HP. No wonder he earned a gold crown in kill count. Most players encounter him during Phog's first affinity mission, which is designated at level 13.
    • Compared to the more common Ganglion Skell types, Seidrs can take much more punishment from gravity-based attacks despite still being their weakest resistance (a G-Buster will only take off half their health while most other Ganglion Skells go down in one-shot). Respawning non-tyrant Seidrs are only found in Cauldros's sky (where other Skells also patrol, and post-story, Xerns), and they can still destroy one of your party's Skells before they go down.
    • Should be noted that the last five enemies contain vital materials in terms of making augments and skells, or drop powerful armor, so they're more or less recommended to kill multiple times in order to get optimized for the end game. Good luck with that.
    • The Milsaadi are among the most dangerous of the Ganglion's foot soldiers. Usually encountered at later levels, they aren't too difficult when single, but can take a bit more punishment than most Humanoid enemies their size and a pack of them can tear Skells apart in no time even if you're ten levels higher than them (in contrast to most Ganglion infantry being on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle). Separating them from potential allies is also difficult, as most Milsaadi don't patrol areas and ambush you. In no side mission is this more apparent than in "White Lifehold", where you are ambushed by an endless squad of them and have to survive for three minutes.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: The Classic voice options are the only voices for the Player Character that are British. While this was suppose to mean that these voice actors are from the original Xenoblade, if you didn't know about the previous game, it gives off the impression that the British have the "classic" accent. Think about it.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a few of the optional party members have ended up incredibly popular with the fans.
    • The Christoph Brothers. Phog was an immediate hit with early players due to his Adorkable traits while Frye was one due to being a Rated M for Manly Blood Knight and hard-drinking party animal.
    • Hope Alanzi has captured a few hearts with her saintly kindness and selflessness.
    • H.B. has found quite a few fans. Almost entirely for his Awesome Ego and good looks.
    • Yelv has gathered a following due to being a really brazen-yet-friendly Heterosexual Life-Partner while also having some really funny lines.
    • Alexa is adored by fans, because she loves skells as much as the fans does. Not to mention she also has some memorable lines.
    • While he's not an Optional Party Member, L does not get as much presence as the other prominent characters, yet he's become a Fountain of Memes due to his speech pattern and his hilarious botchings of human phrases.
  • Escapist Character: Like many Featureless Protagonists, Rook is little else than a vehicle for the player. Rook, however, is notable in that they have to share the spotlight with the game's true protagonist, Elma. In story missions, no one pays much attention to Rook, but in optional and secondary quests, Rook is treated as the center of the world. (Literally if one looks at the Affinity chart.)
  • Fandom Rivalry:
    • Has a bit of this with Fire Emblem Fates due to how Corrin managed to get into Super Smash Bros., when this game could have used the promotion. Even without considering Smash Bros., some players of the game are a little bitter about how Fates managed to be the more popular game just by being on a successful console and more established franchise.
    • Outside of Nintendo's franchises, there's also one with Mass Effect: Andromeda, due to having similar premises (humans and other aliens awakening from suspended animation to colonize a hostile and inhospitable new planet/galaxy) and elements (venturing out and setting navpoints).
  • Fanfic Fuel: The White Whale was one of the few ark ships to escape Earth, but was not the only ship to escape Earth, bringing up the question of what the other remnants of humanity ran into. Later in the game Elma says other ships did not handle the preservation of the human race the same the White Whale did, adding even more ideas to what happened to those humans.
  • Fanon: The Avatar's name is commonly assumed to be "Cross" due to the title of the game and it was used in some promotional materials but it was never stated to be official nor was it featured in the artbook.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Xenoblade Chronicles X doesn't actively ship the party members with anyone, but Elma and Cross is the most common pairing as Elma did rescue Cross and some believes Cross has a history with Elma on Earth as she did mentioned having friends on Earth who are unnamed. Also, given how Cross's past is left unexplored it leaves fans filling it in by having Cross having a close bond with Elma. The family dynamic with Lin also helps.
  • Foe Yay: In addition to all the Les Yay she has with Elma and Female!Rook, Irina seems especially annoyed with Murderess, who in turn gets some thrill out of teasing her.
  • Friendly Fandoms:
    • Many fans of this game have shown enthusiasm for Daemon X Machina due to its similar focus on Mini-Mecha and character customization.
    • Fans of both this game and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 have taken a shine to Astral Chain, thanks to the many parallels that have been drawn between the latter game and the two Xenoblades. An incredibly common reaction to Astral Chain's reveal trailer was to assume it was a new entry in the Xenoblade series.
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    G-I 
  • Game-Breaker: Now with its own page.
  • Genius Programming: The game's world is considered to be bigger than the worlds of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Fallout 4 combined. This is especially amazing considering that it's on the relatively-arcane, and outdated, architecture of the Wii U (compared to the above three being made on easier, more advanced hardware), and the fact that the devs were able to cram all of it on a relatively-tiny Wii U disc (considering that Witcher 3 alone takes up 35 GB just for the main game) and that despite how huge the world is there's barely any loading time while exploring.
  • Goddamned Bats:
    • There are many enemies that are camouflaged and that don't appear on your radar, and you won't know they are there until you are within range of their aggro and they jump you. That goes double if they are significantly higher level than you, and triple if they're a Tyrant. Examples of enemy species that do this include Mortifoles, Germivores, and Tectinsulas. Even if you're overlevelled, they always attack anyway.
    • Cauldros's skies are swarming with Qmoevas and Galdrs, which, due to their colossal aggro radius and high movement speed, are a major nuisance to anyone trying to get around with a Flight Pack.
    • Smaller enemies such as Blattas, Ovis, and even Ganglion infantry can be this when driving in a Skell, as they can be damaged via the wheels. Better tread properly to avoid a fight!
  • Good Bad Bugs: There's a way to make finishing off the Global Nemesis easier. Wait for the Global Nemesis' RP to reach very low levels, go to the Home menu, wait until its RP has been drained from other players, then resume play as normal. The Global Nemesis' RP will be stuck at 0, but will still be playable. One can farm tickets off of it or finish it off.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: The lyrics to the song "Don't Worry" mentions a "sight over the rainbow." A rainbow appeared over Nintendo's Headquarters named "Rainbow Road to heaven" after Satoru Iwata’s death.
    "Over the rainbow there's a glorious sight. It's lighting our dream and I hope we're alright..."
