January 13, 2013

On Town Themes…

Posted in music tagged , at 1:11 am by riulyn

After spending 15+ hours in Dragon Quest VIII, I am starting to feel that the game’s soundtrack, while beautiful, seems incredibly repetitive. For such a long game it seems like I hear the same song for hours. To be fair, I could do a better job at getting from point A to point B. But even if I’m warping from one town to the next, I don’t really get much of a change of music. I have to enter a church or a casino, or go outside. There’s a day and night theme for towns, but that’s it. Of course maybe there is some special town further into the game that has new music, but I just haven’t gotten there yet.

The whole “town theme” designation first reminded me of Lufia. Lufia games (which may have been imagined from DQ games) have one theme for towns. But they also have a village theme and a port town theme. So there are 3 songs to choose from.

Still, I prefer each town having its own theme. For me, town themes give each town more of a distinction than their look or the dialogue that takes place in it. I like it when certain towns get the “snowy bells” theme, the “lively” theme, the “sad” theme, the “peaceful” theme. In Xenogears you blow up your hometown within the first moments of the game, but that place had one memorable theme. In Chrono Cross, I loved the variations on a theme for each place depending on the world. I think I prefer almost all of the “another” versions over the “home” versions, but they are both very good.

It just feels weird that a place like Pickham has the same music as Farebury. But I suppose a town is a town, no matter what shape it’s in.



  1. Joseph said,

    I couldn’t agree more! Music is so integral to giving a location a particular “feel”. I don’t remember the music from DQVIII so that probably says quite a bit about it. Chrono is a good example of a game in which the music is actually its best quality. Not that the gameplay is bad, I love it. But the music is absolutely fantastic. What game has the absolute best music in your opinion?

    • riulyn said,

      My favorite soundtrack is still Chrono Cross’s, but Xenoblade has an amazing one that may challenge that reign. I think at some point, though, judging music gets pretty subjective. It’s not a bad problem at all to have so many great game soundtracks out there.

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