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Road to Victory

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Road to Victory
Various arrangements of "Road to Victory".
Details
Debut appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land (2011)
Last appearance Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe (2023)
Other appearance(s) Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition
Kirby: Triple Deluxe
Kirby: Planet Robobot
Kirby Star Allies
Super Kirby Clash
Composer(s) Hirokazu Ando
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"Road to Victory" is a theme first heard in Kirby's Return to Dream Land, although it was originally planned for the cancelled Kirby for Nintendo GameCube game. It was composed by Hirokazu Ando, and it is the basis of many other songs of its origin game.

Composition[edit]

Having been created as dark and light counterparts to each other, "Road to Victory" and "Sky Tower" use musical phrases that strongly mirror each other in rhythm and progression, at approximately their respective halfway points.

Hirokazu Ando composed "Road to Victory" and "Sky Tower" at the same time as dark and light versions of the same tune, respectively.[1] Ando originally wrote "Road to Victory" as stage music for Kirby for Nintendo GameCube, for a setting that would have been normal and bright at first but devastated and dark later on.[2] With these two light and dark versions of the stage motivating the composition of both "Sky Tower" and "Road to Victory", Ando also wrote the two songs to serve as the root of the game's soundtrack by embodying certain common driving musical motifs, making "Road to Victory" originally quite an important track to the game.[2] The importance of "Road to Victory" is noticeable in how it was originally featured as the music for the Kirby for Nintendo GameCube E3 2005 trailer, and the shared history and vision behind the two songs is evident in how "Supreme Ruler's Coronation - OVERLORD" transitions directly from "Road to Victory" to "Sky Tower", highlighting their similarities.

Whereas "Sky Tower" makes use of a somewhat light-sounding combination of piano, guitar, and aerophone samples, "Road to Victory" is an imposing orchestral composition, starting with a brief prelude of orchestral hits and continuous percussion. The first portion is in D Dorian mode and is built around a phrase with an ascending progression of D-G-A expressed in brass and woodwind samples, mirroring the ascending piano progression of "Sky Tower". After around half a minute, the track shifts to a motif that mirrors the motif of the second half of "Sky Tower". Each phrasing of the motif modulates rapidly through F major to elaborate further in G minor, with strings being most prominent in the first instance but brass sounds dominating the second. After a culmination of this portion still in G minor, the tune returns to a D minor mode to explore variations on the D-G-A progression with some use of electronic instrumentation, before looping back to the beginning.

While "Sky Tower" is composed in D-flat major, "Road to Victory" is set throughout in minor modes. In particular, it starts in the Dorian mode, also called the Russian minor scale and often associated with Gregorian chants. The use of minor scales further roots "Road to Victory" as a dark counterpart to "Sky Tower". At the same time, the use of a major sixth (rather than the minor sixth that would be used in a natural minor scale) for the first motif and occasional reversions to a major mode keeps the darkness somewhat restrained.

Game appearances[edit]

Kirby's Return to Dream Land / Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe[edit]

The title screen of The Arena, where "Road to Victory" is first heard

"Road to Victory" debuts in Kirby's Return to Dream Land as the title screen theme for The Arena, as well as the battle theme for bosses there and most of the The True Arena. It can found as track 100 (Kirby's Return to Dream Land) or track 163 (Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe) in the Jukebox.

Besides its aforementioned major counterpart "Sky Tower", the theme is also incorporated into other tracks in the game:

Several tracks in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe also include fragments of "Road to Victory":

"Road to Victory" in Kirby's Return to Dream Land  
Theme Sample
"A Visitor from Afar"
"Four Adventurers: Cookie Country"
"The Adventure Begins"
"Bring On the Super Ability"
"Final Battle (EX)"
"Lor Restored!"
"Sky Tower"
"Dangerous Dinner"
"Ultra-Super Boss Battle"
"Road to Victory"
"C-R-O-W-N-E-D"
"Each to His Own World"
"Return to Dream Land"
"Road to Victory" in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe  
"Judgment of the Malus Pumila"
"Onward to a Pain My Heart Knows Well"
"Mistilteinn, Tree Crown without a Ruler"
"Crossing into the Parallel with You"
"Supreme Ruler's Coronation - OVERLORD"

Kirby's Dream Collection Special Edition[edit]

The original version of the theme plays on the instructions screens before Magolor Race 1 and Magolor Race 2 of the New Challenge Stages mode.

Kirby: Triple Deluxe[edit]

Once again, the original version of the theme returns as one of the stage themes for Royal Road - Stage 8 EX. It can be found as track 083 in the Jukebox.

