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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 | Metacritic: 83

alex_seph

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Comuns, raros e lendários. Agora que só falta duas blades, empacou de vez.
KOSMOS foi a última que peguei. Não é regra, mas gastei mais de 50 lendárias e 70 raras e do nada abri uma comum e veio ela, e olha que foi na época que não tinha o update 1.3.0 e tinha que ver a animação quase toda da abertura das cores, foi um inferno.
 


bsony

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Pior mesmo é estar em uma area low level e tomar hit de um macaco level 80:ksnif.
A sensação de voltar la depois de terminar o jogo e matar esse macaco desgramado é indescritível. :obrigue

KOSMOS foi a última que peguei. Não é regra, mas gastei mais de 50 lendárias e 70 raras e do nada abri uma comum e veio ela, e olha que foi na época que não tinha o update 1.3.0 e tinha que ver a animação quase toda da abertura das cores, foi um inferno.
Eu farmei bastante core antes do newgameplus, vou abrir todos agora que da pra pular a animação, aquilo beirava o ridículo.
 

FrankRijkaard

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A KOS-MOS quando fica por último é um horror. Comigo precisou de mais de 200 legendary cores.
 


FrankRijkaard

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O ruim dessas Blades do NG+ é que não dá para trocar os Core Chips. Elas já vêm com um ataque similar ao das outras Blades com Core Chips do final do jogo, e não tem como diminuir. Quem quer um jogo mais ou menos balanceado no NG+ não pode usá-las até quase o final do jogo.
 

okita

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O ruim dessas Blades do NG+ é que não dá para trocar os Core Chips. Elas já vêm com um ataque similar ao das outras Blades com Core Chips do final do jogo, e não tem como diminuir. Quem quer um jogo mais ou menos balanceado no NG+ não pode usá-las até quase o final do jogo.
Eles deveriam ter colocado também um hard mode , eu desisti de fazer a run do NewGame+ porque não ia ter graça destruir tudo no caminho ...
 

FrankRijkaard

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Eles deveriam ter colocado também um hard mode , eu desisti de fazer a run do NewGame+ porque não ia ter graça destruir tudo no caminho ...
Eu vendi todos meus Core Chips (menos o Dilaton) mas mesmo assim continua bem fácil. Os Aux Cores eu não tive coragem de vender lol
 

king_hyperdyo

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Agora com 20:00 e capitulo 4, tó achando o jogo muito bom e melhorou bastante. Unica coisa que está irritando é que quando o Swicht dá uma esquentada dá umas travadas no jogo. O Xeno só jogo no Dock, não curti o modo portátil dele.
 

extremepower

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Esse final de semana foi bem fraco na sorte, uma blade só.

Meu maior combo até agora: (ainda estou aprendendo como funciona)
 

The Trooper

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Tô bem no começo do jogo (Capítulo 3), mas estou adorando.

Pelo menos por enquanto, o sistema de progressão do jogo (quests) tô achando bem melhor que no Chronicles X, que eu achei um saco, tanto que larguei o jogo depois de umas 40 horas jogadas, hehe.

Só espero que o Chronicles 2 não me apronte a mesma surpresa, hehe.
 

Pokémon Master

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Depois de meses sem jogar voltei ontem, agora com as melhorias da versão 1.3.0 o jogo ficou bem melhor.

Terminei o capítulo 3 e estou começando o 4.

Agora vou focar no jogo.
 

The Trooper

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A Kora foi a segunda que tirei. A primeira foi a Adenine.
A melhor side-quest é da Kora, na minha opinião. Ri pra c***lho.



Vai não. É outro sistema mesmo.
Graças a Deus, pois a minha maior decepção nos últimos anos foi o Chronicles X. Gráficos fodas, músicas lindas, mundo espetacular, mas aquele sistema de progressão das quests quebrou o jogo pra mim, hehe.
 

Skyloft

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Nem comento muito aqui, pois demorei pra comprar o game (após a frustração de não ter encontrado no lançamento) e a galera aqui já está no New game + :klol
Só passei pra dizer que, finalmente, um game digno de carregar o nome de um dos melhores RPGs de todos os tempos, diferentemente do xeno X.
Estou com algumas horas de jogo e maravilhado. Conseguiram trazer todo aquele feeling do primeiro. História interessante, vastidão do mundo e escala impressionantes. Melhoraram os gráficos (o estilo anime combinou muito imo) e a trilha sonora dispensa comentários. Decisão mais do que certa em trazer novamente os compositores do game original. As músicas se parecem muito com as do primeiro game (como eu já havia percebido e postado antes do game ser lançado), até a dinâmica e arranjos.. mas jogando é que se percebe que isso fora realmente intencional, nos momentos de clímax, nas cutscenes toca a "Counterattack", que é a nova "confrontation with the enemy"


Se fechar os olhos enquanto escuta essa juro que conseguirá ouvir a voz do Shulk gritar: "I WILL KILL YOOOU" :klol

E a comparação pode ser feita com várias outras músicas, tema de batalha contra inimigo normal, contra inimigo único.. chefes e a tema "overworld" de Gormott (que aliás quando cheguei a Garanti Plain e vi aquele mundo maravilhoso estender-se diante de meus olhos.. pqp foi a Gaur Plains tudo de novo.. pensei: Obrigado Deus, meu Xenoblade está de volta!).

O combate está realmente muito melhor e mais complexo (a complexidade no xeno 1 estava no sistema de crafting de gemas e skill links talvez, mas não era necessário dominar isso para a progressão) achei o esquema de blades uma adição muito interessante e confesso que estou aprendendo ainda os macetes, mas so far so good.
A história está muito boa até aqui e os personagens muito carismáticos (não tive problema com a dublagem em inglês, o sotaque britânico trouxe aquele charme do original de volta). Rex tem potencial de ser o novo Shulk realmente e já posso até ver um confronto entre os dois (ambos correndo gritando Ahhhhhh rs) no novo smash. Mia, Pyra e o novo nopon são igualmente fodas, sem me esquecer do tigre (ou algo do tipo kkkkkk) de nome estranho.

Sou realmente suspeito, mas do que eu vi do game até o momento, tem tudo pra se tornar uma obra-prima como o original de Wii.
 

extremepower

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Nem comento muito aqui, pois demorei pra comprar o game (após a frustração de não ter encontrado no lançamento) e a galera aqui já está no New game + :klol
Só passei pra dizer que, finalmente, um game digno de carregar o nome de um dos melhores RPGs de todos os tempos, diferentemente do xeno X.
Estou com algumas horas de jogo e maravilhado. Conseguiram trazer todo aquele feeling do primeiro. História interessante, vastidão do mundo e escala impressionantes. Melhoraram os gráficos (o estilo anime combinou muito imo) e a trilha sonora dispensa comentários. Decisão mais do que certa em trazer novamente os compositores do game original. As músicas se parecem muito com as do primeiro game (como eu já havia percebido e postado antes do game ser lançado), até a dinâmica e arranjos.. mas jogando é que se percebe que isso fora realmente intencional, nos momentos de clímax, nas cutscenes toca a "Counterattack", que é a nova "confrontation with the enemy"


Se fechar os olhos enquanto escuta essa juro que conseguirá ouvir a voz do Shulk gritar: "I WILL KILL YOOOU" :klol

E a comparação pode ser feita com várias outras músicas, tema de batalha contra inimigo normal, contra inimigo único.. chefes e a tema "overworld" de Gormott (que aliás quando cheguei a Garanti Plain e vi aquele mundo maravilhoso estender-se diante de meus olhos.. pqp foi a Gaur Plains tudo de novo.. pensei: Obrigado Deus, meu Xenoblade está de volta!).

