VGM of the Week: The Red Locus (Radiant Historia)

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

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Radiant Historia

Video game music has always been something that I (and, I assume, other members on the oprainfall team) have wanted to discuss in more detail than we usually get to. During reviews of a game, discussing the music consists of summing up what can often be twenty plus tracks in a few sentences. It is easy to forget that each of these songs likely had a process for which they were thought up, and, in actuality, I myself (and again, I am assuming other members of oprainfall, as well) can go into great length on just one track. In addition to this, it could also give us an excuse to talk about games that may not have always been brought up here due to not being involved in current activity.

An example of this case has to be the subject of this week’s VGM; Radiant Historia. This game is easily one of the best and most underrated games on the original Nintendo DS, and is especially underrated as an RPG. Seriously, why does it seem like the only people that know about this game are ones that saw HCBailly’s Let’s Play of it? I PLAYED IT BEFORE IT WAS SEMI-POPULAR, GET ON MY LEVEL!!!!! Well, anyway, the song from this game that will be featured is one that is well liked among the game’s fanbase: The Red Locus:

Rule of thumb, any time a song opens with a pipe organ, it is guaranteed to be awesome. However, it doesn’t quite decide to go for the typical Dracula-esque intimidation song. It, instead, goes for the very elegant and majestic approach. The whole thing just gives off a very heroic and epic vibe (and, no, I don’t mean the clichéd generic synonym for anything positive. I mean it as in overwhelmingly heroic and powerful). It almost seems as if this song knows just how it can emphasize each note in a way that comes off as very powerful. Those first five trumpet notes at the start just give off immense build up and make it feel as if you can take on anything. When combined with the various string instruments it manages to simultaneously inflict the emotions of elegance and determination.

Of course, you also have more pipe organ segments during the slower part of the song, but it does definitely show something when they didn’t need to make the organ the focus (although, even if they did, it would still be pretty good). In general, this song is just a prime example of what an RPG boss theme should be and the effect it could have. It makes battle feel like you are trying to save the world, and it just makes battles all the more exciting. Also, it does a great job at fitting during any of the more emotionally-charged boss fights in the game. And it showcases just how great of a composer Yoko Shimomura is. Yes, Shimomura composed for this game; the same person who composed for Kingdom Hearts and various other Square Enix titles.

So, anyway, that concludes this week’s VGM of the Week, and, hopefully, this should convince some people to play Radiant Historia. However, even if you don’t, this song still deserves a spot on one of your music playlists.