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Music from Sorcerian :: Review by Chris

Hiro's Game Music Album - Selected Sorcerian Album Title: Hiro's Game Music Album - Selected Sorcerian
Record Label: Hiro Music System
Catalog No.: HGMA-004/5
Release Date: December 30, 2000
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Selected Sorcerian are five additional scenario collections released for the action RPG Sorcerian in 1989 and 1990. The games weren't developed by Nihon Falcom, in contrast to the main three add-ons for the game, but instead outsourced to Amorphous. They hired then-composer, now-producer Hiroshi Nishizawa to compose all the music for the game. Ten years later, he commemorated the results with a self-published two disc album. Does it fulfil the worthy legacy of Sorcerian?


This album jumps straight to the background music for the new scenarios. The Beautiful Bride's "Dionne Village Theme" instantly demonstrates that the franchise's music has fallen into safe hands. Its singing melody, fluid development, and elegant synthesis are clearly influenced by the music from the original Sorcerian. However, Hiroshi Nishizawa still introduces some of his own touches and is also a little more technologically liberated. "Orsode Underground" takes a similar approach for the scenario theme, yet the elegaic chord progressions demonstrate there is an even deeper meaner lying behind the theme. Somewhere down the line, it seems to beautifully complement the scenario title Disappearance in the Silver City's Light.

There is plenty of diversity running through the album. This is particularly exemplified by the contrasts between the several village themes. The first one is hardly a conventional town theme, but rather the haunting background music for the Pandora's Box chapter. As a result, Nishizawa is sure to integrate plenty of unsettling descending chord progressions and obsessively repeating elements. In contrast, the village theme used during Incandescent Song is much closer to the happy-go-lucky feel of the series — arguably a throwback to "Where We Meet" from the original Sorcerian — while the theme used during The Cursed Ruins chapter is a stereotypical Arabian dance. Yet further diversity is displayed in the sublime Temple of Time themes, which offer an exploration of psyche during a journey through time.

Thankfully, Nishizawa is also adept at composing action themes. In the opening scenario, he brings jagged bass lines and vigorous synth leads to "Bandit Theme" and tense development sections to "Cain's Theme". However, he's also capable of offering lighter pieces too, such as the motivating rockfest "King of Darkness" or the surprisingly soothing "Dragon of Time". Moving to the end of the soundtrack, the climactic "Boss Killer" races away with brisk arpeggios and commanding melodies, while "Triathlon Boss" is reminiscent of one of those punchy anime-styled theme songs. Nishizawa also rewards listeners at the end of the soundtrack with several ending and book club themes, each of which is sentimental and nostalgic without being overly sugar-coated.


Unlike Mieko Ishikawa's additional scenario music, Hiroshi Nishizawa's compositions here do tend to feel supplementary rather than integral to the overall Sorcerian experience. The majority of them successfully emulate the franchise's past music and introduce a few novel elements of their own. However, the music doesn't push stylistic or technical boundaries like Pyramid Sorcerian and Sengoku Sorcerian did. Nevertheless, those wanting more of the classic Sorcerian sound won't go wrong by checking out Hiro's Game Music Album - Selected Sorcerian. It's supplementary, yes, but the sheer majority of the music is still strong and endearing.

Overall Score: 7/10