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Original Sound of Dragon Slayer IV Drasle Family :: Review by Simon

Original Sound of Dragon Slayer IV Drasle Family Album Title: Original Sound of Dragon Slayer IV Drasle Family
Record Label: Apollon
Catalog No.: KHY-1020 (Tape)
Release Date: September 21, 1987
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family (aka Legacy of the Wizard) is not a game I have played, but this is the case with many of my favourite soundtracks. This particular soundtrack is a really old-school sounding one, released back in the 1980s for early Japanese computers. It features music from two early maestros of Falcom music, Yuzo Koshiro and Mieko Ishikawa.


Let's start right from the beginning. The "Opening Theme" is a very pleasant piece written in Falcom tradition. However, it doesn't really have a hook for those expecting something comparable to "Feena". However, the "Inn & Residence Theme" is very catchy and uptempo song, as is the "Overworld Theme" with its expansive melody and militaristic drums. "All Together Now" is one of the most manic themes on the melody. While the melody is quite steady, there are fast pulsating bass lines all around it, which pan back and forth between each speaker to marvellous effect. Interestingly "Shop Theme" is actually faster! It takes away the bassline and replaces it with a speedy drum track. After around 40 seconds, the track stops and then a slower theme with a strong tune shows up. It demonstrates that the older tunes can still be impressive, even in the age of today's technology.

Moving to the bulk of the soundtrack, "Theme Of Xemn" is a fantastic composition. Its rich melody comes together with an excellent bass line to impressive effect. Dragon Slayer IV has its sound very much in the speakers — offering slightly ear-piercing treble pitches and very deep bass tones simultaneously. Here the implementation really works in the composition's favour and shows off a classy theme. "Theme of Pochi" is a complete change, transitioning from a chirpy opening to a more dramatic theme, but still uses stereo effects very well. "Theme of Lyll" reminds me of the background music featured in old cowboy films, while "Theme Of Meya" is a strange beast with its forthright instrument. Both are good tracks nonetheless though.

Moving to the battle themes, "Battle with Tarantuness" features more innovative sound producing. One speaker takes the treble and the other the bass, yet every new line or two, the roles of the speakers are swapped. It's very original and bizarre, making for an even more action-packed and dramatic theme. Tremendous stuff! "Battle with Erebone" a hyperactive more reminiscent of art music than video game music, but it's still a loveable one. Among the weaker themes, "Battle with Rock Gaia" is only 30 second song and suffers from a lack of bass, while "Battle with Archwinger" is very conventional despite its strong melodies. "Dragon Showdown", however, is perfect for the final battle and gets right into the swing of things. Unfortunately, the inclusion of some sound effects really marr the second half. The album closes with an energetic ending theme and a sound effects collection.


The music for Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family has never received the same level of attention as the soundtracks for Ys and Sorcerian. However, its original score is nevertheless the kind of music that deserves to be regarded as a classic old-school game music. In spite of the shoestring budget and technological limitations of the game, the score has plenty of character, catchy tunes, and big meaty synthesizers. If you want to go back to the heart of game music, this is one place where you can start. For the rest of us, you can enjoy some high quality music. Superb!

Overall Score: 9/10