By Joseph Walter
First, it wasn't going to be released in North America, so a large-scale fan movement, "Operation Rainfall" was formed to bring it, along with the also-left-behind "The Last Story" and "Pandora's Tower" to our shores.
Shockingly, the movement was so strong that the companies involved actually listened (!!!) and brought all three over! And I'm betting they are glad they did, because "Xenoblade" became quite a phenomenon, spawning a pseudo-sequel "Xenoblade Chronicles X" for the Wii U, and now a genuine one, "Xenoblade 2" for the Nintendo Switch.
"Xenoblade" itself is a mind-numbingly expansive and immense open-world Japanese RPG, intricately peppered with side-quests and liberal borrowing of Western RPG concepts. To be completely frank, the game never really caught on with me due to its extreme depth, but that's not what this article is about.
Instead, it's about the very title screen that inspired the "Title Screen" features, and the overall aesthetic of this blog.
"Xenoblade Chronicles" as you might have guessed, revolves around a specific and mysterious sword with an unknown origin. And it's only this sword that can harm the swarming hordes of the Mechon, which threaten to overrun the peaceful world in which our protagonists reside. Even more intriguing, the blade can only be wielded by a sparse few, and it grants visions of the future to the users.
Considering all this, what better title screen than having the camera focus squarely on the abandoned sword, and allow time to pass unfettered, while a Mechon carcass rusts in the distance?
The most intriguing elements to a new player, though, are the sword and its mysteries. It's clear from the screen, without ever knowing a word of the story, that this sword is (literally) the central element of the tale. And what of this sword? It appears abandoned after a great battle, many ages ago, untouched for decades, maybe even hundreds of years.
Slowly, the scene shifts to sunset and then finally night, to which the sword responds by activating a coursing series of lights that travel throughout its structure. It's captivating, even mesmerizing.
But what sells the whole sequence even further is the unmatched compositional skill of "Chromo Trigger's" Yasunori Mitsuda and his epic, moving theme song. Gentle, but sweeping, it adds to the hypnotic nature of the sword and the solemnity of the scene.
Now that's one Hell of a Title Screen.