For those who have not completed the game, this page may contain spoilers regarding the plot. Discretion is advised.
- "The Monado... I hope I can figure out the secret of its power one day."
The Monado (English dub:/məˈnɑːˌdəʊ/) is a mythical sword in Xenoblade Chronicles. The reasons of its existence and powers are the core of the story. It is said to be the weapon used by Bionis in its war with Mechonis.
The Monado is a powerful energy blade that can manipulate the ether around it, and with it, change the material and immaterial shape of the world. The use of the Monado depends on the will of its user; most Homs who try to use the sword cannot control it. At the beginning of the game, the Monado cannot harm any Hom from Bionis.
The Monado grants its elected wielder the power of foresight. It is said that foresight is possible because all of the ether in the world is calculable in its changes. This allows the user to see where every ether particle is, was, and will be.
The Monado emits a particular ether wavelength in its ground state that attracts Telethia. Also, the Monado can be counteracted by using opposing particles of the ones the Monado uses.
All of the seers must touch the Monado to receive their divination powers.
14 years before the game, a group of Hom explorers left Colony 9 in search of the fabled sword. Their travels took them to Valak Mountain, where they disappeared. After them went Dickson, who found the bodies of the research team in the Sealed Tower, next to the Monado. He took the weapon along with the only survivor, who would grow up to be Shulk.
Battle of Sword Valley Edit
The first known Hom wielder of the Monado, Dunban, was able to somewhat control the sword and use it as a weapon against the Mechon at the Battle of Sword Valley. In doing so, he was able to thwart an attack against Colony 9. Due to sheer discipline and strength he could wield the blade, even though he could not fully control it. Dunban unknowingly sacrificed the use of his right arm for victory in the battle against the Mechon. After the battle, he said to Shulk: "The next time will be your turn".
Shulk is the heir of the Monado. He has dedicated his entire life to solving the secrets of the blade and thus is not only able to wield the blade without problems, but also able to unlock its great power. Shulk experiences this great power for the first time when he sees the future while holding the Monado in his laboratory. However, he learns that he has no control over what he sees, so he did not know he was granted foresight at the beginning.
When the Mechon attacked Colony 9, Dunban, not yet recovered from his injuries, tried to use the Monado. When the Monado was flung out of Dunban's hand, Shulk picked up the Monado, shouting, "This time... is my time!" At this point, he gained the ability to predict the future, although not by choice. Thanks to the Monado's foresight, Shulk avoided getting killed. However, he was unable to damage Metal Face in any way with the Monado, which left him helpless against the Faced Mechon when he killed Fiora.
Changing the Future Edit
Shulk and Reyn decided to avenge Fiora and set out for Colony 6. While in Tephra Cave, Shulk had a vision—he saw the Arachno Queen killing Reyn. The prediction proved true when Shulk and Reyn fell into the Arachno Queen's Nest. Shulk unlocked another Monado ability, the Shield, allowing him to change the future that the Monado had predicted. After this event, Shulk was able to use the foresight in all battles, and subsequently able to use the Shield to defend against enemy arts. This prescience becomes a principal topic of the game.
Makna Forest Edit
While looking for ether crystals in Makna Forest, Shulk was attacked alone by strange monsters. When he tried to confront them, he was unable to face them, as they could read his thoughts. However, a Hom by the name of Alvis managed to control the blade and unlock another power of the Monado. He explains that the Monado does not control its power, but its user does.
When the party followed Sorean to Prison Island, they met a giant by the name of Zanza, who was also locked away by the same forefathers. He claimed to be the creator of the Monado, and offered to remove the shackles that prevent the Monado from harming beings of Bionis if he is released. Shulk agreed, and even though Zanza apparently died, the Monado was released, and Shulk could finally harm Faced Mechon. However, he could hear the voice of Zanza through the blade for the first time.
The leader of Mechonis, Egil, used the Apocrypha Generator located in the Central Factory (the chest of Mechonis) in Galahad Fortress to revert the Monado to its inert state. Even after the battle ended, Shulk still could not use the Monado. He finally forced it to awaken, but the use of the Monado was taxing to him.
God's Weapon Edit
When the party slew Yaldabaoth, Egil explained that Zanza inhabits beings of Bionis to live, and his soul dwells in the Monado. He told the story of Arglas, and how Zanza used his body to wage war against Mechonis. After the battle he was incarcerated in Prison Island and the Monado was sealed in Ose Tower, now called the Sealed Tower. After the story had been told, Dickson appeared and shot Shulk with his rifle. Zanza left Shulk's body, revealing that the Monado is the weapon of destruction, with holder of Zanza's soul. After this revelation, Meyneth came out from Fiora's body and used her Monado (the symbol which appears on Fiora's chest) to battle Zanza. When Zanza defeated Meyneth, he took Meyneth's Monado. With it, Zanza no longer needed to inhabit a living being to survive. It is possible that Zanza did not know that there was another Monado, Shulk's Monado.
When the group slew Zanza for the last time, a light connected the three Monados. After this, a voice was: Alvis, who said he is the Monado. He said that Shulk is a god now because he had found his Monado, and that he can decide the fate of all the universe.
Shulk can activate the Monado's Arts by selecting the large icon in the center of the screen when it is fully charged. He then has access to the various Arts the Monado can perform. Each Art is unlocked at various points in the game, with only Buster and Enchant being available initially. In the beginning the Monado arts can only reach level 4. After the events on Prison Island, all of the Arts can reach level 10.
- Buster: powerful attack with a larger blade. Deals double the damage to Mechon and Machina.
- Enchant: strengthens the weapons of the party. Allows normal weapons to damage Mechon.
- Shield: generates a barrier that protects the party from enemy talent arts of the same level or lower.
- Speed: gives the target a greater chance to dodge physical attacks.
- Purge: ranged ether blast that inflicts Aura Seal and nullifies Spike effects.
- Armour: reduces physical and ether damage taken. Percentage (30%-75%) depends on this Art's level.
- Cyclone: damages all enemies around the user and inflicts topple on enemies suffering from break.
- Eater: strips away enemy buffs and causes bleed damage in a frontal cone.
- The name of the Monado is likely derived from the philosophical idea of the monad, which can be traced back to use in ancient Greece. It is generally used to describe some kind of indivisible unit, and in philosophy, the basic, indivisible underlying element of reality (whatever that philosophy purports that to be - e.g. God, energy, material). The term is used in Gottfried Leibniz's philosophy and in Gnosticism (among many others), which in turn links Xenoblade Chronicles in theme to Tetsuya Takahashi's other works, Xenosaga and Xenogears. In chemistry, the term monad represents an atom with a valence of one.
- In italian version of game Monado is called Monade. Its name is probably derived from homonym greek word.
- In various cutscenes, the symbol displayed in the Monado says what it is capable of killing. When Shulk begins the game, the Monado displays the symbol for "Machine". When Zanza is freed on Prison Island and Shulk gets the Monado II, it says "Person". During the final battle, when Zanza looks at Shulk's Monado III and says "That Symbol...", it is because the symbol now displayed says "god".
- Despite the game's lore saying the Monado cannot harm anything born of Bionis, in gameplay it has no difficulty harming any of the monsters that inhabit Bionis. However, when the player is attacked by High Entia in Alcamoth, Shulk's attacks will bounce off their bodies.
- A post in a forum shown here greatly describes the Monado's use and ending. "Look up the word "monad. It represents both the primal aspect of God in Gnosticism. It refers to the wholeness of God himself AND it's a programming concept defining how several different functions are chained together."