Arc Rise Fantasia OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00344~6
Released On: March 3, 2010
Composed By: Yasunori Mitsuda, Shunsuke Tsuchiya, Yuki Harada, Yui Makino, Yoko Shimomura
Arranged By: Yasunori Mitsuda, Shunsuke Tsuchiya, Yuki Harada, Tsuneyoshi Saito
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 3 CDs
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Disc One
01 - Luminous Rain
02 - Meridian 2nd Hikoutei Squad
03 - Contaminant Dragons
04 - Imaginal Song
05 - A Signpost in the Shades of Trees
06 - Furiously
07 - War Results Within the Heart
08 - Vast Lands
09 - The Northernmost of the Empire, Topazion
10 - Everyday With Peace
11 - Moment of Rest
12 - Pushing Forward
13 - Unexpected Fight
14 - Signs of Dark Clouds
15 - Imminent Menace
16 - Sincerity
17 - The Imperial City of Diamant
18 - Carelessness
19 - Friends, Smiles and Joy
20 - Copin's Village
21 - Taking the Road Through the Wilderness
22 - Doubts
23 - Fighting Spirit Baring the Fangs
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Peaceful Meeting
02 - Anthrax Parish
03 - Darkness Spreading Underground
04 - Decisive Battle
05 - Exposed by the Authority
06 - A Decision in the Midst of Sadness
07 - People Looking Up to a Small Hope
08 - Fulheim
09 - The Town of Freedom, Carbunculus
10 - Making Fortunes, Dream Casino
11 - Copin Fanfare
12 - Copin Race
13 - Victory!
14 - Defeat!
15 - Witch Army ~Luminous Arc Medley~
16 - The Holy City, Benetnasch
17 - Memories
18 - The Voice of a Vanishing Life
19 - A Street of Sand and Wind
20 - Luminous Cathedral
21 - Before the Strong One
22 - Light of Purification
23 - Galois Ravine
24 - Great Existence
Total Time:

Disc Three
01 - Chance Meeting with the Rogress
02 - Compensation
03 - Great Legacy
04 - Seeking the Rogress
05 - Braves, Taking Action
06 - Confrontation! Those Breaking Their Will
07 - Song of Ruin
08 - At the End of Despair
09 - Snowdrops Blooming, Opalus
10 - Scorching Village, Ferris
11 - Mission Chaser
12 - Burning in Fighting Spirit
13 - Ryfia's Wish
14 - Lascarde Skywalk
15 - Real Song
16 - Chasing a Sworn Enemy
17 - Heaven's Tears
18 - Sacred Hymn
19 - What Awaits at the Farthest Ends
20 - Now is the Time of Conclusion
21 - The Prayer of Noire
22 - In Order to Know the Conclusion
23 - Angel Stairs ~crepuscular rays~
24 - Awakening, To a World Protected
Total Time:

Arc Rise Fantasia is, at first glance, a generic JRPG that could not be less inspired if it tried – which isn't a bad thing, considering the game is greater than the sum of its parts, though the horrors of the English dubbing tarnish its image a fair bit. However, taking a glance at the composers the developers hired to do the soundtrack, the musical pedigree is far from generic.

With big names such as Yasunori Mitsuda (who composed the music for Chrono Cross, which I personally believe to be one of the best game soundtracks of all time) scoring music for the game, it sets expectations high. While the soundtrack to Arc Rise Fantasia is not exemplary by any means, it is, without a doubt, a well-composed soundtrack.

Shunsuke Tsuchiya does many of the battle songs, as well as quite a few event and town tracks, and they are serviceable at best. The normal battle music is uninspired and bland, but inoffensive. By comparison, Yuki Harada's boss theme, An Unexpected Battle, blows Tsuchiya's battle music out of the water. I'm unsure what it is about the piece that makes it so gripping; it might be the electric guitar in the beginning that eventually goes to the background, or the dramatic pacing of the music, but it's a rather incredible listen and made me savor each boss battle in the game.

Yasunori Mitsuda's compositions also have a strong presence in the soundtrack, and are some of the highlights of the music. Mitsuda's pieces offer a rather relaxing theme with 'softer' music that is pleasant to the ears. While Harada's music gets the blood pumping, Mitsuda's music is relaxing, with a subtle melancholy in the way which his music flows. Nothing exemplifies this better than the track At the End of Despair, which has absolutely beautiful composition.

However, Yui Makino steals the show with the vocal tracks. In much the same way that music was an intrinsic part of Ar tonelico's story, thus having the game heavily reliant on its soundtrack, Arc Rise Fantasia's Divas (seriously, that's what they're called – I fully expect a JRPG to use the term hooker non-ironically in the future) cast magic by singing, and thus Yui Makino's vocal songs are an essential part of the entire experience. Emiri Kato also has a vocal track, but it pales in comparison to Makino's work.

At first glance the soundtrack may seem unimpressive, but those willing to listen can find quite a few gems in this soundtrack. Having multiple artists each work on part of a unified soundtrack lends it an incredible variation, from blood-pumping battle tracks to calm and serene melodies. As far as video game soundtracks go, you could do much, much worse.

Reviewed by: Ashton Liu