"Better late than never" is an idiom that definitely applies to the arrival of Xenoblade Chronicles in North America. Though Nintendo seemed hesitant to support their fading console with the Wii U on the horizon, American gamers demanded that this RPG classic made its way stateside, and thankfully their voices were heard. Xenoblade Chronicles is assuredly a game that will be talked about for years to come, the game's gorgeous visuals and expansive open-ended gameplay ending this year's long streak of disapointing JRPGs, delivering far more than either Final Fantasy XIII-2 or Tales of Graces F.
Now then, the best JRPG in years is here, but with all this content, it's easy to get lost. Thankfully, GameZone.com is here with our full Xenoblade Chronicles walkthrough and FAQ!
This walkthrough assumes you are using the Wii Classic Controller. If you're using the standard Wii Remote, please consider buying an actual video game controller and playing the game correctly!
– The World of Xenoblade –
Xenoblade, despite it's name and creator, has nothing to do with either Xenogears or Xenosaga. The game was simply retitled (Originally titled "Monado: Beginning of the World") because Nintendo thought the "Xeno" prefix would help sell copies. They were right!
As the story of Xenoblade goes, in the beginning, there was nothing but endless ocean. Then one day, two giant robot looking things showed up and had an awesome sword fight. One was the Bionis, and the other was the Mechnois. These two beings dueled to a standstill, and eventually civilizations began to form on their lifeless corpses, the Bionis populated mostly by Homs (humans) and the Mechonis populated by the Mechon (robots).
Naturally, robots and humans hate each other, so an endless war has continued between these two species. At the center of this conflict is the Monado, a strange ancient sword with the power to harm the otherwise inivincible Mechon. What secrets does this sword hold, and could it end the war between the Homs and the Mechon?
– Combat Basics –
Combat in Xenoblade Chronicles is real time. To begin a battle, target an enemy using the R or L button, then press A to begin the fight. As combat proceeds, your character will automatically attack the targetted enemy as long as they are within range. Use the R and L buttons to switch targets during battle.
Your allies will automatically attack the enemy closest to them. To influence their tactics, hold down the Zr button, and use the D-Pad to issue commands. Pressing up will command them to focus on your current target. Pressing right will have them split up and attack at will. Press down and they'll converge on your position and await further orders.
Often times your idiot teammates may want to run off and drag more enemies into the fight. Issue them commands to keep this from happening!
Using Talent Arts
During battle, you can use the d-pad to select special "talent arts" from the bar at the bottom of the screen. Press the 'A' button to use the selected art. These arts range in type, with five different colored categories to differentiate them.
- (RED) Attack Arts – Hard hitting arts meant to inflict massive damage on enemies
- (PINK) Burst Arts – These arts inflict medium-amounts of damage, and inflict "Break" status on enemies
- (GREEN) Topple Arts – Use these arts to "Topple" enemies who are suffering from Break. Toppling Mechon is one of the few ways to inflict damage upon them.
- (YELLOW) Debuff Arts – These arts typically affect the enemy's status in negative ways, such as lowering their stats
- (BLUE) Buff Arts – These arts typically heal the party's HP or remove negative status conditions
Note that you cannot simply spam arts. After using each art, there is a period of cooldown before it can be used again.
When instigating a battle, press 'B' right as the red circle touches the outer rim of the blue circle for a tension boost!
Tension is Xenoblade's morale system, which affects how a character fares in battle. A character with high tension will have their stats boosted, and have a better chance of landing critical hits. A character with low tension may miss their attacks, and even faint if they're feeling bad enough. As a note, there is no on-screen tension gauge. When a character's portait is on fire, they are in a state of high tension, though otherwise you'll be unaware of how excited they really are.
There are a variety of ways to affect tension in battle. If you instigate battle with an enemy who hasn't seen you yet, you'll get a chance for a Battle Start Affinity boost. The on-screen icon will tell you to press the 'B' button, but try and time the press for when the shrinking red circle touches the outer rim of the blue circle. If you hit the edge of the blue circle exactly, you'll get a huge tension boost, inside the blue circle is a smaller boost, and pressing the button too early gives no boost at all.
Protip: If you fail the Battle Start Affinity though the monster still hasn't noticed your party, quickly choose to end the battle, then restart it for another chance!
During battle, you'll have the chance to raise tension by complimenting teammates on critical hits / dodges, or encouraging them after a miss. Simply menuver over to the character who needs encouragement and a 'B' button command will be displayed if there's a chance to raise tension. This also raises the affinity levels between the two characters, and you should encourage teammates often so that everybody likes each other!