  • He's Just Hiding!: Goetia, Ryyz, and Dagahn fall into this due to how their mechs were destroyed but their bodies were never found and nobody confirms the kill. It doesn't help that Luxaar suffered a similar fate later on and pulls himself out of the Vita's wreckage.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: Upon the release of the first teaser in the January 2013 Nintendo Direct, the display of a massive open-world RPG with breath-taking scenery, compared to Xenoblade, left a lot of fans and non-fans rather speechless. Jaws were dropped to the floor when the "Exploration Trailer" showcased just how monumental the world of Mira is. The hype was felt more than ever with the "Dolls and Network trailer" which showcased mech controls and the online component.
  • Ho Yay:
    • There's speculation that Irina has a same-sex crush on either Elma or Female!Rook, or both. During a Heart-to-Heart conversation, Irina notes that Rook is very attractive (and is probably a Dude Magnet because of it) while she also states that Elma is the only person who can tell her what to do. During the game's ending, Elma reveals her true form and Irina temporarily seems conflicted before declaring that she doesn't care what species Elma is. Depending on how one looks at it, she may have been initially disappointed for more reasons than one.
    • Yelv is utterly obsessed with finding his best friend and "partner". Any discussion of Yelv's partner is filled with fondness and sappiness that is in contrast to Yelv's normal personality, and news about Yelv's partner makes Yelv the happiest. That Yelv's memories of his partner are fabricated might make this Ho Yay fake, unless Yelv's feelings are not part of the programming.
  • Idiot Plot:
    • In one quest, you're trying to track down a Human Shifter. So your team splits off from another one to search the city. Shortly after, you find a suspect and confront him, only for the guy to tell you that he's totally not a shifter and that you should check out some evidence he happened to find on the other side of town. You buy this. And sure enough, you find the body of the real guy where the shifter sent you off to. Luckily, the shifter you met happened to be the "good" one. In fact, idiot balls need to be held out to most characters involved with this—splitting a team while looking for a shape-shifting mole is the worst thing you can do...especially since no one bothers to use their communicators or set up some sort of Trust Password or authentification system.
    • In Chapter 12, after defeating the Vita, the whole team then goes to check on the Lifehold's systems... but nobody confirms the kill. Sure enough, Luxaar pulls himself out of the Vita's wreckage and starts shooting at the Lifehold's quantum computer, dealing enough damage to it to cause it to start malfunctioning and essentially necessitating the real final boss battle.
    • A lot of scenes involve your team facing off against a villain who immediately runs away. In the cutscene, your team never shoots the fleeing character or in any way tries to impede their retreat. After the cutscene, the game may tell you to pursue, but only after the enemy has a ten-mile headstart. This always comes back to bite you later, whether in the same quest or in a later one down the chain.
  • It Was His Sled: Elma being a Xeno is one of the most popular subjects among the fandom with how Xenoblade Chronicles X spells it out with all the foreshadowing and her appearing in a trailer similar to how Mecha Fiora appeared in a commercial. Although Elma's being itself isn't as important as its relevance to the plot.
    M-R 
  • Memetic Badass:
    • Rook is seen as this considering Rook is the only one with access to certain weapon combinations that can be Game Breakers and some of Rook's dialogue choices being amazingly clever.
    • Koko is miles more popular than her son, due to being dangerously brave (even by Nopon standards) and close to challenging a large indigen to a fight.
  • Memetic Loser:
    • As a side effect of the above, this has become the case for the Bonus Bosses Luciel, the Eternal and Joker, the Unknowable. Luciel and Joker are frequently used by much of the fanbase as the guinea pig to test out Game-Breaker builds, a grinder target for BLADE Medals, or a source of getting top tier weapons.
    • And of course, there's Tatsu, who was already this during the game's heyday, and this has only been more apparent since the release of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, leaving Tatsu as the sole example of an annoying member of his species played dead straight.
  • Memetic Mutation: See here.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Ganglion coalition committed atrocities such as conquering and enslaving entire species in the backstory, but their most immediately apparent one is the destruction of Earth. Once the party becomes aware of the coalition on Mira, it's all the more apparent that Earth wasn't merely caught in the crossfire and they fully intend to exterminate humanity. While their excuse of having an allergy to human DNA is proved legitimate, it is undercut not only by their previous atrocities, but by humanity being too apparently primitive to be an immediate threat to them and the heavy implication that it was also an act to consolidate the Ganglion's power in the Samaar Federation, since humanity would have a stronger claim to being the Samaarians' heirs (as evidenced by the Ganglion destroying Lifehold pieces dedicated to archiving human history).
    • Hope's Parental Substitute, Ornella, is shown to have crossed it in Hope's second Affinity Mission. Not much more evil than human trafficking after all.
    • The Blood Lobster is initially a Card-Carrying Villain, until the end where the reasoning is revealed. Justin killed all those people and threatened NLA just for the sake of playing Rook's Arch-Enemy. The two options of dealing with him are to kill him outright as he wishes, or to give him Cruel Mercy and let him wallow in his madness. Either way, he doesn't get away scot-free.
  • Most Wonderful Sound:
  • Narm:
    • Some of the music invites this due to the particularly noticeable levels of Engrish involved.
    • The static towards the end of "The Key We've Lost", which a lot of listeners confuse for glitchy audio and ruins an otherwise-great song.
    • At times the cutscene music is overly dramatic compared to what's actually happening on screen, and sometimes drowns out characters' dialogue.
    • As with the previous game, cutscenes take characters' equipment into account, meaning it's possible to enforce this by equipping characters in Stripperiffic costumes before cutscenes. This time character customization is even more outlandish, meaning it's possible to have characters wearing panda makeup or cat snouts during dramatic moments.
    • It's hard to take seriously a large and intimidating Skell named the Vita.
  • Never Live It Down: If there's one thing most people will bring up in regards to Tatsu, it's his What an Idiot! moment in chapter 6 where he follows Team Elma (who are using non-organic android bodies) into a den of creatures that specifically target organic life just to give them a lunch box, without realizing he has no way to escape. Which was infuriating enough that some fans actually wish he had died for it.
  • Rewatch Bonus: Once you've completed the game, watch the intro cutscene again real carefully. The Vita is part of the Ganglion fleet, and it is kicking ass against the other alien faction. The party was damn lucky that it was badly damaged for the Final Boss fight. If the Vita was at full power, Team Elma would have been annihilated. The Prog Ares is also visible during some of the same introductory cutscenes.
    S-U 
  • The Scrappy: Tatsu, similarly to the trope's namesake. He's obviously designed to be Plucky Comic Relief, but his obnoxious behavior never changes and the jokes involving him are always the same and quickly become repetitive. Add in the facts that he's the most static character in the game, that even the story treats him as The Load, and the fact that none of the other Nopon come close to his level of annoyance, and it's easy to see why some people outright dislike him.
  • Scrappy Mechanic:
    • Better get used to being stuck with Elma and Lin, because the game forces you to include them in your party for every story chapter and for the majority of the affinity missions. And don't even think of filling that fourth slot with someone else, because more often than not, that's predetermined too. Meaning, the only times you're allowed to choose your own party is either during regular missions, or if you're just exploring the world map.
    • The game forces you to do a certain amount of quests and leveling up (by outright saying "you must be this level at least to proceed") before you can continue the plot at several points. It also forces you to take partner characters out with you to gain relationship values whether you like the character or not, because sometimes the game makes you do characters quests too before proceeding, and that requires certain levels of relationship values.
    • Speaking of the main quests, the level requirements for most of them underestimate what level you should be at to beat them, which would not be so bad on its own if they did not keep you from quitting them, or removing party members, or locking you out of other affinity missions, limiting your level grinding choices.
    • A common criticism in reviews is the fetch quest. More specifically, there being nothing to differentiate most quest items from the other random items on the continent, even when in the above mentioned character quests. This lead to some of the more unlucky reviewers to lose hours locked into a sidequest looking for that one last drop. There's no way to trade for collectibles either.
    • Even worse are the fetch quests involving items mined from Data Probes. There's not much you can do to influence the process of gathering them, you just have to plant mining probes in the right places and wait. This can roadblock certain affinity quests very easily. On the other hand, this eventually becomes one of the most laughable mechanics in the entire game. Resources tick far more often than FrontierNav revenue and Miranium, so with a wide enough probe spear you'll quickly find yourself just watching stacks of credits roll in when your inventory fills up with all the different ores.
    • While it's more realistic, some find it a pain to have to actively look for party members they want to party up with (as opposed to the previous game, where you can easily switch between different party members in the menu at any time after unlocking them). Also, in comparison, there's also the lack of Leaked Experience (with Leaked Experience being something that can be justified by the members doing their own thing off screen), although all the BP gained from finding locations and completing Field Actions still seems to be distributed to every possible party member. Still, considering there's 18 possible party members with only Lin and Elma being located inside BLADE barracks, that's 16 locations you have to memorize and even though they're listed on the map, the symbol used to signify their location is identical to the one used in every other hex when you complete a quest associated with it.
    • Your characters' arts with an area of effect can reach enemies behind close doors or walls, including enemies above them and beneath them, resulting in your characters aggroing every single enemy in the vicinity of Ganglion's towers when you fight inside.
    • Fleeing is tedious: your characters need to run away from the monsters they were fighting for a long time before the enemy decides to give up. If you happen to run into aggressive enemies during your escape, you will need to escape them too, meaning you will run for a very long time before finally be able to escape them, making it quicker to just let your characters die and respawn in some cases. Fleeing is made much easier once you unlock your Skell, but you will run into another problem: simply running over small enemies will aggro them too (your Skell will damage them). As a result, the only safe and quick way to run away from a battle is to fly away in a Skell once you unlock the flight module.
    • The inability to sort your rather bloated inventory or sell items en-masse.
    • Skell insurance, which is ironic considering it was meant to make things easier. Whenever your Skell runs out of HP, you have to go back to the barracks and use the Hangar console to get a new one. While this is really easy to do, it's just tedious, because if your characters NEED a Skell (for example, if there are weather effects that hinder your ability to proceed without one) you have to fast travel back to the barracks, activate the console, and then go back. "That's realistic", you say? Well how realistic is it to have a menu option to magically teleport you back to your Skell? It's hard to imagine many complaints for Acceptable Breaks from Reality like that. It's especially nasty for the final battle, since you can't leave the area and go get your Skell back should the grueling final boss destroy your or a teammate's Skell.
    • Any quest that requires you to find a specific NPC with a speech bubble on their head to gather info from them can be this, as the game only tells you the general areas where they can be found which is usually most of the district, they don't show up on the map unlike NPCs you can directly talk to and it's more than likely that any NPC you might find that has a "new info" speech bubble on top of their head tells you treasure or tyrant locations instead, further prolonging your search. To make things worse, if you're unlucky they can take their time loading into the map, meaning you can potentially run straight past them without ever realising it.
    • Soul Challenges, a QTE which grants the player various rewards depending on whether or not they fail, succeed or get a Perfect. Early game, this is the only way (along with Soul Voices) to consistently heal or gain TP. It's also the only way to get squad members to do what you want them to (as long as they only have one move of a certain type and didn't already use it). Late game, Soul Challenges are moot—you'll likely have gear, augments, skills and arts that do its job better, so you'll likely find yourself either ignoring it or hitting it just to make it go away. The interface is also very unwieldy—while it isn't "random", the triggers for it are so easy to miss in real time that they might as well be, and it takes up the center of the screen until completed. Also, certain functions (such as exiting a battle or other things that use the B button) are disabled because the Challenge is waiting for you to hit "B" to complete it. That means that if you're trying to run away or use a non-offensive Art, the Challenge will screw up your attempts to escape the battle, and if you are trying to cancel a targetable attack, you might hit B and accidentally fail the Challenge just as it pops up.
    • Sometimes whenever you get Free Reports, you have the option to block the poster. There are a couple of problems with that. When you block a user, you can't give them friend requests or favorite them and you can't unblock them later. The posters you can block from the free reports don't post anything inappropriate or offensive. They just post very short spammy posts which might Makes Sense In Context. This makes you wonder why you the posts you can block even show up in your view at all, unless the poster is in the same squad mission as you. Additionally, there's no names from free reports, meaning you'll need to sign your name in order to get people to identify who's talking, which cuts into the letter limit of each post.
    • More and more players are getting access to Game-Breaker equipment and abilities, which in turn, has made the Global Nemesis bosses an endangered species. Since the RP count was never increased to accommodate this it's rare to see the likes of Telethia Plume last for more than five hours. This has created a huge divide between players who think the Global Nemesis should be milked for reward tickets and those who want to suck the RP out of it as soon as possible.
