In devoting myself to learning and memorizing the various melodies and harmonies produced by Falcom’s “Sound Team JDK”, I have come to hear multiple renditions of the same songs. The Legend of Heroes III had a “Music of” double-disc with the original game release, along with two “JDK Specials” in 1997. In 2000, Falcom brought this soundtrack out for the third time, again in two separate discs, alongside the release (for the first, and so far, only, time) of The Legend of Heroes V OST (again, in two separate discs).
I have said it in all of my other reviews: between the two discs (which they have not changed the organization of since the beginning), the second disc of this OST is worlds better than the first. This version contains the extra bonus that, scattered throughout the original tracklist, we have new songs and new arrangements of old songs.
One new arrangement is “We’re Lions, You’re Dinner!!”…a song I once loathed. Now, thanks to the arrangement found on this re-remake of the OST, I can appreciate the song much more. This is a quality arrangement of a song that apparently had potential all along.
In reviewing the first disc of this collection, Derek Strange said he was disappointed with the lack of high quality sounds. Maybe this is just due to a lack of inspiration on the first disc, but I have found that on disc two, things are sounding better than they’ve ever sounded before. And I do mean “ever.” I suffered through the mundane JDK Specials, I observed with cold and objective eyes the ancient artifact that is “Music of LoH III”, and now I am finally hearing something up to today’s VGM standards as far as production value and synth quality goes.
A similar complaint I’ve heard is that Legend of Heroes music lacks that “power-rock” feel found in Falcom’s other games, such as Ys or The Legend of Xanadu. It is true that, generally, the Legend of Heroes has taken the route of moody/atmospheric/epic music, but be sure to check out the sample of the PS Version Staff Roll. This arrangement of “Little Heroes” is simply spectacular. I don’t even have to praise it: the song praises itself, and rightfully so.
All of my other favorite songs have been sampled, but know that many of these songs (which had sounded bland) now sound very much improved. One final example: take a listen to “Invasion”, and ask yourself if it doesn’t sound reminiscent of songs from the Lunar series. Because, well, it does. Specifically, it sounds like the song to the trailer that Working Designs released that featured music from the Sega CD version of “The Silver Star.” Long story short, this is another fine song.
If you want some solid Falcom music that isn’t “arranged” but is rather comprised of tracks taken from a particular incarnation of the game, this might be the soundtrack for you. I’d recommend picking up both parts, but if you only want one, the second part is the way to go.