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Ranking the Bosses of Xenoblade Chronicles



Shulk and Reyn Xenoblade

Xenoblade Chronicles is a great game, full of some amazing levels and an immersive, impactful story. Unlike most JRPGs, however, its bosses play second fiddle to exploration and the story as a whole. To remedy this (and because I like lists), I decided to rank the bosses. Let’s go over some ground rules.

Rule #1: Bosses must be unique monsters introduced in a major story cutscene. I’m sorry for all you fans of…*checks notes* Orluga Rufus from the High Entia Tomb, but he didn’t make the cut.

Rule #2: No superbosses. While they’re super cool, the superbosses notably aren’t introduced in story cutscenes and they really don’t have much personality besides (mostly) being a bigger version of something we’ve already fought.

Rule #3: This is my own personal opinion, so if I need to make an exception, I will. While I’d love to give you some in-depth calculus as to why I picked some bosses over others, this is all just my opinion, so—uh—if you don’t like it… I don’t know where I was going with that.

Anyway, onto the list.

18. Disciple Lorithia (Bionis Interior)

Lorithia Xenoblade boss
I couldn’t find a picture of her transformed so…her she is, the worst boss in the game.

This boss is terrible. It’s not because of Lorithia herself, though I despise the hypersexualized, stripper-esque costume (it indulges the worst tendencies of JRPGs and Tetsuya Takahashi’s own obsessions with…shapely women), but rather because of the mechanics of the fight. This boss has very high resistance to physical damage, and, if you’re not ready with the perfect build—well…


Sorry, I couldn’t help it.

Additionally, needing to kill all the additional ether clouds that surround Lorithia is annoying. Combine her…unsettling relationship with Kallian with the fact that she’s such a difficult level check that’s placed right before the end of the game–when it feels like the narrative is railroading you to final boss–and her annoying battle quotes and she is easily the worst boss fight in the game.

17. Ancient Machine (Cylinder Hangar)

Ancient Machine Xenoblade
You know it’s an important boss when the official art is 212×225.

This one is a snooze. Compared to the boss fight before it as Dunban and the boss fight after it, Metal Face, it lacks any sort of defining feature that makes it interesting. Unless they’re given some sort of agency, faceless machines don’t make an interesting boss encounter.  

16. Arachno Queen (Tephra Cave)

Arachno Queen Xenoblade boss
Got to be honest, this looks like something Godzilla would have fought in the Shōwa era.

To be honest, this fight is a dull capstone to a dull area. Tephra Cave is easily one of the least imaginative and least interesting areas of Xenoblade, a tight, winding cave that only really becomes interesting after Mechonis Core, when the high-level areas become accessible. The actual fight itself is an interesting introduction to the Monado as a game mechanic and Monado Shield. However, as a whole, its boring and uninteresting.

15. Master Obart (Prison Island, Second Visit)

Master Obart Xenoblade boss
It’s almost like the non-important bosses don’t get good images! Imagine that.

Not much to say about this boss. Dickson, in his mustache-twirlingly evil way, leaves us to face this guy instead of fighting us directly. It’s kind of disappointing and, honestly, a hint of how desperate Dickson is becoming at this point in the game’s narrative. There’s nothing much else that I can remember about this guy, so I checked the wiki…

Okay, yeah, that’s about it. He looks like the mascot for your favorite black metal band. Other than that, yeah, I’ve got nothing.  

14. Leone Telethia (Makna Forest)

Leone Telethia Xenoblade boss
Yeah, I’ve got nothing for this one. Credit: Santosx07 on YouTube

This boss is our first introduction to Telethia and their wonderful ability to Soul Read, an ability that absolutely never becomes irritating…

Excuse the sarcasm.

Telethia are annoying and frustrating bosses to fight. This one has the ability to not only use Soul Read to dodge all of your abilities, but to hit you with a move that drains all of your Talent Gauge, forcing you to auto-attack again and again and hope you don’t get hit with it again. If you main Melia during the fight, you can use Mind Blast, but it’s on a cooldown as well, making this fight incredibly irritating.

Nonetheless, it leads to a couple of great cutscenes and helps to break up one of the slowest and most boring sections of the game: Makna Forest.

13. Apocrypha Generator (Central Factory)

Apocrypha Generator Xenoblade
Now I’d hate to see aluminum foil in this thing.

Fighting against a giant microwave named after Christian scripture doesn’t sound like a good time, but Xenoblade makes it at least somewhat engaging. After all, it’s been this gizmo that’s been making Shulk dig deeper and deeper into his own willpower to power the Monado and it teaches him Monado Cyclone! I mean, what’s not to love?

Who am I kidding. This boss fight is kind of a snore. The entire Mechonis section leading up to it is a series of ever-enclosing highways that pales in comparison to its Bionis counterparts. Fighting a microwave, no matter how nefarious it might be, doesn’t exactly improve it.

12. Mechon M82 (Sword Valley, Intro)

Mechon M82 Xenoblade
Our boy here is unique. Totally different than the ones you fight later. Yeah…

I’m making an exception to Rule #1 for this guy.

