Music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2
The music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 consists of 137 tracks split across several official releases as well as several tracks which were never officially released. Yasunori Mitsuda was the lead composer and music director for the games, with ACE, Kenji Hiramatsu and Manami Kiyota also composing for the soundtracks, and Mariam Abounnasr and Takayuki Yoshimura assisting with arrangement. Jen Bird and ANÚNA provided vocals for several tracks each.
The music of Torna ~ The Golden Country is partially distinct from that of base Xenoblade Chronicles 2, in the sense that several tracks play in one which do not play in the other, and music which plays only in Torna ~ The Golden Country is separated from any music which plays in the base game in official releases. However, the overlap in music between the two is significant enough that treating them together is more appropriate than treating them separately; unless otherwise specified, "the music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2" will refer to both the base game and Torna ~ The Golden Country in the following article.
The individual tracks can broadly be split into the categories of cutscene themes (music that plays during a cutscene), battle themes (music that plays in scripted battles and/or when an enemy is targeting a Driver), area themes (music that plays in the overworld outside of battle), environmental themes (music that plays in the overworld but is considered part of the in-universe background noise), menu themes (music that plays specifically while in a menu), and jingles (short tracks, often under 10 seconds long, that often play when a specific overworld or menu action is done). While most tracks in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna ~ The Golden Country only fall into one of the above categories, there is some overlap; for example, Where We Used to Be is both a menu theme and a cutscene theme. Like its predecessors Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X, there are separate area themes for night and day in most areas (although one will be a remix of the other), with the night themes being subdued and the day themes (usually) being more energetic. Areas with only one area theme for both daytime and nighttime tend to be those where the atmosphere of the area does not change substantially throughout the day (e.g. Spirit Crucible Elpys), although there are exceptions — Four-limbed Titan/Gormott plays during both the day and the night despite the atmosphere changing significantly across the day in that region. The volume of every category except jingles and environmental themes is adjusted using the "Game BGM volume" slider in the sound settings, while jingles are instead adjusted by the "System volume" slider and environmental music by the "Environment volume" slider.
The music of the games is in a wide variety of styles and instrumentations, such as choral music, rock ballad, and chiptune. Notably, the music written for Torna ~ The Golden Country draws particularly heavy inspiration from jazz music, with several tracks including chord progressions and instrumentation of a style often found in jazz, and some featuring sequences of improvisation.
Several tracks are slightly different variations of other tracks (different to a lesser extent than, for example, a region's day and night area themes). In some cases (e.g. Drifting Soul and Drifting Soul (Violin Version)), such tracks are treated separately for the purposes of official releases (the Xenoblade2 Original Soundtrack features both versions of Drifting Soul separately). In other cases, such as the variations of Incoming!, the tracks are not treated separately in this way, and different official releases may use the same name for different versions of a track.
Use of motifs
In addition to the day and night area themes of any particular area being remixes of one another, the music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna makes substantial use of motifs and shared melodies, most prominently in tracks composed by Yasunori Mitsuda.
Motifs featured in Elysium, in the Blue Sky
Several tracks on the soundtrack are remixes of Elysium, in the Blue Sky, itself arguably the main theme of the game as a whole. Beyond this, several other tracks use sections of its melody as motifs:
- The start of the track is used in Yggdrasil.
- The second section is used in A Faint Hope, Parting, The Tomorrow With You, Elysium, and One Last You.
- The third section is used in Yggdrasil, With People and Darkness, Our Hope, and One Last You.
According to Mitsuda, these melodies represent people's longing for Elysium.
- The game's opening piece, Xenoblade II - Where It All Began -, features a melody that is used as a motif in The Towering Yggdrasil, Over the Sinful Entreaty, Our Hope, and White All Around Us. According to Mitsuda, this motif is used to symbolise Elysium itself, in contrast to the aforementioned longing for it.
- A passage in The Power of Jin plays in The Decision and Our Paths May Never Cross (other tracks highly associated with Jin).
- Melodies from Counterattack appear in Loneliness and After Despair and Hope; the symbolism of this, if it exists, is unknown.
Area themes that play during the day are typically named after the area (or an area) in which they play, occasionally with a subtitle (such as Mor Ardain - Roaming the Wastes -). If an area has a separate night theme, it is typically distinguished by suffixing "/Night" to the name. The main exceptions are the area themes composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, which are named after lyrics included in the themes. Battle themes and cutscene themes have no overarching naming schemes.
