Genso Suikoden III Original Soundtrack

Genso Suikoden III Original Soundtrack. Передняя обложка. Click to zoom.
Genso Suikoden III Original Soundtrack
Передняя обложка
Composed by HIMEKAMI / Masahiko Kimura / Michiru Yamane / Takashi Yoshida
Arranged by Masahiko Kimura / Michiru Yamane / Takashi Yoshida
Published by Konami Music Entertainment
Catalog number KMCA-164~5
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 CD - 76 Tracks
Release date July 24, 2002
Duration 02:28:00
Genres
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Overview

Four years had passed since fans enjoyed the second installment of the series. In 2002, Konami finally released the third part of the beloved series, this time with full 3D graphics on the PlayStation 2. The main attributes stayed the same, but there were also some changes. One of them is the music. Miki Higashino, highly acclaimed for her efforts on the first two Suikoden soundtracks, had left Konami, so the trio of composers Michiru Yamane, Takashi Yoshida, and Masahiko Kimura took over. Yamane, mostly known for her work on the Castlevania series, previously had experience scoring for RPGs with Elder Gate but was only moderately successful. Were the three worthy to continue the legacy of Suikoden?

Body

Suikoden III's opening theme "Tracending Love" was composed and performed by the famos New Age group Himekami, active since 1989. While actually a mix between classic new age electronics and ethnic vocal passages (similar to their work "Poetry of Gods") the song builds up an enormous atmosphere of beauty, ethnicity, and spirituality. This fits extremelly well into the context of the Eastern-influenced series and the opening animation as well. The vocal chants are actually supposed to be an ancient japanese language called Ainu and are absolutely stunning, while the music underlays it perfectly in a soft and melancholy way. Though the remaining score may be a bit weak, this theme is fantastic and definitely worth listening to. Some of the other tracks accompanying the opening cutscenes are more cinematic in nature and therefore less likely to appeal. For example, "Chris' Parade" is dominated more by sound effects than music and just lacks the stand-alone appeal of Suikoden II's equivalents. It is one of many such filler cues on the soundtrack.

The first area theme appears in form of the Karaya Village theme "The Wind and the Earth". Musically, the theme sets up the perfect mood for the first steps in the game: lively, peppy, and ethnic with use of playful woodwind melodies, gentle strings in the background, and catchy tribal percussion. The development of the track is right on and well balanced overall. This track is rearranged at several key points of the soundtrack to demonstrate happenings in the home town. The world map theme "Journey" is another typical Suikoden-sounding composition with an adventurous and catchy aura. While it nearly sounds like the first Suikoden's overworld themes, it manages to keep the traditional atmosphere alive, even if it's a bit short and the snare samples are a bit too fast for my tastes. You can easily hear that "Rustling Wind" belongs to Yamane with her use of playful woodwind and harp arpeggios. It's one of the more pleasant area themes to listen to, but also not really spectacular.

Sadly, many of the area themes on the soundtrack lack the polish of those of past entries. "Town on the Bridge" for the Zexen Knight Fort contains one main woodwind-based motif which is steadily repeated until the end of the track and develops more and more as the track goes along. It's playful and cheery sounding, but overall I'm not quite satisfied with the bland and repetitive melody and its arrangement. Likewise, while the castle theme "A Knight's Pride" has a touch of pride and militarism within, the overall arrangement lacks a bit with its brassy focus. Masahiko Kimura's eerie ambient sound returns with "Underground Passage". While the instrumentation simply shouts "boring", it's tolerable in the context of the game because of the atmosphere it creates. Actually the area theme for Senai Mountain, "False Altair" relies heavily on percussion and thin harmonies. Though it creates a mysterious atmosphere, the development simply isn't good enough for enjoyment or memorability. The respective Middle Eastern and Spanish flavours of "Future Road ~Mountain Crossing~" and "Reliable Merchants" are also not sufficient to redeem them.

