How to describe Bahamut Lagoon? This is a difficult question indeed. As one of the few soundtracks in which Noriko Matsueda scored, it certainly didn’t gather much attention, and that’s a shame. Why you’d ask? Read on to find out. Note: This review is mostly based on my playing experience.
The music in Bahamut Lagoon is pretty much epic, as it has a medieval setting, something I’m personally very fond of. The “Opening” theme is breathtaking; it fits the visual effects quite well. And for fans of strategy RPG’s, you’ll be served a full plate of military-like music. An excellent example of this would be “Kanna Army,” which is used for the battlefield mode. The use of the drum machine here simply gives the player the impression that he’s really planning some tactic to overcome the enemy, the Granbelos Empire. “Sauzer’s Theme” is inaccurate, it hardly plays when Sauzer has the spotlight, and is more of a theme for the generals of the Granbelos Army. I does give off a feeling of uneasiness, which fits their motives just fine. “Friendship” actually IS Sauzer’s theme, and it’s a first in RPG history, to my knowledge, to be granted with a beautiful melody. In contrast to the usual evil/brooding themes, it’s an interesting change. “Gudruff’s Theme” is another villain’s theme, however, this one is of the evil/brooding kind, and represents the vile Gudruff all too well.
An obvious interest in all RPG soundtracks are the battle themes. Do Bahamut Lagoon’s do their part? Of course, these are among the best battle themes coming from Squaresoft (SNES era speaking, of course). The boss theme is my personal favorite; it gives off a sense of danger and urgency as you do your best to survive in battle. “Battle with Alexander” is another battle theme that stands out. While it may be short, it makes it up by sounding just plain good.
Another important part of RPG soundtracks would be town themes. Well, Bahamut Lagoon has some good ones as well as (unfortunately) bad ones. “The Green Continent Campbell” is very soothing and reflects the peaceful town, just lovely.
Another popular section of an RPG soundtrack is the character themes. Yet again, Bahamut Lagoon’s stand firmly on their own. “JoJo’s Theme” is simply a light, peaceful track. Of course the princess has the particular trait, so it fits her well. “Little Nori-chan’s Appearance” is actually Donphan’s theme, who just cannot stop flirting with the ladies. As he provides a good chunk of comic relief, it’s normal he gets such a hilarious theme. “Matelight’s Theme” has a much more serious and military tone. This is played when he gives the crew a briefing or training session, it does its job.
That’s pretty much it. Wait…there is a second disc?! Why yes, it contains two orchestral arrangements of the “Opening Theme” and “Jojo and the Sacred Dragon” respectively. They are basically souped-up versions, but I’m not really “that” impressed. And we get two bits, 15 and 20 seconds, of the arrangements’ ending parts. Why did they do this? Your guess is as good as mine.
All in all, I truly believe this soundtrack is worth picking up mostly because it’s Squaresoft, but also because it’s pretty original for an RPG. Want this soundtrack? Well, there are two places I know of, the easiest being Otaku. If Otaku should stop restocking them, you’ll only have eBay. All I can say is “Good luck!” You’ll need it as this soundtrack has become extremely rare like many other CDs of the same year; Rudora no Hihou and Treasure Hunter G.