Music to My Ears: Menu Theme (Ys VIII)

You’re not seeing double — I covered a similar but different theme last year. But since I purchased a Nintendo Switch over the weekend (figuring the only chance I have to play games is with a system that’s portable), I’m finally getting the chance to jump into the Ys series for the first time.

Falcom has been rising up my charts lately because of their work on Trails of Cold Steel, which we’ve pimped out pretty thoroughly on this site and especially on our YouTube channel with full playthroughs. Ys has always existed on my periphery, a classic, underappreciated RPG staple that’s never reached the lofty heights of a Final Fantasy or a Fire Emblem. Everything I’ve read has said that while the games share some mechanics and a protagonist, you can jump in pretty much anywhere without worrying too much about missing some massive, elaborate, overarching plot.

I’m only a couple hours into the game so far, but it seems like a perfect Switch title — you can play for a bit, then put the system in sleep and jump right back in at the next opportunity. The visuals are striking and clean, and the voice acting in the early going isn’t too bad. One of the reasons I put off playing Ys VIII was to give the game time to release its improved localization; supposedly, the original has all sorts of strange English phrasing and clunky dialogue. I think that might’ve hurt my chances of enjoying my first foray into Ys, so hopefully that pays dividends.

Below are the two versions of this theme from early in the game: the menu theme, and the one from the previous post that plays with the intro. Now the intro is here for beautiful visual purposes. The menu version is pretty cool on its own — it doesn’t have the ebb and flow of the intro video’s version, but that consistent volume kinda just lets the song shine on its own merits. Check out both, though, because they’re neat.

Menu Theme (Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana)

Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.

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