Second in the Atelier series, Atelier Elie was the first to be graced with the musical styles of Akira Tsuchiya, who continued to work on music for Atelier games up to Iris (which is the sixth Atelier game). Toshiharu Yamanishi, who was responsible for Atelier Marie, is credited on this soundtrack primarily for songs from Marie that were also used in Elie.
Before I go into reviewing the music any further, I’d like to point out from the start that this album is fairly hard to find, and that an alternative to the OGS is Team Entertainment’s “Atelier Elie Unknown Origin”, which has about half of the tracks from the OGS in an upgraded format (for those wondering, the “Orchestra” tracks on disc one are all played in an impromptu jazz session “At the Floating Restaurant” on Unknown Origin).
So, for you collectors, Atelier Elie OGS is quite the prize indeed. This complete two disc set has some of Tsuchiya’s earliest and most raw writings. Songs like “The Small Child’s Baile” and “The Gift Given By the Storm” showcase Tsuchiya’s talents in action. Furthermore, these songs aren’t found on Unknown Origin. While that collection did a good job in picking out many of the better songs from this 77-track OGS, there were still plenty of gems to dig up.
Two tracks on disc two that I have sampled and believe are worth your attention are “Firefly Forest” and “BAD.” The former features some incredible rushed-triplet arpeggiated action happening in the background: I was very impressed with this. The latter is simply one of the most sinister pieces I’ve ever heard, and the literal banging on the piano makes for a wonderful effect. Three cheers for Tsuchiya!
There are two vocal tracks on this album, both are performed by Miki Nagasawa. “Whirling Rondo” is definitely the cheesier of the two, which is precisely why I provided you with the sample. I wasn’t impressed with either song, so enjoy this one.
In case you care, the packaging is also very wonderful, complete with character artwork and bios. Did you know that Elie’s full name is Elfir Traum? Well, now you know!
Among all the Atelier soundtracks out there, I’d rank this one above Marie and Lilie, but maybe slightly below Elie’s “Unknown Origin.” It is preferable to be exposed to a game’s entire roster of songs, but the limitations in audio on this album left me wanting more. Regardless, stellar compositions that would later evolve into the “Atelier style” began here, thus making it a key piece of VGM history.