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Lunar 2: Eternal Blue

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue is a video game soundtrack. You will find the track list plus an extensive track-by-track analysis below the standard review. It is my hope that you will gain a better understanding of video game music by reading exactly what it has to offer as it is different from American film music.
Composed by:
Noriyuki Iwadare

Arranged by:
Noriyuki Iwadare

Song arrangements:
Isao Mizoguchi

Songs performed by:
Jenny Stigle

Despite what I think of the video game translations of Working Designs (IMO, they hurt the original ideas), the company more than makes up for it by adding extras into their game packages. The soundtracks packaged along with the Lunar games is a perfect example, and in this case the soundtrack that comes free with the game contains even more tracks than the original Japanese import CD. Needless to say, this is a remarkable display of heroism amongst competative video game companies, and certainly a better deal than the marketing scams employed by Squaresoft as of late. The packaging for the game even hints at this, though I can't personally complain about Square when I consider that they have been my favorite game manufacturer since the initial years of the 1990s.

Marketing factors aside, this is really a rather good soundtrack, with some incredible compositions and ideas. The only truly unfortunate aspect to the score is the fact that the main themes don't have the same addictive melody lines as the original, which were also written by the talented Mr. Iwadare. There are two main themes, the actual *main* theme and then the much more memorable theme for the heroine, Lucia.

Some may express surpise at the quality of the CD over what they heard in the game. This is to be expected as the music on the CD is not directly from the Playstation port, but is in fact from the arrangements on the Sega CD version of the game. Though it is several years older than the PSX version, it sounds better because it was programmed separately and played as musical files independent from the actual game. Another example of this technique would be the in-game soundtrack for Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Unfortunately the excellently written (though trite) songs are once again hampered by the thin, raspy voice of Jennifer Stigle, who has been a regular at Working Designs since the original Sega CD versions of the Lunar games. If the owner of the company, Victor Ireland is such a perfectionist, wouldn't it make some sense to actually hire a better singer? I realize that Square has much more money to afford these people, but Working Designs can't last forever just laying down little complaints about game companies that happen to be more financially successful.

I don't believe that this can be purchased through any means other than buying the game, whose production is probably scheduled for termination soon, as was its prequel, so I suggest you get out there and get it as fast as possible.

The following in-depth review may contain spoilers about the game. Proceed at your own risk.

Track-by-track review:
1 Disc
  1. Star Dragon's Theme ['95 Mix] 2:43

    Yeah that said '95. A somewhat interesting variation on a theme in the game that is acutally not heard very much, but is closely related to Lucia's theme. It has lots of fairly loud percussion.

  2. Ghaleon's Theme 3:40

    Rather than keeping the much more menacing theme that represented the villain of the original Lunar, Iwadare writes an entirely new and much more majestic theme for the sorcerer. This contains even more piles of pounding percussion than the previous track, and this is one of my favorite on the disc.

  3. Promenade 2:46

    This actually a new arrangement of one of the town themes from the original Lunar. It's a very light-hearted and upbeat tune.

  4. Field of Tomorrow 2:39

    The overworld theme for Lunar: EB, the melody is very dissapointing considering the corresponding piece from the prequel had an uncanny ability to get stuck in your head for days. This track as a whole really isn't dissapointing though, because it is arranged quite well.

  5. Crowded Street Corner 3:06

    A light pop version of Lucia's theme, as I've already said, if there was one theme that you'll be humming after the soundtrack has finished playing, it would have to be this one.

  6. Gypsy Heart [Jean's Theme] 4:24

    Iwadare tries inserting some ethnic flavor into the mix. To be honest I really can't say if he has succeeded or failed. Though not entirely unpleasant to listen to, this track unfortunately gets lost in the middle of the whole thing, unlike other character themes from the game. I would have thought that all of the main characters would have gotten more consideration.

  7. Brave Warriors 3:48

    The regular battle theme for the game tries admirably to stay afloat, but is unfortunately bogged down by a completely lifeless melody and is almost indistinguishable from the corresponding track from the original Lunar. People who haven't played both games might have trouble telling the difference between the two.

  8. Holding On [Lemina's Theme] 2:46

    As silly as the music in this track sounds, it fits quite well with Lemina's quirky personality. In the end though, it suffers the same fate as Jean's theme.

  9. White Mask Funk [Mystere's Theme] 2:18

    Mystere is one of the more humorous characters of the game, and it's a pity that you don't get to see more of him than you do. This track will leave you with pleasant memories though. It is funky upbeat tune with lots of emphasis on bass guitar.

  10. Wine, Women, and Song [Ronfar's Theme] 2:37

    To be perfectly honest, this song and the game itself try to put the character Ronfar on the wrong pedastle. While trying to make a rather two-dimensional character like Kyle from the first game, and, because of trying to portray Ronfar in this light, it almost makes it seem as if they inadvertantly made the character much more complex than they were intending. Needless to say, this song doesn't quite work for me. It just doesn't fit the character.

  11. Eternal Blue [Instrumental] 2:32

    As the title makes plainly clear, this is the main theme of the game. This removes a lot of the pop influence heard in the score thus far and makes a decent (synth) orchestral piece. The melody is still dissapointing though.

  12. Desire 3:45

    A lovely piano-driven version of Lucia's theme. Definitely one of the best tracks on the disc.

  13. Justice [Leo's Theme] 1:35

    A very pompous orchestral piece with a large brassy flair, unfortunately it may just be a little bit to pompous for the character. It's doesn't reflect how humble Leo truly is.

  14. Boss Battle 1:50

    This is easily my favorite track on the disc. A large, booming orchestral action piece with an addictive melody. I just wish that it couldv'e been longer. At 1:50, you just expect to hear more.

  15. Hiro's Fight 1:29

    There's really not much to this piece, it's just a battle theme similar to the previous track, only much less memorable.

  16. Eternal Blue [Rhondo-Light and Shadows] 5:02

    A nice song version of the main theme damaged by the not-so-subtle voice of Jenny Stigle. Sorry to Stigle fans (if there are any), but her harsh vocals really don't add anything special to the song. The pitiful English lyrics don't help either.

  17. Golden Voice 2:49

    A somber arrangement of one of the intensely moving main themes from the original Lunar. This could be considered an easter egg for fans of the first game.

  18. Lucia Vs. Zophar 2:23

    Another big battle theme. Similar but not as memorable as those that have preceeded it.

  19. Growing Fear 3:25

    This is a rather typical dungeon theme for Mr. Iwadare. It's really not as menacing as it could be but it gets the job done. Personally I think this is the one area in which he could use the most work, though his efforts are commendable.

  20. Heart-Shaped Tears 2:52

    The first minute-and-a-half is made of piano variations on the main theme, after that some strings are added but goes back to piano and dies rather suddenly.

  21. Zophar's Arrival 2:23

    This begins oppresively and gets more intense as it rolls along, with some impressive ostinatos and some annoying dissonant chords that blurt out.

  22. Somber Memories 4:01

    While this tries desperately to convey emotional power, it unfortunately bogs down to become slow and boring, with not much interesting going on. It ends with a nice piano solo though.

  23. Dragonship Destiny 2:39

    This is one of the less interesting tracks on the disc. It's really just a "transportation" track, just non-cinematic music that plays as your party travels on the Destiny in the game.

  24. Lucia's Theme 5:59

    An incredibly well-arranged song version of Lucia's theme. Unfortunately it suffers the same fate as track 16. Stigle strikes again.

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue is Copyright 1994-2000 Game Arts. This review is written by and is the property of Isaac Engelhorn and does not reflect the opinions of Tripod.