Ahh, the electone. A simple, synthesized orchestra. Sugiyama and crew stopped releasing these albums after Dragon Quest VI, likely due to their lack of popularity. But once upon a time, they were part of the standard Dragon Quest music release schedule. They were the closest thing to an “OST” that you would get.
And here, we find Dragon Quest I, II, and III represented on one album. We find a fair selection of songs from II and III, but only two of the eight tracks from Dragon Quest I. A shame, this!
It’s worth noting that the track list features English titles that would later be replaced. What’s listed as the theme of “Roto” (track 1) is now recognized simply as the “Overture,” and the track “Alefguard” is now recognized as “The Unknown World.” Considering this album was released in 1988, standards on how to name these tracks in English (as they are loosely based on the Japanese track name) would change over time.
The album opens with a strong set of songs from Dragon Quest III. “Rondo” is always good, and “Town” and “Pyramid” sound great on electone. Even the “Dungeon” theme works well. I could imagine the electone arrangement being used as original sound source material if the games were on Game Boy Advance or Nintendo DS.
I was a little disappointed with the end result of the Dragon Quest II tracks. Using electone, I could imagine “My Road, My Journey” and “Endless World” turning out much better than they actually did. A shame, this! (That was fun to say twice).
Like all the “On Electone” CDs, I generally don’t recommend spending time trying to hunt down these albums. But if you do attempt it, don’t expect to find one in mint condition, and still plan on paying at least $20 before all the shipping from Japan.