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Iwata Asks

Nintendo updated the Iwata Asks homepage today with a special banner. It reads, “These installments of Iwata Asks remind us of our dear colleague, friend and mentor, Mr. Satoru Iwata, upon his passing.” You can check it out towards the top of the page here.

Nintendo has published a new Iwata Asks discussion which revolves around Splatoon. You can read it here. Shintaro Sato, Seita Inoue, Tsubasa Sakaguchi, Yusuke Amano, and Hisashi Nogami participated in the interview.

Today’s Iwata Asks for Xenoblade Chronicles X was filled with plenty of insightful information about the game’s development. There were so many interesting details that I figured I summary would come in handy! If you’d like the “cliffnotes” version, read on below.

– Monolith Soft originally wanted to connect the Bionis and Mechonis into one field in Xenoblade Chronicles
– For Xenoblade Chronicles X, Monolith Soft originally talked about creating a whole planet for the game
– Takahashi: “In the end, we created a field that can be developed on a realistic scale by creating five continents around 400km”
– Creating an open-world setting was one of the game’s pillars
– You couldn’t go to a few places that you saw in Xenoblade Chronicles, so Monolith Soft wanted to fix this with X
– It’s possible to go to any location shown on the screen
– Takahashi proposed dividing the area into hexagon-shaped fields so that players would have a better idea about knowing where to go
– Takahashi wrote a lot of the game’s plot; Kojima never saw him write so much before
– Takeda picked out the stories that fit within the game’s content and turned them into scripts
– Takeda was originally the only one assigned as scriptwriter, but Hyodo was brought in since the volume of work was too much for one person
– Hyodo asked staff if he could create additional characters for quest scenarios, and he was told, “Make as many as you want”
– Kojima: “In comparison to how it was with Xenoblade Chronicles and also other games in general, we did not have to be so restrictive about the places to appear in this game”
– Hyodo was able to help create young female characters who could take on important roles, as Takahashi and Takeda like middle-aged male characters
– Including the quests, it took at least 1.5 years to write out the scenarios
– The main story is shorter than Xenoblade Chronicles
– More quest depth than Xenoblade Chronicles
– Kojima says they put in 3000% more depth into the quests
– Similar number of quests as the Xenoblade Chronicles, though “we did put 3000% of our hearts into creating them”
– Quests are more condensed this time around
– Yokota believes this game will last five times longer if they try to complete everything
– Monolith Soft went through a “mass construction” of development in the middle of making the game
– This is because they decided to change the main character into an avatar
– This required some of the story to be rewritten
– Wanted a loosely connected online world since playing alone in a big world may feel lonely
– Game automatically connects online if your Wii U is connected to the Internet
– Random missions are assigned to groups of 32 players
– Can ignore these missions, but you’ll still be rewarded if other players complete them
– There were many discussions about how many choices should be offered for the avatar customizations
– Prior to X’s “mass construction”, Takeda wrote a script expecting to have a main character like the original Xenoblade Chronicles
– This was the first time Takeda wrote a script for an avatar
– Different avatar voices
– Kojima: “From my standpoint, though, I think we were equally struggling with this change. (laughs) The flow of the story changed from being guided by a distinct main character to an avatar designed by the player, so that must’ve been a lot of work.”
– There was talk about whether or not X should have battle voices, but they decided to have them like in Xenoblade Chronicles since they make the game stand out
– 3,000 lines recorded for Xenoblade Chronicles’ battle scenes, but X has 11,000 lines
– Some voice actors lost their voices during recording due to so many lines
– The team asked the voice actors to keep shouting for hours
– Having robots was another pillar for development
– Kojima wasn’t concerned about balancing the Skells since he “wanted the players to experience a great feeling playing with one of these once they obtain one”
– He wanted to have enemies that take awhile to beat as humans could be defeated with one blow while riding a Skell
– It’s expensive to buy a Skell to give players the same feeling as buying a new car in real life
– Skells can be destroyed in one shot if the enemy is strong enough
– Skull insurance: can be fixed for free up to 3 times
– Have to pay an expensive fee if it breaks a fourth time
– Kojima wanted Skells to be broken for good once they were destroyed, but the staff felt that was too harsh
– If you push the button at the right time to abort when the Skell’s HP becomes zero and is destroyed, the Skell will be fixed without having to use insurance (“insurance on insurance” feature)
– Monolith Soft’s Makoto Shimamoto put in this “insurance on insurance” function without Kojima’s consent
– Kojima always wanted to make a game where robots and humans could fight on the same field
– Takeda says volume of X “far surpasses that of the previous Xenoblade game
– Can learn more about things outside of the main story
– “X” is a symbol for an unknown factor

