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Wizardry Gaiden III ~ Scripture of the Dark

[back cover]
Catalog Number: COCC-11006
Released On: October 21, 1993
Composed By: Ikuro Fujiwara
Arranged By: Ikuro Fujiwara
Published By: Nippon Columbia
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Overture of "Scripture of the Dark"
02 - Street of "Dalia"
03 - Training Field
04 - Ominous Maze-1
05 - We Battle against Darkness
06 - Ominous Maze-2
07 - Temple of Revival
08 - Ominous Maze-3
09 - The Battle is to the Strong
10 - Finale ~ We Go on a New Journey
Total Time:
45'29"

Note: the tracklist is written in English and Japanese. On this soundtrack, the differences between the English and Japanese track names were so slight that we've simply kept the English names.

The first Wizardry Gaiden included some lovely orchestra music, as well as a lengthy OST track medley. The second Wizardry Gaiden laced some jam-band music and other interesting sounds around two large drama tracks. This, the third Wizardry Gaiden (last of the three Game Boy games: Wizardry Gaiden IV was an SNES title), features more orchestral styles, but is generally limited to a simple "chamber music" sound instead of full orchestra. String quartets, occasionally joined by wind and brass instruments, are the meat and potatoes of this disc.

It is in my humble opinion that Ikuro Fujiwara excels in these compositions, moreso than in the two previous Wizardry Gaiden albums. Though Kentaro Haneda is the standard by which people remember Wizardry music, it's safe to say that Fujiwara also lives up to the high quality standard of Wizardry music, if not in the first two Gaiden albums, then definitely on this one.

The Overture and Finale are definitely my favorite tracks on the album. They are beautiful, triumphant, and they have the largest ensemble of musicians on the album. Lovely fanfares from trumpets, trombones, and violins hold together most of the Finale, whereas the Overture blends all of the instruments together to create a very solid opening piece.

The three weakest tracks on here, in my opinion, are the three "Ominous Maze" tunes. Not only do the three sound the same (similar melodies and structure), but they use chords and intervals that generally grate on the ear. They sound more irritating than ominous.

Everything else falls somewhere in-between the "good" to "bad" scale. The bouncy fun of songs like "Street of 'Dalia'" and "Training Field" are overshadowed by the deep bellows of "Temple of Revival," which is another favorite of mine. Track 9, the big battle theme, wasn't half as good as the other battle themes from previous Wizardry Gaidens. It's a shame, but the rest of the quality music makes up for it.

The album, obscure as it is, comes with high recommendations from me to you.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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