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Kaine (Escape) by Keiichi Okabe, from the soundtrack to Nier, Square Enix’s modest attempt an a genuine action-adventure game.
Most of the albums songs feature melancholy-inducing lyrical ballads sung (and written) by Emi Evans, with lyrics written and sung in French, English, Portuguese, and Scottish Gaelic. Only 9 of the 43 songs on the soundtrack feature no vocal components.
Although, most of the songs have no meaning behind the lyrics, “Ashes of Dreams” was the one exception. Evans convinced the composers that at least one song in the soundtrack should have recognizable lyrics rather than “futuristic english”, like originally planned. Evans found Ashes to be the most difficult song on the soundtrack to write, due to the difficulty she had with meeting the composers criteria and expectations in finding the right emotional sense of lack of hope and despair in the lyrics.
Songs throughout the album range in language, for example:
“Hills of Radiant Wind” is one of the few upbeat songs on the largely dark soundtrack. Emi sang in a variant of Portuguese meant to sound like a spirit floating in the wind. ”Grandma” was sung in french to set the theme of melancholy and anguish. “The Wretched Automatons” was sang in a variation of English, and the lyrical aspect of the song was recorded prior to the additions of mechanical sounds that play throughout the track. “Kaine” is sung in a variation of Gaelic, and is my personal favorite track on the album.
NieR Gestalt & Replicant Original Soundtrack was released in April of 2010 and was very well received by critics and fans. Earning such applause as: “one of the best game soundtracks ever”, “captivating vocal work”, “meticulously-crafted”, “accessible to the untrained ear” and “hands down one of the best soundtracks square has ever published over the years”
Original Sound Version, and Square Enix Music later declared it “Best Japanese Videogame Soundtrack of the Year”
I know I said that “Chrono Trigger OSV” is my favorite videogame soundtrack ever, but I have to admit, this album seriously makes me take my decision back, I mean, I’m really into videogame soundtracks and collecting them is a little bit of a hobby for me, but I can honestly say, I’ve never heard anything quite like this, and I may just never do so ever again.
Ashes of Dreams, the English version ~
Corridors of Time, by Yasunori Mitsuda.
This song is from the Chrono Trigger soundtrack. which in my books, is probably and always will be my favorite videogame soundtrack of all time. (However I have a lot of favorites so no worries there.)
Yasunori started his career at the age of 20, when he landed himself a job as a videogame music composer for Squaresoft (before the company turned to shit) although, they treated him as a sound engineer, having him work on sound effects for such titles as Final Fantasy V, Romancing SaGa 2, and Secret of Mana. in 1994, worried that he’d never be able to get a chance to actually compose any music, and troubled by the low pay grade, he decided to take drastic action, and confront Square’s VP Hironobou Sakaguchi.
Giving him an ultimatum, let Yasunori compose, or he would leave the company. Hiro then assigned him to the team working on Chrono Trigger. Yasunori took the role of sole composer, and needed to make 54 songs for the game, he worked so hard, that he would end up passing out from exhaustion and waking up with ideas for the score. (how he came up with the idea for the end theme)
However, during the development of the album, Yasunori needed to be hospitalized to due to developing stomach ulcers, and Nobou Uematsu (Composer for all the Final Fantasy games) ended up finishing the score, with a total of 10 tracks composed by him, and one co-produced by Noriko Matsueda.
Chrono Trigger’s soundtrack was a huge success, and was extremely well perceived with fans. It was the album that matured and opened up Yasunori’s music style. he attributes it’s success with his use of Jazz and Folk stylings rather then semi-orchestral, which was used by most videogame composers at the time.
After Chrono Trigger, Yasunori went on to compose for various other Squaresoft titles until his leaving of the company in 1998 to become a freelance composer.
Some of his other videogame soundtracks include: Front Mission: Gun Hazard, Xenogears/saga/blade (series), Soma Bringer, Chrono Cross & Radical Dreamers, Graffiti Kingdom, Soma Bringer, Bomberman 64, and many others.
Non-videogame albums include: Inazuma Eleven, Kirite, Creid, and Mobile Suit Gundam 00— (etc.)
He’s one of my biggest musical influences, and I’ll always look up to him, and the way he’s shaped the standards for music in videogames.
Here’s another track that astonished me.
“Idea” from Soma Bringer, a quirky j-rpg for the nintendo DS