Get ready for a lot of pipping on flutes.
After being rumored for years, the third installment in the Xenoblade Chronicles series has been confirmed. Developed by Monolith Soft and published by Nintendo, it is set to tie the first two games in the series together in some way. As you’d expect, there’s an emphasis on enormous weapons, giant Titan lands, and intense combat.
What is Xenoblade Chronicles?
It’s an action role-playing game series developed by Monolith Soft. These games stand out for their intricate world design, beautiful soundtrack, and engaging plots. Historically, battles are a combination of manual inputs and “auto-attacks.” For instance, the player can choose specific attacks to be implemented and can control where the character goes, but the character and companions also attack on their own.
In the Xenoblade Chronicles world, the Bionis and Mechonis, two massive titans, battled a long time ago and influenced the creation of the world. Instead of living on the ground, all settlements and locations are located on the backs of similarly massive titans. Thus, there is a focus on location design and making the player feel small wherever they go.
These are honestly some of the best JRPGs ever made and you really ought to play through them if you haven’t already.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 official trailer
The first official trailer for Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was released during the February 2022 Nintendo Direct.
Who are the main characters?
When the game begins, the player is first introduced to Noah and Mio. Noah is a young man with dark hair and a long ponytail while Mio is a Gormotti, a humanoid with cat ears. While not a lot is known about them, currently we do know that players will meet six main characters in total throughout the course of the story. Here are their names:
What is the story?
Not much is known about the plot so far, but we do know the story takes place in the world of Aionios, where two nations are at war with each other: Keeves and Agnus. Sound bites from the first official trailer suggest that characters will need to choose sides and won’t find themselves making the same decisions, which will cause some rifts and drama.
According to a press release from Nintendo, this installment will connect the futures of both Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It’s not just a story that was tacked on later either. According to an introduction to Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Executive Director Tetsuya Takahashi says that at least parts of this third installment were conceived years ago:
“The key visual features a broken great sword of Mechonis and the body of the Urayan Titan with a gaping wound. I imagine everyone who saw the trailer was quite surprised by the final scene. What is this visual hinting at? I can’t reveal that just yet. What I can tell you is that this visual was conceived quite some time ago. More precisely speaking, we came up with it sometime between the end of the development of Xenoblade Chronicles and the beginning of the development of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. So, it’s not something we recently added to the series.”
We do know that the events of Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 took place at the same time but in parallel universes. It’s unclear when or where Xenoblade Chronicles 3 story takes place and just how it will tie them together.
What’s up with the flutes?
In the same introduction to Xenoblade Chronicles 3 that Nintendo released, Takahashi addresses the flutes shown in the trailer and alludes to them being a big part of the third game.
“The music in this game maintains the unique Xenoblade Chronicles touch while also taking on a new challenge, namely that of integrating a flute-based melody as its motif. The flute is actually one of the key themes in this game.”
The specific mechanics and use for the flute have not been explained as of yet, but we’ll keep our ears to the ground and will update when we learn more.
Are Xenoblade Chronicles characters in Smash?
Yes! You’ll recognize the main characters from the first two games as playable characters in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Shulk from the first game was brought in as one of the original Smash fighters while Pyra and Mythra are DLC fighters from Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is set to release sometime in September 2022, but no specific date has been given just yet.
On the backs of Titans
We can expect great things from the third entry in the Xenoblade Chronicles series. In past games, the combat has always been complex but rewarding, the music has been phenomenal, and the story has definitely kept our attention. Hopefully the same will be the case for Xenoblade Chronicles 3.