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Liamland

Top 3 / Bottom 3 - Dragon Quest Music

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This is meant as a celebration of the music of Koichi Sugiyama, with some light criticism.  Overall I am a huge fan of the man's work and what it adds to the series.

 

Pretty simple idea: post your top 3 favorite DQ songs and your bottom 3, or least favorite.  I suggest posting YouTube links for your top picks, either OSTs or orchestral.

 

Top 3:

 

1. DQIV - The Unknown Castle - This is the Zenithian castle theme. It is a beautiful piece of music that I liked even when I first heard the DWIV OST from the 8-bit NES form.  I remembered this being particularly catchy and uniquely original.  8 years later I would hear the orchestral version for the first time and feel the same way.

2. DQIII - Heavenly Flight - The Phoenix Ramia theme - this track was later reused in DQVIII.  It's a serene and nice-sounding track that evokes sadness and happiness all at once.  It brings me back to flying over the DWIII map, from the first time I heard it.

3. DQII - Chateau - This is a legit classical piece that could stand alone in the Classical genre, outside of the Dragon Quest series.  I would consider some day having this professionally performed at my wedding (<disclaimer>should such an event ever occur.</disclaimer>)

 

Runner ups for the top 3:

DWIV's battle theme, DWVII's Pirates of the Sea, & the original Dragon Warrior walking theme

 

Bottom 3:

 

1. DQIX - Sandy's Theme - Known as Stella in the US version, this track is about as annoying as Stella's self-centered, bratty personality.

2. DQIX - Tavern Polka - Two bad songs in one game!  This second track is the annoyingly out of place theme from the Stornway Inn. It's only the most common Inn you'll be visiting throughout the pre and post-game, and it just happens to be one of the worst songs in the history of Dragon Quest.  This tune also features the first 5 notes of Disney's "It's a Small World (After All)".  Think about it.  Isn't that enough to warrant this worst DQ song ever?

3. DQVII - Mysterious Sanctuary - The Dharma Shrine theme from DW7, this is just a cacophonous blend of sounds that just doesn't hold together as a tune. It's a confusing Classical-Jazz fusion track that is not terribly pleasant to listen to, does not fit the game setting and is ultimately a complete fail.  Unfortunately in most of the orchestral soundtracks I own for DQVII it is tacked on to the end of a track that I do like, which is Sphinx.  I would just recommend shutting off the tune before Mysterious Santuary begins, or prepare your ears for the audio equivalent of vomit.

 

Runner up worst track: the DQIX Alltrades Abbey theme.  Koichi may be getting lazy in his old age.  That's just the DQ theme played in double-time!

 

Top song YouTube links.  Happy listening:

1. The Unknown Castle - DQIV -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VohqwSbmDAY

 

2. Heavenly Flight - DQIII -

 

3. Chataeu - DQII

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Sounds like fun. I'll be sure to revisit this topic later and post my favorites and least favorites then.

 

I have to say though, I'm surprised you don't like Mysterious Sanctuary all the much, LL. I find it to be a great piece and would consider it one of my favorites as I love that grand sound it has, realing fitting the setting of Dharma in DQ7. I'll admit that the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra version does have the brass and horns a little loud in the repeat of the main melody, as they over power the strings.

 

Still, everyone is completely entitled to their opinion, and I respect your take on the song.

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It's really hard to choose only three best, but right now my choice would be:

 

1. Heavenly Flight from DQVIII

 

2. Days of Sadness from DWVII

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gF9zc_x2k8

 

3. Memories of a Lost World from DWVII

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8ifjmgkr_A

 

Honorable mention: Overture (all DQs).

 

I've posted link to orchestrated version of Heavenly Flight and my guitar cover versions of second and third place.

 

I can't really decide on three worst, since I never thought about that. I don't really dislike any song, so the worst 3 would be the ones I least like.

  • Upvote 1

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I have to say though, I'm surprised you don't like Mysterious Sanctuary all the much, LL. I find it to be a great piece and would consider it one of my favorites as I love that grand sound it has, realing fitting the setting of Dharma in DQ7. I'll admit that the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra version does have the brass and horns a little loud in the repeat of the main melody, as they over power the strings.

 

Still, everyone is completely entitled to their opinion, and I respect your take on the song.

 

Yeah, this is a totally editorial, opinionated, completely open to peoples' tastes topic.  I remember not liking Mysterious Sanctuary in the PSX-OST, so I'm not sure the different version will matter, but I'm open to listening to it if you want to post the version you like.

 

Incidentally, the OST for Torneko: The Last Hope for PSX has some variations on the Torneko theme from DQIV, some of which are piano driven, in the style of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown styled jazz.

 

Additional honorable mention, the dungeon music from DWIV is pretty excellent cave music.  It always reminds me of skulking through a rocky dungeon or the mines.

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I can't really decide on three worst, since I never thought about that. I don't really dislike any song, so the worst 3 would be the ones I least like.

I've posted link to orchestrated version of Heavenly Flight and my guitar cover versions of second and third place.

 

Sweet covers.  Have you played them live or electric?  Video game cover bands have developed a bit of cult fanbase status in the US.  My two favorites are The Minibosses and Descendants of Erdrick, with an additional nod to Metroid Metal.

 

I have a few piano covers of DQVI that I can play.  I should really sit down and record them.

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Sweet covers.  Have you played them live or electric?  Video game cover bands have developed a bit of cult fanbase status in the US.  My two favorites are The Minibosses and Descendants of Erdrick, with an additional nod to Metroid Metal.

 

I have a few piano covers of DQVI that I can play.  I should really sit down and record them.

 

Thanks Liamland :)

I've played Memories of a Lost World on clean electrc guitar, and Days of Sadness on switched out electric guitar.

 

Honestly, I've never heard of any of them, will have to check them out.

 

Please do! I would love to see that. I've recently started to play piano myself.

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(This topic would benefit from being in the DQ forum instead of the Art forum; more people would see it.)

 

I had a hard time getting my favorites. It is just not possible... I did my best to come up with this list...

 

Adventure (III, The adventure of Dai)

My Road My Journey (II, The adventure of Dai)

Chateau Ladutorm (I)

Gypsy dance (IV)

Melody in an ancient town - Toward the horizon (V)

Eternal lullaby (VI)

Aboard ship - Pirates of the sea (VII)

Memories of a lost world - Moving through the present (VII)

Orgo Demila (VII)

 

From here, I went with the ones I select more often on the music player, so we have:

 

Gypsy dance (IV)

Eternal lullaby (VI)

Orgo Demila (VII)

 

I also have to mentions these two pieces, even if they are not Sugiyama-dono's compositions:

 

Yume wo shinjite. A pop song, but with a very nice feeling, and a message that brings you to believe in your dreams.

 

Shounen no hane. A very mystical sound, it reminds me of other fantasy animated series, like Rayearth and Escaflowne.

 

As for the bottom 3... I could not come up with much. The one I selected is definitely not one I dislike, just one that is slow and I would not choose to listen too often, especially if I am at work (other slow pieces would not make me sleepy, but this one would).

 

Balloon's flight (IV)

 

That's it.

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Hah.  Balloon's Flight (DQIV) I find interesting, because it's so long.  It's not really catchy, but it's one of the longest NES OST tracks I've ever heard.  They left all of the different movements in there, no cropping or editing down.

 

The first time I'd ever heard Balloon's Flight was not actually in DWIV, but in the Dragon Warrior (Abel Yuusha) cartoon show.  The show featured orchestral covers of the game music, and in certain cases it featured music from games that were not yet released in the US, for instance: Dragon Warrior III and Dragon Warrior IV.

 

The Abel cartoon debuted in 1989, in the US, before Dragon Warrior III was launched.  The 13-episode series ended in 1991, a few months before DWIII was released in the US.  Dragon Warrior IV was released in 1992.  That means many of the show viewers who were watching Dragon Warrior when it first aired were hearing the orchestral music from Dragon Warrior games before the games were released and available for any of the other Dragon Warrior fans to play.

Edited by Liamland

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If not for Koichi Sugiyama, I truly doubt that I'd have stayed a fan of DQ. I am absolutely enthralled with the symphonic suites. Play them while teaching. Play them at home. In the car. In my dreams.

