New Roles at SEMO!

  - Square Enix
  - Nintendo
  - Konami
  - Nippon Ichi
  - Mistwalker
  - Cave
  - Basiscape
  - Western Games

  - Castlevania
  - Chrono
  - Devil May Cry
  - Dragon Quest
  - Final Fantasy
  - Kingdom Hearts
  - Mana
  - Mario
  - Mega Man
  - Metal Gear
  - SaGa
  - Silent Hill
  - Star Ocean
  - Street Fighter
  - Suikoden
  - Tales
  - Ys
  - Zelda

  - Masashi Hamauzu
  - Norihiko Hibino
  - Kenji Ito
  - Noriyuki Iwadare
  - Koji Kondo
  - Yuzo Koshiro
  - Yasunori Mitsuda
  - Manabu Namiki
  - Hitoshi Sakimoto
  - Motoi Sakuraba
  - Tenpei Sato
  - Yoko Shimomura
  - Koichi Sugiyama
  - Nobuo Uematsu
  - Michiru Yamane
  - Akira Yamaoka

  - Vocalists
  - The Black Mages
  - The Star Onions

  - CDJapan
  - Chudah's Corner
  - CocoeBiz
  - FF Music Radio
  - The Seikens
  - VGM Rush
Home Contact Us Top


Genso Suikoden II Original Game Soundtrack Vol. 2 :: Review by Mac_Tear

Genso Suikoden II Original Game Soundtrack Vol. 2 Album Title: Genso Suikoden II Original Game Soundtrack Vol. 2
Record Label: King Records
Catalog No.: KICA-7937/8
Release Date: December 23, 1998
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Three years after the great success of the first game, Konami continued the story the of the 108 Stars of Destiny with Suikoden II, one of the most beloved installments from the series and the best Suikoden title so far, in my opinion and many others. Miki Higashino returned as the main composer this time; she left Tappy Iwase and the others behind, though a few reprises remind us of their compositions. If you played the game, you'll get a feeling of nostalgia and reminiscence of the scenery and gameplay with each single track, which is a good sign. Sadly Higashino left Konami 2002 and never composed again for the series, which is a big shame, because together with its ethnic and empathetic music, the Suikoden games reached a high status in the hearts of the gamers and critics. But luckily some of her contributions reached traditional statues and were arranged in later followed games, as well as on several arranged albums, so some of her compositions have become immortalised.

Track-by-Track Reviews

Disc One

1) Carried on Rippling Waves

The first disc starts off calmly with the town theme for Lakewest. Acoustic guitar, strings, woodwinds, and light bongos give you an kind of resort feeling. Also "Into a World of Illusions" from Suikoden is integrated nicely in the first section by a flute. Sadly it's missing the right touch and the development is lacking a bit compared to other themes of that kind. (7/10)

2) Every Day is a Carnival

In style this is close to "Beautiful Golden City" from Suikoden and captures the same renaissance and dancin' feeling. The woodwind melodies sing along with the light percussion and guitar, which gives the track a nice atmosphere. Sadly, like many tracks this lacks in development, because the arrangement is simply too short. I absolutely adore the arranged version from Genso Suikoden II Music Collection ~Orrizonte~, which captures exactly the feeling this one here is missing. (7/10)

3) We are Number Wuff!

Ms. Higashino, don't you like Kobolds at all? This is surprisingly the second time that the theme for Kobold Village is composed by a different composer. Suikoden's was handled by Mayuko Kagesita and this time Keiko Fukami takes the role. But that's just side information. This funny piece with a slight touch of jazz maybe fits very well to the place and its creatures. The woodwind and horn melodies harmonize very well, while the steady percussion line seems to be a bit repetive and lame. Tolerable. (7/10)

