Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (JP) is a direct sequel to Xenoblade Chronicles, releasing on the Nintendo Switch as the third entry in the Xenoblade series. The RPG was released on December 1st, 2017. It is a more story-driven game than its 2015 Wii U predecessor, Xenoblade Chronicles X, and its art style is more reminiscent of Japanese animation.

Torna ~ The Golden Country (JP) is an expansion set 500 years before the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It was also released physically as a separate game marketed as a prequel to the main game. This release included a code for all the content in the Expansion Pass for the main game.

Gameplay

Playable Characters

Main Story

Torna ~ The Golden Country DLC

All the characters from the DLC work in trio rather than having the Driver as the playable character and the Blade as their follower. The player can switch between the two Blades and their Driver as its main playable character at any time.

Fighting

Like the previous games in the series, the fighting centers around auto attacks and the Arts used by the playable characters. However, unlike the previous games, the arts are determined by the Blades and not the characters themselves. Like in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the party is limited to 3 characters during battle and the player can choose to play as any available party member. Each playable character has a special Blade that cannot be disengaged, as well as two additional Blades to fight with. Each Blade has four arts that can be leveled up with points earned by taking down enemies; however, the player is limited to three of these arts for use in battle.

Instead of waiting for arts to recharge over time, arts are charged through auto-attacks. By using arts, the Driver can raise the level of "Special Arts". Using a special art in combat will initiate a blade combo, which increases in tier according to both element of the next special art used and its level. Upon completion of the third level of the blade combo, the enemy is given an element orb based on the finishing element of a combo. This orb seals an ability of the opponent, at the expense of giving the enemy defense against attacks of that orb's element. Once the player has marked the enemy with enough orbs, they can unleash a Chain Attack and burst the orbs, causing massive damage. Five burst orbs will cause the party to launch an even more powerful group attack.

The player can also initiate Driver Combos via the status effects Break, Topple, Launch, and Smash. By using arts with these effects in the listed order, the player can temporarily incapacitate the enemy while increasing damage.

Exploration

Like in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the game reward the player for exploration as optional areas with extra rewards, Unique Monsters and side quests can be found in every explorable areas. Side quests also give additional experience points, gold and equipment as well as new rare Blades that can not be obtained via Core Crystals. This time, the experience earned in side quests is counted as bonus experience that can be applied to character when they sleep in inns which allow the player to choose their level if they gain too much bonus experience in their liking.

Plot

Era of Humanity

Long before the events of the game, a relic of unknown origin refered to as The Conduit was found in Africa by humanity. The Conduit was studied and eventually, it was discovered that it is a gateway between alternate universes that allow the use of infinite energy due to its connection to an infinite number of worlds. The Conduit was placed in Rhadamanthus one of the three towers used to support an orbital ring set up around the Earth. Around the same time, a collective of three artificial intelligence known as the Trinity Processor was created to protect and maintain the gate without the need of humans. The Trinity Processor was raised in VR to help each of its three component to gain their own independant personalities.

Rebel groups formed and demanded the complete control of the orbital Ring. To defend themselves, the Trinity Processor created numerous Artifices, machines made for combat and able to function without a pilot thanks to the power of The Conduit. Despite this, the rebels were about to win the war and as the personel were about to activate Artifice Aion, an Artifice able to end the world, one of the scientist named Klaus hijacked the Trinity Processor and used it to control The Conduit and create a new universe in order to save mankind from itself. This also sent most of humanity in parallel universes effectively ending the conflict and the few survivors would soon degenerate into Guldo after attempting to replace their brain cells with prototypes of what would become the Core Crystals.

Klaus was turned into a God by the power of The Conduit and half of his body would be sent to his new universe where it would be known as Zanza thus kickstarting the events of Xenoblade Chronicles while the other half was left behind, became known as The Architect, and wanted to rebuild the world as a mean to atone for his sins. The Architect created new living creatures known as Titans by using the now perfected Core Crystal Technology. These Titans would slowly evolve into a new breed of mankind while being able to give birth to a new species known as Blades whose role was to assist mankind and learn from them until they were able to themselves grow into Titans. Since The Architect used a veil of Nanomachines known as the Cloud sea in order to deconstruct the lower world and transfer its ressources to the Titans above, the back of those Titans became the only place where life could flourish.

