In a series of updates this morning (February 26), Monolith Soft shared a short story based on their upcoming open-world RPG Xenoblade Chronicles X. Despite the game thus far containing no references to the original Xenoblade Chronicles outside of the inclusion of the Nopon race, and the fact that it has been described as a “spiritual successor” to the game, the story alludes to the X predecessor’s “homs” (the race of Shulk and many of his companions).
Here’s the full story, formatted from translations by GameFAQs user Gessenkou:
The majority of the sapient races there had not yet come to understand the full extent of the universe. They understood the concept that the flat surfaces they stood upon were “land,” but they did not comprehend that at the same time, they stood upon spheres known as “planets.” Perhaps there were beings on the planet that understood such concepts. But whether there was one—or many—they never shared that knowledge with those who were less advanced. Therefore, it was not yet “Planet Mira” to them. It was simply “huge land that go o-o-on and o-o-on.”
“Ah-, really does go o-o-on and o-o-on,” mutters a walking potato. Well, it resembles the potatoes of this land, but it is no potato. It is a young boy of a race called the Nopon. His name is Tatsu.
“Can’t be helped! Tatsu decide to go this far!” While it may look like a potato is responding, that is not a potato either. Rather it’s a green-skinned Nopon resembling a melon, another young boy named Ron. Together, the two of them hail from the Nopon of the Dudunga Caravan. The trader Nopon, outside of one small case, are a nomadic race. Their caravans are made up of anywhere from a few to dozens of families, and they live their lives going from journey to journey. Their products are quite varied: animals, plants, even craftworks. Their Nopon secret wares are also important products. In trade, if there is profit, there is loss as well. They receive charity from the more gentle races due to their adorable appearance, while the less kindly races take to swindling them.
Nevertheless, they’re able to go on many carefree journeys. But their journeys never end. They wander off as they please, staying if they can make a profit somewhere, freeloading in the cities of other races. Some of them are headed for the supposed sacred land of Nopon legend, and appear to wander aimlessly in search of it. The Dudunga Caravan is a normal one. They’ve been that way from the first generation of Dudunga to whatever generation they’re up to now, but their current leader is strangely reliable for a Nopon. By traveling through fertile lands with an abundance of shrubbery, and relying on friendly races to exterminate any hostile monsters, the Dudunga Caravan has persevered.
However, even in such peaceful travels, there is a curious youth who says things like, “can’t stand being sooooo booooored!” This curious boy Tatsu, invited by his close friend Ron, set out on a scouting mission. Scouting is done to find food and things to trade, as well as finding much-needed people to trade with. The young Nopon are surely up to the task. Although, unlike the (so-called) scouting master Tatsu, Ron does not participate in such errands.
“Ron’s specialty be guarding house,” he says, while always confined to his own tent. “If like that, no matter how long Ron wait, not become adult Nopon! Tatsu help show Ron how to scout!” Ron declined with those words, as Tatsu tried to drag him outside. But even that resistance was futile, and Ron came tumbling out of his own tent. Or rather, he was kicked out.
“How long Ron plan to act like spoiled child with mamapon! She not feed Ron forever! Hurry and become adult, and let mamapon rest!” A sound argument from Tatsu. It embodied the sacred teachings passed down from the ‘hom-hom’ of Nopon legends: “If man will not work, he shall not eat.”
“Guess it no use. At this rate, Ron be elected legendary heropon. Must avoid that,” said Ron, driven out of his tent, and so he accepted Tatsu as a travelling companion. Grudgingly, reluctantly, unwillingly. Nevertheless, he took that first step.
“Relax. If Ron leave everything to Tatsu, all be okay. Surely finish scouting mission, and relieve mamapon”
“Y-yeah, Ron got it!”
Thus, the two young Nopon set out to scout. But what they didn’t know, is they had also taken the first step into fate’s unforgiving hand. They were carefree lads at the start of their trip. They ate plants and bugs along the way, spitting out the bad tasting ones, and saving the sweet ones in their Noponpacks. Whatever they didn’t eat, they’d bring back and use to trade. “Hoo, so tasty~!” Tatsu and Ron were stuffed. Beneath the hard skin of the small geckos living in the forest—bugs that will come to be called ‘bloated geckos’ by a race with a penchant for naming everything they see—lay a soft and flabby blubber, a great feast for the Nopon.
