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Weltorv Estleia – “Flowing Blood Rhapsody” (Kazuhiko Sawaguchi)

May 7, 2010

Weltorv Estleia (1999) has a beautifully orchestrated soundtrack, very classical in nature, following the style of Beethoven (in fact, several of Beethoven’s compositions are included in the soundtrack), and in some places comparable to Dragon Quest. Listening to this soundtrack, it honestly doesn’t feel much like game soundtracks, which are often characterized by looping music. The compositions of Weltorv Estelia are more planned in design, featuring little of the loops and variations; what loops exist are smoothed over to the point of feeling natural. Due to its high quality orchestrations, the soundtrack is one of my favorites. One of my favorite pieces from this soundtrack is the lively and stirring “Flowing Blood Rhapsody”.

Weltorv Estleia – “Flowing Blood Rhapsody” (Kazuhiko Sawaguchi)

I’ve never played the game, so I have no idea where this song occurs, but “Flowing Blood Rhapsody”‘s title and composition stirs images of a fencing duel, with swiftly moving feet and blades that snick through the air to the rapid dancing of the violin; this song definitely sticks in the head. The applause adds to the feeling of spectacle – there must be some kind of battle or performance going on. “Flowing Blood Rhapsody” seems to combine diverse cultural music styles, with the castanets and floor-pounding boots of the Spanish and the triumphant shouts of Russian folk music. There is a nice break at 2:40 with a confidently strident piece of only about 20 seconds that transitions back into the intense battle segment. Highly sophisticated and ever-surprising.

Kazuhiko Sawaguchi (Mario Party 2, Hakuoki) seems to be a classically trained composer who has also done some orchestral arrangements. He seems to do more composition for anime than games… I haven’t heard any of his other music, but this soundtrack makes me quite curious! Ricardo Montalban would feel right at home here!

I can’t find much information about Weltorv Estleia, other than it was a nonlinear RPG created by Hudson for the PS1. The goal was to allow players to discover their own adventures without forcing them into a set storyline. The 103 adventures in the game could be taken in many different orders, and customizable characters seem to have allowed for some replay. While this is only a preview of the game, the composition of the music is certainly high quality.

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