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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Good call from the devs
Personally I don't think it really would've been creepy, I've seen that happen plenty of times in television shows. If it's a total stranger then sure but like, then it would also be creepy if they touched your hand, so...
I dunno, would anyone here really think Shulk touching Fiora's cheek would've been creepy? Or am I just dumb?
Shulk is one of the most likeable RPG protagonists I've seen. He's a good-natured, hard-working and slightly nerdy kid.
From what's said in the video, it looks like a lot of time was spent refining his character. And the game ended up better for it, for sure.
I wish they took all the creepy out of XC2 as well.
So should I just skip xc 2? Because I hear people talk crap about the art style all the time, I like it but people say even the game sucks, I heard some people call it the worse one, idk should ai just skip and and play 1 and then 3?
@Snatcher play all three in order, I'd say.
Xeno 2 is a great game, maybe just a little difficult to grasp due to the somewhat esoteric battle system and the insufficient tutorialisation.
But once you "get it", the gameplay is great.
XC2 doesn't suck. It's still a good game, just disappointing compared to XC1 and XC3.
I'd suggest playing XC3 and XC1 first and if you liked them both, then move on to XC2.
@Snatcher I haven't played 3 yet, but I found 2's battle system better than 1. It's honestly just personal preference, but I wouldn't write it off without trying it. And t will warm you, it does take several chapters (chapter 4 I think?) before the battle system unlocks for its full potential. A lot of complaints I've heard about it was from people who didn't make it to that part.
Its not universally hated, but it’s divisive. It’s got high highs and low lows. The combat is fun but takes ages to open up. The environments are great, but progression is greatly slowed by an over abundance of skill checks. There are some great characters and story moments, but most of the large cast doesn’t get fleshed out and it takes 30 hours for anything interesting to happen. The blade system adds a lot of customisability, but also locks new skills behind Gacha mechanics. The music is great but you can’t hear it over the characters constantly screaming. A deep Philosophical story is undercut be what I can only describe as totally unfitting “anime cringe”. It is very much a game of two halves, and your mileage with it will vary depending on whether or not the highs outweigh the lows for you.
"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"
What! I've tired of silent protagonists. They would be cooler if they weren't walking husks and had their own character and personality shown with their take on the games current events! Am I really in the minority on this?
@seaboyluca @Munchlax @EarthboundBenjy Wow you people reply fast lol.
So it sounds like, I should still play them In order, and it really is all up to personal taste.
@Snatcher I just finished 2, and while I was not a fan of the art direction and sexualization of some of the characters, I really came to like the battle system and enjoyed the story and it's connection to 1. I do not regret playing it before I start 3.
@AlexanderDaniels totally agree. The whole silent protagonist thing is getting old fast
Hardly sounds “creepy”, especially as the two were practically on the border of becoming a couple right from the 1st chapter of play (sans Shulk’s oblivious nature which is par for the course for many JRPG protags). Physical contact has become a touchy subject (no pun intended) for some but like many things there’s no black & white way of looking at it. Still I agree that the change does align better with Shulk’s innocent nature. So agree with the change, but hardly see it as a “dodged a bullet” moment.
@AlexanderDaniels I’ve never liked the silent protag trend as the story will almost take a hit to align with whatever characterisations the player decides to go with. To say nothing of how jarring it is to have a player chara that seems mute and occasionally nods or shakes his/her head. Give me a fully fleshed out character any day.
@AlexanderDaniels Nope, I agree! I much prefer characters that have been given their own personality and story arc by the developer. I'm not keen on "choose your own destiny" kind of stuff.
@Kanbei Alrighty, I’m gonna play through them in order, and when I do, we will see which one I end up liking more,
Silent avatars are the worst. They screw up the story and limit character development of the party. I want a fleshed out narrative.
@Snatcher Xenoblade 2 is really good, and its artstyle is also really good, you should play it.
Eh, isn't at this point in the story Shulk more emotional towards Fiora? So, more intimacy makes sense, unless Shulk sees her as a friend only, then it is a bit out of place.
how is touching someone face creepy LOL
So I played XC 1 a couple years back to completion (took me 126 hours!!) and really enjoyed it.
Really keen to play XC3 but know for certain I’m gonna do 2 beforehand. My question is - does X fit into the story at all aside from a few nods (such as Monado hair clips)? Or is it safe to skip that one, as I’ve heard it’s longer than 1 and I already have a 100-150 hour game between me and 3!
