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Tengai Makyou History - Perfect Graffiti
Catalog Number: NACL-1141
Released On: December 21, 1993
Composed By: Kouhei Tanaka, Joe Hisaishi
Arranged By: Kouhei Tanaka, Joe Hisaishi, Masami Kishimura
Published By: NEC Avenue
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

<Tengai Makyou ZIRIA>
01 - Tengai Makyo ZIRIA
02 - Operation Named Orochimaru
03 - Dark Ceremony of Daimonkyo
04 - Dawn Above the Hill House of the Thief Guild
05 - Far East of Eden
<Tengai Makyou II>
06 - Manjimaru's Theme
07 - Taro's Theme
08 - Kabuki's Theme
<Tengai Makyou - Fuuun! Kabuki Den>
09 - Main Title
10 - Masked Young Noble
11 - Yakumo Tatsu <Outstanding PSG Source> ~Predicted Knights~
12 - Go Kabuki!!
13 - Kabuki
14 - Yoami - Quiet
15 - Yoami - Shake
16 - Akuni
17 - Mt Fuji ~Jipang~
18 - Theme of Kyoto
19 - Reminiscence - Daimonkyo
20 - Theme of Villages
21 - Dark Sunken Village
22 - Reason for the Secret Manoeuvering
23 - Theme of Miya
24 - Park of Mt. Arashi
25 - Home of Goblins ~Druid Vs. Demon~
26 - Heresy - Daimonkyo
27 - The Forest Defender ~Distant Garden - Rinkyo~
28 - Village of Rinkyo
29 - Industrial Development
30 - Kingdom
31 - Theme of Reina
32 - Demon Nest
33 - Sky Corridor ~Happy Fellows?~
34 - Letter of Orochimaru
35 - Stupid Fellows
36 - The Great Expert
37 - Beautiful Women
38 - The Great Fool ~Match!!~
39 - Theme of Gambling
40 - March for the Horse Racing ~Funny Travel~
41 - Ride the Dog Bus
42 - Go to the Surface
43 - Jet Mole ~Death Battle~
44 - Zako Battle
45 - Mid-Boss Battle <Karaoke>
46 - Golden CANVIE
47 - Full Moon UNGIE
48 - Millenium CARNE
49 - Eternal SANGUE
Total Time:
66'39"

Tengai Makyou's "perfect graffiti" album includes audio tracks from three Tengai Makyou titles released before the end of 1993. The first is Tengai Makyou ZIRIA. These five tracks seem to be pulled from the Ziria anime, rather than the first game; though, I cannot say for sure whether or not these tracks were re-used in any ports of the game (including the upcoming Xbox 360 incarnation).

Whatever the case, these first five tracks are some of the best on the album. The opening track features a male vocalist; it's a silly theme song, which is to be expected. The next three tracks are well-written orchestral tracks, probably used for certain cues in the anime. The last track is a female track simply entitled "Far East of Eden" (or "Tengai Makyou"). The chorus has her saying "Try, Try, Try!"...it sounds very 80s. I like it a lot; it has a tinge of nostalgia, even though I'd not heard it until this year.

Next are three character themes from Tengai Makyou II. I'm assuming the lack of TM2 content on this disc was due to the fact that, one year before this release, a full 50-tracks-plus OST disc was released for TM2. These three character themes are decent, and they are arranged (not original synth).

The meat of this soundtrack is what I would consider the true OST for the side game "Fuuun! Kabuki Den." The Tengai Makyou side-story featuring the character Kabuki had a soundtrack printed for it six months before the Perfect Graffiti release. However, it was more an arranged soundtrack, despite the label "OST" put on it. Orchestral tracks, I'm assuming ones used as redbook audio on the PC-Engine version of the game, were ported from the "OST" (arranged) and used as some of the opening and ending tracks for the Kabuki Den section of Perfect Graffiti. These tracks are without a doubt the best on the album. The main theme to Kabuki Den (track 9) is simply incredible. The last four tracks are also fantastic.

Hence, tracks 12 through 42 are the original synth tracks. The synth used here remind me of Famicom synth, though the game was published as a Super CD title. These non-redbook-audio tracks, while completely basic in synth quality, still have high compositional value. Kouhei Tanaka proves himself as a true VGM composer, even in these early days. I only sampled one song from these many tracks, but I actually found myself enjoying a large number of them. The dungeon and battle themes were fantastic, but a few of the lighter/happier songs still come off as cheesy. "Ride the Dog Bus" was a good one. Unfortunately, all of these synth tracks last for a routine one minute (varying by no more than two seconds). This limitation was bothersome, to say the least.

I could not estimate the value of this album in terms of money. The Tengai Makyou series is rich in its cultural references and its importance to the Japanese videogame market, so this album is also quite a worthy find. I strongly recommend it to anyone looking for "classic" titles, but who has had enough of Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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