Metroid Prime 2 – Echoes – “Title Theme” (Kenji Yamamoto)September 3, 2010
In 2002, Metroid returned to the world of gaming with Metroid Prime, the debut title by Retro Studios. A master work for a company’s first game, Metroid Prime redefined not only the first-person genre but also brought the musical score of the series down a new path of electronica and X-Files-style whistling. The tracks are in some cases hit or miss, but the game’s sequel, Metroid Prime 2 – Echoes (2004), contained a title theme that solidified many of the traits found in the first game’s score while providing an emotional impact that has moved some fans to tears.
The “Title Theme” opens with atmospheric chirps and warbles before moving to the famous whistling notes of the Metroid Prime series main theme. 28 seconds in, a guitar is added, and from there, the track becomes even more brooding and introspective, its somber choir reciting the ballad of the echoes of a lost golden age. The combination of whistling and choir builds to a crescendo at 1:53 before quickly fading again into atmosphere.
For all intents and purposes, the loop ends at about 2:00. However, for this version of the song from the Metroid Prime Trilogy music gallery, the ending has been modified for a longer fade and atmosphere. It’s actually quite fortunate that the Trilogy offered a remastered track as Metroid Prime and Metroid Prime 2 had a horrible audio system that implemented clicks, pops, and reverbs into the music, producing unclean audio. For the Trilogy sound gallery, at least a few tracks were remastered to prevent these issues. Note that the clicks and pops had nothing to do with the composition but were instead a result of the audio engine. One game audio expert, Prime Blue, has managed to produce clean rips of Metroid Prime. He is currently finishing work on a clean rip of Metroid Prime 2, which will have all the audio errors fixed.