Plot summary of Xenoblade Chronicles
This page describes a plot summary of Xenoblade Chronicles. It is not a full description nor a complete novelization, but simply an overview of major events.
Eons later, the people of Bionis, the Homs, are fighting for survival against the invading hordes of Mechon from Mechonis. While the Homs army is defeated and must retreat, a trio continues fighting: the violent Mumkhar, the old hand Dickson, and Dunban, wielder of the mysterious and legendary sword called the Monado. As the battle continues, Mumkhar abandons the others in hopes of claiming the Monado for himself when they fall, but he fails to escape. Dunban charges ahead despite the sword's power weakening him, and a blinding light covers the battlefield.
A year after the Battle of Sword Valley, the engineer Shulk is rooting for useful scrap in a Mechon Wreckage Site. He finds trouble with wildlife, and gets out of it with the help of his best friend Reyn. The two return home to Colony 9, with Reyn off to his shift with the Defence Force, and Shulk to the Weapon Development Lab. Along the way he sees Colonel Vangarre chew out some of his men for crashing a mobile artillery unit. Shulk gets to the lab to find Dickson has returned from a journey with some new equipment for the force. They discuss the Monado, which Shulk has spent much time researching to try and discover its secrets, now that Dunban is no longer fit to wield it.
Dunban is alive, but laid up in bed with his right arm practically unusable. He thinks he is healthy enough by now to handle the Monado again, but his sister Fiora doesn't want him to. Fiora gives Dunban some food and leaves for the lab to bring Shulk some. She meets Dickson on the way, who says he sent Shulk out of the lab for fresh air, so she heads to Outlook Park. She finds Shulk as expected, where they enjoy the meal and peaceful atmosphere. Then Colony 9's debris siren sounds, warning of things falling from higher up the Bionis, so they head back to the safety of the lab.
On reaching the lab, the two find Reyn overcuriously holding the Monado. It activates on him and he loses control of it, damaging a bunch of equipment, only being knocked out of his hand when it hits Fiora. Shulk admonishes Reyn for being dumb, while Fiora yells at Shulk for caring more about the equipment than her, even as Shulk explains the Monado can't hurt people. While being cornered, Shulk activates the Monado by accident, which causes him to see ghostly flashes of several strangers. He shrugs it off, saying it isn't the first time. Reyn then explains he came here to get Shulk's help in collecting some ether cylinders from Tephra Cave, to which he agrees. Fiora doesn't trust Reyn to keep Shulk safe in the dangerous cave; she initially doesn't come along, but on finding the two forgot to bring any transport cases, she gathers some and joins them.
The trio get through the cave to reach the Cylinder Hangar above the colony. After collecting the cylinders, they are attacked by a mysterious pair of machines, presumably defending the cylinders. The group wonders for a moment why these machines have never appeared before, which is quickly answered by further unusual sounds from above: a fleet of Mechon has arrived.
As Shulk, Reyn, and Fiora hustle back to Colony 9, the Defence Force attempts to fight the Mechon deployments. While successful at first, a large Mechon with a face disables enough Anti-Air Batteries that the invasion takes a firm hold. When the trio arrives to the Main Entrance, they find the Mechon eating people. While Shulk and Reyn hold off an approaching Mechon, Fiora hurries to check on Dunban, who is gone. Shulk knows Dunban is probably going to get the Monado, so they head to the lab.
Approaching the Military District, the trio sees the faced Mechon take out a lot of men and Vangarre, before flying elsewhere. The carnage blocks the door to the lab, so they can't get to the Monado. Shulk reasons that if they can get to the mobile artillery they were collecting the ether cylinders for, they can blast the way open. Mechon attack as the group reaches the Central Plaza; Fiora is sent off to the Residential District by herself, while Shulk and Reyn hold off the Mechon. Dunban arrives, holding the Monado in his left hand, but the bridge to the Residential District has been blocked - to get back to Fiora, they have to go the long way around.
As they reach the Main Entrance, Dunban can't handle the Monado anymore and drops it. Shulk decides to pick it up, and to everyone's surprise, he seems to have no problem with it. In addition, he sometimes sees a vision of the immediate future, which lets him avoid attacks. Dunban says this is not something that's happened to him, but to not worry about it now.
On reaching the Residential District, the faced Mechon appears, which people take to call Metal Face. The party quickly discovers that for some reason it's immune to the Monado. Shulk tries to figure out why, but they are quickly overwhelmed. Fiora arrives from behind, having successfully taken control of the mobile artillery, and grabs Metal Face's attention. Shulk gets a vision of Metal Face downing and stabbing the artillery, but he does not quite understand his visions yet, and Fiora ignores his yells to get away. Taking only minor damage, Metal Face destroys the artillery and kills Fiora. The Mechon then all leave at once.
In the aftermath of the attack, Dunban tells Shulk to not be sad over Fiora's death, but be glad she gave him a chance to live. Shulk considers his desire to move on with his desire for revenge, and decides on the latter - he will chase down the Mechon, and Metal Face, and destroy them all. Reyn is surprised that Shulk beat him to deciding this, but agrees, and the two leave Colony 9.
Fourteen years ago, an expedition to a snowy tower discovers a stone chamber. Dickson arrives not long after to find them all dead - all except for a four-year-old Shulk, sleeping under the Monado.
Back in the present, Reyn suggests to Shulk that they head to Colony 6, which is between them and the Mechon's base, for more information on Metal Face. The two return to Tephra Cave and hike up the path towards the Bionis' knee. They discover a group of dead traders, which they bury in a nearby pool, and decide to camp for the night. Between watch shifts, Shulk and Reyn wonder about what the Mechon want with them, and why the Monado seems to have chosen Shulk to be able to use it better than even Dunban.
Shulk has a strange dream. In a foggy place he does not recognize, he sees a mysterious person who tells him of desiring to change the future and the "True Monado". The dream then changes to seeing Reyn get killed by a large Arachno. Shulk wakes up to find him and Reyn surrounded by normal Arachno, which they fight off. Reyn comments that it looked like Shulk was having a nightmare, so Shulk thinks about his dream. He wonders if seeing Reyn and the Arachno was a dream or a vision, and is too unsure to act.
As the two continue through the cave, Reyn is ambushed, and the pair is separated. Shulk catches up to Reyn in time to see the Arachno Queen and realize the vision is about to come true. In panic, he manages to use a previously unknown power of the Monado, saving Reyn. After defeating the Arachnos, Shulk realizes that his visions only show what will happen if he does nothing - by doing something in response, he can change the future.