The theme for the capital, "Vinay Del Zexay", is thankfully one of the better tracks. The introduction is wonderfully done with its glorious and military atmosphere to accompany the entrance scene of the town. Around 0:43 the background music for the town begins and portrays a playful and lively atmosphere, from the catchy main part to the soft harp ending. Exploring other locales, the Duck Village theme "Duckling" is catchy and features some especially beautiful instrumentation in the second half, while Cheerful Farming Village" also focuses on a catchy motif and Ixe Village's "Harvest Festival" proves effective if unimpressive. Many of these tracks have received more impressive arrangements in Suikoden's discography. "Mysterious People" is the theme for Alma Kinan Village, a place resided by women only. It is a simple tune, but has also one of the most atmospheric melodies from the long deprived score. While the tribal percussion is held in the background, a flute plays the ethnic melody. The highlight of the track, a choir, accompanies it in a mysterious and haunting way. The theme is one of the best on the soundtrack.

Similiar as Suikoden II's tension themes, "Tension 1" and "Tension 2" rely on dramatic string motifs to build up an anxious atmosphere. They're among those many themes which work in the context of the game well, but not really on soundtrack alone. Even more disappointing are the "Crisis" themes with their monotonous drones. Further filler range from "Conversation 1" with its repetitive development, "Blazing Rapport" with its simplistic melodies, or "Temple", an inferior imitator of Higashino's pipe organ themes. In the footsteps of Suikoden II's "Dandy Richmond", "Detective Kidd's Theme" focuses also on the use of jazz motifs for their detective, but loses easily to its predecessor with its thin construction and short-lived development. Also not one to mix up with the gorgeous theme from Suikoden II. "Reminiscence" is just a typical filler track with a slightly mysterious aura. "Narcy's Theme" is also directly arranged from the first soundtracks, but in a less energetic and charming variation. While the accordion melody is the same, the background rhythm was changed a little with the use of percussion and faster piano chords to degradatory effect.

Compared to other installment's themes, the normal battle theme "Wild Soul" lackluster and disappointing right away. The overall atmosphere is much too clumsy and comical for a battle theme. While there are a few tries to build up the drama, for example towards the middle, it doesn't help much. The percussion use is simply horrible with the claps and bongos. The woodwind and bass melodies are, as I said, a bit too misleading. The brass sounds OK, but is also not memorable enough. Sadly one of the worst battle themes in the series for sure. Another misstep is "Surprise Attack", which sounds more clumsy and comical than intended due to its misplaced woodwind use. Other dire efforts include "Attack", "Escape", and "Don't Lose to Guillaume". The boss battle theme "Glittering Blade" is more impressive with its dramatic atmosphere and excellent development, from the heroic brass to the climatic strings and solid use of percussion. I like the transition from the tension-packed first section to the more heroic section around 0:40. "The One Hindering the Way" is also an effective orchestration, but once again lacks somewhat in terms of melody and percussion.

Relative to other Headquarter themes of the series, "Castle on the Lake" is merely decent. Again acoustic-oriented, the acoustic guitar and xylophones are the main instruments here, but used in a more or less repetitive way. The brass, strings, and woodwinds are added later. The atmosphere is peaceful and serene, but it lacks the warmth and tenderness of equivalent themes in other games. I prefer the arranged versions once again. "Clattering Hooves" is the war theme from Suikoden III. The atmosphere is more intense and dramatic than heard before, but sadly it's the worst theme in the series. Whereas the other parts had orchestral bombastic themes full of power and energy, this one is pulsing, repetitive, and hardly memorable. The snare drums are monotonous, the horn sounds like it lost its way, and the choir sounds simply missplaced. One of the later battle themes on the soundtrack, "Ebb and Flow" is also one of the more intense and dramatic compositions. The development is right on with frenzied use of percussion and orchestration. The melody isn't bad either, but once again the theme relies too heavy on one simple motif and builds up melodramatically.

