Note: This soundtrack is only available with the Limited Edition Japanese print of the game, and did not receive any separate packaging.
Ah, La Pucelle. When it comes to a composer like Tenpei Sato, there are very few composers like him. I know I say this a lot, but he’s one of those composers that you can instantly recognize. La Pucelle is his most favorable outing in the Nippon Ichi series (in which he scored Disgaea and Phantom Brave as well), and it is a very solid album with only a couple of drawbacks.
Let’s start with originality. Like Disgaea, La Pucelle has a unique flavor. There’s a song for every mood; happiness, sadness, despair, urgency, battle, and many more. I promise you that you will never, ever hear a song like “Solitaire,” “Rosenqueen Land,” or “Crazy Pianist” other than on this album. That’s how unique it is. There’s something different about every song.
The highlight of this album is “Solitaire,” which is an incredible song that radiates sadness using warm synthesizers, pan flutes, and a soft but sweet guitar. Another great track, “Let’s Sparkle,” is very soft and domestic, and kinda reminds me of Michiko Naruke’s style. “Magical Holic” is an eerie battle track that uses very strange, off instruments to get its message across, and it does it very well. The happy-go-lucky song of the album, “Creamy Dreamer,” uses a funny sounding choir sample but will make you think of faraway places while its chords melt your heart. The final battle theme, “God Bless Prier!” is probably one of the coolest final battle themes ever, using an awesome choir synth in cahoots with a large pipe organ and bells, and it sounds great. Another honorable mention, “Martyr’s March” screams 1985 with throwback synthesizers, and it’s a hard song to describe with any other word than “awesome.” And let’s not forget the closing vocal, “A Miracle Will Happen” which is a soothing lullaby that will put any Tenpei Sato fan to sleep…in a good way, of course!
La Pucelle isn’t without her problems, though. While many of the tracks are unique, some of them feel like filler tracks at best. The track I’m going to pick on is “Happy-go-lucky.” After a while, it slowly began to grow on me, but only because I heard it in the game one hundred bajillion times. When I first heard this song, it rubbed me the wrong way; that’s how a lot of the songs on this album were with me at first. If there’s one limiting thing about La Pucelle, it’s that you really have to be in the right mindset for this album to take its toll on you. I warn you, this is not the album to listen to after you come home from the gym or beat up some kid in a back alley, because La Pucelle is a very fickle album, and it won’t appeal to you unless you’re in the right mood. Flaws aside, I highly recommend it!