Soundtrack Central The best classic game music and more

McCall Apr 3, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Msia Apr 3, 2006

Yeah I got mine last week.  It's sex in a box.  Thanks a million Konami.

Judgment Day Apr 4, 2006

Maaan...I was opting to get this and changed my mind at the last minute. Post more details when you get a moment. See ya.

Wanderer Apr 4, 2006

Haven't heard the OST yet but the music is highly effective in the game itself, which is the best Suikoden since 2.

McCall Apr 4, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Sami Apr 4, 2006

Judging by the music in the game, I'm not getting much of the same feeling at all as McCall. Better than Suikoden? Hah! Better than Suikoden II? Pshaw. Better than Suikoden IV? Even that's trying it. Now the Suikoden III kicking, that I can get behind. What Norikazu Miura has done with Suikoden V is, like the rest of the game, try to emulate the feeling of Suikoden II. While the rest of the game is very successful in this, the music falls a little behind.

The town themes, especially, try to capture that ethnic feeling from Suikoden and Suikoden II, but they just feel more bland, and the loops feel shorter. The instrumentation isn't up to par with the brilliant Suikoden, which is by now ten years old!

It's not that I hate it though, it just feels like a shadow of Higashino's work, unlike Suikoden IV, which felt more like Miura's original vision. There are a lot of good tracks already, and I think I'm just halfway through the game. A lot of the tracks do use familiar Suikoden motifs and many are new arrangements of classic tracks. There really seems to be a lot of the music as well, and the plot scene tracks are usually really fitting. I'm keeping off the soundtrack until I've finished the game, but I do believe that there's enough quality tracks in there for me to enjoy it.

Qui-Gon Joe Apr 4, 2006

Yeah, I'm still not done with Suikoden III so I'm waiting until I've finished that one to comment on the Suikoden series as a whole (I've marathoned I, II and now III, since I borrowed them all from someone during Christmas break).  Musically, I can totally see where a return to the style of Suiko1 and 2 is desired, considering Suikoden III is one of the weakest RPG scores I've EVER heard (and they lull you into a false sense of security with a really cool opening theme, too... then the rest of the score hits you like a piece of plywood in the face).

As an additional random note, I should really be getting better at this having lived in Japan and inundated with anime character imagery for so long, but so help me the IGN review referring to the main character of Suikoden V as "prince" and "he" was the first time I had ANY inkling whatsoever that the main character (Conn's avatar) is male.  I mean, this is par for the course for the series, I guess (years ago before I played any of the games, some of my friends had... they would play "male or female" with us and see how many of the stars of destiny we could correctly guess gender on... that's so much more difficult than one would expect :\).

McCall Apr 4, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Wanderer Apr 4, 2006

Let me tell you, I'm just glad I got to Suikoden V when I did because I had the misfortune of playing Suikoden IV for the week beforehand. What a rotten game. The first three hours were fairly good and then the whole thing just fell apart. In contrast, Suikoden V starts out pretty slowly but it's all necessary exposition and build-up and the characters are all great (which is more than I can say for the questionable bunch that populated Suikoden IV).

Angela Apr 4, 2006

Hm!  These are lovely samples Conn, thanks!  (The new arrangement of "Into A World of Illusions" is totally for the win.)  Decided to treat myself for my birthday today, so I placed an order for this and the Kingdom Hearts 2 OST.  ^_^

Now I'm thinking I should pick up the Suikoden IV OST; what's the general consensus on that score?

And Wanderer, when you say "which is the best Suikoden since 2," do you mean the music or the game itself?  If so, I may have to pick up the game, since taking a hiatus after III.  Is playing IV a necessity to enjoy V?  And Suikoden Tactics..... is the game canon to the main story line?

Sami Apr 4, 2006 (edited Apr 4, 2006)

McCall, curious. I find the similarities between V and II very striking, musically as well. I got VM Japan recently by the way, thanks!

Angela, I consider Suikoden IV OST to be pretty good, but the tracks are a little bit too short. Looped twice, they would have easily filled four CDs. Lots of great battle tunes. I think the Suikoden IV OST was generally pretty well-received.

