Wow, it’s oldschool Ys. If you can even locate this soundtrack, you ought to buy it for nostalgia’s sake. This is one of oldest Falcom CD releases; it might be their first with King Records, I’m not sure.
Regardless of the soundtrack’s status as being old and rare (though the 1993 reprint isn’t too hard to find used), the music is just what you’d expect to find: the raw, original versions that have been twisted and reformed into dozens of different arrangements by Falcom. How can you say anything, good or bad, about the arrangements without knowing what the original song sounded like? Here’s your chance to be a real Ys historian.
While Falcom loves to mask the names of composers by giving us “Sound Team JDK” on nearly everything they release, it is a well-known fact that VGM veteran Yuzo Koshiro (who also did Actraiser) composed the majority of this soundtrack. His quality as a composer shines on this soundtrack.
The first fifteen tracks are the standard OST tracks we’re all familiar with; and honestly, they sound great for 1987. Take a listen to “Final Battle.” It’s only 40 seconds long, but it is one spectacular 40 second track. Given the limitations in audio quality for the time, these songs are really phenomenal.
Another phenomenal track is “Dreaming”, from the “Lost Tracks” section. Again, the audio quality is slightly better than GameBoy music, but the composition quality is on par with the first Seiken Densetsu, which also had incredible music given the limitations. These nice, soft melodies are really what make the album spectacular.
The real joy to be found in this soundtrack are the Ryo Yonemitsu arranged tracks at the end. As we all know, three years after this CD was released, Yonemitsu would create “Perfect Collection Ys”, one of Falcom’s best and most-sought-after albums. However, for the most part, these arrangements are different. But take note of this strange bit of music: “Beat of the Terror” (track 37) goes to “Palace of Destruction” halfway through, sounds nearly the same as what would be used later on Perfect Collection Ys. I love this song so much, though, I decided to sample it again! It just sounds classic.
To show that these songs do vary from what’s found on PC Ys, listen to the last track, “See You Again”, and then listen to it on our review of PC Ys. There’s a significant difference; and frankly, I think I prefer this version to the Perfect version. Both are done by Yonemitsu, mind you.
Like I said before, you may never get to own this piece of Falcom history, but even if it weren’t obscure, it would probably be worth adding to the collection because of these fine original compositions, and because of Yonemitsu’s five arrangements.