Theme Song

There's a track called Twilight of Rose, and it does indeed play during several Rose-centric scenes, but this page isn't about that (it's worth a listen though!) because I usually don't pay as much attention to specific game tracks when playing a game, so I can't tell whether it plays exclusively during moments with Rose as their focus. Instead, I'll talk about the only verbal song associated with the game.

If You Still Believe (listen) is The Legend of Dragoon's theme song, composed by Dennis Martin and sung by Elsa Raven. Part of it is played during the game's intro after the title theme (but before the title screen), while the song in its entirety plays during the ending credits. It is the first song on the game's official soundtrack.

I had a dream that I could fly
I can feel each moment as time goes by
We'd never be too far away
You would always be here, I heard you say

I never thought
Thought that it would be our last goodbye
I still can dream
That one day love will fall out from the sky

Do you still remember
All the time that has gone by
Do you still believe that
Love can fall out from the sky

If from where you're standing
You can see the sky above
I'll be waiting for you
If you still believe in love

Find a way to bring back yesterday
Find a way to love
I hope we stay
When tomorrow becomes today
Love will find a way

I'll be waiting for you
In my heart you are the one
If I cannot find you
I will look up to the sun

If from where you're standing
You can see the sky above
I'll be waiting for you
If you still believe in love

Do you still remember
All the time that has gone by
Do you still believe that
Love can fall out from the sky

If from where you're standing
You can see the sky above
I'll be waiting for you
If you still believe in love If You Still Believe, Elsa Raven

I adore the song on its own, but I love it all the more in its function as this game's theme song. From the very beginning – in its intro – the game states its main thematic point, the clashing of past and present, and the sharp contrast between the title track and the theme song, both of which are part of the game's intro sequence, emphasizes that. Whereas the title track is energetic, swelling and foreboding, the actual theme song that follows is wistful and full of intangible yearning. The sound and sight of flames as the game's logo appears on the screen, with Dart looking straight ahead, is contrasted by passing clouds, muddled memories that flash by, and imagery of the game's lore. Rose and Dart, to me, represent the story's past and present, and the necessity of their combined presence is established in the two musical parts of the game's intro.

When I first played The Legend of Dragoon, I thought of If You Still Believe as Shana's theme – after all, its strongest first impression concerns romantic love, with Shana and Dart's relationship being the main romantic relationship in the game by virtue of Dart's status as the main character. But even then, not all lines of the song's lyrics made sense to me: Shana does spend a good part of the game's first half pining after Dart after they've been reunited, but several stanzas strongly refer to prolonged physical – not just emotional – distance that lasts into the present – "if from where you're standing / you can see the sky above" and "if I cannot find you / I will look up to the sun" in particular. Given the game's strong focus on the present and Shana coming to the realization that she lives for the present, it wouldn't make sense for the game to be about Shana's feelings from the perspective of the 13-year-old girl left behind by Dart.

Time passed and I eventually read a comment that said this is Rose's song. I was stunned because that thought had not crossed my mind before, despite Rose being the central figure, and the song finally made sense to me. Rose was "left behind" by Zieg and her comrades even though they had all fought together, sworn to the same cause; their deaths may not have been unexpected, but they were sudden ("I never thought / thought that it would be our last goodbye"), with Zieg and Rose having already made plans for their common future after the war ("you would always be here / I heard you say"; "I hope we stay / when tomorrow becomes today"). Millennia later, Rose is the only one who remains, and Rose still honours their memory, still thinks of Zieg ("do you still remember / all the time that has gone by") – but Zieg isn't there anymore. The love that the song speaks of would thus be the love in the feelings that remain, in the way Rose continues to carry out her loyal duty in memory of Zieg and her comrades. And that passage about looking up to the same sky, to the same sun – to the same source of light and hope that guides them to the future? There's an optional dialogue about it involving Rose:

Kongol: You like tall place?
Rose: Yes, it is closer to the sky. Disc 2: The Queen Fury

But that's not it – or at least, that's not all there is to it. As even more time passed, I stopped believing this was just Rose's or Shana's song – though I still strongly think of it as being about Rose – but rather a song that connects Rose and Shana. If Rose and Dart represent past and present actions, Rose and Shana, to me, stand for past and present feelings, more specifically, past and present love.

As stated, Rose can relate to Shana and treasures Shana's feelings specifically because she sees herself as she once was in the younger woman. Shana, too, was abruptly left behind by the one she loved even though Dart had always been there to protect her; when she meets him again, she fondly recalls moments they had shared, and firmly holds on to him and to her own feelings, feelings that have intensified in his absence:

I love you, Dart. Since I was little... It never changed, even when you went on your journey, Dart. Actually, I started to love you even more... Because while you were gone, I was thinking about you every single day... Shana, Disc 2: Twin Castle at Fletz

Shana's feelings also mature over the course of the game as she stops clinging to Dart and resolves to patiently wait for him to return her feelings (even if the game's abrupt writing at that point doesn't follow up on it so well, depending on how you see it).

The song's key moment, to me, is this part:

Find a way to bring back yesterday
Find a way to love
I hope we stay
When tomorrow becomes today
Love will find a way

Rose surely wanted for Zieg and her to stay together in the future that they shape, and goes on to express that enduring love in her devotion to her mission, whereas Shana's feelings grow stronger as she travels with Dart until it is no longer the past that she tries to (re)capture, but the present. And Rose, at the very least, wishes to make that hope of Shana's reality.

Shana: I have been thinking too. About the past and future. And about you and me...
Dart: You and me?
Shana: Eventually, our journey will end.
Dart: Yes, eventually. But... I wonder where we will be?
Shana: I want to be next to you, Dart. But... Nobody knows about the future. Disc 2: The Queen Fury

I believe that it is only when you look at both past and present that The Legend of Dragoon is complete, and by the same token, you need to consider both past and present feelings, both Rose as well as Shana's love, to grasp If You Still Believe in its entirety.