There are some references in V to IV, which you'll appreciate more if you have played IV, but it's nothing critical nor major. There's over a hundred years between Suikoden IV and V, and Suikoden V stands very solid on its own feet. I would recommend Suikoden IV for its own value, I really liked it, but generally, it wasn't received as well as the soundtrack. It's not a long game though, and not expensive either, so it shouldn't be too hard to see about it yourself. Suikoden V on the other hand is huge, and will easily demand 2 to 3 times the play hours of Suikoden IV.

Suikoden Tactics is canon, I suppose, but the game is very lacklustre. It also felt longer than Suikoden IV, even though the play hours might actually have been less. I would recommend skipping it.

McCall Apr 4, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Wanderer Apr 4, 2006 (edited Apr 4, 2006)

And Wanderer, when you say "which is the best Suikoden since 2," do you mean the music or the game itself?  If so, I may have to pick up the game, since taking a hiatus after III.  Is playing IV a necessity to enjoy V?  And Suikoden Tactics..... is the game canon to the main story line?

Game. III was a fairly good game... but it didn't have the same emotional punch to me that II did and the gameplay mechanics were sometimes iffy. IV didn't even have the luxury of good characters (or plot).

On the other hand, V charmed me from the first three hours and I felt instantly connected to the plot and the characters. It's awesome. I'm not saying V is perfect. The load times are terrible, for one. wink

Sami Apr 4, 2006

McCall wrote:

But it's very bleak, depressing, slow, and non-eventful, especially compared to the vibrant and touching V.

McCall, whaat?! I hope you mean bleak and depressing in the most positive sense! Slow and non-eventful I can't even agree with...

McCall wrote:

That's really the only main reference, and even then, it's limited to one or two small lines in V. It's barely anything at all.

Pluus the whole scene, and a musical motif accompanying it, and another very pleasant musical reference, and a reference to Eleanor, and a minor character who keeps referring to the Island Nations, the location of IV... It's not just Lino.

Wanderer Apr 4, 2006

Yeah, I can't describe IV as being bleak and depressing, myself. Unless you're referring to the gameplay.

(Okay, okay. Enough cheap shots)

The only thing I found interesting about IV was Snowe and he was dumped at the end of the third hour. I'm sure he returns later but I grew bored of the game even before I got the headquarters ship. And the sailing? Oh, good god, the sailing...

I will give IV some credit though. It was the first Suikoden game to implement voice acting (which V continues) and it did it generally very well. It added emotional punch to scenes that otherwise would have fallen flat without good actors.

Man, I wish II was available for a decent price. I want it...

McCall Apr 4, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Wanderer Apr 4, 2006

Wanderer, yeah...Snowe comes back. A few times. ("My arrrmmm!") His life or death is in the hands of the player. And I agree on the acting, it was actually quite decent. V's is much better, though. And there is a optional scene in IV about the hero's lineage towards the end of the game that's quite, the player realizes what's going on, but the hero, nor the other person involved, ever do, even years later during Suiko Tactics.

Hrm... I honestly can't decide whether I'd kill him or not. I liked him at first... and then he became a backstabbing whiny wuss. He's probably the most interesting character in the game, though. One of these days, I would like to finish off the game. I just haven't gotten Viki yet so the sailing is very discouraging.

As for getting II...yeah. $100~200 is too much to pay for a game, even if it's one of the finest. It's just wrong. It's too bad Konami isn't planning on bringing the PSP version over, because that could drive down the price of the English version a little. The sad thing is, II has been reprinted in Japan 2 or 3 times, and is avaiable new for $5 or less if you look around. sad

I just kick myself for not buying it when I had the chance. I did go through the game when it was released but I never bought it. Of course, now it's impossible to get for a decent price. Pisses me off.

And er... yeah! The OST is lovely! I guess I have a habit of derailing threads without realizing it. wink

McCall Apr 4, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Wanderer Apr 4, 2006

McCall wrote:

Hehe, no worries. I'll keep an eye out for an affordable copy of S2 for really never know.

I'd appreciate that. smile

I have the first game... I barely remember it now but I have pretty fond memories of it. It's just the second that I don't own and of course, it has to be the best one and the most valuable.


Angela Apr 8, 2006

Thanks for the comments, guys - though I did stop short of reading any of the potential story spoilers.  (What the hell were y'all thinking?? o_O)

And Wanderer, as far as Suikoden 2 goes; does your PSOne/PS2 have the capability to play backup/copies?  If so, I'll gladly make you one.

