Label: DigiCube - SSCX-10034 • Format: 2x, CD • Country: Japan • Genre: Electronic, Stage & Screen • Style: Breakbeat, Soundtrack, Modern Classical, Ambient
Legend of Mana was the modestly received instalment of the long-running Mana series for the PlayStation. Following Hiroki Kikuta's departure from Square, Yoko Shimomura was offered to compose the title in his place, having long desired to score a traditional RPG. She took the series' music firmly in her own direction, conveying the organic scenery and spiritual story of the game with various semi-orchestrated pieces, and was also given the resources to create one of Square's most Gulbė Karaliaus Pati - Rūta Staliliūnaitė - Gulbė Karaliaus Pati implemented scores to that date.
The lavishly produced title theme introduces the main theme of Legend of Mana. The composition is more similar in structure to Chrono Cross ' "Scars of Time" than Secret of Mana 's "Fear of the Heavens", shifting from a slow scenic introduction towards an action-packed climax. The overworld theme "World of Mana" is one of the most atmospheric additions to the soundtrack.
The enigmatic string suspensions and spiritual harp arpeggios at the introduction inspire listeners to imagine the beautiful world they are entering. The dark piano-based interlude brings further depth to this extensively developed composition. Likewise, "Nostalgic Indulás - Oi-Kor - Árpád Népe inspires subtle emotions from listeners with its wistful oboe melody and slow-building orchestration.
Most of the setting themes for Legend of Mana portray the scenery in a fitting way. For example, "Hometown Legend Of Mana ~ Title Theme - Yoko Shimomura - Legend Of Mana: Original Soundtrack perfectly complements the peaceful and historic town featured the start of the journey.
Other memorable depictions include Lumina, where the Solidarity - Angelic Upstarts - Reason Why? chime parts contribute to a mystical soundscape, and Palpota Harbour, where the phrasing and orchestration is completely liberated. Thanks to Square's newly introduced team of synthesizer operators, the samples featured in such compositions are excellent and bring so much humanity to the experience.
More adventurous pieces are also wonderful accompaniments to the game's dungeons and demonstrate Shimomura's more rhythmically driven, texturally thick approaches to orchestation. As the game approaches its climax, there are several breathtaking tracks, such as the airy meditative soundscape "The Other Truth" and the dark cinematic orchestration "Complicated Destiny".
These really help to drive the storyline forward and are particularly special in context. Yet perhaps the most emotional of all these is "City of Flickering Destruction", a romantic miniature written for piano trio; Shimomura's writing is once again straightforward technically, but sufficiently elaborate and developed to inspire just the desired emotions in the listener.
Shimomura also maintains the series' reputation for hard-hitting action tracks. Amidst all the organic tracks, boss themes such as "Pain the Universe", "The Darkness Nova", and "Irwin on Reflection" make quite an impact with their rock stylings.
The former is particularly reminiscent of Shimomura's Capcom work with its elevating synth melodies, whereas "The Darkness Nova" is pumped with cheesy guitar riffs reminiscent of Black Sabbath. Other surprises include "Bedlight Orbit" and "Marginal Beast", where Shimomura revisits her techno stylings from Parasite Eve to create more ambient battle tracks. Though the contemporary tracks bring some variety to the score, they don't complement the game as well as the more organic pieces and sometimes sound superficial.
For whatever reason, they are nevertheless regarded by many as favourites. Throughout the soundtrack, the music proves impressive compositionally and technologically. A few less remarkable compositions open the second disc, but even these are effective in portraying the game's mini-games and the likes of "Pastoral" integrate particularly well. For the final boss theme, Shimomura recapitulates the main theme for the score in a much darker orchestration.
It's an ideal way to bring the soundtrack full circle, reflecting how the antagonist has corrupted the game's beautiful world, while motivating gamers to defeat him.
The soundtrack concludes with reprises of the themes that opened the album, including the full-length rendition of the vocal theme "Song of Mana", a ballad featuring Swedish vocalist Annika and Legend Of Mana ~ Title Theme - Yoko Shimomura - Legend Of Mana: Original Soundtrack instrumentals. Legend of Mana is an excellent example of a traditional RPG score done right. Following the eccentric approach of Hiroki Kikuta's scores, Yoko Shimomura integrates a familiar tonal musicality and conventional sound palette throughout.
However, she still retains the essence of the Mana franchise with her various scenic yet emotional compositions. Every composition on this score is effective in context and the majority of them are also highly satisfying on a stand-alone basis. This soundtrack stands among the best of its era. Rate the album! Body The lavishly produced title theme introduces the main theme of Legend of Mana. Album was composed by Yoko Shimomura and was released on October 20, Soundtrack consists of 55 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours.
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Sign up Forgot password? Nostalgic Song. World of Mana. Where the Heart Resides. Hometown Domina. Diddle's Organ. Travelers' Road. Pain the Universe. Cliff Town Gato. Colored Earth. Marginal Beast. Moonlit City Roa. To the Sea. Port City Polpota. Faraway Dreaming Days Generations of Serenity. Bedight Orbit. The Wind Sings, For the Journey. Magic City Geo. Passing Memories. The Darkness Nova. At the Ranch. Maker's Galopp. Dreaming Fruits. Good Things Happen! Let's Play the Organ! Part 2.
Serene Song. Sorrowful Song. Cheerful Song. Mysterious Song. The Whereabouts of Truth. Irwin on Reflection. Beyond the Truth. Overlapping Destinies. For the Granted Bonds.
Blazing Castle. The Crimson Dragon Emperor. Those Who Wait Before Destiny. Blue Melancholy. The Jewel Thief Sandra Appears! Ruined Sparkling City. Foolish Love for Treasure.
Sanctuary of Mana. Time of Darkness.
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