Oath in Felghana was originally released back in 2005 for the PC and re-released for the PSP, last year, both only in Japan. It wasn’t until last November that we saw it for the PSP on Western shores. Now the soundtrack was first released back in 2005 but since we are just getting the game now, I figured why not review it. The game’s score was composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK, the same team that does all of the music for the Ys series, as well as Legend of Heroes. Since the first Ys game back in 1987, I would say that Falcom has had a lot of experience in composing beautiful music. Of the games in the Ys series that I’ve played, I have to hand it to Falcom, they do an amazing job. When playing a classical RPG, you need a particular kind of music. Falcom gets the job done.
Environmental themes – When you’re traveling the world in the main world map, you have to have epic traveling music. One that will make you really feel like you’re on that adventure and up for anything like the true hero that you are when you play as Adol. I believe that “Prelude to the Adventure” does just that. With powerful strings and twirling of winds, it’s as if you’re out there on the road, traveling to your next destination.
Action themes – Combining synthesizers, electric guitars and a fast beat will definitely get the blood pumping as you take down your enemies. “Be Careful” has a beautiful build-up to when the guitars just start wailing and every beat just takes you into the heat of the battle. Another theme like “A Searing Struggle” sounds like a classic rock song with nothing but pure guitar solos. No matter how many times I listen to the tracks, I just can’t get tired of them.
Emotional themes – With a deep-sounding string instrument leading the song, “Dear My Brother”, the piece becomes deeply emotional simply with a piano accompaniment. The slow tempo of the piano accentuates the portraying sadness of the string instrument’s arrangement . There is a second arrangement of the same called “Farewell ~ Dear My Brother” but with a larger orchestra. I actually found the second to be more powerful because of the additional instruments emphasizing the sadness in the song.
Character themes – Even though this is one of the few RPG games that basically have you on your own (except when you party with NPCs), there are very few character themes. Even so, at least I know that the themes they do have will be just amazing. Adol’s theme, “The Boy’s Got Wings” which is one that is used over and over again in the different games of the series, is recreated every time with different arrangements. This version for Oath is a beautiful combination of dance and classical styles that really gets you pumped up during the powerful scenes. It has to be one of my favorites of the soundtrack, the violin leads into amazing solos that make you really feel like you’re Adol.
Prelude and Ending themes – “A Premonition =Styx=” is a powerful yet delicately composed track which does a beautiful job of giving the player a sense of the world introduced in the opening cinematic. Definitely worthy of being called an introduction to what would be a very beautiful game. The ending “Wanderers from Ys” follows the tradition of more classic RPG’s, with a classical march. Though I do love the fact that it does not sound cheesy at all, the track keeps a steady pace all the way to the end. As you watch the areas of the world you finished traveling through, it actually feels like a movie that ends the game in a satisfying way.
Love themes – Unlike most other RPG’s, Ys does not usually have a love interest for the hero. The only related theme that I could apply here is “Prayer for Love” though it doesn’t really sound like it has anything to do with love, unless getting married in a church, since it is used as the chapel‘s theme. I do love the organ and all but definitely wouldn’t consider this theme for love.
Least Favorites – Sadly, I would have to say, “Dark Beasts as Black as the Night” is one of my least favorites. It sounds like there is too much going on, especially with the electric guitar solo. There just doesn’t seem to be any arrangement and it’s all over the place. “Behold!!” is not as bad but it’s also one of my least favorites, the track just doesn’t quite seem as exciting as most of the tracks that are in this game’s score.
My final thoughts – I am very happy to say that I loved more tracks than ones I disliked. This soundtrack is great. With the new arranged versions of the older Ys songs that have fresh new styles, I could play the two discs over and over. Overall I am definitely happy with this soundtrack.