Xenoblade Chronicles was released in 2010 in Japan for the Wii by Monolithsoft under Nintendo. It was created by Tetsuya Takahashi. It was released in North America in 2012. It was then re-released for the New 3ds in 2015, and given a remaster for the Switch in 2020. It is a real-time combat RPG that has gameplay similar to an MMO.
The story takes place on the frozen bodies of two warring titans whos denizens are in constant war themselves and follows Shulk setting out on a quest for revenge with his friend Reyn as he tries to figure out the secrets of a mysterious sword called the Monado.
The Xenoblade series is broken up in to seperate entries unlike the Xenosaga series because the games are not true sequels the way the Xenosaga games are.
The original release on the wii and the 3ds port. The versions have minimal differences in controls but are otherwise about the same. This may be shortened to XC1 by fans.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition
The remastered version of wii game. Includes vastly updated graphics, a slight design change to one of the characters, MANY quality of life changes, and the addition of a challenge mode. No notable changes between editions. this may be shortened to XC1 or XCDE by fans.
The epilogue to the original story and attatched to the Definitve Edition game. Follows Shulk and Melia one year after the end of the game as they explore the Bionis Shoulder after being stranded there until they can repair their ship. This may be shortened to FC or XCFC by fans.
Xenoblade: The Secret File - Monado Archives
An artbook released in Japan and then later France with a limited number of preorders of the game. The artbook contains concept art, official art, information of characters, and most notably an official canon sidestory.
Getting Into It
Of the entire Xenoseries, XC1 is the most approachable entry to start with. Its ease of access and its plot and gameplay being comparatively less dense makes it less intimidating compared to 'Saga and 'Gears, and as its the first game in a series and introduces the combat and story concepts the other 'Blade games build on it is also more approachable than the other Xenoblades.
While one can start with any one of the Xenoblade games and do alright as they are not true sequels, one gets the most narrative tension out of playing XC1 first.
That said, its still a dense and long game that is not for everyone, so this section is still here to help your decisionmaking process!
If you like:
- Robots and mechas
- Deconstructions of traditional revenge plots
- Defying the concept of destiny
- Extremly strong foreshadowing
- This that allow you to derive new meaning from the scenes on repeat playthroughs
- Having disabled characters you can play as
- Story focused games that could be considered 'playable anime'
Or if you liked:
- Kingdom Hearts for the complex plot that emphasizes friendship
- Full Metal Alchemist for the moral complexities and well foreshadowed plot twists
- Any other Xeno game
- Gundam/robot anime, in general
This game might be for you!
While its also lighter and softer than the other xeno entries in terms of content warnings, there are still definitely content warnings.
- Accessability: Some reading required with no audio component including tutorials and some flashing lights in unskippable cutscenes
- Violence: Mass death, genocide, body horror, war, general fantasy violence, death of named characters including party characters
- Abuse: Medical experimentation, a stepmother attempts to kill a stepchild, casual coporal punishment shown and mentioned, manupulation and betrayal by a parental figure
- Mental health: Several characters are traumatized and greiving, but this is not heavily focused on, exestential crisis shown
- Other dark topics: Systemic oppression and bigotry shown, a major character mentions in an optional scene he used to be a alocoholic but stopped, smoking, psuedo-canibalism mentioned and shown
- Suggestive themes: Some outfits are mildly provocative, there is 'jiggle physics' for some character models
- Religious themes: Heavy focus on religious symbolism common to Shinto, and Gnostic theology
- Dated Content: Dated protrayals of casual coporal punishment, wii/3ds version has dated UI and other QOL features
Where to find it
In terms of purchasing and playing it for yourself, the Defintive Edition is a recent release, so its still available on eshop and in the stores as a hardcopy, which is the better version by far of the main game in terms of QOL. It also comes with the Future Connected epilogue, which the Wii version does not.
If you want to play the original version instead, legit wii copies are much harder to come by and still extremely expensive so securing a copy would be much harder.
If watching a lets play is a suitable alternative, there are many cutscene movies and walkthroughs complete on youtube and it watches extremely well in this fashion. With just over 10 hours of cutscenes in the main game, it is a very cinematic experience.
There is also emulation as an option, and if you wish to play the wii version, this is the better option that you can get mods for. Yuzu emulator does work on Definitive Version as well.
Monado Archive had no english release, and was very limited where it did release so there is no legit way to gain english copies of the story in it and the copies that do exist are expensive. Fantranslations do exist, however.
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