Investigating the secrets of the sound design behind the legendary game "Baroque", with Kazunari Yonemitsu and Masaharu Iwata!

Soundtrack Re-release Interview

The secret story of "Baroque", whose soundtrack will be re-released after 14 years.

The action RPG "Baroque" released for the Saturn in 1998 and Playstation in 1999. Between its decadent* worldview and peculiar mechanics, this work has created many dedicated fans. 14 years has passed since its release. After having gone out of print, it has been decided to re-release its original soundtrack, "Baroque Original Soundtrack". Having now received the re-released soundtrack, we had the opportunity to interview Mr. Kazunari Yonemitsu - creator of "Baroque" - and Mr. Masaharu Iwata of Basiscape - who was in charge of the music. How were they able to create such intensely unique compositions? We will deliver in full the secret history of those days, all the way to the re-release of this soundtrack.

(*TN - "Decadent" can also be read as "degenerate" here.)

Making Game Music That "Shouldn't Be Music"

Please tell us how you came to the decision to re-release the soundtrack for the first time in the 14 years since the game's original release.

Iwata: It was a plan that came out of the CD department of our company (Basiscape). We decided to re-release it because the original printing is currently a very rare, out of print product, so there are always wonderful people who are aware of "Baroque" that say "I want one!" (laughs).

What did it feel like to have people asking for a re-release?

Iwata: To be honest, I was very happy, but also a bit worried because I didn't know how much demand there would be. After announcing the re-release however, the response from "Baroque" fans on the internet was hugely positive.
Yonemitsu: "Baroque", of course, was very good in large part thanks to the music. I still listen to it as background music to this day. Many hardcore fans of "Baroque" would tell me "I missed out on buying the soundtrack" or "I missed out on buying the Baroque Reports". Such people would always ask me on Twitter, "Will there ever be a re-release of the soundtrack?" I couldn't really say anything but to tell them to keep waiting (bitter smile).
Iwata: Last year there was a video game music event called "4star Orchestra" where I had the opportunity to talk to fans of video game music. They kept asking "Isn't there going to be a re-release of the Baroque soundtrack?" The plan for a re-release was actually in the works at that time, but I couldn't announce it yet so I was disappointed to only be able to give muddy answers like "It's difficult for us at this time..." However it was a valuable experience since I don't have many opportunities to directly talk with fans like that.

There seem to be a lot of hardcore video game music fans that attended the "4star Orchestra" event, huh? (laughs)

Iwata: That's right (laughs). It was the first time I got to meet people who liked the soundtrack of "Baroque", so I had a great time.

Mr. Yonemitsu said that he was using the music from "Baroque" as background music, but... I don't think it's the kind of music that's suitable for working to...

Yonemitsu: That's right (laughs). However, there are some jobs that are difficult to do when you feel upbeat. So I listen to it when I want to concentrate on darker things. Although, there are some melodious songs that really draw you into the music and others that are great because they're environmental sounds, so there's a nice balance. Also there was that time back when the soundtrack was first released that I used the album as an alarm clock...

An alarm clock!

Yonemitsu: At the time I was waking up to "Rocky's Theme" because whenever I woke up listening to that song, I felt like "Alright, I can accomplish anything today!" But I happened to be listening to the "Baroque" soundtrack the night before and I forgot to replace it with the Rocky CD... The next day when I woke up to the sound of "Baroque" playing, I thought I was experiencing sleep paralysis.

Terrifying (laughs).

Yonemitsu: "I can't mooove!" (laughs). Therefore, it is not suitable for waking up in the morning.
Iwata: (laughs) It's a dark world, but it's not really horror, so ever since I made it I've gotten used to it and find it rather calming.
Yonemitsu: It's unexpectedly peaceful. It's similar to the environmental sounds of exploring an abandoned building.
Iwata: Yeah. I was careful to not let it become entirely horrific.

How did Mr. Yonemitsu request the songs from Mr. Iwata back then?