4) Two Rivers

One of the more popular tracks from this soundtrack, "Two Rivers" is a flowing and serene piece with again a renaissance feeling and instrumentation. The harp arpeggios are especially wonderful while the guitar, lush woodwinds, and violin are great additions. The sad and oppressed atmosphere fits perfect with the scenery of an abused tribe. There is also a amazing vocal version of this piece later. A beautiful track. (9/10)

5) A Bustling Town

A more lively and upbeat arrangement of the "Time to Relax" and headquarter theme in the second half of the story. While the first was more melancholic and calm, this one is straightforward, fun, and full of life. It features fresh percussion, some jolly woodwinds playing the melody, and lush background strings. In the B Section an Asian-like part appears which is a nice addition and gives you the perfect image of an bustling place with lots of different people around. (9/10)

6) Song of the Do-Re-Mi Faries

How I laughed when I first listened to this piece! It's so funny. The bouncy instrumentation and use of animal vocal noises are simply comical. A nice slapstick theme, but also very short. (7/10)

7) Song of the Do-Re-Mi Faries (Battle Mode)

The same as the previous track, only faster, shorter, and hence less effective. (6/10)

8) On a Sunny Day

The next six tracks were all composed by Keiko Fukami to accompany the various mini-games in the game. What you can hear are some catchy little tunes which fit, but the instrumentation and development really lacks. An 8-bit like sound is used for the main melodies, while a few other instruments such as woodwinds or percussion are added. It's a nice contrast compared to the rest of the soundtrack, but these tracks are definitely skipable. The first track is very light-hearted and easygoing to accompany an viewing platform. (6/10)

9) The Sea is Vast, Isn't It?

The music for the fishing game is a chilling and atmospheric one, but nothing too spectacular. (6/10)

10) A One-Point March

Finally a bit more movement in here. This plays when a fish is on your fishing rod. It works well togehter with the previous track, but it's simply too short and repetive like all. (5/10)

11) Rock! Rock!

Another easygoing tune similar to first one. It accompanies the cliff climbing game. (6/10)

12) Striking to Your Heart's Content

This is an energetic and a little more interesting tune. It builds up tension with steady use of percussion and gets a little climax near the end. Funny to listen to, while you hit the poor moles in your field. (6/10)

13) Dancing with Karen

With the last of Fukami's mini game contributions he gets help of arranger Atsushi Sato, who arranged the earlier "Dandy Richmond" quite well. The feeling is very oriental with bongos, tambourine, and some harmonious melodies. When the violins set in, the track gets better and better towards the end. Sadly, the track is very short and doesn't develop to the full potential which it definitely has. Sadly, not all the mini game themes are on this level. (8/10)

14) Theme of Temptation (Asian Dub Mix)

This song, an arrangement of "Theme of Perversion" from Suikoden, starts off in a smiliar way as the previous track and keeps the same oriental and ethnic atmosphere. The male and female vocal snippets, together with the strings and ethnic instruments, works excellently with an mix of tribal bongos and modern percussion. It's used for the famous dice mini-game. (8/10)

15) Curtains, Lights, the Cooking Duel

The next couple of tracks are all featuring in the famous cooking mini-game, one of the more popular and exiting games from Suikoden II. It starts very militaristic with a few notes from Suikoden's "Into a World of Illusions". After that a passage from the battle theme "The Will" is used, which is a little surprise, but sounds neat and more heroic and light-hearted in nature. Well then, let's begin the duel! (8/10)

16) Cooking Choices

With this track Higashino uses minimal instrumentation to create a melody, which sounds very fiting. Like a comedy in style of some earlie rag music. Choose your ingredients wisely... (6/10)

17) One-Minute Showdown

I'm positively surprised with this track. At the first listen it might be one of those Fukami-styled tracks, but it turned out to be a little gen. It's amazing how Ms. Higashino can create in just one minute with such engaging piece. The melody is very catchy and the development is right on; the less time you have in the game, the faster the piece gets resulting in a nice climax when the time is nearly over. It works fantastic in the context of the game. Well done! (8/10)

