To celebrate the launch of Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna – The Golden Country, Monolith Soft’s Tetsuya Takahashi has published the first production notes for the game.
In the first production notes, Takahashi reveals the technical aspects behind Torna – The Golden Country. Torna – The Golden Country makes use of a new rendering engine, and many aspects of the battle system have been revamped. The user interface has also improved.
Read the full notes below.
Hello everyone. This is Mr Takahashi at MONOLITHSOFT. The last part of the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Expansion Pass, Torna – The Golden Country, is finally available. This title is set up as an additional scenario to the main game, and in fact, adds quite a few changes and renovations.
First, the technical aspects. There’s a new rendering engine in Torna – The Golden Country. This comes at a transitional period for MONOLITHSOFT, as we look ahead to future projects, so the results of the change are slight – but it does look a bit nicer than the main game.
The fields of Torna are an area where you can easily see the difference. Granted, this doesn’t have anything to do with how fun the game is, so it might not matter all that much…but take a look at the difference between the grass in Gormott versus Torna.
We also made some usability improvements to the UI and tutorials compared to the main game. One example is that the one-button controls to change characters and entire teams now work while out in the field. We wanted to make getting into battle feel more user-friendly, considering that you’ll have a team of nine characters you can swap in and out during battle.
We also split the items you can get in the field into categories, making them even easier to collect.
Plus, now there’s a Tips section that lets you review past tutorials.
Next, let’s talk about the battle system, which now uses battle teams. There are three members to a team, and a maximum of three teams, meaning that a total of nine characters can be used in battle.
(You only have direct control over one team during battle. The other teams are controlled by the CPU.)
You can switch who on the team is at the front (the Vanguard) or the rear line (the Rear Guard) in battle. Unlike the main game, those at the back participate directly in battle by supporting the frontline.
To make battles more strategic, effects like Break, Topple, Launch, and Smash, which were inflicted by certain Arts in the main game, can now be inflicted by Switch Arts, which activate when swapping between the Vanguard and Rear Guard.
The way that Blade Combos and Chain Attacks work have also been revamped, so I hope you’ll enjoy the different feel of these battles compared to the main game.
The conditions on accepting and clearing quests have been streamlined too, and we’ve implemented a new Community system. Community is a more straightforward version of the Affinity Chart in Xenoblade Chronicles and Xenoblade Chronicles X, which helps you see who is involved in each quest. There’s an icon that shows who has a quest for you.
Compared to the main game, in Torna – The Golden Country there’s more of an emphasis on how each quest’s characters relate to the main characters. There are quite a few quests that delve into the relationships between these characters, so I hope you’ll be sure to play through them.
Camping is another new system we implemented for Torna – The Golden Country.
This is a unified system that combines the crafting, Inns, and Heart-to-Hearts from the main story in one place, so you can enjoy these elements in a more streamlined way. With crafting, each character has a field they specialize in, and they are able to generate Pouch Items that have effects in battle and on the field. You might also enjoy the fact that the items the characters make match their personalities.
Now, just a little about the story. The story of Torna – The Golden Country is centered around Jin and Lora, and follows the events from 500 years before the main story. The plan was to fit this story between chapters seven and eight in the original plot, but now that it’s its own additional scenario with more quests, we gave it a much larger scale. What was Jin thinking back then? And Lora? What about Mythra?
Their stories were touched on only in fragments in the main story, but will now come to light.
There are also 11 new songs, including some arrangements of existing music, that Mitsuda and others composed just for this game. They have a real jazzy and acoustic sound. You definitely have to hear the groove in the battle music, and the new ending sung by Jen.
Torna – The Golden Country feels so grown up! And it’s finally released, nine months after the main game came out.
Character designer Masatsugu Saito drew an illustration to commemorate the release of Torna – The Golden Country and the conclusion of the Expansion Pass. Every character that Mr Saito designed is in this illustration! I bet there’s a way to see this elaborately drawn image of everyone in all of its glory in-game…
Please enjoy Torna – The Golden Country, everyone!