Before publishing the third Last Bible soundtrack, which I’m sure will be a winner (it’s slated to be two discs!), the “Discovery” series from SuperSweep released a Game Boy soundtrack for what one might call a Gaiden-Gaiden. “Another Bible” is a spin-off of Last Bible, but it drops the “Megami Tensei Gaiden” prefix. It’s that far removed. Did this distancing lead to a distancing in musical quality too? I think so.
Manami Matsumae handled the music for this game, and the music (with loops) only comes to 16 minutes of audio. You could fit that on one of those 8cm singles. This is bonus material that belongs on a compilation disc, and certainly doesn’t warrant a separate release. I could stomach it for Last Bible I and II, since the music was so good. But in this case, the music simply isn’t good enough to justify a separate release.
If there’s a lesson to be taken from this soundtrack, it’s that the basic tools of triangle and square waves are not easily wielded. It takes some mastery to create something of lasting value. The irony in all this is that Matsumae is a veteran composer for Capcom who worked on almost every NES Mega Man title. Perhaps this was a “throw-away” score for her.
The single-most representative track from this short album is “Go with Belief.” You have that simple “ignore the downboat” 4/4 rhythm going, a simple chord progression that mimics modern pop/rock styles, and an emphasis on the bass over the treble. There’s nothing intricate or complex here. So it is with the whole album.
While I can certainly recommend the Last Bible I and II soundtracks, my advice to even the most ardent collectors of old school chiptune-laced VGM is to avoid this one. We consumers vote with our dollars, and I don’t think this one is worth voting for.