New Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Developer Interview Elucidates Story & Character-Writing Decisions

Following the review embargo lifting for the Monolithsoft-developed JRPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 (unfortunately, we did not receive an early review code), a new volume of Ask the Developer was published by Nintendo.

This sixth volume features the Xenoblade Chronicles series executive director, Tetsuya Takahashi, and Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s producer and directors, Koh Kojima and Genki Yokota. Other than brief statements regarding this new title’s narrative and how it does not require knowledge of the previous two games to understand, new intriguing comments were made.

According to Takahashi, “this title brings together all the themes that have been developed over the past 15 years since 2007, when development of the first title in the Xenoblade Chronicles series began, as well as the gameplay systems that have been developed throughout the series.” Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is stated to be a thematic conclusion rather than the overall conclusion some fans were expecting. In fact, Takashi adds that “this is like a summary for moving on to the next step in the future.”

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Part of Takashi’s writing philosophy is for his villains to be more ambiguous rather than wholly evil, as it helps create player-based sympathy for greater immersion. However, Xenoblade Chronicles 3 aims to depict the antagonists in seemingly simpler facets, with reasonings based on dignity or greed.

When hearing the initial story proposal, Kojima was concerned over how tonally different this new entry would be compared to the first game and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Granted, that “Xenoblade-ness” was eventually established, but the stark difference in Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s ambiance was startling, to say the least.

The 10-year lifespan was chosen to highlight the strife of humanity and the immense changes they undergo, especially during the 10-year-old to 20-year-old span of life. Interestingly, Noah is described as being akin to a philosopher due to his role as an off-seer.

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A rather humorous and significant passage from Takahashi I wanted to post verbatim is quoted below:

 “The first title is kind of like a straight-A student for me. The second one is not quite a straight-A student, but it has a much brighter and more lighthearted start… For the third title, I wanted to stop being a goody two-shoes.”

Takahashi emphasizes how they wanted a far more equal focus on the primary playable cast throughout the game compared to the previous titles. The dialogue was purposefully curated, so each party member had a significant number of lines, not just Noah and Mio taking centerstage.

Lastly, regarding Interlinking and Ouroboros, Takahashi states the following:

“This idea of “foreign things becoming one” is something we have been trying to express since the time of Xenogears back in the day. A person’s life is basically built up of relationships with other people. A relationship with foreign things. I’m always conscious of this perspective when I’m making things.”

I highly recommend reading the full featured interview on Nintendo’s official website. Part 2 will release tomorrow.

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We’ll keep updating you all on any vital Xenoblade Chronicles 3 news.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 tells the story of protagonists Noah and Mio contending with a conflict between the nations of Keves and Agnus. 6 characters will be the crux of the experience, and the broad concept of “life” will be the title’s central theme.

The narrative for the game will tie in elements and plotlines from the future of the prior two mainline games, Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Flutes seem to play an integral role in this title’s premise.

The summoning of this powerful new form depends on a new Interlink system. If specific conditions are met, characters can combine into this mech, and choosing well when to transform should be key to the more difficult battles. Another system revealed is a class change option, allowing players to customize their parties’ builds further than in previous games.

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is releasing for Nintendo Switch on July 29, 2022.


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Orpheus Joshua

Random gamer equally confused by the mainstream and the unusual. Fan of JRPGs, Action, Platformers, Rhythm, and Adventure titles.