The Legend of Heroes III -The White Witch- / The Very Best of
The Very Best of The Legend of Heroes III -The White Witch-
December 23, 1998
Buy Used Copy
The Legend of Heroes III: The White Witch features so many different albums dedicated to it that it is easy to become overwhelmed. Thankfully, Falcom published The Very Best of The Legend of Heroes III as an introduction to the game’s music for mainstream consumers. It features 15 arrangements from the game, sampled from orchestral, piano, and drama albums. Let’s take a closer look…
Much of the album recounts material from The Legend of Heroes III Electric Orchestra, a synthetic orchestral album arranged by Tamiya Terashima. Right from the opening rendition of “The White Witch Gerud”, it’s clear that these orchestrations are both colourful and magical. It breathtakingly blends conventional strings with ethnic woodwinds and spiritual chorus, all the while retaining an emphasis on the mesmerising melody from the original theme. The gothic chorale “Sorrowful Melody”, epic action theme “The Great Battle of Bolt”, and more personal wanderings of “Demise” reaffirm the highbrow nature of the production. However, there are surprisingly deviations too, such as “Spirit in Our Eyes” with its bluegrass section and sound effects, or “Princess Isabelle” with its groovy beats.
From a Western consumer’s perspective, perhaps the best feature of the album is the inclusion of several arrangements from The Legend of Heroes III‘s drama albums. It’s fantastic that listeners can at last listen to the rare arrangements on these CDs without the hindrance of Japanese dialogue. There is everything from the free-riding vocal performances of “Love Shining Inside” and “Captain Thomas’ Feelings” to the candypop flavour of “Let’s Start, OK”. I’m sure at least some of these tracks will become fan favourites among most Falcom fans, so they’re well worth picking up. Another bonus are the authentic J.D.K. Band versions of “Little Heroes” and “Lude Castle” taken from Music from The Legend of Heroes III The White Witch.
Finally, there are two piano arrangements on the album taken from The Legend of Heroes Piano Collection. The interpretation of “Lost Forest” is a relatively late addition to the album, but comes at just right time. It fills the album with the mood of melancholy jazz right before the climactic themes. Arguably, that climax never truly comes since “Lude Castle” is relatively upbeat and “Queen Isabelle” is so abstract, but the second half of the album is definitely charged with a deeper sort of emotion. I like how the release ends with a piano interpretation of “The White Witch Gerud”, since not only is it breathtakingly beautiful, but also takes the album round full circle.
Overall, this is a solid collection of music from The Legend of Heroes III. It features most of the major themes from the soundtrack in some of the most definitive arrangements. It’s also very diverse with everything from orchestrations to rock anthems to piano ballads to dance mixes. In addition, it compiles some rarer arrangements to aid certain collectors. While many will prefer to purchase the full versions of the orchestra and piano album, this album is a good alternative for casual fans.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Charles Szczygiel. Last modified on August 1, 2012.