O combate está realmente muito melhor e mais complexo (a complexidade no xeno 1 estava no sistema de crafting de gemas e skill links talvez, mas não era necessário dominar isso para a progressão) achei o esquema de blades uma adição muito interessante e confesso que estou aprendendo ainda os macetes, mas so far so good.
A história está muito boa até aqui e os personagens muito carismáticos (não tive problema com a dublagem em inglês, o sotaque britânico trouxe aquele charme do original de volta). Rex tem potencial de ser o novo Shulk realmente e já posso até ver um confronto entre os dois (ambos correndo gritando Ahhhhhh rs) no novo smash. Mia, Pyra e o novo nopon são igualmente fodas, sem me esquecer do tigre (ou algo do tipo kkkkkk) de nome estranho.

Sou realmente suspeito, mas do que eu vi do game até o momento, tem tudo pra se tornar uma obra-prima como o original de Wii.
O jogo só não é perfeito porque tem umas falhas bem chatas:
- Side quests bobas, que te levam pra lugares remotos e de difícil acesso, além de chegar no lugar após um tmepão procurando e você não ter a skill pra completar a quest, o que vai te deixar putasso da vida;
- Gráficos inconsistentes. Tem lugares muito belos, outros nem tanto, fora os personagens. Geralmente os principais são bem caprichados, mas tem uns NPCs que parecem que fugiram do PS2, com aquela mão de tablet quadradona, dá até medo;
- RNG pesado, desnecessário.

Isso foi o que mais me desagradou no jogo.
 

Skyloft

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nunca joguei nenhum da serie, vou ter problemas em iniciar por esse???
A história não tem conexão (ao menos até onde estou kkkk) com o primeiro game e tudo é muito bem explicado com frequentes tutorias. Então vá sem medo!
 

The Trooper

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A história não tem conexão (ao menos até onde estou kkkk) com o primeiro game e tudo é muito bem explicado com frequentes tutorias. Então vá sem medo!
Eu tô longe de terminar, mas já li por aí que o jogo tem ligação direta com o primeiro Xenoblade.

Qual a ligação não sei, hehehe, só vou descobrir depois que terminar.
 

FrankRijkaard

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Os defeitos para mim são só a resolução é o pull rate baixo das últimas Blades, o resto já foi corrigido.
Eu gosto de Gacha (jogo FE Heroes e Granblue Fantasy) então gostei muito das Blades desse jogo, gostaria que mantivessem para o Xeno 3.
_______________________________

A Monolith contratou mais 4 funcionarios nesse último mês, estão com 157. Durante o desenvolvimento do Xeno 2 eles tinham 100, e 60 estavam trabalhando no Zelda, segundo o Takahashi. (Má teve muita gente de fora trabalhando nesse jogo, não foram só 40)
 

Labuha

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A história não tem conexão (ao menos até onde estou kkkk) com o primeiro game e tudo é muito bem explicado com frequentes tutorias. Então vá sem medo!
essa seria a outra pergunta, a curvade aprendizado é trql entao?!
 

Skyloft

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Eu tô longe de terminar, mas já li por aí que o jogo tem ligação direta com o primeiro Xenoblade.

Qual a ligação não sei, hehehe, só vou descobrir depois que terminar.
:eek::eek::eek::eek:

Bem que eu desconfiei daqueles Titans passeando no "oceano de nuvens" :kpensa

Empolguei mais ainda agora!
 

The Trooper

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Só queria dizer que cheguei em Uraya e, put* que pariu, que gráfico maravilhoso! Não só do ponto de vista técnico, mas principalmente artístico, é muito lindo!

Aliás, estou amando o jogo, tudo nele é muito bom. É complexo? Sim, mas com o tempo você vai aprendendo e as coisas vão ficando mais intuitivas.

E as músicas, caramba, putz, não tem música ruim nesse jogo. Lembro até hoje a irritação que me causava a música de New LA no Chronicles X.
 

Johnzim

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Uma pequena dúvida sobre o Chain Combo: eu preciso bater duas vezes na orbe pra ela poder quebrar (e eu ter a oportunidade de repetir o procedimento)?
Eu bato uma e dá 'burst', mas pra quebrar precisa bater uma segunda vez (com o elemento correspondente), é isso?
 

gabrielsat

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Uma pequena dúvida sobre o Chain Combo: eu preciso bater duas vezes na orbe pra ela poder quebrar (e eu ter a oportunidade de repetir o procedimento)?
Eu bato uma e dá 'burst', mas pra quebrar precisa bater uma segunda vez (com o elemento correspondente), é isso?
Se você quer dizer correspondente contrario ao da chain, sim. Exemplo: na chain tem fogo você deve usar agua duas vezes.
 

ptsousa

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Camarada fez praticamente uma Tese sobre Xeno 2 e a filosofia platoniana

The Real Architect of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is Plato

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 achieved something that philosophy professors have been trying to do for centuries: it got people to spend over 60 hours studying Plato.


Plato, as depicted in Raphael’s School of Athens.

This game follows in the footsteps of Xenoblade Chronicles, a game that, I’ve argued, uses Leibniz’s metaphysics to tell a special kind of story that is only possible in a video game. I want to convince you that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has achieved something even more ambitious: it’s used the rich, multifaceted theoretical suite of one of western philosophy’s original philosophers to tell a tale in which the player’s discovery of the world’s underlying structure supplements the journey of the game’s protagonist, Rex, to become a philosopher king. The result of this is a video game that provides a new model for how to marry video-game storytelling with that aspect of game development typically called worldbuilding: the architecture of a game’s fictional world, in which its story takes place.

I begin this article by pointing to the three most pertinent “clues” in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that should convince you it’s appropriate to be thinking about the game Platonically. Then, with our application of Plato justified, I show how we can read Rex’s journey through the game as one of Plato’s most famous philosophical illustrations: the allegory of the cave. After this, I argue that the player occupies a special role in the game that corresponds to one of Plato’s two most metaphysically basic principles. Ultimately, we’ll see that Xenoblade Chronicles 2′s use of Plato provides a new way for us to conceptualize the storytelling of Japanese roleplaying games: by thinking about the JRPGs Platonically, I suggest, many of the genre’s quirks and idiosyncrasies snap into focus as parts of a cohesive mode of storytelling.

Three disclaimers before we dive in:

  1. You should expect thorough spoilers for the Xenoblade series throughout this article, along with some spoilers for Xenogears and Xenosaga (and spoilers for the millennia-old teachings of one of the world’s most learned wrestlers).
  2. Plato’s doctrines and biography are far from clear and are still debated by scholars to this day,thousands of years later. It’s not my aim here to enter the debate of what Plato “really” said or meant in his works (we’d be here all day, if that were the case). Instead, I’m representing what I take to be some of the most commonplace understandings of Plato’s teachings.
  3. People have already done a lot of interesting work drawing connections between the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and the worlds of the Xenosaga and Xenogears games. That work is promising, but what you’re about to read is (mostly) agnostic towards it. My goal is to show why a Platonic perspectiveis an illuminating way to view the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, regardless of whether and how Xenoblade Chronicles 2 relates to other games (cf. my comments on “NE” and “NG” analysis in my article on NieR: Automata).
Three Clues that We Should Be Reading Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Platonically
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (“XC2”)is the latest work of Monolith Soft, a studio that usually makes very pointed allusions to particular philosophers and philosophies. The games in the Xenosaga series are all named after works of Friedrich Nietzsche; the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 centers on a sword called the Monado, which, upon review, seems most clearly a reference to Leibniz’s Monadology.


The mustache and mane behind your favorite games.

This new game, though, isn’t especially forthcoming about its philosophical influences. So, to see that it’s appropriate to read it through the lens of Plato, we have to do some detective work to establish that XC2’s story and world really do allude to Plato in the first place. I’m going to focus on three pieces of evidence from the game that collectively suggest that, even if Plato’s work is not the only philosophical lens through which we can view the game, the Platonic lens is certainly one that the game naturally invites. These pieces of evidence are:

  1. The Architect of XC2′s world.
  2. The “Trinity Processor” that the Architect uses to arbitrate his world.
  3. The ruined city of Morytha.
Let’s take each in turn.

THE ARCHITECT AND THE DEMIURGE
One of the principal motivations for Rex, Pyra, Malos, and Amalthus’ race to the World Tree is the goal of meeting the Architect: the fabled creator of the world of Alrest. Eventually, when Rex and his friends reach the top of the World Tree, they do meet the Architect and learn his identity: he is Klaus, that same scientist who created the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 (and became its god, Zanza).

Or at least, he’s part of that same scientist: it turns out that when Klaus created that world, part of him was flung off to that world: the rest of him remained behind in his own world—a world of which all that remained were the ruins of Morytha, Klaus’ homeland.


The Architect: the version of Klaus that remained in his home world after he created the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 1.

Klaus looked around, saw the desolation of his world, and decided to “do penance” for his actions by recreating all of the life that was gone. This was what motivated his design of Alrest and its constitutive elements—the Cloud Sea, and the Core Crystals.

Klaus’ Cloud Sea, at bottom, is a “special particulate substance with the ability to restore deteriorated matter,” able to “rebuild it in the image of all the things that once made up this world.” The Core Crystals are “miniature vessels containing memories of all this planet’s former lifeforms,” which bonded with the particles of the Cloud Sea to form new life—first Titans, and subsequently other life forms spawned from those Titans, including humans and Blades.


Left: the particulate substance, created by Klaus, that constitutes the Cloud Sea. Right: an illustration of the “tree of life” in Alrest, emanating from the first Titans created by the interactions between Core Crystals and the Cloud Sea.

What does this fanciful, high-tech origin story have to do with an ancient Greek philosopher? Well, it turns out that Klaus the Architect has a lot in common with a kind of “god-adjacent” concept that Plato spun out in the late phase of his work: the demiurge.

The demiurge, for Plato, was a kind of bridge between the abstract and the concrete. To understand what that means, we need a rough understanding of Plato’s metaphysics—an understanding of the world that’s most succinctly captured by his theory of Forms.

Plato’s theory of Forms held that the only stuff that truly deserved to be called “real” was the Forms: abstract entities that exist outside of space and time and are something like the pure concepts that physical things instantiate. Here are some examples to get a sense of what this means:

  • Any particular square—say, a drawing of a square on a chalkboard—is a square, ontologically speaking, because it participates in (or instantiates) the Form of “Squareness.”
  • Any particular dog—say, your friend’s basset hound—is a dog, ontologically speaking, because it participates in (or instantiates) the Form of “Dogness.”
  • Any particular, morally good action—say, being just—is good, ontologically speaking, because it participates in (or instantiates) the Form of the Good.
So, these changeless Forms, which exist outside of space and time, are somehow instantiated in our physical world. The “somehow,” on the view that Plato spins out in his Timaeus, is the demiurge: a supremely good entity with complete knowledge of the Forms who “sculpts” the chaos of the physical world using the Forms as a model. In this sense, even though it’s tempting to think of the demiurge as a kind of absolute god and creator, it’s really more of a craftsman: one who shapes the world into what it is.

Klaus might not see himself as “supremely good,” but he did sculpt the world of Alrest based on a model—namely, “the image of all the things that once made up this world.” And he did this with beneficient ends in mind: he wanted to ultimately create an even better world than the one he destroyed. So, in being a good figure who created the world from a blueprint of his own knowledge, Klaus is like the Platonic demiurge.

Now, this observation alone doesn’t suffice to get a Platonic reading of XC2 off the ground, because other schools of thought—e.g., Gnosticism, which had a prominent role in the first Xenoblade Chronicles—have similar notions of a demiurge, even if the details differ. But once we supplement this piece of evidence with a couple others, a clearer picture of our bearded, Greek wrestler comes into view.

THE TRINITY PROCESSOR AND THE TRIPARTITE THEORY OF THE SOUL
When Klaus explains the creation of the world to Rex &co atop the World Tree near the end of the game, he provides a little more background to the function and origin of the Aegises, Pneuma and Malos. (A note on nomenclature: throughout this work, I’ll be referring to the “true form” of Pyra/Mythra that first manifests at the end of Chapter 7 as ‘Pneuma’.) Klaus feared that the beings of his newly sculpted world would eventually repeat his own mistakes, destroying themselves through their own hubris; so, he intended to use the three Cores of the Trinity Processor—Ontos, Logos, and Pneuma—as Aegises: information-processing units that collective data on evolutionary pressures from Blades and used that data to guide the evolution of all life beneficently.


Thie Trinity Processor, featuring the Cores of Logos and Pneuma (Ontos’ is missing).

Ontos (almost certainly Alvis from Xenoblade Chronicles 1) vanished from the world after triggering “a space-time transition event,” while Logos and Pneuma manifested in the world of Alrest as Blades after Amalthus climbed the World Tree and removed them (Amalthus awoke the former Aegies, and Addam subsequently awoke the latter). In Blade form, Logos and Pneuma became Malos and Mythra, respectively; after Malos was corrupted by the negative emotions of Amalthus, war soon followed.

The Trinity Processor—and the enigmatic “Conduit,” to which it is intimately related (more on that later)—invites theorizing and symbolic interpretation like little else. People have used the Trinity Processor to forge a link between the Xenoblade series and Monolith Soft’s earlier Xenosaga series; the notion of a “trinity” cries out for a Cristian reading of some sort or another.

It’s not my goal here to deny or evaluate these other readings. What I want to point out is that there’s a less obvious Platonic reading that builds our case for a Platonic reading of the overall game: namely, we can interpret the Aegises as representing the different parts of the soulaccording to Plato’s tripartite theory of the soul.

Plato, in his Republic, argues that the human soul is immortal and has three distinct parts: reason, spirit, and appetite.

  • Reason, the logical part of the soul, naturally pursues knowledge and truth.
  • Spirit, the passionate part of the soul, naturally pursues honor and esteem.
  • Appetite, the carnal part of the soul, naturally pursues objects of immediate pleasure—like food and money.
Ontos is missing from our trinity, but I think that’s a bit of a red herring in interpreting the “trinity” within XC2: the trinity we need to focus on, I think, is the trinity of Malos, Mythra, and Pyra. We can understand these Aegises as symbols for reason, spirit, and appetite, respectively.


Focusing on this trinity illuminates a way to view the game Platonically.

Malos is a corrupted manifestation of Logos, or reason. The name itself, “Logos,” is a clue: it’s the same Greek word from which we get “logic” and “logistikon,” Plato’s term for the logical part of the soul. But more to the point, Malos’ character is that of someone who has become disillusioned with the world by detaching himself from any sentiment and viewing it purely through the lens of cold, rationalistic cynicism: he sees everyone—including himself—as instruments of suffering, and therefore draws the “logical” conclusion that, to annihilate all the suffering in the world, he must annihilate the world itself.



As Pneuma points out in the final confrontation, Malos’ corruption comes from the fact that his logic isn’t tempered by any kind of “feeling”: he can’t feel the Architect’s sadness, nor his hope for a more evolved world. As Malos poignantly retorts, he can’t feel anything because “that isn’t [his] role in this world”: his role is that of a reason-based information processor.

Pneuma is the conjunction of spirit and appetite, represented by her two distinct, derivative forms: Mythra and Pyra. Admittedly, the name “Pneuma” isn’t as helpful here as the other Core’s name, “Logos,” is: “pneuma” means “breath,” and was used by a variety of Greek philosophers—especially the Stoics—to refer to the soul (“breath of life”). Plato typically didn’t use ‘pneuma’ to refer to the soul because the term had connotations of something insubstantial, unstable, and material (think of wind, to which Plato often did refer with the term Pneuma),whereas Plato contended that the human soul was an immortal and immaterial substance (see H.A.S. Tarrant’s “Pneuma-Related Concepts in Platonism”).