Yokota on the “X”:

Right, we also named the title overseas Xenoblade Chronicles X, and the X symbolized alien life of the unknown, and exploring an unknown planet. In the Japanese version, we refer to the X as “cross,” as in a place that can serve as a crossroad where people can come across one another unexpectedly. The game has an online aspect, so there will be a lot of player interactions, as if they’re meeting each other at an intersection or a crossroads. A lot of intelligent life from other planets will also appear, and interacting with them can be a lot of fun as well. For example, they won’t come to your town unless you find a way to come across and interact with them.

So you can say this is a game where the experience will change depending on the player’s actions. And by the sense of the game being a crossroads, the Skells and humans can fight together. I feel that the “X” in the title really represents a lot of different aspects of the game.

– Kojima and Takakashi didn’t want the game’s soundtrack to be stereotypical
– The team was forced to abandon a bunch of work after changing the main protagonist to an avatar
– Kojima: “(With a deep sigh) Yeah, we threw it all away.”
– According to Takahashi, X’s text “far surpasses that of the previous game”
– Reggie told Iwata that after the announcement of Zelda Wii U’s delay happened, an American game site held a poll about what games readers were excited for since Zelda Wii U isn’t coming out this year, and Xenoblade Chronicles X was number 1

Iwata on how the game is coming out in Japan first:

Since the game is first coming out in Japan, it will be released in America well after everything about the game has been revealed to the public. That raises the hurdle, but on the flipside, if everyone who plays the game in Japan talks about how much they enjoyed the game world, and how their experiences were different from one another, that would be something great for the western audience to hear. If people outside of Japan hear a lot of positive news about the game, I feel like we can throw an answer to the question of what the future holds for JRPGs. It would be this game, this is the answer to that question, in the form of a video game.

A new Iwata Asks has gone live. Following the Xenoblade Chronicles 3D discussion last month, Nintendo’s latest discussion focuses on the spiritual sequel Xenoblade Chronicles X. Read it here.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata sits down with Genki Yokota, Koh Kojima, Kazuho Hyodo, Yuichiro Takeda, and Tetsuya Takahashi to talk all about the Wii U RPG. It’s a lengthy read, but it should be well worth checking out if you have interest in Xenoblade Chronicles X!

A new Iwata Asks has gone live. This time around, we get to read up on a discussion about Xenoblade Chronicles 3D between Nintendo president Satoru Iwata and Monolith Soft’s Tetsuya Takahashi. Access it here.

Nintendo’s Iwata Asks series was on hiatus for over a year. But out of nowhere, a new interview was published late last week to celebrate the launch of Zelda: Majora’s Mask 3D.

Thankfully, this won’t be a one-time thing. Satoru Iwata recently said on Nintendo’s Japanese Twitter account that the series will continue, even if it’s not at the same pace as before.


4Gamer has gone live with an interview featuring Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. It’s the final interview in a series done by the Japanese website and Dwango’s Nobuo Kawakami.

One of the earlier parts of the discussion talks about how often Iwata is involved with interviews. Naturally, the chat shifted to the “Iwata Asks” series and what its status is at present. Iwata says that “our customers and even myself grew a little bored with it, so we decided to rest it for a while and it’s recharging right now, so to speak.”

Check out the full interview excerpts below:

Nintendo delivered a little bit of a mixed message about the future of Iwata Asks during its Annual Meeting of Shareholders last week. Genyo Takeda mentioned that the series will return once Satoru Iwata returns from his health issues, while Shigeru Miyamoto said the lack of interviews is because the company “came up with the idea that Nintendo should try to attract a more broad audience through a wider range of methods.”

In any case, here are the full comments about the situation:


Nintendo has launched a pair of newly-translated Iwata Asks discussions today. You can find one for Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney here and another for Nintendo Pocket Football Club here.

The latest addition in the Iwata Asks series focuses on the Fit Meter, a device used in conjunction with Wii Fit U. You can check out the full discussion here. The interview features Nintendo president Satoru Iwata as well as various developers that assisted with the Fit Meter’s development.

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