In 1999, Square decided to create a sequel to one of its more successful games, Parasite Eve. They would have asked Yoko Shimomura, the composer to Parasite Eve to score the sequel if it weren’t for the fact that she was currently busy with Seiken Densetsu 4 at the time. And out of nowhere, a young recruit by the name of Naoshi Mizuta enters Square after answering an offer for a job as composer for PE2. It was decided that PE2 was going to be more of a survival-horror game than an RPG, so Mizuta had to write the score accordingly. Did Mizuta succeed ? Let’s find out !
1. Forbidden Power (Theme of Aya) : The opening movie starts off with a bang indeed, after a bit of howling sound effects, an electric guitar rips its way into the track, it’s none other than Tsuyoshi Sekito, famous for his Brave Fencer Musashi score, who plays the guitar, and to be honest, he’s good at it. Right off you’ll notice that it’s a reprise of the prequel’s opening theme, which even Shimomura herself was proud of the arrangement.
2. MIST : If you listen really closely, you should recognise that it’s another reprise from the prequel, this time being the precinct’s theme, although it’s slower and ambient at best. It fits the mood nicely as you’re about to embark on a dangerous mission.
3. Aya Again : A rather oppressive theme for the FMV as you see a helicopter crash on the road and you know something is defenetely not right in the Akropolis Tower.
4. Don’t Move ! : A very short track which serves to build for suspense as you’ve entered the tower. It does its job all too nicely.
5. Nightmare in the Battlefield :Now this track gives me the creeps, you can imagine seeing all those people who got maimed and killed by something, very fitting for its purpose.
6. Deadly Calm : Ok, so you’re on your own, you hear wind effects, some groans, some echoeing sound effects, watch your back, Aya !
7. The First Encounter :This track caught me by surprise, I almost fell off my chair the first time I heard it, oh crap….. a mitochondrial creature ??!!! Time to kick ass, aim and shoot the bastard !!! If you can’t tell, it’s a dramatic battle theme, although you’ll only hear it once and it will leave you in awe.
8. Tower Rendezvous : Ahhh, a jazz piece, some smooth piano that reminds of the early 1920 lounge music, it will be used when Aya meets a friend in the Tower.
9. Metamorphosis : Aya meets a woman in the Tower’s barber shop, it happens she reacts to something and becomes a hideous beast, so guess what ? You gotta fight it, and this music really fits the battle, by the end of the track, it builds up to a dramatic peak, and reminds of scary movie moments, very well executed.
10. Watch Out ! : As you climb the Tower, this music will get you on your nerves, not to annoy to but to make you fear every corner you dare to explore, it’s mostly a very repetitive beat with some echoing metallic sound effects.
11. Ambush ! : Oh come on !!! You had to expect some normal battle themes, and this is one of them. You hear some odd SFX and as the track goes, it speeds up more and more, at one point, you could sware that Mizuta fell off of his chair or something as you hear a very loud crash by the end, it’s quite interesting. :P
12. What The Hell Happened ? : Heh heh, nice title :P Anyways, it’s yet another of those themes which serves to keep you on your guard as you climb the tower some more…
13. Do Something ! : I’m wondering if this was directed at Mizuta, cuz damn it’s way too repetitive for the first minute as it sounds as Mizuta continously bangs against a metal pipe or something to kill his boredom :P Errr, just skip this one :P
14. Weird Man : Indeed this title is fitting as you’re fighting some dude on the top of the Tower, yep, he’s a boss, and guess what else ? He’s weird :P Heh, aren,t my puns lame ? ;P
15. Return to the Base : An oddly calm theme as you receive a report that there are more mitochondrial horrors out there…. It’s just…. there :P
16. Ghost Town : Hellllooooooooooooooo Dryfield ! You can easily imagine the Old West motif with the guitar and you hear some cracking SFX throughout the track as well as a haunting voice…. Very eerie, and fitting for this part of the game.
17. Hunt in Dryfield : Gah !!!! Giant mutant horses and scorpions, oh my !! The theme starts off like the first one, but a drum is added to the melody and it spells panic a bit more, and when you got 4 horses on your tail, you’d better be prepared !!! O_o
18. Don’t Shoot ! : Another theme reminiscient of scary moment in scary movies, it will catch you off guard the first time, but afterwards, meh.
19. Douglas’ Blues : A drum-based theme as you speak with Douglas, at one point, you’ll hear a portion of the MIST theme. I hate to say it’s not among my favorite tracks.
20. Water Tower : A nice theme for a change that dosen’t have anything scary about it, obviously it will be heard as you climb a tower used to store…. what else, water !
21. Hiding Place : Huh ? Didn’t we just heard that track just before the water tower ??? Indeed, it starts off similarly, but this one is used as you explore Dryfield some more, you’ll hear the MIST theme at a point again. Just look where you step, don’t wanna wake up those freaky horses if they are sleeping.
22. Dryfield : Not much music here, but a certain SFX here will make you think of a dry desert right off, and then you hear some drums and other SFX, nothing special really.
23. The Bottom of The Well : Oh man, now here’s a pretty creepy theme, you’re inside a well, who knows what might be waiting for you into total darkness, this is a good one :)
24. Stealh Assault : Uh oh !! There’s a giant tarantula here, shoot it, quick !!! Damn, missed. Look out !! It’s lunging at you, Aya !! Need I say more ? :P
25. Heaven-sent Killer : That crazy dude who attacked you at the top of the tower is back again, and this time the music is a lot more chaotic as you fight off the weird weird man. It’s like Weird Man, but more interesting.
26. The Depth of Aya’s Memory : This is the theme of Aya from PE1 arranged, the piano adds to the mystery motif of the theme, which I truly enjoy.
27. From Dusk Till Dawn : Oh oh, another ambient theme, used as you travel during the night…. watch your footing, those creeps are still around…
28. Vagrants : Woah !!! This sounds like and old 50’s rock song played on an old 50’s radio as you hear the fuzz in the music, very well done.
29. Dark Field : Another ambient theme, and quickly gets on my nerves so I’ll skip it.
30. Gigantic Burner : HOLY CRAP !!! Here’s the battle theme for the most impressive boss in the entire game, don’t let broil you….. Toasted Aya, anyone ?? Uhh, no, just NO ! :P
31. Douglas’ Grief : And so we end the first disc with a very sad theme, poor Douglas… I can’t spoil this, sorry.
1. Voice of Mitochondria : And we start with some heavy percussions accompanied by some alien-like sound effects, Unfortunately, I haven’t played this part of the game so I have no idea where it plays but it must surely fit the mood.
2. Pick up the Gauntlet : Here’s an action oriented track or so it sounds, it easily gets frenetic as you’re probably escaping from something…
3. Abandoned Mine : Ugh…… not only is the mine abandoned but so is the music…. There’s barely any to talk about, so I’ll shut up now:/
4. Into The Shelter : Now this music I remember hearing…. Wait. There’s no music, just SFX……bah.
5. Wipe out the creatures : Ahhah !! Another battle theme, this one is by far the best as it actually has a melody, very enjoyable to listen for a change. It really gets me into the spirit of fighting.
6. Hold Your Breath : This I have not seen, but it sounds good, I can imagine Aya fighting in some really bad filthy place….. Ewwwww ><
7. Crawling Waste Emperor : This is used for a boss that reminded me of a merman, you can hear the purr of a motor that controls a pool or something plus some disgusting SFX and a bit of percussions which made this theme memorable for me.
8. Chase : A panic theme which I cannot recall where it is used, but it’s pretty good yes.
9. A Sigh of Relief : A xylophone-based rendition of MIST, it sounds interesting but only lasts 50 seconds.
10. Passing Through the Sewers, You’ll find… : Again, another track I can’t recall, and there’s not much of anything in there:/
11. Battle on The Waterside : Now this theme I do remember, it was used for fights against fishmen, at a point you hear scary screams that will surprise anyone who hears this for the first time, it’s another winner in my book.
12. Inner Part of The Shelter : Another ambient theme.. complete with windy sound effects and barely any music….
13. Innermost Part of The Shelter : This one is a bit more flooded with SFX, NO music to talk about…..
14. Negative Heritage : A military theme, you hear the drums here, something big is going on….. It’s a very oppresive track as you can tell there’s no good coming outta there.
15. Man Made Nature : An organ and some singing birds…. Very original, but nothing compared to what’s about to follow…
16. Ark : YES !!!! This is THE track that I remember most from the game, when you travel in the Ark, you’ll hear interesting vocals, it sounds really sacred and ancient, which I relished, these are probably latin lyrics, as I don’t know what they are saying….
17. Fool’s Paradise : Another ambient theme…….. all you hear are some scary « ahhhh » like sounds and an infernal buzzing throughout the track, quite creepy.
18. Mitochondria Reactor : Pretty much like the previous track, so no comment….
19. Mental Deranger : Like the two above except you hear a pirecing beep here and there…..
20. Stalker : Ok, this one deserves the scariest battle theme of the game award, as you hear really weird SFX, it’s just scary…. O_o
21. Cruelty of Eve’s Fate : Another remix of Aya’s theme, all done with piano, this time you feel sadness and mystery at the same time.
22. Killing Field : This is quite like the Shelter themes, but it is played in an FMV as a bunch of dangerous enemies come to life, they are….
23. Golem Soldiers : Another great battle theme, it has it all, melody, fear inducing passages, strenght in composition, so I give this theme two thumbs up.
24. Prestige of The Nation : Another military theme, the US knows something is going on, and they no one to stop the upcoming terror from spreading, very fitting.
25. Intrusion : This is the theme to the last area, it is quite epic, and easily becomes one of the best « dungeon » themes ever, you know it’s going to end soon as you can’t give up as you’re so close to ending your mission.
26. Brace Yourself : As the title says, get ready for the final showdown, make sure you’re ready to face the horror ahead.
27. Brahman : Oh yeah ! Final Boss Theme, Phase 1. It’s really fitting for that…. thing…. You can tell you’re fighting something huge, and it can make mincemeat out of you if you’re not careful.
28. Distorted Evolution : Final Boss, Final Phase. This has to be the very best final battle theme for a survival horror ever, the epic tones depict that you’re fighting for your life and failure certainly ain’t an option, an impressive feat for newbie Naoshi Mizuta !! If you listen closely, you hear a constant heartbeat in the background, which adds to the realism of the life and death struggle.
29. Logic of the Superpower : It’s finally over, the US is saved from the Mitochondrial menace. Congratulations !!
30. Aya’s Diary : A very beautiful theme as Aya recalls her journey through her perilous mission.
31. Epilogue : This is the music for the ending FMV, as always, it’s a happy ending ^^;
32. Gentle Rays : Oh man…….. the credits music…… purely symphonic masterpiece, the first time I heard it I actually cried on how it was emotionally moving ;_; Another of Square’s winning ending themes indeed.
33. Weird Man - Delete Core Mix : Heh…. Yeah, this is an awful remix, delete !!! DELETE !!!! :P
34. Hiding Place - Confortable Mix : A better remix, but still nothing that impressed me….
35. OMAKE : This is funny : Tap tap tap tap tap… WOOF ! For the last 5 seconds of the ending :P
And now for my conclusion : Should you buy or not ? Well, if you like ambient music in survival horror games or you’ve played and enjoyed the game, the answer is yes. Otherwise, I’d only recommend it to the adventurous people out there as it ain’t too good for listening outside the game. All in all, Naoshi Mizuta has passed the test as he was asked to compose Final Fantasy XI with Nobuo Uematsu and Kumi Tanioka in 2001-2002. I believe he’s taken a step in the right direction.