The MUSIC of KINGDOM HEARTS III



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Face My Fears

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I was thinking about the music of KH3 today because I realized that aside from Face My Fears and Don't Think Twice, I don't have any KH3 songs to listen to on my iPhone. Then I tried to remember any particular new tracks that stood out (besides the Disney world tracks) and I couldn't really think of any besides the Gummi Ship music and Scala Ad Caelum. Most of the music felt like remixes of old songs which I have no problem with, but do you all think there should have been more new songs in KH3?

Maybe it's just my memory and/or the fact that the OST hasn't been released yet so I can't listen to all the songs from KH3, but do you all think there should have been more new music for main story characters/situations?
 

Zettaflare

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I was okay with the remixed themes for the most part. The only time I really wished there was an entirely new score was the final boss theme for Master Xehanort.

I would have preferred something different than a rearrangement of Rage Awakened.
 

Twilight Lumiair

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In general, I never found the majority of KH3's original tracks to be all that memorable, and it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say I can't recall 85-90% of them. Ironically, the remixes and medley's stand out far more to me than any new peices, which isn't normally the case for me with the other KH titles. ... Maybe Scala's initial music, but that hardly got used in the end.

Not to say I felt any tracks were particularly bad per se (that would've still made them memorable, just in a negative way), but nothing special. When I personally think of KH Frozen music, my mind still immediately jumps to BlueNctrn's fanmade tracks over what we got in the actual game.

 
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FudgemintGuardian

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Scala ad Caelum's theme is so slappin' it slaps the other themes out of my head. Wish it was the battle theme, at the very least for the high heel-wearing dudes.

Unfortunately, the majority of KH3's new tracks are just not all that memorable. Which saddens me more considering how well the franchise did previously.

I was okay with the remixed themes for the most part. The only time I really wished there was an entirely new score was the final boss theme for Master Xehanort.

I would have preferred something different than a rearrangement of Rage Awakened.
This annoyed me so much. This was the old goat's final big battle. He deserved more than that.
 

disney233

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So does that mean I'm the only one that actually like these tracks? Because personally, I'd say KH3 music is average...but it's still damn catchy.

And these two are at the top of my list like...HOLY I LOVE these themes. Favorite song of my favorite world AND epic-as hell boss in KH3.

And lastly...who can REALLY forget this tune? Most people believe it should've played during the Final Boss with Xehanort...which is understandable, I mean...Yoko went all out with this one.


Anyway, like I said, the songs in KH3 weren't AS memorable...but really, they got some really banger songs in there. I kinda prefer Arendelle's soundtrack in KH3 more than Blu's but that' really my opinion.
 

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For me, there isn't enough in the way of memorable moments throughout KH3 for the music to have made an impact. I'm sure if I listened through some of the field & battle themes in isolation I would enjoy them well enough for what they are, but the real attachment to previous soundtracks in the series has stemmed from how strongly certain songs can be associated with narrative and character moments in my mind. Hearing Shimomura's music help carry a scene by creating atmosphere, building tension or driving an emotional resonance was one of the joys of previous KH games, but here the lack of a real sense of intention behind the soundtrack is reflective of how flaccid and disengaged the game was in its whole experience. Shimomura has already talked at length about how she gets her notes on how to compose for the games from Nomura himself, so.

Even the recycling and rearrangements of old songs don't feel particularly exciting in their selection and execution. Tour de forces like Vector to the Heavens, The Other Promise, and the previously mentioned Rage Awakened feel unceremoniously tossed in due to weak context, while iconic character tracks like Kairi's, Aqua's, Ven's, etc. are effectively (or actually?) absent due to the narrative constraints surrounding them. And we didn't get a theme for Axel or other obvious supporting cast choices like the Apprentices and Ansem the Wise. Much like the story, it feels as though there's a gap in the material that might have been filled with more time and care.

