Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KDSD-00312~4
Released On: November 4, 2009
Composed By: Motoi Sakuraba
Arranged By: Motoi Sakuraba
Published By: Team Entertainment
Recorded At: Memory-Tech
Format: 3 CDs
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Disc One
01 - Openning Demo (TOKYO GAME SHOW 2008ver.)
02 - Openning
03 - BGM for the Loading Screen
04 - Main Title
05 - Title Menu
06 - Character Making
07 - Gallery
08 - Narration
09 - Story (Main) Quest Clear ~ Result
10 - Result (For Wi-Fi Only)
11 - Sub Quest Clear
12 - Chapter I Human Town
13 - Chapter II Human Town
14 - Chapter I Dwarf Town
15 - Chapter II Dwarf Town
16 - Chapter I Elf Village
17 - Chapter II Elf Village
18 - Chapter I Hobbit Village
19 - Chapter II Hobbit Village
20 - Chapter II Heavens
21 - Wi-Fi Room (Online Lobby)
22 - Stage "Field North"
23 - Stage "Field South"
24 - Stage "Field East"
25 - Stage "Tutorial Dungeon"
26 - Stage "Rocky Mountain"
27 - Stage "Mines (Dwarf Dungeon)"
28 - Stage "Forest"
29 - Stage "Marshland (Elf Dungeon)"
30 - Stage "Old Castle (Hobbit Dungeon)"
31 - Stage "Snowy Mountain"
32 - Stage "Underground Graveyard"
33 - Stage "Cave"
34 - Stage "Magma Cave"
35 - Stage "Last Dungeon"
36 - Stage "Night"
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - Gald
02 - Marshland Master
03 - Queen Bee
04 - Sebastian
05 - Darkness Knight
06 - One-Eyed King
07 - Evil Eye King
08 - Monster Leader
09 - General Boss I (Wi-Fi)
10 - Ancient Dragon (Wi-Fi)
11 - Encounter with Aiden I
12 - Contact with Amandala
13 - Rescue of Amandala II-1
14 - Rescue of Amandala II-2
15 - Rescue of Amandala II-3
16 - Marshland Master Appears
17 - Battle with the Marshland Master I
18 - Jamuqa and Aigle I
19 - True Suspect I-1
20 - True Suspect I-2
21 - Betrayal
22 - Servant of Ressurected Gods
23 - OP Battle
Total Time:

Disc Three
01 - Reunion I
02 - Welcome from the One-Eyed King I
03 - Resurrection II-1
04 - Resurrection II-2
05 - Score for Farewell
06 - Score for Tension
07 - Love Event Theme 1 (Contact)
08 - Love Event Theme 2 (Heroine Decided)
09 - Love Event Theme 3 (Declaration of Love)
10 - Theme of Penelope
11 - Theme of Ophelia 1
12 - Memoirs of the Past
13 - Theme of Navarre
14 - Liberation BGM
15 - Deep Sorrow
16 - Delightful
17 - Joy
18 - Fear
19 - Comical
20 - Ending I (Chapter I Ending ~ Staff Roll)
21 - Ending II (Chapter II Ending ~ Staff Roll)
22 - Game Over
Total Time:

Note: the mis-spelling of Opening (Openning) in the tracklist is the mistake of the publisher (Team Entertainment), not RPGFan.

After two less-than-memorable scores for the two PSP games in the new RPG series "Valhalla Knights," the developers contacted veteran Motoi Sakuraba to score the Wii installment "Eldar Saga." Was it more of the same prog-rock insanity we've heard on dozens of tri-Ace and Tales games? Or would we find something different here?

I now have the answers. And while this soundtrack is a "mixed bag" in terms of quality, the mix contains very little of what you'd expect from Mr. Sakuraba.

The first disc is my favorite of the three. It contains, among other things, the fantasy-race-based "village" tracks. And all of these tracks are beautiful. Here, I'll let the audio samples speak for themselves. The "Stage" tracks are okay, but they're too short to get into (most are 30 second mini-tracks). The first disc comprises a delightful mix of moderate-tempo tracks with plenty of instruments one might expect in a chamber music setting.

Disc two is mostly comprised of tension/conflict/battle themes. And these aren't the usual Sakuraba prog-rock affairs. They are much more like a Rachmaninoff-esque grandiose orchestral experience. Consider "Queen Bee," which makes an allusion, both in name and in melody, to "Flight of the Bumblebee." The piano solo track "Sebastian" is a beautiful track as well. But not all of the tracks on disc two are enjoyable. The tension becomes too much in, say, track 22 of disc two. This is a good example of the grating/annoying bombast that Sakuraba sometimes turns to when writing to create a particular mood. Perhaps he succeeds in his goal for the in-game experience, but as a musical piece, I just want to shut it off!

The third disc goes to the other extreme. These are all soft, emotional, love and sorrow themes. And of course, the negative descriptive term for such music is "the boring stuff." I only found a handful of the tracks on disc three to be boring. I'm routinely impressed by Sakuraba's softer pieces, complete with decorative harps, piano, and either solo or duet string+wind parts.

It's a rare treat to hear an album like this from Sakuraba. I doubt it has staying power: having played the game and listened to the soundtrack separately, I'm not sure this is a soundtrack I'll want to hold onto long-term. It ranks slightly lower than Baten Kaitos for me. But Sakuraba gets points for originality, relative to his own repertoire.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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