Even though the word ‘pneuma’ is not immediately germane to a Platonic discussion of the soul, I think that the particulars of the relationship between Pneuma, Pyra, and Mythra give us a plausible reason to persist with our Platonic reading here.



The game isn’t totally explicit about the ontological connections between Pneuma, Mythra, and Pyra, but I think the most natural interpretation is that Pneuma is the “true form” of the Aegis, Mythra is a derivative form of Pneuma, and Pyra is a derivative form of Mythra. This is compatible with the idea that Pneuma is the Aegis’ “true nature” (as Mythra tells Rex), whereas Mythra is only a limited instantiation of that same potential, and Pyra is an even more limited instantiation of that potential, constructed by Mythra to inhibit herself (and to prevent the recurrence of the devastation that came with the Aegis War). Prya and Mythra, it seems, “sum” in some ontological sense to Pneuma, as evidenced by the fact that Pneuma (before her true name is known) is willing to let Rex choose whether to call her Mythra or Pyra, as he prefers.

In an ontologically analogous way, we can interpret Mythra and Pyra as the two other parts of the Platonic soul—spirit and appetite—that collectively represent the more “bodily” aspect of the soul, when compared to reason (represented by Malos).

  • Mythra represents spirit—the part of the soul that naturally seeks honor and is driven by ambition. According to Plato, when spirit is frustrated, it reacts with anger and indignation; so, there are rather strong parallels between this part of the soul and Mythra a driven war hero with a sharp temper.
  • Pyra represents appetite—the “simplest” part of the soul that is naturally driven by things that provide immediate pleasure. Most superficially, think of Pyra’s proclivity for cooking: food is one of the standard examples of an object to which we are drawn by the appetitive part of our soul. More substantively, though, think of Pyra’s very desire to reach Elysium, especially as it manifests before Mythra’s unsealing. Pyra’s personal desire to return to Elysium is initially represented as a simple desire to return home—it’s only once Mythra, the representation of spirit, reawakens that her need to return there is recast as a quest to stop Malos and herself (i.e. an honor-driven quest). Pyra’s personal desires seem fueled by simple, pleasure-fulfilling concepts, such as home and friendship, which is what we would expect from a representative of appetite.
Taken collectively, then, the Trinity Processor and its derivative Aegises can further support our Platonic picture of XC2’s world. It’s a world that’s literally missing its “ontological” data processor, where the remaining three emanations of the Architect—Malos, Mythra, and Pyra—each represent a different part of the soul. (The fact that Ontos is missing does have a key place in our Platonic interpretation—but that’s a matter for a bit later.)

We’ll get to how this can enhance our understanding of the game in a moment. First, though, I want to wrap up this section by mentioning the one piece of evidence in XC2 that most urged me to analyze the game through a Platonic lens.

MORYTHA AND ATLANTIS
When someone tells you a story about a metropolis that sank beneath an ocean, you should immediately think of Atlantis.


Pictured: the sunken, ruined city of Morytha (left) and the sunken, ruined (mythical) city of Atlantis (right).

While Atlantis is nowadays a ubiquitous myth, it actually originated in the work of Plato. The (apparently fictional) island-nation is discussed in his Timaeus and Critias. These texts introduce Atlantis as a way of illustrating that Athens—the “ideal city” according to the political philosophy defended in Plato’s Republic—was, in fact, superior to all other cities.

These texts represent Atlantis as an extremely wealthy and technologically advanced nation that only Athens was able to repel and defeat in war. After that war, floods and earthquakes swept all of Atlantis beneath the waves, and it was never seen again. The apparent lesson from Plato: Atlanteans lusted after power and worldly possessions, and (like every other tragic figure of Greek antiquity) they were punished by the gods for their hubris.



The story of Morytha is tightly analogous to this story of Atlantis. The Architect—Klaus—was born there and lusted for power. Using the extremely advanced technology available to him, he tried to act on this lust for power by creating a new world and ascending to the status of godhood. His hubris left the world ravaged, his own homeland decimated beneath the sea.



The decimation of Morytha can be seen as a kind of “divine reproach,” just as the decimation of Atlantis was, because the Architect thereafter recognizes that his attempt to create a new world was a kind of “sin” for which he must atone. His creation of Alrest was an attempt to establish a new, better order—the kind of order analogous to Plato’s ideal Athens, antithetical to the sacrilegious Atlantis.



Taken individually, these three data points—the Architect, the Trinity Processor, and the ruins of Morytha—are amenable to a wide variety of interpretations and analyses. Taken holistically, though, they give us a solid foundation for analyzing the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Platonically in a principled and well-motivated way.

Of course, the real measure of this interpretation’s value will be what new insights it can shed on our understanding of the game itself. To answer that question, we need to zoom out from particular data points and think about the overall arc of the game Platonically.

The Player, the Conduit, and the Allegory of the Tree
I’ve provided a battery of data to demonstrate that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 naturally invites interpretation through a Platonic lens: imposing Plato’s views on the game aren’t a case of fitting a square peg in a round hole.

With that in mind, I want to show you how well the game’s story aligns with Plato’s famous allegory of the cave. We’ll see that interpreting the story in this way actually equips us with satisfying explanations for some of the game’s most seemingly inexplicable features, such as:

  • the return of Mythra and Pyra after Pneuma’s sacrifice
  • a combat tutorial system that stretches almost to the very end of the game
  • an epic saga’s bizarre preoccupation with a small, furry crime lord
But the bigger-picture payoff will be this: we’ll see how the player, by taking on a special role in the Platonic metaphysics of the game’s world, is able to enact a metaphysical journey that parallels the journey Rex undertakes to become a philosopher king.

Caves, Stairs, and Trees: The Theory of Forms in Xenoblade Chronicles 2
Above, I described Plato’s theory of Forms: the abstract conceptual entities that constitute the “real stuff” of Plato’s metaphysics. Plato’s allegory of the cave is a way of illustrating how people come to grasp these Forms. This arc towards philosophical enlightenment, I want to convince you, is the same arc that we see in the story of XC2. To see that, we’ll first examine the allegory itself, and then we’ll see how it aligns with the principal events of the game.



The allegory of the cave instructs you to imagine the following scenario in order to understand the ascent from ignorance to knowledge:

People begin life in a cave as prisoners, chained to a wall facing the cave’s back face. Over the top of the wall to which the prisoners are chained, puppeteers use the light of a fire and shadow puppets to cast shadows on the back wall. These shadows are all that the prisoners are able to see.

Because the shadows are all that the prisoners are able to see, they suppose these shadows to be the “real” things in the world—and they judge the knowledge of people by their knowledge of these shadows (e.g., Plato imagines the prisoners playing a game where they guess which shadow will appear on the wall next, and those prisoners who are good at guessing are therefore considered by other prisoners to be wise).

But now, Plato invites us to imagine a prisoner being liberated from her chains. She’s able to turn around and see behind the wall, and she realizes that the shadows she’s been watching for so long aren’t the “real things” in the world: they’re just imitations of the puppets that the puppeteers are using. And then, when she notices the light emanating from the mouth of the cave and goes outside, she realizes that the puppets and fire are also just imitations: the world outside, illuminated by the sun, are the real things.

And then, what if this enlightened prisoner were to return to the innards of the cave to try to save her fellow prisoners? Well, Plato thinks that two things would probably happen:

  1. Because of her time in the bright sun, she’d actually have less facility in the darkness of the cave than the prisoners who never left, making her seem less knowledgeable than the others even though only she had seen the truth.
  2. When she tried to tell the prisoners of the world beyond the shadows—something that they’d have virtually no way of conceptualizing, since they’d only known shadows for their whole lives—the prisoners would probably treat her as a dangerous outcast and kill her.
The most natural and common way of interpreting this allegory with regard to Plato’s theory of Forms is the following:

Stage 1: “Ordinary people”—the non-philosophers among us—go through life focused solely on the empirical objects we experience through our senses. We think about the world in terms of the particular things that we encounter: this particular square on the chalkboard; this particular dog hanging out with us; this particular good thing that we just saw someone do. This is what it means to be chained in the back of the cave, merely watching shadows pass by with no sense of the rhyme or reason to them.