Alrest's distant past

The new world now known as Alrest developed their culture around the link between Blades and the human who awakened them from their Core Crystal, also known as Driver. Eventually, one of the three core of the Trinity Processor, the one named Ontos, used the Conduit to be transported into the world of the first Xenoblade, leaving the two other behind. Time moved foreward and many nations were born on the back of the Titans. Even if wars between those nations were not uncommon, the world was still in a relative peaceful state.

This would change with the birth of an Indoline known as Amalthus. Amalthus was very faithdul and believed in the benevolent nature of the Architect, which was known as the creator of Alrest by now, despite living a very miserable life and seeing humanity betray his trust over and over, Amalthus still joined the order of the Indoline Paetorium as a priest and preached for the peace and love between humans. Eventually Amalthus withnessed a man he once saved killing a family of innocent for his own gain. Amalthus killed the man and started to wonder if the Architect really wanted his world to be in this state. Amalthus decided to climb the world tree alone, something no one ever did and speak directly with the Architect. Klaus was still remorseful for what he did to the world and after seeing himself in Amalthus, he decided to stay hidden even when Amalthus stole the two remaining cores of the Trinity Processor and interpreted that as a gift from The Architect.

The Aegis War

Amalthus returns to Alrest and awaken the core known as Logos. Logos is heavily influenced by the disgust for the world found in Amalthus' heart and after awakening as a Blade named Malos and testing his destructive powers, he informs Amalthus that he intends to purge the world from what they consider both to be the "worthless" and leave Indol after destroying the Aegis, a relic said to be the incarnation of the Architect's revelation to the first Praetor, and takes its name now considering himself as an instrument of divine will. Malos then destroys Coeia with Siren, his main artifice. This is covered up as a military opperation against Coeia by Mor Ardain and Indol. Fearing that Malos may destroy the world before he has any chance to prove himself as the Architect's chosen one, Amalthus go on a tour to find someone worthy of the second Aegis, Pneuma, as Malos' rampage become general across Alrest.

Around one year before the events of Torna ~ The Golden Country, Pneuma is awakened as the incomplete Mythra by a bastard of the Tornan royal family named Addam Origo. The duo then travel across Alrest with the goal of stopping Malos but are mostly fruitless, only running into Malos' mass produced Artifices, the Gargoyles. As they are chasing Malos in the Kingdom of Torna, they run into Lora a Tornan Driver and her Blades: Jin and Haze. Addam faces them to test their strength and soon ask them to join his group and help him defeat Malos. They are eventually joined by Hugo Ardanach, the emperor of Mor Ardain and his two Blades: Brighid and Aegaeon. Meanwhile, Amalthus is experimenting on Gort a mecenary who tried to kill Lora when she awakened Jin and ambushed her when she was searching for her mother in the Gormott Province. Amalthus after having learned about DNA and the fact that Core Crystals are meant to contain some is trying to alter it by using technology from the ancient civilization of Judicium to fuse humans with Core Crystals thus creating Blade Eaters.

The group returns to Torna where Zettar tries to remove Addam from the succession line despite being the brother of the king and first in line as he fear the popularity of Addam and the possibility that the people would choose him as their king at the end of the war. They meet with Minoth, a Flesh Eater bonded to Amalthus who left his Driver after starting to fear him. Malos tries to destroy Torna by overcharging the Tornan Titan's core. He is pushed back from the capital but manage to get what he came from and reveal the Titan's true form and head to the core where he intends to wait for the party as he started to believe that simply destroying the world would be way too boring and that he had to get creative in his methods of operation rather than destroying everything with Siren. The two Aegises clash near the core of the Titan and summons their Artifices to fight. Malos targets the capital and kill most of its inhabitants including Milton who was Addam's young follower. Mythra is enraged by this and unleash her full power on Malos to the point where Addam is unable to control her. Torna is completely destroyed in the fight. Hugo dies protecting Addam and Malos is heavily damaged and left for dead in the Cloud Sea.

