Wednesday, January 28, 2015

MIDI Week Singles: "Overworld Battle" - Paladin's Quest (SNES)

"Overworld Battle" from Paladin's Quest on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (1993).
Released by Future Land in 1992.
Composer: Kohei Tanaka
Game Developer: Enix

Paladin's Quest, or Lennus: Memories of an Ancient Machine as it was titled in Japan, was a fairly obscure JRPG that was released in late 1993 in the US (about five months before Final Fantasy III on the SNES), but it was a fun looking game that I knew nothing about, and was being released by Enix, who I knew had released the Dragon Warrior series and ActRaiser, so I figured that it might a good investment.

The music was composed by Kohei Tanaka, whom I currently know nothing about (until just now), which was his second score for a video game; the first being Wizardry V: Hearts of the Maelstrom.  Like music for the overworld, battle music is something that has to be catchy enough to stand hearing it over-and-over again throughout a 40+ hour RPG.  Kohei Tanaka's "Overworld Battle" does just that in a somewhat unconventional way for an epic JRPG about preventing the destruction of the world; standard fair really.

What I find odd about this piece is how bouncy the song feels somewhat akin to a swing beat.  The melody is also pretty light hearted, but taking into account that this is for a brightly colored JRPG, the style is fitting.  The overall tone of the song is also fitting when compared with the rest of the soundtrack, so it doesn't come across as jarring every 30 seconds you get pulled into a random monster encounter.

If this song has interested you to check out the rest of the soundtrack or even locate the game (emulated or otherwise), I highly suggest it as the game was never even covered in Nintendo Power  (I even wrote them to find out why and was told something along the lines of not having enough time to dedicate to the game) despite receiving a North American release.


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