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Xenoblade Chronicles was one of my favorite games released last year. Keeping in tow with my new "Top Ten Moments" series, and my recent rekindled love of Xenoblade Chronicles, I've decided to select it for today's blog. For those not in the know, Xenoblade was one of the 3 Operation Rainfall titles, and was released in April of last year to critical acclaim.
10. The Invaision of Colony 9 and the Death of Fiora
A standard JRPG cliche is the death of a friend/loved one as the motivation for the protagonists. Even though Xenoblade Chronicles falls into this(and many) cliches, they are executed very well and have their own unique quirks. One of the odd things about the beginning of the game is that one of the three playable characters at the time(Fiora) is given a whole moveset and such, but is killed off almost immediately. Although her death is quick, within the first three hours of a sixty hour game, I cared about her death(especially with Shulk's "noooooooooo" and the bloody claws of Metal Face).
9. ...and then Finding out Fiora is Alive
Yeah, that was sad when Fiora died....oh wait, no she didn't. She was brought back to life and put into a Machina body, so she could become a Face Mechon(a Mechon impervious to the attack of Monado I). After Shulk and the party arrive at Prison Island and meet the giant Zanza, they're attacked by Metal Face and Nemesis Face, with the latter revealed to be a brainwashed Fiora. Later, she is rescued(after the party falls to the Mechonis Hand), but the reveal was something that was heavily hinted towards prior to the reveal. Even though I was 95% sure of it before, the build up and execution of this scene was great.
8. Executing a Chain Attack Perfectly
One of the main unique things about Xenoblade Chronicles is that you only control one of your party members-the rest perform their own actions(which, by the way, was executed wonderfully). However, you can take control of your entire party by executing a Chain Attack, where Xenoblade becomes turn-based instead of real time. You take turns choosing which moves each party members performs, and if you do ones that fall in line(use healing moves in a row, or a specific kind of attack), you can keep going(which requires you to time a button press). This can go up to 15 moves, and really make super powerful attacks. While I only really did this a couple times really well, getting it right was so satisfying, especially seeing the health bar of an enemy drop so quickly.
7. Bionis Interior
Towards the end of the game, the party is required to go into the actual insides of the Bionis, into what's basically its rib cage. Above, you can see what that looks like-the enemies are all weird nebula white blood cell things(or just Telethia), and you have this massive pumping heart in the middle that just highlights that the Bionis actually is a living thing. It's one of the most unique areas, but has the worst boss in the game too...-.-.
6. Mechonis Field
For the beginning half of the game(besides some boss battles), you're subject to the same great battle music. However, after Shulk and the party arrive on the Mechonis, the battle music changes to the one below. When I first heard this music, I was freaking out, because I'd heard it in a trailer, and I'd loved it there. In any case, it is a great track, and was a great change for that portion of the game.
5. Fighting in the Mechonis Head Against Egil
Until the moment at number 3, the player assumes that the main antagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles is a Machina, Egil, who wants to destroy the BIonis because it nearly exterminated the Machina. What really the highlight of the fight against him is the use of the premonition ability. In every other battle in the game, the ability(which shows and incoming enemy attack, which the player can move to prevent), is not used for story purposes(besides cutscenes). However, against Egil, Shulk foresees Egil using the Mechonis to destroy the Bionis, and the player needs to move to stop the attack. This is a harrowing moment for the player, and was a great way to use the ability, I think.
4. The Ending
Xenoblade has one of the biggest mind$#%^ endings I'd ever seen when I finished it. To sum it up-Zanza, the main antagonist, was formerly a human scientist, namsed Klaus, in a space station above Earth, who performed an experiment that basically caused a new big bang, and recreated the universe, with the him as the soul of the Bionis, and Meyneth, another scientist, as the soul of the Mechonis. Oh, and Alvis, that guy who you thought was a seer-he's actually a computer program from that station, and is the soul of the Monado. If you're confused because you didn't play, don't worry-I explain this below. As for the real ending, post this reveal-well, it's happy, with everyone living on the remains of the Bionis in harmony, and Fiora restored to her normal body.
3. Dickson is in League with Zanza...and Zanza is a God
That Dickson traitor...he's the one on the left...
So, to first finish what I was saying before-in the new world that was created, Zanza was a God, and controlled the Bionis. For what is implied to be eons, he allowed new life to be born on Bionis, and then purged that life, which went back to the Bionis as ether. Dickson, who was thought to be a war hero and normal human, is actually an immortal disciple of Zanza's, who manipulated Shulk into being the vessel for Zanza, who was inhabiting Shulk. After the the defeat of Egil, Zanza comes out of Shulk, taking back the Monado, and reveals his Godhood.
2. Being on the Mechonis Hand
One of the most amazing things about Xenoblade Chronicles is that the setting is two huge titans, froen in time. While most locales in the game have amazing views of them, I found the best one to be the severed hand of the Mechonis. When on it, the player is able to see both at once, and it creates an awe-inspiring view of the titans.
1. Using Monado III Against Zanza
For the first two phases of the final fight against Zanza, Shulk is limited to using the Replica Monado. However, after the first two grueling fights, Shulk acquires Monado III, also known as Shulk's Monado, or the True Monado. After making precious decisions for a possibly 30 minute boss fight, the last part against Zanza is relatively easy, comparatively. He takes much more damage, and how huge Monado III is only highlights the awesomeness of the moment. The battle captures everything wonderful about Xenoblade Chronicles, and was one of the best final boss fights in any game I've ever played.
Honorable Mention: Reyn Time
Worst moment: Any moment without Reyn