There is little worse than being overshadowed by the legacy you created, with all your other works being crushed by the shadow of your former labour of love. Lost Odyssey is such a game, a gem of a JRPG that brought back the old school vibe of classic Final Fantasy, only to become buried in the dirt by its newer iterations.
We’re not here to talk about Lost odyssey from a gameplay aspect, despite my deep adoration for the game that I could gush about for hours, instead we’re here to talk about the music. Any fan of Final Fantasy, or gaming music in general, will know the name Nobuo Uematsu, a legend of a composer who solidified the place of many classic JRPGs in the back of our collective minds. Lost Odyssey is nothing but a swan song of sorts to that era of JRPG music, providing players with a mighty score that not only complemented the tone of the game beautifully, but was able to give the game notoriety when it’s gameplay failed to.
Lost Odyssey does well to fluctuate between the emotions it tries to convey. Complementing this is the music, with many of the tones adhering to the moment excellently; the opening song ‘Prologue’ demonstrates this perfectly, beginning with the whimsical –yet soft – intro, culminating with a later emphasis on strings and percussion that bellows the adventure to come.
Gun Barrel of Battle
Every RPG needs a good battle theme, a tune that players are going to hear constantly throughout an adventure that will days to complete. Uematsu’s efforts are not lost here, with a loud and powerful theme that more than brings out the fire in all of us, a good job considering that it’s the only standard battle theme in the entire game.
Never Ending Journey
Midway through the adventure, the game dons away with the linear progression the game has seen up to this point, instead allowing players to travel across the map in a similar vein to classic JRPGs. Coupling this is a jaunty tone that does present a feeling of adventure in the form of pan flutes and acoustic guitar. Alone, this wouldn’t stand out, but leave the game alone for a minute or two and the track goes from Peruvian travel music to a over-driven guitar solo, a factor that surprised me massively when taking a small break from the game.
A Formidable Enemy Appears
Similar to what I said about the Lost Odyssey battle theme, its boss battle theme is also a stand out piece. What sets this version apart is how similar it feels to something straight out Final Fantasy IV. Proof of the latter comes from the various chiptune artists who have remixed this tune into an 8-bit rendition, with the feel of the music not being lost at all.
Howl of the Departed
Lost Odyssey is a long game, with a plethora of twists and turns on the way, a lengthy adventure that culminates with one of last gens greatest showdowns. Howl of the Departed Souls is the perfect piece to accompany the final moments of the game, with bizarre Gregorian chanting (and rapping) as well as crazy guitar riffs, all of which round the game off in such a bad-ass manner.
It also makes an excellent alarm tone
If those songs tippled any earbuds, then it’s definitely worth checking out the full soundtrack on Youtube or via other means, the variety between songs makes it an easy listen when left in the background. Just like the 8 and 16 – bit eras, Nobuo Uematsu came back to form with this soundtrack, with notoriety reaching the point in which it was the premier set at the Nobuo Uematsu tribute concert, Symphonic Odysseys, which was held in Germany a few years back.
Below is a small playlist of some of the more notable songs: