The Xenoblade series has some of the most winding and involved stories of any JRPG franchise, and that’s before we even get into how they all tie together. To make these titanic narratives a bit more digestible, we’ve taken the opportunity to recap the stories of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 for your reading pleasure. Whether you need to be brought up to speed on a game you haven’t played yet or simply want a refresher on certain details in Shulk and Rex’s stories before Xenoblade Chronicles 3 releases later this month, here is everything you need to know. This is a full story recap of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
The Story So Far: Recapping All of Xenoblade Chronicles 2
The differences between Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are numerous, but it can’t be emphasized enough just how different the opening tone and motivations of the protagonists are between the two. Xenoblade Chronicles 2 opens on Rex in his natural habitat: diving for salvage out in the Cloud Sea. This is his job, and he does it from the back of a small titan he lovingly refers to as “Gramps.” In fact, every living being in Alrest lives aboard various titans, and Gramps has served as both Rex’s home and caretaker for as long as he can remember. The only living space not aboard a living creature is the World Tree, a massive tree that towers over everything and reaches high into the heavens. No one goes there, but Rex speculates that people might need to since more and more titans have been dying.
After getting a haul and making his way to a local trading outpost to cash out, Rex is told that the chairman of the trader’s guild—Chairman Bana—wants to see him personally. It’s about a major salvaging job that could land Rex hundreds of thousands of gold, money he desperately needs to take care of himself and his village back home. He takes the job without knowing what it entails and is introduced to the leaders of the expedition: Nia, a sassy catgirl; Jin, a mysterious masked man; and Malos, a smug yet powerful force to be reckoned with. All three are Drivers, special people who are able to link with sentient weapons called Blades.
A while after Rex and the rest of the crew set out on the expedition, they come across a massive undersea boat. Rex is chosen to join Nia, Jin, and Malos as they make their way inside. At the very bottom of the ship they find a chamber protected by some sort of special power. Rex is told to open it, and inside they find a girl encased in glass set in front of an ornate red and gold sword. Amazed by the blade, Rex reaches out to touch it and is suddenly stabbed in the back by Jin. As his life fades away, he awakens to find himself in a scenic, lush field that he’s never been to before. It’s here that he meets Pyra, the girl encased in glass from before. She tells him that this is Elysium, the heaven-like land atop the World Tree, and that she’s the Aegis. This is where she’s from, and she needs Rex’s help to return there. In exchange, she gives him half of her life force so he’ll live once again.
As Malos. Jin, and Nia (who was distraught by Rex’s death after having bonded with him on the way over) reach the top deck with Pyra’s physical body in tow, it suddenly alights in flame and she bursts out followed by a resurrected Rex. He’s now connected to her and is able to wield her sword like the other Drivers wield their Blades. Together with Nia, they fight off Jin and Malos and are eventually rescued by Gramps who carries them off into the sky on his back.
After a scene change, Rex awakens to find himself on Gormott, a large titan that’s the home of Nia’s people. Gramps was shot out of the sky and the party was scattered. After reuniting with Nia and Gramps (who shed his damaged, larger form and resurrected as a baby titan a là a phoenix), the crew sets out for Torigoth, where Rex learns that Blades are born from core crystals and can only be awakened by those with aptitude. They’re then swiftly surrounded by soldiers from the Empire of Mor Ardain and charged with conspiring with a known fugitive (Nia).
Although Nia and her blade Dromarch are captured, a large water pipe next to the battlefield suddenly bursts and gives the rest of the crew a chance to escape. It turns out that the one who burst the pipe was a Nopon named Tora. After hiding out at his place for a bit, Rex and Pyra decide to team up with him and launch a rescue mission for their captured comrades. The crew helps Tora find the parts necessary to assemble the world’s first artificial Blade, Poppi, before sneaking onto the Ardainian ship where Nia is being held and rescuing her. When leaving, they encounter Lady Mòrag, the most powerful Driver in the Empire of Mor Ardain. With some quick thinking they’re able to escape by dousing Mòrag and her fire blade Brighid in water and hightail it out of town. Nia tries to leave the crew to go back to Jin and Malos, but everyone convinces her to stay and join them on their trek to help Pyra reach Elysium.
Once out of harm’s way, Tora suggests going to see his uncle who may have a way to sail to the World Tree. It turns out his uncle does have a ship they can borrow, and after gathering the necessary materials to get it back in working order they make their way out into the Cloud Sea. As they begin to approach the Tree, however, they’re suddenly stopped by a giant serpent that Pyra seems to recognize. In the midst of trying to avoid it, the crew is caught off guard by the Uryan titan and isn’t able to avoid it before it swallows them whole.