@AlexanderDaniels Totally agree. I seem to be liking more the protagonist of Fire Emblem Three Hopes more than Byleth from Three Houses cos the way he talks. Instead of just nodding he gets along better with the rest of the characters. And is snarky to others. Meanwhile in three houses everyone likes Byleth waaay too much yet he barely seems to interact with them lol
@Snatcher Just play them in order and make up your own mind. Some of us enjoy XC2 much more than the original, despite its flaws.
@MajorasLapdog XCX is totally disconnected from the mainline games. You're good.
@Snatcher Don't forget to play Xenoblade X! Oh... wait... maybe that one's not so easy to play these days, especially if you're looking to finish all the online stuff. But yeah, they're all good, just in different ways.
I think that probably would have been fine, considering they're childhood friends and pretty much head over heels for each other since before the beginning of the game. Wouldn't be the most questionable thing in the series by a long shot.
IMHO, if you can get past the fairly steep learning curve then XC2 is a better game than XC1, and this is coming from a huge fan of the original game. Story-wise, XC1 has visuals that better fit its tone but XC2 spends more time with the supporting cast, giving them more of a group dynamic and more relevance to the overall plot, and gameplay-wise it's fathoms deeper than XC1 by virtue of much more customisability.
If you can stomach the learning curve, XC2 has dozens of viable ways to structure your party and customise your characters, and its DLC only added to that, providing a purpose for NG+. You have much more control over the action as well, since the Blade system means you're effectively playing 3 characters rather than XC1's hard limit of 1.
Yeah sure, if you don't like anime forget it, but I'd go further and say if you don't like anime forget XC as a series.
Wait... Which cheek?
Just skip 2. It really isn't worth your time - unlike what SOME might say.
1 is a classic, though, and definitely recommended. Shame we don't have Xenoblade X on the Switch, that one is pretty good too.
@Ralizah Knowing this series, I wouldn't be surprised if we one day get through Xenoblade 9 and realize it runs directly into X.
@seaboyluca “I wish they took all the creepy out of XC2 as well.”
No blade would remain to unlock afterwards!
I almost put 2 down after a couple of hours in. The giant gorilla killing me we while I explored over and over again pissed me off — but that was my fault for being careless. If you can forgive the cheesier aspects, and brush up (via the internet) to make sure you are understanding the battle system, it has great characters, a rich world, and deep gameplay. It is now one of my favorite RPGS period, and I have played it three times through. If you can muster the time end energy to commit to it, don't pass it up.
Oh, and switch the audio track to Japanese!! The Japanese cast did an amazing job.
@AcridSkull “I’m really feeling it!”
Removed - unconstructive
Nah, “creepy” is Shinji alone beside an unconscious Asuka in her hospital bed. A light touch doesn’t compare.
Double play of the year. 😆
Removed - inappropriate
How is that creepy…? It’s not like Skulk groped her boobs or ass. Shulk isn’t some stranger to her either even at the start of the game.
Also people here still finding an excuse to hate on XB2 here lol. Not surprised when people here acting like touching a cheek is too lewd lol
@Snatcher Xenoblade 2 has a lot of flaws, some of them being very glaring, but it's worth playing at least once. There's a good story buried under the first 6 chapters.
Also no. Play the Xenoblade games in order ideally.
You shouldn’t skip XB2 because of fanservice like I’m seeing some people here say especially with the connection towards XB3. Not everyone has a low threshold on acting like a prude.
Shame they didn’t put Xeno 2 through the same quality control.
Xenoblade 2 is the way it is because The Architect was a weeb.
I see media of people kissing their loved ones while they're asleep or other things and people find that fine, plus it would make sense since Fiora is Shulk's love interest and they've known each other since they were kids so it wouldn't be creepy in the slightest.
Maybe some people of nintendolife just have a fear of human interacting or are just overly critical, looking at these comments above too seeing how they're using this article as an excuse to whine about XC2 despite it having nothing to do with it.
@Snatcher X2 doesn't suck, is a good game, otherwise it wouldn't have sold over a million copies, in a month I believe. What it does have is some fanservice that some people find "offense" and some people use that to hate the game, while the story, characters, customization, world and battle system is pretty great
@crudfish I can put in the time, ai love jrpgs.
@Ralizah Hou say it best I think, because your right, play them, figure out if you like them or not.
@Tobiaku @ @TheAbsol Thanks for the input Guys!
@Shiro28 truth me told I like the anime art style it has, people don’t really seem to think so.
Man you xc fans don’t mess around when giving advice, thank you so much!
