Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Jodo Kast Mar 16, 2009 (edited Mar 16, 2009)

Track 1: Darkness of Fear

I don't recognize this song, so it is reasonable to assume it's a new composition, but there are a few Castlevania games I have not yet played. Although it has no nostalgic value, it is quite impressive.

Tracks 2, 3: Title Screen, Character Select

I typically avoid title themes and character select themes and my typical behavior is warranted, since they are not that interesting here as well.

Track 4: Vampire Killer [Castlevania]

It stays true to the original and diverges a bit, into a Soul Caliburish reminiscence. This interpretation kicks ass all the way through.

Track 5: Bloody Tears [Simon's Quest]

There is more diverging here, and it shares music from Lord of Vermilion (by Nobuo Uematsu). Well, I have been extensively listening to LoV, so the similarity is salient to me, but it may not be to you.

Track 6: Beginning [Castlevania III]

I do not find this interpretation very impressive. The additional compositional material does not seem to fit.

Track 7: Mad Forest [Castlevania III]

Yay! This reminds me of Goat's arrangement, which is a good thing. I have no complaints here. By the way, this is far superior to the arrangement on Perfect Selection Dracula.

Track 8: Clocktower [Caslevania III]

Yuck! I really don't like this interpretation. It reminds me of a festive amusement park and not a dark castle. The Soul Caliburish twist does not work here.

Track 9: The Tower of Dolls [X68000]

I've always liked this song and the interpretation here is impressive.

Track 10: The Wolf Revealed [Castlevania 64]

I can recognize the main theme from CV64 and another theme, so this is a medley. (This is an interpretation of the song that played after the Underground Tunnel, in the main castle. I don't recall where the other theme was used.) This interpretation is so different from the original that it might as well be a new song. It's not bad, though.

Track 11: Dracula's Castle [Symphony of the Night]

This remains very true to the original, more so than the others. In fact, I enjoy this more than the original.

Track 12: Slash [Dracula X]

Or is this Op. 13? Well, it is on Dracula Battle. I'm not sure which is the true Slash or Op. 13 anymore, after struggling with the tracklist for the Dracula X PSP OST, which contradicts the PC Engine tracklist. They're both one and the same, much like a photon is its own antiparticle! Anyway, this song (whatever it is) is pretty close to the original (whatever that is). In fact, it offers some competition for the Dracula Battle version.

Track 13: Iron Blue Intention [Bloodlines]

I prefer the interpretation used in Portrait of Ruin and the one from Dracula Battle II. In fact, I like the Mega Drive original more than this. Stay away Soul Calibur!

Track 14: Evil's Symphonic Poem (Death's Theme)

I don't recognize this song, but that doesn't mean it's not an interpretation (or arrangement).

Track 15: Dance of Illusions [Dracula X]

I can say with certainty that this is pitiful when compared to the Dracula Battle II version.

Track 16: An Empty Tome [Order of Ecclesia]

This is called 'Dusk's Holy Mark' in Order of Ecclesia. This is truly impressive, in my opinion, but only because I've become so familiar with that soundtrack. I can understand why they chose this song.

Track 17: Darkness of Fear (Arrange Version)

An arrangement of the first track.

Track 18, 19, 20: Castle, Gallery, Accessories

I don't recognize these songs.

Track 21: Elemental Tactician [Lament of Innocence]

I neither like the original nor this interpretation.

Track 22, 23, 24: Win, Lose, Game Over

If you have a problem with your hippocampal horns, then don't worry! These are so short that you won't have a chance to internalize them!

Track 25: Crucial Moment

More Soul Caliburish madness.

Track 26: Credits

Much better than "I Am the Wind".

Ashley Winchester Mar 16, 2009

Jodo Kast wrote:

Track 9: The Tower of Dolls [X68000]
I've always liked this song and the interpretation here is impressive.

Yeah, the Tower of Dolls is a great tune, especially the X68000 original

Jodo Kast wrote:

Track 13: Iron Blue Intention [Bloodlines]
I prefer the interpretation used in Portrait of Ruin and the one from Dracula Battle II. In fact, I like the Mega Drive original more than this. Stay away Soul Calibur!

It's odd that music from a game - Bloodlines - that I've never played feels so right. The version that appeared in one of the handheld games is ok, but this song was made made for the MD.

Jodo Kast wrote:

Track 14: Evil's Symphonic Poem (Death's Theme)

I don't recognize this song, but that doesn't mean it's not an interpretation (or arrangement).

Believe the original appeared in Lament of Innocence.

Smeg Mar 16, 2009

Jodo Kast wrote:

Track 12: Slash [Dracula X]

Or is this Op. 13? Well, it is on Dracula Battle. I'm not sure which is the true Slash or Op. 13 anymore, after struggling with the tracklist for the Dracula X PSP OST, which contradicts the PC Engine tracklist.

If you consider the in-game sound test for Dracula X PCE CD as definitive, then Dracula Battle is ass-backwards.

Jodo Kast Mar 16, 2009

Smeg wrote:
Jodo Kast wrote:

Track 12: Slash [Dracula X]

Or is this Op. 13? Well, it is on Dracula Battle. I'm not sure which is the true Slash or Op. 13 anymore, after struggling with the tracklist for the Dracula X PSP OST, which contradicts the PC Engine tracklist.

If you consider the in-game sound test for Dracula X PCE CD as definitive, then Dracula Battle is ass-backwards.

Here's the data I have:

On KICA-7622 (Dracula X PC Engine OST), track 9 is Slash and track 11 is Op.13

On KICA-1145 (Dracula Battle), track 6 is Op.13. It is an arrangement of track 11 from Dracula X, which is Op.13

Therefore, Dracula Battle is correct, assuming that KICA-7622 is correct. However, the sound test contradicts this fact. Meaning it is no longer a fact.

So, my guess is that they screwed up the tracklist for KICA-7622 and then made the same mistake on Dracula Battle, since they used the previous tracklist, rather than checking the PC Engine game. The release dates support my idea, as Dracula Battle was released after the PC Engine OST.

If you check out LC-1609~10 (The PSP version of Dracula X), both Op.13 and Slash have been swapped. This alarmed me at first, because it contradicts previous information. However, any VGM fan not familiar with KICA-7622 or KICA-1145 would not be alarmed, since there would be no contradiction.

What surprises me is that not one VGM fan took the time to correct this information over the past 15 years. Every listing of Dracula Battle should state that Op.13 is really Slash. Of course, this assumes you're telling the truth. I have never owned or even played the original PC Engine version, so I can't check the tracklist myself.

Ashley Winchester Mar 17, 2009

Jodo Kast wrote:

What surprises me is that not one VGM fan took the time to correct this information over the past 15 years. Every listing of Dracula Battle should state that Op.13 is really Slash. Of course, this assumes you're telling the truth. I have never owned or even played the original PC Engine version, so I can't check the tracklist myself.

No one may have corrected it, but somebody else did notice it:

http://www.squareenixmusic.com/reviews/ … ulax.shtml

jeriaska Mar 17, 2009

There's a nod to "Black Night" on the second half of "Dance of Illusions."  Didn't notice until it was pointed out to me.

Zane Mar 18, 2009

Jodo Kast wrote:

SEMO is turning out to be a new authority on all game music, as opposed to what the name implies.

Indeed it is! Over the past year or two SEMO has expanded its coverage greatly and is my go-to site for information.

Chris Mar 18, 2009

Thanks for the comments about SEMO. I think the site has come a long way, but I've figured it really has to convert to PHP and rebrand as a general VGM site as both things are really holding us back. With some luck, this will be accomplished over the summer!

By the way, Jodo Kast, are you able to submit track times for the album (maybe through VGMdb here). That'd help me out a lot since I usually wait to post track listings until there are times available.

Adam Corn Mar 19, 2009

Chris wrote:

By the way, Jodo Kast, are you able to submit track times for the album (maybe through VGMdb here). That'd help me out a lot since I usually wait to post track listings until there are times available.

Ditto smile

Jodo Kast Mar 19, 2009

Times posted. It's quite the zinger, at slightly more than 70 minutes. Of course, many of them loop.

jeriaska Mar 19, 2009

Chris wrote:

By the way, Jodo Kast, are you able to submit track times for the album (maybe through VGMdb here). That'd help me out a lot since I usually wait to post track listings until there are times available.

Personally I would worry less about track times than getting the name of the composer right.

http://img19.imageshack.us/img19/1918/judgment.png

Chris Mar 19, 2009 (edited Mar 25, 2009)

Thanks for the track times. A big help! Also thanks for noting the typo in the composer; kinda embarrassing that I did that even though I knew the composer from Hyper Street Fighter II! I'm researching Noisycroak more at the moment and it's a very interesting and competent company so look out for more from them.

Chris Mar 25, 2009 (edited Mar 25, 2009)

To note, it's Noisycroak not Nosiycroak, but probably just an innocent typo. Good interview otherwise and nice to read a bit more about 428!

jeriaska Mar 28, 2009

Chris wrote:

To note, it's Noisycroak not Nosiycroak, but probably just an innocent typo. Good interview otherwise and nice to read a bit more about 428!

Don't know what you're talking about, as usual.

Pellasos Mar 28, 2009

thanks, i've enjoyed that interview! its always nice to read about castlevania.

Chris Mar 28, 2009

jeriaska wrote:
Chris wrote:

To note, it's Noisycroak not Nosiycroak, but probably just an innocent typo. Good interview otherwise and nice to read a bit more about 428!

Don't know what you're talking about, as usual.

I try to be nice and get such a hostile response. tongue You know my email address if you want me to clarify the problem or apparently the many other things I say that confuse you!

Daniel K Apr 4, 2009

I didn't like this at first, but its been growing on me (the fact that most of the themes are familiar classics probably helped a lot). About half of it is good, the other half not so good. I agree with Jodo in most of his assessments. "Vampire Killer", "Bloody Tears", "Mad Forest", "The Wolf Revealed", "Dracula's Castle", "Slash", and "An Empty Tome" are all great. I especially like what Asada did with "The Wolf Revealed", quite a change from the Castlevania 64 original, and very cool.

Some of the arrangements stink to high heaven, though, "Beginning", "Clock Work", and "Dance Of Illusions" being the worst offenders. Especially "Beginning" was lackluster, considering the awesome versions found on the Dracula Battle albums.

Overall, the soundtrack is a mixed bag, but better than I thought it'd be.

jeriaska Apr 6, 2009

The interview with the musicians has been posted to Gamasutra today.  There will likely be some additional photographs added when the Japanese-language version is completed.

ElementalKnight Apr 10, 2009

I feel like "An Empty Tome" is the gem of this soundtrack, but honestly, I love just about everything here.

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