Amazing VGM: The Dark Colossus Destroys All (NieR)

Ah yes, three of my most shilled games in a row for Amazing VGM. I’d normally do something from Saya no Uta since I just reviewed it but I kinda hinted at this one last week so I better follow through. Anyway I’ve been meaning to touch on this one for a while since it really is an amazing track from an amazing game.

NieR is known for its outstanding music after all, so it’s time to cover a track that was good enough they made it twice! Starting with the original.

This is not only an intense and intimidating track, but it is also a highly appropriate and fittingly named one. The very first fight that this plays during is against a colossal shade that towers over anything you’ve fought thus far. It also marks the point where the plot of the original NieR stopped fucking around. The first part of the “fight against the colossus isn’t so much a fight as it is the main cast panicking as they try to protect the village from this titan. It is also used as the game’s “special” boss theme following that encounter. One of the first occurrences of this track that I think of aside from the Dark Colossus itself is in the fight against that robot and how it transitions into this from “Deep Crimson Foe.” Also the fact that this plays during the fight against possessed Kaine after you already fought the Shadowlord shows that this track is not short of versatility.

First let’s start with the obvious of that bloody chorus. Those high notes encapsulate the feeling of “oh shit I’m fucked!” perfectly and emphasizes a very powerful foe. Special attention needs to be put on the rhythmic use of drums and violins that really help this track feel more harmonious despite its loud and abrasive nature. This is personally why I like this version more than the Automata arrangement. Not only is it blood pumping and tense, but it’s also addicting as hell. I never get tired of this track!

Also I would like to highlight the key change in the second half. This is something else that is also missing from the arrangement that captures the feeling of high octane your fucked-ery so kick-assily… those may not be real words but they are now. It represents the raising stakes and pressure that occurs in a life or death situation, and is one of the most atmospherically appropriate boss themes I’ve ever heard, while also being one of the most kick ass.

Anyway it’s now time to talk about the remix from NieR Automata, titled “Dark Colossus (Kaiju). I may prefer the original but this version is still WICKED AF! The only problem is that this track is split into multiple parts, and that the full version that will be posted shortly is not heard as is in game. I’ve simply provided the version that makes the most complete listening experience.

The battle against Grun was probably my favorite boss from NieR Automata due to the sheer spectacle of it. That opening with the organ playing as this titan emerges from the depths of the ocean sets the tone for just how intimidating this son of bitch really is. It says there right in the title; you’re up against a fucking Kaiju! I do think that the more cinematic nature of this track is a bit more fitting given the nature of Automata’s combat and the fact that 2B and 9S are far more well equipped to fight this behemoth, but the fact that the original NieR’s Dark Colossus is greatly dwarfed by Grun probably balances things out a bit.

The way that you don’t hear the chorus start up until the second phase greatly adds to the build up this guy receives, and overall this track is an excellent callback. Also the chiptune portion is pretty sweet to. Not much else for me to really say.

Anyway see you all next week.

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