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Lunar Eternal Blue Complete Soundtrack (US) :: Forum Review

Lunar Eternal Blue Complete Soundtrack (US) Album Title: Lunar Eternal Blue Complete Soundtrack (US)
Record Label: Working Designs
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: December 14, 2000
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Written by Don

Lunar 2: Eternal Blue was originally released in 1994 for the Mega CD, but was later ported to Sega Saturn as well as the PlayStation. As such, the entire game had an overhaul from story and graphics, to animation and music. Packaged with Working Design's US adaptation of the game was this semi-arranged soundtrack. How does it fare? Read on for details.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Star Dragon Theme ('95 Mix) (Written by Nathan Black)

When this song begins, my first impression is, "but I LIKED 90's music!" It starts with an oddly syncopated bass and snare rhythm that somehow tries to be militaristic but ends up sounding like a very confused hip-hop beat. Completely oversynthesized pads and brass really detract from any sense of foreboding or majesty that the track seems to be clearly trying for. Something like this belongs hidden somewhere in the deep dark recesses of a soundtrack, not at the forefront where it might taint one's feelings about the disc as a whole. By the end, the song drops the silly snares and lays down a moderately powerful melody by way of piano and strings. A day late and a dollar short, really, as it then goes into a nasty semi-climactic point to end the song. How disconcerting, Iwadare. (6/10)

2) Ghaleon's Theme (Written by Weabblewill)

The bass drum and strings effectively portrays the animosity of the villain when Hiro enters his mysterious layer. The brass may seem half-hearted at first when you hear 0:30, but it gets to a more climatic stage when the strings join the section at 0:42. Each note is played with an exclamation point of emphasis and certainly a track that stays consistent in describing the bleak atmosphere. At 1:31 it reprises the climax of the piece, and the trombone at 2:45 adds almost a proud tone. However, as dark as the piece is, it just doesn't seem particularly frightening enough and Ghaleon demands to be feared! (8/10)

3) Promenade (Written by Dave)

This is a cute little number which has a really heart-warming melody and, surprisingly, sees quite a bit of development. I'm not too sure how Iwadare extended this track into the 2:46 little gem which it is, but it seemed to work. The instrumentation is fairly typical; with flutes, strings, and clarinets all featuring, a perfect and dreamy atmosphere really seems to be produced. I wish I could say more about this theme, it's not super-inventive or particularly stunning, but it should put you in quite a happy mood. (8/10)

4) Field to Tomorrow (Written by Dave)

"Field to Tomorrow" is another theme where the development seems to be plucked out of nowhere! It starts off with an oboe melody accompanied by a quirky rhythm, but soon transitions into a really emotional section where strings seem to bow for all their glory. The track continues, and with a harp even making an appearance, Iwadare seems to pull all of the instrumental stops. I'm particularly fond of this piece and love where it ends up. (9/10)

5) Crowded Street Corner (Written by Weabblewill)

Ah... a rendition of "Lucia's Theme", sweet and relaxing when you're strolling around the town searching for your buddies or talking with the villagers. It bears close resemblance to "Promenade" when you hear the chimes and flutes. I like this theme because it has the right amount of emotion without being overly sentimental, just very whimsical and bouncy. Although this theme is used a lot in the game, this piece never seemed to get old on me. Quite catchy for a town theme. (8/10)

6) Gypsy Heart (Jean's Theme) (Written by Jared)

This theme is pretty neat. It starts out with a neat groove reminiscent of Paul Desmond's "Take Five", though this piece is in six instead of five. The main melody is played by violin, and though very fitting to the style, it gets a bit annoying because the melody tends to play the same note over and over repeatedly which can be a bit grating on the nerves.

About two minutes in, a new section starts, and this new section is better than the first in terms of melody. The melody played on a violin matches the accompaniment nicely, and all parts work together well to fit the title and character of Jean. The theme is very entertaining, but the slightly annoying first section detracts from the merits of the second half. (7/10)

7) Brave Warriors (Written by Don)

One of the few battle tracks to appear on this album, "Brave Warriors" is a vast improvement from some of the Silver Star Story battle tracks. While electric guitar starts off carrying the basic melody, strings offer quite an interesting role in this track. At times, they play a concurrent melody. At others, they play a tension builder that leads to the electric guitar that syncs quite nicely with the instrument. The percussion used in this track is also executed quite well. It provides a great rhythm to this track, while at the same time, mirroring some of the melody. At times, brass is used to carry the melody, but these portions are smaller and do nothing to harm or help the track. This is great Iwadare battle music. (9/10)

