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Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level Five

March 13, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Game Soundtracks For Your Soul: Level Fiveon Twitter

In this edition of Game Soundtracks for Your Soul, I am sharing some thoughts on electronic music used in game soundtracks that opened my eyes to the world of electronic, dance, techno and trance music.  I also talk about another soundtrack that introduced me to one of my favorite manga and anime series.  These soundtracks are Wipeout XL which I played on Sony Playstation, and Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage on the Sega Dreamcast.

Wipeout XL was a soundtrack I experienced before playing the game. The soundtrack was released in North America as a compilation album, and in Europe it was released under the title Wipeout 2097. This album was my first serious introduction to electronic artists like Fluke, Prodigy, The Chemical Brothers, Photek, Leftfield, Underworld and more. One of my friends picked it up when we were in high school and we always had the album playing. Fluke’s “Atom Bomb” was our favorite track. This was also at the time that Much Music (Canada’s version of MTV) aired music videos of Prodigy’s “Firestarter” and the Chemical Brother’s “Block Rockin’ Beats”. However, I didn’t really start to take an interest in electronic music until I rented a copy of Wipeout XL.  After playing the game I was hooked on the fast anti-gravity racing gameplay and wanted more. I tracked down the first Wipeout which I didn’t appreciate as much at the time, I now appreciate the soundtrack written for the game by Cold Storage.

When Wipeout 3 came out I was stoked, and absolutely I loved the soundtrack with many tracks composed specifically for the game by Sasha naming his tracks for the crafts in the game: “Auricom”, “Goteki 45”, “Feisar”, “Icarus”, and “Piranha”. User ChrononumberXIII has uploaded the soundtrack to YouTube. The music from both Wipeout XL, and Wipeout 3 could be played directly from the PSX discs if you skipped the first track, which represented the game data.  After these games I eagerly awaiting the next Wipeout title not just for the great racing, but for the fantastic tunes.

Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage was one of the first games I played through on Sega Dreamcast. The game introduced me to the world of the Berserk anime and manga, and the music of Susumu Hirasawa. After finishing the game I purchased a copy of the soundtrack to the game and realized the game’s actual title was BERSERK ~Hawk of the Millennium Empire Arc: Chapter of the Lost Flowers and that there was much more to the world of Berserk. I realized that it was connected to a much larger universe and story and that the music was inspired by what had been written for the 25 episode Anime TV series. Susumu Hirasawa’s music has a unique style and sound created by a combination of his electronic equipment and vocals. If you have never experienced his music this is a great place to start.

YouTube user 69Slan has uploaded the track “Indra” from the soundtrack which is the ending track of the game, and where you can hear Susumu Hirasawa’s incredible vocal range and distinct sound.  Sususmu Hirasawa returned work on the next Berserk game released only in Japan on Playstation 2. For this title he wrote the opening titled “Sign” and closing track “Sign 2”. He has recently returned to Berserk write the theme song for the Berserk films titled “Aria”.

Did you play any games in the Wipeout series, or have any experience with the music of Susumu Hirasawa?

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