19 (Future Connected)
|Japanese VA||Shintarou Asanuma|
|English VA||Adam Howden|
Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Super Smash Bros. 4
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
Super Mario Maker
- This article is about Shulk in general. For gameplay information, see Shulk/Gameplay (XC1) and Shulk/Gameplay (XC2).
Shulk (シュルク, Shulk) is the main protagonist of Xenoblade Chronicles and a playable character in Future Connected. He is originally a scientist in Colony 9, but discovers that he is the true heir to the Monado.
Appearance and personality
Shulk is a Homs with short pale blond hair, blue eyes, and a fairly average height of 1.71m. His main appearance comprises a red hooded vest, a black sweater, multi-coloured shorts with knee straps, and red boots.
Shulk is a kind and intelligent but socially clumsy youth. He is all too willing to help others with whatever problems they may have, and will carefully consider all options in doing so before deciding which he will stick with and see to the end. He respects the wishes of others even when they go against what he wants, and tries to learn everything about a situation so he does not do anything rash. His main downfall is that he does not read people well, and often says things that offend others because he doesn't understand (or isn't aware of) their feeling. When left to his own devices he will simply keep to himself and do research in the lab until forced out. He also has somewhat of a pessimistic outlook on life, especially when things start going badly, and can do stupid things if his emotions get the better of him.
Shulk is the only survivor of an expedition that found the Monado in Ose Tower, as a child fourteen years before the events of the game. He was discovered by Dickson and brought to Colony 9, where he grew up to become a weapons expert and researcher. After the Battle of Sword Valley, Dunban is injured by his overuse of the Monado, spurring Shulk to further research the weapon to discover its secrets.
Shulk's life in Colony 9 is shown to be fairly idyllic; he spends most of his free time building weapons and doing research, and whenever forced to go outside he has good friends for company: Reyn to joke around with and protect him from beasts in the countryside, and Fiora as moral support and to protect him from his terrible eating habits. He also keeps Dunban as a mentor, and Dickson helps with his Monado research.
When Colony 9 is attacked by the Mechon, Dunban attempts to use the Monado again but is unable to, which prompts Shulk to take it himself. To the surprise of everyone, not only can Shulk use it without issue, but it gives him occasional visions of the future that allow him to dodge attacks. However, the Monado has no effect against the giant Mechon later known as Metal Face, and he fails to act on the visions he receives, allowing Fiora to be killed. Once the attack is over, Shulk vows to enact revenge on the Mechon and leaves the colony with Reyn to track down Metal Face.
While traveling up across the Bionis, Shulk struggles to cope with the nature of his visions and how best to use then. He wants to prevent bad futures from happening but is also reluctant to reveal them to others. He also begins to have strange dreams. Reyn forces Shulk to be more outgoing about things, which helps the two survive and obtain the services of Sharla, a healer from the recently-destroyed Colony 6. The party successfully rescues Sharla's brother Juju from another Face Mechon, Xord, who adds further questions to what powers the Monado is still hiding. Metal Face then appears and taunts the group by enjoying the suffering he caused, and despite Dunban and Dickson arriving to help, the Mechon only retreat when a strange creature drives them off. Shulk then receives a vision telling him where to go next - the top of the Bionis, though he knows not why aside from "Metal Face will be there".
As the group arrives in Makna Forest, Shulk meets the mysterious Alvis, who seems to know a lot about the Monado but vanishes without a trace after the pair ward off a group of Telethia. Shulk doesn't get much chance to dwell on this, as he helps revive a stranger named Melia, travels to the Nopon's Frontier Village to meet Heropon Riki, and rids the jungle of the huge Telethia menacing it. As he gains more power and abilities from the Monado, he becomes more confident in stopping the future, while still being driven by the revenge that got him here - stating that he refuses to let the Telethia get away with doing to Melia what Metal Face did to him.
Shulk tries to reach the Prison Island, which Melia says was the target of his vision, but becomes embroiled in the drama surrounding her in Alcamoth. After diving into the High Entia Tomb to save her from yet another assassination attempt, he successfully meets Emperor Sorean and asks for entry to Prison Island. Before an answer is given, the Mechon attack and Sorean goes off to Prison Island himself.
Once the party arrives behind him, they discover that the island was a prison to only one being: Zanza the Giant, held for untold eons to use his power to fight the Mechon invasion. Zanza tells Shulk that he forged the Monado, and thus has been waiting for him to arrive so he can free its shackles and allow it to fight the Faced Mechon. Despite others' misgivings, Shulk obliges. Zanza is freed and successfully unlocks the Monado, but Metal Face kills him and Sorean. After fighting Metal Face, a new Face intervenes: the silver Face Nemesis. Shulk accidentally cuts open Face Nemesis's cockpit, revealing that it is being controlled by the apparently-not-dead Fiora, who does not appear to remember him. The Mechon, including the Faces, all then leave. Shulk is shaken by Fiora being alive and being unable to save Sorean, but after talking with Dunban, he decides that his mission is now to go and get her back.
Shulk leads the party towards Galahad Fortress, the Mechon stronghold where he believes Fiora to be. Along the way, they find Fiora and fight Metal Face, revealing that he is Mumkhar, a Homs traitor all too willing to kill for fun. However, the meeting is broken up by Egil, claimed leader of Mechonis, and they must give chase again. When they once again meet Metal Face, Dunban is poised for the final blow, but Shulk stops him - now that he knows the Faced Mechon are Homs, he doesn't want to kill them, but rather find out why Egil is doing this to them. Dunban agrees, while Metal Face fights on and gets himself killed instead.
The party moves through the fortress and successfully finds Fiora, but Egil activates a machine that disables the Monado. In the ensuing fight, the fortress is badly damaged, and Fiora plummets towards the ocean. Shulk, blinded by emotion, jumps off the edge after her. As luck would have it, they both survive and wash up on the Fallen Arm. Shulk successfully revives Fiora, who acts like herself again and says that her body is hosting someone else. The two eventually meet up with the others, and Shulk manages to get the Monado working again. The group discovers that the people of Mechonis, the Machina, are hiding on the Fallen Arm and want to help Shulk stop Egil from trying to wipe out all life on the Bionis. Shulk would rather try to understand why Egil is doing what he's doing first, but he agrees.
As Shulk leads the group on the climb up Mechonis, he notices that he seems to be getting fewer visions, but instead is getting better at predicting when things are going to happen without them. Along the way, they discover that Zanza was the one who turned the Bionis against the Mechonis in the first place, breaking the peace the races on the titans had achieved in order for him to wipe out the Mechonis, while the person inside Fiora is Meyneth, the goddess of the Mechonis. Shulk becomes less sure that he's doing the right thing, but proceeds, as he still has to protect the Bionis from Egil.
Shulk finds Egil in Agniratha, the ruined Mechonis capital. Egil reveals that all he wants to do is stop the Bionis from reviving, so if that requires him to kill all life on it, he will. Shulk remains convinced there is some way to avoid this but reluctantly fights. Egil and his Faced Mechon, Yaldabaoth, defeats the group but leaves as Meyneth holds him off. The party manages to escape Agniratha and are picked up by the Machina ship Junks, which helps them return to the Mechonis and face Egil again. With Yaldabaoth preoccupied with being used to directly control the Mechonis, he is defeated.
With Shulk standing over Egil, he feels pressured by Zanza to kill him. After an inner struggle, he chooses not to and tells Egil that he will instead just keep stopping him until they understand each other. Egil is finally moved by Shulk's resistance to Zanza and decides to stand down. Dickson, however, is not happy about this and therefore shoots Shulk. It is revealed that Shulk has been a vessel for Zanza's soul the entire time, ever since he met the Monado with the expedition, and Dickson's job as Zanza's disciple was to father Shulk until Zanza could be reborn. The Giant in Prison Island was just the body Zanza happened to be using when his soul was sealed in the tower. Zanza, now very similar in appearance to Shulk, leaves Shulk's body and takes the Monado to fight both Egil and a Meyneth-aided Fiora. Meyneth sacrifices herself to protect the group, leaving her Monado for Zanza to take, and he leaves.
