Critical Clash II | Octopath Traveler II | Sheet Music, MIDI & More!
Nishiki is back with another glorious Octopath OST, so here is an orchestral cover of the new boss theme, Critical Clash 2, complete with sheet music, instrument parts and an analysis!
If you're after the sheet music, score, XML or MIDI for Critical Clash II / Critical Clash 2 from Octopath Traveler 2, you can find links here!
This includes individual part scores for:
2 Clarinets in Bb
4 Horns in F
3 Trumpets in Bb
If you are one of my Patrons, you can now find the MIDI, XML, SIB files, as well as stems and multitracks I created for this transcription now available to download from your Patreon Google Drive folders!
In typical Nishiki fashion, the battle track explodes into existence (0:02). The entire ensemble burst out of a D minor triad (D-F-A, firmly establishing our tonal centre) whilst alternating between the tonic (D minor), subdominant (G minor; G-B♭-D) and an implied diminished chord (E-G with an implied B♭ or C♯) over a D pedal. This progression coupled with the extreme forces and off-beat syncopated rhythms creates our fierce combat tension.
This continues down a D-C-B♭ bass progression, maintaining the alternating chords and re-colouring them, which then rises to C (0:11) before making a tertiary shift to the dominant (A; A-C♯-E - 0:13). From here, it's a simple perfect cadence back to our tonic (V-I, here A major to D minor), and then we are thrust into the battle.
We begin with a smaller D minor passage (0:15), using similar D-B♭-C chords from the introduction. A trumpet then enters with the melody (0:19), possibly with a horn doubling an octave lower, both dancing around the same chord progression. For some extra spice, the melody climaxes on the flattened 6th (B♭; 0:26), clashing with the D minor triad underneath (D-F-A) for some scrumptious yet soft dissonance.
This opening phrase is repeated with additional forces (0:31), including a tin whistle, choir and a slow-moving string countermelody. The harmony is altered slightly at 0:40, progressing to G minor (the subdominant; G-B♭-D) rather than B♭ (the submediant; B♭-D-F). This then follows a common ascending progression of Gm-Am-B♭-A-Dm. All very simple stuff. This is tailed off with a partial return to the intro material (0:43).
By 0:49 we transition to the next section with an abrupt tertiary shift into F minor (F-A♭-C). Here, the horns take up the melodic role alongside a string countermelody, with very simple sequential material (notice the horns repeating their 1-bar melody downward every bar). Meanwhile they sit atop an F pedal, creating some semitonal clashes with C major played on top of an F (F-C-E-G; 1:00).
This largely repeats (1:01) with some melodic and harmonic developments yet retaining the static crotchet rhythm in the violins, which now ascends sequentially rather than descends.
At 1:13 we have a further tertiary shift up to A♭ (A♭-C-E♭) as a trumpet solo begins. This drops to G minor, slipping next to G diminished (G-B♭-D♭) for smooth passage to C (C-E-G), the dominant of our new tonic (F minor), allowing a seamless return home. To tail the section off, we slip to a D half-diminished chord (D-F-A♭-C), acting as a secondary dominant (chord V of chord V) to take us to G major, then into C minor, where we close the phrase.
The next section (1:30) is largely a repeat of 0:15 with some minor developments. The next big change occurs at 2:17 where we get additional syncopation. But by 2:29, we get an entirely new section in C minor (C-E♭-G), which quickly modulates into D minor (D-F-A; 2:35) via a plagal cadence (chord IV to I; here, G minor to D minor).
From here, we get an extended harmonic ascension from G minor up to D minor (2:49; progressing through Gm-Am-B♭-C-Dm - a familiar progression we've seen here before). And so we've returned home to our opening tonic of D minor, allowing us to make a smooth loop back to the beginning if we so wish (which is exactly what Nishiki does).
To conclude the piece, I wrote a brief outro using material from the opening, with a slight twist using some major-minor dissonances in A major (C♯ with a C♮ on top), because why not ¯\_(ツ)_/¯