 

With that said, a Top 3/Bottom 3 is quite difficult. But:

  • Sky, Ocean and Earth - DQ8
  • Elegy - DQ4
  • Chateau - DQ2

 

My other 7 in the Top 10

  • Days of Sadness - DQ7
  • Remembrances - DQ8
  • Distant Memories - DQ3
  • The Unknown Castle - DQ4
  • Gloomy Cavern - Dungeon Waltz - DQ9
  • Destiny - Prologue to Tragedy - DQ9
  • Heavenly Flight - DQ8

Note: IMO, my Top 10 are all deserving of a #1 spot. But, I listed them from most favorite, to slightly less most favorite.

 

Bottom 3 was a bit easier to narrow down:

  • Sphinx ~ Mysterious Sanctuary - DQ7
  • Satan - DQ5
  • Tough Enemy - DQ4

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Just a tip for you. Never see localized names as "canon" anything. Just as localized names.

 

You will live happier that way.

 

Otherwise, you could say another canon name for Mireille (I will call her that until a more trustworthy official material names her other than "Milayou", as whe was in some Japanese materials) would be "Mencía". We do not need lots of "canon" names for her. Let's stick to the original name. :D

 

EDIT:

 

Was Limbo also used as the last stage in Joker? I kind fo remember it was, but I am not sure.

 

I also like the winter stage music from DQM2.

Edited by Cesar Hernandez-Meraz

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The tracks I prefer tend to vary depending on the symphonic or original midi.  Some, like the town theme from Dragon Quest II, I thoroughly enjoy the midi, but I'm not as preferential to the symphonic version.

 

My favourites of the Original Midi are:

 

Dragon Quest I- Overworld, Dragonlord, and Village!
Dragon Quest II- Pantheon of Evil Spirits: Final world map theme, Ship, and Malroth!
Dragon Quest III- ...and into the Legend: Town at Night, Overworld 1, and Zoma!
Dragon Quest IV- Chapters of the Chosen: Torneko, Gypsy Dance/Battle, and Final Boss.
Dragon Quest V- Hand of the Heavenly Bride: Battle, Faerie Lea, and the Ship.
Dragon Quest VI- Realms of Reverie: Flying Dragonback to Murdaw's Castle, Bed, and Mortamor!
Dragon Quest VII- Warriors of Eden: Tower, Days of Sadness (the song that plays whenever tragedy strikes and it cannot be remedied or undone), and Orgodemir!
Dragon Quest VIII- Journey of the Cursed King: Overture, Flying, and Tower.
Dragon Quest IX- Sentinels of the Starry Skies: Observatory, Erinn's Inn, Protectors of the Starry Sky (credits music).

 

It would be very hard to break the above down from there, especially when I have trouble loading youtube videos, and I can't find a good site to let me listen to DQ soundtracks in their original form.  However I do have the Symphonic Suites of 2-5, 7, and 8, with the piano Suite of 6 (is that the only symphonic suite of 6?  it's all I could find when I was looking).

 

Anyway, I'll break those down game by game, then decide amongst them my top 3 and then figure out my bottom 3.

 

My favourites of the Symphonic Suites are (I refuse to break these down into sets of 3, especially given the level of sophistication, breadth, and scope present in 3, 6, 7, and 8):

 

Dragon Quest II Symphonic Suite: Chateau, Endless World, Beyond the Waves

Dragon Quest III Symphonic Suite: Prologue, Grueling Fight, Into the Legend

Dragon Quest IV Symphonic Suite: In a Town, Comrades, The End

Dragon Quest V Symphonic Suite: Lively Town, Melody of Love, Noble Requiem

 

Dragon Quest VI Piano Suite: Ocean Waves, Melancholy, Another World

Dragon Quest VI Symphonic Suite: Ocean Waves, Demon Combat, Eternal Lullaby

 

Dragon Quest VII Symphonic Suite: Shadow of Death, Orgo Demila, Days of Sadness

Dragon Quest VIII Symphonic Suite:

 

 

Honorable mentions: Roto (DQ3, favourite March version), Around the World (DQ3), Fighting Spirits (DQ3), Heavenly Flight (DQ3/8), Flying Bed (DQ6), every song not in my top 3 from the DQ7 soundtrack...I've been listening to it for 3 days straight,

 

 

I noticed there is a LOT of carryover from 3 into 8.  Some of them are remixed slightly, such as Zoma's theme was rendered less cautiously and more overtly menacing.