  • Scrappy Weapon: Rayguns have infrequent reloads, can easily grab attention from other enemies, and don't have any notable arts that make them worth using over other ranged weapons after you mastered the Mastermind's weapons. Notable in that none of the recruitable Psycorruptors and Masterminds, besides the Player Character and Mia, use Rayguns despite them being the default ranged weapon for those classes. In addition, the signature Arts for Rayguns aren't unlockable until after Chapter 11 (Doug only has two unique Photon Saber Arts and Yelv's Photon Saber Art is unlocked first). Fortunately, Beam Bomber is one of the best ranged arts in the game.
  • Side Tracked By The Golden Saucer: Invoked. The game gives you a ton of quests in a huge world with a system to be mastered. It will be very easy to forget that the main story exists when doing side missions, especially since some of the story missions require you to do other missions first or reach a minimum level before you can do them.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning:
    • One of the complaints about the game is that until you get your Skell, the game is pretty bland. When you get Overdrive and your Skell though, especially when it gets the ability to fly, the game becomes much more open and interesting.
    • Story-wise, the opening few chapters are nothing but long-winded Info Dumps on the nature of the setting, what your goals are and how NLA works, which while necessary are still very tedious. (It's so bad one story NPC even Lampshades how long his speech was) Past Chapter 3, where you're properly introduced to the Gangleon, things get a lot more interesting and it becomes even more by the end of Chapter 5.
  • Spiritual Licensee:
    • The series has also been described as Japan's answer to Mass Effect, due to things like the game's nonlinearity, Affinity Missions, Relationship Values, Character Development and dialogue choices, and various similarities between the settings, such as the focus on multiple alien races and their coexistence with humans.
    • Another surprising similarity is between this game and the 2000 animated film Titan A.E.. Both begin with hostile aliens destroying the Earth and focus on human survivors and their alien allies trying to make a future for themselves. In both works, the aliens are seeking to destroy humanity because they believe humans pose an existential threat to them by their mere existence. Finally, both of them also feature a grizzled human veteran who gives up fighting for a future for humanity and becomes a spy for the enemy aliens, until he goes through a Heel–Face Turn, believes in the protagonist again, and redeems himself in the ending via Heroic Sacrifice. Though in XCX's case, said veteran is revealed to be Not Quite Dead.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
    • Every single Affinity Mission for Lao is plot-essential which, combined with his looks, behavior and backstory, spoil that he's a major antagonist. Subverted with Gwin's Affinity Missions, where they're required to continue to Chapter 11 yet nothing happens to him.
    • If you have already recruited one of the Christoph brothers, you can't have him in the active party when you start the other's Affinity Mission. After Phog briefly mentioning that he has a brother, it's not hard to put two-and-two together.
    • Celica is the only alien resident of NLA (aside from L) to have all of the following: A) a name, B) a human-like physique, and C) fully-voiced dialogue. Is there any surprise whatsoever that she winds up as a squad member?
    • Upon rescuing the Tree Clan prone and getting them into NLA, an achievement named Tree Clan Immigration is obtained. Had it simply been named Prone Immigration, it probably wouldn't have hinted that some Cavern Clan prone would also become recruitable.
  • Superlative Dubbing: The English version is well done generally, but there's a few performances which really stand out:
    • Cassandra Lee as Lin is generally agreed to be amazing, especially in Lin's bigger, more emotional moments like finishing the flight pack and Lin explaining how it's her last "homework assignment" ever. Chris Cason (the voice of Tatsu and the English localization ADR director who directed Lee's performance) was very happy to hear in 2016 that she was nominated for a few different voice actor awards because of her performance as Lin.
    • Jamieson Price as Ga Jiarg is widely agreed to be flawless, and his delivery of virtually every line is completely spot-on.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "NEMOUSU秘OUS" has a remarkably similar tune to a track titled "The Wounded Shall Advance Into The Light" of another Xeno game.
  • That One Achievement:
    • The achievement that requires you to collect every single holofigure in the game. That means filling out the Collectopedia, completing all normal and affinity missions, and defeating almost all Tyrants. Consider that there are two holofigures that are obtained through an online mission.
    • There's also the achievement, Telethia Annihilator, where you have to kill enemies such as Telethia, The Endbringer and/or Yggralith Zero 100 times, the latter contributes to the achievement despite it not being an actual Telethia. Yggralith Annihilator isn't much better. At least you can give away many Reflect: Ether or Reflect: Gravity to other people through Treasure Deal.
    • "A True Hero" requires you to land the finishing blow to a Global Nemesis, which is tricky due to the incredibly small window of opportunity, and if you miss it, it'll be a while before it happens again. There is a bug that can make this easier.
  • That One Attack:
    • Chimera Lao's Apocalypse Roar depletes your Skell's entire fuel meter on hit if you're inside one. On top of that, if you're not fast enough to kill it, it will then fly out of reach and lay out an attack that can absolutely turn the tables to its favor.
    • Rexoskell's Funnel Shell is a beam-based attack that slowly hits a total of fourteen times for up to 1,000 damage a hit. Because it's a multi-hit attack, it also shears through Decoy with ease.
    • Xerns have the similar and even more painful Drone Egg, which can tear your Skell to shreds even if its beam resistance is high.
    • Any attack that can topple or launch, because of how long it takes to get back up. It isn't so fun when you're on the receiving end, is it?
    • Lugalbanda, the Wanderer-King's Terrible Eye inflicts the Control status. There's a very good reason he is one of the few enemies in the game capable of inflicting Control, as it makes you completely unable to do anything for several seconds. The attack also bypasses Decoy. It's a good thing that Resist Control XX augments are easy to make.
    • A more annoying rather than lethal example is the Terebras' Odd Wave.
    • Woe to anyone challenging the Telethia Plume only for it to use its elemental barrier immediately (it can be of two of any element save for physical and gravity at a time), rendering it not only immune to those elements, but any elemental attack inflicted on it gets bounced back to the attacker. AI Skells don't realize this, and will often destroy themselves if armed with those elemental arts. Attack reflection negation augments are super-popular for this one.
