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The Legend of Dragon Slayers

[back cover]
Catalog Number: H32X-20012
Released On: November 25, 1988
Composed By: Falcom Music Staff
Arranged By: Naoki Kimura
Published By: DataM/Polystar
Recorded At: Avic Studio
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Grand Prologue - The Heroes - (Sorcerian / Xanadu Scenario II)
02 - Distant Utopia (Xanadu)
03 - The Prince of Adventures (Romancia)
04 - Family Ties (Dragon Slayer IV)
05 - Whom the Gods Favor (Sorcerian)
06 - A Sunset of Adventure (Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 1)
07 - Grand Epilogue (Sorcerian)
Total Time:
45'44''

The Legend of Dragon Slayers is one of the three or four most obscure Falcom albums out there (Sound Fantasy Romancia and All Over Xanadu are two others that come to mind). Released under Polystar (as they didn't start printing with King Records until '89, I believe), music composed by the "Falcom Music Staff" rather than "Sound Team JDK," and featuring music from obscure Falcom games such as Romancia and Dragon Slayer IV, this album has plenty of tunes that even the veteran Falcom fan may not recall hearing arrangements of.

The CD starts with a literal prologue - some guy, speaking in English, telling of the legend of the Dragon Slayer sword, and how it has brought miracles and curses to the land, etc...this album was made to tie the different games of the "Dragon Slayer" series together (unbeknownst to some of you, the "Dragon Slayer" series includes Dragon Slayer, Sorcerian, Legend of Heroes, Xanadu, Legend of Xanadu, Romancia, and probably something else I'm forgetting). After the speaker finshes, the ambient synth cuts right into a full-blast song (you can hear this in the sample).

Most of the music, if not all, is synthesized. Though, if it is all synth, there's some pretty convincing synth in some of these tracks (a couple woodwinds...oboes, saxophones, etc, sound like the real thing). The variety of musical styles is what really makes this CD enjoyable. Although many times I run into sections of the album that I cannot stand, it will quickly change to something I like very much. There is plenty of synth rock, some ballads, synth orchestra, piano solo...any instrumental style that existed within the constraints of 80's synth made it onto this album. Each track is a medley of songs from a specific game (Sorcerian dominates the album, but there's other stuff). I've tried to pull out my favorite minute of music from each track (except the last track, which consists of a ballad and then another monologue - it really isn't all that good). I had a really hard time deciding which tracks not to sample, since the standard is 5 tracks, but I chose six because of the obscurity of the album, and also because I liked moments from each of the other tracks.

Most of the tracks are upwards of seven minutes (though "Family Ties" is a mere 3 and a half). The longest track is "Whom the Gods Favor," clocking in at 13 minutes, 42 seconds. However, most of this track has music the average Falcom gamer is accustomed to, so it wasn't a big deal to me.

So, with all of these descriptions and the samples to help you out, what it comes down to is that you don't really want to spend the time hunting down this album unless your life just won't be complete without the all of the early and obscure Falcom music in your possession. The arrangements are decent, the compositions solid, but they certainly are not the best Falcom has produced over the years. "The Prince of Adventures" has some of the most unfamiliar music known to VGMers, and it's good music. But otherwise, I must say that even with these other tracks, you're not missing out on TOO much.

I personally paid a pretty large sum for this album, and have seen the price range on Yahoo! Japan Auctions from $40 up to $150, and on eBay from $35 to $100. Keep an eye out on both of these sites if you plan on ever owning this album, and be sure to have plenty of money by your side just in case the bidding goes nuts.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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