The pair leave the Arachno Queen's Nest to reach Kneecap Hill, gazing up at the Bionis above and the Mechonis looming in the distance. But they are being watched by a helipod scout Mechon, which reports their presence to a faced Mechon.
Reaching the Bionis' Leg, Shulk and Reyn come upon an abandoned buggy. With a vision as a clue, they find and rescue its driver, a young teenage boy called Juju. Juju offers to take them to a Refugee Camp nearby, which they accept. At the camp, they meet Juju's older sister Sharla, a combat medic who (after yelling at Juju for leaving the camp) says that Colony 6 was taken by the Mechon a month ago. Sharla is worried about colonel Otharon and her fiancé Gadolt, but knows it's foolish to go back and fight the Mechon. Juju is convinced that the attack on Colony 9 means there are fewer Mechon defending Colony 6, and again steals the buggy to go there by himself. Shulk gets a vision that Juju will be in trouble, and Sharla joins him in going to save him.
Juju is a terrible driver and crashes into a wall, so he proceeds on foot. The party fights through groups of Mechon and manage to catch up with him at Spiral Valley, caught by a Mechon M71. Shulk manages to save Sharla from ambush with another new Monado ability, and the trio destroys the Mechon to save Juju. They are quickly attacked again, however, by a faced Mechon - a bronze one, different than Metal Face, and able to talk. "Bronze Face" turns out to be just as immune to the Monado as Metal Face, but he abruptly loses power and leaves, taking Juju with him to Colony 6.
Back at the Refugee Camp, Sharla dreams about the last she saw of Otharon and Gadolt, as she helped prepare Colony 6 non-combatants for evacuation. The faced Mechon interrupts the dream, and she wakes to find that Shulk and Reyn were about to go to Colony 6 without her. She sticks with them and suggests they enter through the Ether Mine, which should be too complex for the Mechon to have figured out within a month. Everyone agrees.
The team enters the mine to find that the Mechon have indeed taken it, and a fight is ongoing. They find and help Otharon, who says that Gadolt is gone and most of the others are dead. He also says that the Mechon don't eat Homs right away, so Juju can still be saved, and directs them to follow him. Shulk gets a vision of Otharon dying and tries to slow him down without telling the truth, but Otharon becomes upset at Shulk's attitude and goes off himself. Reyn chews out Shulk for keeping his visions to himself, and tries to convince him to tell the others so they can all help.
The party descends through the mine and eventually reach the bottom. The faced Mechon is there, calling himself Xord and taunting the group with showing off the captured Juju. The ensuing fight is a standstill until Otharon arrives in a mining mech to contest Xord. As Sharla saves Juju, Shulk and Reyn work together to save Otharon as Xord gets dunked in the ether river below. Otharon gives Gadolt's Rifle to Sharla and apologizes to Shulk for doubting him. The group uses a freight elevator to get out of the mine, but have to fight off Xord again, who survived the ether river but corroded badly enough for the Monado to damage him. Defeated, Xord commends Shulk for beating him without the Monado's true power, and flies off to explode at the bottom of the shaft.
Not long after exiting the mine, Metal Face appears, backed up by many Mechon and several Xord lookalikes. He gloats and taunts the party, mostly over how the Monado doesn't work on him and how he enjoyed killing Fiora. Dunban and Dickson arrive to help, but they are still grossly outnumbered and still cannot touch the Faces. The battle is interrupted by a giant flying creature that rains green lightning on the battlefield, distracting Metal Face enough for Shulk to force a cut into his arm through sheer force of will. But he is interrupted by a vision where he is fighting Metal Face on a dark tower, defeating him easily, and seeing a third shape of Face Mechon. Distracted, Metal Face shakes him off and the Mechon leave.
The lightning-shooting creature meets with a silver-haired man, who asks about Shulk.
With the Mechon driven off, Shulk explains what's happened so far to Dunban and Dickson. Dickson draws on his experience as a traveller to make sense of Shulk's most recent vision and form a plan: they will travel through the nearby Satorl Marsh, go into the Bionis to reach the upper regions, and meet the High Entia (thought by the others to be a myth), in order to reach the black tower at the Bionis' head called Prison Island. He joins the group to act as guide, with Otharon and Juju following, while Dunban joins to fight alongside the others. The party treks through Satorl Marsh. Stopping for the night at the Silent Obelisk, Shulk considers what he's been through and what is to come, while Dickson mulls with him over the irony of how he'd found the two of them together in the icy ruins.
The group eventually reaches the Sororal Statues. Dickson says he's needed back at Colony 9, so he leaves the party to continue, and takes Otharon and Juju back to Colony 6 so they can begin its reconstruction. In order to open the way into the Bionis, the party must complete an ancient High Entia coming-of-age ceremony, collecting objects from around the marsh in order to summon and defeat the Satorl Guardian. They must climb most of the way to the top of the statues afterward, but do reach the passage forward. Shulk is feeling guilty about using the Monado while still thinking of it as "Dunban's sword", but Dunban pushes him to accept that things have moved on. The journey through the inside of the Bionis is short, and the party reaches the other side easily.
Somewhere on the Mechonis, a humanoid being is overseeing the construction of the new faced Mechon Face Nemesis. She notices Metal Face returning with a scar and wonders how this is possible, before initiating a soul transfer of some sort and proclaiming her loyalty to Lady Meyneth.
Somewhere in a forest, a creature is killing the bodyguards of a young lady they call Melia. Melia detonates a large quantity of ether against the beast, and the aftermath is unseen.
Shulk, Reyn, Dunban, and Sharla have arrived in the same Makna Forest. Not knowing where to go from here, Dunban suggests asking the Nopon, who are native to the region, and so they begin to look for a village. They find Melia instead, unconscious in a patch of forest drained of colour. Sharla diagnoses her with severe ether deficiency, which needs very pure water crystals to cure. Shulk convinces the others that he'll be fine getting them himself, and heads to the Lakeside. There, he meets a strange Homs named Alvis, who seems familiar and knows things he should not. Four creatures then attack Shulk, which his visions do not help against. Alvis explains these are Telethia, which can read minds and thus his visions are no help, and takes the Monado to teach Shulk the ability he needs to defeat them. Shulk manages to kill the remaining Telethia, but Alvis ignores his questions about how he knows these things, instead saying that these were only smaller Telethia spawned by a larger one. A worried Reyn then appears, and Alvis vanishes before Shulk can introduce him.