    • Vigents and Viragoes have Flying Claw. It comes out incredibly fast and has a wide attack range, and if it doesn't outright kill whoever it hits, the attack will send them flying and inflict the nasty Virus debuff, which prevents you from using your ranged weapon. This is also an attack they will likely use after they become Enraged, making it even more powerful. Viragoes can combo Right Claw's Thermal Res Down debuff into the thermal-attribute Flying Claw for even more damage. (Vigents' Flying Claw is electric attribute, and their Right Claw inflicts only Physical Res Down.)
    • Xe-doms' Mega Gravity. The art has a long casting animation and fires an equally slow projectile, but when it hits, it hurts. It deals enormous amounts of gravity damage, can topple, and inflicts Gravity Res Down, making the rest of the Xe-dom's gravity attacks even more painful. It especially hurts if you're using a Skell under level 50, which all have negative gravity resistance and are what you'll use to fight them before you get stronger Skells.
    • Filiavents have Mighty Exhale and Hyper Vacuum, both of which make fighting them on foot an absolute pain. These arts slowly hit four times in a row and send you flying ridiculously far. This can result in air time of over fifteen seconds, more if you collide with the filiavent's body. This is more than enough time for the filiavent to blast you with powerful attacks before you can put up Ghostwalker or an aura, or even make Overdrive run out. It can be avoided by staying above them, but if the environment is flat, there's no hope. Hyper Vacuum is especially obnoxious because there's no augment that can protect against its effects.
  • That One Boss:
    • The Ga Jiarg and Ga Buidhe fight in chapter 9. Ga Jiarg has a ton of HP and defense that takes forever to whittle down and Ga Buidhe has incredibly devastating attacks, even if your party is several levels above them. It would be merely difficult to take down the two of them, but they are accompanied by three guards who will kill you if you ignore them.
    • Ga Buidhe, during the "A Challenger Approaches" Affinity Mission. She's a Lightning Bruiser evasion-tank flanked by two guards. Try to kill the guards first and she will spike her evasion stat through the roof until everything you try misses. Try to kill her first and the damage the guards add on can kill you faster than you can heal. This is one of the few bosses that gets no easier no matter how high you level or if you're in a Skell, and may be one of the few to force a player to change their party's loadout just to fight them.
    • Rexoskell. Google that name and results will come back in droves that amount to "Fuck Rexoskell!". what makes this boss so tough is that it's a Skell-type enemy that can ONLY be fought on foot. That means it has a ton of HP and can stun-lock your characters at almost any time and dish out damage you can't heal from in time. Furthermore, it has a ton of appendages, so the typical strategy of breaking body parts until the troublesome attacks are gone doesn't work as well here. Further, it has a beam-based attack that hits 14 times and deals 1000 damage each time. Unless a character is resistant to it, they're almost guaranteed to die to just that one attack, and if they do, the rest of the damage automatically goes to another member of your party. And since Rexoskell isn't a story or affinity boss, there's no way to reduce her level if you keep dying. Thought the pain was over when you beat Rexoskell? She shows up in Time Attack, where you have to fight her on foot again, where she has somehow gained incredible evasion increases and then buffs Decoy VI when at low health. Rexoskell drops materials that much end-game gear and almost all Skell Frames require. There are entre topics, FAQs, and online guides written just to prepare for that one boss, let alone beat her — and she's not even a real Bonus Boss!
    • The Trigger Scintimure, the boss of Boze's last affinity mission, "Boze's Ignorance" can be a case of Fake Difficulty if your party's not geared for high electrical resistance and equipped with terrain nullifying augments, even if you're over-leveled and you lowered its level. First, you're forced to fight a Scintimure on foot (when normally, common sense would tell you to fight large airborne enemies with a Skell, which you can't bring into the cave). Second, the room is filled with lava, with only a few small safe spots to stand on at varying elevations (and your party members tend to rush blindly at the Scintimure). And then there's the high electrical damage it does (which, fortunately, can be negated with electric-resistant gear, but even with said gear it takes a long time to kill).
    • The Fierce Vigent, the boss of the Affinity Mission "A Friend in Need." If "Foggy Dilemma" hadn't given you a taste of one of the game's tougher Demonic Spiders by getting roughed up by Barnabas, the Despot, then this mission certainly will. Despite being level 19, it's still incredibly tough even with Mercy Mode in effect. It's far too early in the game for Skells and your Arts probably aren't leveled up or the selection isn't the best, while this enemy has the same high damage resistance and deadly attacks as the higher-leveled counterparts. This Affinity Mission is also a mandatory one, so you have to deal with this brute.
    • The Deva Caladar and Vasara in Time Attack are a league of their own. Remember how difficult the battle against them was, when you were in a Skell and had a level advantage (likely from Mercy Mode)? Now try to beat them on foot, levels locked to 40, under a time limit. And yes, you have to go through the four Caladars as well, though they go down easily. The real problem is the Deva Caladar, which flies just high enough to be out of range of melee attacks, making your Game-Breaker melee builds difficult unless you somehow lure it to higher ground.
    • 'Then and Now', Elma's last Affinity Mission, pits you against the Demise Ictus, an indigen that Elma warns you is extremely dangerous (with good reason, considering it killed her previous squadmates), and it's... a surprisingly easy fight. Shortly after this, however, you're tasked with saving a team in Oblivia from a pair of Gleaming Sphinxes, which is where the trouble starts. Both of them are level 80, while you hit your cap at 60. They're fast too, able to dodge any attack you try to hit them with.
    • The boss of Celica's last affinity mission, the Stratospheric Balaena, is a flying enemy with buttloads of health and defense and will more than likely outlast your Skell and since the mission requires you to have the flight module to get to the floating islands above Oblivia, you're probably gonna be in midair while you fight it and when the Balaena destroys your Skell you're in for a long fall while you disengage from the fight, restoring Balaena's health and even if you land on the floating island, you have to continue the fight with your defense and damage output substantially reduced against an enemy that will be out of range for your melee attacks. The icing on the shit-flavoured cake is that the minimum level requirement for the mission is 46 and if you start the mission at the earliest opportunity, You're going to be in for a rude awakening when you realize you can't beat Balaena with level 30 Skells and if you only go in with one level 50 Skell, you're still gonna have a rough time winning.
