Chained Echoes is a breathtaking modern RPG that harkens to the days of 16-bit JRPGs like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VI. These comparisons mostly come from the graphics, but more importantly, it's referenced in the soundtrack. And, make no mistake, the soundtrack is a masterpiece. Having discovered the game and hearing the soundtrack during a playthrough stream on Twitch, I immediately bought the album. I was not disappointed. These are our favorite tracks from the stunning work of art of composer Eddie Marianukroh and developer Mattias Linda.
1. Never Forget Our Promise: This is THE track of the album. So many elements go into this to make the most perfect track that I've ever heard in an RPG. It goes so well with the background fighting that it nearly overshadows the game itself. The guitar is sublime, and the main bass line is absolutely perfect. This is a special fight theme, but it could easily work as a final boss theme as well. I bought the album off the strength of this track alone. Audio perfection.
2. Prologue - Against All Odds: This opening track is close to perfection. The choral voices lend a sense of grandeur to the track, and the pace is just right. The horns are just as good, and the key changes are beautiful. This would entice me just on its sound alone.
3. A Day in the Valley: This track immediately draws comparisons to Chrono Trigger, and they're great comparisons. It's beautiful and whimsical, with triangle flourishes that dance lightly. The guitar here is also beautiful.
4. Calling Upon Bravery: This track is one of the best battle themes ever in an RPG. It's multilayered and brilliant in the way the sounds meld and work together to make a consistent and cohesive sound. It's gorgeous and fun.
5. Flower Fields of Perpetua: Dreamy and romantic, this is a beautiful track that draws you into the mystery of the surrounding area. The background voices make the track a sort of ethereal dream, and you can't tell if it's a nightmare or something good.
6. Fractured Echoes: Much like Calling Upon Bravery, this track is fast and will have your toe tapping. It also evokes Chrono Trigger comparisons because it sounds like something that would have also been in that game. The horns are a standout on this track.
7. Iron Scraps for Breakfast (Can You Hear the Beat of My Hammer?): Fun and delightful, this is almost a dance track. The horns, which have been a standout on other tracks, are prominent here alongside what seems like an accordion. It's an odd combination but it works. I also love the hammer beats that punctuate the track.
8. The Empyrean Ruins: This jungle track is beautiful. There's a flute and voices and an infectious beat that just won't quit. It's dark yet bright in waves. There's so much going on that works well together. It's well-put-together and sultry all at once.
9. The Mystic Forest: This is a slower track but it's just right. Of all of the tracks on the album that remind of Chrono Trigger, this is the one that draws the most comparison. It sounds a lot like the forest track of that game - Secret of the Forest. And that's good because that's a great track. This is lush and slow, just how it needs to be.
10. The Rainy City of Tormund: The dreary intro to this track is what sets the tone for a perfectly spooky environment with a beautiful acoustic guitar base. It's mysterious and haunting, though it also sort of invokes the 007 James Bond theme slightly, which is a nice surprise.
Lyndsey Beatty is editor-in-chief of Gaming Insurrection. She can be reached by email at email@example.com