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Xenoblade Chronicles (game)

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Xeno Series Wiki logo.png This article is a short summary of Xenoblade Chronicles.
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Xenoblade Chronicles
Xenoblade Chronicles NA box.jpg
Developer(s): Monolith Soft
Publisher(s): Nintendo
Platform: Wii
Category: Action role-playing
Players: 1
Predecessor: N/A
Successor: Xenoblade Chronicles X
Release dates
N. America: April 6, 2012
Japan: June 10, 2010
Europe: August 19, 2011
Australia: September 1, 2011
PEGI: 12
USK: 12
Xeno Series Wiki has more information on this game:
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© 2010-2011 Nintendo/MONOLITHSOFT.

Xenoblade Chronicles is an action role-playing game developed by Monolith Soft and released for the Wii as the fifth core title in the "Xeno" meta series of games, and the first game in the Xenoblade Chronicles series. Originally revealed at E3 2009, the game was originally released in Japan in June 2010. The game was later released in Europe and Australia in 2011, and was finally released in North America in 2012 exclusively at GameStop stores.

For its release in some regions, some copies of the game were bundled with a red Classic Controller Pro, an alternative cover, and a poster with an autograph from Tetsuya Takahashi. For the North American and European versions only, the game was printed on a dual-layer disc; the Japanese release uses a single-layer disc.

In 2015, a spiritual successor to the game, Xenoblade Chronicles X, would be released. Another successor, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, was later released in 2017.



Wield the Blade

Claim the Monado, an ancient weapon with the power to reveal the future, and lead the charge against a vicious army of mechanical invaders.

Set out for distant horizons and discover the secrets of a vast land with a mysterious past.

Witness events before they unfold and fight to change the future as the ultimate sword becomes your ultimate ally.

Nintendo website (Wii)

An epic clash between man and machine
Available exclusively for the Wii™ system, the Xenoblade Chronicles™ game combines science fiction and fantasy into an unforgettable open-world adventure. Players will discover expansive environments and deep character customization options as they delve into an epic conflict between the Homs (humans) and Mechons (robots) and uncover the secret of the ancient Monado blade. With richly detailed role-playing elements, Xenoblade Chronicles offers an extraordinary experience for veteran gamers and genre newcomers alike.


  • Xenoblade Chronicles invites players to explore a truly vast open-world universe. In addition to the game's main quest, they can also take on side quests, seek out special items and uncover hidden areas.
  • Players can customize their characters by choosing from a wide array of weapons, armor, equipment and accessories. Each item not only enhances characters’ abilities, but also affects the appearance of different characters in distinctive ways.
  • A unique upgrade system lets players improve their characters’ performance throughout the game. They can earn upgrades during battle, trade with townspeople or collect and purchase items. Players can also use magical gems in enhance the abilities of their existing equipment.
  • The game also incorporates a unique relationship-building system called Affinity. Different characters will have distinct Affinity levels in relation to one another, which can influence their interactions and affect their progress through the game.
  • A sophisticated battle system in Xenoblade Chronicles includes special Chain Attacks – combo attacks involving all members of the questing party – as well as an Arts system that lets characters perform specialized actions and spells.
Nintendo website (Wii U)

An epic clash between man and machine.

Discover expansive environments and deep character customization options as you delve into an epic conflict between the Homs (humans) and Mechons (robots). Explore the game's unique upgrade system, battle system, and relationship-building system as you fight to change the future with trusty allies and the ancient Monado blade.

Nintendo eShop

Discover expansive environments and deep character customization options as you delve into an epic conflict between the Homs (humans) and Mechons (robots). Explore the game's unique upgrade system, battle system, and relationship-building system as you fight to change the future with trusty allies and the ancient Monado blade.


In the beginning, the world was only a vast ocean until two titans came into existence: Bionis and Mechonis. The two endlessly fought each other into a standstill, leaving them as corpses.

Eons later, the people of Bionis are at war with the Mechon, an army of machines from the Mechonis. During the Battle of Sword Valley, the Homs battling the Mechon were able to push back the Mechon once and for all thanks to the efforts of Dunban using the Monado, a sword with mysterious powers.

One year afterward, a scientist of Colony 9 named Shulk is studying the Monado to figure out its secrets. However, the colony is suddenly attacked by an invading Mechon force, including a unique type of Mechon with a face. Seeking to destroy the Mechon once and for all for what they have done, Shulk and his friends set off to take them down once and for all while also discovering the secrets of the Monado and the world they live on.


Xenoblade Chronicles is an action role-playing game with open environments to explore. Players control a party of up to three characters at one time, and can battle enemies at will. The game has a day-night system, which affects things such as items and enemies on the overworld, the non-playable characters that the player can interact with, and the quests the player can accept. The game also rewards exploring the world by giving the player experience by discovering new locations and landmarks, the latter of which can be used as points to warp back to when using the map.

When battling enemies, players engage battle by targeting the enemy and either engaging in battle or attacking the enemy, or when they are noticed by enemies near or higher-leveled than the player. Players can either auto-attack the enemy by approaching the currently targeted enemy, or by using their arts, which can be seen on the "Battle Palette" on the bottom of the screen. Rather than using a point system, Arts can be used freely, but have a cool down time before they can be used again. The Battle Palette can only hold up to eight of a character's Arts at one time, as well as the character's Talent Art, a special art that builds up by attacking rather than over time. The game employs an "aggro" system, in which enemies will focus on whatever party member has attacked that enemy the most. The party also has "tension", which increases as enemies are attacked and decreases when they are attacked, which also affects damage output and attack accuracy. Attacking enemies fills up the Party Gauge, which can be used to revive incapacitated allies, and when it is filled the player can perform a Chain Attack, in which the party consecutively attacks enemies. Occasionally, the player will receive a vision of the future, in which the enemy uses one of its more powerful arts to deal damage to a character; the player then has a time limit to counteract and "change the future" before they can attack.

The game finally features an affinity system, which gauges the party's relationships, both between party members and non-playable characters and locations. Players can build affinity between party members by pairing them up in the party and battling, giving gifts, or through "Heart-to-Hearts", special moments between characters. Location affinity is built by interacting with non-playable characters and doing quests for them.


The original trailer for the game, under the name Monado: Beginning of the World, was shown during E3 2009.[1] During an investor's briefing in January 2010, the game's final title of Xenoblade was announced; according to Satoru Iwata, the name was changed to honor Tetsuya Takahashi and his work on both this game and the Xeno series.[2] Takahashi explained the meaning behind the game's title during an interview with Famitsu: while "Xeno" refers to something of a "different nature" or "uniqueness", "Blade" is tied to the game's story.[3]

Takahashi would state that the concept of people living on the bodies of massive gods originally came to him during a train ride on the way back to Monolith Soft's office, following a meeting for Soma Bringer.[3][4] Planning began in July 2006 by creating a physical model of the two gods, using younger staff members in various poses to model their positions, which also helped the team to determine which locations would make ideal field areas for the game.[5][6] Takahashi took the giant gods concept and decided to combine it with an unrelated story idea he had thought of to create a new role-playing game.[4] The project was first proposed to Nintendo toward the completion of Disaster: Day of Crisis[7]; as that game had been more difficult to develop and released later than originally anticipated, the staff at Monolith Soft had decided that their next Wii game would be an RPG, being more familiar with the genre.[6]

Work on prototypes began in April 2007, with Genki Yokota and Yurie Hattori from Nintendo SPD assisting with work on the gameplay and story, respectively.[7] Takahashi sought to create a game with an ideal balance between story and gameplay, as he felt that many RPGs placed too much emphasis on their stories[8], with the desire to try many new ideas without worrying about fitting existing ideas of "what an RPG should be."[9] A major concern when working on the story was the protagonist Shulk, as Takahashi felt that players typically disliked JRPG protagonists, with the team taking extra care to ensure that he would be well-received.[10] While the story saw many changes over the course of development, the overall structure remained intact.[5] Much of the gameplay was influenced by both Japanese and western RPGs.[11] The game features large fields to explore as Takahashi felt that "that type of design was necessary to express the world of this game."[5] For the game's battles, the vision mechanic was the basis around which the entire battle system was designed.[5] Due to various difficulties with development, Takahashi met with producer Hitoshi Yamagami to discuss scrapping certain aspects so the game would be finished on schedule for its original release date, but he instead told Takahashi to continue working on the game until it was properly finished.[6]

