Note: Seiken Densetsu was released as Final Fantasy Adventure in the United States even though it is actually the first game in the Secret of Mana series. This CD is a combination of the Seiken Densetsu Original Sound Version and its arranged counterpart, Seiken Densetsu ~ Let Thoughts Ride on Knowledge, both of which were originally released in 1991.
One thing I like about the Gameboy sound hardware is that it forces composers to create strong melodies. The sound quality of the system is such that non-melody driven compositions tend to come off as annoying “blip-bloop” music. However, Kenji Ito’s Seiken Densetsu soundtrack is a perfect example of what quality Gameboy music should sound like.
The first seven tracks are from the arranged album, Let Thoughts Ride on Knowledge. Each of these tracks consist of several songs forming a “chapter.” The seven chapters flow smoothly between each other making the listening experience feel like an adventure in itself. The combination of great compositions and excellent arranging make these tracks some of the best music I’ve ever heard. They are mostly orchestral arrangements, although there are some touches of the guitar in there. The Chocobo theme has a very latin feel as well. Arranged by Takayuki Hattori, who is partially responsible for the beautiful Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite, these tracks are a superb thirty-five minutes of music.
With the exception of track twenty-four, the remaining twenty-six tracks is the original Gameboy sound composed by Kenji Ito. These twenty-five Ito compositions are quite good, but feel held back by the Gameboy sound hardware. However, Ito manages to create the most expressive music from the Gameboy sound chip that I’ve heard yet.
The Bottom line is that this is one fantastic CD,and you should buy it if you can. It is one of the favorites of my collection, and will probably become one of yours if you can find it. Being out of print, it’s a little tricky to get your hands on, however Anime Nation lists it on their site, and if all else fails, there’s always Ebay.