Xenoblade Chronicles and Changing Destiny

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Destiny is the second main theme of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. It starts with the idea of using the Monado to change fate because it is the only weapon that can fight the Mechon to Shulk using the Monado to see the future. Eventually the idea of changing destiny goes to changing the fate of the world. This game is really ambitious when it comes to the story which is why I love it! For this please do not read if you have not played or finished the game as this will involve the crazy twists at the end that really shake up the story and universe! 

Shulk and the Monado

Shulk is the only character that can wield the Monado properly as most people end up getting hurt by the weapon. Shulk also gains special abilities from the Monado such as visions. At first it seems like they cannot do much as his vision that Fiona will be killed still ends up to her death.

But, once he starts talking to people and being open about his visions, he is really able to change the future. One moment I remember is when he sees a vision that Sharla will die trying to save her brother Juju from a Mechon. He is able to stop the future by warning Sharla and Juju is saved.

The gameplay also allows you to change the future. Shulk can see what will happen in battle and you can tell a character how to avoid the attack or stop it yourself with the Monado. For example, if you see that a character will take enough damage to kill them, either tell them to put a shield up or use a Monado art and they will survive the attack and take less damage.

World

The world was actually designed to fight each other due to Zanza, the creator of this world. It seems like the people of Bionis and Mechnois can never get along, but he wanted that. Zanza wanted power and to do that he decided to destroy Mechonis. He brought the Monado to earth so that someone would be foolish to pick it up. Zanza needs power because without destruction, he will cease to exist. The people of Bionis give him energy when they die.

When someone did, Zanza took over their body and started fighting Mechonis. Egil, the leader of the Mechonis revolution, witnessed this destruction he vowed to destroy Bionis to kill Zanza. Egil at the end sacrified himself to protect Bionis from Zanza and the Mechon started helping Bionis defend against Zanza.

The fate of the High Entia were also changed. High Entia had this rule where they wanted a Homs and High Entia to produce children so they would be more like Homs. At first that seemed really weird, but they were trying to change their fate. Zanza created them so that they would turn into monsters called Telethia who would kill the people of Bionis for Zanza when he commanded them to. Melia and the other half High Entia were able to avoid becoming Telethia and were able to live a normal life though they mourned the loss of their families.

Creator and Destiny

Zanza and Meyneth, the creator of Mechonis, have two different visions of the world they created. Zanza wants the world to fuel him. He enjoys conflict and destruction because it gives him power. Meyneth only wants the people to have a happy future where they can decided their own destinies.

This world was created by Zanza (which is where the ending just really changes the story). So the world was created as a computer program to look at how universes are made and evolve. Zanza, or Klaus as he was known, decided to execute the world before it was fully tested. That led to the destruction of our world and the beginning of Bionis and Mechonis. The Monado has power in this world because it is the computer that build this world.

Ending and Lessons Learned

When Zanza destroys the universe, Shulk and his friends fight him. Shulk is able to create his own Monado and can still see the future. He is able to defeat Zanza by seeing the future. After that he gets to decide the fate of the universe. He decides to let the people decide their future and the people of Bionis and Mechonis live in harmony on Colony 6.

This game teaches us that destiny and fate can be changed. We are not stuck on one path if our future is not how we envisioned it to be. Instead we can create our own future with persistence. Shulk tried everything he could to change the future over an over 100 hour story and he was able to change it and create his own future. So whenever you feel stuck or like your future isn’t going the way you want it to, know that the future belongs to you.

What did you think of the ending of Xenoblade Chronicles? 

Xenoblade Chronicles and Perseverance: Tough Bosses

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3D has to be the hardest game I have ever played. I had to retry the entire game 3 times in order to get grinding and quests right. The first time I made way too many mistakes and ended up being very underleveled for all boss fights. I decided to retry again a couple years later, but loss\t interest. The third time I decided to try again, I had forgotten everything about the game so I decided to begin a fresh save. Now I am finally at the final boss. I actually managed to do pretty well with this game except for two bosses which taught me about patience and strategy.

