Bard Banter: Favorites From Blue Reflection: Second Light
Music is a powerful, wonderful thing. Whether a track or score resonates with you on a deep, emotional level, tugs at the nostalgic heartstrings year after year, or simply just gets you through the daily grind, I love how raw and relatable it is. Not only that, but music has a tendency to carry on even in instances in which it isn’t framed that well.
I, like many, am sentimental when it comes to soundtracks. Whether I play a masterpiece of a game or something riddled with issues, I can usually find something to appreciate in just about anything. More often than not, these things I connect with occupy some space in my mind well after I’ve rolled the credits, and while it’s not always the music that does this, it often is.
Blue Reflection: Second Light released on November 9th of this year to what felt like little to no fanfare. It wasn’t on my radar at all, though I quickly changed that tune once I realized it was from the same developers responsible for the Atelier series. I knew it would be a different experience than that – the trailer alone makes that perfectly clear – but I already knew that there would be something that I’d resonate with no matter what I ultimately ended up thinking about the experience as a whole. And it turns out I was right.
What I discovered about Blue Reflection: Second Light was that it wasn’t really my thing, but that it also had some very impressive qualities, one being the soundtrack. Many games have good, or even great soundtracks, but one that perfectly lines up with both the narrative and the visuals is something else entirely. I’m honestly still conflicted on exactly how I feel about Blue Reflection: Second Light, despite having completed the game and publishing a review. But one thing that is unwavering in my mind is just how good this soundtrack is. What’s even more interesting to me is how much of it isn’t my typical style (techno/futuristic) but it just matches up with everything so well that it’s hard not to like.
With that, let’s take a look at some of my favorite tracks from Blue Reflection: Second Light in this Bard Banter. Note: We do not claim to own any rights to this music. All rights go to their respective artists.
This is the one that kicks off the adventures in the surreal worlds known as “Heartscapes” – tangible bite-sized landscapes that are the embodiment of different character’s emotions and memories. As a result, these Heartscapes often blend some of what is real with fantasy, and I think that is portrayed particularly well in this track. It’s a very cautious, piano-driven tune that injects brief slices of reality – in the form of static-like interference – that perfectly encapsulates that feeling of treading with caution in a world between worlds.
In stark contrast to the previous song is the standard battle theme that exudes the fervor and energy necessary to carry the fight. The combination of stringed instruments with a healthy dose of energetic techno beats works surprisingly well here. This theme is later replaced by E.Synapse which is just as good, if not better.
This is yet another Heartscape track that comes a bit further into the story, and that’s easily discerned by just listening to it. It still begins very much reserved and appropriately so, as there are still so many unknowns, uncertainties, and plenty of questions surrounding these strange slivers of reality. However, more confidence is revealed as the song matures, opening up to a very strong techno beat that still makes use of piano undertones to great (and surprising) success.
This is the standard boss theme and like the standard battle theme, it kicks hard. What I love about it the most is how it plays hot potato with the melody by going between techno, piano, and stringed instruments all while a very fast and hard beat maintains the pace in the background.
Every soundtrack worth its salt needs that one “feelgood” song, and Wishful Thinking does that quite well. It’s pretty basic, but it throws in some surprising instrumentation here and there that just sells the whole package so well. In many ways, Wishful Thinking reminds me of What the Forest Taught Me from Secret of Mana, another no-frills track that can’t help but get stuck in your head.
That’s it for this list! Have you played Blue Reflection: Second Light, and what did you think about the music? Let me know!