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Parasite Eve I & II OST BOX

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SQEX-10226~9
Released On: January 26, 2011
Composed By: Yoko Shimomura, Naoshi Mizuta, J.S. Bach
Arranged By: Yoko Shimomura, Shigeo Tamaru, Naoshi Mizuta, Hiroshi Nakajima
Published By: Square Enix
Recorded At: Andora Studios Los Angeles, Victor Studio
Format: 4 CDs
Tracklist:

Parasite Eve Original Soundtrack


[back cover]

Disc One
Introduction
01 - Primal Eyes
02 - Waiting for Something Awakens
Resonance
03 - Overture [from opera "La mia verita"]
04 - Se Il mio amore sta vincino [Vocalise] -Eva's Aria-
05 - Memory I
06 - Gloom and Doom
07 - Theme of Mitochondoria
08 - Sotto Voce
09 - Arise within You
10 - Main Theme [Piano Solo Version]
11 - The Surface of the Water
12 - Memorize of "Aya and Eve"
Fusion
13 - Out of Phase
14 - Urban Noise
15 - Mystery Notes
16 - Influence of Deep
17 - Phrase of Aya
Selection
18 - Phrase of Mitochondoria
19 - Theme of Aya
20 - Under the Progress
21 - Plosive Attack
Conception
22 - Missing Perspective
23 - Memory II
24 - Force Trail
25 - Phrase of Eve
26 - Memory III
Total Time:
52'35"

Disc Two
Liberation
01 - Matrix
02 - The Omission of the World
03 - Wheel of Fortune
04 - Kyrie
05 - Across the View
06 - Femmes Fatales
Evolution
07 - A Piece of Remain
08 - Musica Mundana
09 - U.B.
10 - Escape of U.B.
11 - Main Theme
Symbiosis
12 - Theme of Aya [Reprise]
13 - I hear a voice calling me to awaken
14 - Somnia Memorias
And Other Days
15 - Consensus
16 - Someone calls me...., Someone looks for me......
17 - Main Theme [Orchestral Version]
Bonus Track
18 - Influence of Deep -CM Version-
19 - Se Il mio amore sta vincino -CM Version-
Total Time:
54'12"

Parasite Eve II Original Soundtrack


[back cover]

Disc Three
01 - Forbidden Power [Theme for Aya]
02 - MIST
03 - Aya Again
04 - Don't Move!
05 - Nightmare in the Battlefield
06 - Deadly Calm
07 - The First Encounter
08 - Tower Rendezvous
09 - Metamorphosis
10 - Watch Out!
11 - Ambush!
12 - What the Hell Happened?
13 - Do Something!
14 - Weird Man
15 - Return to the Base
16 - Ghost Town
17 - Hunt in Dryfield
18 - Don't Shoot!
19 - Douglas' Blues
20 - Water Tower
21 - Hiding Place
22 - Dryfield
23 - The Bottom of the Well
24 - Stealth Assault
25 - Heaven-sent Killer
26 - The Depth of Aya's Memory
27 - From Dusk Till Dawn
28 - Vagrants
29 - Dark Field
30 - Gigantic Burner
31 - Douglas' Grief
Total Time:
72'04"

Disc Four
01 - Voice of Mitochondria
02 - Pick Up the Gauntlet
03 - Abandoned Mine
04 - Into the Shelter
05 - Wipe Out the Creatures
06 - Hold Your Breath
07 - Crawling Waste Emperor
08 - Chase
09 - A Sigh of Relief
10 - Passing Through the Sewer, You'll Find...
11 - Battle on the Waterside
12 - Inner Part of the Shelter
13 - Innermost Part of the Shelter
14 - Negative Heritage
15 - Man Made Nature
16 - Ark
17 - Fool's Paradise
18 - Mitochondria Reactor
19 - Mental Deranger
20 - Stalker
21 - Cruelty of Eve's Fate
22 - Killing Field
23 - Golem Soldiers
24 - Prestige of the Nation
25 - Intrusion
26 - Brace Yourself
27 - Brahman
28 - Distorted Evolution
29 - Logic of the Superpower
30 - Aya's Diary
31 - Epilogue
32 - Gentle Rays
33 - Weird Man - Delete-core Mix
34 - Hiding Place - Comfortable Mix
35 - OMAKE
Total Time:
76'49"

