- Atlus
  - Capcom
  - Cave
  - Falcom
  - Konami
  - Microsoft
  - Namco Bandai
  - Nintendo
  - Nippon Ichi
  - Grasshopper
  - Sega
  - Sony
  - Square Enix
  - Western Games

  - Castlevania
  - Chrono
  - Dragon Quest
  - Final Fantasy
  - Kingdom Hearts
  - Mana
  - Mario
  - Megami Tensei
  - Mega Man
  - Metal Gear
  - Resident Evil
  - SaGa
  - Silent Hill
  - Sonic
  - Star Ocean
  - Street Fighter
  - Suikoden
  - Tales
  - Ys
  - Zelda

  - Masashi Hamauzu
  - Norihiko Hibino
  - Kenji Ito
  - Noriyuki Iwadare
  - Koji Kondo
  - Yuzo Koshiro
  - Shoji Meguro
  - Yasunori Mitsuda
  - Manabu Namiki
  - Hitoshi Sakimoto
  - Motoi Sakuraba
  - Tenpei Sato
  - Yoko Shimomura
  - Koichi Sugiyama
  - Masafumi Takada
  - Nobuo Uematsu
  - Michiru Yamane
  - Akira Yamaoka

Home Contact Us Top


The Legend of Heroes III Symphonic Fantasy :: Review by Chris

The Legend of Heroes III Symphonic Fantasy Album Title: The Legend of Heroes III Symphonic Fantasy
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: NW10102510
Release Date: June 27, 2002
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


In 2002, Falcom commissioned a new entry into The Legend of Heroes III's already inflated discography: The Legend of Heroes III Symphonic Fantasy. A spiritual successor to The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra, it features Tamiya Terashima offering synthetic orchestral arrangements of a selection of favourites from the game. However, the approach is considerably modified otherwise. For one, it is strictly orchestra and chorus album, so features no deviations like soprano saxophones, bluegrass banjos, or club voice samples like its predecessor. In addition, the quality of the orchestral samples has massively increased in the years since 1995 and this ensures a more realistic experience. Overall, it is much closer to the traditional conservative orchestral album that many will be looking for...


First of all, let's confront the worst aspect of this album: the narration. Before several tracks on the album, an girl narrates the story of the game in a strong American accent. This approach offends me for several reasons. For one, I feel that the music should be able to stand up in its own right without the need for contextual references. More importantly, the narration itself is of poor quality. The girl sounds very uncomfortable in the role, causing pacing issues and awkward moments, while her voice is a poor fit for a fantasy album. In addition, the writing itself is rather boring and obsesses too much about derivative mythology about a white witch. Fortunately, there's still 50-something minutes of pure symphonic music to enjoy...

"The White Witch Gerud" opens the album in a lush and epic manner. Tamiya Terashima's orchestration is even more intricate and fluid than his offerings on The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra, while the far more realistic synth ensures an even more engaging experience. All in all, it's a wonderful way to present the beauty and mysticism surrounding the white witch. The romantic tone continues with the "Waltz". While it initially comes across as a competent yet derivative imitation, gradually Terashima finds a unique voice. I just adore the lavish decorations running throughout the orchestration and the contrasts between the fluid woodwinds and pizzicato strings. While the introduction of the album is good, it's with the gothic deceptive orchestrations of "Prophecies" and the action-packed modernist orchestrations of "The Great Battle of Bolt" that it's clear the album is the work of a brilliant orchestrator.

Though the contrasts in approach from The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra are profound, they still share features in common. For example, the overriding emphasis on timbral colour, the reuse of certain themes, and the continuation of certain imagery. Perhaps most specifically, there is a very strong spiritual component running through The Legend of Heroes III Symphonic Fantasy. Tracks such as "Ode to the Saviour", "Prophecies", or the eleven minute masterpiece "Requiem" take listeners through mesmerising choral chants and deep orchestral passages. The spectacles of orchestra and chorus continue in an even more epic scale at the climax of the album on "Queen Isabelle" and "The Good Witch", which are some of the very finest orchestrations I've heard. The album concludes on an intimate note with an interpretation of "Dursel's Letter" for piano and strings.


Overall, The Legend of Heroes III Symphonic Fantasy is one of Falcom's richest orchestral offerings. Whether the lush timbres of the opening, the haunting gothic interludes, or the climactic action-packed orchestrations, Terashima delivers. He manages to uniquely differentiate the album from The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra and, in terms of orchestration and implementation, even exceeds that production. On the downside, the narrator really hurts the experiences and this album would have benefited from the humanity of a true orchestra, despite the wonderful synth. I nevertheless think it will be wonderful for those looking for an emotional yet traditional symphonic fantasy.

Overall Score: 8/10