8) Holding On (Lemina's Theme)(Written by Dave)

"Holding On" is the theme for Lemina, and to give you an idea of what the track sounds like, it is pretty much the musical representation of eating pink candy floss with strawberry ice cream, with ribbons in your hair. It's camp, cute, and gives out a feeling of naivety and sweetness. The melody which seems basic at first gains a lot of development through the track, and overall, it becomes quite enjoyable to listen to. There is only so much that I can take though, this track is only recommended for a few listens. (7/10)

9) White Mask Funk (Mystere's Theme) (Written by Don)

This is a funky track to quite an interesting individual, Mystere. The bass line, while extremely repetitive, adds a bold touch to the melody and helps to create the image of funkiness. In fact, the track mainly revolves around this as the sole development of the track. Sure, brass plays some short melodic fragments here and there, but it was clear that Iwadare wanted the bass line to be more important than the melody. Late in the track, saxophone enters and provides more of a melody while the brass is used as a melodic counterpart. Despite all this, the funky bass line is all that I really hear. In that effect, it's successful, but when integrated with all the parts of this piece, it seems a bit too overpowering. A good listen here and there. (7/10)

10) Wine, Women, and Song (Ronfar's Theme) (Written by Dave)

I'm not too sure what this track tries to create. It seems like a 'hillbilly rock and roll' fusion which never verges completely on being purely bluesgrass or rock and roll. Sadly, I don't think much of it, nor of its development. The melody remains inspiring for perhaps a millisecond longer than it plays for. Not a strong piece. (4/10)

11) Eternal Blue Instrumental (Written by Weabblewill)

The main theme of the soundtrack is elegantly re-mastered in this version that is more crisp and clean in terms of sound than the Sega version. In addition, it's slower and a more forceful attempt than the Sega Version which reminds us of Iwadare's orchestration talent. There are two occasions which this piece is used, during Lucia's historical description and before the final battle when Lucia runs freed from Zophar. The harmony of the pan flute in the beginning of the piece is slow and grim at the same time. It reaches a climax at 0:34 when the strings and cymbals crash together bring the drama into the picture. At 0:52, the tone gets much brighter as hope will prevail for our great heroes and it is reemphasized when the clarinet repeats the section at 1:14. (9/10)

12) Desire (Written by Don)

This is a nice arrangement of "Lucia's Theme" played mainly on woodwind and piano. The piano offers a nice, sharp contrast to the softer woodwind portion of the track. It manages to slow the pace of the original down a bit and make it more poignant. Overall, it is a nice arrangement, but some of the magic is lot a bit when it slows the track down and the vocals are taken out. (8/10)

13) Justice (Leo's Theme) (Written by Don)

Ah, Leo. The man behind the mask of Mystere! His theme oozes heroism. The track has a very nice start with strong percussion and brass which carries the main melody quite nicely. Strings are also used as an accompaniment to the track but are really overshadowed by the brass. Halfway through the track, the focus on instrumentation shifts a bit to more of a brass and synth accompaniment which helps to change the focus of the track without losing the touch of heroism. (7/10)

14) Boss Battle (Written by Dave)

I'm quite fond of this track, since I feel that it actually acomplishes the main goals of a boss battle theme: it offers feelings of hope, exhilirating action, essences of fatigue, and more importantly supports the image of an evil presence. The melody is pretty gripping, as is the development, each of which are helped greatly by the diversity of the instrumentation. (8/10)

15) Hiro's Fight (Written by Weabblewill)

Not as powerful as the previous track of "Boss Battle", however the track's intent is much different. The listener can pretty much determine who the underdog is when you hear this dark and mournful track. The kettle drums present the futile situation of our hero getting overwhelmed and beaten to a pulp. The strings are overplayed to bring the necessary dramatic effect for the scene, but the piece is too transient at less than 1:30. (7/10)

16) Eternal Blue (Written by Don)

One of the vocal pieces of Lunar 2, "Eternal Blue" is quite a poignant and memorable one. The vocalist is strong, the instrumentation used is simple, which harmonizes quite nicely with the vocalist's voice, and the piece is uncluttered overall. Many vocal pieces today rely on heavy instrumental development, but this track seems to be able to craft a beautiful melody without such heavy development. Definitely a listen on this album. (9/10)

17) Golden Voice (Written by Don)