Escapades Inside Uraya
Once marooned inside the titan, the team begin to make their way through its body only to be stopped by a mercenary named Vandam. He takes note of Pyra’s green core crystal, realizes that she’s the Aegis, and calls out Rex’s inexperience with wielding her. Rex retorts and the two fight, but Pyra runs out of energy due to Rex’s mismanagement of her power. Vandam ends up sparing him and takes the crew back to his village to rest.
After recuperating and exploring a bit more, Vandam informs the group that Blades never truly die; as long as their core crystals remain intact, they can live on past their Drivers. However, when a Blade’s Driver dies, the Blade reverts back to its core crystal form and loses all of its memories. This cycle continues for eternity. Vandam also points out that Rex and Pyra have the exact same injuries in the same places. It seems as though when Pyra shared half of her life force with Rex back on the ship that created a link between the two so powerful that if one gets injured or dies the other will as well.
After fending off an impromptu attack by Akhos, a member of Jin’s crew who’s come to take out Nia (now a traitor) and Pyra, the crew decides to embark for the capital city of Uraya where Vandham has a friend who can help them reach Elysium. They’re briefly stopped by the mysterious Zeke and his Blade Pandoria who’ve been tailing them throughout Uraya, but the confrontation is short-lived and the crew continues to make their way to the capital.
Once in the beautiful capital city of Fonsa Myma, Rex and friends quickly learn that war with the Ardainians has caused strife and a shortage of rations in the nation. The crew locate Vandham’s friend Cole in the local theatre and explain their situation to him. He offers to introduce them to someone who managed to get past the giant serpent and scale the World Tree long ago, but asks that they come back the next day for more details. After pulling Pyra aside before they leave, it’s revealed that the two know each other from ages long past. His true name is Minoth, and he pledges to help them reach their destination.
Later, after everyone leaves, Akhos and Malos pay an impromptu visit to Minoth and try to coerce him into helping them track down Pyra. He refuses, but his granddaughter is caught eavesdropping and gets kidnapped by the duo. They visit Pyra in her dreams and tell her to come get the girl, alone. By the time everyone figures out what happened and where to find her, Pyra is weak from fighting against Akhos and Malos by herself. The group steps in but are overpowered until Vandham sacrifices himself to channel ether and give the others a fighting chance. Just when Rex is about to be killed, Pyra manages to turn into Mythra, her powerful alter ego who works with Rex to destroy Akhos and Malos’ Blades in one final attack. The two retreat and Mythra reverts back to Pyra, utterly exhausted.
After burying Vandham and paying their respects, it’s revealed that Mythra created Pyra as a less powerful (and less dangerous) version of herself. The two are able to switch back and forth at will now, though Mythra fears that her true form is too dangerous (and blames Rex for making her unleash it).
Before they do anything else, Pyra takes a moment to explain her backstory and why she’s trying to reach Elysium. A man climbed the World Tree ages ago and found the core crystals of two Blades: Mythra and Malos. He brought both back and resonated with Malos first. A naturally destructive Blade, Malos went on a spree of terror and destruction. Seeing this, a young man named Addam took Mythra’s core crystal and resonated with her to combat the evil. After much struggle, Addam and Mythra managed to defeat Malos despite several titans falling in the ensuing chaos). Horrified at the collateral destruction she’d caused, Mythra created Pyra to temper her power and then had them both sealed away from the world on the ancient ship that Rex and company salvaged at the start of the game. Now that she’s awakened, she’s determined to return home to Elysium and put an end to Malos once and for all.
Cole reveals to the rest of the party that he’s a Blade (which is how Pyra knew him from before) and urges the party to travel to Indol and find his Driver, who should be able to help them reach Elysium. This comes as a surprise since Cole is old and in poor health, and Blades do not age. However, he explains that he’s the result of cruel experiments that fused Blades and humans together back in the day. This resulted in him losing the immortality that all other Blades enjoy. The crew decides to follow his advice and, after making sure that Vandham’s mercenary troupe is taken care of, start their journey.
Dealings With the Empire
The party eventually lands in Mor Ardain, where they have to stop before making their way to Indol. Upon arriving there they run into Muimui, a Nopon who seved as the lab assistant to Tora’s father and grandfather (the ones who’d began the artificial Blade research). Tora’s father has apparently been missing for some time, so Tora asks Muimui if he knows anything. He says he doesn’t, but invites them to stay at an inn run by his friend for free.
While at the inn, the group is disturbed by a commotion outside that turns out to be an artificial Blade that Tora recognizes as an old prototype named Lila. No one but Tora and his father knew how to make artificial Blades, so he realizes that whoever attacked their lab and kidnapped his father years ago must have forced him to complete her. Just as Lila starts to run away, the crew is suddenly attacked by Mòrag and Brighid who assume Poppi is behind the commotion. Before things go too far, another Nopon steps in and vouches for Poppi. Mòrag apologizes and asks them to help her investigate the rogue artificial Blade.
After some digging (and another especially memorable run-in with Zeke and Pandoria) the crew makes their way to a mysterious old factory on the outskirts of Mor Ardain. There they find a whole assembly line of artificial Blades and Tora’s father overseeing it all against his will. It turns out Muimui had been complicit in it all and is after the unique ether furnace inside Poppi. After thwarting Muimui and his minions, it’s revealed that Chairman Bana is the true mastermind behind the entire operation and had gotten funding for the production from a senator in Mor Ardain.
After defeating Lila and freeing her from Bana’s control, the crew defeats one last giant artificial Blade before catching Bana and Muimui and making them promise to stop building the Blades. At that moment, two Drivers from Jin’s crew named Patroka and Mikhail appear and attack the party with overwhelming force. Pyra transforms into Mythra and teams up with Mòrag and everyone else to destroy their Blades. Patroka and Mikhail are furious but manage to escape without chase.
The next chapter opens with a flashback to the days of the Aegis War when Addam was wielding Mythra. He, a girl named Lora, and Jin are all training together at a camp. They’re shortly joined by Brighid, and Addam mentions not being able to unlock Mythra’s true potential. He asks Jin if he’s interested in sparring since Jin is supposedly the strongest one in their country (Torna), but Jin says he dislikes fighting.
Back in the present day, a convoy from the Indoline Praetorium named Fan la Norne introduces herself and says that the ruler of her nation wishes to meet Rex. It turns out that this ruler, Praetor Amalthus, is both the original Driver of Malos who climbed the World Tree hundreds of years ago as well as the Driver of Cole and now Fan. Mythra recognizes Fan as Haze, a Blade that she knew from hundreds of years ago, but Fan has lost her memories and doesn’t recognize Mythra. Mòrag decides to come along and the troupe departs for Indol.
They’re eventually forced to land at the Leftherian Archipelago and travel the rest of the way on foot. Rex is originally from the area and hasn’t been back home in five years, so the group decides to stop by his hometown while they’re there. They meet Rex’s aunt (who raised him) and spend the night at her home. Once they’re alone, Aunt Corinne tells Pyra that she adopted Rex after he and his mother collapsed in town after washing up on shore one day. His mother died shortly after, so he grew up with Corinne as his only parental figure.
The next day, the party embarks for Indol only to be stopped once again by Zeke. This time Mòrag is in attendance and recognizes him as the Prince of Tantal, a wintery nation with ties to the Empire of Mor Ardain. He insists that he had merely been testing the Aegis and her new Driver before he comically falls into the Cloud Sea and the crew continue on their journey.
Once they arrive in Indol, Zeke (who followed them) reveals that the Indoline Praetorium handles the distribution of core crystals to all the other nations. The next day, Rex and Nia find Fan lamenting the fact that though she was around for the creation of Alrest, she can’t remember anything from those days due to the natural cycle of losing her memories once her Driver died. Meanwhile, Brighid pulls Pyra aside and reveals that she’s been able to keep track of her past through a diary (something unique to Brighid since she’s been passed down through the imperial family and had a consistent living space over the years). Since Mythra also retained her memories by never returning to a core crystal, Brighid urges them to share their past with Rex to deepen their bond.
The party eventually meets with Praetor Amalthus and tells him of their plans to scale the World Tree like he did all those years ago. Rex asks for his help and explains his hopes of wanting to save Alrest from the crisis of the dying titans. Amalthus tells the group that he never found Elysium nor the Architect on top of the World Tree, but that he’ll help them in hopes that they’ll be able to. He then asks to speak with Pyra privately, and during their conversation explains that while he’s never let anyone else scale the tree since he’s taken power, he believes this is the time someone worthy may finally be able to find the Architect and save the world.
The scene cuts to the continent of Temperantia, where Jin has infiltrated a Uryan-guarded excavation site in search of a giant ancient weapon that looks like a mini titan. He uses the giant weapon to wipe out scores of Uryan troops. News of the attack reaches the party and after confirming it wasn’t carried out by Mor Ardian, they rush over to investigate. By the time they arrive, the titan is full-on wreaking havoc and decimating the Uryan force guarding the area. The crew manages to stop the weapon and comes face-to-face with Jin, who reveals himself to be a Blade and accuses Mythra of sinking his homeland (Torna) during the Aegis War.
After a struggle, Jin kills Fan by destroying the core crystal in her chest. He then laments Blades’ inability to retain memories, expressing that humans have essentially enslaved Blades due to this weakness. This corrupted social hierarchy is his motivation for trying to wipe out humanity. Before he can attack the others, however, he loses control of his body due to some kind of malfunction with his own core crystal. Akhos swoops in to save him and the party (Rex in particular) is left to anguish over the loss of their new friend. Mistaking them for the ones who attacked the Urayan forces, backup troops quickly arrive on the scene and are poised to attack before the Indol titan arrives and a ceasefire is announced.
The next chapter begins with a flashback of how Jin first met Lora, the driver who wielded him during the Aegis War. She accidentally resonated with him when she was a little girl, and Jin protected her until the day she was struck down during the war. Flash forward to modern day and Jin is being treated at their group’s headquarters.
Following the events on Temperantia, a meeting of nations is called where we’re introduced to Queen Raqura of Uraya and Emperor Niall of Ardain (Mòrag’s little cousin). After convincing the Queen that Jin and Malos were behind the attack, Mythra reveals that Malos is still injured from the Aegis War but could fully recover if he reaches Elysium. Ironically, Patroka and Mikhail from Jin’s crew are listening in on the meeting from the outside and learn that Praetor Amalthus is planning on opening the route to the World Tree for Rex and the gang, granting them the perfect chance to slip in and reach Elysium themselves.
Fan is given a funeral soon after and everyone attends, though Mythra notes that Fan didn’t return to her core crystal form for some reason. She also notes that Fan’s core crystal seems to be in a different shape than it was back when she knew her during the war. Regardless, after the funeral Amalthus sends the party to Tantal. Apparently, the giant serpent that had thwarted their passage before can only be controlled via the Omega Fetter, an item that the royal family of Tantal controls. Seeing as Zeke is the crown prince of the region, he happily agrees to accompany them to ensure they can reach it.
Before any travel can begin, however, Chairman Bana pops up again with a plot to kill Queen Raqura in an effort to spark war and drive business for the Argentum Trade Guild. The party defeats him and his new artificial Blade, but as a last-ditch effort, Bana triggers explosives attached to the Blade and manages to catch Emperor Niall (who put himself in harm’s way to protect everyone) in the crossfire. As Mòrag grieves for and curses the loss of her cousin, Nia instructs Dromarch to distract everyone while she secretly heals him, revealing a peculiar core crystal in her chest in the process. By the time everyone returns she’s back to normal, Niall is back to full health, and Nia plays it off as having performed first aid while Mòrag rejoices.
A Murky History
The next day everyone sets out for Tantal. It’s only then revealed that Zeke had been disowned by his father at 15 and outcast from the kingdom. He’s paraded about Alrest ever since and can only hope that he’s welcomed back home after all these years. He also mentions that Tantal has been in isolation under the Cloud Sea for a long, long time.
Once they arrive at the royal palace in the capital city of Theosoir, Rex presents the Prartor’s letter to the king. However, the king shocks everyone by tearing it up and capturing Pyra, claiming that he’s planning to kill her to keep Alrest safe from the tragedies of the Aegis War. Everyone else is imprisoned aside from Zeke, who’s beside himself with shock and frustration. It’s not long before they’re able to escape thanks to Morag’s resourcefulness, though, and the group rushes to free Pyra from being destroyed by a blast from an ether accelerator.
Following a battle with the guards, Pyra is freed and the king reveals more about Addam, namely that the entire country of Torna was united around him. The nation of Tantal was established following the destruction of Torna in the Aegis War, but Addam himself never returned. Though they claimed to hail from his bloodline, Zeke’s family was only able to rise to power because of the confusion following the aftermath of the war. It’s then that Pyra mentions that Addam left her with a holographic message the day he sealed her away. She plays it for the group, and he emphasizes that humans must learn to live alongside Blades in harmony, and if they can’t manage to do that then they aren’t worthy of summoning the power of the Aegis.
At this moment, the titan carrying Tantal begins to plummet to the floor of the Cloud Sea. It turns out that when the party diverted the blast of the ether accelerator away from hitting Pyra, it instead hit the Omega Fetter. The Omega Fetter was how Mythra communicated with the giant serpent back in the day, but it’s also how Tantal controls its titan; thus, the blast caused them to lose control and sent the titan into a frenzy. Since Mythra had previous experience with the device, the party treks out into the cold Tantal wilderness to try and repair it before they all perish.
