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Arc the Lad Original Game Sound Track

"A mostly arranged album for the early PlayStation JRPG, strangely split between orchestral and elevator music."



48 minutes total
  1. Opening
  2. Arc
  3. Kukuru
  4. Poco
  5. Tosh
  6. Gogen
  7. Chongara
  8. Iga
  9. Finale
  10. Departure
  11. Ending
  • Released Jul 1, 1995 by Antinos (catalog no. ARCJ-12, retail 2800 yen).
  • Detailed release notes and credits at VGMdb.


A mostly arranged album for the early PlayStation JRPG, strangely split between orchestral and elevator music.

Editor's review by Adam Corn (updated 2023-05-20)

Contrary to the title, Arc the Lad Original Game Sound Track is largely an arranged album for its namesake game, which was one of the very first JRPGs for the original Playstation. Only the first track and last three tracks come directly from the game, and all four of them are orchestral. Among them "Opening" and "Ending" are too generic to hold interest, but "Finale" and "Departure" are poignant ending pieces well worth hearing. Unfortunately the remaining seven tracks - arranged character themes constituting almost two-thirds of the album - absolutely aren't. Though sometimes labeled as jazz fusion I'd consider "light instrumental pop" a more accurate label, with the weak electric guitars, synths and sax and childish melodies more akin to the music in a supermarket or generic anime in the '80s or early '90s than an RPG.

If you can get past the unexpected instrumentation a couple of the pop instrumental character themes do hold merit - the chill guitar riffs and piano in "Poco" work well with its unassuming theme, and "Iga" has a slight funk edge and some solid percussion that almost compensate for the repetitive lead synth motif. However unless you're coming into the album with an existing fondness for the in-game soundtrack's character themes and a desire to hear them expanded upon, there really isn't enough of interest in the album to warrant more than a YouTube listen.

For any fans of the game who want a more conventional OST, the later released Arc the Lad I & II Soundtrack Complete does have the actual OST tracks from the first game on its first disc. Among them are a few moderately interesting tracks not featured here, however all of that album's tracks are quite short, and except for an abbreviated version of "Opening" the orchestral pieces are missing altogether. So while Arc the Lad may make a small footnote as one of the first RPGs of the post 16-bit era, both of its soundtrack releases can be safely forgotten.

A tad repetitive, and flat in form.

Reader review by Matthew Boblett

Arc the Lad has the distinction of being the first game soundtrack to have sections performed by a live orchestra specifically for the game. In this case, it is the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and they give a good performance. However, the music for orchestra is a tad repetitive, and is very flat in form. There is none of the genius of Square or Konami present here. The music is just simply "there." Worst of all, most of the recording consists of the game music, which is the typical, horribly bland, rock style music that we've hear a million times before in a million other games. The CD has a certain historical significance, yes, but it's still not a great buy. Try again, Sony.

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