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Musical Favorites From All Games / "All-Star Soundtrack"Topic%20Title


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Being a huge music nerd, I can't stop thinking and/or enthusing about the wide range of Ace Attorney soundtracks. There are so many games now - each with their own, (mostly) unique versions of the same situational themes - that it's getting hard to keep track!

Nevertheless, if you were going to throw together an "All-Star" Ace Attorney game that spanned across the entire series, implementing the best aspects of each game, what would that game's soundtrack look like in your opinion? All music from all games is a go, including the Layton crossover. Check the end of the post for a template.

I'll start!

Defendant Lobby: AA1, definitely, though AJ is a close second. All themes following it were either too dramatic or not dramatic enough; or didn't evoke that same feeling of "this is the calm before the storm - I'm ready and confident in my abilities, but nobody can tell what will come to light in that courtroom today" that AA1's does. Most of the themes are good overall, but lack on that "I'm ready and confident in my abilities" part, which AA1 just perfectly nails. T&T's is an example of one that's just a bit too dark, while JFA's feels more like a "the storm has passed" instead of a "the storm is coming" - and it's even used like that in T&T. And, uh, DD's doesn't seem to know what it wants to be at all; most forgettable one in the series.

Court Begins: Gotta say, DD's is definitely my favorite version of this. It "sounds like court" - like you're standing in a court of law, about to decide the defendant's destiny, unknowing of what might happen, with all eyes on you... it's probably the orchestration, particularly the usage of horns, trombones and organs, all of which have the "traditional, classic" feel that fits the ambience of the courtroom. JFA's also "sounds like court", due to it's use of similar instruments in chiptune, and has a similarly foreboding feel. Sad to say that AA1's is actually my least favorite version of this theme; just doesn't get me pumped at all.

CE Moderato: This one's extremely difficult to pick for me. It's neck-and-neck between JFA's, DD's and SoJ's. JFA's just has something calming, yet foreboding, yet intriguing about it; it's also, if I'm not mistaken, the only CE theme to actually feature a harp, which seems like the perfect instrument to convey such a feeling. DD's and SoJ's, being similarly instrumentalized, both feel like great "thinking music" that is intriguing enough to make you want to find the solution to the riddle, not overly dramatic, but also conveying a sense of urgency and importance to what's currently going on, which is the part that JFA's lacks a little bit. Ultimately, I'll go for SoJ here, if only for the fantastic bridge before the loop that slowly and steadily builds itself (and tension) up before neatly transitioning back to the beginning of the piece; it feels to me like it's building to that one moment where I hit that present button and fling my finger at the witness. Fantastically foreboding.

Logic: As much as I love DD's drum track of this, I'll go with JFA/T&T's version here. AA1's and AJ's personally make me fall asleep, the AAI ones - while fantastic in their own regard - don't translate well to the courtroom, and every other game seems to have lost the spirit of the theme somewhat. Nothing beats JFA/T&T's feeling of figuring out what's happening, has happened, or potentially even will happen, along with just the right amount of urgency sprinkled in.

Objection: I love Athena's objection theme; the one from DD moreso than the one from SoJ, which went a bit overboard in its grandieur. It has the same quality as Apollo's renditions, in that it isn't exactly happy or overly triumphant - as almost all other Objection themes in the series are - but actually kinda dark in places! It knows how to build itself, to not go overboard on conveying any single feeling of "gotcha", "I did well", "this isn't the end yet", and "what could this mean" while still managing to convey every one of them at some point during its run, and effectively climaxes before decaying back down and bridging for the loop. Meanwhile, SoJ's went overboard on every of those feelings, all the while adding pretty much nothing new to the theme itself, which is why DD's clearly wins out here. It knows how to pace itself and keep itself in moderation, and that's why it's so effective.

CE Allegro: T&T. Hands down. Nothing comes even remotely close to beating it, and there isn't much to say about it. No other theme makes me feel as tense as this one.

Pursuit: Even though it's insanely dark, this is my absolute favorite Pursuit theme, and, in fact, one of my favorite pieces of video game music of all time - PLvsAA's Spell-Breaker. No other pursuit theme has ever managed to send as devastating and enormous of a chill down my spine as this one when I'd first heard it, and it remains a fantastic example of why JFA's pursuit theme was great as well - because it's not all about celebrating yourself, but about realizing that shit is really, really, really going to go down now. It's the release of an entire trial's worth of despair, mystery, intrigue and determination, and it's a definite sign that things will be coming to a close soon. It's also why T&T's Pursuit theme is probably my least favorite - it's just far too happy. I'm saddened by the fact that Spell-Breaker seems to end up fairly low on most lists, but for me, nothing exemplifies the feeling a Pursuit theme should convey quite as well as this one.

Confess the Truth: PLvsAA's, DGS's and SoJ's are all fantastic, mostly because of their very effective progression. They start reserved, build up dramatically, climax and wind down and basically tell a story of the lawyer who has just realized that something's very, very wrong with this case. SoJ's is a tad too reserved for me, though - it keeps itself in the background, even though a shocking revelation should have a bit more "oomph" to it, though I definitely like the gloomy and foreboding atmosphere it ends up creating. DGS's actually veers into "happy" or "relieved" territory at certain places, which personally doesn't fit into a Confess the Truth theme for me at all - so, the winner is PLvsAA. It starts ominously, brings in the oomph, then bridges into a "what could this mean" bridge before winding back down for the loop. I will say, though, that my choice is insanely close between DGS and PLvsAA.

Jingle: I like DD's. It gets me pumped. It's the perfect "AND NOW, A WORD FROM OUR SPONSORS!" theme. Let's go with DD's.

Investigation - Opening: Once more, DD's rendition of this is pretty fitting to the overall feel of the situation. Something has just happened! We have no idea what. We know that someone died! We have no idea how. Previous themes were way too happy or laid-back for the fact that we were investigating a crime (such as AA1's - and I can't even describe how silly JFA's sounded). Again, the AAI versions are fantastic on their own, but don't really translate well to the court-focused gameplay of the main line. And while DGS is certainly my musical favorite out of all of them - by far - it doesn't quite fit the bill thematically, so DD it is. DGS's would probably be a pretty great Investigation Middle theme, now that I think about it.

Detention Center: Phew, this one's actually pretty difficult. I feel like all Detention Center themes do their job pretty well, truth be told, and it's difficult to pick out my favorite. Though on a whim, I'd say T&T, since it feels just a tad more desperate and hopeless than the others without being overblowingly dramatic (like SoJ's Japanifornia one).

Investigation - Core: It's extremely difficult to choose between JFA's and SoJ's here. The former is just pure evil, the latter is just pure drama - and I have no idea which one I'd prefer, because they're both pretty much perfect. I'm so glad SoJ came back with a phenomenal Core theme (in Japanifornia) after the cow pat that was DD's, so I'm inclined to give this to SoJ... though, honestly, they're both great. Let's just take both, then.

Victory: Once again, it's fairly difficult to decide for one of my three favorites - AA1, T&T, SoJ and DGS. They're probably the most bittersweet out of the whole bunch, which is something I greatly value - a victory theme isn't just "yeehaw, we won!", it's also "but there was something important that was lost". DD's completely ran that aspect into the wall, while SoJ once more managed to pick the numerous utterly destroyed pieces DD left behind back up and come out with a great new fitting theme. Overall, though, I feel T&T's is the best one out of those four. It finds the perfect balance between bitter and sweet, so to say.

That should be about it. Not sure if I forgot an important theme from the "standard suite" in that list, but those were all that I could think of at the moment. I'd love to hear what everyone else thinks.

Defendant Lobby: AA1
Court Begins: DD
CE Moderato: SoJ
Logic: JFA/T&T
Objection: DD Athena
CE Allegro: T&T
Pursuit: PLvsAA (Labyrinthia)
Confess the Truth: PLvsAA (Labyrinthia)
Jingle: DD
Investigation - Opening: DD
Detention Center: T&T
Investigation - Core: JFA & SoJ
Victory: T&T

