Dragon Quest VI ~The Dream World~ on Piano


Review by · July 4, 2008

The Dragon Quest VI “on Piano” album featured new arrangements from, that’s right, a new arranger. Tsukasa Tawada made a splash on the VGM scene in the mid-90s, and seemed to hit it off well with Sugiyama and other Enix staff. Tawada’s arrangements are darker, more complex, and more decorative than his transpositional counterpart (who did the DQ I~V Piano arrangements).

An observation about Dragon Quest VI, on the whole, is that the “standard” themes (which are all variations of the original eight tracks from DQI) aren’t as memorable as you’d expect. Something about them feels…fleeting. “Through the Fields,” for example, sounds beautiful, but the melody doesn’t feel as strong as in other DQ titles.

To make up for the weaker songs in the “standard” selection, the song selection is rather vast. We have 26 songs, plus 4 additional arrangements for “concert piano” (in other words: better arrangements). Altogether, the album works, but there are individual tracks that simply failed to impress me. The “hit-or-miss” of this album annoyed me, but ultimately, I still enjoyed it.

If you’re looking for more complex piano pieces for the Dragon Quest series, this may be the best. DQVII is also alright. If it’s simplicity you want, you’ll want to turn to the first five DQ games’ arrangements. But you’ll have none of them, truth be told, if you can’t shop around. This is an old album, the sort that requires a good scouring to find (that is, unless you pick up the 2009 reprint).

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Patrick Gann

Patrick Gann

Therapist by day and gamer by night, Patrick has been offering semi-coherent ramblings about game music to RPGFan since its beginnings. From symphonic arrangements to rock bands to old-school synth OSTs, Patrick keeps the VGM pumping in his home, to the amusement and/or annoyance of his large family of humans and guinea pigs.