Castlevania: Lords of Shadow on Top Score

by Emily Reese, Minnesota Public Radio
October 31, 2013
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ST. PAUL, Minn. — There are more than thirty games in the Castlevania franchise. Tim Turi has played every single one, many of them more than once. He's a bit of a Castlevania nut.

Turi is a Senior Associate Editor for Game Informer magazine. He joined me to talk about the music in the Castlevania series of games.

Spanish composer Oscar Araujo wrote the soundtrack for the newest game in the series, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

Araujo used a giant orchestra; the 120-strong Bratislava Symphony Orchestra and a 25-piece choir. The symphony plays boldly with a brass section reminiscent of the Solti Chicago Symphony days.

That boldness is expected in a Gothic castle game full of monster slaying. What surprised me about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow are the many moments of calm.

Moments like "Waterfalls of Agharta", with its lovely pastoral harp and light strings.

Then there are pieces like "Cornell", in which Araujo combines the lighter side of the massive ensemble with the strong-voiced choir and sweeping brass.

Speaking of brass, the end of "The Warg" has an amazing fanfare. It begins at 2:55.

Quite a change from the days of 8-bit music, where the series began. Tim Turi picked out several of his favorite tracks from the past.

His favorite track from the first game is called "Heart of Fire". He likes what happens at 0:34.

From the Famicom version of Castlevania III, Turi likes the shift in the opening moments from spooky to sunny:

This is "Reincarnated Soul" from Castlevania: Bloodlines, which demonstrates the quirky sound of the Sega Genesis.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night includes harpsichord and string sounds.

There's a spicy, vaudevillian waltz in Castlevania 64:

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