18) The Tetsujin Appears

Just a little fanfare jingle when the chief cook appears. (5/10)

19) Victory

Another fanfare jingle used when you won the game. (5/10)

20) Defeat

A funny jingle played when you lost the game. (5/10)

21) Orrizonte

The next three tracks are vocal versions of classic Suikoden themes all performed by ANNELI with beautiful Italian lyrics. The first song is an arrangement of Suikoden's "Into a World of Illusions". ANNELI's vocals are quite good, but should't be compared to professional ones. They sound quite warm and tender, but sadly when she reaches some of the higher tones, also a bit cheesy. Still, it's OK for this purpose. The instrumentation is serene with acoustic guitar and bongos. (8/10)

22) Due Fiumi (Two Rivers)

This time we have an arrangement of the lyrical "Two Rivers". The instrumentation is pretty much the same as the original only with some improvements, such as a mournful violin in the background of the vocals. The original was one of my favorites, and this arrangement is no exception; it's strong and very effective plus the vocals are better fitting than in the first track before. (9/10)

23) La mia tristezza

Wow, what do we have here? It's a Latin-styled version of "Theme of Sadness" from Suikoden. It features some nice percussion such as hand claps, great guitar riffs, some synth strings and of course the vocals of ANNELI, which are again very harmonious and gentle. At the one minute mark, the piece gets more somber, almost like an elegy with a short but nice interlude. After that a nice acoustic guitar solo follows. Pretty nice arrangement. By the way, on Genso Suikoden Music Collection Produced by Hiroyuki Namba, there is a version performed by Final Fantasy Vocal Collection's fame Lisa Ooki. Check it out. (9/10)

24) Imprisoned Town

After the long range of headquarter based themes, we're now back on the main story with this wonderful town theme for Greenhill. It's full of loss, sadness, and oppression. The instrumentation is fantastic with woodwinds, mandoline, guitar, and tambourine. In the B section, the mood gets lighter and hopeful with a nice duet of woodwinds. In my opinion, this is one of best area themes in this score. (9/10)

25) Ghost Story

This piece will also make you recall some funny memories. You can imagine a frightening story of a scary "ghost" who's wandering around the house at midnight. The instrumentation gives the listener a feeling of fear and fun at the same time, because the whole plot is not very serious and has a more comical aura. The string duet and the ghostly-like noise demonstrates this in a good way. But what's a ghost story without some scary things... At the end an dissonant sounding organ together with a woodwind joins and adds a bit of anxiety to the track. Unfortunately, too repetitive for outside listening. (7/10)

26) Pursuit

Again a very effective track within the game, "Pursuit" uses a similar style to the previous track. The percussion is moving and effective and, while the the high pitched strings sound similar as the previous track, later some deeper strings are added to increase the power and atmosphere. The piece is only provided to build up tension and fear. Sadly, the melody is lacking and, after a time, it gets dull and repetitive. If it would have been a little more developed, this one could have been a nice track. (7/10)

27) A Prayer to My Mother

The introduction starts with some percussion and soon lyrical harp arpeggios set in followed by depressed strings. After that the melody of "Reminiscence" shows up together with some more percussion and piano. It's a sad and melancholy version, but it lacks on depth and emotion that other arrangements had. (8/10)

28) Relaxation 3

A very lush and emotional piece of music dominated mostly by deep strings and woodwind. The first section is nearly tear-jerking, but the second is a bit more positive with a feeling of hope. This may sound like a typical sad theme used in RPGs, but it's again effective in the story itself. (7/10)

29) Freedom Again

The peace has returned and life can go on as in the days before. This would be the fitting feeling one would get by listening to this theme, used for some towns after their liberation. The acoustic guitar samples sound very nice and refreshing, while the light woodwinds and percussion help to create a feeling of freedom and peace in a very renaissance-inspired way. Before the track loops, the acoustic guitars perform a nice interlude. A very pleasant theme. (9/10)