Stage 2: When we start thinking about the principles behind why empirical things behave in the ways they do, we start to see the “puppeteers” behind the wall: we contemplate the mathematics that defines any square on any chalkboard; we contemplate the behavior and characteristics of dogs more generally; we contemplate what good actions have in common.

Stage 3: Leaving the cave is an analogy for doing philosophy and contemplating the Forms themselves, those abstract concepts that (on Plato’s view) are the only strictly real things that give all derivative, empirical objects whatever qualities they have. We interrogate what “Squareness itself” is; we interrogate what “Dogness itself” is; we interrogate what “Goodness itself” is. This is the act of looking beyond the empirical and instead investigating the metaphysical foundation of the world.

Stage 4: The return to the cave is what happens when philosophers try to encourage the philosophically uninitiated to begin doing philosophy and thinking beyond the empirical world before their eyes—and, more specifically, it’s an allusion to the fate of Socrates, who was famously sentenced to death by the Athenian government for (among other charges) “corrupting the youth” through his philosophical dialogues.

I think that this journey out of and back into the cave gives us a powerful new way to understand the story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Let me spell out this connection between the philosopher and the game by illustrating how different parts of the game correspond to the four different stages of the cave analogy we spelled out above: the cave’s back wall; the puppeteers; the outside world; and the return.

STAGE 1: THE MUNDANITY OF TRADE RELATIONS
In Xenoblade Chronicles 1, the story opens with Shulk—the eventual savior of the universe—in the role of a mild-mannered engineer trying to uncover the secrets of the Monado—the blade that ultimately holds all the answers to the nature of the universe. In this way, the game’s theme of uncovering the deepest truths of its world are already contained in the very first tasks that occupy the player’s avatar.



Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is not like this. At the beginning of the game, Rex is occupied with the very mundane task of salvaging: collecting wreckage from the Cloud Sea and selling it to guilds to earn money for both himself and his family. That’s a noble undertaking, but it has basically nothing to do with the story’s eventual trajectory of uncovering the origins of the entire universe.



Even after Rex discovers and connects with Pyra—which, notably, happens when he’s been hired on a mercenary job—vast swaths of the game, especially the early-to-middle stages, are preoccupied with the mundanities of everyday life. Rex and his friends are dogged by Bana, the corrupt chairman of the Argentum Trade Guild, for chapter after chapter, even though Bana is solely motivated by money and bears only the most tenuous relation to the party’s main goal of reaching Elysium.


Left: Bana, the Nopon chairman of the Argentum Trade Guild. Right: Giga Rosa, a giant, chibi-maid mech with which Bana confronts Rex and friends multiple times over their journey.

It’s easy to see the Nopon—the small, furry species that doesn’t abide by the rules of grammar—as mere comic relief, the special blend of humor and “cute” that often graces JRPGs in the form of a non-human member of the player’s party of characters. That was a fair interpretation of the Nopon in Xenoblade Chronicles 1, but the sheer volume of quests and storylines that keep you occupied with them in XC2 makes it harder to write them off as a sideshow.

I think a Platonic interpretation gives us a more productive way to integrate Bana and his antics into a rich and holistic conception of the overall story. All the business with the trade guild, along with Bana’s obsession with money and the more superficial pop-culture elements of Akihabara, represents the first stage of the cave: the shadows that the prisoners watch on the wall.

Bana’s obsession with the immediate pleasures of the world around him epitomizes the Platonic view of the philosophically uneducated: he is myopically focused on the most fleeting and literal aspects of society, trying to grab power without expressing any awareness or interest in the underlying structures that explain why and how the world is as it is.

(As an aside, I think there’s probably an easy way to extend this analysis to a kind of “meta-commentary” about JRPGs: one might argue that the Nopon mafia lord and the chibi-stylized maid mech represent how many fans of Japanese pop culture overlook its more substantive, philosophical themes, instead focusing solely on the most superficially entertaining elements of it. But Japanese culture isn’t an expertise of mine, so I’ll leave that as an exercise for someone else to undertake in the future.)

PART 2: THE AGONY OF PUPPETS
How painful is it to learn that the world, and your life, are radically different from what you’d previously believed?

This is the kind of abrupt displacement that comes from being unchained from the wall of the cave and seeing the puppets casting shadows on the wall. It’s the kind of displacement that we see exemplified in the character of Jin.



Jin is someone who knows too much about the world without actually understanding why the world is as it is, and this discrepancy between his knowledge and understanding generate the pain that drives him. He recognizes the cruel kind of “impotent immortality” that Blades have in Alrest: when Blades’ human Drivers die, the Blades merely return to their Core Crystals, able to be reawoken by another Driver in the future; yet this return to the Core Crystal causes the Blade to lose all of his memories from his previous manifestation in the world.

Jin laments this twisted nature of Blades when he confronts the party atop the rampaging Judicium Titan he set loose:

Blades are granted phenomenal power from our creator on high… yet we are doomed to never remember. Why?! The accumulation of memories is what allows mankind, no, all life to grow. Change, evolve. But… Blades are fleeting. When we return to our Cores, our memories are lost. Our growth snatched away forever.

Memory is a central concept in XC2 precisely because of this complex amnesia that Blades suffer. This is why it makes sense that much of the game’s story is expressed through nonlinear flashbacks: this method of storytelling makes the player start to feel as disoriented as a Blade must, with a rough sense of what happened in the past but very little hope of ever seeing a complete picture of the world’s history.

Blades like Jin (Brighid is another example) try to recover memories of their past manifestations by writing down their experiences and knowledge in journals. By reading these journals, they’re able (at least in theory) to accumulate knowledge about themselves and the world by amassing memories across their multiple awakenings from Core Crystal form.

Yet this “failsafe” of journaling is just a strategy to cope with a harsh reality that Jin and other Blades recognize without fully understanding. “If the Architect does indeed exist,” Jin muses, “I wish I could ask him… who am I, truly? Whence did I come? Whither am I headed?” And, tragically, Jin dies without ever getting the answers to those questions. He goes so far as to consume the heart of his Driver, Lora, in an effort to “prevent her death” by remembering her. These are the actions of someone desperately trying to survive in a world he understands just enough to resent.

These are the actions of someone who’s seen the puppets in the cave, but who never stepped outside of the cave.


The Death of Socrates, by Jacques-Louis David, 1787.

Plato had another theory that will help us understand the connection between Blades and the cave: the theory of recollection. According to this view, all cases of learning something are actually cases of recollecting something that our immortal soul once knew, but forgot when it was bound to our mortal body. The most famous example of this from Plato’s surviving work comes from the Meno, in which Socrates leads a slave boy, through a series of question-and-answer interactions, to “recollect” truths about mathematics that he didn’t know previously and that Socrates didn’t explicitly tell him. As Plato saw it, we all have a kind of latent familiarity with the Forms from the time before we were born—we just need to remember it.

Blades like Jin are like Plato’s slave boy: they recollect just enough about the world and their past-life experiences to recognize that there is far more at stake than the shadows that characters like Bana are watching on the wall, yet they still haven’t grasped the Forms that lie at the heart of reality. When Jin refers to Blades as “slaves” atop the Judicium Titan, he means literally that Indol has enslaved them by exerting totalitarian control over Core Crystals; however, there’s another way we can now interpret “slave” that’s just as appropriate: Blades are “enslaved,” like Plato’s slave boy, in the sense that they understand enough about the world to recognize their own limited position in it, but they lack the knowledge that would allow them to transcend those limitations.

