Music of Xenosaga Episode I
The music of Xenosaga Episode I consists of 42 tracks used in-game as well as a number of tracks included on official releases which were not used in Xenosaga Episode I, all composed by Yasunori Mitsuda. The music has had two complete releases as well as several special releases of small subsets of the soundtrack.
The music of Xenosaga Episode I is notable for its very high proportion of cutscene themes (music that plays in cutscenes) as opposed to area themes (music that plays in the overworld) and battle themes (music that plays in battle). Out of the entire soundtrack, there are only 2 battle themes and 4 area themes, both numbers much lower than their equivalents in any other game in the series.
In particular, the standard battle theme plays for all battles except for the final boss. There are three area themes which play consistently in their respective areas: (part of) Ormus, Song of Nephilim, and Inner Space. Life or Death plays as the area theme in other areas during certain story events.
There are also two themes that play in menus (three if one counts the Game Over screen).
Xenosaga Episode I frequently employed orchestral instrumentation for many of its tracks; the London Philharmonic Orchestra performed several pieces of music on the soundtrack. Several tracks were written for solo piano, and others for choir, often performed by the METRO VOICES. The soundtrack also contains two vocal pieces with English lyrics, Pain and Kokoro, both performed by Joanne Hogg.
Use of motifs
Several melodies are used as motifs in multiple tracks. The following two are the most prominent:
- The melody of Reminiscence, arguably the main theme of the game as a whole, is used in Kokoro, Game Over, Shion ~Memories of the Past~, Shion ~Emotion~, and Shion's Crisis. A variation of this melody is used in The Girl Who Closed Her Heart and KOS-MOS.
- The main melody from Gnosis is used in Life or Death and Last Battle.
Xenosaga Episode I's soundtracks were released in Japan and the titles never received an official translation into English. However, a large number of tracks were titled in romaji, and these have been widely adopted in the English-speaking world. On the other hand, there is no widespread unofficial translation of tracks titled without Latin characters. (For consistency, when a track's official title includes kana or kanji, this wiki uses the unofficial translations provided with the VGMdb article of the Xenosaga Original Soundtrack.)
On the whole, track titles in Xenosaga Episode I tend to be relatively short; the proportion of tracks with a single word as the title is much higher than in other soundtracks in the series, including those composed by Mitsuda. (There are certain exceptions, such as The Girl Who Closed Her Heart.)
Xenosaga Original Soundtrack
- Main article: Xenosaga Original Soundtrack
The Xenosaga Original Soundtrack is the most complete official release of the music of Xenosaga Episode I, consisting of all of the music used in that game as well as several unused tracks. It consists of 45 tracks split across 2 discs, released on the 6th of March 2002. The music is ordered roughly chronologically terms of when the tracks are first heard, with some exceptions (e.g. Ormus coming in disc 2 rather than disc 1, possibly representative of when it plays in cutscenes as opposed to in Pleroma).
The soundtrack was rereleased on the 19th of May, 2004 as Xenosaga Episode I (possibly because the original publisher, DigiCube, went bankrupt). This rerelease featured new recordings of the tracks Warmth, The Beach of Nothingness, and Green Sleeves, as well as two new tracks, Pain -piano version- <New Recording> and World to be Born. The ordering of the tracks was also changed substantially, with a great many tracks originally in the first disc moved to the second disc; according to Mitsuda, the intent was to order the tracks by style.
Xenosaga Original Soundtrack (bootleg)
Xenosaga Original Soundtrack is a bootleg of the Xenosaga Original Soundtrack released by Alion Records. It is mostly identical to the original released by DigiCube, but additionally features Pain instrumental at the end of the first disc, and Kokoro Piano Version and Kokoro instrumental at the end of the second.
DigiCube original Xenosaga music CD
The DigiCube original Xenosaga music CD was a limited preorder bonus for the game available in convenience stores, with three tracks on a single disc.
Xenosaga ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK PREVIEW
The Xenosaga ORIGINAL SOUNDTRACK PREVIEW was released on the 8th of July, 2001, given out at an event held by Namco at Ebisu Garden Hall to unveil Xenosaga Episode I. It consists of 2 tracks on a single disc.
Kokoro / Joanne Hogg Theme from "Xenosaga Episode I"
- Main article: Kokoro / Joanne Hogg Theme from "Xenosaga Episode I"
Kokoro / Joanne Hogg Theme from "Xenosaga Episode I" is an album released on the 6th of February, 2002, consisting of 5 tracks on a single disc: the two vocal ending themes of Xenosaga Episode I (Pain and Kokoro) and several variations.
Playing with Bayer Xenosaga Original Soundtrack
Playing with Bayer Xenosaga Original Soundtrack (楽しいバイエル併用 ゼノサーガ オリジナルサウンドトラック) is a collection of piano arrangements of 21 tracks on the Xenosaga Original Soundtrack, published by DOREMI Music Publishing on the 20th of September 2002 (ISBN 4-8108-7196-7). All tracks were arranged by Asako Niwa. ('Playing with Bayer' is a reference to Ferdinand Bayer, whose introductory piano works are popular in Japan and provide a widely-accepted standard for piano-playing difficulty levels.)
- Game Over
- The Girl Who Closed Her Heart
- Kookai Foundation
- Shion ~Memories of the Past~
- The Beach of Nothingness
- Green Sleeves
- Proto Merkabah
- Last Battle
- Shion ~Emotion~
Partitura Originale Di XENOSAGA
- Main article: Partitura Originale Di XENOSAGA
Partitura Originale Di XENOSAGA is a collection of orchestral scores of pieces from the music of Xenosaga Episode I, published by PROCYON STUDIO on the 21st of January 2004. The collection contains the original scores used in the recording of the tracks by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and METRO VOICES.
- The Xenosaga Premium Disc's menu uses the stock music COSMOS. This does not appear in any official release of Xenosaga music.
In other media
- Main article: Xeno series crossovers
- Several tracks in the music of Xenosaga Episode II and the music of Xenosaga Episode III are based on Song of Nephilim, which has direct equivalents in both of the latter two games in the series, as well as several other tracks in Episode III which use the piece's melody as a motif.
- Battle and Battling KOS-MOS were remixed for Namco X Capcom.
- Pain and Kokoro were featured on Colours of Light, a compilation album of vocal pieces by Yasunori Mitsuda released in 2009.
- VGMdb Article (Original Xenosaga Music CD)
- VGMdb Article (Original Soundtrack Preview)
- VGMdb Article (Xenosaga Original Soundtrack bootleg)