Emerald Dragon is a traditional RPG from Glodia: probably the most well-known Glodia game. Along with this “original soundtrack” (which is actually arranged from beginning to end), Emerald Dragon received five drama albums, a vocal collection, and two more arranged soundtracks.
The more observant VGM “scholar” will notice the presence of Tenpei Sato, who composed and arranged tracks 21 through 24. Other than these four tracks, the arrangements were left up to Mr. Nakamura, who has been involved with many a Glodia project.
When Glodia uses the word “arrangement,” I believe they are refering to generally an upgraded synth quality from the original, rather than an extension of track times. As you can observe, this disc only contains 45 minutes of music, and there are 28 tracks. When you do the math, you realize that there aren’t any very lengthy songs to be found on this disc.
The liner notes refer to Emerald Dragon as a “dramatic RPG”. It must have been fairly dramatic: judging by the artwork, the fact that there are six songs for the introduction, and that the game received much attention (for a smaller company’s standards) in the early-to-mid ’90s, I am envious of the Japanese gamer, as I missed out on the experience of playing this game.
The music to this soundtrack is certainly of a high enough quality to compete with the likes of its chronological peers (such as Final Fantasy V), but I feel there is still something lacking on this soundtrack. I suppose the best way to describe it is “inconsistency”, but let me explain further. Throughout most of the soundtrack, the synth quality is pretty good, and the music is bouncy and catchy: something like earlier Falcom, but maybe even a bit better. And then it comes: that grating synth noise that just trashes the whole piece. I’ve found this sort of “inconsistent” musical quality on tracks various tracks, including the last “Opening” track, track 6.
The melodies are easily memorable, and I have already caught myself humming battle themes, opening themes, and more from this soundtrack while driving or sitting in class. I can see why this soundtrack was considered so ‘arrange-able’; it just makes me wish I also had access to those arrangements. This disc is good, but it’s not quite good enough. As I’ve said, something is lacking.
I urge you to take a listen to the samples and formulate your own opinion on Emerald Dragon and “Glodia” music in general. Track 21 is the only sample I have from Tenpei Sato, and you can notice the “Sato” style the moment the first note hits your ears. Other than that, the composers and Nakamura as arranger make a solid contribution to the world of VGM with this soundtrack. If you feel so inclined, do not waste time trying to find this soundtrack. It’s old, so it’s relatively hard to find, but you never know when you’ll come by it for a great price.