After making their way to the head of the titan, Mythra indeed manages to repair the Omega Fetter. However, before they can head back to the city, they’re greeted by Akhos and Mikhail (who they defeat) and then Jin and Malos. Jin demands both the Omega Fetter and Mythra before transforming into his full Blade form for the first time. His power is overwhelming and he manages to defeat the entire party, shattering Rex’s sword in the process. Before Jin can kill Rex off, however, Pyra seizes control of Mythra’s artifice (a powerful ancient weapon in the sky that Mythra used during the Aegis War) and threatens to kill herself with it if Jin doesn’t let them go. Since they need her to reach Elysium, Jin relents and takes off with Pyra and the Omega Fatter in tow.
Fast forward and two days have now passed since Jin and his crew kidnapped Pyra. Everyone has had time to recover at a local inn, but Rex is particular is devastated. Feeling powerless in the face of Jin’s true form, he announces his departure from the party (this is one of the most emotional moments in the entire story, and is a scene well worth watching on its own). In the midst of emotions (and fists) flying, the group is interrupted by a summons from the king.
The king explains the history of Tantal and their ties to Indol. After the Aegis War, those who survived the destruction of Torna were split between following Addam’s ideals of a nation where humans, Blades, and titans lived in harmony, and those who wanted to continue living with humans at the top of the chain. As mentioned earlier, Zeke’s family was able to rise to power amid the confusion, obtain the Omega Fetter, and use it to drive the titan into the Cloud Sea to isolate themselves. However, Indol knew of the royal family’s deceptive rise to power and used it to blackmail them into sending annual shipments of core chips (made via the titan’s ether stream) so they could supply the world’s military with them and become a power player. Unfortunately, this sent Tantal into a chronic energy shortage and resulted in the nation struggling with poor harvests, frozen landscapes, and, ultimately, poverty.
The king then offers the party assistance, claiming that the Aegis’ full power still hasn’t been awakened and that a third sword (more powerful than either Pyra or Mythra) is out there. He suggests they search in the Leftherian Archipelago and sends Zeke along with them.
Once they touch down back in Rex’s hometown of Fonsett Village, Gramps (Rex’s former home/titan who’s been traveling with them since the start) reveals that he was asked by Addam himself to guard the third sword. He leads the group to its resting place and Rex breaks the seal. They then descend into the ground.
It turns out that the cave is filled with particles that absorb ether, making it incredibly difficult for Blades to function. This saps the strength away from who you might expect, but surprisingly enough Zeke also starts to struggle. It turns out that he’d almost died years ago and was only saved by Praetor Amalthus, who took part of Pandoria’s core crystal and implanted it into Zeke, making him a “Blade Eater.” Nia struggles as well (though the cause isn’t yet revealed to the party) and gradually divulges how she came to know Jin. She was raised in a wealthy family but once her sister fell ill her father spent all their savings looking for a cure. In the end, both her sister and father died in destitution and she was captured by the Praetorium for reasons unknown. It was only thanks to randomly being found by Jin that she was freed from her cell and brought on as part of their crew.
Eventually they reach the heart of the cave where the sword is resting. As soon as they release the seal, however, endless mobs of ghosts in the form of Addam attack them. They’re soon overwhelmed and Rex is almost killed yet again. Seeing this and refusing to let him die, Nia finally reveals her true Blade form. She’s a Flesh Eater just like Cole (and Akhos and Mikhail from Jin’s crew) and has incredible healing powers. With her help, the party is able to defeat the last of the ghosts (it’s also here where she confesses to Rex, leading to one of the most memorable moments of the entire game).
Rex has a sudden vision of Addam commending him for his bravery and selflessness, and when he comes to the third sword is laid in front of him. He experiences a vision of where Pyra might be as soon as he grabs it, which Morag and Dromach later confirm as the Cliffs of Morytha. Morag arranges for an Ardainian ship to take them there and they set off.
The Truth of the World Tree
At the Cliffs, the party runs into Malos, whose core crystal is now fully recovered after siphoning energy from Pyra’s. A battle ensues and Nia is able to best Malos by using her special power: the ability to alter the replication rate of a body’s cells. Malos’ body contorts in pain and he’s driven off the edge of a cliff.
The crew continue on and find Jin in front of an unresponsive Pyra. Having sapped the power they needed from her, Jin and Malos (who saunters back on screen taunting the party for thinking they killed him) toss her listless body to Rex, who’s unable to wake her. It’s then that he declares that he’s going to destroy them and take Pyra and Mythra to Elysium no matter what. A large battle ensues and after subduing the party with Jin’s hidden ability to bring the surrounding area to an “absolute zero” temperature, they’re easily able to dominate Rex and company.
