I am currently working through Xenoblade Chronicles 3D on my Nintendo 3DS. I have now played 99 and a half hours and I still need to complete the main story. This game is long! While playing I have come across two main theme I wanted to write about. The first being about love and relationships and the second one I will write later once I have finished the game. The second theme requires more story in order to discuss it properly. Warning: Full spoilers up until the Gadolt boss battle where I stopped.
The standard for any RPG is usually some form of party. This game has a special mechanic were the more you sync up with your party with attacks, the more a link for fills up. Once this link fills up, you can do chain attacks. You also need to encourage your teammates in battle when they get discouraged. During battle, team mates will cheer each other on like “We can definitely do this”. Battle also encourages skill links which create special effects during battle such as an Agility buff when the battle begins with higher level enemies.
There’s also Heart-to-Hearts which unlock special cut scenes from a character’s affinity link. Affinity links are basically how much they get along which increases as they battle together.
In terms, of story the party generally bonds as the story progresses. You see Reyn and Shulk, the first main party, deepen their friendship as they work to save Bionis. Sharla, a woman who joins when you meet Colony 6, and Reyn get closer along the story as well. Reyn clearly likes Sharla and tries to bond with her which she does find adorable.
Family is also an important part of Xenoblade. Dunban and Fiora are brother and sister who look after each other. Fiora nurses Dunban back to health after he injures himself wielding the Monado and he looks after her when she gets a Mechonis body and needs to stay hydrated.
Melia has a brother named Kallian and a father named Emperor Sorean. Melia is very close with her family. She loves her father and her brother looks after her. When Sorean dies, Melia is devastated. She is made the new leader of the High Entia, but asks her brother to stand in for her while she accompanies Shulk to fight the Mechon.
A bond that has become tense over time is Miqol and Egil. Miqol is the father of Egil. Egil is, at the moment, responsible for the tension between the Homs and Machina. He has led the Mechonis to fight and kill the Homs. Miqol does not want the Homs to die over past history and is currently tell Shulk to kill Egil. We’ll see if this changes over time.
During any time in the game, you can look at the Affinity Chart which shows your relationship to the different communities in Xenoblade Chronicles. My highest community is Central Bionis which is at 3 stars. This is where the Nopon live.
During Xenoblade you come across different communities. These can be other Homs communities like Colony 6 or other races such as Nopon (basically sentient fluffy creatures), High Entia (similar to elves in intelligence and life span), and Machina (the machine people). Some of these are even added to your party.
Nopon can seem annoying at first, but Riki is kind and determined to help his friends. His moves can even help friends like healing. Melia is a High Entia. At first, they seem like they only care about themselves, but they do decided to help the Homs. Melia uses magic to either hurt enemies or give her allies buffs. The Machina really want to stop Egil and are willing to help the Homs. All they want is peace.
The first romantic bond is Shulk and Fiora. They are friends that are clearly interested in each other. Before they can form a romantic bond, Fiora is killed by a Mechon. This drives Shulk to want to destroy all Mechon. He doesn’t change his mind until he sees Fiora in a Mechon’s body. This Mechon behaves strangely because the Mechon clearly knows how Fiora feels about Shulk and decides to protect them. In fact, the Mechon destroys itself protecting Shulk.
After Fiora has been released from the Mechon, her and Shulk kiss beginning the romance they were too nervous to start at first. Fiora is actually nervous about the possibility of becoming fully human again because she desperately wants to help Shulk when he is fighting. She also is originally afraid that Shulk wouldn’t want a relationship with her now that she is part Mechon, but he just loves having her in his life again.
The other major romantic bond is between Sharla and Gadolt. Sharla and Gadolt were in love and had a close bond together. She tried to console Gadolt during the war against the Mechon. Gadolt went missing during battle and was perceived to be dead. Turns out he is alive, but one major problem. He is a Mechon and this time he has no memories of his past. After Fiora turned rogue from her memories and Mumkhar’s obsession with Dunban led to his demise, Egil decided that completely erasing memories, thus erasing bonds, would ensure that his next legion of Homs-Mechons would be even better warriors. Sharla is devastated that Gadolt no longer remembers her and that their bond has dissolved. But, it seems he may remember her because he purposefully misses her when he attacks the party.
I am hoping that Sharla and Gadolt will have a mended bond. I am hoping that there is some way to regain his memories. I am also interested to see how Shulk and Fiora’s relationship will deepen now that they are together again. I also am hoping that there might be some way to stop Egil without killing him. Maybe if they get through to him that destroying another race will not help him with the pain of his past, he’ll stop this violence. That one unfortunately I think is the least likely outcome.
What are your thoughts on the bonds in this game? Maybe there is another game you can think of that focuses heavily on bonds.