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Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem Sound Memorium :: Review by Charles

Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem Sound Memorium Album Title: Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem Sound Memorium
Record Label: Tokuma Japan Communications
Catalog No.: PCCG-00250
Release Date: February 18, 1994
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The Fire Emblem Mystery of the Emblem Sound Memorium certainly lives up to being a "memorium". It consists of the original soundtrack from Mystery of the Emblem plus some very nice bonus orchestrated material, though not arranged by main composer Yuka Tsujiyoko. This arranged orchestration is nice touch in that it helps makes up for the all too plentiful "standard fantasy compositions" on the original. Of course, all soundtracks have their highlights, but are Yuka Tsujiyoko's first ventures into the Super Nintendo realm really worth a second glance?


The sound quality isn't particularly outstanding for a Super Nintendo game. There's obviously much better sounding music on the Super Nintendo, but Yuka Tsujiyoko did an acceptable job making this sound timeless for her first try on the early Super Nintendo. The Fire Emblem "Main Theme" sounds all right, especially with its new dark intro. It translated well from the NES though it sounds a bit flat. By the time I got to this track, I didn't really care that it was flat because I was stuck with a very pleased feeling from previously listening to track eight, "Epilogue". Epilogue is an amazing arrangement of the Fire Emblem Main Theme and has done what I thought could never be done with the theme. It's the only version of the theme I have ever heard that has sounded good as a genre other than an epic overture. This upbeat track truly stands out with its mix of guitar, accordion, violin and oboe. It's not the ultimate version of the theme, but it's soothing, fun and refreshing. It still has a Fire Emblem feel to it, but it also shows there was some creativeness put into the album. If anything, I'd wish it were a little longer.

Thankfully a lot of the arrangements are as superb as "Epilogue". "The Last Stand" is also a fantastic version of what was already a fantastic piece, "Dark Earth Dragon". It really pays tribute to how great the original was, and amplifies all of that into an amazing arrangement. The track is heart-poundingly eerie just like the original and I commend it to being twice as long without getting repetitive. The arrangement really lives up to its name in that it really feels like a last stand. From the trills of the violins to the sinister cellos, this track has everything for some one who likes fast paced dark music. The original, "Dark Earth Dragon", is also an amazing dark and fast paced piece in its own way. It's one of the best themes on the album, no doubt.

Another arrangement that's more haunting than it is dark is "In Action". Now this piece is certainly haunting with the ghostly strings and trills. Though it may be a bit overdone on the strings, it proves to remain a fast paced and monumental piece considering the lack of percussion and brass. The arrangement after this track is called "Theme of Gato" and is an extremely contrasting piece using piano, guitar, and violin. It may not be fast paced like the others, but it certainly works and even reminds me a bit of a Final Fantasy piece. "Tapestry" is also a great arrangement and faithful to the original which is also just as great.

Many of the unmentioned tracks so far are under a minute long and usually not the best compositions. There's a couple interesting tracks left though. "Starting a New Journey" has a nice trumpet solo wit a nice sound, but not enough variation. "Mystery of the Emblem" isn't too bad, which is good since it's the name of the game, but there is nothing too outstanding here. Tracks like "Conspiracy" or "Dark Emperor" seem like they might be good but then end prematurely. Most tracks seem to end a little too early really. Other tracks are short and downright boring, like "Evil Ones", or can be a bit too scenario driven.


The real highlights of this album are the arranged tracks, which are by far some of the better arranged pieces I've heard. However, special mention should be given to their originals, which also do a great job for their own time. Not too much else on the album really shined like these pieces and most ended up falling into the "standard fantasy music" category. The original music isn't the best you'll find on the SNES, but it certainly had a good translation from the NES. When all is said and done, there is definitely some worth on this album that fans should not miss out on.

Overall Score: 7/10