[b]Courtroom Lobby:[/b]
[b]Court Begins:[/b]
[b]CE Moderato:[/b]
[b]CE Allegro:[/b]
[b]Confess the Truth:[/b]
[b]Investigation - Opening:[/b]
[b]Detention Center:[/b]
[b]Investigation - Core:[/b]
Re: Musical Favorites From All Games / "All-Star Soundtrack"Topic%20Title
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What, no reminisce?
I've heard rumors… Bramimond, one of the eight legends, devoted himself entirely to the dark. All emotion, all memory… dissolved in a river of dark. That is how he received the power to best dragons
Re: Musical Favorites From All Games / "All-Star Soundtrack"Topic%20Title
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Courtroom Lobby: The T&T one is one of my favourite AA-tracks ever, but I agree it is very dark, and feels very specific to the T&T atmosphere, so for a game I say AJ.
Court Begins: AJ again. It has a very "it begins now" feeling, and a little omnious.
CE Moderato: DD. The only moderato theme I genuinely enjoy listening to.
Logic: PW
Objection: AJ
CE Allegro: AJ
Pursuit: SoJ
Confess the Truth: SoJ
Jingle: PW
Investigation - Opening: JFA (and if there's an Investigation Middle: AAI)
Detention Center: JFA
Investigation - Core: Gosh, this is hard because I adore most of them. Both SoJ ones, AJ, PW... and JFA but I connect it so much to THAT moment in 2-4 so I don't really wanna hear it in games after that (looking at you, T&T). I think I'll go with PW. It's classic and perfectly captures the "holy shit I found something crucial"-feeling.
Victory[/code][/quote] AAI
(......Ack! I've run out of snide comments!)

Last edited by Going for Miles on Sat Oct 08, 2016 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Re: Musical Favorites From All Games / "All-Star Soundtrack"Topic%20Title

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Okay, I'll bite. But before I go into which track I think does its job best in each game I would like to say that every game has the perfect music for the situations it plays in. Also, I'm going to add a few more themes to what's been provided to be more inclusive of the great themes in the series. Anyway, without further ado:

Prologue: Justice for All ~ Prologue. I know this one isn't original to the game, but it's an absolutely brilliant usage of Toccata and Fugue. It's usage in the nightmare sequence and the villain's reveal and breakdown is just bone-chilling, and I love it.

Courtroom Lobby: Courtroom Lobby ~ Prelude to the Future (DD). These themes are meant to signify a sort of "calm before the storm", and this theme does that marvelously. The slow beat and flowing melody are quite calming and help to signify the lawyers preparing themselves for the upcoming trial.

Court Begins: Justice for All ~ Court Begins. These themes are meant to get you ready to take on your adversary in court. This particular one sets the stage for that spectacularly. Its intimidating nature not only gets you ready for the coming face-off, but it also lets you know this is a place where the truth will be revealed, no matter who may try to hide it.

Prosecutor/Rival Theme: Simon Blackquill ~ Twisted Samurai. While I enjoy Great Revival and The Fragrance of Dark Coffee as much as the next guy, Twisted Samurai sums up Blackquill's character so well. It's dark and foreboding, but also flows quite smoothly. It's also more intimidating than almost every other rival theme (Goddess of Law being the exception), making you actually wary of your opponent in a way no other prosecutor theme does.

CE Moderato: Cross-Examination ~ Moderato 2002. The moderato theme is meant to be a slow start to unraveling the case. This theme does that absolutely perfectly. It almost feels like you're waltzing with the witness, picking apart their testimony very carefully to expose the truth.

Logic: Trance Logic (AJ). I don't really care much for the Logic themes, but this one does a spectacular job at conveying the characters' thought process into sound. Its usage when something odd is being explained bit by bit is really well done.

Objection: Athena Cykes ~ Courtroom Révolutionnaire 2016. Objection themes need to give an air of confidence, considering their usage. This theme does a phenomenal job of making the player feel like they're on the right track and that victory is within reach. My only complaint is that it doesn't get much of a chance to shine.

CE Allegro: Cross-Examination ~ Allegro 2001. The allegro theme is meant to signify that you have the witness on the ropes and that one small push may be enough to completely crack the case. The original version of it does that absolutely perfectly. The more frantic baseline gives a feeling of urgency as well as fear from the witness. Also, it's just so satisfying to hear it stop when you present the right evidence.

Pursuit: Pursuit ~ Wanting to Find the Truth. Pursuit themes are meant to be triumphant and victorious. In my opinion, the theme from Prosecutor's Path encapsulates that better than any other Pursuit theme thus far. It really makes you feel like you've got your opponent on the ropes and you're about to break them down. It kicks all the ass.