  • That One Level:
    • An oft-cited and much hated example is the Ganglion Antropolis. It's an optional dungeon in Cauldros that can be accessed as early as you get to the region. It's a huge cave filled with high-level enemies that will kill even a level 60 party very quickly if you aggro more than 3 or 4 enemies in a straight battle, the difficulty of which is compounded by the presence of Oc-serv and Qmoeva within, which are enemies that you'd normally take on in a Skell. The real kicker that makes this dungeon frustrating for players is that it is the site for several quests in the game that are of importance to the player, so players will most likely trek into it only to die over and over as they struggle to explore the place and optimize a build for it along the way. The use of Shadowalker will allow more freedom of exploration, but one mistake will cost the player their run, as the place is difficult to navigate and the enemies have huge range.
    • Taken Up to Eleven with Cauldros. The entire continent is considered by many to be the harshest and most difficult one to explore. Abundant lava areas that restrict movement and deal lots of damage, occasional electromagnetic storms and rains of brimstone and fire that also deal hurt, lots of high level aggressive enemies everywhere, with few pockets of low-level/non-aggressive enemies, a cumbersome and multi-layered geography that involves taking many detours and navigating hazardous areas to get anywhere and several on-foot-only areas with annoying/really strong enemies. Oh, and for those who try to cheese it by flying around like in every other continent, Cauldros's skies are patrolled at all times by squadrons of Qmoeva and Seidr, meaning that until the player is almost/at level 60, they'll still be getting into fights even when flying. And even then, Xerns and Xe-doms are also lurking around, and since attempting to take on one of those without tons of postgame-level preparation is the same as suicide, the player will never feel safe in this continent.
    • All of chapter 8 thanks to a sudden Difficulty Spike and slight gameplay change. While previous chapters were about travelling somewhere and collecting something at your own pace, this chapter without warning locks you into New LA against a really tough dual boss that you might have trouble defeating with your newly acquired Skell.
    • Another of Cauldros's obnoxious little areas is the White Phosphor Lake. Most of the enemies there have levels in the mid-20s... except for the Phosphorous Filiavents, which are 30 levels higher. Want to fight the stronger enemies like the arenatects or lophids? The place is filled with a huge lake of neon pink death that saps 1,200 health a second while you stand in it, making it off-limits at low levels without Terrain Damage Reducer augments. The main attraction, however, is Trueno, the Cataclysm. While it won't attack if you approach it on foot, if you use an attack with any sort of area-of-effect, you'll inevitably aggro it due to its mountain-sized hitbox. With 2.5 million HP, obnoxious and powerful attacks, and immunity to Stagger and Topple, you will die if you end up aggroing this monstrosity. It also happens that Trueno is guarding a teleporter leading to a rare Reflect augment, so the only way to access it is to defeat Trueno. Good luck during The Old Gods, which requires you to defeat a Xe-dom (on solid ground, thankfully) in the White Phosphor Lake, right next to Trueno.
    • Chapter 12 is a gauntlet full of boss fights without any breaks in between. Once a Skell is destroyed in any of these fights, you cannot retain them back until the Chapter is finished. You also cannot save once you start the fight. On the good side, all health is recovered before the next phase starts, but that doesn't help as much.
  • That One Sidequest:
    • Generally, any mission that encourages infiltration (such as "The Little Rich Girl", "Spy Games", "Prone Sweet Prone", and "Definian Downfall") will become this. In all of these, one must go into no-man's land that are the Ganglion bases scattered throughout Mira. Said bases are crawling with level 40+ enemies, and those are the lower level examples. When fighting more level-appropriate enemies in said missions, damage control is essential.
    • An early-game example is "My Dream", Murderess' recruitment mission. Firstly, the game tricks you into thinking it's going to be an Irina mission, and you can only bring one other person besides you and her, because your final party slot is reserved for Murderess... who predictably betrays you. That's not the hard part. She brought backup. Make the wrong choice, and it's necessary to fight two BLADES and a Skell, and the mission is accessible long before you're likely to have one of your own. What's worse is that, even after Murderess leaves, your party is still locked to 3 members, including Irina, who's likely to be woefully underleveled for this fight unless you've gone out of your way to grind her. And this is an affinity mission, so once you start it you're locked in until it's done.
    • The affinity quest "BFFs" is not a difficult quest in the slightest bit, so why is it here? Well, this mission is home of a Game-Breaking Bug, and one that is very easily caused nonetheless. Basically, this bug happens when you get the signature from the Dorian Caravan before the Dodonga Caravan. Oh, and by the way, since this is an affinity mission, if you saved after the glitch was activated, it would be outright impossible for you to progress further into the story, so your only option is to restart the entire game.
    • "Blitzkrieg" will test your patience, no matter which path you choose. Go with Frye, and you'll have to eliminate enemies entrenched in a fortified Ganglion Stronghold full of level 45+ enemies (the targets are level 30). Said targets are adjacent to a very tough mechanical enemy, making it hard to just target the lesser enemies required. Thought you could cheat the system by going with Phog? Wrong, you'd have to infiltrate said base anyway.
    • "Trade Agreement" requires you to perform a Chain of Deals to obtain a Golden Nopopotamus card. To get it, you have to talk to every citizen in New LA with the hope that this one person will be part of the quest... and inevitably, they'll be higher up in the chain. None of this is marked on your map or FrontierNav, none of it is logged, and there's nothing differentiating quest NPCs from normal NPCs aside from their dialogue not having choices. Some quest NPCs are aboard the Ma-non ship. And sometimes, the NPC will require you to obtain a random drop item before they'll give up their card. Worst of all? The quest has branching one-way paths that you won't realize until you find out you traded away an item another person wanted, and nothing changes to acknowledge that. This quest is one that will take ten minutes with a guide or several painful hours without.
    • "Definian Downfall" is widely regarded as one of the most punishing missions as it forces you to trek into the Ganglion Antropolis. That alone makes it bad, but to add insult to injury, you're supposed to hunt down level 30+ enemies in a dungeon where most enemies are high 50-low 60, in an area that you must reach by going straight through said high level mobs. That would be hard on its own, but you also have to collect three keys to open a forcefield, the task of which is not marked on the map or objectives, and acquiring one of them requires killing a level 55 Milsaadi in range of a level 84 Seidr Tyrant. And to top it all off, to finish the quest you have to fight none other than the Rexoskell. Twice. It is stronger in the second fight, but it's ironically easier since it takes place outside the Antropolis, meaning that you can use your Skells against it—but the player still has to do the first round on foot. If that wasn't enough, beating this quest is the prerequisite to start several other quests. Get ready to cry bloody tears.