When Square Enix released "The 3rd Birthday" (aka Parasite Eve 3), they decided to bring back some goodies from the past. The now-defunct DigiCube was the sole publisher of the first Parasite Eve soundtrack, and the sole Japanese publisher of the sequel's soundtrack. Both were long out of print.

So S-E reprinted both soundtracks individually. However, they also released a limited-edition box set that contained both soundtracks in full. That's what we're talking about here today.

On RPGFan, we have reviews of the separate soundtracks that date back to when they were new. So I won't spend too much time talking about the music, though there are some statements I want to make in contrast to what the other reviewers have said. But first, I'll start by discussing the packaging of this box set.

An outer cardboard slipcase houses three things: a large-size booklet (10 pages in length) and the individual digipak-style cases for the PE and PE2 soundtracks. The artwork for these soundtracks are not all the same as the individual prints were; they feature highly stylized (and, dare I say, risque) artwork of Aya, Eve, and others.

For collectors who haven't grabbed these soundtracks before, I see this as the ideal way to have the soundtracks, in the same way that one would prefer to have the Suikoden II OSTs in the LE box as opposed to separately. So if you can get this box set, I recommend going for it.

Now then, on to the music.

The first Parasite Eve is scored solely by the illustrious Yoko Shimomura. Today we know her as one of the veteran composers in the world of VGM, having written music for dozens of large-scale RPGs and other projects, most of them praised by critic and lay-person alike. But back in the days of PE, she was still building her credentials. It was a relatively early PS1 title, so the synth soundbanks aren't as sophisticated as they were for, say, Chrono Cross or Final Fantasy IX. This is obvious when listening to the synthesized opera voice of Eve herself — it's a step up from Celes in FFVI, but not much better.

The instrumental work, on the other hand, is classic Shimomura. Great ambient backdrops and an excellent piano-centric score all around. This is her darkest work that I know of; easily darker than anything from Mana or Kingdom Hearts. The repeated use of key melodic themes (Aya's, Eve's, the game's main theme) helps solidify these melodic strains for the player/listener. It is quite effective.

Also, for those who are disappointed by the ultra-synthy voice in the opera, there's a bonus track at the end with a real woman singing the opera (done for the TV commercial). You'll not want to miss it. It's good!

Now then, to Parasite Eve II. This was Mizuta-san's first work with Square. Like Shimomura before him, he came over to Square after doing a few selected soundtracks with Capcom's "Alph Lyla" sound team. The composer is now best-known for is continuous work on Final Fantasy XI and its many expansions, as well as his impressive contributions to Final Fantasy XIII-2. This early soundtrack of his was panned by many fans of the time, most of whom wanted more of Shimomura's style and instead got a lot of ambient stuff.

However, in retrospect, I think this is a pretty strong soundtrack. Sure, there are whole songs that sound like nothing more than a refrigerator or washing machine running in the background. But for every one of those, there are two or three songs that are full of tonality.

And while, yes, some of the best tracks are those that Mizuta reworked from Shimomura (the first three tracks of disc three, for example), Mizuta contributes some great "genre" tunes of his own. Plenty of horror/suspense stuff, but also some great lounge jazz, gritty Western (for the desert area), and then some really neat stuff for the end museum that isn't far off from Jurassic Park (which fits, given the final dungeon's similarities).

In sum, when putting these two soundtracks together, I find them more enjoyable than The 3rd Birthday OST. The same can be said of the games: one and two trump three. By quite a bit, in fact. But that's just one man's opinion.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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