Spin-offs of spin-offs … of spin-offs. Before I even touch this soundtrack, let’s review Falcom’s history.
Falcom had a “Dragon Slayer” series, once upon a time. One of the off-shoots was Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes. This title spawned its own sequel, Dragon Slayer: The Legend of Heroes II.
Falcom then dropped the “Dragon Slayer” prefix as it had more and more IPs coming from individual titles in the Dragon Slayer series. Legend of Heroes III, IV, and V together became the Gagharv trilogy. The Legend of Heroes VI started its own universe. Its subtitle, “Sora no Kiseki,” became its own franchise. Sora no Kiseki would become its own trilogy, but the roman numerals wouldn’t move forward. In fact, the roman numeral VI was dropped altogether at some point.
The Sora no Kiseki trilogy was so popular that, when Falcom decided to do their own take on the “copy Dissidia” RPG-meets-fighter formula, they named the game “Ys vs Sora no Kiseki.” Not Ys vs Sorcerian, or Ys vs Legend of Heroes. That tells you just how big this trilogy has become for them.
No wonder, then, that they decided to develop a prequel. Said prequel is called “Zero no Kiseki,” and its soundtrack is the single largest soundtrack in the history of the Legend of Heroes series.
Sadly, even though it’s the largest, it is probably the least impressive. At least among the Sora no Kiseki franchise. There are a handful of really strong tracks (a personal favorite is “Intense Chase,” 2-17), and then about 70% of the tracks are at least pleasant and listenable. And then there are some downright irritating ones. The quality isn’t consistent, but it is, for the most part, mediocre. The first disc is especially weak. In fact, I’d go so far as to say the soundtrack is back-loaded; the further you go, the better quality music you find. The ends of disc 2 and disc 3 are nearly on par with the first Sora no Kiseki OST.
Collectors should still pick it up for the few gems found across the three discs. Just don’t expect it to be minute-for-minute awesome like the first and second chapters in the Sora no Kiseki trilogy. Really, this OST is an ideal candidate for its own arranged album, as they could hand-pick the best tracks (including battle tracks) and really flesh out their melodies.