Why Yasunori Mitsuda And Yoko Shimomura Were Chosen For Xenoblade Chronicles


We’ve covered the Japanese “Iwata Asks” interview for Xenoblade Chronicles in the past, but the English language version of the session with the game’s team of composers went up today. You can read the piece here.


One of Xenoblade Chronicles’ composers is Yasunori Mitsuda, who also worked on Xenosaga and Xenogears. He and the game’s director, Tetsuya Takahashi, are good friends and have a long working relationship. Because of this, Takahashi — who directed both Xenosaga and Xenogears — entrusted the music for Xenoblade Chronicles’ epilogue to Mitsuda.


“I think at heart, games are something that you enjoy via a combination of your eyes, ears and the feel of the controller in your hands,” Mitsuda told Nintendo president, Satoru Iwata, while discussing his approach to music. “I always try to be aware of the importance of taking the music and making that element fit in with the images and story, enhancing the player’s emotional response.”


Also working on Xenoblade Chronicles’s music is Yoko Shimomura, who you might know best from her work on Kingdom Hearts. She was chosen because Takahashi wanted to give Xenoblade a different feel from his previous games.


“I wanted to try a lot of new ideas without being bound by any pre-existing concept of what an RPG should be,” Takahashi said to Iwata. “This also applied to the game’s audio content and I wanted to create a different atmosphere to that of titles I’d worked on previously. So I asked Shimomura-san to come up with tracks, including the main theme and the opening song.”


If you’re interested, you can read our summary of the Iwata Asks interview with the game’s full team of composers in this older post from last year. We’ve also got a write-up on the origins of Xenoblade Chronicles’ development, and that interview hasn’t been translated yet, so you can get an early look at it here.


Nintendo will release Xenoblade Chronicles on the Wii in Europe this year. No American release for the game has been announced yet.

Ishaan Sahdev
Ishaan specializes in game design/sales analysis. He's the former managing editor of Siliconera and wrote the book "The Legend of Zelda - A Complete Development History". He also used to moonlight as a professional manga editor. These days, his day job has nothing to do with games, but the two inform each other nonetheless.