Our Xenoblade Chronicles guide features a comprehensive walkthrough and additional info on the endless amount of optional content in the game.
Walkthrough: Mechon Wreckage
The game continues one year after the events in the intro. You take control of a young man named Shulk, busy salvaging wares from the remnants of the prior year’s battle.
You gain control of him during battle and receive backup from Reyn, his good friend and your first team mate. When using your various Arts, there’s a cooldown time that you must endure before reusing an individual Art. Eventually, you can actually level up Arts, decreasing their cooldown time and increasing their effectiveness. Shulk’s Turn Strike is what’s referred to as a Talent Art. These Arts are specific to an individual character. As I mentioned earlier, the Turn Strike icon will refill every time an auto-attack hit connects.
Like the Krabble you just defeated, most enemies drop loot in the form of a chest. There are different grades of chests, differentiated by their appearance. The simpler wooden chests contain common items and materials while more ornate golden chests contain rare and unique items. Next, you’ll get a brief explanation of the Aggro system in the game. Essentially, the more damage a character deals to an individual enemy, the greater the chance is they'll become the target. If a character is targeted due to increased Aggro, a red ring will appear around them.
Continue south, battling enemies and collecting loot while heading towards Colony 9. You won't always have this luxury, but at the moment you can follow the arrow on the top of the screen to reach your next objective. You may notice small, blue orbs littering the landscape. These are known as Collectables and can be picked up by simply walking over them. By collecting one of every type of collectable in an area, you can fill out your Collectopedia to earn rewards in the form of Gems. Gems are accessories for weapons and other equipment that will boost particular stats. Pretty soon, you'll get the ability to craft your own gems.
When you reach Colony 9, Reyn will depart for work at the military HQ. Check your inventory and equip any new items that you’ve acquired. Your new goal is to reach the Weapon Development Lab, but first, you should spend some time exploring the Colony. There is a lot to learn about the game here, as well as plenty of side-quests, available right from the start.
If you see a colonist with an exclamation point over their head, that’s your clue that they have a side-quest (or even quests in some cases) to offer. You might also notice that certain colonists have generic names, like "Colonist", while others are given unique names, such as "Rosemary". There are a few reasons that some of these NPCs are differentiated from the rest of the pack:
NPCs with unique names have items available for trade. You need to offer an item in return that is of equal or greater value. The benefit of this is you can find certain hard to locate collectables, which makes filling out the Collectopedia that much easier. Often, if you over trade by offering the NPC a more valuable item, you can get bonus items in return. The quality of the item is based on the difference and the individual's preset selection of bonus items. Eventually, we'll have a sub-guide featuring the individual NPCs and their trade requirements.
Every named NPC plays an important role in the society, local and abroad. Xenoblade weighs heavy on affinity between NPCs, Locations, and your individual team mates. Affinity controls the availability of side-quests primarily, but it also plays an important role in whats known as a "Heart-to-Heart" instances. These are character-development opportunities located throughout the world, noted on the map by an icon representing two hands, held together. These opportunities can only be realized when you meet the proper affinity requirements between the characters involved. For more information on Heart-to-Hearts, check out the sub-guide which contains the locations, requirements, and other info for each Heart-to-Heart in Xenoblade.
Xenoblade features 480 side-quests. If completing that many side-quests is daunting to you, you should know it's nothing compared to obtaining them. Quests are offered only if certain conditions are met. The NPC giving the quest must be present, which is determined by the time of day. In some cases they have affinity requirements as well, either between themselves and another NPC, or even between yourself and the particular town. This walkthrough will primarily focus on getting through the story, but our Quest sub-guide will contain info on finding these finicky NPCs, as well as the conditions required to pick up the particular quest.
At this point, Colony 9 is open for exploration. The only limiting factor is your current level; can't explore that mountain if you can't defeat the enemies on it. Feel free to try though, because dying results in your team respawning to the last major landmark you passed. Not a bad deal. Just don't expect to traipse around, picking up collectables ahead of time. If an enemy is pursuing your team, you won't be able to pick acquire them on the run.
When you've settled the itch to explore, head for the Military district, North from the commercial district. Simply follow the nav-arrow at the top of the screen. Once you arrive, you're treated to a another healthy dose of story.
There is an apparent mistake in Special Lever 2 for Regbuilding Colony 6. It says defeat Earth Nebula at Sap Cave. I was never able to find a Sap Cave, but I was able to defeat Caris Nebula at the brog lake just before you get to Nopon Arch.