Character Analysis, The Mind of a Character, Video Games, Xenoblade Chronicles

Tyrea: Fleshing Out an Assassin

Xenoblade Chronicles has a lot of memorable characters. Shulk, Reyn, Fiora, Sharla, Dunban, best-girl Melia, the actual hero of the story Riki, Mumkhar, the list goes on. And amazingly enough: the Definitive Edition adds even more on top of that! More impressive yet: it took a character that no one knew or cared about and made them into an actual character!

Because let’s be real: if you’ve only played the original, you have no idea who I’m talking about.

In the original game, this character’s role was very small. First, she was just a nameless assassin Melia had to fight in the tomb. But if you found her secret sidequest outside Colony 6 near the end of the game, she gets a lot more! Not much, mostly just a backstory. But it was intriguing! It left me wanting more! Which, to my dismay, we didn’t get.

Now, she is a much more fleshed-out and interesting character. Granted, if you miss the aforementioned sidequest before taking on the Future Connected storyline, you might be confused about a few things. But if you put in the work, you’ll get to enjoy a pretty solid redemption arc!

The Want and the Wound: A Mother’s Will

When we met Tyrea in the original version of Xenoblade Chronicles, she was just a thug working for Melia’s stepmother. So, in that context, she was less of a character herself and more of a tool for that character. And to my surprise, they actually took that and ran with it!

Tyrea’s mother was a member of a secret cult that protected/controlled the High Entia government from the shadows, guiding them towards the end set out for them by the Bionis (why are people so eager to turn into weird monster things?). Being born into this cult, Tyrea was immediately put to work as a loyal servant to her mother. However, when it came to light that her father was half-Homs, she was to be executed for her tainted blood. However, despite her own beliefs, her mother chose to protect her.

Oh yeah, her mother is also Melia’s stepmom, by the way. Kind of an important thing. We’ll get to that in a bit.

Whether it was out of love for devotion, Tyrea dedicated herself to her mother. Anything she wanted done, she got done, regardless of how gruesome the task was. She even swore to kill her once she became a Telethia! Her loyalty put your average dog to shame!

That came off way meaner than I meant it.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t an entirely positive relationship. As we saw in the game, her mother wasn’t always all that kind to her daughter. Not only that, but she instilled a lot of terrible beliefs in her; mainly her hatred for half-Homs Entia.

Which is kind of a problem when you recall that Tyrea is half-Homs. Which brings us to…

The Lie: Unworthy Alone

Tyrea has a big mental struggle to deal with. On one hand, she wants to protect the High Entia however she can; her mother instilled that in her as well, which was a good thing. But there are two things holding her back: guilt and self-loathing.

Again, she was taught to hate half-Homs High Entia; kind of a huge problem when you are one. Combine that with guilt over her… less than noble acts (friendly reminder that she did, in fact, try to kill Melia), and the seed of doubt in her mind quickly grew into a huge, fruitful tree.

Melia certainly didn’t help much. When Tyrea saw her sort-of sister, it reminded her all-too painfully about what she’d done over the years. How could she protect the High Entia like her after all she’d done?

Luckily, through their interactions, she comes to a realization.

The Need: Shadow

Every light has a shadow. That doesn’t mean they must be opposites that oppose one another. Rather, the two are in a perpetual balancing act. Yin and Yang and all that.

Tyrea has a very similar realization near the end of Future Connected. She can’t be the light of the High Entia; that was Melia’s job. However, she could be that light’s shadow. Just as she served her mother, she could serve Melia. Not only would this help her apply all the skills she honed over the years, but it would bring redemption to all that she’d done over the years.

Her aim was always the same as her mother: to protect the High Entia. Her mother did it horribly wrong at basically every turn. But using all that she gave her, her daughter can now do a much better job of it.

Not that I think Melia would be ordering many assassinations. Then again… if Fiora wasn’t around…

Conclusion

I’ll fully admit Tyrea isn’t the best character in Xenoblade Chronicles. Before finishing Future Connected, I had originally intended to talk about either Shulk or Melia. But I enjoyed this character’s arc so much that I just couldn’t resist!

I’ve got my fair share of complaints for the Definitive Edition. I’ll be going into them during my review tomorrow. But chief among them was one little nitpick: Tyrea never joined my party in Future Connected. I was so desperate for that to happen that I practically screamed at the screen! But in the end, I only got disappointment.

And two decent Nopon that played exactly like Reyn and Sharla. Seriously, why couldn’t you give them a new moveset? Or just make them Reyn and Sharla?

I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?

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