This CD is a great example of how practical jokes can backfire! Back in 1992, Origin released a masterpiece of an RPG known as Ultima VII the Black Gate. Origin thought it would be fitting to make the credits to the game movie-like (back in 1992, no one imagined that games would eventually have the budgets and sophistication of movies). Movies are often accompanied by the release of a soundtrack, and in fact most movie credits note that a soundtrack is available for sale. The development team thought it would be funny if they included such a line as a gag. Thus, the credits to Ultima VII do indeed say “Soundtrack available from Origin!” It was a joke, but the company was quickly inundated with requests from fans to purchase the soundtrack! So many people called requesting the soundtrack, that in the credits to the follow-up game (Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle) the credits actually say “Soundtrack NOT available – so DON’T ASK!” Fortunately, Origin decided that the game deserved a soundtrack, and in 1993 costumers were treated to Origin Soundtrack Series Vol. 2.
Although it’s entirely in midi, the music to Ultima VII and Serpent Isle (both are represented on this CD) are gorgeous. The music is haunting, melancholy, beautiful, and slightly eerie. The compositions are simple, and yet I find them as beautiful as the more complex and “sophisticated” soundtracks released on games today. There are a total of 19 tracks on the CD. The last six tracks are from Origin’s flight sim, Strike Commander. Although it’s nice that Origin included music from Strike Commander, the real gem here is the music from Ultima VII and Serpent Isle.
This is quite a rare and difficult CD to find. If you are interested, you should keep looking for this on eBay. It does not appear often, but I have seen it a few times. Typically, it also sells for a good amount of money. I personally consider this CD to be a relic of the great RPGs of the past. If you have any nostalgia for such things, this CD is made for you.
Bottom Line: Although the music is all midi, the compositions are beautiful, and are just as enjoyable today as when they were originally released, and that makes it a true classic!