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Music of Xenoblade Chronicles 3

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The music of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 consists of approximately 140 tracks, several of which have been officially released as of June 2022. Yasunori Mitsuda, ACE, Manami Kiyota, Kenji Hiramatsu, Mariam Abounnasr, and Yutaka Kunigo all contributed to composing for the game. In addition, one song by Yoko Shimomura is also reused.

Disclaimer about track titles[edit]

As of May 2023, there is no complete and confirmed list which matches each music track in the game with a title. However, a track list has been uploaded to the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Official Soundtrack's website. Moreover, copyright information on Xenoblade 3 music has been uploaded to the JASRAC database; this primarily helps identify jingles, which are seemingly not on the OST website. This information includes track titles in English and Japanese, as well as each track's composer and arrangers, but — critically — no information on exactly which in-game piece of music corresponds to which track title.

Several factors make it possible to predict the music-title correspondences with varying levels of certainty; most importantly, the track list on the OST website has a heavy correlation with the order in which tracks would play in-game. This wiki uses one such prediction as to the correspondences which is currently in widespread use. It bears emphasising that this is only a prediction; it is entirely possible that a number of tracks have been misidentified, resulting in information on music instances being swapped around.

There are several tracks with confirmed titles, namely those featured in prerelease advertisement for the game. All tracks with unconfirmed titles have a disclaimer at the top of their page.

Significance in-universe[edit]

Music is relevant to the game's story and lore. The main characters Noah and Mio are off-seers, people who mourn those who died in battle, and both play a flute as a part of this practise. According to Mitsuda[1], the flute motif is meaningful to the music as a whole, and the instrument features prominently in the game's music, including situations where the instrument is less commonly used in equivalent music in other media (e.g. battle themes).

The countries of Keves and Agnus each have their own standard tunes learnt by all off-seers in training. However, the music played by off-seers is somewhat variable beyond this in practice. While it exclusively uses the flute, different off-seers often write their own variations on these melodies, and some even compose their own. The four pieces Off-Seer - Noah, Off-Seer - Mio, Off-Seer - Crys, and Off-Seer - Miyabi represent the melodies of choice of the four eponymous characters. Other tracks feature elements from these four pieces that are played in-universe by off-seers in specific cutscenes; notable examples are A Life Sent On, Shining Aspiration - Inherited Melody, Homecoming, and Feelings Risen to the Sky.

Functionality in-game[edit]

The music of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 can be roughly categorised into battle, area, cutscene, and menu themes. As is typical for games in the series, most areas have separate area music that plays during the day and the night (although the two are typically remixes of one another), in which the day theme is often somewhat more energetic and the night theme more subdued.

Dynamic music[edit]

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 makes use of dynamic music, which changes based upon circumstances in gameplay. When off-seeing in gameplay, the area music is momentarily replaced with one of several excerpts from the flute lines of A Life Sent On, corresponding to the music being played in-universe. When a playable character attacks an enemy or is aggroed, the area music ceases to play and is replaced with battle music. When battle concludes, the music switches back. In most circumstances, using a Chain Attack in battle will change the music to Chain Attack for the duration of the chain.

The most notable cases of dynamic music are when it is implemented with smooth transitioning: in certain circumstances, the currently playing music track may switch to another in a way that intentionally maintains the sense of metre and musical phrasing across the transition. This takes several forms depending upon the tracks involved and their functionality.

Remix switching[edit]

One form of smooth music transitioning, remix switching, is performed by two tracks having the same tempo and phrase structure. (In its simplest form, this is accomplished by having one track be the same as the other but with additional instrumentation.) Initially, one track plays; when some condition is met, the track immediately and smoothly transitions to the equivalent section of the other track. Depending upon the condition, the music may or may not switch back once the condition ends; if it does, it also does so smoothly in the same manner.

The most common implementation of this is in joint area-battle themes: a number of gameplay areas and/or story sections have area music which is musically linked to the battle music in the above manner. When combat initiates, the area music smoothly transitions to the equivalent section of the battle music, and transitions back again once combat has concluded.

The following is a list of tracks which implement remix switching:

First track Second track Switching condition Does it switch back?
Tactical Action (Dynamic A)
Tactical Action (Dynamic B)
Tactical Action (Dynamic C)
Tactical Action When standard battle initiates Yes (when battle ends)
Hostile Colony (Dynamic) Hostile Colony When standard battle initiates Yes (when battle ends)
Keves Castle Keves Castle (Battle) When standard battle initiates Yes (when battle ends)
Words That Never Reached You Words That Never Reached You (Battle) When the boss fight initiates No
Origin Upper Reaches Origin Depths When taking the South Sector Passage's elevator down Yes (when taking the elevator back up)
Showdown With Z, Act 1 Showdown With Z, Act 2 When the party reappears before the final phase No

(The three area theme versions of Tactical Action play in different story situations; all three use the same battle theme.)

Climax sections of battle themes[edit]

The other main form of smooth music transitioning applies in battle. Several battle themes consist of multiple looping sections that play in different stages of the battle, and reducing the enemy's HP past certain thresholds causes the music to switch from one track (corresponding to one looping section of the battle theme) to another.

The transition is made smooth because, unlike remix switching, it does not happen immediately. Rather, once the condition to transition is met, the music waits until it reaches one of several 'transition points' in the current track to switch to the other track. These transition points are each at the ends of musical phrases, making the transition to the start of the first phrase of the following track musically smooth.

In all cases, such battle themes have either two or three loops. The first plays at the start of battle, the second generally plays when the enemy has approximately 1/2 to 1/3 of its maximum HP, and the third (when applicable) generally plays when the enemy reaches approximately 1/10 HP. The second and third loops are sometimes unofficially referred to as the 'Climax' and 'Pre-end' sections respectively, after the naming scheme of the tracks as stored in the game's files.

The condition for transitioning to the climax or pre-end section of the battle theme is based upon the enemy's current HP percentage. Every enemy which uses battle themes with climax sections has a specific HP percent threshold, the 'climax threshold'. When the enemy's HP drops below the climax threshold, the music transitions to the climax section once it next reaches a transition point, assuming the enemy is still alive. Similarly, if the enemy uses a pre-end section, the music transitions at the first transition point after the enemy reaches the pre-end HP threshold. If both the climax and pre-end thresholds are reached before the music reaches a transition point, the climax section will be skipped and the music will transition straight from the main loop to the pre-end section. (Of course, if battle ends before a transition point the music stops entirely, meaning that not every section of the track may play in every relevant fight depending upon how fast the enemy is defeated.)

The situation is more complicated when multiple enemies are in battle at once. When this is the case, the value that the game uses for "the enemy's HP" is the average HP percentage of all alive enemies. For example, if the current fight is against two enemies and the music has a climax threshold of 45%, having one enemy at 80% and the other at 20% (for an average of 50%) will not trigger the climax, but having one enemy at 80% and the other enemy at 2% (for an average of 41%) will trigger the climax. The climax section will activate at the next transition point even if the lower-health enemy is killed in the meantime (bringing the average HP of all live enemies back up to 80%).

On the other hand, if one enemy is kept at 100% while the other enemy's HP is reduced, the climax section will never trigger because the average HP of all enemies is always above 50% (until one is killed and the remaining enemy is brought below 45%.) Moreover, if an enemy is instantly killed from high HP (via a very strong attack or Doom) they do not count as ever having passed the intermediate HP values; therefore, in the scenario that one enemy is at 80% HP and the other is at 20% before being hit with an attack that reduces its HP directly to 0, the 45% climax threshold is not considered to be passed because the average enemy HP went straight from 50% to 80%.

The following is a list of battle themes that have climax and/or pre-end sections. Details on which fights use these sections, as well as the corresponding climax and pre-end thresholds, can be found on the tracks' individual pages.

Track Pre-end section? Notes
You Will Know Our Names - Finale Yes
Immediate Threat Yes
Moebius Interlink No This track has two climaxes — an 'action climax' and a 'sad climax' — that play in different situations.
The False Queens Yes
Moebius Battle/M Phase 2 No
Ultimate Enemy No

The pieces in the above list all also have 'Ending' sections — a short jingle which plays when the fight ends (as long as the battle doesn't end with a chain attack). Any instance that uses a climax section will also use an ending section, and vise versa. However, the ending sections are not transitioned smoothly into; they play instantly upon the battles' conclusion.

Musical style[edit]

In part due to the large number of composers contributing to the game's music, there are few overarching trends in musical aspects. Much of the music was composed with live instrumentation; relatively few tracks noticeably use sampled instruments (although some, such as the pause menu music, are entirely sampled). Various tracks borrow from substantially different musical genres such as jazz, although this tends to be limited to individual tracks as opposed to significant sections of the soundtrack as a whole.

On average, the area themes are more subdued than in the music of previous games in the series (especially among those that play exclusively during the day).

Use of motifs[edit]

Day and night area themes are remixes of one another, and some battle themes are remixes of associated area themes; see Functionality in-game. Beyond this, several main melodic lines appear throughout Xenoblade Chronicles 3's music (especially the cutscene music, although sometimes in area, battle and menu music) as motifs.

  • The two flute lines used in A Life Sent On, Off-Seer - Noah and Off-Seer - Mio, are each used (independently, although often together) in a multitude of tracks. For example, the music of the title screen, Off-Seer, is based upon Off-Seer - Noah. The two flute lines can each be subdivided into an A section and a B section; each are frequently used independently of one another, resulting in four main melodic lines associated with A Life Sent On.
  • Ouroboros Awakening gives rise to two main motifs, each of which represent Ouroboros. These motifs also appear in tracks such as the area themes of the City.
  • The four main melodies of the track Moebius, which are independently used in tracks such as Ferronis and the Origin area themes, represent Moebius. The 3rd such melody has substantial similarities to the first Ouroboros motif, especially with regards to rhythm and melodic contour.

Several other melodies appear in multiple tracks, albeit to a lesser extent than the above four. For example, a motif based upon Drifting Soul from the music of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 plays in tracks associated with Nia.

Detailed information on which tracks use the above main motifs can be found on the Off-Seer - Noah, Off-Seer - Mio, Ouroboros Awakening, and Moebius pages, as well as each track's individual page.

Official releases[edit]

Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack[edit]

Main article: Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack

The Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Original Soundtrack, releasing on the 29th of July, 2023 (limited edition) and the 2nd of August, 2023 (standard edition), is the official soundtrack set for this game. It consists of 140 tracks from both the base game and music associated with Future Redeemed.

It comes in two editions; a standard edition and a limited edition, the latter of which features a deluxe booklet and scale replicas of the flutes used by Noah and Mio (or those used in the composition of the game's music). The music is also included as part of the Xenoblade Chronicles Original Soundtrack Trinity Box.

Website BGM[edit]

The official Japanese website for Xenoblade 3 features a button labelled 'BGM' (an acronym commonly used in Japanese to signify 'background music') which, when pressed, plays music. Originally, it played A Life Sent On; after the Xenoblade 3 direct on 22 June 2022, The Weight of Life and Keves Battle were also added as options. In the weeks leading up to the game's release, You Will Know Our Names - Finale, Millick Meadows, Chain Attack, A Step Away, and A Formidable Enemy were added to the list of playable tracks.

Xenoblade Notes[edit]

Xenoblade Note vol. 5, a blog post on Nintendo's Japanese website, included links to several unlisted YouTube videos of the game's music: A Life Sent On, The Weight of Life, and Keves Battle. Xenoblade Note vol. 8, posted later, featured an equivalent link to Millick Meadows.

Twitter posts[edit]

The XenobladeJP twitter account, as well as the accounts of various regional Nintendo departments, posted various tracks from the game leading up to the game's release. The tracks featured were the same tracks as the ones playable on the official website.

In other media[edit]


  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3's music was nominated at The Game Awards in 2022 for Best Score & Music.


External links[edit]