Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Takahashi on fast development, inferiority complex, Tetsuya Nomura

Last week, TIME published an interview with Tetsuya Takahashi about Xenoblade Chronicles 2. You can read the full thing over at the TIME website, but if you want some highlights, keep reading!

In this interview, Tetsuya Takashi once again explains why Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is releasing less than 3 years after Xenoblade Chronicles X (less than 2 years for Europe and North America, thanks to simultaneous worldwide release). Basically, it’s all due to that very game: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is based on the same core architecture, which considerably sped up development.

What’s more, Nintendo and Monolith Software thought it would be a good idea to have a major large-scale JRPG early in the lifecycle of the Nintendo Switch. In fact, it was also their plan for the Wii U, but development too much longer than expected in the end.

And so to add to that, both at Nintendo and at Monolith, we wanted to have a major large-scale roleplaying game early in the Switch’s lifecycle. We thought about how we might accomplish that, and we wanted to do the same thing with the Wii U. But the development for Xenoblade Chronicles X was a little bit difficult, and that’s why it ended up being released a little bit later in the Wii U’s cycle. So we had a postmortem and tried to think ‘How can we deliver this at an earlier stage in the console’s lifecycle?’

And if you’ve been wondering why all the games in the Xenoblade Chronicles series feature such a large-scale world (not just the size of the world you explore, but also its elements: the two Gods in Xenoblade Chronicles, for example), there’s actually a good explanation: Tetsuya Takahashi a “little bit of an inferiority complex”:

When I analyze myself and the type of person I am, I’m actually pretty short, even for a Japanese person. Maybe it’s like this in the States, too, but the bully in school is typically big in stature, and I think I’ve sort of developed a little bit of an inferiority complex. That’s why I really like things that are large in scale, and might be why I take such an interest in the differences between small and big elements in games.

Finally, Tetsuya Takahashi explains why he asked Tetsuya Nomura to design some of the characters in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. It all originates from the time he was at Square-Enix, and he was part of the same team as him. He was working on what was to become Xenogears, and he needed a designer. Unfortunately, Hironobu Sakaguchi put him on Final Fantasy instead, and so he had to find a new designer.

He’s been wanting to work with him for quite a while, and it finally happened with Xenoblade Chronicles 2:

So I was waiting for the final call to be made, whether he was going to be working on the Final Fantasy series or on this new title of mine. And then Mr. [Hironobu] Sakaguchi [the creator of the Final Fantasy series] came and said ‘Tetsu is going to do Final Fantasy.’ So I thought ‘Okay, I’ve got to find myself a new designer.’


But I’ve always wanted to work with him. And this idea of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 came up, and I thought I’d love to work with him again. After our discussion with Nintendo went through and this project was a go, I went directly to Square Enix, thinking that I’d be denied, asking if I could work with Tetsu. To my surprise, it was approved, and that’s how it happened.

Click here to check out the interview in full!

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (Switch) comes out before the end of the year, worldwide.



Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat. Also known as Maintenance Guy by some. Twitter: @lite_agent

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