Music from the Legend of Xanadu II

Music from the Legend of Xanadu II. Front. Click to zoom.
Music from the Legend of Xanadu II
Front
Composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK
Arranged by Tomohiko Kishimoto
Published by King Records
Catalog number KICA-1165~6
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 2 CD - 81 tracks
Release date August 23, 1995
Duration 02:16:39
Genres
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Overview

Released just a year after its predecessor, The Legend of Xanadu II offers much the same in terms of gaming and musical experiences. The soundtrack once again is dominated by fitting but generic RPG music implemented with old-school synth. However, there were a number of cutscene tracks that managed to escape this rut and offer aplenty in terms of both compositional and sound quality. The soundtrack release also benefits from a five bonus arrangements featuring the one and only J.D.K. Band. Time for a closer look?

Body

The first disc of the soundtrack is dedicated to the PCM music created for most of the area and setting themes. This disc features 52 tracks altogether, so inevitably many tracks are short and most don't loop. Unfortunately, the majority of the compositions are unremarkable and formulaic. Like its predecessor, there are plenty of light poppy themes like "Pleasant Estimation", "Vast & Sever", and "Happy-Go-Lucky", that are slightly catchy but completely shallow. There are also synth rock tracks like "First Attack", "Brave of Blaze", and "Breakthrough", but they mostly lack the originality or charisma of most Ys compositions. Other additions range from the sentimental "Someday with My Love" to the sinister "Underground Water Course" to the SFX-sweft "Big Storm", all of which are quite functional but not really ideal for stand-alone listening.

There are some nevertheless highlights among the first disc. "Peaceful Enclosure" is a pleasant variation of the standard town theme format of 'rich flowing melody and light arpeggiated accompaniment'. "Sea Breeze Town" meanwhile takes a more mellow and reflective approach while still retaining an emphasis on a charming melody. One can't help but imagine what this theme would sound like using today's technology. Other favourites include adventurous and bouncy setting themes "Scattered Islands", "Crystal Valley", and "Over the Desert", which tend to sustain extended gameplay. The climax of the disc is also appealing. Tracks like "Hard Pressure", "Into the Dark", and "Down to the Abyss" offer those rocking melodies and darker undertones missing for earlier battle themes on the score. It's just a shame they don't receive the opportunity to fully loop.

Fortunately, the second disc makes up for some of the disappointments with PCM music for the events. These offer more elaborate compositions, much-improved synth, and longer track times. The opener "Invitation for the New World", for instance, is a sorrowful piano-based composition filled with expression. "The Triumphal Hymn", "Seventh Soul", and "Final Awakening" meanwhile exploit the available technology to offer striking orchestral marches. They sound exceptional for their time. There are also some more cinematically inclined tracks, such as "Three Years Later", "The Last of Dragon Slayer", and "On Blue Brilliant Place", that are beautifully developed and serve as a wonderful complement to the game. The selection is rounded off by a light-hearted blend of pop, jazz, and rock in "Following Wind", which is easily the catchiest addition to the whole score.

But that's not all! The last five tracks on the score are bonus arrangements performed by the J.D.K. Band. "Supremacy Title" channels back to The Legend of Xanadu Super Arrange Version with its funk influence, but is even catchier and better punctuated thanks to the instrument performances. The acoustic "Sea Breeze Town" realises the potential many saw in the original theme, while "Blind Man ~ Over the Desert" is a dynamic arrangement of two favourites from the score. Finally, "Hard Pressure" and "Brave of Blaze" transform seemingly mediocre original pieces into classic Falcom rock arrangements. The melodies sound better than before, when presented on extravagant guitars and distorted keyboards, while the punchy backing adds to the vibrancy. All in all, an excellent bonus in a score otherwise neglected in terms of arrangements.

Summary

Music from The Legend of Xanadu II is evidently a step up from its predecessor. The excellent original and arranged tracks on the second disc clearly give it the upper hand. However, it still doesn't fare that well with time and lacks the real character needed for it to be among Falcom's best releases. Still, those who can't get enough of Falcom will probably enjoy this release.



Album
7/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Chris Greening

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

CD 1: PSG Sound Source
CD 2 tracks 1~24: PCM Sound Source
         tracks 25~29: jdk BAND arrange
Album was composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK and was released on August 23, 1995. Soundtrack consists of 81 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by King Records.

CD 1

1
Passage of Ocean
00:52
2
Misfortune Hunch
00:32
3
Peaceful Enclosure
01:34
4
Acquisition
00:06
5
Pleasant Estimation
01:08
6
Scattered Islands
01:46
7
Extremity Fear
00:43
8
Shipwreck
01:23
9
Formation
00:06
10
First Attack
01:04
11
Triumphal Song
00:08
12
Big Storm
01:03
13
Sea Breeze Town
02:04
14
Moderation Tears
01:03
15
A Day of Love
01:06
16
Fertile Plain
01:04
17
Over the Desert
02:15
18
Ancient Relics
00:51
19
Brave of Blaze
01:55
20
Forest of Shudder
02:16
21
Apparition Trees
02:20
22
Weird Air
00:51
23
Idleness Sleep
00:06
24
At Your Departure
01:15
25
Underground Water Course
02:46
26
Immovable Fossil
01:15
27
In Her Mind
00:50
28
Magnificence Street
01:20
29
Elegance Residence
00:53
30
Powdery Snow
01:22
31
Heart Warm
01:14
32
Vast & Sever
01:34
33
Mist Land
01:52
34
Break Through
00:55
35
Retreat
00:05
36
Bad Past
01:38
37
The Missing Is...
01:36
38
Calm Reception
01:30
39
Crystal Valley
01:47
40
Heavenly Praise
00:48
41
One's Last Moment
01:55
42
Blind Man
00:37
43
Cave of Ocean Floor
01:53
44
Tragedy Knight
01:31
45
Hard Pressure
01:46
46
Evil's Supremacy
01:41
47
Into the Dark
01:32
48
Throne of Close
01:46
49
Slash for Chap
01:28
50
Down to the Abyss
00:59
51
Happy-Go-Lucky
01:40
52
Supremacy Title
01:19

CD 2

1
Invitation for the New World
01:21
2
From Faraway
01:19
3
Recollection of Past
01:10
4
The Triumphal Hymn
02:52
5
Three Years Later
04:28
6
The Realms of Goddess
01:33
7
Sophia
01:09
8
The Last of Dragon Slayer
03:07
9
Whereabouts of Destiny
01:28
10
Seventh Soul
01:07
11
Balmy Wind
01:22
12
Unknown Truth
02:14
13
Graceful Decision
02:30
14
Ambition Territory
01:44
15
Longing Desire
01:38
16
Sternly Spirit
01:29
17
Destruction Bell
01:07
18
Darkness Thunderclap
01:17
19
Final Awakening
01:36
20
Other Side of Sorrows
02:34
21
Daylight Promise
01:41
22
Some Day, Some Where
02:21
23
On Blue Brilliant Place
04:12
24
Following Wind
03:22
25
Supremacy Title
04:21
26
Hard Pressure
04:02
27
Sea Breeze Town
04:17
28
Blind Man ~ Over the Desert
04:28
29
Brave of Blaze
03:47
30.04.12
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