Traditional Oriental plus Western Rock equals One Hell of an Official Soundtrack

MASA – Dynasty Warriors 4 Official Soundtrack 

About the album

The second to last day of this project features another official soundtrack from a video game. Known in the West as Dynasty Warriors 4, and in the East as Shin Sangoku Musou 3, this is the official soundtrack or OST for it. Featuring over 40+ tracks, the OST for Dynasty Warriors 4 incorporates western guitar driven rock and roll style with a fusion of oriental and Chinese undertones. The album was produced by skilled guitarist and Japanese music composer, MASA or Sasaki Masayoshi.  All of the tracks are instrumentals.

Thoughts on the the album

Outside of Ace Combat 5 and Zero, Dynasty Warriors 4 has always been my second favorite OST. The styling of the songs is an eclectic mix of rock, metal, hard rock smattered with traditional Chinese music. Highlighted below are just some of the tracks you’ll hear…

For example, the track titled “Avenging Battle” which is heard in game during the “Battle of Yi Ling”, opens with rolling drums before power chords of guitar come crashing in. Over top of the guitar chord and rolling drums is the sound of trumpet fanfare. This opening builds up into crescendo until the guitar riffs give way to traditional Chinese flute. The flute adds a nice and rather delicate touch. The flute gives way into the chorus of guitar and rolling drums until the flute bridge returns and gives way to a fiery guitar solo.

Another track, such as “In Full Bloom” which is heard in game during the “Battle of Guan Du” opens with little drums before bass and guitar chords sound off one at a time. This builds up into this mellow guitar riff driven track.

The track titled “Eve” is heard throughout gameplay whenever the main player is facing defeat, hence it is known by another name, “Routed”. The track opens with a rapid fire guitar riffs from 2 guitars and another guitar playing just a lone chord along with the bass sounding off. Another track where the energy builds up this time into a synth fused pattern before giving way to the Chinese flute.

Probably the track on this OST that sticks out the most is called “Look Back On Your Way”, the track that plays during the ending that details how you beat the campaign or “Musou” mode. The track goes heavy with the Chinese influences… opening with sound of a gong and flute over top of a guitar riff. The gong is throughout the track and the flute returns at the end of the track to cap it off.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t talk about the two “themes” on the OST. By “theme” I mean, it’s the song that plays throughout that character or army’s campaign. For example, there is the “Theme of Lu Bu -DW Fire Mix-“, which for obviously is heard in game during which this evil badass guy, supercharged character, named Lu Bu appears. I mean evil super villain needs his own theme track, right? Lu Bu’s Theme opens with a guitar slide before charging in with guitar riffs ablaze. The track itself is a pseudo-remix of the opening title track. There is also the “Theme of the Nanman” or otherwise known on the OST as “The Seventh Hardship”. This track can he heard during the “Nanman Campaign” battles. This track features the most Chinese influence.

Conclusion

The producer, MASA, does a hell of a job conveying the emotion throughout the OST and the tracks that can be during battles. From upbeat tracks like “Gaining Ground” and “Parade of Death” to grind it out tracks like “Straight Ahead” to the volatile and more “secretive” tracks like “Interceptor”, “The Wall of Fate”, and “Run Run Run” the OST provides everything you’re looking for in a soundtrack. It has emotion, energy, an excellent fusion of to different cultures of music, and a more diversified sound. Don’t be so quick to judge video game music before you listen to it.

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