Masatsugu Saito discusses main character design in Xenoblade Chronicles 2 – part two


Gigantic RPG Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is out now, exclusively on Nintendo Switch, and whether you're already deep into the adventure or getting ready to dive in, you might be interested to learn more about the game's character design! Previously, main character designer Masatsugu Saito gave his initial thoughts about his work on the game, and this time you can find out how he approached some of the main characters!

Here's what Mr Saito had to say:

This is Masatsugo Saito again, and this time I’d like to talk about Rex and the other main characters.

To delineate the age difference between Rex and Pyra, we designed the characters to have a clear difference in height. Although this makes Rex look small, adding slight emphasis to the size of his arms and legs allowed us to make his movements look bigger while he fights or performs actions in the field, all of which helps to cover for his smaller stature. Rex’s outfit is a diving suit because he is a salvager working in the Cloud Sea.


When designing Pyra, we wanted her to be a protective presence for Rex, so we envisioned her as a flame with a passionately burning core. But at the same time, we also designed her to evoke a certain sense of incompleteness as a way of reflecting the existence of Pyra’s other form: Mythra. That’s one reason the glowing areas on her body are not horizontally symmetrical, and why we partially removed the back of her outfit and cloak.

For Nia, we emphasised her loose clothing and large boots to make up for her short stature and to make her movements look bigger, much like we did for Rex. And because her hood would cover her cat ears on the top of her head, we made sure to leave room for them. I also asked that Nia would be able to ride Dromarch, and was really happy when they implemented that request!


Dromarch didn’t have much of a mane when we submitted the first design images, but we changed his design because the development team asked us to make his mane more impressive so that Nia would have a place for her hands when she rides him. We also distorted Dromarch’s face to make him look more like a cat than a real tiger. Then, we drew his head slightly larger to make his eyes and expressions easier to see.


One of the most fun jobs was designing the Nopon, Tora. Because Tora is a playable character, we made his design stand out in comparison with other Nopon by using striped patterns and his spikey mohawk. We used overalls in his outfit to make him seem youthful, and put a monkey wrench in his chest pocket to emphasise that he is a mechanic by trade.


Poppi is an artificial Blade, so unlike normal Blades, her ether lines are orange. Poppi is another short character, so like Rex and Nia, we made her arms and legs thicker to emphasize her actions. In her original form, Poppi α, we highlighted the feel of old technology through her metallic design, but in her powered up form, Poppi QT, we made her taller and gave her a more polished design to reflect her technological advancement.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thank you, Mr Saito!

Want to know more? Check out the official Xenoblade Chronicles 2 website, our Nintendo Switch Facebook page and our Twitter account. You can also read more production notes from the developers.

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is now available in shops and as a downloadable version from Nintendo eShop, only on Nintendo Switch. Also out now, Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Collector’s Edition* and Nintendo Switch Pro Controller Xenoblade Chronicles 2 Edition are available.

*Please check with your local retailer for information on current availability.