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Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles - Soundtrack Review

Fine Fantasy Music

Track Listing
Disc 1
1.Echo of Memory
2.Kaze No Ne
3.Serenity
4.Today Arrives, Becmoming Tomorrow
5.The First Village
6.Caravan Crossroad
7.Departure
8.Moving Clouds on the River's Surface
9.Twilight in Dreamland
10.Echoes at the Mountain Peak
11.In the Gloomy Darkness
12.Prosperity and Tradition
13.If it's Three People...?
14.Eternal Oath
15.End of the Tale
16.Magii is Everything
17.Amadatti, and Eleonor too
18.Promised Grace
19.A Gentle Wind Blows
20.Voice of Wind, Song of Time
21.Golblin's Lair
22.Make a Resolution
23.Monster's Dance ~Rondo~
24.Water of Life
25.I'm Moogle
26.Nostalgic Profile
27.Annual Festival
Disc 2
1.Endless Sky
2.Meager Advance
3.My Den
4.Overlooking the Great Ocean
5.Something Burns in the Heart
6.Leaving the Body "Freely"
7.Sleeping Teasure in the Sand
8.Oh, Light...!
9.Aiming towards the New World
10.Strength in Sadness
11.The Time of Many Smiling Faces
12.When the Northern Sky is Clear
13.Mag Mell
14.To the Successor of the Crystal
15.Echoes in the Heart
16.Light and Shadow
17.I Don't Want to Forget
18.Sad Monster
19.Unite, Descent
20.Thoroughly Blue
21.Starry Moonlit Night
22.Orgel of Water
23.Starry Moonlight Night ~ Arrangement~
Total Playtime: 2:11:42
Composer
Kumi Takano
Arranger
Kumi Takano
Publisher
Pony Canyon

Perhaps the most unconventional of Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles has it's fair share of critics. Many dislike its less-than-stellar single-player mode, lack of a well-developed story and rather costly multiplayer mode. Others though praise the fun of that same multiplayer mode as well as its beautiful graphics. What most will agree on however is that Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles has a gorgeous soundtrack.

What makes this game's music unique from other Final Fantasy games is that its tracks are played using "ancient instruments". These instruments, many from the Medieval and Renaissance Ages, include little-encountered items like the crumhorn and hurdy-gurdy as well as the more familiar bagpipes and recorder. Not only does each piece nicely compliment the game world, it sounds like it comes from the world. That is, they are actual pieces the musicians of the Crystal Chronicles worlds would play.

The first track, "Echo of Memory" very nicely gets the player and/or listener ready for the rest of the game/soundtrack. Though simple with it's chimes, this track carries an air of both mystery and wonder. The first of two vocal tracks, "Kaze no Ne" comes afterwards, is absolutely delightful. Unlike the pop/ballad themes of some of the more recent Final Fantasy vocal songs, "Kaze no Ne" is a relaxing, refreshing theme that suites both the opening sequence of the game as well as the game as a whole. Those who played Crystal Chronicles will probably be more familiar with the English version "Morning Sky". Despite having a different name ("Kaze No Ne" translates to "Sigh of the Wind) "Morning Sky" is actually very close to a translation of the original. I personally enjoyed both, though only the Japanese version shows up on this OST.

The other tracks are all performed very well and capture the spirit of whatever area or situation they come from. "Departure" truly invokes walking along a serene riverbank; Echoes at the Mountain Peak" makes one think of a small town with proud blacksmiths; "Shudder, Monster" conjures images of a large and strange monster stronghold; "Overlooking the Great Ocean" is self-explanatory.

While not too many of the music staples of the Final Fantasy series are on this OST that doesn't mean they aren't there. Sharp-earned fans should be able to make out bits of "Prelude" "Kaze no Ne" and there are two tracks based off the Moogle Theme: "I'm Moogle!" and "My Den". Those hoping for a more tranditional Final Fantasy soundtack may be a bit dissapointed at first.

Perhaps the tracks that standout the most, and my two personal favorites are those of the last two boss battles, "Sad Monster" and "Unite, Descent". "Sad Monster" boasts an impressive array of instruments from drums and bagpipes to wind instruments and something I can't identify but sounds like chimes of some sort. As with many boss battle themes, it is epic and invigorating, which I admit has a way of energizing me. The second theme "Unite, Descent" is not nearly as dynamic but it has a more urgent sound to it with faster drumbeats and more wind instruments, and is thus no less excellent.

The second vocal theme "Starry Moonlit Night" (curiously, the English version is called "Moonless Starry Night") come in both the original and an arranged verison. The original, while not as catchy as "Kaze no ne" is still an enjoyable piece. This peaceful song is very easy to like. The arrragned version is a unique take on it, giving it a sort of mystic feel to it and becoming more upbeat later in the song.

The CD is not without its mediocre tracks They're not bad per se, just not the best. "Serenity", the tracks that plays while tallying up player's points after completing a dungeon is less-than-impressive and "Today Arrives, Becoming Tomorrow" will probably be a track you get tired of hearing as it plays on the world map.

These tracks though are not all that bad and can be overlooked as most every other song is pretty good and several are truly magnificent. While the game may not be the best around, the music is easily some of the best I've ever heard. If there's such a thing as a perfect soundtrack to a game, Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles is as close as one can get.



Musicianship
Sound Quality
Production Value
OVERALL
5/5
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