EHRGEIZ Original Soundtrack
EHRGEIZ Original Soundtrack
November 21, 1998
Buy Used Copy
A year and a half after the composition of Tobal 2, Takayuki Nakamura was called again to score his second Square-published game, Ehrgeiz. Ehrgeiz was a venture between the developing powers of DreamFactory along with the Arcade-style gameplay of Namco. As opposed to Tobal 2, Ehrgeiz concentrates on dance/techno music for one mode and orchestral music for the other. There are even a few ‘Easter Eggs’ in this soundtrack, which I’ll bring up in time. Let’s see if Nakamura managed to surpass the brilliance of Tobal 2.
Starting with the first disc, “The Tale of Ehrgeiz” is the theme which plays while you choose either Arcade Fighter Mode or Quest Mode; it is a fast paced electronic theme which gets the player to expect some fast and furious action out of this game, and that’s precisely what the players are going to get. “Victory” is actually the theme for the first battle, which is again fast paced techno music; the drums pound steadily while the synth clashes every now and then. “Escape” has some vocal samples which cry out at a steady rate, until the synth takes a lead for a bit, then the melody repeats itself. It is a bit too harsh, even for me.
Fear not, the score is diverse in places. “Run Away in the Airship” is one of the few rock tracks for the fighting game… The guitar seems to work along with some helicopter rotor sounds that quiet down in the second portion of the track while some strings slowly creep up and support the guitar and drums; it’s followed by an electronic melody, which is easier to take than the previous track. “Hong Kong Reggae” is a surprising change of style. Some police sirens and some synth start up the track, and then the bass supports all these instruments while creating a tropical feel for the reggae effect. The drums, in contrast, have Eastern vibes to represent Hong Kong.
Ehrgeiz pays a few tributes to Final Fantasy VII with “Those who Fight”. This is a remixed version of the normal battle theme. The remix is done in a techno flavor, and becomes appropriate for this game. Nobuo Uematsu himself paid a visit to Nakamura when this theme was arranged and was quite pleased with the result. The other FFVII theme to be included in Ehrgeiz is the ever famous “Prelude”; the sound quality is a bit higher and Nakamura had added backbeats to the theme, which is again appropriate for its inclusion in this game. The rest of the Fighting Mode music is the standard electronica used in this genre.
The Quest Mode proposes a different genre of music and so we get some epic orchestral themes here. This is immediately noticeable in “Brand New Quest”, in which we are treated to a full blown brass ensemble; the pompous brass elements do their part in depicting that an exciting adventure will soon unfold. “Ruined Town” has the depressive feeling we’ve come to recognize from traditional RPGs; the strings, brass and drums work on tugging at the heartstrings effectively. The dungeon themes all have their own unique qualities to add a sense of mysticism as you explore these seemingly endless mazes. “Dungeon 1” carries a lighter tone than the others as it can’t be all that hard when you start off. In contrast, “Dungeon 7” has some strings and violins, supported by bass and a haunting choir; we can tell we are near the end of the quest with this.
Battle themes are well executed for their part. “Battle in a Trap” is the main battle theme. After a sudden violin/brass/drum intro, the theme gets progressively more aggressive; the violins get more space and the brass supports them along with pounding drums, which have intensity to reflect a short skirmish with enemies. “Boss” starts off with rapid violins, drums, and brass, while strings soon join in to heat things up a bit. “Master Boss” seems to be the final boss theme; the slow, yet menacing pace sets the scene for what ends up being a decent final boss theme. Overall the Quest Mode music is actually more bearable to the ear than the Fighting Mode and RPG Fans have a reason to track it down as it shows a good amount of potential for Nakamura.
The second disc contains arrangements of a majority of the Fighting Mode Music. Most instruments used seem to be played and recorded live, certainly complementing the original tracks.
Give or take, Ehrgeiz has its strong and weak points, which depends on people’s personal tastes. Some will prefer the fighting music over the quest music and vice-versa. Those who are open-minded to both spectrums will likely appreciate both. Unlike Tobal 2, Ehrgeiz rarely shows up on eBay so Yahoo Japan Auctions is your only chance.
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 August 1, 2012.