This page details prerelease information and/or media for Xenoblade Chronicles.
*We need more pictures! I think one of the preliminary Art names is just "Activate Monado" but it's a different spelling than what is used in the final. See if any other of the screenshots in this Siliconera article or the four trailers contain differences from the final game.
- 1 Monado: Beginning of the World
- 2 Battle System
- 3 Characters
- 4 Cutscene Changes
- 5 References
Monado: Beginning of the World
Xenoblade Chronicles was first revealed to the public at E3 2009 under the title Monado: Beginning of the World. This was later changed to Xenoblade Chronicles some time in 2010, in honor of Tetsuya Takahashi, the director of the game, who had also worked on previous entries in the Xeno series.
E3 2009 Trailer
|...But what does it mean?|
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The gameplay trailer was shown to the world at E3 2009.
- Shulk's realtime eyes are different. During all instances of the trailer where he is present, as well as the press release screenshots, Shulk is seen wearing an outfit that would eventually become an alternate design for his military armour in the final game, since every other character's armours (bar Fiora) match up to their final designs, it was likely this armour was intended to be Shulk's initial armour.
- Fiora originally had the Dyed series as her initial armour.
- What appears to be an early version of Makna Forest appears in several parts of the trailer.
- The jumping animation for the littlepon that appears at 0:40 is slower than it is in the final.
- At the 0:42 mark, Shulk uses an Art named Dive Sword (ダイブソード), which uses the animation for Shulk's Back Slash. At 0:46 and 0:48, two more preliminary Art names appears.
Battle of Sword Valley
Two screenshots of the Battle of Sword Valley. This cutscene is featured prominently in early trailers, and was changed significantly before the game was released. In the first screenshot, Dunban and Dickson's facial textures are different, and there is a strange metallic wreckage in the background. The second shows Dunban with an M104 unit looming in the distance, which never happens in the final.
Shulk Conversing in Colony 9
Shulk talking to a man in Colony 9. The speech bubble is darker and the font used is different. The NPC in the E3 2009 screenshot is saying "Shulk, did you go and get some junk today, too?".
Weapon Development Lab
Shulk, Fiora, and Reyn inside the Weapons Development Lab. Fiora is using her earlier design. Reyn lacks the circular decorations on the collar area of his armor, and the skin texture used on his arms appears to be different to the rest of his skin, which is most noticeable when looking at the area where his shoulder connects to his arm.
Shulk with the Monado
Shulk being overwhelmed by the Monado's power upon accidentally activating it.
Arachno Queen Battle
Shulk, Dunban, and Reyn fighting the Arachno Queen boss. Dunban is in the party, even though he leaves before Tephra Cave and doesn't rejoin until long after in the final. The battle HUD has several differences, such as completely different head icons and placeholder Arts icons. The enemy's name is also using a placeholder, presumably its internal name in the game files.
Shulk overlooking the Crown Tree in Satorl Marsh during nighttime. The Crown Tree lacks the green glow it has around its branches.
Battle in the Jungle
Shulk, Dunban, and Reyn face off against some Giant Ignas in what appears to be Makna Forest. Ignas exclusively appear in Satorl Marsh and during one mission in Colony 6 in the final. Arts Rush may be an early name for the Chain Attack mechanic. The enemy's name in the screenshot translates to Demihuman Lizard.
Ether Crystals in the Jungle
Another screenshot of Shulk, Dunban, and Reyn standing in the same area as the previous screenshot, standing in front of a large fire ether crystal deposit. An ether crystal deposit in a location similar to the one in the E3 2009 screenshot does appear in Makna Forest in the final game, but the geometry of the area around it is slightly different, the crystals have a different shape, and are earth crystals. It should be noted, however, that a fire ether crystal deposit does appear in the final's Makna Forest, but it is located in the Decayed Forest, which has far different geometry to the area shown in the E3 2009 screenshot.
Bionis' Left Shoulder
A screenshot of the Bionis' Left Shoulder, which doesn't look much different from how it looks in the final.
Xenoblade was originally planned to use a turn-based battle system with the ability to see into the future, this was instead swapped out for a real-time system as it "didn't go very well".
A piece of concept art for Reyn's military armor shows him wearing clothing over his midriff. Seeing as this detail isn't in any prerelease footage or screenshots, it was likely dropped early on during the design phase.
- Concept art of Dunban shows that the feathers in his hair when he wears Makna head armor were meant to use a unique texture. In the final game, his feathers use the same texture as his headband.
- Dunban's military torso armor is different in early gameplay footage and screenshots, and appears to be heavily based on Mumkhar's armor. It is likely this was changed to distinguish the two. This earlier torso armor design can still be seen in the final game, as Dunban is seen wearing it in the photo on his nightstand.
Melia's swimwear top was made longer in the final.
At one point in development, the idea of having a party member who would travel with the main party and gain experience with them, only to later betray them was considered. However, this was dropped after objections from Tetsuya Takahashi, who thought the idea would be too galling from the player's perspective. While there are two "playable" characters who betray the group in the final game, they are removed after the battle they are added for and are flagged to not gain experience or affinity. The idea of having a full-time party member permanently leave the group would later be implemented in the sequel.
I probably need to rewatch the Dickson's Betrayal cutscene to validate some things. Also what cutscene is the Iwata Asks interview talking about? It might be my bad memory, but I don't remember such a scene being in the final game.
- The storyboard for the cutscene of Dickson's Betrayal/Zanza's Revival has significant differences from how it plays out in the final. For one, the storyboard seems to lack the scene where Dickson knocks Melia over and holds his Sabre to her neck, suggesting this part was added in later. Another change is during the scene where Egil shoots an energy blast and Zanza suppresses it, the storyboard depicts Shulk (possessed by Zanza) suppressing it instead. Dickson is also dressed in his military armor for unknown reasons. 
- A cutscene showing Shulk holding Fiora's hand while she sleeps originally showed Shulk touching her cheek, this was changed during development as it was considered creepy.