Music of Xenoblade Chronicles
The music of Xenoblade Chronicles consists of 95 officially released pieces of music, split across several official releases, as well as several tracks which have not been officially released. Manami Kiyota was the lead composer; ACE+, Yoko Shimomura and Yasunori Mitsuda also contributed to composing music for the game. Sarah Àlainn sang the ending theme.
Slightly under half the tracks were used in cutscenes, with the remainder being split among music that plays in the overworld outside of battle ('area themes'), that which plays during battle ('battle themes'), and music that plays in menus ('menu themes'). There is, however, overlap, particularly with regards to the battle themes: it is very common that the music of a scripted battle begins playing in the preceding cutscene. In most areas, there is separate music that plays during the day and the night; areas for which this is not the case are usually interior in some way, such as Tephra Cave and Mechonis Field. (The main exception is Colony 6, whose music changes depending upon the level of reconstruction.) Area themes that play specifically during the day may be energetic or calm depending on the area, although those that play during the night are always relatively subdued.
Much of the music was recorded live; there are some pieces that use synthesised instruments, and the tracks have varying instrumentations and styles, including full orchestra, string quartet, and more avant-garde rock-inspired music.
Area themes that play during the day are typically named after the area in which they play. If an area has a separate night theme, it is always distinguished by suffixing "(Night)" to the name. Battle themes and cutscene themes have no overarching naming schemes.
When the track titles were first released alongside the Xenoblade Original Soundtrack in 2010, there was no English translation provided, and therefore they were typically referred to by transliterating from the original Japanese. Official localisations for some tracks were provided in the Xenoblade Chronicles Special Soundtrack in 2011, and the rest of the tracks were localised in 2015 with Xenoblade Chronicles 3D. However, not all localised names were adopted immediately by English-speaking fans; as of 2021, some tracks (in particular Unfinished Business) are still frequently referred to by their localised titles (in this case, 'Unfinished Battle') by English-speaking fans.
Xenoblade Original Soundtrack
- Main article: Xenoblade Original Soundtrack
The Xenoblade Original Soundtrack is the most complete official release of the music of the main game of Xenoblade Chronicles, containing almost all of the music used in that game. It consists of 91 tracks split across four discs. The soundtrack was released on the 23rd of June, 2010, only in Japan.
The first two discs primarily include cutscene themes and menu themes, while the 3rd and 4th discs contain area themes and battle themes. The music in the latter two discs is broadly arranged in gameplay order, with the area themes arranged in the order that a player would be likely to encounter them (those that play during the day preceding those that play during the night), and with battle themes interspersed roughly evenly throughout. (There are some exceptions, such as Central Factory playing after Agniratha, Mechonis Capital.) The ordering of the music in the first two discs is similar, with the tracks broadly being placed in the order of specific cutscenes in which they play.
Xenoblade Chronicles Special Soundtrack
- Main article: Xenoblade Chronicles Special Soundtrack
The Xenoblade Chronicles Special Soundtrack includes 12 tracks from Xenoblade Chronicles and was initially released on a single CD in Japan on the 10th of June, 2010. It was also released on a CD in 2011 with the Australian version of the game, and was made digitally available in August of 2011 via Nintendo of Europe's Club Nintendo website.
"The Music of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D" Video Series
On April 8th, 2015, Nintendo uploaded five promotional videos with arranged versions of several tracks from the game. Main Theme was rearranged by Sachiko Miyano, while Gaur Plain, You Will Know Our Names, Engage the Enemy, and Mechanical Rhythm were rearranged by Tomori Kudo. Oddly, these songs were not present within Xenoblade Chronicles 3D itself.
In Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, the Collection Mode included a 'Jukebox' feature which allowed the player to listen to music tracks from the game, with the number of available tracks increasing as the player advances through the story. The full set of available tracks is the same as that of the Xenoblade Original Soundtrack; tracks from the first two discs (with the exception of Hope) are marked with a red gem, tracks from the 3rd and 4th discs are marked with a green gem, and Hope (unique for being the only track on the OST which does not play in Xenoblade Chronicles 3D) is marked with a blue gem.
The Jukebox is notable in that its track list was the first time that many of the tracks of the game received official localisations into English, as the Xenoblade Original Soundtrack was only available in Japanese.
Changes in Definitive Edition
In Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, almost all of the battle and area themes in the game were redone. Specifically, all of the tracks from the 3rd and 4th discs of the Xenoblade Original Soundtrack, as well as Engage the Enemy, A Tragic Decision, Zanza the Divine, and The God-Slaying Sword, were redone. In all cases, this meant rerecording in higher quality, although almost all tracks were slightly altered from their originals; many had the balance of their instrumentation changed (e.g. A Tragic Decision), some received new instruments or melody lines (e.g. An Obstacle in Our Path), and a small number even had existing melody lines significantly changed (e.g. Mechanical Rhythm). The game includes the option of playing the original or redone versions of the music.
In addition, several new tracks were composed for Xenoblade Chronicles: Future Connected:
- Bionis' Shoulder
- Bionis' Shoulder (Night)
- Time to Fight! (Bionis' Shoulder)
- Gran Dell
- Gran Dell (Night)
- Fog King
- Beyond the Sky (Acoustic Arrange)
Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Sound Selection
- Main article: Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Sound Selection
The Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition Sound Selection is a selection of 20 tracks from the music of Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition, released on the 29th of May, 2020 in Europe, Japan, and Australia as a part of the Collector's Editions of the game in those regions. All tracks on the Sound Selection had either been remastered for the Definitive Edition or were otherwise new to it.
Unlike the music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna ~ The Golden Country, short jingles that play in the overworld or in menus (for example, that which plays when the party discovers a Secret Area for the first time) have not been included on any official release of the game's music.
In addition, the following pieces of music from Future Connected have not been released on any official soundtrack: Bionis' Shoulder (Night), Gran Dell (Night), Fog King, and Beyond the Sky (Acoustic Arrange).
In other media
- Main article: Xeno series crossovers
- The original version of the track You Will Know Our Names is playable in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 under certain circumstances.
- Several tracks from the Xenoblade Original Soundtrack are playable in Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and Wii U and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, playing on the Gaur Plains and (in Ultimate) the Cloud Sea of Alrest stages. In addition, the Xenoblade Chronicles Medley was arranged for these games and can play under the same circumstances. Finally, an excerpt from You Will Know Our Names is used as Shulk's victory theme.
- In Tetris 99, when the player is using the Definitive Edition themed skin, the background music in-game switches to Time to Fight!, Mechanical Rhythm, and You Will Know Our Names (depending on how many players are left in the game). The ending theme also changes to Colony 6 - Future if the player achieves a Tetris Maximus and Gaur Plain (Night) otherwise. In all cases, the arranged versions of the tracks from the Definitive Edition are used.
- A remix of You Will Know Our Names was made for Project X Zone 2.