Now, here is a post that i have been wanting to write for a long time. Anyone who knows me well, knows i have a somewhat large obsession with a PS1 game called Ape Escape. Now i will discuss the gameplay of this masterpiece another day, because today i plan to discuss one of my favorite aspects of the game, the soundtrack!
The Ape Escape soundtrack wasn’t thought of much during development, until some of the producers heard one of Soichi Teradas tracks: Sumo Jungle. Note, at the time, Drum and Bass as we know it, wasn’t a huge scene, and Soichi was a pretty big boy in the industry. They wanted him to make a soundtrack for their game that would sound a lot like Sumo Jungle and also incorporate some niches from the levels they were designing. So Soichi got to work, and released 2 of the best OST’s i have ever heard. The Original Ape Escape OST, which i cannot find a good version of anywhere that is of an acceptable volume, and the Originape Soundtrack that he released when Ape Escape was remade for the PSP in 2011.
Comparison of the Soundtracks
Personally, i feel i prefer some tracks from Originape, and some tracks from the original OST.
An example of a track which i much prefer from the original soundtrack would be “Primordial Ooze” or “Rainy lake” which is the NTSC name of the level. The Original trumps Originape here as it has an extra layer that Soichi left out of the remake. It is just a nice descending arpeggio that descends 3 octaves. It just gives the entire track a more “Waterfall like” feeling and just a lot more character overall. I would honestly say, Primordial Ooze is one the songs that I feel the most. It is definitely worth a listen if you haven’t heard it before.
A perfect set of examples which are better on the Originape version are all the Ice Tracks, but most specifically “Snowy Mammoth” where he has added a lot more vibrato to the notes, which really gives the entire track a more, “Shivery” feeling compared to the original. The original is still pretty good, but the newer version just has more shimmery highs to give a much nicer feel to the song, and really make it feel like a snow level. It’s also important to know here, that none of the ice tracks (to my knowledge) have an excessive use of sleigh bells to get across the snowy theme. They are occasionally used along with the hats, but not to a heavy extent.
What tracks are good?
Now would be a good time to discuss, what actually are the good tracks on the Ape Escape soundtrack. And i do not actually have an answer for you. All the tracks, Whilst all being Drum and Bass, have significantly different feels and styles. If i were to give 5 which i think are pretty good, In no order, I would chose
- Primordial Ooze
- Thick Jungle (River)
- Fossil Field
- Cryptic Relics
- Monkey Madness
I didn’t actually mention the “Theme” of the game in there, which is called Crabby Beach, mainly because i don’t think it is one of the best tracks in the game.
Primordial Ooze, as i mentioned before is a very relaxing track that is more repetitive than most. Listen to it with some kind of rain and i honestly think it will blow you away.
Thick Jungle (River) is essentially a very zen filled track with what i can only describe as the prettiest set of cascading chords i have ever heard. It is also quite repetitive, but has a lot of false lead ins and such which i enjoy a lot.
Fossil Field is the music that plays in the very first level in the game. It is an incredibly bouncy track that has a little bit of a swing to it. It also has one of the more interesting drum breaks that can be found on this soundtrack. It uses a lot of dancing rhythms and some not so normal ones to push the track forwards from point A, to point B and onwards to point C. This is certainly one of the few tracks on the Soundtrack that follow a more traditional pop style song structure as it has 2 verses before the chorus.
Cryptic Relics is an incredibly dissonant song with some vocaloid work. I have read somewhere before that the vocaloid work is a very early version of Hatsuke Miku however, i am not sure how true those claims are. This song is filled with ascending notes at seemingly uncountable time intervals. This song is one of the others in the Soundtrack to have a nice drum break to break the song up a bit to make it seem a little less repetitive. This song isn’t overly relaxing to listen to, but i think that is kind of the charm of it.
The last of the recommended songs is called Monkey Madness. This is a somewhat mid tempo Carnival-esque kind of track. This is another one of those very A-B-A-B-C-A Structures tunes, so it does get a little boring, although it is a very well written time in my own opinion
I liked those, Is there anything else he has done that is worth looking in to
To be honest, its quite hard to find any of Soichis other work that isn’t too weird for me. But Sumo Jungle is incredibly good, and there are a lot of people who do Ape Escape styled tracks on soundcloud or Youtube that you could find without too much trouble if you were so inclined
I hated all of that
Nice pal. Nice
Is that a raincoat?
Yes! It is!
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