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August 2, 2022

Shulk Was At First "A Little Creepy" In Xenoblade Chronicles

Shulk was apparently "a little creepy" in Xenoblade Chronicles before a few changes were made by its developer, Monolith Soft. The issue mostly had to do with a particular cutscene in which the character touched Fiora's cheek while she lay unconscious.

The news comes from a recently released video by the YouTube channel Did You Know Gaming. Shulk appears to have alarmed Writer Yurie Hattori who immediately called for the cutscene to be reworked.

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Executive Director Tetsuya Takahashi vividly remembers the altercation with Hattori, noting how the writer was concerned that Shulk touching the cheek of an unconscious Fiora to express his feelings for the character could be construed as creepy. The cutscene was modified such that Shulk wound up touching her hand instead.


"One issue pointed out by Hattori that I can clearly remember concerns the girl named Fiora, the childhood friend of Shulk," Takahashi explained. "There's a scene where she's almost asleep and you touch her hand. This was initially a scene where Shulk touched her cheek to communicate his feelings for her, but Hattori pointed out that suddenly touching a woman's cheek while she's asleep could be construed as being a little creepy."

According to Takahashi, the decision to change the cutscene was all about preserving the "innocent and naive nature of the character's love." Shulk is in effect known for his complete lack of either conceit or pretension, coming off as both good natured and honest, a true hero.

The concern over so small a detail as one cutscene provides a reminder that care and attention is very important when it comes to strong storytelling. The slightest oversight can be interpreted by players in a wide variety of different ways, not all of which are entirely harmless.

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