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Farland Story ~ Proof of the Beast King

[back cover]
Catalog Number: TGL-951110
Released On: November 10, 1995
Composed By: Masataka Kitaura
Arranged By: Masataka Kitaura
Published By: TGL
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Introduction
02 - The Borderless Area
03 - Fields of Joy
04 - K.I.S.S.....
05 - Deep Forest
06 - Plsna gratia
07 - Strangled Cry
08 - Primitive Humanity-1
09 - Mr. Underground King
10 - Primitive Humanity-2
11 - #69 Dream
12 - Higher Children
13 - Angry Cat In the Closed Radio
14 - Home Boy Wolf
15 - C.J.S
16 - Nostalgia
17 - Art of Noiz
18 - Water Parts
19 - Distant Garden
20 - Justice
21 - in the Castle
22 - This Power of Most Dark
23 - Replicants
24 - Out of Place
25 - Demon
26 - Damage Alert
27 - Wind Chime
28 - One Day In Autumn
29 - Outroduction
Total Time:
44'53"

TGL's "Farland" series is a lesser-known RPG that has seen some success in Japan and China. Much of the series was released on the PC Engine (PC98), and this particular title, the seventh in the series, was the last to be released for said system.

There was little limitation as to what a composer can do on any disc-based game, though audio compression was certainly an issue back then. In the case of the Farland Story games, many scores would feature in-your-face direct synth with some real-life audio samples, which allowed the music to go back and forth from a synth-orchestra feel to a "house/techno party" sound.

"Proof of the Beast King" (also translated "Mark of the Beast King") was scored by Masataka Kitaura, who in this album has reprised his role, as he is prominent on a number of earlier Farland games. This album was the first in the Farland series that I'd been exposed to, so as personal experience goes, I am working in a somewhat backwards order in understanding the series' musical progression.

If there's one thing I can say for sure about this album, I'd have to say that it's unlike any RPG soundtrack you've heard before (unless you've heard other Farland albums). The soundscape certainly has its weaknesses, including too much reliance on "orchestra hits" and other powerhouse synths that drown out any subtlety. But in the end, what I found was an extremely fresh and pleasing CD.

Battle themes are especially worthwhile. If you like, say, the "Provincialism Ys" arrange album, you're sure to like this. Songs like "Demon" and "Damage Alert" kept my attention very well. That's not all the CD offers, of course. I quickly fell in love with some of the town/environment themes, including "Plsna gratia" and "Deep Forest." Interesting samples were used in "Higher Children" (kids talking) and "Angry Cat In the Closed Radio" (an angry cat meowing...). Yeah, you really haven't heard VGM like this before.

Now comes the bad news. Like the rest of the Farland Story albums, TGL published the CD as a promotional item, available only around the time of the game's release, and in limited numbers. I acquired this particular disc on Yahoo! Japan Auctions for about $60 (after all was said and done with shipping, anyway), and though this is one of the more obscure albums, each of the TGL-printed albums run for around that same price range. Unless the market works in your favor, start saving money or find a new series to obsess over. As for me, I'm all about the Farland these days. Proof of the Beast King boasts a fresh, unique score, and I found myself very quickly drawn to it.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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