My VG Music Picks #36 – Village of Whispers (Killer Instinct)

Is it possible for a song to be both scary and awesome? If this piece from the rebooted Killer Instinct is anything to go by, the answer is yes and it’s perfectly fitting for the resurrected Japanese spirit that is Hisako.

This theme is enjoyable at both a basic level and a more complex one. It starts off with a sharp sting; sounding reminiscent of something from a horror movie, as if Hisako herself is creeping upon you before throwing itself into the more hardcore, epic styles of Killer Instinct‘s soundtrack. It’s thematic for both Hisako’s more horror-themed roots as well as the intense fighting style of the game.

But it doesn’t end there since the track actually has lyrics to it. In Japanese, no less. However, when you look at the translation, there’s no real fluidity to them. It’s just a string of words loosely cobbled together yet they perfectly demonstrate Hisako’s insanity and thirst for vengeance. Just look at one of the verses; one that’s repeated a couple of times:

kie nai hisako, kie nai urami (Indelible Hisako, indelible grudge)
gyakusatsu, gyakusatsu no higeki (Slaughter, massacre of tragedy)
kie nai hisako, shugo sha (Indelible Hisako, our guardian)
ryuuketsu, ryuuketsu no gekido (Bloody, bloody rage)
sakebu, sakebu, shugo sha (Weep, weep, our guardian)
ryuuketsu, ryuuketsu no gekido (Bloody, bloody rage)
kie nai hisako, kie nai urami (Indelible Hisako, indelible grudge)

And then, midway through, it slows down and becomes more cheerful. You can hear the sounds of children laughing and playing; the chanting is now peaceful and calming. It reminds you how Hisako was once a child herself and was probably a very happy one.

But the tune immediately switches back with nary a pause to highlight that the once cheerful, young Hisako is no longer here. She’s more a force now; a walking pile of hatred that seeks nothing but to get revenge.

The best character themes are the ones that sum up their character’s personality and history and Hisako’s does that to a tee and is what helps it stand out and be one of the better pieces in an already kick-ass soundtrack.

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