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Monolith Soft director: Next Xenoblade will be vastly different from what came before

Monolith Soft director, Tetsuya Takahashi, has said that the next Xenoblade game will be vastly different from previous games in the series. The news has been translated from a message written in Japanese which is included with the new Xenoblade 3 OST set. The next game from the acclaimed Monolith soft will clearly be on Nintendo’s upcoming new hardware, of which we know next to nothing about, but the news should excite fans of the beloved RPG series. Here’s what he Mr. Takahashi said in his message:

“Okuribito” (Note: Off-seer): When this term was decided on, the music direction for this title fell into place more smoothly. This was a clear concept with a strong foundation; it could not crumble. The uniformity across all tracks is something I feel is the best in the series, and I think it’s incredible the way each song complements one other. Save for one song.

”Carrying the Weight of Life”: A track that takes its cues from “Engage the Enemy” in the first “Xenoblade”; There was something about it that didn’t sit right with me. I should say beforehand, the quality of the music itself is very high; I am always impressed by Hiramatsu’s passion for writing music. It’s undoubtedly one of the best songs. In addition, there’s no doubt that this is what users are looking for. And yet, this is what didn’t sit well with me.

Let’s rewind 15 years. At the time, in Japanese TV dramas, there was a popular trend of playing striking music at the closing of a chapter. Within that type of music, Sawano Hiroyuki’s music was especially powerful; and I particularly liked his music in “Iryū” and “dEVIL.” I think it was around 2006-2008. I wanted to incorporate that kind of powerfulness into a video game, and when I ordered music for “Xenoblade,” I presented his music as a sample for the kind of direction I was looking for. Later, when Sawano and I got to work together for “Xenoblade X,” I told him that story, and he said, “I had no idea,” and I suppose it all made sense; I remember him laughing and talking about that. And so that attempt was a great success, and “Engage the Enemy” became one of the iconic songs of “Xenoblade.” On the other hand, this music also represented my “trend” and “goal.” Utilizing that style to this day, that didn’t sit well with me; honestly, since the days of “Xenoblade 2.” Within Japan and overseas, this kind of style is rarely used in drama scenes anymore, and the mainstream style is to play ambient-style music that doesn’t unnecessarily arouse the viewer’s emotions, putting an emphasis on the actor’s acting and building around that.I’m not trying to say that it’s outdated at all; It’s just that my tastes and “goals” have changed from before. But this was quite the conundrum. a video game is a way of challenging yourself; a way to reveal your work, but on the other hand, it’s also a way to service (Note: as in, fanservice) users. A game that cannot serve its fans has no future. A game that doesn’t take on new challenges also has no future. Striking this balance is very difficult, and I still don’t have a clear solution. You just have to do it through trial and error, each time. As a result, “Carrying the Weight of Life” only plays twice in the game. This is because the song was only used when it was fitting for the situation, and when it felt suitable to me, personally. It’s a compromise between “service” and “goal,” but I think it turned out well, for a compromise. I’m sure some wish it was played a little more often, but considering that one of the themes of “Xenoblade 3” is to “not be afraid of change and walk into the future,” I think this is much as you can do.

Rather than playing on defense, going on the offense; change rather than maintain. This is a stance that I have continued to hold for thirty years. If there is another “Xenoblade,” it will likely be something vastly different from what came before. In style and in music, I would like to make my next goal something that will betray everyone’s expectations, in a good way.


10 thoughts on “Monolith Soft director: Next Xenoblade will be vastly different from what came before”

  1. Well, I understand what Mr Takahashi is saying about the next installment of the series and It is indeed going to be quite different from recent installments. I do love the soundtracks, the style tone and the characters in the series. I really do love them. I’m hoping to see whatever plans him and his team have for the series. I’m pretty sure they are working on the next game right now.

  2. I take it that there’s still zero plans for Xenoblade X2 based on that then.
    Shame, I would’ve taken a Xenoblade X sequel over the sequels we got to the first game any day of the week. Xenoblade 2 and 3 are okay games themselves (well, 3 a lot more so than 2), but as sequels I honestly think they fall flat.

    Xenoblade 2 just shoves in pointless callbacks and some dumb retcons to the first Xenoblade right at the end of the game, and the Xenoblade 1 & 2 representation in 3 just feels like meaningless fanservice in the end, just a way to prey on fan nostalgia for the first 2 games. I’d honestly respect 2 & 3 a lot more if they’d both have been just their own self-contained standalone stories, no ties to their predecessors at all, and not try to force in half-arsed continuity to make the games a trilogy.

    Oh well, I’m at least interested in seeing where this new direction of theirs goes, even if I’m not particularly excited for it.

    1. Frankly, I would be surprised if we did get a Xenoblade 4: three seem to wrap things up rather nicely, especially the DLC.

      Although I would LOVE confirmation that certain characters were able to reunite

    2. I gotta say, I disagree.

      I, also, have a raging hard-on for Xenoblade X, but I also believe that either X and/or X2 will be released on the (Super Nintendo) Switch (2).

      I still remember when and where I bought Xenoblade X. I had pre-ordered Fallout 4 from Gamestop and went to the store to pick it up with my brother. While I was in line, I saw a stand with copies of Xenoblade X which I hadn’t even heard of until I saw it on the stand. I was IMMEDIATELY drawn in by the mecha (skell) on the cover and decided to take it home with me. It took me some time to figure out the controls and gameplay style but, I was obsessed with the game.

      To this day, I tell people that, for me, it secretly feels like a love letter to the Phantasy Star series. I played it on my brother’s Wii U (i think my old save is still on there), but then bought my own Wii U specifically for Xenoblade X (it happened to have a copy of Mario Maker in it when I bought it, but, I digress). Hell, I even set up an emulator to play the game on my PC (don’t try it if you value any of the online features which barely work now because the remaining player base is so low), but, to the point, I f—ing love that game.

      And I remember buying Xenoblade 2 thinking it was Xenoblade X2… I found out about 2 hours into the game that it had nothing to do with Xenoblade X. Still… I played for… maybe 5-6 hours… and struggled like hell with the game to the point where I gave up on it for over a year. Then, one day, I decided to give it another go and after around two or three hours of play the game, found my groove. After that, the breaks were off. I played the s— out of that game and, to date, have well over 200 hours into it. I still haven’t maxed out all of my blades… but I have maxed out most of them. Elma was a B-TCH to get. Her ghost factory immediately f-cks the entire encounter to recruit her. But, I got her. She’s not maxed out yet, but she will be some day when I work up the nerve to complete it. I still think that Pyra deserves to be in more games… she’s so damn cute (I know, her outfit is super ero, but really… she’s mostly just cute). If she weren’t bound by the limitations of what Xenoblade 2 (and, to a lesser extent, Xenoblade 3), I think she would have become a video game icon.

      And Xenoblade 3? The story, imo, was so much fun to play out. I won’t allude to any of the details, except to say I’m not a fan of the kind of ending it got. Its not a bad ending, it’s just that, I, personally, don’t like that style of ending. I think I mostly cleared out that game, too. I know I got all the extra hero characters and I maxed out all but maybe 2-3 of them… Still working on maxing out the 6 player characters.

      But, back to your point. I think Xenoblade 2 retconned some of Xenoblade 1 because Xenoblade 1 wasn’t meant to be a series… it was meant to be a one-off game. Xenoblade X was made more in line with what Takahashi was trying to do with Xenogears/Xenosaga, but Xenoblade 2 and 3 was the core of the “blade” series, so of course there’s differences to the gameplay style and story. But, it’s a story he wanted to tell.

      And I don’t think Xenoblade X is out of the race. Before Xenoblade 2 really blew up, Takahashi was asked if they’d port Xenoblade X to the switch and he said the biggest obstacle was money. Since that time, MS’s profits have exploded and they’ve opened two new locations. I do NOT believe Xenoblade X will be dropping on the Switch, but rather, on the Switch 2. X is a larger game than any of the mainline entry games and the graphics processor of the switch isn’t as powerful as the one in the Wii U… but the one in the Switch 2 is guaranteed to be more powerful… and will likely include a small graphical upgrade to Xenoblade X (god, I hope they keep it’s animation style… I know they changed XB1’s style because the Wii required so much compression, but if you could see Xenoblade X being run on a decent PC with high graphics settings… it’s a stunning game).

      Personally, I think the Switch 2 will come with either Xenoblade X:DE or Xenoblade X2.

      I’m leaning on the former because I think they WILL come back to that series… and they know the X fanbase still wants the rerelease… so they’ll use that to build momentum for Xenoblade X2.

      This is all pure speculation, but I have zero doubt we’ve heard the last of Xenoblade X.

  3. I’m eagerly awaiting the reveal of their next game. I just hope whatever it is (assuming it’s at least somewhat similar to Xenoblade) they take some cues from Xenoblade 3 in terms of how solid the characters and writing are, as well as the overall tone being consistent throughout. I think 3 is a near-perfect masterpiece that blows 1 and 2 out of the water. i didn’t want to put it down (which is kinda funny, given the plot). It really surpassed my expectations, especially since 2 was kind of all over the place and had a lot of weird design choices (though still a pretty good game in it’s own right).

    Also, when the heck are we getting X on Switch? And a sequel would be sick too, but I doubt it’ll ever happen.

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