Musashi Original Soundtrack / Brave Fencer
Brave Fencer Musashi Original Soundtrack
July 23, 1998
Buy Used Copy
Unfortunately, Brave Fencer Musashi is among the less popular games Square Enix has done so far. However, it had many good things about it — it was the first Square Enix game to have full conversations with real voice-overs, it had a charming cast of characters and, of course, it featured a fantastic score. The man for the job was Tsuyoshi Sekito, a newcomer at Square Enix at the time, who, while not quite up to par with Uematsu or Shimomura, holds a strong place with his work. The music is neither orchestral nor synth, but in between, and is generally very enjoyable and catchy. The music also has a lot of variety, ranging from quiet, peaceful tracks to hard rock boss themes. Sekito also uses what sounds like synthesised voices in his music. While it sounds weird the first time you hear them, you’ll see that they fit the music just right once you try out the game. Anyway, on with the review.
I’ll start with what I like best: the boss and dungeon themes. For starters, “Steamknight” (the music for Steam Knight boss battle) starts off loudly, then the bells and drums join in, making it quite appropriate for the bulking machine. The next boss theme is “Skullpion.” This one is a perfect example of the rock style and is full of the voice effects. Like “Steamknight,” you’ll learn to appreciate it the more you listen to it. The final battle theme on the first disc is the truly hard-rocking in-your-face “Vambee Church Battle.” For those who thought that Legend of Mana‘s “Pain The Universe” and “The Darkness Nova” ruled over all, you might put the Legend of Mana tracks away once you’ve experienced this puppy. The only bad thing about “Vambee Church Battle” (if you can call it bad that is) is the section of the track with a flute that sounds like a waltz. It really seems out of place in contrast to the heavy rock in the first half of the track.
The better boss themes are in the second disc. “Relic’s Keeper” is a neat remix of the game’s main theme and it quickly draws you in with its infectious beat and melody. It’s so hard to skip this track. (At least it is for me!) The second battle theme on the second disc is the medieval sounding “Sword Fight,” which is played when you battle Musashi’s rival, Kojiro. I found that theme so good that it’s still stuck in my head. Next is “Frost Dragon.” Here, we are treated to synthesised chants, as well as the usual voices. At the end we hear thumping sound effects. It’s a really strange but really enjoyable boss theme.
If you thought that “Frost Dragon” sounded weird, you ain’t heard nothing yet. Make way for the “Queen Act Battle Theme.” This is one unique track that is flooded with synth voices. At the end of the track, they are constant and loud, and it’s all backed up by bells and drums. Truly something special, you’ll need to listen to it many times before you get to see its beauty and charm despite the possibly annoying voices. Now it really gets interesting with “Ben” — the fat dope was granted a very catchy melody backed up with drums and some other instruments that I can’t identify. If you’ve really enjoyed “Vambee Church Battle” and “Skullpion,” then you’ll definitely get a kick out of “I’m Tellin’ Ya, I’m Ed.” It starts out with electric guitars then the simple but highly enjoyable melody takes place with some voices thrown in here and there. Then we get to the winner in the oddest battle track competition with “Topo’s Groove Heaven.” It’s purely funky and cool! The music was written so because you must battle Topo in her way, dancing and following her steps.
And now we got four battle themes to go. “Tower of Death” has an awesome beat — I happen to like this track so much that I often set the repeat button on my portable CD player once it plays. Next up is the first of the last boss themes, “Demon of Darkness Part 1.” It starts out with drums, followed by bells and really sets the mood for the battle. The last boss theme is “Demon of Darkness Part 2.” It has an Asian sound to it coupled with those synthy voices Sekito will be known for; the melody is very good here and yet again fits the mood perfectly. The remaining battle theme is the “Mother Minku’s Appearance” battle, which I believe is an optional boss. It sounds like something we’ll be hearing in Chocobo no Fushigina Mysterious Dungeon 2 in which Mr. Sekito wrote about 12 tracks out of 43 (which, of course, has the little voices we come to love).
For the dungeon tracks, they are as varied as the boss tracks. The first is “The Winding Tower of Darkness,” which sounds very foreboding, but interesting still. “Forest of Sleep” starts out with some weird instruments, then the voices make their entrance, followed by a beautiful melody. “Twin Mountains” sounds great with its drums, heroic feel, and powerful bass. “Freeze Palace” starts out with omnious drums and it builds up with a mix of the main theme making it one of the best dungeon themes in the game. When it’s time to reach the Queen Ant, “Ant Heaven” plays and has a female chant throughout the track. The chant has a piercing sound which I detest greatly. When you reach the final area, you get another remix of the main theme, but there’s not much to say about it, really.
There are some villain themes, but they aren’t really standing out, save for “Archrival Kojiro Appears,” which has drums, flute, and like many tracks in the set, an enjoyable though short melody. For hero themes, we get “The Musashi Legend,” which is played on your way to the Winding Tower of Darkness and is reused in the ending theme.
All in all, I believe the Brave Fencer Musashi Original Soundtrack is worth getting. For one, it’s by Square and we all know that they always make good music, right? Some tracks are cycled twice, some aren’t, but, still, this shouldn’t keep you from getting this wonderful soundtrack. It simply kicks ass!
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Luc Nadeau. Last modified on January 19, 2016.