Fantasy Soundtrack: Castlevania (Sword) II — Evening Pleasure

Previously on the Castlevania (Sword) series, Drew and I assembled some of the best tunes we remembered from the “Metroidvania” Castlevania installments, along with others we refamiliarized ourselves with. The lineups consisted of the best tracks that would be used if we were making our own installment. It was a good opportunity to rediscover precisely how much good music this franchise received over the eleven years where Konami was still making these kinds of titles, from Symphony of the Night to Order of Ecclesia. But plenty of tracks didn’t make the cut, which is why we did this again.

Drew posted his selections for this second installment yesterday, and I’ll echo his thoughts about how we might have stretched our selections too thin outside themes for the main stages. That’s also why I made some choices before he could, which I feel a little bad about. Nevertheless, both of us still managed to do well.

Title

Oncoming Dread (Order of Ecclesia):

It’s the kind of slow, melancholy theme that’s perfect for a Castlevania menu theme.

File Select

Gloomy Memories (Dawn of Sorrow):

This track fits the B-movie vibe that inspired some Castlevania installments, but ironically not Dawn of Sorrow. But the game I would have made would have that vibe, so it’s fine here.

Prologue

Prologue (Symphony of the Night)

Sometimes, the name just fits. I’m shocked that neither Drew nor I used this track before now.

Stage 1

Ruined Castle Corridor (Aria of Sorrow)

Proof that the Game Boy Advance could pump out some good tunes, despite its weak sound chip.

Stage 2

Victorian Fear (Portrait of Ruin)

This track doesn’t sound like what you’d expect upon hearing that something is “Victorian,” but it’s not a big deal.

Stage 3

Platinum Moonlight (Dawn of Sorrow)

After two faster-paced tracks and stages, a more methodical one was necessary.

Stage 4

Jaws of a Scorched Earth (Order of Ecclesia)

A track accompanying an area outside the castle.

Stage 5

Demon Guest House (Dawn of Sorrow)

This stage has more of a haunted carnival house setting. Going for a variety of tracks that would suit a variety of settings made this feature a little more difficult, but it was fun.

Stage 6

Rainbow Cemetery (Symphony of the Night)

The theme for this stage is self-explanatory. I’m always surprised when I stumble upon a Symphony of the Night track that we hadn’t used yet, due to the game’s popularity.

Stage 7

Lost Painting (Symphony of the Night)

My previous point goes double for this track, especially since it’s one of the best in the game.

Stage 8

Tower of Dolls (Order of Ecclesia)

I somewhat cheated with this one, since it’s a remix, but it’s good enough that I don’t feel bad about it.

Boss Fight 1

A Formidable Foe Appears (Aria of Sorrow)

I’d forgotten this track existed until this feature, but it was a good choice considering we were running out of options for tracks to use.

Boss Fight 2

Symphony of Battle (Order of Ecclesia)

It was around this point where I just wanted to pad out the rest of this feature with Ecclesia tracks. But I resisted!

Game Over

Game Over (Portrait of Ruin)

Game over.

Store

Equipment Discussion (Dawn of Sorrow)

Just the kind of serene track you’d want to hear while buying weapons. As a bonus: This track was also used in Order of Ecclesia.

Cutscene 1

Faraway Days (Portrait of Ruin)

Nothing made us feel like we were stretching our options thin like the cutscene track options running out. There’s a reason why these are all rather melancholy tracks.

Cutscene 2

Cantus Motetten (Order of Ecclesia)

Good to hear while you’re watching the unraveling of story-based mysteries.

Cutscene 3

Rituals (Order of Ecclesia)

This would be a late-game cutscene track. I wasn’t kidding about having a hard time resisting that urge for an overabundance of Ecclesia.

Dracula Fight 1

Battle Against Chaos (Aria of Sorrow)

This one wasn’t from an actual battle against Dracula, but it’s from a final battle, so it’s close enough.

Dracula Fight 2

Piercing Battle Fury (Dawn of Sorrow)

This isn’t a Dracula battle either, but again, it’s similar enough that it counts.

Ending

Purification ~ Ending (Aria of Sorrow)

Hey, at least our story ends on a high note.

Credits

I Am the Wind (Symphony of the Night)

This song doesn’t fit SotN or Castlevania in the least, but I love it nonetheless. I had no problem using it here.

 

I feel bad about stealing some tracks before Drew could use them, especially since he started on his selections before I did. The same applies to leaving out Circle of the Moon and Harmony of Dissonance, albeit to a lesser extent for the latter, since there are few usable tracks among its soundtrack. Despite the hurdles both of us had, the second part of this feature turned out well for both of us. I hope you enjoyed this short series, because we definitely don’t have enough leftover content for a third installment, so we have no choice but to move on to another series.

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