Ys II Perfect Collection

"Throws most of what was good about the first Perfect Collection right out the window."

Artist Credits

Tracks

90 minutes total

Disc 1 (50 minutes)

  1. To Make the End of Battle [2:05]
  2. Lilia [0:36]
  3. Too Full with Love [2:30]
  4. Apathetic Story [0:56]
  5. May I Help You? [0:32]
  6. Feel Blue [0:51]
  7. Ruins of Moondoria [1:44]
  8. Noble District of Toal [1:40]
  9. Rest in Peace [0:44]
  10. Cavern of Rasteenie [2:58]
  11. Protecters [1:49]
  12. Ice Ridge of Noltia [2:36]
  13. Inside of the Ice Wall [0:53]
  14. Moat of Burnedbless [3:20]
  15. Tender People [2:33]
  16. Palace of Salmon [2:00]
  17. Subterranean Canal [4:07]
  18. Companile of Lane [3:52]
  19. Pressure Road [0:52]
  20. Don't Go So Smoothly [2:12]
  21. Feena [1:06]
  22. Termination [3:55]
  23. A Still Time [2:13]
  24. Stay with Me Forever [2:38]
  25. So Much for Today [1:25]

Disc 2 (40 minutes)

  1. A Still Time [3:38]
  2. First Step Towards Wars (Ys I) [4:43]
  3. The Theme of Chester (Ys III) [4:30]
  4. Acoustic Elegance (Ys I Palace) [3:39]
  5. After Hearing the Standard (Ys I Rest in Peace) [5:33]
  6. East Coast Summer (Ys II Lilia) [4:51]
  7. Smile Again (Ys I See You Again) [4:13]
  8. Moat of Burnedbless ~ Ruins of Moondoria [3:38]
  9. Too Full with Love [5:58]
  • Released Sep 5, 1990 by King Records (catalog no. KICA-1014~5, retail 3800 yen).
  • Disc 1 arranged by Ryo Yonemitsu. Disc 2 arranged by Naoki Watanabe (track 1), Yuzo Hayashi (2 & 3), Michio Fujisawa (4-6), Hiroshi Shinkawa (7) and Tomohiko Kishimoto (8 & 9).
  • Disc 1 was reprinted and repackged with the first disc of Ys I Perfect Collection on Dec 21, 2001 as "Perfect Collection Ys I-II: Complete Works of Ryo Yonemitsu" (catalog no. NW10102460).
  • Disc 2 was repackaged with the second disc of Ys I Perfect Collection on Sept. 13, 2001 as "Perfect Collection Ys I-II - Super Arrange Version" (catalog no. NW10102470).

Reviews

Throws most of what was good about the first Perfect Collection right out the window.

Editor's review by Adam Corn (2009-05-16)

The first Ys Perfect Collection may have had its share of misses, but when it hit, it hit hard. Thus Ys II Perfect Collection, which boasts a beefier track list that includes every theme from the game, would seem like a sure thing. Unfortunately the first disc takes most of what was good about its predecessor and throws it out the window, leaving fans to rely on the eclectic second disc of arrangements for their fix.

Anybody who has heard the first Ys Perfect Collection or the PC Engine soundtrack will remember the raging guitar work that made many of its tracks rock. Well, arranger Ryo Yonemitsu apparently forgot, as for most of the first disc it's mysteriously absent. When an electric guitar solo finally shows up at the end of "Ruins of Moondoria", it lasts for all of thirty seconds before abruptly fading away - more a tease than anything else. The electric guitar surfaces again on occasion, most notably in the high octane closing action theme "Termination", but in most cases it's limited to a few chords here and there.

Previous Ys successes owed as much to high-energy synth as they did to rock guitars, and this is the other area where the album falls short. As in Ys II Renewal, many of the themes here lose a great amount of their charm without the creative sound design of the PC Engine version. Particularly disappointing are "Protecters" and "Ice Ridge of Noltia", which have solid synth programming overall but are tarnished by just a couple of distracting instruments. Listeners accustomed to bright but simplistic synth from past generation game soundtracks can probably tolerate it all just fine, but with superior versions available elsewhere, it's hard to see why they should.

The first disc isn't all bad. "Feel Blue", "Rest in Peace" and "Cavern of Rasteenie" combine crisp, distinctive synth with wistful melodies, even though the first two are ridiculously short. The synth in "Palace of Salmon" and "Termination" may not be as catchy as in other versions, but the quality is high enough and the ultra-melodic melodies so infectious that even second place or lower is still good. However the only tracks on disc 1 to be both different enough from other versions and capably produced enough to stand out as exclusives are "Subterranean Canal" and "Don't Go Smoothly", both of which get cool low-tempo fusion renditions. They're so different in style from the surrounding material they would fit just as well on the second disc really.

