Music of the Week #6

Tracks: “Mother Earth of Dishonesty – Part 1” and “Rose Confession”

From: Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1&2

Composed by:  Hideaki Kobayashi/Fumie Kumatani (note: including both of the names that are associated with PSO’s music, because I don’t know which of them composed these specific tracks)

Picking just one track to feature from the music of PSO would be a daunting task.  The game’s beautiful, atmospheric music was one of it’s strengths.  So again I am cheating and picking two.  (I wonder if – since I started letting myself put up more than one track at a time – we’ll ever see a single-track MOTW again).

The first track is one of the background pieces that played during the “exploration” segments (i.e. when no enemies are present) of the game’s dungeons, in this case, the  Forest.  It really captures the feeling of mystery, of strange, unknown lands that the game has (and it’s fitting as the music for the first area you visit as a new player).  It also fits perfectly with the fusion of sci-fi and fantasy that fuels the game’s setting.  The “battle” version of this music is quite good as well, though overall, I prefer this version.

The other track is rather well-known among players of PSO or it’s quasi-sequel, PSU.  A haunting, but also uplifting, piano-dominated piece, this plays at the end of certain quests (though if I recall correctly, the full version featured here didn’t actually play during the game – not in the original PSO, anyway – and a truncated version took its place).  The piece evokes a very strong sense of the end of a long journey, of a mainly positive but still bittersweet resolution; it’d be perfect as the final piece of music that plays at the end of a sci-fi movie trilogy or long-running series or something like that, accompanying the last shots of the main characters and the world their stories took place in, showing the results of all the events leading to that point.

There are plenty of other good tracks from PSO, so I won’t try to list them here.  Perhaps I’ll feature the series again in future MOTW posts, though.

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