Game music of the day: Xenogears

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.

June 4, 2010

Game: Xenogears

Song: Balto

Composer: Yasunori Mitsuda

Above: Balto from Xenogears

It's not often that a million-selling, critically acclaimed RPG fails to spawn a sequel, but that's precisely the case with Xenogears. Despite its lengthy quest, unique visual style and typically excellent soundtrack from Yasunori Mitsuda, it managed to elude Squaresoft's sequel machine. So, it stands to reason that if you weren't around for its debut, you may have missed one of the PlayStation's strongest audio works.

Balto, heard above, is technically not found in Xenogears. Instead, it's from an arranged album called "Creid," which is a robust re-imagining of Xenogear's tunes, though still through the mind of its original composer. The game always had a Celtic/Irish vibe, and Balto really drives it home. The first half is quite somber and laid back, but soon after you'll be pulled in to an upbeat dance that has surely played over more than a few festive jigs.

Above: Fan-made tribute to Xenogears, starring the vocal "Star of Tears"

Full disclosure: I've never played Xenogears. Not once. But I've listened to the soundtrack over and over, a true testament to how strong this OST really is. Mitsuda reportedly collapsed from exhaustion during the creation process; sad news, but the effort is apparent. It's led to two masterful tribute albums, one from OverClocked ReMix and another from The OneUps. Yet through all of these songs, Balto is the one I remember best. It's so happy, so unrelentingly positive that I listen to it any time I'm in a dreadful, unshakable mood.

To date, Xenosaga has never been released in PAL areas, nor has it been released on the PlayStation Network outside of Japan. Get on that, will ya?


Game music of the day: Chrono Cross
Time's Scar, another brilliant piece from Mitsuda


Game music of the day: Wizards & Warriors
Title screen by David Wise


Game music of the day: Star Fox
Ending theme by Hajime Hirasawa


Game music


  • Dill - February 5, 2011 7:07 p.m.

    This is not 8 months old. Oh, God... how time flies :( I've had it bookmarked this long, haha. Great song.
  • garfunkling - July 1, 2010 10:56 p.m.

    played the song. let it go while i browsed. Awesome. Reminds me alot of firefly. Which by the way would have improved an already great show by having mechs
  • DrillurSimpson - June 17, 2010 4:30 a.m.

    @CH3BURASHKA You were right :D Re-listening to all TalkRadar episodes, and this one is in 20.
  • redfang7 - June 12, 2010 9:29 a.m.

    if you can find the ps1 game in a store buy it if it's cheap that is, iv seen it at this pawn shop unopened for like 80 bucks last year.
  • lovinmyps3 - June 5, 2010 8:46 p.m.

    I like that kind of music, so I found it awesome! Makes me wish I'd played the game back in the day.
  • Modroneman - June 5, 2010 8:33 p.m.

    Yes! one of the best RPG's in my opinion. The music is very atmospheric as well! I love this music. Great selection!
  • tayls - June 5, 2010 7:32 p.m.

    Quite easily one of my favorite soundtracks of all time, by one of my favorite composers of all time. Great post! The music is one of the main reasons I was able to get through all...190 hours(?) of this damn game.
  • drunkenfish - June 5, 2010 6:15 p.m.

    says xenosaga in the last sentence Brett
  • CH3BURASHKA - June 5, 2010 5:38 p.m.

    "To date, XENOSAGA has never been released in PAL areas, nor has it been released on the PlayStation Network outside of Japan." You still missed one, Brett!
  • squidhead442 - June 5, 2010 4:24 p.m.

    Dude, I played this game once, but didn't really notice the music. This stuff is AWESOME! Thanks for sharing; I needed something new to listen to. I'm off to find a copy of Creid (hopefully it's not too expen$ive)! Seriously, thanks Brett!
  • TheGodEmperor - June 5, 2010 3:14 p.m.

    You've never played Xenogears? No wonder the explosion list didn't have Xenogears.. cause you guys aren't TRUE gamers :\ disappointing. As soon as it comes to the PSN I expect EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU EDITORS TO PLAY IT! :|
  • fanboyhunter - June 5, 2010 2:40 p.m.

    Thank you Brett this is my favorite game of all time and hearing this so unexpectedly brought a happy tear to my eye.
  • philipshaw - June 5, 2010 10:47 a.m.

    This one of my favorie RPG's and the soundtrack is excellent, you are right in asking for it to be on PSN
  • DrillurSimpson - June 5, 2010 5:49 a.m.

    @kneehighsocks Above the comments and the dig thing, below the main article and the related articles is the tag spot. Click the game music tab :D
  • Tenfey - June 5, 2010 1:58 a.m.

    I borrowed Xenogears from a friend of mine back in the day. It confused me very much. As a result, I remember none of its music. So sorry.
  • NHDragon-151 - June 5, 2010 1:18 a.m.

    Xenogears is a truly excellent game, and i love all of the music in it. It's such a difficult game though, that even playing it sporadically since i was 8 and restarting it twice, i still haven't beat it. Got to pick it up again soon...
  • Metroidhunter32 - June 5, 2010 1:09 a.m.

    That was a calming song. I liked it. Might end up getting the game just for that song.
  • kneehighsocks - June 5, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    Very good song, good job Brett. I listened to this one like three times. Also is there a way to see past GMOTD articles? That would be great. Please and thanks!
  • DrillurSimpson - June 5, 2010 1:01 a.m.

    half-way through, I mean
  • DrillurSimpson - June 5, 2010 12:58 a.m.

    Wow. This is really stunning. My jaw dropped as well as my current task. My last favorite was Super Adventure Island, but this blows even that away :O Great, great job exploiting this. I'm lucky you guys are here to not let me miss anything! I love music and I thought piano was my favorite instrument but this flute thing is up with dat. Wow great drums and beats too

Showing 1-20 of 31 comments

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