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Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack :: Forum Review

Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack Album Title: Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack
Record Label: Universal J
Catalog No.: UPCH-1411/4
Release Date: April 27, 2005
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan

Overview

Written by Gobbler

Romancing Saga Minstrel Song is the PlayStation 2 remake of the original Romancing SaGa that was a Japan-only release on the SNES. However, this album isn't just an arranged version of the original Romancing SaGa Original Sound Version. Along with arrangements, it features many original pieces, and spans over four discs, while the original only had one.

Kenji Ito, the SaGa series' main composer, who was replaced by Masashi Hamauzu for the last two games, returns as the composer for this remake. Tsuyoshi Sekito lends a hand, as he arranges the battle themes in rock style and performs the guitar solos. In contrast with the battle themes, the rest of the music is mostly orchestral. Some pieces are played by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Kenji Ito himself performs on the piano, and Kenichiro Fukui plays the organ. The album also features a vocal theme by Masayoshi Yamazaki.

Track-by-Track Reviews

Disc One

1) Minuet (Minstrel Song Edit) (Written by Totz)

The album opens with a fantastic song: Masayoshi Yamazaki's "Minuet (Minstrel Song Edit)." I love it, as it matches the whole "minstrel" theme perfectly, and even more so when you watch the opening video of the game. Yamazaki has a great voice, and this song shows! Unfortunately, it's not the whole song, but it gives a fair idea of how the rest is like. Unskippable! (9/10)

2) Overture (Written by Harry)

Wow! This track has a live orchestra playing an unforgettable melody that starts off dark, yet, as it progresses, gradually turns lighter. Final Fantasy fans might be clever enough to realize that the piano ending sounds very similar to Nobuo Uematsu's famous "Prelude." "Overture" may be one of the best pieces on the soundtrack, or I might even go further and say that it is one of the best pieces that Kenji Ito has ever written. It's that good. It would be a crime to miss out on this piece! (10/10)

3) Opening Title (Written by Totz)

I think this is better, in every way, than the "Overture." I feel it's more developed and it has more variety, so it ends up as more accomplished than the previous track. The orchestration is also very good, with the brass giving an epic feel while the strings are carrying the melody. The ending, while better than that from "Overture," still leaves a bit to be desired. All in all, another fantastic composition. (9/10)

4) Hope For Justice -Albert- (Written by Dave)

This is an extremely well done track which is great to listen to. It is powerful and grand, but also has a sense of sweetness and innocence to it. The brass section opens this track with a powerful rising fanfare, which is then blended into a string part. An oboe takes the main melody, which just sways wonderfully against the powerful drums and bass guitar. We manage to transition from sections of power and pride, to ones of love and purity, with seemingly little effort. The timbre created through these transitions is definitely intriguing, as the brass parts are always used to represent power, with the strings and woodwind representing purity. This is one of those tracks that just flows, and its melody is rung superbly. Yet again, another good track. (9/10)

5) Feel the Wind -Aisha- (Written by Harry)

"Feel the Wind -Aisha-" starts off like a Mitsuda track, with a music box playing a short but sweet introduction, or "entr´┐Że," before Ito gets into the main course. The melody is very divine and gives off a kind of homey-like feeling that is reminiscent of Mitsuda's town themes. I haven't played the game (or the SNES version) before, and I already feel that I know the character Aisha very well when I listen to her theme. I also feel that this track shows the capabilities of Hirosato Noda's synth programming skills, because the quality of the timbre is just superb. Yet another great track by Ito. (8/10)

6) I'll Take All the Treasure! -Jamil- (Written by Dave)

This track is extremely fresh, clean, and certainly enjoyable to listen to. The melody line is played on various instruments in a style which is swung. The bass line fits very well with the melody, and it definitely gives some substance to an otherwise empty, yet fun track. A drum kit also features to give the track an effective beat to go along to. The first image that comes into my head when I listen to this track, is of a remote tropical island. Furthermore, guessing from the title, it would seem like Jamil could be a Pirate, yet the dominance of the upper octaves in this track suggests that he is at least a nice one. These character themes are all extremely different in style to each other, and this just gives the start of the album a lovely tint of diversity. (8/10)

7) Pure Guardian -Claudia- (Written by Harry)

When you first read the title to this theme, you would expect a soft military approach to the piece, but upon the first listen to the theme, it is completely different. "Pure Guardian -Claudia-" is a soft ballad-like track. The piano completely mixes well with the synth orchestra and provides a satisfactory melody, while not extremely memorable, that does the job well. In the end, this track is emotional, sweet and well written but could have been a little bit better in order to get a better score. (8/10)

8) My Comrade-in-Arms, Ladyluck -Hawk- (Written by Chris)

This is a militaristic and buoyant track that avoids sounding pretentious while also sounding quite powerful. The brass melodies are particularly strong and the bass line gives a lot of energy throughout. Being representative, memorable, and musically enriching, there's not much you could ask from a character theme like this, apart from maybe a little more development. (9/10)

9) Resolute Bravery -Sif- (Written by Harry)

Somehow, this track is reminiscent of a track from the Unlimited SaGa Original Soundtrack, despite the fact that it sounds completely different to Hamauzu's compositions. Anyway, I like the solo trumpet how it is among the militaristic drums and strings. It definitely grabs the attention of the listener, and is developed quite well to the extent that you can actually feel Sif's character. Again, I have to comment on Noda's synth programming skills as it rivals Ryo Yamazaki's skills. "Resolute Bravery -Sif-" is definitely a winner in my books. (8/10)

10) Absolute Freedom -Gray- (Written by Harry)

One of the best character themes on the Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack is "Absolute Freedom -Gray-." I just love the way Ito used the flute to convey the sense of freedom, and how he also used the solo violin to convey the sense of loneliness. He also used the banjo to show the sense of difference and uniqueness. When you think like that, you are almost certain to create a great track and Ito doesn't disappoint here. (9/10)

11) Passionate Eyes, Captivating Dance -Barbara- (Written by Aevloss)

As with all the character themes before it, Ito takes a different approach for his representation of the character Barbara. This time, the track sounds Spanish-inspired and reminiscent of some forms of Latin music. The use of the light-hearted accordion and flute in conjunction with the guitar creates an image of the character the track wants to portray, and you do not need to have played the game to sense that the character is confident and beautiful. Although the melody is quite repetitive, the alternation of instruments keeps it interesting, and the track certainly does resemble a dance of some sort. Once again, this is not your everyday character theme and showcases the composer's creativity. (8/10)

12) Neidhart's Theme (Written by Dave)

This is an extremely powerful track, which uses drums, brass instruments, and loud chords prominently. This track is militaristic in every section we get to. The melody is slow moving, yet it is announced wonderfully to give an impression of pompousness and grandeur. Though this track is evidently powerful and effective, I can't quite see where the melody goes. Everything adds up, though, to give a nice melodic line that seems to flow along with the roaring accompaniment. (8/10)

13) Labyrinth of Illusion (Written by Chris)

