I feel that perhaps it’s best to describe this soundtrack in one word: old.
Music From Ys II provides the Falcom fan with three forms of old audio: old original music, old arranged music, and old sound effects. Let’s take a look and listen to each of these three types of “old”.
The original soundtrack, comprising of tracks 1 through 25, are the oldest and most basic form of Ys II you can get your hands on. The true collector must have this, because it is the penultimate in nostalgia. Who can forget the adventures on the Ice Ridge of Noltia, or the powerful battle music “Termination”? These songs almost make me want to go back and play the original games rather than rock out on Ys II Eternal for PC. Of course, outside the game’s context, these songs are interesting, but fleeting (especially beceause many of them are no more than a minute long).
Nanba’s four arranged tracks comprise of four jazz/rock/fusion arrangements, followed by one outstanding and classic vocal track. The arranged instrumentals are still primarily synthesized, especially on “To Make the End of Battle”. I believe I’ve heard more interesting arrangements of each of these four songs. Well, no, the solos on each track are still worth listening to; I could listen to them five times over without getting bored. But generally, they’re not the best arrangements. “Too Full With Love”, however, continues to be one of the best vocals Falcom has ever produced. This track is also found on Falcom Vocal Collection I, so if that’s the only song you want, go after that first.
And finally, for the true aural completionist, we have 25 sound effects. Sometimes they will play the sound once, and sometimes the sound will be repeated in a variety of ways. Each of these tracks last approximately 10 seconds, and I listened through them once. I’ll never listen through them again. It wasn’t nostalgic, it was just annoying.
I’ve noticed that, these days, it seems easier to find the original print than the 1993 reprint. I’m not sure why that is, but either way, you’d be getting the same material. Real Falcom fans go beyond owning Perfect Collections and spend the extra money to also get those “original” soundtracks. The arranged tracks are a fine bonus, too! Overall, another of many good releases from Falcom’s early days.