10 of the best Alicesoft songs on Spotify

Did you know there’s a bunch of Alicesoft songs on Spotify? Quite a lot of them, in fact; yep, the Rance and Evenicle creator has been hard at work archiving the soundtracks for their games from over the years, and right now you can enjoy over 30 albums’ worth.

Over the last few years, music streaming service Spotify has been quietly establishing itself as a great place to go for officially licensed releases of video game music. Okay, what with it being a streaming service you can’t actually “own” the albums in question, which is a shame — but at least in the short term, a subscription is a hell of a lot cheaper than importing a bunch of niche-interest video game soundtrack CDs from Japan. Alternatively, you can always think of it as a “taster” — an opportunity to discover your real favourites before picking some to actually acquire in physical form.

Alicesoft songs on Spotify: Rance VI

As time has gone on, Spotify’s selection of video game soundtracks has expanded from the predictable “look at me, I’m Hans Zimmer” range of soundtracks from today’s triple-A games to a pleasant selection of more niche-interest stuff. There’s a bunch of Castlevania music on there, for example (including the legendary Symphony of the Night score); there’s an album of songs from the Neptunia series; there’s even a wide selection of albums from Taito’s banging Groove Coaster series. And, of course, you can enjoy a bunch of Alicesoft songs on Spotify, too.

Unfamiliar with Alicesoft’s work? Well, then, you’re in for a treat. Let me educate you with ten of my personal favourite tracks — then just search “Alicesoft” on Spotify to explore the rest of the collection for yourself!

Japanese Beat (Rance 5D)

My first Alicesoft game was Rance 5D, and I knew pretty early this unconventional fantasy RPG was more than happy to emphasise its own weirdness with an utterly bizarre but exceedingly memorable soundtrack. This track, which plays during a number of event scenes, was especially memorable — at least partly because it made my wife greet me with “hype up the motherfucking beat” every day for about the next month.

I found this track initially striking because I actually own an old CD-ROM (yes, CD-ROM) of samples that feature these exact rap a cappellas and have even used them in some of my own musical experiments. Here, they’re used extremely well to create a sense of atmosphere and personality — and as a result, this is absolutely one of my favourite Alicesoft songs on Spotify.

Camp (Rance 5D)

And if Japanese Beat wasn’t already entertainingly stupid enough for you, I present the music for the “Camp” screen in Rance 5D, which is where you’ll go any time you need to manage your characters, set up skills, change equipment and whatnot. In other words, you’ll heard this belch-filled song quite a bit over the course of the game — and it never stops being immensely entertaining.

As well as being full of some truly impressive eructations, this track is a good example of how Alicesoft is good at creating a sense of consistency, time and place in their soundtracks; Rance 5D features a setting quite heavily inspired by traditional Japan, so there are plenty of Japanese instruments in among all the burping. Traditional Japan and belching? Two of my favourite things — and consequently, this takes its place as one of my favourite Alicesoft songs on Spotify.

My Glorious Days (Rance VI)

It wouldn’t be a roundup of the best Alicesoft songs on Spotify without at least one occurrence of “My Glorious Days”, would it? This is Rance’s main theme, typically heard when he is being at his most… Rance, for better or worse (usually worse).

Fun fact: this tune is actually based on the East German national anthem “Auferstanden aus Ruinen“.

Battle (Rance VI)

As you might expect, you hear battle themes a whole lot in Rance games, what with them being RPGs and all. This theme crops up particularly frequently in Rance VI, since the game as a whole is an interesting twist on the dungeon crawler genre. It has a focus not only on combat with an enormously varied cast of enemies, but also on careful party, squad and stamina management.

Rance’s battle themes tend to emphasise the fact that he’s not exactly a conventional “hero” (either in the traditional sense or the strictly-defined sense found in the lore of Rance’s world) — but he gets the job done. The pleasingly jangly electric guitars give the whole thing something of a “punky” feel, which sums up Rance’s rebellious “chaotic neutral” nature very nicely and makes this one of the more popular Alicesoft songs on Spotify.

Sparkle of the Edge (Evenicle)

Evenicle’s battle theme, meanwhile, is a pretty joyful, energetic number, which works extremely effectively in the context of the game and makes this one of the more enjoyable Alicesoft songs on Spotify. Evenicle is, on the whole, quite a cheerful game thanks to its positive depiction of protagonist Aster’s polygamous relationship with his many wives — though it juxtaposes this with some seriously dark moments at various important narrative junctures, making them all the more effective.

This battle theme gives a nice feeling of Aster and his wives being proper heroes, though. Aster may be a bit of a dick at times, but he has a heart of gold underneath his often perverted nature, and typically does the right thing; he’s certainly no Rance.

Pleasure Time (Evenicle)

Alicesoft’s sound team is quite fond of using some very distinctive instrument sounds, many of which have a distinctly “retro” flavour. The delightful use of a Rhodes-style electric piano sound coupled with slide guitar gives a pleasingly laid-back feel to this tune, and helps set the listener at ease. As you might expect, this track occurs during times when things are going well for our hero and his wives.

Evenicle as a whole features some of my favourite Alicesoft songs on Spotify, but in the interests of variety, let’s continue exploring elsewhere…

Time of Death (Beat Blades Haruka)

I must confess I haven’t (yet) played ninja training RPG Beat Blades Haruka so I don’t know much about the context of this piece of music, but while browsing through all the Alicesoft songs on Spotify, I found this track particularly striking. It’s atmospheric, it’s got emotion — and it’s also making use of some of the traditional Japanese instrumentation that often finds its way into Alicesoft music.

I particularly like the heavily processed drums in the background — they’re strongly reminiscent of some of Michiru Yamane’s work on Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

Over Beat~Asu e no Escalation (Beat Angel Escalayer)

Again, I’ve not (yet) tried sci-fi magical girl resource management RPG Beat Angel Escalayer — which sounds like a thoroughly interesting game, judging by its (NSFW) MangaGamer page, I have to say — but it certainly has some great music. This track, one of the more popular Alicesoft songs on Spotify, appears to be the ending theme for the game. A suitable reward for battling off the forces of evil with a combination of your libido and combat prowess, for sure!

Alicesoft sure make some interesting games. While exploring all these songs, I’m making a mental note to try more of them!

TrnsBeat? (Rance Quest)

Rance Quest (also known as Rance VIII) has a selection of tracks that feature a certain amount of “chiptune” influence in them, combined with modern instrumentation.

This track, which is actually a remix of Rance 5D’s main battle theme, is a delightfully energetic and cheerful take on the RPG battle theme. I especially love the ’60s style beats in its middle section.

Whatcha;Whatcha Doin’ (Dohna Dohna)

This isn’t an Alicesoft work I’m familiar with at all, but I’m including it for a couple of reasons: firstly, while browsing through the Alicesoft songs on Spotify, I spotted that this track had a good ten times the number of listens to most of the other available tracks — and secondly, localisation company Shiravune has recently announced that an English version of this game is coming out next Friday.

Dohna Dohna is an RPG in which you take control of a band of punks in a corporate-run city and do your best to make a mess of things and uncover what’s really going on. It’s one of the most vibrantly colourful games you’ll ever see, and you can find out more about it here.

This is obviously just scratching the surface of all the Alicesoft songs on Spotify; do you have any favourites of your own? Be sure to share ’em with us down in the comments, or write us a letter for the Rice Digital Friday Letters Page!

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Pete Davison
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