August 7, 2010

Play That Pessimistic Victory Music

I’ve been playing Persona 3 Portable, so I was once again struck by the most amazing of battle themes. No, not Mass Destruction. After the Battle, the fight victory music. Maybe this sounds weird, but this is by far my favorite bit of music in the game. Give it a listen while I ramble about it for a bit.

I feel like this little song is a success on so many levels. It fits perfectly with the whole music themes of the game for one. It has the sort of hip, pop-y sensibilities of the rest of the game in the guitar bits that come in after a little bit. It’s also completely functional battle victory music. But I feel like it does more than that. I feel like it reflects the themes of the game in general.

Most RPG victory tunes are extremely happy. I mean, you know, like, the classics of Final Fantasy. These songs say, “We did it, we won, everything is awesome now!” It’s a celebration of an accomplishment. Ironically, any single battle in most of those games ISN’T an accomplishment, even though it treats it like one.

Persona 3 takes a more sinister take. It’s darker. There’s a bit of that “we won” excitement, eventually, but that isn’t where it starts. It starts with a very dark little melody and goes downward. While Final Fantasy is trumpeting the victory from the heavens, Persona 3 is saying, “This is only the beginning.” The fight is over, but the battle has yet to be won. It’s pessimistic, like most of the game it’s around. Because, let’s face it, there’s always going to be another encounter. There’s always going to be another fight. The game knows it. It uses it.

I just find that refreshing, I guess. It’s different. This is the track, more than anything, that sticks out and stays with me from that game. (Well, besides Mass Destruction. Nobody can escape the BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY!)

Been a little while, but I’m still battlin’! Moving fast, while you just prattlin’. No time for it, no tangling. Hit you in the spot, with /no angling!/ I’m not a princess.

I loved Persona 4’s victory music as well! It has a joyful, earnest feeling: “All right! One more obstacle surpassed, but we’ve got to stay sharp — the culprit is out there, somewhere!” It captures the mood of the game incredibly well.

Flash rhymes, caught a wrist bangles! Add some sounds and a time is wrangles. Three dots connect, direct tangles — just like music, sounds connect in rambles! You can’t run away.

Comment by Lobst — August 7, 2010 @ 12:40 am

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