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Super Robot Taisen Gaiden: The Lord of Elemental Sound Storm

[back cover]
Catalog Number: KTCR-1376
Released On: May 25, 1996
Composed By: Daisuke Fujimoto, Shinichi Tanaka (3)
Arranged By: Takaaki Yasuoka
Published By: Kitty Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - The Wind of La Gias (Arrange Version)
02 - Endless Battle (Arrange Version)
03 - Scirocco! Gale! Cybuster
04 - Flame of the Chinese Gym Teacher
05 - From the Incompatable Land of Lakes and Marshes
06 - Flapper Girl
07 - Traditional Song: Mio's Jongara Song
08 - Endless Battle
09 - The Wind of La Gias
10 - KING OF KINGS
11 - Great Darkness
12 - Approaching Enemies
13 - Prologue
14 - Holy Emblem
15 - Footsteps of Destruction
16 - Sinking in Darkness
17 - Shadow Stalker
18 - Unrelenting March
19 - Nameless Master
20 - Protector
21 - Fallen Gods
22 - Wandering Souls
23 - Sudden Shock
24 - Bad Premonition
25 - War Preparations
26 - Dark Prison
27 - Blessing of the Gods
28 - Undying Sadness
29 - Opening
30 - Game Over
31 - Subtitle
32 - Title Logo
33 - Indian Summer
34 - Spring Breeze Presia
35 - Indian Summer Ver2
36 - Ending 2
37 - Everyday Routine
38 - Intermission
39 - Festival of Power and Art
40 - Ending 1
41 - Those Full of Pride
42 - Courage Within the Chest
43 - Guiding Light
44 - Because of You
45 - Indian Summer (Arrange Version)
46 - Ending 1 (Arrange Version)
Total Time:
72'41"

Super Robot Taisen "The Lord of Elemental" (Masoukishin) was a game released late in the lifetime of the Super Famicom. The game focused on the story of La Gias, the world within the center of the planet, and the protagonist was Masaki Andoh, who pilots the Cybuster. Unlike most SRT games, which use super-deformed cartoony images to depict the mechs, this game attempted a more realistic feel, making it look all the more like Squaresoft's "Front Mission" games.

This attempt to make the game seem more real, more intense, and more epic was matched by its soundtrack, which happens to be the second soundtrack ever released for the Super Robot Taisen series (which had already seen at least five game releases at this time). For people who love the capabilities of the SFC sound chip, this is one of the best soundtracks you can find; and since it's a relatively obscure album, it might be "new to you" and hence a worthwhile item to seek out.

There are four arranged tracks on the album, acting as book-ends for the tracklist. Among them, the more rock-oriented songs are at the beginning, and the softer songs take the ending. Both of the opening tracks are flat out awesome, literally some of the best arranged tracks in the entire SRT series. Guitar solos, well-timed hits, and catchy melodies make this music as catchy as some of the best we've heard from groups as diverse as Falcom, Konami, and Zuntata.

The original soundtrack proper, tracks 3 through 42, has a lot in common with the work of Sakuraba during this same era. Of course, I am refering to Tales of Phantasia and Star Ocean. The biggest similarity is the use of the synth bass (whether it be a "slap bass" sound, a more traditional, or some funky artificial bassy noise). The bass parts are consistently written in a way that is fast and rhythmic, and it lays down the structure for the song in such a way that it almost trumps the percussion. This style doesn't always work, but on the SFC sound chip, I feel the tonal quality is superb, not just for its time, but for all time.

Four standard genres of music are found on the soundtrack: there's "rock" (be it steady or fast), jazz, atmospheric/mood music (to set the tone, like in a film), and soft instrumental ballads (such as "Indian Summer"). Rock dominates the soundtrack, and is the biggest attraction to the soundtrack (at least for me), but the other three styles of music each get a fair bit of representation: Fujimoto did a decent job with all of them.

Really, this album is ideal for fans of soundtracks like Chrono Trigger, Front Mission, and Tales of Phantasia that would love to hear something fresh from this era of music that they simply never found. That's what it was for me, at the very least. At the time of its release, it was probably considered a subpar contender to the soundtracks of the aforementioned games, but now I think it's really a worthwhile album for those of you people wrapped up in the nostalgic look of gaming decades past. Also, Super Robot Taisen fans should pick up this album because many of the songs written and published here for the first time went on to be used many times over in games for PlayStation and PS2. Whatever your reason is for wanting it, the best place to start looking is Yahoo! Japan Auctions. It rarely shows on American online presences (such as eBay), considering the obscurity of the series in the US.

Reviewed by: Patrick Gann



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