With the ether crystals Shulk collected, Sharla heals and revives Melia. Melia refuses to explain what she is doing here, but is intrigued by why the Homs are here, and offers to guide them to the Nopon's Frontier Village. On arrival, she hands them over to the village chief Dunga and scurries away. Shulk follows her and, with the help of some of what Alvis said, pieces together that she is planning to go fight the larger Telethia alone. Melia is shocked and appalled that Shulk somehow knows these things, and refuses to believe that he can kill Telethia or see the future. Shulk and the others continue to press her until Dunga offers his own help in killing the Telethia, which is a risk to the Nopon as well. The "help" is revealed to be Heropon Riki, the village's legendary hero (translation: this year's deadbeat pressed into community service to work off his debts).
Riki helps the party find the Telethia. The fight does not start well, with it able to regenerate missing limbs, but with Shulk encouraging Melia and enough teamwork, it is taken down. The group returns to Frontier Village and allows Riki to take credit to help his status, but Dunga invents a new prophecy to keep Riki out of their hair for longer, and gets Riki to join the party as their journey continues. Riki initially balks but is convinced by his wife and kids to go along with it. Melia directs the party to Apex Lake so they can travel to Eryth Sea.
In a poorly-lit laboratory, someone is studying live Telethia.
Reaching Eryth Sea, Shulk explains the purpose of their journey to Melia. Melia indicates Prison Island and reiterates that they need imperial sanction to enter, which requires travelling to the High Entia capital of Alcamoth. Upon reaching the city entrance, the captain of the guard welcomes Melia back, and allows her to proceed as she declares the others her guests. As Melia approaches the Imperial Palace, she is watched by conspirators Yumea, Tyrea, and one other, who are upset she still lives. Melia (First Princess) reaches the Audience Chamber and reports to her father, Emperor Sorean, that she successfully killed the Telethia. Sorean is pleased that she bettered many veterans at the task. Melia brings up that she had help, but Prince Kallian says that Shulk's group has been arrested because they might have the Monado, and the divine seer was to figure out if they can be trusted. Sorean then declares Melia his successor, which Kallian agrees with, and they both leave - much to Melia's confusion, as Kallian is the older heir. The Minister of Research, Lorithia, acts to soothe Melia's thoughts.
Shulk's group is held in the Whitewing Palace. It turns out the seer is Alvis, who explains the High Entia fear the Monado, and frees them immediately. The party decide to stretch their legs by helping with a distress call out in Eryth Sea. Alvis reports to Sorean that the Monado is indeed here, which combined with the strength of the Telethia, Sorean reads as signs of the Bionis' reawakening. He moves to have Melia's succession accelerated, to which First Consort Yumea suggests the Trial of the Tomb. Kallian hates the risk, but Sorean agrees with the reward, and Melia accepts. Yumea then later tells Tyrea to have Shulk's party killed so they cannot help Melia, which Kallian spots from a distance.
Shulk's party returns to Alcamoth to see the announcement of Melia's succession. Shulk gets a vision that Melia will be attacked by another Telethia, so he decides they need to save her. They are then attacked by assassins; once they are dispatched and Alvis and Kallian arrive, they are explained as part of the Bionite Order, an illegal organization devoted to the Bionis rather than the imperial family. As Melia enters the High Entia Tomb, the party prepares to go and rescue her, and Kallian decides to turn a blind eye to them interfering with the ritual. Approaching the tomb, Alvis explains to Shulk that he is of a long line of seers that protect the royal family, but that Shulk seems to have a power greater than he in terms of receiving visions.
Melia is scanned by the tomb's verification devices, and is allowed entry. The proceeding trial is laughably easy for her, and she reaches the end shortly. An ancestral simulation declares that her half-Homs nature is exactly what they're looking for in order to break free of a curse imposed by the Bionis, and grants her the seal of the next ruler of the High Entia. Tyrea then appears and begins trying to kill her. Meanwhile, Reyn has made it difficult for the party to catch up to Melia through the tomb's security systems, but they reach her just as the foreseen Telethia descends from above. The Telethia is destroyed, and Tyrea escapes.
Alvis explains what happened in the tomb to Sorean and Kallian, who agree that the trail's result is legitimate. Sorean then sends for Shulk. They exchange apologies, and he asks why they are here. Shulk is upfront; he wants revenge on the Mechon, and needs to go to Prison Island for it, but he doesn't truly know why. Sorean explains an ancient message left by their forefathers: the secret in Prison Island and the wielder of the Monado may be connected to the awakening of the Bionis, which could end all known life, so he must think long and hard over whether to grant Shulk's request. He also says that Melia needs a friend.
A gold Face Mechon broods to himself about the Telethia, the Monado, and the other Faces. He decides it is time to attack Bionis once more.
One month ago, Alvis shows Sorean a vision. In it, Sorean sees himself, Shulk, Melia, Metal Face, and an unknown humanoid on Prison Island. There is a fight, and Sorean is stabbed. Sorean considers the implications of this vision in relation to what the forefathers have warned about, and whether it should be allowed to pass or not.
Today, Crown Princess Melia's success at the trial is announced to Alcamoth. In the background, Lorithia and Alvis discuss an unknown benefactor, while in the airspace between the two titans, Metal Face and Face Nemesis face the first wave of defence drones. With the ceremonies concluded, Riki wants to go see Melia, so the party goes to the Imperial Villa, where her small wings are revealed for the first time. Melia explains that she is not Yumea's daughter, but that of the long-dead Homs Second Consort, making her half-blooded. Shulk gets a vision of Sorean being killed by Metal Face at Prison Island, immediately followed by sirens of Mechon appearing in Eryth Sea. In the Audience Chamber, Sorean responds to the reports by taking the Imperial Staff and leaving for Prison Island. The party arrives shortly thereafter, wanting to get him to stop or otherwise save him from the vision, but he is long gone. Kallian and Alvis say that Sorean knows what will happen and should not be interfered with, but Dunban declares they're going anyway.
As the Face Mechon are held back by ancient creatures released from Prison Island, the party travels across Eryth Sea to unlock the seals blocking the transporter to the island. After doing so and fighting off one of the Skyrays, they transport through. Up on the isle's terrace, Sorean opens whatever was sealed within the island, which turns out to be a Giant. The Giant speaks in acceptance of his role, which is for Sorean to use his power to energize the island with a shield and array of lightning bolts that deal heavy damage to the surrounding Mechon. Meanwhile, the party has arrived at the island's main entrance, a giant sealed door. Melia explains that the island was not made by the High Entia, but they did seal whatever is inside, and the Telethia-like statues are based on the legends that the forefathers looked quite different from the modern people. Melia then opens the door using her status as heir to the throne, and the group uses a series of temporary transporters to quickly climb the island.
The party reaches the terrace to find Sorean and the Giant, who calls himself Zanza. Zanza says that he is the creator of the Monado, and has been waiting a very long time for Shulk. He explains that he made the Monado to fight the Mechonis, but the High Entia feared its power, so they sealed him. Now, if Shulk will free him, he can remove the sword's limits (such as being unable to hurt people) and reveal its true power. Melia can sense that something is amiss and urges Shulk to not do it, but he does. Just as the freed Zanza is preparing to free the Monado, Metal Face pierces the barrier around the island with a spear, striking Zanza and turning off the shield. Metal Face says the point of them being here was to kill Zanza, and running into Shulk is coincidental. Face Nemesis mentally speaks with Zanza's body for a short time, but Shulk breaks it up by trying to attack her. In the ensuing fight, Metal Face successfully stabs Sorean. Shulk is distraught for failing to save him, but Zanza's voice tells him the power is now his, just before his body disappears. Shulk successfully gets the Monado to change form and cut Metal Face's arm off with ease. He moves in for more, but Face Nemesis intervenes, and he cuts open its front instead - revealing that Fiora is inside, who doesn't seem to recognize or respond to anyone. The Mechon then all leave, and Sorean dies.
Some time later, with everyone else gone, Alvis walks up to the terrace and says to Zanza's disembodied voice that he is pleased. Zanza implies the worst is coming.
Kallian is declared regent for a year so Melia can ease into her position, while Lorithia opens discussion on preparing a counter-attack against the Mechon. Melia then goes to visit the rest of the party, who are fragmented and confused over the revelation that Fiora is alive yet unresponsive. Shulk seeks out Dunban, who eventually admits that he's relieved Fiora is still alive for Shulk, and the two decide their new goal is to rescue her.
Kallian sends for the party. He asks that Shulk act as ambassador to form an allied force composed of armies from all races of the Bionis, so they may take on Mechonis. Shulk doesn't commit either way, and leaves to think. Melia deduces that Shulk is too focused on Fiora, so she goes to tell him to go do as he wishes, and she will stay behind to be ambassador. Shulk is convinced, and the party prepares to leave. Kallian catches them before they do, and accepts their decision, but tells Melia to go with them - he will be ambassador, and a surrogate Melia will fool the public into thinking she is still there. Melia accepts. Alvis then joins the group, saying the party's path goes through Valak Mountain, which he can guide them through.
Face Nemesis is repaired. The voice in Fiora's body ruminates over Zanza and Egil, but then recognizes an unknown familiarity with Shulk, and goes off to meet him again. Metal Face watches her leave, and realizes that he knows Fiora.
The party arrives at Valak Mountain. Alvis says that before continuing to Sword Valley, he wants to show them the Sealed Tower. After a detour to unfreeze the door, they enter, and Shulk almost recognizes this is where he and the Monado were found. Alvis discusses the nature of the Monado's visions with Shulk, though not in easily-understandable terms. The next day, the party continue down the mountain. Face Nemesis finds them, and they try to begin understanding each other, but Metal Face attacks. Metal Face demands the Monado, which Shulk gives up as long as he lets Fiora go. Metal Face then opens up to reveal Mumkhar, alive and willingly helping the Mechon, who takes the Monado and gloats. Melia blasts the Monado out of his hands, and a fight breaks out. It is interrupted by the arrival of the gold Mechon, calling himself Egil, who takes Face Nemesis and Fiora back to Mechonis. Mumkhar returns to Metal Face and also leaves.
The group reaches Sword Valley. They notice Galahad Fortress in the distance, and that the Mechonis seems to be using its sword to absorb ether from the Bionis. They quickly encounter a supply convoy of Homs and High Entia ships, which Alvis had apparently arranged for them. Dickson is part of the convoy, and he catches up with the party's exploits. He sells the party some newly-developed anti-Mechon weaponry, and both he and Alvis leave for Alcamoth. Over in the fortress, Egil is musing to himself about Zanza, the fight between the titans, and what good the Faced Mechon are now that Zanza has freed the Monado.
The party progresses through the valley, finding the Fortress Rear Entrance and deciding to sneak in that way. On the way, they encounter Mumkhar at the Heavy Machine Depot, who attacks alongside a group of Mass-Produced Faces. They quickly learn that both Metal Face's claws and the other Faces' weapons are equipped with an anti-ether compound that dissolves organic beings, just like what happened with Zanza. They eventually get the better of Mumkhar, and Dunban makes for the killing blow, but Shulk blocks him. Shulk explains to Dunban that revenge isn't his main goal anymore, now that he knows the Face Mechon are people - he wants to understand what's going on more than anything, and avoid killing a fellow Homs even if it's Mumkhar. Dunban is eventually swayed, and relents. Mumkhar continues to blindly fight back, and ends up breaking off a part of the fortress that impales him and sends him falling towards the endless sea. Dunban is satisfied.
Lorithia and Alvis are studying the spear that killed Zanza, and come to the same conclusion that it dissolves organic beings. Lorithia says it will be easy to counter it, now that they know. She then goes on to complain about Alvis involving Dickson in their plans.
The party is ready to enter Galahad Fortress. Shulk sees a vision of fighting Face Nemesis, followed by her falling to the sea. The others know he saw a vision, but he only says he saw Fiora in the fortress, so they know she's in there. They proceed inside and sabotage some things along the way to finding the Face Maintenance Bay. Face Nemesis is there, and wordlessly begins to fight them. Unable to get through to her, the party retreats, but are chased and fall down to the Fortress Depths as a bridge is broken. Egil is there, and he releases some sort of energy wave that disables the Monado. Dunban yells at Fiora to stop in his big brother voice, but she can only say that she isn't controlling the Face Mechon. Egil is impressed that she can fight his control this well. He then explains he's disabled the Monado by using a waveform that cancels its own. As a result, the following fight goes badly. Eventually, the person in Fiora's body and Fiora herself are able to combine their wills to break free of Egil's control, and Face Nemesis fights him directly, culminating in a blast of red light that begins a chain reaction of explosions across the fortress. Face Nemesis is knocked out and plummets to the sea. Shulk decides to jump after her, and the whole floor collapses. Egil escapes in disbelief.
