Further into the labyrinth of music

My favorite time-waster these days — in between prepping for upcoming recording sessions, reviewing upcoming games (yes, I still do that), and writing cool Castlevania think pieces for USgamer (new entry today! go read it!) — continues to be picking away at Etrian Odyssey Untold, the 3DS remake of the (gasp) 10-year-old first-person dungeon-crawler RPG for Nintendo DS. I played through the remake back when it first came out, but between my save file’s deletion and the fact that we will be recording an Etrian Odyssey Retronauts episode at some point this year, I feel totally justified in retreading familiar territory for the third time.

Of course, the thing I keep finding myself gushing about the most as I replay Etrian Odyssey is, naturally, the music. Currently, I’m in the second stratum, which means I’ve been listening to a lot of this tune:

It’s lovely, right? I admit I’m growing a little weary of it, though. Not that there’s anything wrong with the composition, mind you, but Etrian Odyssey starts to sprawl in the second stratum. You unlock several — admittedly optional — rather grueling side quests in this portion of the game, including one that requires you to spend five in-game days on a single floor of the dungeon. Even though Untold takes considerable pains to make this less burdensome than it was in the original, it’s still a heck of a chore. I’m starting to feel a little bit of shellshock whenever I hear this stratum’s theme.

I guess it’s a sign of how much I love this game, and how great Yuzo Koshiro’s soundtrack for it was, that I want to share a tune even when I’ve heard it so much lately that it kind of makes me want to barf at the moment.

8 Comments

Filed under Music, Retronauts

8 Responses to Further into the labyrinth of music

  1. Etrian Odyssey 3 is still my favorite of the series, but the original game probably has the strongest soundtrack of them all. They’re all top notch though. Looking forward to the episode on them! Maybe if you’ve met the Patreon goal to bring Micro back you can do a mixtape companion to the episode?

  2. I’ve been playing through the story mode for the first time, actually. The original remains one of my favorite games of all time – I never cared about dungeon crawlers before, or plot-lite RPGs (being a console gamer weaned on linear JRPGs), but thanks to your constant praise of the game back in the day, I tried it and absolutely loved it. I can easily point to it and say that’s when my tastes in RPGs started to shift towards more open-ended (either in world or character) and less narrative-heavy. And it totally opened the door for other types of games I previously disdained, like roguelikes. You’ve done good work here, Parish!

    As for the music, I’m not some stickler for retro stylings, but I definitely prefer the original in most areas of the game. Something about the arranged versions feels a little off to me.

    And also, isn’t there a way to cheese that “5 nights on this floor” quest? Some area of the floor that doesn’t have random encounters, or something. It’s been quite a while…

  3. Ken

    I really hope all these posts help light a fire under Atlas’ butt about releasing EOV in the West. The day after they announce I’ll feel like I shouldn’t have worried but for now every day further from the Japanese release makes me nervous!

    Such an awesome series, and would be a great way to play through the twilight of the 3DS.

  4. The battle themes tend to draw more attention to themselves, but the stratum themes are the ones I consistently come back to listen to over and over again. They make for wonderful study & drawing music as well. I’m losing hope about ever playing V any time soon, but I’ve listened to the soundtrack far too many times to count already, and would argue that it has the best lineup of dungeon themes yet. Spoil at your own risk, but the instrumental arrangements are jaw dropping.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9QURpQtVGFY as far as the song linked in this post goes, it’s a classic. This is another version of it that I love as well.