By MajorMitch 2 Comments
Valkyria Chronicles is a great game that I highly recommend to any PS3 owner, and its soundtrack was one of the many aspects that made it such a memorable experience for me. The Main Theme is perhaps my favorite track.
The central theme in Valkyria Chronicles is war, and it covers just about every aspect of that heavy topic by the time all is said and done. It's an epic tale that does a great job at simultaneously keeping the big picture in mind (people are dying everywhere for horrible reasons), and focusing on the more personal struggles of the main characters (trying to save others, prove themselves, etc.). The Main Theme follows this route as well. It opens with a strong drum rift, which I have always loved in wartime settings. It just makes me think of an army marching in unison as an unstoppable force. It's a very rigid, forceful sound, and works perfectly here. Trumpets are the other instrument I always associate with war, as they have that "for king and country" vibe to them. Like in most war stories, there are plenty of moments in Valkyria Chronicles where characters claim to be fighting "for their country". Needless to say, a trumpet does kick in after a few drum beats, and the combination of the two is fantastic. It offers a purity of sound that drives home the notion of "war" splendidly.
About halfway through, the song changes pace to a slower, more inward looking tone. To me, this is the section that reflects on the individual characters and their personal journeys. It doesn't last very long, but I find it to be a strong interlude nonetheless. Otherwise, the entire song is fueled by its central motif defined by a series of sweeping, beautiful chords. This is the heart of this song, and has a grandness to it that seems to be all encompassing. It links all of the song's many pieces together incredibly well, meaning it also ties together the game's many themes. It sounds epic and personal all at once, and when the vocals chime in to back it up in the second half it becomes incredibly powerful. This is the kind of heart warming, inspiring music most games wish they could have, and it never once comes off as being cheesy or forced. This is some genuine, high quality stuff that's simply a pleasure to listen to.
Valkyria Chronicles' Main Theme wraps up just as it began, with trumpets and drums providing a powerful closure to a wonderful song about war and all it represents. In fact, a lot about this song reminds me of the main theme from Saving Private Ryan, which is meant as a huge compliment in every way. That a game's soundtrack can match that of a high budget war film's composed by the great John Williams is no small feat, but that only begins to describe how amazing Valkyria Chronicles' soundtrack really is, and the Main Theme is among the best it has to offer.
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