Kallian hears that the fortress has taken a hit but with no further details. Dickson is present, and helps convince Kallian that the time to attack is soon.
Shulk has a recurring dream from his childhood where he falls into the ground while another Shulk watches. He wakes up at Wreckage Beach on the Fallen Arm, having landed in the water and washed ashore after the fortress's collapse. He quickly finds Fiora in the offshore ruins of Face Nemesis and rescues her. In trying to awaken her, he attempts to remove the triangular plate from her chest but fails. He then tries to get some water into her, which eventually works. Fiora fully wakes up, and speaks in her own voice with her memories intact. She explains that someone was controlling her body ever since she was taken by the Mechon, so she couldn't respond to any of the others and it looked like she had forgotten them. The two come to an agreement that this other person is probably now trapped like she was, but she was trying to help them to stop Egil, so they will help her if they can.
The two start to look for the others, but Fiora isn't used to using her body outside the cockpit, and quickly has to rest. She has a momentary bout of depression, telling Shulk to go away and leave her mechanical self on the mechanical titan, but Shulk flatly refuses. They are then attacked by Mechon, and Fiora is not well enough to fight. Shulk struggles, but manages to force the Monado to activate and deal with the threat. Elsewhere, Reyn and Sharla awaken. Reyn is downcast that he couldn't protect Shulk, and that he doesn't need his protection anymore anyway. Sharla tells Reyn how bad things got in Colony 6, which puts Reyn's problems into perspective and cheers him up. They set out to find the others and almost immediately run into Shulk and Fiora, and help Shulk clean up a second wave of Mechon. The four continue on, but then encounter a group of mysterious humanoids.
Dunban, Melia, and Riki are also searching for the others. Riki notices that Melia is lagging, so he pretends to be tired so they can stop and she can rest. While she sleeps, he talks with Dunban about Fiora, and how the two of them are similar in watching over family. The next morning, they reach a Hidden Village and come upon the rest of the party. They then learn that this place is home to the Machina, the people of Mechonis. Before they can learn much more, the doctor Linada realizes that Fiora is a Face pilot and so needs attention, leaving the rest of the party to meet with the chief Miqol. Miqol confirms that the group has the Monado and damaged Galahad Fortress, before asking that they kill his son Egil.
The leaders of the allied force meet with Kallian in Alcamoth: Dickson, Otharon, and Dunga. Otharon is sour that the High Entia have been ignoring the Homs' problems until now, but once Kallian explains how things have changed, he does agree to help. Dunga agrees without question. Dickson shrugs and leaves, saying Otharon can handle the Colony 9 forces while he goes to meet Shulk. Kallian is miffed at the attitude but does ask Dickson to relay a message.
Miqol explains to the party that Egil is blinded by revenge over how the Bionis killed so many Machina back when the titans fought, and not even Lady Meyneth, the goddess of Mechonis, could get him to stop. Shulk feels more sorry than angry at Egil at this, and takes some time to decide what to do. Linada and Sharla determine that Fiora needs a certain piece of equipment in order to operate well outside her cockpit, which Shulk and the others go and fetch from the Mechon around the Fallen Arm. During the installation, Shulk meets with Miqol again, and Dickson shows up. Dickson reveals he's known about the Machina for a while, and has been trading their technology (for use in the lab) for news from the outside world, not telling anyone for fear of discovery and misguided hatred. Shulk tells Dickson of the anti-ether spears, while Dickson tells Shulk that Kallian doesn't need him to join the allied force - instead, he should use the chaos to his advantage. Shulk declares they will go up Mechonis to stop Egil, but he isn't committing to killing him, which Dickson thinks won't be enough. Miqol says to look out for Vanea, his daughter and Egil's sister, who will join them if asked.
Egil is attempting to understand how Face Nemesis betrayed him. He decides it was her memories, and so begins wiping the memories of all Face Mechon. To demonstrate the effectiveness of this strategy, he first selects a green one who has strong memories of Sharla. The party cross from the Fallen Arm into Mechonis Field, and begin travelling up through its leg. A good way up, their path leads outside, where they take a rest. Sharla does some maintenance on Gadolt's Rifle, which prompts her to recall how single-minded he was, thinking of nothing but taking down the Mechon and willing to die to do it. Curious, she asks Reyn about similar, who says without hesitation that he'll both win and live. As the party readies to continue, they are watched by the green Face Mechon.
When the party reaches the Mechonis' hip, Fiora staggers in exhaustion, so they decide to rest. They are immediately attacked by the green Face Mechon, called Jade Face, whose voice Sharla recognizes. He forces the party to chase him, and when they catch up, Sharla runs at him. Gadolt comes out of the cockpit, talks about how "Lord Egil" will restore order to the world, and shoots the party with a big charge shot. Fiora moves to stand in the way.
Egil appears satisfied with what Jade Face has done. He recalls a Telethia attack and Zanza holding the Monado, as parts of the Mechonis show signs of awakening.
Shulk is floating in a black starry void. He hears Alvis speaking in confusing generalities, who re-iterates the need for Shulk to find the true Monado. Shulk's dream changes to the tower in Valak, but instead of the Monado is a second Shulk, who denies him.
Shulk then awakes to find Jade Face gone, with the large blast having not affected anyone at all. Vanea appears and explains that Meyneth, the person in Fiora and same Lady Meyneth that's goddess of the Mechonis, protected them from it. She explains how Gadolt and the other new Faces are now being brainwashed by Egil. Sharla is deep in denial. Vanea confirms the theory that the Faces were originally created to defeat the Monado, since it could not harm Homs - or more specifically, those that share the blood of Zanza, the distant ancestor of all Homs and the one who attacked Mechonis. She says they should continue to the capital to learn more, so the party continues through the Central Factory.
Meanwhile, the allied force has gathered in Sword Valley, including Lorithia's new class of airship the Havres. Kallian, Otharon, Dunga, and a perfectly-healthy Vangarre each direct their troops in their own way, while Dickson is using a Havres on the front lines by himself.
