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Dark Chronicle OST
Catalog Number: SCDC-00243/4
Released On: February 19, 2003
Composed By: Tomohito Nishiura
Arranged By: Tomohito Nishiura
Published By: Scitron
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
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Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - The Adventure That Never Ends (Rush Theme)
02 - The Dark Battle
03 - Prologue
04 - The Feeling Something is Going to Happen
05 - Carnival Night
06 - The Circus
07 - The Red-Haired Girl
08 - Secret Conversation
09 - It's a Show Time!!
10 - Moonlight Tango
11 - Palm Brinks
12 - At the Station
13 - Sewers
14 - The Battle
15 - Fading Consciousness
16 - Dim Light
17 - Menu
18 - Halloween
19 - The World Spreading Before You
20 - Shop
21 - Crazy Buggy
22 - Holy Prayer
23 - Charlotte
24 - Forest of the Rainbow Butterflies
25 - A Moment of Calm
26 - Nanahige's Theme
27 - Tree Spirit Durac
28 - Butterfly Dance
29 - Rainbow Butterfly
30 - Peace of the World
31 - Fish On!!
32 - Scale Valley
33 - Shifting Car-Windows
34 - Stella Valley
35 - Unfulfilled Wishes
36 - Fire Approaches the Light House
37 - Stella Magic Temple
38 - Turning Towards Hope
39 - Veniccio
40 - A Moment of Calm, Part 2
41 - Cave of the Roaring Sea
42 - Fish Race!
43 - Lunatic Wisdom Laboratory
44 - Dr. Jamming
45 - Tutorial
46 - Take Off! Space-Time Train Ixion
47 - Battle For the Future
48 - Time is changing (Japanese Original Ver.)
Total Time:
63'27"

Disc Two
01 - Secret Energy (Alternate Rush, unused track)
02 - Heim Rada
03 - The Time of Parting
04 - Gandor Volcanic Cave
05 - Flying Battle Ship Death Ark
06 - Gandorada Giant Studio
07 - Mother
08 - Flame Demon Monster Guiltoni
09 - Memories
10 - Ancient Mural
11 - The Closed Palace
12 - Sun
13 - Karazov Stonehenge
14 - Flower Garden
15 - Moonflower Palace
16 - Garden of Memories
17 - Uneasiness
18 - Unknown History
19 - Pazunos Takes Off!
20 - Giant Looming Shadow
21 - Ruler of Darkness, Emperor Griffon
22 - Sad Fate
23 - The Spiral of Dreams
24 - Dark Element
25 - Zelmite Mining Cave
26 - Demon (Dark Cloud Main Theme)
27 - Beyond the Aurora
28 - Time is changing (Japanese Acoustic Ver.)
29 - Time is changing (English Original Ver.)
Total Time:
58'16"

Dark Chronicle (or Dark Cloud 2 here in the US) is a fascinating story of two companions who travel through time, correcting mistakes and reshaping events in order to recreate a future that has been destroyed. While the story itself is sometimes dark and deep, the music is often very light and shallow. Most pieces are a single voice melody against either an ostinato background or ceaseless arpeggiations.

In RPGs, the first track is normally a composition that plays to an intro movie: something the player can view and get excited about as they are shown clips of what they will see in the game. As such, there is no second chance to make a first impression and most composers take this opportunity to shine (think the openings of Final Fantasy VIII and Suikoden III for example). Dark Chronicle’s opening score leaves much to be desired. A single melody, definitely solid, but not the epic fanfare you’d expect from the story.

The rest of Disc 1 follows suit. Listening to the music within the game fits like a glove: light hearted town music, character interactions and introductions and battles all with the brilliant cell drawings that Dark Cloud II boasted...but listening to the music on its own can be tedious. The instrumentation is oft-times questionable as there seems to be a high favorability for accordion and woodwind sounds and occasionally a sitar that sounds distinctly misplaced. Nearly all of the melodies are played with a single viola/violin sound against basic chord changes. A good number of times, the melody doesn’t seem to know when to resolve itself and notes just keep playing without the climax that is so needed for the piece and then there’s that horribly awkward trumpet in the track "Halloween".

Theoretically speaking, the music is well-written: a heavy focus on secondary dominants and surprise minor chords. Most of the counterpoint is your standard fare, but not unpleasantly so; and though my distaste for the repetitive instrumentation used was made clear, the instruments themselves are good choices for their respective roles although there definitely could have been some more brass.

The soundtrack was obviously written for a video game and the composers made good use from the events with the compositions. There are four or five tracks for a circus scene that are heavy on the slapstick silly melodies and instruments one is used to hearing when they partake in a circus. The tracks used to accompany the ethereal butterfly story are all very heavy on music boxes, marimbas and xylophones. The vocal track, "Time is changing", is once again pleasant, but missing passion. The words themselves are inspirational but the voice, lazy background and typical chord changes make it seem amateurish when pitted against Xenosaga or the Final Fantasy series.

Disc 2 doesn’t really leave the set formula, though there are more relaxing tracks, original pieces and a few "huh?" moments like the first few guitar bars that sound amazingly like "Stairway to Heaven" on track 3 of Disc 2. The compositions follow the story and do grow a little darker and mature as Max and Monica continue to battle against impossible odds.

Overall, this isn’t a bad soundtrack, especially if you love the game. The tracks are decent and solidly based and it makes good use of melodic motifs. In my opinion, it’s just not an exciting soundtrack and doesn’t give me the pleasant feelings of nostalgia and desire to play a game that I am used to when I listen to other soundtracks. The music expert will have nothing to fault as the pieces are flawless in composition, if not instrumentation.

Reviewed by: Daniel Space



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