Music of Xenosaga Episode II
The music of Xenosaga Episode II consists of 40 officially released tracks as well as a great many which have never been officially released. The music was composed by Yuki Kajiura, Shinji Hosoe, and Ayako Saso, with Deb Lyons and Margaret Dorn providing vocals for several songs. Only Kajiura's compositions (and not all of her compositions) have had official releases. While Hosoe and Saso ('Super Sweep') worked together for their compositions, they and Kajiura did not collaborate (according to Kajiura, they did not meet at all during the game's production).
Kajiura composed much of the music used in cutscenes, while Hosoe composed tracks that were used in the overworld as area music, and Saso composed tracks used during battle as well as contributing to other music used in cutscenes. Very few tracks in Xenosaga Episode II do not neatly fit into one of the above categories; tracks that function as battle themes are only ever used in battle, and there are few cases where a track that primarily plays in the overworld is used in a cutscene. There are also several tracks which only play in menus.
Uniquely to Xenosaga Episode II among the games in the series, the Japanese and English dubs have substantially different music in many of the cutscenes. In particular, many cutscenes that had music composed by Ayako Saso in the Japanese version of the game either had their music removed or replaced with other music by Saso or by Yuki Kajiura for the English version of the game.
The style of the music of Xenosaga Episode II varies, primarily depending upon composer. Kajiura's music almost invariably includes recorded instruments and very often includes vocals and a strong emphasis on the main melody line, with a variety of instruments used; strings, solo piano, synthesiser, and Eurobeat-style percussion all feature prominently in her compositions. Hosoe's music, on the other hand, tends to be in a 'bouncy' style with synthesised instruments and a much greater emphasis on percussive accompaniment lines than on melody. Saso's music also tends to use synthesised instruments, although with a greater emphasis on melody than Hosoe's.
Use of motifs
Many tracks are remixes of other pieces used in the game; these remixes naturally share their melodies with the original track. In addition to this, several melodies are used as motifs in multiple tracks. Prominent examples are as follows:
- The main melody of Xenosaga II opening theme and Sweet Song (Xenosaga II ending theme) forms the main theme of the game as a whole; it is also used in Sakura (theme-piano ver.) and its remixes, assault, and here she comes (KOS-MOS). It is also a motif in the music of other media in the series (see below).
- The audio of in the beginning, there was... and in the beginning, there was... 2 is used as a motif in first meeting, assault, strain~Jin, fatal fight (Jin & Margulis), the image theme of Xenosaga II #piano ver., and the image theme of Xenosaga II.
- A melody used in first meeting is shared with U-DO~Febronia and final crisis.
As only (some of) Kajiura's compositions have had official releases, they are the only ones with official titles. Said titles are typically in all lowercase (in accordance with Kajiura's naming schemes), except for proper nouns. A track which is a remix of another track is typically titled the same as the original with ' #2' (or ' #3', ' #4', etc.) appended to the end of the title, such as Jr. #2. Several cutscene themes change substantially in tone during the course of the piece to match with the cutscene they play in, and when this is the case, they are titled as though they are separate tracks joined by a tilde, such as U-DO~Febronia. Unreleased tracks have no official titles and, according to Saso, were simply referred to by their file names during development.
As of 2021, the extent to which unreleased tracks have widespread unofficial titles varies greatly, almost entirely dependent upon whether or not the track is a cutscene theme or an area/battle/menu theme. This is because music that falls into the latter three categories must be stored as independent files in the game's code, and these tracks have been extracted and made into playlists since the games' release. The unreleased cutscene themes, on the other hand, are currently assumed to simply be a part of the audio of the cutscenes and not included as separate files, making clean extraction of the music impossible (with current technology). As such, these tracks are often not included in online playlists of Xenosaga Episode II music, resulting in less discussion (if any) and no widespread unofficial titles. (Where applicable, this wiki has used unofficial titles taken from a playlist by Max Galactica on YouTube.)
Xenosaga II: Jenseits Von Gut und Böse Movie Scene Soundtrack
The Xenosaga II: Jenseits Von Gut und Böse Movie Scene Soundtrack is the most complete soundtrack to Xenosaga Episode II, consisting of 40 tracks on 2 discs composed by Yuki Kajiura, all of which are menu or cutscene themes. The soundtrack also includes several unused remixes of other tracks. The album was released on the 7th of July, 2004, under Victor Entertainment.
The music in the soundtrack is mostly organised in terms of when the tracks first play in-game, with the exception of the 7 final tracks on the 2nd disc which are all placed after the game's ending theme.
Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse Soundtrack
The Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse Soundtrack is a collection of tracks from the music of Xenosaga Episode II, consisting of 11 tracks on a single disc; 8 of these were used in-game, and three (here she comes (KOS-MOS), Jr., and the image theme of Xenosaga II) are unused remixes of tracks used in-game. The album was released on the 17th of February, 2005, included with the Strategy Guide published by Brady Games.
Xenosaga II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse ~Movie Scene Soundtrack~ (bootleg)
Xenosaga II: Jenseits Von Gut und Böse ~Movie Scene Soundtrack~ is a bootleg of the Xenosaga II: Jenseits von Gut und Böse ~Movie Scene Soundtrack~ released by Miya Records. It is otherwise identical to the official release of the Movie Scene Soundtrack by Victor Entertainment.
The following is a list of music in Xenosaga Episode II that has not been released on any official album, organised by function and the order in which they appear in-game.
- Old Miltia (14 Years Ago)
- Second Miltia
- Evading the U-TIC Organization
- Moby Dick's Cafe
- Uzuki Residence
- U.M.N. Control Center
- Vector Industries, Second Division
- Subconscious Domain (Sakura's World)
- Subconscious Domain (Summer)
- Subconscious Domain (Winter)
- Dämmerung Restricted Area
- The Elsa von Brabant
- Robot Academy
- Ormus Stronghold
- Ormus Stronghold - Countdown to Self-Destruct
- The Durandal
- Kukai Foundation
- Foundation Fishing Lab
- Old Miltia (Submerged City)
- Omega system
- Space-Time Anomaly
- Industrial Plant
- Old Miltia #2
- Old Miltia #3
- First Words
- Fanfare of Second Miltia
- Sergius & Margulis
- Second Miltia #2
- Second Miltia #3
- Yuriev's Shadow
- Unsubtle Approaches
- Names and Memories
- Tertiary Weapons System
- Thoughts with Ziggy #2
- Sakura #5 (theme-music box ver.)
- The Sacrificed Ones #2
- Hide and Seek
- Uzuki Residence #2
- Former Doctor in the House
- Empty Graves
- Brother and Sister
- Brand New Day
- MOMO's sorrow
- Rubedo's promise
- Thoughts with Ziggy
- Dive Preparation
- The Sacrificed Ones
- Clinging Onto Life
- Having Fun
- Pale Rider
- Hostile Incoming
- White Rider
- Innocence of the Immortal
- Old Miltia's Reappearance
- Visions of the Zohar
- A Cryptic Message
- Brute Force
- Matthews and his Crew
- Orgulla's Confessional
- Ormus Stronghold #3
- The Durandal #2
- Truth of the Conflict
- Yuriev's Order
- Unsubtle Approaches #2
- Jr's Promise
- Wraith Virus
- The Dark Professor
In other media
- The track U-DO~Febronia plays in Xenosaga Episode III.
- Several pieces of music from Xenosaga Episode II were used as a basis for tracks in the music of Xenosaga Episode III. The three most notable examples are as follows:
- The Xenosaga II opening theme, whose melody is used in assault #2, Sakura#6~parting, overboost~Sakura#7, and maybe tomorrow~ending medley.
- fatal fight (Jin & Margulis), which was remixed as fate, fatal fight#3 ~ battle vs. E.S. Levi - over the floating landmass, and fatal fight#4 ~ vs. E.S. Levi - Michtam Underground Lab.
- Nephilim, which was used in Song of Nephilim (Xenosaga III ver.), the Miltia incidents, Nephilim & Abel, and Joachim's decision. (While these were all originally based upon Song of Nephilim from the Xenosaga Original Soundtrack, the Xenosaga III tracks all use the Xenosaga II variation on the original track.)
- Other pieces of music from Xenosaga Episode II were used as a basis for tracks in the music of A Missing Year:
- the image theme of Xenosaga II was performed at FictionJunction 2008-2010 The BEST of Yuki Kajiura LIVE, a live performance of Yuki Kajiura's works on the 12th of May 2010, and included as Track 2, Disc 2 on the associated album.
- Likewise, Sweet Song (Xenosaga II ending theme) was performed at FictionJunction 2010-2013 The BEST of Yuki Kajiura LIVE 2, a live performance of Kajiura's works on the 3rd of June 2015, and included as Track 17, Disc 3 on the associated album as Sweet Song.
- Both the image theme of Xenosaga II and Sweet Song were also included on FICTION II, an album of a selection of Kajiura's works released on the 30th of March, 2011.
- VGMdb Article (bootleg Movie Scene Soundtrack)
- VGMdb Article (FictionJunction 2008-2010)
- VGMdb Article (FictionJunction 2010-2013)
- VGMdb Article (FICTION II)
- Interview with Yuki Kajiura, Shinji Hosoe, and Ayako Saso