|1994 was a very memorable
year in many ways, but in the gaming industry, it had a lot of good
things. Chief among the best successes was Final Fantasy 6, it had
done extremely well in Japan as well as in North America. . About
a month after FF6 was released, an innovative title known as Live
A Live shows itself to the world, knowing that Uematsu was already
busy with Final Fantasy 6, they needed a new composer. After a bit
of search, they found the best person to do it, a woman named Yoko
Now let us move on to the review, I reccomend listening to the SPCs I created, the review is far more enjoyable that way. >=P
Starting with the title theme. Live-A-Live, it sets the standards
for rest of the soundtrack, it's all synth, but it's excellent synth.
Next is Select-A-Live, it is used while you choose a quest to start
with, while following the soundtrack order, we'll assume the player
chose Oboro-Maru's quest (Medieval Japan). The music in the medieval
japan chapter is really good, it has the distinct jananese feel
to it(D,uh !), it starts with Secret Mission, which serves as the
opening and ending track for this chapter, imagine now that the
hero is off to do his mission : assasinate an evil lord in his castle,
sounds good, no ? It continues with Sound Of Shinobi, which is played
as you make your way in the enemy's castle, it's amazing, get it
? A- Maze-Ing ? LMAO !!! 8D Anyways, you'll certainly encounter
enemies on your way, the battle track is entitled Killing Field
! (Nice title 8P), you can imagine the hero fighting off ninjas
and other guards while listening to this. Let's assume the player
finished the chapter and decides to choose Masaru's quest (Present)
next. It starts off with Ultimate Strenght - Victory Road as the
opening theme, all that happens is you see Masaru flexing his muscles
and all. He wants to become the greatest fighter by learning the
special techniques of 6 fighters around the world. The chapter is
pretty much a Stree Fighter rip-off to me, but anywho, once you
are ready, you must choose which fighter to face as that track titled
Martial Arts Masters plays, it's simply fitting, nothing more. Once
your choice is made, you'll hear Versus !!, a silly little track.
The battle track of the present chapter, Knock You Down !, is very
good, it gives me the feeling of encouragement while fighting the others
. Once that chapter is done, we go wayyyyy back in time, Prehistoric to be
exact. Bogo's quest opens up with the tribal sounding Native Life, it's just hilarious
as you see Bogo trying to hunt a mammoth, but gets run after by 10 mammoths !!! 8D
You start in the caves, you feel right at home with Nice Weather, Ain't It !, the main track of the chapter.
What do you encounter in the prehistoric time ? Oh, just a few Saber-Toothed Tigers, Mammoths, Crocodiles, etc...
While fighting those, you'll defenately enjoy Kiss of Jealousy, it sounds upbeat and you'll be tapping to the beat in seconds,
it's a perfect battle theme and fits the mood like a glove. Now for the next chapter, CUBE's quest (Sci-Fi). It starts out
with the weird opening track Unseen Syndrome, it's mostly ambient and I can't help but think of Star Trek or Star Wars while
listening to this, don't ask why..... There is no main theme in this chapter, but play the arcade game Captain Square and you'll
hear the obviously titled Captain Square track, this one is a bit weird, it sounds 8-bit-ish, but it's ok while you beat up them nasty aliens. 8P
Later on in the Arcade game, you'll hear Captain of The Shooting Stars, still sounds 8-bit-ish, but is somewhat more bearable.
Onto the next chapter : the old Chinese, Shinzan's quest. The
opening theme, The Bird Flies in The Sky, The Fish Swims in The
River, is simply majestic, and sounds like music from an old Kung
Fu movie. The Old Master Descends from The Mountains is the main
theme of the chapter, you'll be hearing it often as you travel in
villages and a small jungle filled with roaming tigers. Which comes
to the obvious, yup, you gotta fight, and War In China couldn't
be better, it has the distinct chinese influence and fits the mood
for battle perfectly. Then we move on to the Old Wild West Chapter,
in which Sundown Kidd is the hero, as you see Sundown ride his horse
with the desert backgrounds, you'll hear the opening track, Wanderer,
which could be described like music from an old wild west flick.
He must save a town from a gang of theives. He has 8 hours to search
the town over for supplies and traps to stop the gang from coming
in town, although not quite successfully, while searching, the quiet
Under The Fake is played. If you must do battle, The Wilds is this
chapter's battle theme...... I can't really describe this one, but
it is good. Visit the Salloon to hear the three amigos perform Sancho
de Los Panchos, again, sounds like it came from an old wild west
And now we pass on to the Near Future Chapter, the boy Akira is
one with a special gift : he can read other people's minds. The
opening theme is the really catchy Go Go Buriki King !!, which will
serve as a battle theme once you control a giant robot. The main
theme for this chapter is Wait For Truth, a simple but nice little
theme as you explore the city's areas. You'll run into hoodlums,
and while fighting them you get to hear the ultra-cool A Painful
Death At The Hands Of A Psycho, it's just a light rock type of battle
theme. Onward to the final chapter, the Medieval Chapter (Orstedd's
quest). While you explore Orstedd's castle, you hear the epic Prelude
to the Demon King, as it gives a slight feeling of hope. Wings that
Don't Reach is a beautiful theme heard while you search for allies,
much to the style of FF6's Searching For Friends. You'll encounter
many monsters and assorted dragons on your quest, Difficult Fight
simply gives off the tension and uneasyness during battle. After
a while you'll finally reach The Demon King's lair.... while exploring
the horrifying place, Journey to The Mountain Of The Demon King
will be the theme playing. And now, for the big climax of the game,
every hero from the first 7 chapters meet and prepare to do battle
against.......something. As you explore the final area, the main
theme is City Of Hopelessness, which is a sad version of Journey
To The ....(you know the rest 8P), You'll need the best equipment
in order to survive, so you'll go explore some dungeons, the theme
for them is Silent Labyrinth, which does give off a feeling of uncertainy.
Whenever something really sad happens, Cry-A-Live is just what we
need to convey those emotions, it grabs me everytime I hear it.
When something really good happen though, it's Warm-A-Live that
takes the role to make us feel...... warm-hearted =) Now things
get interesting.... The Demon King Odio is one of Shimomura's greatest work in my opinion,
it simply exudes evil from every note and the organ makes it sound more evil than ever.
Finally the boss theme, Megalomania, it'a hard rock battle theme which dosen't waste time
to keep you in the spirit of a tough battle, this is THE track that spawned later kickass boss themes like Pain The Universe
and Darkness Nova from LOM. Then the final showdown with Odio, Illusion... starts off menacingly then the organ and drums join in to make
one awesome final boss theme, bit this is only for the first phase of Odio. For the second and last conflict, Pure Odio, it gets
a bit more fast-paced as you are about to vanquish the evil. If you should lose, you'll be treated to the depressing Armageddon, which sounds alot like
FF6's Dancing Mad. Once you gain victory, everyone returns to their own space and time.
You'll hear Live Over Again as you see how everyone turns out after the fated battle.
After that, it's the Ending Theme, Live For Live, which contains remixes from several themes from the game, a very well done and very memorable
ending theme. Yoko Shimomura has done well for her first project with Square. Her latest project is the upcoming Kingdom Hearts,
will she live up to our expectations again ? Only time will tell.
And with most old CDs, this one fell out of print, you can try Ebay, if you do buy this masterpiece, you won't regret it. Yoko Shimomura is defenately a
to look out for a very long time.