The Legend of Xanadu J.D.K. Special

Legend of Xanadu J.D.K. Special, The. Front. Click to zoom.
Legend of Xanadu J.D.K. Special, The
Front
Covers release: Myrkul
Composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK
Arranged by Falcom Sound Team JDK
Published by King Records
Catalog number KICA-1138
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 32 tracks
Release date November 26, 1993
Duration 01:05:06
Genres
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Overview

The J.D.K. Specials are not among the Falcom's most revered productions. They essentially feature the original score for the games in slightly upgraded synth. At the time of the release of The Legend of Xanadu J.D.K. Special, there was actually no original score available for the game, though that changed with the release of a three disc set in 2003. The J.D.K. Special offers some advantages from the original score, specifically different sound quality and a more consistent listening experience, but it's only a one disc collection of music and completists would be better sticking to the full soundtrack.

Body

Like the full soundtrack release, the first highlight of the soundtrack is "Open Sesame", a modest and dreamy introductory synth theme. It fits its purpose in the game, but it's not remarkable enough melodically or otherwise to be comparable with Falcom's greats. The synth here is probably less pleasant than the original due to the distorted synth too. "The Beginning of the Legend" is a little more in the style of what most would come to hope for in an old-school Falcom soundtrack — with commanding melodies and light rock instrumentation — and seems to embody the heroic aura of the main character. It's no masterpiece, but it's charming and catchy enough nevertheless. However, those looking for a particularly impressive opener should consider the "Prologue" from the full soundtrack release.

Much of the rest of the album follows the tradition of standard RPG soundtracks. There are light pop-influenced pieces like "Ikthia - The Boys of Summer", "Dakru", and "Smiling Breeze" that are similar to what most would expect from a dating simulator. There are also moodier compositions too, ranging from the mystical "Cathedral", to the surreal "Frozen Cave", to the sentimental "Forever". Of course, there is also a dash of rock with hard-hitting tracks like "Glacies", "Working Out a Grudge", and "Lord of the Castle". All of these compositions are decent and fitting, but few have that special factor that radiates from most Ys and Legend of Heroes. They're what one would expect from generic RPG music — nothing more, nothing less.

There are nevertheless a number of memorable compositions on the album. Early in the game, tracks like "Dawn of Makria" and "Makria Castle" capture a sense of enthusiasm and adventure with their delightful melodies. "Legend of the Wind" stands out even more. The opening few bars perfectly create a gliding feel of the original, while the eventually entrance of the melody is equally appealing on keyboards. The resynthing here is especially effective, though the Super Arrange Version is even better. My other favourites are "Lake of the Dark God", a largely upbeat theme tinged with some minor twists, and "Frozen Tower", a heroic anthem featuring punchy chord progressions and arpeggio overlays. All these themes are worth many relistens.

The climax of the score for The Legend of Xanadu is a rather good one, but it's not full preserved in the J.D.K. Special. After the highly motivating "Wings of Pride", "Silent Tower" provides a reflective and brooding accompaniment to the final dungeon. Some of the subsequent battle themes are missing, but at least the iconic "Kleene" made it. This is the closest the entire comes to offering a synth rock anthem on par with the best of the Ys series. Again, the great melodies are what carry this one, but the accompaniment gives some much-needed grit. The album is rounded off with two light-hearted pop-influenced ending themes, "Like a Wind" and "In the Wind". They're very superficial and generic, but somehow fitting for the score nevertheless.

Summary

Overall, The Legend of Xanadu feature a fairly average RPG score. It meets all the specifications and sounds good for its time, but isn't really something most will get excited about listening to. After all, only five to ten pieces from the full 108 piece score really appeal. The J.D.K. Special is potentially more appealing than the Original Soundtrack, since it cuts out most of the filler and leaves the highlights intact. However, the synth is still poor quality and often has a distorted sound, compared with the smoother full soundtrack release. In addition, completists will wish to stick to the three disc release.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

All Music Composed by: Atsushi Shirakawa, Hirofumi Matsuoka, Masaru Nakajima, Mieko Ishikawa, Naoki Kaneda, Takahiro Tsunashima.

Contains FM oscillator versions taken from PSG, ADPCM and CD-DA sound sources.
Album was composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK and was released on November 26, 1993. Soundtrack consists of 32 tracks tracks with duration over more than hour. Album was released by King Records.

CD 1

1
OPEN SESAMI
01:27
2
The Beginning of the Legend
01:41
3
IKTHIA ~ The Summer of Youths
01:49
4
DAWN OF MAKRIA
02:19
5
Forever
01:20
6
Makria Castle
01:20
7
Defeat Your Old Nemesis
01:36
8
The Church
01:36
9
The Legend of the Wind
02:35
10
Black Light
01:52
11
The Ice Cave
01:26
12
GLACIES
01:35
13
The Demon of the Lake
02:16
14
SOPHIA
02:12
15
PARTHIA
01:38
16
The Smile of the Breeze
01:20
17
ZEAD
01:16
18
DAKRU
01:24
19
The Ice Tower
02:44
20
A Castle Without a Master
01:45
21
Successor
02:06
22
A Bird Crossing the Desert
02:13
23
The Gods of the Four Winds
01:59
24
Desert Wind
01:18
25
In the Name of Ishtar
02:55
26
Brothers ~ The Blood of Aineas
02:11
27
Wings of Pride
03:46
28
Silent Tower
03:12
29
In Search of Hope
01:36
30
KLEENE
02:34
31
LIKE A WIND
03:30
32
In the Wind
02:35
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