Title: Schwarzweiß | Artist: Shimotsuki Haruka & REVO | Game: Atelier Iris 3: Grand Phantasm

Description: Atelier Iris 3 opens with this lovely piece. The Iris trilogy is much more of a standard JRPG than the rest of the Atelier franchise, so it’s a bit of an outlier. This game is definitely a mixed bag; the combat system and class combos are really fun and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous, but the dungeon crawling is terrible and the plot is pretty uninspired. Basically, this is a game you play for the combat and the world it’s in, not the people you meet. The music though, being an Atelier game, is fantastic overall.

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Why You Picked It: I’m doing a two-month series of game tunes here, and this is one of my favorite ones that doesn’t involve a conlang. Speaking of which, the artist here is also one of the main singers in the Ar Tonelico series (also by Gust, so no big surprise there), and she does a fantastic job with this song. There’s a bit of foreshadowing and namedropping in it, but the opening is actually the second verse. The full version of the song has a whole lot more ties to the actual story.

I really like what REVO did with the chorus in this song; it sets the mood right off the bat. The animation is brilliant too, taking what little worth you can get out of the game’s admittedly bland cast and shaking it up with the incredible scenery-porn. The song builds up to a tidal wave and then crashes in with the refrain as the opening ends, which is always one of my favorite pacing tricks.

Also, get ready for more Gust game music, cause October is gonna be fun from my end.