Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has been out for a few weeks now, garnering critical and commercial success across the board. It’s a true triumph for MONOLITHSOFT and serves as a reminder of how much this series matters to people.
So where do we go from here then? Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is the end of the trilogy that began with Klaus all the way back in the original Xenoblade Chronicles. It brings that chapter to a close. We know that the series is planning to continue onward but in what way and with what world?
Let’s talk about what comes next for the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion slated for next year, and what may come after that for the Xenoblade Chronicles franchise.
This article will contain a discussion of the ending of Xenoblade Chronicles 3. If you do not want to see these spoilers, come back once you have beaten the game.
Want to find more guides and articles on Xenoblade Chronicles? You can find some here on KeenGamer:
- The Importance of Accents in Xenoblade Chronicles
- The Brilliance of Accents in Xenoblade Chronicles 3
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3: How To Unlock All Heroes
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3: How To Unlock All Hero Ascension Quests
- Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass is Happening, Vol. 1 Out Today
- 7 Great Changes made in Xenoblade Chronicles 3
Message From Tetsuya Takahashi
To begin, Tetsuya Takahashi released a statement after Xenoblade Chronicles 3 was released. Takahashi was the game director of Xenoblade Chronicles and X, as well as a writer on Xenoblade Chronicles 2. He was the one who directed Xenoblade Chronicles 3. He sent out a message to people within Nintendo and beyond, giving his thanks and a brief hint at the future.
Takahashi makes some pretty interesting comments here, especially those about the series’ future. He talks about how Xenoblade Chronicles 3 may be a conclusion, but that it isn’t the end for Xenoblade. On top of that, the idea that the ending of the game and the direction of the expansion pass will tell us more about the series’ future is very intriguing.
So first, let us discuss that Expansion Pass.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Speculation
The Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass is purchasable alongside the game for additional goodies. This pass gives you access to 4 waves of new content that will release over the next coming year. Wave 1 launched on the game’s release day. Wave 2 is releasing at some point before the end of the year with new battle trials and a new playable Hero.
The main thing to focus on here is Wave 4. This Wave will contain a massive story expansion similar in size and scope to the Torna: The Golden Country expansion for Xenoblade Chronicles 2. This expansion was a part of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 expansion pass (with it later getting a separate physical release).
Torna: The Golden Country dove back into the past and told us a little bit more about the characters of Addam and Lorna, people we knew about in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 but not super well. It had a new world to explore and a whole newly remixed battle system. If the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 expansion is anything like Torna, we’re in for a good time.
What does this mean for the story of the expansion? There are two main possibilities here: a look back at the past or a glimpse ahead to the future.
A Look-Back at the Past
The most obvious path is for the game to follow what Torna began, which is a deeper look back into the past of the characters we know. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a great base for this, perhaps even better than Torna did, with the City Founders.
The Founders are a group of seven individuals who created The City. They also created the Seven Houses which everyone was descended from. They’re a massively important part of City history, but one we only get the briefest glance at. In addition, we know the fate of the original City, in that it was slain by the hand of N, and a few stories about the Founders thanks to their memorial stones.
One very possible idea for the Expansion would be exploring that old world with the Founders. Aionios was surely different back then, giving a new location to explore and a few new characters to play as. Depending on the period, there are a lot of answers that we could get – more information on X and Y perhaps, we could see new and old Consuls alike, Noah and Mio’s child, and most importantly who the Founders actually were. The main appeal of this type of Expansion would be those answers.
This way would also give us a few answers on where the other characters from Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 were. Two of the Founder’s statues have figures representing their masters as opposed to the Founders themselves. One is a man who loses his arm but wields a mysterious red sword in battle, The other is a carefree, brash rebel who wields two great swords and has lost an eye.
Many believe these as the reincarnations of Shulk (there is only really one ‘red sword’ in Xenoblade that is worthy of being called out like that) and Rex (Pyra and Mythra would have stayed as Blades after the end of 2, potentially giving him access to two different blades). If the expansion takes place in the City’s past, we may be able to see these characters come back and see what they were doing in the world of Aionios.
And much like how Torna: The Golden Country ends in tragedy, Xenoblade Chronicles 3’s could end in the same way. Right before N comes to slaughter the City to ‘save’ Mio. A lot of things line up for this to be what we may see from the Expansion in the future of Xenoblade Chronicles.
A Glimpse at the Future
The other direction is that we instead look at the future. At the end of the game, the worlds are split once more thanks to the party and Origin. It ends with the heartbreaking scene of the group being separated. Noah and Mio promise to visit each other someday before the screen turns black. A post-credits scene shows the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 as it was at the very start, unfrozen in time. A younger Noah hears a very familiar tune on an off-seers Flute, before wandering off to find the source.
This direction would entail showing us the future as one final closing chapter. The current ending of the game is very bittersweet and many fans are longing for some kind of definitive reality where the party gets to live happily ever after, together. If the expansion took this route perhaps we would get to see that happy ending. Compared to the previous example, this ending would appeal to the catharsis that many of us want.
Perhaps it will be a story about trying to bridge that gap between the two worlds. Nia and Melia still know about the other worlds (and maybe they know about what transpired in Origin) so it isn’t unfathomable to believe that they may want to connect the twin worlds. This way, we may even get to continue playing as the party we know and love. Noah, Eunie and Lanz in the world of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 whereas Mio, Taion and Sena in the landscapes of Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The previous expansion introduced a new spin on combat (as did the Future Connected piece from the Definitive Edition) so stripping back the party to maybe only being 3 members could be an interesting shakeup.
