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Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level Eight

June 12, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level Eighton Twitter

This week I am looking back at the music of three games I played on the Sega Dreamcast, one of my favorite consoles and *SPOILER ALERT* one of the winners of Wired’s Video Game Console Wars which had me floored in laughter and a huge grin on my face.

The music of these games are at all from different ranges of the sound spectrum.  The first soundtrack is beautiful, awe inspiring, and epic in scope and a great score by two composers Tim Follin and Attila Heger.  The second is much darker and has a unique creepy, abandoned carnival grounds sound composed by the late Betrand Eluerd.   The third is an cover EP album by Stemage of Noriyuki Iwadare’s music from a masterpiece of a JRPG which is coming soon in remastered form on Steam!

These are my thoughts of the soundtracks to Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of the FutureEvil Twin: Cyprien’s Chronicles and Stemage’s Frets of Valmar: Grandia II .

The first game I ever played on my Sega Dreamcast was Ecco The Dolphin: Defender of the Future.  The game is an underwater enthusiast’s dream come true with gorgeous visuals and challenging gameplay with a soundtrack that just kept me coming back for more.  I would have loved to purchase the soundtrack on an official CD release but it was never produced.  The go to Ecco The Dolphin fan site Caverns of Hope has approval and music supplied by both composers of the game so that that today the soundtrack can be enjoyed by all.  My favorite track is still the “Title Screen” which blends a nice maraca (probably not a Samba De Amigo one but you never know), with strings, piano, sounds of crystal, waves and some light vocals which you can enjoy thanks to YouTube user HaloTrilogyGOD.

The soundtrack is divided into two parts with Tim Follin composing the music for all the in game levels, title screen and ending.  Attila Heger handled the scoring of all the cinematic sequences in the game which have their own distinct sound, Heger composer the music for the Sega Genesis version of Ecco the Dolphin: Tides of Time.

Evil Twin: Cyprien’s Chronicles was a game that was only released on Sega Dreamcast in Europe.  The game also had a release on the PC.  The game is not one I ever finished because in my opinion it felt like I was playing a Tim Burton remix of Ubisoft’s fabulous game Rayman 2: The Great Escape.  Betrand Eluerd’s music was a completely different story, I still listen to the soundtrack to this day and am very happy when a track comes up on shuffle on my Sony Walkman.  The soundtrack is available in three volumes – the first two being the best, as the third volume is early versions of what became the final game score.

If you like creepy, disturbing and atmospheric stuff check it out. My favorite tracks are “Wilbur” which has a steady bell keeping the song’s pace, and remains as strings come in to match it.  “Theme des volants” is another personal favorite because it has such a dark, cold and distant sound.  If you have never experienced the game make some time to experience its music.  Betrand Eluerd was a composer who went to some very dark places in his compositions.  The soundtrack is available on bandcamp.

The music of Grandia II is one of my favorite video game scores, but is not well known or celebrated.  I have a feeling because it debuted as a Sega Dreamcast title and never took off on other platforms.  I haven’t played any other Grandia titles so it also could be a a Grandia thing in general.  Noriyuki Iwadare composed a slew of music that filled two CDs, but through all my searching the music has received very little love from cover artists.

Grant “Stemage” Henry rectified this in 2011 with his four track EP titled Frets of Valmar: Grandia II.  The four tracks are solid guitar shredding musical tributes to some of the best tracks in the game.  “A Deus” is a lovely acoustic guitar cover of the games main theme which kicks up a notch later in the track.  The second track “FIGHT!” is my personal favorite as it’s a rock guitar cover of the first in game fight music.  The album is also available on bandcamp.

Did you play any of these games or experience their music? Let me know.


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