In fact it's the second disc that saves the soundtrack. It's every bit as eclectic in style as the second disc of Ys I Perfect Collection, but a bit more consistent in quality. Particularly of note are the "New Age" arrangements by Michio Fujisawa (which aren't actually New Age music at all). "Acoustic Elegance" and "After Hearing the Standard" begin with the same almost lethargic style of classical piano and violin that characterized his arrangements from the first Perfect Collection, but both arrangements take lively, jazzy turns partway through that make them much more interesting. Fujisawa's third arrangement "East Coast Summer" maintains a chipper tone from the very start, and its flowing violin rendition of "Lilia" improves infinitely upon the simple thirty-second synth version on disc 1. I wouldn't go so far as to say the New Age arrangements warrant purchase of the album, but after the simplicity of disc 1's arrangements they are a welcome change of pace.

The remainder of disc 2 is a mixed bag. A light pop-funk arrangement of the usually exhilarating "First Step Towards Wars" might seem like heresy, but with solid electric guitar work compensating for a cheesy saxophone bit, the result is actually fairly catchy. "Theme of Chester" benefits from high production values as well, even if it doesn't go anywhere melodically. The JDK Band arrangement of "Moat of Burnedbless" suffers from a slow start and a couple mediocre synth instruments, but soaring backing keyboards in the "Ruins of Moondoria" segment help lift it back up. As for the vocal arrangements, the rather boring "A Still Time" theme gets equally boring doo-wop a capella vocals, and though the sugary sweet "Smile Again" has a professional arrangement and pleasing vocals to its credit, "Too Full with Love" is sappy and amateurish.

It's unfortunate but understandable that Ys II music sometimes gets a bad rap when compared to its predecessor, given the somewhat sad state of the title's arranged albums. For hardcore fans who demand the full soundtrack to Ys II, the first disc of Ys II Perfect Collection does constitute a superior alternative to the Renewal and Eternal albums (which isn't saying much), and the arrangements on disc 2 serve as a nice bonus. However the best place by far to experience themes from Ys II in electronic form remains the CD audio from the PC Engine game itself.

A wonderful collection of the classic Ys sound.

Reader review by Adoru

Ys II Perfect Collection is a two-disc set released in 1990, and is basically an arrangement fest of some of the best music ever to be heard as of yet! The first CD is every single song from Ys II arranged by Ryo Yonemitsu (the composer of Ys III's breathtaking score, among other things), and the second CD is a few songs from Ys I, II and III arranged in vocal, jazz, hard rock and classical styles, with live performances by several artists including Falcom's own JDK Band. All in all, it's an Ys II music fan's dream come true.)

The first disc's music utilizes extremely high-quality synths and an occasional recorded guitar solo mixed into the song. The result is an Ys rock fest, in crisp, full stereo. The compositions themselves are amazing, especially when one realizes this CD is from 1990 and the game is from 1987. The style of the music is often quite reminiscent of the '80s too, which makes for a fun little throwback! The arrangements repeat enough to get a good feel for the songs, so you get some good listening pleasure out of the arrangements.

Disc 2 is a varied CD in terms of music style, but all the tracks are very well performed and flow into each other nicely. The CD kicks of with an a capella rendition of "A Still Time" which makes this already beautiful song even better. There are a couple of Super Arrange tracks next, followed by three Classical versions. "Theme of Chester" is a rockin' song, using synth and live drums and guitar.

The vocal song on track 7, "Smile Again" is one of the best songs I have ever heard. Half the song is in English, and the lyrics are great. The vocalist is good, and the ballad style of the song is well fitting. But the guitar solos in the middle and end of the song are what makes this song truly stand out. They are some of the most emotional and moving solos ever! Absolutely grand.

The remaining tracks are JDK Band songs, both of which are great (hey, it's JDK!).

There is no mistaking it, Ys II Perfect Collections is a classic album that has been surpassed by only a few lone soundtracks even to this day (and this set is 11 years old now!). Go out and find it on eBay, yahoo, or in the marketplace board right at this website. You won't regret it.

An excellent arrangement with some added extras.

Reader review by Stephen

Ys II Perfect Collection was produced before Ys Book I and II was made for the Turbografx-16 CD. If you are looking for the soundtrack of the TG-16 CD version of Ys Book I and II, this CD set is not it. For the actual TG-16 CD soundtrack, simply put the game CD into a good CD player and skip the first track.

Almost all the tracks heard in Ys II for the TG-16 CD are on disc 1 of the set, but in arranged form. I feel that most of these arrangements are very good, some even better than the TG-16 CD versions. There are a few tracks that sound considerably different from their TG-16 counterparts, such as "Subterranean Canal", "Companile of Lane", and "Pressure Road".

On disc 2 are two vocal tracks, both of which are enjoyable to listen to, even if one does not understand the Japanese lyrics. In addition, there are three new age tracks. These tracks are simply classical interpretations, using strings and the piano. The remaining tracks are all additional arragements and are all worth listening to.

For the person who has not played the TG-16 CD game but is interested in Falcom music and the J.D.K. band, this CD set is a good starter. Ys II music is predominantly rock or heavy metal in flavor, with a few other musical styles employed. Falcom seems to do a good job composing music that can work well with any instrumentation or can be set to lyrics, as this CD set demonstrates.

If you are only interested in traditional Falcom-style arrangements, buying this CD set is somewhat of a waste, since disc 1 has the arranged tracks while disc 2 contains other musical variants. You should buy this CD only if you are willing to listen to disc 2's contents, as I have described them. I for one think it is a solid purchase.

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