Lord of the Castle
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"Lord of the Castle" is a musical theme arranged by Yoko Shimomura that first appears in Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories. An arrangement of the piece titled "Lord of the Castle -Marluxia-" appears in Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind. It is one of the boss themes of Marluxia.
Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories
Kingdom Hearts III
Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind
"Lord of the Castle" is approximately four minutes and thirty-three seconds long and plays at a tempo of 164 bpm. The piece has a time signature of 4/4 and is written in the key of Bb minor. The piece does have an introduction section, lasting for eleven seconds (8 measures), but leads into the repeated melodic section, allowing for smooth transitions between loops. The introduction is played in the harp and choir as quarter note triplet arpeggios, giving the sensation the introduction is slower than the rest of the piece. The instrumentation includes piano, brass, strings, choir, snare drum, cymbals, harp, organ, and timpani.
"Lord of the Castle" is a bold orchestral theme composed similarly to a romantic concerto. The introduction features a polyrhythmic section, where the low strings play a repetitious eighth note-quarter note-eighth note beat while the harp plays quarter note triplet arpeggios. The harp then hands the heavy lifting over to the piano, where after eight measures of complex piano runs, the strings carry a slow, floating melody consisting mostly of quarter notes that generally falls down a Bb minor scale. Interspersed in the string melody is heavy brass, which repeats a five-note motif that vaguely hints at Organization XIII's main theme. The progression then develops further, giving a new melody and much of the support back to the piano, while the brass continues to repeat its motif. There is then a sort of "bridge" where the left hand of the piano plays octave jumps descending down chromatically with help from the synthesized choir. The timpani slowly increases in intensity throughout this section while the upper strings reside in the background. After a four-note cue from the percussion, the entire orchestra returns dramatically, this time the strings swelling as they climb "up" the scale instead of down. For the first time in the piece, the brass and strings play in unison for a moment. The organ in the background also ups the intensity, bringing the main melody to a dramatic close before seamlessly looping back to the beginning, sans the harp introduction.
The piece is notable for its unusual grandness in the scope of the game it is found in. Intended to exemplify Marluxia's position of power, no themes from the piece have since returned to the series due to his death. "Lord of the Castle" stands out from other final boss themes in the series. For example, the third incarnation of "Darkness of the Unknown" is very subdued and restrained, and "Guardando Nel Buio" is almost quiet in some places. Despite this theme appearing only once in the series, Yoko Shimomura included it in her album Drammatica, as the finale of "The 13th Anthology".
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