Seiken Densetsu, literally translated as "Legend of the Sacred Sword", was released for the Game Boy in the United States under the name "Final Fantasy Adventure". Seiken Densetsu 2 was retitled "Secret of Mana" for its U.S. SNES release and Seiken Densetsu 3 was never released on our shores. This CD, Seiken Densetsu Sound Collections, contains music from the first Seiken Densetsu only. There are 34 tracks, 7 of which are arranged. These 7 arranged tracks were previously released on their own CD, Let Thoughts Ride On Knowledge, more than five years ago. In a nutshell, these seven tracks are the only reason for buying this CD - but they are most certainly reason enough. The remaining twenty-seven tracks are OSV and are, as anyone who's ever heard Game Boy-produced sound knows, not pleasing to the ear.
The arranged tracks, on the other hand, rival Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite's as the best Square music ever to be arranged for a full instrument set. The two CDs, however, are nothing alike. While Suite's maintains a more traditional European-classical arrangement style, Seiken Densetsu has a strong Latin/Western influence. In addition to a full complement of strings and brass, there is an acoustic guitar, a solo piano, and a more ethnic percussion set. Each arranged track contains several themes from the game.
The cool thing about Sound Collections, in contrast to Suites, is that the listener really feels as if he's going on a journey. He begins the quest with a strong, melodic "Determination"; later rides atop the comical Chocobo, one of the many "Friends" he'll meet on his journey; fights fiercely several times along the way only to arrive at the final confrontation in the fast and dynamic "Decisive Battle"; and, finally, emerges victorious in a powerful and uplifting celebration of "Life". Sit down, close your eyes, and find the time to listen to the entire 35 minute performance - it won't take long until you're as engaged as I was. This is what music is all about.