The party reaches the capital of Agniratha. Within the Data Centre, with Meyneth acting through Fiora, they learn the truth of the fight between the titans. The Machina originally lived in peace with the peoples of Bionis. But then the Bionis attacked the Mechonis without provocation, also setting swarms of Telethia upon Agniratha. To protect her people, Meyneth used the Mechonis to contest Zanza and the Bionis. They both wounded the opposing titan, and the two weakened gods were put away - Meyneth by choice so she could rest, and Zanza by force for his actions. Meyneth knew Zanza would eventually be released, and choosing Fiora as her vessel is part of her plan to stop him - because Fiora is close to Shulk, who is Zanza's chosen heir to the Monado. The party now understands why Egil wants to stop the Bionis from reawakening, but not why he needs to kill everyone to do it, and Shulk is really having second thoughts about using Zanza's Monado to stop him.
Vanea teleports away to try and convince Egil to stop one last time; the party must unlock the way to the Shrine Transporter manually. Upon arrival Jade Face attacks again, but it soon becomes evident he is missing Sharla on purpose. Meyneth determines there is a way to free him from Egil's control, so they buy her enough time to unleash a wave of ether energy. Gadolt is knocked from his Face and his memories are restored. He reconciles with Sharla, but they must leave him behind for the moment. Reyn tosses him some water.
Alvis is suspicious that the Mechon in Sword Valley are going down too easily. He asks Kallian if he can go help Shulk.
Vanea and the party meet Egil. Shulk says he's not here to fight or give up, but to understand. Bemused, Egil explains that he doesn't have anything against the people of Bionis - he just needs to kill them so there's less ether energy to awaken the Bionis with. Shulk says this is not okay, so they fight. Egil fights with summoned Mechon and his bare hands, and he loses, so he calls on Yaldabaoth. This goes much better for him and he successfully downs the party, then decides to go for Shulk next, calling him Zanza. Fiora uses Meyneth's power to block this attempt. Egil is upset that the person he's been doing all this for has turned against him, so he declares her a traitor and leaves. He goes to the Mechonis Core and plugs Yaldabaoth into it, which begins a massive ether surge in Agniratha. The party assumes something is going to explode and begins to escape, but cannot do so without the explosion being bodyblocked by Jade Face, Gadolt telling them to live.
The explosion of energy from Agniratha manifests as a laser beam that fires from the Mechonis and strikes through the Bionis' right shoulder. Kallian recalls something Alvis said before he left and realizes the Mechonis is about to awaken, so he commands a full and immediate retreat. Confused about the sudden shift in objective, the army is slow to respond. In the airspace under Agniratha, the party is safely suspended by Meyneth's power. They watch as the Mechonis reaches out with its rebuilt left arm to grab its sword and pull it free of the Bionis, scattering whatever was left on it into the sea. Fiora can't focus Meyneth enough to keep the group afloat, but the Machina ship Junks rescues them, with Alvis having warned Miqol in advance. Dickson then jumps off his Havres to join them. Junks returns to the Hidden Village. Meyneth tells the group that Egil is using foreign ether drained from the Bionis to force Mechonis to move, so they have time before it is fully operational. Dickson takes note of Meyneth's whereabouts.
To return to Mechonis, Junks takes the party through a cooling duct, using its bulk to survive the defences and clear a path. Vanea directs the party to the Apocrypha Generator, very near the core where Egil is, so they can destroy it and remove its cancelling effect on the Monado. The party is ready to go, but Shulk is conflicted, wondering why Egil called him Zanza, whether him using the Monado is right, and why he's been working more off instinct than visions lately. He eventually leads them out of Junks, but he starts being zapped by something and collapses. Dunban thinks this is the same thing that cost him his arm, and Melia suspects it's from Shulk having to work so hard to overcome the Apocrypha field, but Shulk believes it's something else, something greater. The party trudge on, and Shulk keeps having his weird two-Shulk dreams come to mind, while he tries to focus on what's coming next. The party reaches the generator at about the same time Egil begins to whack the Bionis. They destroy the generator without much trouble and start moving on to Egil. The tagalongs Dickson and Alvis mutter to each other about how Shulk is doing well.
Egil is found within the Mechonis' core. He has entirely denounced Meyneth, saying the world no longer has a need for gods, and the party fights him. In the end, Shulk removes Yaldabaoth's head, and prepares to do the same to Egil inside. He hears Zanza's voice telling him to get on with it, but he also hears Alvis talking about his own Monado, and starts to recall a bunch of other things. It takes some effort, but he decides to spare Egil, and says he'll instead just fight him to a standstill forever until they understand each other. Egil is surprised and moved, so he tells his story. The Giant that Shulk knows as Zanza was originally Egil's friend, Arglas. But he found and freed the Monado, and by extension Zanza, for they are essentially the same. Zanza possessed Arglas, as he must to maintain his existence, and from there began his attacks on Mechonis. Egil is impressed that Shulk has not been overcome by Zanza as Arglas was, so now he hopes that this can be leveraged into stopping Zanza entirely, which was his goal all along. Shulk offers peace, and Egil accepts.
Dickson shoots Shulk.
Dickson reveals that he has been a disciple of Zanza's since the beginning, long enough that Egil recognizes him. The shot he put into Shulk allows Zanza to be fully reborn into a new form, one very much like a longer-haired Shulk with glowing wings, as Shulk himself drops unconscious. Dickson and Zanza explain that when the High Entia sealed the body of Arglas in Prison Island, they split out his soul and sealed it into the Monado in the Sealed Tower. When the Homs found the Monado, Zanza sucked the life out of them so he could regain some of his strength, and from them chose Shulk to be his vessel. Dickson then came by to "find" Shulk and raise him for this moment. Now, the cycle of life and death must continue, so Zanza prepares to kill Meyneth and restart the universe. The Bionis awakens, and Egil is roused to bring the Mechonis to contest it, but they are too weak and the Bionis' Monado cuts through the Mechonis' core. Meyneth decides she must act, and with Fiora's help releases her own Monado, which she uses to fight Zanza. They fight with their swords and their words, with Meyneth saying all beings have the right of choice, while Zanza says only he does because he is the god. She cannot beat him, and in defending Shulk, sacrifices herself so the others can create a world with no gods. Zanza takes her Monado and disappears.
Zanza reappears at Prison Island. He begins the ceremony of destruction and recreation by sinking it into the Bionis' head, triggering a wave of ether that causes chaos in Alcamoth.
