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Old Dec 31, 2009, 11:02 AM
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Default Breath of Fire III composer breakdown discussion

After years of listening to Breath of Fire III and other works by the title's two composers, Akari Kaida and Yoshino Aoki, as well as poking around on websites and reading interviews, I'm finally ready to engage in a serious discussion about each composer's specific duties.

I have revised my ideas a number of times, and while there's no way we'll ever come to a conclusive list of credits, I'd like to try and get us started. The reason I'm posting is to present my personal thoughts for each track of the BoF3 score, and then get opinions from everyone who is interested. Naturally, I'd like us to be able to come to a consensus on who composed what. There are three major methods I have used in the identification process:

1. Direct confirmation (interviews, personal websites--something from the composer themselves, or something officially credited in a game or on an album)

2. Similarity to a composer's previous or future works

3. Gut instinct (hey, I'm a composer too, I know what I'm doing )

Before we begin, I think it's important that anyone who wishes to contribute should be strongly familiar with at least one of the two composers. Ms. Aoki's credentials are fairly transparent; there isn't a lot of guesswork in what she has done. On the other hand, much of Ms. Kaida's initial composition credits were done within a team, and, as we all know, Capcom hates its composers and doesn't like to individually credit them for their work. Below I will provide a decent list of material that is potentially available for readers' reference (some links included)--this is NOT a complete credit list for either composer:

Yoshino Aoki
  • Mega Man X3 (included this to avoid confusion, please read my post here)
  • Breath of Fire IV (includes two reprises from BoF3)
  • Mega Man Battle Network 2, 3, and 6 (includes some arrangements of Akari Kaida's work)
  • Shadow of Rome (ask me if you're interested in a game rip, as there is no official OST print)
  • Mega Man Star Force 1, 2, and 3 (I added individual credits to the MMSF1&2 album, see here)
  • Luminous Arc 2 (album)
  • Genso Suikoden Tierkreis (see here for breakdown of the first OST print)
  • Daletto World (see this video for a sample of the music)
  • Shiki-Tei (see this video and this video for samples of the music)
  • Yuusha 30 Sou (aka Half-Minute Hero, disc 2, track 30)

Akari Kaida
(Personal Website - currently down)
  • Rockman and Forte (Kaida is confirmed to have composed Groundman)
  • Tricky Sliders (there is a sample on Kaida's website)
  • Dino Crisis (album, track 31 "Abandoned Hope")
  • Mega Man Battle Network 1 and 5
  • Super Ghosts and Ghouls (gameboy advance port--Kaida evidently did some of the additional music)
  • Onimusha 3 (album, disc 1 track 03 "Main Theme -Samonosuke's Theme-")
  • Mega Man Battle Chip Challenge (in an interview Kaida says she did the battle music for this GBA title)
  • Okami (album, 4 tracks)
  • Luminous Arc and Luminous Arc 2
  • Mega Man Star Force 3 (ask me if you're interested in a game rip, as there is no official OST print... yet)


Breath of Fire III OST (incomplete 1997 print)
Breath of Fire Special Box (complete 2006 print)

For this discussion, I will be using the complete 3 disc score as it appears on the Special Box. If you are listening to the .psf rip, be warned that some track titles are inaccurate and do not match what is listed on the Special Box version.

Below I will post the complete tracklisting along with my assumptions about who composed what. Afterward, the discussion may begin! Stay tuned!

Last edited by Jormungand; Feb 14, 2010 at 04:56 AM.
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Old Dec 31, 2009, 11:03 AM
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BREATH OF FIRE III ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK

(AK) / Akari Kaida
(YA) / Yoshino Aoki

Generalizations--don't take this as gospel, just some observations from myself:
- Kaida is clearly the more experienced composer at the time of this soundtrack's production. Considering her confirmed tracks, she seems to have a tighter arrangement style with more ornamented melodies and more complex percussion
- Kaida's harmony and arrangement style tends to be more jazz/pop oriented
- Aoki's harmony style, though not as defined in 1996, seems less predictable and her chord progressions are more likely to make unexpected harmonic leaps.

DISC ONE

1) Opening -Opening the Gate- (AK) CONFIRMED
In an interview, Yoshino Aoki mentions Kaida concerning BoF3:
Quote:
Akari Kaida, who was the lead-composer of this title... At that time, the lead composer usually took care of the main title and last battle music.
2) Prologue (AK)
A relatively simplistic keyboard arrangement of the main theme. Due to the harmony and right hand ostinato in the opening bars, I would attribute this to Kaida.

3) Escape (AK)
The bass figure heard in the piano is employed almost verbatim in Kaida's "A Risky Situation" from Luminous Arc.

4) Healing (AK) CONFIRMED
Another keyboard solo; see my comments for 1.02 "Prologue". [update: confirmed via BoF Box liner notes]

5) Without A Care (AK) CONFIRMED
Though it is no longer available, this piece was used as a sample on Kaida's official website.

6) Half Done Is Not Done (AK)
Taking into account the rhythm section and vibraphone, the arrangement style closely resembles "Without A Care".

7) Country Living (AK) CONFIRMED
Once again, the arrangement style suggests this is Kaida's work. The main theme appears briefly in the electric piano. [update: confirmed via 2014 interview w/ Kaida]

8) Falling Green (AK)
There is a vague similarity between this forest theme and Kaida's "You Can Wander the Forest" from Luminous Arc, at least in the opening bars. This one is a bit of a stretch. Still, the style matches Kaida's tendency for jazz-inflected melodies and harmony.

9) Keen pack (AK)

10) Revolution (AK)

11) Do Your Best! (AK) CONFIRMED
Again, this is clearly Kaida's arrangement style. [update: confirmed via 2014 interview w/ Kaida]

12) Victory Dance (AK)
See above. Makes use of the main theme.

13) Like A Loser (AK)

14) Eden (AK)
As with many tracks listed above, this can only be Kaida.

15) Heavy Echo (AK)

16) Corpse (YA)
A simple keyboard arrangement. The harmony, to me, seems more like something a younger Aoki would come up with.

17) Struggling on the Way (AK)
It becomes clear that this is Kaida's work when you pay attention to the synth pad instrument.

18) Chase (AK) CONFIRMED
This is a tricky one. Definitely looking forward to some input. [update: confirmed via BoF Box liner notes]

19) Can't you see clearly now (AK) CONFIRMED
The pop reference and subsequent rhythm makes me think of Kaida. *Update: confirmed via email.

20) Thief (YA)

21) Take it and Run (AK)

22) Chickens in the Night (AK) CONFIRMED
[update: I was wrong. Confirmed via 2014 interview w/ Kaida]

23) Half Asleep (AK)

24) House of Worry (AK)
The second half references the final boss theme.

25) Conglomerate (AK)

26) Tons of Money (YA)

27) The Game Continues (AK)

28) Something Lost (AK)

29) Regret Comes from Relying on Others (AK)
The harmony says it all. Uses main theme.

30) An Unfulfilled Walk (AK)

31) Transformation (AK)
Shares arrangement details with "An Unfulfilled Walk".

32) Cutting Edge (AK)

33) DONDEN (AK)

34) The Weather and Mood is Great on This Day (YA)
The countermelodies in the flute are very Aoki-like.

35) Backlash (AK)

36) Catch! (AK)


DISC TWO


1) An Offering to the Dragon (AK)
An arrangement of "Prologue".

2) My Favorite Trick (YA) CONFIRMED
The chromatic melody in the second part reminds me of Aoki. *Update: see Don's post below.

3) A-Go (YA)
Again, the flute countermelody is a staple of Ms. Aoki's music.

4) Technology (AK)

5) Termination (AK)
Thoroughly Kaida's arrangement style. Uses main theme.

6) Island (YA) CONFIRMED
Confirmed via email. This probably means she did all the tracks that use the "Island" melody, and that's a lot!

7) Nothing Left to Say (YA)
In my opinion, the harmony here suggests Aoki.

8) Hack scene (AK)

9) ODORO (YA)
One of two battle themes in the soundtrack that I feel belong to Aoki. The unusual movement of the melody is a big factor in this.

10) Avoiding Death (YA)
An arrangment of "Island".

11) The Insane Warriors (YA + AK)
My feeling here is that Kaida arranged Aoki's "Island". The sampled guitar along with vibraphone definitely points to Kaida as the arranger.

12) Stupidity (YA)
Uses a fragment of Kaida's final boss theme.

13) Fighting Man (AK)
This one was really hard. The melody in the brass and unusual rhythmic pacing just seems so much like Aoki's style, but ultimately I have to give this one to Kaida due to the arrangement.

14) Last man standing (AK)
Uses fragment of the final boss theme.

15) The Town Loved by the Wind (AK)
Was there ever any doubt?

16) Wyndia (AK)
Familiarity with the Luminous Arc scores will be most useful here, as the harmonies and orchestration are reminiscent of Kaida's work there.

17) Magic (N/A)
Since this is just a CD-based harp sample repeating over and over, it is impossible to determine the composer based on style alone. It probably belongs to Kaida since she was the lead composer and thus was in charge of how things were going to be done--including little "jingles" like this.

18) Interlude (AK)

19) Still A Chrysalis (YA) CONFIRMED
Appears on the BoF4 soundtrack, albeit in an arranged version.

20) Tail of a shark (AK)

21) Anti-historical (AK)

22) Angels and Dragons (YA)
The second of only two battle themes which I attribute to Aoki. Uses main theme and a fragment of the final boss theme.

23) Waking Up in the Morning Leads to All the Encounters -Nina's Theme- (AK)
The bass figure is used almost verbatim in Kaida's "Hometown" from Megaman Battle Network.

24) Weretiger -Rei's Theme- (AK)

25) Peach Engine -Momo's Theme- (YA)
Yet another arrangement of "Island".

26) Fried Onion -Pecoros' Theme- (YA)

27) Deep Purple -Deis' Theme- (AK)

28) To A Distant Place (AK) CONFIRMED
Kaida's arrangement style, plain and simple. [update: confirmed via 2014 interview w/ Kaida]

29) Stone of the Death Dragon (YA)
Uses main theme.

30) Breath of the Decaying Dragon (YA)

31) A Light (AK)

32) People, Cats, Birds and Sea Lice (AK)

33) Seemingly Idle (AK)
Another obvious one.

34) Clumsy March (YA) CONFIRMED
It's got Aoki written all over it. *Update: confirmed via email.

35) The Last Scene is a Setting Sun on the Ocean (AK)
See my comments about 2.16 "Wyndia".


DISC THREE


1) Steam Locomotion (YA) CONFIRMED
Appears on the BoF4 soundtrack.

2) Enjoying the Flavor (AK)

3) Guild (YA)

4) 604800sec. (YA)
Just how many tracks can they pull out of "Island"?

5) The Touch of Danger (AK)

6) Without Knowing Anything (N/A)
Composer is indeterminate due to sparse musical content. If I had to guess, it would again be Kaida due to her role as lead composer.

7) Encounter (AK)

8) Battle in the Coming Days (AK)

9) Atomic Energy (AK)

10) Intermission (AK)

11) An Offering to the Dragon -Main Theme- (AK)
The first proper exposition of the main theme.

12) Sanctuary (N/A)
Composer is indeterminate due to sparse musical content. If I had to guess, it would again be Kaida due to her role as lead composer.

13) Sandy sound (AK)

14) Breaking the Mould (YA + AK)
This arrangement of Aoki's "Just A Chrysalis" is likely Kaida's doing.

15) Turning Point (AK)
Kaida's style. Uses main theme.

16) Dragon asymmetry (AK)

17) Bad ending (N/A)
Composer is indeterminate due to sparse musical content. If I had to guess, it would again be Kaida due to her role as lead composer.

18) An Uncertain Millenium (AK)
An arrangement of the final boss theme.

19) Castle in the Sky (AK)
Uses fragment of the final boss theme.

20) Maternal Zone (AK)
Uses fragment of the final boss theme.

21) Self-determination -Last Battle- (AK) CONFIRMED
In an interview, Yoshino Aoki mentions Kaida concerning BoF3:
Quote:
Akari Kaida, who was the lead-composer of this title... At that time, the lead composer usually took care of the main title and last battle music.
Briefly features the main theme.

22) Stairs -Ending- (AK)
See my comments on 2.16 "Wyndia". Uses main theme.

23) Sprouts Over the Sand (AK)

24) Pure Again -Staff Roll- (AK) CONFIRMED
Featured on Kaida's official website. Both Kaida and Aoki sing on this track.


----------------

To reiterate, unless otherwise stated, none of the above is confirmed. It is all speculation on my part. My only credentials are that I'm a big fan of both composers and am a composer myself.

As I stated earlier, I've revised my position on these tracks numerous times. Many of them are easy. Some, not so much. In fact, with this most recent revision, I feel like I've shortchanged Aoki... but, Kaida definitely handled the majority of the score, with Aoki filling in the gaps.

I look forward to discussing this with other fans. Don't be afraid to contribute your thoughts!

