Tamamayu Monogatari Original Soundtrack


Review by · December 6, 2001

I’d never played the game, but something drew me to this soundtrack. I didn’t know what to expect at first; there are a lot of mediocre RPG soundtracks out there, and I was afraid this would prove to be yet another. Thankfully, I was wrong. Tamamayu Monogatari (Jade Cocoon in the US) is different from anything I’ve heard before it. Its unique blend of tribal and orchestral themes make it an invigorating change in this sea of never ending Final Fantasy wannabe’s.

Just imagine walking through a jungle with lush, verdant leaves brushing against your cheeks, while streams of golden light filter down from above. Then imagine coming across a small village, straw huts protected by the canopy of trees overhead. These were images I imagined while listening to the music on this CD. Kimitaka Matsumae did a wonderful job of immersing you into the tribal locales of the game, creating a forested atmosphere that’s present throughout. And when we do hear a divergence, it’s usually with an emotional, orchestra-styled piece that is likely an in-game cut scene or event piece. Many tracks have a mystical feel to them, as well, such as songs that would be played at sacred ceremonies only performed deep within the heart of the jungle, which can be quite breathtaking at times.

Two themes recur throughout: “Legend of Arcana,” the game’s Main Theme, and Sirus Village. Thankfully, the Main Theme happens to be one of the more enjoyable pieces on the soundtrack. Its arrangement is not only dramatically beautiful, but has a mystical quality to it. And we get four (including the ending theme) doses of it, each one just as enjoyable as the last. “Sirus Village’s” also gets numerous arrangements, each one in style and feel that coincide with plot developments in the game and conveys a certain emotion for that particular time in the village. “Night of the Funeral” is a more somber rendition while the “Holy Ghost” is hauntingly beautiful in its simplicity. What I found to be the most interesting pieces were the decidedly ambient “forest” themes. Not as melodic as some of the other compositions, they perfectly capture the feel of dense forests populated by many strange and exotic creatures. Matsumae is a talented composer, and he did wonders with this music.

For those who have played the game, I won’t have to urge you to seek out this album. For everyone else, unless you absolutely hate ethnic sounding music, you cannot go wrong with this CD. The tribal elements that influence the entire album make it a very unique and enjoyable experience. The bad news is you’ll have a really hard time finding this treasure. It’s been out of print for almost 2 years, and I haven’t seen it listed for sale on any retailers site, nor has it ever showed up on Ebay, at least while I was looking. If possible, try special ordering it from places like Animenation. And if you’re able to use Yahoo Japan, you’ll probably have the best chance of finding it there. With any luck, you may be able to snag yourself a copy.

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Lucy Rzeminski

Lucy Rzeminski

RPGFan Music has long had a single figurehead running the show. For years, that person was Lucy. Her passion and knowledge of VGMusic was unmatched, and she helped bolster our coverage quite a bit during her time here.