30) Even Farther

This theme is used for the overworld in the second half of the story and continues the adventurous style of the first. But while "Adventurous Journey" sounded more, well adventurous and happy-go-lucky, this one has more depth and heroism. It's a perfect example of illustrating the decisive march to the end of the journey. The military percussion, string ensemble, horns, and lush woodwinds create a nice and strong atmosphere. The percussion solo near the end is also a nice interlude before the track loops. I like this one more than the first one. (9/10)

31) Young Heroes

While the style is close to the previous track, "Young Heroes" provides an bombastic atmosphere of heroism, power, and emotion. From the pompous brass, the strong military percussion, and the great string and woodwind combo in the second half, this piece really bursts out the power. A very effective and well developed track, though sadly only used a short time once in the game. There is also a fantastic arrangement of this theme on Suikogaiden Vol. 2: Last Duel at the Crystal Valley. (9/10)

32) Proud Sarabande

Another perfectly fitting theme for the town of Rockaxe, Kingdom of the Noble Mathilda Knights. The feeling is again Baroque-like through the combination of trumpets and strings. (8/10)

33) A Man Named Gordeau

I can understand the idea of creating a theme of fear, tension and movement, but the arrangement is too minimal and lacks totally. From some military and wild percussion to high pitched strings and woodwind notes of "Reconnaissance Mission", this song illustrates the image of an cruel and heartless man well, but it only may work in game, on soundtrack this is definitely skipable. (6/10)

34) Sacrificial Feast

This is again used for an cutscene, but features beneath sound effects a few music samples as well. "The Evil One" is included at the beginning with some ominous strings and later some harsh brass and percussion follows, which adds a very creepy and frightful atmosphere. (5/10)

35) Relaxation 2

A very heart warming rendition of "Theme of Genso Suikoden II" with typical instrumentation such as acoustic guitar, soft strings, and woodwinds. It's close to the "Relaxation 1", which I like a little more than this, but this one provides a fresh and warm atmosphere. (8/10)

36) Ceremony

A bit clichéd in my opinion. A church organ is plays an spiritual melody that is fitting for the scene it's used. This shouldn't be compared to tracks like "The Fugue - Praise to be My Master". (7/10)

37) Sedition

Similar to "This is Just a Rumor" from Suikoden, the highlight are definitely the strings here. The low and high melodies create a twilight atmosphere, which could, when performed by real strings, easily fit into a thriller. In the middle section of the track an interlude in form of "The Evil One" is performed, accompanied by some timpani drums, which adds a bit of anxiety and fear to the overall atmosphere. It works again excellently in the game. (8/10)

Disc Two

1) A Song in Praise of Peace

"A Song in Praise of Peace" is a majestic arrangement of "Into a World of Illusions". As its used in Gregminister Castle, the same place as in the original game, you can expect the right nostalgic feeling with this warm and gentle reprise of theme. Great start. (9/10)

2) The Even More Glorious Beautiful Golden City

The beloved town theme from Suikoden returns here in it's full glory with a new arrangement. The track itself is identical to the original, only with a little increased tempo and some instrument additions such as the violin in the background, which gives it a more Eastern feeling. If I should choose between the two versions, I would pick up the original, because it had better sound quality including those catchy little cheering samples. But overall this is a very welcome track and should make you recall memories of the first game if you played it. (9/10)

3) Gremio's Special Stew

A very lovely piece of music, which includes some catchy piano line, gentle strings, and woodwinds. It can only be heard in an optional event with Gremio, one main character from the first game. (9/10)

4) Confrontation with Monsters Again

As we're in its territory, Suikoden's battle theme also makes a return here. Like "The Even More Glorious Beautiful Golden City" this is identical as the original with the exception of the weaker sound quality. It works great in the context of the game and is again a beautiful tribute to the first game. Not as good as "The Will", but enjoyable and catchy on its own. (9/10)

5) Distant Skies

If a piece should be called "minimal" then this one would be the first choice. A solo flute plays a desolate and lonely sounding melody used for the village of Banner. It really calls back some memories of Ocarina of Time when I hear this whistle. Nice idea, but skippable on disc. (5/10)

6) Secret Village of the Ninja

Some lyrical harp arpeggios introduce us into this wonderful area theme for Rukkaku. The atmosphere is typical Eastern-sounding with some woodwinds, tribal percussion, strings, and some ethnic vocals by Yumiko Takahashi. Simple, but definitely a good theme. (9/10)

7) The Chase

Finally, we get to hear the famous Luca Blight battle theme in its full version. And man, what a battle theme this is, full of power, tension, evil, and emotion. If you played the game and watched the scene it is used in, you'll never forget it so easily; it's so unbelievable strong and one of the most memorable moments in the game, as well as this soundtrack too. The long chase has ended and finally you can give that bastard with united forces what he deserves. It begins with a rendition of "March of the King" and, at 1:10, the piece reaches its best and most dramatic section with a strong horn rendition of "Suspicion. Also the eerie flute from "Enemy Attack" makes a short appearance, which contributes to an interesting overall mix. Miki Higashino was able to create the perfect atmosphere with this climatic piece, which we all should be thankful for. Simply amazing job! (10/10)

8) Mad Luka

But Luca Blight isn't someone to give up that easily. This piece is played during the last duel with him. It may sound a little wild and chaotic, but it works well in the context of the game, as it reflects the feelings of anger, hatred, and the will to fight until the death very well. The track doesn't loop and encompasses quite a few tempo and dynamic changes. It maybe not feature a strong memorable melody, but its development is quite interesting. (7/10)

9) The Evil One

This is the actual theme for Luca Blight. It features an ominous string ensemble, some creepy sound effects borrowed from "Penpe 2", and some woodwinds in the second half. It really builds up a nice atmosphere of evil and it reminds a little of Sephiroth's theme from Final Fantasy VII, but it can't match with that track. Again, a nice atmospheric track, but one of the weaker additions on a stand-alone basis. Also one of the many pieces which only plays once or twice during the game. (7/10)

10) Withered Earth

One of the most memorable and creative tracks of the whole area themes, this theme is sweeping, melodious, and absolutely gorgeous. The style is somewhat similar to "The Beautiful Golden City", but more dramatic and with a distant Spanish flair within. It fits the dry and desert-like atmosphere of Tinto extremely well. The mix of fantastic flute, guitar, and percussion sections is amazing in here. "Withered Earth" has also received plenty of arranged versions like from Genso Suikoden II Music Collection ~Orrizonte~. (10/10)

11) The Outskirts of Tint

This track is nearly identical with the previous track only with a decreased tempo and less emphasis. It's used for the towns of Crom and Drakemouth. It's still very enjoyable. (9/10)

12) Gothic Neclord

Wow! Ms. Higashino, what have you created here? It's a gothic / dance / orchestral mix with one of the most memorable themes from the whole score. As it plays during the battle with the Vampire Neclord, it fits extremely well. After a rockin' introduction, a gothic part with organ and flute accompanies the steady drum beat. After that the strings take over the melody to perform a more noble and majestic part, later accompanied by the wicked organ again. Before the piece ends, the organ melody develops into a neat climax before it starts from the beginning. One of the classic and unforgettable themes from this soundtrack! (10/10)

13) Iron Fist of Anger

Quite similar to the previous "Mad Luka", this is also one of the more percussive and brass oriented themes. It plays during the fight with Gorudo and fits the situation in the game very well. The percussion is bombastic, full of energy and militarism, while the brass is pompous and heroic, but this doesn't help too much, because the melody gets lost during the power of these instruments. A little too repetitive again. (7/10)

