Bard Banter: Favorites from Crystar
Bard Banter is a series which highlights great music found within the best genre of all – the RPG.
Crystar as a game didn’t do much for me when I played through it. Overall, it was a clunky experience driven forward by an interesting story and nice soundtrack. From soft sentimental piano pieces to heart-pounding EDM drops, I found myself enamored by the entire soundtrack as I was putting this article together. In this Bard Banter, I’ll be running through a few of the tracks that caught my interest. And for those of you who are fans of the soundtrack, let me know which songs you enjoyed!
This track is a beautiful mixture of piano, violin, and strange synth noises, providing an interesting blend of classical and EDM that is present throughout the whole soundtrack. The song strikes a sentimental tone while also leaving a bit of hope with the way that it slowly builds itself out towards the middle of the song.
Desperate feat Katali
Much like the title, this track opens up dramatically with the orchestra immediately drawing you in with intense strings, drums, and horns. It feels almost like you’re in the middle of a chase, desperately trying to get away from or catch something. But just as quickly, the orchestra cuts out, leaving behind a sick EDM beat. But not soon after, the two are melded together in a great mix that sounds like it came right out of an action scene.
Bombastic in every way, this track feels like a rollercoaster that’s constantly going uphill. Opening up with chimes ever rising in tone, we switch over to a fast-paced orchestral piece. But not soon after, it mellows out for a bit of a breather before taking into the next 90-degree turn with an EDM drop. Add in guitar riffs, jazzy piano bits, and even a saxophone, you’ll never guess where this track will take you next. A bit unorthodox, but that’s what makes it so fun to listen to.
This track goes more the route of rock, with plenty of bass to please your ears. Although a bit light on the drums, that doesn’t make this song any less hard hitting. It doesn’t do anything too crazy compared to some of the earlier tracks but it’s a welcome reprieve from some of the more experimental pieces in the soundtrack.
This track is a haunting song, dark in its tones and ever building into something sinister. It would almost be something that you’d hear in a musical, with the villain boasting about their evil plan for the audience to hear. The twang of the guitar is an especially nice twist.
Bringing it right back with the more experimental songs, Anamnesis is much like the character in the game that this song is named after. It’s chaotic, strange, and slightly off-putting. It’s one of those songs that’s hard to pin down the beat right away, because it feels like it changes tempo just a beat too early. There is a lot of synth, but also a surprise entrance of strings halfway through that feel like they shouldn’t belong, and yet, they do.
This song actually reminds me of Cynthia’s theme from the Sinnoh titles in the Pokemon series, mainly due to the chime and the rising synth in the background. It’s very upbeat in its strangeness and while it does use experimental sounds throughout the track, they aren’t so outlandish that you wouldn’t expect to hear them.
Mephis and Pheles
Another haunting song, this one opens up almost as though it’s from an older game when the use of chiptune was present. The mixture of computer glitching noises throughout really draws out that electronic feel. As the song progresses, it sounds more and more distorted before eventually returning itself back to its roots.
The End feat. Katali
As its title shows, this song truly encompasses what an ending would feel like. An enveloping orchestra and EDM mix, filled with the twists and turns that an epic music piece would present. The organ piece towards the center of the song does well with bringing an otherworldly presence, as it’s something not too present in the other songs in this list. And of course, there’s plenty of EDM intertwined into this piece that nestles nicely with the rest of the songs.
0-Sonata feat. Katali
And to close out this Bard Banter, we have a simple, yet beautiful piano and violin piece. A classic piece compared to the other songs outlined above, but one that deserves attention to it as well. It’s the perfect palate cleanser just when you may be getting a bit tired of all of the EDM and heavy-hitting pieces and a pretty song to round out the rest of the soundtrack.
EDM as a genre is one that I really enjoy due to its hard hitting beats and experimental tones. Seeing it mixed with other genres makes it an enjoyable experience and one that I’d recommend other people checking out, at the very least.