I Don’t Actually Play Melty Blood, I Just Listen To It

Image: Type-Moon / Kotaku
Morning MusicMorning MusicSet your dial to Morning Music to enjoy friendly chat and great game music with other early risers. Coffee optional!

Welcome to Morning Music, Kotaku’s daily hangout for folks who love video games and the cool-ass sounds they make. The other day I mentioned to someone that I was going to write up Melty Blood, and they replied, “wtf is ‘Melty Blood,’ that’s such a metal name!” Well.


It’s a good thing you don’t have to play a game or watch a movie to appreciate its soundtrack, because there are only so many hours in a day, and we’d be missing out on a hell of a lot of great music. Which brings us to Melty Blood, a game I have never played.

Debuting as a doujin (fan-made) PC fighter slash visual novel (!) in 2002, Melty Blood is one of those games the fgc describes as “anime,” which is shorthand for warp-speed action, air dashes, permissive, sometimes infinite juggling, and yeah, lots of pastel-hued girls with identical faces and big, expressive eyes. (Here’s a modern Melty Blood primer.) But I’m unlikely to dive into Melty Blood the game anytime soon. Guilty Gear XX was about as anime as my own fighting-game regimen ever got, as I tend to prefer more laid-back, measured contests. (I’m old, okay? And I will take your quarters if we’re ever near a Hyper Fighting machine.)

Anyway, Melty Blood (playlist / longplay / VGMdb). I just happened to listen to its soundtrack one day and it was love at first...fight. (Yeah, that didn’t really work.) Have a listen:

Type-Moon / 来兎 Raito official (YouTube)

The Melty Blood series’ primary composer goes by the name Raito, and his website’s intro says, “Influenced by the game music of the ‘90s, I’m good at the melodious music that evolved from it.” He is correct.

There’s a lot to discover in these 37 tracks, and yeah, what a lot of my favorites have in common are their infectious melodies. My favorite might be “Elegant Summer,” a laid-back, jazzy number that instantly got my attention on that fateful first listen. Other great tracks include “The end of 1000 years,” “Noble Mind,” “Encount,” “Fearless,” “Midnight Raider,” and “Memories of Once (Ending).” There are lots more, as this is a very well-rounded OST that hits lots of sweet notes.

And that’s just music from the first game. In true Capcom fashion, the doujin masterminds at Type-Moon and their collaborators at devhouse French Bread developed a number of confusingly named updates and updates-upon-updates, most notably 2005’s Melty Blood Act Cadenza and 2008’s Melty Blood Actress Again, which is available in its final version on Steam.

Type-Moon / 来兎 Raito official (YouTube)

Both Act Cadenza (playlist / VGMdb) and Actress Again (playlist / VGMdb, embedded above) added a significant number of new songs and refined takes on older ones, so if you like the original 2002 Melty Blood OST you’ve got a lot more to discover. And that’s before you even consider Raito’s other works, such as the more recent anime fighter Under Night In-Birth...yeah, they really have a way with those titles. Anyway, check out Raito’s music. It’s an easy taste to acquire.


Oh no, that’s the last drop of today’s Morning Music! Do you ever glom on to soundtracks for media you’ve never experienced before? (All the time, in my case.) Also hey, it’s Monday, so how’s your week looking? See ya next time!

Staff Editor, Kotaku.

DISCUSSION

vwtifuljoe5
Vwtifuljoe

It’s been a very tough weekend. We got the call on Friday that my partner’s grandpa, who is in a rest home and contracted covid, doesn’t have much time left. We rushed to the home and were able to say our goodbyes, but the rest of the weekend was just waiting which still continues.