Music of Xenogears
The soundtrack of Xenogears consists of 45 pieces of music. All tracks were composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. According to Mitsuda, the music was composed with strong influences from traditional music, especially Celtic music. The music has had several official releases as well as arrangement albums and a concert.
In contrast to the music of later games in the series, the lines between 'cutscene themes' (music that plays in cutscenes), 'area themes' (music that plays in the overworld) and 'battle themes' (music that plays during battle) are significantly blurred by Xenogears. Almost all of the tracks that most prominently play as area themes also play in certain cutscenes, the standard battle and boss themes are frequently used in cutscenes, and some scripted battles have as their music tracks that primarily play as cutscene themes or even area themes. Several tracks, such as Stage of Death and Premonition, function in all three of the above categories. (Xenogears does not have any music that plays specifically in menus.)
Of the 45 music tracks that were originally in Xenogears, 42 of them are instrumental, made with MIDI and synthesised instruments. The outliers are The Beginning and the End, a choral song in the Bulgarian folk style with lyrics written by Tetsuya Takahashi and performed by THE GREAT VOICES OF BULGARIA, and STARS OF TEARS (OUT TAKE) and SMALL TWO OF PIECES ~Broken Shards~, two other vocal pieces performed by Joanne Hogg with lyrics written by Masato Kato.
Use of motifs
Several melodies are used in multiple pieces of music in Xenogears. The following are prominent examples:
- The melody of Faraway Promise, arguably the main theme of the game as a whole, is used in SMALL TWO OF PIECES ~Broken Shards~, Dark Daybreak, In A Dark Slumber..., and Wings.
- The main melody of Dark Daybreak is used in Premonition and Awakening; in particular, it is associated with Deus and events of the distant past.
- The melody of Bonds of Sea and Flame features in other tracks associated with Bart: After the Soldiers' Dreams and Aveh, The Ancient Dance.
While an English localisation of the track titles was provided on the Square Enix Store when the soundtrack originally released in 1998, knowledge of this localisation was not widespread, and many people instead referred to tracks via transliterations of the Japanese titles, many of which are still in widespread use as of 2021. Moreover, -MYTH- The Xenogears Orchestral Album in 2011 and the Revival version of the soundtrack in 2018 used an entirely different localisation for the titles. Finally, in-game in Shevat, there is a jukebox that allows the player to listen to various tracks from the soundtrack, with its own localisation of the titles. These various ways of referring to the tracks can lead to confusion, especially in tracks such as After the Soldiers' Dreams where all four versions are different from one another. (For consistency, these pages use the original localisation from the Xenogears Original Soundtrack.)
As a general rule, the original localisations of the track titles tend to be significantly more verbose than those used in the Revival disc; long-named tracks such as The One Who is Torn Apart were shortened to names such as 'Torn'. In accordance with Mitsuda's naming conventions, the area themes seldom include the name of the area in which they play in the title; instead, Mitsuda opted for titles evocative of the atmosphere of the areas in which they play, such as The Gentle Breeze Sings for Nisan or The Sky, the Clouds, and You for Billy's orphanage. (While this is true for all of Mitsuda's area themes in the series, it is most noticeable in Xenogears as this is the only game for which Mitsuda composed a substantial number of area themes.)
Xenogears Original Soundtrack
- Main article: Xenogears Original Soundtrack
The Xenogears Original Soundtrack is the official soundtrack to Xenogears. It was originally released on 2 CDs in Mar 01, 1998, exclusively published in Japan. It was rereleased on Apr 04, 2018 as Xenogears Original Soundtrack Revival Disc -the first and the last-, with differently localised track titles. In addition, the track Premonition was included (which was not on the Xenogears Original Soundtrack — however, confusingly, a different track was named Premonition on that release). Four vocal remixes of existing tracks sung by the Irish choir ANÚNA were also arranged for the Revival disc.
- Main article: CREID (album)
The CREID album consists of ten tracks from the Xenogears Original Soundtrack, rearranged by Yasunori Mitsuda in a traditional Celtic style. It was released in 1998, and again in 2005, on a single disc.
-MYTH- The Xenogears Orchestral Album
- Main article: -MYTH- The Xenogears Orchestral Album
The MYTH album is an orchestral arrangement of 14 tracks from the Xenogears Original Soundtrack, released on a single disc in February 2011 and on vinyl in April 2011. Arrangements were done by Yasunori Mitsuda, Youki Yamamoto, Sachiko Miyano, and Natsumi Kameoka. The performance was done by the Bulgarian Symphony Orchestra, and Joanne Hogg reprised her role for the arrangement of Small Two of Pieces.
Xenogears 20th Anniversary Concert -The Beginning and the End-
The Xenogears 20th Anniversary Concert was a concert held in April 2018, featuring orchestral arrangements of the Xenogears soundtrack, as well as performances of certain tracks from the Revival disc and CREID. Arrangements were done by Yasunori Mitsuda, Sachiko Miyano, Mariam Abounnasr, and Youki Yamamoto. A Blu-ray disc recording of the concert was released in 2019.
Xenogears Vinyl - SHINKAKU -
Xenogears Vinyl - SHINKAKU - is a set of 2 vinyl discs consisting of music from Xenogears. The first disc features music from the Xenogears Original Soundtrack, and the second features the equivalents of the same pieces of music from -MYTH- The Xenogears Orchestral Album, CREID, and versions included on Xenogears Original Soundtrack Revival Disc -the first and the last-. It was released by SQUARE ENIX MUSIC exclusively in Japan on 24 October, 2018.
- We, the Wounded Shall Advance into the Light (Revival Version)
- October Mermaid
- Soaring -Orchestral Version-
- The Beginning and the End (Revival Version)
- A Distant Promise -Piano Version-
Xenogears Original Soundtrack Piano Solo Sheet Music
Xenogears Original Soundtrack Piano Solo Sheet Music is a collection of piano arrangements of the 44 tracks on the Xenogears Original Soundtrack published by DOREMI Music Publishing (ISBN number 4-8108-6622-X). All tracks were arranged by Asako Niwa.
In other media
- The main accompaniment line of One Who Bares Fangs at God was used as a motif in Last Battle from the Xenosaga Original Soundtrack and Abel's Ark from the Music of Xenosaga Episode III.
- Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call, a rhythm game for the Nintendo 3DS, has Flight as an available DLC track.
- STARS OF TEARS (OUT TAKE), SMALL TWO OF PIECES ~Broken Shards~, and (from CREID) CREID, Stairs of Light, and Spring Lullaby were all featured on Colours of Light, a compilation album of vocal pieces by Yasunori Mitsuda released in 2009.
- 'Radical Dreamers ~Unstealable Jewel~' from the music of Chrono Cross (which was also composed by Mitsuda) has Unstealable Jewel as part of its title. (However, the music itself is unrelated.)
- STARS OF TEARS (OUT TAKE) is referenced in Project X Zone 2 chapter 30, "Way Beyond Good and Evil".