As its name implies, this one is an ominous setting theme. A great amount of mystery is creating with Ito's slow, sneaky chromatic melodies, which are elegantly passed through a variety of instruments. To ensure the theme isn't one-dimensional, Ito also adds a much more mellow section, which, if I'm not mistaken, also features in "Lost Woods" in Disc Two. Though it still creates a sense of eeriness, it is much more endearing musically as well and gives the theme some additional substance. Overall, it's a pleasant and interesting theme, though still not among the best. (8/10)

14) Prelude of Battle (Written by Totz)

We're now introduced to the first of Sekito's arrangements on the album. While it's not that different from Ito's original battle theme, the new instrumentation helps to keep it fresh for a long time. Not Sekito's best, but still great nonetheless. (8/10)

15) Victory! (Written by Dave)

As victory themes go, this is one of the better ones I have heard. The typical use of a fanfare to begin this type of track is used here. It's only short, but the announcement of the melody is profound, and the typical roaring brass gives the track a sense of pride about it. The whole track is written in a major key, and the jumpy rhythm suggests success immediately without even having to know the title of the track. (8/10)

16) Isthmus Castle Raid (Written by Dave)

Sekito's only original composition for this album is a fast paced and dissonant track, which gives out an image of fear and suspense. The start of the track features a string trill, which is typical of a horror scene. Airy and gently struck chimes suggest that the raid is taking place at the dead of night, and that the raiders are creeping up on the unsuspecting castle. Despite the fast pace, the track seems to hit a depth of emptiness around the 0:28 region in which a fair amount of suspension occurs. This is only a short track, but a good one at nonetheless. (8/10)

17) Closed Heart (Written by Harry)

Yet another sweet theme performed by Ito, but this time, it is represented in a piano solo form. Although this might not be the most impressive or best piano performance Ito has ever done, it is successful in its own right and still manages to keep the fantasy theme that flows through the Original Soundtrack. (7/10)

18) Palace Theme (Written by Harry)

Gracious, divine, and inspired are the words to describe this track. "Palace Theme" is exactly what the name suggests and it does little to disappoint. For one, Ito manages to capture the image of a grand palace with the soft and controlled use of the strings, and manages to expand on the image with the harpsichord fluttering lightless over the strings. The flute helps control the image by playing a very laidback melody that makes the piece move flawlessly and flowingly. A great little piece. (8/10)

19) The Soul of Fire (Written by Dave)

This is another track from Sekito, and an electric guitar is used prominently once more. Sekito is a master in composing for the electric guitar as it seems like he can just manipulate it so well. This track is upbeat, heavy, and full of life. The main melody seems to be entirely improvised, and this definitely works with the simplistic bass line. This is definitely an enjoyable track, and it is a great arrangement of the original theme too. (9/10)

20) A Knight's Pride (Written by Harry)

"Knight's Pride" is the first really soothing piece on the Original Soundtrack. Despite its name, this is actually more like a lullaby than what the title suggests. You won't be finding any booming horns or crashing cymbals but a soft guitar, soft strings, a flute, and a triangle. The end result is rather relaxing. But while it's relaxing, it's also a tad on the boring side with the potential to bore the listener or force the listener to press the skip button after its first play through. A nice relaxing piece but nothing special. (7/10)

21) Title Acquisition (Written by Harry)

This track only goes for about 20 seconds, but in its short time, it develops quite well and gives off a complete sense of accomplishment, while the instruments blend in quite well. Overall, short and grand is what best describes this track. (7/10)

22) Crystal City (Written by Harry)

"Crystal City" sounds almost magical. When you listen to this track, you can just picture a quiet city full of amazing sights and features. Ito has his token magic touch in this track, appropriately instrumented with the flute, triangle, and once again soft strings. It is played at the right tempo as it would work well within the game itself. Another soft but appropriate track by Ito. (8/10)

23) In A Jazzy Mood (Written by Harry)

The funny thing about this piece is that it doesn't sound like jazz at all. It sounds more like a salsa or something that you would do an erotic dance to. Anyway, Sekito plays the guitar in this "saucy" track, and really sets the mood making you imagine a dim lit room with a belly dancer looking deeply into your eyes while dancing her heart away. But while this track succeeds in mood setting and originality, it is sadly repetitive and may get tedious after a while. But overall, "In A Jazzy Mood" is a great fun and "saucy" track despite its repetitiveness. (8/10)

Disc Two

1) Minstrel Song (Written by Chris)

Despite its name, this isn't one of the stand-out themes on the soundtrack. It's a pleasant acoustic guitar duet and Tsuyoshi Sekito does a good job bringing out a lot of the hidden beauty in Kenji Ito's composition with his subtle performance. However, its name is misleading nonetheless, since it is neither a main theme nor a song; it's just a plain nice, albeit fairly average, theme. (8/10)

2) Goodnight (Written by Chris)

Like most goodnight themes, this one just consists of a simple melody that ends after 9 seconds. It does the job, but one cannot help but think these goodnight themes are awfully boring and something much more original could be provided in their place. (5/10)

3) Invitation to the Darkness (Written by Dave)

Loud, emphasised piano chords begin the track, and they give an almost dark feel straight away. Strings play a low and morbid melody, which gives the track a rather sombre feeling. The track is a requiem, which leads us into thinking that this is a track written for a sacrifice. The instrumental choice is effective, as each instrument can be played darkly to give a sense of fear. This track is more effective than creative, though, but it gives an image of the surroundings perfectly nonetheless. (9/10)

4) Passionate Rhythm (Written by Chris)

My personal favourite on the soundtrack, Tsuyoshi Sekito's "Passionate Rhythm," satisfies all round. Much of the track features Sekito's Spanish guitar work, which is fast-paced, catchy, and all-round wonderful. The feature that separates it from other works on this album is Kyoko Kishikawa's vocals, however. She sings over the guitar in several sections of the piece, and though it is difficult to tell what words she is saying (if she is saying anything, that is), her voice is hugely passionate and naturally flows throughout. It wins points initially for its originality, but it ultimately succeeds because it is dramatic, unforgettable, and perfect stylistically for creating a Spanish feel. Sekito proves his versatility as an arranger and performer once more here and this track should delight all who appreciate Spanish music and the human voice. (10/10)

5) Lost Woods (Written by Chris)

Ever since hearing the sensational "Perdu dans la Forêt" on the Romancing SaGa La Romance arranged album, "Lost Woods" from the Romancing SaGa Original Sound Version has appealed to me. Not surprisingly, the prospect listening to the arrangement of "Lost Woods" on the Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack became extremely appealing to me. My high expectations were fulfilled, and I was pleased that Ito's arrangement retained all that was good about the original. The boundless and surreal atmosphere created by this track is incredible, while the careful blending of piano and wind motifs is done in a highly musically sophisticated way. As far as forest themes go, this is my favourite on any album and it is pleasing to see that Ito can create huge ambience in such a track while still using a deep and beautiful melody. (10/10)

6) Voyage (Written by Dave)

"Voyage" is slow, steady, and sweet. The track is full of ambience, and the journey seems to have a sense of hope about it; the high and beautiful flute is my main justification for this. The melody line flows in such a perfect way, and the repetition of certain parts of this melody makes it all the more meaningful to listen to. The track seems to have a sad feel to it, though, as the accompaniment seems empty, and this creates a feeling of loneliness. This is a lovely and peaceful track to listen to. (9/10)

7) Give Me A Break You Guys! (Written by Dave)

This track is extremely playful. A xylophone opens the track with a strange melody, which carries on throughout the track, only to be overlapped by another melody which is even more fun. Sound effects used at the 0:37 mark onwards make the track all the more fun to listen to. The simple bass line makes the track extremely enjoyable, and especially when in conjunction with the main melody, everything seems to move smoothly, despite being a strange motif. (9/10)

8) We Are Pirates (Written by Totz)

To be honest, I expected more from this track. For one, it has "Pirates" in the title, and that's a lot to live up to. You can't just be a crappy piece about pirates, because pirates rule. They say things like "ARGH!" and "G'DARGH!", which are awesome things to say when you're alone and bored. Where was I? Oh, yeah, the composition has a male choir singing stuff I can't understand, with some cool brass parts and some snare drums thrown in for good measure. (7/10)

9) Sewers (Written by Totz)

This was quite a surprise, because I would never expect to find electronica tracks in this album. I'm not a huge connoisseur of electronica, so feel free to point and laugh at me if I get something wrong. From 0:28 until 0:57, I feel kind of lost, because the beats are way too loud, and that shadows the melody a bit. But then, in 0:57, this awesome part begins, and the composition stays fantastic until it loops at 1:34. (9/10)

10) Isle of Evil (Written by Aevloss)

To be honest, this piece does little to be original — the use of choir chants and an organ is certainly not the most innovative idea when it comes to "evil" themes. That being said, the piece is certainly not a bad one. The use of percussion gives the track an urgent atmosphere and that, in conjunction with the sinister chord progressions, sets a dark, oppressive mood, which sounds like it is very appropriate in its context. The theme would probably have benefited from developing a little further, as on the second loop it feels a little repetitive, but overall, it does not disappoint nor disrupt the constant run of quality tracks Ito and Sekito have produced. (8/10)

11) Chaos Labyrinth (Written by Dave)

This is a typical Sekito track, which prominently uses the guitar. The track is full of variation, and it is mainly the guitar manipulation that does this. The track has a dark bass, which works well in conjunction with the guitar melody. The track is certainly very active, and the drum kit in the background gives a rather hurried feel to it all. It amazes me how this sophisticated track seems to be sprung out of such a short melody. (9/10)

12) Escape! (Written by Harry)

This escape theme is different to other escape themes I've heard. For starters, this theme isn't the typical fast orchestral escape theme; it actually makes you want to escape with its chaotic organs and fast tempo. The only problem with "Escape!" is that it doesn't develop very well like the typical generic orchestral escape themes do. It can also be a tad repetitive but that's not really a problem considering the short track time. Overall, this is one of the best escape themes I have ever heard in an RPG, but it's a pity that it fails on developing well. (7/10)

13) Sacred Domain -Four Guardian Kings Dungeon- (Written by Dave)

Drum rolls and an increase in dynamics leads us to a grand, saddened track, which is just full of power. The track is orchestrated and the string section has the main role of producing the energy from which we get our inspiration. The drum beat stays throughout the whole track, as if it were a sentence to death. There are synth vocals hidden in this track behind the violin melody, making it all the more deathly and dungeon-like. The power of this track means that development isn't really important. The overall effect is reached, however, and what we have here is a powerful creation. (9/10)

14) A Challenge to God -Four Guardian Kings Battle- (Written by Harry)

This is the first really threatening battle theme on the album. Once again, it is guitar driven by Sekito, who does a damn fine job at incorporating danger and power, and also contains a good little electric bass solo in the middle of the track performed by Tomohito Aoki. Even Ito does a great job using the synth in this track. Ito's trumpet samples in this track sound like they are in pain, which really helps this track move along smoothly as well as helping the effect that the track gives off. Once it reaches the 0:51 mark, Sekito does this incredibly awesome guitar solo which lasts almost around 40 seconds before the horn comes back in and the track repeats itself. This track has everything a battle theme could want plus more, and even though that this battle theme isn't the best battle theme on the album, it certainly gives the best a hard time. A great example of when two separate minds come together and form as one. Well done, Ito and Sekito. (10/10)

15) Requiem (Written by Dave)

This is a short but beautiful track, which features a rising melody played on strings, that releases itself into a chimed tinkle. As short themes go, this is one of the better ones; it's quite amazing the effect you can get out of producing such a short track. (7/10)

16) Heartbroken Aisha (Written by Dave)

Strings leads us into a saddening and passionate piano line. This represents the pain, suffering, and betrayal of Aisha's heart. Suspended violin notes play over this in a rather swaying fashion. The piano continues as further instruments join to dramatise the tension felt. The piano melody is wonderfully written and it would seem like this track has a great degree of passion about it. The minor key, the slow metre, and the prolonged notes make this track all the more heart yearning. (9/10)

17) Theme of Solitude (Written by Harry)

The first word that came into my mind the first time I heard this track was "Dramatic." Yes, this track certainly is dramatic but also full of sadness. Upon the first listening, the bass melody sounds like something from a TV soap opera when something terrible has just been discovered, but as the track progresses and the main melody begins, the fantasy theme comes back and all the TV soap opera business is forgotten. I can't say that this track is very appealing, even though it is dramatic, or very interesting, being a very mediocre melody and typical bass notes, but I can see that it would work well within the game because of the dramatic effect. Neither a great track nor a bad one. It's just average. (7/10)

18) Unerasable Pain (Written by Totz)

For a name like "Unerasable Pain," this track starts off surprisingly light-hearted. It's only after 25 seconds it gets more dramatic, with the strings leading the melody. Like most of Ito's other dramatic pieces, this one's just "eh?" Now, is it just me who finds four sad tracks in a row kind of annoying? (6/10)

19) A Piece of Courage (Written by Totz)

Finally, some excitement, and it's not bad at all. Nice melody, cool beats. Oh, and look for the bit that begins at 0:58. That's just awesome. It's stuff like this that makes me buy rubbish games because the soundtrack is great. Thanks a lot, Ito! (8/10)

20) Happiness Tears (Written by Dave)

This is a beautiful track which has a wonderful female vocalist singing along to the melody. The vocalist doesn't sing words, but rather sings in scat to make a profound emphasis on the tone of her voice. The track is natural, flowing, and full of heart. The accompaniment comprises of a drum kit beat which is played over by some rather lovely strings and an acoustic guitar. This is an ambient track, and the vocalist definitely gives it a greater feeling of passion, hope, and love. However, the track doesn't really develop as much as it could do, and also this is much too similar to other game music vocal tracks. There isn't really anything original in this track, but nonetheless, the melody is superb. (9/10)

21) Village of the Giants (Written by Harry)

