Summon Night Series Soundtrack Collection

[back cover]
Catalog Number: FCCT-0019~22
Released On: October 22, 2004
Composed By: Chiaki Fujita
Arranged By: Chiaki Fujita
Published By: Frontier Works
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 4 CDs
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Disc One
01 - My Home
02 - An Illusionary Girl
03 - Are These the Three Brothers?!
04 - Prelude to Battle
05 - Fierce Fighting
06 - A Lion Standing in the Wind
07 - A Momentary Relief
08 - Tag ~Theme of the Chidren~
09 - Home Scenery
10 - Journey of the Heroic Girls
11 - Towns
12 - Circus
13 - The Tricky Nobleman
15 - A Secret Formula for Ergo
16 - Thinking of the Wilderness
17 - Dedicated to Father
18 - Valley of the Fierce God
19 - Momentous Feelings
20 - Impatience
21 - Calamity
22 - True Calamity
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - The Birth of a Hero
02 - Suffering Below a Light
03 - Together Under the Moon
04 - Devil Creation
05 - Pure Darkness ~ Devil's Roar
06 - Supplication
07 - Together With You
08 - Let's Walk
09 - Is Money Enough?
10 - Those Who Block the Path
11 - Melancholy Hidden in the Eyes
12 - Her Light
13 - The Lonely Knight
14 - Will of Battle
15 - Tumultuous Meeting
16 - Poem of Nostalgia
17 - Song of Reality
18 - The Town A Traveler Discovers
19 - Town of Experience
20 - Without a Care
21 - Twilight Summoner
22 - Dance of Thanksgiving
Total Time:

Disc Three
01 - The Place Where Devils Live
02 - Talking on a Cushion
03 - Wandering a Long Time
04 - Those Who Lurk in the Dark
05 - Evil Curse
06 - Demon of Lies and Deceit
07 - Those Who Will Surpass
08 - Battle of Heroes
09 - Cast Off the Darkness
10 - Together With You (2)
11 - And the Radiance Goes On
12 - And the Radiance Goes On (2)
13 - Together With You ~From a Distant Island~
14 - The Day of Our Voyage
15 - Imagined for You
16 - Days of New Adventures
17 - Casually, I Will Go to the Island
18 - Mechanical Friend
19 - Furai's Relative
20 - Wise Guidance
21 - Cheerful Visitor
Total Time:

Disc Four
01 - Lured by the Sun
02 - The Party is Fun
03 - Evil Curse ~Here We Are!~
04 - Saké Everyday
05 - Hold the Pride of the Imperial Troops In Your Heart
06 - The Disobedient Patriot
07 - A Heart to be Clear
08 - March of the Great Troops
09 - A Heart Reflected in the Water
10 - Wings I Can Wear
11 - Suspicion
12 - Hour of Disaster
13 - The Sword Mowing Down the Hollow
14 - Thoughts I Can Bear
15 - Secretly Unfastened
16 - The Lion King of Darkness ~Devil Maneuverings~
17 - The Color of a Strange Affair
19 - Evildoers in the Crazy World of Ergo
20 - Together With You ~From a Distant Island~ (2)
21 - All is Stopped (1)
22 - All is Stopped (2)
23 - With You, Always
Total Time:

Even small companies tend to have their own "flagship" series. For developer Flight-Plan, that series is Summon Night. The first two released on PlayStation, and the third on PlayStation 2, the series is relatively young, but it has performed well in Japan. Surprisingly, however, individual soundtracks weren't being released alongside each game. Only opening/ending singles and drama albums were released.

But that all changed in 2004, when Frontier Works released this four disc set. The breakdown is as follows: Summon Night 1's OST is all of disc 1, up to disc 2 track 6. Starting at track 7, we switch to Summon Night 2. This carries us through to disc 3 track 12. From 3-13 to the end, it's Summon Night 3. That's the breakdown. It's clear that the publisher cared enough to give us the full audio, rather than just do one disc of music per game. Kudos to Frontier Works and Chiaki Fujita for setting it up properly to give us all the music they possibly could.

It took me awhile to get into Chiaki Fujita and his "style" of music. It was similar to another favorite of mine, the Gust Sound Team (Achiya/Tsuchiya/Nakagawa), but the melodies were slower, and the songs just felt more boring. At least, that's what I picked up from a casual "first listen." A more intense study of the music led me to two conclusions. First, that Fujita is a master of "layering" the audio, always choosing good synths and bringing the volume of different instruments up or down in such a way as to present a dynamic harmony of sorts. Second, Fujita's composing abilities grew considerably with each subsequent title. Summon Night 3's music is on par with some of the better JRPG soundtracks out there.

What kind of music is on here? Well, it's all synth, and none of the vocal tracks are on this collection. Battle themes will remind you of Sakuraba and Tamura's "Tales" themes, and town/environment/event music is more akin to the "Atelier" series, but with less ethnic and less eccentric instrumentation. Again, I thought the Summon Night 1 soundtrack was bland, but the music only gets better as it progresses.

The most memorable melodies, I found, were instrumental arrangements of vocal themes. For example, "Lured by the Sun" is beautiful, but it was originally written as a vocal performance piece. But being "memorable" isn't the only virtue of the music on this collection. Some songs are just fun, silly little tunes that put you in a cheerful mood. Perhaps, that is what Fujita does best. His more serious event/emotional pieces fall short; and the battle themes, while passing, do not excel. It's the fun stuff that he really does well at. And honestly, a lot of composers fall short at this point, so perhaps Fujita is really on to something!

It may not be Final Fantasy, or Shin Megami Tensei, or even Atelier Iris, but the Summon Night series has something special going for it. In my opinion, the soundtrack proves itself even outside the context of the games. Serious collectors should consider picking up this mammoth set of music from one very talented composer.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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