The Evolution of "The Aria of the Soul"

Welcome to the Velvet Room...

by Randy Marr

   One of the things that fascinates me most about a video game is the soundtrack and it's use. I feel that something as simple as the music of a game is perhaps the strongest tie you may have to a favorite moment or title. One such song, the "Aria of the Soul" (or if you will, "The Poem for Everyone's Soul"), is a staple of the Persona franchise. It's been in every game and in many different variations. Right now I'm going to take you on a bit of an audio tour of this song as it has progressed through the years.
 

Megami Ibunroku Persona

  
The original Persona game, known locally as "Persona: Revelations," was known for a lot of things... mostly a god-awful translation and the removal of a well-sought after side quest involving The Snow Queen being completely removed. (Fortunately all of this is to be rectified in Persona for PSP!) It should also be known as the origin of the "Aria." Here I have two versions from a soundtrack I came across. Featured are the original and a rather glorious arrangement.

The original:
  

The Arrangement:
  

   As you can tell, the song's life is off to an impressive start. If you ask me, the original just might be the best version of this song, but let's continue on to Persona 2 and see what it has to offer, shall we?

Persona 2: Innocent Sin


The Velvet Room:
  

   There are also several "Velvet Room Variations" that I shall link you too: 2. 3. 4. Not particularly the best, but after watching this video I have to wonder where all of Igor's mates went. He looks like he had a real party going in there, but now it's just him and Elizabeth... as we head into Persona 3.

   Persona 3 and 4 share the same base version of the song you'll see in the first video. (or hear, I suppose.) But I should say that Persona 3 also has, by far, the most number of versions of Aria, including a final boss battle revamping the song and calling it "Battle Hymm of the Soul" (also known as "The Battle for Everyone's Souls). However, it is also used as the game over music, it is remixed for the "Persona 3: Renaissance" album, as was "Battle Hymm of the Soul." The original sound track for Persona 3 also featured an exclusive version "Blues in Velvet Room." See what they did there?

Persona 3 FES



   The Blue Velvet Room:
  

Battle Hymm of the Soul:
  

Reincarnation: The Poem of Everyone's Soul
  

Reincarnation: The Battle for Everyone's Souls
  

Blues in Velvet Room:
  

Persona 4 features the same original version of The Blue Velvet Room music as 3 did, but what you might not have heard is an exclusive version that comes with the original soundtrack (and if memory serves, not the one we US folks got on our bonus OST disc, but the full-fledged version). The title is...

Persona 4



Electronica in the Velvet Room
  

Dance, Margarette, dance.

   And finally, as a bit of a hype-push for the Persona remake coming out on PSP, I present to you the newest addition to the "Poem of Everyone's Souls" collection:

Persona PSP



  

   A remarkable journey for an even more remarkable song, but let's hope this is not the end of Persona and the "Aria!" Let there be many more versions to gome as more and more Persona games are made in the coming days. Are there any other favorite songs in the Persona franchise that you happen to have? Perhaps I could do another feature on some of them, because there just might be a few more versions of the song than you're aware of...

(Note: Is this kind of feature actually interesting out there? Would it be worth it to people besides me to try and write more of these? Also, how do you like the format? Should I just link to the youtube videos instead of imbedding them? I'd love some feedback!")
22 Comments
22 Comments
Posted by DrRandle

Welcome to the Velvet Room...

by Randy Marr

   One of the things that fascinates me most about a video game is the soundtrack and it's use. I feel that something as simple as the music of a game is perhaps the strongest tie you may have to a favorite moment or title. One such song, the "Aria of the Soul" (or if you will, "The Poem for Everyone's Soul"), is a staple of the Persona franchise. It's been in every game and in many different variations. Right now I'm going to take you on a bit of an audio tour of this song as it has progressed through the years.
 

Megami Ibunroku Persona

  
The original Persona game, known locally as "Persona: Revelations," was known for a lot of things... mostly a god-awful translation and the removal of a well-sought after side quest involving The Snow Queen being completely removed. (Fortunately all of this is to be rectified in Persona for PSP!) It should also be known as the origin of the "Aria." Here I have two versions from a soundtrack I came across. Featured are the original and a rather glorious arrangement.

The original:
  

The Arrangement:
  

   As you can tell, the song's life is off to an impressive start. If you ask me, the original just might be the best version of this song, but let's continue on to Persona 2 and see what it has to offer, shall we?

Persona 2: Innocent Sin


The Velvet Room:
  

   There are also several "Velvet Room Variations" that I shall link you too: 2. 3. 4. Not particularly the best, but after watching this video I have to wonder where all of Igor's mates went. He looks like he had a real party going in there, but now it's just him and Elizabeth... as we head into Persona 3.

   Persona 3 and 4 share the same base version of the song you'll see in the first video. (or hear, I suppose.) But I should say that Persona 3 also has, by far, the most number of versions of Aria, including a final boss battle revamping the song and calling it "Battle Hymm of the Soul" (also known as "The Battle for Everyone's Souls). However, it is also used as the game over music, it is remixed for the "Persona 3: Renaissance" album, as was "Battle Hymm of the Soul." The original sound track for Persona 3 also featured an exclusive version "Blues in Velvet Room." See what they did there?

Persona 3 FES



   The Blue Velvet Room:
  

Battle Hymm of the Soul:
  

Reincarnation: The Poem of Everyone's Soul
  

Reincarnation: The Battle for Everyone's Souls
  

Blues in Velvet Room:
  

Persona 4 features the same original version of The Blue Velvet Room music as 3 did, but what you might not have heard is an exclusive version that comes with the original soundtrack (and if memory serves, not the one we US folks got on our bonus OST disc, but the full-fledged version). The title is...

