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Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections :: Review by Z-Freak

Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections Album Title: Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections
Record Label: NTT Publishing
Catalog No.: N25D-020
Release Date: September 10, 1993
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Final Fantasy Mystic Quest, released in 1992, is certainly infamous for being a 'mistake', as it was a disappointment to many fans who were expecting another epic RPG like Final Fantasy IV. Despite having the difficulty toned down even lower than the original Final Fantasy and having little to no plot whatsoever, it did have one redeeming grace: its music. Before moving on, let's learn a bit about the background of its composers. Final Fantasy Mystic Quest is the first in the franchise NOT to be composed by Nobuo Uematsu, but rather by newcomers Ryuji Sasai and Yasuhiro Kawakami. Though Sasai had recently scored Final Fantasy Legend 3 with Chihiro Fujioka when the score was released, this was Kawakami's first game for Square. Sasai handles most of the rock-based battle tracks, whereas Kawakami handles the peaceful setting themes. Now for the good part: the Final Fantasy USA Mystic Quest Sound Collections not only contains all the tracks from the game, but it also contains three arranged medleys, two by Sasai and one by Kawakami.


We start off with the rocking "Mystic Re-Quest I," a very cool arrangement of the "Last Castle" theme. In the middle, we get a nice arrangement of the "Lava Dome" theme and then return to the castle theme to close the track. It's very well done, though not as wonderful as "Mystic Re-Quest II" which follows. "Mystic Re-Quest II" is a medley of all the battle themes from the game. It starts off with notes of the "Battle 3" theme, which sounds a little sinister, then the guitar rips through and rocks like there's no tomorrow. You could say that Ryuji Sasai has grasped the power of the electric guitar to its finest potential in this track. After Sasai's arranged gems, the actual game Original Sound Version tracks follow...

First off is the title theme, "Mystic Quest," which is an excellent opening for this light-hearted RPG. The piece utilises a fair amount of trumpets and drums like in Uematsu's works, though the difference here is that the style is light rock, which was meant to appeal the younger audiences, and it really does. "Hill of Fate" plays when the Hero must save the old man from the Behemoth. It's an excellent opening in my opinion, as the beat is steady and doesn't bore. "World" is the map theme; though it's pretty short, it still has an epic feel and it fits the mood nicely as you make your way around. "Beautiful Forest" is one of the most beautiful tracks. It's very soothing and mysterious, and shows Kawakami's ability with ambient themes.

After Kawakami's track, Sasai comes back in full force with a classic battle theme, "Battle 1." This is obviously the main battle theme, and it simply sounds cool; you never get tired of hearing it over and over, and you can't help but love Sasai's guitar work. "Victory Fanfare" doesn't offer much, but it's there, so deal with it! "City of Forest - Foresta" is another beautiful, peaceful track. Nothing more can be said about it really. "Fossil Labyrinth" is the theme for the Bone Dungeon. It starts off with a military drum beat, then trumpets make their way into, before it loops back to the beginning. It's a short track, but it's still enjoyable. "Battle 2" is the boss theme, and once more, Sasai takes out his guitar to create an excellent theme. It's very epic, and it gets you into the spirit of the battle.

Following the battle themes, we get to hear "Focus Tower," a slow but epic piece played as you climb the legendary Focus Tower. Another serious theme is "Shrine of Light," which is reserved as a setting theme for holy plays; it's very calm and relaxing, although it does get boring quick. "Rock Theme" is the theme for good ol' Treasure Hunter Tristan. He's so cool that he gets his own guitar-based theme. "Dungeon of Ice" was used in the Ice Cave and the Frozen Pyramid; it gives off a cold feel as you trot around in these chilly places, and you've got to love the echo effects used here. Another excellent setting theme in this section of the soundtrack is "Dungeon of Waterfall," used in the Mines most prominently. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I just like how it sounds, since it's very epic and mysterious. Another setting theme is "City of Fire: Faeria," which is the theme for Ruben's town. It's simply an upbeat version of the normal town theme and is very sweet.

After all those setting themes, the soundtrack returns to Sasai's rock tracks with the aptly named "Rock 'n' Roll." This is the theme of the No Name Band that plays in the Fireburg Hotel, and though simple, it's extremely good. "Lava Dome" is another rocking theme, and it gives off the appropriate feeling as you explore the volcano. It's very fitting and extremely likeable. "City of Wind - Windaria" is the theme for Windia, and is simply a slower version of the town theme, complete with wind sound effects. It's very cute. "Mountain Range of Whirlwinds" is the theme for Mount Gale and Pazuzu's Tower, and is a very epic track tha helped me to endure the frustration going through the ever-confusing Pazuzu's tower.

As the soundtrack approaches its end, there are some wonderful climactic theme. "Last Castle" is the rocking Doom's Castle theme, and features some of the very best music ever to be used in an RPG. The guitar used here sounds very realistic, making it another winner by Ryuji Sasai. "Battle 3" is the theme for the Dark King, and it's an excellent final boss theme, being very epic, and maintaining the fighting spirit. After "Mystic Ballad," the awkwardly placed Game Over theme, "Ending" closes up the Original Sound Version. It's a very heartrending theme to end this lovely RPG, and its beauty gives the track a tear jerking quality. It's wonderful! We finish up the album with the last remix, entitled "Re-Mystic Quest." It features the soundtrack's calmer themes, arranged by Kawakami, and though they are very nice, the guy who just says 'Mystic Qu-Qu-Quest...' between the tracks deserves to be shot, since it ruins everything!


If you want this CD, you're probably out of luck, I'm afraid. Like Hanjuku Hero Divertimento, this gem didn't get a reprint from NTT Publishing, meaning it's a very rare find. The only place to go is eBay, though you must be careful not to run into bootlegs. If you encounter the real CD, you're not leaving with it under a $100+ price tag. If you're a true Square fanatic, I'm sure you won't mind spending the cash, as it is a wonderful soundtrack.

Overall Score: 8/10