14) Requiem of Grief

"Requiem of Grief" is actually an arrangement of "Requiem" from Suikoden and serves, like the original, as the game over theme among other uses. This version contains a very lush and harmonious string ensemble which performs the beautiful and sad melody. It reflects the feeling of despair and destruction quite well. Maybe not a highlight, but definitely worth of listening and again a nice tribute to the first game. (8/10)

15) Our Banner Flies

Another of those sound effects. The track title explains it... (N/A)

16) The Time for Confrontation

The instalment's duel music. It's starts in similar way as Suikoden IV's boss theme by creating a very ominous and military tone, but a few moments later the "Suspicion" theme appears on some strings. Shortly before the one minute mark the percussion gets more effective and emphatic and the melody of "Tension" is integrated and develops until the two minute mark. Subsequently the piece enters a dramatic brass interlude, which ends by starting the percussion development from the beginning again. It's very effective, strong in context, and features a very good development. Maybe not as top-notch as Suikoden IV's one, but much better than in the first game. (9/10)

17) Silver Wolf

This theme is used as final battle theme and features again a strong, effective, and military atmosphere. The brass sections sound heroic and dramatic as ever, while the strings and percussion are used well. Shortly after the one minute mark "The Evil One" is integrated together with great use of timpani, which serves as a nice and slow interlude, before the track starts from the beginning. The weird sound effects from "Penpe 2" also make a return here. Like the previous track this is not as good as Suikoden IV's, but is better than the last boss themes of Suikoden and Suikoden III. A great finish blow. In my opinion this is nearly on the same level as "The Chase". (10/10)

18) Chant

This Gregorian hymn is performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic Chorus and delivers a feeling of sacredness and eternity, which gets under the skin. The Latin lyrics are translated like this: "When I met you, I received life. When I lost you, I learned of death"e. A unique and original track by Higashino, who had a great idea by using this type of track in the game. (9/10)

19) We Will Always Be

The game's ending theme is a medley of a several themes from the score with a total time of over 12 minutes! The first minute starts with a more militaristic version of the "Curtains, Lights, the Cooking Duel" after which the classic "Into a World of Illusions" from Suikoden appears in a glorious and heroic rendition. At the two minute mark the "Relaxation 3" theme makes it appearance with a lush and beautiful instrumentation similar to the original. At 4:30 there is a small interlude with horn and piano, after which the theme continues in a faster way. This part reminds me a bit of the classic "Fairy Spring" from the Zelda series for some reason. For the rest of the theme the melody doesn't change and instead develops more with every minute with fantastic instrumentation. Close to the end the classic "Name Entry" theme performed by strings makes a short appearance to lead us into the next one... Overall, a highly recommended and absolutely fantastic track. (10/10)

20) La passione commuove la storia

The music begins surprisingly on a dark note with dramatic strings, but as soon as the haunting vocals of the female singer sets in, the mood gets brighter and more harmonious. The lyrics are also beautifully written and fit the scenery very well. When the second phrase is over, the main section starts together with a full chorus and marching percussion. The melody is actually a rendition of the "Relaxation 1" featuring some notes from "Into a World of Illusions". A stunning creation and an extremely beautiful finish of this wonderful score. (10/10)

21) Victory

Suikoden's "Into a World of Illusions" makes a last appearance with this lush orchestral arrangement. Even if the track title is a bit lame, the piece is alright. The war theme from Suikoden also makes it's short but sweet appearance at 0:43. A positive conclusion. (8/10)


With the second volume of this wonderful score, Miki Higashino has proved once again that she is able to compose extremely well fitting themes for a game like this. Pieces like "Withered Earth", "The Chase", or "Gothic Neclord" are highly memorable and very effective. While this set is not as good as the first, mostly because of the many filler tracks, I only can recommend every game music fan to listen to this beautiful soundtrack, as it is one of the best in the series next to the Suikoden and Suikoden V.

Overall Score: 8/10