Etrian Odyssey Untold -The Millennium Girl- Original Soundtrack
Etrian Odyssey Untold -The Millennium Girl- Original Soundtrack
July 24, 2013
Buy at CDJapan
The Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl Original Soundtrack accompanies the 3DS remake of the first game in the series. Featuring arranged music of the original soundtrack, as well as new music, both in FM synth and in the style of the more recent games, that accompanies the story mode aspect of the game, the soundtrack offers a fresh take on the iconic tunes. How does the overall music turn out and does the new music live up to the original soundtrack?
The first disc features the original game’s soundtrack with modern arrangements to fit with the style of music from the transition from DS to 3DS and are reminiscent of the style found in Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan. When it comes to the labyrinth themes, overlal, they carry over the atmosphere of the original quite well. From “Labyrinth I – Emerald Woodlands,” which follows in the footsteps of the version found on the Live Music by Strings and Piano: Etrian Odyssey I & II Super Arrange Version, although with a bit more variety in instrumentation, to “Labyrinth IV – The Withered Forest,” with its mysterious nature accentuated by the saxophone to give it a bit of smokiness, the elements of each labyrinth theme are retained. Of note is “Labyrinth VI – Claret Cavern,” with its combination of atmospheric, orchestral, and rock elements that help bring the horroresque, foreboding nature of the original to life. As for the various tone/event themes, there are a variety of styles, from the march style of “Town – Their Name Was Engraved Into the 100th Volume!” to the ensemble driven town theme, “Town – The Roadside Trees Outside the Window.” For the most part, these themes work quite nicely with the overall soundscape of the album; however, some tunes feature, in my opinion, poorer instrument choices, like the organ led melodies for themes like “Town – Bird-Shaped Vane on the Triangular Roof” and “400 – Your Adventure Has Ended.” These tunes, in and of themselves, aren’t inherently bad, as the melodies are quite strong and feature sections that are more akin to the rest of the soundtrack; however, given the lead instrument choice, these tunes standout against the rest of the soundtrack which, for the most part, has a much more unified sound.
The battle themes also retain the nature of the original soundtrack. The first normal battle theme, “Battle – Initial Strike,” features a blend of rock and orchestral elements and is as energetic as the original. The added guitar solo is also a nice touch. The second normal battle theme, “Battle – Destruction Begets Decay” follows stylistically to the first theme. Although there isn’t a dedicated solo section, the new B section is quite good and manages to bring some freshness into the tune. The last normal battle theme, “Battle – Ecstasy,” like the original, has an edgier sound, focusing on rock and organ, primarily, with a violin used in parts to add a bit of a shrill tone to the piece. The FOE theme, “Battlefield – A Sudden Gust of Wind Before Your Eyes,” features rock, orchestral, and electronic elements, although the latter is not a major aspect of the arrangement. It’s a faithful interpretation of the original and doesn’t add another major to the piece. The boss themes all have an orchestral tone to them and simulate the atmosphere of the original quite well. The only major addition is to the final boss theme, “Battlefield – Throne of Creation,” which adds choir into the mix. Some battle themes, though, aren’t as strong. “Battlefield – Towering Pair” is orchestral focused with rock elements, but could have used a bit of extra development. The original is quite simple and this version doesn’t really do anything new, but had a lot of potential I think, especially for the dramatic nature of the battle. “Battlefield – Scatter About” is essentially the same as the version found in Etrian Odyssey IV: Legends of the Titan.
The second disc on the release contains the new music composed for the remake of the original game, most of which are used exclusively in the story mode of the game. The opening, “the beginning of the end,” is an instrumental rock tune that serves as the backdrop for the opening animation. As such, it has that anime OP flavor to it, but without any vocals. “Town – Preparing for Tomorrow” is a march style tune that fits with the overall tone of similar pieces on the original soundtrack. For the most part, the march part is rather boring, however, the relaxing section, comprising of piano, woodwind, and strings, gives off a very tranquil tone. There are two renditions of the story mode exclusive labyrinth, “Labyrinth – Gladsheim.” The first is the tune you will hear during the majority of your travels in Gladsheim. It has a very mysterious and somewhat cold atmosphere and is quite different from the rest of the dungeon themes both in terms of composition and in aesthetics. It doesn’t have as much of the charm as the original, but I think it fits well within the game. The second version, “Labyrinth – Gladsheim – Pulse of Life” is essentially the same tune with an electronic component added into the mix to simulate a sense of urgency as your story comes to a close. There are also two event related themes as part of the new music. “Recollection – A Thousand Years of Solitude” is a mysterious, electronic driven tune, although there are some organic components, such as strings, that help accentuate the atmosphere. It’s very reminiscent of his work on the 7th Dragon 2020 games. The other event theme, “Sorrow – Thinking of Each Other,” is a very melancholy piano and strings theme that conveys a lot of emotion.
The rest of the new music on the album is comprised of battle themes. The normal battle theme for the Gladsheim dungeon, “Battlefield – Furnace of War,” is a powerful rock tune with a great melody and a ton of energy. Koshiro also links it to the game’s first normal battle theme used in the first three labyrinths by including a small motif of “Battle – Initial Strike” which I think is a nice attention to detail that helps tie together the two quite nicely. “War – Crimson Weapons,” the boss theme while in Gladsheim, is a menacing orchestral theme that keeps in line the style of the boss theme found in the labyrinths of Yggdrasil. “Decisive Battle – The End of the World,” which serves as the final boss theme of Gladsheim’s dungeon deviates from the boss battle style by opting for a more rock oriented approach with some electronic accompaniment. It has a slight grunge feel to it, in certain aspects, but the overlying style is definitely J-rock oriented. The final battle in story mode has two separate themes, “Scatter About” (mentioned above) and “Battlefield’s Awakening.” The latter has a very heroic sound and features a mix of jazz, orchestral, and rock elements to it. There are some great harmonies in this piece and it definitely gets you pumped up for the final battle. While all the other new music, “the beginning and the end” withstanding, features FM synth versions, as the game has options for the more modernized style soundtrack or the original BGM featured in the original release of the game, “Battlefield’s Awakening” is the only tune not to feature such a track on the soundtrack release as it was originally part of the prototype soundtrack released alongside the original game. I think it’s a bit of an oversight not to include it, as some people may not have had a chance to own/hear the FM version, if they didn’t purchase the original game. As for the other FM tunes, they capture the atmosphere of the original soundtrack and fit in quite well.
In the end, the Etrian Odyssey Untold: The Millenium Girl Original Soundtrack is worth a listen for fans of the original game and the direction the music has gone starting with the fourth entry in the series. The new music, for the most part, works quite nicely and minus an oversight regarding the FM versions, fans of that style will most likely enjoy the new offerings put forth by Koshiro in that regard. Since the original soundtrack to the game wasn’t the strongest in the series, some of the weaknesses of the original do carry over into the arranged versions, but on the whole, it is an enjoyable soundtrack with a variety of styles to enjoy.
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Posted on February 6, 2015 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 19, 2016.