Yonemitsu: "Please don't make music." (laughs)


Yonemitsu: I asked for him to make sounds for the game but not to make music; it was an unreasonable request (laughs). As a matter of fact, when I was coming up with the concept of "Baroque", I wanted it to not have any music. For example, while walking in the dungeon, you would hear the sounds of exhaust ports on walls, your footsteps, and the sound of moving enemies through binaural recordings (a method of recording that involves placing a microphone on the head of a dummy to focus on accurately reproducing what a person would hear based on where the sounds are coming from). The idea was to make it sound like a reproduction of a real place, so I only wanted environmental sounds. After all, I like documentaries, and I think the best documentaries are those without music. A typical documentary will play moving music during a scene as if to say "Cry here", so even if I do cry, it feels like I was pressured into it - like "I cried as I was told." On the other hand, good documentaries can be interpreted differently by different people without relying on music. For instance, hearing the sound of falling sand can emphasize the image of a person with a sore throat. Things like that were so good that I thought "Let's do it without music", but the technology of the time couldn't reproduce the realistic environmental sounds of a documentary. That being the case, I asked him to make music that sounded like an abandoned building, but not actual music... I can say all that since 14 years have passed and I've had time to sort out how to say it in my head, but back then it was even more confusing to understand, right? Like "It's best if you don't make music" (laughs).
Iwata: Yeah, that's right. I really had no idea what you were saying (laughs).


Iwata: We were having a meeting at the time and I knew Mr. Yonemitsu wanted to convey some idea to me, but it was as if we just couldn't understand the words the other was saying, like we were just speaking nonsense languages... So Mr. Yonemitsu showed me a documentary video and when I told him that "I still don't get it", I started getting emails. The emails would say things like "Don't worry, I've sent you some kind of poetry thing" and there would be an attached file. When I looked at the attached file, there would be some strange sentence that did nothing but make me worry (laughs). I had no idea what to do...
Yonemitsu: Was this before or after you submitted your first song?
Iwata: Afterward. Nowadays... I think we would count that as 2 songs, since it included prototype songs "Proto One" and "Proto Two", which were just me messing around on a synthesizer. Back then, Mr. Yonemitsu asked me "Please let me hear what you've been making" and I think it had been about 2 months by then... so with the mindset that "I have to bring something in today", I recorded those prototype songs. I wouldn't even call it music by my standards, but when he heard it, Mr. Yonemitsu told me "It would be better if it wasn't music" (laughs).
Yonemitsu: "This is music! You don't need to be making melodies!" (laughs)
Iwata: I already thought I wasn't making music (laughs). For about half a year after that, I didn't make any progress.
Yonemitsu: I was trying to find some kind of frame of reference to communicate that I didn't want "music" and that in this world, BGM wasn't "music". I found a dressmaking documentary that involved sewing clothes which had almost no music, just the clattering of scissors in a seaside workshop. I handed it to Mr. Iwata and said "It's this kind of atmosphere!"

Mr. Iwata, when you saw that, did you finally understand?

Iwata: Not at all (laughs). While watching it, I said "How am I supposed to react to this?" (laughs) Ah... I just remembered. After that, Yonemitsu changed his approach and gave me some pre-existing songs for reference.
Yonemitsu: Ah yes, they were all over the place weren't they? The soundtrack to "NIGHT HEAD", Adiemus...
Iwata: I forgot the name of it, but there was also a CD by an unusual artist. I was already a fan of "NIGHT HEAD", as the music was created by Mr. Haishima (Kuniaki Haishima) who was also in charge of the music for "Kowloon's Gate" on Playstation - so I took that easy-to-understand step and used it as a foothold to get myself in the right mindset. However, it still took time to output those thoughts in the form of music.

Which was the first song to be created?

Iwata: I believe it was "Sanctuary".
(Just then "Sanctuary" begins playing on the CD player...)
Iwata: Ah. This is... yeah this is it... oh yeah, this water sound was recorded in my bathroom at midnight. I was thinking "What the hell am I doing?" (laughs)

(Laughs) Did you think it was good while you were making it?

Iwata: I don't think that was my thought process, it was more "What do I do if I'm told this isn't correct?" and feeling like "Ah, is this really all right?" (laughs) After all, I couldn't just hand in a collection of sound effects. I'm sure there are people who don't feel this way, but while working on "Baroque", I thought that the music was fairly uniform throughout.

