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The Legend of Heroes III & Brandish 3 Unused Music :: Review by Charles

The Legend of Heroes III & Brandish 3 Character Theme Unused Music Album Title: The Legend of Heroes III & Brandish 3 Character Theme Unused Music
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: December 16, 1994
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Falcom has released endless albums under its record label and, while many are likely to appeal to consumers, there are some that are purely for hardcores. Perhaps the best example of this is The Legend of Heroes III & Brandish 3 Character Theme Unused Music, which contains 19 pieces of unused music from the two games. Fear not, though, as this album was never commercially released, but rather bundled into The Legend of Heroes III: White Witch Renewal. Is it worth listening or was the music unused for a reason?


The highlight of the album is definitely the Brandish 3 character theme collection featured on the first five tracks. The character themes are certainly very creative and well-implemented. The opener "Jinza" has a kind of fast-paced traditional Japanese nature to it, which I found interesting. "Umber" meanwhile has a sleazy tavern feel and "Mystic Dora" shares a similar feel, yet with a much more catchy melody. I found this to be one of my personal favorites along with "Ares". "The Big Four" is also pretty good with its blaring jazz sound and punchy piano sections. The catch? These themes are all also featured in Music from Brandish 3 Spirit of Belcan in slightly modified versions. They sound quite as good in that release, but they're still similar and are packed among plenty of other great themes.

The 11 tracks from The Legend of Heroes III are far from exceptional and were later used in the Falcom Special Box '96. These are unused tracks from the PC-8801 version of the game and therefore feature quite a choppy sound source. The compositional quality is also mixed and, though generally passable, still below par for Falcom. "Sunset" and "Ship", for instance, are reminiscent of the bubbly jazz themes featured all over the first disc of the full soundtrack release and are rather annoying for me at least. I also happened to find "Lagoon" very bland too even if it could have been broadly effective in the intended nautical context. Other tracks are "Anger! Shorts" and "A Visit! Otasuke Group" are little more than jingles and were probably rejected for good reason.

That said, not all the unused tracks are bad. "Tower" and "Demon Castle" preserve Falcom's tradition for offering ridiculously upbeat and rocking dungeon themes. They are on par with similar themes from the context, but perhaps were no longer needed for specific scenarios in the game. "Boss Battle" is also ideal for Falcom rockers out there and is written in the tradition of a lot of old-school battle themes. Were it included in the full release, I imagine "The Legend of Heroes III" could have been quite iconic too. It nicely blends together the rocking and poppy aspects of the game together into a standard upbeat theme that might fit a staff roll. As it stands, it is still a decent lead-out to this album release and a good overview of the style of the game.


The Legend of Heroes III & Brandish 3 Character Theme Unused Music is hardly a promising name for an album. However, the actual tracks featured within are generally listenable and sometimes highly enjoyable. It's great that Brandish 3's character themes could be included in their fully-fleshed forms, though they're far from a unique selling point. The Legend of Heroes III themes are definitely a mixed bag, but they are bound to appeal to those who enjoy Falcom's rock and pop styles that were often a little sparing in the full release. While I wouldn't recommend tracking this album down, it's still a decent listen for those who happened to find it bundled in their game.

Overall Score: 5/10