 

I find it interesting I used to find Dragon Quest 2 as my favourite, but that is only comparing the original NES tracks.  Symphonically I give it to 3, then 7 as my two favourite overall soundtracks, with 6 and 8 almost neck and neck for 3rd place.

 

Still deciding on the others...I'll get back to this later.

 

Strangely enough, listening to 4, I feel almost like I'm watching some of the early bond films.  Comrades would meld quite fluidly with "From Russia With Love".  Dragon Quest 3 feels more like a "Raider's of the Lost Ark" sweeping adventure, ending at the "Temple of Doom".

 

 

I'll tackle 6 and 7 tomorrow.  5 was pretty rough going.  A lot of good music, but not much truly stands out, though as a whole it's a fantastic soundtrack, and one of the few where the Suite and original Midi sound virtually identical.  I find few hidden notes and subtle alterations/transitions anything between them.  Very hard to pick.

 

Ok, so I was able to get youtube to load up the playlist for 6's symphonic suite, and added it to the above.  Quite a different experience from the piano, which seems to highlight the powerful undertones of certain tracks, like Another World, or accentuates the softness of other tracks like Ocean Waves (I actually prefer DQ6's ship theme to all other ship themes).  The symphonic suite is really something though...I mean really powerful.  I wish they would release a version of DQ6 in the future that borrows from the suite, like with DQ8 PS2 US/EU.

 

Listening to 6's symphonic suite, I have to say, I can really see where the other gaps exist in what inspired 8's soundtrack.  6 and 3 were used as either direct rips or inspiration for original pieces in 8.  I'm really amazed at how powerful 6 is...it feels like it was inspired by Beethoven.

 

6's suite is just...I guess the best word for it is explosive.  Here's what it would sound like riding around on your bed with this soundtrack done proper-like (nemo eat your pillow fluff):

 

 

Though the truly frightening element to this is knowing Dwaine will undoubtedly take pictures of himself on his bed...in odd poses.  Nevertheless, the point stands!

 

Haha, yeah, there's just too much great music.  Be it fun and lighthearted, frightening, tragic, and even mysterious.

Edited by ignasia7

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Mentioning three from each game... I should have thought of that!

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I like the way you think, ignasia7. I'm going to follow your example and do the same with my choices.

 

(Note: My choices are picked irregardless of symphonic or original renditions of songs, and are in no particular order. Just thought I'd mention that for no real reason. :P )

 

Dragon Quest I: Unknown World, The Dragonlord, Finale

Dragon Quest II: Chateau, Endless World (both when Hero is alone and with Cannock/When all 3 characters are together), My Road, My Journey

Dragon Quest III: Prologue, Town theme, Sailing

Dragon Quest IV: Casino theme, Battle for the Glory, Cursed Towers

Dragon Quest V: Toward the Horizon, Tower of Death, Satan (Nimzo battle theme)

Dragon Quest VI: Ocean Waves, Pegasus, Demon Combat

Dragon Quest VII: Heavenly Village, Magic Carpet, Memories of a Lost World

Dragon Quest VIII: Sanctuary, War Cry, Great Battle in the Vast Sky

Dragon Quest IX: Angelic Land, Stella's Theme, Journey to the Star-Filled Skies

Dragon Warrior Monsters: Terry's World, Never Ending Journey, Fun Encounter (Starry Shrine/Monster Breeding theme)

Dragon Warrior Monsters 2: Greatlog's Theme, Carrying Courage, Peaceful Town

Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2: Main theme of Joker games, Aboard the Skyship (Skyship theme), Confronting the Wicked (this is the song you hear prior to fighting bosses such as Rigor Mortex. I just came up with a name for it since I couldn't find an official one)

 

 

Top 5 DQ Songs: Homeland (IV), Sky, Ocean, Earth (VIII), Moving Through the Present (VII), Strange World (VIII), Monsters in the Dungeon (V)

 

Honorable Mentions: Battle with Mireille/Milayou (DWM 1&2 rendition), and a whole lot of tracks from the other games.

