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Skells (from the word exoskeleton; Japanese: ドール, Dōru, Doll; English dub: /ˈskɛl/) are weaponizable mechs in Xenoblade Chronicles X. Skells rely on fuel to power them, and can be used in battle at any time, mostly against larger creatures.
The party may only acquire a Skell after Chapter 6, with the flight pack available after Chapter 9. Only BLADE members with a Skell License are allowed to use them. Skells have breakable parts (such as one losing its arm in battle) that will prevent them from using certain weapons until the damage is repaired. All Skell models can transform into different types of vehicles, such as the Formula Skell transforming into a motorcycle-like vehicle. Some Skells can also transform into an armed van or watercraft.
Skell License and Flight Pack
After finishing Chapter 6 of the main plot, the Skell License Certification Test may be passed and obtained. Upon passing the test, a weaponisable Skell can be obtained, which can be used to assist in exploration and battles throughout Planet Mira. After obtaining the first Skell, any playable character will also be allowed to pilot a Skell, provided they meet the minimum level requirements for their particular Skell. In addition, after Chapter 9 and a successful development, the Flight Module can be obtained, allowing the Skell to fly through Mira's sky. A significant range of actions will then be accessible, and numerous locations can be reached via flight.
Skell Types and Models
There are three types of Skells: light, medium and heavy. Each type has different models with specific characteristics and features.
The Light Type Skells have low HP, but make up for this with their high Accuracy, Evasion, and excellent mobility during combat. They have a low fuel capacity, but low fuel consumption during flight. It is not recommended to add high fuel costing weapons such as the Hexad-Partican because they will use up all of the fuel out of your Skell. Weapons that cost 20-200 fuel are recommended for this type. Only light armor pieces can be equipped on Light Types.
The Medium Type Skells are well balanced and easy to maneuver. They have highly durable armor for each part of their body, making these individual parts difficult to destroy. If you think about it, Medium Type Skells are the Jack of All Trades for Skells. Medium Types can equip medium and light armor pieces.
The Heavy Type Skells have the highest HP and Physical Defense. They have the highest fuel capacity, making them a good choice for pilots who use powerful weapons that are high in fuel consumption. In turn, because of their weight, they have so-so mobility and evasion during battle. They also have high fuel consumption during flight. These Skells can equip all types of armor pieces as long as it matches their level.
BLADE's Skell Models
There are seven types of Skells which can be purchased from BLADE: The Formula, the Verus and the Urban models, which are Light Type Skells, the Lailah and Inferno models, which are Medium Type Skells, and finally the Mastema and Amdusias models, which are Heavy Type Skells. There are two different makes for each model. One is more affordable (217,000 to 548,000 Credits) and has an initial level of 30. The other is much more expensive (1,740,000 to 4,390,000 Credits) but has an initial level of 50 and requires Sakuraba Industries R&D to be level 5 before going on market.
|Formula Vehicle||Verus Vehicle||Urban Vehicle||Lailah Vehicle||Inferno Vehicle||Mastema Vehicle||Amdusias Vehicle|
DLC Skell Models
Level 60 Skells And The Ares Skells
After finishing the game, blueprints for level 60 Skells become available.
- Formula Zero
- Urban Lincoln
- Verus Cain
- Lailah Queen
- Inferno Skydon
- Mastema White Reaper
- Amdusias Hades
Along with these two new super Skells become available.
Skells have their own levels which are independent to those of the party. During battle with Skells, Auto-Attacks are performed with Hand Weapons that can be equipped in both hands. Other body parts of the Skell can be equipped with weapons allowing to use Arts. These Hand Weapons (left or right hands) can be Rods, Swords, Assault Rifle, or Shotguns for example.
The Skells can equip up to eight Weapons (four in each hand), each of which comes with a specific Art:
- The Back Weapons, which can use high power Arts, such as Railguns, Missiles, Grenade Launchers.
- The Shoulder Weapons, which can use more powerful Arts than the Back Weapons, such as Missiles, Chainguns, Laser weapons. Superweapons can be equipped here.
- The Arm Weapons, which can use specific Arts with numerous effects, such as Shields and Vulcans.
- The Spare Weapons, which are characterized by short Cooldown times, such as Beam Sabers and Hand Grenades.
Unlike ground arts, Skell Arts do not have secondary cooldowns. Each Art consumes Skell fuel to execute.
Some weapons are restricted to certain slots on the Skell frame, such as the right shoulder or right back, and some weapons are so powerful that they take up multiple weapon slots, such as both the right and left back or the whole back and both shoulders.