Shamisen, pipe noises, tribal beats, and a flute mean only one thing — an earth inspired piece. Ito appropriately takes the image of village full of Giants and uses the shamisen, tribal beats, and the pipe noises to represent an earthy kind of atmosphere, while the flute evaluates the Giants flowing and caring nature. I don't know if Ito was purposely trying to add the "Overture" into the main melody, but it sure sounds like it. I also love how the track uses the pipe noises as it works very effectively and is very Mitsuda-esque. Ito has created a very effective piece that remains a standout on the second disc (9/10)

22) Wicked Melody (Written by Chris)

It's been often said that Kenji Ito does dark themes best, and on the relative few opportunities Ito gets to create them through this soundtrack, he undoubtedly proves this. This track begins with a Gothic organ passage done and this later leads into a synth vocal passage. This passage is hellishly dark throughout and never gets dull. About half-way through, it enters a fast-paced passage, reminiscent of a battle theme. This is absolutely full of adrenaline and the combination of the heavy drums, organ use, and synth vocal melodies all come to create something hugely powerful and unusual. Eventually, it transitions back into the slow passages and the track loops, but not after a huge amount of development. With Gothic styles, unusual instrumentation use, and an overall epic feel, this evil theme is much more than a great melody. It's a masterpiece! (10/10)

23) Wipe Away the Tears (Written by Harry)

Former Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu, gets his old track redone, re-mastered, and redesigned by Tsuyoshi Sekito, guitar master himself. Sekito uses his guitar and plucks the melody on the guitar strings. It creates a sad and sombre feeling while the orchestral strings help sadden the mood even more than it already was. This version of "Wipe Away the Tears" surpasses the original track that was original composed by Uematsu and expands the emotions even further but still keeping the simple design that it was based on. You can't help but feel a little sad when listening to this track because you can just feel that Sekito poured his soul into those guitar strings. This track is the audio-living proof that Sekito can arrange tracks masterfully and beautifully. It's one of the best tracks on the second disc. (10/10)

24) I Am A Pirate (Written by Chris)

This track is identical to "We Are Pirates" except with fewer voices. Despite it's wonderful melody, this track is a disappointment. It's underdeveloped and Ito fails to utilise the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus to its maximum potential. All the chorus does is repeat a single motif over and over. When you've got something as prominent as the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus on your team, you really ought to be honoured and not lumber them with perhaps the most repetitive piece on the soundtrack. (6/10)

Disc Three

1) Final Trial (Written by Harry)

The third disc starts of excellently with "Final Trial." You can feel that the journey is starting to come to an end when you listen to this track with its grandiose beginning and epic melody. But the best feature about "Final Trial" is the horns. When listening to these horns, it sounds like a full orchestra is playing instead of synth orchestra. "Final Trial" is another track that the synth programmer, Hirosato Noda, should be commended and praised for due to the excellent instrument programming and samples that are used. I can't find anything wrong with this track besides the fact that it can be quite repetitive but not to an extent that you would get bored of it. I can't think of a better way to start a disc. A memorable beauty. (9/10)

2) Believing My Justice (Written by Dave)

The third disc is off to an excellent start with two excellent Ito tracks in a row. This track is fast-paced and the energy given out from it is entirely inspirational. The bass is excellent, and it fits the setting superbly. The power given out from this track gives an impression of justice straight away. The 1:35 section represents a scene of turmoil, which is then seemingly resolved by the introduction of the main theme once more. The track doesn't see much development, but any full movement from the main theme would kill off the track's power. The track carries on moving, which gives us a sense of constant action. (9/10)

3) Mysterious Glitter (Written by Dave)

Following two powerful tracks, this one seems to be pretty out of place in the album. However, the variation produced by its placement makes the album seem like it is more diverse, despite its abundance of powerful themes. The track begins off in a very ambient fashion, which is typical of a theme representing something mysterious. A slow metre, some slow development, and prominently used chimes give the track a smooth and mystic nature. This is definitely a functional track. (7/10)

4) Awakening Memories -The Battle with Sherah- (Written by Harry)

This is it, everybody, the best battle theme on the album is by far "Awakening Memories - The Battle With Sherah." Sekito once again picks up his godly guitar, and it seems like he decided to storm over to Kenichiro Fukui's house and start an all out riot! This track has "DANGER!" written all over it, and clearly shows that this Sherah character is no walk in the park. What makes this track unique is the fact that Fukui and Sekito seem to be actually living out the battle with their ferocious solos. The track starts off with Sekito's electric guitar playing some cool base riffs, then it seems like Fukui wants some action with his fast paced rock organ solos. After the awesome intro, Sekito gets into the main melody and does wonders with his guitar before Fukui decides that Sekito is getting all the action and shows off his skill. Sekito then rips back at Fukui by performing the main melody again plus adding a skilful guitar solo to show Fukui that he means business. But Fukui isn't going to let Sekito win that easily, so he pours out everything he's got in his rock organ and lets Sekito have it. The solos keep going back and forth until the track repeats itself. I hope, when I play the game, that Sherah is like Sekito and Fukui, because the sheer amount of energy and power that those two performed in this track is unbelievable. This is Hard Rock VGM at its very best. One of the best pieces on the Original Soundtrack, and one of the best battle themes ever made. (10/10)

5) Hades (Written by Dave)

This track sounds remarkably evil, and well, Hades is the lord of the Dead, and ruler of the Netherworld, after all. Strings open the track with a melody that descends and somehow decays upon listening. Frequent, hollow, and empty background noises are added to give a sense of place down in the depths of the Dead. The dynamic variation is excellent, as it really creates and maximises the image of evil spirits. The lack of instruments also adds to this, as the timbre is given an extremely spacious sense. Development is minimal, but it does its job. (8/10)

6) Written Invitation to Death -The Battle with Death- (Written by Harry)

Kenji Ito's only really big boss battle theme on the Original Soundtrack. And what a battle theme this is! Ito really tries hard to make a threatening battle theme, and although not very threatening, it is a driving piece that makes you want to continue the fight. What you will find is not guitars or rock organs by Sekito and Fukui, but booming orchestras, wailing female opera accents by Kyoko Kishikawa, and choirs by the Tokyo Philharmonic Chorus. The intro really grabs you from the beginning and that's really important for a theme like this, because you need to be alert from the beginning to end to enjoy it the most. After the great intro, the militaristic body comes next with Kyoko Kishikawa doing wonders to the piece with her operatic wailing. If she wasn't present in the piece, it would have been a lot different albeit worse. After the main body, the best part of the piece comes next when the horns come out of nowhere and practically tell you that you're not going to win the fight. The track develops itself quite well, forming a climax at the very end of the piece. Ito really does make some great battle themes and this is no exception. From the booming orchestra to Kishikawa's haunting vocals, this is another standout on the Original Soundtrack. (10/10)

7) Last Dungeon (Written by Dave)

Now this is a decent track. Timpanis open the track along with a stabbing piano chord rhythm. Typically, strings join to give the evil factor. The melody sways upwards ready to coil downwards into a pit of thorough dynamics, chaotic harmonies, and gloomy beats. A synth sound effect line is present in the track, which is reminiscent of the opening theme from "Blade Runner," a 1982 movie, and adds a feeling of mystery. The instrumental choice is perfect, as it almost sounds militaristic, yet evil at the same time. The constant rise in dynamics throughout the track relate to how close you are getting to fight the enemy. This is once again another blood-chilling and excellent track. (9/10)

8) Evil God Revival (Written by Harry)

After the excellent previous tracks, this one falls behind. Way behind. It is neither interesting nor sophisticated, and is just plain boring. Though it does build up suspense and shows evil appropriately, it's not enough to even grab the listener's attention. It's also incredibly repetitivem which really sucks. All round, this is a very disappointing track, so half marks. (5/10)

9) To the Altar of Revival (Written by Harry)

This track is Tsuyoshi Sekito's second to last arrangement for the Original Soundtrack. It's different to the other arrangements Sekito has done on the album, as it is primary an electronica track, but still manages to keep the great Sekito feeling which he is so good at creating. The track follows the same path as "Written Invitation to Death -The Battle with Death-" did, as it starts of strong and slowly but surely builds up to an even stronger conclusion. Although it is mainly electronica, Sekito still manages to use his electric guitar, which is heavily distorted, to give off a sense of limited time. This is also a great mood setter for the next track which seems to be Sekito's second best contribution to the Original Soundtrack. Another quality track by one of the best arrangers at Square Enix. (10/10)

10) Decisive Battle! Saruin -Final Battle with Saruin- (Written by Chris)

At last, we have reached the end of the quest and the decisive battle has arrived. Like most battle themes, Sekito arranged this one, and he's on top form once more here. Unlike the previous track, it has a firm rock feel once more, being mostly dominated by Sekito's distorted electronic guitar and some fast-paced drums. Sekito's guitar work makes this track hugely energetic and imposing, and each of his several solos is impressive, musical, and memorable. This is also the second track we hear Kenichiro Fukui's organ mastery, as he has two prominent solos that complement Sekito's perfectly. Though not quite my favourite Sekito piece on the album, it ranks high up there, since it fits the scene of the perfectly, is incredibly well-developed, and has the best instrumental solos on the album. Excellent job, Sekito! (10/10)

11) Only One Wish (Written by Dave)

I fell in love with this track instantly, as the piano reminded me of beautiful sequences in so many games prior to this. When the flute came in, my heart leapt, as it was obvious that the track was going to be one of longing, desire, and ultimate. As the piano plays a superb accompaniment in the background, strings are added to create a full feel of desire and justification. The melody is sweet, admirable, and certainly suited to what it is supposed to represent. This is obviously a track which Ito spent a lot of time on. The orchestration is perfect, and when I think about it, there isn't a single bad thing. The instrumentation, as I said, is spot on, and the thing that I love about it is the frequent percussive input. Chimes, and various other tuned percussion each play their part, to make this track all the more perfect and intricate. At the 3:35 mark, the piano comes back even louder than before, and when this is joined by expressively played strings, the story of the track becomes even more meaningful. This is one of my favourite tracks on the disc. (10/10)

12) Eternal Emotion (Written by Harry)

This track is beautiful. I hold it on the same level as "Overture" and "Opening Title." "Eternal Emotion" is one of the few tracks that are orchestrated by Kenji Ito, and to a real life orchestra, too. The track is pretty much an extension from the previous track, "Only One Wish," but takes it to a whole new level in terms of emotion and soul. The piece starts off with the opening bars as a variation to the "Opening Title," then goes into the main melody which is played wonderfully by Ito on the piano. Once Ito is finished, the orchestra takes over and bridges the piece brilliantly until the main melody comes back in, but this time it isn't performed by Ito but the Morinoki Jidou Gassyoudan, a chorus group that does the main melody justice. A masterpiece that leads up to the grand finale and the final live orchestral track. You can't miss this piece. (10/10)

13) End Title (Written by Chris)

Every Original Soundtrack needs its ending theme and this soundtrack gets a rather good one. Like the tracks at the start of Disc One, this one is fully orchestrated, which gives it a certain flair. The orchestration throughout is impeccable, with each instrument being used in an effective way, and this ensures that the track creates a wide variety of feelings from pride to sadness to joy. The core of this track centres around the "Opening Title" theme, and though the melody repeats itself a little too many times for my taste, variety is created with the strong coda, incredible introduction, and subtle instrumental contrasts. Indeed, it's one of Ito's best contributions on the album, and though it is a tiny bit repetitive, the level of emotion, quality of orchestration, and the comprehensive nature of this track all ensure this is a minor niggle. (9/10)

14) Minuet (Ending Edit) (Written by Dave)

This is a vocal track from the heart of Masayoshi Yamazaki. The vocalist is male, and his melody is accompanied by an acoustic guitar and an accordion. The track is relatively simple, and it is a rather effective end to the third disc. With a cymbal added in the background at a later stage, the track sounds traditionally French. This is similar to many tracks on the Romancing SaGa La Romance album from Masaaki Mizoguchi. The accordion and the guitar work extremely well with each other, hence this track is enjoyable to listen to. It wraps off the story with a nice quaint touch and is more developed than the earlier rendition of the theme at the start of the soundtrack. (9/10)

Disc Four

1) Rosalia From A Window (Written by Harry)

The first track on the last disc sounds like a typical Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack Ito composition. This track is also the first of the "...From a Window" sound collection which basically has the same melody for all 13 compositions but all arranged in a different way. Like many previous tracks, Ito uses the flute and orchestral strings to live out the composition and is also arranged in a ballad-like style. I think it's a nice piece but it's nothing great nor inspiring. A not-so-good way to start off the last disc. (7/10)

2) Knights' Dominion From A Window (Written by Dave)

This is a much fresher "...From the Window" arrangement. A harpsichord takes a main role in this version, as does an oboe. The melody is enhanced greatly in this track, and this is due to the flowing instrumentation. This is a sweet track, which is definitely an improvement on the previous track. However, though the changes in timbre are smooth, some instruments weren't enhanced as much as they could have been, so the melody bores after a while. (7/10)

3) Frontier From A Window (Written by Harry)

What's this? Tsuyoshi Sekito arranging a "...From A Window" sound collection track? Well, it's true and he does a great job at it. Sekito plays the banjo in "Frontier From A Window" as well as the harmonica. He really does a fine job at arranging the overused melody with his simplistic arranging style. After the main melody is played, Sekito expands on the track more by making up an original tune with the violin and arranging it in a folk style. Overall, Sekito transforms what seems to be a decent melody into a great track. Another hit for Sekito. (8/10)

4) Walon Isle From A Window (Written by Dave)

This is a steel drum arrangement of this theme. It has a very Caribbean feel to it, which is created by the tropical accompaniment. The steel drums are prominent against the xylophone and banjo accompaniment. This track has been arranged by Sekito, who, evidently, when considering his previous track, knows how to put a lot of variety into his tracks without changing the melody. There is no real development in this track, and as a stand-alone track, it isn't really that strong. However, this track certainly represents the image you would expect from an island. (8/10)

5) Ligou Isle From A Window (Written by Dave)

