A fact that becomes apparent after collecting videogame and MMO soundtrack for so many years, is that more often than not the best music is found from the best of titles. Nine times out of ten, the best soundtracks of the year come with games that rank equally high in terms of top overall package and gameplay experience. This makes sense of course considering that quality soundtracks aren't exactly every project's first priority. Every now and then a small title will surprise us with an unusual devotion to music (hello Undertale!) but generally speaking, the bigger the title and developer behind it, the more likely there's also a soundtrack department as well as a budget for live orchestras and renowned lead composers.
One MMO that defies above rule completely, was Lime Odyssey by Sirius Entertainment. Lime Odyssey who, you may ask - and the truth wouldn't be far off: this unfortunate Korean free-to-play title never saw the light of day here in the west despite publisher Daum's best efforts, and after a series of delays and awkward status reports, it was shelved for good in 2014 due to financial issues. The game itself didn't look like it would break any records; another Korean MMO in a long list of titles that borrowed heavily from World of Warcraft with more whimsical twists here and there. And so Lime Odyssey would never have left as much as a blip on my radar had it not been for one small yet noticeable fact: that its soundtrack was composed by none other than Yasunori Mitsuda of Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross and Xenogears fame!
How the infamous Japanese composer ended up working on a Korean MMO remains somewhat of a mystery, despite few media outlets reporting on this surprising match at the time. When I heard about Mitsuda's involvement years later, it took me no more than five minutes to locate the soundtrack, some of which has fortunately been conserved on youtube if nowhere else. I was not disappointed: the music for Lime Odyssey is every bit as beautiful as could be expected and so rich of Mitsuda's signature and JRPG nostalgia that I was overcome with sentimental feels. Anyone familiar with this great composer's previous work will know his particular brand of magic, the familiar sparkle in haunting melodies as well as an unmistakeable spirit of adventure.
Five tracks for an Introduction to the Music of Lime Odyssey
The soundtrack of Lime Odyssey remains small and we can only guess what else would have been out there waiting, yet to be released from Mitsuda's chest of wonders. Sparing no expense, the music was recorded together with the internationally renowned Czech Philharmonic Orchestra in Prague. Relying on youtube information for this case, there are roughly 36 tracks in total that span the familiar thematic range that is MMO town and zone music (with day and night iterations) as well as dungeons and special events. Many a delicate and sad piano segment has made it into the soundtrack too which I believe corresponded to the sweeter, somewhat juvenile style of the game. As difficult as it was for a fangirl like myself to decide on five Mitsuda tracks only, these are my top five Lime Odyssey recommendations:
1. Make Zone BGMIf I had to name one track worthy of a fantasy MMO main theme, Make Zone would be the worthiest of them all. Just how much more adventurous can a melody get, how much more whimsical and heart-warming and fun? This track kills me every time I hear it and it will always encompass the emotional range that beautiful MMO worlds inspire while inviting us to come along for the ride. Grab your sword and walking stick, it's time to go on adventure!
2. Bluecoral BGM (Dark)The Bluecoral (Dark) track is pure fan service in terms of familiar cues. I enjoy the uneasy, slightly ominous atmosphere of this tune while never getting overbearing. There's something ethereal about it too that for me, conjures up images of wandering dark caves, exploring down tunnels and shafts to the pale light of my lantern. It's interesting what moods videogame music can inspire in lieu of actual gameplay knowledge.
3. Alsarvana BGM (Light)Another adventurous piece, Alsarvana is a mixture of more folkloric and exotic themes come together. I can't help but reminisce on the Chrono Cross soundtrack while listening to this and I enjoy the drive of the main melody which keeps building up throughout the entire track.
4. West Tumbara BGM (Light)The West Tumbara (Light) track is one of the finest compositions on the entire Lime Odyssey soundtrack. It features every part of a great and unforgettable journey, from its mild and merry beginnings to heroic heights and a more ponderous mood toward the grand finale. Only the best of MMO tracks tell a story we can follow, imagine and even experience - this is one such occasion!
5. Bluecoral Town BGMI love town music in MMOs but the Bluecoral Town track is a lot more sad and nostalgic lullaby than merry bustling quest hub. Despite this, it has always been one of my favorite tracks from Lime Odyssey, for when that particularly sentimental mood strikes. It is a sweet and simple melody that pulls at the heart strings and makes me wonder about all the magical stories this game never got to tell. Thankfully, for Korean fans the title can still be remembered through its music.
Would I buy? - Hell yes!
Who is it for? Lovers of JRPGs and whimsical MMO adventure.
There's nothing left for me to say other than that I really wish we had seen more of Lime Odyssey before its untimely end, so we could know more about the finished and complete soundtrack. It's always sad when MMORPGs shut down and it's a great shame that a soundtrack of such quality and beauty should go unnoticed. Consider yourself informed - and be sure to check out the rest of the Lime Odyssey soundtrack on youtube, it's worth every minute of your time!