"As far as potentially creepy scenes go, this one is admittedly on the tame side."
That's all that need be said about this molehill.
Meh. I think context would help, but touching your almost-girlfriends face cheek isn't that big a deal. Still, I feel like holding her hand is more in-character for Shulk, so not a bad move.
Anyways, play XC2. If you liked XC1, fan service doesn't make you recoil and you have some level of common sense, you should honestly love XC2. I've heard complaints about the early tuts and it does take a while for the battle mechanics to really open up, but besides that it's a great game that improves on the original in several ways. The battle mechanic is expanded upon and more fun with special attacks being far more dynamic, the music is amazing, the different areas like Uraya are beautiful, the gacha blades are only annoying if you want to unlock a specific or ultra rare blade, but otherwise it can be a rather enjoyable way to unlock great characters that get their own character arc/sidequest. And people are always picky about character design, but I like XC2's. There's a lot more thought than people give it credit for and it's done by more than one artist. In fact, the rare blades are done by tons of artists, including women. I could promote the game all day, like how the plot has some mature themes like slavery and life and how the main heroine has PTSD, but to truly understand a game you have to play it yourself.
So yeah, if you like XC1 and fan service doesn't make you faint then there's really no reason not to try XC2.
This is very odd because there’s a much creepier scene later when he actually kisses her on the lips while she’s unconscious.
I suspect that something was lost in translation as “creepy” is a pretty loaded word.
Nintendo: Touching Fioras cheek is creepy.
Also Nintendo: Incest petting games with Corrin is fine.
Shulk is usually quiet and well natured but part of what I loved about him is his passion when things got serious. When it was fight or flight this mild natured, kind character stood his ground and fought for his friends and loved ones. A well written and balanced protagonist, not your typical cool hero, and so much the better for it.
Oh right, the scene that was obvious foreshadowing, yet fans die on the hill that it's genius writing.
Removed - inappropriate
@Snatcher I hope you enjoy the game. One last piece of advise I have is if you wanna level up as you go, just do side quest. That's pretty much how you grind XP to the point of getting OP by the boss fight or even final boss
@Shiro28 Thank you. I will remember this.
@Shiro28 I think Xenoblade 2 is kinda bad as a game, but the story is great, which I think balances it out into a decent enough experience.
@DDFawfulGuy The character design in XC2 was the first thing that came to mind when I read this article. A touch on the cheek is "too lewd" but Kora barely wearing anything is fine? I'm sorry, but I think the character design in XC2 is bad because it clashes so hard with what Xenoblade is as a series. It doesn't even mesh well with XC2's own story. I also honestly think that XC2's questionable character designs created a lot of very obnoxious fans. I'm glad I eventually played XC2 despite the character designs putting me on the fence for so long(along with the game leaning too hard into anime tropes), but even after the game growing on me, I think the game could've done with more modest character designs.
I'm fine with risque character designs, I just don't think they belong in a series like Xenoblade. Besides the gameplay being "great," I think it's unbearably slow, poorly explained, and it just didn't feel good, I agree with pretty much everything else you said.
Wasn't expecting a reply to this today.
Eh. If you think risque character designs don't suit Xenoblade then I have a hard time believing you're 'fine' with them at all. Personally, I don't think it's a big deal and is down to personal preference, but since you said it doesn't 'suit' Xenoblade I'll pick on that point. If risque just means showing skin then that's been a thing since XC1 with zero/beach clothes and Fiora's alternate forms showing plenty of skin. XC:DE expanded on this with more outfits. And at first I admit that I thought Melia showing so much skin would be out of character, but then realised even her default outfit shows cleavage. All the main girls do at some point.
And after XC we got XCX which was FULL of ugly aliens with sexy bodies. Like every enemy Xeno has a female form showing skin.There's even a squid xeno boss thing with most of her bum showing. And that's not even getting into some of the outfits some of the female playable characters can wear, including bunny costumes. One of the friendly Xenos that end up making gear for the BLADES even said that they were inspired by human media (anime?) and found that when it comes to designs we generally prefer female outfits to show more skin.
Compared to all that, XC2 was fairly tame outside of 3 Blades. I'm not sure what a series needs to be 'suited' for risque character designs, but I don't see an actual reason not to have them in this series. Even some characters in XC3 have that mark on their chests. The bottom line is that things like tastes in character designs or even gameplay are subjective. Maybe you don't enjoy either in XC2 but that doesn't really mean that they should've been different. I personally like both so I'm glad it came out as is.