 

 

There aren't any songs that I would consider my least favorites, but I will say that I'm not really a fan of DQIX's soundtrack. It's alright, but to me it just doesn't compare to the soundtracks to the eight that proceeded it. In other words, it's just not that rememorable to me.

 

 

Honestly it was hard to narrow down my choices, especially in regards to VI, VII, and VIII. I adore the work Sugiyama did for all three of those games, and would certainly say they are my most listened to soundtracks from his work.

Edited by YangustheLegendaryBandit

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I cannot pick 3 DQ tracks to be the top. Sugiyama is just too great a composer.

 

Let me use this post as a chance to plug a YouTube playlist. Without further adeu, "Sugiyama Music"!

https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzuV1o4SvMyZploPdfhLfJNvBx3c1rAwa

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I don't have a bottom three, so I'm going to give my Top 3 for each of the games.

Dragon Quest I:

- Unknown World

- Fight

- Dungeon

 

Dragon Quest II
- A Lonely Youth

- Deathfight

- Busy City Streets 

 

Dragon Quest III

- Adventure

- Fighting Spirits

- Heavenly Flight

 

Dragon Quest IV

- Homeland

- Frightening Dungeons

- Gypsy's Dance

 

Dragon Quest V

- Toward the Horizon

- Melody of Love

- Dark World

Dragon Quest VI

- Dream World

- Ocean Waves

- Inviting Village

 

Dragon Quest VII

- Memories of a Lost World

- World of the Strong

- With Sadness in Heart

 

Dragon Quest VIII

- To the Vast World

- Battle in the Heavens

- Ah Yes, That Time

 

Dragon Quest IX

- The Palace Oboe

- Cross the Fields, Cross the Mountains

- Are you a Loser?

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Haha.  The battle music from DQIX is really called "Are you a Loser?"??

Edited by Liamland

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On the OST, it's called that.   On the Symphonic Suite it's called Build up to Victory.

 

That's the problem with DQ song names, they have multiple names depending on versions.  And not to mention translations.

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Haha.  It's still a hilarious translation.

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Well, I guess the original idea was: negative reinforcement.  I mean half the theme was the main character is a fallen angel who looses all his powers, and must become strong again, then get stronger, then find out what the bloody heck is going on, all while appeasing an annoying twit of a fairy, who I liked at first, but over time...eh, not so much, and is only a step above Tinkle and a bare two-and-a-half above Navi.  Oh dear lord, let Navi be placed in a bottle forevermore!

 

Since Stella's bossin' around the hero for a bit, I guess it amounts to the mental and emotional strength of our Hero in his exascerbating quest to keep his flap-happy fairy friend feint and far away.

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Does the symphonic piece include anything other than that battle theme?

 

I have seen other cases when the OST has the individual track names. Symphonic has names for the complete piece, which might include more than one track. Or it may even list all the individual names, too.

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Symphonic Suite also includes the Boss theme.

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There are some really good choices there. For me, my top 3 would have to be:

 

"Homeland" from DQIV (orchestral version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1602EJC__I

 

"Endless World" from DQII (orchestral version)

 

"Memories of a Lost World" from DQVII (which I've also done a cover of on my YouTube channel)

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My favorite DQ Musics of all are

 

1: Heavenly Flight from DQ3~8, Symphonic version.

 

2: Adventure, DQ3, Symphonic Version

 

3: Homeland, DQ4, NES Original Version ( gasp! Chiptune! )

 

4: Overture of the Roto Trilogy, any version. Can't beat the original.

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The most interesting thing about Sugiyama's music is its great contrapuntal nature. Take fugues like the DQ1 or DQ3 castle themes, or "The Saint" from DQ6.

 

 

Is cringe a vital human necessity?

That fugato section in the Baramos battle theme is also quite extraordinary.

 

 

Is cringe a vital human necessity?

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