Xenoblade Chronicles' protagonist Shulk is pretty well known in the Nintendo community as the picture of innocence; a truly noble hero who always puts his friends and allies first. Apparently, however, according to a recent video from Did You Know Gaming, Shulk's actions during one of the game's cutscenes alarmed scenario writer Yurie Hattori, who was brought in during the game's development.
As pointed out by series' Executive Director Tetsuya Takahashi, Hattori-san was worried that Shulk's decision to touch the cheek of an unconscious Fiora to express his feelings for her might be construed as creepy. As such, the action was changed for the final game, with Shulk instead touching Fiora's hand.
Takahashi had the following to say:
"One issue pointed out by Hattori-san that I can clearly remember concerns the girl named Fiora, the childhood friend of Shulk. There's a scene where's she's fast asleep and you touch her hand. This was initially a scene where Shulk touched her cheek to communicate his feelings for her. But Hattori-san pointed out that suddenly touching a woman's cheek while she's asleep could be construed as being a little creepy."
As far as potentially creepy scenes go, this one is admittedly on the tame side, but we can see what Hattori-san was going for. Apparently, the decision was made to change Shulk's action in order to retain the "innocent and naive nature of the character's love".
It's an interesting glimpse into how such small actions can have a big impact on how a protagonist is received by players. Monolith Soft was particularly worried about how Shulk would be viewed, given that vocal protagonists tend to be disliked by RPG fans who would rather prefer a silent avatar, and the studio was careful to ensure that the character wouldn't make decisions that the player would ultimately resent.
You can check out the full video from Did You Know Gaming below:
What do you make of this little nugget from the development of Xenoblade Chronicles? Would you have preferred Monolith Soft left it as it was, or are you thankful for the slight change? Let us know!
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