The Monado is a sword originally wielded by Dunban and later by Shulk is the only weapon that can defeat Mechon. It has legendary, hidden powers, including, giving Shulk the ability to see slightly into the future and the chance to change destiny. Although it is extremely effective against Mechon, it cannot harm humans.
The Monado was first used by the Bionis as it attacked the neighboring Mechonis, controlled by Zanza through the body of a giant named Arglas. The war only ended once the High Entia imprisoned Zanza (still in Arglas' body) on Prison Island.
The Monado was discovered again ten years before the events of the game by a group of Homs explorers, inside Ose Tower in Valak Mountain. The expedition included Dickson, who found the Monado as well as a young Shulk, the only member of his group still alive. Dickson then spent the next several years researching the properties of the Monado.
Battle of Sword Valley
The warrior Dunban is shown to wield the Monado in the Battle of Sword Valley to almost single-handedly defeat the invading Mechon. Although the Mechon are driven off, Dunban pays the price for his use of the Monado: he nearly dies and is nursed back to health over the next year, although his right arm remains heavily scarred and paralyzed.
The Mechon Attack Again
The Mechon once again attack Bionis, focusing on the two remaining Homs colonies: Colony 6 and Colony 9. Dunban attempts to wield the Monado once more, but his body grows too weak. Shulk takes up the Monado and starts defeating Mechon units, even beginning to see visions of the future. However, the Monado proves no match for a mysterious Mechon bearing a face.
Having pursued the faced Mechon, Metal Face, to Prison Island, Shulk meets with Zanza and releases him from his prison. In exchange, Zanza releases the true powers of the Monado, allowing it to hurt anything. Shulk uses these powers to wound Metal Face, forcing it to escape.
Egil, the creator of the Mechon and leader of the Mechonis, faces Shulk at Galahad Fortress, the Mechon's operating base. He activates the Apocrypha Generator, which shuts off the Monado. He explains that the Monado produces a particular wavelength in the ether when activated, but an opposing wavelength will cancel it out and deactivate the blade. Once away from the fortress, Shulk is able to reactivate the Monado, although he starts to feel the same effects as Dunban did when he wielded the Monado. Shulk enters the Mechonis and shuts down the Apocrypha Generator, giving him full control over the Monado once again. However, in the battle against Egil to stop his assault on Bionis, Shulk is shot and nearly killed. Zanza, who had inhabited Shulk's body after his death as Arglas, leaves Shulk's body and takes both the Monado Shulk had been wielding and Meyneth's Monado for himself, and begins the war on Mechonis once more.
The God-Slaying Sword
After recovering from his injuries, Shulk faces Zanza once more. Having realized he retained the power to defy fate even after Zanza took the Monado, he creates his own Monado, which he uses to strike down Zanza once and for all. Alvis, one of Zanza's disciples, tells Shulk that he is the Monado and that Shulk has become the new god to decide the fate of this world.
The Monado gives its wielder the gift of future sight, as all changes in the ether (to which the Monado is highly attuned) are calculable. All seers employed by the High Entia royal family are required to touch the Monado to be given their powers. Until the events on Prison Island, the Monado is unable to harm those born from Bionis, but afterward is able to harm any living being.
In addition to Shulk's normal Arts, he has up to eight Monado Arts. These are:
- Buster - Powerful attack that causes the Monado's blade to lengthen. Extremely effective against Mechon.
- Enchant - Gives a damage buff to all members of the party. Also allows normal weapons to harm Mechon.
- Shield - Blocks enemy Talent Arts of the same level or lower.
- Speed - Increases evasion of all party members, giving them a higher chance of dodging enemy Physical Arts.
- Purge - Disables the aura of all enemies in range
- Armor - Reduces damage done by enemy Physical/Ether Arts depending on Art level.
- Cyclone - Damages all enemies in a circular range. Inflicts Topple on enemies suffering Break.
- Eater - Removes enemy buffs and inflicts Bleed