PART 3: “THE FULL LIGHT OF DAY”
When Pneuma first manifests at the end of Chapter 7, you’ll notice that, beneath her name (spelled out using the Greek alphabet), there’s a Latin verse on her chest:


And this, I hope, marks the only time I’ll ever use a character’s chest as data for theory-building.

The verse reads, “Lustorum autem semita quasi lux splendens procedit et crescit usque ad perfectam diem.” That’s the Latin rendering of a Bible verse, Proverbs 4:18:

The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.

There’s no disputing that this is a Biblical allusion, but it also fits snugly into our Platonic framework for understanding the game: namely, Rex has walked “the path of the righteous” into “the full light of day”: the light of the sun outside of Plato’s cave.

Note that there are two distinct parts to that Bible verse, and therefore two points that we must show cohere with our Platonic interpretation. We must show that:

  1. Rex’s journey takes him into the Platonic equivalent of “the full light of day.”
  2. Rex’s journey into the full light of day is “righteous.”
Let’s take each of these in turn.

Part 1: The Platonic “light of day” is knowledge of the Forms, which is what Rex gains when he meets the Architect. The Forms after which the entire world of Alrest is fashioned are the memories of life from Klaus’ destroyed world, which he embedded in the Core Crystals. Although Rex begins his quest with the very tangible goal of “saving everyone” by finding Elysium, his quest becomes a quest to understand why the Architect created the world in the way that he did, and what the most fundamental purposes of Rex and everyone else are.

This is precisely the kind of understanding that Rex receives when he finally meets the Architect. If you’re still wondering how thoroughly Rex’s journey reflects the Platonic migration out of the cave, just consider the following. Rex arrives at the top of the World Tree to find his original, material quest for a global living space dashed: Elysium, remembered by Pyra and Mythra as a lush paradise, is in ruin. Yet, shortly thereafter, he is presented with an entirely different, metaphysical kind of reward: the opportunity to learn, straight from the Architect’s mouth, why the world is as it is. This is the Platonic migration from a myopic focus on the material to an awakened focus on the metaphysical truth of the universe. That’s the “full light of day” to which Rex and Pneuma ascend.

Part 2: The pursuit of understanding the Architect’s actions is necessarily a righteous path when we analyze the Architect as a Platonic demiurge. On the late view of Plato expressed in the Timaeus, the demiurge is a supremely good being that used his knowledge of the Forms as a model to structure the universe in a way that would produce good effects. The key thing to notice here is that the Platonic demiurge’s act of molding the universe isn’t a morally neutral event like the Big Bang (presumably) was: for Plato, there is an explicitly ethical dimension to the universe because it was fashioned by a supremely good being who intended to model it after the Forms and thereby generate good effects.

So, as we pursue an understanding of the Forms, we’re really just trying to understand that fundamental goodness that undergirds reality itself. As long as we’re interpreting “the righteous path” to be something like “the path pursuing goodness,” it follows that to try to understand why the Architect fashioned the world as he did is to walk a righteous path.

The climax of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, then, isn’t just an explanation to the player of what’s been going on in the game for the ~60 hours they’ve spent playing it: it’s also the realization of a boy’s quest for knowledge in the metaphysically richest sense of the term.

PART 4: THE RETURN TO THE CAVE
You might think it’s enough for the philosopher to go through life contemplating the Forms of his own accord. Plato doesn’t stop there, though: part of his deep admiration for Socrates, his own teacher, is that the man resolved to return to the cave and try to liberate his fellow men, and did not renounce this mission even when Athens threatened to execute him.

That’s why it’s crucial to the Platonic interpretation of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that Rex and his friends don’t simply disappear after their confrontation with Malos, nor does the game simply end there: they return to the world below, armed with everything they learned from the Architect up above. More specifically, I think the end of the game ties off our Platonic interpretation in a surprisingly satisfying way: it suggests that, throughout the game, Rex has been undergoing training to become a philosopher king.

Plato’s view of the philosopher king as the ideal ruler emerges in his Republic. He compares the state to a ship (another one of his most famous metaphors); the pilot of such a ship, Plato thinks, must know and attend to everything affecting his ship—from the wind, to the stars, to the heavens—if he aims to really succeed at piloting it. This kind of pilot, according to Plato, needs to be wise and virtuous: they must care selflessly for the good of the people, be willing to live a simple, unadorned life, and have access to the Forms that constitute reality itself. The ruler with these qualities is Plato’s philosopher king.



Rex’s youthful adherence to “the power of friendship” and “making people happy” might be read as Nintendo simply making the game more child-friendly, but I think that something more nuanced is going on here. Rex exhibits the exact traits required of a philosopher king:

He is selfless, first instinctually and then self-consciously. From the beginning of the story, Rex commits all sorts of selfless deeds, such as sending money home to his family, seeking a new place for humanity to live, and helping Pyra fulfill her goal of reaching Elysium. When he finally reaches the Architect and reflects on his own purpose—acting for his own reasons, rather than serving as a mere instrument for the goals of others—he deliberately chooses the same kind of selflessness, proclaiming that his role in the world is to put smiles on people’s faces and help them live their lives together.

He never seeks a lavish life of wealth. Rex has humble roots as a salvager, and he’s never tempted by riches or power as he proceeds through his journey and meets people from all of Alrest. Perhaps the best evidence of this is that, from the beginning of the game all the way through to its conclusion, Rex continues to quote the Salvager’s Code: a simple rubric for human decency by which he’s always lived his life.

His curiosity and drive to understand the world lead him to the Architect and knowledge of the world’s Forms. By the end of the game, Rex has the exact kind of understanding that Plato believes a philosopher king must have.

But it’s not enough to simply hear the Architect’s origin story: to truly become a philosopher king, Rex needs to be able to recognize the Forms independently of any particular object in the world that participates in a Form. And this, I think, is what explains one of the most apparently unmotivated sequences of events in the game: the sacrifice of Pneuma, and the subsequent return of Mythra and Pyra.



It can be challenging to initially digest the scene in which Pneuma sacrifices herself to destroy the World Tree before it can fall on Alrest: after a saga tackling a wide range of themes and intricate plotlines, it’s easy to feel dissatisfied by the game culminating in all of Rex’s friends telling him that he needs to “be a grown-up” and let Pneuma go. If we interpret Rex as a boy on a journey to become a philosopher king, though, this scene transforms from a thematic blemish to a thematic necessity.



This moment in the game isn’t just necessary in the sense that “a real king needs to be a grown-up”: it’s necessary because, if Rex is to become a philosopher king, he needs to free himself from personal attachments that would prevent him from thinking about the entirety of existence and the place of his entire kingdom within existence. Plato actually offers yet another metaphor that explains this precise moment in Rex’s maturation as a philosopher king.



Before Plato offered the allegory of the cave, he described the same act of ascending from the empirical to the metaphysical in his Symposium using the metaphor of climbing a flight of stairs (or climbing a ladder, depending on your translation). In the Symposium, Plato presents a scene of Socrates and his friends giving speeches on Love. Socrates’ speech winds up being an anecdote on how Diotima, a divinely inspired woman (presumably acting as a fictional mouthpiece for Plato’s own view) told him about how one can come to know the Form of Beauty.

To know the Form of Beauty, Diotima says, one must essentially climb a flight of stairs on which each step represents a new level of generality and abstraction in how one thinks about beauty.

  • One begins by noticing beauty in the body of a single person
  • Then, one must recognize that the beauty of this person is the same kind of beauty that other people have.
  • Next, one sees that beauty in the soul is a better thing to have than beauty in the body.
  • One will contemplate beauty even more generally after that, recognizing it not only in people, but also in actions and customs.
  • Finally, one steps away from all concrete instances of beauty and contemplates the Form of Beauty itself.
When a man turns his attention finally to the Form of Beauty, Diotima says, “he may no longer dwell upon one, like a servant, content with the beauty of one boy or one human being or one pursuit, and so be slavish and petty; but he should turn to the great ocean of beauty” (Symposium 210B-212A, W.H.D. Rouse translation).

