The London Philharmonic recording for Dragon Quest III was released in 1997 by Sony Records, and reprinted in 2000 by SPE Visual Works. However, a second disc (that was released separately to milk the music for all its worth) did not get reprinted by SPE. That is the Super Famicom version OST for Dragon Quest III. And it's a shame this one didn't receive a reprint, because this soundtrack is simply fantastic.
Now, I know I've made disparaging remarks about Dragon Quest III's music in the past. But there are two things to take into account here. First, Dragon Quest III is only inferior when compared to the other Dragon Quest titles (and again, this is just my opinion). If you put Sugiyama's Dragon Quest III up against nearly any other orchestral album in the world of VGM, it fares quite well. The second thing to consider is that the Super Famicom Chiptune (SFC) format is one of the greatest things to ever hit the VGM scene. You and I both know it sounds fantastic. There's nothing quite like it. So, to have this music transposed to Super Famicom format is a true blessing.
The ME (Music Effect) tracks are mixed in amongst the music, instead of being grouped together and thrown at the end of the disc. I tend to prefer this method for soundtracks, even though most DQ albums tend to put them all at the end. Relevant jingles like "victory" and "waking up" are played after "battle" and "sleeping" (respectively). I enjoy this track layout.
Two of my favorite tracks on this are "Heavenly Flight" and "Across the Sea." The sea/sky travel music is excellent in almost every DQ, but it's especially good on this album. The Super Famicom rendered the instruments beautifully. It's some of the best SFC music I've ever heard. I could listen to these two tracks on repeat for hours.
As wonderful as they are, too much "Symphonic Suite" can bog you down. If you need your VGM to get back to its synth roots, this album is an excellent addition to any Dragon Quest soundtrack collection–especially because it never got reprinted (unless you purchase those "Daizenshu" box sets).
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann