Music From The Legend of Heroes III: A Tale of Another Heroes ~White Witch~

Music From The Legend of Heroes III: A Tale of Another Heroes ~White Witch~. Booklet Front. Click to zoom.
Music From The Legend of Heroes III: A Tale of Another Heroes ~White Witch~
Booklet Front
Composed by Atsushi Shirakawa / Hirofumi Matsuoka / Masaru Nakajima / Naoki Kaneda / Takahiro Tsunashima
Arranged by Tomohiko Kishimoto
Published by King Records
Catalog number KICA-1146~7
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 CD - 68 tracks
Release date July 21, 1994
Duration 02:27:09
Genres
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Overview

The soundtrack for The Legend of Heroes III: The White Witch has been released in three major versions: Music from The Legend of Heroes III The White Witch features two discs of music from the original PC-8801 game; The Legend of Heroes III J.D.K. Special is a two volume release featuring remastered compositions from PC-8801 game; and The Legend of Heroes III The White Witch Original Soundtrack is a two volume release for the modern PC remake. These releases are substantially differentiated in the quality of their synth, but most of their themes and arrangements stay the same. The first album release has the advantage of being released in a single volume and offers seven bonus arrangements, though the original version of the music is the most limited in depth and intricacy due to its old-fashioned synth. The music is nevertheless worth looking into and is at least above-average for an RPG score. Let's take a closer look...

Body

Right away, the sound team set a mellow tone for the game with "The White Witch Gerud". It's an intrinsically simple piece, featuring little more than an expressive synth melody and a light arpeggiated backing, but it is elegant too, as with many of Falcom's works. It provides a beautiful and mystical depiction of a central character of the game, while gently building up into an open-ended conclusion. Compared to the remade version, however, its expressive powers are limited by its mid-90s synth and some will find this version inferior. Nevertheless, there is something charming about what has been achieved with such minimal elements. Another central theme on the soundtrack is "Love Shining Inside", a sentimental instrumental jazz ballad given renditions at the opening and ending of the soundtrack. It certainly provides an interesting insight into the feelings of the young main character.

Perhaps more representative of the general tone of the first disc is "Another Heroes' Story". As with many of Falcom's tracks, this one is upbeat, synthy, and 80s-flavoured. While a select taste, I still find it a catchy track with plenty of interesting touches. While much of the laidback cheerful material on this album works, there's also a lot of uninspired stuff that I found less stomachable. Tracks such as "Feels So Good" sound more like bubbly elevator music than the more personal material most would expect in an RPG soundtrack. There are some twists to this formula, such as the slightly more energetic synthpop theme "Captain Thomas' Feelings" or the more catchy guitar duet "Spirit in Our Eyes", but they still sound more like menu music. A lot of the album has too many shorter filler-style tracks on top of these longer boring tracks and the first half of the album particularly suffers in this regard.

Fortunately, the second disc of the soundtrack features some interesting deviations from the bubbly style. It is generally more diverse, packing in everything from classically-oriented dances like "Tell Us a Mysterious Story" to Morricone-influenced character depictions like "A Man Travelling Alone" to minimal fantasy-styled sketches like "Memories of Gagharv". Perhaps overwhelmingly, though, this disc is also darker with everything from dark ambient depictions (e.g. "Ordos Cathedral", "The Way of Heaven"), to tense action-packed tracks (e.g. "Lude Castle", "Badot"), to bittersweet orchestrations (e.g. "Queen Isabelle", "With Admiration"). It's quite amazing what the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. manage to acheive with such limited synth. By this point, it's quite clear that The Legend of Heroes III features a fairly diverse and high quality soundtrack for a traditional RPG.

As with other Falcom soundtracks, there is some of the sound team's trademark action compositions scattered through the discs. The first really striking entries are "The Great Battle of Bolt", a commanding march track that fits well with the tone of the game, and "A Powerful Foe", a generic rock 'n roll anthem that many old-school rockers will enjoy. Naturally, there are a fair number of rock compositions on the second disc too and pieces such as "Dark Beasts Appear" are particularly blistering, though they're definitely more enjoyable in the remade soundtrack. The original score is naturally rounded off by a few sentimental ending themes, including the slow and balladic "Durzel's Letter", the relieving yet subdued march "Little Heroes", and the nostalgic orgel-influenced "The White Witch of Tiraswheel". These themes certainly reaffirm what a personal and innocent journey The Legend of Heroes III is and seem to resolve the soundtrack emotionally and thematically.

Fortunately, this two disc release features some excellent bonuses too. Specifically, each disc features some special J.D.K. Band arrangements tagged on at the end and there are seven in total. However, these are not actually full band power arrangements like most would expect from their original albums, but rather synthetic arrangements with some guitar infusions. I think this style really works well with already sentimental compositions like "Love Shining Inside" and "The White Witch Gerud", and these arrangements only reaffirm the memorability of their melodies. I also found the interpretation of "Lost Forest" to be beautiful and fitting, but it's more new age than power rock. "Lude Castle" and "Mountain Path" are more suited for those looking for uptempo pieces, though those wanting another arrangement like "To Make an End of Battle" might still be disappointed.

Summary

It's difficult to recommend Music from The Legend of Heroes III The White Witch given there are alternative releases available. Although it has to be purchased inconveniently in two volumes, The Legend of Heroes III The White Witch Original Soundtrack for the remake is actually a much more rich experience from both a musical and emotional perspective. However, the original album is probably the best-presented, since it can already be purchased as a whole and features some decent bonus arrangements. Those who prefer the synthy music of old to the more realistic music of new should definitely stick to the original release. It's solid, but in my opinion at least, has been surpassed in recent years.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Charles Szczygiel

All Music Composed by Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. (Mieko Ishikawa, Atsushi Shirakawa, Hirofumi Matsuoka, Masaru Nakajima, Naoki Kaneda, Takahiro Tsunashima)

Disc 1, tracks 35~37 & Disc 2, tracks 28~31: J.D.K. BAND Arrange Versions
Arranged by Tomohiko Kishimoto / Performed by J.D.K. Band

Exective Producer: Masayuki Kato (Nihon Falcom inc.)
Producer: Fujio Sakai
Director: Takuo Uchida, Mieko Ishikawa (Nihon Falcom inc.)
Sound Engineer: Kenji Takahashi (PHASE)
Assisntant Engineer: Ken Shibushawa
Mastering Engineer: Seiji Kaneko
Design: Nobuo Tsuchiya (works D), Shinichi Matsuda
Album was composed by Atsushi Shirakawa / Hirofumi Matsuoka / Masaru Nakajima / Naoki Kaneda / Takahiro Tsunashima and was released on July 21, 1994. Soundtrack consists of 68 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by King Records.

CD 1

1
The White Witch Gueld
05:26
2
A Tale of Another Heroes
02:02
3
In the Sparkle of Love
01:50
4
Little Heroes -Music Box-
00:19
5
We're Lions, You're Dinner!!
00:57
6
WIN!!
01:03
7
Shirla & Goose
01:06
8
MOUNTAIN PATH
02:12
9
FEEL SO GOOD
00:57
10
Barrier
01:44
11
Cave
02:03
12
Sapphie
01:31
13
Afternoon on the Beach
01:27
14
Happy One Day
01:48
15
Captain Thomas' Feelings
03:33
16
Who's the Criminal?!
00:54
17
Happy Companions
01:47
18
With the Wind
01:48
19
Little Heroes -The Great Adventure of Jurio and Chris-
02:18
20
LET'S START, OK?
02:49
21
Coal Mine
01:54
22
Galga's Trace
01:39
23
Lodi
01:14
24
GAMBLER
01:42
25
Poison Swamp
01:08
26
The White Witch Gueld -Locus-
02:50
27
Darts
02:24
28
See Our Spirit -Ah, Ruthless-
00:10
29
Sorrowful Melody
02:35
30
See Our Spirit
01:01
31
Before the Storm
01:23
32
The Great Battle of Bolt
02:02
33
A Powerful Foe!!
02:38
34
Oh, Defeated
01:41
35
Little Heroes -The Great Adventure of Jurio and Chris-
03:54
36
MOUNTAIN PATH
04:15
37
In the Sparkle of Love
04:16

CD 2

1
A Mysterious Story
03:17
2
Waltz
01:42
3
A Man's Lonely Journey
02:00
4
Mysterious Forest
02:23
5
Oldos
02:02
6
Oldos Cathedral
02:25
7
Visitor's Hymn
00:44
8
Raual
01:40
9
Ghidona
01:44
10
Temptation of the Red Eyes
01:05
11
Badatt
01:23
12
Gagharv's Memory
02:34
13
Dream
01:35
14
INVASION
01:05
15
Remembrance -Requiem-
03:12
16
Roudo Castle
02:05
17
Appearance of the Demon Beast
01:50
18
Heavenly Ceremonial Room
02:30
19
Queen Isabelle
01:50
20
The White Witch Gueld -Precious Soul-
01:53
21
Little Heroes -Beyond the Blue Sky-
02:29
22
Demise
03:03
23
Durzel's Letter
01:39
24
In the Sparkle of Love -Ending Version-
02:32
25
HEROES
03:01
26
Little Heroes -Winter's Coming-
02:15
27
Tirasweel's White Witch
02:54
28
Roudo Castle
03:45
29
The White Witch Gueld -Precious Soul-
03:41
30
Mysterious Forest
04:15
31
HEROES
04:16
30.04.12
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