Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus


Review by · July 17, 2017

Completion, completion, completion. Sadly, it seems we just can’t get it in one package.

The least complete version of the Langrisser Re:Incarnation soundtrack is the one-disc, pack-in bonus with the North American edition of the game, reviewed here. That version is a nice best-of selection. Next, there is a pack-in bonus of the soundtrack that came with the Japanese game. It’s two discs long and is nearly complete, but it is missing a few tracks in favor of fitting the album onto two discs instead of three. Of note, this version of the soundtrack also has the game’s vocal theme “Blood Blade – Beyond Light and Darkness” on it: vocal, instrumental, and karaoke varieties included! This is especially noteworthy because the single by Masami Okui (a member of the venerable JAM Project) was never released at retail: it is only found on the Japanese pack-in album.

Yes, when I say only there, I mean only there. The four-disc album that is the subject of this review, Langrisser Re:Incarnation -Tensei- Soundtrack Plus, does not include that vocal theme. I assume that SuperSweep could not, or else chose not to, obtain the rights to publish the song on this soundtrack. In its place, there are those handful of tracks the Japanese pack-in soundtrack missed. Oh, and then there’s the completely irrelevant (but awesome) “Plus” portion. Let’s start there, because it’s truly interesting!

You see, SuperSweep tacked on another sound version of the old Der Langrisser OST, Der Langrisser FX, as they apparently either forgot to put it on the I~III box set, or thought it would have been too excessive there, and placed it here instead as a bonus. The Der Langrisser FX soundtrack was released nearly a decade ago as a digital-only Japanese album from EGG Music. Now it exists in physical form as a 1.5-disc extension to the 2.5-disc Langrisser Re:Incarnation OST, making for a total four-disc package. (For more on the Der Langrisser / Langrisser II sound variations, I refer you to my review of the aforementioned Langrisser I~III box set.) This extra set of audio is used specifically for the NEC PC-FX, so there are upgrades and changes in the audio style, though the compositions and timings remain largely the same as other Der Langrisser soundtrack versions. Still, for a completionist like myself (who would hunt down the Japanese pack-in OST of Re:Incarnation just for a vocal track), it is quite the nice addition. I’ll let the audio samples do the rest of the talking.

Now then, to the Langrisser Re:Incarnation OST in full! (Almost!)

Disc one is what I lovingly call “the boring disc.” Yes, there are some good tunes, but for the most part, this music consists of BGM during dialogue sequences and menu-based navigation. It’s like they separated the soundtrack’s meat/entree portion (disc two) from the rest of the album. If that’s how you want to organize an album, fair enough! In some ways, it makes life more convenient if you want to get right to the good stuff.

And that good stuff is, of course, the battle music. The “Simulation” tracks are used while in the tactical grid and/or in direct combat…which is to say, the part of the game you spend the most time actually playing. And while those of us who played the game know its flaws, including those atrocious chibi-3D character designs, the music is legitimately enjoyable! Particularly, those tracks penned by Noriyuki Iwadare himself. This is not to say that the other contributing composers are incompetent, or even intermediate in skill level. They are all good. But Iwadare has a history with this series going back to its foundations, and as such, he has a connection with the franchise and its melodies that allows him to write music that is most fitting for this attempt at a franchise reboot.

The finale comes during the first eight tracks of the third disc. We hear the battle versus the Emperor, the dungeon themes, the “Sacred” simulation theme, and the bonus music from Shohei Sato that incorporates Masaya’s Cho Aniki franchise as a cameo in Langrisser. And then there is the sugary-sweet “Staff Roll.” It may not be as epic as the “Staff Roll” in Langrisser II / Der Langrisser, but it is just as memorable.

If you enjoyed this strange little 3DS title, this is probably the soundtrack version that is best for you as a collector, and it is also the most accessible (unless you already have the single-disc release). That being said…if you listen through the full four discs, you may find you like the Der Langrisser soundtrack more than Langrisser Re:Incarnation. Perhaps that’s a good thing…? The whole franchise has a history of quality music, after all!

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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.