Technosoft Game Music Collection Vol.9 -Voyage-


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Review by · February 9, 2005

A note about the date of this soundtrack’s release: many English and Japanese websites list the date of this soundtrack’s release as May 1. However, in the CD’s liner notes, the composer’s notes are signed and dated May 18, 1997. Hence, RPGFan has chosen to list the soundtrack’s release more loosely as “May 1997”.

Techno Soft, a company best known for the “Thunder Force” series, never had a strong hand in the RPG market. Their only RPG to my knowledge has been the Neorude series (which had three games, all on PlayStation). This is the soundtrack to the first of those three games.

When it comes to obscure RPGs with top-notch soundtracks, I’m going to come out and say that Neorude takes the cake. Neorude never had an American release, and Techno Soft is a fairly small company (I believe they’re pretty much dead now). However, regardless of the gameplay (which is hailed across the internet as “the FFVII clone”), the music is fresh, original, and outstanding.

Take a listen to track 22, the 2nd boss battle theme. I’ve heard a lot of piano music in my day: fast and slow, with and without accompaniment, it doesn’t matter. This song beats them all out. It’s such a beautiful piece! Listen to that line with the drag triplet followed by whatever catchy rhythm comes next! It doesn’t get better than this single piece.

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Undernauts: The Labyrinth of Yomi PS5 Advertisement

And, dare I say it, that’s not even the best song on the album. The final boss theme is also fairly impressive, with a hard and driving rhythm that is in a category all its own: you can’t call it a Final Fantasy clone or a rip off of Konami or Falcom: this is pretty original. The closest VGM I could compare this song (and whole soundtrack) to is Terranigma, and even that is a stretch.

If you’ve had enough of fast pieces, listen to track 23, “Disappointment…”. Another piano-centered piece, now slower, simpler, and somewhat depressing. Every good RPG needs a song such as this one, but I think this is one of the best I’ve heard in years. It’s touching, and I love it.

Every “scene” track, every “dungeon” track: all of these pieces are outstanding! If you haven’t clicked on the audio samples yet, you really should before you continue to read. The normal battle theme (track 9) is a great place to start: the horns, the sweeping strings, the looped percussion, all of it works in harmony to make an inspirational and driving piece. I would certainly love to be fighting a battle with this music as my inspiration to win! I’d never lose a battle with music this grand.

I suppose I should calm down a little: the soundtrack isn’t “perfect”: I was somewhat disappointed with the opening and ending themes, though even they are better than many opening and ending themes from other RPGs. Also, it is fair to say that the consistency of synths used could be taken as a drawback: there is little variety from piece to piece, especially with the inclusion of the piano in nearly half of the tracks.

But even these slight weaknesses cannot detract the true VGM fan from recognizing the power and genius behind this soundtrack. I hope the three composers listed above are exceedingly proud of the compositions they made for this soundtrack: despite whatever popularity this game may or may not have achieved, the music itself is too good to miss out on. I know this is just one man’s opinion, but I think if you give this soundtrack a chance, you’ll notice exactly how much fun it is. Truly, I wish I could play this game in English, because if I had the chance, I would do so in a hurry.

The wildest part of this soundtrack’s story is that it is somehow *still* available at Game Music Online! The price is a little high, $27 for a single disc, but I can foresee the day when the soundtrack sells out at GMO and people start paying double the price for it. So get this soundtrack while you still can! I cannot say this in a more heartfelt way: you will not regret your purchase.

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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.