Last edited by Jormungand; May 31, 2014 at 02:15 PM.
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Old Jan 1, 2010, 11:02 PM
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My Favorite Trick is indeed Yoshino Aoki. I was told this by Akari Kaida.
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Old Jan 2, 2010, 02:26 AM
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interesting dunno if we ever spoke about this in the past. unfortunately i don't have the most recent soundtrack (only PSFs), so i'm unfamiliar with a lot of these names. the ones you mentioned that I do recognise I agree with though, like Atomic Energy and Donden. that said I'm not huuuuugely familiar with either's compositional voice. it seems in recent times communication with composers has greatly improved, i wonder if it would be possible to contact either one of them and ask? i'd be way too embarassed though, ha.

i like these sorts of discussions, even if they are speculative. it would be cool to see other albums discussed in this way.

ps. get on irc sometime you bum
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Old Jan 15, 2010, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don View Post
My Favorite Trick is indeed Yoshino Aoki. I was told this by Akari Kaida.
See, now this is why I make topics like this. You never know what kind of information can arise. Thanks Don! I'll update accordingly.

Mr. Lunar, if I find the time I can cross-reference this tracklist with the psf set. I really would appreciate your insight as well since you are one of like 5 fans of this soundtrack! And last I logged into irc it was dead. Unless you've migrated elsewhere...

Readers, feel free to post your agreements or disagreements with any of the above. I welcome all discussion.
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Old Jan 21, 2010, 09:20 PM
Brad Evans Brad Evans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
8) Falling Green (AK)
There is a vague similarity between this forest theme and Kaida's "You Can Wander the Forest" from Luminous Arc, at least in the opening bars. This one is a bit of a stretch. Still, the style matches Kaida's tendency for jazz-inflected melodies and harmony.
There's another similarity about this track that has cropped up; listen to this and then listen to Mitsuda's "Mystery of the Forest" from Chrono Trigger. I scream, you scream, we all scream plagiarism! lol.

Just kidding on that last part, but both tracks sound alike until they develop a little beyond their beginnings.
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Old Jan 22, 2010, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Evans View Post
There's another similarity about this track that has cropped up; listen to this and then listen to Mitsuda's "Mystery of the Forest" from Chrono Trigger. I scream, you scream, we all scream plagiarism! lol.

Just kidding on that last part, but both tracks sound alike until they develop a little beyond their beginnings.
Yes, this has been a common point made about the track for a long time. But the similarity is so passing and innocuous that it really doesn't fly in the social circles that discuss music seriously.

Pop quiz: find another passing Chrono Trigger "reference" in the BoF3 soundtrack.
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 03:32 AM
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i'd be surprised if that track wasn't intended as a sort of facsimile
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 03:42 AM
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Great observations, Jorm! I will ask Yoshino whether she is happy to verify these credits and make corrections. She is a very nice lady so I think would be willing to help. However, it's possible that the information is top secret!
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Old Jan 23, 2010, 09:46 AM
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Very good observations. I try to do this with Falcom soundtracks. That's much more difficult though.
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 12:07 PM
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Silly question, I started to play this game again and I can't remember - did the sleep/rest theme make the cut?
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Pop quiz: find another passing Chrono Trigger "reference" in the BoF3 soundtrack.
I'm pretty sure I've heard this, and I think it was one of the tracks around "Falling Green", but I can't recall it off-hand.
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Old Feb 10, 2010, 08:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
[*]Rockman and Forte (Kaida is confirmed to have composed the opening stage BGM)
Didn't Naoshi Mizuta compose that one? And I think you mean Ground Man for Kaida (info. taken from Chiptuned Rockman).
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Old Feb 11, 2010, 11:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Pop quiz: find another passing Chrono Trigger "reference" in the BoF3 soundtrack.
I can't think of another passing CT referance, but 6-31 "A Light" reminds me of FF7's "Lifestream"
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyubihanyou View Post
Didn't Naoshi Mizuta compose that one? And I think you mean Ground Man for Kaida (info. taken from Chiptuned Rockman).
I believe you're right. Mizuta did the opening stage and Kaida did Groundman. The composers' musical styles are pretty evident anyway.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 11:48 AM
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hey we could speculate over rockman 'n forte in another thread i guess. would love to see peoples thoughts on that.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyubihanyou View Post
Didn't Naoshi Mizuta compose that one? And I think you mean Ground Man for Kaida (info. taken from Chiptuned Rockman).
Yep, my mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Evans
Silly question, I started to play this game again and I can't remember - did the sleep/rest theme make the cut?
No, it didn't.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 07:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitz Lunar View Post
hey we could speculate over rockman 'n forte in another thread i guess. would love to see peoples thoughts on that.
I set up a little somethin-soemthin' under the Chiptuned Rockman discussion board because it's contains the only official release of RM&F music in any way shape or form. Feel free to critique that (and my other inferences on the Sonic 10th Anniversary, 1~6, 7, X1~6, X7 and X8 boards) as much as you like.