Moving to the final areas, the Sindar Ruins theme "Midwinter Land" is a mysterious piece. While it has a typical icy feeling needed for the location, the melody is too monotone and boring. "Circle Palace" is another bell-oriented area theme with a mysterious touch, but is too ambient and unmemorable for my taste. Despite the title, "Complicated Thoughts" is the final dungeon theme and one of the highlights among the area themes. It is a riddle to me why Yamane comes up introduced her upbeat style only with this late track, but it ensures an interesting climax. Starting off with some bell motifs and percussion, she once again makes use of diverse woodwinds to add a bit of emotion to the piece. At the middle of the track things dramatically change with the use of organ, choir, and frenzied percussion. The final battle theme makes effective use of dramatic orchestration. The timpani is used heavily while other percussion, strings, and woodwinds create an atmosphere of doom and determination. The brass is helping to bring a bit power to the piece. The theme integrates a surprising section from 0:50 in the form of some brass notes from Suikoden II's battle and boss themes, but the remains aren't spectacular.

"Everyone's Smiling Faces" is Suikoden III's epilogue theme for all its characters. With a playtime of nine minutes, this one nearly rivals its precessor's 12 minute theme. The actual piece is a medley with several sections. Beginning with heroic brass motifs, a highlight passage is at the 2:00 mark, which highlights the ethnic flavour of the series with its acoustic guitar basis. Around the five minute mark, the piece gets more slow and serene with use of upbuilding orchestration and achieves its climax around 6:35, before reprising the first idea. This theme is definitely not a dissapointment and is a clear winner of the remaining score. "To Peaceful Days" continues where the marvelous epilogue theme ended, featuring some highlight piano passages and guitar solos, particularly at the finale. This is the only track on the score with a harsher but otherwise improved sound quality. After two gorgeous orchestral pieces, "Path of the Comet" ends the soundtrack in an mysterious way. It's actually Leknaat's theme, but instead of using the famed "Touching Theme" from the series, Kimura created this ambient styled theme. It's a pitiful way to end this score, but this track reflects the true nature of the complete score nicely: monotonous and mundane.

Summary

Suikoden III has the weakest soundtrack in the series, that's for sure. This isn't like the two glorious PlayStation scores given Miki Higashino's departure. The new composer team created an acceptable score in its own right, but compared to other installments it's definitely a lackluster. One of the main reasons is the sound quality. The game was released in 2002 on PlayStation 2, but the sound design and manipulation here seems very lazy. Even Final Fantasy X had better sound and it was released one year before this game. A disappointment after the technologically pioneering PlayStation scores. But there are major problems with the music as well. Nearly all the arrangements are lacking and there is hardly any variety in the score. Every area theme sounds the same and these themes are among most important in an RPG next to the battle themes. Speaking of battle themes, this score has one of the worst in the RPG history, while many others aren't much better. The main attraction of the remaining mundane score are the opening and ending themes like in every episode of the series. In conclusion, I want to say that this score is a tolerable collection of tracks if you don't mind the somewhat repetive and ambient nature. Die-hard Suikoden fans may get this score, but I don't recommend it to everyone. There are definitely better soundtracks in the series and some of the best tracks from this score were arranged on various CDs for greater listening pleasure.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Max Nevill

Genso Suikoden III Opening Theme "Transcending Love"
Music & All Intruments: HIMEKAMI

Music Composed & Arranged by Michiru Yamane (Konami TYO)
Takashi Yoshida (Konami TYO)
Masahiko Kimura (Konami TYO)
Album was composed by HIMEKAMI / Masahiko Kimura / Michiru Yamane / Takashi Yoshida and was released on July 24, 2002. Soundtrack consists of tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by Konami Music Entertainment.

