Nobuo Uematsu has done it before with Final Fantasy's music, captivating audiences with its sense of adventure and heroics. Now Hiroki Kikuta returns to the Seiken series to produce a soundtrack rivaling the Final Fantasy series. Kikuta develops the sense of adventure and wonder to the game just as Uematsu, only with a lighter touch.
The first CD contains the title theme and character themes. This CD tends to be the least listened to by me. While the character themes are good, they tend not to be very outstanding. "Whiz Kid" and "Raven" are probably the best examples of the themes. Whiz Kid is upbeat and heroic, a soldier's theme through and through. Raven, the theme of the thief Hawkeye, is quick and filled with drums, conveying the thief's lifestyle. The title/introduction music, "Where Angel Fear to Tread", is wonderful! It starts out slow and flowing with a flute playing the sad melody, then livens up to play an arrangement of the Seiken Densetsu 2 Theme "Fear of Heavens" with a pushing beat. Beautiful!
The second CD improves on the first, making it more memorable, even though the first track, "Left-handed Wolf", is probably one of the worst songs on the CD with its low droning tone. "Meridian Child" is a great driving melody that is one of the best songs on the CD. Another is "Delicate Affection", a slow song that conveys, um, affection. But the high point for me is "Nuclear Fusion". I've always been partial to the boss themes and this is no different. With the loose snare and fast pace, it combines danger and excitement to produce a great song.
The third CD has the greatest collection of good songs. The CD contains the boss battles, final boss battles, and ending sequence. The boss battles "Hightension Wire" and "Secret of Mana" are well composed and exciting. "Hightension Wire" has a great guitar background and jazzy sound to it. "Secret of Mana" contains an instrument that many people tend to dislike, kind of a flute-guitar, but I feel that it doesn't detract from the song itself, and is more of a horn with guitar qualities. The final boss themes "Sacrifice" parts one, two, and three are a *superb* collection. "Sacrifice One" starts as an evil introduction, with breaking glass and other sound effects. "Sacrifice Two" is filled with heavy drums and an evil tone, and a hint of Dark Lich's theme from Seiken 2. "Sacrifice Three" pulls it all together and takes it away, ending with the slow sad ending themes.
Together these songs create a world of their own, even without playing the game! The music has an upbeat feel, full of energy and playfulness, but still with the twinge of danger where needed. While there are a few annoying or short tracks ("Not Awaken", "And Other", "Lefthanded Wolf"), the good songs fully recover for them. All in all an excellent soundtrack that comes with a high recommendation.