Last edited by kyubihanyou; Feb 20, 2010 at 09:57 PM.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
Pop quiz: find another passing Chrono Trigger "reference" in the BoF3 soundtrack.
In case anyone is still curious about this, have a listen to the Wyndia Castle BGM.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 05:45 PM
Brad Evans Brad Evans is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
In case anyone is still curious about this, have a listen to the Wyndia Castle BGM.
I was just in Wyndia Castle last night before going over to the east in the game, but I can't put my finger on what track in CT is simular. It's probably really obvious.
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Old Feb 14, 2010, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad Evans View Post
I was just in Wyndia Castle last night before going over to the east in the game, but I can't put my finger on what track in CT is simular. It's probably really obvious.

Chrono Trigger: Yearnings of Wind

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqZaFDA7PXY&feature=related


This is the closest I can hear to any resemblance to a CT track.
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Old Feb 20, 2010, 09:30 PM
Brad Evans Brad Evans is offline
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I finished the game last night, and I still have plenty of reservations about BOFIII's music like I did back when I played it in 1997/98; still, does anyone have the feeling some of the best songs are the more offbeat ones and those that don't exactly pop out at you at first like "Technology" and "An Uncertain Millennium"?
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Old Feb 21, 2010, 05:02 AM
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Hmm, I'd say the whole score is offbeat.

That's what I love about it.
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Old Mar 16, 2010, 07:43 PM
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I was actually just listening to Wyndia and it made me remember this thread, but it looks like you gave it away already heheh. Anyway, the part in Wyndia around 0:30-0:50 is similar to Yearning of the Wind from 0:48-1:06.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 10:47 AM
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An update! I've confirmed a few more tracks via email correspondence with Ms. Aoki.

She composed "Clumsy March" and "Island" (and possibly all of its subsequent arrangements, I didn't confirm this however). Ms. Kaida composed "Can't you see clearly now?"

Ms. Aoki also had this to say:
Quote:
I composed the music of Breath of Fire 3 with Akari-san. She was the
main composer and I was the 2nd composer.
I composed about half of them.
That's more than I expected! I'll continue my correspondence in the future.

Also, sadly, she confirmed that there are no current plans for an OST of Earth Seeker. ;.;
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:03 AM
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Yeah, I heard the same thing from Shibata san about Earth Seeker. The main theme is beautiful though. That's the only thing I've heard from it.

I can talk with Akari Kaida to see if she can fill in any of the blanks. I remember her telling me that even the BoFIII on the special box is missing some tracks.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don View Post
I can talk with Akari Kaida to see if she can fill in any of the blanks. I remember her telling me that even the BoFIII on the special box is missing some tracks.
Yeah, the special box is missing a few. The .psf has the extras.

Not to mention... the .psf set also has a clean version of "Everyday Battle". I still can't believe the first OST print ruined that awesome track--and then they republished the same recording for the box set! Ridiculous.

That'd be great if you talked with Kaida. Perhaps you could ask her how she felt about her awesome boss theme getting vandalized with sound effects!

(unless she made the SFX too...)
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:35 AM
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I remember that part of the conversation. She was very surprised... She doesn't know why they seemed to record it from the actual game.

I'll send her the list and ask, when she has time, to fill in the ones she composed. No promises, but it'll be worth a shot.

EDIT: Sent the email. Will keep you updated!

Last edited by Don; Aug 25, 2011 at 11:49 AM.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 11:48 AM
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they could make psp remakes for bof 1~2 with graphic upgrades and music
and then release a sort of finest box for bof 1~4 with all bgm this time =)

(note for dag: no need to answer, "Dag: to hell with remakes" as he could say )
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 12:17 PM
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Posts: 932
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Well, I'll take anything at this point. Capcom seems to have sword off Breath of Fire indefinitely. The series director/producer/writer/guru, Makoto Ikehara, has been delegated to scenario writing for random Capcom games.

And thanks Dag. It would be great to get some closure on this (and to see if I am as wrong about the credits as badly as I was for BoF ).
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