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Ys I & II Eternal / The Legend of Heroes IV Unpublished Music :: Review by Chris

Ys I & II Eternal / The Legend of Heroes IV Unpublished Music Album Title: Ys I & II Eternal / The Legend of Heroes IV Unpublished Music
Record Label: Nihon Falcom
Catalog No.: NW10102400
Release Date: February 10, 2001
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


In 2001, Falcom published the PC remakes of Ys I & II and The Legend of Heroes IV. Both games featured arranged scores by the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. that largely enhanced the originals. However, during the remake process, there were also a lot of prototype and unused compositions and arrangements. The commercially released Ys I & II Eternal / The Legend of Heroes IV Unpublished Music compiles many of these.


The first disc of the album is dedicated to the unused music from Ys I & II Eternal. It seems that, during the course of the remake soundtrack's development, certain pieces received multiple arrangements and prototype versions. The arrangement deemed the best of these was adapted into the full score. For the most part, the selections appear to be the correct ones. The alternate version of "Palace", for instance, loses the ethereal nature of the original with its overly thick textures and ridiculous percussion parts. The overly rocked-up version of "Beat of the Terror" has much the same effect and the prototype of "See You Again" is also difficult to stomach.

That said, some arrangements show more promise over the ones that were used. For example, "Feena" isn't as infantile and "To Make the End of Battle" isn't as lifeless as the unappealing versions that made it into the full release. What's more, the take on "Termination" is far more appealing here — with solo violins, chorus backing, and epic orchestration — whereas the original score used a cookie-cutter rock version. This version potentially formed the inspiration for Ys Origin's incredible fleshed-out version. Yet note that these are all prototype versions produced using low quality MIDI and therefore they have inferior sound quality to even the versions on the Ys I & II Eternal Original Soundtrack. In other words, most will find it a difficult experience listening to even the better arrangments due to the synth.

Moving to the second disc, the prototype versions of The Legend of Heroes IV: A Tear of Vermillion's tend to be more technically accomplished. A large portion of the disc is dedicated to alternate versions of the "A Tear of Vermillion" motif, many of which are similar to those on the full soundtrack release. There are also versions of the new "Bonds" theme that are inferior to the amazing interpretation in the game. Nevertheless, there are some highlights among this collection, for example the wandering and ambient village theme or the catchy theme for Douglas. There is also a range of dramatic music at the climax, such as "The Spirits' Shrine" and "Tainted Soul", as well as a subdivided version of the game's five part ending sequence. The tracks aren't bad overall, but they're not quite as consistent and special as the actually used music.


It's difficult to understand the purpose of Ys I & II Eternal / The Legend of Heroes IV Unpublished Music. The music featured on both discs is generally inferior to the music that featured on their respective soundtrack releases both technically and musically. Though there are a few highlights, there isn't enough to warrant a commercial release. What this album does offer is a little insight into how remake soundtrack development occurs at Falcom, but I'm not sure that is worth paying money for.

Overall Score: 4/10