Meanwhile Amalthus sees the battle between tthe Aegises as a sign that him destroying the world is the will of the Architect. Amalthus rise between the ranks of the Praetorium by poisoning Rhadallis, the Praetor, and assassinating Magister Baltrich, his main opponent. He is soon named Praetor and with the help of Zettar who rebuilt Torna behind the usurped name of Addam as the Kingdom of Tantal, he plans on getting rid of the second Aegis to ensure that he reign supreme over the world. Amalthus ambushes Spessia in an effort to destroy Mythra, leading to the demise of the remaining members of the Kingdom of Torna that didn't follow Zettar. Mythra is not here, however, as she was traumatized by the battle against Malos and constructed a second personality Pyra to shield herself from her own trauma. Lora, jin and Haze defeat the horribly mutated Gort, but Lora is soon mortaly wounded by the Indoline Army as she was with the refugees on Spessia. As she is dying, Jin fuse her heart with him to become a Flesh eater and exact his revenge on Amalthus while Haze is forced to return to the state of a Core Crystal thus forgetting her current life. Meanwhile Addam plans on leaving Pyra for posterity and create the Spirit Crucible Elpys to host Pneuma's sword and seal Pyra in a tornan ship that he then sinks at the bottom of the Cloud Sea. Addam then seemingly disappear for history, living the rest of his life in a small village he founded over the Spirit crucible Elpys named Fonsett Village.

Aftermath

Jin survives the fight against the Indoline army thanks to his newfound powers and vows to have his revenge on Amalthus. After the end of the Aegis War, Amalthus plans to increase his power to the point where the entire fate of Alrest is in his hands as he has interpreted the Aegis War and Malos as a sign that the Architect wants him to destroy the world. He eventually finds Haze's Core Crystal and plan to use it to turn into a Blade Eater. Before that, he uses Tornan refugees as test subjects including Mikhail to master the technic before using it on himself. All of them are disposed of except for Mikhail who gains an incredibly long life span in the process and manages to escape the Praetor. Amalthus then awakens Haze as Fan La Norne and fuses part of her Core Crystal with himself, which also increases his already long life span as an Indoline by many centuries. In the 500 years that separate the Aegis War and the main game, Amalthus forces Tantal into isolationism by threatening to reveal the secret of the royal bloodline. He uses this bargaining Chip to extort Core Chips annually from them, which causes Genbu to freeze as the Chips are directly made from the Titan's blood. This gives Amalthus incredible ploitical power and eventually, he manages to make the Praetorium the sole distributor of Core Crystal in Alrest. This also allows Amalthus to touch every Core Crystal himself, which thanks to his power to absorb the data stored in them can prevent them to ever evolve thus stopping the birth of new Titans and starting the slow decay of the world.

Malos eventually manages to heal his body but looses most of his Aegis powers due to his damaged Core Crystal. He meets Jin who has lost all purpose in life and manage to convince him that Humanity is what made them both what they are and that they should work together to bring an end to the Architect who is the responsible for all of this. The duo form an organization named after the Kingdom of Torna and recruit two other Flesh Eaters, Akhos, and Patroka, who also lost faith in the world. They eventually stumble upon Mikhail who join them in their desperate quest. Not long before the start of the game, Nia is awakened as a Blade by a Gormotti noble and raised as his second daughter. The noble's first daughter eventually gets sick and the Noble loose all of his money to try to find a cure. The daughter dies and Nia is made into a Flesh Eater by the lord who makes her consume her sister's body. The lord soon pass away and Nia awakens Dromarch soon after. She is captured by Indol and saved by Jin and join his organization afterwards.

