The Legend of Heroes IV ~ A Tear of Vermillion Original Soundtrack


Review by · December 7, 2005

After a number of false starts, Falcom finally gets it right. This print of the Legend of Heroes IV OST is the third “complete” soundtrack for the game, and was released in the “Falcom Millenium Series” alongside the Ys Eternal OST. This version of the soundtrack accompanied the re-made PC and PlayStation versions of LoH IV. The music, finally, is at a high enough synth quality to be considered truly enjoyable.

The first noticeable difference between this release, the MIDI Special, and the old “Music From” album, is that this album sports a fairly different tracklist. Some tracks have been removed, some have been added (especially the new “Bonds” tracks and new versions of “A Tear of Vermillion”), and the tracks that have remained now sound infinitely better than they did on the two previous incarnations.

We can also be thankful that this soundtrack got printed in one complete set, unlike LoH III and V that got “part 1” and “part 2” prints as one-disc albums. Having the two discs together and readily available was much appreciated.

Now then, the music itself: it’s really really enjoyable. The songs, which are certainly good and memorable in terms of composition, now have sounds that, while not being performed live, are pleasing to the ear. Just take a listen to track 7 of the first disc: hear that? That’s the sound of decent synth and a soothing melody fitting for an RPG town theme. I’m lovin’ it.

The softer songs aren’t the only thing this album has going for it: oh no, the intense event and battle themes are better here than on any other LoH album (except for perhaps LoH VI). Songs such as “Run, Avin!!” or better yet, “Burn, Avin!!” are outstandingly intense, which is just what you’d expect from Falcom. Even though they aren’t heavy on drums or electric guitar, they sound brilliant.

Some songs, mind you, do have a focus on electric guitar, such as “Maze Mambo.” Another guitar track that I liked was the acoustic guitar work on “Gia Blues”, which is a new song for LoH IV.

The really amazing thing about this soundtrack is the balance and the lack of “filler” music. I can honestly say I enjoy listening to this two disc set straight through, without skipping tracks, and without liking one disc over the other. Both discs are packed with decent music; that’s a rare find indeed. Usually I say that the samples provided are the best songs I could find, but this time, that isn’t the case: I could’ve sampled any number of other tracks and you would find yourself equally pleased with the OST. It’s really that balanced.

Listening to the samples ought to “seal the deal” for you: unless a separate soundtrack is printed for the PSP release (which I doubt will happen), this is the best OST to get for LoH IV. Hunt it down by whatever means possible. Falcom may still have it in stock, or perhaps VGMWorld/CocoeBiz will have it. Hope is still on your side: go get it! There is no more discussion!

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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.