Xenogears Original Soundtrack
- "Yasunori Mitsuda has created another masterpiece."
- "You'll hear that Square quality of old."
- Release date: 1998-03-01
- Catalog number: SSCX-10013
- Retail price: 2854 yen
- Publisher: Digicube
- Yasunori Mitsuda (composition)
Disc 1 (73 minutes)
- Dark Dawn
- Stars of Tears (Opening Theme)
- Bonds of Sea and Flame MP3 sample
- My Village is Number One
- The Valley where Wind is Born
- Faraway Promise
- Steel Giant
- Forest of the Black Moon
- Shattering Egg of Dreams
- Back to Sleep
- Daijiru: City of Burning Sands
- Graaf, Emperor of Darkness MP3 sample
- Fuse MP3 sample
- Leftovers of the Dreams of the Strong
- Unstealable Jewel
- Ave, the Ancient Dance MP3 sample
- Stage of Death
- In a Dark Sleep
- The Gentle Breeze Sings
- The Wounded shall Advance into the Light
- Lost... Broken Shards
- Tamusu, the Man of the Sea
- The Blue Traveler
Disc 2 (71 minutes)
- In a Prison of Peace and Regret
- The Jaws of Ice
- Knight of Fire
- October Mermaid MP3 sample
- Shevat: The Wind Calls
- The Sky, the Clouds, and You
- Gathering Stars in the Night Sky
- Tears of the Stars, Hearts of the People
- Flight MP3 sample
- Solaris: Eden of Heaven
- Back to Sleep
- The One who is Torn Apart
- Pray for the People's Joy
- Omen MP3 sample
- One Who Bares Fangs at God
- The Beginning and the End
- Small Two of Pieces - Restored Pieces
Yasunori Mitsuda has created another masterpiece.
Reader review by Sharon Sung
I bought Xenogears OST knowing exactly what to expect, having played the game. While the game stunned me with its complexity, the musical score stunned me even more. Yasunori Mitsuda created a masterpiece in Xenogears.
I have heard people recommending this soundtrack on the basis of "if they liked Chrono Trigger", and I must say that is a horrible comparison. Yes, some of the compositions are similar; for example, the beginning of "Shebat: The Wind is Calling" is reminiscent of the Enhasa theme from CT (not to mention they are both the themes to floating countries). However, the overall feeling to each soundtrack is vastly different. Chrono Trigger is a very light-hearted game, Xenogears is not. Heavy in religious themes, this is reflected in the soundtrack itself, with beautiful choral as well as organ pieces scattered throughout the two discs.
Altogether, the arrangement of the CD is excellent as well. Lighter musics (town and character themes) are mostly centered in the first CD, which overall has a soothing effect. For example, "Leftovers of the Dreams of the Strong" is beautifully done with its marching, upbeat and heroic theme, which along with the similar but more wistful "Bonds of Sea and Fire" reflects the character of the prince, Bart Fatima. Most of the town themes are very bouncy, with lots of upbeat drumming and nice voice samples woven into the songs that create the atmosphere of a busy marketplace, or a sea ship.
The second CD focuses more on the darker aspects of the game. "June Mermaid" is simply beautiful, and it accurately reflects Emerada's wistful character. "The One who was Torn Apart" and "Omen" are eerie and portray the stunning revelations that unfold throughout the course of the game. My favorite track, "One who Bares Fangs at God", is one the strangest and the most beautiful boss themes I have ever heard. The ending song, "Small Two of Pieces", is a beautiful touch and is wonderfully sung, while the other song that can really be termed "vocal", "Stars of Tears", is a nice bonus.
Even for those who have not played the game Xenogears (and therefore lack the emotional attachment), I still strongly recommend Xenogears Original Soundtrack.
You'll hear that Square quality of old.
Reader review by Aaron Lau
Xenogears marks Yasunori Mitsuda's second RPG composition since Chrono Trigger and his first musical solo project. The soundtrack is a superb mix of epic adventure and traditional themes. It isn't as linear and as one-sided as Final Fantasy Tactics or SaGa Frontier, nor is it as diversified as Final Fantasy VII. It just sounds like a standard, but really well done, RPG soundtrack. When you listen to Xenogears, you'll hear that sparkling Square quality that hasn't been evident in a lot of their games as of late.