The game's music was handled by a team of six, including Yoko Shimomura, Yasunori Mitsuda, Manami Kiyota, and music team ACE+ (Tomori Kudo, Hiroyo "CHiCO" Yamanaka, and Kenji Hiramatsu).[9] Takahashi also worked with Dog Ear Records on the music, who recommended ACE+ and Kiyota.[9] Kiyota was largely in charge of the game's field music, while ACE+ handled battle themes.[9] Takahashi wanted to create a varied soundtrack with a variety of instruments, using them in a way that "worked against that type of atmosphere to some extent"[12], and to create an atmosphere different from his previous works[9]; Kudo described their work as "making music that went beyond the typical RPG soundtrack".[12] The musicians themselves would visit each others' houses to better understand how the others worked.[13]

In March 2011, Nintendo of Europe revealed that Xenoblade would be receiving a European release, under the name Xenoblade Chronicles.[14] In June 2011, Mathieu Minel, marketing manager for Nintendo France, stated on French TV station Nolife that Nintendo of Europe wanted to show Xenoblade Chronicles at E3 2011, but Nintendo of America refused as they did not want to show products they weren't planning on releasing.[15] With no word on a North American release of the game, an online campaign known as "Operation Rainfall" was started by fans to generate interest in Xenoblade Chronicles as well as two other Nintendo-published Wii RPGs, Pandora's Tower and The Last Story, and convince Nintendo to release them in America.[16][17] In response, Nintendo of America would later post a status update on Facebook stating that they currently had no plans to release any of the games.[18] However, Reggie Fils-Aimé would later state that Nintendo would be watching how the three games perform in Europe.[19] Finally, in December 2011, it was announced that Xenoblade Chronicles would be released in America in 2012.[20] When asked since the game's release about the impact of fan demand, Reggie would state that, while Nintendo were discussing a potential release while the Operation Rainfall campaign was ongoing and taking it into consideration, it ultimately did not influence their decision.[21][22] Speaking on changes made for the game's localization, Takahashi stated that, other than bug fixes, minor balance adjustments, and some text rewrites, the localized version of the game is largely identical to its Japanese counterpart.[11]


Aggregate scores
Metacritic 92
GameRankings 91.74%
Famitsu 36/40[23]
Nintendo Power 9.0[24]
Official Nintendo Magazine 92%
IGN 9/10
Game Informer 9.5/10
GameSpot 9/10

Xenoblade Chronicles was highly praised by critics upon release, with many calling the game innovative within the genre and particularly praising the gameplay, explorable environments, and story. However, the game's visuals were a point of criticism for many, as while it was noted to be technically impressive for a Wii game, it was still seen as inferior to games on contemporary consoles. Xenoblade Chronicles was tied with Journey as the fourth highest-rated game (listed as sixth) released in 2012 on Metacritic.[25] The game was awarded the "Excellence" award at the 2011 Japan Game Awards.[26] At the 2012 Golden Joystick Awards, the game was nominated for "Best RPG".[27] During IGN's Best of 2012 awards, Xenoblade Chronicles was named "Best Wii U/Wii Story"[28] and "Best Wii U/Wii Game"[29], and was nominated for "Best Overall Role-Playing Game"[30] and "Best Overall Story".[31]

In Japan, Xenoblade was the top-selling game on its release week, selling 83,000 copies according to sales figures from Media Create.[32] By the end of 2010, the game had sold around 161,161 copies, becoming the eighth best-selling Wii title that year[33], and ultimately sold nearly 200,000 copies in Japan by the end of 2013.[34] In the UK, Xenoblade Chronicles was the seventh best-selling game for the week of its release.[35] The NPD Group did not release sales figures for the US release of the game, as it was a retailer exclusive.[36] Satoru Iwata would state in an interview with Takahashi for the New Nintendo 3DS version that sales of the original game were higher internationally than in Japan.[37]

Technical details

Technical details
Media: Wii Game Disc*
Digital download (Wii U)
Download size: Wii U: 6853.0 MB
Input / compatible controllers: Wii: Wii Remote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller
Wii U: Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote + Nunchuk, Classic Controller

