By DrRandle 22 Comments
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 PersonaThe 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.
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...
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:
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!")