Dinosaur Resurrection Original Soundtrack
Dinosaur Resurrection Original Soundtrack
December 19, 2002
Buy Used Copy
Between 1997 and 2002, Falcom mainly focused on remaking their early computer games for modern computers. These remakes offered elaborated stories, improved graphics, and rearranged and resynthed scores by the Falcom Sound Team J.D.K. One of their last targets was 1990’s Dinosaur, a stand-alone Dragon Quest clone that took gamers strolling through dungeons to an inappropriately named final boss. Its original score was ambitious in its attempts to produce spiritual, ambient, and action themes, but was limited by its FM synth. For the most part, Hayato Sonoda’s sound team stay close to the original intentions of the composers, but offer much more refined and expansive arrangements. Did they completely succeed?
The arrangement of the title theme “The Lost Ones” shows that the music team know what they’re doing. They make the most out of the original material, keeping the rich melody and distorted bass notes intact, except with improved synth. However, they also bring a whole new level of ‘badass’ to the theme through letting an electric guitar take the melody, which is perfect for bringing out the rock influence and wailing qualities of the original. A once low-key anthem, “Mark My Words” is now more expressive than ever with its combination of expressive acoustic guitar, accordion, and piano use. However, “Paean to the Spirits” demonstrates Falcom knows when to keep the simplicity inherent to many of the original themes intact. At the core of the theme is a series of ornate wind melodies against simple accompaniment, though the use of piano and string quartet support provides opportunities for a much more expressive and dramatic sound. A further example of synth mastery is “God”, which initially presents a soothing soundscape that gradually builds up into an epic orchestral passage. It seems suitable for contrasting the divine yet powerful features of the one in question.
The approach to the battle theme arrangements varies from the straightforward to the exuberant. For example, “Front Line” maintains the lyrical synth leads and hard accompaniment of the original almost down to a tee; however, the greater definition in the synth makes it a much easier listen. On the other hand, “Charge!” features a relatively accomplished rock arrangement complete with extravagant electric guitar solos and driving bass and drum lines. “When Grieving Ends, the Fight Begins” and “Burning!” take the pace up a few notches and offer hard rock arrangements that any Ys fan is bound to be impressed by. On the other hand, “The Muscle Man” is now a progressive rock theme featuring wild synth leads and all sorts of distortion. It is likely that Mieko Ishikawa and Masaaki Kawai had a similar vision for their original themes, but such extravagance was never possible with the synth available to them. Once a complete mess, the final boss theme “Dinosaur” is now a highbrow orchestral theme, characterised by a passionate violin lead, lavish woodwind decoration, foreboding piano runs, and militaristic percussion. The effective is mesmerising in and out of context.
The setting themes are far more interesting in the remade soundtrack too. Many tracks maintain an old-school sound but in a much more modern context, for example “The Tower of the Wind” enhances its simple melodies with light orchestration and “The Tower of Darius” sounds heavier than before with its rocking melodies. Others are completely different from their original. For example, the once ambient but uninteresting “The Tower of Ordeals” is now a motivating trance anthem. Perhaps the most phenomenal transformations are for the once foul “Underground Shrine” and “Dimensional Maze”, now given fantastic big band jazz and ambient rock arrangements respectively. Thankfully, “Exciting Shop” gradually loses the focus on the infamous hypnotising bass line of the original and becomes a pretty accomplished composition marked by pretty wild pseudo-improvisation. Towards the end of the soundtrack, there are also two noteworthy emotional themes. “I Love You” now sounds relatively elegaic with its piano and strings focus, but perhaps this fits the context of the game more than before. Relatively untouched from the original, “The Weaving of Dreams” proves to be a charming ending theme once again exhibiting the soundtrack’s rich melodies and counterpoint.
The Dinosaur Resurrection Original Soundtrack is a very effective arranged score. Falcom’s sound team clearly respect the original material and the intentions of the composers behind it. However, they also make the most of the new technology available to them to produce a more enjoyable and effective score both within and outside gameplay. Although the synth still sounds artificial, it is a vast improvement on the original material, providing more definition and less distortion. What is really impressive are the arrangements that, whether subtle like “The Lost Ones” and “The Weaving of Dreams” or transformative like “Dinosaur” and “The Tower of Ordeals”, seem just right for the target audience. Overall, the Dinosaur Resurrection Original Soundtrack is among the finest of Falcom’s line and well worth a purchase.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Chris Greening. Last modified on August 1, 2012.