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Shining the Holy Ark

We all may remember Shining the Holy Ark as an updated Shining in the Darkness.  Both shared the first-person perspective, both shared the same dungeon-crawling gameplay mechanics, and both had very good musical scores.  But while it may not have been first, Shining the Holy Ark was a solid addition to the series, and the music was one of the stand-out features.  

Composed by Motoi Sakuraba, the music creates a chivalric mood right from the start.  On Youtube, Forgivenrocker commented that the title screen music made him "feel like a knight… ."  I know just what he means!  The notes are steady and purposeful, very much like the attitude of a knight… a knight on a mission.

When the game begins, and you're walking through the mines to fight Rodi, the music moves up and down the scales almost proportionately.  As I listened to it and tried to figure out why this seems to fit so well, I had the thought that it's like progressing, and then facing a setback, and then working your way out of that setback, and progressing again.  In a sense, it captures what going on an adventure is really all about: you face your share of triumphs and snags.

After long hours of playing this game back in the 90's, the battle music would start to make me laugh.  It's single note, sort of crazy, hard rock opening would pop on randomly as you're working through the dungeon, and the enemy, some weird crab looking thing or something, would slide out from the side of the screen, and then it's on!  It was actually pretty good music though, and seemed to move seamlessly in and out of the level music.   


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