Gadolt

This was the first boss that I ran into major problems with. Usually after doing most of the side quests, I could easily take a boss down, but not this one. He is also apparently one of the hardest bosses in the game which is how I got the achievement Phoenix for 50 game overs total (a good chunk was from him and also Metal Face).

The first thing I did was grind by doing all side quests to try to get closer to his level. That helped me a lot, but he still was hard. He’s a hard enough boss with his deadly attacks (I can still remember hearing “This shot will take you down” before he basically killed most of my party). So I looked on YouTube and also at posts by others who were stuck on the fight.

After trying to use different party members, I believe I won using either Shulk or Melia with Reyn and Sharla. Sharla healed everyone while I took out the guardians and eventually just kept knocking Gadolt out until the fight was over.

Disciple One

This one had me wanting to quit the game. She is known to be the hardest boss in this game. She summons enemies that grant her 100% defense against physical attack unless you take most of them down. On top of that she has powerful attacks and also she is a large boss in a small area surrounded by toxic ether. She can push your party members and you into the toxic ether just by moving around. I died here more than Gadolt and was very annoyed by hearing “You will pay for your insolence” several times during this fight.

Looking up help for this one was actually funny. It would go between helpful advice to hearing that people just quit the game at this point because of how tough she is. I just grinded until she was not in the yellow (yellow means that the boss is slightly harder because your party is too low).

Then, I just kept trying different party combinations. I eventually just used Melia, Riki, and Sharla because two of those mostly attacked using ether instead of physical attacks. It was basically luck that got me to win because I used chain attacks to take her down. If I wasn’t lucky she would take Melia out which would cause me to lose the battle fairly quickly.

Lessons Learned

I learned that with patience, strategy, and trying multiple times, I can do anything! I really learned about patience when I needed to wait a while to do quests and grind before I could fight a boss. I also learned strategy with choosing the right party that went could help each other out, making sure they had the right equipment with gems to increase certain stats, and making sure they had the right Arts selected. After I tried multiple strategies I would eventually defeat any boss.

I am currently stuck on the final boss who has three phases, but I managed to get through the first phase. I am using what I have learned to defeat the final boss!

What lessons have tough bosses in video games taught you?

Importance of Bonds in Xenoblade Chronicles

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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.

Party Relationship

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 Bonds

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.

Community Bonds

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.

Romantic Bonds

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.

Future Bonds

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.

 

 

Saints Row: The Third – A Unique Game For The Switch

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I decided to try the Saints Row series after Saints Row: The Third was released for the Switch! I really enjoyed this game and I would highly recommend it for anyone who has a Switch!

Performance

I wanted to address this because this was an issue at launch. When I first played the game after it was released, it did need to be put at a high sensitivity to make it easier to play and it was easier to play it in docked mode. I also did have an issue with weird textures like fog staying on the screen.

After the recent updates, the game runs perfectly! There are no sensitivity issues and now there’s an auto lock on to make the game even easier. There are no weird issues or bugs that I had. The next time I pick this up it might even have gyro controls because they did want to add that.

Basically, if you were worried about the performance on this game, it is definitely fixed and running perfectly now!

Plot

There are a few twists but the basic plot is to go after the Syndicate and the gangs involved in Syndicate to clear The Saints name as well as avenge Johnny Gat’s death. Other enemies do appear throughout the game with my favorite and toughest being STAG. I also liked that the game did have branching options depending on how you treated certain characters or which reward you picked.

Activities

Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV have similar activities such as Mayhem where you cause mayhem in Steelport. The biggest change was escort missions in Saints Row: The Third. The most entertaining escort missions were escorting Genki because he liked you to cause mayhem when you drove and escorting a tiger because the tiger would mess with your vehicle and would calm down when you power-slid the vehicle.

Completing these activities as well as doing missions, owning property, and taking out gangs would unlock a city take over which would cause the city to belong to the Saints again. I only managed to do one city as the others I still needed to drive around and finish all their side content.

