The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack is one of the best video game soundtracks that I’ve listened to. Bar none, even taking the cake over Final Fantasy XV, which has long been my study soundtrack. The soundtrack of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 was primarily composed by legendary composer Yasunori Mitsuda and through a massive collaboration with other artists, an Irish choir, and more., who had a hand in other works like Final Fantasy XV’s Episode Ignis, Chrono Trigger, and Xenogears.

Of the 125 songs in the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack, the ones that Yasunori Mitsuda himself had authored are incredibly notable pieces, pieces that often utilize the same leitmotif in different ways and instruments. Here’s some of the highlights.

Xenoblade II – Where It All Began, Elysium in the Blue Sky, Elysium in the Dream, Where We Used To Be

In some of the early works credited to Mitsuda-san’s name for this game, Mitsuda-san establishes the main theme of the game. With Where It All Began, which plays in the initial cutscene as the game opens up into the rain, we’re given a little more of an idea as to what kind of adventure we’re setting off into. As the Elysium in the Blue Sky track opens, we get the main theme again, and it plays very close to the piece Where We Used To Be, which is the title theme but played on the piano, one of my favorite pieces of the soundtrack. For me, having played the piano over the last 20 years, it’s given me a much stronger appreciation for the theme played, which to me felt like growing up, and finding one’s self. Elysium in the Dream establishes itself in the vision scenes when Pyra and Mythra are overlooking the hill of Elysium, a major setting in Xenoblade Chronicles 2. The same leitmotif is played here, but with a more mournful sound that ties well into the losses that Pyra and Mythra have experienced, or the nostalgia of meeting their Father again, the Architect.

Our Eternal Land, We Are the Chosen Ones

This piece is a very unique one in the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack selection, as it’s a piece sung entirely by the Irish choir group ANÚNA. It’s the theme of the Indoline Praetorium, which feels modeled after the real life Vatican City. There is a religious feel to the city, and to many, it’s a love it or hate it track because it’s so jarring compared to what has come before it. It’s a bit of a folly, though, considering what the Indoline Praetorium represents and their later role in the story.

Over the Sinful Entreaty

In a game rife with politics and diverse cultures, this is easily one of the biggest pieces in the track, especially when Xenoblade Chronicles 2 reaches its climax. How Mitsuda is able to use the music to play in so well with the story is unbelievable, because whenever this piece plays, something significant is happening. In the best example, in the later moments of the game, Rex realizes his role as the Master Driver and is able to stand up to Praetor Amalthus. The piano plays as a support instrument and helps build up the fanfare, but also has a mournful sound to it, which matches during a Chapter 5 sequence when one of the characters supporting Rex is killed in the action.

Ever Come to an End, Shadow of the Lowlands

Two more pieces that are sung by the Irish choir ANÚNA. A lot more mournful, which matches the theme of Tantal, an isolationist empire. Knowing the backstory of Tantal and how they were essentially blackmailed by the Indoline Praetorium, and how their people have to live on a Titan plagued in winter, the song is much more meaningful.

Yggdrasil

Returning to the main themes of this game, but with a choir instead of, say, a piano, this theme plays as Rex and co. ascend the World Tree to meet the Architect. As the electric guitar riffs later into the tune, it matches the technologically advanced interior of the tree. The World Tree was supposed to be that, a tree, but inside it’s incredibly futuristic.

The Power of Jin

Jin is such a complex character and probably my favorite from the game. From his mellow demeanor (to be later unveiled in Torna: The Golden Country), to his more extremist views in the main game, and especially as he unveils his Blade form, you realize when you hear this the first time that you’re done and you best not forget this encounter. When this plays the first time, you’re thoroughly outclassed.

Praetor Amalthus – The Acting God

It’s an evil theme that matches its owner, Praetor Amalthus. After seeing him commit these atrocities, and knowing his full backstory by the time this plays out, you feel like this is the true final boss, even though that role is Malos. There is such a strong buildup in this song, and it represents a hurdle near the end of this fantastic journey.

Our Hope, Parting, Escape – Going Through Clouds, Elysium, White All Around Us

When these songs play, you know exactly what part I am referring to. From a powerful ending that sees Rex grow up and mature, realizing that not everything can be controlled, to the sacrifice of Pyra/Mythra/Pneuma, these tracks hit you hard as the dialogue unfolds. In Our Hope, we see the main theme make its appearance, and as it transitions into Parting, and the heartbreak of Poppi as she refuses to help Rex, coupled with the cast comforting Rex, the music transitions to a brass version of the main theme, and couples with string instruments to close out the final act.

The Tomorrow With You, One Last You

These two, right here, are probably Mitsuda-san’s greatest works in this soundtrack, if not the best he’s composed. When The Tomorrow With You plays, it’s heart wrenching because it tells a tale of how much Rex and Pyra care for each other. With a somber piano tone that symbolizes Rex’s voice – young, naïve, but optimistic, that later gets held off in favor of the string instruments, which represents the voice of Pyra and Mythra, which sounds more dominant, given their life experiences. As the two instruments come together at the end, you have a beautiful sound that brings together the journey that they’ve had, and just how much each of them cares for the other.

Then, there’s One Last You. The ending song written by Tetsuya Takahashi himself, sung by Jen Bird, and composed by Mitsuda-san, is the final song. Opening up on the piano, it’s sung from the point of view of Pyra and Mythra as they sacrifice themselves to stop the destruction of Alrest. The song begins with a tender melody on the piano, and the lyrics open up with what sounds like Mythra and Pyra reminiscing in the fond memories they have of Rex. In the chorus, their thoughts are about that final day, and how much they loved spending it with Rex. Their memories fading in death, Pyra and Mythra are begging their Father, the Architect, for one last chance to be with Rex, because they never got to voice their true feelings to Rex. Which, as we know in the end, ends up coming true as Rex resonates with the Core Crystal and sees both Mythra and Pyra come back on the back of Gramps. And as the song closes, we see Rex taking his steps towards them, followed by the words “Final Chapter: And thus, boy met girl.”

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 has such a phenomenal soundtrack. Even with the works of ACE, Kenji Hiramatsu, Minami Kiyota, and everyone else involved with its production, you can find an incredibly diverse opinion on the best songs of the soundtrack, because they all work so well in so many situations.

The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Original Soundtrack is available as a Digital Download. According to an announcement via Procyon Studios: the Digital Standard Edition released worldwide: 105 tracks, 44.1kHz / 16bit, Hi-Res Audio: 96kHz / 24bit. This OST will be digitally distributed in countries that have sales of the game itself.’ It is available via iTunes (UK, Europe, Australia, USA, and Canada).

You can follow the latest updates of Mitsuda-san’s Procyon Studio on Twitter.