Shulk is not dead, but his mind floats in space, depressed that everything he did was planned by Zanza and therefore pointless. Alvis appears and challenges his mindset, making him consider that Zanza is not as invincible as he believes. Shulk had been suspicious of Alvis being just a Homs this entire time and now knows for sure that he is something more. He then wakes up to find that he is in Colony 6, with a Replica Monado waiting for him, and they are under attack by Telethia. He rejoins his friends to hold back the waves of creatures, including the personal pets of Dickson and Alvis, and stop the attack.
A vision tells Shulk that he must now enter the Bionis. With Junks' help, they do so to enter the Bionis' heart and find Lorithia, another disciple of Zanza's that used her position in Alcamoth's ministry to help create a fleet of powerful Telethia from the strongest soldiers. After she is defeated, they enter a portal to Prison Island, now sunk into the Bionis' head and revealed to be a Giant mansion. Dickson is waiting at the top and reveals his true Giant form. After his friends help him defeat his self-doubt and Dickson, Shulk turns away so he doesn't have to see him die, and tries not to cry that he had to kill his adoptive father.
Finally, Shulk confronts Zanza. Zanza is pleased that he has obtained Meyneth's Monado, and so offers Shulk discipleship in return, after which he will destroy and recreate the world. Shulk refuses, preferring to just live in a world without gods. During the ensuing battle, a third Monado appears in Shulk's hands - his own, which he uses to end Zanza. He then watches the Bionis crumble from afar as Alvis speaks to him, revealing that Zanza used to be mortal and created this world out of delusions of grandeur. Alvis then gives Shulk a choice: allow the world to stagnate, or create a new world without gods. While he does not want the responsibility of this choice, Shulk chooses the latter, and a new world is created with Colony 9 on the shoreline of an ocean and the Bionis cast aside in the distance.
Shulk ropes Melia into the idea of using Junks to visit the ruins of Alcamoth. Junks is attacked by an unknown force from Alcamoth, and crashes on Bionis' Shoulder. Shulk determines that they need parts from Alcamoth to fix the ship, so with the help of the stowaways Kino and Nene, they begin exploring the plateau. Shulk is mostly a passenger in the story, following Melia's lead as they work to reunite the refugees on the Shoulder against what they call the Fog King, and wielding a Monado Replica EX of his own design. They try to fight the Fog King, but find it difficult to damage it, and must retreat. With the help of Radzam, Shulk uses some strong ether crystals to upgrade his weapon into the Monado Replica EX+. The new sword weakens the Fog King enough to damage it normally, and it is defeated.