There weren't any other games like "Baroque" when it came out, so did you find that it was difficult for the people around you to understand it?

Yonemitsu: That's right.
Iwata: Yeah, I still don't understand the game. That's probably why I didn't know how to write music for it (laughs). There's a music production diary that was published in a collection of production documents called "Baroque World Guidance", in which I talked pretty candidly about goofing off and not writing any music (laughs). I was re-reading that the other day and realized that I was under a lot of pressure back then. Between the time of making the prototype and submitting the next song, I was collecting and recording all sorts of sound effects. I didn't have the style figured out yet, so I was impatient. I felt that I needed to collect all these sounds, even though the entire thing could go to waste. Within a few months of this, my mental condition started to become unstable... but that condition might have been in sync with the worldview of "Baroque". When it came time to assemble the songs, I was able to finish them pretty quickly.
Yonemitsu: You were recording sounds for a long time. I remember getting an email that said "I bought new equipment to record sounds with."
Iwata: Ahh, oh yeah, yeah...What was I doing (laughs).
Yonemitsu: Textbook avoidance behavior (laughs). Buying things when you're at your wits end to try and avoid the problem, right? (laughs)
Iwata: But I think it brought me a little closer to the psychology of people who play video games (laughs).

What kinds of sounds were you recording at that time?

Iwata: There was the sound of water I mentioned earlier. After that, there were clips of my voice and shaking a case containing paperclips... I think.

Do you use those sounds in the production of other songs?

Iwata: No, not at all (laughs). However, after working on "Baroque" I developed a liking for that kind of ambient sound and record it as a hobby. I've used those kinds of sounds in the new songs I put together for this re-release.

What kinds of sounds do you use?

Iwata: I made some recordings on the way from where I lived at the time to Basiscape, others are the sounds of waves from when I visited the sea. But since they're mostly processed, I don't think you'll be able to tell what they are when you listen to the song (laughs). We're also adding a vocal song this time around ("Miracle Loop") and before the chorus starts, I've added the sound of a train I recorded.

The "Baroque" that Influenced Later Personality Development

The songs of "Baroque" sound more complete when listened to alongside the sound effects in the game. Were you conscious of this?

Yonemitsu: That's right. I was conscious of it because it's important to the overall sound performance in the game. Also, the game of "Baroque" is not a singular path, it loops around because the story is complicated. There will be moments where the player is thinking "What is that?", there will be others where they are shocked when they connect some piece of the mystery, like "I figured it out!" If you put exciting music everywhere, there will be times when it doesn't match the scene or what the player is going through, you know? That's why, ideally, everything should be as close to environmental sound as possible - using actual sound effects instead of a music mix.

Were the results close to your ideal vision, Mr. Yonemitsu?

Yonemitsu: I agree that my expectations were hard to understand; it was a challenging job to do and the results exceeded my expectations.
Iwata: As has been said, I wasn't given much in the way of detailed instructions so when I submitted the song at the last minute and saw Mr. Yonemitsu's reaction, I was finally able to go "Aah, I've got it... I think" (laughs).
Yonemitsu: We didn't have all the songs yet, but when we put the existing music into the game for the time being, it was shockingly good.
Iwata: Oh yeah, putting them in... Talking about that reminded me (laughs). At the time, playing music with the Saturn's built-in sound hardware often resulted in deterioration due to memory constraints. We pioneered using a major technology that was being developed at the time called "ADX". We kept thinking the sound quality would be poor, but when we used ADX, we were able to get CD quality audio which was great. Because of those results, I think Mr. Yonemitsu and I were convinced this would work.
Yonemitsu: To tell the truth, I was worried that since the piece Mr. Iwata made was still close to a "song", it wouldn't fit in narrow areas because of its wide-open sound. But when we put the song in the game, it always fit for some reason. Of course in the end we still adjusted where the song would be played, because without such an adjustment, it could feel mismatched. These things can happen. However, you're not really aware of when the sound doesn't match the screen since they're not really melodious songs. When I saw that working in action, I finally thought "Okay, we can go on with this."

Backing up a bit, you mentioned earlier that Mr. Yonemitsu sent you something like poetry - what exactly was he sending you?

Iwata: I've answered this in a past interview; I don't know if you could call it poetry but it was a lot of stuff like "If you were driving a car and got into an accident...".

Eh!? That's what they were?

Yonemitsu: They were surreal poems, and if you wrote them down properly, they would become like songs. Universal images that relate to everyone even if they're not Japanese. Like, "countless babies going mad with grief." The words of an unstable person (laughs).
Iwata: I just became more and more confused (laughs). But I'm glad I was able to figure it out in the end.

When you were feeling that way, did it affect your real life at all?

Iwata: Yeah it did (laughs). The people near me said I was "weird around that time". For better or worse, in those days I was only able to concentrate on "Baroque" since I didn't have any other projects. Every day I worried about whether that was okay or not while I was recording sound material.

Was Mr. Yonemitsu in a similar situation?

Yonemitsu: I was more depressed too. It was just before 1999 with the Nostradamus prophecy going around, so it was a dark time. Besides, "Baroque" went far over its original development period so I was miserable working all day on Saturdays and Sundays - always thinking about the world of "Baroque". It's the kind of thing that's dangerous enough to do permanent damage to your personality afterward.
Iwata: "Permanent damage?" You've been such a good person since then! (laughs)
Yonemitsu: No no, if I hadn't made this game, I'd be an even better little boy (laughs).
Iwata: Oh really? (laughs) Whenever I think about "Baroque", I do remember that pressure though. I'd go to meet with Mr. Yonemitsu and the others and I thought the game looked really good but Mr. Yonemitsu always looked like he thought it was getting worse. He never pressured me to "please do it faster" though, which was really nice.
Yonemitsu: Production was running over at the time and I felt like "I can't do everything!" but I had no choice but to keep pressuring through (bitter laugh). It's an unusual game and it wasn't just Mr. Iwata - most of the staff didn't understand the content of the game either, so it was a miserable situation. Furthermore, it was during the latter half of the Saturn's lifespan, when Sega was already transitioning toward the Dreamcast. I'd return home at midnight only to see advertisements on the TV saying "Is Sega on their way out?" I was outraged, I remember resentfully yelling "I'm making a game for the Saturn!" (laughs)

I remember that ad campaign (laughs).

Yonemitsu: That's why I didn't urge Mr. Iwata to rush, because it was always a relaxing change of pace when he came in.

New Songs Included in the Re-release

A song with vocals, "Miracle Loop", has been included in the re-release. Please tell us why you decided to include it.

Iwata: At first I didn't think that vocal songs would fit in "Baroque", but I thought one could work as a bonus track. Also, didn't the Playstation version opening also have a vocal song?
Yonemitsu: The idea was thought up by the companies collaborating on the project, but honestly I didn't think that a vocal song was appropriate. Moreover, they decided to include it in the opening. I didn't think this was the first thing people should see in the game, so I used the same opening that was in the Saturn version and then put the vocal song over the game demo loop.
Iwata: I put together a band just for this game. Therefore, it was named "Baroque Mode".
Yonemitsu: That's right. I really appreciate that. I mean, it is a good song. But at the time all I could think was "It's totally wrong for this world!" (bitter laugh)
Iwata: Talking about the vocal song made me remember; I think it was originally my idea to make a vocal song. I asked Mr. Yonemitsu for lyrics and they ended up being different from what we went with, but the setting was something along the lines of "a sleeping girl on a ventilator is beginning to distort." To summarize, it was describing the setting just before the "Great Heat Wave" phenomenon, which is the event the game opens on. When I saw it, I thought "This is interesting." When you say "Baroque", I think people are going to assume that the song would sound crazy, but since it takes place from before the world became distorted, the song can be a pop song, and besides, the lyrics are a little strange... Well anyway, Mr. Yonemitsu speaks better than I do (laughs).
Yonemitsu: Ah (laughs). When he first consulted me about it, Mr. Iwata said "I'm worried about whether or not I should make a vocal song." These days I think Baroque Mode is okay, I feel like "Singing is nice!" I mean, at the time Mr. Iwata said that he "hadn't made much progress on it yet", so that's why I wrote up the lyrics and setting for the song. I hadn't been expecting it to be a proper song, so I wrote about a world that had begun to distort in which a particularly sensitive girl begins to detect the world changing around her, as sounds of respiratory machinery echoes throughout her room. I thought it would still be primarily composed of environmental sounds, so I came up with the idea that the song could be playing on a radio in the background of the song.

