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Symphonic Suite Dragon Quest Complete CD-Box

Catalog Number: SVWC-7150~7
Released On: January 22, 2003
Composed By: Koichi Sugiyama
Arranged By: Koichi Sugiyama
Published By: SME Visual Works
Recorded At: Various
Format: 7 CDs
Tracklist:


[back cover]

Disc One: Beginning of the Adventure
Overtures
01 - Overture March (I)
02 - Dragonquest March (II)
03 - Roto (III)
04 - Overture (IV)
05 - Overture March (V)
06 - Overture March (VI)
07 - OvertureVII (VII)
Preludes
08 - Only Lonely Boy (II)
09 - Pastoral~Catastrophe (II)
10 - Prologue (III)
11 - Morning in Eden (VII)
Castle Suite
12 - Château Ladutorm (I)
13 - Château (II)
14 - Rondo (III)
15 - Menuet (IV)
16 - Castle Trumpeter (V)
17 - At the Palace (VI)
18 - Echo of Horns throughout the Castle (VII)
Total Time:
46'39"


[back cover]

Disc Two: Relaxing Street Corner
Town Melodies
01 - People (I)
02 - Town (II)
03 - Around the World (III)
04 - In a Town (IV)
05 - Melody in an Ancient Town~Toward the Horizon~Casino~Lively Town~Melody in an Ancient Town (V)
06 - In the Town~Happy Humming~Inviting Village~Folk Dance~In the Town (VI)
07 - Strolling in the Town (VII)
08 - Heavenly Village (VII)
Love Themes
09 - Melody of Love (V)
10 - To My Loved One (VII)
Total Time:
54'21"


[back cover]

Disc Three: Distant Journey
Homeland Adventure Series
01 - Unknown World (I)
02 - Endless World (II)
03 - Adventure (III)
04 - Comrades (IV)
05 - Homeland~Wagon Wheel's March (IV)
06 - Through the Fields~Wandering through the Silence~Another World (VI)
07 - Memories of a Lost World (VII)
Tunes of Sorrow
08 - Distant Memories (III)
09 - Make Me Feel Sad (V)
10 - Days of Sadness (VII)
11 - Saraband (VII)
Total Time:
49'46"


[back cover]

Disc Four: Footsteps Resounding in the Darkness
Monsters Series
01 - Dungeons (I)
02 - Fright in Dungeon~Devil's Tower (II)
03 - Dungeon~Tower~The Phantom Ship (III)
04 - Frightening Dungeons~Cursed Towers (IV)
05 - Monsters in the Dungeon~Tower of Death~Dark World~Monsters in the Dungeon (V)
06 - Dungeons~Last Dungeon~Dungeons (VI)
07 - Devil's Tower (VI)
08 - Shadow of Death (VII)
09 - Screams from the Tower of Monsters (VII)
10 - Sphinx~Mysterious Sanctuary (VII)
Requiems
11 - Requiem (II)
12 - Requiem~Small Shrine (III)
13 - Elegy~Mysterious Shrine (IV)
14 - Noble Requiem~Saint (V)
15 - Melancholy (VI)
16 - With Sadness in Heart~A Safe Heaven (VII)
Total Time:
72'48"


[back cover]

Disc Five: Soaring Heavens
Miracle Melodies
01 - Ocarina~The Saint (VI)
02 - Pegasus~Saint's Wreath (VI)
Sky Melodies
03 - Heavenly Flight (III)
04 - Balloon's Flight (IV)
05 - Magic Carpet~The Ocean (V)
06 - Flying Bed (VI)
07 - Magic Carpet (VII)
08 - Over the Horizon (VII)
Ocean Melodies
09 - Beyond the Waves (II)
10 - Sailing (III)
11 - Sea Breeze (IV)
12 - Ocean Waves (VI)
13 - Aboard Ship~Pirates of the Sea (VII)
Total Time:
51'26"


[back cover]

Disc Six: Challenge of the Brave
Evil Palace
01 - Zoma's Castle (III)
02 - Evil World~Satan's Castle~Frightening Dungeon~Satan's Castle (VI)
Brave Fight Series
03 - Fight (I)
04 - King Dragon (I)
05 - Deathfight~Dead or Alive (II)
06 - Gruelling Fight (III)
07 - Fighting Spirit (III)
08 - Battle for the Glory (IV)
09 - Violent Enemies~Almighty Boss Devil is Challenged (V)
10 - Satan (V)
11 - Brave Fight (VI)
12 - Monsters (VI)
13 - Demon Combat (VI)
14 - Fighting Spirit~World of the Strong (VII)
15 - Orgo Demila (VII)
Total Time:
71'17"


[back cover]

Disc Seven: And Into the Legend...
Castles of the Sky
01 - Unknown Castle (IV)
02 - Heaven (V)
Ending Themes
03 - Finale (I)
04 - My Road My Journey (II)
05 - Into the Legend (III)
06 - Ending (IV)
07 - Bridal Waltz (V)
08 - Eternal Lullaby (VI)
09 - Triumphal Return~Epilogue (VII)
Bonus Track
10 - Toura Dance
11 - Restoration Prayer
12 - Pisaro
13 - Pisaro's Minions
14 - A Difficult Enemy is Blocking the Path
Total Time:
50'25"

Editor's Note: according to the catalog number, one would think the collection would have eight discs, but indeed, there are seven. It is safe to say that SVWC-7157 refers to the collection of slime bottle caps that come with the box.

