The Spirit Engine OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: N/A
Released On: December 6, 2003
Composed By: Josh Whelchel, Nobuyuki'
Arranged By: Josh Whelchel, Nobuyuki'
Published By:
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD

01 - Funky Roll
02 - Flutter
03 - Trouble
04 - Fate of a Universe
05 - National Funk
06 - Victory
07 - The Spirit Engine
08 - Rick Brutal
09 - Homestead
10 - PoNgY-ToNgY
11 - The Catacombs
12 - Icelands
13 - When Seeds of Hope Fade
14 - Serinet Bastion
15 - The Happy Goblin Inn
16 - Misty Marshes
17 - The Sleepy Imp
18 - Snack's Dance
19 - Demonic Rage
20 - Infernal Melody
21 - Dark Horizon
22 - Princess Mechlina
23 - F.B.Y.M.
24 - Crossbone Attacks
25 - The Assassin
26 - Seeds of Hope
27 - Hepplekeck Funk
28 - Departure and Pause
29 - Town in Trouble
30 - The Veroonai Enclave
31 - Egyptian Boom
32 - The Granael
33 - Black Magic
34 - Security Breech
35 - Executive Pay II
36 - The Lab
37 - Vidistine Fortunam
38 - Spirit Flux!
39 - Unholy Delight
40 - Omnispirit Max!
41 - Crack in Time
42 - Blue Sapphire Hop
Total Time:

Josh Whelchel's soundtrack for "The Spirit Engine" is beautiful, if rudimentary. Like the game itself, this first soundtrack was an experiment, or even a prototype, for what would come later.

This soundtrack doesn't have any fadeouts, endings, or proper loopings for each song. They just stop, and then you are on to the next track. In this way, it feels more like an in-game sound test than a properly formatted soundtrack. More care is required in these matters to make a soundtrack palatable to the listener.With this complaint aside, it's time to focus on the music. And man, is it good! Talk about oldschool. The synth reminds me of the 8-bit and 16-bit days, but in a way that beautifully mixes the various synths of those days. The music you may remember from early Nintendo or Sega titles mixes here with the sounds of the MSX, PC-Engine, and other early game consoles' chips. Mix in a bit of wonky MIDI synth, and you got a good base for a soundtrack.

Whelchel's got a good feeling for silly music, "funk" (which he aptly describes many tracks on the album), and the occasional touch of epic orchestral work. I found myself appreciating even the five-second jingle tracks, such as the battle victory music, for being as bright and memorable as the earliest RPGs I'd ever played (that is, Final Fantasy 1).

This printed CD version of the OST was extended in a digital release that tacked on a lot of extra tracks, including some bonus arrangements. Regardless of whether you get the printed CD or digital release, you will likely find yourself enjoying this music, especially if you like the "oldschool" VGM scene.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann