Dracula Apocalypse Original Soundtrack

Artist Credits

  • Mariko Egawa (composition)
  • Masahiko Kimura (composition; arrangement - track 37)
  • Motoaki Furukawa (composition; arrangement - track 38)

Tracks

73 minutes total
  1. Introduction
  2. Setting
  3. Prologue
  4. Shudder
  5. Intrusion
  6. Watchtower
  7. Annex - Silent Madness
  8. Hamlet People
  9. Rose
  10. Maze Garden
  11. Mysterious Coffin
  12. First Struggle
  13. Underground Waterway
  14. Underground Tunnel - Invisible Sorrow
  15. Lamented Rose
  16. Dungeon - Main Theme
  17. Malus Reappears
  18. Actrise
  19. Sypha
  20. Planetarium
  21. Unexpected Encounter
  22. Duel Tower
  23. Tower of Science
  24. Tower of Excecution
  25. Tower of Sorcery
  26. Second Struggle
  27. Toothed Wheel
  28. Stairway to the Clouds
  29. Third Struggle - Dance of Illusions
  30. Moment of Silence
  31. Castle Escape
  32. Fourth Struggle - Concert of Another Dimension
  33. Carrie's Good Ending
  34. Bad Ending
  35. Schneider's Good Ending
  36. Credits
  37. Melodies of CastleVania
  38. Invisible Sorrow
  39. A Night of Peace and Quiet
  • Released Mar 26, 1999 by King Records (catalog no. KICA-7942, retail 2243 yen).
  • Tracks 1-36: original game soundtracks. Tracks 37-39: bonus tracks

Reviews

A bad Castlevania soundtrack? It must be the Apocalypse.

Reader review by Ian Stocker

There are some things you take for granted in life: a healthy population of "Merle" girls at Anime Expo, nine pounds of junk email on your AOL account, cheap beer in Mexico. Chief among them is a solid soundtrack for any game boasting the Castlevania label. Well, my happy little world was shattered when I heard the score for this latest Dracula installment.

Powered by the N64 sound output, Dracula Apocalypse leaves much to be desired. Because of the limited DSP allocated to the sound, the music sounds more squeezed than a rat in a boa constrictor, with a paltry number of sound channels available. Some would say this new era of "ambient" music in Castlevania is an experiment for which Konami should be congratulated. To me, this so-called ambience is merely a cop-out forced on Konami by the hardware limitations.

Shockingly unlike its predecessors, the sounds of Castlevania Apocalypse are entirely forgettable. (What was that third level theme?) I doubt we'll be seeing any remixes of any of this new material in future CV games. (How would we be able to tell, anyway?). The few songs which actually grab you are the tracks remixed from previous Castlevanias, like Rondo of Blood's "Illusionary Dance". I only wish there were more of these. "Mysterious Casket" teases the listener with the opening passage from "Bloody Tears". I almost cried some bloody tears of my own when this song stopped so short - I was prepared for a full remix of the original.

I at first thought this was actually going to be a promising score after hearing the beautiful arrangement of "Bloodlines" used in the opening theme. Unfortunately, this was the high water mark for the game's sound quality and expressiveness.

Castlevania does not have to be pure rock and roll to be enchanting. It's not the fact of the non-traditional approach to CV music I object to; most of the tracks from Symphony of the Night were uncharacteristically arranged for an orchestra or chamber group, and were excellent. In fact, the general sound of Castlevania has changed many times through the generations - from the lively jazz and progressive rock of Super Castlevania IV to Konami's trademarked synth rock in Dracula X - Rondo of Blood.

I will grant that a few of the interlude tracks are enjoyable, but they are simply not developed enough. And with the BGM, it sounds largely like the musicians were hardly even trying. Given the inherent limitations of the N64 sound processing ability, I only dared hope for something 1/10th as good as Symphony of the Night, but this one couldn't even cut the cake that thick.

Come on, Konami, I know you can do better than this. Let's keep our fingers crossed for Dracula Resurrection, and keep our crosses fingered against the scourge of "ambience" in our beloved Castlevania.

Different and more ambient than most Dracula soundtracks, but still right on target.

Recommended

Reader review by Jon Turner

This soundtrack has received extremely negative reaction from some gamers who completely disliked the game. The insults include "disappointing to bear the name Castlevania", "a disgrace to the series", and a whole bunch of other unfavorable comments. From hearing all this, I was somewhat skeptical upon my purchase of this soundtrack. However, after listening to it, I must tell you that I am truly quite surprised with Demon Castle Dracula Apocalypse Original Game Soundtrack - it is quite good.

This soundtrack charts a new direction for the game series. In every Castlevania game, Konami has relied on rocking music with a ghoulish flair for the scores. But never before has Castlevania music been known for ambient, atmospheric music or movie-score elements, until this one came along. This works extremely well for most of the tracks, such as "Wall Tower" and "Tranquil Insanity". While they're calm, they still have a whiff of evil, never betraying the feel of a Castlevania game.

There are some moments when the music gets extremely dissonant and uncomfortable to listen to, such as "Villager" and "Myserious Casket". But then, comfort is hardly the purpose of those tracks. They accompany some of the more horrifying moments of the game (such as a villager becoming a vampire, skeletons rising from the ground, etc.). They're not meant for the listening experience, but they compliment their scenes in the game perfectly.

Konami soundtracks have always been known for reusing songs from the previous games, and this soundtrack is no exception. The opening track is an impressive violin solo of "Bloodlines" from Dracula X (some gamers consider this the highlight of this otherwise ambient score). In addition, two boss battle themes, "Hellish Hallucinations" and "Illusionary Dance", also return. Last but not least, there are shades of "Bloody Tears" in one track ("Mysterious Casket"). The rest is all brand new and different, but it still manages to keep just the right feeling required for the mood of the game - spooky, horrifying, and nightmarish. (In fact, I'd suggest not playing it at night!)

As dark as the soundtrack is most of the time, there are some surprisingly beautiful tracks. "The Green Gravestone" and "Reunited" in particular are two of the prettiest songs Konami has ever done, both of which are sad yet happy and have impressive ending bridges. Castlevania soundtracks have never been known for such tracks. This is definitely something new for a series that has always relied on rock and roll for music.

The album release is more than a treat. It contains most of the songs from the game (except for the dissonant interludes), all of which are true and unadulterated. The only exception is in the "Staff Roll", where an extra bridge leading to the final note (not included in the game, for some reason) can be heard. Another treat here is the three bonus tracks. One of the bonus tracks, "Invisible Sorrow", is the only song that is rocking, but unfortunately it isn't terribly memorable. "Melodies Of CastleVania", on the other hand, is terrific. It appears to be a orchestrated (synthesized?) rendition for the moody main theme of the game. It's really beautiful. But wait, there's more! The last track, "A Night in Peace and Quiet", is a duet between a piano and a violin and is one of the most ravishing songs ever to have been written for a Castlevania game (not to mention that there's sheet music of that song in the album).

With all these great assets, it seems somewhat curious that some Castlevania fans rejected Apocalypse. All the other Castlevania scores could be recognizable since they follow the same rock 'n roll formula (admittedly I have not yet heard, as of this review, Dracula X Nocturne in the Moonlight). Some could mistake Apocalypse for being a dramatic movie score, and that's probably one of the best compliments I could give to any Konami score. Hopefully one day, this soundtrack will get a better chance. In the meantime, I applaud Konami for having the courage to create this spooky, experimental score.

Great sound mixed with great ambience.

Reader review by TerraEpon

Castlevania for the Nintendo 64 is one of those games that really took a beating by a lot of people. While there are many fans of the game, the general consensus seems to be that it doesn't live up to its predecesors. One thing that was bashed was its music. People said it didn't sound enough like the Castlevania of old. While this is true, the music in my opinion is excellent, albeit completely different than the olders titles, for the most part.

First of all, when you listen to the music, it's very hard to believe that it is coming out of an N64. Konami maganed to pull off its amazing talents and create a sound better than even most Playstation games with chip music. Most of the music in the game is ambient - that is, it's not really melodic, rather it stirs up a mood with frangments of music and various sounds. It does this quite well. Track 16, for example, is the music that plays in the Castle Center. It fits the atmosphere perfectly, and is probably my favorite music in the game.

While the ambient backround type tracks are nice, there are a number of more melodic tracks as well. Track 1, for instance, is a new version of the first stage from Dracula X: Chi no Rondo. It's the introduction music in this game, and is the melody played in the style of a habanera (spanish waltz-like music), by a solo violin on top of piano. Both the violin and piano sound amazingly good. Also there are the boss music tracks, consisting of very good, stirring battle themes. The third is even a slightly redone version of one of the boss themes from Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight. One other reference to older Castlevania music is track 11, which starts out like "Bloody Tears".

Besides the 36 tracks of original game music there are 3 bonus tracks on the CD. Track 37, "Melodies of Castlevania", takes a few of the themes from the game and puts them together for a very nice effect. Track 38, "Invisible Sorrow", is a remix of Track 14 in an Arabian fasion, with pan flutes, shakers, and the like. Track 39, "A Night in Peace and Quiet", is newly written music by Masahiko Kimura. It is played by a live violin (by Tomokuni Katayama), with Kimura playing the piano. It is a beautiful piece of music, and it is furthur enhanced by, get this, a complete score included in the CD booklet.

All in all, this is an excellent soundtrack. While it certainly isn't as good as Nocturne in the Moonlight, it holds its own, and is the type of thing that's great for background music. Plus, it can be found for a good deal cheaper than most new game soundtracks, and who can pass that up?

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