Welcome to a blast from the past. In this soundtrack we find the beginning careers of many prominent composers. While I am unsure of who Akie Daiba is, the other three listed composers have continued careers and worked alongside one another for various games. Noriyuki Iwadare, obviously, is recognized for his work in the Langrisser series, the Lunar series, and the Grandia series. Isao Mizoguchi has worked with Iwadare on many projects, including the Lunar series. Hiroshi Fujioka helped compose music for the Langrisser series, and also went on to compose the soundtracks for Growlanser II and III. These guys have a long history, and it all starts right here, on Langrisser Masaya Omnibus.
Now you may be wondering, what is this album all about? That’s a good question: a lot of people have struggled to grasp what all is on this album. It works like this: Masaya had three games out by 1991, and they were Langrisser, Gynoug, and Head Buster. “What are Gynoug and Head Buster?”, you ask? I have no idea: they may be other strategy RPGs, or action-oriented platformers. That really doesn’t matter to me. What does matter is that this is the first Langrisser soundtrack to ever be published. That’s a big deal.
The first four tracks are all arranged tracks from Langrisser. Each of these tracks are decent, but my favorite is track 2, “Enemy Attack.” Just that opening riff with the syncopation catches me off guard every time; thus, I’m a huge fan. These arrangements are still synthesized; there are no live instruments. Nonetheless, the songs sound great. It’s a shame there are only four.
The two arranged tracks from Gynoug are pretty bland, though “Stomach of Monster” has an interesting breakdown midway through the song. Overall, I wasn’t impressed.
Head Buster’s “IFCUBE” is a strange symphonic march that somehow ran into a sci-fi battle re-enactment; there are weird sound effects all over the track. “Grand Finale” is also arranged in a march style, though it has a softer ballad-like section that lacks any snare drums in the first forty seconds.
The last three tracks are original game audio medleys. This is the only place where you’ll find Langrisser music published in its original form. I enjoyed these lengthy medleys quite a bit. Langrisser’s medley lasts for 12 minutes, and Gynoug’s (which is fairly decent) goes on for 16 minutes! The battle themes from Langrisser are wonderful even in their original chiptune form.
However, if you’re looking for really decent Langrisser music, as well as a larger selection of Langrisser songs, you’ll want to find the “Descendants of Brilliant Light” album, which contains a few drama tracks but is mostly a music album. This album is definitely a collector’s item and often sells for $50 or more. I’d avoid it, unless you’re some über-Langrisser freak…