Kirby: Planet Robobot[edit]

The original version of the theme is yet again reused, in this game for the Whispy Woods and Pyribbit quests of the Team Kirby Clash sub-game. It can be found as track 071 in the Jukebox.

Kirby Star Allies[edit]

There are two distinct arrangements of this theme in Kirby Star Allies. The first is a piano focused arrangement that plays in Dream Palaces, and is named 夢をかなえるしんでん (Wish-granting Palace) on the Kirby Star Allies: The Original Soundtrack. The second arrangement is a chiptune remix of the theme, that plays in the puzzle rooms in the stages from Far-Flung Starlight Heroes, named ナゾトキ銀河 (Puzzle Solving Galaxy). Both were arranged by the original composer, Hirokazu Ando. They can be found as track 048 and 062 in the Jukebox, respectively.

Finally, during Morpho Knight's boss battle, if player 1 is Magolor, Morpho Knight's theme will be replaced by a medley of multiple themes from Kirby's Return to Dream Land related to Magolor, and "Road to Victory" is among them. This medley is titled "Supreme Ruler's Coronation - OVERLORD" in Kirby's Return to Dream Land Deluxe, and it was once again arranged by Hirokazu Ando.

Super Kirby Clash[edit]

A remix of the theme, which adds electric guitars, a choir, and more percussion to the original song, is used as the theme for the Tough rank quests against Whispy Woods and Kracko, and the Tough rank Party Quest against Pyribbit.

Other appearances[edit]

Kirby for Nintendo GameCube's E3 2005 trailer, which used "Road to Victory"

"Road to Victory"'s first appearance was in the reveal trailer for Kirby for Nintendo GameCube at E3 2005, which would had been the song's first appearance if the game had not been cancelled. Notably, the song is the exact same that was eventually used for Kirby's Return to Dream Land. Due to its use as the trailer's theme, it's likely that the song would had been one of the main themes of the game, which eventually carried away to Return to Dream Land.

"Road to Victory" is one of the songs present in the Kirby Wii Music Selection album. Its Kirby Star Allies remixes also make an appearance in the Kirby Star Allies: The Original Soundtrack album.

Names in other languages[edit]

Language Name Meaning
Japanese 勝利しょうりへのみち
Shōri e no michi
Road to Victory
Traditional Chinese 通往勝利的道路
Tōng wǎng shènglì de dàolù
Road leading to Victory
Simplified Chinese 通往胜利的道路
Tōng wǎng shènglì de dàolù
Dutch De weg naar de glorie The road to glory
French Vers la victoire Towards victory
German Der Weg zum Sieg The Road to Victory
Italian La via per la vittoria The road to victory
Korean 승리의 길
seungliui gil
Road of Victory
Portuguese A rota da vitória The route of victory
Spanish La vía hacia la victoria The road to victory


References

  1. "たとえば「スカイタワー」と「勝利への道」は、雰囲気は正反対ですが、実は"同じ曲の明るい版と暗い版”という"対になる曲"として同時期に作られました。" –Kirby's Return to Dream Land Sound Staff, Jun Ishikawa and Hirokazu Ando (Kirby Wii Music Selection card.)

    (Translation: For example, "Sky Tower" and "Road to Victory" have exact opposite atmospheres, and in truth, they were composed at the same time as "paired songs," a light version and a dark version of the same tune.)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "カービィWiiの曲なんですけれども、カービィWiiをやる前から(中略)ゲームキューブの頃に企画なって、そのころ作った曲なんですけど、(中略)これはあるステージの曲だったんですね。(中略)最初普通の明るにステージであったものが荒廃になるとすごくなんか荒らされっていて(中略) (This is a song from Kirby's Return to Dream Land, but before Return to Dream Land, at the time of planning for the GameCube was when I wrote the song [...] It was a song for a stage somewhere [...] The stage was initially ordinary and bright but then ended up in ruins and became incredibly devastated [...])
    二曲が、本意図を、他の曲の元りもなっていて(中略)なんても支配的と言うか、シンボリックなフレーズとして、色んなところに使うよにして…たから本意図、この曲、なんか重要な役割があるって言うね。 (For these two songs, the original intention was for them to be the basis for other songs [...] such controlling or symbolic [musical] phrases to be used in various places. So this song, in the original vision, was supposed to play a somewhat important role.)"
    –Hirokazu Ando (Kirby 25th Anniversary livestream interview [13:36-15:32])