Friday, February 02, 2018

Introducing the indie RPG Lost Legend: Tale of the Mursan Knights!

Over the last few years I became a nut for RPG Maker games, with Legionwood I & II being the first that truly got me hooked.  As a fan of the RPG genre since the first Ys, Dragon Warrior, and Final Fantasy games, RPG Maker made it possible to once again relive the  classic adventures of my youth.  I'm always supporting indie game composers on Bandcamp and buying their albums and playing their games whenever possible.  So when I learned of another quality RPG Maker game in development entitled Lost Legend: Tale of the Mursan Knights by Alyssa Boettcher a few months ago, I decided to make it the first game I will be supporting on Patreon. I played the demo and loved every minute! Currently, the demo is around 4 hours and available to try out at the game's Patreon page. Support is needed for the creator to continue the development and completion of the game.  I highly recommend giving it a go! I'm all about helping others to fulfill their dreams, and I'm on board as a supporter for the long haul!  

There world of Lost Legend is put together very well  through lore which you uncover as you progress.  Set against the backstory of a war between gods and a goddess, the game begins with an elf named Klayton and his companion Lauren in the middle of exploring a dungeon known as the Majul cave in search of an artifact.  I love the way it begins, right in the middle of the action.  After the mission in the Majul Cave doesn't yeild any answers, Klayton continues on alone.  Without spoiling too much, (PLAY THE DEMO!) it only gets better from there. As for the game's battle system, there are random encounters, with turn-based battles in the style of  Dragon Quest. Battles can be a little tough sometimes, so don't let your guard down, (which I say, having learned the hard way!). The cast of characters come to life with beautiful portrait artworks, along with changes in their facial expressions according to the very polished script. Gorgeous and very fitting musical scores await you for the highly detailed locations you will traverse.  

An epic story awaits!

Attention to detail:  Klayton is given a bandana by Lauren early in the game. From that moment on Klayton can be seen wearing the bandana in his portrait and even his sprite! There are even different sound effects when you walk on certain surfaces. This brings a sense of realism to the game's environments. Get ready to brush up on your puzzle solving skills!

Magic & Experience:  Characters have their own set of Techs they can learn by gaining levels, which consume magic points when used. In additions to status increases, experience and coins are earned at the end of battles. Speaking of which, the battles are slick, you'll like them.  The music rocks and you won't get bogged down in slow battles, they're fast. You can buy weapons, armor, and items in towns.  This approach is traditionally how I prefer it.  There's a great story here, and an over complicated leveling system in my opinion wouldn't allow the the game's world to shine as well as it does. As for saving your progress, save points can be found in towns and dungeons.      

Outside Majul Cave on the world map


Richly detailed environments bring the story to life

Lost Legend: Tale of the Mursan Knights is an epic fantasy role playing game that is a lot of fun with colorful characters and dialog that is not only well written, the story is shaping up beautifully. Your help in becoming a Patreon supporter or by spreading the word about this fantastic upcoming game is greatly appreciated!  Here is a link to the Lost Legend Patreon if you would like to try out the demo!

Lost Legend on Patreon!

Monday, April 08, 2013

Collection Update 4-8-13

Just posted another update with 5 albums, and new pictures added to the collection page!
My Game Music Collection  
Thanks for reading!  See you again soon!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Collection Update!

Updated the Collection page today with some all new soundtracks  and digital albums added to the list!

My Game Music Collection

Friday, March 08, 2013


I managed to get this amazing album from Surugaya-a-too at the Rakuten Market!  That place has become my destination for rare and hard to find Doujin Albums.  "Flourish" is presented by Ebox/DustStar with contributions from 11 musicians, and features 12 tracks arranged in various styles from, but not limited to, orchestral, jazz, piano, and even a little hip hop.
The artists involved have done a superb job of staying true to the melodies of composer Hiroki Kikuta while expanding greatly upon the lush tapestry of sound he created.  
The length of the album, released in 2004, is approximately 48:30.

I've listened to this album several times now, and it's so well done, I have to dissect it track by track.

1.  Sweet Memories (By Ebox) 3:24
Piano, orchestration, and new age ethereality.  I was shocked by the beauty!  The best way to describe this is to compare it to a painting.  It starts with a few very subtle notes, or brush strokes, but soon after you're fully transported into the canvas that is the World of Mana.  Run on, with no boundaries, that's what I get from this.  Absolutely wonderful, and somewhat reminiscent of Falcom's Legend of Heroes IV Electric Orchestra album. 
Listen to "Sweet Memories"!
2. Tell a Strange Tale (By Gimlet) 4:19
Very soothing.  The tempo is slowed down somewhat from the game version, and you'll relax to the sounds of flutes, drums, and more sweeping orchestrations. I'd prefer it to be a little faster, but that's really kind of nitpicking, it's still fantastic.

3. Meridian Dance (By Dynastess) 3:43
Changing things up a little bit from the previous two tracks, with a little tech-infused Celtic flair! 
That might sound like a weird combination, but it really works here.  I like this version more than the original, I think, because of the variety in instruments.