Xenoblade2 Original Soundtrack
- Main article: Xenoblade2 Original Soundtrack
The Xenoblade2 Original Soundtrack is the most complete official release of the music of the main game of Xenoblade Chronicles 2, containing almost all of the music used in that game. It consists of 126 tracks split across 6 discs: the first 5 contain regular music used in the game and the final disc contains jingles and 5 arrangements of other tracks for piano by Ivan Linn. The soundtrack was released on the 23rd of May, 2018.
The music in the first 5 discs is ordered somewhat chronologically; area, battle and menu themes are (mostly) ordered according to the order that they are first encountered in-game, with area themes that play during the day coming before those that play during the night, and with cutscene themes interspersed between them in places that tend to suggest a specific, usually particularly notable, cutscene. (For example, Counterattack coming after Drifting Soul and before You Will Recall Our Names is suggestive of the cutscene with Mythra's awakening at the Olethro Ruins.)
It was released with three versions: 'Type A' consists of a USB with the music from all six discs, 'Type B' consists of the six discs, and 'Type C' consists of the first five discs. (A very limited number of the Type A and Type B versions were printed.) The soundtrack also received a digital release with the music from the first 5 discs.
The music on the first five discs were included as discs 6-10 of the Xenoblade Chronicles Original Soundtrack Trinity Box.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Kingdom of Torna Original Soundtrack
The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Kingdom of Torna Original Soundtrack contains 11 tracks and consists specifically of music that was included in Torna ~ The Golden Country that was not included in the main game of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. Like the Xenoblade2 Original Soundtrack, the tracks are ordered roughly according to the order which one would hear them in gameplay. This soundtrack was only released digitally on the 14th of December, 2018.
The music on this soundtrack was included as disc 11 of the Xenoblade Chronicles Original Soundtrack Trinity Box.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Sound Selection
The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Sound Selection includes 13 tracks from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and was released on the 1st of December 2017 as part of the Collector's Edition of the game. The track list is as follows:
- Xenoblade II - Where It All Began -
- Elysium, in the Blue Sky
- Spirit Crucible Elpys
- A Nopon's Life
- Mor Ardain - Roaming the Wastes -
- The Ancient Vessel
- Shadow of the Lowlands
- Where We Used to Be
Procyon Twitter posts
Over the course of November 2022, Procyon Studio made videos containing crossfaded highlights of the Xenoblade2 Original Soundtrack and Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Kingdom of Torna Original Soundtrack (in particular highlighting the contributions of different composers) for a series of Twitter posts. These were likely motivated by the announcement for the music of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 being nominated for best music at The Game Awards 2022.
Several pieces of music which play in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and/or Torna ~ The Golden Country were not released in any of either game's official soundtracks. In the games' overworlds there are several buskers, and when they are approached the songs they play in-universe are audible. None of their music has been included in any official release (a full list is on the page Environmental music (XC2)). The cutscene theme Ursula's Song was also not on any official release.
The tracks You Will Know Our Names, Uncontrollable, and Wir fliegen also play in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 under specific circumstances. (These tracks were officially released in the Xenoblade Original Soundtrack and XenobladeX Original Soundtrack respectively.)
In other media
- Main article: Xeno series crossovers
Jump Towards the Morning Sun, With People and Darkness, Elysium in the Dream, Battle!!, and Salvage Result play in Xenoblade Chronicles 3. Multiple other music tracks in this game are remixes of Drifting Soul. Motifs from Drifting Soul and Counterattack are used in yet other tracks. The Tomorrow With You and Bringer of Chaos! Ultimate are mentioned by name in dialogue.
Several tracks from Xenoblade Chronicles 2 and Torna ~ The Golden Country are playable in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, playing on the Gaur Plains and Cloud Sea of Alrest stages. In addition, the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Medley was arranged and Counterattack and Tiger! Tiger! received new remixes for this game, all of which are playable on those stages. Finally, an excerpt from Battle!! is used as Pyra and Mythra's victory theme.
- Drifting Soul
- One Last You
- Our Eternal Land
- Shadow of the Lowlands
- We Are the Chosen Ones
- Ever Come to an End
- A Moment of Eternity
The track Shadow of the Lowlands was made into an official music video featured on Nintendo's YouTube channel, featuring the Irish choir ANÚNA (the performers of the piece) singing the music on a moor.
- VGMdb Article (Sound Selection, EUR)
- VGMdb Article (Sound Selection, JPN)
- VGMdb Article (Sound Selection, USA)
- VGMdb Article (Sound Selection, AUS)