Atelier Marie ~Alchemist of Salburg~ OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: 0100801/2 (reprint KDSD-10003/4)
Released On: 2001 (reprint September 23, 2004)
Composed By: Toshiharu Yamanishi, Daisuke Achiwa, Akira Tsuchiya, J.S. Bach (1-24), Johann Pachelbel (2-16)
Arranged By: Akira Tsuchiya
Published By: Gust (reprint Team Entertainment)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
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Disc One: Guide to Becoming a Great Alchemist
01 - Enderk Talks at Length [Unknown]
02 - A Once-Beloved Picture Book
03 - I'm Working Right Now!
04 - Let's Take a Walk with the Sun!
05 - Snow and Memories
06 - One Clear Holiday
07 - There's a Carnival in Town
08 - Oh, a Long Time Ago
09 - The Object of Schia's Wish
10 - Enderk the Blue Wolf
11 - Sleeping Blood
12 - The Glasses Are Laughing
13 - The Wind and a Young Man
14 - A Day That Painted the Sky
15 - Together with the Land
16 - My Name is Schwabel
17 - Wanting to be an Adventurer
18 - Legend of the Watermelon Bikini
19 - I Know
20 - The Bar Owner's Theme
21 - With Peace and Smiling Faces
22 - About Those Strange Habits I Can't Stand
23 - Academy Investigation
24 - Etude nr.2 opus7 J.S.B.
25 - Always in the Forest
26 - Circles in the Water
27 - The Light of Time
28 - Magic of the Chrysalis
29 - The Adventurer's Song
30 - The Elder's Beard
31 - Going to See a Rainbow
32 - I Can Hear the Battle Cries!
33 - Ancient Footsteps
34 - Mask of Steel
35 - Hill of Beginnings
Total Time:

Disc Two: Introduction to Becoming a Great Adventurer
01 - The Fairies Dance a Waltz in the Forest
02 - Can You Hear It?
03 - The Phantom Thief Der Himmel Pays a Visit!!
04 - A Single Promise
05 - Cheerless Day
06 - Celebration March
07 - Bequest From Ancient Times
08 - Nest
09 - Vestiges
10 - A Momentary Sparkle
11 - Star Wind
12 - A Man Returns Home
13 - A Bee Hive and a Puzzle
14 - Marie's Pledge
15 - Alchemist of Salburg
16 - Pachelbel's Canon
17 - The Me of Tomorrow
18 - The Eve of Graduation
19 - Just Smiling is Fine
20 - The Scarlet Seal
21 - Pay No Mind To Those Girls
22 - Morning of Beginnings
23 - Mischievous Mouse Pop'n Chuck
24 - Awakening Samba
25 - A Bear Came By One Day
26 - I Better Hurry!
27 - Epic Battle of the Squishy Hammers
28 - I'm Busy Now!!
29 - You Did It! Congratulations
30 - Too Bad! Try Again
31 - Bonus (Falcata)
32 - Bonus (Mail Planner)
33 - Bonus (Preview?!)
~Bonus Track~
34 - Extra session #1 [Atelier Marie]
35 - Extra session #2 [Atelier Marie plus#1]
36 - Extra session #3 [Atelier Marie plus#2]
Total Time:

[back cover]
This is the packaging for Team Entertainment's reprint of the Marie OST.

Upon hearing the brilliant music of Atelier Iris, I was hooked. I had to track down everything Atelier I could find. Some would consider this a dangerous personality trait, but I took it as a sign for a spending spree, so I assembled myself a respectable little Atelier collection. One of the titles I bought was the Atelier Marie OST. Marie was the game that brought the series to life in the PlayStation days. How, I thought, would the game that started this beloved franchise sound? Surely it must be grand!

It ain't so great.

That's not entirely fair. While this simply can't be compared to the brilliance of some of the Atelier titles, the music from Marie is certainly acceptable. The problem is nearly everything on here is very forgettable filler material. What hooked me so strongly to Iris initially was the inventive music. Nearly everything to be found here, however, fits into the generic "medieval RPG" sound.

The majority of the songs to be found here are, to be blunt, repetitive and boring. I'm very disappointed that I have to say this, as I'm a fan of nearly everything to be found in the series, but most of these songs are the kind of light, forgettable fluff passed off as filler tracks. Maybe previous Atelier titles set my expectations too high, but on my first listen I wanted to skip many of the songs, hoping for something more imaginative. It's not that the compositions are poor, but there is very little that actually stands out. Many of the songs also sound extremely similar, making you feel like you've been listening to the same bland song for 20 minutes, which certainly doesn't help things.

There are a number of very good songs to be found, and I would be unfair if I didn't mention them. Snow and Memories is a slow, relaxing song done primarily with guitar and a flute. It sounds very, well, snowy. I Can Hear the Battle Cries! is an energetic song with a high woodwind and hand drums. It's very Iwadare-esque. Hill of Beginnings is the perfect adventurous theme. Just Smiling Is Fine is a great touching piece. Slow piano, slow strings, it's a very uplifting song. Where the album is good, it's very good, but I wished more of it showed this flair.

If you look at the composer's list you'll find two perhaps familiar names, Bach and Pachelbel. The soundtrack makes use of an Etude and a Canon, respectively. I'm assuming that this collaboration was done posthumously, though who can say for sure? What you'll find are synth versions of these classics, and I must say they sound exceptionally good in synth, Pachelbel's Canon in particular.

Disc 2 ends with 3 Bonus Tracks, Extra Session #1-3. I'm not exactly sure why these are bonuses, but I'm glad that they were added, because they're some of the best songs on the OST. Bonus 1 sounds like a battle or boss theme. It starts with a lone electric guitar before moving the rest in. The guitars die down to move some old school synth in, to great effect. The rest of the song is then altering between the guitars and the synth. Bonus 2 sounds to be another battle theme. This one is more akin to a Falcom track, with lots of fast, loud guitar and strong drums. Bonus 3 is most assuredly not a battle theme. It sounds as though it may be an ending theme or staff roll. It recalls themes from other tracks in a very laid back, jazzy sort of way. Regardless of how it's used in the game, it's a great piece, and probably my favorite on the soundtrack.

I wanted to love this; I desperately wanted to love this. Despite my efforts, the fact is this is overall a very weak entry compared to the rest of the series. While there are some very well done songs to be found, there is just too much filler. If you're an Atelier fan already, you may find this a worthy purchase to see where the series came from. If you're unfamiliar with Atelier, I would strongly urge you to look elsewhere. There are much better things to be found in the series.

Reviewed by: Daniel Bowman