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Brave Fencer Musashiden: Original Soundtrack - Soundtrack Review

A Fun, Musical Adventure

Track Listing
Disc 1
1.Allukaneet Castle
2.Surprise Attack from TQ
3.Musashi Appears
4.The Musashi Legend
5.The Winding Tower of Darkness
6.Run, Sword Fighter!
7.The Bell and the Flame
8.The Voice from Heaven
9.The Light Sword Lumina
10.The Treachery of TQ
11.Steamknight
12.Let's Go!
13.The White Cloud in the Sky
14.Forest of Sleep
15.The Only Friend
16.Twin Mountains
17.Fast Strong Current
18.The Steamwood Gone Haywire!
19.The Legendary Five Rings
20.Get the Scrolls of Five Ring
21.Hell's Valley
22.Skullpion
23.Thanks Everyone!
24.The Terrible Plan of the Vambees
25.Darkness of the Mine
26.The Leader's Force Appears
27.Wonderous Flower
28.Burning Lava and Twisting Metal
29.Mysteries of the Ancient
30.Let's Go Bowling
31.Vambeebowl
32.The Wall of Hell
33.Dying Light
34.Corona Jumper
35.Out of Body Experience
36.The Shard of Mystery
37.Bubbles, the Beautiful Girl
38.Vambee Church Bell
Disc 2
1.Statue of an Angel
2.The House of Hidden Treasure
3.Relics Keeper
4.Yeah! I Did It!
5.Village on Fire
6.Dragon Isle
7.Archrival Kojiro Appears
8.Sword Fight
9.You Lost, Kojiro
10.Impoverised Village
11.Snow Labyrinth
12.Freeze Palace
13.Big Sis Gingerelle
14.The Palace of Ice
15.The Point of the Ice Mountain
16.Frost Dragon
17.Giant Ant
18.Ant Heaven
19.Gondola Star
20.At Arinos
21.Queen Ant Battle Theme
22.Floating Palace Soda Fountain
23.Infiltration into Soda Fountain
24.My Name's Ben!
25.All the Elements
26.I'm Tellin' Ya, I'm Ed!
27.Midair Battle Playground
28.Fight at the Underground Facility
29.Topo's Groove Heaven
30.Final Chapter
31.Tower of Death
32.Resurrection of Dark Lumina
33.Demon of Darkness 1
34.Demon of Darkness 2
35.Demon of Darkness 3
36.Have a Good Sleep!
37.Mother Minku's Appearance
38.A New Legend
39.Don't Cry, Fillet!
40.Far into the Sky
Total Playtime: 140:35
Composer and Arranger
Tsuyoshi Sekito
Publisher
DigiCube

Brave Fencer Musashi appears to be one of very few soundtracks composed entirely by Tsuyoshi Sekito, being a game calling for music that would be likable to children without being overly simplistic for older audiences. That is exactly what Sekito produced; though lacking quite the musical narrative that tends to be found in scores to more traditional RPGs, this soundtrack is utterly full of music that is both instantly appealing (a very important quality for younger audiences) and deep enough for careful listening.

Melodically, Brave Fencer Musashi never ceases to be clever—very few soundtracks contain as many memorable themes as this one. While some tracks stand out more than others, they are all very distinct thematically. Being the background music for an action RPG, an adjective that comes to mind is “energizing,” to the listener. In doing so, Sekito strings together themes that transition seamlessly, maintaining a sense of movement and usually avoiding monotony.

“Musashi Legend” is simultaneously exciting and beautiful, even tear-jerking in its sheer passion, setting the stage for a well-intentioned hero on an adventure. Every section of this track is meaningful, as if describing the journey. The range of emotions this hero theme manages to evoke at once is astounding, while keeping focus as it develops. Almost the entire rest of the soundtrack uniformly dazzles in like manner.

As aforementioned, being the soundtrack to an action RPG, there is a sense of cohesion in that virtually every track is charged by percussion. The music contains instrumental “effects” (sounds made by instruments not directly supporting the harmony) and Sekito constantly experiments with absolutely all sorts of percussion, and does not pull any punches with the electric guitar. Plainly, the soundtrack “rocks,” with terrific intelligence and intensity, such as with “Skullpion”— one of the most engrossing boss themes of its kind. Other themes are more subdued but maintain a pulse such as “The Only Friend.” The two discs could be accused of having a lack of variation for the constant percussive nature, but by doing so it maintains style while exploring degrees of intensity.

Brave Fencer Musashi is especially notable among great soundtracks for a particular reason; many game composers, though often talented, will use synthesizers of a timbre that come across as a “poor man's orchestra,” such as even the venerable Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, etc.). Not so in this case; these are extremely high-quality and tasteful electronic sounds, providing a distinct sense of character, and Sekito's sense of timbre is nothing short of brilliant, bold and sometimes knowingly quirky.

Brave Fencer Musashi is a glowing example of how “game music” should be seen as a subgenre; it is definitely “background music,” complex, intricately layered, and full of melodic ideas that enhance iconic moments rather than call attention away from them. Though excellent in the game it accompanied, the music also easily tells an epic while maintaining a light, kid-friendly tone. And yet, it is the exceedingly tasteful use of synthesizer, in which the music sounds impeccably at home, that makes this soundtrack absolutely unmissable as a distinct listening experience. Though often overlooked—perhaps for a “kiddie” sound or because it belongs to a game not in a larger franchise—Brave Fencer Musashi deserves to be recognized as one of the best original soundtracks for a game, ever.



Musicianship
Sound Quality
Production Value
5.0/5
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