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Falcom Game Music :: Review by Chris

Falcom Game Music Album Title: Falcom Game Music
Record Label: Alfa Records
Catalog No.: 28XA-179 (CD), ALC-22918 (Tape), ALR-22918
Release Date: November 10, 1987
Purchase: Buy at eBay


In 1987, Falcom's classic game scores were commemorated in a compilation album by Apollon. In theory, Falcom Game Music sounds like a Falcom fan's dream. After all, it compiles much of the music from Ys, Asteka II, Xanadu Scenario II, Romancia, and Dragon Slayer IV into a single album. However, it is by no means a comprehensive or definitive collection. Let's take a closer look why.


The album opens with a selection of music from Ys. Yuzo Koshiro offered perhaps the finest RPG score of its generation on this soundtrack, but its presentation here has a number of potential limtiations. Most importantly, this is not a complete score. Most of the classics are here, ranging from the mellow opener "Feena" to the adventurous overworld theme "First Step Towards Wars" to the rocking final battle music. However, there are number of notable omissions, such as "Palace", "The Syonin", and "Holders of Power". The Ys score is best enjoyed as a collective whole and the lack of certain pieces, especially "Palace", makes the overall experience somewhat hollow.

It's also important the music is slightly adapted from the originals to make them more accessible for stand-alone listening. However, the arrangements are modest ones and many will prefer to hear the authentic pieces in Music from Ys instead. That album also has the advantage of separating the tracks rather than presenting together as medleys. At the centre of the album, there are slightly more elaborate versions of "Palace of Destruction" and "The Morning Grow", but they feel somewhat redundant and certainly aren't on par with the more acclaimed arrangements on Perfect Collection Ys or Ys I & II Chronicles.

The main strength of this album is that it compiles music from games that are less well-presented in album form. Asteka II: Temple of the Sun is a particularly welcome addition, since it is only otherwise represented in Falcom Classics II. However, the arrangements lose some of the mysticism and Eastern flavour present in the original music. Furthermore, the selections from Xanadu Scenario II and Dragon Slayer Jr.: Romancia are woefully complete and lack a dramatic arch. The Dragon Slayer IV: Drasle Family selection is more comprehensive, but again redundant to a better presented original score release.


Like the other albums in Apollon's Game Music series, Falcom Game Music has its limits. This time the principle problems are the modifications to the original music and the absence of many notable compositions. Despite the good intentions, Apollon needed to make omissions and compromises in order to pack five scores into a single disc. The resultant album serves as a decent compilation for those looking for the best of classic Falcom music, but most others will be wise to stick to the recommended alternative releases.

Overall Score: 6/10