Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Soundtrack September: Symphony of the Night

Game: Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (1997)
Platform: PlayStation (later numerous)
Composer: Yamane Michiru

At a time when almost every game publisher in the world was scrambling to jump on the full-3D bandwagon with their contributions to the PlayStation library, a small handful of titles on that console would swim against the tide, opting instead to refine the art of sprite-based game design, or marry 2D characters with 3D backgrounds, and vice-versa. Unfortunately, most of the games that would defy the full-3D trend -- games like Klonoa: Door to Phantomile, Silhouette Mirage and Strider 2 -- found their fate as cult titles, overshadowed by Wipeout, Crash Bandicoot and Final Fantasy VII.

So did Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Often called a marriage of Castlevania and Metroid, SOTN spanned the intimidating breadth of Dracula's castle, a building so big it has biomes. And each biome has theme music, masterfully crafted by Yamane Michiru, whose jazz-meets-gothic sensibilities would later shape the soundtracks to numerous subsequent Castlevania games, Suikoden III and IV, and Skullgirls.

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