Tag Archives: soundtrack

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 7: Atelier Totori – The Adventurer of Arland

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Despite being a direct sequel to Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland, Atelier Totori has a markedly different atmosphere to it.

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!

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The Music of Atelier, Vol. 6: Atelier Rorona – The Alchemist of Arland

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While the move to the PlayStation 3 marked significant changes in both gameplay and visual presentation for the Atelier series, one area in which it remained comfortably consistent was the musical accompaniment to the action.

Atelier Rorona: The Alchemist of Arland once again saw Ken Nakagawa in charge of the majority of the soundtrack, with some guest vocalists on a number of tracks. This time around, Nakagawa stepped back a little from the howling guitars and thrashing beats of Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy in favour of something a little closer to what we heard in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm and Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis.

It’s definitely got that distinctive “Atelier sound” about it, thanks to Nakagawa’s love of traditional instrumentation and composition using an electronic wind instrument, but Atelier Rorona’s soundtrack also has a few elements that make it stand out as its own, immediately recognisable thing, too. So crank up that volume and let’s have a listen to some select tracks!

Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 6: Atelier Rorona – The Alchemist of Arland

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 5: Mana Khemia 2 – Fall of Alchemy

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It’s almost time to bid farewell to the PlayStation 2 era of the Atelier series — but not before we’ve spent some time celebrating the music of the game that ended this distinctive part of the series’ history.

Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy features some magnificent tunes to accompany the action, building on the good work that Gust’s sound team did in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm and Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis while bringing a few of its own distinctive stylistic aspects to the table, too.

Without further ado then, crank up that volume (or plug in some good headphones) and let’s get listening!

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The Music of Atelier, Vol. 4: Mana Khemia – Alchemists of Al-Revis

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As has become MegaFeature tradition, now we’ve finished exploring Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis from mechanical and narrative perspectives, it’s time to celebrate the sterling work of Gust’s sound team with a look at its soundtrack.

Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis is the second game in the Atelier series to make use of pre-recorded streamed music rather than real-time synthesised, sequenced music. We were already starting to get a strong feel for the distinct audible aesthetic lead composers Ken Nakagawa and Daisuke Achiwa were aiming for with the series in Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm, but Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis and its sequel further codify many of the musical conventions of the series.

These conventions would remain in place as Atelier bid farewell to the PlayStation 2 and jumped to the next generation with the Arland trilogy. So let’s dive into some highlights from Mana Khemia’s score!

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The Music of Atelier, Vol. 3: Atelier Iris 3 – Grand Phantasm

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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!

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The Music of Atelier, Vol. 2: Atelier Iris 2 – The Azoth of Destiny

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It’s time once again to spend some time in the company of Gust’s wonderful sound team and their sterling work on the Atelier series.

This time around, we’re looking at the soundtrack for Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny. The music is once again the work of Gust regulars Daisuke Achiwa and Ken Nakagawa, the latter of whom in particular has become heavily associated with the Atelier series over the years.

Conveniently, copies of Atelier Iris 2: The Azoth of Destiny came with a bonus soundtrack CD, so we’ll be focusing on a selection of the tracks from this disc today. Let’s jump in — pump up the volume!

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Senran Kagura: An Almost-Comprehensive Look at Gessen’s Use of Classical Music

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The Gessen girls, introduced in Senran Kagura Shinovi Versus on PlayStation Vita and pretty much a fixture ever since, are certainly a distinctive lot.

Taking a rather different approach to being “good” shinobi than Asuka and friends at Hanzou National Academy, the students of Gessen Girls’ Academy learned everything they know about the world from their adoptive “grandfather” Kurokage.

And that includes their musical tastes, which is reflected in the games’ soundtracks; Gessen girls’ themes make extensive use of Western art music. So I thought that might be interesting to take a closer look at.

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Diggin in the Carts – A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music

What’s that? A new feature? Why yes, yes it is.

In MoeGamer Music, an occasional feature, I sit down with a blank post and sit down to listen to a whole album without interruptions. While doing so, I will pen some immediate thoughts about each track, as well as providing a bit of information about the album as a whole.

And yes, being a physical release sort of person, everything I will be covering in this column is available on CD, and I will be listening to it on CD rather than ripping it to my digital music library. Distraction-free listening for the win.

We begin today with Diggin in the Carts: A Collection of Pioneering Japanese Video Game Music, published by Hyperdub. If you want to listen along, check out the Bandcamp page here.

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What’s in the Box: Song of Memories – Encore Edition

Is it Limited Edition time again? Why yes, yes it is!

I actually wasn’t expecting this one quite so soon; Song of Memories has been delayed so much from its originally anticipated release date that I was very surprised to get a shipping notification the other day, and find it showing up on my doorstep a day later. Still, I’m not complaining!

Song of Memories’ limited edition, known as the Encore Edition, is an exclusive to Funstock subsidiary Rice Digital, who have partnered with publisher and localiser PQube on a number of previous titles. Let’s take a closer look.

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Sunday Driving: Rigged to Blow – Split/Second #1

I fancied a bit of a change from OutRun this week, so I present to you one of my all-time favourite arcade racers: Split/Second, developed by Black Rock and published by Disney.

Split/Second is a tragic tale, really; it was a spectacularly good game that came out at a bad time, had no marketing whatsoever and consequently flopped so badly that Black Rock had to close down and Disney stopped doing anything interesting like unusual cinematic arcade racers ever again. Booo.

Still, at least Split/Second still exists, and we can still enjoy it for ourselves, so let’s do just that!

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