Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure Special Selection

Rhythm Thief & The Emperor's Treasure Special Selection Album Title:
Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure Special Selection
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Release Date:
January 19, 2012
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SEGA’s Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure (aka Rhythm Thief R: Emperor Napoleon’s Legacy) currently stands out as the most innovative game released on the 3DS. Featuring a mysterious Tintin-esque scenario, a blend of adventure and rhythm gameplay, and a gorgeous stylish presentation, it fused many of the best features of SEGA’s games into a rounded final product. As with the game itself, the soundtrack stands out as a polished, creative, genre-bending experience. It was initially previewed with a one disc promotional album included with pre-orders of the game in Japan, though this release has since been superseded by a three disc commercial release. The promotional album is reviewed here.


“Theme of Thief R” instantly sets the scene for the soundtrack with its upbeat jazz flavour. Inspired by SEGA’s main theme of old, Tomoya Ohtani makes an effort to inspire audiences of all ages with a hyper-catchy, dazzling brass-based melody. With the help of several jazz veterans, he brings out all the theme’s charisma with rich stylings and dazzling performances. It’s astonoshingly well-produced, especially for a 3DS title. Unfortunately, the version on the promotional soundtrack is only a short version and leaves one wanting more after it cuts off at 1:26.

Building on the soundtrack’s jazzy stylings, “Day in Paris” and “Escape from the Parisian City Police” contrast with their calm and chaotic natures. Nevertheless, both tracks achieve their goals while still placing an emphasis on delightful melodies, compelling rhythms, and a flashy piano solo or two. Others hybridise other stylings into the mix. Several tracks incorporate anthemic melodies for electric guitar, most notably the appearance theme for Detective Claude. The team include intense beats for the boss encounter with the Knights of the Devil, though they still have plenty of rhythmical impetus and should be quite accessible.

As with the team’s soundtracks for Sonic, Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure features numerous short acoustic tracks that make the cinematics more dramatic and immersive. Some of these are included on this promotional album, including the mystical harpsichord-based “The Story So Far”, the beautiful violin solo “Encounter with Maria”, and a short fanfare-like reprise of the main theme. However, they’re fewer in number than on the full soundtrack and the bulk of this album is dedicated to stand-alone highlights.

Scattered across the soundtrack are arrangements of two classical favourites, Bach’s Air on the G String to Tchaikovsky’s The Blue Danube. These reflect understanding of the original material and are well-integrated into the experience. Also included is a catchy remix of a fan favourite from Samba de Amigo, though more nostalgic reprises like these are included in the full soundtrack. The vocal theme “Show Time” is also quite enjoyable, a disco-flavoured song featuring plenty of catchy hooks and even some tasteful rapping. It’s quite reminiscent of SEGA’s pop songs on Space Channel 5 and Sonic Adventure, and for many this won’t be a bad thing. There are several other songs featured on the full version.


This promotional album is a promising insight into the soundtrack for the 3DS title. It is clear that the soundtrack is well-produced, creatively driven, and highly memorable from the tracks selected here. But between the omitted centrepieces and the shortened tracks, it also leaves listeners desiring more. It’s better to skip this release in favour of the full three disc treatment.

Rhythm Thief & The Emperor’s Treasure Special Selection Chris Greening

Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.

About the Author

I've contributed to websites related to game audio since 2002. In this time, I've reviewed over a thousand albums and interviewed hundreds of musicians across the world. As the founder and webmaster of VGMO -Video Game Music Online-, I hope to create a cutting-edge, journalistic resource for all those soundtrack enthusiasts out there. In the process, I would love to further cultivate my passion for music, writing, and generally building things. Please enjoy the site and don't hesitate to say hello!

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