If there ever was one word associated with video RPG music, it would be "classical" or "orchestral". This is not surprising, especially when we have game companies such as Square and Enix that fill their RPGs with plenty of orchestrated and/or classical styles of music. An exception, however, is the soundtrack to Capcom's RPG "Breath of Fire III", through which the listener is treated to some of the jazziest music to ever be heard in a video RPG.
Nearly all elements of jazz music are covered on this soundtrack. Some good examples are "Even the Sun's Happy", "Take it and Run", and "Fighting Man", as they have plenty of improvised melodies supported by jazzy chords and catchy rhythms. Even the battle songs, "Fight!" and "Everyday Battle", are jazzy enough to make you smile.
There are, however, a few songs that are not as jazzy as the others are. "Eden" is more of a soothing song, especially with the samples of birds chirping in the background. The main theme, "For the Dragons", is the most serious song on this disc, as it sounds very dark and foreboding and reminiscent of some of the themes in the Final Fantasy games.
The soundtrack also contains arranged tracks of "Flight", "Neverending Game", "Sigh of the Fairy", and "Fighting Man". The arrangement of "Sigh of the Fairy" is light on the rhythm and has a guitar melody that fans of the "Street Fighter Zero" soundtrack will instantly recognize. "Neverending Game" is a swinging, fast-paced arrangement, complete with a muted trumpet and improvised piano melodies.
The only problem with this soundtrack is it does not contain all the music from the video game. This is quite a shame, as there are at least 30 other songs that can only be heard during gameplay or in the game's music test.
Listeners expecting orchestral RPG music in the style of Square or Enix will definitely be disappointed with the light-hearted, jazzy songs of "Breath of Fire III." However, there is no denying that this soundtrack is one of Capcom's best to date.