Game Music, Indie Music, Reviews

Mindful Melodies: Telepath Tactics Original Soundtrack (Review)

April 22, 2015 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook Mindful Melodies: Telepath Tactics Original Soundtrack (Review)on Twitter

Telepath Tactics is a steampunk turn-based Fire Emblem style RPG that adopts the best gameplay practices of titles like Final Fantasy Tactics and Disgaea. It was successfully financed on Kickstarter and the game was officially released by Sinister Design on April 16, 2015.

The soundtrack was composed by Ryan Richko who is new to video game scoring but has composed a wealth of music for a Yoga Instructional series called The Ulimate Yogi with Travis Eliot. Two additional tracks were composed by Craig Stearns who launched the Kickstarter campaign and designed the game. The music provides listeners with a rich symphonic and familiar RPG sound. I have been listening to it for a week, and haven’t gotten tired of it. Read on to find out

The music that Ryan Richko has crafted for Telepath Tactics is wonderful, and brought back memories of playing some of my favorite RPG titles including Chrono Cross, and several Final Fantasy titles. I was also struck with images of Game of Thrones, the Myst series, World War II as a track reminded me of Kenji Kawai’s work for the series Apocalypse, and for a brief moment in one of late tracks in the album a darker moment from Super Mario World. The album has great musical range and since I have not played the game, I can only imagine that it thoroughly enhances it.

There is a reoccurring theme in the soundtrack that is featured on many of the tracks. You can hear the theme transition from a guitar, flute and full symphonic sound starting at 1:15 in the track titled “Onslaught”.

Game Music Online noted that the soundtrack was professionally orchestrated, mixed, and mastered, the soundtrack features performances from Michelle Hassler (violin, viola), Judy Kang (cello), Anya Muradian (flute), Kristin Cone (didgeridoo), and Richko himself (guitar, bass, ukulele).

The tracks that really stood out and brought back memories of Chrono Cross were the tracks titled “Frozen Memories” with its flowing strings and “Aduura De Zaris” with a darker tone and haunting distant vocals.

Telepath Tactics by Ryan Richko

The track titled “Enslaved” features the sound of winds and echoes with a somber cello and strings which sounded similar to something you’d expect to hear in HBO’s Game of Thrones.

“A Menacing Foe” is the track that took me back to one of my favorite tracks by Kenji Kawai but gradually becomes something much darker and features some creepy wailing vocals, and rapid urgent strings. “Eaters of Darkness” is another track I really loved because it has such an unsettling beginning and uneasiness throughout the track with its fast paced percussion and dark electronic tones.

The album also features some lighter tracks. The opening track “Sisters” evokes a sense of warmth and is a track I could wake up to every morning. “A Quiet Village” is a soft flute and strings track that would work in any RPG town setting. The guitar and piano melody in “Getting To Know You” offer a nice rendition of the game’s theme, and “Dance Of The Isles” with its steady tambourine and stringed accompaniment had me tapping along.

Of the two tracks composed by Craig Stearns “Tactician’s Duel” is my favorite with some nice horns and strings. The other track “Dungeon” has a sound very different than the overall soundtrack album with a unique techno style beat.

As for that darker Super Mario World sound I heard in the soundtrack? The second last track on the album called “The One Who Gorges on Suffering” from the 1:05 minute mark to 1:25 creeping behind the score what sounded to me like the “Ghost House” music. The track itself features some fantastic chorals and a triumphant rendition of the game’s theme shortly after the “Ghost House” moment. Maybe it’s the composer’s photograph that tuned my ear to that melody, let me know what you think.

The album is available for purchase on Bandcamp for $5.00, and you’re getting 25 tracks of great music clocking in at just under 60 minutes. I wholeheartedly recommend the Telepath Tactics soundtrack and can’t wait to hear more from this composer who just seems to be getting started in the world of video game music.

Have you played Telepath Tactics? What did you think of the music as it appears in the game?


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