Ys I & II Chronicles Original Soundtrack Mini
Ys I & II Chronicles Original Soundtrack Mini
July 15, 2009
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Yet another remake of Falcom’s Ys I & II was made in 2009, this time for the PSP. For several reasons, however, this remake was more special than the majority preceding it. First and foremost, Falcom itself was responsible for the development, whereas most other console ports were handled by external developers. This ensured a high quality production that nevertheless remained faithful to the original. This also applied to the soundtrack and arranger Yukihiro Jindo did his best to ensure Ys I & II Chronicles featured the definitive version of the Ys I & II score. This promotional album packaged with the game gives a taste of whether he succeeded.
Love it or hate it, the Ys I & II Chronicles soundtrack wouldn’t be legitimate without an arrangement of “Feena”. Following a choral opening, Yukihiro Jindo’s orchestration moves into a mellow woodwind-based passage that recounts the melody in a typical sentimental way. By the second minute, it’s clear that this arrangement is actually a deep one, as Akiko Nagano offers a much more poignant violin interpretation of the melody, leading to a fulfilling orchestral buildup and a mesmerising suspension. Though not quite as powerful as Ys Origin‘s “Prologue”, it’s a close second among the orchestrations of the track.
“Palace” is also one of the most captivating additions to the promotional soundtrack. Yukihiro Jindo takes a very ethereal approach here, comparable to the more ambient themes of the Trails in the Sky trilogy. However, he still ensures the composition is gripping for listeners with the gorgeous solo violin work and the mesmerising wanderings of the piano support. It’s quite an experience to glide through the shrine to the accompaniment of this arrangement. “Palace of Destruction”, on the other hand, shows what happens when the dungeon springs to life. It’s exactly what fans who played the game back in 1987 could only dream of — a well-produced band performance offering a melodic focus, a gritty backing, and plenty of liberation during the solos. The Ys I Chronicles selection is brief, but each track is of remarkable quality despite the differing genres.
The Ys II Chronicles selection focuses much more on the rock element of the series. For the opening of the promo album, the interpretation of Ys II Eternal‘s “Battle Ground” takes everything that was good about the original and makes its ten times better. Once again, the focus is placed on a catchy melody, which becomes rather disorientating with its fast-paced repetition. However, it is presented in a much more compelling way: studio-recorded electric guitars take the lead instead of mid-90s synth, Kotaro Hatanaka’s drum kit is harder than before and introduces some cross-rhythms, and there is a much-needed reflective interlude added from the 0:55 mark. Elsewhere on the disc, “Moat of Burnedbless” is more intense than ever. The arrangement is the closest the promo album comes to heavy metal, yet there are also some abstract deviations during the development appropriate for the game context.
Yukihiro Jindo also takes two more action themes from Ys II — “To Make the End of Battle” and “Protecters” — and interprets them in a rocking way. With thrashing guitar sounds, hard drum beats, and keyboard and guitar sounds, these tracks really rock. Yet faithful to the original material, the former proves more of a light rock anthem, while the latter is more surreal due to its ethereal introduction and dazzling piano runs. The drums are harder than ever and both keyboard and guitar get a chance to improvise this time. Finally, “Palace of Salmon” is a refreshing departure from the rock tracks with its upbeat Spanish guitar work. It’s still peppered by some orchestral passages and electric guitar chords to maintain that Ys sound, but still sounds very novel with its flamenco focus. While well-stylised and implemented, it’s also insanely catchy too.
This promotional album gives a promising insight into the music of Ys I & II Chronicles. Whether handling cinematic orchestrations, haunting ambient themes, or rocking action music, Yukihiro Jindo seems to get it right and bring the series’ music to the modern age. However, the promotional album has some flaws in terms of presentation, specifically the focus on rather similar rock tracks and the jumbled track selections between the two games. Those who enjoy this should find the full soundtrack release even more delightful.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.