CD 1

1
Transcending Love (Genso Suikoden III Opening)
03:11
2
Wind Blowing from the Hills (Hugo's Opening)
00:57
3
The Wind and the Earth (Karaya Village BGM)
03:23
4
Journey (World Map BGM)
01:52
5
City on the Bridge (Fort of the Zexen Knights)
02:13
6
Tension 1
01:32
7
A Warrior's Pride (Inside Brass Castle BGM)
02:09
8
A Day Amidst Dripping Trees (Zexen Forest BGM)
01:26
9
Wild Soul (Battle BGM 1)
02:16
10
And Now, The Results! (Battle Results Display BGM)
01:03
11
Vinay Del Zexay
03:19
12
Assault
00:56
13
Escape
00:20
14
The Glittering Blade
02:19
15
Toppo/Nei/Shabon's Theme
01:02
16
Theme for a Narcissist ~Again and Again~
01:13
17
Let's Go on an Adventure! (Battle BGM 2)
01:22
18
Pinch 1
01:16
19
Don't Lose to Guillaume! (Guillaume Battle BGM)
01:34
20
Beneath the Moonlight (Saint Loa Knights BGM 2)
01:21
21
Triumphant Return (Saint Loa Knights BGM 3)
01:18
22
Chris' Parade (Chris's Opening)
01:02
23
The Council (Vinay Del Zexay Council BGM)
01:44
24
Conversation 1
01:15
25
Temple (Vinay Del Zexay Temple)
01:56
26
Shining Grassland (Amur Plains BGM)
02:50
27
Footsteps Approach (Truce Agreement BGM)
01:51
28
Hurry to Karaya! (Amur Plains - Evening BGM)
02:03
29
Karaya Ablaze
01:22
30
Grief
01:35
31
They're Blocking the Road (Battle BGM 3)
03:03
32
Green Tombstone (Lulu's Resting Place BGM)
02:24
33
Little Duck (Duck Village BGM)
02:37
34
Conversation 2
01:49
35
Detective Kidd's Theme
00:48
36
Underground Corridor (Shortcut BGM)
02:13
37
The Rustling Wind (Yaza Plains BGM)
01:42
38
Sudden Battle (Battle BGM 4)
01:15
39
The Great Cave
01:34
40
Reunion
00:55
41
Conversation 3
01:50
42
Reminiscence
00:45
43
A Pleasant Pasture
01:01
44
Play Cards!
00:59

CD 2

1
Harvest Festival (Iksay Village BGM)
01:55
2
Pinch 2
00:57
3
Scattering Sparks (Battle BGM 5)
01:32
4
Sunset Melody (Iksay Village - Sunset)
03:14
5
Bright Farming Village (Chisha Village BGM)
02:53
6
Tension 2
00:55
7
Pounding Hooves (Army Battle BGM)
02:09
8
To the Sealed Land (Kuput Forest BGM)
01:43
9
Mysterious People (Alma Kinan Village BGM)
02:13
10
Future Road ~Cross the Mountain~ (Mountain Road BGM)
01:50
11
Reliable Merchants (Caleria BGM)
01:58
12
A Chill Wind (Le Buque BGM)
02:07
13
False Altar (Mt.Senai BGM)
01:41
14
Abandoned Mine (Northern Cave BGM)
02:09
15
Site of the Stone Tablet (Site of the Stone Tablet BGM)
01:42
16
Fiery Rapport (TSS Menu BGM)
00:52
17
Castle on the Lake Shore (Headquarters BGM)
02:23
18
Koroku's Theme
02:29
19
A Quiet Night Under the Moon (Headquarters - Night BGM)
01:57
20
Stealthy Feet (Headquarters - Underground BGM)
01:29
21
Sortie! (Sortie BGM)
02:00
22
Searching for a Hero of Long Ago (Land Awaiting the Hero of the Flame BGM)
02:56
23
Conversation 4
00:57
24
One Step Forward, One Step Back (Battle BGM 7)
02:58
25
Midwinter Land (Sindar Ruins BGM)
02:03
26
Pinch 3
00:49
27
Circle Palace (Circle Palace BGM)
01:00
28
Complicated Thoughts (Ritual Site BGM)
03:17
29
Last Victory or Last Defeat (Battle BGM 7)
02:21
30
Everyone's Smile ~Epilogue for the 108~
09:01
31
To Peaceful Days (Staff Roll BGM)
07:01
32
Way of the Comet
00:54
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