01 - Opening
02 - (Narration) My Name is Richter
03 - Naskuot
04 - (Narration) Wandering ~ The Secret of Lennus
05 - Saskuot
06 - (Narration) Sacred Fighter
07 - Chezni and Midia
08 - (Narration) Encounter With Fate
09 - Zeigosu -The Final War-
10 - (Narration) And a Myth
For those of you who remember an old game for SNES called Paladin's Quest, you may or may not know that its original title was Lennus. While the US never got the second game in the series, the original had decent, though fairly unremarkable music. In fact, I would have never thought there would be a Lennus album made, let alone one with arranged versions of the original game's tracks. Yet there it was, staring me in the face at my local used Japanese CD store, and I had to pick it up (at $7.00 the price was right!).
First off, let me say that any fans of Paladin's Quest/Lennus must pick up this album for the sheer nostalgic value. That being said, this album has something to appeal to more than just old crusty farts like myself. The tracks, once unremarkable on the SNES, become livelier and even sinister in Memory of the Ancient Machine. And while most of the tracks are medleys, each segment is well arranged and catchy.
Naskuot, for example, is a compilation of all the overworld, town, dungeon, and fight themes heard in the northern region of the game's world, while Saskuot covers the southern region's themes. While the tracks are clearly played on synthesizer, they emulate acoustic qualities quite well. You can tell the difference between the more lively, upbeat Naskuot overworld and the darker, more sinister Saskuot for the most part, although both have their dangerous sides.
Chezni and Midia, on the other hand, is an arranged version of the "themes" of the main characters, and is quite beautiful, including segments with lovely piano and synth orchestration that feels as if one were flying (that would be the Midia part, sort of a MIDI Midia).
Zeigosu -The Final War- is the last purely instrumental track in the album, and it covers the boss themes in the game, including the last boss music, as well as a "starry" rendition of the main theme.
Of course, the instrumental parts are only half the album, as every other track is a narration piece by Japanese voice actors portraying Richter, Chezni, and Midia. I'll admit, my Japanese isn't so good, but what I picked up, along with the names of the tracks, leads me to believe that these tell the basic story of the game. They're well done, I suppose, and aren't so long as to detract from the instrumentals.
The bottom line is this; if you can find this album, get it. It's pretty darn rare, having been discontinued a long time ago (came out in 1992 and probably didn't have a very long run). I was lucky to even find this album, and fans of the game (such as myself) will love this. In addition, the album stands on the merits of its composition as well, so non-fans should also enjoy it.
Reviewed by: Damian Thomas