I see.

Yonemitsu: After that exchange, it was decided that the song would be a traditional vocal song, so I rewrote the lyrics. Since it was my first time writing lyrics, I listened to Chatmonchy, Mr. Children, and other songs on the market and decided to do the lyrics like that. Set in the world just before it distorted, singers are very sensitive to the signs of the distortion - it was pop, but I wrote the lyrics in a way that evoked a distorted feeling.

After receiving those lyrics, was the score then composed by Mr. Iwata?

Iwata: I was working on that, but I couldn't get some parts of the lyrics and song to match up. However, there weren't many days left before the recording session and Mr. Yonemitsu's temper was starting to flare, and then my temper started to flare, and it was very difficult (bitter smile).
Yonemitsu: We didn't really see eye to eye when it came to whether the lyrics were more important or the song was more important. Around that time, I had the opportunity to meet with a lyricist and when I asked him, he told me that "these days, songs are usually the higher priority." So I told Mr. Iwata to "just disregard the lyrics I sent him and please give priority to the song!" and he proceeded to do a great job.
Iwata: I asked Mr. Yonemitsu, "Isn't that overkill?" (laughs)
Yonemitsu: It was obvious that there was no point in quarreling any further, so I told him "I'll change it!" (laughs) Besides, the words in that second draft were unusually long.
Iwata: There were a lot of letters in it, so it turned into an incredibly lengthy song, didn't it?
Yonemitsu: I wasn't aware of that (laughs). I do remember there being talk of shortening it. He told me "This will be annoying to sing at karaoke!" (laughs)

Because it was long, right? (laughs)

Yonemitsu: That's right. I think I asked "Will you sing this at karaoke?" (laughs) and we stopped arguing.

The singer was Ms. Haruko Aoki, how was she chosen?

Iwata: I hadn't dealt with vocal music much, so a man who worked at the company, Mr. Kaneda (Mr. Mitsuhiro Kaneda who has participated in works such as "Grand Knights History", among others) introduced me to Ms. Aoki, who he often works with.

The singing was very upbeat, despite the lyrics not being that way.

Iwata: That's right. I also feel that way. I was anxious about it at first, but when I listened to the results, I thought the disconnect between the two elements was good. Also, I wondered if Ms. Aoki could even sing such a song (laughs). When I listened to it live at the recording, it was shocking.
Yonemitsu: I was also present at the recording, and I was so deeply moved that I almost cried.
Iwata: ...I think there was a reason why Mr. Yonemitsu was so moved that he was about to cry, but I don't think I should say it (laughs).

...Why was that?

Iwata: In the final stages of adjusting the lyrics, I put the melody to piano and gave it to Mr. Yonemitsu, who said "I don't know how to match the lyrics to this. I don't care if you're tone-deaf, I need you to sing this." I said "Me!?" (laughs) But we didn't have many days before recording, and it was 11 o'clock at night, so I resigned myself to it. Even worse, my house was in a residential area, so I couldn't sing very loudly. So I was straining to smother my voice until about 3 in the morning, and he'd go "That won't work, there's no octave here!" because I had to sing one octave lower (laughs).

What an amazing situation (laughs).

Iwata: It was a very "Baroque" atmosphere (laughs). That's how I played the song for him.
Yonemitsu: I was correcting the lyrics while listening to it on infinite loop and wondering "Is this even a song..." Then when I went to the recording and listened to Ms. Aoki's voice singing, I was deeply moved, like "This is completely different!" (laughs)
Iwata: The song I sang was called "Miracle Loop Hell" (laughs).
Yonemitsu: I wish I had recorded that too.
Iwata: My reputation would be completely destroyed (laughs). But what was interesting is that after I began singing, the negative lyrics started to become more positive. I asked Mr. Yonemitsu, "Haven't the lyrics changed too much?" but he said "No... the song is still so depressing" (laughs).
Yonemitsu: I had to do something to counteract the souring mood of that evening (laughs).
Iwata: At least Ms. Aoki's voice made everything better.
Yonemitsu: We'll be doing a live event for the launch of the album and we'd like it if everyone could come listen to Ms. Aoki's live performance.

Oh yes, there's a live event isn't there?

Yonemitsu: That's right. Also, Mr. Iwata will be giving a talk on how to make sound for games. He'll do something like record sounds in front of a live audience.
Iwata: No, no I won't (laughs).

Will there be a new collaborative work between Yonemitsu and Iwata?

If you were to have used "Miracle Loop" within the game, where would you put it?

Yonemitsu: Either the beginning or the end. The setting of the song is before the game starts so you could use it for the opening, but it has a more positive tone than the rest of the songs, so perhaps it could flow nicely into the ending.

You seem to be very set on the idea of it taking place beforehand, like some kind of "Baroque Zero".

Yonemitsu: It doesn't really fit in "Baroque", so I would rather make another game that matches the tone of the song.

Ooh! I believe there are a lot of people who want a sequel or spin-off to "Baroque".

Yonemitsu: I had to rework the game’s backstory while writing these lyrics, so it occured to me then that it would be possible to make at least one more game. But making games is really hard... (laughs).

(Laughs) Well, I'm looking forward to it! It's a little off-topic, but what kind of game do you think Mr. Yonemitsu and Mr. Iwata would make if you made a game together these days?

Yonemitsu: Modern smartphones, such as the iPhone, have GPS functionality that can link up to your actual position, and I'd want to do something that allows me to listen to the sounds of the real world through a smartphone. So, rather than ask Mr. Iwata for songs, he'd be something like a sound coordinator, who thinks of ideas for how to convert the sounds.
Iwata: Ohh, I see.
Yonemitsu: For example, if all you can hear is the ticking of a clock on the wall, your reality could change. It's difficult to say how that would work in terms of a game... However, if you add the story of a murder case to it and you're currently at the scene of a murder, the loud second hand of the clock might signify that something is inside the clock. It would be interesting if that sort of thing could be possible. Instead of relying on music, I'd want it to give you directions on what to do based on the soundscape around you.
Iwata: So it's like an auditory version of AR, right? I see. That could work nicely. I think other developers have already released many games that seem to be evocative of "Baroque". Works that have no music, only ambient sound, are now commonplace. The system that Mr. Yonemitsu was just describing could be used for finding distortions, so I think it's very "Baroque".
Yonemitsu: The world of "Baroque" is filled with Sense Spheres scattered about that absorb the information of the world, correct it, and spit it back out.
Iwata: It would be refreshing to see the user get something with real random elements instead of just random elements that are prepared by the program; the immersiveness of the application would be amazing. There could even be a "Baroque" ban due to its impact on the real world (laughs).

The real world seems to be quite a lot like "Baroque" (laughs). To conclude, please send a message to the fans of "Baroque".

Yonemitsu: The soundtrack is so good that I've been listening to it all the time, so please listen to it with the same intensity. Just not in the morning (laughs). Also, the event looks like it will be interesting, so please attend.
Iwata: As for me, I feel that I was able to create music that suits the world of the game... even if I didn't feel that way while I was making it (laughs). The reaction of the fans after the initial release was wonderful, and those who didn't have a chance to own it due to its rarity should take this opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of "Baroque". I'll also be at the event, so please join us and enjoy yourselves.

Thank you very much!

Translator's Note: The disturbing inspirational poetry that Yonemitsu sent Iwata was displayed at the live event discussed in this interview. Below is a translation:

