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Sorcerian Super Arrange Version II
Catalog Number: K32X-7708 (reprint NW10102250)
Released On: September 21, 1988 (reprint December 22, 1999)
Composed By: Sound Team JDK
Arranged By: Hiroyuki Nanba
Published By: King Records (reprint Falcom)
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

Super Arrange Version
Stage Clear BGM
01 - Beautiful Day
Menu Screen
02 - The Choice is Yours
The Isle of the Devil
03 - The Isle of the Devil
The Gods of Olympus
04 - Village
05 - The Harp
The Head of Medusa
06 - Village
The King Dragon - Ending
07 - Ending II
Original Soundtrack Version
9801, X1 Turbo, 88 VA Version
Stage Clear BGM
08 - Beautiful Day
Romancia
09 - Ending Theme
Riddle of the Ruby
10 - Moth Giant
Game Over
11 - Sigh and Tear
Utility Vol. 1
Menu Screen
12 - The Choice is Yours
Sorcerian Board Game
13 - Happy! Happy!
Letter Corner
14 - Nice to Meet You
Sorcerian Quiz
15 - I'm a Gamer
Sorcerian Additional Scenarios Vol. 1
The Isle of the Devil
16 - The Isle of the Devil
17 - Rock Demon
The Sacrificial Temple
18 - Rescue Laura!
19 - Minotauros
20 - El Jiina
The Demon-Possessed Flower
21 - The Demon-Possessed Flower
22 - Golem
Ah, Josephine, Where Are You Now?
23 - Darling Josephine
24 - Earth Worm
The Sword of the Amazons
25 - Vanelba
26 - Joanna
Stage Clear BGM
27 - Congratulation!
Total Time:
49'15"

Note: The name of this soundtrack, along with its ominous "you're not getting a fully arranged disc" subtitle, is "Sorcerian Super Arange Version II - Plus Sorcerian System Vol.1".

Let's just start with the good stuff, okay?

Hiroyuki Nanba, to me, is a one-of-a-kind arranger. He takes some of the best melodies Falcom has to offer, and from that can make an assortment of beautiful arrangements using one of my least favorite genres of music: "smooth jazz". Right from the start, "Beautiful Day" has that bouncy jazz feel you might hear on the radio or the weather channel, but the saxophone solo later into the track says that this isn't the work of some dime-a-dozen musician who lacks talent. No, it's going to be good from here on out.

The next track is decidedly my favorite on the whole album. Imagine playing Sorcerian, staring at a menu screen of all things, and then Hiroyuki Nanba steps out of the screen and says, "hey y'all. I'm just gonna spice this one up a bit." That is basically what's happening with "The Choice is Yours": a song that you used to say was "okay, I guess" is now "definitely a solid bit of music." On this track, expect to hear organ, electric and acoustic guitar, and a jazz flute that will blow your mind. I absolutely adore this song.

Jazz organ and slap bass dominate the next track, and Nanba again does his tricks to turn a fairly good song into a really good song. It has the standard run through the melody, and then a breakdown with some solos (which seems to be the Nanba formula, also a standard jazz formula). I liked this track, but not as much as the others.

Taking a drastic and unexpected turn, the Olympus "Village" theme of track 4 is basically some solid chamber orchestra music. Strings, harpsichord, and an unlikely synth work together to form a very beautiful tapestry of music. The next track uses many of the same instruments, and it's almost as if Fujisawa (head of the "new age" arrangements) had a chance to step in and do his thing, but no, it truly is Nanba doing the work on this one! Suffice it to say that if you can take some old Falcom track and turn it into this, you should probably try to get a job in VGM as well: I don't think many people can do it with such precision and genius.

Track 6 rounds out the good stuff with another "Village" theme, this one much more mellow, but not like chamber music. This song speaks of a foreboding evil, but no present danger to worry about. Again, a solid piece.

Track 7, apparently, is also arranged, but it is entirely synthesized, and quite frankly, I do not hesitate to skip this track. I don't think the original composition is that great, and I don't think Nanba did much to make it better either.

The next 20 tracks are all original synthesized tracks, direct from the game to your CD player. These songs are nothing to laugh at, but after listening to Nanba's arrangements, it is hard to say "man, this sure is good stuff as well!" without wanting to hit the "back" button on the CD player. Hearing these original tracks, I have to say that Nanba did some good work with track selection on his arrangements: some of these songs wouldn't have worked well in any arranged form, so the songs he did pick are pretty good choices.

One can lament that there aren't more arranged tracks, but that's what Volume I is for. Get it straight: seven arranged tracks, twenty original tracks, one CD. That's what SAV II is all about, and I am generally pleased with the result. Remember, this thing was originally released in 1988...that's a long time ago.

As for purchase, good luck finding the originals. They are few and far between. The reprint, which was released a solid 11 years after the original print), can be purchased at Falcom's Website for something like 2000 yen, or about $20. Again, you need to know some basic Japanese or have some sort of guide to get yourself around this non-English site.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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