Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon features an intense setting: a post-apocalyptic world where the main character, Seto, is left to make sense of the wasteland around him. The game prides itself on being an emotional tale and it isn’t afraid to be dark and desolate, especially when evoking emotions such as loneliness, rejection, desperation, and despondency. Thankfully, through all this pessimism lingers a glimmer of hope, and the Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon soundtracks captures it all. I have no doubt that playing the game will be intense, as just listening to the soundtrack, I was taken on a journey through a wide range of emotions.
There are many adjectives that come to mind when I try to put down my feelings about this soundtrack: moving, beautiful, bleak, propitious, and some I can’t even put a finger on. The tracks no doubt convey a slew of emotions successfully. Trust me, I get a feeling of absolute pandemonium whenever I listen to the track “Extinction,” as though something eerie is about to take over. There’s also no denying the darkness of “Malicious Thoughts,” especially when the violins completely capture the increase of these awful thoughts; it almost makes you feel as if you are giving into the dark side.
As successful as the soundtrack is on an emotional level, regrettably, it is not always up to par in terms of the variety it offers. The Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon soundtrack does something interesting: it uses piano as the primary instrument throughout, even at times when you think the tracks have escaped the piano, there are beautiful piano solos that appear. As a result, the soundtrack is more classical. In addition to the piano, you’ll find it focuses a lot on orchestral melodies, primarily instruments in the string and woodwind families.
I like the idea of putting one instrument front and center, such as the piano, however; the drawback is that it doesn’t offer the listener much in terms of variety. Quite often tracks seemed quite similar, which no doubt dashed all my hopes of them using the piano in a more unique way. If one instrument will be the focal point of the majority of the soundtrack, my wish is that the composers would have thought of more distinctive ways to implement it into the tracks. The end result of the heavy use of a piano is that some pieces are more memorable than others, and sometimes the ear just craves a different melody to keep its enthusiasm to listen.
Fortunately, there are some melodies that do just that, though there aren’t nearly as many as I’d like. My ears immediately perked up upon hearing the xylophone in “How do you do?” and “Wait!” These tracks were a nice break from the doom and gloom feeling that accompanied many tracks. Also, using a different instrument such as drums in “Malice” or even adding a vocal here and there really did wonders for the soundtrack, and the best part was the piano solos still felt fresh and blended well into the melodies. Sadly, these additions are too few and far between to make up for the lack of diversity in the majority of the tracks.
All in all, the Fragile: Farewell Ruins of the Moon soundtrack is quite strong and will definitely get the job done at creating the atmosphere and strong range of emotions that will no doubt be at the forefront of this game. Unfortunately, the lack of variety is its major downfall, but the soundtrack still shines despite that one flaw.