Wizard of Legend has been doing the business as an indie roguelike from yesterday but Dale North’s soundtrack for the game is an interesting hybrid of grand orchestrations with a hint of yesteryear theming that places it in my mind, in the lush PS2/Xbox era of game music.
After the lush and extravagant orchestral opening, the waltzing of “Lanova’s Treasures” is cute, playful and on tippy toes as the strings and piano interplay with each other. “Prepare for Chaos” reminds me of Final Fantasy Tactics with its militant drum rolls, sweeping brass arrangement and reliance of a huge reverb on the percussion to create a booming void around the theme. Indeed when compiled with the ending, debut trailer and credits tracks there really is a Tactics vibe throughout. For half the soundtrack I thought the following phrase. “This is what a military tactics game would sound like if it had a baby with Yoko Shimomura’s Kingdom Hearts soundtracks.” That’s not bad thing.
It’s the seven tracks in the middle of the soundtrack that are the bulk of the music. Four represent elements. “Frieya’s Cage” has ice with gentle bells hiding underneath a symphonic battle track. It has an elegance alongside its drama which places its overall tone in a symphonic jazz style. “Atlas’s Terrace” has Earth and swaps out bells for brass and voice samples. The tension is amped up somewhat too with some really heart-pounding sequences. “Zeal’s Forge” gets the timpani’s out for fire and it’s the percussive beast track right out of a firey cave. The strings and brass give it a tilt of madness, but this is the track that bears its teeth the most before “Shuu’s Spire” gives us symphonic electronica and something more rousing and uplifting – it’s my favourite of the four. “Arcane Refuge” is the home piece and works as a playful rest although the two boss tracks that follow are big, bold and beautiful in their wake up call. They have a shootemup vibe to them with a twist of a gothic organ for good measure.
Wizard of Legend’s soundtrack merges the huge with the ground roots of a band too. Whilst it doesn’t go for the immediate tune, it switches from one melodic section to another, and so you continuously find new threads to enjoy. A cracker of a soundtrack, Dale’s biggest and most bombastic yet.
Recommended track: Shuu’s Spire