01 - The Final Promise
02 - The Last Promise (game ver.)
03 - Lost Time
04 - The Cathedral
05 - Those to Protect
06 - War of Attrition 1
07 - In the Devastated Town
08 - Sadness and Fate
09 - Momentary Silence
10 - Faster than the Wind
11 - Unshakable Bonds
12 - Lost Soul
13 - An Iron Mass Blocking the Way
14 - Unrest
15 - Onward, Messiah Golden Knights!
16 - War of Attrition 2
17 - The Imminent One
18 - VS Leclaire
19 - The Final Promise (piano ver.)
20 - On the Verge of Collapse
21 - The Final Decisive Battle
22 - Soul Strike
23 - That Place, In People's Hearts
24 - Defensive Battle (Unreleased Track)
25 - Crushed (Unreleased Track)
26 - seed of empire
27 - The Last Promise (full ver.)
Saigo no Yakusoku no Monogatari, more commonly known as Final Promise Story in the West, is a traditional RPG by Imageepoch – the prolific developer behind the Luminous Arc games, Fate/Extra, Last Ranker, Sands of Destruction, Black Rock Shooter: The Game, the upcoming Tokitowa, and many more. Final Promise Story's music is composed by GainGauge, which I think is as silly a moniker as Final Promise Story. In this soundtrack, however, I hear promise and hope to see this odd name more often in video game credits.
The music is not the typical brassy bombast one expects in classically styled RPG music. The instrumentation favors piano, lush strings, woodwinds, and beautiful use of melodic percussion such as bells and chimes. It's the kind of soundtrack I just want to close my eyes while listening to and let the music take me on an emotional journey of daydreams. There are some moments when low brass beefs up the tunes, but the "brassiness" is never overdone and all the compositions breathe.
From what I gather, the game is not a happy-go-lucky adventure with excitable kids playing the hero's role. No, this is a game in which death is always imminent, sacrifice is no joke, and the bonds of deep friendship truly are the difference between life and death and not just some silly "power of love" JRPG cliché. The music is emotionally stirring without being overwrought, while also being light and airy without being boring and forgettable. To me, it's like a perfectly balanced meal that leaves me satisfied and nourished without feeling weighed down like a rock. I don't want to go to bed after this sonic meal. I want to see what further adventures the night holds for me.
The biggest hiccup in this soundtrack lies in the few songs with distorted guitars. Frankly, they sound awful here. They're so heavily detuned that they sound mushy rather than heavy. If the guitars weren't drop tuned and the distortion was cleaner, those songs would be better. Guitars need not be drop tuned to sound heavy; "Slowly We Rot" by Obituary is a brutal death metal album and the guitars were tuned standard on it. But that's another rant for another time. It also doesn't help that the vocals in the vocal themes sound phoned in. In a song that's supposed to be heavy, especially considering the vibe of the game, I expect soaring vocals. These hiccups don't detract from the overall quality of the soundtrack, but they're noticeable because everything else is so good.
Final Promise Story wasn't on my radar, but after hearing this stirring soundtrack I'm interested. I want to experience how this music fits into the game's context. Who knows, maybe even the tracks I disliked may make sense within the game itself. Here's hoping that the game lives up to the music's promise.
Reviewed by: Neal Chandran