Though they are old, there are a lot of soundtracks out there for the first "Legend of Heroes" title. There are also many soundtracks for Legend of Heroes III, IV, and a few for V and VI. But there is only one for Legend of Heroes II. And this is it. Welcome to Dragon Slayer ~ The Legend of Heroes II: PERFECT COLLECTION!
So, like the previous perfect collection (LoH 1), disc one is the OST, and disc two is the arranged version. Except, unlike the last version, disc 2's arrangement isn't by Ryo Yonemitsu. He had gone on to bigger and better things (maybe), and was over-run by Tomohiko Kishimoto (Falcom's "rock" guy) and Tamiya Terashima (Falcom's "synth orchestra" guy).
What should we expect from disc one? Not much. I can summarize the first disc with the simple use of one onomatopoeiac word: yawn. Listen to the samples yourself. Even the fast songs don't "do much for ya", simply because the synth is so limited, and because we know something better is awaing us on the second disc.
Yeah...disc two is amazing. It is the reason to locate and purchase this rather obscure album. Some songs are power-rock themes that you would expect from Falcom (track 8); others have a beautiful orchestral flair (track 1); still other times we find some beautiful jazz piano (track 28). Glorious. Simply glorious.
Disc two is "arranged" in every manner of the word. The majority of tracks have been lengthened (though a few were shortened due to a faster tempo). The synth used is as close to life-like as they had in 1993. Solos and breaks are added to the song to give it a more "performance"-driven feel. And the best part is, all 29 tracks get this kind of treatment. Not one song is left behind. Kishimoto and Terashima did some great work together on this one.
Two songs that don't change much in terms of structure and are gorgeous (even on the original disc) are the Opening and Ending. The Opening is roughly six minutes and contains a medley of themes from the game. I have sampled both the original and arranged versions of the opening, so you can hear different sections of this diverse track. The Ending also is a medley, yet it is ten minutes long! The arranged version includes a wildly good piano solo, one that almost tops the glorious LoH piano solo on Special Box '92...enjoy the two minute sample provided of this song.
Mind you that not every track is a "hit": some are bland, worth skipping over. But hearing the difference between the first and second disc allows us to appreciate the second disc all the more. These arranged tracks: I just can't get over how good they are! This is one of the best albums Falcom released in the early 90s, no doubt about that.
Be ready and willing to pay at least $50 for this ultra-rare collection, and be a serious eBay hawk, and maybe someday this fine collection can be yours. I enjoyed it more than the first PC (even though Yonemitsu is amazing), and I recommend it to all Falcom fans. This album has clearly been overlooked over the years, and people need to recognize its Falcom-esque glory for what it is.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann