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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Song of the Week! 19 December 2015

As the download distribution plans are ending for the latest titles of the Super Smash Bros. series, one of the minor, final collaboration efforts come from Namco's The Tower of Druaga videogame series.

That's a good enough excuse for me to go back on our footsteps and finish the unsolved business with said series in Taiko gaming!

 Mirai e no Kagi (未来への鍵)
Taiko 0x4 (180)x6 (242)x5 (339)x7 (468)
Taiko Anime 2x5 (180)x6 (242)x5 (339)x7 (468)
Taiko Wii U 2x4 (180)x6 (242)x6 (339)x7 (468)
 Taiko 0 K (promo only), 0 Mu, Taiko Anime 2, Taiko Wii U 2, CD Anime

After getting many different musical renditions in Taiko gaming (in form of several playable Game Music tracks), The Tower of Druaga's legacy locates its latest outing in the second Taiko Anime game for PS2, through one of the title's many pro seiyuu-powered Namco Originals!

Mirai e no Kagi (lit. 'Key to the Future') merges the talents of voice actress Miki Tsuchiya (土屋実紀) and Namco Sounds musician Hiroto Sasaki (佐々木宏人) in order to create an original track with brief chimes from the aforementioned Tower of Druaga games, singing of the memories of the past times as the beacon of light that helps going forward towards the road. Despite the title, there's no relation between this Taiko track and Japanese rapper Zeebra's song of the same name.

This is the NO debut for both the involved artists, whose career paths have intertwined in certain points. Miki Tsuchiya (also known as Cri☆siS) is a Tokyo-born freelance singer who can boast a number of past commissioned experiences either as singer or as voice actress (most notably for the Mermaid Melody series), while Hiroto Sasaki (a.k.a. "The Man" (さ男)) has been in charge of different Namco game's scores, such as Tekken 2 and the Idolm@ster franchise, which also saw Tsuchiya involved in a number of songs as chorus singer. While this is the only Namco Original contribution from the singer, Sasaki has been talked about for other current-generation songs, like Sweet Lay and Takara no Oka.

Being part of Tobikkiri! Anime Special, Mirai e no Kagi has been featured in the game's dedicated soundtrack, although its listing is quite odd when compared to the other tracks. The song is featured in a longer cut than the in-game version as track number 6, but the album refers to the song with the slightly different title of Michi e no Kagi (未知への鍵, lit.: Key to the Unknown); however, if this track is played on portable devices capable of automatically sort out album/title (such as different walkman models or i-devices), the title being displayed is reverted back to the classic Mirai e no Kagi.

The piece's journey in Taiko gaming has let the song take a generational gap from its debut title, thanks to two arcade limited releases linked to the Taiko Team's livestream comment challenges and an inclusion in Tokumori, together with every other track related to the Tower of Druaga series released so far. Along the way, it was also one of the Anime Special tracks to be featured in the DAM station karaoke machines, together with L.O.V.E. and Wonder Momoi.

Chronologically speaking, Mirai e no Kagi is the very first Namco Original to be entirely charted under the triple time signature, making for shorter stanzas and a Taiko Oni notechart that sets the route for future low-BPM dense notecharts (Don Engasu no Fue Fuki).


For those who are hungry for more Namco Game Music-related features, we remember that our Lovely-X and Yokai Dochuuki Ondo features now have their Ura Oni mode added from the third Wii U game!

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