Composed by
Jamie Christopherson

 

Published by
Capcom (2007)

 

Tracklistings
1) Main Theme
2) Colonization
3) Snow Planet
4) Battle Ready
5) Wayne's Theme
6) Basil Attack
7) Akrid Hive
8) Crimson Fortress
9) Nevec Corporation
10) The Ice Dam
11) Akrid Infestation
12) Back at Base
13) Mountain Pass
14) Spider Boss
15) Grave Memory

 

Extras
- Game website
- Composer website
- Interview

 

Availability
Collector's edition features soundtrack selection on CD

 

Review by
Oliver Ittensohn

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition

Lost Planet: Extreme Condition is set in the distant future when humans have started to colonize other worlds in space. On the snow planet called E.D.N. III, the ambitious travelers encounter an insect race called the Akrid. The game tells the story of snow pirate Wayne who is discovered by the human inhabitants of E.D.N. III under a pile of ice and snow. Wayne has little memory of his past. All he does remember is that his father was killed by a giant Akrid known as Green Eye. Wayne decides to avenge his father and kill this insect. The game’s content is pretty straightforward. Most of the time, the player engages in shoot-outs with the Akrids. Critics generally enjoyed the decent graphics and intense battles, but found fault with the repetitive gameplay and confusing story development.

The score to Lost Planet would require a completely different approach than Bladestorm, another project which Jamie Christopherson had tackled in the same year. For Lost Planet, he mostly abandoned orchestral writing and focused primarily on creating icy and stormy musical soundscapes to effectively keep up with the presentation on screen. To that effect, the score relies heavily on organic synthesized textures, electronic rhythms and futuristic beats: a mixture rarely heard in Christopherson’s previous efforts.

The score features one basic theme which is primarily quoted in two cues: first, in “Main Theme” in the form of a brassy and heroic fanfare that works best with strong rhythms underneath; secondly, in “Wayne’s Theme”. This time, the thematic material is expressed in a more solemn, emotional and relieving variation. During the rest of the score, however, themes and melodic musical textures are rarely heard. The alien race called the Akrids is underscored with wild and organic sounds. “Crimson Fortress” draws its creepiness from an elaborate combination of synthesized strings, electronic clashes, ethnic woodwinds and tribal percussion. This sound gets even more frenetic in “Akrid Infestation” with its bashing percussion crashes and synthetic droning. For the snowy landscapes, Christopherson worked above all with electronic sounds, high strings and soft choir effects. The dependence on these various musical landscapes goes a long way in setting the icy atmosphere the game requires. This musical texture in combination with the game’s stunning visuals is so captivating that a strong thematic line throughout the score is seldom missed.

While the composer’s approach to Lost Planet is an intriguing one, especially as seen in combination with the game’s graphics and sound, it’s obviously far less satisfying to listen to the score on CD. The score’s strong focus on ambient sounds doesn’t translate well to album. Still, Christopherson delivered a solid effort that is characterized by its innovative and captivating soundscape.