Skies of Arcadia Eternal Soundtrack by Yutaka Minobe & Tatsuyuki Maeda
Skies of Arcadia Eternal Soundtrack by Yutaka Minobe & Tatsuyuki Maeda pressed on blue & black vinyl by Wayô Records
“One day, I shall see what lies beyond the clouds, the so-called limits of the world.”
Sky Pirate Isle
Set sail to uncharted worlds and defeat the Valuan Empire this week with the Skies of Arcadia Eternal Soundtrack by Yutaka Minobe & Tatsuyuki Maeda. Pressed for the first time ever on vinyl, the classic soundtrack to this beloved Dreamcast game has finally docked and is here to serenade you across its floating shores. Housed inside a gorgeous box with a verbose 24-page booklet and spread across 3 LPs, Wayô Records has delivered the iconic journey of Aika, Fina, and Vyse in one stunning package that is a must-have for collectors and fans alike of this wonderfully crafted RPG.
Blue Rogues’ Theme
Filled within the pages of this release’s 24-page booklet are stories and testimonials from the beautiful people behind the music of Skies of Arcadia. It is a heartwarming thing to look through and honestly, gave me a greater appreciation for just how special this project was for the people involved. As Yutaka Minobe’s first game as a resident composer, it melted my heart to hear him talk with such confidence about pitching the games main theme which has captivated us all from the moment we heard it! Learning that Tatsuyuki Maeda used to tape up pictures of the characters around his work station as inspiration for his writing shows just how dedicated he was in delivering what we have all grown to love with the music from this amazing universe. I honestly have fallen in love with this release and the booklet went a long way in solidifying it as a staple in my collection. Getting to hear an artist talk about their work with such passion makes the enjoyment of their music all that more fulfilling. I hope that Wayô Records continues to do this with every release they put out! As an added bonus, the booklet is honestly one of the coolest pieces of extra content I have ever seen included in a vinyl release. The amount of love and passion poured into these pages, is staggering. This booklet is a wonderful visual aid in truly immersing yourself in what this release has to offer. As the records were spinning I found myself positively glued to the pages reliving every heroic moment of Skies in a way that I can only describe as unforgettable. What an incredibly loving way to give praise to the great designers and artists of the music and the game it represents!
Kingdom of Ixa’ taka
This release is seriously one of the most memorable experiences I have had on vinyl in recent memory. The sense of wonderment that accompanies the music on these gorgeous blue discs will whisk you away on a warm breeze amongst the clouds. It’s truly remarkable hearing the soundtrack to Skies of Arcadia isolated in such an awesome format. Vinyl has always brought out the intricacies that I often miss in other formats, and I believe that’s in large part due to the ritualistic nature of listening to the medium, and this album truly benefits from being on vinyl. It feels as though this score hasn’t aged a day since the game came out, it just comes to life and fills the room in this grand energetic way that will leave you smiling. The music is contagious — One drop of the needle and you are instantly transported back into the wonderful world that Overworks and Sega crafted, and that has to do solely with how memorable and impeccably mastered this whole release is. Delphi Sound Studio has knocked this one out of the park and has truly helped Wayô Records deliver one of the most definitive vinyl releases to a classic soundtrack that I think I have ever heard. Pure class, everything is so clear, vibrant, and moody in all the right ways. It’s easy to get lost within the cloudy grooves here!
The art for this release was carried out by none other than Itsuki Hoshi herself, the original character artist for Skies of Arcadia. I honestly can’t believe that Wayô Records went so above and beyond with this release as to commission new art from the designer who brought these characters to life. As stated before, this release is a true gift to us as fans of this game and its music, the art here is a love letter to all of us directly from Itsuki Hoshi! From the box design down to the gorgeous cover art of each record sleeve what Itsuki has delivered here is pure perfection yet again. I can’t get over how stunning the presentation of this release is and the art truly sells what it holds inside!
Included in this release is a lovingly arranged piano medley by the ever-talented Ramon van Engelenhoven which adds a somber yet striking contrast to the original works of Yutaka Minobe & Tatsuyuki Maeda. You can tell how much respect Mr. Engelenhoven has for the original music, even so much as explaining his arrangement choices for one of the most iconic tracks from the original score “Kingdom of Ixa'taka”. While stripped down from their original compositions the score for Skies of Arcadia is still as gorgeous as ever in this form. A little anemic at times, being removed from the orchestral strings and percussion, what Mr. Engelenhoven has delivered here is nothing short of excellence and is a perfect addition to a perfect release!
The Last Battle
As Wayô Records' second-ever vinyl release, I am extremely impressed. Specializing as a CD-only label for so long Wayô Records has paved the way in France for being the de facto label dedicated to supporting artists and musicians in the video game music and visual arts scene. Their first vinyl, Sonic Forces was released last year and really showed just how far this awesome label has truly come. While Sonic Forces was a great release, Skies of Arcadia is so above and beyond anything this label has ever put out! Signing with Sega to bring this cult classic soundtrack to vinyl, Wayô Records spared no expense in delivering what is truly a labor of love and a true memorial to the amazing artists and creators that brought this music to life before our very eyes in the fall of 2000. This is easily the best box set I have seen come out in 2019 and definitely deserves a spot in your collection. If this is the kind of care and quality that we can expect from Wayô Records moving forward then I for one am extremely excited!
I want to give a huge thanks to the fine folks over at Wayô Records for providing me with a review copy for the purposes of this review!
Yutaka Minobe & Tatsuyuki Maeda
Remastered for vinyl by:
Delphi Sound Studio
Vinyl produced & distributed by:
Where to buy?
This album is still readily available directly from Wayô Records’ online store. As a label that primarily releases CD soundtracks, you can also find the CD version of this album over on their site, as well as an insane super limited Music Box for most die-hard Skies of Arcadia fans. What Wayô Records has achieved with this release is just magical and you owe it to yourself to pick this one up!