Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. November is here, and I am once again happy.
Halloween is over, Queen Mariah has defrosted and she don't want a lot for Christmas, my Flames are in the middle of a new wave of disappointment, and my favourite season is rapidly approaching.
The snow is here and I am relishing in the colder weather and beautiful scenery. The first snowfall always puts me in a winter mood.
If only there was a game all about winter...
Cold, isolated, uncertain. That's the first glimpse you get into the world of I Am Setsuna. It's full of sorrow, loneliness, and beauty. It's a chilling theme that fills you with a sense of dread and uneasiness.
The use of a solitary minor key piano is emblematic of what many people feel when the snow falls for the first time, lonely and frigid.
Beginning of the End is a wonderful portrayal of the emotional response many people have to winter, and also a tremendously impactful setup that makes the player feel a need to both take it all in and start the game right friggin' now!
Once you begin, it only gets better.
Such a simple exploration theme that hits you rather early into your arctic adventure, The Winter Breeze captures the same emotions as our somber title piece while offering a layer of calm hope reassuring that this expedition may be emotional and heavy, but it will bring reasons to smile.
When I think about the calm isolation and restful relaxation of a snowy day at home, this track is exactly what I'm imagining.
My playtime on the game was heavily inflated as I just calmly walked around for so long and let this music envelop me.
Don't worry, this soundtrack does have some energetic tracks as well.
You encounter an enemy on the overworld, and the game seamlessly transitions instantly into a battle scene, and No Turning Back hits you immediately. As if yelling "WAKE UP KID, TIME TO FIGHT" before delivering some of the most motivating, inspiring, and high-octane notes to ever come from a piano.
The key is major, and so is my erection when I hear that absolutely gorgeous string of notes about 30 seconds in that never fails to make me perk up and crack a slight grin.
While remaining perfectly in line with what the OST has previously established in this game, No Turning Back delivers a wonderfully rich and confident piece that stands out effortlessly amongst this largely atmospheric and lonely OST. Add in some motifs that really speak to the Japanese origins of this game and you have a battle theme that makes me not want to destroy my enemies with awesome magic spells as that means the music will cease.
I am Setsuna is winter. It's solitary, calm, somber, and heavily underappreciated in my mind.
When you turn on this game, you are given a tremendously impactful story about challenging destiny versus accepting fate, realizing that you are not alone, and the beauty of the winter season.
The soundtrack not only captures that but has a level of consistency almost no soundtrack ever achieves. So many games have OSTs full of wildly different tempos, instruments, and motifs that make each area stand out.
I Am Setsuna has a level of consistency that goes a long way in delivering the winter motif, and I just cannot get enough of it.
I know very few will ever play this game, but I am forever grateful to have experienced such a unique title and it will stick in my mind like freshly fallen snow on a cold day forever.
Thank you, as always, for checking out my nonsense and I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.
PS. Here's an even more intense battle theme, because I love you so much.