Thursday, 6 December 2012

Waxing Lyrical: Kingdom of Alefgard

Welcome to Waxing Lyrical, the series where I look back on video game tracks from my childhood. These songs are the ones that has made the biggest impact on me growing up. Unlike Crowning Music of Awesome, these are songs directly from my childhood so expect to see songs from the big three franchises on here.

Today I am taking a trip back to the late 80's. The Super Nintendo was only a couple of years off and to fill my interest at the time was the trusty Nintendo. At the time I was being home-schooled by my parents, so in the morning I had more access to the system and could play whenever I wanted, or so I thought. One of the games that filled my free time was the original Dragon Quest (renamed Dragon Warrior in North America).

Dragon Warrior was the first RPG I had ever played. Before then my gaming experience was limited to Metroid, Super Mario, Legend of Zelda and Star Tropics. I cannot recall how we got the game, but I remember my dad showing me the opening screen and the hearing the triumphant fanfare. That day the my gaming world would be changed forever.

When I began playing that game, I had no idea what I was supposed to do. This wasn't Mario where I could just jump on Goombas. Every time I got into a battle, I had to plan my attack. Do I attack and if so do I use a Spell or my sword? I had to plan everything, which for a young, impulsive boy was nigh impossible. Of course I gave up trying to figure out the game and just proceeded to explore the world map.

The aptly titled track Kingdom of Alefgard is the one song from my past that has been etched into my memory and can recall it in an instant. With games like Mario, and Zelda, you hear countless remakes, from official works in games to OC ReMix to even Dubstep. But Kingdom of Alefgard, and generally the music from Dragon Quest series tends to be overlooked. At last count, there is only 4 versions of this song over on OC ReMix. Hopefully someday the team could give the same love and attention to the Dragon Quest series as they did with Final Fantasy.

Kingdom of Alefgard as I have stated earlier is a song that has stuck with me for years. It is a lonely song and solidifies your feeling of being one man vs the world. You have no willing allies to fight along side you as you face off against Slimes, Axe Knights and even the dreaded Dragonlord. You can't help but feel a bit scared and alone while listening to the track. When you are in town you are among people, but the moment you step out of the city gates, you are truly alone. This is a song you can get lost in.

I love listening to music from the old consoles. I am always amazed at the quality of music that the directors were able to achieve on limited technology. These days you mostly here big orchestrated pieces, but back then it was one one or two guys at an old computer.

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