Final Fantasy Mystic Quest – “Battle 1” (Ryuji Sasai)October 14, 2010
Final Fantasy Mystic Quest (aka Final Fantasy USA, 1993) is the poorman’s RPG for the SNES. Retaining only the title and the publisher of the famous series, Mystic Quest has absolutely nothing to do with the Final Fantasy series, including a basic battle system with some action elements. While the soundtrack is nowhere near the quality we’ve expected from other Squaresoft titles, there are a few notable tracks such as “Mountain Range of Whirlwinds,” “Battle 1” and “Battle 3”. Though I feel “Battle 3” is the best composed piece from the game with its nice layering, dynamics, and instrument combination of strings, guitar, and bells, “Battle 1” is the most memorable of all the tracks (and a nice composition to boot!).
After opening with a guitar drive into the arena and a short guitar opening, “Battle 1” moves to a trumpet section punctuated by bells, followed by a nice break to a mellow synth line and bell section. The final section contains a nice layering of the guitar, drums, and two synth lines for the most dynamic section of the song. “Battle 1” is intense, assaulting with heavy guitar and containing plenty of support from bells and strings; Ryuji Sasai is not afraid to smoothly switch between a guitar lead and different synth leads to produce a very progressive rock track with a well-defined melody that, in short, is just the kind of battle theme that made the game memorable. Once you’ve heard something like this even a half-dozen times in-game, the memory is there to stay, instantly recognizable even years later.
The game was composed by Yasuhiro Kawakami (Drakhen, Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII) and Ryuji Sasai (Final Fantasy Legend III, Bushido Blade 2), definitely not main composers for Squaresoft, but ones who seem to have put in a few heavy titles. Mr. Sasai composed the Battle themes, and his work is outstanding.
Mystic Quest saw one remix album, Misstik Kwest by the folks from Overlooked ReMix. The mixes are mostly garbage/joke tracks (such as Christian Pacaud’s “Meow Meow” mix of the “World”/Main Theme) to the bizarre (“My Sax Fell Into The Volcano” by Xenon Odyssey) but here and there some good pieces such as “And he returned home” by Diggi Dis and “The Ramones Meet Jimmy Page” by t3h real adam d. Most of the album though is not very good and the tracks are not in any particular order. Sadly, no notable mixes of the battle theme.