This comment is key to our Platonic explanation of why Rex must be willing to let Pneuma go: it’s a test of his worthiness—presumably, a test by the Architect—to become a philosopher king. Rex loves Pneuma deeply and personally; so, as Diotima says, he must be willing to move his attention beyond her if he wants to truly be able to contemplate the nature of the universe more broadly and lead people in accordance with his new knowledge. He must separate from the partner to whom his life has been literally linked for most of the story.

Once Rex passes that test and proves that he is fit to rule, Pyra and Mythra are able to return—not as objects of his entire focus or purpose, but rather as separate people whom he can love intimately within the context of his new role as a universally-minded leader.



And it is fairly evident, I think, that Rex is being groomed in his journey to become the leader of the new, unified world that emerges after the World Tree is destroyed. Throughout his quest, Rex meets all the other leaders of the world’s nations and sees their shortcomings:

  • Amalthus is a corrupt despot.
  • King Eulogimenos is a usurper who falsely claimed Addam’s bloodline in an effort to unite his people.
  • King Niall is an untempered child ruler, who alternately looks to his sister for guidance and rushes to martyr himself to protect others
  • And, even though we know least about Queen Raqura, her deep suspicion of both other rulers and Pyra make her an unlikely candidate to unite people from across the world.
It is Rex who has the global perspective, selfless disposition, and philosophical knowledge necessary to lead a united world as its philosopher king.

And, while it’s certainly not the argumentative be-all and end-all, it doesn’t hurt that Rex’s name is the Latin word for ‘king’.

If we liked, then, we might call Xenoblade Chronicles 2 “The Allegory of the Tree.” It’s not just a story about exploring a vast world, uncovering its history, and interrogating the rich relationships between characters: it’s a vivid illustration of a boy’s journey from ordinary laborer to philosopher king—out of the ocean, up the tree, and back down to the world below once again.

And perhaps the best part about this is that the player enjoys a metaphysically crucial role in taking him on that journey.

How to Turn Plato’s Unwritten Doctrines into a Video Game
Worldbuilding in video games—the craft of developing an engaging and coherent fictional world for the player to experience—is often taken as something quite distinct from storytelling in video games (and in other storytelling media, for that matter): first you create the world, and then you tell the story in it. But what if you could tell a story that fuses the avatar’s journey through the world with the player’s experience of that world, in such a way that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts?

That’s exactly what happens in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. At the same time that Rex is on a righteous journey to become a philosopher king, the player and the Conduit are telling a rich, metaphysical story that mirrors and supplements Rex’s journey through Alrest without reducing to that journey.

Let me tell you about that other half of XC2′s story, and about the Platonic theory underpinning it.



Not much is said about the Conduit within Xenoblade Chronicles 2 itself. Galea—the scientist who would become Meyneth in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 1—identifies it as a “meta-universe manifold”; its power, which the Architect identifies as the power in which Rex and Pneuma participates, “comes leaking out of some far-flung dimension” and is “a power we can know nothing about,” according to the Architect. It is a link to endless universes that coexist side by side, each ignorant of all the others—again, according to the Architect.

There’s interesting work to be done (and already being done) in connecting the Conduit to the Zohar of Xenosaga and the Zohar Modifier of Xenogears; maybe there’s even a compelling quantum-mechanical or multiverse theory to apply to the Conduit. I don’t intend to discount any such interpretations here. What I aim to show is just that there’s another way to think about the Conduit that adds another rich and coherent layer to the Platonic interpretation we’ve been developing throughout this article: in particular, we can analyze the Conduit and the player of XC2 as the two fundamental principles of Plato’s so-called “unwritten doctrines”: the Indefinite Dyad and the One, respectively.


Plato and his student, Aristotle, arguing forevermore in Raphael’s School of Athens.

There’s an interesting and complicated history to Plato’s unwritten doctrines that I won’t belabor here (their Wikipedia page is a good place to start, if you’re interested). The short version is that Plato allegedly held certain foundational metaphysical theories that he never wrote down: he only shared them with Aristotle and other top students of his Academy because he feared that it would hard to explain these theories to a general audience, and they would therefore end up being misinterpreted.

These unwritten doctrines allegedly consist of two principles that explain the Forms—and, since the Forms explain the empirical objects that we experience, the theory of Forms and these two principles, taken together, are supposed to explain the whole of reality and experience. The two principles are:

  1. The One. This is a productive principle that gives form to things.
  2. The Indefinite Dyad. This is a principle of ambiguity and indeterminacy; it is the substrate on which the productive One acts.
The action of the One on the Indefinite Dyad is what creates and sets limits to the Forms, which constitute reality and from which our empirical experiences derive.

Now, keeping in mind that other interpretations of the Conduit’s significance are possible and permissible, consider the following explanation of this “meta-universe manifold” that “leaks power out of some far-flung dimension.”

The Conduit is the principle of ambiguity and indeterminacy: it contains myriad, unresolved possibilities, and, were those possibilities resolved, they could generate myriad different worlds depending on the particularities of how those possibilities were resolved. This is the sense in which the Conduit is a metaphysical manifold beyond any particular universe.

The player is the productive principle that gives form to universes by interacting with the Conduit. On this interpretation, the player’s act of playing the game is the power from “some far-flung dimension” that catalyzes the Conduit, metaphysically undergirding the game’s universe and giving Pneuma and Rex the special kind of “power” that the Architect cites: the power to “make whatever [Pneuma] imagines real.”



This interpretation conveys (at least) four theoretical advantages that I think merits our taking it seriously.

Theoretical Advantage #1: it explains the metaphysical role of the Conduit in a way that’s consonant with the broader narrative of the game, and with the medium through which it’s represented. It’s easy to see the Conduit as a kind of multiversal deus ex machina when playing through Xenoblade Chronicles 2—even if you want to turn to the broader Xenogears/Xenosaga suite and say that it’s intended to link these different universes together, it’s hard to see its inclusion in XC2 as narratively meaningful: instead, we point beyond the fiction and say, “Well, the developers wanted a way to connect their multiple series.”

In contrast, the Platonic view presents a metaphysics to the game’s world that naturally extends from its story and video-game medium. Speaking literally, the player of the video game is enacting the game’s world through the act of playing the game. The Platonic interpretation of the player and Conduit makes that action metaphysically salient within the fiction of the game: it tells us that the real-life player’s literal enactment of the game corresponds within the fiction to the metaphysical creation of the Forms from which Alrest are derived.

And notice that this Platonic interpretation still accomplishes the series-bridging role that the identification of the Conduit with the Zohar accomplishes: when the player interacts with the Conduit differently, a different universe will emerge from the different constellation of Forms thereby generated. In other words, from this Platonic interpretation it follows that a player who engages with a different game containing the Conduit, provided they engage with it differently, will thereby generate a different universe.

This also explains why the Forms underpinning Alrest—the blueprints for life that the Architect was aiming to recreate through the Cloud Sea and Core Crystals—take forms that are familiar to the player, like humans and animals. If the Forms are derived from the player’s interaction with the Conduit, then it stands to reason that the Forms would be similar to those concepts that are familiar to the player in her real world (granting that they will be distorted by the chaotic influence of the Conduit, a.k.a. the Indefinite Dyad).

Theoretical Advantage #2: It explains Pneuma’s special power in a metaphysically robust way. What does it mean that Pneuma can “make whatever she imagines real”? The Platonic interpretation gives us a simple answer that coheres nicely with the rest of our theory: on this view, Pneuma is able to make what she imagines real because she and Rex, by virtue of being the player’s avatar and a metaphysical entity linked to that avatar, are directly linked to the metaphysically foundational enacter of the universe and are therefore able to manifest what the player wishes to manifest in the world.

