When it comes to the music, Metal Gear Solid 2 marked an important shift for the series. Hideo Kojima brought a professional Hollywood composer on board, Harry Gregson-Williams. He would contribute a truly cinematic and epic sound to the series, and together with Hibino, create MGS2’s distinct musical score.
Aside from that, Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty has a very specific jazzy sound to its music. The soundtrack is a distinct mix between jazz, electronic and orchestral music.
This CD (a US reprint) contains a selection of MGS2’s music tracks, mainly the more prominent tracks featured during the cutscenes or credits.
There are 17 tracks on the CD:
“Metal Gear Solid” Main Theme – 3:53
Opening Infiltration – 3:44
Russian Soldiers from Kasatka – 2:23
Olga Gurlokovich – 2:12
Metal Gear? – 1:47
Revolver Ocelot – 2:10
RAY Escapes – 2:54
Can’t Say Good Bye to Yesterday (Piano Version) – 4:10
Big Shell – 2:09
Fortune – 3:10
Kill Me Now! – 1:05
Vamp – 1:32
The World Needs Only One Big Boss! – 1:50
It’s the Harrier! – 1:03
Arsenal is Going To Take Off! – 1:40
Who Am I Really? – 2:39
Can’t Say Good Bye to Yesterday (Full Version) – 7:36
A good selection of tracks, though mainly Gregson-Williams’s work and some co-composed tracks with Hibino (also, in Japan another soundtrack CD was released containing songs by Hibino). But this soundtrack does include some great music, such as the famous Metal Gear Solid Main Theme, Fortune’s gloomy, jazzy and immediately recognizable tune and the dynamic Opening Infiltration. Although these 17 tracks give a fair representation of MGS2 musical score, it must be said that it feels somewhat incomplete since some recognizable tracks are missing (such as Peter Stillman’s theme).
Arguably the five most notable tracks on this CD are:
1. Metal Gear Solid Main Theme
This is the music track people think of when they think ‘Metal Gear’. It’s a rearrangement by Harry Gregson-Williams of TAPPY’s original music for the first Metal Gear Solid game. It has also been remixed for MGS3, but is now no longer used due to plagiarism claims. Still, this is the most iconic track of the series, and the orchestra that brings this rearrangement to life really adds an extra dimension to it, and gives it a very powerful and vivacious quality.
The musical track associated with Fortune, one of the game’s characters. Fortune is haunted by constant loss, and an inability to die and be reunited with her loved ones, and as a result of that she has a very dark and fatalistic outlook on her life. This gloomy and melancholic track echoes her sentiments very well, and it’s immediately recognizable.
3. Opening Infiltration
The music used during the game’s first cutscene. A very dynamic theme that starts off subtly yet ominous, followed by more fast paced electronic tones and an enchanting choir that greatly complements the actions on screen. It really helped setting the epic mood of this game right from the start.
4. Can’t Say Goodbye to Yesterday
Played during the credits of the game, this track was also used in one of Metal Gear Solid 2’s trailers, and its theme can be heard at several points during the game, making it one of MGS2’s most prominent songs. It’s a long track that starts off calmly and gets more jazzy towards the end.
5. Who Am I Really?
The track used during the ending when Raiden reunites with Rose, after Snake gave him some last words of advice and disappeared. Now Raiden has to start over, choose his own name, and find out who he wants to be. It’s an optimistic ending, underlined by the calm and soothing piano melody, that begins to play as Raiden approaches Rose. It’s as if he just woke up from a long nightmare, and has now returned to the real world, one where there is hope and a chance to shape your own life.
As for the presentation of this CD: the front label can be folded open to reveal some artwork of Metal Gear RAY and another index of the track list. It also comes with a shiny ‘limited edition PS2 sticker’, in the shape of a circle and somewhat smaller than the cd. As the name suggests, it’s meant to stick on your PlayStation 2 console.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty Original Soundtrack
KCD-226 (US Reprint)