By the time I played Dragon Slayer on my TurboDuo in 1994, Falcom was already a legend to me. After all, they had produced what was in my mind the greatest game ever made (Ys Book I & II), and had followed it with a game that had the sweetest soundtrack I'd ever heard (Ys III). Dragon Slayer was thus an automatic purchase. Falcom's Sound Team JDK did not disappoint - the redbook audio struck me as being superb, and while not quite at the same level as the Ys series, it was very nice nonetheless. Many years later, I managed to snag a copy of Dragon Slayer Perfect Collection on eBay, and impatiently waited for the package to arrive.
Having listened to the Ys and Sorcerian Perfect Collections, I had very high expectations for Dragon Slayer Perfect Collection. When I popped the first disc into my CD player, though, I was in for a rude shock. The sounds that reached my expectant ears were discordant and artificial. The sound quality was 8-bit at best, a far cry from the CD quality I had experienced while playing the game. Hoping this phenomenon was merely a fluke, I tried the next song. Then the next. After scanning through the entire disc, I was positively stunned. The "Original Soundtrack Version" was the soundtrack from some earlier version of the game, and the majestic music I had grown accustomed was nowhere to be heard.
Dejected, I tried the second disc, hoping that it could salvage some of my sunken hopes. Fortunately, it did. Ryo Yonemitsu's arrangements are well done and the music comes to life readily in his capable hands (and synthesizers). However, the synth isn't as crisp and clear as in, say, Ys Perfect Collection, and that does rob the arrangements of some of their magic.
After listening to the second disc, I still felt a little empty, but not nearly as empty as I felt after listening to disc one. Part of the reason was because, unlike the Ys and Sorcerian Perfect Collections, which all contain Special Arrange versions on one disc and Vocal, JDK Band, Special Arranges, and New Age Arrangements on the other disc, the Dragon Slayer Perfect Collections just contain the original soundtrack and one arrangement style. It would have been nice to have had a vocal track or a New Age arrangement somewhere on the album. Another part of the reason I felt empty was that the sound quality of the redbook audio in the game itself was a fair amount better than even the best Yonemitsu arrangement (not surprising since the Duo version came out a year and a half after this compilation), and the arrangements in the redbook audio also improved upon Yonemitsu's efforts (with the notable exceptions of "Battle" and "Field").
All in all, this soundtrack is a mixed bag. I'd rather have my tongue frozen to the landing gear of a 747 than have to listen to the first disc for an extended period of time, and while the second disc is rather good, it's probably not good enough to warrant a purchase. If you must have a Dragon Slayer album, either find a copy of the Duo game and satisfy yourself with the redbook audio or try to track down a copy of Dragon Slayer JDK Special instead.