Prox | Golden Sun | Orchestral Arrangement
Nearly at the end of our quest, we begin to understand the motivation of our villains as we venture to their homeland of Prox.
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"Although we first hear this theme as Sheba and Felix fall from atop Venus Lighthouse, the most familiar association is with the cold village of Prox to the north, just south of the final lighthouse, Mars.
The lore here is that Weyard (the world of Golden Sun) is slowly crumbling into a dark abyss due to alchemy being sealed away in the lighthouses. Prox, being towards the edge of Weyard, is on the brink of vanishing into this vast chasm. It can only be saved if the 4 lighthouses are lit, thus bringing alchemy back into the world. But Mars Lighthouse itself is even closer to the edge than Prox, ready to collapse into the dark at any moment, sealing Prox's (and the world's) fate forever.
The desperation is incredibly profound and defines this track.
We open in a tragic A minor (A-C-E); very slow, very simple and empty with some lonely strings as if the other instruments had abandoned hope and fled the village. The strings drop down dolefully to the dominant - E major (0:08; E-G♯-B) in 1st inversion (G♯ in the bass). This resolves via a perfect cadence back to Am (0:13).
We then commence a chromatic descent from A-G♯-G, as if we are slowly falling into the depths of nothingness. Harmonically, we have progressed from Am to E to C (the relative major of Am). This sudden appearance of the relative major (C-E-G) gives us a sliver of hope in this otherwise despairing atmosphere.
From here, we climb back to E, and then progress via an interrupted cadence into F (0:22; F-A-C). Then we can drop back down to E so we can have our perfect cadence back to the tonic of Am (0:31). Then we get another partial chromatic descent of A-G-F♯-F-E - again, more falling off of the edge of the world - as we finally conclude with a crushing diminished 7th chord (0:44; G♯-B-D-F).
Generally, this opening section has remained identical to Sakuraba's, outside of some filling in of the harmonies that were previously absent. The next section (0:46 - 1:29) is essentially a repeat of the opening (0:00 - 0:45), now with an oboe introducing a new melody to complement the strings.
After this (1:29), Sakuraba originally looped the track here. But I decided to offer one more statement of this phrase with some larger, more dramatically yearning instrumentation as if everyone is coming together for one last attempt to prevent their doomed fate.
And for the first time, I've given this track a definitive ending (4:19). I'd like to start adding some optional definitive endings to these arrangements now that some video game orchestras are starting to play them and (like me) don't know how to end it!"