Glory of Heracles ~ Greece Reminiscences


Review by · July 13, 2009

Glory of Heracles was Data East’s only significant RPG series. They released four games in the series (two NES, two SNES), as well as one Game Boy spin-off. None of these games were published outside Japan. After Data East went bankrupt in 2003, a developer named Paon picked up the rights to the series, and they recently created a DS title in the series, which will be the first time the series sees the light of day in North America.

An interesting bit of trivia is that the games’ scenarios (all but the first game) were written by Kazushige Nojima, who also did scenario writing on many Sony-era Final Fantasy titles, starting with Final Fantasy VII. The Glory of Heracles games also play very similarly to the Dragon Quest series, and thus, there is a small but fervent following of this series in Japan to this day.

All of this helps make the promotional “Greece Reminiscences” soundtrack a pricey little item. This soundtrack was given away as a bonus item for people who bought special copies of Glory of Heracles IV for the Super Famicom: hence the Glory of Heracles IV logo on the soundtrack’s front cover. It contains mostly (synth) arranged music from IV, III, and II (in that order). Some of the OST versions from IV and II appear on the soundtrack (the last two tracks, I know for certain, are from the Glory of Heracles II soundtrack). III never had a soundtrack published on its own, so this is the only place you can go to find music from III.

The soundtrack itself is a fantastic collection of music. Though, I must say, I am confused by the difference in sound quality. There is a slight upgrade in sound quality between the Glory of Heracles IV tracks on this album, and those on the OST released by Pony Canyon. Perhaps these are the original MIDI/sequenced versions before being compressed into Super Famicom chiptunes? Either way, it’s a definitive upgrade.

The only thing I really wish this promotional album had is music from the first Glory of Heracles, as well as the Game Boy soundtrack. But I’m complaining far too late (about 15 years too late) for anyone to care. Data East, as a company, is long gone, and this rare album has a market value of 50 to 100 dollars, though most buying and selling of this album takes place within Japan. You may find that you too will enjoy this tapestry of sounds. Japanese composers writing in a style they believe to be ancient Greek/Mediterranean is a truly enjoyable experience.

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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.