It’s being published to celebrate Xenoblade Chronicles 3, but has tidbits on prior games
Nintendo just published an official Xenoblade interview that talks to key development team members, and it touches on prior games in the series, not just Xenoblade Chronicles 3.
[Note that the interview contains vague spoilers for the third game.]
The roundtable consists of Tetsuya Takahashi (senior director and chief creative officer at Monolith Soft), Koh Kojima (producer and director at Monolith Soft), and Genki Yokota (producer and director at Nintendo). The team kicks things off by saying this new entry is the “culmination of the trilogy,” which is more like a broad statement in terms of depicting themes (confirmed immediately after in the same interviews), but also touches on a story justification for it.
However, Takahashi insists that each game is a standalone story (having finished Xenoblade Chronicles 3, I feel like this is apt): “No, the stories of one, two, and three all stand alone. Although some elements and designs from one and two will appear in this third entry here and there, there is no need to have played the first and second games to understand the story or how to play. However, since this is a series of works, the underlying theme is consistent, and in each case, the story unfolds based on ‘the relationship between foreign things.’ Also, I used the word ‘culmination’ earlier, but 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.”
Takahashi also talks about the core thesis of the game (what would people do if they only lived for 10 years), and how the formative years of his life influenced that concept. Yokota agreed that it would be the best way forward, stating: “We had a great deal of discussion in the beginning about why to have a 10-year life span. Although the seriousness was in full swing from the beginning, I remember hearing the thoughts Takahashi-san just mentioned, and I was in complete agreement. Doing so would surely bring out that sense of Xenoblade-ness, and I thought that I wanted to stay the course with this storyline.”
If you’re a hardcore Xenoblade fan, it’s definitely worth reading in full (though sadly there is no respect for Xenoblade Chronicles X). Two more interviews are arriving today and tomorrow (July 27 and July 28), billed as “Chapter 2 and Chapter 3.”