Touhou music: Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream

Most Touhou soundtracks are pretty great. And one of the best of all also happens to be one of the oldest.

First things first; is the menu theme any good?

Yes. Definitely. It’s quite epic. Just like most of the game’s songs.

Mystic Oriental Love Consultation: Your basic epic theme, setting a nice benchmark for the rest of the songs in the game. This one’s more rhythmic than most, and cheery, too.

Reincarnation: One of the game’s longer epics, and one of its most epic in the true sense of the word. The chorus is particularly dramatic, but the bits before it are just as lovely to savour.

Dim. Dream: A crazy, high-tempoed song and also really rather brilliant for it. There’s a reason it’s got the same name as the game; it defines the sheer action of the game like no other song.

Tabula rasa ~ The Empty Girl: Not one of the game’s strongest themes, and yet still pretty solid. The chorus is especially strong, although the song does kind of lose life in its second half.

Maniacal Princess: A proper epic of a song. One long build-up to a seriously dramatic chorus and the whole damn song is just brilliant. A seriously underrated theme, and one of the game’s best of all.

Vanishing Dream ~ Lost Dream: There’s no frills or spills to this song; this is just an A-grade, top-class song all the way from start to finish. One of the era’s finest songs, and the best in this particular game.

Visionary Game ~ Dream War: Even most of the long Touhou epics of today don’t stretch beyond 4 minutes: this one lasts for 5 and it was only the third game. It’s not perfect, but the first section of the song does more than enough to get you involved in the song, even if you’ll likely never hear the whole thing in game.

Decisive Magic Battle! ~ Fight it out!: A song that screams of absolutely intense action. As it should do, given that it’s the round 7 song. This is one of the game’s coolest songs of all.

Sailor of Time: The only real weakness in the soundtrack, in my opinion. The start seems interesting enough but it doesn’t end up leading anywhere. Also the shortest battle theme in the game.

Strawberry Crisis: A suitably epic final boss theme, featuring some unbelievably intense guitars right from the start. No theme is better suited to Yumemi firing crosses at you and phasing onto your screen in the most PC-98 way ever.

Other good songs

Selection: We haven’t even started playing yet and already big music is hitting our ears. This music is dedicated solely to one screen only and yet it’s still absolutely brilliant. It’s also quite spacey, to go with the background. I could sit on this screen quite happily.

Maple Dream…: First time players might end up knowing this as the IN credits theme. Except it isn’t, because this came first. The IN credits theme is this theme, re-done in a modern engine. This is just as good, though.

Victory: Yes, the victory theme. No, I’m not joking. It really does sound that epic. As I’ve said before, I’d quite like this to play every time I successfully manage to get away with something. Or indeed for any victory in my life, big or small.

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