The coolest thing about Xenogears, at least to me, is that you don't have to play the game to appreciate its fine sounds. The first track, "Light From The Netherworlds", just blew me a way, with its infinitely powerful, dark overtones and awesome sound effects. (I've grown quite fond of those pipe clank sounds!) "Wings" is something truly special. Powerful, moving, and inspiring, this is, without a doubt, my most favorite song on the soundtrack. "Dajil, The City of Burning Sands" is an impressive, Arabic-like song, with a very convincing chorus accompanying. One of the final battle themes, "Awakening", is quite possibly one of the best of its kind (even rivaling FF7's "One Winged Angel"!).
And then there's the end theme, "Small Two Of Pieces", which is a direct reprise of "A Distant Promise". A most beautiful song, the wonderful melody and deeply emotional lyrics are truly heart-warming. Joanne Hogg gives an outstanding performance, with a strong voice that will simply move you. (I can't help but feel that this song possesses remarkable similarities to Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On". It really does sound similar! And this song was recorded *before* Titanic was made. Hmm...) "Stars of Tears", which isn't in the actual game, is an excellent vocal version of the song "Emotions". Both vocal songs are great arrangements of the original, and both have a very nice Irish tone to them.
Some of the songs bears a definite resemblance to Mitsuda's earlier works. I almost *swore* I was listening to the "Millennial Fair" from Chrono Trigger when I first heard "My Village Is Number One!". Listen to "Shebat: The Wind Calls". Sounds quite similar to CT's "Chrono Corridors", no? Even "Tams, The Man Of The Sea" sounds a lot like "Royce Felder" from Gun Hazard. As a whole, however, Xenogears' main emphasis on style is rather different than Chrono Trigger's. The melodies are much more widely based, with an almost Irish-Folk style.
It pains me to criticize FF7, since I love it dearly. But when you hear Xenogears' sound system, you simply have to wonder what happened to FF7. Sound programmer Hidenori Suzuki, who handled FF Tactics and Saga Frontier, also handles Xenogears, and the sound system is nothing short of amazing. To me, *this* is what Square's next generation of sound was meant to be like. Crystal clear instruments and great sound effects abound. A Bulgarian chorus also accompanies a number of songs, which creates an even greater mood of sound.
It was difficult for me to do a review for this soundtrack, since I haven't played the game. I'm judging it solely on the music, yet still I can't find anything even remotely bad about it. After hearing Xenogears, I'd say that Yasunori Matsuda's position is set firmly into place as being one of the most talented musicians working at Square.
Yasunori Mitsuda hits gold.
Reader review by Nick Melton (2002-01-17)
After the incredible success of "Final Fantasy VII" in America, Squaresoft was hard pressed to release a grand new RPG adventure. "Xenogears" was the result. When I heard the music was by Yasunori Mitsuda, I was intrigued. I knew he was a gifted composer, although his score for Chrono Trigger had done little for me. I gave him one chance to redeem himself and picked up Xenogears OST. I must say I'm glad I did.
This soundtrack is probably my third favorite videogame soundtrack of all time. Mitsuda had finally reached maturity (musically speaking) and provided a rich assortment of melodies. I was thrilled. Plus, the OST was arranged beautifully. By taking time to arrange the tracks in the right order, Mitsuda has prevented the OST from getting bogged down by long stretches of boring tracks, which occurs in many of the Final Fantasy OSTs. Thus, the OST remains exciting and enjoyable from start to finish.
The first disc focuses on the lighter aspects of the soundtrack; town and character themes appear on this disc. Of these, "My Village is Number One" is probably my favorite. True, I know it is not the best track on the disc, but something about it fills me with joy every time I hear it. It has a catchy and gleeful melody and a beautiful development section. Some people compare it to "Millenial Fair" from "Chrono Trigger", but "My Village is Number One" is infinitely superior. Another favorite I have on this disc is "Fuse", the game's hurry theme. This is by far the best hurry theme I have heard so far from an RPG. Nobuo Uematsu has to listen to this and learn a lesson or two about hurry themes. Other highlights of the disc include "Aveh, The Ancient Dance", "The Treasure Which Cannot Be Stolen", "Lost... Broken Shards", and "Dazil: City of Burning Sands". So far, the OST is excellent.
The second disc is far more dark and brooding than the first disc, so Mitsuda inserts a few light tracks here and there to keep it interesting and keep the listener from getting too depressed. "June Mermaid" is simply gorgeous, and "Wings" is by far one of the best airship airship themes I've ever heard. My favorite track of the game, "Flight", appears on this disc. It is *very* repetitive, but it is beautiful and pulse-pounding. I hope I can someday hear this being played by a live orchestra. "Solaris: Eden of Heaven" is by far the silliest track of the game, so it's a joy. "The One Who Is Torn Apart" is dark and gothic, and "One Who Bares Fangs At God" is the most creative boss theme I have heard in my life. "The Beginning and the End" is simply glorious, and the OST comes to a satisfying conclusion with "Small of Two Pieces - Restored Shards". Wonderful disc!
