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Sorcerian MIDI Collection
Catalog Number: NF02010
Released On: June 28, 1996
Composed By: Sound Team JDK
Arranged By: Sound Team JDK
Published By: Falcom
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - (data track)
SC-88 Version
02 - Opening
03 - Survivor
04 - Bloody River - The Seal
05 - Forest
06 - Ending I
07 - Ending II
GS/GM Version
08 - Blue Dragon
09 - Cave I
10 - Where We Meet
11 - Dungeon
12 - Sand Castle
13 - Aboard Ship
XG Version
14 - Opening
15 - Bloody River - The Seal
16 - Ending I
Total Time:
62'25"

Somehow, unintentionally, I saved the best for last. Slowly, I have collected all of Falcom's "MIDI Collection" albums and have taken the time to digest each one. This semi-rare series of albums from Falcom featured a data-and-audio CD, where track 1 was the "data track" (filled with actual MIDI files and some artwork), and the rest were high-quality MIDI arrangements for your favorite Falcom pieces. They did it for Ys, and they put out multiple albums for the Legend of Heroes series. Finally, I get to the Sorcerian MIDI Collection. And I am shocked by how good it is.

There are three different types of MIDI arrangements present on the disc: SC-88, GS/GM, and XG. In my mind, there is no question which is the best of the three, particularly for the Sorcerian compositions; SC-88 takes the cake. "Bloody River" and "Forest" are my favorite tracks on the album, and they come back-to-back.

The GS/GM tracks aren't bad either. "Sand Castle" and "Cave I" are great synth-rock tracks. The organ synth used in "Sand Castle" is on par with the organ sounds of Nobuo Uematsu in Final Fantasy VIII (think "Maybe I'm a Lion" or any of the end battle themes). The XG arrangements, however, failed to impress me. If I had to pick between the SC-88 and the XG versions of "Bloody River," there's no question that SC-88 would win out. There are some neat ideas in the arrangements themselves, but the synth used just doesn't prop up the musical arrangement very well.

So what makes the Sorcerian MIDI Collection superior to the others? Ultimately, I think it's because the original compositions were best suited to the SC-88 MIDI sound, especially compared to Ys and Legend of Heroes. There's much less attempt at emotional ballads and "epic" music in Sorcerian: it's all a perfect tension of light and dark. "Light" in the sense that the music never takes itself too seriously, and "dark" in the sense that there is a sense of mystery, and oftentimes an abundant use of minor chord structure. Enjoy the audio samples, and good luck finding a mint copy of this little gem!

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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