Zero Escape -Virtue’s Last Reward- Original Soundtrack

zeroescape Album Title:
Zero Escape -Virtue’s Last Reward- Original Soundtrack
Record Label:
Sweep Record
Catalog No.:
Release Date:
April 19, 2012
Buy at Sweep Record


The Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward Soundtrack features the music from the PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS sequel to the original game 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors. Shinji Hosoe once again provides the music for the game. Unlike the first soundtrack, which intertwined the story and escape music, this soundtrack separates them into separate listening experiences with the first disc being dedicated to the escape sequence compositions and the second disc featuring the story passage music. Is the soundtrack as successful as the original and does the separation of two types of tracks make for a disjointed listening experience?


The album opens and closes with two themes that are very similar to one another. The first “Virtue’s Last Reward ~Orchestra~,” named after one version of the translated title of the game, is an orchestral version of the main theme established in 9 Hours 9 Persons 9 Doors. Similar to the original theme, the track progresses from its soothing opening into a compelling drum ‘n bass passage heard in the original theme, complete with the sinister and mysterious atmosphere. The album closes with “Virtue Is Its Last Reward ~Piano~,” named after the other way the original Japanese title could be translated. While similar, the addition of the piano in the first portion of the track really helps bring a bit more of a personal, romantic touch to the piece.

The first disc is dedicated to the music that plays during the escape sequences. The first “Ambidexterity” features similar motifs as “Unary Game” from the preceding soundtrack, but is nevertheless a unique entity. The focus for this track is very industrial, with heavy beats and sinister synthesizers. It really helps capture the essence of the original, while giving a taste for a somewhat darker soundtrack overall. Among my favorite tracks include “Cabin” and “Recreation” with their strong drum ‘n bass feel. I love the unique soundscape the former creates in conjunction with the drawn-out distorted synthesizers, while the latter encapsulates the game itself by gradually shifting in tone from its lighter introduction towards its darker conclusion. But “Pantry” is probably my favorite of the escape sequences. While it isn’t extremely melodic, it does manage to captivate through its wonderful sense of rhythm.

Compared to most of the escape sequences, “Biotope” seems like it is misplaced, though it’s hardly a bad track. I enjoy how the lighthearted nature of the melody linegives off this bubbly exuberance while the accompanying beats and rhythms help tie it to the rest of the soundtrack. Another deviation is “Data”, which takes the focus away from electronic beats in favour of an extremely industrial soundscape. Despite this, it still creates a strong feeling of dread. “Dispensary”, “Gaulem”, and “Monitor” both exhibit a very cold feeling, respectively incorporating industrial tones, choral tones, and chiming elements. The latter is particularly impressive for its warm build-up in the B section that gives off a spacey, futuristic vibe. Rounding off the escape themes is the well-developed “Q”. The track goes through ominous moments, as well as more industrial and upbeat sections, ensuring it never sounds stale throughout its duration.

The second disc is dedicated to the story sequence music. In the tradition of most horror-influenced soundtracks, some tracks set the moody with moody soundscapes. “Sinisterness” and “Desperation” establish a fantastic ambience with their creepy synthesizer tones, while “Eeriness” incorporates some moody alien-like synthesizer passages in its latter half. One of the darkest tracks on an already dark soundtrack, “Consternation” continues to explore the demented rhythms and industrial tones featured elsewhere on the soundtrack. While effective in the game, such tracks aren’t always ideal for stand-alone listening and require listeners to be in a certain mood. A little more accessible is “Placidity”, with its incorporation of both ominous and bright piano tones; much like Resident Evil’s save room themes, it provides some solace in an otherwise brutal experience. Likewise, while “Divulgation” and “Demise” also feature very dark, industrial tones and intricate rhythms, they also incorporate a melodic focus as well.

“Confession” is one of the more poignant themes on the soundtrack. Primarily heartfelt and touching piano dominates the track, creating a beautiful atmosphere and melody. However, I think the most touching portion of the track is when the crystalline synthesizer in the accompaniment offers a very effective countermelody. “Clarification” also takes on more of a melodic sound as well. While it isn’t quite as tuneful, I think that it is still a very organic sounding track that covers both a sinister tone as well as a more homely sound, thanks to the combination of eerie synthesizers and warming acoustic guitar lines. Lastly, “Blue Bird Lamentation” is probably most comparable to “9 Years” from the preceding soundtrack in terms of use in game. It opens with a very mysterious, almost creepy music box melody before swelling into a stunning orchestral theme that really gives off a feeling of accomplishment, yet also a bit of sadness. While I prefer the precedessor’s “9 Years,” I think that this track is also a nice, softer side of Hosoe.<


In the end, I think that the Zero Escape: Virtue’s Last Reward soundtrack is as accomplished as its predecessor. Although the separation of the escape and story sequences makes for easy track use identification, at times, it can cause the second disc to be a bit more of a chore to listen to. Fortunately, there are plenty of gems on both discs and the overall escape tunes tend to be stronger than their predecessor’s tunes for the most part. I definitely recommend this soundtrack for the fans of the first game’s soundtrack and for those who enjoy the darker, emotional side of Shinji Hosoe.

Zero Escape -Virtue’s Last Reward- Original Soundtrack Don Kotowski

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


Posted on August 1, 2012 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on March 19, 2016.

About the Author

Currently residing in Philadelphia. I spend my days working in vaccine characterization and dedicate some of my spare time in the evening to the vast world of video game music, both reviewing soundtracks as well as maintaining relationships with composers overseas in Europe and in Japan.

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