4. The Boy Aims for Wild Fields (By ミュー) 3:28
First of all, the original music is downright legendary.  Mr. Kikuta absolutely nailed the feeling of traversing through lush fields and forests.  Here on the Flourish Album, it's one of the few that really sticks closely to the sound of the original.  They're pretty identical in many respects, but that's not a bad thing!  The sound quality is greatly improved, the flute is captivating, and there's a little added percussion.  PERFECT.
Listen to "The Boy Aims for Wild Fields"!
5. Danger (By Snow) 1:58
The main boss theme of the game is here!  It begins sounding a little like a midi, then just keeps getting better as it goes on.  It's pretty intense, and even a somewhat frightening at the 45 second mark!  When the main chorus kicks in, it becomes heroic, just like the original!  After the chorus, the song takes a turn to the retro, and you realize there's a lot of levels to this arrangement, it's quite amazing!  It gets pretty quiet towards the end with a some bass, and it closes out rather abruptly.  I wish it looped, though that's only a minor complaint.  At a length of 1:58, it's the shortest track on the album. 

6. Roses and Spirits (By 草原翼) 4:17
This has to be my favorite on the album, due to it's unique arrangement.  The track opens on a very subtle note with just a few drum beats, and continues on a calmly enough. At around 1:34 this thing becomes a new creature altogether when a late 80's or early 90's style hip hop drum sample kicks in.  It adds such a new dimension to this piece!  I never thought I would hear something like this!  It's phenomenal!          
"Listen to Roses and Spirits"!
7. Prophecy (By Supply) 4:15
This is one of those arrangements that takes a drastically different approach and calms things down quite a bit.  Light piano and orchestrations are aided by a much slower tempo, resulting in something that resembles a completely new piece rather than the "Prophecy" you know and love.  It's almost unrecognizable, but undenyingly beautiful.

8. Spirit of the Night (By AD794) 5:49
Taking the sad, melodic theme of "realizing you just pulled a sword from the water, made a monumental mistake, and now you gotta fix it," and turning it into a ballad.  That's exactly what this feels like.  Now that I think about it, the original piece does sound like a ballad too!  Only here a guitar solo throughout really brings it home.  I remember the moment from the game fondly, being upset at getting kicked out of the village and this extremely sad music playing.  The original fit the scene perfectly, and this version by AD794 intensifies the feeling of isolation caused by curiosity.  I love it!

9. What the Forest Taught Me (By Ebox) 2:29
Kikuta's original piece presented a somewhat playful melody, and it's amplified here in the form of a jazzfest, and nicely done!  The sax isn't all that realistic, but it doesn't need to be really.  It still sounds great, and doesn't diminish the interpretation in the least.  It closes out sounding more like a lullaby than anything else.

10.  Give Love it's Rightful Time (By 大臣) 4:22
Combining "Steel and Snare" along with it, we have a nice medley here that echoes the jazz brought in by the previous track, only merged together with a touch of tech.  The bass is awesome, as are the drums.  It really captures the essence of being on a grand adventure, and I really like the trumpet, which brings a Latin vibe to the piece.       

11. Did you See the Sea (By 矢鴇つかさ) 3:58
I absolutely love this!  New Age, Subterranean, Techno, Fusion, it's all here and it's fantastic!  It's hard to describe, it just works so well.

12. Meridian Dance (By RIO) 6:19
The track list says Meridian Dance, but it's more than that.  Not at all the same as the arrangement as track 3.  Peppered throughout you'll hear the main theme of Seiken Densetsu 2/Secret of Mana, "Fear of the Heavens."  There's a lot of weight here, you get the feeling the fate of the world really is at stake.  It's a strong interpretation, and epic.  Sound-wise, it's more techno-infused orchestrations, and man, do I love that sound.  It reminds me heavily of Growlanser I - IV.  If you listen close you can hear a hint of "Whisper and Mantra," from the Water Palace area in the game.  The arrangement closes out with the game over theme "I closed My Eyes," done acoustic style.

I highly recommend tracking down this album if you can find it.  Even though it comes on a CD-R, don't be fooled by that, it's phenomenal, and a breath of fresh air.  If you were let down that the latest official Seiken Densetsu 2 Arrange Album wasn't really arranged at all, but instead just somewhat improved, this is the Arrange Album you've wanted.  I only wish more material was covered (Star of Darkness next time please).  I always check out the shops at the Rakuten Market where I found it, and a lot of albums I see there sell out and pop up again later.  If I come across it again I'll be sure to tweet about it and send out links on where it is.  I would love to hear a follow up album from the same crew, they have truly created something special with this album.

Score: 9/10        


Friday, February 15, 2013


My experience in getting the album signed by both of it's composers is something I wanted to write about for a long time.

Out of all the soundtracks I was fortunate to get autographed, the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance OST was probably the hardest to get done.  The music for the game was created by Nobuo Uematsu and Hitoshi Sakimoto, and the two men haven't appeared together at any of the concerts I've attended.   I think Uematsu has appeared in the U.S. far more than any other Japanese composer currently residing in Japan.  I was able to meet with Mr. Uematsu several times over the many concerts I've enjoyed, but only met Mr. Sakimoto once. 

