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Genso Suikoden Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki OST
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: February 9, 2012
Composed By: SOLIDTUNE (Seiichi Takamoto), Miki Higashino
Arranged By: N/A
Published By: Konami Digital Entertainment
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: Digital
Tracklist:

01 - Door of Truth ~Title BGM~
02 - Beginning Theme ~Name Entry BGM~
03 - To the Unseen World ~World Map BGM~
04 - Ruins of the Large Tree ~Base (Ruins) BGM~
05 - Age of Flowing Green ~First Chapter Field BGM~
06 - Enemies Blocking the Path ~Field Battle BGM~
07 - Attack of the Curious Looking Demon ~Terrus Firma Battle BGM~
08 - Victory Theme ~Battle Victory BGM~
09 - Proof of Growth ~Level Up BGM~
10 - The Place We Want to Protect ~Terube Village BGM~
11 - Branch-Colored Past ~First Chapter - One Hundred Years Ago~
12 - Preparation for the Coming Winter ~Second Chapter - One Hundred Years Ago~
13 - Adventure and Anticipation ~Present Day Change BGM~
14 - Lakeside Fortress ~Base (Small Scale) BGM~
15 - Flourishing Lakeside Fortress ~Base Daytime BGM~
16 - Song of the Night ~Base Evening BGM~
17 - Material Gathering Hunting Field ~Hunting BGM~
18 - The Source of Magic and Incantation ~Dungeon Preparation Menu BGM~
19 - Dungeon Field ~Dungeon Maker Conversation BGM~
20 - Plan and Passage ~Dungeon Field Log Menu BGM~
21 - Cheerful Culinary People ~Dinner Selection Menu BGM~
22 - Happy Dining Table ~Dinner BGM~
23 - Calm of the Fortress ~Base Main Building BGM~
24 - Surpass Time ~Menu BGM~
25 - The Path So Far ~Picture Book Enjoyment BGM~
26 - Earth Which Departs Together With the Wind ~Second Chapter Field BGM~
27 - The Silver World that Stands Still ~Second Chapter - Two Hundred Years Ago~
28 - Beast Sanctuary of Scorching Heat ~Third Chapter - Desert BGM~
29 - Sand Dune of Silence ~Third Chapter - The Desert of One Hundred Years Ago BGM~
30 - Scars of War ~Third Chapter - The Desert of Two Hundred Years Ago~
31 - Proof of Prosperity and Power ~Third Chapter - Sacred Country BGM~
32 - Peaceful Capital of the Sacred Country ~Third Chapter - Sacred Country of One Hundred Years Ago BGM~
33 - Burden of the Sacred Country ~Third Chapter - Sacred Country of Two Hundred Years Ago BGM~
34 - Usual Crowd ~Shuraato BGM~
35 - Village Where the Artisans Gather ~Orosuku Village BGM~
36 - The Snowy Mountains Can be Seen ~Fair Peak BGM~
37 - Timid Winged People ~Guugurewon BGM~
38 - Capital Where the Scars Remain ~Ruined Capital Maritirion BGM~
39 - Merchant of the Earth of Scorching Heat ~Bayan Oasis BGM~
40 - Safeguard of the Impregnable Fortress ~Akuritesu BGM~
41 - Wind Blowing in the Harbour ~Port City Navare BGM~
42 - Forest Shrine ~Holy Capital Takushisu BGM~
43 - Path of Perplexity ~Rocky Mountain Cave BGM~
44 - Hidden Ruins ~Underground Ruins BGM~
45 - The Shadow Hiding in the Sand ~Heputo Ruins BGM~
46 - Wisdom Mansion ~Wisdom Mansion BGM~
47 - Determination in the Heart ~Mysterious Palace BGM~
48 - Mobile Fortress of Assault ~Floating Fortress Torugia BGM~
49 - The Sleeping Evil Tower ~Zooe Tower BGM~
50 - Offense and Defense of the Labyrinth ~Dungeon Battle BGM~
51 - Enemy Obstruction ~Event Battle BGM~
52 - Violent Soldier of Rage ~Crimson Axe Battle BGM~
53 - Oath of the Proud Knight ~Sacred Country Military Department Boss Battle BGM~
54 - Large Animal Menace ~Waiban BGM~
55 - Serenade of Fantasy ~Meamei's Theme~
56 - Rondo of Wind ~Kuukabura's Theme~
57 - Nocturne of Tranquility ~Sorabu's Theme~
58 - Pensive Song of Shield ~Kureion's Theme~
59 - Cappricio of Sword ~Jansen's Theme~
60 - Scherzo of the Hero ~Diriri's Theme~
61 - Defeat ~Game Over BGM~
62 - Reliable Companion ~Conversation Event BGM~
63 - Using Up the Last of Wisdom ~Strategy Meeting BGM~
64 - Shock Destruction ~Crisis Event BGM~
65 - Overcoming Difficulties ~Convergence Event BGM~
66 - The Meaning of Tradition ~Reminiscence Event BGM~
67 - Fighting Spirit Running About the Front ~War BGM~
68 - Situation Turn-Around! ~Dramatic Event BGM~
69 - Theme of Joy ~Event BGM~
70 - Overture of Wrath ~Event BGM~
71 - Lost Thoughts ~Event BGM~
72 - Bonds Not Appearing ~Event BGM~
73 - Frozen Signs ~Freezing Cave BGM~
74 - Decisive Battle of Unconnected Time ~Final Battle BGM~
75 - Woven Web of a Century ~The 108 Stars Afterwards BGM~
76 - The Future Bonds are Spun ~End Roll BGM~
Total Time:
232'12"

