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Old Oct 27, 2013, 12:19 AM
Jormungand's Avatar
Jormungand Jormungand is offline
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Finally got around to this. Like Hototogisu Ran, the styles of Saori Kobayashi and Kennosuke Suemura are like night and day. I'm certain about most of the following breakdown. It should be noted that, again like Hototogisu, it seems Suemura asked Kobayashi to help him out and she either sent him midi files which he arranged (which is certainly the case in at least one situation) or did her own arrangements. In any event, both composers' work were mixed down for the actual DS game which has substantially lower sound quality (including entire channels that were removed). This soundtrack album represents the full MIDI versions. We really have no way of knowing whether these are the "original" versions (a la FF12) or arrangements after the fact. Either way, they are vastly superior to their DS counterparts with the exception of noticeable clipping (also on Hototogisu). I think this fault is solely on Suemura's end considering he produced and mastered the CD.

I have no idea what relation Suemura's music has to the original Hoshigami if at all. After a quick (and not very careful) listen to the .psf score there don't seem to be any connections. I do know that Kobayashi's work is all original.


(KS) / Kennosuke Suemura
(SK) / Saori Kobayashi

NB: Like Hototogisu, Suemura's name is printed on the front cover of the OST (as if he is the sole composer).

01 HOSHIGAMI Main Theme (KS)

02 Fun Shopping (SK)

03 Hometown Breeze (SK)

04 Floating Continent "Mardias" (SK)

05 Dance of the Imperial Army (KS)

06 War of the Two Nations (SK)

07 Those Who Gather in the Legend (KS)

08 March of Justice (SK)

09 Relentless Invaders (SK)

10 Anthem of the Heroes (KS) (and Glenn Stafford... Suemura lifted a bit from the WarCraft II score, Orc 00 and Orc 02 in particular)

11 Fated Reunion (SK)

12 The Six Seals (?)
What this really reminds me of is one of those pre-programmed MIDI files you can play on electronic keyboards. It's very likely to be an arrangement of a classical piece I can't identify (I would guess pre-1850). But I'm approaching this entirely from the perspective that it's an arrangement. It could very well be an original composition.

As to the author... probably Kobayashi given the skill of the arrangement--there's a dexterity and performance-style feel to the keyboard and flute part that just doesn't show up in anything Suemura has done. Not to mention we see this happen in Shadowgate 64 as well (some Bartok compositions are arranged, again probably by Kobayashi).

Then again, if it was really just copied out of someone's MIDI keyboard...

13 Black Armor (SK)

14 Discord (SK)

15 Legend of the Ixian Ruins (KS)

16 Advance of the Valaimian Army (KS)

17 Power of the Soul (KS)

18 A Friend You Can Rely On (?)
No idea, there's just not enough content here, it's so simple. The skill of the MIDI arranging sounds more like Kobayashi, but it's unlikely she actually composed it. It could be a classical arrangement like track 12.

19 An Age of War and a Conspiracy in Motion (KS)

20 Requiem for the Departed (KS)

21 The Knights of Destiny (SK)

22 The Final Decisive Battle (SK)

23 Footprints of Victory (KS)

24 Experience Level Up (KS)

25 Skyrocket Retreat (KS)

26 A Tale Passed Down (SK)
A very unusual piece. If it's Kobayashi, it may very well be her only solo keyboard piece for a video game. It's a music box piece, but very strange and deliberate with its harmony. Haunting and quite pretty.

27 Thus, Fate Becomes Legend (KS) + (SK)
I'm fairly sure this is Suemura's arrangement of Kobayashi's track 11.

As for my personal opinion of the soundtrack... it's incredibly awesome and also incredibly unknown. Really, Kobayashi's work is completely exceptional and of the highest quality of composition. In fact it's basically Panzer with orchestral instruments, much like Hototogisu Ran. And I don't mean Kobayashi just transferred her style from Panzer over; rather, this is Kobayashi's style. I've previously described her music as being constantly in motion, and that applies here as well. She has one of the most unique and easily-identifiable voices in the industry, yet her work always sounds fresh and exciting.

It was especially surprising and interesting to see her orchestral voice fleshed out. We had a taste of it in Panzer, but here (and Hototogisu) she uses orchestral instruments almost exclusively. It's really beautiful, and her orchestration is clearly influenced by formal musical training and classical music. Tracks like War of the Two Nations and Discord are just dazzling, and perfectly executed.

One of the best things about Kobayashi is her tendency toward longer, more developed tracks. This is consistent across all her post-Game Gear/SNES era work, and she maintains that stamina here with all her field music averaging longer than 1:30 (unlooped).

Suemura's contribution, on the other hand, is just not very good. And inconsistent. His style seems a patchwork of anime and video game cliches peppered with stock audio library samples (more heavily so in Hototogisu Ran). It's not very listenable.

Then again... if my theory is correct, we have him to thank for Kobayashi's involvement on both soundtracks which were produced within a year of each other. So, thanks Mr. Suemura.

Last edited by Jormungand; Oct 27, 2013 at 12:30 AM.
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Old Jul 23, 2021, 08:22 PM
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Chris Porter Chris Porter is online now
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I added images for this one: booklet (front, back, pages), Obi, disc, and back. There's nothing printed on the tray side.
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