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Baten Kaitos

Before Monolith Soft created Xenoblade, the developer worked on a number of other titles. Baten Kaitos was one brief RPG series the studio was known for. The original game as well as its prequel – Baten Kaitos Origins – were GameCube exclusives. This was back when Monolith Soft was with Bandai Namco.

The Baten Kaitos IP has been dormant since Origins released in 2006. There were some talks about a DS entry that never came to be, but that’s pretty much it.

It’s interesting then that new trademarks have surfaced in Europe. Baten Kaitos and Baten Kaitos Origins were both filed today. That doesn’t exactly mean that they’ll be rereleased or that Bandai Namco has any plans for the series, but we would certainly welcome HD remasters on Switch if that were to ever happen.

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Monolith Soft is most commonly tied to the Xenoblade franchise these days, but the developer has worked on a number of other titles in the past. One such IP was Baten Kaitos, a GameCube-exclusive that originally released in Japan at the end of 2003 and a year later in the west.

Not too long ago, director Yasuyuki Honne reflected on the game, and more specifically, one of the game’s Japanese advert. Honne said Nintendo “was extremely happy that we were making a GameCube exclusive RPG for them, and without even knowing what the game was about, they made a teaser commercial”.

Honne’s full tweet:

Monolith Soft isn’t just known for the Xenoblade franchise. The studio has worked on many games over the years, including the GameCube-exclusive series Baten Kaitos. Two titles released on the platform, but it sounds like there were plans for a third entry as well.

Director Yasuyuki Honne has revealed that Baten Kaitos III was planned and was in pre-production. However, certain “circumstances” prevented the project from moving forward. Honne stated that Baten Kaitos III “would have been grand-scale game with settings at the bottom of the sea, on land, and in the sky.”

Project X Zone 2 director Kensuke Tsukanaka, speaking with Siliconera, explained why Baten Kaitos isn’t represented in the games. Monolith Soft developed Baten Kaitos and its sequel along with the Project X Zone titles.

Tsukanaka was also asked if we’ll ever see Baten Kaitos again, even if it’s outside of Project X Zone.

Here’s what Siliconera was told:

“So, do you remember that KOS-MOS and T-elos, from Xenosaga, were in the first Project X Zone game? We didn’t include them just because Monolith Soft was developing Project X Zone, we put them in there because there were so many fans of their games on the team, and that they happened to make sense for the world of the game.

“The reason there’s not Baten Kaitos characters in the story is because they just didn’t seem to fit in anywhere. As for [Baten Kaitos] itself outside of Project X Zone, well, I can’t really say much about that yet, but I think we need some substantial feedback from fans before moving forward with a project like that. What do they want to see from it? What platform do they want to see it on? If we can gather more voices for Baten Kaitos, then maybe we can start something with Bandai Namco Entertainment. That’s about all I can say right now!”

I honestly never thought I’d be writing about Baten Kaitos in a news post. I have so much love for the first game, though I’m ashamed to say that its sequel is sitting in my never-ending backlog. I’d be a massive supporter of a third Baten Kaitos!

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The last time I played through Xenoblade Chronicles was just after its European release in 2011, so I’ll let the other staff writers with fresher memories of it handle the actual game of the month. Instead, I’d like to take a not-so-brief look back at the history of the game’s developer, Monolith Soft, and the games they developed prior to Xenoblade. There are plenty of recurring themes, gameplay elements and staff involved, so let’s see how almost a decade of developing RPGs shaped this robot-slaying, god-climbing adventure.