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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Soul Calibur Delivers the Coup de Grace:

Having access to the soundtracks of Soul Calibur 1-5, I felt it foolish to content myself with low level Tales songs any longer.  As such, I did a giant purge of hundreds of sub-par songs and replaced them all with Soul Calibur's finest from all five games.

The best part about this is that I thoroughly and completely listened to every questionable Tales song, and included or deleted it with the knowledge that there was always Soul Calibur to take up the slack, so I was completely merciless.  Even after this Holocaust, though, 340 'questionable' Tales songs survived the test and joined their 792 brethren that were unquestionably good for a grand total of 1132 Tales songs.

These 340 plucky survivors are the fruit of patience and second chances which otherwise wouldn't have featured in my playlists at all.  They represent songs that had been consigned to the dustbin of my 'Tales' music playlist as opposed to the elite, '5 star tales' playlist.  But due to the grand music melee and the melding of all my different playlists into one, these 340 survivors now get to be featured just as prominently as their more famous and secure cousins.

It doesn't matter where you came from -- whether it was the Tales playlist, or the 5 star Tales playlist, or the Chrono/Xeno playlist, or the Other Video Game playlist, or Mega Man or Soul Calibur or anyone else who joined in later -- you're all one in my 1-5 star playlists, all one in my 0 star playlist which includes them all and in the darkness binds them.

It doesn't matter if you were one of the 226 remixes I initially cut but then brought back like the Volkssturm out of necessity.  Or newborns created by cutting my one Colonization song-soundtrack into its constituent parts and sent to the stars as a multiple song reinforcement like the Hitlerjugend.  I did everything in my power, searched through every possible relevant franchise, included the best and the brightest from every province into a true SS elite of 3600.

Ein Reich!  Ein Fuhrer!  Ein Playlist!

On May 9th, I said it was by some surreal miracle that my music had naturally arrived at a round number of five playlists, each longer than a day in length, numbering 3600 songs in all on the dot.  I had not aimed for that number when I initially smashed all my video game music together, it just ended up that way.  And after a month of endless addition and subtraction, I'm right back where I started on this day of June 14th, with five playlists, 1.4 days, 1.4 days, 1.4 days, 1.1 days and 1 day in length, of 700, 700, 700, 750, 750 songs for a grand total of 3600 songs, just like before.

But the quality!  By God the quality!  It has risen astronomically since a month ago.  My 1 star of today could compete fairly with the 5 star of a month ago.

I hit upon the right quantity of good music long ago, but today is the first time I reached an acceptable level of quality.  Now every song is so good that I can set my 0 star music list, which includes all 3600 songs undifferentiated from each other, to shuffle, with complete equanimity, because no matter which song of all 3600 it seizes upon, I shall be delighted to hear it.  I will greet it like an old friend or a long lost twin sister.  I may only get to hear it once every 6.5 days, because that's just how vast this playlist is (given that I am not always around to hear the songs, in truth it's more like once every three weeks), but that will just make my anticipation for the song all the sweeter and more poignant by the time it comes calling again.

My tower of great music rests on three foundations -- 1417 Final Fantasy songs, 1132 Tales songs, and 1051 Other songs, which includes everybody else.  All three are roughly equivalent in size and value.  Which means that when I'm shuffling my songs, I'm unlikely to ever hear two of any of the same type of song in a row.  It will flit from FF to Tales to Other and back again, but never just become a rote recitation of FF, FF, FF, etc.  This means that not only is each song individually rare to hear twice in a short length of time, but even each genre of song is unlikely to become overly repetitive.  It's rare to even hear the same composer twice in a row.

It is a good thing there are no bad songs left to cut, because I have no idea who is left to recruit new video game music from.  It could only be games I haven't played and have no connection to, which is hardly suitable.  I gambled everything that Soul Calibur would be enough and cut all the Tales songs I wanted to, and indeed Soul Calibur pulled through, but only by calling upon all five games in the franchise and milking all of their soundtracks thoroughly.

To get a little more into the nitty-gritty, here are the number of songs that came from each game to complete this magnificent edifice, my musical hall of fame:

Chrono Trigger: 63
Chrono Cross: 61
Colonization: 19
Dragon Quest: 1
Dune 2: 10
FF 1 & 2: 52
FF 3: 52
FF 4: 53
FF 5: 55
FF 6: 61
FF 7: 83
FF 8: 74
FF 9: 123
FF 10: 76
FF 10-2: 47
FF 11: 159
FF 12: 95
FF 13: 58
FF 13-2: 52
FF 14: 71
FF 15: 85
FF Crisis Core: 1
FF Crystal Chronicles: 45
FF Tactics: 96
FF Tactics Advanced: 30
FF Type-0: 49
Heroes of Might and Magic 2: 18
Heroes of Might and Magic 3: 39
Heroes of Might and Magic 4: 16
Heroes of Might and Magic 5: 65
Heroes of Might and Magic 6: 12
Heroes of Might and Magic 7: 9
Zelda: 12
Lunar 1: 23
Lunar 2: 23
Mega Man: 153
Ogre Battle: 25
Ogre Battle 64: 37
Tactics Ogre: 55
Tactics Ogre - Knight of Lodis: 22
Soul Edge: 6
Soul Calibur 1: 18
Soul Calibur 2: 25
Soul Calibur 3: 38
Soul Calibur 4: 24
Soul Calibur 5: 40
Star Ocean 3: 9
Street Fighter 2: 18
Super Mario Bros.: 1
Tales of Berseria: 49
Tales of Destiny: 58
Tales of Destiny 2: 89
Tales of Eternia: 74
Tales of Graces: 51
Tales of Hearts: 56
Tales of Innocence: 32
Tales of Legendia: 24
Tales of Phantasia: 63
Tales of Rebirth: 70
Tales of Symphonia: 109
Tales of Symphonia - Knight of Ratatosk: 25
Tales of the Abyss: 113
Tales of the Tempest: 23
Tales of the World: 61
Tales of Vesperia: 71
Tales of VS.: 11
Tales of Xillia: 47
Tales of Xillia 2: 30
Tales of Zestiria: 76
Warlords 2: 2
Warlords 3: 13
Xenoblade: 1
Xenogears: 40
Xenosaga 1: 42
Xenosaga 2: 49
Xenosaga 3: 61

If a new good game with good music comes along, the list will be subject to change again, but for now I'm done.

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