The party escape Mechonis' core via Junks. Zanza tries to knock them down with the Monado, but Egil uses the remaining parts of the Mechonis to protect them, and lands a solid punch into the Bionis' midsection. The Bionis then ends the Mechonis with one blow. At the same time, Junks is attacked by a swarm of Telethia, with Dickson guiding them. Kallian and the rest of the Havres arrive to assist, but then things get worse. Apparently, High Entia turn into Telethia when exposed to large amounts of pure ether, a design feature used by Zanza to more easily cleanse the Bionis at the end of each cycle. Furthermore, Lorithia is another disciple of Zanza's, and she had designed the Havres to take part in this process by transforming both themselves and their occupants at once. As a result, the reinforcements change sides, and Kallian is turned into a figurehead on one of them. He manages to retain control of his Telethia body, so he speeds towards the two traitors and blows himself up, allowing Junks to get away. Melia is left with several questions answered (such as "why did the ancestors think half-bloods were a good idea") but no family, city, or society to return home to.
Shulk is in space again, depressed about how everything he did in life was just part of Zanza's plans. Alvis appears and pushes him to think otherwise.
Meanwhile, Junks is in Colony 6, which is readying for a Telethia attack. Fiora brings Shulk a replica Monado that Miqol made and then joins the discussions. Melia says there is no need to worry about any of the half-blooded refugees becoming Telethia. Alvis prods the party, nibbling at their resolve by asserting that resistance is futile because whether they die fighting back or die of old age does not change how Zanza wins. They argue, and eventually Fiora leaves. Melia follows to discover that Fiora's body needed Meyneth's Monado to keep functioning, and eventually it will shut down from lack of power. Fiora is mostly okay with this, because she sees herself as being lucky to still be alive, and asks Melia to take care of Shulk when she dies. Then the Telethia attack. Dickson is back, apparently unaffected by Kallian blowing up, and sends more Telethia at them.
Alvis explains to Shulk that this world was created so Zanza and Meyneth could continue to exist, as they cannot do so as mere souls without vessels. He gets Shulk to consider why Zanza needs to destroy them if he were truly omnipotent, and that Meyneth accepted she would eventually leave the world to others. Shulk decides that he'll keep doing what he wants to do, not what Zanza wants them to do.
The Telethia seem endless, and Dickson is constantly taunting the party. The turning point is when Shulk arrives, alive and awake. They kill Dickson's steed, so he reveals that Alvis is the third disciple, which everyone but Shulk is angry about. They defeat Alvis's pet, which prompts the two disciples to retreat, ending the attack. Shulk gets a vision of returning to Prison Island to face Dickson. Dickson feels afraid for the first time in a while. Shulk says they must get inside the Bionis to reach Zanza, and thanks to Egil's last punch in the ribs, they have a path.
- This paragraph covers Melancholy Tyrea, which is an optional sidequest, but its events are canonical and depicted in cutscenes.
- The party finds Tyrea just outside Colony 6, weak and suspiciously not a Telethia. Melia demands they help her, and explains to the party that she has been found to be a secret child of Yumea, making the two step-sisters. Tyrea tries to bully Melia with words, but Reyn figures out that she's jealous of being raised as an assassin rather than a princess. That night, Tyrea sneaks away and encounters a Telethia, which causes some damage to Colony 6, and both are gone in the morning. The party assumes Tyrea has changed, chases down the Telethia to Makna Forest, and defeats it. Melia prepares to kill it, but Tyrea appears and reveals that it is Yumea rather than her. Yumea had known she would become a Telethia, and told Tyrea to kill her in the end. Melia asserts that she is better-suited for the role and does it herself. Tyrea is reluctantly grateful and flies away. Melia determines that Tyrea must be part Homs, despite appearing pure-blooded.
Junks takes the party into a different part of the Bionis' Interior. Travelling inward, they meet Lorithia in the Bionis' heart. She taunts the group and summons Telethia Kallian, with Kallian inert, so she can fuse with it to fight them. She loses and begins to implode. Melia has an experience with Kallian's spirit, who says nothing was her fault and re-iterates how she can continue the High Entia way of life, before Lorithia is erased. Riki, being sensitive to ghosts, also hears his final words, which helps Melia feel better that she didn't simply imagine it. Dickson then appears, creating a transporter directly to Prison Island so they can fight him, and immediately leaves again. The party travels up through Prison Island again, now seeing that it is a Giant place of residence. They fight strange creatures, some of which are sicced on them by Dickson himself, but eventually get to the top. Outside, more Telethia are attacking Colony 6, but even leftover Face Mechon are helping the defence.
Dickson has been waiting for them, and is itching for some action. He doesn't care what Zanza's planning, he's just here to take orders and fight. He reverts to his Giant form and gets the upper hand easily. But the party rallies, and Shulk and Fiora combine their leftover Monado energies to defeat him. Dickson blusters that he's just letting them go, that he's not going to die trying to stop them, though it's evident that he is about to. The party moves on, and Shulk tries not to cry that he killed what he saw as a father.
Zanza is preparing for the party's arrival. He is troubled that he cannot see the future past confronting them, as well as that both Dickson and Lorithia are dead.
The party arrives in the place called Memory Space, a void of planets and stars that is entirely unfamiliar to them. They fight past the spirits of past foes and find what appears to be a ball of water, before Alvis's voice welcomes Shulk and the world turns into a colourful vortex. Zanza appears, wearing battle armour, and gives Shulk an offer: as a reward for getting him Meyneth's Monado, Shulk may become his new disciple, becoming strong and immortal in exchange for subservience. Melia interrupts with discussion of Telethia, which Zanza says should be grateful he allowed them to change from beasts into sentient beings for a time. Shulk rejects the offer of becoming a slave, and Zanza muses that perhaps trying for "friendship" was a mistake. They fight. In the end, Shulk manages to transform his will to make a choice into a confluence of energy from his friends, forming a new weapon: his own Monado. With three Monados in resonance, Alvis's voice proclaims the end, and he asks Shulk who the world belongs to. Shulk draws power into his blade and destroys Zanza.
Shulk finds himself is a different sort of space. A green sparkle beside him speaks with Alvis's voice as a scene plays out. Long ago, in a space station above Earth, a man called Klaus ignored the advice of a silver-haired colleague and caused an event that destroyed the universe and created a new one. The two of them became the gods of this new world, and lonely, they created life. While Meyneth accepted that she would eventually fade into nothingness, Zanza created a cycle of recreation so he would continue to exist. Alvis himself is a computer of the space station, and thus the machine that runs the world. He tells Shulk that he must make a choice: allow the current world to continue unchanged and stagnate, or allow it to evolve to the next level. Shulk just wanted to stop Zanza, so he doesn't know what to do, but with advice from his friends he decides he wants a world with no gods. He discards his Monado, and Alvis creates a new universe.
