One of Falcom’s best “promotional” CDs, this soundtrack was for Falcom Classics II, a collection of games for the Sega Saturn. The first “Falcom Classics” actually had a CD printed and published separately. Not so with Falcom Classics II.
What was to be found on this collection? Well, other “part 2” games, that’s what: Ys II, and the little-known “Aztec II ~ Temple of the Sun.” What makes this soundtrack special is that the versions you hear on this disc are not found anywhere else. The Sega Saturn synth manipulation for Ys II is especially interesting for fans who are used to getting extremes in one direction or the other (live performances vs. PC-88 synth).
But I’d like to take some time to talk about Aztec II. I really wish there was more of this music on the disc. They only put five tracks on the disc, but they are beautiful. “Field” and “Ending 1” are especially impressive. When I listen to them, I am reminded of Michiko Naruke’s Wild Arms. The synths used reflect that game’s audio capabilities, and the compositions are also spaghetti-Western-influenced. Good, good stuff.
As for Ys II…well, it’s Ys II! It’s one of the best soundtracks Falcom ever created! Classic tunes such as “Ruins of Moondoria,” “Ice Ridge of Noltia,” “Too Full With Love,” “A Still Time,” “Termination” … the list goes on. It’s basically the entire track list, am I right? Yes, of course I am. The question is, how does it sound on the Sega Saturn?
Personally, I found myself very much attracted to these “arrangements.” And I suppose arrangement is a fair term, even though they were created specifically for the Saturn version of the game. Upgraded synth, additional percussion tracks, I suppose that’s all it takes to make an arrangement (see Star Ocean 2’s arranged album…). But if you can’t get enough of Ys II, why wouldn’t you enjoy this album? I know I enjoyed it.
If you want this CD, it came packaged with the import Saturn game. So you’d probably get the two together in a bundle, even in the case of a used auction. It’s a great album to have in ye olde Falcom collection.