Wanderer Apr 9, 2006

And Wanderer, as far as Suikoden 2 goes; does your PSOne/PS2 have the capability to play backup/copies?  If so, I'll gladly make you one.

Yeah, I can play backup/copies and I do have a copy of the game. I just like having the originals whenever I can get them. It's the man in me who likes to have the original packaging and instruction manuals.

Thanks for the offer though. smile

(And I could have sworn I replied to this about an hour ago but it didnt show up. Odd...)

Qui-Gon Joe Apr 9, 2006

Out of curiosity, does anyone know why Higashino stopped scoring the Suikoden games?  It seems strange that they didn't keep her on board after she did 1, 2, and the Gaidens.  Did they not want her back or did she not want to go back or what?  Probably a long shot for that info being public knowledge, but I thought maybe one of you might know.

Wanderer Apr 9, 2006

I can't remember the exact details but didn't she take time off for personal reasons?

McCall Apr 9, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Sami Apr 24, 2006

I'm looking for a track that doesn't seem to be on the soundtrack. It's the track "Return to Stormfist" in the music test, which plays in the Godwin castle. It's not "The Fall" which plays close to it. Does anyone know if "Return to Stormfist" is on the soundtrack? It's such a great track that it would be a real shame if it wasn't...

Angela Jun 8, 2006

My GS5 OST finally arrived today, and being a Suikoden fan that sorta dropped out after GS2, I popped it in expecting a glorious return to the series.  After giving disc one a full listen, I've gotta say I'm a bit disappointed.  At best, it's got nice instrumentation and a decent musical structure, but compositional-wise, it's nowhere near as exceptional as I thought it might be. 

I'm finding myself agreeing to Sami's initial assessment, especially with his comment that "what Norikazu Miura has done with Suikoden V is to emulate the feeling of Suikoden II."   In fact, the tracks that impress me most are the deliberate throwbacks to the Suikoden 2 themes, like "Distant Journey," which although doesn't come quite as close to Adventurous Journey and Even Farther, is a decent followup. And the percussion used in "Declaration of War" and "A Fated Confrontation" shares a distinct Suikoden flavor that I enjoy.

But I also agree with you guys that what I'm presuming to be the town themes are awfully weak.  They were going for that ethnical feel, sure, but it's been done before, and done so much better.  Also, while I'm not at all picky with instrumentation, I've found Miura's use of the wind instruments -- particularly the flutes -- to be strangely irking.  It's either the samples or the use of them thereof, but the likes of "Holy Land," and even pieces that could've been very beautiful like "The Return" and "A Moment of Calm" end up sounding less so due to its overemphasis on volume. 

With all that said, there are some tracks that are very, very good, and borderline incredible.  "Wind of Phantom" has become an instant favorite of mine, as well as the touching piano/guitar ensemble of "Sorrow."  I love that funky percussion in "The Stage of Battle," and "A Beauty In Black" proves that subtlety and minimalism can sometimes be so much more effective than a straight harmony and melody.

Bear in mind that I've yet to play the game, so I'm obviously missing out on the context.   I'm looking forward to listening to the next three discs, but so far, it honestly hasn't done a whole lot to grab me.

McCall Jun 8, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


GoldfishX Jun 8, 2006

Hey, this OST did have a thread...I was thinking about making one. Anywho, my own sets of impressions from the other Suikoden thread:

"Listened through the soundtrack again today at work (all of it). I have to say, while there are only a handful of tracks that are really awesome, it works well together as a whole and was easy to marathon-listen through. I wouldn't call it nostalgia at this point...More like good music already, but the game was a better listening vehicle than my computer or Ipod because it tended to highlight the best tracks (most of the fillers are one-shot event themes). It can rightfully boast my favorite opener of the series (Wind of Phantom) my favorite ending-ish theme (To The End of the Woven Tale of 108 Stars), my favorite version of "Theme of a Moonlit Night", some of my favorite battle themes in awhile (the main, "Dancing Rhapsody" and all of the massive army themes) and some of the best area themes of the series ("Arena", "Imperial Capital", "Holy Land", "Deep Forest, Lost Forest", "Town on a River" (!), "The Water Capital", "The People Underground", "Crossing the Mountain River", "Traces of the Sindar Civilization", all Castle themes, "Fort Town"...basically everything except for the Haud Theme, "Godwin Family Castle" and the theme for the Dragon Cavalry castle...but all of the ones I listed are definite favorites). I think I'm going to pool all of the tracks into a single album on my Ipod (as opposed to doing things by disc) and just weed out some of the filler. That's the way I have Suikoden 2's OST (among others) set-up and it works perfectly. Very strong OST overall...Just a tad unfocused in album format."

"Okay, I goofed on something...I had the composers mixed up for this particular OST. I was thinking of Masahiko Kimura (who was partially responsible for Suikoden 3 and 4), but it was Norikazu Miura (who ALSO worked on Suikoden 4 and solo-composed Rhapsodia). I had the names mixed up somehow. And because I don't particularly LIKE Kimura (*hint* Dracula Apocalypse in addition to Suikoden 3), I probably half-assed my initial listens to the Suikoden V OST...Not a good thing, considering it has to grow on you, the best tracks can be tricky to find and the track lengths are generally short (most don't loop).

So really, this is pretty exciting in hindsight...Something of a breakout work for Miura (I wasn't taken in by the majority of Suiko IV or Rhapsodia). Sure there's filler, but the variety shown here is incredible and the high points are...well, very high. Hopefully, this composer will continue to improve. I wonder though...Which tracks did they do on Suikoden IV? And...Is it a he or a she?

I listened through the entire OST (again) and this time I kept tabs on which tracks stay and which ones go (shows how close they watch what I do at work...they thought I was writing tax information on those sticky notes!). Final score was 96 "keeper" tracks out of 148. I kept about 60 percent of everything from discs 1-3, then all but three from disc 4 (I left the stickies with the track names at work...) Most of what went were the more "brooding" tracks during the mistrust/conspiracy scenes and tracks like "Mansion on a Hill", which kind of worked for their scene, but that was it (I didn't hold onto the final battle music either). I kept all of the main battle theme variations, the castle theme variations and the variations for the games overall sadness theme (Overcoming the Grief, Bitterness, which was the music from the Roy scene, and A Sad Wish), as well as basically all the town themes and battle themes (including Haud, which now officially has nostalgia on its' side)...I think Kimura's strength, in addition to the peppy town music and blood-pumping battle themes, may be effectively remaking tracks (like Hamauzu and the many versions of the Saga Frontier 2 theme)...In addition to their own remakes, two of their best contributions were the remakes of Into a World of Illusions and Theme of a Moonlit Night remakes.

Hey, it's not Higashino, but I'm definitely up for another one like this. Bring on the S5 arranged albums!"

Disc 1 was the hardest of the four to listen straight through and was probably my main reason for wanting to pool all of the good tracks into a single Ipod listing, since there were some amazing tracks amidst...well, everything else. My personal disc 1 highlights off the top of my head were "Arena", "The Deep Forest, Lost Forest", "The Knights", "Imperial Capital", "Battle Start", "The Sacred Games" and of course, "Wind of Phantom". "Sorrow" is excellent as a sad theme, but, out-saddened by "Overcoming the Grief"/"Bitterness"/"A Sad Wish". Wait until you see where Sorrow comes up in the game's context...It's something of a shocker. Overall, it gets much better from there (kind of like S2's OST and its' "Victor's Fort" disc 1.)

I'm not really getting the Higashino-wannabe feeling overall, "Distant Journey", "Moonlit Night" and "Into a World of Illusions" and battle themes aside. The music doesn't feel quite as deliberate and "in-your-face" as the first two (compare Gregminster's theme with "Imperial Capital"), which was why I didn't pay as much attention to it as I should have initially (since the last OST I really liked was S2 as well...).

And be sure to play the game...If you liked Suikoden 2 anywhere near as much as I did, you won't be disappointed. Personally, I'm waiting until after my 108 star run to declare it my favorite in the series. In both cases, the music worked brilliantly.

Oh, and I'd love to hear your impression of "The Great Arts" (2-11). X_X

Also @Sami: I think the track you're looking for is 'Surrender'. I didn't get the guy with the soundtest in my first playthrough, but that is the Stormfist variation from the game. If there's another version, I'd love to hear it.

Wanderer Jun 9, 2006

"A Moment of Calm" is glorious in the game. It makes the emotional moments even more emotional. Too bad that it vanishes after about ten hours...

