Originally released in the 1990s, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest did not quite meet the sales expectations that Square Enix projected in a time where they were hoping to drum up excitement for console RPGs. A repetitive and simple battle system and an inconsistent plot had seemingly marred the household name of Final Fantasy. Its music, however, has often been considered the greatest triumph of this lackluster game. The Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Remastered Soundtrack seeks to give a proper chance for the game to showcase its musical chops and I think it has wholly succeeded.
Overall, this album has it all: rock, synths, orchestrated ballads and a bunch of the flair that made some of the best Final Fantasy titles’ soundtracks so iconic. Most tracks seem to be a direct translation of the original songs with little artistic play, and the instruments’ sound seems to be improved in every department. There are a lot of songs to cover — twenty-five in all — so I’ll stick to some of my favorites and some not so much.
City of Wind — Windia
This track reminds me a lot of the beauty of Tifa’s Theme from Final Fantasy VII but with a simple flute and strong melody. While this particular melody is used throughout the game, with some eclectic stylings such as the fiesta-like sound of City of Fire — Faeria, for example, this is the best version of the melody in particular.
With synths offering a chord progression that seems stolen straight out of an eighties chart-topping song, this piece perfectly encapsulates the feeling of a mysterious forest. Haunting, sweeping, beautiful — it’s an iconic and memorable song, for sure.
Rock Theme (Tristam) (feat. Tiago Rodrigues)This goofy rock track is just too silly for its own good. It sounds like a Nickelodeon-style dance-off competition song between two contestants wearing gorilla costumes. I think there are plenty of better songs from the original soundtrack that could have been done other than this one, but I understand the inclusion of it for reference’s sake.
Lava Dome (feat. PirateCrab)This rock-fueled shred-fest is a great rendition of the original track, while still sticking to the main themes. Short and sweet but still energy-filled, it’s just overall a great track to jam out to. I personally feel that PirateCrab’s contributions to this album are some of the strongest offerings within it and this song is a great representation of that.
Rock ‘n’ RollAnother rock song that just sounds like it’s trying too hard to be a loose interpretation of Johnny B. Goode. I think a bit more artistic liberty would have set this apart from the original track, but as it stands, it just comes off as unnecessary filler.
Last Castle (feat. Tiago Rodrigues)An epic testament to the diversity of this album. This hard-rock hit has a screaming electric guitar that brings to mind an epic battle with a driving drum lead smashing throughout. Xylophone overuse is a bit much for my tastes, but the song does enough good otherwise to overshadow it.
EndingWith a sound resembling a cross between a classical ballad and possibly the opening title theme from an episode of your favorite eighties sitcom, this ending theme is a sweeping range between tunes and stylings. The sexy saxophone throughout the track is fitting and helps bring the album to a close, with a twinkling sound effect to round it all off.
I recommend that you check out the Final Fantasy Mystic Quest Remastered Soundtrack for yourself, as it has a bit of something for everyone. It’s good study music or just something to chill to, and PirateCrab does a masterful job at making metal versions of the original themes that are a treat to listen to.