The Suikoden series of JRPGs has built a passionate following of fans since its debut on the Sony PlayStation back in 1995. It has seen five main installments: a pair of visual novels (Genso Suikogaiden vols. 1 and 2 for PlayStation), a tactics game (Suikoden Tactics for PlayStation 2), a card-collecting video game (Suikoden Card Stories for Game Boy Advance), and some side stories like the acclaimed Suikoden Tierkreis (DS) and this year's Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki for PSP. Some Suikoden games were better received than others (e.g. the unforgettable backlash toward Suikoden IV), but every Suikoden game has had excellent music. The first game set a high bar with its memorable compositions ("Gregminster" is still one of my all time favorite town themes), and this latest Suikoden title continues to meet that standard with an excellent soundtrack of its own.

Astute readers will note that I reviewed the three disk Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki soundtrack with drama CD. I absolutely loved the music presented, but I wanted all the music instead of just half of it and a drama CD. Therefore, I am happy to be reviewing the full soundtrack. Unfortunately, "The Giving Tree" vocal theme by Chiaki Ishikawa present on the drama CD soundtrack is not on the full OST, so completists hoping for everything in one shot may be disappointed. As far as I'm concerned, the vocal theme is decent enough, but it's not as majestic as the other music on this soundtrack, so I didn't miss it too much.

The Suikoden series is known for its grand scope and sweeping storytelling. Instead of the proverbial JRPG trope of "4 kids and maybe one adult save the world," Suikoden has players amass an entire army and establish an ever-growing base of operations. Because Suikoden features 108 potential playable characters and a variety of villains, individual character themes are not a soundtrack staple. However, there are six bards in the game who can be potentially recruited, and each of them has a unique theme. My personal favorite is Sorabu's theme.

The title theme is simply beautiful and makes me want to just linger at the title screen for a while before pressing start. Of course, pressing start yields a treasure trove of great music, including a few classic Suikoden pieces like the name input music. The music itself features crisp instrumentation and arrangements that reflect a variety of moods, locations, scenarios, and cultures. The Suikoden series prides itself on showcasing myriad cultures in its worldbuilding, and the locations themes are an aural travelogue of classically styled world music. Irish sounding pieces, Mediterranean sounding pieces, Asian sounding pieces, and all manner of world music and cultural influences say their linguistic variants of hello in this soundtrack. And within each overarching musical motif are compositions showcasing the subcultures of different places, be it the sailors and fishermen of the port city or the artisans of the craftsmen's village. Listening to the music makes me envision a vivid fantasy world with colorful people whom I want to visit.

Suikoden views war from a more believable scope than many games, and that grand, sweeping, and heady nature of the series is captured in this grand, sweeping, and heady soundtrack. Because Suikoden is not a bubblegum fairy unicorn fantasy, but a more down to earth fantasy, the dramatic themes surrounding crises, small-scale battles, large-scale battles, and the ever-growing war machine are bold, brassy, and have more gravitas than a war hammer descending upon your head. This soundtrack has a smorgasbord of battle themes, all of which really get the blood pumping. I always love when RPG soundtracks feature multiple battle themes, since I spend the majority of my playtime in battle, and I am left more than satisfied here.

Even within the vortex of war, there is levity to be found. The few happier, breezier, and lighter tracks dispersed throughout the soundtrack act as nice palate cleansers. None of these tracks feel too saccharine or goofy. They are happy, but not entirely carefree. In the hands of less skilled composers, these tracks could have been cheesy, but a deft hand kept them from crossing that line. There are also a few tracks with sparse arrangements, and each note feels carefully selected with the right amount of space. These also serve as a nice palate cleanser to the more bold and brassy pieces.

Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki has not been announced for release outside of Japan, but I hope it is released, because the grand nature of the music makes me hungry for a grand adventure. I have not kept up with the Suikoden series as much as other RPG fans have, and some may decry that the series is jumping the shark, but I badly want to play this Suikoden gaiden game purely on the strength of its music. I almost did not want to listen to the excellent final battle music and lovely ending themes for fear that it would spoil the game if it comes out in my neck of the woods. For a soundtrack to affect me like that is no mean feat, but Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki did just that and is one of the best soundtracks I've heard in 2012.

Reviewed by: Neal Chandran



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