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Saturday, July 25, 2015

Song of the Week! 25 July 2015

It's useless to run in circles about this topic: objectively, V Version has the best Game Music selection of every console Taiko game to date, featuring almost 30 songs at Day 1 with lots of console debuts and arcade ports, both from old and new game franchises.

Today we're having a look at one of the newcomers!

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 Taiko PS Vita

Between Nintendo and Sony Taiko games, each game has had the opportunity to feature Game Music tracks that come from franchises that either are exclusive to the systems released by the partying company or are ancient titles being updated and re-released for said systems. TO MAKE THE END OF BATTLE joins the latter group, as the version of the song featured on Taiko comes from the PSP compilation of the first two titles in the Ys series.

Developed by Nihon Falcom, the Ys games are action role-playing games that have been notorious for their (at the time) unusual combat system, based on actively moving in the field to both attack the enemy and dodge/shield damage while regenerating health; in fact, attacks in the earlier games are made by bumping into the foes, with different damage ratios for both parties in according to their roles of attacker and defender.

The first two titles on the Ys series, Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished and Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter, were both released in the month of June, respectively in the years 1987 and 1988, featuring the early adventures of a red-haired swordsman named Adol Christin. In Ys I, the hero travels the land of Esteria on his quest to search the six books of Ys, the only known source of knowledge about the namesake mystical land which is told to bear the knowledge needed to extinguish the great evil that is sweeping Esteria, as foretold to the hero by a fortuneteller. Ys II directly follows Adol's successful book-retrieval quest of the first game, as he's transported in the floating island of Ys to unravel its many secrets and learn how to get rid of the evil forces loaming the land of Esteria once and for all, thanks to his sword skills and newly-found magic abilities.

Both Ys I and II have seen a wide variety of ports to many systems, either as standalone games or as bundled in dedicated collections. While both games made their debut with the Japanese PC-8801 home computer, the games made it as standalone releases to many other JP-exclusive computers (such as the PC-9801 and the FM-77AV), Sega and Nintendo console systems.

The original Ys I & II collection for the Pc Engine CD-ROM (Japanese name for the TurboGraphx CD) was one of the first games ever distributed under the CD-ROM format for featuring enhanced graphics/voice acting/soundtrack features. Its follow-ups Ys I & II Complete and Ys I & II: Eternal Story -respectively for Windows and Playstation 2- were exclusive to the Japanese market and featured even more elements expanding the original game, such as Full-Motion Video sequences for the story and new items/characters. Later, North America received a localization of the later collections under the name of Legacy of Ys: Books I & II for Nintendo DS and -finally- the PSP/Windows Ys I & II Chronicles, which was also the only one to reach European countries. Featuring the possibility to swap the in-game graphics and soundtrack between the original titles, the JP-exclusive Windows collection and newly-made portraits/soundtrack specifically made for Chronicles, it's often considered by fans to be the ultimate collection of the two games.

After this long Ys digression, it's finally time to talk about the song! TO MAKE THE END OF BATTLE was the opening theme of the second Ys game, originally composed by Yuzo Koshiro (古代祐三). The song's version on Taiko V Version, however, is the Chronicles re-arrangement of the theme made by Yukihiro Jindo (神藤由東大), who also contributed in the soundtracks of the titles from the game series THE LEGEND OF HEROES, which also is represented in song form on V Version.

Charting the song's Taiko modes is Sasaoka/Oosawa (オオサワ), already director of the second 3DS Taiko videogame and one of the producers for the V Version. The abnormally-high BPM makes for a cluster-less song that still manages to break a sweat with its many notes for accuracy means.

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