Selfishly, I also just want to see the old cast again. We’ve seen Nia and Melia, sure, and we know that Rex and the cast of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 are doing well, but what about the cast of 1? Are they alive and well, how did they live their lives after Zanza? I want to see Reyn and Lanz work out together, or Eunie train with Sharla.
Equally, I want to know how the 2 cast is doing and see them interact with our new main characters. Pyra, Mythra and Nia all have kids now, and I’m intrigued by what Morag or Zeke are up to. Seeing the old voice cast come to mess about with the new one would certainly be a heart-warming way to close out this chapter of Xenoblade.
What’s more, the Monado REX and Pyra’s Aegis Sword make their appearance on the Expansion pass screen. While this may just be a cute thing to showcase the finale of the trilogy, I doubt it. Especially considering that Pyra’s actual sword is seen nowhere in-game, unlike the REX. This could point back to the past theory, too, because of the founders but I find it far more likely that it is pointing to the future of the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 world rather than a look at what came before. It could also be that they return as Heroes (much like how Shulk and Fiora were Blades in 2) but I also don’t think this will be the case.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 ended well. This kind of ending in the expansion pass would be a nice little bow on top of an already great finale.
The Next Xenoblade Game
So what about after the Expansion Pass? What is the future of the Xenoblade Chronicles series? Well, while we may not see the fruits of this labour for some time, there are a lot of places the series could now go. There are potential sequels, remasters, new games and new trilogies to consider.
Xenoblade Chronicles X: Definitive Edition
The most obvious is a remaster of the only title not currently available on the Switch: Xenoblade Chronicles X.
This game is an interesting one in the grand scheme of Xenoblade. It was the next game to come out after the first one, but it is completely unrelated. X is a spin-off, not a part of the Klaus trilogy like the other games. Despite this, it still shares a lot of the core DNA.
Xenoblade Chronicles X was about humanity escaping Earth after an alien invasion. The final remnants of civilisation crash land on a mysterious alien world called Mira. They had to start again and try to build a new world for them to live in.
Fans have clamoured for anything new on Xenoblade Chronicles X for years. The game featured some great mechanics and ideas that were not carried over into future titles such as a player-created main character and weapons that could switch forms. The most innovative was the SKELLS, pilotable mechs that could be used for traversal and combat. It was a breath of fresh air that leaned much more into the science fiction elements of Xenoblade. X uses the same based mechanics and ideas as the other games in the series, with a new spin. X is stranded on the WiiU, a console that Nintendo seems adamant to port every successful game to Switch.
The next game MONOLITH released after Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was an updated version of Xenoblade Chronicles 1. Based on this, it could be pretty safe to assume that an X: Definitive Edition may be coming.
Xenoblade Chronicles X 2
The other way that they could go with X is a sequel. The original was released in 2015. There hasn’t been a sequel, with all of the attention being on the Klaus trilogy instead.
Since the world of X is so intrinsically different to anything else in Xenoblade, there is so much potential for something new and innovative there. Many systems in X could be expanded and worked on in a sequel. Perhaps a new protagonist who plays a bit more of an active role (with a voiced role, pretty please).
This could potentially tie into the last point, too. Xenoblade Chronicles: The Definitive Edition was likely made and recreated so that more people got to experience it in time for Xenoblade Chronicles 3, which has a lot of callbacks to all the previous games. This was definitively not the only reason, but it was likely a core reason. If MONOLITH released an X remaster to hype up an X 2, you would find a lot of people very happy at the possibility.
X has a different focus to the trilogy, potentially bringing in more people and new fans. With the improvements and developments that MONOLITH has managed to make in the main trilogy, one can only imagine what kind of game a sequel to X would be with that kind of talent.
Xenoblade Chronicles 4
Or they could just keep going. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 marks the end of Klaus’ story. Yet, more stories could be explored.
Admittedly, this is the least likely to happen. It seems that MONOLITH is done with the worlds of Aionios and is content to leave that story alone (after the Expansion, that is). There is more that could be said, for example, if the worlds joined correctly or if they managed to bridge the gap far into the future, but I can’t see these filling up an entire game.
Additionally, the messaging of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 kind of contradicts this. Choose your own path and keep moving, even if it hurts. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 ends the worlds that we have come to love and the Expansion Pass should end it for good, so to have us trounce back through it again in a fourth game would be kind of odd. I have enough faith in MONOLITH that they could pull it off, but it would certainly be a strange turn of events, to say the least.
Xenoblade Chronicles 4 may be a possibility. But it seems like the least likely for a variety of reasons.
A New Xenoblade Trilogy Begins
What is slightly more possible is a new Xenoblade trilogy. Perhaps instead of Chronicles, it becomes something else instead.
Takahashi was very deliberate when he said ‘Xenoblade‘ and not just Xeno. Previous MONOLITH games have included other Xeno games (specifically Xenogears and Xenosaga) and so the next mainline game could be a return to that format. A new Xeno game to add to the list. However, the mention that XenoBLADE is continuing is significant. This may mean that the core identity of the games (Arts, real-time combat, etc.) may be making a return to whatever the next game is, even if the story and world are unlike the Xenoblade we have come to know and love.
What could a new Xenoblade game entail? Honestly, I haven’t a clue. So much of Xenoblade’s identity is tied to Klaus and the worlds he made that trying to think outside of that is difficult. Maybe Titans will return, new beasts for players to explore in newly barren worlds. Maybe there will be a whole new host of races (which obviously includes Nopon because… well, Nopon need to make it in). There are so many questions that it is hard to pin down.
Whatever the case, MONOLITHSOFT has consistently made some of the best JRPGs of recent memory with the Xenoblade Chronicles series and I believe that they have earned the faith of the fanbase in whatever their next endeavour may be, Xenoblade or not.