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Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana Original Soundtrack :: Review by Kie

Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana Original Soundtrack Album Title: Seiken Densetsu Legend of Mana Original Soundtrack
Record Label: DigiCube (1st Edition); Square Enix (Reprint)
Catalog No.: SSCX-10034; SQEX-10036/7
Release Date: July 23, 1999; October 20, 2004
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Legend of Mana isn't particularly liked by many, or known by many for that matter, but I will save game talk for other reviewers, let's talk soundtracks. Yoko Shimomura, the genius behind the Parasite Eve and Kingdom Hearts soundtracks, does a brilliant job with this album, with some themes here being some of her best works to date. Some may not like the game, but this soundtrack is for everybody to like. As the album is two discs, I'll pick out some noticeably good ones, and maybe a few bad ones, too. Some themes are repetitions or slow versions of other themes, so I'd be repeating myself if I did all of the tracks.


The first two themes are definitely worth a mention. The title theme plays through a few cut scenes at the beginning of the game, and it is an orchestral piece to begin with, with the rest being a faster paced piece that is slightly more melodic. The next theme, "Nostalgic Song" is one of my personal favourites. It is a very peaceful theme, set like an orchestrated piece. It has a brilliant tune and a slow beat, which is excellent considering it's only for the title screen and one or two short parts in the game.

"Hometown Domina" is another peaceful track with two completely different instruments playing roughly the same tune, which by the way, is also great. I like the way everything just merges into one piece after a while. It also really gives a great atmosphere for the town of Domina itself. Carrying on, amongst a few enemy areas is "Wanderer's Path," a faster paced piece good for small enemies that ties in well with the areas it accompanies. It has a nice drum beat and adds a slight bit of orchestral tune to a faster beat which works effectively. "Pain the Universe" is the battle arena theme that is used the most frequently in Legend of Mana. It is the first theme in the album that includes a heavy and a light guitar. The guitar pieces in Legend of Mana are the best you'll find on a non-arranged Original Soundtrack. Yoko Shimomura did an excellent job fitting this one together. A fast paced guitar and the many other instruments used to create this awesome tune, will keep you head banging.

"Calmly Travelling" is a drum-based piece that has a distorted keyboard playing the tune but the song would be nothing without the drums. Not a bad piece. "Memory of Running" uses a light trumpet to add effect to the heavy chimes and synth in the background to create a mystical feeling to the theme. "The Darkness Nova" is my personal favourite; starting off with a small drum solo, it quickly cuts into a heavy guitar with a cool bass and an awesome theme to match. The best guitar part I've ever heard comes in at about 1:25 and involves a lot of high notes that sound so good. Next up is "The Excitement of Both of us ~Lucemia~." It starts off with Indian drums and a low flute. It then cuts into the marching drums and the music gets louder, triggering an awesome light trumpet piece. Repetition however, is a flaw of the track, though not a major one.

"Irwin of Reflection" is one of the best themes on the album. This one is truly amazing, and it plays just twice in the game. It has a guitar all the way through and includes some very high notes with its wide pitch at the end which just rocks. The drums are quite weak unfortunately. "Leading into Prosperity starts off sounding like it's going to be really great, and, although it is, it underperforms. I think that Yoko Shimomura could have done more with the orchestral part of the theme. And at this point, we get to "Depression Blues." This one really disappointed me, as it is the only song over two minutes long that isn't good. All it really is, is chimes doing the same three chords each time, with a speckle of tune in the background and a few vocals. The last theme that I can mention is "Those Who Are Shining," which is a vocalised lengthier version of "City of Flickering Destruction," and plays just once in the game. A brilliant orchestral piece to mark the end of a particular in-game storyline.


The only real problem I have with the soundtrack is that most of the themes are very short, and look longer only because they play over twice or three times. Altogether though, a near-perfect soundtrack from Yoko Shimomura that may entice you to play the game.

Overall Score: 9/10