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Saturday, June 6, 2015

Song of the Week! 6 June 2015

As the spring is leaning towards its final days with waves of future exciting Taiko stuff ahead of us, so does the latest 3DS Taiko videogame's life span, with the last set of DLC songs bound to be gradually released during this month. Let's salute Don and Katsu's Space/Time Adventure with a whole month of Song of the Week features about its huge songlist!

To kick things off, let's start from one of the game's boss battle tracks.

 Zastohl no Madousho (ザストゥールの魔導書)
Taiko PSP DXx4 (127)x5 (177)x6 (359)x9 (560)
Taiko 0, Taiko 3DS 2x3 (127)x5 (177)x6 (359)x8 (560)
 Taiko 0, Taiko PSP DX, Taiko 3DS 2, CD Full Combo

Originally making its debut on Taiko games as a Portable Deluxe downloadable track, Zastohl no Madousho (lit. Zastohl/Zastool's Book of Sorcery) is an instrumental track made by in-house Bandai Namco unit YMY, who is actually a nickname for Yukiko Yamamoto (山本由貴子). Masamoto Murakami (村上正信) was involved for the song's mixing.

As explained by YMY in a Taiko Team blog entry about it release, this tune can actually be considered the Taiko series' first "series spin-off" Namco Original ever created, as the song is supposed to be an alternate take on the Arabic-styled songs after 'de' series' Desert de Yanikuniku (Sahara-hen) under a different song genre direction: while the older song was intended to be considered as "Arabic Rock", Zastohl no Madousho should have sounded more as "Arabic Techno". This background direction is also underlined by the song's ID, niku2 (as in being a continuation to Desert de Yanikuniku's style).

To further introduce the motifs behind the song, YMY also included in the same blog entry the first part of a short story about the in-title Zastohl/Zastool's Book of Sorcery, in order to add some made-up mythological background to the song's theme. According to legends and fairy-tales (as YMY narrates), the endless desert's dunes and pits hide the leftover ruins of a temple which contains a powerful book of spells; it's not known whether the name it has been associated with is human or not, but it has been told that between its pages lie any kind of forgotten and forbidden spells, such as the rituals for immortality. Among the years, every explorer who was looking for the mystical ruins holding the spell book didn't manage to come back, with the only hint left to locate them for the future generations being placed near a faraway oasis. Doesn't this tale encourage you to go on an epic adventure?

Stepping into the current generation, this Taiko song has been one of the first tunes to suffer from rating demotion, affecting both Kantan and Oni mode on the very first modern Taiko arcade firmware and on Taiko 3DS 2, which also uses the song as the boss track against the Pharaoh Chimera. That doesn't mean that its Oni notechart is as harmless as it sounds; while the low BPM value makes easier to manage the player's stamina consecutive note clusters, several 1/16 and 1/14 cluster mixed in are here to throw off course novice players if faced carelessly. If the song in the video above doesn't look like a 140 BPM tune by looking at the scrolling bar, it's easy to tell why: the whole track is actually played with a small scrolling speed increase modifier of x1.1.

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