Oh Lord. That's what I said to myself when I sat down to write this review. Those who know me know I am a huge Dragon Quest fan, and love Sugiyama's compositions. So I had to get this box set when it came out. The slime bottle toppers didn't hurt, mind you.

Symphonic Suite: Dragon Quest is compilation of all the orchestral arrangements from games 1-7, and is a must for collectors. Rather than break each album down in detail, though, I'll be giving highlights from them, as there are a total of 7 discs.

First things first, though, if you're not familiar with Dragon Quest music or its composer, Koichi Sugiyama, lemme give ya a little background. The Dragon Quest series has been repetitively and rather unoriginally entertaining millions of people, mostly Japanese, for the last 20+ years. Koichi Sugiyama is the series composer, and has composed every song for every game. It just so happens that, since the Japanese love Dragon Quest so much, they were receptive to Enix (now Square Enix) putting on live concerts of orchestrated Dragon Quest music, and Sugiyama-san was more than happy to arrange it all.

While stylistically, Sugiyama is definitely entrenched in the "Modern Classical" genre, his mixture of themes and good use of discordant melodies produce a sound that is distinctly Dragon Quest, and distinctly Sugiyama.

So, how are these discs broken up? Then answer is by theme. For example, Disc 1 is orchestral renditions of all the 7 games' overtures. Yes, that's right, all 7. They are very similar tracks, all being the same theme, and although I'm psychotic and listened to them all IN ORDER, you can skip past most of them. If you want a good one, choose either 4 or 7, but honestly, there's only so many times you can listen to the same march. The second part of Disc 1 is taken up by various other "theme" music, such as Château Ladutorm (original's castle music), Only Lonely Boy (2's title character music), and Morning in Eden (7's introduction music). Overall, Disc 1 has some of the best music in the compilation, and although I doubt you'll find the discs separately, if you gotta have one, this is an excellent choice.

Zipping on to Disc 2, we've got Town themes. See, there's method to the madness that is this mondo collection. Lots of happy here, including Happy Humming (from 6), Around the World (from 3), and my favorite, In a Town from 4. There's also Melody of Love from 5, but that one's kinda "meh."

Disc 3 time, and here we have our main character setting out, so to speak. This disc collects all the overworld music, from the classic Unknown World from the original Dragon Quest to the stirring Adventure from 3, and the ever familiar Comrades and Homeland~Wagon Wheel March from 4. We've also got some sadness on this album, with tracks such as Days of Sadness and Saraband from 7. If you've ever played 7, by the way, it'll tug at your heartstrings.

Disc 4 plunges us into dungeons and demons, with the various dungeon themes from all 7 games orchestrated and presented in chronological order. The rest of the disc is comprised of various requiems, for the discerning small shrine visitor. Maybe I'm playing favorites, but again, 4 shines with Elegy~Mysterious Shrine. So sad *whimpers* -- that's me trying to be sad.

Of course, what is a Dragon Quest game without various manners of conveyance, such as flight-based transportation? Okay, well it's the original Dragon Quest, but still, for 2-7 we get to ride in ships, balloons, ride giant birds, and even fly in a bed! Disc 5 captures all the wonder of exotic methods of travel with orchestrations of such pieces as Magic Carpet~The Ocean from 5 and Flying Bed from 6. Guaranteed to lift your spirits and take you to new heights of adventure. Definitely another great disc here.

But if it's one thing you do in Dragon Quest games, it's FIGHT, and that's where Disc 6 comes in. All the battle music from the games arranged, orchestrated, and laid bare. Feel the thumping bass drums, the discordant trumpets and strings, the ominous tremolo. It's enough to make you want to don Erdrick's (Roto's) armor and whack a few slimes (not too hard, though, they're really sweet.) Check out Orgo Demalia, 7's boss music, and the fast paced Battle for Glory from 4 for the highlights.

Finally, every great game has a great ending, and the Dragon Quest games were no exceptions. They were usually pretty long, and had excellent accompanying music. You can find out on Disc 7, which is a compilation of not only the ending themes, but also special themes such as the Unknown Castle (Zenithia's theme from 4), and Heaven (Zenethia's theme from 5). In terms of ending themes, go for Into the Legend (3), Ending (4), and the ever popular Bridal Waltz (5). And don't forget to check out a few of the direct-from-game pieces at the end of the disc. Apparently some tracks couldn't be orchestrated, but were still considered awesome, so we have a few ditties from Dragon Quest 7 to round out the disc.

Whew, it's tough to encapsulate 7 discs into just a handful of space, but hopefully I have whet your appetite for this definitive collection of Dragon Quest arranged music. While it may be hard to find, and expensive at that, do try to pick it up if you're a Dragon Quest fan, or even if you just enjoy classically arranged music. The slimes will thank you.

Reviewed by: Damian Thomas



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