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Soundtrack review: Ori and the blind forest (definitive edition) (Gareth Coker – 2016)

Game scores

Soundtrack review: Ori and the blind forest (definitive edition) (Gareth Coker – 2016)


Did you ever have a dream so perfect that the atmosphere and feel of it never left your soul?  You woke up to reality as if you had been thrown out of a fairy tale land and you always wanted to recapture the feeling of that dream.  You can’t, if course, because it was a dream and finding in reality the elements to match it is almost impossible.. So you are left with a longing born of that memory… Until Gareth Coker decides a year later to release another album of music from “Ori and the blind forest”.  Yes, this magnificent game score was such a dream for me and here I am in front of the gateway to that magical land once again because we are getting 29 more tracks along with the release of the definitive edition of the game.

My spirit guide Ori and Aeralie Brighton’s voice are ready to welcome me inside and accompany me on another wonderful journey. The main theme of the definitive edition is quiet and dreamy and sets the tone for this release. The music this time is more exploratory and I get a sense of discovery as I’m listening to it. Again the sweet piano sprinkles stars on the beautiful night sky and the other warm and soft sounds complete the dream world. The trilogy of “Naru’s origins” cues are gems that couldn’t have remained unreleased. I love Ori’s world and I love the innocence in the music.

I imagine it can’t be easy to write music so beautiful constantly. Gareth Coker and every other musician involved must have been in the middle of the zone when they wrote and recorded this score. Every piece of music from these sessions is just as good as the ones on the official release. The flute sounds are the star dust that makes this musical journey feel even more magical. I just want to close my eyes and drift away with the music. I am charmed by the game cues and inspired by the trailer cues. Aeralie Brighton is one of my favorite vocalists in film music and her voice soothes me and motivates me and I get goosebumps every time she appears.

The music rises and flies without limits to the imagination. There is no danger in following it. The cues tell a story, a fairytale that warms my heart and fills it with love. There is nostalgia for me in “Ori and the blind forest” because the score takes me to one of my safest and most precious places that I’ve been building for years. If you liked the original Ori score you will love this one. If you somehow missed the most beautiful game score of 2015, get to know it through these wonderful pieces. You will be enchanted.

Cue rating: 95 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 42 / 64

Album excellence: 65%


Main Theme – Definitive Edition

Naru’s Origins I – Her Home

Through The Darkness

Naru’s Origins II – A Friendship Formed

Naru’s Origins III – A Broken Bond

Trailer – Definitive Edition (feat. Aeralie Brighton)

Trailer – Launch Trailer (feat. Aeralie Brighton)

Swallows Nest

Climbing Further Up The Ginso Tree

The Mists Cleared

Hiding From Kuro

Arrival At The Sunstone

Travelling Through Horu Fields

Mount Horu Puzzle Rooms – Suite 1

Returning To The Spirit Tree (feat. Aeralie Brighton)

Launch Trailer (Unused) – 60 Seconds (feat. Aeralie Brighton)

Title Screen (Unused)

Opening Scenes (Unused)

Facing The Dark (Alternate)

Fleeing Kuro (Alternate)

Title Screen (Prototype)

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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