Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight Original Soundtrack

"One of the best Castlevania soundtracks yet." Recommended

Rankings

Artist Credits

Tracks

68 minutes total
  1. Transformation No. 1
  2. Prologue
  3. Illusionary Dance
  4. Symphony Of The Night
  5. Prayer
  6. Dracula Castle
  7. Golden Dance
  8. Marble Corridor
  9. Tower Of Evil Fog
  10. Nocturne
  11. Woodcarving Palteeta
  12. Gate Of Spirits
  13. Our Festival
  14. Resting Place
  15. Requiem Of The Gods
  16. Crystal Drops
  17. Path Of The Departed
  18. Rainbow Cemetery
  19. Stillness
  20. Lost Painting
  21. Pearl Dance Song
  22. Cursed Holy Castle
  23. Evil Banquet
  24. Awakened Soul
  25. Young Nobleman Of Sadness
  26. Through The Gate, Over The Deep Edge
  27. Through The Gate, Into The World Of Heaven
  28. The Poetic Melody Of Death
  29. Strange Bloodline
  30. Transformation No. 2
  31. The Final Tocatta
  32. Black Feast
  33. Transformation No. 3
  34. I Am The Wind
  • Released Apr 9, 1997 by King (catalog no. KICA-7760, retail 2243 yen).

Reviews

One of the best Castlevania soundtracks yet.

Recommended

Editor's review by Adam Corn

"Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight" (known outside Japan as "Castlevania: Symphony of the Night") legitimately makes claim at being one of the greatest Castlevania soundtracks yet. In album form it doesn't quite make the same astounding impression it does in the context of the game, but it's still another great Castlevania music experience.

Probably the most outstanding trait of this OST is its variety. While older Castlevania scores were limited to some degree by their sound systems, and the original Dracula X (the only other CD-based Castlevania game) was mostly rock oriented, Symphony of the Night rivals fellow Konami soundtrack Genso Suikoden in its wide variety of well-arranged musical styles.

So what styles are present? An easier question might be "Which ones aren't?" If it can work in a Dracula game, you'll probably find it here. "Prayer" is the perfect track to lead off a Castlevania adventure, featuring the mournful, haunting chanting of two female vocalists. The purely symphonic "Tower of Evil Fog" conveys the dark, Gothic mood of the series and the vast dungeon setting of the game itself. "Requiem of the Gods" features somber high-pitched chanting accompanied by epitaphial pipe organ and well-placed gongs from a funeral bell. Several tracks are supplemented by ambient sounds such as whispering wind, dripping water, and creepy forest critters to further the mood. No question whatsoever about this being a Castlevania soundtrack.

Of course the soundtrack doesn't focus solely on setting mood. In "Awakened Soul" the bassline and cymbal-intensive percussion get a groove going while a mellow guitar takes the lead melody, supplemented by jazzy horns and soft strings. If Konami ever offers a Castlevania installment in their Pro-Fusion series, this track has convinced me it'll be worth checking out.

And what Castlevania soundtrack would be complete without some old-school Konami rock? You'll find healthy amounts of it in the four or so boss themes, a couple reprises from the final stages of the original Dracula X, and the very catchy original stage BGM "Dracula Castle". However, these all pale in comparison to "Young Nobleman of Sadness". While some orchestral instrumentation sets the Gothic backdrop and provides the arrangement some excellent transitions, it's the electric guitar lead for its driving main melody that gives the track its fist-pumping, head-banging glory. It's the clear climax of the score and Castlevania rock at its very best - an instant classic.

It must be emphasized just how important the streaming, studio synth sound system is to this OST. Though most of the instrumental sounds here still seem to be sampled and are not quite the quality of the best arranged albums, they're leaps and bounds ahead of the typical video game synth of the period. Orchestral instruments sound sufficiently realistic to maintain the Gothic tone, choir accompaniment is dark and moody, pipe organs bellow, and in the grand tradition of the best Castlevania arrangements, electric guitars grind through with wicked force. The soundtrack isn't the be all and end all of video game instrumental sound, but it's a significant step in the right direction.

As well as the soundtrack works in the game, a few minor issues surface when it takes album form. Since it's a single-disc OST with a high number of tracks, most of the selections play once a full time through then begin to fade out on the first loop. Fortunately most of the compositions are long enough to suffice from a single play through, but some listeners might find them on occasion to be over too soon. Also the wide variety of styles and sometimes moody quality of the music might not be fully appreciated by some long-time Castlevania fans accustomed to its synthier, more rock and pop-oriented beginnings. I must say that certain tracks which worked fine in the game don't have so much appeal on their own. A few odd tracks are so unmelodic so as to be offensive, while some others are just too boring to bother with. Throw out these and the few under-a-minute tracks reserved for brief game events, and there are about fifteen tracks left which I listen to regularly.