However, the law of the land is ‘survival of the fittest.’ The world must adhere to the order of the food chain. If the Nopon eat, they can also be eaten. Tatsu and Ron had followed the lizards so far into the forest, they were beneath the gaze of a gigantic carnivorous creature.
“T-t-t-t-tatsu! It looking right at us!” It was a creature that would later be called ‘Tapenta,’ which hides itself along the ground using the flowers that grow on its shell. It was thanks to that, that the Nopon only just realized how close they were. Rising, the Tapenta looked towards Tatsu and Ron voraciously. The look it gave them was the same look they had given the bloated geckos.
“No, look away! It attack if senses fear,” said Tatsu.
“O-okay!” Not breaking eye contact with the Tapenta, they slowly stepped backwards. However, that was the shallow thinking of the Nopon. They were nothing more than a potato and melon to the massive Tapenta. Not caring whether they showed fear or not, the Tapenta leapt at the two as they scattered, panicking. “Ah! Ron not taste good! If have to eat us, eat Tatsu!”
“Like Ron say! Tatsu much juicier delicacy…huh?”
Perhaps it was listening to their conversation, or maybe it just prefered potatoes to melons. The Tapenta decided to pursue Tatsu.
“Aaaaaah! No believe everything Nopons say!”
Realizing the danger was gone, Ron stood rooted to that spot. Taking the valuable lesson left behind by his friend to heart, muttered in the direction of the screaming: “Tatsu, Ron not forget noble snackrifice. Take lesson Tatsu teach him to heart, never leave house again. Outside world scary.” Thus, Ron left to return home. Although, being a Nopon, he had no sense of direction, and after being chased around by the monster, finding his way back home would take an enormous effort. Ron wandered off in the opposite direction of the Dudunga Caravan, and several days later, finally collapsed. Luckily, he was taken in by kind aliens, and became their guard-Nopon until the ends of his days–but that’s a story for another time.
“Waaaaaaah! Why so persistent! Monster give up already,” shouted Tatsu as he fled the beast. But the Tapenta would not give up, no matter how much time passed. “T-t-tatsu understand! Unable to stop because captivated by Tatsu’s charming body! Such lovely body, has amazing balance between chub and elasticity. If cooked over fire, smell very aromatic. Tatsu drooling just thinking about it—wait, why Tatsu drooling about eating self!”
Fantasizing while running is not recommended, because you’re not paying attention to where you’re going. At that moment, Tatsu’s foot got caught in a metal object hidden within the bushes. “Whaaaaaaaaaa!” Like a potato from a basket, Tatsu went rolling along. But this was fortunate for him, for just before he took his tumble, the Tapenta’s jaws were preparing to snap closed around him. Furthermore, in the instant after having failed to catch its prey, the Tapenta was scorched from every direction by concentrated laser fire. The metal object Tatsu had tripped over was a trap that someone had set down. There were also four laser rifles set around that spot, which had roasted the Tapenta.
“Wheeeew, all finished” After eating everything but the Tapenta’s shell, Tatsu sprawled out on the ground. At any rate, Tatsu ate the entire monster, which was several times his size. How he fit everything into his tiny Nopon body is one of the biggest of the 99 Mysteries of the Nopon. Be that as it may, Tatsu survived the most historically dangerous thing a Nopon could ever experience. But in his frenzy to finish his meal, there was something he forgot. The trap that saved his life, and who had set it.
“This thing, ate our catch!”
Upon hearing the voices, Tatsu snapped out of the post-meal coma he was enjoying. It seemed their translation machine’s ability was poor, spitting out raspy words. Upon rising, Tatsu was greeted with the sight of two aliens pointing rifles at him. Since they spoke words and held weapons, they were without a doubt intelligent lifeforms. But no matter how Tatsu looked at it, they only seemed like wild beasts standing upon their hind legs. They’re of the race called the Vyers [Note: this is not an official translation, the name of this race may change when localized by Nintendo]. They had only showed up in the area very recently, and Tatsu had never seen nor heard of them.