In short, Xenogears OST is a treasure that every fan of great music should hear. Full of pulse-pounding action themes, heart-rending character themes, and light and happy celebration themes, this is a gem that should not be left unheard.
This is not your father's Chrono Trigger.
Reader review by Stephen
Yasunori Mitsuda strikes gold again with Xenogears Original Soundtrack. Like the Chrono Trigger soundtrack, Xenogears offers many musical themes. In fact, Yasunori Mitsuda may have borrowed a few musical styles and instrumentations from his past masterpiece, Chrono Trigger, and other Squaresoft games.
For example, "My Village is Number One" reminds me a bit of "The Millenial Fair" from Chrono Trigger. "Faraway Promise" uses a music box instrumentation to convey the Xenogears title theme, just as in Chrono Trigger. "Stage of Death" sounds like a track that could belong in Final Fantasy Tactics.
Despite these possible similarities to past Squaresoft songs, all the Xenogears tracks have their own uniqueness. A person need not have listened to past Squaresoft soundtracks to like Xenogears OST.
The biggest plus with this soundtrack, at least for those who cannot understand Japanese, is that the two vocals are in English. It is nice to be able to understand the lyrics to these vocals. Furthermore, the choice to use an Irish singer and a Bulgarian choir in the the Xenogears soundtrack adds a wonderful cultural flavor to the music.
As for the overall instrumentation, Xenogears matches the quality presented in Final Fantasy Tactics, meaning you're guaranteed that Squaresoft utilizes the Playstation's musical capabilities to its fullest. As a side note, Xenogears' sound programmer, Hidenori Suzuki, also programmed Final Fantasy Tactics. Yet another in a long line of positives, which is why I highly recommend the Xenogears soundtrack.
One of Mitsuda's crowning achievements.
Reader review by Jason Strohmaier
As of yet, I haven't played Xenogears itself, but if the game itself is as stunning as the music, I'll have reason to celebrate. Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger and Gun Hazard fame has done it again, this time making a wonderful soundtrack in a unique style. Despite the fact that it is PCM audio (something that I personally don't think is a negative anyway), the songs give all the power and grace of a live orchestral performance.
One of the most striking things about this soundtrack is that almost all the songs are mellow and quite symphonic. A few songs break that trend, mainly the battle themes. However not even the final battle theme is fast paced, but is rather a soft yet spooky arrangement that can't be missed. In my opinion, the crowning achievement of this set is an infinitely powerful flight theme that puts all other airship themes to shame.
Well, as with all soundtracks, there does have to be a slight downside. This one - albeit minor - fault could become a tad annoying to some listeners. When I listened to this soundtrack the first time, I noticed that many of the themes presented in the opening tracks make many other appearances throughout the soundtrack. The main theme of the game is repeated numerous times in different formats. Now, this is nothing new to many, as Nobuo Uematsu often follows the same pattern. The only difference this time is that it is done very often. This may sound like a lack of creativity on Mitsuda's part, but the songs are all different and often only contain allusions to the original themes.
Even with this slight fault, Xenogears Original Soundtrack is one of the best to come along in ages. Anyone who will play this game will be astounded by the soundtrack. Quite simply a synthesized marvel and Mitsuda's best to date.
An excellent CD with its own unique style.
Reader review by Brian Mellem
From start to finish, this CD covers everything good in music. The CD sets a definite mood, a somewhat dark and foreboding one, with small patches or light-heartedness tossed in. This dark mood is brought to play by songs like "June Mermaid" and "Graaf, Emperor of Darkness". A nice touch is the amount of voice that is present within the game, which surprised me. On "Daijiru: City of Burning Sands", the voice sampling provides a nice chant to go along with the instruments.
The melodic, soothing tunes stand out more than the intense songs. They provide a good picture of the scene and the characters, even without playing the game. "Ave, the Ancient Dance" really shows this; when listening to it, it is so easy to imagine a crowd of people gathering in celebration.
I find it hard to compare this CD to any others on the market. It has a little Chrono Trigger mixed with a hint of Final Fantasy, and a lot of its own style. This really shows up in "One who bares fangs at God", which is an altogether *different* sounding song. In the end, this is a really good CD, which doesn't really try to match the typical symphonic style but instead goes out on its own. I recommend Xenogears Original Soundtrack to anyone who wants a little dose of something different.