Track of the Week: Satorl, the Shimmering Marsh / Night (Xenoblade Chronicles)

We kick off our week on unlocalized games with a title that almost didn’t make it stateside.

By Kevin Knezevic. Posted 06/01/2014 13:00 1 Comment     ShareThis

image_xenoblade-chronicles-monado.jpeg

One of the unfortunate realities of being a gamer is seeing some of your most anticipated games go unlocalized. Even with the increasingly global nature of the industry, many video games, particularly those produced in Japan, are never released in other regions. While it’s hard to fault the financial reasons behind these decisions, it can be disappointing as fans of the medium to miss out on a game we’ve been looking forward to, as Wii U owners recently experienced with Dragon Quest X.

As our next issue will be devoted to games that have gone unlocalized, we thought it would only be fitting to kick the week off with a theme from a game that almost suffered that fate in North America…

Despite Wii’s technical shortcomings, few games could match the scale and grandeur of its late-generation masterpiece, Xenoblade Chronicles. Developed by Monolith Soft, Xenoblade follows the story of Shulk and Reyn as they trek across the vast expanses of the Bionis and the Mechonis, the two deceased gods upon which all lifeforms live, on their quest to avenge a Mechon attack and unlock the secrets of Shulk’s mystical blade, the Monado.

Given the scale of the adventure, each of Xenoblade’s locales is grander and more imaginative than the last, but the most stunning of them is Satorl Marsh. By day, Satorl appears to be a typical swamp, with rotting trees that stretch and claw through the thick veils of fog that cover the area. But once the sun sets and night descends upon the Bionis, the entire marsh is washed in a phosphorescent glow. The trees, so decrepit during the day, emit an ethereal, blue light, while the murmuring daytime theme is replaced by the haunting melody above. That Wii owners in North America almost didn’t get to experience Xenoblade makes this location and its accompanying track all the more poignant, as we would’ve been denied one of the most breathtaking adventures on the console.

One Response to “Track of the Week: Satorl, the Shimmering Marsh / Night (Xenoblade Chronicles)”

  • 219 points
    PanurgeJr says...

    If you go by time spent playing this is easily my favorite game of all time. Part of the reason I hit the 200 hour mark is that sometimes I’d play but not do anything just to listen to the music, and this theme was far and away my most frequent choice. The soundtrack is amazing, and for every track I didn’t like–Tephra Cave comes to mind–there were two that were utterly brilliant, like Mechonis Field, or Confrontation with the Enemy. I fully expect X to be disappointing because I won’t be able to stop comparing it to this masterpiece, which might end up being like saying True Detective fails because it’s not The Wire, or King Lear is garbage because it isn’t Hamlet. But I’m looking forward to X more than any other title, which if you knew mylove of the Zelda series you’d know is saying something.

    But if you’ll excuse me, Daisy has some races to win.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6

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