I’m a huge fan of high level intro bosses. They give you the ability to try out lots of different things hours before you’re able to do them in game. Add to that the beauty of Xenoblade’s opening scene, where you’re already in the middle of a climactic battle without having to wait several hours for the story to catch up, and this boss fight is one of the more enjoyable ones in the game. It doesn’t hurt that the Monado cuts through these Mechon easily.

11. Mechon M71 (Spiral Valley)

Mechon M71 Xenoblade boss
Our next guest on Iron Chef

This boss fight succeeds because of how it ties into the overall story instead of how the boss fight actually works. It isn’t a Faced Mechon, so it lacks some of the emotional stakes of other fights, and the fight itself is to save Juju which, let’s be honest, is one of the worst characters in the game. Nevertheless, the Monado Speed ability is at least a bit interesting. Seeing Shulk act on his visions and prevent people from dying when he wasn’t able to before is an excellent release for the player.

The boss fight itself is serviceable. Nothing more, nothing less.

10. Tyrea and Solidum Telethia (High Entia Tomb)

Tyrea Xenoblade
Solidum Telethia Xenoblade
A truly annoying pair. Credit for both of these images go to Game8.

I always felt like Tyrea was a criminally underused villain. Her side quest (more about that later), is very good and why it’s not included in the main game has always been a mystery to me. Despite being Melia’s foil for most of the story around Alcamoth, she has some real insecurity issues and is more of an annoyance to the party than anything else, constantly undermining Melia’s attempt to succeed her father on the throne.

As for the fight, well, it goes like many Telethia fights, make sure to counter Soul Read, deal out damage to any other mobs surrounding the main boss first, then rinse and repeat. It doesn’t get much more basic for a fight that occurs in one of the slowest areas of the game.

9. Zanza (Mechonis Core; Memory Space)

Zanza Xenoblade boss
Ladies and gentlemen, we have reached peak JRPG.

Zanza is exactly what you expect from the final boss in a JRPG. He defeats Meyneth earlier in the story in a forced loss encounter, seems omnipotent, brags about how much power he has, and transforms into some sort of giant creature that’s probably a reference to several different religions at once.

His boss battle even falls into this same rut, as he has more than one form and seems invulnerable until the main protagonist finds his “true” weapon and defeats him with godlike power.

Yeah, Zanza is been there, done that. He’s a boss that, despite some interesting story beats, is completely expected and totally unoriginal.   

8. Mumkhar (Valak Mountain; Sword Valley)

Mumkhar Xenoblade boss
Okay, Mumkhar has no right looking this cool. My dude’s not been skipping leg day, that’s for sure.

The Mumkhar fights are not interesting from a mechanical perspective. They lack the grandiosity of fighting some of the larger bosses or bigger Mechon. Nevertheless, getting to finally beat the stuffing out of Mumkhar when he spends the first half of the game tormenting the party is satisfaction at its finest. His confrontation with Dunban at Sword Valley, and his fate there, are interesting asides that bring his story arch to a satisfying conclusion.

As a boss, he’s a bit too small and repeats the same lines way, way too much. He hits hard, but it’s hard to feel intimidated by a character who, despite being in his Mechon form, is still super pathetic. Perhaps making him look smaller was a way of making the upcoming bosses seem more intimidating and threatening in contrast? In any case, he’s an interesting story boss that is nonetheless let down by disappointing mechanics.  

7. Dragon King Alcar (Prison Island, Second Visit)

Dragon King Alcar Xenoblade boss
Dragons, in a fantasy JRPG! The nerve!

Okay, this guy is pretty cool. Not only is he one of only two dragons in the game, one of which is the infamous Avalanche Abaasy (a superboss that’s not in this list because…um…rules), but he also has a Damage Spike that will absolutely wreck your party unless you’ve invested in Spike Defence Gems or you’ve upgraded Monado Purge.

He’s also the last major boss that you can face in the game before passing the Point of No Return, so it makes sense that that they made him such a high level check. With the right setup, he’s easy enough to beat, but, without one, you’re in for a difficult time. Plus did I mention that he’s a dragon! How cool is that?!

6. Mysterious Telethia (Makna Forest)

Yumea Xenoblade boss
I couldn’t find a good picture of the Telethia…so…we’ll just remember her as she’d want us to.

I’m making another exception for this boss because it should have been in the main story. I love this boss and I never knew it existed until I played the Definitive Edition. In the only fully-voiced side quest, Shulk and his friends find Tyrea injured, nurse her back to health, and help her take down a Telethia.

I know I’ve been hard on Telethia as bosses. I think they’re mostly terrible and this one fits the bill even more, having Soul Read and being level 80, just lower than the game’s final boss. Nevertheless, the big reveal that—yep—this was Yumea, the First Consort and Tyrea’s mother, makes it all the more interesting and a good conclusion to both Yumea and Tyrea’s storyline. I’m still surprised isn’t included in the main questline.

5. Metal Face (Colony 9; Prison Island, First Visit)

Metal Face Xenoblade boss
This guy is legitimately threatening for the first half of the game.

The fights against Metal Face are incredibly fun. The first two fights, against him during the raid on Colony 9, are there to drive the plot forward and teach the player how to break and topple bosses. Additionally, they force the player to contend with an enemy that feels way beyond their current level, an antagonist that’s truly dangerous in a way that the story soon follows up on.

