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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.

Metroid Prime 2 – Echoes – “Title Theme” (Kenji Yamamoto)

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.

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