May 14, 2009

Dawn over Dawn and Dark Into Dark is still probably my favorite track.

I could talk all over the place about what I love about Klonoa, but I’m only going to do one more. The point of this post is this: Klonoa has some of the best video game music I have ever heard.

First off, I mean… just listen to it. Here, try one of my more favorite tracks, Count Three. The mixture of orchestrated sounds with more classical, video game-y sounds throughout the soundtrack just works so well to make music that is definitely for a video game, but is beautiful in its own right. Both major Klonoa games use this same kind of music, and oh, it is so wonderful. I am so glad it’s untouched in the remake.

But mostly, the reason that Klonoa’s music is so wonderful is its use of Leitmotifs. Every physical area in the games has its own musical theme, and that theme is twisted and played with to set various moods depending on what is happening and the plot. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Take a listen.
One of the clearest ones in the original game is that of the original piece of music you hear, The Windmill Song. This incredibly happy piece of music is the first you’re hit with when you start playing, in the first level, and it sets the tone of the game as being a happy one, a fun one, a cute one, devoid of any sort of worry or anything of the sort. Then, later in the game, you are rushing back to your home in a race against time to prevent bad things from happening. The song playing then is The Ruin’s Air. Now, when you first listen to this piece, you may not immediately notice the connection, the Leitmotif between them. But eventually, it gets to a very clear melancholy rendition of The Windmill Song, and then you can’t help but hear it within the entire piece. The corrupting of the original song sets the mood strongly. It’s completely awesome.

It’s not always so dramatic, but it’s still constantly used to great effect. In the second game, you find yourself in the amusement park town, Joilant. The theme is happy, and reminiscent of an amusement park, easily. Later, when facing the boss of the place, you hear a mix of the Leitmotif set by the original piece in Leptio, The Flower Clown. The original song fades in and out of much more intense horns and drums, setting the tone for the battle.

I could give examples all day, but hopefully I’m making my point here. Klonoa’s music is good. So very, very good. There are few video game soundtracks I listen to, outside of stealing some boss battle themes, perhaps. I listen to the entire soundtrack to both Klonoa and Klonoa 2 on a regular basis.

I love Klonoa so much! I promise to shut up about it, though. Tomorrow: Something not about Klonoa! Maybe!

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