01 - The Giving Tree (Game Size)
02 - Door of Truth ~Title BGM~
03 - Beginning Theme ~Name Entry BGM~
04 - To the Unseen World ~World Map BGM~
05 - Ruins of the Large Tree ~Base (Ruins) BGM~
06 - Age of Flowing Green (Time) ~First Chapter Field BGM~
07 - Enemies Blocking the Path ~Field Battle BGM~
08 - Attack of the Curious Looking Demon ~Terrus Firma Battle BGM~
09 - Victory Theme ~Battle Victory BGM~
10 - Proof of Growth ~Level Up BGM~
11 - The Place We Want to Protect ~Terube Village BGM~
12 - Branch-Colored Past (Time) ~First Chapter - One Hundred Years Ago~
13 - Preparation for the Coming Winter ~Second Chapter - One Hundred Years Ago~
14 - Adventure and Anticipation ~Present Day Change BGM~
15 - Lakeside Fortress ~Base (Small Scale) BGM~
16 - Flourishing Lakeside Fortress ~Base Daytime BGM~
17 - Song of the Night ~Base Evening BGM~
18 - Material Gathering Hunting Field ~Hunting BGM~
19 - The Source of Magic and Incantation ~Dungeon Preparation Menu BGM~
20 - Dungeon Field ~Dungeon Maker Conversation BGM~
21 - Plan and Passage ~Dungeon Field Log Menu BGM~
01 - Usual Crowd ~Shuraato BGM~
02 - Village Where the Artisans Gather ~Orosuku Village BGM~
03 - The Snowy Mountains Can be Seen ~Fair Peak BGM~
04 - Timid Winged People ~Guugurewon BGM~
05 - Capital Where the Scars Remain ~Ruined Capital Maritirion BGM~
06 - Merchant of the Earth of Scorching Heat ~Bayan Oasis BGM~
07 - Safeguard of the Impregnable Fortress ~Akuritesu BGM~
08 - Wind Blowing in the Harbour ~Port City Navare BGM~
09 - Forest Shrine ~Holy Capital Takushisu BGM~
10 - Path of Perplexity ~Rocky Mountain Cave BGM~
11 - Violent Soldier of Rage ~Crimson Axe Battle BGM~
12 - Using Up the Last of Wisdom ~Strategy Meeting BGM~
13 - Shock Destruction ~Crisis Event BGM~
14 - Fighting Spirit Running About the Front ~War BGM~
15 - Overcoming Difficulties ~Convergence Event BGM~
16 - Situation Turn-Around! ~Dramatic Event BGM~
17 - The Meaning of Tradition ~Reminiscence Event BGM~
01 - Drama CD
Genso Suikoden: Tsumugareshi Hyakunen no Toki is a gaiden Suikoden game for the PSP that was released in Japan February 2012. While the Suikoden games themselves haven't always struck the right chord with players (i.e. the backlash toward Suikoden IV), it is difficult to argue that the music in this series hasn't always been good. The first Suikoden game for Playstation set a high bar with its music ("Gregminster" is still one of my all time favorite town themes), and this latest Suikoden title continues to hold that standard with an excellent soundtrack of its own.
It should be noted, though, that this is not the complete 76 track OST. This soundtrack consists of 38 tracks across two CDs, with a third disc that is not music, but rather a drama CD. And that is the big flaw in this soundtrack. The music is excellent, but I want all of it. Honestly, I don't care about the drama CD. Maybe if I understood spoken Japanese beyond an elementary-school level I would enjoy the drama CD more, especially since I enjoy old-timey radio shows and that type of thing, but as it stands, I would have preferred that disc to hold more music.
Now that that little tantrum is out of the way, let's turn to the music we do have here. In keeping with Suikoden tradition, the music is fantastic. The instrumentation is crisp, and the compositions reflect a variety of moods, locations, and scenarios. The music is in the classical style that brings fantasy RPGs to life, featuring Irish sounding pieces, Mediterranean sounding pieces, and many other kinds of world music and cultural influences say hello in this soundtrack.
Since Suikoden is not bubblegum fairy unicorn fantasy, but rather a grittier, down to earth fantasy that showcases war and conflict from a more believable perspective (i.e. instead of 5 kids saving the world from peril, Suikoden has players amass their own 108 member army), the music is heady. Even the breezier tunes have a grounded quality to them and don't feel light, airy, or fluffy.
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 as well, including classic Suikoden pieces like the name input music. In fact, the first disc as a whole features the themes from the game that players are most familiar with, such as the overland theme, the standard battle theme, various headquarters themes, menu themes, and other music players probably hear often during the game.
The second disc reflects the diversity of Suikoden's world with various town themes reflecting the different cultures of different places, be it the port city or the craftsmen's village. Since the second disc is akin to the second chapter in the hero's journey, this is when the world opens up and crises start to rear their ugly heads. Indeed, there are some dramatic "crisis" pieces and some additional boss battle themes. I like when games feature multiple boss and battle themes, so this gets a plus in my book. As good as the boss and battle themes are, however, my favorite music is still the music outside of battle. I especially the great variety among the location themes.
And this is why I am left wanting more. The music here only reflects the first couple of chapters in the game, and after the journey this music started me on, I'm met with that dreaded "tune in next time" screen following a cliff hanger. So, although the music here excels in true Suikoden fashion, I simply cannot recommend this soundtrack, because it's incomplete. I only have half the game's music here and the drama CD is a poor consolation prize in place of the other half of the music. When music is this good, I want ALL of it!
Reviewed by: Neal Chandran