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Ys Stategy Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

Ys Stategy Original Soundtrack Album Title: Ys Stategy Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Marvelous Entertainment
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: March 23, 2006
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Ys Strategy is an externally spinoff of the Ys series created for the DS. Given the strategy focus, its score blended elements of the series' classic style with a more militaristic tone. A relatively large score was produced the game, though Marvelous Entertainment only ten of the pieces for the album release, enclosed with pre-orders of the game. Note that the composer for the score remains unknown and is likely someone outside the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K.


"Theme of Ys Strategy" immediately demonstrates how the composer modified the classic Ys sound to meet the strategy focus. The opening chords immediately create a serious mood for the game in conjunction with some oriental influences and the resolute drum backing. However, there is still an ethereal aura created by the innocent melodies and synthy backing that is so representative of the series' character. What's more, the eventual rhythm guitar brings in some rock to the soundtrack and it has a surprise amount of attitude. The main theme isn't memorable enough to be a classic, yet it's still a very fitting representation of the game.

There is considerable diversity elsewhere in the score. "The Romun Empire" is constructed much like a typical militaristic march for the most part. However, a sense of the series' history is created by the contrapuntal interweaving of the solo violin and the ornate harpsichord backing. Further delightful orchestration is exhibited in "Gilla Kingdom" and it's outstanding how epic it sounds despite being composed for the DS. "Galman Kingdom" is a much lighter piece dominated by bright trumpet fanfares, yet is tragically short, while "Esteria Kingdom" sounds heroic with its use of Yuzo Koshiro's "Theme of Adol".

Elsewhere on the album, there are some more worldly pieces. For instance, the traditional instrumentation of "Xandria Dynasty" is perfect for representing a Chinese empire, while "Afroca Dynasty" is dominated by wild jungle rhythms. There are also some more bombastic orchestrations on the score, for example to represent the Vikings. At the end of the selection, listeners are presented with the "Orietta Kingdom" and "Britai Kingdom", both brisk and full-blown orchestrations that get listeners right to the centre of the battle. They're certainly among the finest of the entire score in terms of both composition and implementation.


Based on this promotional album, it's clear that Ys Strategy features a solid score. Given it is a strategy game, the composer takes the music in a slightly different direction with action-packed orchestrations and impacting oriental cues, all implemented with high quality synth. However, there are still some references to that Ys sound we know and love, ensuring series' fans are accommodated. It's a pity that a full soundtrack release wasn't announced as this enclosure is still a little too short to be worth paying good money for.

Overall Score: 7/10