Falcom Special Box '95

Falcom Special Box '95. Box Front. Click to zoom.
Falcom Special Box '95
Box Front
Covers release: Kibbas
Composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK
Arranged by Tamiya Terashima / Tomohiko Kishimoto
Published by King Records
Catalog number KICA-9023~5
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 3 CD - 38 tracks
Release date December 21, 1994
Duration 02:46:28
Genres
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Overview

Falcom Special Box '95 is one of the most dubious releases in the annual series. While its individual components will attract certain consumers, I'm not convinced that the box works well as a whole. It features three discs: CD Drama The Legend of Xanadu II featuring drama performances and a few arrangements; The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra featuring some high quality synth orchestrations; and Ys IV J.D.K. Special Vol. 2 featuring the remaining and unused tracks from the individually released Ys IV J.D.K. Special Vol. 1. While there is little bad music in this collection, only the second disc serves as a must-have in my opinion and it's already been released separately...

Body

The first disc of the album features the CD Drama The Legend of Xanadu II. For most non-Japanese listeners, this release won't be a particularly worthwhile one, since it's dominated by long dialogue and dramatic performances. While the drama seems very well done, you have to understand Japanese and be a hardcore fan of the game to enjoy this in the least. That said, there is so redemption for Western listeners as there are four arranged tracks dispersed through the disc. "Ordeal" is Tomohiko Kishimoto's rock at its finest, complete with nostalgic melodies and ecstatic rhythms. Surprisingly, "Island" and "Village" take a more atmospheric focus, complete with exotic instruments and soft melodies, but they're very well done and serve as effective interludes to the drama. Finally, "Legend of the Wind" ends the album on an elating note with one of Falcom's female rock anthems. A select taste, but potentially a goodie.

The highlight of the album is definitely The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra featured on the second disc. Though written for a synth orchestra, this format works surprisingly well due to the unusual colours it creates. The opening rendition of "The White Witch Gerud" is a perfect example, featuring everything from conventional strings to ethnic woodwinds to spiritual vocals. Tamiya Terashima continues the dramatic focus with the action-packed "The Great Battle of Bolt" and the more personal "Demise". Nevertheless, there is a shocking diversity also present on the album with everything from jazz (e.g. "Afternoon at the Beach", "Spirit Days") to gothic chorales (e.g. "Sorrowful Melody", "Ordol Cathedral") to complete anomalies (e.g. "Queen Isabelle", "Spirit in Our Days"). It's a very different arranged album, but still a beautiful listen that does justice to the original score. Note that this disc was separately released in 2001, so it's no longer necessary to purchase the box set to get it.

Finally, we come to the Ys IV J.D.K. Special Vol. 2. In my opinion, it was a cheap trick to put this disc within a box set, considering the first volume was released separately. For some, the two volumes of the J.D.K. Special be a welcome listen, since they are the closest thing available to a soundtrack release for Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys. However, they are actually resynthed versions of the music using FM sound chips, so do not represent the authentic game experience. While many of the important tracks from Ys IV are featured on the first volume, there are still a number of highlights on the second volume, including the bubbly pop theme "Fountain of Love '93", the haunting ambient gem "Quickening of the Ancient City", and the rocking action track "The Final Decisive Battle". There are also several unused tracks, such as "Crater", "Temple", "Tower", and "Prison Tower", that prove better than expected. However, I'm not convinced this disc is a must-have and it's probably better to stick to the three Perfect Collection albums instead.

Summary

For the consumer, the presentation of this box set raises many dilemmas. Is it worth listening to a CD just to hear four high quality arrangements dispersed among 40 minutes of drama? Is it worth buying a whole box set just to hear the rest of the Ys IV J.D.K. Special? Is it better to buy The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra separately or within the box set? While answers to these questions will differ from person-to-person, it's my personal view that the Falcom Special Box '95 is more of a random collection of discs than a cohesive overall package. The orchestral version is worthwhile, but it is probably best to purchase it separately, while the other two discs contain sparing highlights and should only be sought by hardcore collectors.



Album
6/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Charles Szczygiel

Falcom Special Box '95 is a compilation of music from various Falcom games featuring specially arranged music and drama across three special volumes. This is the seventh produced 'Falcom Special Box' volume.

Disc 1: Legend of Xanadu II ~ Drama CD
Disc 2:  Legend of Heroes III ~ J.D.K. Electric Orchestra
Disc 3:  Ys IV J.D.K. Special ~ Part II

All Music Composed by Falcom Sound Team J.D.K.
Arranged by: Tomohiko Kishimoto (Disc 1), Tamiya Terashima (Disc 2)
Album was composed by Falcom Sound Team JDK and was released on December 21, 1994. Soundtrack consists of 38 tracks tracks with duration over more than 2 hours. Album was released by King Records.

CD 1

1
Ordeal
04:00
2
Prologue ~ Lost Magic
03:04
3
Island
04:07
4
Chapter 1 ~ The Wind Stops...
14:47
5
Village
03:38
6
Chapter 2 ~ Presentiment of New Wind
29:13
7
Legend of the Wind ~ Vocal Version
04:49

CD 2

1
The White Witch Gueld
05:59
2
Afternoon on the Beach
03:53
3
Sorrowful Melody
04:17
4
See Our Spirit
03:47
5
The Great Battle of Bolt
04:12
6
Oldos Cathedral
04:08
7
Queen Isabelle
04:38
8
Little Heroes
03:54
9
Demise
04:17
10
In the Sparkle of Love
05:02

CD 3

1
FOUNTAIN OF LOVE '93
01:58
2
Crater (Unused Music)
02:14
3
The Sage
02:05
4
Resurrection Ceremony
03:28
5
Temple (Unused Music)
02:49
6
Dungeon
02:58
7
Leeza ~ The Secret Sentiment in Her Heart
04:51
8
Walking the Path of Legend
02:04
9
House
03:34
10
Sadness
02:21
11
Five Loyal Retainers
02:07
12
Quickening of the Ancient City
01:19
13
The Ancient City Surfaces
01:17
14
Tower (Unused Music)
03:51
15
Eldiel
04:11
16
The Final Decisive Battle
03:29
17
A New Beginning
03:39
18
Prison House (Unused Music)
02:33
19
Game Over
01:18
20
Broken Hourglass
03:47
21
FANTASY HORIZON
02:50
30.04.12
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