Suikoden Tactics Original Soundtrack

Suikoden Tactics Original Soundtrack Album Title:
Suikoden Tactics Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Konami Digital Entertainment
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
September 28, 2005
Buy at CDJapan


About a year after the rather disappointing Suikoden IV, Konami published Rhapsodia (aka Suikoden Tactics in the US), the first spin-off of the series. While the game itself is an mix of tactical RPG and classic Suikoden elements, the sound director and composer of the instalment was Norikazu Miura, who contributed part of Suikoden IV‘s soundtrack and the subsequent Suikoden V. The sound quality is superb once again and the compositions are very enjoyable with mostly orchestral arrangements and lots of fresh arrangements from previous games such as Suikoden IV. You can read whether it is a worthy addition to the legendary series below.


The soundtrack opens with a lush vocal rendition of the game’s main theme “Another World”. Yoshiko’s spirited and beautiful voice fits extremely well to the overall airy instrumentation with harp, woodwinds, and percussive effects. Even if the track is rather short, it works well within the game and provides a nice opener. However, it shouldn’t be compared to other opening themes from the series. The melody is heavily integrated throughout the soundtrack. For example, the menu theme “A Place to Rest on the Journey” is a pleasant track with incorporation of the “Another World” melody.

In “Studying the Battle”, we are introduced into the battle sound of Suikoden Tactics with this exciting theme. Norikazu Miura uses his typical instrumentation like gorgeous brass passages together with dramatic strings, soft woodwinds, and pumping percussion effects. There stylistic foundations are elaborated upon throughout the soundtrack. “The Beginning of Battle”, for instance, develops into an military march peppered with brass renditions of the main theme “Another World”. “Offense and Defense of the Great Plains” is another triumphant piece of battle music. After the opening with a few notes from the main theme, the brass roars around in a very heroic and pulsing way together with the climactic strings in the background.

A large proportion of the soundtrack is actually composed of arrangements from Suikoden IV. The world map theme from that game returns in “Oh, Sparkling Sea! Oh, Sky!”. A more luscious and slow variation of the original, it captures a peaceful sound that works well in context. “Once Upon a Time, In the Town of Razril”, the first story battle theme, is a fantastic blend of Suikoden IV‘s battle theme with novel passages. It is all really fun to listen to, unlike many of the overly dramatic and militaristic tactical RPG themes. “Fated Confrontation”, Suikoden IV‘s duel theme, also makes a gorgeous appearance on “Devisive Battle with Steele”. Of course, Suikoden IV‘s main theme also receives a prominent arrangement in “Meeting the Cursed Rune”. The piano is fantastic and the deep here, while mournful violin adds lots of emotion with renditions of Suikoden II‘s “Reminiscence”.

>Definitely not only “just” a theme, “Just a Young Man” is a lovely rendition of Suikoden IV‘s “Base” motif. After the excellent eerie harp introduction the harmonious melody is introduced in the form of gentle strings. It later gains more power with the addition of bass rhythms, an oboe, and various bell effects. “Theme of the Hideout” is a catchy and bouncy rendition of the tango-inspired original. The second-hand shop theme “Are Your Ready” is also full of joyful and memorable moments. One of the spectacular moments is the integration of Suikoden‘s “Into a World of Illusions” theme from 0:41 on. Other enjoyable reprises include the “Beautiful Morning” theme from Suikoden II in “At the Inn”, a peppy tango-inspired piece, and “Narcy’s Theme” in a decent waltz rendition. Other reprises include the warfare theme “Encounter on the Sea”, Razril’s catchy theme “A Certain Port Town”, and the peppy bar theme “The Travelling Dice-Thrower”.

Some reprises are definitely not welcome though. Rune Master of the Town” brings back some bad memories from Suikoden IV. But luckily the track is a little better developed that “Play the Rune Cards” with more ethnic sounds and the addition of new parts such as the string section shortly after the one minute mark. Still annoying, but this time definitely more enjoyable. “A March with Rita” also attempts to rescue an awful theme and, while Miura does the best he could, the track is still inherently annoying. “Evil Power 1” and “Evil Power 2” are based on passages straight from “Decisive Battle Against a Corrupted Soul” from Suikoden IV. They are creepy but sadly rather short piece with sweeping strings and dissonant sound effects. Likewise “The Meaning of Inheritage” is too similar to the original and the new additions are actually degradatory, while “The Conversation Continues” really didn’t deserve to be revisited on this score.

One of Suikoden IV‘s least memorable tracks, namely “Rollback”, is here, transformed into a catchy and upbeat battle theme in “War of the Rune Cannons”. With its effective balance between dramatic and jolly, it’s a surprising transformation of the original. “Searching for a Clue” is a battle remix of the underground theme “Hidden Offense and Defense”. While the structure is nearly identical, some interesting additions were made, such as the synth bass line, the rhythmic percussion, and the gloomy introduction. He also transforms the simple but atmospheric “Palisade Melody” into a pulsive battle theme on “Into the Quiet Fortress Once Again”. The scary and solemn atmosphere is still there with the use of an ominous choir in the background and unusual piano chords, while new additions such as the male chorus make the track more immersive.

Among other originals, the epic “When A Full-Scale Battle Transpired” meanwhile is an excellent opening to the second disc. Even if the piece is rather unmelodic, the atmosphere is simply overwhelmingly emotional with its ethnic flute and male chanting. “Steadfast Determination” is a fast-paced but sadly rather repetitive battle theme with use of strings, brass, and percussion. Its best part is probably around 1:16 where the melody is a bit more developed. One of the less interesting tracks. After the familiar roaring brass introduction, “Clash with the Cavalry” into a typical battle theme in Miura style with pumping percussion, brass chords, and later a bittersweet fragment of the “Things Lost” motif. “Pride of the Blood Brothers” is a bombastic battle theme that returns the soundtrack to an epic orchestral style. The pounding timpani are especially enjoyable.

Suikoden Tactics revives the series’ tradition for solid town themes, preceding Miura’s greats on Suikoden V. “Town Upon a Canal” for Mercet creates a serene atmosphere with water noise and light orchestration. “Town of the Research Institution” has a far more serious tone and integrates Eastern instrumentation, but is too repetitive to really inspire. “Frontier Town” is strangely one of my personal favorites of the whole town theme set, having a lighter sound than the rest with its drunken voice samples and little jazzy melodies. “Small Village on the State Border” is interesting town theme too. This time it exhibits a much more jolly and adventurous style with heavy use of bagpipes and accordion to give a somewhat Scottish feel. The second world map theme “A Continental Breeze” is another charming and beautifully constructed piece. It captures a traditional RPG vibe with its heroic brass and soaring strings while being backed by soft jazzy percussion.

As the game is moving into the final chapter, the themes become more dark and dramatic from here onwards. “Upon the Throne of the Emperor” is a dramatic theme that incorporates lamenting female vocals. “Quake in the Imperial Capital”, one of the longest themes from this score ,is also one of the more boring pieces surprisingly enough. The tension-filled track develops slowly and builds up with more use of percussion and crisis motif. However, the melody never really develops or becomes more memorable. The Eastern atmosphere of the Gruska theme is integrated, but it doesn’t help much. “Secret Facility of the Empire” is the strangest and most experimental theme from the score. The mix of Gregorian chants, techno synth, and tribal percussion sounds very confusing, but contributes to an interesting and unique theme nevertheless. Sadly, the melody goes nowhere and the synth and chorals work more against than with each other.

Moving to the climax of the score, the decisive battle themes aren’t particularly suitable for stand-alone listening. “Born of the Beholder” is a cinematic battle theme that will split opinions. While some parts are orchestral bliss, others are more reminiscent of horror scores with pizzicato strings and brass choir. It’s another weird mix of styles like in “Secret Facility…” only a bit more developed. The final battle “Different World” begins with further use of weird synth effects together with orchestration. Around the 0:30 mark, a few chords from “Decisive Battle Against a Corrupted Soul” make a short appearance before the track loops. There is hardly nothing more to say here. It’s a bit too monotonous and ambient for an battle theme, but describes the decisive situation in a different world well enough.

The epilogue of the game is accompanied by a number of enjoyable themes. There are some emotional thematic reprises in “Until This Time Comes”, “Everyone Upon Their Own Path”, and “A Letter from a Young Lady”. The orchestration is straightforward yet effective, emotionally engaging the listener while rounding off the score. “Another Finale” is the staff credits theme and is based on the main theme as you may have guessed. After opening in an airy and mystical way, the brass sets in together with some beats and the melody is played in its most beautiful instrumental version thus far. The second section is more heroic with military instrumentation, leading to glorious finish. The soundtrack closes with some nostalgic reprises of the original victory and main themes from the series.


The soundtrack for Rhapsodia or Suikoden Tactics is an excellent two disc set and features some of the most bombastic and epic themes from the series. As the game is tactical based, there are a lot of battle and action themes within, all with superior quality and memorability to most tactical RPGs. As it takes a few years after the story of Suikoden IV there are numerous arrangements and remixes from that score and even some surprising ones from earlier scores. The arrangements of its predecessor are done excellently and are now often more enjoyable than the original versions and not just because of the excellent sound quality of the music samples. Norikazu Miura shows his talent in his first solo project after contributing some tracks in Suikoden IV. Only one year later the fantastic score for the fifth part of the series appeared, also from Miura. I really hope to see more from this fantastic new composer in the future with Suikoden Tierkreis! Until then, listen to this score and let it reach your mind and heart.

Suikoden Tactics Original Soundtrack Max Nevill

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.

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