Welcome to the second installment of Video Game Music of the Week!
This time I would like to set a personal note on this series and present you with a song that I very much doubt you would see featured on any other site. If you know me well, you don’t have to think twice about what the video game series closest to my heart is – Fire Emblem.
Fire Emblem is a tactical RPG series published by Nintendo on various platforms. Similarly to most other fans outside of Japan, my first encounter with the series was Fire Emblem: Rekka no Ken for the Game Boy Advance, the seventh installment and first to be released in the US and Europe.
In these territories, the game was released without a subtitle, it was simply called Fire Emblem.
I was fascinated by the story, the art and animation and quickly wanted to learn more about this franchise. To my surprise there had been six games before it and this game is actually a prequel!
The actual beginning of this series can be traced back to 1990 – the release of Fire Emblem: Ankoku Ryū to Hikari no Tsurugi on the Famicom. It was developed by Intelligent Systems, who work on this franchise to this day, including the composers Yuka Tsujiyoko and Hirokazu Tanaka.
If you are interested in the history of the franchise and general gameplay, I highly recommend the Fire Emblem Retrospective – a fan project created by NeoGAF member Cow Mengde – which you can view on the bottom of the page. I hope he will finish this project and you can bombard him with personal messages to make this a reality.
Moving on to music, the track I chose actually stems from the first game and is unnoticeable to most. Still, there is something special about it. The song I am referring to is simply titled ‘Story 3 – Conversation’ on Yuka Tsujiyoko’s compilation album released in 1997 and plays during the first encounter with Archsage Gotoh. I could not find it on Youtube but you can listen to or download it here.
Many years later, the song was remixed for the 2008 remake of the first game – Shadow Dragon. Now the track is titled ‘Gotoh’s Theme’ and I was delighted to hear it during my own playthrough. This release marked the first time western players could experience Marth’s journey for themselves.
Ultimately, you might be a bit underwhelmed at this point. Why did I choose this track if the Fire Emblem series has many other more noticeable tracks?
The reason is simple. This is the only Fire Emblem song that has a remix on the website OCRemix.
Highly talented remixer Kevin Stephens stumbled upon this song and immediately noticed the unusual melody. He swiftly proceeded to work on an arrangement with the help of fellow mixer trickwaters and produced the following beautiful piece and the actual highlight of this VGMW installment.
All credit goes to the original composers Hirokazu Tanaka, Yuka Tsujiyoko and remixers Kevin Stephens and trickwaters.
I hope you enjoyed this article and especially the music. You can be sure I will take reader suggestions into account in the future and I am noting everything that is proposed to me so nothing is forgotten.
As a bonus, I will leave you with a track from the most recent Fire Emblem game – Kakusei – which will see western release in 2013. This song is titled ‘Tiki’s Theme’ and since Gotoh and Tiki are related story-wise it’s not a stretch to conclude the themes are intentionally similar.
To finish this off you can watch the aforementioned Fire Emblem Retrospective video here.
Please post lots of comments and enjoy!