Glory of Heracles IV ~ Gift of the Gods
Catalog Number: PCCB-00167
Released On: November 18, 1994
Composed By: Shogo Sakai, Seiichi Hamada, Koremasa, Emi Shimizu, SEILAH, Z Yamanaka, Takafumi "N'gja" Miura, Seiji Momoi
Arranged By: Shogo Sakai
Published By: Pony Canyon
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs

Disc One
01 - <Arrange> Children of Atlantis
02 - Endless Hope ~The Beginning of the Journey~
03 - Under the Care of the Gods [Atlantis]
04 - Chime
05 - Memories of Atlantis
06 - The Coming of Storm ~G Minor~
07 - Attack
08 - Defeat
09 - A Friend Dies
10 - To the Bottom of the Mines
11 - Fear of the Unknown
12 - Expectations ~Where Time Goes~ [The Beginning of the Journey / Moirai Temple ~ Telma Forest]
13 - Beyond the Horizon
14 - Battle with Monsters
15 - The Joy of Victory
16 - In the Corner of a Field
17 - I Love Everything
18 - Mysterious Acquisition
19 - Investigation
20 - Encounter
21 - Battle of Life and Death [Shadow of Almoa / Atlantis Ruins ~ Departure]
22 - Deep Feelings
23 - Torn Feelings
24 - Where Small Waves Sway
25 - Wishing for Eternity
26 - Traveling the Great Ocean [Desert Tribe / Construction Site ~ Deserted Harbor]
27 - The Workmen
28 - Taking a Nap
29 - Where the Sand Goes
30 - The Queen Passes Through
31 - An Invitation from the Past
32 - Parting [Greece]
33 - Gathering in the Town
34 - Small Hand Puppet
35 - I Love Everything
36 - Beneath the Fruit Tree
37 - Evening Sun
38 - Twilight Investigation
39 - Resonating Power [Sudden Descent / Persia ~ Tartarus]
40 - Persian Dance
41 - Land of the Lifeless
42 - Dwelling of the King of Death
43 - At the Grounds of Eternal Atonement
44 - Distant Memories
Total Time:

Disc Two
01 - A New Time
02 - The Macedonian King's Grief
03 - Destroyed City
04 - Puzzling Reunion [Once More At Atlantis / Nekpolis ~ Atlas Mountains]
05 - At Work...Dance
06 - Deep Sea ~ The World of Poseidon
07 - Descendants of Atlantis
08 - Mountain of the Spiraling Wind
09 - Awe [Journey's End / Obtaining Pegasus ~ Ending]
10 - The Wings of Pegasus
11 - Zeus' Mischief
12 - Tracing the Past
13 - The Truth
14 - End of the Road
15 - Trial ~Mingling Resolutions~
16 - The End-All Battle
17 - Temporary Rest
18 - At the End of the Journey
Total Time:

Glory of Heracles IV: The last game to be released in Data East's RPG series (that is, until the DS resurrection of the series in 2008). The soundtrack, written by a team of composers from Data East (including Shogo Sakai, who would go on to write the score for Mother 3 a full decade later), is without question the strongest score in the four-part series. Hence, the release of two different soundtracks (one promotional, one retail) for this one game. Note that the first and third games in this series never saw soundtrack releases, though Pony Canyon did release a soundtrack for Glory of Heracles II (Famicom). Also, the promotional album for Glory of Heracles IV includes some bonus tracks from III and II. Anyway, on to this particular OST.

The only arranged track to speak of on this two disc OST is the opening vocal, performed by Miki Kasamatsu. The song's melody is based on a re-used motif throughout the soundtrack (best heard, in OST form, on disc 1 track 13). Alongside the main vocalist, a children's choir also joins in. Another strange vocal that appears on the OST is actually an in-game, sequenced/synthesized vocal. Much like Final Fantasy VI's opera scene, but attempting to make syllabic phrases out of each and every note (and generally failing), "I Love Everything" is definitely one of the strangest pieces of music I've ever heard produced by SNES chiptunes.

On the whole, this soundtrack is extremely melodic and traditional neo-classical in style. As the series itself was something of a Dragon Quest clone, it should come as no surprise that the soundtrack also has a Western European feel to it. Though, at times, it is exotic, since the setting is a fictional ancient Greece.

I think what I enjoy most about this particular SNES score is that it's very cohesive. It covers all the bases necessary to make it feel like good accompaniment for an epic 16-bit adventure. The only thing I call into question is the track layout across the two discs. Why is disc two so light on content? Why not spread out the love, or throw some bonus arranged tracks at the end of disc two so as to beef up the disc length?

If you want to own this soundtrack... good luck to you, sir or madam. Demand isn't high, but at this point, neither is supply. Most Pony canyon soundtracks from this era are considered rare. I'm not quite sure what one would consider a "standard" market price for this album, because it isn't bought, sold, or traded all that often. But I have seen its price point float around $100 to $150, so that's certainly disconcerting. But I do believe, if you get the opportunity, that it's certainly worth checking out. The soundtrack isn't fantastic, but it certainly isn't bad either. If I had to stoop to letter grading, I'd give it a "B." But seriously, at the end of the day, I'm just happy to have one more soundtrack from the SNES era in my collection.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann


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