The town themes on disc 1 aren't all that great (except for the Stormwind one) but the ones on later discs are beautiful, like "The Water Capital", "The Three Islands", "Fort Town" and "Harbor Town by the Lighthouse"

Not to mention the three tracks for the main character's castle. wink

Sami Jun 10, 2006 (edited Jun 10, 2006)

Sami wrote:

I'm looking for a track that doesn't seem to be on the soundtrack. It's the track "Return to Stormfist" in the music test, which plays in the Godwin castle.

Would anyone capable be kind enough to rip this track from Cornelio's performance?

Goldfish: it's not Surrender, which is another translation for The Fall.

Also, I guess I could touch upon the actual soundtrack, now. Since I saw the credits two months ago, I noticed that the composers for Suikoden V are a huge mess. There's something like five unknown people credited for the music in the credits, followed by Norikazu Miura as the "Sound Producer". I haven't picked up the names because the damn credits roll so fast, but it seems pretty obvious now that Suikoden V is not just by Norikazu Miura. Actually, I think Miura has had a lot smaller role in S5 than Higashino did in S2. That would explain the huge shift in style from S4 and Rhapsodia, the variety of the soundtrack (for the better and the worse), and also the perplexing question of how Miura would have been able to compose this huge body of work so soon after S4 and Rhapsodia (or perhaps even concurrently). It doesn't help that the soundtrack booklet gives no information on who actually composed what.

Now, that also explains why I don't enjoy S5 as much as Miura's previous works, S4 and even Rhapsodia. McCall says that a lot of the soundtrack benefits greatly from the game, but I wouldn't really like to subscribe to that. It would mean that the soundtrack is actually even worse on its own. During the game, the feeling that the music was its weakest aspect never really left, and I think the soundtrack only strengthened that sentiment. I do have a number of favorites on the four discs, but they are few and far between. The soundtrack is a really tough listen, when it seems that every other track is either overly gloomy in the vein of Shadow of Doubt, or overly cheerful and lightweight like Natural Naivete. What's in between may pass of as background music, but overall, the soundtrack seems to lack feeling.

McCall Jun 10, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


GoldfishX Jun 10, 2006 (edited Jun 10, 2006)

Guess I missed that...I was surfing the net when I waited for the "normal" ending to close, so I could start my New Game+ without insult to injury. But the music doesn't feel particularly disjointed as a whole...More like there were a lot of tracks thrown into the project of varying degrees of quality, a number of which sank pretty fast and a good number of which came off really effective. I found it to be very cohesive, so I would have little reason to think there was more than 1 composer (although the few tracks that featured electric guitar were something of a departure, especially "To the End of the Woven Tales of the 108 Stars". As long as they keep Michiru Yamane away from doing Suikoden music (and RPG soundtracks in general...sup, Elder Gate!) and they maintain this level of quality, I'll be content no matter who does it.

I would have to say, Suikoden 1's music is still the undisputed champ of the series...There isn't a single bad track on it and it has some incredible high-spots (Black Forest, An Old Irish Song, Ultimate Enemy, Theme of the Advancing Army, Beautiful Golden City) that later entries don't touch. It really has gotten better with age. After that though...

I would probably take my pared down version of the S5 OST over my pared down version of the S2 OST, if only by a sliver. Both are loaded with tracks I'm going to be revisiting for a long time. What remains to be seen though, is how long V's music stands the test of time...It's possible I'm burnt out on S2 after 7 years and V's music just feels fresher at the moment.

Then comes Rhapsodia, IV and III, respectively...Rhapsodia's 1st disc hooked me when I carefully went through it, then the second disc just kind of let it all go. IV, I just find completely unremarkable aside from the Razril theme, and 3...*sounds of toilet flushing*.

Oh well, at least I have no problems calling S5 my favorite 2006 game OST thus far and one of the best RPG soundtracks I've heard in awhile.

McCall Jun 11, 2006 (edited Sep 10, 2012)


Wanderer Jun 11, 2006

Actually, I haven't been able to listen to any of the Suikoden albums all the way through on a regular basis. They're just too loaded with filler (especially II and V). Making a highlights CD sounds like a pretty good idea though. I should get to work on that...

Arcubalis Jun 13, 2006

Three words:  "Despair and Hope"

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