Party affinity is respresented by the blue bar in the top left of the screen, which displays how well you and your teammates are performing. The two ways to raise the gauge are by landing critical hits, and by correctly using arts. This means an art like Shulk's "Slit Edge" (which gives a bonus effect for attacking a monster's side) would not raise the gauge if used to attack the front or back of a monster.
The bar has three main uses
- Reviving Teammates (Uses 1 Bar Segment): This will revive a downed comrade. Stand by them, and press the 'B' button to bring them back to life. Newly revived characters will be low on tension, so be sure to encourage them with the 'B' button after bringing them back to life.
- Warning Teammates (Uses 1 Bar Segment): If Shunk has a vision of the future, he'll be able to warn teammates of the incoming attack. Check the "Changing the Future" guide below for more information.
- Chain Attacks (Uses 3 Bar Segments): This lets the party perform a powerful combo attack, draining the PA bar. Select the blue Chain Attack icon from the command bar (center of the bar, d-pad down towards it) to begin the assault. In turn starting with your active character, each member of the team can select a single art to perform (all arts are refreshed for a chain attack). Though optional, using arts of the same color for each teammate will start a chain bonus, resulting in massive damage. Once every character has performed an art, the chain may continue for another round (depending on the character affinities). It's possible to go through 15 rounds of chain attacking, so again, get your characters to love each other!
Changing the Future
Here the enemy is preparing to use Double Peck on Reyn in 8 seconds (the attack will deal 536 damage, and inflict bleed). Use Monado Shield!
As you progress through the game, the Monado sword gains the ability to reveal the future of battle. If the enemy is targetting you, try and run away or stun it before it can attack. If it is targetting an ally, run up to them and press 'B' to warn them of the attack, using up 1 segment of the party affinity bar. From there you can command them to use one of their Arts to try and prevent the damage.
You'll also gain eventually gain access to some Monado abilities particuarly useful for changing the future:
- Monado Shield – If the enemy is about to use a Talent Art (white text), and your shield ability is the same level or higher than the roman numeral, activate the Monado Shield to block it!
- Monado Speed – Ramps up evasion, making it easier to dodge Physical Arts (red text). If the future reveals one of these is coming, try to Speed away from it!
- Monado Armour – Protects against Ether Arts (blue text). Again, use your future sight and armor up the character about to be blasted!
– Quests –
Throughout the game, you'll recieve a variety of quests:
- Story Quests: These occur naturally as part of Xenoblade's storyline, and must be completed to continue. If a story quest is active, the quest icon will appear on the top of the screen. Search out a red '!' on the map, indicating where the quest can be completed. They usually have no reward associated with them.
- Surprise Quests: These occur when you stumble across them on the map (for instance, a civilian being attacked by Volffs), and must be completed immediately.
Sidequests: Your typical random assortment of fetch quests and monster hunting expeditions. Whenever you see an NPC with a white '!' over their heads (also visible on the map), that means they have a quest to give. There's no shortage of sidequests you can accept, so grab as many as you can. Also, some NPCs have multiple quests to hand out at a time, while others only hand out quests at certain times of the day. Keep seeking these out, the rewards (gold, EXP, rare items) are worth it!
Protip: Some quests have a stopwatch icon next to them. That means that past certain parts in the story, they can no longer be completed. Try and finish these quests first!
This walkthrough will primarily deal with the necessary story quests. For everything else, check out our Xenoblade Sidequest Guide (coming soon!)
– Collectables –
As you explore the world of Xenoblade Chronicles, you'll likely see glowing blue lights scattered about the landscape. These are collectable items, which you can pick up simply by walking over them. These items can be traded to townspeople, used to fufill quest requirements, or can be catalogged in your Collectapedia. Each area has it's own set of collectables to find, categorized as either Vegetable, Fruit, Flower, Bug, Parts or Strange. Complete any of these categorizes to earn a reward. Find all collectables for an area and get an even more sweet reward!
XENOBLADE CHRONICLES | Main Walkthrough
Prologue: Defeating the Mechon Invasion
Part 1: Exploring Colony 9
Part 2: Into Tephra Cave
Part 3: Colony Under Siege
Boss Guide: Metal Face
Part 4: Return to Tephra Cave
Boss Guide: Arachno Queen
Part 5: The Gaur Plain
Part 6: Rescuing Juju
Boss Guide: Mechon M71