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Let the Winds Blow: Phantasy Star Episode III Special Edition :: Review by Chris

Let the Winds Blow: Phantasy Star Episode III Special Edition (Nintendo Dream) Album Title: Let the Winds Blow: Phantasy Star Episode III Special Edition (Nintendo Dream)
Record Label: Nintendo Dream
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: 2003
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Nintendo Dream Vol. 100 commemorated the release of Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D Revolution with a promotional album. It featured a selection of pieces from the game, including the main theme "Let The Winds Blow", four instrumental tracks, and returning vocal themes from the franchise, as well as slightly odd bonus. Does it compensate for owning the full soundtrack?


After a brief but soothing piano piece, Phantasy Star Online Episode III immediately demonstrates its production values with Kenichi Tokoi's "Let The Winds Blow". This version differs from the full version since it features just the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra and backing choir, but not the boy soprano Krzysztof Przygudzki. It's also significantly shortened from its original playtime. Due to these factors, it doesn't feel quite as complete and cohesive overall, though there are still some grandiose and emotional moments. Stick to the full soundtrack for the true version, however.

The subsequent four tracks are taken from the instrumental pieces in the game. Hideaki Kobayashi's "Gate" offers dynamic and alien soundscapes through combining resonant violin leads, contemplative piano lines, and a mixture of smooth and edgy beats. Kumatani maintains the classic sound of the series, yet the ethereal piano focus of "Unguis Lapis" and dissonant orchestrations of "Ravum Aedes Sacra" are actually rather different from her earlier work. Kenichi Tokoi's "Tower of Caelum" meanwhile provides some ghostly and gothic twists on stately dances. The result is truly beautiful in context and a novel addition to the franchise. Overall, a promising sample of what the series has to offer.

The last portion of the album is dedicated to the vocal themes for the series. Phantasy Star Online Episode I's opener "The Whole New World" and closer "Can Still See the Light" return, as does Episode II's closer "World With Me". All three themes blend expressive performances from the Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra with the often strained and cheesy vocals of Loren. These tracks will be big highlights for fans of the main themes of the series, but they're also featured in the main soundtrack release. There is also a bonus oddity, Tomoya Otani's vocal theme for Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg. It's certainly upbeat with its blend of tropical instrumentals and kawaii vocals, but probably won't appeal to most fans of the Phantasy Star Online series.


This album doesn't compensate for owning the two disc soundtrack release for Episode III. The incomplete version of the main theme simply doesn't compare to the full version. In addition, there are numerous omitted instrumental tracks. What is offered is still a nice sampler album and well-suited for fans of Sega's vocal themes. It's just limited as promotional items should be.

Overall Score: 6/10