One more thing, I'm an extremely shy person.  Being so shy it takes a lot for me to meet composers, I always feel like I've made a fool of myself.  Fortunately all of the composers I had the chance to meet with are very gracious, humble people.  That still doesn't make it any easier for me.  Sheesh, I totally can't handle it.

In 2006 I was following the Play! A Video Game Symphony tour around the U.S. and in Detroit Mr. Sakimoto and Ms. Yoko Shimomura were the guests.  Among the soundtracks I bought for Mr. Sakimoto to sign was the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance OST.  At the time, I never imagined I would meet Mr. Uematsu again, so I was happy just getting Mr. Sakimoto to sign it.  I also had my Breath of Fire V,  Kingdom Hearts I & II and  Final Fantasy XII soundtracks with me.

I have a habit of trying to get the CD's and the liner notes signed whenever the opportunity presented itself, and I felt very lucky, even though the line was long, Mr. Sakimoto did it for me for the FF Tactics Advance OST.  He was great, and even thanked me for getting the limited edition of the FF XII Soundtrack.  I think at the time his English was not as sharp as it is today, so I didn't get to have much of a conversation with him.

I had actually run into Mr. Uematsu again at the Toronto Play! Concert in the Fall of 2006.  This was a very rushed autograph session, not much time for anything.  I got the FF VII OST signed for my brother, and a couple more that I can't recall.     

Fast forward to the Final Fantasy Distant Worlds Inaugural Concert in Chicago, December 2009.
This time I came prepared for the autograph session.  Well, as best as I could.   I was very impressed by Mr. Uematsu's English as he spoke to the crowd following the concert.  (WHICH WAS AMAZING)  However, I was still nervous thinking about meeting the legend again.  Like I said, I can't handle it!  Now, after the show, I was finally about to try and get this album signed by it's other composer.

Mr. Uematsu asked "why are you shaking?."  I nearly died laughing!  That was actually good for breaking the ice, and I felt much more comfortable then.  When I presented him with the Final Fantasy Tactics Advance OST, Mr. Uematsu immediately noticed Mr. Sakimoto's signature.  Then he said something which I'll never forget:  "Oh, Sakimoto-San, he's my friend, we were very drunk."

That was one of the best times of my life!

Thursday, February 07, 2013


Captain America #193 was the issue Jack Kirby returned not only to Marvel, but to writing and drawing the hero he created along with Joe Simon.  The cover, inked by John Romita, was an experiment in creating a 3D effect.  The gimmick didn't work out as planned, according to what I've read, but we were still presented with one of the most dynamic comic book covers ever created.  It's definitely my favorite cover of all time.

I managed to get a copy of the book several years ago at Anime Weekend Atlanta, and always had it hanging on the wall.  The cover is just so inspiring to me.  In early 2012 I decided to try remaking the cover with Megaman.  If you know me at all, you know I love drawing Megaman!  Shortly after I penciled it, my computer crashed and was unable to be repaired.  At the time, the funds to get a new one just weren't available to me until December.

By the time I got new system, I had amassed quite a collection of unfinished pencil artwork I'd done during those lonely 8 months without a computer.  I figured if I wanted to do this recreation the way I imagined, I would need one.

With everything back in order, I went straight for the pencils I made and began inking away.  By the time I was done, I really liked the way it came out.  The colors were done with a mouse, but I didn't use my normal color mapping technique, so the inks were preserved.  I don't currently use a tablet, which is why I usually map my colors out with a pen.  The results of my color mapping often render the original art useless, unless I do them from a photocopy.  This cover has been in my Deviant Art gallery for a little while now, but I really wanted to tell the story about it here.  I hope you enjoy seeing the stages and the finished product!  Here are the pencil, ink and color stages with a few notes:

The original pencils were done on 8 1/2 X 11 typing paper.  Here is a photo of the pencils alongside the actual comic book.

Here are the inks!  I traded Falcon for Protoman, and replaced all of the angry mob with Robot Masters.  Can you name all of them?  The little Megaman in the upper left was eventually redrawn and digitally resized to fit with the other text and images.

Here is the finished product!  I used Photoshop Elements 9 and Photo Impression 4 quite a bit in this stage.  I digitally transferred the "Madbomb" text and all of the rest from a scan of the original cover, also digitally adding the Megaman logo at the top.  I changed the text in the blurb where it normally said "King Kirby is back!", to "Inafking is back!", referring to Keiji Inafune, the "father" of Megaman, who recently left Capcom.  I digitally signed it as "GMF" in the upper left where the month of release was previously, and added a dedication at the bottom where Kirby and Romita's signatures were.  Now that this one is complete, I've set my sites on recreating Liefeld and McFarlane's classic New Mutants #87 cover with Megaman! Later!!

Sunday, January 20, 2013


I'm not gone, but I was for most of 2012.  I didn't have a computer most of last year.  I'll make it up by creating a lot more content this year!  The collection page was updated today with all new pictures of the music I got.  If you would like to take a look, click the link below.  See you soon!

Gamemusicfreak's Collection