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Thematically, Skies of Arcadia was the sequel that Grandia never had. It was a game about friendship and adventure with an amazing soundtrack that culminated in and ending theme that can always put a smile on my face.
I admit that there isn’t a lot of original material in Skies of Arcadia. In fact, the game’s plot is almost a checklist of RPG clichés. Teenage heroes? Check. Mysterious girl? Check. Evil empire searching for an ancient power source to rule the world? Check. But that is where part of Skies of Arcadia’s charm lies.
The teenage heroes, Vyse and Aika, meet the mysterious girl, Fina, and embark on an adventure to save the world. It’s a classic story that invokes a feeling of adventure, discovery and above all else, nostalgia, and that's what makes the ending theme so special.
The ending theme is largely a recapitulation of Skies of Arcadia’s main theme, and it plays as the credits roll and each member of the crew is given a short epilogue. As each crew member’s name and picture appear on screen, I recall something about that character, a first meeting or a funny scene, and that sense of nostalgia always makes me smile.
Finally, after each crew member is shown, it comes time for the main characters’ due, and as the song reaches its crescendo, in my gut I get this sudden urge to laugh, but sometimes I pop a tear instead.
At times dramatic, whimsical, and gloomy, Skies of Arcadia’s ending theme is the perfectly nostalgic happy ending to a realized dream. It is the only song that will make me smile, no matter my mood, and it is the only