Persona 4



Electronica in the Velvet Room
  

Dance, Margarette, dance.

   And finally, as a bit of a hype-push for the Persona remake coming out on PSP, I present to you the newest addition to the "Poem of Everyone's Souls" collection:

Persona PSP



  

   A remarkable journey for an even more remarkable song, but let's hope this is not the end of Persona and the "Aria!" Let there be many more versions to gome as more and more Persona games are made in the coming days. Are there any other favorite songs in the Persona franchise that you happen to have? Perhaps I could do another feature on some of them, because there just might be a few more versions of the song than you're aware of...

(Note: Is this kind of feature actually interesting out there? Would it be worth it to people besides me to try and write more of these? Also, how do you like the format? Should I just link to the youtube videos instead of imbedding them? I'd love some feedback!")
Posted by SlowHands
@DrRandle:  Wow, excellent work.  The evolution of music is something that many people don't even think about, so you taking the time to do all this is... wow.  Personally, I have an interest in things like this, but then I am an aficionado of audio.
Posted by Eirikr
@DrRandle said:
" I have to wonder where all of Igor's mates went. He looks like he had a real party going in there, but now it's just him and Elizabeth... as we head into Persona 3."
Exactly my thoughts. The Velvet Room seemed to be once a place for people to chill and talk philosophy or whatever. No so coincidentally, the version of the Aria from P2 is my favorite.

Good job, by the way!
Posted by DrRandle

Well it may not have stirred up as many comments as me saying something like "I think the PS3 software needs to sink to the deepest depths of the ocean and die alone," but I do appreciate the commentary! Ego boost +2!

Posted by vidiot

Great job. I remember hearing the clip in Persona 3 and 4, but I didn't realize that it's been around since the inception of the Persona series.

Posted by NukeSpoon

I fucking love the Blues version.

Then again, I love the blues in general so iuno.

Posted by Intrepid
@DrRandle: LOL, at the very least you shared this awesome music.  I haven't listened to the others besides P4's, but I am loving the original!  Thanks for sharing.
Posted by ashogo

Very good compilation of all the versions. I love the electronica version, and I can just picture Elizabeth dancing to it (she wanted to turn the velvet room into a dance club, after all).

As much as I like the p3/4 versions of the aria, I hope they change it up a bit for the next game. The psp version doesn't sound much different either.

Posted by Claude

I've never played a Persona game, but this music is great. I like the embed videos. I think they add a splash of color and variation to the blog. I also think they look better then going to youtube to view them and or listen.

Posted by DrRandle

Thanks again for the input guys, I really appreciate it. (Also, this is in no way trying to bump my article. Nope. Not at all. *Cough*)

Posted by CommodoreGroovy

I love Persona music, but how could you not? Thanks for the introspective look at the "evolution" of this song. Didn't even realize this song went that far back! 

Posted by FluxWaveZ
@CommodoreGroovy said:
" I love Persona music, but how could you not? Thanks for the introspective look at the "evolution" of this song. Didn't even realize this song went that far back!  "
For once, I'm happy someone bumped a thread.
Edited by eroticfishcake

I've always like the Aria as a recurring theme throughout the series. It's a bit like an old friend of sorts.
 
@FluxWaveZ said:

" @CommodoreGroovy said:

" I love Persona music, but how could you not? Thanks for the introspective look at the "evolution" of this song. Didn't even realize this song went that far back!  "
For once, I'm happy someone bumped a thread. "

You're happy for once! Yay! :D
Posted by FluxWaveZ
@eroticfishcake said:
" I've always like the Aria as a recurring theme throughout the series. It's a bit like an old friend of sorts.
 
@FluxWaveZ said:

" @CommodoreGroovy said:

" I love Persona music, but how could you not? Thanks for the introspective look at the "evolution" of this song. Didn't even realize this song went that far back!  "
For once, I'm happy someone bumped a thread. "
You're happy for once! Yay! :D "
Haha, not really...  It was a figure of speech, I'm only happy while I'm playing a video game.
Posted by eroticfishcake
@FluxWaveZ: I know exactly how you feel! (and I mean that). Although I do get a good kick by insulting my friends but that's another story...
Posted by CommodoreGroovy
@FluxWaveZ said:
" @CommodoreGroovy said:
" I love Persona music, but how could you not? Thanks for the introspective look at the "evolution" of this song. Didn't even realize this song went that far back!  "
For once, I'm happy someone bumped a thread. "
lol. I just wanted the OP to know that I appreciate his blog post, it was an interesting read/listen.
Posted by Noodles

Wow, it's awesome to see the twists and turns this song has made over the years. Makes me appreciate it so much more.

Edited by PureRok

Interesting. I do the same thing with other franchises like Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest.
 
Also, isn't it spelled "hymn"? That was bugging me.

Edited by ChrisTaran


Interesting. I do the same thing with other franchises like Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Quest.
 
 Also, isn't it spelled "hymn"? That was bugging me.  

It is spelled hymn :)
 
Also, great post! Would love more retrospectives like this.  
My personal favorite versions are  Reincarnation: The Poem of Everyone's Soul and  Battle Hymm of the Soul.

Posted by Curufinwe

Great blog/post.

Posted by OwnlyUzinWonHan

The Velvet Room's always been like that reliable blanket you keep around, making you all warm and fuzzy and stuff.
Even if Igor's still creepy after playing three Persona games.

Posted by TheChaos

Nice work. 
 The first 2 vids don't work anymore though.