This track starts off with a beautiful arrangement of the original "Lunar Theme" from the first game. The harp uses harmonizes well with the woodwind and helps to create an angelic atmosphere. Once the strings are added, more development is seen and the track evolves in melody. It creates an equally strong melody before reverting back to the original. It is a nice piece of nostalgia. (8/10)

18) Lucia vs. Zophar (Written by Dave)

This track startled me at first — it's so deliciously dark. From a heavy organ to eerie strings and and ominous brass like, "Lucia vs. Zophar" is very much a militaristic theme with a very dark edge to it. The bass line adds a sense of action to the piece as the melody is yielded on a number of heavy instruments before moving into a hopeful section. The melody, development, and bass are profound. I'm not so fond of the climax of this piece, however, which involves a suspended note which sees some careless dynamic integration. The end is an anticlimax to what comes before it, which is a shame, because this is probably my favourite track on the album so far. (9/10)

19) Growing Fear (Written by Dave)

The first part of "Growing Fear" is made up of a repeated pattern played on strings and a percussive accompaniment. Suprisingly, the outcome is atmospheric, as opposed to being tedious, since Iwadare seems to get the balance of the instrumentation just right. As the track develops, Iwadare integrates a sporadic sitar line and a glistening piano motif. I'm really not too sure how this piece works, but there's just something captivating about it. Perhaps the secret lies in the originality of the melody? (8/10)

20) Heart-Shaped Tears (Written by Don)

This track is essentially a sad version of "Eternal Blue." The piano used creates a sad atmosphere. For the most part, this track is done on the piano with the melody changing octaves in order to create different atmospheric effects. This part is a bit repetitive. Towards the end of the track, strings are introduced to carry the melody and help develop the track a bit more, but it still carries the same repetition. Overall, a decent track, but the melody could have been developed a bit more. (7/10)

21) Zophar's Arrival (Written by Don)

This track starts off with quite an ominous tone by the use of strings and timpani. The strings carry an ominous melody, but as with the last track, it's extremely repetitive. Some synth is added in contrast as well as some snare percussion. Some brass is added to carry the same melody as the strings and to build tension, but in the end, this track is fairly derivative in nature and definitely not worth a listen more than a few times. (4/10)

22) Somber Memories (Written by Dave)

This is a fairly touching track which holds a buoyant melody. Moving from 'celli to oboes and flutes, the melody sees a lot of variation in timbre. The accompaniment resounds in the background as the melody reinforces a sense of sorrow, around which the whole atmosphere of the piece is based. As one might expect, there are essences of hope throughout this track, and truth be told, the two emotions mix well together. The theme leads out with a pure piano line as the track slowly fades away. Although a little slow, this piece is well-developed and the instrumentation is perfect. (9/10)

23) Dragonship Destiny (Written by Dave)

This is a much more hope-filled track and, as with the previous track, the instrumentation is pretty much the main reason for its success. The track starts off in a militaristic with snare drums and bass drums making up the accompaniment with a brass line taking hold of the melody. The development throughout is slow, but effective, and it seems to carefully represent the start of a new journey or saga in the tale. There's nothing better than hearing two good themes towards the end of a somewhat average album. (8/10)

24) Lucia's Theme (Written by Don)

This is the second vocal piece on this album, and I have to say, I think it is much stronger than "Eternal Blue." The vocalist is much stronger, the lyrics more meaningful, and the instrumentation used compliments the vocalist much better. At times, very simple, at others, more developed. The melody that Iwadare creates here is quite beautiful and I can find myself humming this tune on a daily basis. Quite the way to end a soundtrack. (10/10)


Written by Don

While Iwadare is notorious for some of his works, this work is pretty decent. While by no means as strong as his first Lunar attempt, it still pushes enough original material to the surface to be considered. There are a few downers on the album, but most of the other tracks are worth a listen. The playful melodies Iwadare creates are always a welcome addition to any earlobe and the development some of the tracks see is pretty astounding. Overall, this album is definitely worth a listen. (8/10)

Written by Jared

Overall, Iwadare and Mizoguchi give us an emotionally charged score that is just rough around the edges. Some pieces could have been greater with better execution ("Advent of Zophar") while others were near-perfect ("The Last Battle", "Holy City Pentagulia"). The small number of tracks is also a disappointment, but the ones chosen do give a good idea of the games score; hit-and-miss. Though weak in some places, it's very strong in others, so it is likely that most will find at least a few things that they will enjoy, however the poor execution hurts this album considerably.

Average of Summary Scores: 7/10