Falcom Special Box '89
Catalog Number: K13X-23041~6 (singles KIDA-5001~6)
Released On: December 5, 1988 (singles March 21, 1990)
Composed By: Sound Team JDK
Arranged By: David Matthews, Kentaro Haneda, Tatsumi Yano, Hiroyuki Nanba, Koji Sakuyama, Tetsuo Segawa
Published By: King Records
Recorded At: N/A
Format: 6 CDs 8cm discs (singles 1 8cm each)

Disc One: Fusion
01 - Demonic Isle (Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 1)
02 - Bloody River (Sorcerian Lucifer's Water Gate)
03 - Stay With Me Forever (Ys II)
04 - Temple Del Sol (Temple del Sol)
05 - La Valse Pour Xanadu (Xanadu)
Total Time:

Disc Two: Symphony
01 - Sorcerian Symphonic Suite
     - Ending II
     - The Cave of Life
     - Pounding Heart
02 - Xanadu Scenario II
     - Ending Theme
03 - Ys
     - First Step Towards Wars
Total Time:

Disc Three: Vocal
01 - Josephine (Sorcerian Additional Scenario Vol. 1)
02 - No Fortune Teller (Sorcerian Utility Vol. 1)
03 - Sorcerian (Sorcerian Thieves' Tower)
Total Time:

Disc Four: Plus Mix
01 - Subterranean Canal (Ys II)
02 - Bloody River (Sorcerian Lucifer's Water Gate)
03 - Fly With Me (Ys PSG Edition)
04 - In the Memory (Ys PSG Edition)
05 - So Much For Today (Ys II)
06 - Feena (Ys)
07 - Sigh and Tear (Sorcerian 9801 X1 Turbo 88VA Edition)
Total Time:

Disc Five: Disco
01 - Disco - Super Nonstop Version
     - Ending Theme (Dragon Slayer IV)
     - Opening Theme (Romancia)
     - Romancia Kingdom (Romancia)
     - Cenote (Temple of the Sun)
     - Feena (Ys)
     - Tower of the Shadow of Death (Ys)
     - Castle (Sorcerian)
     - Survivor (Sorcerian)
     - Subterranean Dungeon (Sorcerian)
     - Tower (Sorcerian)
     - To Make the End of Battle (Ys II)
     - May I Help You? (Ys II)
     - Ruins of Moondoria (Ys II)
     - Stay With Me Forever (Ys II)
Total Time:

Disc Six: Surround Theater Ys
01 - Feena
02 - Companile of Lane
03 - Subterranean Canal
04 - Pressure Road
05 - Feena (Reprise)
06 - Termination
07 - Stay With Me Forever
08 - First Step Towards Wars
Total Time:

There is quite a lot to say about this special little package of CDs. Before hitting the music, I feel there is a need to clarify all these prints of the Box.

This set has three prints. The first print, which is shown in the top-left of the page, is an actual box measuring about a foot wide and six inches long, and about an inch high. Inside this box is a big booklet with a lot of liner notes, some sheet music, the English lyrics to the vocals, and more. Also inside are 6 little 8 centimeter discs. Call them what you want, mini-discs, single-discs, whatever: they're 8 centimeters. Also (though it's rare to still find them), there are sticker sheets that came with this first print. This set was printed at the end of 1988...A VERY long time ago. Then, two years later, after King Records changed their catalog number system, the first six singles Falcom printed under King were the six 8cm discs of Falcom Special Box '89. That's right, each one sold separately in Japanese stores. The pictures in the tracklist area are pictures of the single front covers, and these pictures are not found anywhere else (so you know where they're coming from). THEN, years later, after it became impossible to find FSB89 in either of its two prints, Falcom decided to make this set the first two prints in their "Falcom Millenium Series" (FMS) reprints. But, instead of using 8cm discs, they used two regular-sized discs, which sold separately. The first disc had the music from Fusion, Vocal, and Plus Mix (1, 3, 4), and the second disc had the music from Symphony, Disco, and Surround Theater Ys (2, 5, 6). While the first two releases are no longer available (though I did personally pick up the original box on eBay, so that's always a possibility), the two FMS CDs can be purchased directly from Falcom's Website...Though you have to know some basic Japanese to get around that site and make a purchase. We have separate reviews for these reprinted CDs.

Now then, to the MUSIC! We'll cover each disc separately, as they each use different styles. Disc 1: Fusion, has the subtitle of "Falcom Meets David Matthews". At first glance, one might think that Dave Matthews of "Dave Matthews Band" is who they're talking about. Just to clarify this, no, that's not who it is. However, don't blow this CD off as not having good music for it. This CD is of the "fusion" style, which is actually a fusing of many instruments and styles to make a whole new sound. And it works out, see for yourself by checking out the samples!

Disc 2: Symphony, is probably the best disc in the set. Of all the Symphonic stuff Falcom has done (not enough IMO), this is some of the best. "The First Steps Towards Wars" is just awesome, I cannot get enough of it. And, this is one of the few places where you can find symphonic music for the less-sought-after XANADU! And, surprisingly, it's a pretty good track. However, the real highlight of this disc is the first track, which has combined three great tracks from the original Sorcerian.

Disc 3: Vocal, would've been the best disc if only it wasn't 3 tracks and thus 8 minutes. All three songs are sung in English by a young Japanese female, but don't blow this off as cutesy. The track "Sorcerian" is a great track, and less childish than one might think. If you like vocals, this disc is just another reason to find and purchase FSB89.

Disc 4: Plus Mix, was a new concept that brought about another 8cm CD with the same style: Falcom Plus Mix Version. The style is cool, and the tracks chosen are very cool. All of them fit well; even Feena, which is somewhat slow for the Plus Mix upbeat style.

Disc 5: Disco (with subtitled Super Nonstop Version), is one 20-minute track that changes from song to song in one big mix. It isn't really your standard "Saturday Night Fever" disco style, so don't get that impression. This track is very fun to listen to, and it's fun trying to identify which track is playing in the list they give you (as it doesn't go in that order). And because it is only one track, the sample we provide here is two minutes long.

Disc 6: Surround Theater Ys, is definitely my least favorite disc. While the background music is good, it is a drama CD. Luckily, there is relatively little talking. There are a lot of sound effects, and a lot of breathing (like when there's a lot of running going on)...so it conveys the scene well. And the arrangements of the music behind what's happening in sound effects is pretty good. Still, it's nothing special if you don't know Japanese.

So, that's about it. Good luck finding any of the prints of it if you want it. And enjoy the samples!

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann