If this hasn’t been made clear already, I LOVE the Lunar series. There is such an undeniable charm to the series that is lacking in so many games, even though they are as standard as JRPGs get story wise. It does seem unfortunate that Game Arts has not created anything that successful since the Grandia series (one that I still need to get to myself), and also that it is entirely likely that we only fell in love with the Lunar series because of Working Designs’ alterations to the script (hence why the scripts for the fan translation of Walking School and Dragon Song were bland in comparison, and why the series has fallen out of popularity in Japan). Anyway, this week’s VGM is the final boss theme of the first Lunar, “Go Go Go!”
I am specifically sticking with the Silver Star Harmony arrangement since that version has the highest sound quality and because the only difference between other versions is the instrumentation. When it comes to final battle themes, “Go Go Go!” is in the camp of “victory is within your grasp, you just have this one last challenge” as opposed to the “you’re fucked” variety. The title alone gives that impression, as it is quite hard to think of a cheesier title than “Go Go Go!” If anything, it is enormously unfitting given how difficult the fight against the Magic Emperor is, at least in the PS1/Saturn/PC/Ios versions. At the same time, however, that could make a case for why the song sounds so encouraging; to say that you can’t give up when you’re so close, even if the final boss is brutally difficult.
What comes across as unique about this particular song is how it sounds very rock influenced with entirely orchestral instruments as far as I know; really hitting home with the “traditional JRPG” sound. It is likely entirely done through the use of drum beats, brass, violin strikes, and orchestra hits. A typical sign that you are looking at a good song is if you have to really examine it closely to notice all the details of its instrumentation, and you continually notice new things. One such example being the counter melody played by strings following the opening that one can only faintly hear since it is overpowered by the main melody.
The use of strings and brass instrumentation help simultaneously convey the feeling of a clash of steel and emotions. It holds the typical “the fate of the world is at stake” atmosphere but also the emotions that come from a fight to death with a former hero turned overlord. In short, it’s about as JRPG as you can get, and that’s always what Lunar has represented.
Anyway that’s it for this week’s VGM. No hint for the next one this time so your guess is as good as mine.
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