Ozychlyrus Brouev Tantal is born to king Eulogimenos Tantal of the Kingdom of Tantal 25 years before the start of the game, he eventually awakens Pandoria as his Blade. Mòrag Ladair is born to Lord Eandraig, the brother of the emperor of Mor Ardain, roughly 20 years before the start of the game. She is raised to become the next emperor by her uncle as he has no children of his own and as such awakens Brighid. Eventually, her cousin Niall Ardanach is born to the emperor and becomes the legitimate heir of the empire. They are raised as siblings and Mòrag becomes the Special Inquisitor instead and Niall is given Aegaeon. Rex is born 15 years before the start of the game and becomes an orphan while he is a very young child as both his parents die while washing up on the shores of the Leftherian Archipelago. Rex is adopted by Corinne and grows up to be a salvager and work with Azurda who stayed to protect Fonsett Village for 500 years on Addam's demand. The prince of Tantal is eventually exiled from his kingdom for going against their isolationist ways and almost die in an encounter with bandits, Pandoria carries the wounded prince, but eventually collapses. They are saved by Amalthus who sees his younger self in Pandoria. Amalthus transplant part of Pandoria's Core Crystal to Zeke to save him, turning him into a Blade Eater.

Rex's Time

Epilogue

Development

Reveal

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was first revealed during the Nintendo Switch presentation on January 12, 2017, the presentation only featured a trailer of the game in Japanese.

E3 2017

During the Nintendo Spotlight of E3 2017 a second trailer was shown as well as a gameplay presentation during the livestream of the Nintendo Treehouse.

End of the soundtrack recording

On August 10, 2017, the Twitter account of Yasunori Mitsuda, a composer of the game, announced that the development team finished the recording of the soundtrack of the game.

Gamescom 2017

On August 25, 2017, a new gameplay sequence was shown at the Gamescom 2017. The sequence put emphasis on the new battle possibilities that the new Blade mechanic offer, a new area was also shown and bits of quests could also be seen during the presentation.

Official website

On September 5, 2017, a dedicated section was opened on the American version of the Nintendo website. This section revealed new details on the story of the game and the characters featured in it.

Nintendo Direct (9/13/2017)

During the Nintendo Direct that was broadcasted on September 13, 2017, an extended presentation of the game and its world was shown and a collector edition was announced.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Direct

The Nintendo Direct revealed a dual-audio DLC pack for free at launch. The trailer also revealed Pyra's alternate form, Mythra. The Direct delved into the game's systems explaining the functions of all the Blades, more depth in the combat and the trading mechanic.

Expansion Pass

Revealed on November 7 2017, this expansion pass will be available for purchase on launch day. The expansion pass includes the following:

  • Helpful Items Pack - December 1 2017
  • Helpful Items Pack - December 22 2017
  • Helpful Items Pack 3 - January 18 2018
  • New Quests Pack 1 - January 18 2018
  • New Quest Pack 2 - March 31 2018
  • Poppi Buster - April 27 2018
  • New Quests Pack 3 - May 24 2018
  • Challenge Battle Mode - June 15 2018
  • Crossette + New Quests Pack 4 - July 27 2018
  • Elma + Corvin + New Challenge Battles - August 24 2018
  • "Torna - The Golden Country" story DLC - September 14 2018

1.3.0 update

On February 9, 2018, Tetsuya Takahashi announced new features to be added to the game via the 1.3.0 update. The update include a new game plus in which the player keeps their party level, their equipement and affinity charts for both Blades and Drivers, Blades themselves, items, gold, Mercenary Group level, Developement of Areas, content in the event theater and Unique Monsters defeated. The new game plus will also allow the player to resonate with the members of Torna and their Blades to use them in battle as Blades. The update also allow the player to dispatch and remove even special Blades from the party during their second playthrough. The Drivers also get further growth factors to unlock in the Drivers’ Affinity Charts during new game plus. The level of the Driver can be modified in inns, if the level is decreased, the Driver will get equivalent bonus exp to increase their levels later in new game plus. The update also add new features that can be used during the regular game like: the ability to lock Blades so that they are not released by accident, the Blade resonating scene is now skipable, the extended mini map now display the same icons set in the Skip Travel menu, a new easy mode.

1.3.1 update

On March 31, 2018, the 1.3.1 update was released. The update contain bug fixes and five new quests that are part of the Expansion Pass. The new quests added are: Nopon of Good Tastes, Cleared of All Charges, Beneath the Aurora, Upgrades and Tinkering, and Most Awful News?!.