“Y-you guys, what you want with Tatsu!?”
“You, steal prey from trap. So, take you instead,” said the Vyers, as they grabbed at Tatsu. Tatsu took off in a hurry, becoming fast food once again. It was the Vyers chasing him this time, rather than the Tapenta, but it’s all the same to him. The lesson to be learned here is, don’t to let your guard down in this place if you want to live for long. The problem is, with the Nopons’ small brains, they tend to forget such things.
“Alas, still Tatsu’s destiny to be chased by beasts, hungering for handsome body like his. If beasts want to cook Tatsu, let beautiful girls cook him instead! They treat Tatsu’s body with care,” thought Tatsu as he fled. Luckily for him, the Vyers were not particularly fleet of foot. The nimble Nopon fare better inside the complicated forest. “S-s-somehow manage to lose them!” Free of his Vyers pursuers, Tatsu realised he had ended up near the Dudunga Caravan’s encampment. “Huh, this place look familiar somehow!” Walking through the forest, he recalled the features of the terrain. Sure enough, there was a cliff just ahead that the caravan could be seen from. Tatsu followed his memories of the area crowding his tiny brain. Eventually, he arrived at the top of the cliff.
However, all that awaited him was the dawn of a cruel, new fate. As he drew closer to the cliff, Tatsu could see many streaks of black smoke rising. And once he stood upon the edge of the cliff, the cruelly burnt state of the camp entered his vision. All of the Dudunga Caravan tents were scorched and trampled, but Tatsu could not see any sign of his family, or any other Nopons.
“No way!” Had the Nopon of the Dudunga Caravan all fled somewhere, or were they kidnapped? Since he could not see any slain Nopon, he did not believe they were killed. At least, he hoped they were not. Maybe, they were sitting in the stomachs of those gun-toting Vyers—no, he couldn’t think like that. “Everyone surely, surely safe,” Tatsu muttered to himself as he recalled the faces of his family and friends. Just then, something hard pressed against his head. Turning, he saw the muzzle of a gun thrust towards him by the Vyers.
The ferocious brute’s eyes narrowed. “Finally catch furball. Had us running all over.” Tatsu didn’t have any stamina or willpower left to resist. The two Vyers tied him up, and tossed him in a basket. They set out side by side, each holding one end of a pole on their shoulder, with the basket hung from it. Naturally, their delicious catch was inside. From beneath his circular glasses, tears began to flow. Now a prisoner, Tatsu wept. But his tears were not shed for his imminent devouring, rather they were shed at the thought that he would never be able to meet with the Nopon of his caravan again. Sooner or later, Tatsu had planned to leave the caravan behind. He dreamed of slaying a wicked god accompanied by sidekicks.
“But, Tatsu not imagine he leave camp in picnic basket…” Tatsu looked up at the sky from a crack in the basket. Even through his tear-filled eyes, he could make out the blue sky that stretched o-o-on and o-o-on. Beyond that lay the vast vacuum of “space,” which was still unknown to the Nopon. A shooting star shot across that blue sky.
“Please star, hear Tatsu’s wish! Let there be pretty girl with these meanies, and let her cook Tatsu gently! Don’t let Tatsu’s beauty be tainted by gross creatures! Apologize for squirming, absolutely won’t squirm! Also wish—.” Tatsu’s shooting star kept shooting. It did not vanish in an instant. It was not a tiny meteorite that fizzled out in the atmosphere. It was a large man-made craft, breaking apart as it fell.
“Wha—.” Tatsu forgot all about his wish, and watched as the object fell beyond the mountains. That disc-shaped object, and the fact that it was the Residential Sector of an interstellar immigration ship, was beyond the Nopon’s comprehension. This ‘shooting star’ brought visitors along with it, visitors who would come to christen the “huge land that go ooon and ooon” as “Planet Mira.” And Tatsu will learn of this visit, in the near future…
Thanks to Gessenkou for the translations. This story is featured as “Part 1: Upon This Nameless Planet,” with more stories like it to come in the future.
Xenoblade Chronicles X releases for Wii U on April 29 in Japan. It will launch in other regions later this year.