Words cannot describe my affection for Xenoblade Chronicles. The game is one of my all time favorites, and while its spinoff Xenoblade Chronicles X provided some good fun and an expansive world, a bit of the magic was missing. Imagine my ecstasy when it was announced that Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was coming to Nintendo Switch. With a full two minute trailer there’s a lot to unpack, so let’s get right to it, shall we?
It begins with a single line – “I’m going to Elysium for you” – and then transitions to a wide, green plain set against a dazzling, cloudy sky, with a city far in the distance. A part of the mountain moves as (who I can only assume is) the protagonist runs along. It’s extremely reminiscent of Gaur Plains from XC1, and having that call back to such an iconic area immediately immerses fans of the original back to running around on the Bionis’s Leg.
Our protag then runs forward, giving us a first look at both him and his weapon – a long, red, energy sword. Sound familiar? The boy definitely looks like an anime protagonist, with poofy hair and an adolescent age. The character design for the this sequel is being done by Masatsugu Saitou, probably best known for design work on the anime movie Expelled from Paradise. In the meantime, more vague, dramatic dialogue is spoken.
Next we see a couple of scenes: a character riding on a big cat in a wide, jungle-ish area, and a floating sky city, followed by a long shot of a girl with red hair and orange eyes smiling. Her armor seems somewhat reminiscent of Seven’s attire from XC1. The game’s composers are also listed: ACE (Tomori Kudo and CHiCO), Kenji Hiramatsu, Manami Kiyota, and the legendary Yasunori Mitsuda – the majority of which are returning from XC1. This makes me elated, because while Hiroyuki Sawano’s XCX soundtrack was great, the music in XC1 is some of my favorite in any game ever.
Following that, we see Blue-Protag-Guy (as I have thus dubbed him) walking through what appears to be some sort of market. Here we can see the Nopon make their valiant return, and that BPG has some funky armor – including an arm guard, a fanny pack, and what seems to be a scuba helmet. If it’s anything like the other XC titles, you’ll be able to change equipment, so hopefully the game’s other attire isn’t quite so eclectic.
Next is a blonde woman standing under a tree, wearing a somewhat similar getup to the redhead from earlier, and also saying something dramatically cryptic. Monolith head Tetsuya Takahashi also returns as executive director.
After such a hectic first half of the trailer, the concluding half is a single long shot – our protagonist, standing on a hill with a red sword, staring off into the overcast distance, a massive tree looming tall over the horizon as what appears to be a space whale bellows. Cue title. Once again, this calls back to XC1, and the overhanging that looked out to the Mechonis that featured prominently on the boxart. I wouldn’t be surprised if a version of this shot was the cover art for this game, either.
So, what does it all mean? Well, given that it’s a numbered sequel, has numerous shots and environments reminiscent of Bionis, and once again features a bright red laser sword similar to the monado – it seems likely that this game will have connections to the original Xenoblade Chronicles. While there can be no firm confirmation or denial of that yet, I’m excited to see what Takahashi and co. have in mind for a true successor to one of the greatest RPGs of all time.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 currently has no release date. We’ll report on as much pertinent information as we can when it comes in, so check back soon for more news.
Watch the full trailer here: