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Sin 'Vin and Shin's Music Review

Welcome to the music review at RPG! Our goal is help people see the soundtracks they listen to in a better light as well as well as help the rpg music lovers out there know what to get and know what crap they should stay the hell away from before they're stuck listening to something so bad, they'll want to drive ice picks into their ears to relieve the pain. This week in the spolight is the suprisingly pleasant Live A Live OST! To make up for the lack of samples lately,I've decided to use the Live A Live SPC soundtrack(which I ripped while playing LaL), which you can download here.

To view our previous reviews, check out the archives

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 Shimomura.

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 flick.

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.