Overdrive and Cockpit Time
Similar to normal battles (out of Skell), Overdrive can be activated by consuming 3000 GP. While an Overdrive is active, Skell Fuel is not consumed, and extra effects are granted, depending on the frame model of Skell. These effects are displayed above the Arts palette upon activating Overdrive.
When an Art is used, the pilot may trigger Cockpit Time. Once this mode is triggered, all Arts will be charged up again, allowing for immediate reuse. The Skell also cannot move while in Cockpit mode except for ascending and descending. Reflect damage is also negated.
By inflicting Stagger on an enemy, the Skell pilot can Bind it, which constrains the enemy from moving in a violet sphere for around 10 seconds. A series of button commands appear when a player inflicts Bind, which the player must complete successfully, lest the enemy immediately break free. During the Bind effect, the damaged inflicted on enemies will increase. In addition, successful completion of a button command ("Perfect") increases the Skell Fuel by up to 100 units per button command and GP by 250.
While flying or by engaging in battle, the Skell will consume Fuel. The Fuel gauge recovers slowly when no pilot is in the Skell, or much faster when the pilot is in the Skell during certain weather conditions. The Skell can also be refueled in the BLADE Barracks, at a cost of 5000 Miranium for 3000 Fuel.
The individual parts of a Skell will be destroyed after taking too much damage. Weapons and Arts corresponding to the destroyed appendage cannot be used. Weapons which require both arms will be disabled if either arm is destroyed. GP will also be reduced after losing an appendage. Destroyed Skell parts are automatically fixed after the battle ends, and damage will be healed upon activating Overdrive.
When a Skell's frame HP reaches zero, it will be wrecked. If the Skell controlled by the team leader is wrecked, a Soul Challenge determines what happens:
|Perfect||The team leader ejects safely with no loss of HP and secondary cooldown on all personal arts. If the Skell still has at least one unit of Skell Insurance remaining, it will be repaired at no cost.|
|Good||The team leader ejects safely with no loss of HP, but repairing the Skell will cost one unit of Skell insurance.|
|Failed||The team leader ejects from the Skell with only 1 HP, and repairing the Skell will cost one unit of Skell insurance.|
Other party members automatically receive a "Perfect" rating, ensuring that their Skells will be repaired at no cost.
The Barracks Hangar option at the BLADE Barracks Console can be used to manage and customize the player's Skells. It also allows the repair of any Skells that were wrecked in battle.
Selecting a Skell in the Barracks Hangar menu will display the Skell's stats and fuel gauge, and the following options:
- Register Skell allows the Skell to be assigned to any playable character of the same or higher level. If the Skell is already registered to a character, it can be reassigned to someone else.
- Change Gear allows the Skell's weapons, body parts, and augments to be changed. This differs from the main menu's Skell Gear option which is limited to the current party members' Skells.
- Refuel Skell allows the Skell to be refueled at a cost of 5,000 Miranium for 3,000 units of Skell fuel.
- Rename allows a custom name to be assigned to the Skell.
- Customize Colors allows the Skell's colors to be changed.
- Sell allows the Skell to be sold.
Most Skells begin with three units of Skell insurance, except for R&D Skells which come with ten units of insurance.
If a wrecked Skell can be repaired free of charge, or by using one unit of Skell Insurance, it will be repaired automatically when the Barracks Hangar option is selected at the BLADE Barracks Console. The Skell's insurance will be decremented by one if it is registered to the team leader and a "Perfect" rating was not achieved on the Soul Challenge when it was wrecked.
If the team leader's Skell is wrecked with no insurance remaining, selecting it in the Barracks Hangar menu will give three options:
- Use Salvage Ticket repairs the Skell using a Salvage Ticket ticket received as a Division reward.
- Pay Fee repairs the Skell at a cost of roughly 70% of the original purchase price of the Skell and its equipment.
- Abandon permanently destroys the wrecked Skell.
It is also possible to cancel out of the repair menu without repairing or abandoning the Skell.
Aside from Skells registered to the party, some Skell enemies may be engaged in combat throughout Mira. These include various Skell models deployed by the Ganglion, such as Qmoeva, Galdr, and Seidr. It is possible to salvage Skell equipment by breaking their appendages. During certain missions, some Human-Made Skells are fought as an opponent. All Skell enemies are classified as Mechanoids.
- Skells were designed by Takayuki Yanase, who previously worked as the mechanical designer for Mobile Suit Gundam 00. Skells share similarities from the titular mechs of that series such as the usage of glowing particles when in motion, the automatic fuel recharge when parked, the used energy for both flight and weapon usages, and more or less, the Overdrive system to boost the performance.
- The Japanese name "Dolls" is explained in part 4 of the short story "24 Hour Happy People" published in the official Japanese website.