Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time OST

[back cover]
Catalog Number: SQEX-10137/8
Released On: February 18, 2009
Composed By: Kumi Tanioka
Arranged By: Kumi Tanioka, the3rdmimi (2-25), Yuusuke Saitoh (2-26)
Published By: Square Enix
Recorded At: Q/11A E07 Studio
Format: 2 CDs
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Disc One
01 - Main Theme
02 - Echoes of Time
03 - Eternal History
04 - Life in the Village
05 - Forest
06 - Boss TYPE-A
07 - Crystal Core
08 - Road
09 - Canal
10 - Ice Mountain
11 - Flame Mountain
12 - In the Beginning
13 - Ancient Library
14 - Boss TYPE-B
15 - Desert Ruins
16 - Beliaude
17 - Crystal Merge
18 - I Got Something!
19 - memories tomorrow
20 - Forest of Bygone Days
21 - At the End of a Long Time
22 - Sherlotta
23 - Graveyard
24 - The Mines
25 - Ancient Bridge
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - To the Adventure
02 - The Bridge Leading to the Tower
03 - Tower
04 - Rakiex
05 - Last Battle
06 - A Big Miscalculation
07 - The Creation of the Origin
08 - Family Get-Together
09 - Coming-of-Age Ceremony
10 - Blessing
11 - Finale
12 - Character Make
13 - Let's Quest Together! 1
14 - One-on-One Duel!
15 - Let's Quest Together! 2
16 - Battle
17 - Let's Quest Together! 3
18 - Galdes Battle
19 - Treasure Get!
20 - Contest
21 - Mog's Tutoring
22 - Shopping
23 - Game Over
24 - Platform
25 - 3rdmimi ~Coming-of-Age Ceremony Remix~
26 - Play riddles ~Ruins Remix~
Total Time:

Tanioka's back with what is now the third published soundtrack for a Crystal Chronicles title. Two versions of the game were released: one for Wii, and one for the DS. Based on the audio quality of this two disc set, it seems the music was originally written for Wii (and published as-is for this soundtrack), and then down-sampled to work on the DS.

If you haven't heard the other Crystal Chronicles soundtracks, you're missing out. Kumi Tanioka has a knack for seamlessly blending natural and artificial sounds (a skill we first saw her demonstrate on the Final Fantasy XI OST). This colorful, and quite memorable, soundscape is carried over into Echoes of Time, accompanied by new–yet somehow familiar–melodies and harmonies.

The instrumentation on this soundtrack is superb–piano, flute, pipes, whistles, oboe, xylophone and marimba, all sorts of auxiliary percussion, and some surprisingly impressive Latin/classical guitar–all of these instruments make plenty of appearances across the two disc soundtrack. The two disc set also allows the listener to take the time to enjoy these instruments and the roles they play out through Tanioka's transcription. After all, across the two disc set, most tracks break the 2 minute mark, and some of the better tracks go on into 3 or 4 minutes!

The track ordering is fairly standard. You get a "gameplay-chronological" tracklist, up until disc 2 track 5. After that track (which is the "Last Battle" track), a variety of tracks are thrown together to make up the majority of disc two. These tracks are primarily written for multiplayer gaming experiences. Also included in the pile of miscellaneous disc 2 music are jingles, menu music, some bonus arranged tracks, and other songs not related to the game's "campaign" (main plot arc).

The only thing I feel this soundtrack is missing is a good vocal track. When Yae did the vocal theme for the original Crystal Chronicles, I was floored. I want another theme song like that...maybe for "Crystal Bearers" please?

My feelings about this soundtrack are swayed, since I am prone to enjoying pretty much anything Tanioka creates. But you'll really want to check out this album. Though I'm not sold on the games themselves at this point, there's no question that the Crystal Chronicles soundtracks are some of the most interesting soundtracks Square Enix has ever published.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann