Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is an absolutely massive and deep JRPG full of good story beats, great characters, highly customizable combat, and excellent music. On this last note, Monolith Soft went out of its way to add to Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s soundtrack in new and exciting ways. In a series already well known for its impeccable soundtracks, Monolith Soft actually created custom instruments to create unique sounds for this game.
Nintendo shared the details of how far Monolith Soft went with Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s music in a recent developer interview posted on Nintendo’s website. Monolith Soft Senior Director and Chief Creative Officer Tetsuya Takahashi, Producer and Director Koh Kojima, and Nintendo Entertainment Planning and Production Department Genki Yokota were on hand to talk about what went into the various design decisions in the game. In particular, music came up, and especially Noah and Mio’s Off-Seer flute music. It was here that the team at Monolith shared that they made custom flutes to produce a “sound that hasn't been heard before,” as opposed to using any sort of standard instrument. This is what they used to give a special identity to the Off-Seer music in the game.
Before [Yasunori Mitsuda] started writing the music, he said, "Let's make flutes." I wondered why we should be making them, but Mitsuda-san said, "By making the flutes from scratch, you can create a sound that hasn't been heard before." Since we had told Mitsuda-san in advance that Takahashi-san wanted to interweave the two melodies of Noah and Mio into a single piece of music, Mitsuda-san seemed to have thought that creating the flutes from scratch would enable him to choose a scale freely and express himself more easily. Above all, he said to me that the fact that the same flutes used in the game exist in real life would be compelling and unique. It sounded interesting, so I decided to give it a try. ~ Koh Kojima
It's an incredibly interesting added detail to something that plays a large and emotional role in the game’s story and soundtrack, and it leaves us wondering if these flutes might someday be offered in some sort of public manner as merch or remain exclusive to the creators. Either way, it did well to add to the overall strength of the Off-Seer music in an excellent game.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is just about to come out on July 29 and players will be able to see for themselves why we absolutely loved the game in our Shacknews review. Until then, stay tuned for more Xenoblade Chronicles 3 coverage leading up to and after the game’s launch.