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Front Mission Gun Hazard Original Sound Version :: Review by Z-Freak

Front Mission Gun Hazard Original Sound Version Album Title: Front Mission Gun Hazard Original Sound Version
Record Label: NTT Publishing
Catalog No.: PSCN-5044/5 (1st Edition); NTCP-5044/5 (Reprint)
Release Date: February 25, 1996; October 1, 2004
Purchase: Buy at eBay


A year after the fantastic Front Mission, Square Enix releases a sequel. But, instead of creating another stratety-RPG, they chose to produce a platformer instead. Two of Square Enix's most known musical geniuses, Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda, were asked to compose for this title, bringing with them two newcomers: Masashi Hamauzu and Junya Nakano. Hamauzu and Nakano only composed 4 pieces each, but they left a nice impression. Here, I feel that all four composers pitched in equally to create one of the better Super Nintendo soundtracks, strong in both musical and sound quality.

A mistake many people make is comparing this soundtrack to the composers other works. Many will say it is not epic like the Final Fantasy series and not mood-setting like Chrono Trigger. What people need to understand is that this soundtrack was meant to sound militaristic and very serious, unlike the previous games. With that said, let's move along with this review.

Disc One

The album begins with the magnificent "Gun Hazard," which plays during the game intro and sets the standard for the entire soundtrack; it's serious and filled with military overtones. "Emergency" gets straight to the point: your president was nearly assassinated, the villain is hot on his tail, and you must PROTECT HIM AT ALL COSTS! "Last Words" is the game over theme, which is short, sad, and nothing more. "Tension," the world map theme, gets you mentally prepared to allow you to carefully choose your next location. "Shiver" starts off similar to Final Fantasy VI's "The Serpent Trench," however, loads of drum rolls make it evident that you're this is no easy mission and that success in your mission means everything. "A Shop Keeper" is jazzy at best, but doesn't stand up to Matsueda's "Shop" from the previous game. It's one of the less serious themes, and doesn't become annoying even after repeated listens.

Junya Nakano's sole contribution to Disc One is a good one. If you want rhythm and fast-paced music, "Enemy Raid" has it all. Nakano's "Amplification of Selves" from Another Mind was loosely based on this track. It spells panic all the way through, but also shows off Nakano's repetitive side. "Successful Attack" is easily one of the most interesting battle themes on this soundtrack. Well-composed, it puts the player at ease and helps you concentrate through the lengthy conflict. "Genoce" is another of the stand-out pieces of Disc One, also a battle theme. It is moderately-paced and has interesting passages and variations throughout the track. This one's a sure winner in my eyes. The disc ends with Hamauzu's "Naval Fortress," and right off the bat, Hamauzu shows off his skill at making an excellent theme very enjoyable. Excellent quality composition and above-average sound programming make this one of the best on Disc One.

Disc Two

Yasunori Mitsuda opens up the second part of the soundtrack with "Royce Felder," a serious character theme sprinkled with hints of hope and despair at the same time, which is unique, especially for a platformer. "A-R-K" is an interesting electronic theme — slow-paced, but very militaristic in its approach — and was probably used against a slow-moving but powerful opponent. "Cavern" is the ambient gem of the soundtrack, loaded with wind and voice effects, while tribal drums and xylophone represent the darkness of a cavern. When the instruments quiet down, you can almost hear a heart beat with a voice sample saying 'slayer', or something to that approach.

"Edel Ritter," composed by Nakano, is an interesting mix of drums, piano, and trumpets. I consider this piece to be one of Nakano's better compositions in the soundtrack. "Nature," by Uematsu, will remind Final Fantasy IV players right off of "Golbeza Clad of Dark." The organ definitely gets the creepiness across, as something evil must be going on as this plays. The soundtrack eventually closes with "Trial Zone," composed by Mitsuda. It's a fine ending theme, even by today's standards.


Should you buy this? It all depends on how much you want to pay. It's a rare find. I was able to get my copy through Yahoo Japan Auctions for about $60. Usually it goes for much higher, so make sure you have lots of cash in case the auction gets out of control.