Duel Masters -Birth of Super Dragon- Original Soundtrack
Duel Masters -Birth of Super Dragon- Original Soundtrack
March 24, 2005
Buy Used Copy
In 2005 Atari publishes their own version of Yu-Gi-Oh, the 3-D fighting game Duel Masters -Birth of Super Dragon-. It was based on the card game with the same name and was developed by High Voltage Software. The music for this game is composed by famed musician Motoi Sakuraba. He delivers an diversified repertoire of his usual arrangement techniques.
The main influence of this work is the main theme “Birth of Super Dragon”. It can be heard in its full version at the beginning, as a shortened version at the end, and in several tracks within the score. “Birth of Super Dragon ~Full Version~” features a catchy melody and an orchestral performance that carefully balances between heroic, dramatic, and soft atmospheres. “Fight! Battle Arena” features some great use of brass and percussion. It’s very engaging and heroic sounding.
All the “Civilization” themes are also based on the “Birth of Super Dragon” motif, but were also arranged in different styles and moods. While “Civilization of Fire” features an dramatic and foreboding atmosphere with usual orchestration, “Civilization of Light” features a divine and spiritual atmosphere with church organ and some male chanting. “Civilization of Water” is one of the more interesting arrangements with its electronic style and synth pads. “Civilisation of Nature” begins like a typical Sakuraba town theme with the use of harp, but soon it transforms into a beautiful celtic piece with violin, flute and percussion similar to some of Junya Nakanos work in Final Fantasy IV DS. “Civilization of Darkness” is the less interesting arrangement with eerie and dissonant use of harmonies. But it’s amazing to see how Motoi Sakuraba can transform one melody into several atmospheric pieces.
Most of the remaining tracks on the first disc are variations on the main theme. You can easily tell from the title what they sound like. “Excitement” is especially fun to listen to, while “Haste” is an interesting mix between orchestral melodies and bouncy percussion. “Field of the Decisive Battle” is by far the most dramatic and intense version of the main theme from the first disc with excellent use of brass, strings, and percussion here. “Instant Progress! Duel Masters” and “To Those Unfamiliar With Duel Masters!” are two jolly themes which could be straight from one of the Tales soundtracks. The first disc ends with “Ending”, a bittersweet and melancholy arrangement of the main theme in a Baten Kaitos style.
The second disc contains all the duel themes from the game. “Fire Civilization Duel” serves as an introduction with a bombastic orchestral performance. The percussion here is excellent, especially the use of timpani. The strings and horns also do their part of creating a climatic and powerful atmosphere. I really like the tension- and drama-filled part from 1:20 to 2:00. “Civilization of Water Duel” is a cool new age electronica track with catchy synth pads and “Civilization of Nature Duel” features some great celtic and playful instrumentation, similar to some of his work in Tales of Rebirth.
“Tournament Finals Duel” is also a climactic piece with typical orchestration. There are some interesting aspects, such as the string line and the use of flutes and tambourine here. “Secret Tournament Finals Duel” and “Secret Tournament Preliminaries Duel” feature some catchy melodies with a mixture of Celtic and orchestral sounds, again very similar to Tales of Rebirth. The first is especially enjoyable and entertaining. “The Shadow Duelist” reminds me a bit of Hitoshi Sakimoto’s “Battle on the Bridge” from Final Fantasy Tactics, especially the first notes. “Dark Emperor Xenon” is a wicked and sometimes chaotic sounding composition full of suspense and adrenaline vibes. The use of harpsichord, brass and synth pads is interesting here.
“The Duels Closest to God” and “The Heavenly Duelist” are two of the more interesting compositions. While the first one has a distant scherzo style and both serious and comical aspects, the second one features some Baroque styling with some catchy harpsichord passages together with orchestration. “Pretty Duel Girl” is one of those experimental battle themes with massive use of different synth pads that make it sometimes weird, sometimes fun to listen to. “The Brave Duelist” features once again a Celtic aura with tribal percussion and playful melodies. Especially the use of acoustic guitar is interesting in the middle of the track. The disc ends with a short version of the main theme we heard already on the first track from Disc One.
Even if Motoi Sakuraba clearly overuses his main theme “Birth of Super Dragon” here, its still enjoyable in several arrangements and styles, for example “Excitement”, “Civilization of Light, Water, and Nature”, or “Ending”. While the first disc features among the hundred of versions of the main theme a lot of short and filler tracks, the various duel themes from the second disc are all enjoyable and fun to listen to. Some more so than others, but there isn’t a bad track at all. He doesn’t hold back and experiments with different styles like he did before in soundtracks like Star Ocean: Till the End of Time or the various Tales games. That’s why this soundtrack is an interesting mixture of both of them. It’s a typical Motoi Sakuraba soundtrack with orchestral and synth work yet without his usual progressive rock style, but definitely worthy of listening to. “Instant Progress! Motoi Sakuraba”.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on August 1, 2012 by Max Nevill. Last modified on August 1, 2012.