01 - Images of the Apocalypse
02 - Those Days of Fragrant Flowers
03 - Determination ~Swear Eternal Loyalty to the Indifferent Queen~
04 - The Six Realms
05 - The Icy Earth Shines Brightly in Life
06 - Bride of Lovely Death ~The Valkyrie Loves the Heroes~
07 - Confession of an Insignificant Little Fish
08 - Praise of the Earth
09 - Kaleidoscope of Blood, Bone, and Flesh
10 - Distant Holy Land
11 - Opposition ~We're Invincible, Our Fortress Cannot Fall~
12 - One Swing Is All I Need With My Beloved Old Sword
13 - Requiem of Heroes
14 - The Verge of Death ~The Gates of Valhalla Opened~
15 - Ten Billion Swords, Ten Billion Lives
16 - White Sun
17 - Together Until the End ~Andlangr Longs for Thy Blood~
18 - The Emperor
19 - The Supremacy of the Queen
20 - One World
21 - Ragnarøkkr
Ragnarøkkr is a PC-88 Strategy RPG from Glodia, a smaller game company that is most well-known for the game Emerald Dragon. This particular game is entirely unkown to me: all I know is that I have the soundtrack in my hands, and it is composed by Ikki Nakamura, who has composed music for other Glodia games as well. But enough about the game and the company: let's just talk about the music!
The quality of the synth is fairly high for 1994, and I am left to wonder if this music is a direct port from the game or if the quality of the synth was boosted when released to CD. Regardless, I have to emphasize that the quality of the sound is one of this CD's main strengths. The percussion used, be it a standard drum, a snap, a clap, or whatever else, always sounds like the real thing. The strings are good, brass is noticeably synthesized (to the point where they become grainy and annoying at some times), and the winds are beautiful, even though they are clearly not real.
Speaking of the winds, I think that Nakamura's greatest melodic lines on this CD are almost always put on some sort of flute, recorder, or whistle. Take a listen for yourself to track 11, "Opposition"...you can hear that the brass is a bit annoying, but the strings are sweeping and cascading, and the winds just sound awesome. I know my opinion isn't universal, but I'll be darned if you, the reader, disagree with me on this one.
Overall, there's something very medieval, yet still organic, about this soundtrack: it is very reminiscent of the Genso Suikoden series. Each track is simple: most are enjoyable. The album holds to a level of consistency: nothing throws you for a curve, which is nice sometimes.
One complaint I have about this soundtrack is the last track: a vocal piece sung by Akiko Someya...and it is terrible! The last thing I need as a videogame music aficionado is one more bland, boring Japanese vocal ballad to top off an otherwise-enjoyable instrumental soundtrack. Don't get me wrong, I generally love Japanese vocals, but they need to either by catchy or inspiring: this piece is neither.
Amidst a pile of many old, obscure OSTs to sort through, I have to admit that this one isn't anything special. I wouldn't think anyone should have to pay a high price for it, and I don't imagine that most VGM collectors would have a strong desire to have this CD in their collection (unless you're a big Glodia fan). Still, I cannot discount or discredit the good music I have heard on this CD, some of it very fresh and original (especially on woodwind melodies, as I have stressed so many times in this review). Give it a chance, and if you ever happen to have the opportunity to purchase it for a fair price, why not strike while the iron is hot?
Reviewed by: Patrick Gann