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Elminage ~The Dark Sorceress and the Ring of Gods~ OST
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: March 27, 2008
Composed By: Hitoshi Sakimoto, Masaharu Iwata, Mitsuhiro Kaneda, Kimihiro Abe, Noriyuki Kamikura
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: STARFISH-SD
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Main Theme
02 - The Town Where One Walks with History
03 - Town Scenery
04 - Rendezvous at the Bar
05 - Tranquillity of the Adventurer
06 - Yearning for Flamberge
07 - Quiet Prayer
08 - Those Who Are Called Kings
09 - A New Hope
10 - Endless Land
11 - Brigade of Merchants
12 - Momentary Relief
13 - Challenge to the Dark
14 - Soft Breeze Diary
15 - Legend of Twilight
16 - Fading Glory
17 - Dragon Fang
18 - Forgotten World
19 - Frozen Time
20 - Game Dance
21 - Confrontation with Fate
22 - Dark Torrent
23 - Nobles of Hell
24 - Portrait of Gods
25 - Go for It!
26 - Scattering Thought
27 - Unerasable Doubt
28 - Little Warmth
29 - Ahoh Dance
30 - Path of the Souls
31 - A Pursuer Without Shape
32 - Who Is Examining?
33 - Requiem
34 - Ending
Total Time:
61'32"

Basiscape (Sakimoto and friends) provided the score to the oldschool RPG-styled PS2 game "Elminage" (this predates any DS or PSP sequels, ports, or spinoffs). This was not long before Basiscape became their own record label and publishing house. Thus, the soundtrack was not released retail, and could only be obtained via preorder/promotional bonus in Japan.

The first few tracks I listened to reminded me of another recent Basiscape outing: RIZ-ZOAWD, easily one of my favorite RPG soundtracks of 2009. But the shared qualities I heard between RIZ-ZOAWD and Elminage quickly faded. As it turns out, I dare say that this soundtrack is best relegated to "promo-only" status.

Yes, there are some decent tracks. And for every song I heard, it was not difficult for me to say "oh yes, this would fit ____" and fill in the blank with another game that the Basiscape team has worked on. In other words, it all feels painfully derivative. What is unique to Vagrant Story, to RIZ-ZOAWD, to FFXII, to Valkyria Chronicles, all of these games' styles I could quickly detect in the Elminage soundtrack. So for example, the opening "Main Theme" has a sound that is uncanny to RIZ-ZOAWD. "Legend of Twilight" sounds like a town or "happier environment" (such as a forest or field) theme for FFXII. "Forgotten World" fits my impression of Vagrant Story quite well. And "Ahoh Dance," well, I could imagine it being part of Valkyria Chronicles under the right circumstances.

And before anyone else calls me out on it, yes! I do realize one could probably do this sort of dissecting and make claims of derivation between any two Basiscape scores. I get that. But you probably can't do it with the majority of any one OST. But you can with Elminage. All 34 tracks sound like more of the same, none of them stand out and say "okay, this is the 'Elminage' sound." And I don't think it was ever meant to be that way. It's just more stock music for an RPG.

So, all of that being said, it's hardly worth hunting down and collecting. I'll happily take emails from anyone who would disagree. I tend to enjoy Basiscape music, and I did enjoy Elminage's music as well; just not enough to want to own it when I have superior products in its stead.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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