One of the earlier releases in Falcom's "MIDI Collection" series was the Legend of Heroes ("Eiyuu Densetsu") Collection. The data track contains over 90 minutes of MIDI data, but the real focus of this review is on the CD Audio, which contains arrangements based on the MIDI Systems.
The album splits up the songs based on game order, one through three. There is a bonus track at the end for Legend of Heroes IV, which is odd considering LoH IV received its own MIDI Collection release later on.
Opening with the classic "Field" track from the first Legend of Heroes, I'd have to say the album starts off nicely. This arrangement is slower, emphasizing the melody with a jazzy synth and adding plenty of bouncy, beboppy background instruments. The "Field" piece is easily the best from the first Legend of Heroes games, so the rest is really downhill from here. "Battle" and "Pirate Island" are decent, and better than their old original FM synth counterparts for sure, but again, it's nothing too special.
The selections from Legend of Heroes II are few, but they are excellent. The Field piece, though not quite as good as the one frolm the original LoH, is excellent. Tracks 8 and 9 are really outstanding, even better than the arrangements on the LoH II Perfect Collection.
The LoH III arrangements were less than impressive. Considering the vast amount of LoH III albums out there, there wasn't anything particularly appealing about these tracks, at least not in their GS/GM form. Which brings us to the SC-88 tracks...
The SC-88 version of the classic LoH III song "Lude Castle" was wonderful, hence why I included the sample. It's hard, it's fast-paced, and it's MIDI to the max. The other arrangements are also fair, though there isn't a significant difference between the GS/GM version of "Field" and the SC-88 version.
If obscurity weren't an issue, I'd recommend Falcom fans add this album to the collection, especially those of us who find much joy in the Legend of Heroes series. But, considering its limited printing took place a decade ago, you'll be lucky to find it anywhere these days.
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann