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Live A Live Perfect Strategy Guide Book Limited Edition :: Review by Dave

Live A Live Perfect Strategy Guide Book Limited Edition Album Title: Live A Live Perfect Strategy Guide Book Limited Edition
Record Label: NTT Publishing
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: October 21, 1994
Purchase: Buy at eBay


The arranged album of themes from Live A Live may be a mere two tracks long, but is nonetheless excellent. Constituting a 8cm CD came that was part of a limited edition strategy guide to the game, offered by NTT Publishing as a way to advertise the Live A Live Original Sound Version. True Yoko Shimomura fans should seriously consider listening to this album, given it's an integral part of her discography, as one of her few arranged works and an adaptation of her very first score for Square. Both additions to the album are well-developed, each exceeding a length of five minutes, so let's look at them in a little more detail...

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Battlissimo

A battle medley with flair, "Batlissimo" starts off with some warping sounds that give off a pseudo-Doppler effect. After the progressive rock-tinged introduction, a computerised voice overlapped by a drum beat enters, the latter force continuing as a synth instrument introduces some chords variated here and there. This then develops further into a wondrous melody that is both aggressive and impressive. The theme changes style at the 1:34 mark as it transitions into a more oriental section, appropriate given the nature of Live A Live. The drum beat continues in the background as an ethnic instrument integrates a new melody with a flute. At first, this instrument covers the flute, but soon enough, the roles become reversed. This section runs up to the 2:05 mark where a samba rhythm is introduced.

The amount of flair in the subsequent section is amazing, especially when one considers the limitations of the synth at the time. The drum remains, but this time some tom toms are also added to maintain the pace. The main instrument in this section is a synth guitar, which explores near-enough the entirety of its range during the time it plays, reflecting Shimomura's competence with the instrument. The section that follows is introduced by a change in tempo and some emphatic orchestral hits. Surprisingly, it doesn't start off powerfully at all, but with an elegant flute and guitar instead. Already, the variety of atmospheres that Shimomura has created is phenomenal, and we just know that she isn't going to stop there with only half of the track gone.

Next up is a quaint string section that is full of inspirational motifs and swelling dynamics. Surprisingly, this segues into a hard rock section and, amazingly, the two fit together perfectly. The drum beat returns in full force as the guitars really make the melody heard. There is even a solo part that lasts for a good 30 seconds, and when this is overlapped by a powerful rendition of the main melody, it is easy to hear the other instruments pick up in passion too. Following this guitar solo is a keyboard solo, which leads the track to an epic conclusion in the best way possible. This track is a timeless classic that you would be sure to listen to over and again if you owned the disc. (10/10)

2) Forgotten Wings ~Wings That Don't Reach~

The other addition to the album isn't as epic as the first, but is quite beautiful as an extension of the Original Sound Version's "Wings That Don't Reach". It starts with a 'cello motif that becomes accompanied by a beautiful piano line. With the track giving off relaxing vibes but a sense of longing at the same time, it becomes a pleasant journey. The track grows in passion around the 1:14 mark, where the 'cello becomes louder and the piano melody begins to sing a lot more. The rest of the track is built up from a mesmeric piano solo and an orchestral build up that is riddled with a sense of hope. It aptly reflects the original track's purpose to represent a search for allies and unity, and the new sections only strengthen the experience. (10/10)


This is only a promotional album featuring just 11 minutes of music, but that doesn't change the fact that both additions are simply phenomenal. Hardcore fanatics of Shimomura's music and Live A Live should definitely consider this, although broke people would be better off not purchasing such a brief album from eBay. Choose wisely and be aware you might be in for an expensive treat.

Overall Score: 7/10