Not to say I felt any tracks were particularly bad per se (that would've still made them memorable, just in a negative way), but nothing special. When I personally think of KH Frozen music, my mind still immediately jumps to BlueNctrn's fanmade tracks over what we got in the actual game.
I'm not really a fan of Frozen's music but those are pretty nice. They give off a charming, classic-FF vibe, while still retaining the Disney motif. I honestly can't recall what KH3's actual Arendelle tracks sound like, other than "snow level."

So does that mean I'm the only one that actually like these tracks?
I don't get the sense that people dislike KH3's soundtrack, so much as there's a feeling that there just isn't much to dig into outside of a select few pieces. This post is a good example of what I mean, actually. For instance, the Ansem, YX and Xemnas boss fight medley is just a remix of themes from previous games that were already strong on their own, and personally I didn't get any joy (or challenge, but that was deliberate on my end) out of that fight. It strikes me as a bland mashup of supercharged moves coming at the player so fast that nothing stands out (set against the dullest possible backdrop), positioned at the tail end of a gimmicky "boss gauntlet" rife with mismanaged plot beats that had long exhausted my patience with the whole game's motif of style over substance. I was paying more attention to my watch than the music at that point.

Meanwhile the Tangled battle theme is fun and nice but if you played it to me without indicating which world (or even which game) it was from I would probably have to use process of elimination to figure it out. There's no spark there that jogs the memory. The music is not bad, it's just paired up with really forgettable content.
 

Twilight Lumiair

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And lastly...who can REALLY forget this tune? Most people believe it should've played during the Final Boss with Xehanort...which is understandable, I mean...Yoko went all out with this one.

Actually, wasn't it stated in a recent interview that Yoko didn't compose this particular peice? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was another of the composers working on KH3's soundtrack.

Anyway, that might be one of the only tracks I legitimately remember in the game. My overwhelming indifference primarily lies with the new/original music, but certain remixes and medley's of old classics (like this track for instance) were surprisingly entertaining and fun to listen to in isolation. The new orchestration of Enter The Darkness is another one I really like, but mainly because it's original incarnation was already one of my favorites, and this was just a new take take on that track.


Another one of the few tracks that I can remember relatively well is the combination of The Other Promise & Vector to The Heavens that plays at the end of the game. Similar to the trio Xehanort track, this is just a mash up of some of the most memorable songs in the series, so it's pretty hard not to remember them by extension (which is why I tend to view tracks like that separately to the more original scores).



Edit:
The music is not bad, it's just paired up with really forgettable content.
Very good point made here actually. Ignoring the context is bassically the only way I can enjoy any of these tracks half as much as I do, and I already only like a few of them as it is.
 
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AR829038

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I mean, I personally disagree with the premise that the songs in KH3 were somehow more forgettable. I actually remember almost all of them quite well, enough so that if you were to play me a random one I might easily identify the world and the context it comes from. And I've only played the game a single time through so far (will play 2nd when ReMIND comes out, of course). Now, granted, few of the new songs are as recognizable as a lot of the ones from earlier titles, but to be fair, I think a good amount of that does come down to nostalgia and the relative simplicity of the scores from the PS2 games. These songs were made with big orchestras, and there are a lot more moving parts to them than we've been used to in this series, so that can kind of dilute the melodies in certain cases. Otherwise, I still think the original pieces (particularly Scala) that we got were still really good. Maybe not as good as KH1 or 2, certainly not, but still good.
That is, actually, with the exception of the intro song, Face My Fears. I originally liked it, but after hearing it a number of more times, the more I wish that Skrillex had had no part in it. I love the parts that Utada sings, but the dubstep really does kill the song for me. It's actually really the only song from the game that I didn't like very much, especially when compared to Don't Think Twice.
 

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Actually, wasn't it stated in a recent interview that Yoko didn't compose this particular peice? Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought it was another of the composers working on KH3's soundtrack.
You're on the right track. Technically Yoko is credited for this piece but there was no new composition for it. Instead, Keiji Kawamori took the battle themes she composed for these bosses in previous games and rearranged them to create this BEAST.
 

NoWay

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KH3’s soundtrack is my favorite OST ever!