Nerve Tower Interior Song 1
Distortion and impending danger
Distorting. Low, deep echo. Impending danger. A boy living in a rusted kingdom sings, his voice becoming the sound of grating steel. A voice calling the birds. Twisting sunset, shining through the skylight, dyes the tears running from the eyes of the crucifixion statue blood red. Murmuring stream.
Nerve Tower Interior Song 2
Impending danger. Distorted sounds emanate from the cogs of a machine, prayers from the Quran scrawled across them. The cogs etch out an irregular rhythm that occasionally becomes an insane scream. One after another, the phantom taxi cabs slam on their brakes, but all were fatally run over. In the process, the music box from my dreams was destroyed.
Nerve Tower Interior Song 3
Distorting. Voice of a foreign boy. Sound of a baby coming apart as it is tossed into a textile machine. Hospital. Long white corridor. Noise abruptly interrupted. Dying voice of the foreign boy. Screams are heard from the elephant graveyard. White curtain billowing in the wind, the girl playing the piano vanishes but the piano performance continues.
A labyrinth you enter after you die if certain conditions are met.
A labyrinth accessible from outside the Nerve Tower. Training dungeon.
Cultivation chamber of the Little angelic insects.
The scream of children. Suffering help suffering help. That scream resembles the gentle voice of an angel. Red blood rains from the heavens, sparkling like gold dust.
Layer where the Creator and Preserver is. Deepest layer of the Nerve Tower.
Hymn sung by factory machines. Twisting pipe organ sound. All sound comes together, twists, and passes through the pipes in order to be released again.
Ending song (official ending)
Ending song (unofficial ending)
Final~End Credits
Magnificent world. Ruins come back unchanged.

Translator’s Notes
  • When Yonemitsu says he had to “rework the game’s backstory while writing these lyrics”, he is likely referencing the decision to retcon the Malkuth’s origins so that they once ran an entertainment agency. This retcon would later be referenced in a 2021 Twitter Spaces event.

  • The Baroque Original Soundtrack reprint booklet contains statements by Iwata and Yonemitsu. Unfortunately these are all anecdotes we've heard before in previous interviews (and which have already been translated on this site). The two unique pieces of information in the booklet are 1) the lyrics Yonemitsu initially proposed for the vocal song collaboration with Iwata, followed by 2) the lyrics for the final version of "Miracle Loop" that they settled on. Both have been translated below:

    Yonemitsu: The girl, her life support machinery, and the radio all sing the following lyrics.
    Sh-shaking boat sailing in the swaying dr-dream
    To to to to to to to the eternal-nal kiss of God
    Behind my baaack my brother laaauughs, winter
    That-at dog has wheeels for feet, graand dance of snowflakes
    The rest has been omitted. After all kinds of twists and turns in the planning meetings, we'd have the song lyrics create this kind of atmosphere, but then I had to rewrite the song, and while chatting on Skype we'd keep taking turns modifying it. Stay tuned.
    -Kazunari Yonemitsu
  • "Miracle Loop" lyrics
    by Kazunari Yonemitsu and Masaharu Iwata

    I want to be reborn
    Tell a lie and be reborn
    When we meet, weakly, I'll say I love you
    Just for that, I'll run through a distorted world, I'll run through
    I'll spread my closed wings
    Blowing winds, I'll ride those winds

    Timeline manipulation, a friend you can't call a friend
    Calling out, on the verge of choking to death at the local family restaurant
    Scream from your heart, repaint this distorted world
    My immature despair, I'm sure it's just a delusion

    I embrace you, who have lost your wings
    as we drift outside the sky
    A miracle loop against the world
    We'll continue to the end of the sky
    What a magnificent, worthless world
    What a magnificent, worthless world

    I embrace you, who have lost your wings
    I can't remember the world of yesterday
    Wings that can't fly are but imitations
    I look up to where the sky ends
    What a magnificent, worthless world
    What a magnificent, worthless world

    Betray the traitor
    Distract, double-cross
    If I meet God, weakly, I'll do it all over again
    Change the system, replace the twisted gears
    It's time to open every door, if only for you

    We'll fly out of this twisted world
    Distorted, I can't say good-bye
    I can only spread my imitation wings
    to leave this loop behind
    What a magnificent, worthless world
    What a magnificent, worthless world

    I didn't know there were so many victims
    We are cursed to live in blissful ignorance
    Nothing holds us back
    Dreaming of a cat on the roof, who also dreams within a dream

    We can create a multi-layered world
    Forgive the unforgivable distortion
    A miracle loop to oppose all
    I will go together with you

    What a magnificent, worthless world
    What a magnificent, worthless world
    What a magnificent, worthless world