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The Scheme :: Review by Don

The Scheme Album Title: The Scheme
Record Label: Alfa Music
Catalog No.: 25A2-8
Release Date: December 21, 1989
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


Yuzo Koshiro isn't a stranger to the world of video games. In fact, he's been there since the beginning. His most popular works are comprised of the ActRaiser series and early Ys games. However, he's also done a myriad of other works ranging from Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin to the Wangan Midnight series. He's also a master of various styles, which can be seen in the soundtracks mentioned. However, The Scheme is probably the soundtrack that put on him on the map as this was his first big freelance composition. How does it compare to some of his more popular works and is it worth listening to this album? You'll just have to read on to find out.


This soundtrack, in my opinion, is one of Koshiro's best. There are a few tracks that don't really stand out, unfortunately. "Shout Down" is a track that definitely has some nice development going for it. Unfortunately, the melody is of such an importance that, if you want to make a lasting track, it has to be at least decent. To me, this track doesn't really provide much impetus for continued listening, but it is a nice track overall. Another track with some nice developments, but a rather weak melody is "Death World." Here, I like the sinisterness heard in the piece, but in the other version of this soundtrack, it's much more prominent.

On the other hand, Koshiro also offers a lot of stellar tracks. For example, "Into the Lair" has a nice jazzy feel with a pretty decent melody. "Challenging Tomorrow" is another favorite of mine. While it follows the same pattern as the other catchy tracks on the album, this one seems to develop a bit better. I love the melody the most though. It sounds very Mega Man-like, which is never a bad thing. It truly is a wonderful track to say the least.

My favorite theme is "Thousand Eyes." While some may find it less developed than "Challenging Tomorrow," the composition itself makes up for that. The melody is extremely catchy and I love the overall feel of the track. It just has an aura about that makes you want to listen to it over and over again. "Perpetual Dark!" is probably my second favorite piece on the album. It's got a nice motivating melody, which is also infectiously catchy, and a nice overall feel to the track. It's something truly magical!

In addition to the original sounds, there are also arranged versions of some of the tracks mentioned above don't sound as good as their simpler counterparts. Examples of these include "Perpetual Dark!" and "Thousand Eyes." The pseudo-rock style of "Perpetual Dark!" gives the track a bit of an edge and improves the overall tone of the piece. As for "Thousand Eyes," my gripe here is the percussion. By adding a steady percussion line with the occasional accent, there are some sections of the track where percussion in the original shines and is absent in this version. They're still enjoyable, but nothing to get excited over. I do like the addition of the organ and strings though!

On the other hand, "I'll Save You All My Justice" is actually a better representation than its sound board version counterpart. While "I'll Save You All My Justice" can get a bit old after a while, this version is much better. The melody is accentuated by the percussion line and the track overall feels much better and more enjoyable. Likewise, the development in this version is superb since so many different synth styles are used and there are some rock and jazz elements incorporated into the arrangement. It's truly a feast for the ears.


The Scheme is definitely an interesting soundtrack. It offers the original sound version and a few arrangements. There is something here for everyone, between the infectiously catchy melodies or the contrast between the original and arrangements. I think most people will enjoy this and will be able to understand how this soundtrack pretty much put Koshiro on the map for freelance work. As this soundtrack is out-of-print, you might want to consider The Scheme Soundtrack instead, which features a second sound board version at the expense of some arrangements.

Overall Score: 8/10