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Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan - Soundtrack Review

A New World

Track Listing
Disc 1
1.Bustle of the Capital
2.Eastward Bound...
3.Bandits' Market
4.Illusions in the Mist
5.Mercenaries' Delight
6.Jeweled Boughs
7.Ululations from Beyond
8.Rapid Onslaught -Assault-
9.Fated Strife -Besieged-
10.Delve
11.Whispers of the Gods
12.Circuit de Chocobo
13.Run Chocobo, Run!
14.The Colosseum
15.Black Coffin
16.A Puppet's Slumber
17.Ever-Turning Wheels
18.Forbidden Seal
19.Hellriders
20.Eternal Gravestone
21.Vana'diel March #4
Total Playtime: 64:50
Composer
Naoshi Mizuta
Arranger
Naoshi Mizuta
Publisher
Square Enix

   Naoshi Mizuta once again tackles the world of Vana'diel with his fourth soundtrack of the series, Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan OST. Mizuta has improved a great deal since the initial Final Fantasy XI OST in which he worked with Nobuo Uematsu and Kumi Tanioka. His style has matured much in that time, though this offering is still dwarfed by his works on the Zilart OST. Mizuta's pieces tend to have a very repetitive sound to them and for most of the Treasures OST, you can hear that. While that might not be a problem listening to this while playing the game, it isn't really appealing outside of it. Not everything is bad, though, so let's give this OST a whirl.

   The battle themes of this offering such as "Rapid Onslaught -Assault-," "Fated Strife -Besieged-," and possibly "The Colosseum" are all up tempo and exciting, perfect for combat. While these three tracks are rather repetitive as well, it's not nearly as bothersome since they are just two to three minutes in length each. "Bustle of the Capital" really has a town theme feel to it, but it is different enough from the prior town themes that it is a welcome change. "Bandits' Market" is very unique as well, but it does not stand out as much as "Bustle of the Capital."

   A Final Fantasy OST would not be complete without a chocobo theme or two on it and this is no exception. The world of Aht Urghan is greeted with two unique chocobo themes, "Circuit de Chocobo" and "Run Chocobo, Run!" While "Run Chocobo, Run!" is your usual short, fast-paced theme, "Circuit de Chocobo" is more of a variation from the norm. It is more of a relaxed town theme with the chocobo theme well blended into it. "Circuit de Chocobo" is one of the better chocobo themes in recent memory.

   "Eastward Bound..." and "Mercenaries' Delight" both seem rather unoriginal with a real "been there, done that" feel to them. After hearing those, you most likely expect to hear the same type of sound on "Vana'diel March #4," but you would be wrong. It is one of the better march themes that Mizuta has composed for FFXI.

   Now there are a couple of really unique, interesting pieces on this soundtrack. "A Puppet's Slumber" is a pleasant, peaceful track that makes for very nice event music. "Illusions in the Mist" is a rather calm, yet suspenseful piece. It's quite a change from most of the rest of the soundtrack. Last of all and my personal favorite is "Ululations from Beyond." It starts off with a mysterious melody and then drops off to a tense movement until the very end where the mysterious theme returns.

   Mizuta has really grown, because I've not heard anything this engrossing from him since the Zilart soundtrack. While not everything on the soundtrack is top notch, the good really does shine for one of the first times in the history of Final Fantasy XI soundtracks. I am looking forward to what Mizuta does next.



Musicianship
Sound Quality
Production Value
OVERALL
3.5/5
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