I really love all tracks but especially these ones:

- Corona Field & Battle Theme
- Mount Olympus Field & Battle Theme + the new versions of The Deep End where you climb the mountain
- Toy Box Battle Theme
- The Caribbean Field & Battle Theme, Port Royal and especially the sailing/Leviathan theme
- San Fransokyo Day Field Theme
- The Final World
- Anti Aqua Battle Theme
- YX/Ansem/Xemnas Theme
- Scala Ad Caelum (the second field theme)
- and all Xehanort tracks especially the first one where you fight the 13 Seekers

The final battle tracks for Xehanort belong to my favorite battle themes ever and I’m so happy about having them/enjoying them so much. :)
 

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I like KH3's soundtrack. Based on my experience playing the game, I'd say they focused more on the feeling the song gives the player, rather than just making the melody something memorable. Whether this is a good move is totally subjective, but I found it pretty effective throughout the Disney worlds. The songs made me feel the same energy as the movies the worlds were based on. Ultimately, though, I was disappointed when there were so few new pieces for the KH original characters/worlds/etc.

A general gripe I have with KH3's soundtrack in general, and part of why I think the new tracks aren't as memorable, is the blending of the orchestra. I haven't given any new pieces other than the theme songs and Scala an isolated listen, but I remember playing the game and being irritated at how hard it is to pick out one specific main melody. I've been playing in band and orchestra for 10 years now, and directors LOVE to tell us to blend our sound. It's very evident that that was the direction taken for the recording of the KH3 soundtrack, because while the sound of each track is cohesive, it sounds like it's a homogeneous block, rather than a layered and complex track. This may have been the goal of previous games' scores, but it didn't really show because of limited soundfonts/soundchips if I'm not mistaken. I believe KH3 is the first full KH game to have an orchestral score, so it's the first one to have this kind of sound quality/"problem." (I hesitate to not put quotes around that, in case someone DOES prefer a blended sound.) I think 0.2 might have had an orchestral score too, but I don't remember the sound being too homogeneous. It might have to do with the fact that most of the tracks were rearrangements of previous tracks, which are already iconic, and thus the balance can't be fiddled with too much at risk of making them sound too different; that's definitely the feeling I get from the orchestral soundtracks for 1.5 and 2.5, which have a more blended sound than the original PS2/PSP releases, but still have audible layers, some of which even make previously buried parts shine! Special mention to the guitar in Lazy Afternoons here, I love you, thank you 2.5 for letting me finally hear it clearly 🧡

Basically, though, this is a very, VERY niche complaint. It's just been on my mind ever since KHO World of Tres' sad excuse for L'Impeto Oscuro, where the first violin was not playing NEARLY loud enough during the violin-cello counterpoint duet. Y'know, the sexy violin part where the violin is supposed to shine? Instead of going ham, the way any musician should when playing Yoko Shimomura's music, the first violin's sound just... blended in with the rest of the orchestra. I was already not expecting much from the cello, given its low register, but I was seriously disappointed by the first. Violin. Basically the star of the orchestra... and you don't stand out during your solo???? Yeesh. Young Xehanort himself would never.

TL;DR KH3's soundtrack is better at making you feel than being an earworm, but a lot of its non-memorableness comes from an overly blended orchestra which masks any parts that would otherwise stand out.
 

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I was fine with the KH3 original soundtrack. One of my gripes is one of the boss themes I really enjoyed was only played twice in the whole game. It's the boss theme when fighting the Olympus Titans and the Kraken/Flying Dutchman. I remember really enjoying the theme while fighting the Tornado Titan. Shame I only got to hear it in two fights. I wish it was in the Davy Jones battle too.

I adore the Toy Box battle theme. One of my favorite KH world battle themes and it's so catchy. I really enjoy the first track of Monstropolis when you first enter the company building. It changes when you get deeper into the building sadly. I also really like all of Monstropolis's battle themes. The regular one and the fire one. Both feel very fitting for the world.

