Xanadu VS Ys / Original Sound of
Original Sound of Xanadu VS Ys
March 30, 1988
Buy Used Copy
Original Sound of Xanadu VS Ys is a tape featuring music from two of Falcom’s MSX adaptations. While the PC-8801 version of Xanadu revolved around just one theme, the MSX version is considerably more elaborate. The PC-8801 version of Ys, on the other hand, has a reputation for being the best synth music around. Let’s see if the additional tracks featured here live up to that reputation…
Let’s start off with the eight track soundtrack from the MSX remake of Xanadu. “Opening” is a pleasant track featuring three different synth lines playing at once. Although it isn’t one of Falcom’s most catchy tracks, it’s still quite complex music for its time. The subsequent main theme is much more catchy and clear, since there’s no drum track. However, it’s sadly very short and most will repeat it for its merit, not its longevity. “Battle It Out” is pounding action theme written in Falcom tradition. However, it is ruined by the appearance of lots of sound effects that try to showcase the in-game sound, yet end up creating a massive sound imbalance. The track finishes with the victory music, but most will have skipped it by then.
Moving towards the climax of the Xanadu soundtrack, “Minor Boss Themes” actually takes most boss themes from the game and combines them into a three minute medley. It works fantastically. Each section of the track is different from preceding parts and each has its own unique means to come across as evil and raw. This is a highlight song indeed. The final boss theme is another powerful track, but is again ruined by a large smothering of battle sound effects. It’s a missed opportunity. “Ending” is a beautiful tune that is ethereal, mellow, and somewhat solemn too. It is great synth music since the tune is very clear.
The album also features the additional tracks from Ys‘ MSX adaptation., “Open Your Heart” is high-pitched tune that is beautiful and ethereal again. In series’ tradition, it features a catchy echoing melody that drifts you off into the world of gaming. “Fountain of Love” is another catchy and bouncy track used as the town theme. It’s a little more complex, but extremely short yet again. “Devil’s Step” is a much more mysterious track that is once again let down by numerous sound effects placed throughout. Thankfully, some of them actually fit well, while others infuriate. Every so often the track is suddenly interrupted by a small jingle before it restarts up, as if to represent moving up a level. Nice thinking, but like the sound effects, this can annoy the listener too.
Moving to the end of the album, “In The Memory” is a great piece. It demonstrates how emotional tunes can still be produced using old-school synth. It has all the makings of a dramatic cue and is possibly my favourite on the entire soundrack. The ending track “Come With Me” is a fast tune that comes across like a synth vocal track. Once again, the piece is catchy and, after a while, a drum track enters too, including toms.
Original Sound of Xanadu Vs Ys had the potential to be a classic synth album. Most of the tracks live up to their potential and characterise the moods of Xanadu and Ys. However, those several tracks clad in sound effects crumble in seconds. I’d nevertheless recommend those who played the games to buy this album. It’ll rekindle many old memories and the music itself is very pleasing.
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Posted on August 1, 2012 by Simon Smith. Last modified on August 1, 2012.