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Fire Emblem Genealogy of the Holy War Original Sound Version :: Review by Charles

Fire Emblem Genealogy of the Holy War Original Sound Version Album Title: Fire Emblem Genealogy of the Holy War Original Sound Version
Record Label: Columbia
Catalog No.: COCA-6675
Release Date: September 21, 1990
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The Fire Emblem Genealogy of Holy War Original Sound Version is from the second installment of Fire Emblem on the Super Nintendo, released only in Japan. It's one of the most popular Japan-only Fire Emblem games to ever be released. Yuka Tsujiyoko went all out this time as this soundtrack boasts an endless quantity of tracks. With this soundtrack having over a hundred tracks, there's got to be something for everyone. But is this soundtrack merely quantity over quality?


It's true that there is something for everyone, in terms of people who like the "Super Nintendo Fire Emblem" style of music at least. Some of the first disc's strong points are the chapter themes. Every chapter theme has its own unique theme to it. Pretty much all of them are catchy especially the first chapter theme, "Girl of the Spirit Forest". It's a very uplifting track. The use of pianos and bongos in chapter seven's theme really shows off the variety on this album. It's a little bit repetitive, but still has an interesting premise.

After a couple listens I noticed that every chapter uses a different instrument as the star instrument while still keeping that grand fantasy theme. Chapter three uses a guitar, while chapter eight uses some sort of bells. It's fun to hear all of these themes work together with such different instruments and beats. If there's one part of the chapter themes that truly impressed me, it is either the theme for chapter two or seven. "Chapter Two" has an amazing pan flute melody that can't be missed. The composition in "Chapter Seven" as a whole isn't outstanding, but there are some great aspects through out the piece. The piano and bass background is very atmospheric, though repetitive after a while.

After the chapter themes, there are a couple of other highlights on the first disc. "The Continent Afterward" is an extremely long piece for a Fire Emblem game and it manages to not be too repetitive. After looking at the times for all of the tracks, I noticed that this album has a lot of relatively longer tracks. This is just a great bonus in addition to having so many tracks in the first place. "Music Box" is also a great track, though it suffers from being very high pitched.

The second disc consists of many battle and army themes and the variation here is excellent. A lot of the darker tracks exist on this disc and they keep the same quality as the lighter ones. I couldn't imagine listening to all the battle music outside of the game, but it's all very fitting to say the least (though not much can beat "Dark Earth Dragon" from the previous game). There's also a collection of town tracks on the second disc, which are all also very fitting to their towns. The town themes are a bit shorter and repetitive, but still pretty well thought out.

It's hard to cover all of these tracks in one review because there are just too many highlights left, even on the third disc. One track I personally liked from the third disc was "Celice's Theme". I hear some great composing, melodies, harmonies, and instrumentation happening all around in this track. I love the brass at about fifty seconds in. Tracks that would normally be twenty seconds long are a lot more well thought out this time around too, like "Dew and Patty". Another good track would be "Yuria's Theme", which is very emotional and saddening. "Silesia Palace" is also a nice track and has a simple but great melody going on. I could go on all day about some of the better tracks on this album.

It's true that some of the material here is uninspired or repetitive. There's not much to say about the uninspired stuff besides that it's typical run-of-the-mill fantasy tunes or scenario shorts. There is nothing horribly wrong with the tunes, but they aren't worth buying this album alone for. Luckily the length of this paragraph is equal the amount of bad on the album!


It's true that an album of this size has a bit of bland tracks, but it's forgivable as there's an overload of great tracks to sort through. It's amazing that there's a theme for every individual town, person, battle, chapter, shop, army, and so on. The music is so well planned out from battles to simple conversations. Not many other Fire Emblem soundtracks involve that much effort. It has great sound quality for the Super Nintendo, when compared the some first party games like Link to the Past. It's a shame this hasn't been ported over to the rest of the world because many fans are missing out on one of the best Fire Emblem games and soundtracks of its time.

Overall Score: 9/10