This track sounds a lot more oriental than the previous one, and, as well as this, it is much more blasé. An oriental wind instrument plays a swaying melody, which with the pitch bends added, really gives the track a lighter feel. A piano is also prominent in the background of the track, and it takes the main melody for quite a while. The blend of the timbrez in this track is interesting, as it sets the image of a vegetation-filled landscape. The slow metre, soft dynamic variations, and natural timbre all make this track a very peaceful one to listen to. Yet, it isn't as good as the previous two arrangements. (7/10)

6) Garesa Steppe From A Window (Written by Dave)

This track is a lot more upbeat, and the bass line is certainly more active this time. The violin returns in this track, and its melody really works well in conjunction with the oriental wind instrument. The two intertwine to give us a beautiful melody, which really gives a feeling of joy and hope to its surroundings. The track picks up around the 1:35 mark, and this is taken all the way to the end, where the track loops. The accompaniment seems to be structured well here, which is an improvement on the arrangements prior to this. This is a beautiful track. (9/10)

7) Valhalland From A Window (Written by Dave)

This next arrangement of the melody is mystical, and certainly a lot more ambient. I think this is my favourite out of the ones so far, especially as the purity of the instruments really enhances the melody. Suspended notes bring us a feeling of hope, and the whole idea of perfection is concealed within the perfect chime accompaniment. Up until now, Sekito has provided us with a lot of variation, and he has really shown us what abilities he has, and, as seen in all of them, a bit of his own culture. (9/10)

8) Kjaraht From A Window (Written by Chris)

This is one of the better "...From A Window" tracks that sees Sekito stand out once more due to his experimentation, which involves Indian and fusion styles in this instance. The sitar leads the track, giving it some unique flair, while dense countermelodies are provided by the electronic sounds underneath. Though the track wanders a little aimlessly, the reprise of a section of "Minuet" gives the theme a more substantial melodic backbone aside from the main "From A Window" theme. Indeed, while it is reputable mainly because of its style rather than actual musical qualities, the way it perfectly sets the scene and experiments in an interesting way makes this theme a very good one. (8/10)

9) Ore Mine From A Window (Written by Chris)

This is another of Sekito's lovely "...From A Window" themes. It principally involves a panpipe melody against some tuned percussion harmonies, and though simple, it works beautifully here. The panpipe melody is quite possibly the cutest rendition of the melody from the "...From A Window" tracks, and the tuned percussion ostinato's underneath give the theme an abstract feel. It fits its purpose wonderfully and it is very tempting to whistle along to this little gem. (9/10)

10) View of the Sea From A Window (Written by Dave)

The steel drum returns once again in this arrangement of the theme. Despite how many times this theme has been arranged prior to this, I have not bored of it as of yet. This is because of Sekito's wonderful arranging skills, which really gives the theme a different edge to it each time. This variation is a jolly and bright version, which certainly gives you a perfect vision of the surrounding sea. (9/10)

11) Bafal Empire From A Window (Written by Dave)

This is a grand and bright arrangement of the theme. Once again, the instrumentation has changed, as we see the melody being played by an airy flute. The string accompaniment gives the track a sense of justice, as their quaint dynamic variations are very passionate. The track has frequent build ups, which really gives it a sense of galore, and accompanied by frequent cymbal clashes, the whole image of the Bafal Empire is given to us flawlessly. (9/10)

12) Oasis From A Window (Written by Dave)

This is certainly a traditional-sounding track. The use of basic instruments, such as a banjo, tom-toms, and a sitar give the track an Egyptian feel. The image that I get from this track is wonderful, as I really can imagine the sand grains surrounded by luscious green grass. The track sounds slightly empty, though, and this is due to the instrumentation, yet with different instruments this track wouldn't give the image of an oasis, so it is a compromise situation. This is another good arrangement of the theme. (8/10)

13) Fishing Village From A Window (Written by Dave)

This final rendition is even more natural than the others. It is upbeat and the fiddle melody really brings out the best of its part. The accompaniment is interesting, as we can hear agogo bells, and a percussive instrument which sounds like a twanged spring. This isn't bad for the last "...From A Window" track, but it isn't one of the best either. Sekito has given us some fantastic arrangements here, and considering how simple the melody is, we can certainly praise him for his efforts. (7/10)

14) Anxiety (Written by Harry)

Why, Ito? Once we finally finish all the "...From A Window" sound collections, we are treated to a piece which sounds like utter nonsense. "Anxiety" does get you anxious, but in the wrong way as it gets you anxious to press the skip button on your CD player. I think the reason behind this is because of the instrumental synth programming by Noda. Not only does it sound ear grating, but the instrumentals also sound too fantasy like to create a track which is meant to be full of anxiety. I never though Ito could disappoint me this much but it looks like I was wrong. (4/10)

15) Shock (Written by Chris)

This is one of Ito's least inspired creations. It opens with detached dissonant crashes, which are separated by timpani rolls, and while this may sound effective in theory, it actually sounds dull considering this technique is so hackneyed. Following this, the track moves into a new passage, which revolves around a motif that is endlessly repeated while the harmonies underneath are thickened. It sounds like a desperate attempt to create some tension and the transition back to the passage involving the orchestral crashes and timpani rolls is even more cringe-worthy. The two passages are completely separate and could well have been two compositions poorly jammed together. Ito didn't even manage to end this track effective and any attempts to make it sound like a grand climax are truly pitiful. (3/10)

16) Sad (Written by Chris)

Like the previous two tracks, this track not only has a boring generic name but some very dull hackeneyed features too. Like many tracks representing sadness, soft strings lead, which play a lulling and fairly forgettable motif. This track gets better as piano decorations are added, and, while hardly the epitome of musicality, they sound sweet enough to be pleasant. Still, this track is another of Ito's mediocre ones, and while better than the tracks it is sandwiched between, that really doesn't say a great deal. (6/10)

17) No Problem (Written by Chris)

This track is absolutely awful. It features an ever-repeating annoying motif based around the main theme, which reveals Ito's cheesy and cringe-worthy side. Even more annoying, however, is the Noda-style bass line and beats that have been added. This makes an already unbearable track a million times worse. While a middle section makes this track a little more tolerable, it only lasts for 9 seconds and still features an annoying bass line and beats. While the track is fortunately over in 42 seconds, it isn't quite short enough to prevent your intestines deciding to euthanise you by strangling your brain. Indeed, this is quite unfortunate... (1/10)

18) Suddenly, It's Charleston!? (Written by Dave)

This is a very upbeat and catchy track that bags loads of potential. However, it is underdeveloped, slightly annoying, and extremely cheesy. The honky-tonk piano sounds exactly as its name suggests: it is cheap and noisy. The style of the Charleston is brought out well in this track, as the syncopated 4/4 rhythm of the ragtime bass is certainly expressed well. If this track had have been developed it would have been a perfect addition to this already failing disc, but, at a length of 0:42, I consider it to be an extremely poor and half-hearted effort from Ito. (5/10)

19) Omen (Written by Dave)

A beaty string ostinato begins this track in a very adrenalin pumping fashion. The track proceeds from this to reveal an overlapping melody which has a beautiful flow to it. As each part gradually builds up, we can really get a sense of tension, destruction, and foreboding building up. The dysphoria of this track is definitely intriguing, as it really seems to create an effective representation of an omen, which in this case, is seemingly a bad one. The track is short and underdeveloped, but it is a good effort from Sekito, who we see a lot of on this disc. (8/10)

20) Pressure (Written by Harry)

Finally, we get a piece from the fourth disc that isn't bad. "Pressure" is another track that is arranged by Tsuyoshi Sekito, and even though it's short, it is rather good. You can't listen to this track and not realize the addictive mechanical percussion because it's so loud you can barely hear the synth melody. Like most tracks on the fourth disc, "Pressure" is incredibly underdeveloped, but all is forgotten when listening to its mesmerizing percussion pattern. An addictive little jingle by Sekito, the master himself. (7/10)

21) Dash (Written by Chris)

This is another decent track from Sekito that features creative features, yet suffers from overdevelopment. It has electronica beats throughout that remind me a lot of "Arise With You" from the Parasite Eve Original Soundtrack. This makes it a great scene-setter and gives it plenty of potential. Unfortunately, this potential is not reached, however, as Sekito, for one of the first times in this soundtrack, got rather lazy. Still, while underdeveloped, it adds 1 minute 14 seconds of colour to the soundtrack's only poor disc. (6/10)

22) Invisibility (Written by Harry)

Charming and mysterious, this track is also another short one by Sekito. What the track contains is 46 seconds of mysterious bells and a weird synthy noise that consistently switches from a major scale to a minor scale. It certainly works well, but not outside of the game, because it is just too short with absolutely no development. I can sort of picture a character with some kind of invisibility protecting them but nothing more after that. Oh well, Sekito can't always compose good tracks. (6/10)

23) Romancing As It Is (Written by Dave)

This is yet another arrangement from the heart of Sekito. This track is an incredibly upbeat theme written for a xylophone and strings. The fast paced beating of the xylophone really gives the track an authentic feel, which reflects upon the country of origin. I have to admit that the track bores after a while, as it is constantly repeated over such a short time. However, the syncopated melody in this track really gives it a light edge, and I guess it proves to be a fair addition to the soundtrack. (7/10)

24) Boring Days (Written by Dave)

A rather airy instrument begins this track with a bouncy melody which constantly repeats. There is a guitar accompaniment which gives the track a shuffle rhythm, and with frequent additions from a glockenspiel, the whole track seems to piece together nicely. The track name is certainly reflected in the music, as, although the track is light and bouncy, the wind instrument adds a rather dull effect, which gives the idea of a trudging, dreary person. This track isn't half bad, but it only takes fifteen seconds to loop. (6/10)

25) Arranged Customs (Written by Harry)

How many arrangements of the "Opening Title" do we need in one Original Soundtrack? Luckily, Sekito makes the overused theme a pleasure to listen to on this track. Square Enix's in-house guitar master does a great job at arranging Kenji Ito's original composition, and really adds his own special touch in the arrangement which you can just emotionally connect with. The piece starts off slow with Sekito arranging Ito's "Opening Title" with his guitar, then it forms into a more developed but repetitive track, which is quite emotional and was obviously mastered well. A sensational Sekito piece. (10/10)

26) Demise (Written by Dave)

The main theme is used as an opening for this track, and it has been arranged in a dark fashion for strings. A piano joins the track, and rather fluidly plays against a held tremolo string note. Sekito has created a very dark atmosphere with this track, and everything outside of the piano melody just seems to give out images of death, fear, and darkness. The track is relatively short, and with just a bit more development, this theme could have been an epic one for sure. (9/10)

27) Jingle A (Written by Dave)

This is a very grand yet short track, which opens with an ascending harp melody. This leads us into a rampant orchestra that play a series of broken chords. Despite the length of this track, the whole orchestra is involved. Timpanis are even used to make the track sound victorious and successful. As jingles go, this is as good as it gets. (8/10)

28) Jingle B (Written by Dave)

This track is even more grandiose, and the build up is even more extreme. Once again, this is a short track, but the whole orchestra is used once more. This, along with "Jingle A," is wonderful, and they work superbly, making them a surprisingly good addition to Disc Four. (10/10)

29) Profound (Written by Harry)

Sekito has done a great string of tracks up until now. What this track is built up from is just over a minute of suspended strings and weird ambient noises. Like some of the other pieces in Disc Four's sound collection, this track would only work well within the game. An average job. There is nothing more I can say. (5/10)

30) Chills (Written by Dave)

This track is certainly chilling, but I would have expected a lot more variation from Sekito. The track begins with a rising string tremolo, which then stays throughout the track to give an eerie effect. The track features a rather simplistic bell ostinato, which is strangely hollow, and its reverberation gives out an ominous feel. Although this track is simplistic and in need of development, we can see that the intended atmosphere is most definitely created. Simplicity can produce wonderful things. (8/10)

31) Anticipation (Written by Dave)

This is a short but sweet melody. An acoustic guitar starts the track with an ostinato that is played throughout the track. Not only does the track feature a lovely sting part, but it also features some effective sitar inputs too. I wouldn't say that this track gives much of an impression of anticipation, but more a feeling of bewilderment. The timbre totally reflects this image, and the careful selection of instruments by Sekito makes this track quite successful. It features another underdeveloped melody, yet it is still beautiful and dainty. (8/10)

32) A Strange Pair (Written by Dave)

"A Strange Pair" is a curious track, which features a playful beat and a strange melody. The idea of strangeness is created through syncopation in the accompaniment, and this is then heightened further by the chromatic melody played above it. The track is twenty-three seconds long, and although not a lot happens within this time, the effect required is created. Sekito makes this seem like a magical track, despite its length. (7/10)

33) Bewilderment (Written by Dave)

This track is an arrangement of the main theme first shown in "Opening Title," and it is a jumpy one at that. Syncopation is a key feature in this track, and it is used to create the idea of bewilderment. The track builds up through dynamic contrasts, namely crescendos and diminuendos, which emphasises such an idea. The track doesn't seem to be as well thought out as Sekito's previous tracks, but it is still an effective addition to the soundtrack. (6/10)

34) Crisis (Written by Harry)

For a short track developed by Ito, this is actually quite good. It may not be like Masashi Hamauzu's "Crisis" from the Final Fantasy X Original Soundtrack, but it still matches the environment that the soundtrack is set in. Like most horror/crisis themes, it starts off with an orchestral bang and doesn't lose its feeling of danger through the entire track. I must comment on the instrumentation because the light hearted fantasy-type instruments really degrade the likeability of "Crisis" quite significantly. Neither inspired nor amazing, this is just a decent old track. (7/10)

35) Charge (Written by Harry)

Ugh. "Charge" is one of those tracks that get on your nerves. Bland, bland, and bland is all I can think of when I listen to "Charge." It's just so... ugh! The instrumentation is horrible, the melody is plain boring, and I don't get excited at all! It's tracks like these that make me wonder why there even was a fourth disc. Why, Ito, Why?!?!?! (2/10)