And it makes sense that they manifest what the player wants, rather than, strictly speaking, what they want: after all, the context in which this power to actualize what Pneuma imagines is introduced is the game’s combat system, regarding Pneuma’s ability to execute an elemental combo in any order. That’s a power that the player is ultimately responsible for exercising, meaning that it is ultimately the player who is deploying this special power through Pneuma.

Why are Pyra and Mythra only able to access this power once they’ve unlocked their true form as Pneuma, even though they and Rex are linked to the player throughout the entirety of the game? The answer is the name of Chapter 7: the fear she carries. One of the aspects of this Platonic interpretation that’s so thematically salient is that, even though the player possesses metaphysical authority over the game’s world, Pyra and Mythra hold the player back by fearing and refusing to use that authority for 70% of the game. It’s only once Rex, the up-and-coming philosopher king, reaffirms his commitment to discovering their future and loving the world that they are willing to let go of their fear and embrace the player’s power in its entirety.

Theoretical Advantage #3: It explains the long arc of XC2′s combat tutorials. This is a corollary of Theoretical Advantage #2. It’s not normal that games will still be teaching you aspects of their combat system 70% of the way through the story, and in the instances where this does happen, its natural to see this as a shortcoming of the combat system—you might complain that the combat system was “too complicated for its own good,” or “not sufficiently intuitive for the player to adopt on her own terms.” But the Platonic interpretation gives a compelling narrative explanation as to precisely why it takes so long to fully learn and implement the game’s combat system. This explanation is twofold.

  1. Throughout the course of the game, the player is continually learning more about the true extent of her authority over the world. It’s not an ordinary convention in video-game storytelling that the player has ultimate metaphysical authority within the game’s fiction, so it’s fair for the player of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 to initially assume that she hasn’t been cast in the role of anything remotely like the One. It’s thus perfectly in keeping with a natural story arc of discovering one’s potential that, as the player progressively learns more about the world and her power in it, she must also continually learn more about how to wield that power. (Who is the mysterious narrator that tells the player how to use the combat system in dialogue boxes? It’s one of my greatest disappointments that the game never gives an answer to that. While I don’t officially think there’s enough data in the game to answer that question, I’d be a sad excuse for an analyst if I didn’t point here to the possibility that this narrator is someone akin to Plato himself: a philosophically omnipotent presence who’s able to teach the One itself about its role in the world that derives from it.)
  2. As I mentioned above, Pyra and Mythra are actively resisting their capacity to tap into the player’s power for most of the game. Thus, the game’s mechanics cohere with the rest of its narrative in the sense that the player must learn how to use her new powers as Pyra and Mythra progressively permit the player to direct more and more of her power through themselves and (by extension) Rex.
Theoretical Advantage #4: It further illuminates the nature of the Trinity Processor’s constituents—Logos, Pneuma, and Ontos. Like the nature of the Conduit, it’s easy to write off the disappearance of Ontos as a deus ex machina intended merely to link XC2 with XC1 before it (on the fair assumption that Alvis is the physical manifestation of Ontos). But there’s another, narratively meaningful explanation that’s available on the Platonic interpretation. If Ontos is the administrative unit that determines the ontology of the universe in which it is embedded—as both his name (the same Greek root for ‘being’ from which we get ‘ontology’) and Alvis’ role in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 suggest—then it makes sense that the presence of an alternate, complete ontology—i.e. the presence of the Conduit and the player—preclude Ontos from governing the metaphysics of that universe. The Platonic interpretation of XC2, therefore, is able to explain the apparent non-sequitur of Ontos “space-time transition event” by analyzing it as one ontological structure trumping the other: the player and Conduit effectively “crowded out” Ontos from Alrest.

And what about Logos and Pneuma? What explains the antithetical paths of the two Aegises: one who aims to destroy the world, and the other who aims to save it? Of course there’s the explanation offered explicitly through the course of the game: Blades are influenced by the perspectives of their Drivers, and so the malice of Amalthus corrupts Logos whereas the compassion of Rex uplifts Pneuma. But our Platonic interpretation gives us a supplemental, more metaphysically foundational explanation for the discrepancy between this Aegises.

Recall from our analysis of Rex’s training as a philosopher king that there is an intrinsic moral nature to the Forms and the way in which the Architect fashioned Alrest. Because the player acts in the role of the metaphysical progenitor of the Forms, it stands to reason that this moral goodness derives from their actions on the Conduit (in fact, some interpretations of Plato’s unwritten doctrines claim outright that the One is the ultimate source of Goodness in the universe, as the productive and unifying force from which the Forms emanate). Thus it makes sense that the Aegis who is directly connected with the player (through her bond with Rex, the avatar) would thereby be directly connected with goodness, whereas the Aegis who is entirely estranged from the player—linked solely to the chaos and indeterminacy of the Conduit—would thereby grow estranged from virtue.

Rex’s journey throughout Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is the training of a philosopher king, but it’s also the classic hero’s journey: Rex leaves home guided by a wise companion, faces adversity, transforms his self-concept, and returns home (back to Alrest from the World Tree). What’s exceptional about the Platonic interpretation of the player and Conduit is that, besides the theoretical advantages enumerated above, it casts the player’s metaphysical journey through the game as parallel to the hero’s journey undertaken by the avatar.

  1. The player leaves her home and becomes ensconced in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
  2. Over the course of the narrative, guided by the game’s own tutorials and direction, she grows into her role as a capable agent of change in the world.
  3. Ultimately, her self-concept is transformed: she sees herself not merely as a participant in the world of the game, but rather as the metaphysical determinant of that world.
  4. The player returns to her own world as the Conduit dissipates with them, paving the way for a world that Rex can govern independently of the player’s authority.
This isn’t the kind of story where the player imagines herself as the avatar and views the avatar’s adventure as her own: it’s the kind of story where avatar and player take the same kind of adventure on different metaphysical levels. The result is a unified narrative in which the protagonist and the consumer of that narrative collaborate to marry the hero’s journey with a comprehensive philosophical worldview.

http://withaterriblefate.com/2018/03/14/the-real-architect-of-xenoblade-chronicles-2-is-plato/
 

bsony

Bam-bam-bam
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Cheguei em Indoline no newgame+

Rapaz, prestando atenção na história dessa vez :ksafado esse jogo é muito foda mesmo, merecia muito mais.
 

okita

Ei mãe, 500 pontos!
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Uma pequena dúvida sobre o Chain Combo: eu preciso bater duas vezes na orbe pra ela poder quebrar (e eu ter a oportunidade de repetir o procedimento)?
Eu bato uma e dá 'burst', mas pra quebrar precisa bater uma segunda vez (com o elemento correspondente), é isso?
São 3 Hits , se você usar o elemento oposto da Orb conta como dois hits
 

mendingo_26

Ei mãe, 500 pontos!
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Xenoblade Chronicles 2 é atualizado amanhã, adicionando mais missões adicionais

http://www.perfectly-nintendo.com/xenoblade-chronicles-2-need-know-dlc-season-pass/

DLC Pack 2D: New Quests For The Main Game 2


  • Release date: March 29th 2018 (North America) / March 30th 2018 (North America, Europe, Japan)
  • Requires: Ver. 1.3.1 or more recent
  • Contents:
  1. This is fine (Quest available in Chapter 2)
  2. Blue Sky White Sun (Quest available in Chapter 5, requires Perceval, Godfrey, and Perun)
  3. Starfall Night (Quest available in Chapter 6)
  4. Cloud Sea Compass Remodeling (Quest available in Chapter 8)
  5. Emergency?! (Quest available in Chapter 10, requires Finch)
NB: official English name for the quests TBC!
 
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