Genshin Impact’s Orchestral Soundtrack Is Unbelievably Good

Genshin Impact’s online concert last Sunday was a nonstop series of bangers, but the game really didn’t need one to convince me that it has one of the best video game scores I’ve heard in the past several years. So even if you’ve never played Genshin, I’d still like you to experience some of the incredible tunes that I’ve been listening to in and out of the game over the past year. For those who don’t want to sit through an hour-long concert (understandable), I’ve picked out seven tracks that encapsulate the setting of Genshin Impact.

Every time I wander around the fantasy world of Teyvat, I’m getting an earful of world-class orchestras. Literally. The Genshin soundtracks are composed by music director Yu-Peng Chen, but most of the music is performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, and the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra. The complete collection of Genshin music spans four main albums that encompass three major world regions and their major plot beats. The concert was made up of tracks from the Mondstadt and Liyue regional albums, in addition to several character-specific themes. I’ve narrowed my focus to a few Mondstadt and Liyue tracks that appeared at the concert and a few that didn’t, but every composition from Genshin’s score (which features over 300 and counting) is worth your time.

The Wind and the Star Traveler is the first album that miHoYo’s in-house music team released. It shares considerable overlap with the Mondstadt region’s album, and “The Wind Catcher From A Foreign Land” is undoubtedly its crown jewel. This airy flute melody seems fairly ordinary at first, like a softer variation on the main theme. Then the brass and strings come in to elevate the sound to a track worthy of a heroic epic. The unique percussive beats stand out in an album where strings and flutes dominate. When I listen to it, I think of how the protagonist started out insignificant and unassuming, only to shape their legend through perilous circumstances. The main melody also exits on a quiet singular note, as softly as it arrived. While the instruments and musical styles of the albums to come would vary, “Wind Catcher” is a worthy place to begin listening to the Genshin soundtracks.

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