Fun Moments

  • Defeating Matt Miller in cyberspace because the game kept changing from a first person game to a text adventure and sometimes the controls would switch or I would shrink. I just loved how chaotic that level was!
  • Meeting Zimos who only talks with an auto-tune mic
  • “Holding Out For A Hero” playing during the final mission
  • The Gangstas in Space DLC where I had to deal with an over dramatic director
  • The Trouble With Clones which allowed me to unlock Super Gat

“Holding Out For A Hero” Finale

I loved that this song played and it made the finale perfect! This finale is unique because you get two different paths. You can choose to either take down the main villain or save your friends. I chose to save my friends which made The Saints popular and heroes again! I loved that my version involved me climbing Steelport’s version of The Statue of Liberty; It was really fun scaling the statue!

I also did still take down the main villain, but it was in a movie called Gangstas in Space. This was a story mission at the end of the game with dramatic lines and over acting. The main villain was in a super suit in space so I had to throw lava crystals at him to lower his health.  The game ended showing the film reel wrapping up the final scene and then the credits began!

Final Thoughts

I loved the credits for this because it had pictures of the staff and they did sing a song together. My favorite picture was the ones where one of the staff members was wearing a a hot dog suit! Overall, I found the game to be really fun although the activities can be challenging. But, I found the rewards to be worth the challenge. The main story was fun and I had a good time playing through it! The DLC was fun especially the ones involving Genki. I loved this game and I am so glad I decided to try it on the Switch!

What are your thoughts on Saints Row: The Third?

Thoughts on Edelgard’s route

Full spoilers for route!

Edelgard’s character interested me which is why I chose The Black Eagles route in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. was a strong leader of her house and getting closer with her revealed things she kept hidden from the others. She was kind, but also had been through a lot when she was younger.

Edelgard’s route is basically where you side against Rhea and the Church of Seiros. You join up with Edelgard as the Flame Emperor to fight against Rhea to end her rule so Fodlan can be more equal instead of a class system based on nobility and Crests.

I got this route by getting Edelgard’s Support up to a C+ and talking to her on 2/8.

Why did I pick this route?

Getting closer to Edelgard and The Black Eagle’s story both influenced me to pick this route.

Talking with Edelgard, I found that she had been experimented on along with her other siblings. The experiment was to see if someone could have two Crests. All of her siblings died except her. She got The Crest of Flames from the experiments. That’s when I thought she might be The Flame Emperor and it turned out I was right.

Rhea was not seen is a positive light in this story. I did not spend time with her so that did not help things. Jeralt appeared to be suspicious of get so I became suspicious. Then, it seemed like she thought whoever went against the Church should be killed. After I found out she did something to Byleth during her birth, I really didn’t trust her.

The Black Eagles also shows the bad side nobility and the class system, blaming Rhea and The Church for causing the class differences. Bernadette has been abused, Dorothea was a Commoner who was treated like dirt until she started singing. Petra was forced to attend the Monastery and her father was killed by Caspar’s father.

All Edelgard wants is for Rhea and the church to no longer rule Fodlan so the emphasis on nobility and Crests can be changed to equality for everyone. She blames Rhea and The Church for everything that happened to her family.

What happens in this route?

It starts when Byleth goes to the throne after becoming one with the goddess. Edelgard interrupts to steal the Crests and you can choose to spare her even though Rhea wants her dead. Sparing her enrages Rhea and you see her true form as The Immaculate One. After that you fight to take down Rhea, but you die in the process.

5 years later, you come back to life and help Edelgard. First comes taking down The Alliance. You fight Claude and then can spare or kill him. Sparing him results in him leaving and The Yellow Deer join you.

Next, you must fight The Blue Lions. You cannot save Dimitri. He has become ruthless in his attempt to kill Edelgard and protect Rhea.

Finally, you take down Rhea. She wants to be called Seiros, her true name, and she changes to her dragon form. Rhea is enraged and grieving. She has lost her mother, the goddess, because Byleth left. She hates Byleth and Edelgard and wants them dead. Her anger leads to her setting her safe house, The Blue Lions castle, aflame which puts all citizens in danger.

Thoughts on the route

My thoughts changed throughout.