36) Determination (Written by Harry)

Now that the atrocious "Charge" is over, we come across to another average composition by Ito. Well, after this track, I can say finally say the much needed "Welcome Back, Ito". "Charge" returns to the good old Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack styles, which we all really needed after the previous themes by Ito. What a wonderful instrument the horn is, too, and on this track it really shows through! Kenji Ito has returned to his great composing style after the previous few tracks. A great welcome back track. (7/10)

37) Eternal Separation (Written by Harry)

Kenji Ito does it again with "Eternal Separation." It perfectly combines orchestral elements with the piano in just 1:05. "Eternal Separation" is another arrangement and variation of "Overture" as well as an original tune. The orchestration, although obviously synthesized is absolutely breathtaking and inspiring, as it is full of wild memories that take you back into the earlier tracks on the Original Soundtrack. Too bad it is only a short track as it could have been so much more powerful if it were more developed. Kenji Ito delivers another solid crowd pleaser. (8/10)

38) Fateful Encounter (Written by Dave)

This track has a predictable melody, but I guess that this adds to the simplicity of the surroundings. A flute takes the main melody and we have a vast number of instruments in the background too. The glockenspiel represents life in its purest form, whereas the piano seems to represent the destruction of it. This is an emotional track from Ito, but it is far too short for my liking. (10/10)

39) Light Steps! Normal Steps!! Stealthy Steps!!! (Written by Dave)

The start of the track is made up of growing and falling dynamics to make it sound mysterious, and to create a feeling of suspense. Violins are used to create this, but for me, the effect is destroyed upon addition of a drum beat. The track is once again short, yet what goes on within this time is very musically advanced. The Piano for instance works perfectly, as do its broken chords and acciaccaturas, so the piece moves nicely. (8/10)

40) Invitation to Flamenco (Written by Dave)

This is a pleasing Spanish guitar track, which strangely isn't written by Sekito. The melody is too simple for my liking, but rather fitting with Ito's style of composition. The track is full of flair, intelligence, and a great metre. There is a castanet accompaniment that fits perfectly in the track, and the whole track is ended wonderfully with a quickly strum chord. But once again, it is far too short. (8/10)

41) Running Across the Vast Ocean! (Written by Dave)

The first part of this track contains a fast paced string and trumpet part, but after a break we are led into a new section. This new section is more flowing, more melodically pleasing, and more dynamically enhanced. The track fits well together as a whole, and it is the bass part that makes it an epic short track. These last few tracks have contained superb ideas, but their shortness has let their melodies down. (7/10)

42) Eternal Emotion (Piano Solo Version) (Written by Harry)

Without question or doubt, "Eternal Emotion (Piano Solo Version)" is the best track on Disc Four. Kenji Ito simply takes the melody from "Eternal Emotion" and reforms it into a magical piano solo. It doesn't add or lessen the emotional qualities that the original track had, but it does have a different feeling of sadness. In terms of creativity, "Eternal Emotion (Piano Solo Version)" doesn't improve much, or change dramatically, on it's original counterpart but it does slow the tempo down a little bit. I can't say I enjoy this version of "Eternal Emotion" compared to the other version mainly because the original was much more complex and more traditional, but that doesn't mean that this isn't a great track. "Eternal Emotion (Piano Solo Version)" is a great, peaceful and fulfilling way to end the mystical and wondrous journey that is Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack. (10/10)

Summaries

Written by Dave

This is by far the most varied Romancing SaGa album to date, and perhaps the most pleasing too. As with the development of musical technology in games, the music in Romancing SaGa games has considerably changed for the better. Each album has its wonder discs, and, for this one, it was the third. The third disc brought us "To the Altar of Revival," "Awakening Memories -The Battle with Sherah-," and "Decisive Battle! Saruin -Final Battle with Saruin-" from Sekito, and "Only One Wish," "End Title," and "Eternal Emotion" from Kenji Ito. The Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack has certainly opened my eyes through its majestic melodies, heterogeneous harmonies, and fortifying flair, yet what I loved the most was the way both arrangements and compositions effortlessly combined.

In comparison to earlier Romancing SaGa titles, this is my favourite by a long way. This is because of that one simple thing: variety. Although some themes may be poorly developed, what they represent is an enhancement of the music from the first Romancing SaGa game. This soundtrack offers us four discs of pleasure, and although the fourth disc is made up of some very small tracks, it is definitely a great addition to the game.

Sekito has some wonderful guitar arrangements on this album, Ito has some perfect orchestral pieces, and Uematsu is also featured with a reprise of the beautiful "Wipe Away the Tears". Both Sekito and Ito, who were the main composers on the album, have very varied styles, and such diversity is an asset to the gaming world. I feel that this is Ito's best work on a game music album, too. From the orchestral mastery of "Overture" to the passion of "Eternal Emotion" to the flair of "Wicked Melody," this is an album for all. (9/10)

Written by KujaFFman

There must be many ways to describe this amazing soundtrack, but the best summary you can read is: this is Kenji Ito's best album. Ever. Thanks to his orchestrating skills and the power of Tsuyoshi Sekito, the Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack becomes a must-have. Kenji Ito not only shows his talent at creating moving orchestrated themes, such as "Overture," "Written Invitation to Death -The Battle with Death-" (my personal favorite), and the endings, but also his passionate rhythms and his versatile atmospheres, from the mysterious "Lost Woods" to the decisive "Sacred Domain -Four Guardian Kings Dungeon-." But without Tsuyoshi Sekito, this soundtrack would have been disappointing! The (VGM) world renowned guitarist brings hard rock into Ito's battle themes, creating some of the most powerful ever heard in a RPG. Disc Four is a little weak compared to the three others, but still, this soundtrack is a "Challenge to God," and you would write your "Written Invitation to Death" if you refuse to listen to it. So just stay with your "Jazzy Mood," and "Wipe Away the Tears." (9/10)

Written by Harry

The Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack is just plain awesome. Kenji Ito really exceeded my expectations with this remake of the Romancing SaGa Original Sound Version. I can truly say that the new arrangements of the original themes do, in most cases, surpass the originals while also adding extra parts or new technological flair to make them more interesting and musically refined. But the main reason behind the albums major success is the man from The Black Mages, Tsuyoshi Sekito. His rock arranging abilities have, I thought, been proven to be excellent, but now, ever since Sekito has worked on Romancing Saga Minstrel Song Original Soundtrack, I will always think that his abilities are unrivalled. He's that good. There isn't too much criticism I can say about Ito's latest masterpiece, although I didn't think that Disc Four was too necessary as it didn't add much more into the musical experience nor did it have any real stand-outs which the other discs are filled with. Should you buy this gem? Absolutely. There is no exception for you to pass this Soundtrack up, as it is Kenji Ito's single best contribution to game music. Besides, if you don't like Kenji Ito, Tsuyoshi Sekito's arrangements alone make it worth the purchase. (9/10)

Average of Summary Scores: 9/10