 The final fight against Metal Face on Prison Island is a fantastic emotional release after the first half of the game is spent tracking him down. By this time in the adventure, his actions and his constant taunting of Shulk and the party have grown tiresome enough that delivering some well-deserved justice (in the form of an upgraded Monado that can finally hurt him) really hits the spot.

4. Jade Face/Gadolt (Mechonis Field; Agniratha)

Gadolt Xenoblade boss
*Stares wistfully into the sunset* “Oh, Gadolt…”

Gadolt and his Mechon, Jade Face, are interesting boss encounters from both a story and combat perspective. The party’s first meeting with Jade Face, upon leaving Mechonis Field, feels like a game of cat and mouse. Having to dodge his laser blasts as you walk down the enormous atrium leading out of Mechonis Field is a unique encounter that subverts expectations. Similarly, his design is really impressive, a unique shade of green (or jade, ha!) that makes him stand out amongst the other Mechon.

Sure, his tragic backstory reveal is easy to see. I mean, why else would the game spend so much time with Sharla staring blankly into the distance and whispering “Gadolt”? That doesn’t take away from how emotionally impactful the moment is, but it is telegraphed for several hours beforehand.

3. Xord (Spiral Valley; Ether Mine)

Xord Xenoblade boss
Xord is one of the game’s best characters, hamming it up the entire time he’s on screen.

I just love Xord as a character. The first time we see the guy, he straight up eats a Colony 9 Defense Force solider. He’s got a giant hammer, speaks in a hamtastic Cockney accent that is completely overplayed, and flies around like a madman. In the story, his completely unhinged personality makes him seem even more dangerous than Metal Face the first time around, and, on subsequent playthroughs, his deranged behavior always gets a laugh out of me.  

The boss fights themselves are interesting too. Needing to break and topple him in order to inflict damage is a fun mechanic that makes Xord feel uniquely dangerous. Like many bosses in Xenoblade, his battle cries get very repetitive, but, overall, Xord is a fun boss whose optional backstory is one of the more tragic tales in the game.

2. Disciple Dickson (Prison Island, Second Visit)

Dickson Xenoblade boss
You know the old saying, “You either die a hero, or live long enough to serve an evil god looking to erase all of life,” or, er, something like that.

I really like the Dickson fight. No, it’s not because Dickson goes from looking like Hulk Hogan to the Hulk in about two seconds. It’s because it’s the final chance we get to look at a character (and his awesome death scene) presents a picture that’s as confusing as it is interesting.

Love it or not, Dickson’s betrayal of Shulk and the party in Mechonis Core is perhaps the most defining feature of Xenoblade’s plot, with maybe the possible exception of Fiora’s “death” at the beginning of the game. It hits hard. Not because it is necessarily unexpected—I mean the dude straight up tells the audience he’s up to no good two or three times before then—but because Dickson is the closest thing that Shulk has to a father, at least at the beginning of the game. He and Shulk share chemistry that makes his betrayal all the more impactful.

His decision to stop resisting in spite of his mortal wounds is one of the most memorable scenes within Xenoblade, the regret and the shame in his voice mix with wounded pride to create one of the strangest and most interesting death scenes that I’ve seen in a JRPG. Dickson is a conflicted character and one whose boss battle cements, rather than undermines, his place in the main story arch.

1. Yaldabaoth/Egil (Galahad Fortress; Agniratha; Mechonis Core)

Yaldabaoth Xenoblade boss
This guy is just next level cool. From his name, to the tail, to the gigantic laser on his back!

I’ll go ahead and say it, Yaldabaoth is the coolest Mechon in the game. He’s got it all. Ridiculous laser? Check. Golden armor? Check. Intimidatingly tall? Check. A cool tail that’s super awesome? Check. He is easily one of the more interesting and intimidating bosses from a design perspective. The boss fights with Yaldabaoth are the same as well, with the huge Mechon towering over the party and offering what feels like an enormous challenge. After all, the “Level ???” tag lets you know that, well, you’re in for it now.

Egil is similarly interesting. Sure, he’s the same size as Mumkhar, but his intimidating speeches and scarily logical perspective make him seem all the more dangerous. The fight against him in Agniratha is evidence of this, with his power all the more evident despite the party’s growth to that point.

The fight against him in Mechonis Core is next-level fun. Having to disable different generators throughout the arena in order to prevent him from destroying the Bionis in its entirety is exhilarating and fun. He seems extremely powerful, with Shulk and the party doing everything that they can just to stand up to him. That, combined with the game trying to sell you on the fact that, “Yep, this is the end: he’s the final boss” makes the atmosphere all the more compelling. The fact that things go differently is a masterpiece of subverting expectations, one of the most interesting parts of Xenoblade’s story.

Although a gamer since before I can remember, there is not a better definition of me than these three words: Christian, moderate, and learner. I am steadfast in my Faith, my Beliefs, and in my Opinions, but I am always willing to hear the other side of the discussion. I love Nintendo, History, and the NBA. PhD Graduate of Liberty University.