On November 14th 2017, the official website of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was updated in Japan, adding a new section: Production Notes. It’s a blog-like section, where members of the development team will come discuss various aspects of the game.
- Production Notes #1: Drivers and Blades
- Production Notes #2: Script
- Production Notes #3: Character Design (Part 1)
- Production Notes #4: Music
- Production Notes #5: Introduction to Xenoblade Chronicles 2
- Production Notes #6 (Ver. 1.1.1 update)
- Production Notes #7 (Pyra figure)
- Production Notes #8 (Issue with “disappearing Blades” in Ver. 1.2.0)
- Production Notes #9 (Ver. 1.3.0 and New Game+)
- Production Notes #10: Original Soundtrack
- Production Notes #11: Issues with Ver. 1.3.0, to be fixed in Ver. 1.3.1
- Production Notes #12: Ver. 1.4.0 and first two additional Rare Blades dated
- Production Notes #13: More details about Challenge Battle Mode
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – Production Notes #14: Torna ~The Golden Country
Earlier this week, Nintendo revealed the story DLC for Xenoblade Chronicles 2, called Torna ~The Golden Country. Following that revealed, Tetsuya Takahashi posted a new Production Notes blog post on the official website in Japan, sharing additional details about the DLC and its development.
It all began three years ago. Torna ~The Golden Country was part of the prototype for the main game. Or rather, it would be more accurate to say that it was one of the possible “candidate” stories to be included in the prototype.
Now, you’re probably wondering what happened, and why it was ‘removed’ from the main story.
Tetsuya Takahashi explains that 3 years ago, it had already been 5 years since the release of Xenoblade Chronicles. By that time, he and his team had accumulated a fair amount of experience (and improved their process management), and so they could predict with great accuracy how much time it would take to make a game of a certain quality and scope, based on the amount of text it had.
And by taking various factors into consideration, he realised that if they were to include the content from Torna~The Golden Country in the main game, they would end up going over their allocated budget for Xenoblade Chronicles 2… not to mention they would not be able to complete the game in time.
And so, without showing the prototype to anyone, Tetsuya Takahashi decided to go without that story, extracted the elements that were required for the main story, and then went on to complete work on Xenoblade Chronicles 2.
After that, Torna ~The Golden Country fell “asleep” on the HDD of Tetsuya Takahashi’s computer for a while. But later, when the decision was made to have additional story content in the Expansion Pass for the game, he thought that was the perfect occasion to bring back this story content.
If you’ve already read our previous post about the story DLC, you already know Torna ~The Golden Country takes place 500 years before the events of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It tells the story of Jin, Mythra, Malos, and Amlathus, but also Lora and Addam, which are two of they key characters of the main story
The story of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is centered around Rex and Pyra / Mythra, but in Torna ~The Golden Country, the main characters are Jin and Lora.
Ever wondered what happened in Jin’s past? What kind of person that Lora was? What was the relationship betwen Addam and Mythra? If yes, then you should totally play this story DLC, in order to finally get the full picture instead of just the various fragments that are shown to you in the main game.
Interesting note: for this DLC, the developers actually went and replaced the generic character models that were originally used in the cutscenes of the main game for the characters mentioned above!
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~The Golden Country offers a brand new world to explore: it takes place on Torna, a Titan. Tetsuya Takahashi explains that in general, when an RPG adds additional story (via DLC), the developers simply go with a different version of the existing world. But that’s not the case for this game: the world in the story DLC is completely new.
In that world, you will be able to find the Capital of the Kingdom of Torna, which is a town that you can explore.
One thing to keep in mind about the DLC is that it takes place exclusively 500 years before the events in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, and in the Torna Titan and its surroundings. In other words, you will not be able to explore the rest of Alrest in the past, unfortunately!
As for the battle system, it’s slightly different than in the main game. The reason for that is due to the fact that the story DLC takes place in the past, before the battle framework (with Drivers and Blades working together) was established. Of course, the basics of the battle system remain the same, which means that if you’ve already played the main game, you won’t feel completely lost… but the whole thing will still feel fresh and different!
Finally, Tetsuya Takahashi confirms that Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna~The Gold Country will feature new music tracks. Of course, the same composers who worked on the main game are back, including Yasunori Mitsuda.
The atmosphere of the story DLC is slightly more “mature” than the main game, which is reflected in the soundtrack. CHiCO from ACE even confirmed that the music “might” feel a little different than in Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It looks like it was recorded mostly with acoustic instruments, and the battle theme is definitely on the groovy side!
We joined as composers of this DLC!
The BGM might be a little different sound from XenobladeChronicles1or 2 !? https://t.co/EWDc3V8qSm
— CHiCO@ACE (@CHiCOACE) June 13, 2018
Finally, Tetsuya Takahashi explains that if you play Torna ~The Golden Country first, then you may get to see elements from the main game in a different light. If you’re yet to play Xenoblade Chronicles 2, it looks like there really isn’t any issue with starting with the story DLC!
Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~The Golden Country (Switch) comes out on September 14th for Expansion Pass owners, and September 21st at retail.