Night-Time Listenings Wrap-Up: Week of 12/3/12

Night-Time Listenings 28

NTL was out for a week, but now we’re back in a big way as this week as all Orchestral! We flew in first with Ace Combat 5. Then we climed a colossus with Shadow of the Colossus. We trained hard with Soul Calibur 3. We played god with ActRaiser. And finally we soared through the skies with Super Mario Galaxy.

If you want to see the music as it goes up (and not wait every Saturday for these wrap-ups), remember to go to our Tumblr page and follow it. Music for Night-Time Listenings goes up every weekday at 10PM.

Ace Combat 5 – First Flight
Composed by Keiki Kobayashi et al.

Let’s kick things into high gear right away with Ace Combat 5’s First Flight. I know many an Ace Combat fan probably heard this song first when they showed that trailer. The battle this takes place on was just as impactful as that trailer as you’re flying your ass right back up there to protect your homebase from the Yuktobanian invasion. You’ve got everyone scrambling to either find a safer area or to protect the place. You got Chopper pissed off that’s he has to fly again so soon, Archer flying in battle for the first time, and Pops mobilizing the training jets to get them out of there. It was a hectic situation for everyone, and this song was a perfect fit for the situation. It’s got the alertness of the events occuring, but the proudness of defending your home.

Shadow of the Colossus – A Despair Filled Fairwell
Composed by Kou Otani

When playing Shadow of the Colossus, you sometimes get a good idea of what you have to do to take a colossus down. Then you face the bird colossus, the one fans call Avion. You see if fly around and then the idea hits you, “Maybe he’ll swoop down.” So you stand on one of the platforms, observing his flight path. Then when it flies lower and is heading towards you, rather than run, you stand there, ready to grab hold while still thinking, “this ain’t gonna work.” Then you jump and hit the grab button. “Holy crap it worked.” That was the first test though. You still have a job to do. One thing I’ve noticed with this composition compared to the others is the sort of… airy mood of this one. While others have a discernible “thump” to them resembling the footsteps of the giants, here you have a bird that is flying across the sky with music that is just as soaring. Such is the genius of composer Kou Otani.

Soul Calibur III – Ephemeral Dream
Composed by Keiki Kobayashi

Of the many fighting games out there, Soul Calibur’s music stands out the most for its orchestral scoring. Each song composed is grand and boisterous. But for Soul Calibur III’s debut on Night-Time Listening, I wanted to pick out Ephemeral Dream, which is played on Setsuka’s stage. While other stage themes are proud or brooding, this one is more somber and calm, probably reflecting on the fate of Setsuka and Mitsurugi facing each other. Or maybe the music reflects on the troubled past Setsuka had with being accepted in her town since she wasn’t a native of it. Or maybe it’s reflective of the moonlit, amber-hued arena that acts as Setsuka’s stage.

ActRaiser – Birth of the People ~ Offering
Composed by Yuzo Koshiro

Okay I’m kinda cheating here since this version wasn’t really in the game per se (it’s an SNES game after all), but being that this was one of the first videogame orchestral arrangements, I had to cover this. Just listen to this! ActRaiser’s music easily rivals many classical compositions and shouldn’t be overlooked by those traveling symphonies. Birth of the People is a rather humble theme, marking the beginnings of your role as god. There’s not a lot of people in the world yet, there’s much land to cultivate, and evil nuisances to ward off to let your people do their thing. It stood out of the crowd back then amongst the rock, hip-hop, and faater paced orchestral music as this harkened back to the likes of Bach and Beethoven. Kinda makes you wish Quintet got together with Square Enix to go for one more ActRaiser game (that has the town building aspect of the first game).

Super Mario Galaxy – Gusty Garden Galaxy
Composed by Mahito Yokoda

And now we’ve hit the end of the week, wrapping it up with one of my favorite songs, Gusty Garden Galaxy. Before Galaxy, Mario music would always be that simple but catchy that would stick with you. They were never really this grandiose. So when this game finally hit shelves and people got to play this, this music would blow away the expectations of what you’d expect for a Mario game’s music. While some of the music would call back to its synthesized roots, a full blown orchestra composed by Mahito Yokoda would handle most of the music in Super Mario Galaxy. With Gusty Garden Galaxy, this plays on one of the later stages, and by now you’d be close to the amount of Power Stars needed to beat the game. It was an amazing feeling to fly across this galaxy via a giant dandelion or a slingstar. Sometimes, you’ll just come back here just to experience this place over and over again.

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