There is much commotion in Colony 9 as people of all different races of the Bionis work to repair the damage done by Telethia. Fiora is looking for Shulk. Dunban is heading the rebuilding efforts, but doesn't know where Shulk is, so she goes to Outlook Park. Only Melia is there, being generally introspective. Fiora next looks to the shore, where Reyn is fishing, with Sharla, Riki, and Juju looking on. Reyn loses his footing and causes all but Sharla to fall in the ocean, where he grumbles about the new world's ocean being salty. Riki reminds Reyn he needs to catch fish for him and his family, and further hijinks ensue.
Fiora finds Shulk standing a short distance away, where it is revealed that Fiora is back to being a Homs, though with her hair remaining short. Shulk stammers around the question of which hair length he likes better on her. He recalls what the Monado, Alvis, last said to him - that the world is boundless and home to much life, which he hopes to meet in the future. The camera zooms out, showing how Colony 9 is now on the coast, and the Bionis is collapsed out to sea.
One year after the original story's conclusion, Shulk is piloting Junks towards Alcamoth, with Melia also aboard. While approaching, the ship is shot by a laser of unknown origin, and has to be put down into a lake on the nearby Bionis' Shoulder, which has been suspended in the air ever since the Bionis' collapse. Shulk says that to fix Junks, they need parts that can be found in Alcamoth. They disembark to immediately discover two of Riki's kids, Kino and Nene, having an altercation with the native wildlife. Once this is resolved, the Nopon reluctantly explain how they got here: While Shulk was convincing Melia to take Junks to visit Alcamoth, Kino was spying on them, and Nene was spying on him. Kino, as a timid orphan adopted by Heropon Riki, has developed a hero complex and stowed away so he can help Shulk, Melia, and whoever else they were to find on their journey. Nene, as one of the few that Kino trusts and his unofficial caretaker sister, followed. The four thus group together.
Shulk would like to try and learn more about what attacked them before they head straight for Alcamoth, so he suggests they investigate a nearby cape. On arrival, they discover a contingent of High Entia soldiers. A man called Maxis approaches, who explains that they were attacked by the Fog King, a monster that appeared recently. The Fog King seems to be immune to most forms of attack, so everyone was forced out of Alcamoth. Shulk offers to help, but Maxis is convinced it's pointless, and walks away. They are then met by Gael'gar, who claims to know Melia because of his former position on the guard, which she does not seem to believe. He has some bad opinions, such as that half-bloods like himself and Melia are better than the "wicked" pure-bloods, but they tolerate him for now as he gives useful information. He tells the party how to get to Alcamoth via a transporter on the old Soltnar Seal Island, as well as that the non-soldier refugees live at Gran Dell because the soldiers (including himself) blame the Machina that live there for all their problems.
The group successfully enters Alcamoth. At the entrance to the palace is some sort of spatial rift, which they investigate. They find that Teelan is here and being accosted by a Snowal Taos surrounded by a black mist. They guess that the bird is the Fog King, so they kill it, but this is immediately proven false as the actual Fog King emerges from the rift. Physical attacks seem ineffective against it, while ether ones are inconclusive, so they run away and leave Alcamoth. Teelan says he snuck into Alcamoth to do research on how to revert Telethia into High Entia, explains that Fogbeasts tend to follow the Fog King, and invites them to his lab. At the lab, they find that Tyrea is here, and has been both helping with Teelan's research and acting as his protector, having rescued him from the Fog King when it first appeared. Teelan then directs them to Gran Dell so they can ask Radzam for more details on the research.
Arriving at Gran Dell, the group meets a High Entia called Helmaline, who says that those at Companions' Cape left after the argument caused by Radzam telling them to give up their many failed plans to retake Alcamoth. She points them to where Radzam is. Radzam says that the presence of the Telethia surrounding Alcamoth, feeding on the large amounts of ether the Fog King is producing, has trapped the Fog King within the city. He asks them to fetch some of Teelan's notes for more details on this Telethia facet, but before they leave, they notice a significant rift has appeared outside Alcamoth and go to investigate. They arrive to Soltnar Seal Island and are attacked by freshly-made Fogbeasts. Realizing that normal creatures can be turned into Fogbeasts, they hurry back to Gran Dell in time to save some locals from turned Armus. Radzam suspects that the rift growing larger is expanding the zone of potential Fogbeast activity.
The group returns to Teelan's lab to get the Telethia research. Gael'gar is there, planning to trash the place because he doesn't like the idea of research that might help restore any pure-bloods. He becomes frustrated that Melia does not agree with him, so they fight, and he loses. However, he's rigged the lab, and it explodes into flames. Melia surrounds herself with aquas and goes in, Shulk giving chase. Gael'gar tries to take Teelan hostage, but a Telethia pops him in the mouth and makes him run away. Teelan suspects the Telethia is his mother. Shulk and Melia get out of the burning building unharmed, though Melia faints from the effort of protecting them, having rescued a single book. They return to Gran Dell, where Tyrea chews her out for risking her life and Melia ignores it.
Shulk and Radzam determine that they need to modify Shulk's weapon to emit a dense ether field in order to make the Fog King vulnerable. To do this, they need a rare sort of ether crystals. They are found within the Zekr Marga Quarry and return to Radzam. Before they can make the modification, a bunch of Fogbeasts attack the town gates, so the party has to fend them off. Melia decides to go get the soldiers from Companions' Cape. They find yet more Fogbeasts there and wipe them out. Melia convinces Maxis and the others to return to Gran Dell to aid in its defence. Shulk makes the necessary tweaks to his weapon, and Tyrea gives Melia her old assassin mask so she can unlock the transporter to the Imperial Villa, where the Fog King tends to be.
The party reach the Fog King and fight it. The rift grows larger, allowing it to take on a bigger and tougher form, but Telethia start to fly into the rift and explode, which weakens it. Melia charges a large blast of ether to erase the Fog King, and the rift is also gone. The group returns to Gran Dell victoriously, and uses Junks to move heavy equipment to Alcamoth so its restoration can begin. The story ends with Melia about to undergo a coronation.