- Shulk was born after his grandfather died. It's unclear whether he knew any of his other grandparents. (quest: Hunt for Bug-Loving Friend)
- Shulk thinks that traveling might be making him look too buff to be a scientist. (quest: The Deciphering Machine)
- Shulk's astrological sign is the Pedagogue, which according to Sharla, makes him and Melia a "perfect match". (Heart-to-Heart: Ancient Astrology)
- Shulk is so oblivious to others' feelings that he will (and has) gifted people wholly unfitting things, such as giving a machine part to Riki. (Heart-to-Heart: A Gift for a Loved One)
- Once as children, Shulk got involved with a fight between Fiora and Dunban. As a result, the two kids ran off to Outlook Park and stayed the night there. (Heart-to-Heart: Sunrise in the Park)
- Shulk and Reyn had a big fight once. They made Fiora cry, and then Dunban got angry, and finally, Shulk made a joke and everyone laughed. They don't remember what the fight was about - probably something to do with Shulk being too smart and Reyn being too dumb - but do agree they wouldn't be friends without it. (Heart-to-Heart: Enduring Friendship)
- Shulk is scared of caterpillars. It's implied this is because of a prank Reyn played where he put one inside Shulk's sock drawer. (Heart-to-Heart: The Legend of the Spider)
- Shulk would often try and retrieve Reyn from skipping school, although he would usually give up and join him after arguing over it. (Heart-to-Heart: A Breathtaking Sight)
- According to himself, Shulk is bad at knowing when to ask about something, and when to keep quiet. (Heart-to-Heart: Fallen Brethren)
- Shulk claims to have a faint memory of the nighttime yellow glow of Valak Mountain, from when he was on the Monado expedition. However, he also claims that he was the one to find and enter the ruins first, which is untrue compared to the flashback as seen in-game. (Heart-to-Heart: The Shimmering Marsh)
As a party member
- Main article: Shulk/Gameplay (XC1)
Shulk is the longest-serving party member in the game, and likely to be the one with the most playtime, as he not only has a fairly simple playstyle but is the best-equipped for dealing with visions. His main purpose is to deal physical damage, but the Monado gives him an array of arts with unique effects. Shulk is best on teams with other physical damage-dealers so they can work together for high-damage Chain Attacks. He is also playable in Future Connected.
As a Rare Blade
- Main article: Shulk/Gameplay (XC2)
Shulk appears as a recruitable Blade in the DLC Challenge Battle Mode.
In other media
Super Smash Bros.
Shulk is a playable character in the Smash Bros. series starting in SSB4. The Monado grants him some of the longest-reaching attacks in the game, while the Monado Arts give him five selectable auras that alter his stats for a dynamic playstyle.
- Shulk keeps the Monado on his back during basic movement. This hurt his attack speed considerably in SSB4, but SSBU sped up his animations a lot to make it matter less.
- Neutral attack: a three-hit combo of a punch, a kick, and an upward Monado swing. Does good damage.
- Forward tilt: A sideways swing that looks like one of Shulk's auto-attacks. It is fairly powerful.
- Up tilt: A vertical swing with a very long upwards range, but almost no sideways range.
- Down tilt: A foot-level swipe that ends faster than most of Shulk's other moves, letting it be a good combo starter.
- Dash attack: Somewhat of a weaker forward tilt.
- Forward smash: A forwards poke with the inactive Monado, followed by turning on the beam for a second hit, similar in animation to Slit Edge. One of the longest-ranged smash attacks.
- Up smash: A slam of the hilt into the ground followed by the beam poking upwards. The first hit often traps opponents into the second hit.
- Down smash: An all-around spinning attack, lasting a long time and potentially hitting more than once, but easily punishable if it misses.
- Neutral aerial: A circular slashing movement. Has a huge overall range and is good at starting combos, but risky to use offstage because it takes a while to end.
- Forward aerial: A downward slash with a wide variety of uses based on when it hits.
- Back aerial: A backwards poke. A long-ranged move with good power.
- Up aerial: A poke-beam combo like his up smash. Does high damage if both hits land and is a powerful KO move.
- Down aerial: Same as up aerial, but downwards. If sweetspotted, sends the opponent downward.
- Pummel: Bops the grabbed opponent with the Monado's hilt.
- Forward throw: Tosses the opponent with an upward swipe. Decent KO throw.
- Back throw: Thrusts the Monado backward to push the opponent backward. The opponent then faces backward, potentially setting up Back Slash.
- Up throw: Does a weaker up smash. Has combo potential.
- Down throw: Puts the opponent on the ground and stabs them. No particular strengths or weaknesses.
- Neutral special: Monado Arts. Shulk selects one of five auras that last for several seconds, which buff some stats but debuff others. Much of Shulk's gameplay revolves around changing between the auras to fit the current situation.