For boss themes I like the battle music for the 12 replica Xehanorts. It feels really intense as you fight them all over the place. I also enjoyed the boss theme for the Toy Story ufo heartless boss you fight at the end of the level. They thankfully reuse that track for some of the battle portals so I got to hear it again.

Many of the remixes I quite enjoyed. Of course I love The Other Promise with Vector to the Heavens, and I'm tickled they are remixed together. They are music to my ears. Other remixes I liked were Tension Rising used beautifully in Toy Box and Kingdom of Corona. Vanitas's battle theme, even though I hated fighting him as Aqua in Critical Mode, the one good thing about fighting him over and over again was his battle theme was heavenly to listen to. And even though it was very brief I quite liked What Lies Beneath that played when Hades is summoning the Titans in Olympus.

And naturally I love Don't Think Twice and Face My Fears.

Edit: Almost forgot, but I freakin' love all the Flantastic Seven themes. Cherry Flan might have been tricky to learn but they made up for it with it's highly motivating adventurous music. I love the themes played for Watermeleon, Strawberry, and the others. Even Orange Flan's dorky version of Corona's theme was quite enjoyable. The Flantastic Seven are way better then those dumb Mushroom XIII bums.
 

Xagzan

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I was okay with the remixed themes for the most part. The only time I really wished there was an entirely new score was the final boss theme for Master Xehanort.

I would have preferred something different than a rearrangement of Rage Awakened.
This annoyed me so much. This was the old goat's final big battle. He deserved more than that.
Ain't that the truth. I mentioned this in the DLC thread too. It started off well enough with Destati, but then it quickly jumps right back to the Scala battle theme we've already been listening to since fighting the replicas and then Baphonort. And Rage Awakened? Why, Ishimoto? I hadn't been that musically confused since they used Cyan's theme as the Final Fantasy 6 tune in the ending medley of the first Dissidia.

Rather than weirdly making Rage Awakened the star of the track, it should have at least stayed centered on Destati, and then use other more relevant motives to flesh it out. Keeping the same intro, but then transitioning into a fast-paced battle arrangement of Xehanort's theme, followed up maybe by Another Side/Org13, sprinkle in a little Beyond the Door and then let The Key play out and take you back to Xehanort. And that'd just be the first part. A Destati interlude next, then dive back in briefly to Xehanort, intersperse with phrases of Forze del Male, go nuts with an up-tempo Key of Darkness arrangement, mix in some original melody, layer on some Darkness of the Unknown, leading into a climax of bombastic Destati refrains in different keys, maybe even end by rolling into a slower, ominous coda that feeds into the loop.

I mean, I'm no composer, but that's what I would've aimed for. With a culmination like that fight, you needed to throw all the ingredients in there and just go out of your mind.

And lastly...who can REALLY forget this tune? Most people believe it should've played during the Final Boss with Xehanort...which is understandable, I mean...Yoko went all out with this one.
You're on the right track. Technically Yoko is credited for this piece but there was no new composition for it. Instead, Keiji Kawamori took the battle themes she composed for these bosses in previous games and rearranged them to create this BEAST.
Probably my favorite battle theme in KH when it's all said and done, no joke. It's god tier. And there I was, thinking no mash-up could be better than Forze dell'Oscurita.

Roxas/Xion was good too, very moving. When will there be an official OST so we can know what to call these tracks?

Also, can anyone direct me to at least a rip of the Org 13 theme that plays when you defeat most of the members? I loved it in game, but can't find it anywhere on youtube, even among concert versions.
 
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Twilight Lumiair

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Also, can anyone direct me to at least a rip of the Org 13 theme that plays when you defeat most of the members? I loved it in game, but can't find it anywhere on youtube, even among concert versions.
13th Struggle isolated all the cutscene music. You should be able to find it here I think.

 

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Someone also uploaded every single music file ripped from the game onto Google Drive. It'll take some trial and error if you want to find anything specific, or if you want to download everything, it's about 7 GB total.

 

Xagzan

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Very nifty, thanks. Didn't realize they were actually different renditions for different members. They're all beautiful. Was this their first appearance or are they from a concert?
 
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