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December 03, 2020
***SPOILER WARNING FOR: XENOBLADE CHRONICLES***
Please proceed only if you have already beaten Xenoblade Chronicles or do not mind spoilers.
Characters in video games are written to make the audience feel for them and understand their purpose. Writers take a lot of liberty crafting the journey that the characters must overcome, usually with a lot of grief and hardships. Melia, without a doubt, was given the top tier tragic treatment.
1. When you first meet her, she's injured and dying and her guards are dead.
When she's introduced, Melia is knocked out and her guards are dead, and you need to find ether to revive her before she dies as well. Once she awakens, she smacks Shulk for touching her hand. It's not a very cheerful introduction to start.
2. She was discriminated against.
A princess in a video game is usually revered, but Melia, being half Entia and half Homs, is hated by her pure blooded High Entia subjects. Homs are regarded as a lower species to High Entians, and they do not shy away from openly racist remarks. Even when Melia helped to end someone's suffering, they didn't hesistate to continue to call her filthy.
3. Her father died in her arms.
High Entia emperor Sorean Antiqua was aware of the vision that foresaw his death and accepted it as fate. During the battle against Metal Face he was impaled, and he dies in Melia's arms, but not before reaffirming his love for his daughter one last time. How sad is it to find that your father whom you've always had a more aristocratic relationship, with his dying breath tell you he's actually always loved you, for him to die in your arms.
4. Her stepmom tried to kill her.
Melia's birth mother most likely passed from old age, and Melia considered her father's consort as a mother figure. However, remember how Melia was first found unconscious? It turned out it was from an assassination attempt from her dear step-mother.
5. Had to kill her own brother.
Despite Melia's half Homs lineage, Kallian was still a loving and protective older brother to his younger sibling. Although he was the eldest of the emperor's children, his younger sister Melia was chosen to be the successor of the throne, a decision he fully supported. It was unfortunate he was turned in a Telethia, and after an insulting kiss that Melia had to witness, she had to defeat her own brother in battle. They share a tender moment before he disappears, followed by yet another sad Melia scene.
6. Watched her people become monsters.
Speaking of Telethia, Melia had to watch her people turn into the beasts and could do nothing to help them, and proceeds to have to kill them in battle.
7. Unrequited love.
Over the course of the journey, it was indisputable that Melia had taking a liking to Shulk (despite the latter making it clear that Fiora was his resolution). There were dialogues and heart-to-heart moments to confirm, there's even an optional scene where Melia contemplates kissing a sleeping Shulk.
However, Shulk never reciprocates or even hints at reciprocating her budding feelings, his mind (and heart) was set on Fiora. In the end, Shulk and Fiora are the canon couple, but the game doesn't stop there. It even throws in an extra scene just to drive the nail home: there is a moment where Shulk takes Fiora's hand and they run past Melia, and the camera actually pans in to a devastated Melia. Oof.
8. She will outlive all her Homs friends.
Being a High Entia, Melia is blessed with a longer life span, but that means she will ultimately outlive all her friends except the Machina and Riki. At least she won't be lonely (Machina seem practically immortal and the Nopon Sage was 9,999 years old), but it would be an eventual painful goodbye to each of her Homs friends.
Her past sucked (grew up discriminated against), her present sucked (the whole game), and her future will most likely suck. At the end of the game, she is alone: Shulk has Fiora, Reyn has Sharla, Riki has his family, Vanea has her father, Dunban has his sister. All of her family are gone, all of her High Entia people are either dead, turned into monsters, or scattered across the world, and her home city is gone. Melia's the only character that doesn't really receive closure or justice at the end of the game, you just can't help but feel a little bad for her.
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