    • Getting Mia requires you to go through a ton of hoops before finally being able to recruit her. You need meet her at various points in each continent after clearing certain story chapters, and each time in out-of-the-way areas with no clue whatsoever that anything is there.note  Every time, you need to do a mission where you help Mia out of a jam on her various misadventures, and every time, you have to clamp down on your better judgement and let her run off into an even more dangerous continent. You also need to finish no less than three quest lines, including the one that ends with Definian Downfall. Then you have to achieve a survey progress of 65% of Cauldros. And THEN you have to go into the Ganglion Antropolis again for the last mission to finally recruit her. Note that Mia's entire recruitment process begins as early as Chapter 4, and can finally conclude after Chapter 11, which is the penultimate chapter in the game.
    • "Rise of the Blood Lobster" requires you to find 99 booby-trapped toy lobsters to avert a terrorist attack. They are hidden all over New LA in the most obtuse and hard-to-find of places, including on top of construction vehicles, in the areas below the city, and inside some buildings. While you do get a hint with a red icon that shows up at a certain distance, it vanishes when you get close, and if you get in a Skell, the lobsters become almost impossible to see. Last Lousy Point doesn't even begin to describe it. And it's also made worse by the fact that the quest is divided into two segments where after obtaining about half of the lobsters, another one will show up, most likely in a place you've already checked, which will unlock the other half of the lobsters. This means you literally have to scour all of NLA, TWICE AT MINIMUM! And then have to find a couple of more lobsters that only spawn after getting 97 of them, again in places you've most likely have checked and have no reason to go back to. Also for the record, you can get this quest relatively early on, about chapter 3 or so, and you won't be finishing this until near the end of the game. For some this is easily one of the most frustrating, eyebrow raising, and just down right exhausting quests in the game. And to even be able to get the last lobsters to appear, you have to finish the difficult Definian Downfall sidequest. And while the boss fight at the end of this quest is nowhere near as frustrating as Rexoskell, the fight against Blood Despair/Justin is no walk in the park either. "This Is Gonna Suck" doesn't even begin to describe the feelings of any player even halfway-informed about what they're getting into.
    • Any quest that requires gathering rare collectibles can turn into this, such as Hazmat Hunt, asking the player to search for Auroran Bones in caves. Unlike Xenoblade, there's no way to trade for collectibles, so be prepared to walk or drive or fly around a certain area a lot.
    • Material gathering, as it can be a Guide Dang It! scenario when it comes to destroying certain appendages to get a higher chance of obtaining materials (not to mention that material drops are much more RNG-based than in Xenoblade). That's one benefit that Reclaimer members can yield, as they have a slightly higher chance of obtaining materials.
    • Among the Squad Missions, Contamination Nation is the most difficult in relation to its designated level. Skells are prohibited against the giant Purgovents, which take a long time to defeat even with a Skell. There's not much landmass either, limiting the locations to fight. Being above the maximum level is the minimum requirements to get through this mission safely!
    • Unnatural Disaster is one of, if not the most difficult of all Squad Missions. You're on Mount M'gando during brimstone rain, and unless you brought a Brimstone Rain Screen augment or you run to the very out-of-the-way weather changer, you'll be taking constant damage and having your attacks weakened. Your enemies consist of three scintimures and a colubrim, all near level 60. All four are giant enemies that possess devastating electric attacks and enormous HP. The kicker? Skells are prohibited. You're fighting four powerful enemies that you'd normally fight in a Skell, on foot, in weather that damages and debuffs you. Unless you bulk up on electric resistance or pick the scintimures off separately (only the colubrim is required to be defeated), you will die very quickly.
    • Close Comrades can be difficult for first-time players if they try to take it on at the wrong time, as Selenic Cetos prowl the Qing Long Glade during the night. They are giant enemies 40 levels higher than the enemies you're up against, and since you are required to have Lin and Doug in the party, both of which have AoE arts, it is easy to suffer a Total Party Kill when they accidentally aggro the overpowered flying whales. Aside from that, it's possible for the nighttime energy mist weather to give your enemies a major buff. These enemies (ten germivores and a cinicula) aren't pushovers at this level, either. This mission is also required to start Chapter 7.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Some veterans of the Xeno franchise expressed disappointment that X tones down the Gnostic influences in favor of a much more Standard Sci Fi Setting.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character:
    • The general opinion is that Ga Jiarg and Ga Buidhe should have been recruitable allies, to the point where you suspect that they originally were. Ga Jiarg and Ga Buidhe wield what look to be a photon saber and a javelin respectively (models which can be bought after Six Stars is unlocked as an AM), they are not evil after Chapter 9, and it would have made so much sense for them to be recruited right after you complete the Affinity Mission, "A Challenger Approaches". In general, some say that it's unfortunate that there's no recruitable Prone or Wrothian characters, since they're more than capable of fighting or even some standout members from the Non-Action Guy species such as Ma-Non or Orpheans. To a lesser extent, there have been complaints that L's, Celica's, and Elma's xeno origins have not been elaborated on enough.
    • Some fans also feel this way about about the Ganglion high commanders Goetia, Ryyz and Dagahn. They only get two boss fights each and are killed off just after their second fights. Goetia is built up as Luxaar's Dragon (and does get at least one cutscene in a chapter she isn't fought in), but is killed halfway through the story with almost no fanfare except for some acknowledgment via optional NPC dialogue. Ryyz and Dagahn only get two chapter's worth of screentime (and are even suggested to be an Evil Counterpart to Celica and Rock during the affinity mission in which you meet them).
    • When it comes to species, two Ganglion-allied races, specifically the Marnucks and Milsaadi, have some backstory in their Enemy Index files, but don't make much use of them in any of the side quests, serving only as Mooks to fight (though some of them do get dialogue). The former is another Proud Warrior Race similar to the Prone and Wrothians, but have a polytheistic religion, an entire culture based on battle and a Ganglion-recruitment history that involved a world-destroying civil war among the species. The latter are a race of silicon-based assassins that treat hunting as a sacred ritual and are totalitarian dictators on their homeworld. Compare to the Cavern Clan Prone and Definians, which both have a series of side quests relating to them ( and some even defect to your side). For obvious reasons, the Milsaadi get this reaction far more than the Marnucks.