Confess the Truth: Confess the Truth 2011. This theme really gets you feeling like you're closing in on the truth. The tempo and melody along with the revelations given when it plays mix to give the player a feeling that justice will soon be served, and when it plays in the lead-up to a breakdown, it's even more satisfying.

Jingle: Jingle ~ Can't Sleep on a Night Like This (JFA). I don't consider the Jingles to be significant in any way and typically ignore them. I don't really like any one of them more than the others. I picked this one because of its title and how it portrays how I usually play Ace Attorney.

Reminiscence: Turnabout Sisters ~ Music Box Melody. I don't know if it counts as a Reminiscence theme per se, but I'm including it here. The main job of a Reminiscence theme is to make the player feel sorrow and sympathy for the characters. This theme is one of very few in the series that actually made me tear up. Granted, I knew there was no way they would actually go through with what they did, but I still felt sorrow for Phoenix. That's the mark of a great theme.

Investigation - Opening: Investigation ~ Opening 2004. This theme gets you in the mood for investigating. The Opening themes are meant to signify that you're just starting your investigation, and this theme does that quite well. The laid-back nature of it lets the player know that nothing major is likely to happen soon, and gives them a chance to relax before things go pear-shaped.

Assistant Theme: Pearl Fey ~ With Pearly 2013. What I love about this theme is that it takes the original and makes it sound more "mature". While the original was very happy-go-lucky and childlike, the remix is more down-to-earth while still retaining the upbeat nature of the original. It's almost as though the theme grew with the character.

Witness Theme: Sebastian Debeste ~ The Best Farewell. I'm including this here because at that point, he's not a rival anymore. This theme is just awesome. It shows just how much Sebastian has grown as a character, and its stark contrast with his other theme just goes to further amplify the fact. I also love it from a technical standpoint, with the counterpoint between cello and violin.

Villain Theme: [SPOILER] ~ The Enemy Who Surpasses the Law. I love this theme. While most other villain themes are meant to simply encapsulate the character, this one is much more foreboding than most. It actually makes you feel that they are nigh untouchable and there is very little you can do about it. It makes you apprehensive of what is to come.

Detention Center: Detention Center ~ Elegy of the Captured (T&T). These themes are meant to make you feel sympathy for the defendant. This one does it better than any other. It's easily one of the saddest themes in the series, only beaten out by Reminiscence themes.

Investigation - Core: Investigation ~ Core 2002. This one comes down almost entirely to its usage for one of the most dramatic reveals in the series. The Core themes are meant to signify that the poop has just hit the fan, and this one does that spectacularly. The reveal was marvelously done, and this theme does it so much justice.

Victory: Solution! ~ Splendid Deduction (AAI). Again, this type of theme is another I don't really care for, but this one definitely gives you a feeling that you solved the case. It just feels more victorious to me than any of the other themes. I know these themes are meant as a wind-down, but this one feels more conclusive.

End: Dual Destinies ~ End. This one was a toss-up between DD and SOJ. While both give a feeling of closure to the whole story, I feel this one does a better job at giving the player a feeling of satisfaction at having completed the story. That, and the Objection! 2001 remix in the middle has so much nostalgia value.
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Re: Musical Favorites From All Games / "All-Star Soundtrack"Topic%20Title
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Prologue: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations ~ Prologue. It's catchy.

Pursuit: Pursuit ~ Lying Coldly. Best Ace Attorney song ever. It's very catchy, and makes you hyped!

Objection: Phoenix Wright ~ Objection! 2004. It's very catchy, even if I don't think of someone saying "Objection!" when I hear it.

Character: Luke Atmey ~ Look at Me. Catchiest Ace Attorney song ever.

Prosecutor: Godot ~ The Fragrance of Dark-Colored Coffee. It fits his personality so well, even if I don't like jazz music!

Jingle: Jingle ~ It Doesn't End Here. The best of the jingles.

Confess The Truth: Confess the Truth 2009. It's epic and catchy.
Currently Playing: Case 5-5

Do you want to know where an instrument sample that was used in Ace Attorney music was sampled from? Check out my VGM Instrument Source Table!
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