- Jump (翔): Shulk jumps higher and moves faster in the air, but moves slower on the ground and takes more damage. Used to chase down enemies in the air or to recover from otherwise faraway distances.
- Speed (疾): Shulk moves faster on the ground, but moves slower in the air, loses jump height, and deals less damage. Used to chase enemies on the ground and approach easier.
- Shield (盾): Shulk takes less damage and his shield gets much stronger, but he moves very slowly and deals less damage. Used to disrupt enemy combos and survive otherwise sure killing blows.
- Buster (斬): Shulk deals more damage but takes more damage and deals much less knockback. Used to give up any sort of KO ability in exchange for potentially extremely-damaging combos.
- Smash (撃): Shulk deals more knockback, but takes more knockback and deals much less damage. Used to secure KOs at extremely low percents and potentially mess up enemy combos.
- Side special: Back Slash. Shulk jumps forward until he hits the ground, the Monado cutting anything in front as he falls. If it htis an opponent's front, it does unimpressive damage with minimal knockback. If it hits an opponent's back, it does significant damage and is a powerful KO option.
- Up special: Air Slash. Shulk jumps up with one slash and optionally does a second as he reaches the peak. His main recovery move.
- Down special: Vision. Shulk attempts to have a vision. If an opponent hits him during this time, he dodges and performs a powerful counterattack.
- Final Smash: Chain Attack. Shulk tries to trap enemies that are directly in front of him. If successful, a cutscene plays where he, Dunban, and Riki beat up on the targetted foes.
As a character in Smash Bros., Shulk has an amiibo.
Supported games include:
- Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/Nintendo 3DS
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3D
- Super Mario Maker
- Yoshi's Woolly World
Note that games that do not support the Shulk amiibo in any special way are not listed here.
Major characters of Xenoblade Chronicles and Future Connected
|Playable characters||Dunban • Fiora • Melia • Reyn • Riki • Sharla • Shulk|
|Lower Bionis||Dickson • Gadolt • Juju • Mumkhar • Otharon • Vangarre|
|Upper Bionis||Alvis • Arglas • Dunga • Kallian • Lorithia • Oka • Sorean • Tyrea • Yumea • Zanza|
|Mechonis||Egil • Face Nemesis • Jade Face • Linada • Metal Face • Meyneth • Miqol • Vanea • Xord • Yaldabaoth|
|Future Connected||Fog King • Gael'gar • Helmaline • Kino • Maxis • Nene • Radzam • Teelan|
|Other||Galea • Klaus|
Characters in Xenoblade Chronicles 2
|Playable Drivers||Mòrag • Nia • Rex • Tora • Vandham • Zeke|
|Main playable Blades||Brighid • Dromarch • Mythra • Pandoria • Pneuma • Poppi • Pyra • Roc|
|Optional playable Blades||Adenine • Aegaeon • Agate • Azami • Boreas • Dagas • Dahlia • Electra • Finch • Floren • Godfrey • Gorg • Herald • Kasandra • Kora • KOS-MOS • Newt • Nim • Perceval • Perun • Praxis • Sheba • T-elos • Theory • Ursula • Vale • Vess • Wulfric • Zenobia|
|DLC Blades||Corvin • Crossette • Elma • Fiora • Poppibuster • Shulk|
|Torna||Akhos • Cressidus • Jin • Malos • Mikhail • Obrona • Patroka • Perdido • Sever|
|Argentum||Bana • Niranira • Pupunin • Spraine|
|Gormott||Dughall • Padraig • Umon|
|Uraya||Iona • Cole • Raqura • Yew • Zuo|
|Mor Ardain||Lila • Muimui • Niall • Roderich • Soosoo • Tatazo|
|Leftheria||Addam • Azurda • Corinne|
|Indol||Amalthus • Fan la Norne|
|Tantal||Eulogimenos • Genbu • Turters|
|Other||The Architect • Galea • Klaus • Lora • Nopon Archsage • Ontos|