The Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana 2~ Soundtrack Book is a special item that became available with the Japanese release of the game. Just like with the Japanese release of it’s predecessor, Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~, the soundtrack book covers two areas. Most of the tracks on this CD are directly from Eternal Mana 2’s Original Soundtrack, but as an added bonus special arrangements of tracks from the original Eternal Mana were included as well.
On the whole, the sequel’s soundtrack sounds very similar to the original, with mostly cheerful, upbeat music that doesn’t fail to sound quite epic when necessary. A particular favorite of mine on the first section of this disc is the track “Tumbling Tree Spirit” which I immediately recognized as Eternal Mana 2’s forest theme, significant because of how well done the original forest theme “The Forest Where the Witch Lives” was, and because this shows that the composers are doing a wonderful job of linking one game to the other through music. The way both tracks can be similar but entirely different at the same time shows the great skill of the composers that worked on both games. Another similar track is number twelve: “Truth” which is reminiscent of the original game’s “White Night Imagination”, the track that plays during the opening movie of Eternal Mana. Lastly, the ninth track, “Shining Sword” is an excellent battle theme which is able to hype the player up, but without excluding a nice melodic feel to the track.
The final nine tracks of the disc are all arrangements from the first game, and I must say it’s quite a shame that America is missing out on these Soundtrack Books, because these arrangements are fantastic. They begin with “Deceitful Wings”, one of the Boss Battle tracks from Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana~, which has been remixed into what sounds like something The Black Mages would come up with. This track is rife with electric guitar, keyboard and percussion, making it quite an experience to listen to. Another track, “POPO” is arranged in a completely different way. Originally titled “Popo’s Pleasant Money Lecture”, this track starts off in the vein of the 1950s era “Doo-Wop” music, but quickly progresses into a jazzy rendition of the original melody. “Shopping With You” is an arrangement of Eternal Mana’s universal shopping theme, which is remixed for each town in the game. This track I was especially excited to hear remixed, and the composers didn’t fail me a bit. By using a variety of sounds, but keeping the original melody still at the core, this track certainly shines out above many other arrangements I’ve heard, and is easily one of the best tracks in the Soundtrack Book.
Though this item will probably not show up with American copies of Atelier Iris ~Eternal Mana 2~, importers should definitely check out the Limited Edition of the game to pick up this extra. The picks from Eternal Mana 2 are great, but it’s the remixes that make this Soundtrack Book a must have for any die-hard Atelier fan.