Slateport City – Pokémon Ruby/Sapphire

About game/music

This is “Slateport City” from “Pokémon (Omega)Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald”(2003, 2014), a monster raising RPG created by Game Freak, and released by The Pokémon Company.
This is composed by Go Ichinose.
(I referred to the Omega Ruby version, arranged by Shota Kageyama)

Slateport City is located across the sea by boat from Dewford Town.
It is a bustling town with an open-air market.
It has a shipyard like Nagasaki Prefecture in Japan, which is the model for the city.
The inclusion of “Slate” in the name is probably related to the fact that it was famous for coal production (e.g. Gunkanjima).

Analyzing

Chord progression at the beginning is similar to the “Pachelbel’s Canon”.
You can make it look like that by changing the V(A) to iii(F#m) in the bar 2nd.
(As you can hear when you actually play it, vi-iii here is too emotional here)

In part A, ii-V-iiiø-VI/III is used.
The impression is similar to the Ohdo progression, but iiiø is used instead of iii.
It sounds to me like a minor ii-V that resolves to ii(Em).
Doesn’t it sound like an unexpected darkening? (around 0:29)
(It doesn’t sound so dark in bar 7th because I didn’t include b5th note.)

Part B has a very different feel to it.
Don’t you feel it’s neither bright nor dark at bars 28~31st? (around 1:04~1:13)
To me, it sounds like a modulation to G major, so I’ll explain on that.
Here, bIII and bII are used.
It sounds like a modal interchange from AeolianDorian and Phrygian mode, respectively.
(At first I wrote it as Aeolian, but the e in the melody is ♮6th in the key of G major, so it seems to be Dorian.)
By using notes that are not of the major scale, it temporarily changes the atmosphere.

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