1.4.0 update

On April 24, 2018, the 1.4.0 was announced. The update released on April 27, 2018 contain the first Expansion Pass exclusive Blade, Poppi Buster, and a new Blade available for anyone on New Game +, T-elos, another Blade inspired by the character of the same name from the Xenosaga series.

1.4.1 update

On May 24, 2018, the 1.4.1 update was release. The update contain bug fixes and five new quests that are part of the Expansion Pack. The new quests added are: A Smith's Pastime, A Hat Fit for a Lady, Making Love Source, A Mercenary's Honor and Merclibay's Mightiest.

1.5.0 update

On June 15, 2018 the 1.5.0 update was released. The update contain bug fixes and a new mode containing challenges that allow the player to face powerful enemies or do special battles found nowhere else in the game. This update also add Shulk and Fiora as Blades that can be used in the Land of Challenge and eventually brought back to Alrest.

1.5.1 update

On Jully 27, 2018, the 1.5.1 update was released. The update contain bug fixes, five new quests exclusive to those who purchased the Expansion Pack, a new rare Blade and various other changes. The new quests added are: Booster’s Sunken Ship, The Popular Pastry Chef, Master Craftsman’s Accessory, Hot Spring Vacation In Mor Ardain, and Mysterious Activation Code. The new Blade is Crossette, a fire Blade that serves as a healer. Additionally, the new difficulty mode, Bringer of Chaos was added alongside a custom difficulty mode that allow the player to change 10 parameter of difficulty however they want. An option to have "You Will Know Our Names" play when fighting an Unique Monster alongside Fiora or/and Shulk was added.

1.5.2 update

On August 24, 2018 the 1.5.2 update was released. The update contain bug fixes and two new Blades exclusive to those who purchased the Expansion Pack. One of the two Blades is Elma from Xenoblade Chronicles X who can be obtained by completing the new Otherworldly Fighter challenge mission and eventually brought back to Alrest. The second one, Corvin can be obtained through the Divine Core Crystal, which can be obtained in the Argentum Trade Guild where it is given by Sorinosori.

Torna ~ The Golden Country/2.0.0

Torna ~ The Golden Country is the name of the story DLC first announced during Nintendo's E3 2018 presentation. This DLC let you play during the Aegis War 500 years before the events of the game with characters that were important during this timeframe like Addam, the legendary hero of the Kingdom of Torna. The DLC released on September 14, 2018.

2.0.1 update

The 2.0.1 update was a small update released on October 18, 2018 following Torna's release. The update was mainly there to fix bugs related to the new expansion.

2.0.2 update

The 2.2.0 update was released on December 2, 2018. It included the new Massive Melee Mythra Aux Core based on Mythra's design in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, which was still an upcoming game at the time. The look as explained by Masahiro Sakurai is a design that basically censored Mythra's revealing design a bit in Ultimate to prevent a higher age rating due to CERO's strict guidelines. Monolith Soft added the design, which basically gives Mythra a black spandex suit under her white dress, in both the main game and Torna as a 1 year anniversary gift. In the main game, the Aux Core can be recieved from Brobro in the Argentum Trade Guild. In Torna it is given by a Nameless Wanderpon in fetley Village.

2.1.0

The 2.1.0 update was released on September 2nd, 2020. The update solely released to add compatibility with the Korean language. This was mainly done because of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition with Korean support a few months earlier on the same system.

Reception

Since its release last December 2017, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 receives "generally favorable reviews" according to the game ranking website Metacritic, and earned itself a metascore of 83/100.

Sales

As of the end of December 2017, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold 1.06 milion copies which marks the first time that a game in the Xenoblade series sold more than 1 million copies on a single system. As of the end of April 2018, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold 1.31 million copies worldwide. As of the end of June 2018, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 reached 1.42 million copies sold, which made it the eight most successful 1st Party Nintendo Switch game at the time. As of the end of September 2018, Xenoblade Chronicles 2 sold 1.53 copies worldwide. Tetsuya Takahashi revealed in an interview that the game sold over 1.73 million copies as of June 8, 2019.

References

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