First, I felt regret pretty quickly. At first, I wanted to help Edelgard build a new land that would be equal. But, I had to hurt old allies.

I really liked Claude so I felt bad attacking him, but I was glad I could spare him. That made me feel better that he would help me.

Then, Rhea had a cutscene. In it, she was mourning her lost mother because I had deserted her. I felt really bad for her because she was visibly distraught. That was the first time the route had painted her sympathetically, but it was already too late.

Next, The Black Eagles. Mercedes was so sweet to me and Dimitri was always kind. But, I had no choice. That and I couldn’t save Dimitri. I felt so bad that I had to attack them because of the route I chose.

Getting up to the fight with Rhea was worse. I had to go through Manuela and Flayn. Flayn was my student. I again had no choice due to the route I had chosen, but I was crying.

Having to fight Cyril at the final fight was also terrible since he was really nice as well. I was also sad that Rhea had to die too. She did have a choice to surrender, but she was enraged and wanting to fight back.

But, the ending did make it worth it. Edelgard was able to bring peace to Fodlan. She dismantled the class system and the reliance in Crests for power. Her rule was truly more equal according to the ending.

Class and Power in Edelgard’s Route

At the start of the game, characters have classes of Noble or Commoner. Nobles have power. They look over government, have their future planned for them.

Commoners are the lower class. Dorothea has been mistreated by nobles. She talks about bring talked down to or getting nasty stares because she was living on the street. The nobles only paid attention to her when she became famous for her voice.

The Church of Seiros also wields considerable power. They lead Fodlan and everyone must obey them. They also emphasize Crests which are another form of power. Those who wield Crests are generally nobles and they use these Crests in battle to gain the upper hand.

Students start to learn about the problems with having a class system when they interact with students from different classes.

Dorothea and Ferdinand are an example of that. Dorothea states that she does not like Ferdinand. She calls him a bee. He tries to figure out why but it also really kind to her. He bakes her treats and listens to her. Finally, at the end of their Support, she tells him why. She was just starting to sing and she was bathing in a public fountain and caught a young Ferdinand who saw her, glared at her, and then ran off. Ferdinand states that he was actually marveled by her beauty but became scared. Ferdinand never really saw her as being different due to his higher class while she knew they were different because she had been mistreated as a Commoner.

Also being in a higher class system isn’t always seen as positive. Bernadette was abused by her dad. She panics and is afraid of people because she became friends with a Commoner and her dad had him beaten almost to death. That’s why she hides from people. She’s afraid of them getting hurt. She also was originally just going to be married off, but then she was dragged to the Monastery.

Edelgard destroys the concept of nobility and Crests so that no one can have power over someone else. She tries to make everyone’s power equal so they cannot use it against others. Hopefully in her rule, people can be equal and Commoners , Nobles, and Crests can no longer be used as a class divide.

What do you think of Edelgard’s route? What are your thoughts on the themes of the game

Fire Emblem: Three Houses Update and Alternative Route

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I just got back into Fire Emblem: Three Houses last weekend after my friends playing it made me miss the game. It turns out that I was actually getting close to a major reveal so I am glad I decided to finish the game! I just started the alternative route before starting this post so I can also discuss it on this post!

Student Update

All of my students are now extremely helpful in battle since they have Master classes. Edelgard is a Warrior so she can solely use her axe in battle. Hubert is a Warlock whose focus is using dark magic in battle to defeat enemies. Ferdinand is a Wyvern Rider who uses an axe on a wyvern so he can fly and take out enemies. This also makes him incredibly strong. Lindhardt is a Bishop so he can use some offensive magic, but he mostly focuses on healing. Caspar is a Grappler who uses his fists in battle and can do multiple damage to an enemy. Bernadetta is a Sniper. She does not like fighting so it works that she just hits people far away with her bow. Dorothea is my Dancer which gives her really good offensive magic like Meteor, but also allows her to heal allies. Petra is an Assassin which allows her to use both her sword and bow in battle. She is my strongest fighter because she deals a lot of damage with her sword. Finally, my character, Azura, is the Enlightened One. I fused with the goddess so I now can heal, use magic damage, and use my sword in battle.