Other releases

Title Cover art Platform Release date(s) Notes
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D Xenoblade Chronicles 3D NA box.jpg New Nintendo 3DS NA: April 10, 2015
JP: April 2, 2015
EU/AUS: April 4, 2015
KOR: May 1, 2015
A port developed exclusively for the New Nintendo 3DS, developed by Monster Games.
Xenoblade Chronicles Xenoblade Chronicles eShop NA.png Wii U NA: April 28, 2016
JP: July 27, 2016
EU/AUS: August 5, 2015
A direct port of the original game as a digital download on the Nintendo eShop for Wii U.
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Xenoblade Chronicles def.png Nintendo Switch WW: May 29, 2020 An enhanced remake of the original game, featuring new content.

External links

Xenoblade Chronicles on other NIWA Wikis:
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  1. Nintendo's Wii RPG Monado: Beginning of the World In Pictures. Kotaku (June 4, 2009). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  2. Third Quarter Financial Results Briefing for Fiscal Year Ended March 2010. Nintendo (January 29, 2017). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 First Details: Xenoblade. (February 17, 2010). Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : Playing a Game of Catch. Nintendo. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Monolith Soft Tried Using A Turn Based Battle System For Xenoblade Chronicles. Siliconera (April 7, 2012). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : Seeing it Through to the End. Nintendo. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : From Caution to Trust. Nintendo. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
  8. Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles 3D : Burning bridges. Nintendo. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : Six Musicians Together. Nintendo. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  10. Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : A Hero Who Wouldn't be Hated. Nintendo. Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Xenoblade Chronicles director naturally influenced by Western design; details changes for NA/EU version. Engadget (April 6, 2012). Retrieved September 12, 2017.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : Beyond the Typical RPG Soundtrack. Nintendo. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  13. Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles : That First-Draft Email. Nintendo. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  14. Xenoblade Leaving Japan, Landing In Europe As Xenoblade Chronicles. Siliconera (March 31, 2011). Retrieved September 11, 2017.
  15. Xenoblade Chronicles Not Coming to North America. Nintendo World Report (June 23, 2011). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  16. Join The Fight To Bring Some Good RPGs To The Wii. Game Informer (June 26, 2011). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  17. Letter writing campaign for Last Story, Pandora's Tower. Destructoid (June 24, 2011). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  18. Nintendo on Facebook (June 29, 2011). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  19. Nintendo's Missing Games: Europe is Being Watched. IGN (August 10, 2011). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  20. Xenoblade Chronicles finally coming to US. GamesRadar+ (December 2, 2011). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  21. Nintendo's Reggie Talks Wii U, Western Development And Operation Rainfall. Siliconera (December 4, 2013). Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  22. Nintendo Isn't Affected by Fan Campaigns or Petitions. IGN (December 5, 2013). Retrieved August 14, 2015.
  23. Japan Review Check: Xenoblade, Just Cause 2. (June 2, 2010). Archived on November 29, 2011. Retrieved on November 9, 2017.
  24. Xenoblade Chronicles – Nintendo Power Review. oprainfall (March 27, 2012). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  25. The Best Videogames of 2012. Metacritic (December 31, 2012). Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  26. 年間作品部門. Japan Game Awards. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  27. 2012 Golden Joystick Awards – Skyrim wins Ultimate Game of the Year. VG247 (October 26, 2012). Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  28. Best Wii U/Wii Story. IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2017
  29. Best Wii U/Wii Game. IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  30. Best Overall Role-Playing Game. IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  31. Best Overall Story. IGN. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  32. Media Create Software Chart Updated. Andriasang (June 17, 2010). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  33. Here's How Xenoblade and Metroid: Other M Did In Japan. Siliconera (January 23, 2011). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  34. This Week In Sales: Xenoblade Chronicles 3D Isn’t Really Feeling It. Siliconera (April 8, 2015). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  35. UK Top 40: Zumba top, Zelda rises. Eurogamer (August 22, 2011). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  36. Prototype 2 pips Kinect Star Wars to top April US chart. Eurogamer (May 10, 2012). Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  37. Iwata Asks : Xenoblade Chronicles 3D : We want to make a JRPG masterpiece. Nintendo. Retrieved November 9, 2017.

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