Lunar: Harmony of Silver Star Limited Sound Track


Review by · December 6, 2009

Ah, Lunar. RPGFan’s first namesake. Noriyuki Iwadare’s brilliant, flowery masterpiece. How can I not be excited about a new version of the soundtrack?

Lunar: Harmony of Silver Star (Silver Star Harmony in North America) is a remake of Silver Star Story, which was a remake of Lunar: The Silver Star. The first Lunar has been entirely remade (for the better) twice, and once for the worse (see Lunar Legend on GBA).

The PSP remake included direct involvement from Noriyuki Iwadare for the upgrade of the soundtrack, as well as a few entirely new tracks (including bonus piano solo arrangements). When this soundtrack was announced, I had insanely high hopes. I thought, “maybe they’ll do an entire OST that’s of the same quality as the Festa arrangements.” That was a little unrealistic. But the end result of this product is close to what I wanted.

As an example, check out track 14. The theme for the town “Reza” sounds fantastic on the Lunatic Festa arrangements. It’s one of my all-time favorite Iwadare tracks. Here on Harmony of Silver Star, I have again fallen in love with the track. Technically speaking, the MIDI synth, high quality though it is, is just slightly more rigid than the Lunatic Festa arrangement. The same can be said wherever comparisons can be made (there are about 10 instrumental arrangements across the four Lunatic Festa CDs, so compare at your discretion).

One thing that I will declare as an objective improvement, though some people may desperately want to disagree with me, is the new vocal tracks from Kyoko Hikami. She sings “Wings” (aka Tsubasa, the game’s opening theme), as well as “Wind’s Nocturne” (aka “The Boat Song”). It’s a new version, and in my opinion, it’s far less nasal and far more mature than the Silver Star Story performances. But people who are in love with the SSS vocals may not like the change.

There are some tracks that have only seen mild improvement from the SSS OST (the one released with Working Designs’ American PSX release) and the current one. Check out “Flying Through the Air,” track 26. This is an insanely catchy theme. But it already sounded awesome a decade ago. This new version adds some decent auxiliary percussion, but little else. Then again, I don’t know how you make a much bigger improvement on a track like this. This song is on par with some of the best field themes Falcom ever came up with in their 20 year span, so Iwadare should be pleased with this end result.

Some things seem to be missing from the soundtrack, however. For example, the “Sadness” piano solo piece found in the ending cut scene of the American SSS release, is nowhere to be found. That was one of my favorite pieces, though it was a quite simple piano composition in G minor.

But, speaking of piano tracks, we do get three bonus tracks on this special disc, arranged by the venerable Michiko Naruke. “Let’s Take a Walk” is a strong jazz arrangement, somewhere between the high quality of the Final Fantasy X-2 piano collection and the not-so-stellar quality of DQVII on piano. “The Pier That Invites the Sea Breeze” has this beautiful jazz ballad intro, then turns into a simple andante 4/4 ballad. The steady pace and little decorations in the arrangement make me smile. The final track is an arrangement of the game’s finale, “Then a Door to Adventure is Opened.” I find the first two minutes to be boring, but that final minute is really exhilarating and emotional, at least for me with my memories of the game.

You know, the Japanese audience hasn’t had a Lunar: Silver Star-related OST since the Sega CD version. They didn’t get the album that we Americans got from Working Designs. So it was high time a new Lunar soundtrack came along. Now, the only way to get this CD so far is by having purchased a Limited Edition version of the game in Japan. It’s a promotional item. We are hoping this same CD, or something like it, will come with the American version of the game, because this is some fantastic music. Edit: Looks like we got what I asked for; the same CD came as a North American bonus item. Just hearing the city themes for Burg, Meribia, Vane, etc. did my heart much good. Thanks, Iwadare-san!

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and guinea pigs.