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The Legend of Heroes VI Second Chapter Original Soundtrack :: Review by Chris

The Legend of Heroes VI Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter Original Soundtrack Album Title: The Legend of Heroes VI Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: NW10102680
Release Date: August 25, 2006
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


Following the success of The Legend of Heroes VI: Sora no Kiseki, Falcom decided to produce a direct sequel. The Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. once again returned to score the game's music resulting in another diverse and high quality soundtrack. Yet unlike the revolutionary soundtrack to the precursor, the sound team's efforts here are decidedly less creative. They are more centred on continuing the success of the precursor's soundtrack and making the series' music appeal to more mainstream audiences. Nevertheless, the resultant soundtrack is still a consistently strong effort and features many highlight tracks. Let's take a closer look...


Right from the start, the album declares itself as an altogether more poppy production than its predecessor. Rather than open with an orchestral overture, the soundtrack features the incredibly uplifting theme song, "Silver Will, Golden Wings". It's actually an inspired vocal arrangement of the First Chapter classic "Silver Will" complete with pumping techno beats and gliding string overlays. The song doesn't really offer much in terms of the game's storyline, but it's still a fun accompaniment to the opening sequence and introduces some mainstream appeal too. Most of the soundtrack features new compositions, but there are some further references to the First Chapter. "Where the Stars Are", for instance, receives a nostalgic acoustic arrangement in "The Feeling of Dancing With the Wind" and an instrumental version of its vocal rendition at the end of the first disc. "Silver Will" also returns in pieces such as the reflective exploration "Hamel" or a looped variation of its Super Arrange Version. Finally, there's the considerably deeper full version of the theme song at the conclusion of the album.

Moving on to the heart of the album, much of the Second Chapter exudes a slightly lighter sound than its predecessor. "Welcome to Le Locle" is one of the first compositions in the Sora no Kiseki trilogy that is truly superficial with its frivolous melodies and bossa-nova beats; it's hardly bad, since it's quite catchy and fits its context well, but is still a noticeable regression for the series. Softer themes like "Looking up at the Sky" and "The Dream Continues" seem genuinely content with portraying serenity and barely feature any sad chord progressions. Even tracks like "Infiltration" sound like carefree romps without much obvious danger. It's only with a string of sinister compositions at the end of the first disc — particularly the utterly intimidating organ cues "The Flying Battleship Glorius" and "Gospel Project" — that the soundtrack gains its drama, whereas the preceding soundtrack was a poignant and dramatic story right from the opening.

Another noticeable difference in the Second Chapter is the much more action-packed feel. The good news is that the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. chose to maintain the refreshing jazzy feel of the predecessor with equally accomplished compositions such as "Strepitoso Fight" and "Obstructive Existence". These are actually a little more poppy than the themes on the First Chapter, but that's not necessarily a bad thing since it guarantees tight melodies. However, there's quite a diversity in the approaches too. For example, "Fight with Assailant" and "The Fate of the Fairies" are the trilogy's first rock themes and are certainly intended as a service to fans of the old Falcom style. Meanwhile tracks like "A Lurking Shadow..." and "Enormous Fright" adopt an epic orchestral approach reminiscent of some of the climactic themes in the First Chapter. As might be expected from the sound team, there are some strange experiments too like "Feeling Danger Nearby", "The Greatest Treasure Set Loose", and "Heartless Surprise Attack" that fuse all sorts of genres together.

The most appealing aspect of the Second Chapter's soundtrack is its climax. As the game reaches its close, listeners are given everything from abstract ambient like "Central Tower" and "Floating City Liber Arc" to motivating techno anthems like "Aiming for That Future" to revealing thematic recollections like "The Truth Behind the Tragedy" and "Outskirts of Evolution". As for the final battles, "A Gravestone Struck by Lightning" will be liberating for all hard rock fans out there with its grizzly rhythm guitar chords and extravagant progressive rock keyboard work. "The Merciless Savior" is the finest final boss theme of the series, developing brutally and passionately over seven minutes with violin leads, orchestral passages, and choral chants. The game ends on an nostalgic note with piano-based reprises in "A Wish's Whereabouts" and "Shine of Eidos". There are also two theme songs, namely the aforementioned extended version of "Silver Will, Golden Wings" and the more typical but still enjoyable pop ballad "I Swear...".


The music for The Legend of Heroes VI: Sora no Kiseki Second Chapter is solid in terms of composition and implementation. However, it is clear that it is the product of a spinoff game in the series and is thus not a remarkable achievement like its predecessor was. The sound team no longer had to introduce a vast world, portray new characters, or even create a well-defined sound for the game, since the first chapter took care of that. Rather than evolve the series' music further, they instead opted for continuity and offered a large number of compositions in a similar style to the precursor. There are some changes, such as the increased action focus, the reintroduction of mainstream-targeted pop and rock elements to the series, and indeed some absolute epic compositions approaching the climax. While not an outstanding collective experience, it's still an enjoyable listen from start to finish and features many standout tracks. If you're a fan of the first soundtrack, this is a fine follow-up.

Overall Score: 8/10