Yes, it’s that time again, boys and girls — the time where we celebrate the sterling work that Gust’s sound team do on their flagship series, and each installment of the series manages to have a distinct, unique sound while remaining true to the franchise’s overall atmosphere.
Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea is a noteworthy installment in this regard, in that it placed Hayato Asano in a leading role on the soundtrack alongside series veterans Daisuke Achiwa and Kazuki Yanagawa. And anyone who is familiar with Asano’s other work on titles such as Nights of Azureand Blue Reflectionwill be immediately at home with the distinctive sound he brings to Atelier Shallie’s soundtrack.
So pump up the volume, sit back, relax and let’s have a listen to some particular highlights from Atelier Shallie’s substantial soundtrack!
It’s that time once again: time to celebrate the sterling work of Gust’s sound team, and the distinctive soundscape they have created over the years from the Atelier series.
As you might expect with the change in artist, overall aesthetic and tone, the sound of the Dusk series is a little different from the Arland trilogy before it — but it’s still recognisably “Atelier”.
This time around, the music is the work of Gust regulars Daisuke Achiwa and Kazuki Yanagawa as well as Yu Shimoda; the latter worked with Inti Creates on retro revival titles Mega Man 9 and 10, and joined Taito’s ZUNTATA sound team in 2017. Series mainstay Ken Nakagawa, meanwhile, stepped aside from Atelier compositions from hereon, though he returned for contributions to both Atelier Luluaand Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists’ soundtracks.
This is put across in a variety of different ways. The main protagonist is a much quieter, gentler sort of person than the rather noisy Rorona; the overall narrative is melancholy in contrast to the relative “franticness” of Rorona’s tale; and this change in mood is very much reflected by the soundtrack.
Once again primarily composed by Ken Nakagawa, with additional contributions from Kazuki Yanagawa, the score to Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland brings back some classic themes as well as introducing a variety of new ones. We’ve already heard several variations on “Following the Footsteps” when we looked at the game’s worldbuilding… so let’s pick out a few more favourites and have a listen!
It’s time to once again return to the wonderful world of Atelier music, this time with a look at Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm’s soundtrack.
Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm was a noteworthy installment in the series from a musical perspective, because it marked the point where Gust’s sound team switched from using synthesised, sequenced music to streamed prerecorded music. This allowed them considerably more flexibility to put together more elaborate compositions and make use of more realistic sounds.
So turn up the volume and let’s have a good listen to find out exactly what that means!
“Video games aren’t movies.” That’s a line of criticism that those who prioritise mechanics over narrative like to level at cutscene-heavy games, particularly those by creators such as Hideo Kojima and David Cage.
And while it’s true that making effective use of games as a form of interactive media tends to emphasise actual interaction over passively watching cutscenes, one can hardly deny the spectacle offered by strongly movie-inspired titles, and the flexibility that entirely computer-generated scenes and characters can provide creators.
Which makes it all the more unusual that so many games focus on movies as their primary inspiration rather than other forms of media. Sure, some role-playing games might be rather operatic in tone, visual novels are effectively “Books Plus” and rhythm games provide a new way of experiencing pieces of music, but video games have never embraced the idea, of, say, musical theatre.