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Other Game Music


Swag_Koishi9898

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Almost forgot (it's been a while, after all); I intended to link this thread for posterity's sake, same way I link some Touhou music threads to Musical Discoveries. I prefer to have things organized and consolidated for ease of reference.

 

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I don't normally post out-of-schedule here, but given the missed week and future plans, I want to avoid wasting a regular slot on a Fracture Feature, and I'm trying to get these tracks off the to-do list.

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Noteblock's compositions for Danza include several interludes for attacks that, in theory, add up to a fuller piece. In reality, they don't fit together too well, mostly due to tempo fluctuations. Nonetheless, a few attempts have been made to rectify them to each other, and this is so far the best version I've found. Ideally, someone would make a remix incorporating all the parts with the freedom of custom arrangement.

 

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A recent update to Crypt of the Necrodancer added Hatsune Miku as a playable character, and more importantly featured an curated playlist of songs for the levels. While not technically a proper soundtrack expansion the way the Danganrompa crossover was, Baranowsky did compose two new pieces for it.

 

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Finally, Celeste team produced a short spinoff game earlier this year in the N64 style, appropriately titled Celeste 64. Raine returned as composer, and as expected the resulting tracks are masterful. While the highlight is certainly Next Steps, I think it's more appropriate to feature Cassettappella for the novelty.

 

 

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A few names hold an unofficial honor in indie game music for their work in the emergent times of the industry, back when indie developers were considered more amateur. I got used to seeing Ben Prunty, Austin Wintory, and Laura Shigihara high up on lists of the most important people in the development of indie game music, and I took this as an indication that I ought to seek out their work. My expectations were set by a different stage of the industry, however, and it took me some time to understand what made these soundtracks special apart from other projects. The one that confused me most was Plants vs. Zombies.

This is a relatively simple soundtrack, with limited instrumentation, lesser quality VSTs, and little variance in style. On the other hand, the melodies are competently constructed, and the leitmotif usage is excellent. While not [initially] a mobile game, the sound is similar to mobile game projects; few mobile games of similar size would put this much effort into their music, however. I'm left wondering about the significance of this title when it released, and whether it incentivized a greater degree of effort in the wider indie game industry.

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Doki Doki Literature Club is one of my favorite games. It belongs to the meta horror genre (thank you that video for letting me know what genre these games belong to), basically just 4th wall breaking stuff. You think I'm gonna share DDLC ost right? WRONG. This is gonna be about Irisu Syndrome, which is a game that the creator of DDLC even said to be his inspiration while making DDLC.

Irisu Syndrome is also one of my favorite game, the deep layered story (how I feel) makes me relate to it. It's a puzzle game with falling blocks that you shoot at, and the music accompany with it is relaxing AND very good....and sad? Sometimes sad I guess.

But yeah this game is apparently the first meta horror game. The whole soundtrack is awesome.

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Timestamps for songs that I picked out:

00:00 About 10 hours looking at the ceiling

03:36 I Didn't Talk to Anyone Today

11:07 A Cat, a Rabbit, and a Old Story

14:23 USAGI Note

Also leitmotif all over the place, well, in some songs. 

Kinda wanna add the last song with the last timestamp from the vid tho, but it kinda spoils a bit because of the theme and whatnot.

Oh well....too much trouble....whatever... (reference from the game lol)

Edited by Jaz:3
I edited this 2 times
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^

I don't usually have anything significant to say about other features, but just this once I want to emphasize how much I appreciated this. Granted I come across quite the variety of things in my searchings, but there's still plenty of soundtracks I'm unlikely to ever encounter normally, specifically with less propagated titles and especially in game genres that I'm less engaged with. I don't imagine I'd ever have heard of Irisu Syndrome on my own, and I really enjoyed it; so thank you!

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Randomly coming across a piece of music from a game I've never heard of has consistently led to some of my most memorable findings. Nonetheless, I was some reluctant to follow up on the piece I found from Melty Blood: Type Lumina, due both to the odd name and my past relatively disappointing experiences with other fighting games (much as I loved specific pieces from Killer Instinct and Guilty Gear, subsequent investigation didn't turn up as much as hoped for). I finally decided to bite the bullet though, and for once I was blown away.

Despite the games apparent aesthetic, the music favors a variety of dynamic jazz tunes with creative instrumentation and fair progression, with an overall mood I'd describe as "energetic chill." This doesn't mean the soundtrack is strictly limited to one style though; rock, electronic, and orchestral compositions are scattered through, all maintaining the tone while still being unique. I wasn't able to find much information on the composers for this title, other than the lead composer being someone named Raito; given the cohesiveness of the collection, I wouldn't be surprised to hear he did most of the work himself.

This was one of the times I enjoyed a soundtrack so much that I went looking for its distribution. Surprisingly this is one of those situations where the soundtrack never got officially released, and by now it's unlikely to ever be. As an odd consequence, I had a harder time deciding which tracks not to include, given that I wouldn't be able to hear them much going forward without actively looking for them. Hopefully no one minds the larger feature.

Spoiler

 

Next month is another series theme. I'm locked in now, whatever my reservations.

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4 hours ago, Ken Hisuag said:

^

I don't usually have anything significant to say about other features, but just this once I want to emphasize how much I appreciated this. Granted I come across quite the variety of things in my searchings, but there's still plenty of soundtracks I'm unlikely to ever encounter normally, specifically with less propagated titles and especially in game genres that I'm less engaged with. I don't imagine I'd ever have heard of Irisu Syndrome on my own, and I really enjoyed it; so thank you!

 

I'm glad you enjoyed it so much that you wrote to thank me! I'm doing my part on making this game and the music more known to other people cuz I like da game. It's nice to see someone enjoy something as much as I do. omg... I had an impact on someone's life! (even if it is very small). Just like how I get to know some music thx to people sharing it out of their passion? I think that's what it is.

 

4 hours ago, Ken Hisuag said:

and my past relatively disappointing experiences with other fighting games (much as I loved specific pieces from Killer Instinct and Guilty Gear

 

Ain't no way you play fighting game tooooo!!! AND you know/listen to guilty gear? Didn't expect to see an FGC person here...wait...idek if u play fighting games that often, oh well, but I think I saw somewhere that u did a feature on guilty gear already tho...I think it was Xrd (haven't listened to the osts yet).

 

4 hours ago, Ken Hisuag said:

Next month is another series theme. I'm locked in now, whatever my reservations.

 

U know what? I'm calling it Right NOW! the next series is definitely, will be, absolutely, no way mistaking, can't be wrong, must be, have to be GUILTY GEAR!!!! STRIVE (cus u did killer instinct already if im correct, somehow i remembered)

Im sorry if I couldn't hold my thoughts, it's too much and now it's overflowing.

 

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I appreciate the speculations, they're fun interactions. I don't want to mislead, though; I play very few of the games I feature soundtracks for, and since my focus is the often the music regardless, I tend to refer to the production as a whole in both contexts. I'm pretty sure the only proper fighting game I've even touched is Touhou 15.5, assuming that even counts; I am a fan of Rivals of Aether, though.

I've done two features on Guilty Gear: Guilty Gear XX on 04/14/21 (14/04/21) and Guilty Gear Strive on 04/12/22 (12/04/22). The latter was what I was referring to in the latest post, in addition to the Killer Instinct feature from 07/19/23 (19/07/23). The linking factor was vocal tracks; you can figure out the rest.

The month-long series features of late have been an opportunity to force myself into becoming familiar with iconic franchise soundtracks that I just wasn't around to discover when they first came out. It's one thing to look into a single soundtrack, but something else entirely to choose from several related soundtracks that somewhat depend upon familiarity with each other for full appreciation. Last year I did Legend of Zelda, Mega Man, and Pokemon, and thus far this year I've done Kirby; in future I hope to cover Castlevania and Sonic (since I'm only familiar with select entries of those series), as well as Metroid and potentially Fire Emblem. But none of those are the plan for next month. I've mentioned in the past my struggle with SNES soundtracks, and this is especially true for one of the most iconic soundtracks from that era. I'll leave it at that.

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Saw fighting games were mentioned and decided to share some Eyes of Heaven soundtracks I think slap (One or so for each part). Kind of sad the game is pretty much dead at this point but hope a remaster like ASBR comes for this one. One of my favorite things about EOH and ASB is the direct song and stylistic references that are based of the name or stand of a character. Quick example of what I mean: Fugo's theme mimics Jimi Hendrix's style (mainly Purple Haze}

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Might do a ASBR one later.

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^
I keep record of every feature on this thread, as a way of assisting myself and others in tracking down discoveries. This means I will always do a bit of research into any soundtrack someone else posts, with special attention to track names (Monster Hunter has given us an unusual amount of trouble with this). Eyes of Heaven doesn't seem to have official track names, likely stemming from its lack of an official soundtrack release. I wonder if the composer had names for the tracks, or if she only thought of them by their usage in game as they seem to be labeled here?

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For as long as I've been following VGM as a hobby, I have remained intimidated by the Final Fantasy series. Nobuo Uematsu is possibly the second biggest name in the industry (next to Koji Kondo), yet when I initially went hunting for examples of his work, I wasn't initially appreciative of it. With the passing of time, I've come to the conclusion that this first impression had little to do with the quality of compositions themselves, and were more caused by my lack of familiarity with the hardware limitations and arrangement styles of the times; more specifically, I was told to start with FFVI & FFVII, and subsequently lacked some of the background knowledge I should have had. Nonetheless, this initial experience has kept me distant from the series, and it remains one of the most major blind spots in my VGM repertoire. So this month, I'm going to try and remedy that.

We start with the very first entry of the series, understandably but retrospectively ambiguously titled Final Fantasy (commonly clarified today as Final Fantasy I). As an NES game, this first soundtrack was composed in early chiptune form (I think it's 8-bit, but that term suffers from its own ambiguity; also it only seems to be three-channel, and I thought NES could handle four-channel?). Each piece features a melody line, harmony line, and base line; while relatively simple, these tracks remain memorable through their imaginative progression and carefully curated tone. I was surprised to realize I recognized the motif of Opening, though I couldn't say where I knew it from. Despite not hearing much about this particular entry in the past, it seems to me that several significant leitmotifs originated from it, making it indispensable context to the evolution of the series' music.

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While it may seem hasty to follow up FFI with Final Fantasy VI, I only get five features total for this month, and there's a lot of ground to cover. Uematsu returns, this time composing for the SNES (though not for the first time), the sound system of which supported instrument sampling. I've had difficulty in the past appreciating the style of music made for this system; many composers would attempt to replicate an orchestral sound, but fail to balance the layers, seeming to prioritize instrumentation over tone. I suspect this was a consequence of system limitations being better than ever before while still unable to match ambition. In my opinion, the best soundtracks composed according to their limitations, adopting a unique style for the system.

That being said, FFVI has surprised me in that it seems to do both. Many parts of the soundtrack are clearly inspired by cinematic orchestral arrangement, but succeed where other attempts have failed by keeping the melody clear and the atmosphere consistent. At other times, arrangements utilize a wider range of options for the system, incorporating and even relying on sounds that are very un-orchestral to achieve their tone. Perhaps in the several years it's been since I last tried this soundtrack I've become more acclimated to its sounds; regardless of the reason, I appreciated it much more this time around.

I should also note the strong usage of leitmotif throughout the soundtrack. I don't claim to be especially skilled at recognizing leitmotifs, but there were enough obvious ones here to alert my attention. Every main character has a unique theme, and many of these motifs are integrated into other pieces, presumably for the relation of events to character arcs. I don't normally hear the technique used on this scale, and I'm not sure I'm capable of representing it here, but it impressed me nonetheless.

Spoiler

 

 

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Final Fantasy VII remains one of, if not the, most legendary video game releases of all time. I say "legendary," because while other titles may be more iconic, influential, or even prolific, I can't think of any that are held in such high esteem outside their general fandom. Well beyond the playerbase, there is an almost reverent familiarity with the characters, important moments, and music of this game.

Uematsu was once again in charge of this soundtrack, which was adapted for the PlayStation system, but may have begun composition with the SNES still in mind. While the instrument sampling is more clear, it still retains an artificial sound that must be worked around to achieve the desired effect. Genre variety is more obvious, either because of the aforementioned sound improvements or possibly due to further experimentation by Uematsu. This works in the game's favor, allowing better tone and mood capturing through the music, but also weakens the soundtrack's cohesiveness as a collective work. For this reason, I think I prefer FFVI's OST, even as I acknowledge FFVII's as being the more technically superior production.

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Posted (edited)

Before this week's Musical Discoveries post, I have a few miscellaneous VGM tracks I want to share. I'm thinking giving Fracture Features a more off-schedule function, so that I can share the little discoveries without needing to wait for an available slot.

Spoiler

A fun video about tweaking number data in game programing featured a clip from this in-production game called Sushi Ben. No idea what it's about, but the music caught my attention, so I looked it up later. So far this seems to be the only track released for it. It's a bit short, but still pleasantly bouncy. By the channel name, I presume Ian Navarro Silver is responsible for the piece.

 

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Expect a full feature for Chambers when it releases, because this track snippet tells me everything I need to be invested. As of yet I don't know who the composer is, which seems somewhat fitting given I don't even have the full piece to feature.

 

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Since I couldn't find anything better than a 10-minute extended video for this track, I thought it best to place it after the 1-minute short, even if it does a disservice to the audio quality by comparison. What the Fog is set up to be an extremely forgettable release overall, but I personally want to remember this track. As it lacks an official release, I can only speculate as to the composer; previous work in the franchise has been handled by Michel April, but is not usually in this style.

EDIT: A day later someone posted a proper length video, so I'm fixing the link but leaving the order the same.

 

 

Edited by Ken Hisuag

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Final Fantasy X marked a significant change for the series's music, this being the first entry to feature additional composers. Most of the soundtrack is still Uematsu's work, but with several arrangements and additional compositions from Junya Nakano and Masashi Hamauzu. The platform this time around was the Playstation 2, and it's at this point I begin to question the absence of live instrument performance. So many of these tracks are obviously VSTs, and while there isn't technically anything wrong with that, by this time the hardware should have been able to handle more, and the series certainly had the necessary clout to justify it. I hesitate to assume this to be a conscious decision on the part of the developers; more likely there's simply more to the process then I'm aware of.

The soundtrack itself is significantly subdued overall compared to the previous entries covered. While this fixes the cohesiveness problem I mentioned in FFVII, I feel this goes too far in the other direction, lacking sufficient range for such a large collection. That being said, individual track quality is still impressive. I've deliberately avoided using final boss themes for these features, and I'll continue to do so here, but I felt this iteration was particularly well suited as a musical point of culmination. I also mustn't neglect to mention the primary leitmotif the pervades throughout the soundtrack, that being of Zanarkand, which serves to tie the music together with the story in an exemplary way.

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