As for obnoxious fans, I'm not sure who you're referring to, but for me it's people that keep complaining about character designs like it ruins the entire game not even noticing the symbolism or meaning behind some of them, or thinking that people play XC2 for that alone are the obnoxious ones. Maybe you did too? And the anime-ish style was because XCX was very western leaning and the devs wanted something more expressive. It seems very common for game series to have two very different styles and then kind of mesh them together for one definitive style afterwards. So XCX and XC2 lead to XC3.
TL:DR; Everyone has their own tastes and opinions, but there's nothing objectively wrong with XC's style and risque character's 'belonging' in the series is a vague notion, but clearly the devs and characters want it there which is a good enough reason, and personally I love most things about the series including this, so it's fine if it stays the course. Apparently the tut in XC2 sucks but I understood the mechanic just fine and got used to it quickly. It does start slow though, I will admit.
@DDFawfulGuy It's really hard to believe that there's symbolism in a lot of blades barely wearing anything when there's a main character who almost entirely exists to perv on his blade and occasionally on other characters. XCX did have some very revealing characters, but it was so much more infrequent than XC2. It was actually hard to take XC2's story seriously at times because of it.
I'm not "not fine with risque design at all." Some games are very risque and are intended to be taken as such, whereas XC2 expects you to take it seriously like the other two Xenoblade games that came out before it.
By "obnoxious fans," I mean the fans who are mostly there for the over-the-top anime tropes and the risque designs and less for the actual characters and story. I don't mind XC2 "feeling anime," but at times it feels like they leaned way too hard into it to the point where I can't help but groan at how stupid some scenes are. Especially in the first several chapters. If XCX leaned into the American style to an obnoxious degree, where it's all "cowboys and guns and rednecky stuff," then I would've been just as annoyed. Scenes like the one where Rex wakes up next to Mythra really grated on me. It wasn't funny and it wasn't cute, it just came off as them trying too hard to "be anime."
Before I get into it, I want to make it perfectly clear that the problem isn't XC2 or the series itself, it's that it doesn't match your tastes. And you make it sound like it should be to your tastes.
In any case, yes, there is symbolism in their designs. I can't say this for every character but I can go through two for you. The symbolism in Pyra and Mythra's design is how Pyra's clothes include parts that aren't present in Mythra's clothes and vice versa. Like how Pyra's clothes cover most of her legs, but Mythra's doesn't. Or parts of their arms. And Dahlia is very sexy outwardly and Dahlia herself values beauty, but believes any beautiful thing people make, including herself, pale in comparison to the beauty of nature. And believes that being beautiful on the inside is what really matters. So basically her visible beauty contrasts her value of inner and natural beauty.
But anyway, you can't tell me the XC games want you to take them seriously then complain about how silly some of the scenes are. A game doesn't have to serious and stoic the whole way through. Yes, the games are about killing, genocide, revenge etc. but you also have tiny furballs that make great merchants riding in giant maidbots, pretending to be heroes or almost getting eaten every week. You don't need to take yourself seriously for the entire story. If you don't appreciate those comedic moments then that's on you.
Rex waking up next to Mythra might be a bit cheesy, but if that kind of rom-com stuff makes you cringe, again, that's on you.
Oh, and I haven't met anyone who's only into XC2 for what you described. I'm not sure what kind of circles you're hanging in, but it sounds like to me you're just focusing on a smaller portion of the fandom and then acting like they're a big, vocal problem. Or maybe you just don't like anime tropes so you see anyone that does as just being an obnoxious fanboy. Because it'd be a shame if people actually liked XC2 for what it is, right?
Oh, and people are far too hard on Tora. To the point where I wonder if they actually played the game. Tora is a mechanic that literally bit the super fighting robot his dad and grandad start because they can't be Drivers naturally and aspires to be brave and noble like Rex is. Yes, Poppi could probably fight on her own as well, but Poppi wants Tora as her Driver. Yes, Tora has a pervy side, but that's mostly towards Poppi's older looking forms and even then is brought up only once in the main game and then in some hearts to hearts etc. afterwards. To say Tora only exists to perv on Poppi is just being incredibly pessimistic and looking for flaws. It's as bad as if I were only cherry picking all the best bits on XC2 to make it sound great. I mean, I could. But I'd rather admit that a lot of things are subjective. Tora was far more useful than Tatsu at least. If you don't like him, then fine. But to reduce him to nothing more than a perv is factually inaccurate.
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