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Aqua Star (theme)

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Aqua Star (theme)
Various arrangements of "Aqua Star".
Details
Debut appearance Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (2000)
Composer(s) Jun Ishikawa
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"Aqua Star"[derived from Japanese] is a stage theme from the game Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards. This theme was composed by Jun Ishikawa.

Composition[edit]

Kirby spots a Pompey on this tropical bay.

"Aqua Star" is a moderately energetic theme in the key of C major, and sounds similar to other sea/beach-related themes from other Kirby games, such as "Float Islands" from Kirby's Dream Land, "Sea Stage" from Kirby Super Star, and "Ripple Field: Ocean Waves" from Kirby's Dream Land 3.

However, the theme sets itself apart from those by using a three-part structure rather than a two-part structure, and also by varying its chord progression: the primary progression is ii–iii–V–I, a variant of the ii–V–I progression, with the ii and the iii both being borrowed from A minor. This is unlike the series' previous beach themes, which typically start out with a root (I) chord to firmly establish the major key. By starting on the supertonic (ii), a minor chord, the effect is that the theme appears somewhat more melancholic than prior beach themes.

The theme starts with a quick drumbeat and then introduces the main melody, which is played by a synth-like instrument. The melody sort of descends a few notes down. This is repeated a second time (with two notes added) before a "response" is added. The melody is repeated again, but this time, the main instrument is replaced by a recorder. After this portion is complete, the second portion starts in a similar manner to the second portion of "Float Islands" and is only half as long as the first portion. The portion played by the melody has a simple progression here- it goes up three notes, plays the three notes again, and goes down to the home key. The melody does this four times (with the bass going from C major to E-flat major for the third and fourth times) before changing instruments, and then progresses to the third portion of the theme.

The third portion is just as long as the second portion, and has its main melody played by a new instrument. The progression of the melody is appears similar to the second portion as well, going up three notes and going back down. While the melody does this, however, the bass goes up in key (starting in the key of C, then D-flat, and the key of E). Not too long after this portion concludes, the tropical theme then loops.

While the theme does not return in any subsequent games, its influence can be heard in "Bountiful Star" from Kirby: Planet Robobot and "Abandoned Beach" from Kirby and the Forgotten Land. Both have a three-part structure like "Aqua Star" does rather than the two-part structure heard in previous beach themes.

Other appearances[edit]

In the Kirby Memorial Arrangements album, this theme is part of a medley along with "Big Forest" and "Stage: Comical" called "Beyond the Forest and Desert".

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese ウルルンスター[1]
Ururun Sutā
Moist Star
The Japanese name of Aqua Star.


References