The Dragon Quest “On Piano” albums are known for their simplicity. Though VI and VII bring some complexity to the table, the three albums before it are little more than transpositions from a full orchestra to one instrument.
Dragon Quest V’s piano album is, I dare say, the most inconsistent. There are some songs that work extremely well on piano, and others that…um, don’t. I was overwhelmed by the beauty of, say, “Monsters in the Dungeon,” but underwhelmed only a few tracks later. This hit-or-miss didn’t feel right to me, because I enjoy the whole of the DQV score when in its ‘Symphonic Suite’ form.
We are fortunate, though, that some bonus tracks are tacked onto this album. Overture and Bridal Waltz (the opening and ending themes) are given the “duet” treatment (two people, four hands, more stuff going on). Then “Make Me Feel Sad” ends the album…this was a vocal “image” theme for DQV, and is one of my favorite DQ pieces of all time. The piano version is simple, yet excellent.
Like all the old Apollon-printed albums, you won’t find this one with much ease. VGM collectors, specifically the Dragon Quest fans among us, will want to add it to their collection. But I wouldn’t pay any more than its original retail price for it, despite its obscurity.