Rex continues to fight with all his might and Pyra and Mythra wake, begging him to stop and give up on them. They also reveal that they intended to ask the Architect to kill them once they reached Elysium. Nonetheless, Rex continues fighting and just as Jin is about to deal the final blow, he makes a pact with Pyra and Mythra and awakens the long-lost third sword. Pyra and Mythra fuse together into Pneuma, their true form, and grant Rex some snazzy new armor to match their new green hue. They then lead the party in attacking Jin and Malos again and manage to overpower them this time. Just as they’re about to win, Malos details his destiny to control the artifice Aion and use it to destroy the world before summoning his current artifice to attack the party. Pneuma summons her artifice in turn, but the blasts from both end up sending everyone into the void below.
Rex wakes up next to Mythra (who’s reverted from Pneuma) and finds himself under the Cloud Sea in a forgotten city called the Land of Morytha. They begin looking around for everyone else and run into Jin, who’s seriously injured and can barely defend himself against a random monster. Rex and Mythra locate the rest of the party and manage to defeat it before partially healing Jin (something Rex has to convince Mythra to do). In the process of healing him she learns that he’s a Flesh Eater. The group then begrudgingly agrees to take him with them as long as he doesn’t get in their way.
After trekking through the city for some time, the party happens upon the Tornan titan and makes their way there. Once they’re in its womb, Jin and Mythra reveal that titans give birth to Blades, and that Blades eventually become titans themselves and give birth to more Blades (though they can’t remember their previous lives). Jin then reveals that it was Indol that attacked and destroyed Torna, not Mythra or Malos. It turns out that Lora died trying to shield Jin from the attack, and it was then that he fused with her.
The party is interrupted by Malos and company searching for Jin in their ship. Jin quickly joins them once again and begins to ascend the World Tree. Rex’s party runs after them and eventually reaches the roots of the Tree. Once inside, however, it’s revealed that the tree is actually made of technology, not organic life. Pyra instinctively turns into Pneuma and summons an elevator that everyone rides up.
Rex takes a moment to reflect on what he’s learned about Amalthus since first meeting him. Not only did he blackmail the Tantal people into making Indol a world power, but he also attacked Torna unprovoked and killed countless Blades and humans alike. His pure hatred for everyone is reminiscent of Malos, who strives to destroy the world and everyone in it. The scene then switches over to Amalthus himself who reminisces on his childhood when his mother had to sacrifice herself to keep him safe from a group of bandits. Amalthus found her dead and killed the bandits with a stone as a young child.
The entire Indol titan has apparently been making its way through the Cloud Sea to the World Tree, and the Indoline forces swiftly attack Jin and Malos’ ship. Their crew strikes back with defensive easures and the sky erupts into an all-out war. Rex’s group sees the two battles from a distance. Amalthus spots them and asks them to destroy Jin’s ship, but they refuse. Amalthus gets frustrated and reveals that, like Zeke, he’s a Blade Eater who absorbed part of Fan’s core crystal. This power combined with the power he gained from being the driver of Malos (an Aegis) allowed him to develop a vortex that can subdue any Blade. He tries to use it to subdue Mythra into calling on her artifice to attack the ship, but Mythra manages to resist and Jin and Malos reach their destination and escape into the Tree.
Rex taps into his own power as a driver of an Aegis and summons a beam from the heavens that is able to disrupt Amalthus’ hold over the Blades in the party. Nonetheless, Amalthus has another trick up his sleeve: he’s able to control whole titans. He summons the titan of Mor Ardain to the tree and commands it to release a massive beam at Rex’s party.
Another flashback occurs for Amalthus, this time as a young adult. He spends time traveling around Alrest and treating those who need medical assistance. One day, he hears a child crying and follows the noise to a house. In it, he discovers a bandit who’d ransacked the house and is about to kill the child—and it turns out it was one of the people Amalthus had treated earlier. He kills the bandit and contemplates if this is what the Architect had intended when creating mankind.
Back in the present, the blast from Mor Ardain’s titan misses Rex’s crew. However, seeing as the titan is already on its last legs, Gramps notes that it will only be able to manage to shoot a couple more of those blasts due to the amount of energy they take before the titan falls into the Cloud Sea and kills everyone living on it. The Uraya titan arrives not long after and joins Mor Ardain in attacking the ship. Mikhail orders Akhos and Patroka to leave and follow Malos and Jin up the Tree as he prepares to make a final stand against the onslaught.
On Mor Ardain, Emperor Niall senses the nation’s impending doom and issues an evacuation order. On Indol, Amalthus tries to exert his Blade-subduing power over Mikhail but isn’t able to because Mikhail is a Blade Eater, not a Flesh Eater. It turns out that Mikhail was healed as a child by Amalthus long ago, which explains how he joins the ranks of the few Blade eaters alongside Amalthus and Zeke.
Rex realizes that a vortex above Indol is what’s allowing Amalthus to have such far-reaching control over the other titans and Blades, and the party devises a plan to disable it by destroying the pillars supporting the vortex on Indol. With the help of Poppi, Rex and Mythra are able to fly over to Indol and destroy the pillars, freeing the titans from Amalthus’ control in the process. Though Amalthus lashes out with another beam, Mikhail saves them and urges them to chase after Jin and Malos. He’s had a change of heart; he hated humans for a long time after seeing how cruel Amalthus could be, but Rex and the gang remind him of his old friends in Torna. They escape and Mikhail is killed in one last attack from Indol.
As Jin and Malos approach the summit of the World Tree, Jin suddenly decides to stay behind and await Rex. Malos says goodbye and goes on ahead. Jin then flashes back to when he was wandering with Lora during the days of the Aegis War and was recognized by an old man. The man points them towards a house wherein Jin discovers a diary he used to keep that revealed that he was the Blade of someone named Ornelia 90 years prior. This was her house, and that’d fought in a war for independence together before she died and he lost all memory of her. This diary also detailed the method of becoming a Flesh Eater, which he later used.
Revelations and Goodbyes
By the time Rex arrives, Jin is still injured from the wounds he sustained earlier but refuses to let the party pass without a fight. They do battle and Jin questions why Rex would want to open Elysium up to the world in the first place; just like the ruins of Morytha indicate, humans are sure to bring about the downfall of wherever they live with their hubris and lust for power. Rex is more optimistic, claiming that even if he dies and isn’t able to ensure that Elysium doesn’t become tainted, his will would be passed down to others (including Blades).
Rex manages to get the best of Jin this time, but before he can finish him off Patroka and Akhos finally catch up with the group. Patroka defends Jin and asks Nia to heal him, which she agrees to. Before Nia can get started, however, Patroka is suddenly slain by Amalthus, who’s transformed into his monstrous final form powered by countless core crystals. Amalthus absorbs Patroka as well and claims that the Architect created Blades specifically for Alamthus to raise and ultimately absorb, and that he’s an agent of the Architect’s will. Pneuma comes to the conclusion that Malos only wants to end the world because of Amalthus’ influence. Akhos (who viewed Patroka as a sister) loses it and attacks Amalthus but is no match, and is slain himself.
Rex and the rest of the party battle Amalthus and manage to get him on the ropes before he binds himself to the World Tree and tries to kill and absorb Jin. Rex and Pneuma save him but at the cost of sustaining heavy injuries. Nia heals them both before Jin encourages Rex to stop Malos. He then deals the finishing blow to Amalthus, who cries out to the Architect in his final moments. Having used up the last of his energy and still weak from his fight with Rex, Jin fades away.
The final chapter of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 opens with a flashback to a space station that’s hovering over what appears to be Earth. It’s getting hammered by attacks from mechs, and there isn’t much time left until they’ve completely overtaken the station. These same mechs seem to be ravaging the planet below as well. Just as the director of the station gets authorization to unleash their last hope, a weapon named Aion, they’re locked out by a professor who’s conducting experiments on what looks like a giant core crystal. Disgusted by the way humanity has ruined their home planet and the skies above, he’s dead set on creating a new universe where they can escape these relentless attacks and begin anew. Despite protests from his assistant, he goes forward with the experiment and great beams of light encircle the planet before everything is enveloped in a blinding white light.
Flashback to modern-day and the party has finally reached the top of the World Tree. It’s a space station, and they begin exploring. Meanwhile, Malos has found the Architect shrouded in darkness. He’s aware of everything Malos has experienced, and though Malos is ready to kill him, the Architect reveals that he’s already fading away and that his death is near. Malos decides to leave, unsure what his true purpose is anymore.
It’s not long before Rex and the team arrive at the hill that Rex first met Pyra at after finding her on the ship. Unfortunately, it’s not the lush paradise they remembered; it’s brown, lifeless, and in ruins, bearing a surprising similarity to the Land of Morytha below. The party follows the chiming of bells to a church, and the Architect’s disembodied voice urges them to descend below the alter. Once they’re below everyone else vanishes and Rex finds himself alone, experiencing hallucinations of everyone in the party being furious with him for wasting their time trying to find Elysium only for it to end up like this. He‘s also confronted by Gramps in his large form, who ponders what the point of life is when Blades live countless lives only to never retain their memories and eventually become titans who wander endlessly before their death.