Story

All of the big reveals started happening while I was playing so spoiler warning! First, I found out that the gentle librarian was actually Solon who wants to use dark magic. He can turn students into beasts and also massacres your home village.

Then, another betrayal happens. The sweet red-head student you don’t teach in the Black Eagles named Monica is actually this evil woman, who kinda resembles a mad clown, called Kronya. Considering that Monica was kidnapped by the Death Knight, it is possible that Monica actually died and Kronya is merely pretending to be her. Kronya kills Jeralt and then attempts to kill you as well.

This is when another reveal happens, although I saw this one coming. Solon uses his powers to send you to a dark realm which reminded me of Kingdom Heart 3‘s World of Darkness except there are no landscapes here. That’s when it is revealed that the green lady in your head is actually a goddess. You fuse with her to escape and gain a new class!

You then sit on the throne because Rhea wants you to and  find out that Edelgard is the Flame Emperor and she tries to stop Rhea. This goes into why I chose the alternative path.

I just don’t trust Rhea. She executes anyone who resists her. I found out that when my character was born, her mother died and the baby was abnormal and had no heartbeat. Rhea admits that she put the goddess inside of me. I’m guessing that means that the baby and the mother were supposed to die during childbirth so Rhea saved the baby by infusing her with the goddess. She probably really only did that because she wanted the goddess back on earth.

Alternative Route

It started around the beginning of month 2 when I approached Edelgard and she asked me to accompany her. She traveled to see her father so she could officially become Emperor. She uses her power to get rid of the Prime Minister who tortured her so she could get two crests.

She then uses this power to summon an army. She reveals herself as the Flame Emperor during the battle in the Goddess Tower. After defeating her, I had a choice to save her. When I did that, I really made Rhea angry. So angry in fact, that she turned into a giant Dragon called The Immaculate One. So turns out the demure goddess was actually a terrifying dragon. This means that she was hiding her true nature. So I am grateful I was able to choose this route.

After fleeing the scene, I am now at a hideaway with Edelgard. I was locked out of all school activities since I was no longer working there, but I can still interact with the students. Since Edelgard lives, she is planning an attack on Rhea and asking all kingdoms to join her. She is detailing all Rhea has done so the people will turn on her. I started the battle and defeated Rhea. I got to the time skip and I am now back at the school with the students.

Coming Towards the Finale

I am really looking forward to see the alternative route! I hope to defeat Rhea as I do not want her leading Fodlan. I am glad I went with the alternative route first and I plan to do the normal route afterwards. I just wanted to side with Edelgard because I trust her more than Rhea! I also spend so much time with Dorothea that a romance option came up so I’ll have to see what happens after the war is over!

Have you chosen the alternative route for The Black Eagles? Do you trust Edelgard or Rhea more?

Virtual Bastion’s Nintendo Memories

With #NintendoSeptember coming to a close, it’s fitting that we should round things out with our favorite Nintendo memories. Since my days with the magical, gray block that was called the Nintendo Entertainment System, I’ve racked up quite a few of them, from playing pass-the-controller with my siblings as we valiantly tried to conquer Super […]

via A Trio of Favorite Nintendo Memories — VIRTUAL BASTION

Virtual Bastion listed their favorite memories in this post for #NintendoSeptember. I enjoyed this idea of listing some favorite memories so I will also share some of mine.

My favorite memories are:

  • Playing Majora’s Mask and Super Smash Bros with my brother while we were on vacation because the hotel had a N64.
  • Playing Pokemon FireRed on the GameBoy Advance and catching Pikachu and loving Charmander’s adorable sprite.
  • Buying a Nintendo 3Ds in college and playing Pokemon Y.
  • Exploring the sea on WindWaker HD for the WiiU.
  • Hearing “Jump Up, Super Star” while going through the pipes in New Donk City in Super Mario Odyssey on the Switch.

Check out Virtual Bastion’s post by clicking on the link here and let them know your favorite Nintendo memories!