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Music From The Legend of Heroes IV ~ A Tear of Vermillion
Catalog Number: KICA-1181/2
Released On: June 21, 1996
Composed By: Sound Team JDK
Arranged By: Sound Team JDK
Published By: King Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 2 CDs
Tracklist:

Disc One
01 - A Tear of Vermillion ~Memoria~
02 - A Tear of Vermillion
03 - Prayer
04 - The Heretic's Attack
05 - Cabin in Sight
06 - Leaving the Nest
07 - Traveling on the Road of Dreams
08 - When Will You Return?
09 - Stepping Lightly
10 - It's Over!
11 - Phildin's Capital
12 - Phildin's Castle
13 - Underground Waterway
14 - Mining Station
15 - Down in the Den of Darkness
16 - Lambada Labyrinth
17 - A Busy Street Corner
18 - Benecia Convent
19 - Through the Forest
20 - Primal Praise
21 - City of Iron ~Gia~
22 - Frozen Village
23 - Hold Me!
24 - High-Spirited Jason
25 - Rhythm of the Sea Breeze
26 - On the Ocean Wind
27 - A Tear of Vermillion ~Darling Emille~
28 - The Holy City
29 - Grateful Tomorrow
Total Time:
71'36"

Disc Two
01 - Lunay's Wish
02 - Run, Avin!!
03 - Frozen Over
04 - Seeking the Truth
05 - Holding Back!
06 - Inheritance of the Ancients
07 - Other Regrets
08 - Sullied Spirits
09 - Haunted Temple
10 - To the Finish
11 - Rone's Thoughts
12 - Undersea Cave
13 - Sealed Earth
14 - Plane of Magma
15 - Gaps in Space and Time
16 - Okutum Shrine
17 - The Great Priest, Barias
18 - Okutum's Dream
19 - My Name is Beldus
20 - The End of Battle
21 - Avin's Determination
22 - Life's Blood
23 - And Afterwards
24 - A Tear of Vermillion ~The Smiling Faces of Friends~
25 - Journey Towards Hope ~Light~
Total Time:
67'38"

Let's make this short, because speaking at length about this album would be too painful.

The year was 1996, and VGM was progressing steadily: as a market, as a genre, and in terms of technology. Yet somehow, one company had begun to struggle to keep up. While synth was sounding great for early PS1 games of the time (Arc the Lad, Final Fantasy VII) and even late Super Famicom era titles (Star Ocean, Tales of Phantasia), Falcom was releasing PC titles with some pretty terrible synth. Behold! Legend of Heroes IV: A Tear of Vermillion (or Running Red Blood, or Red Drops, what have you; the Japanese is "Akai Shimizu") produced some of the worst sound quality of the year. A shame, a shame...

Yet, for the terrible synth used (the same stuff we heard in LoH III and even earlier Falcom titles), the compositions are such high quality that the album is hard to ignore. Among the Legend of Heroes titles, I have to say that the music in LoH IV is some of the most impressive. It is certainly better than V, and it is more balanced than III (which had good "moody" themes but annoying "happy" themes).

But, I mean, just listen to these samples yourself. The songs are cool, but they exist in such a raw and primitive form that they are terribly difficult to appreciate. The only songs that sound good are those that are meant to exist on simple synth, such as the opening track, which has a music box sound going on.

Somehow, this album became increasingly hard to find, yet the MIDI Special (released only three months after this album) is still in stock at gamemusic.com and features much higher quality sounds! I recommend the MIDI Special to you over this album, and over both of these albums I recommend the FMS reprint of the OST. This album is good for collectors, but is ultimately a disappointment for VGM fans young and old.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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