Rex finally ends up in his hometown of Fonsett Village where he’s greeted by Pyra and Mythra. Though they’re pleasant and fix him a meal, their personalities are swapped, and this on top of all the other visions he’s seen makes Rex break down and question his purpose. This affects Pyra and she asks the Architect to stop.
All of a sudden everyone is back together and Rex learns that everyone experienced similar hallucinations. The Architect then finally reveals himself to the group and introduces himself as Klaus, the same professor who carried out the experiment to make a new universe. He begins to explain himself, reminiscing on the ills humanity had brought upon the world and his excitement at the prospect of having a fresh start via the power of the Conduit (the device that resembled Pyra’s core crystal). This Conduit was a gateway to parallel universes, and by opening it Klaus transported nearly the entire planet and its population to different universes; the Land of Morytha was all that remained. Inadvertently, he’d also transported half of his body to another universe, leaving him in a limbo where he couldn’t even end his life if he wanted to.
Remorseful that his actions had caused the world to be thrown haphazardly across multiple dimensions, Klaus sought to restore what he could and create new life. Thus, he created the cloud sea from particles and created core crystals from the data of past lifeforms. When mixed together the two would result in titans. He then took the cores of the space station’s processor and created the Aegises. All information that Blades experienced would be translated back to the Aegises, and evolutionary information would be cycled back into the core crystals to gradually form an evolutionary cycle over time. This is also presumably how humans, Nopon, and other species came to be (though that bit is a little ambiguous).
As the years went on, Klaus came to realize that the lifeforms he’d created were quite similar to the humans of his world, for better and worse. He saw that he was destined to fail in creating an ideal new world, and that his attempt at atonement was for naught. This hopelessness led him to stand by when Amalthus scaled the World Tree and swiped the two Aegises, as well as stay silent when Malos laid waste to Alrest.
The conversation gets interrupted by an attack from Malos, and Klaus encourages the party to go and stop him. He also mentions that once he fades away the Conduit will too, and since the Conduit powers the Aegis, it’s implied that Pyra, Mythra, and Pneuma will be no more.
The party confronts Malos in the hanger housing Aion, the most powerful artifice and the original super weapon from back during Klaus’ time. Malos admits that he’s not sure if his wishes to destroy the world are his own, pointing to Jin as his true inspiration. Regardless, he activates Aion and battles the party. As this is happening, scores of mechs that were originally used to defend the space station have been deployed and are terrorizing the nations on the titans down below.
In a hugely cinematic finish, Rex and Pneuma manage to cut Aion in half and defeat Malos in the process. This happens just as Shulk delivers his famous ‘fell a god’ line before defeating Zanza in a parallel universe, revealing that Zanza is the other half of Klaus and that the events of the first Xenoblade Chronicles are linked through him. As Zanza is slain, the Conduit begins to fade away and Klaus goes with it.
The loss of the Conduit causes Elysium to malfunction, and it’s soon clear that the World Tree will collapse and destroy all of Alrest if nothing is done. Pneuma suggests that propelling the Tree in a different direction via a rocket boost may be the key to saving everyone, so she tells the party and they head over to do so.
When they get inside what was supposed to be the rocket room, it turns out it’s actually a port with escape pods and ships. Pneuma lied; the only way to actually save Alrest from destruction was to use Aion to destroy the World Tree, not redirect its fall. She has to sacrifice herself to pull this off and knew that Rex wouldn’t agree, so she collapses the walkway back to the tree and transfers the rest of her core crystal to Rex, giving him the power to live without being tied to her any longer. His core crystal falls out of his chest and he loses the special armor that came with controlling Pneuma. He begs and pleads to stay with her, but the party consoles and convinces him that this is for the best, and in life tough choices have to be made.
Rex and the party escapes and Pneuma carries out the destruction of the World Tree. The debris of the blast tears the escape ship in half, but Gramps is somehow able to revert to his titan form at the last minute and give the party a ride on his back. As they soar down, the cloud sea dissipates and gives way to an endless ocean below. Just as they approach it, they see the titans all land in the water intact. As they hit the water, they dock onto a land mass. This may finally be the new world that Klaus had originally envisioned.
In an after credits scene, as everyone is soaring on the back of Gramps and taking everything in as fragments of the World Tree fall like shooting stars in the sky, the core crystal that fell out of Rex’s chest begins to glow, and it emits a ray of green light. Suddenly, to the shock of everyone, Pyra and Mythra are standing before them in the flesh. Poppi runs forward and embraces them before Nia wakes Rex from his shock with a little push. Smiling, he steps towards them and the scene ends on the line, “And thus, boy met girl.”