Being a long time Suikoden fan, I’ve always delighted in each new soundtrack due to the unique locales presented within each game. Whether it’s the tribal areas of Suikoden III or the obvious Chinese influences in the original, there has never been a dearth in a variety of cultures in the Suikoden series, and this extends to the music as well. As such when visiting areas in Suikoden Tierkreis, a game with a variety of differing cultures and histories to explore, it should be no surprise that its soundtrack holds so much promise.
The soundtrack starts off with an incredible track – The Plains and the Sky. It’s an exquisite track that not only composes a fresh piece of excellently crafted music but also manages to be nostalgic at the same time, bringing back fond memories of the world map in the first two games. I’m sure that all of the composers who did Suikoden Tierkreis’ soundtrack are incredibly talented, but whoever composed this piece deserves special mention, it is a beautiful work of art, pure and simple.
There is also the battle theme, which is a staple in any RPG; if the battle theme is grating, or irritating, then the game itself will face an uphill battle as that will be the single, most-heard piece of music in the entire game. Suikoden games have always had incredible battle themes that remained likable even after fifty hours of play, and the battle theme for Tierkreis – Rushing into Battle – piles on the nostalgia again, like nobody’s business. There is also the Victory theme, the world map theme, To The World, and many others that harken back to the PlayStation Suikoden games in terms of composition while remaining new and exciting, but if I were to elaborate on all of them, this review would become a ten page essay.
Let’s move on.
The Janam Society Empire is a great track, not for its composition itself, but rather as an example of just how varied the Suikoden games are in terms of culture, right down to its music. That’s not to say the track is bad, no – it’s a gorgeous piece, with obvious Arabian influences permeating its every note. Definitely a highlight of the soundtrack. Similarly, the ambient, almost sterile, music from One-Street Capital, Towering Tower in the Capital, and To the Fulfillment of a Single Path are chilling in that they offer up a aural representation of the lack of free will in the main antagonist – The One King’s – country.
Each piece in the soundtrack features a variety of different instruments to give off different feels, from one of ambiance to one of a homely country hamlet. Even tracks such as One Who Watches the Stars have unique, almost mystical, qualities to the music. Village of the Proud Beast God is an incredibly fitting track for a town where its people are a proud warrior race. Lastly, this deserves a special mention – War Council. Every Suikoden game has its ‘strategic assessment’ music, and this track is Tierkreis’ version. Not to sound like a broken record but this track is bursting at the seams with influence from past Suikoden games. Some may call it lazy rehashing, but stalwart series fans will find that it’s a great track.
So after all my gushing about nostalgic tunes and fresh new tracks, it should be obvious that I find Tierkreis’ soundtrack to be well worth the money. It’s leaps and bounds better than 90% of the soundtracks out there right now, and while it’s certainly a treat for your average game music aficionado, it’s a must buy for anyone who considers themselves a fan of the Suikoden series.