Video Game Atlas: Bionis

Once a week Art Attack will offer you a handy little travel guide to the fictional worlds of video games.

Name: Bionis, Xenoblade Chronicles series

Population: 40 million

Government: Autonomous states roughly overseen by hereditary monarchy

Leaving behind the many new friends I had made on Blobolonia, I decided to visit a more recent addition to the video game maps, a place called Bionis that was rumored to be unlike anything else ever seen before. I have to say, the rumors fell far short.

The continent of Bionis is not a continent at all in the way we would define it. Instead it is a massive, inert god that was frozen into a dormant state while engaged in mortal combat with an equally unbelievably large god, Mechonis. The local legends say that when the world they inhabit was new, the biological Bionis and the mechanical Mechonis fought a sword battle for eons, until each struck a devastation blow locking them in stasis until the current time.

Since then, three different races have evolved to live on the skin of the Bionis, which resembles much of contemporary Earth with its hills, valleys, lakes, forests, and mountains. The Homs are as close to human as to make no difference. They were formerly numerous, building at least nine technologically advanced colonies among the lower half of the Bionis. Only two of these remain, and only one, Colony 9, in stable condition. Their towns are run by the military leaders, who man the defenses against machine-based invaders from Mechonis. Lately, Mechons with disturbing faces have taken to kidnapping Homs for unknown reasons.

The most famous Homs on all of Bionis is a man named Dunban, who I met as he rested at his house in Colony 9. Though his right arm is near paralyzed, he is still one of the greatest warriors in Bionis history. Previously, he wielded the Monado, a mystic sword that is devastating against Mechons, but overuse of it at the Battle of Sword Valley that repelled the invaders a year ago led to his current incapacitation. The Monado is still in Colony 9, being studied for use against the Mechon.

Exploring all of Bionis would be the subject of many articles. I guestimate the size of the titan to be roughly that of the Japanese archipelago, with a similar population at its height. There is thriving commerce all over the land, and the many shops and stalls offer food the likes of which you have never even dreamed. If you do nothing else while visiting Bionis, sample the restaurants.

Also indigenous to the Bionis is a small race of rotund pixies called the Nopon. They are centered in the great Makna Forest under the leadership of a headman, but are found in all corners of the world conducting trade and scientific research. Though not typically a warrior class of people, they are nonetheless perfectly capable of defending themselves despite their size. They are by no means primitive, but they do not specialize in the powerful machines and elegant spires of other Bionis races. Instead, they rely on a deep knowledge of natural abilities to make their way in the world. Their bravery is also beyond question. From the chilly Satori Marshlands to the edge of Mechonis itself, it's rare not to have a Nopon nearby with a well-stocked caravan.

The head of the Bionis is home to the High Entia, a long-lived elfish species that is at least closely-related enough to the Homs to inter-breed with them. The Emperor of the High Entia holds nominal, though by no means absolute control over the Bionis. His people are capable of amazing engineering feats that defy imagination.

For one, their homes above the Eryth Sea are suspended in the air on floating islands not unlike the Kingdom of Zeal... though hopefully not powered by harnessing the energy expenditures of a Lavos. Here in their capital of Alcamoth, the highest levels of research and statesmanship are conducted. Be warned, though the High Entia do interbreed with Homs, indeed, long tradition in the royal line requires a second consort be a full-blooded Homs, many of the High Entia view our genetic cousins as barbarians at best and pests at worst. This is likely to change with the ascension of the half-human Melia Antiqua to the throne.

Though currently in the midst of a war with the Mechon, Bionis is a wonderful continent to visit, with immigrants of all races being especially welcome at the recently rebuilt Colony 6. As long as you can get over the fact that you are essentially walking around on the body of a colossus, one that prophecy states will one day wake up, you'll always be able to find a home on Bionis.

Previous Entries in the Video Game Atlas

Blobolonia, A Boy and His Blob series The Citadel, Mass Effect series Gold Saucer, Final Fantasy series High Hrothgar, Elder Scrolls series The End of Time, Chrono Trigger series Kakariko Village, Legend of Zelda Series Silent Hill, Silent Hill Series Monkey Island, Monkey Island Series Rapture, BioShock Series The Republic of Dave, Fallout series

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