Potential buyers of "Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight" who have played the game should have a good idea already whether they want its assortment of tracks on music CD, as this is a straight OST release all the way. For those unfamiliar with the game, well, this is one of the best soundtrack releases from one of the most musically-renowned series in video games. Sounds like a recommendation to me. Despite the typical presence of some forgettable tracks, the soundtrack is overall a great production that both branches the series out into new directions and offers some superb new themes true to their roots.

Yet another great soundtrack from Konami!

Reader review by Abrahm

"Dracula X: Symphony of the Night" is an incredible mix of music, ranging from orchestral to hard rock. Although the music is the PCM from the game, the quality of the sound is incredible, and it does not sound as artificial as most other PCM music.

If you're interested in the orchestral songs, then you'll find plenty of them on this soundtrack. "Symphony of the Night," "Golden Dance," and "Tower of Evil Fog" (which is a cool orchestral version of the synthesized "Marble Corridor") are all worth mentioning. My absolute favorite of all the orchestral pieces on this soundtrack is "Pearl Dance Song," which sounds so beautiful that it simply *must* be heard.

There are also a few hard rockin' songs on this soundtrack. "Prologue" is the first one, and it will have you begging for more. However, the best of these is "Young Nobleman of Sadness," which simply *rocks* with its driving rhythm and an electric guitar melody that can only be described as "evil."

Also on this soundtrack is "I Am the Wind," which gets my vote for best vocal song in a video game. It is sung by Cynthia Harrell, and her voice is what makes this song so beautiful. This is another "must hear" song on this great soundtrack. The song is in English and the lyrics are printed in the liner notes.

"Dracula X: Symphony of the Night" is one of the best soundtracks I've heard from Konami, even among their "Dracula Battle" and "Dracula X" soundtracks. There are many more good things about it, such as the liner notes, which includes a little artwork and sheet music for "Symphony of the Night". The music is varied enough that most everyone will find one or two (probably more) songs that they like.

Romantic, terrifying, and pure Castlevania.

Reader review by Shane Bettenhausen

When I first booted Dracula X: Gekka No Nocturne in my Playstation I was shocked by the amazing quality of the music. My first response was to immediately order the soundtrack CD. The Dracula series has always been brilliantly scored, but this soundtrack was utterly outstanding. This disc contains all of the game's CD-quality PCM music, played in sequential order from the game.

From the chilling prologue theme to the final vocal ending theme, the music maintains a standard of utter perfection unmatched by any non-RPG soundtrack. Lushly arranged variations on classic Dracula themes, haunting original classical pieces, and thrashing guitar boss music blend together to achieve a mood that is romantic, terrifying, and pure Dracula. For those who enjoyed the Dracula X: Rondo of Blood soundtrack, prepare to be destroyed by the splendor of this music. Perhaps the greatest OSV ever, this disc is not to be missed.

Excellent in the game, but I want my 'Vampire Killer'!

Reader review by Jeffrey Eldredge

Any true video game fan will tell you that Konami packs a whole lot of lovin' in their video game soundtracks. So why should the 32-bit upgrade of Castlevania be any different? Happily it's not. Well, at least not really... Now, as much as I love playing Dracula X ~Nocturne in the Moonlight~, it's getting harder and harder to recommend the soundtrack.

"Why?" you ask. It's very difficult to put your finger on, but the music really lacks that true Castlevania feeling because of the repetitive "looping" nature of the songs in the game. You see, Dracula X is set up much like Super Metroid as you may have to traverse an area several times throughout the game. The developers at KCET understood that this type of game layout required continuously looping music and the composers wrote the score accordingly. The music in the game is well written, the ending music "I am the Wind" is excellent, and for the most part the PCM is excellent. I guess that means I have nothing to complain about then? It's just that the music works well in the game, but falls short when you listen to the CD. It's hard to explain really.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am a huge Castlevania fan and I do like this soundtrack a lot. I just don't love it. I would recommend this soundtrack to any die-hard Castlevania fan, but it would have been much better if KCET decided to include more of the classic Caslevania songs like "The Beggining" or "Vampire Killer". It just doesn't seem like Castlevania without these classic tunes and they were sorely missed. There are, however, a few news songs that are destined to become classics in the same sense. You have to love the theme of Alucard! It rocks!

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