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Highbrow is a musical theme from Star Ocean: Till the End of Time that plays during the final battle against Luther Lansfeld. It was composed by Motoi Sakuraba, and is notable for being one of the longest tracks in the series.

The song also has a shorter arrangement called Highbrow ~ Band Recording, which first appeared in the Director's Cut version of the game.

Structure

The song starts with a short drum roll and some powerful opening chords that lead into the main melody. The percussion and bass guitar form an urgent atmosphere, along with piano and synth work. By 2:30, there is a transition to a tense church organ passage, featuring some accompanying percussion. This is shortly followed a small bass section that marks the beginning of one of the many progressive stages that stray from the original melody to all different experimental ideas. The first is a funky techno path before returning to the main theme for a short time, setting up some quieter choir chords, bolstered by passionate piano playing. This soon shifts again to brass themes that accompanied the earlier enemies, openly referencing "The Dawn of Wisdom".[1]

Little before the halfway point through the fifth minute it goes in a jazzy direction, drawing inspiration from "Moody Goddess". The saxophone, steady piano and calm bass guitar form an ambient sense with some tribal percussion. Then, the strings and brass return and the piano gets more muddled. After almost seven minutes original melody is revived only to lead into sections from before with added instrumentation. Then there is the opening melody and the recognizable church organ part at 8:35. By the time the full ten minutes is up, it returns to an early part for the loop and concludes.[1]

The Band Recording version begins much in the same way as the original, albeit with a mellow piano and less aggression in general, but eventually goes off on a seemingly spontaneous tangent, experimenting further with the possibilities the piece presents. While some of the jazziness is lost, near the five-minute mark there is a distorted guitar solo. There is also the short inclusion of the "More Complicated" theme before the ending.[2]

Game appearances

Star Ocean: Till the End of Time

Star Ocean: Anamnesis

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Album appearances

References


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