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Monday, July 17, 2017

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Original Soundtrack

Back in April, Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap was released for the PS4, XBO and Switch with a PC release following in June. The game is a  1 to 1 remake of the 1989 Sega Master System title, Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap with two big changes: a gorgeous, hand drawn art style and a completely reworked soundtrack, the later which is what we're hear to gush over today.

The Dragon's Trap score was originally written by Shinichi Sakamoto, who also wrote the bulk of music for the Wonder Boy/Monster World series. Music on the Master System may sound a lot softer when compared to the NES and he might not be as well known among video game music fans as Yoko Shimomura or Koji Kondo, but Sakamoto is still a fantastic music writer and his compositions for Wonder Boy III, even on the Master System hardware, were nothing short of extraordinary.

Any fears that Sakamoto's music was somehow going to be butchered with this remake are immediately laid to rest with the what could arguably be considered the best track of the game, Last Dungeon (actually the very first area you play through). Last Dungeon is a Wonder Boy staple theme of sorts as it has been used in numerous Wonder Boy titles. This arrangement evokes a sense of excitement but also dread, as if it were foreshadowing the curse that is soon to befall Wonder Boy/Wonder Girl. Monster-Town, the central hub world of the game is a bright, jubilant piece. Endless War is just freaking beautiful.

Not only does the remastered soundtrack of The Dragon's Trap do justice to the original source, it improves upon it. In the original game, the Shop theme was also used as the hospital theme. It retains the jovial tone of the original while playing radio static in the background, which is fitting since the Smoking Pig has a radio in his shop. The Hospital music is a lovely club jazz arrangement of the Shop theme. Each of the dragon's now have their own arrangement of the base Monster's Lair theme. The Daimyo Temple sounds very ancient Japan while The Monster's Lair - Palace rings of finality.

Of the 32 in-game tracks present on this soundtrack, there really isn't a bad one of the lot. They've even tossed in the 48 second Reveal Trailer music. But the bonuses don't stop there. Along with the 33 album tracks that amount to a little over an hour's worth of listening, there are 56 bonus tracks that were never used. Want to hear a ukulele version of Mind of a Hero? A hard rock version of Desert Zone over the original Master System version? Monster Town on the accordion? Have it it.

The soundtrack won't cost you much cash at only 5.00 Euros ($5.73). You can also get the soundtrack as additional DLC for $4.99 on Steam or you can grab the game and the soundtrack for a cool $23.73. The music to Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap is chump change compared to a lot of other game soundtracks you have to pay for and not only is the music beyond outstanding, those unused tracks are a sweet, sweet bonus.

The only real snag in this album is that it doesn't contain the original Master System tracks, which is a shame since you had the option in the game to instantly switch between the remastered and retro audio. Regardless of that, Michael Geyre has done an amazing job arranging Sakamoto's works. The Dragon's Trap may be short, but you'll be humming these tracks long after your quest is over.

Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap Original Soundtrack

1 comment:

Adam said...

I had no idea they were remaking it