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Star Fox 64 Original Soundtrack (Japan) :: Review by Dark Cloud

Star Fox 64 Original Soundtrack (Japan) Album Title: Star Fox 64 Original Soundtrack (Japan)
Record Label: Pony Canyon
Catalog No.: PCCG-00421
Release Date: October 17, 1997
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Ah, the good ol Nintendo 64. My first true video game console that I could call my own. With so few good games to play during the year of its launch, Nintendo needed a game that was well known to hardcore fans (other than Mario), and the Star Fox franchise was one of them. When the game launched in the U.S., it was one of the top-selling games of 1997 (second to Mario Kart 64), selling 300,000 copies in its first five days of sale. The soundtrack, released on October 17, 1997, was made by Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai, and is very well composed considering it was on the Nintendo 64. The synth and instrumentation is very nice to hear compared to other games of the era. However, I don't want to spoil everything in my Overview, so read ahead to find out what I thought of the Star Fox 64 Original Soundtrack overall!


Starting off the soundtrack is the opening theme. It is nothing but a few suspenseful notes at the beginning, but a crescending tone leads into the Star Fox Main Theme. It's not really "powerful," as it could be, but the track holds up throughout. The next few pieces are things you'd hear at the various Menu screens. They all don't really have a certain melody to them, aside from the short hints of the Star Fox theme, and don't contribute to the music a lot.

Next, we have the level themes, which are my personal favorites of this soundtrack. You have "Corneria", which is mainly led by percussion and string instruments throughout; there's occasionally brass selections too, but they don't last long before the track loops over. "Fortuna and Sector Z," "Meteo," and "Solar and Sector Y" are tense tracks, relying on percussion and strings thoughout, each bringing a unique taste to the soundtrack. The next set of level tunes are a mixed style of sound. Sometimes, you'll get brass... sometimes strings... it's hard to tell. "Area 6," "Bolse," and "Venom" wrap up the level tunes. Each relies heavily on percussion and strong brass, with strings bringing in a background theme. My personal favorite is "Venom," due to it's awesome brass sound and catchy strings.

The boss themes in Star Fox 64 are no disappointment. First, we have my personal favorite, "Starwolf's Theme." It really doesn't sound like a fighting theme, but more of an intense "flying-around" theme. Defintely a recommendation from me. Next we have three tracks, Boss Battle One, Two, and Three, all of which are overall decent to me. Still, I'm sure Hajime Wakai could have done a lot better with them; I'm not saying they are bad, I just think they could've been better. Each are still, however, worth a listen. The next track, "Andross Battle," is really slow, and very much suspense sounding. In fact, it reminds me of the Sephiroth themes from Final Fantasy VII. "Andross Brain," however, is much faster-paced and has lot of string-quality. It's one of my favorite's from the soundtrack.

Closing out the soundtrack are the "fill-in" tracks, as I like to say. These are the short ones, such as when the game is over, or if you finish a level. Two tracks, "Mission Accomplished" and "Mission Failed", are basically arrangements of the Star Fox Main Theme, and a good ones at that. "All Clear" is a good track too, and is actually one of the few that showcases woodwinds. Finally, the "Credits Theme." Beginning with a fast-paced trumpet melody, it soon goes into a soft theme, before picking back up into a faster tempo and finally leading up the the slow and dramatic ending. It's a nice way to end a game!


Overall, the Star Fox 64 Original Soundtrack is... decent. There are some tracks that you just have to listen to, such as "Venom," "Andross Brain," and "Starwolf's Theme," while others are just plain and dull. For the era of games, this impressed me, since back in the late 1990's, music was nothing but synth. However, Koji Kondo and Hajime Wakai went beyond the limit and composed a very nicely sounding score, even though it had lackluster tracks. Overall, I'd say that you sample this soundtrack, and if you like it, good for you. However, I don't recommend it to everyone.

Overall Score: 7/10