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Fire Emblem Shadow Dragon Original Soundtrack :: Review by Charles

Fire Emblem Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light Original Soundtrack Album Title: Fire Emblem Shadow Dragons and the Blade of Light Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Aniplex
Catalog No.: SVWC-7593
Release Date: December 3, 2008
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


This is the original soundtrack to the Nintendo DS game, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon, which is actually a remake of the original Fire Emblem game. The soundtrack is very similar to the original with the exception the original being entirely 8-bit. While I'm aware this is a remake, there seems to be a severe lack of diversity and originality that leaves the remake soundtrack as forgettable. There's barely any reason for this soundtrack to exist outside of collection and in-game value, especially with all the orchestrated and original Fire Emblem soundtracks that already have existed before hand.


The album starts with "Prelude", which is basically a lead into the theme we all know and love, though nothing too special has been done to it. There are recognizable instruments like trumpets, flutes, and oboes that spice it up and take advantage of the DS speakers. One problem is that this is one of the only tunes that takes any advantage of the speakers. The rest sounds like it's coming from a Game Boy Advance game. This style of music deserves better. Another problem is that, even with this artificial orchestration, a lot of the themes have lost their spunk and energy. Although 8-bit was never Fire Emblem's style, the old versions of these themes were way clearer in their point and not muddled by generic orchestration.

The track "Blade of Treachery" may have all the strings and brass, but it sounds like it's lost all the energy of the original. It's appropriate at it's best, but not really worth listening to outside of the game. I know the DS if fully capable of great sounding tracks and something like the Soma Bringer soundtrack is a shining example of this. Again, if the developers are not going to call it a port, then I'd like to see more effort in remaking these tunes. It's not just the sound quality alone though. A lot of the music just falls flat based on how it was arranged.

A minor gripe would be what they did with the track "Come on, Let's Go Together". This track is a pretty famous one and it sure has potential, yet it remains flat and repetitive here. Yes, that may have been what the theme was originally like, but it's not a port... it's a remake. After years of doing so much to perfect "Together We Ride" it feels like I'm listening to square one, except square one sounded better than this. The whole album feels like square one really that fails to live up to the potential reflected in arranged albums like Fire Emblem ~ G.S.M. Nintendo 3 or Fire Emblem Character Theme Collection.

OK, I suppose there may be some miniscule reasons to obtain this album if you are a fan. There are some above-average new tracks that that barely appear in the game. Tracks like "Clash of Two Virtues" and "In the Wind and the Light" only play once in the game and are somewhat good in comparison to the rest. They're only good in comparison though and that's the problem.


Words like basic, muddled, flat, forgettable, and low-quality are words that pop into my mind while listening to this soundtrack. It's been almost twenty years and I'd like to see more out of the series by now. I do have faith in the series' lead composer, Yuka Tsujiyoko. She's done some wonderful work in games like Fire Emblem: The Blazing Sword or Paper Mario. However, I think she lacked motivation this time after supervising the ambitious Super Smash Bros. Brawl versions simultaneously. Furthermore, her collaborator Saki Kasuga seems to lack ambitious musicality, perhaps because she was previously a sound effects designer before and out of her depth when orchestrating these classic tunes.

Overall Score: 5/10