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We Love Wizardry :: Review by Calvin

We Love Wizardry Album Title: We Love Wizardry
Record Label: Apollon
Catalog No.: BY30-5179
Release Date: December 5, 1987
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The first Wizardry album was published in 1987 and was probably the first work that reflected the true color of the late Kentaro Haneda's game works. The music of the original Wizardry is classically-oriented and most of its pieces are dominated Baroque music and renaissance tones. Influenced by the first Dragon Quest suite, Kentaro Haneda decided to arrange the game's music for orchestra. This album contains only 13 tracks running approximately 41 minutes. All pieces are synthesized rather than performed by orchestra unlike its Dragon Quest counterpart. Nevertheless, listening this CD would makes your imagination flow. Haneda has successfully crammed a musical saga into this album in Baroque fashion.


The "Opening" theme, despite being musically powerful, is treated with limited synth sounds. It is nevertheless one of the best and most powerful themes I've ever heard. Leaving a great impression on me, it is one of my favorite tracks. Significantly, a live performance of this theme memorable opened the Orchestral Game Concert series in 1991. Beyond the first track, there are two type of pieces on this album — the town themes (tracks 2 to 8) and the dungeon themes (tracks 9 to 12).

The town themes are the best parts of the album. They are written in medieval style and have comical tones to create a unique atmosphere. They are each written in distinctly different styles intended to carry entirely different atmospheres. The "Castle" theme uses flute synth and accompanying instruments, written in the style of an overture. "Gilgamesh's Tavern", in contrast, is a jovial piece written in minuet style. It perfectly portrays a scene of the mediaval-fantasy tavern.

"Adventurer's Inn" is composed in lullaby style. Alluring but also dramatic, in the middle of the piece you could hear the use of synth choir. The synth quality limits the overall musical color, but it's pretty much enjoyable. "Boltac's Trading Post" is my favorite track in the entire CD. Opening with comical pizzicato, it unexpectedly turns into dramatic harpsichord concerto. This one is an excellent song and I could listen to it over and over again.

The dungeon themes are the most boring feature in the CD. The arrangements are creepy and perfectly depict the dark hall of these dungeons nevertheless. The "Camp" theme uses choir as an accompaniment to create a nice classically-oriented piece; it's kind of hard to believe it's still beautiful despite the blatant synth use. The "Werdna" theme is a variation of the Wizardry main theme, but using different key. "Complete" is a grand but whimsical march to conclude the CD on a positive note.


Haneda has demonstrated his excellent musical style for the Wizardry series in this album. This album is pretty much satisfying for classical listeners. Some might find it mediocre and perhaps strange, but I found the first Wizardry soundtrack to be the most important work of Haneda's game discography. The arranged version does justice to this and shows Haneda was just as competent as Sugiyama. Overall, this is an excellent album apart from the disappointing use of synth rather than live instruments. I really recommend you listen to this CD.

Overall Score: 8/10