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Mike "JuMeSyn" Moehnke

Something a little different today, ladies and gentlemen. Fair warning: time for listening must be available or else this editorial is essentially useless. And dial-up will make the time commitment even greater - I know from firsthand experience.

That said, today I'm going to share some music from RPG's that few if any of those reading have played. Obviously I'm not going to intentionally choose pieces that are crappy, so let's start it out.

I say good things about the music in Tengai Makyou, because its music is good. Toshiyuki Sasagawa is the major composer for the two games I have played in the series, though Kouhei and Aya Tanaka (not necessarily related) contributed to Tengai Makyou Zero's music. This is a fine example of sorrow mixed with hope, used at the point when the fairy Hisui is giving her life essence to the creation of the next fairy who will serve the Fire Clan, Subaru. This is the theme of Kingin, the first cyborg tiger antagonist I have ever seen. And for everyone who wants a good piece of boss music, this for the majority of boss battles will do very nicely.

Tengai Makyou Zero's music is mostly but not entirely composed by Toshiyuki Sasagawa; Tengai Makyou the Apocalypse IV's music is 100% his creation. And considering what I have written about this game before, I would be remiss in not including at least one truly odd piece. Such as this, played during the great escape from Atlanta made possible by everyone in the city exercising unstoppably at the command of television. But goofy music is not the only part of Tengai Makyou IV: this piece commemorates New Orleans after its ravishing at the hands of nature (life imitates art in this case). Or this one, the quite catchy regular battle theme.

Enough Tengai Makyou for now, I'll move on to a fine effort by Noriyuki Iwadare (along with Isao Mizoguchi for a few tracks) in Langrisser 2. This music is rocked up a bit and played with live instruments, so keep the mild caveat that it is not the original audio in mind. Here is the Dark Princess's theme, and while her identity is hardly difficult to intuit the revelation would be a spoiler to anyone unacquainted with the game. This one is played during battles, but is also the music for victory over the current scenario and thus is rather celebratory. This is another battle theme, one exclusive to battles and usually reserved for after reinforcements have showed up on the player's turn. While a few new tracks are added to Der Langrisser, all the music from Langrisser 2 made the transition intact to that game.

Guardian Heroes and its sequel possess some interesting music, fitting when one considers that they are essentially RPG/beat-em-ups. This piece is an energetic tune played when fighting the Muscleheads in Guardian Heroes, and the use of some real instruments is always nice. Here is boss music from Advance Guardian Heroes, though the GBA's audio is inferior to the Saturn's capabilities. Nazo Suzuki and NON are credited with this music, and presumably their work is mostly with Treasure.

Napple Tale had music composed by Yoko Kanno, she of many anime soundtracks' fame. Thus its music is quite interesting and atypical. This one is actually a boss fight's music, for an encounter that pits the protagonist against a small army of card soldiers (this being inspired by Alice in Wonderland). This comes from the area prior to the fight with the card army, and invites comparisons to Tchaikovsky.

At least one track of Saori Kobayashi and Mariko Nanba's fascinating music to Panzer Dragoon Saga ought to make the cut, and I choose this. This piece is played during a number of regular battles, and manages to feel compellingly ethereal.

So as not to strain time budgets too badly, I shall close now with one final track, this time a vocal. This composition by Kouhei Tanaka is the ending theme to Sakura Wars 2, and features a solo by each of the 8 members of the Teikokukagekidan along with Ai Orikasa as Kaede. Haters of vocal music be warned. All others I encourage to at least sample the piece since I am not yet able to provide any non-vocal music from the Sakura Wars games.

I really have no deep point to make here save that a great deal of worthwhile music is to be found in RPGs off the common path. And a great thanks to Galbadia Hotel, since the site's enormous collection of music makes it possible to do something like what I have strung together.

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