Review: Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree’s Woe and the Blight Below

I’m a huge fan of Dragon Quest and the series music by Koichi Sugiyama. I also loved last year’s Hyrule Warriors, so I was looking forward to seeing and hearing the Dynasty Warriors formula applied to the Dragon Quest series. Would they take the route of including rock renditions of classic Dragon Quest themes to go along with the action, or would they adhere to the symphonic approach that the series has come to be known for?

While playing through Dragon Quest Heroes, every element drips with fan service, right down to the music and sound effects (some of the best in the business!). In the end, composer Koichi Sugiyama, who handled the music himself, opted for a classical style, arranging his themes from across the series using a synthesized orchestra library. While I would have loved to have heard some live music, the orchestral renditions contribute greatly to the waves of nostalgia that will hit players. The soundtrack is, of course, battle theme heavy, and Dragon Quest has some amazing battle themes. It was lovely getting to enjoy them once more while slashing through iconic Dragon Quest baddies, and the various town, castle, and other miscellaneous themes all fit together nicely into this package.

While I can’t say I know the music so well that I was able to pick out any new compositions, perhaps somebody out there will point them out if there are any. I’ve seen a lot of rumbling online about Square Enix’s policy about not allowing streaming of the game with the music on and wrongfully blaming Square Enix for this “ridiculous” policy, but in case any readers are finding this article because of that policy, I’d note that composer Koichi Sugiyama owns entirely the rights to his music, so the fact is that Square Enix can’t grant permission to streamers to play the game on live stream with the music on because it’s outside of their authority.

I’m guessing that even though most, if not all, of the music here is from previous games in the series, given that they’re new arrangements, there will likely be a soundtrack release. We can look forward to that along with the next Dragon Quest Heroes game!


As a huge fan of SoundTeMP’s work on Ragnarok Online and the varied contributors to Granado Espada, I’ve had my eye on Tree of Savior for a long time. From IMC Games, it’s been touted as the spiritual successor to Ragnarok Onliine, which is apparent in the visual presentation and the musical talent assembled for the game. It features audio lead Sevin (S.F.A) along with new contributions from SoundTeMP and Questrosound (aka Nikacha, formerly of SoundTeMP), and artist Kevin. In all, the music is amazingly well-produced, and I’d describe it as a happy medium between the poppy sound of Ragnarok Online and the classical/trance sounds of Granado Espada. There are many great moments throughout, and I’m definitely curious to hear this music in the context of the game.

It all starts with the Celtic-inspired main theme, “Tree of Savior,” which also gets a piano and live version on the album. Some of my favorite contributions include S.F.A’s “Due Solo” which combines orchestral and electronic elements into a classy and somewhat desperate soundscape, Questrosound’s “Forest of Shadows” with its dangerously dark strings and funky bass line, and SoundTeMP’s “Red and the Sun” with its gothic rock elements that makes it feel like a poppy version of Castlevania. There’s also Questrosound’s “Moonlight Walk” with its huge strings and brass that make it epic yet cool, SoundTeMP’s “Topaz” with its slow somber take on trance (one of my favorites on the album), and S.F.A’s “Pristinee” that stands out for its melancholy female vocals added to an electronic backing. SoundTeMP’s interestingly-named “Woman Peeling Potatoes” is the most metal of the tracks, with a great galloping rhythm, and their nine-minute-long “Angelus” features spooky electronics and piano. Finally, S.F.A’s grungy rock “Tori March” closes out with attitude.

Many of the other tracks here are equally brilliant, but I don’t want to spoil all of it. The set spans two discs, containing 33 tracks, and comes housed in a nice DVD-sized package with a magnetic latch to keep it closed. Unfortunately it’s only been distributed as a promotional item at events in Korea, but I imagine the music will make its way out into the world someday, and given that this is Volume 1, I’m sure there will be more. In the meantime, head over to the SoundCloud channels for both DESTRUCTOID and GamesRadar for some exclusive samples.


Noriyuki Iwadare fans rejoice! SuperSweep Records has done it again. While publishing rare and and sometimes never-before-released soundtracks has been the norm for Shinji Hosoe’s SuperSweep Records, fans of the strategy RPG series Langrisser (the original was released as Warsong in North America) will be pleased with this six-disc collection. It starts with the original Mega Drive version of the first Langrisser, and is followed by the beefier PC-Engine port that will likely be the highlight for many. It’s then on to Langrisser II, where listeners can take their pick from the Mega Drive or Super Famicom versions. There’s also a presentation of the music of Langrisser and Langrisser II as it appeared in the PlayStation remake, which spans two discs, and includes bonus tracks. Fans of Iwadare’s 32-bit era work on Lunar and Grandia will find this version much to their liking. The final disc features the Langrisser III soundtrack in its original previously-released form.

While various ports were handled by different artists, Iwadare’s thumbprint can be heard throughout. Wonderful synth work and driving rock tunes reign supreme, from the bold and adventurous “Story” and the guitar chugging “Knights errant” to the regal and sweeping “The Legend of Sword” and the prehistoric cave man rock in “Enemy 3 – Morgan” (one of my personal favorites). There’s a lot of great material here.

Fans of Iwadare, SRPGs, and specifically Langrisser will want to import the collection from CD Japan.