    • While the Xeno races do get a good amount of focus in sidequest, quite a few are disappointed that of the playable characters, only three of them are Xenos, all of which aren't a member of any of the Xeno species you can recruit into NLA. Some players would have liked to have had a Nopon character who actually did something in battle, or having a Prone or Wrothian on your team as a tank-like character, or seeing how any of the other recruitable Xenos would have handled themselves in battle.
  • Tier-Induced Scrappy:
    • The Duelist is the only fourth-tier class with 3 skill slots, earning it the treatment. What does not help its case is a lack of outstanding stats and some that are still to the Drifter's levels or even worse, like Ranged Accuracy and Evasion. Fortunately, weapons aren't locked to their classes once a class tree has been fully mastered, so there's no real reason to stay as a Duelist.
    • The Ares 90 is chided to be too powerful as it can easily defeat most monsters below level 90, and since it's locked with only four arts it's boring to use. It can also go the other way as there are superweapons the Ares can't use, and the superweapons are liked better due to taking more effort to make and having more options.
    • On the flipside, Light Skells have a very shallow fuel capacity, are extremely fragile, and can't equip as much armor bits as heavier Skells. Some say that the only Light Skell worth using is the free one provided at level 20.
    • Hope has a poor selection of Arts to choose from, her signature Arts aren't that great, and Irina and Celica do what she does way better.
    • Bozé is the last and least of the DLC characters. Like with Hope, his signature Arts aren't too special, and Lao can fare much better with Afterburner (though Lao doesn't stick around forever).
    • In terms of online play, Prospectors tend to be this due to how division rewards and points work. Every day, the division points earned by online players are tallied up, and players are able to choose prizes from a console in the barracks. Higher-ranked divisions get access to better rewards, and the top division for that day even gets a chance at salvage tickets for their Skells. The issue came when a hacker (whose character is a Prospector) started boosting the daily Division Points they got to an absurd, normally impossible level which puts Prospectors up ahead by default. This is perpetuated by people who just joined on the Prospectors bandwagon purely for the sake of getting division prizes.
    • When it comes to builds, the Ether Blossom Dance build tends to get similar complaints to the Ares 90 thanks to being the earliest of the ultra builds to be discovered. Being the earliest build discovered that makes taking on the end game bosses possible, it's the most well-known and, as a result, the most common end game build to see people playing. The fact that newer players often claim it to be the single best build in the game tends to grate on people who don't play Longsword, pointing out how all the weapons in the game are potential Game Breakers with the right builds. Such powerful builds also contribute to the duration when Global Nemesises are around, on account of the RP of said enemies being drained so fast. Furthermore, the longsword is the only weapon type in the game to get Signature Weapons- super powerful Katanas that drop from various tyrants that are just straight-up better than any other weapon.
    • Ghostwalker in general is often the topic of heated debates between those who rely on it to survive, and those who condemn it to be a cowardly crutch (the art in question enables evasion from a set number of attacks, giving it a Game-Breaker status).
  • Ugly Cute: Saltats and Liceors are among some of the wackier Indigens in the game. They are large, humanoid birds with trumpet-like orifices on top of their head, and the Saltats have faces that almost look like Octoroks. They also seem to have their own culture despite seeming to be simple animals, they like to dance, and sometimes participate in choruses. Their death throes are also kinda sad.
  • Uncanny Valley: Just like its predecessor, the huge, beautiful environments seem to have come with a price - the characters have pretty underwhelming, lifeless, doll-like faces. The High Definition visuals make it more noticeable than in Xenoblade, and the effect only gets worse when the gratuitously well-animated and detailed Tatsu makes his entrance. However, after the reveal that the humans in this game are actually android avatars called mimeosomes, some have come to accept the Valley as a side effect and find that it works with the transhumanism themes.
  • Unfortunate Character Design: Evellos have a very... peculiarly-shaped wattle that looks exactly like a male human scrotum. They could easily be nicknamed "Ballchinians" because of it.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Lao's motivation for wanting humanity eradicated is that he is upset with the selection process used to determine who left on the White Whale, as well as the fact that he doesn't view Mimeosomes as human due to Brain Uploading. While the game tries to make a point about how Lao is angered at the corruption which killed his family, it comes across as ill-placed. His pain and conflict, while understandable, do nothing to excuse his actions and sabotaging what small hope remains. None of this is helped by many of the main characters (including your Player Character, without any input from you) jumping at the chance to give him another shot, despite him being responsible for a great deal of the Ganglion's successes and a lot of deaths.
    V-W 
  • Values Dissonance: There's been some controversy due to Lynlee's Jail Bait appearance without armor due to her only being 13. The dissonance being from how the legal age of consent in Japan is 13. Undoubtedly in response to this dissonance, in the English version, she was given relatively more modest designs for her armorless appearance and other outfits. Overall, the western response is better received (although still divisive), as while she still has some Bare Your Midriff going (more akin to a sports bra than a bikini), it's seen as both practical and more visually interesting.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: Take all the stuff that's said under this trope in the Xenoblade YMMV page and add that here in High Definition.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: The Saltats, a species of large, somewhat intelligent birds with a trumpet-like horn connected to their head that they also communicate with (their cries are trumpet-like too), can be seen dancing when they're not fighting, have huge eye-shaped markings on their wings and huge jewels for bellies, and attack by blowing bubbles. They are one of those creatures that really stick out among Mira's fauna. One of the locations in Oblivia even has a tower of 3 of them, while a higher-leveled fourth one stands in front of them as if conducting them.
    • By the same token, their Palette Swapped cousins, the Liceors of Sylvalum, who have a more ethereal appearance, and almost don't seem to have feet.
  • What an Idiot!: Near the end of the game, Lao has made off with important data pertaining to the Lifehold's location and a powerful Skell. After defeating said Skell, the party tries to get the data out of Lao, who has stored it in his mimeosome body. But instead of incapacitating him and retrieving it, the situation is portrayed as being a choice between Elma shooting him in the heart or head, where the data could be stored. To make matters worse, Lin and your Player Character (without your input), decide to defend Lao because, according to Lin "[they're] all on the same side," despite Lao being responsible for a large deal of humanity's grief in the game. Lin then makes a short speech which makes Lao decide to give the data to the party anyway.
  • The Woobie: Hope after her second Affinity Mission. Her Parental Substitute has been selling off people, been targeting Hope's own regulars, and the one of her closest friends essentially betrayed her. When you start fighting Ornella's lackies, you'll probably be smiling with glee as you send those assholes to Hell.
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