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Old Jul 3, 2017, 07:34 AM
Ramza Ramza is offline
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Default Thought/Proposal -- Can we influence Nihon Falcom?

Friends of all nations and tribes and creeds etc,

I recently received a gift from a fellow member of the VGM(db) community: Falcom Special Box '94.

Listening to it got me thinking about a lot of things. For example...

After the initial FSB run from 89-97, they've only done one Special Box since, which was 2004 (15 years after the first release of 89). So ... what about a 30 year box, FALCOM SPECIAL BOX 2019?

And, if anyone remembers '89 in its original format, it was 6 of those mini-CDs (the 8cm diameter discs).

So ... imagine FSB '19 as 6 full CDs.

In the other FSBs, sometimes they are grouped by game (FSB93 was just OST material of different games), other times they are grouped by arrangement type (FSB89), still others by game *and* arrangement type (FSB94).

NOW ... what if?! ... Falcom were to do this FSB '19 using the source material of newer games, but hearkening back to the old styles, and hiring old arrangers?

(does anyone know, is there bad blood between Ryo Yonemitsu and Falcom? I know he hasn't really done work with them in ages, but he's still semi-active in the VGM community.)

So ... you could go a lot of ways with this, but just imagine:

Disc 1: Super Arrange Version
All Ryo Yonemitsu, all in his classic Yonemitsu synth-pop/rock style (Ys IV Perfect Collection kind of stuff). BUT, the source material would be from all kinds of games, including ... Ys V-VIII, "Kiseki" franchise(s), newer Brandish titles, Tokyo Xanadu, Zwei (II), VM Japan, etc

Disc 2: Piano Collection and/or "Preprimer III"
The return of Michio Fujisawa?! This Piano Collection could be dedicated to a specific game, or could (again) use source material from the above list. For example, a Sora no Kiseki trilogy piano collection would work. But then, you could do an Ys Piano Collection 3 using Ys V-VIII. etc.

Disc 3: JDK Band(s)
Tomohiko Kishimoto does a few tracks, Yukihiro Jindo does a few tracks, and current-era JDK Band does a few tracks. All from varying sources, the more obscure and fun, the better.

Disc 4: Vocal Version
Think Ys VI Vocal Version, but with more games. I said in my review on RPGFan, Ys VIII alone has enough material to do a full vocal album. For this set, I'd imagine a vast array of different vocalists, primarily female, doing new arrangements to previously instrumental-only music from the Falcom catalog. What would be super-cool would be to see a single-track return of Shoko Minami or, better yet, Rie Sugimoto.

Disc 5: Electric Orchestra
JDK Electric Orchestra returns, with Tamiya Terashima at the helm. Terashima-san has remained active in VGM and anime soundtracks. His arrangements on FSB92 and FSB94 are some of my favorites. I see no reason why he couldn't come back to do some newer Falcom music...?

Disc 6: Unused/Unreleased Music
There are plenty of Falcom titles whose soundtracks are not exhaustive, and I imagine there are prototype/unused tracks that the current Sound Team jdk has floating around. This could be a place to dump that. I'd prefer that to a drama disc, at any rate. :P


So ... barring something as specific as this ... but still promoting the general idea, who thinks that we as a community have the leverage to get this idea in Falcom's ear?

I know that Justin Pfeiffer (old handle "Xanadujin") lives in Japan and keeps up with Falcom, and LOTS of VGM folk (last week on Facebook he even posted a pic with Hiroyuki Namba). Through him we could mobilize some of the "home front" (Japanese Falcom fans). And then we could make an international presence known by bombarding Falcom with Tweets and/or emails in all manner of languages (English, French, etc), asking for a Falcom Special Box 2019 as a 30th anniversary of the Special Box series.

And then someone somehow has to reach out to, at the very least, Ryo Yonemitsu and get him to work with Falcom on such a project.


Is this a good idea? Bad idea? Stupid idea?

If enough people think it's a good idea, I say we start mobilizing now and prepare for a fan-to-publisher PR campaign.

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Old Jul 3, 2017, 08:39 AM
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xanadujin xanadujin is offline
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Oh wow. Thanks to Ramza and Patrick Gann for tagging me here. I think it's a brilliant idea! Almost sounds like a dream, LOL. Realizing it would require a lot of work, support, and money, but they just might be keen on it. I think the first step is bringing it to Falcom's attention. If they like the prospect, they could very well put it into place themselves (if they don't have something already in mind). If not, then that's where crowd support from fans could come in. Six CDs may be a bit ambitious -- that would require a huge amount of money up front for the artists. But they might be willing to bring back whomever they can. Even a three disc box would be amazing. Or at the very least, a single CD album with one arrangement from each of their long-standing arrangers. It just depends on how they view the market these days.

- Justin
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Old Jul 3, 2017, 05:48 PM
Ramza Ramza is offline
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(FYI Ramza = Patrick. All me. :P )

If Falcom themselves weren't interested, it might be worth running through Materia Collective. They're solid on licensing and on solid arrangers.

Out of curiosity, do you have *any* knowledge about Ryo Yonemitsu? I wonder if he'd be up for it. I also wonder about Hiroyuki Namba (man I love that photo!).

What do you think the best way to present to Falcom would be? Scheduled/planned Twitter bomb? A petition-style site that people could sign (with a message in English and Japanese)?

6 CDs may indeed be too ambitious. But a smaller size could still be fun, and FSB19 as a 30th anniversary item ... it just feels reeeeally good.
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Old Jul 3, 2017, 10:22 PM
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Phonograph Phonograph is offline
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it could be interesting if it's all new unreleased stuff, but if it's like 90% best of, no thanks
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Old Jul 4, 2017, 02:01 AM
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Razakin Razakin is offline
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Originally Posted by Ramza View Post
If Falcom themselves weren't interested, it might be worth running through Materia Collective. They're solid on licensing and on solid arrangers.
And seeing how their so far three kickstarter projects has been pretty solid, they could go KS-route again with Falcom.

And for a starter, I would probably go 2-3 disc Special Box before trying shoot to the moon with more discs.
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Old Jul 4, 2017, 02:42 PM
《J》 《J》 is offline
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The arranging/band side of Falcom has been doing quite poorly in recent years. jdk Band Theta is a huge joke compared to Kishimoto's unit from the early 90s and the group of performers between 2007~2014 (the fact there has not been a proper band arrange album since Sen no Kiseki (Cold Steel) SAV back in 2014 doesn't exactly help, either), Okajima and Kamikura left the jdk Band, Jindo is starting to sound stale/suffering the "uninspired Sakuraba" syndrome and is still collaborating with ex-jdk Band members as if nothing ever happened (e.g. Ys VIII, We Love Sora no Kiseki, etc), Singa is objectively terrible at rock, and the arranged soundtracks for the Evolution ports have been pretty bleh for the most part. Sound Team jdk, on the other hand, is doing great, with Sonoda/Unisuga showing improvement over the years and actually making variety stuff, but I can't see Falcom letting internal employees work on arranged albums. And of course, they would play it safe and pick the most popular tracks, so expect yet ANOTHER useless and predictable trance-rock arrangement of Silver Will.

Unreleased music is an iffy topic, since we know they have an storage of unused music and are saving all that stuff to use in future games. I'd like to see Falcom releasing more Pre-Production versions, though, mainly because that way I would be able to guess who composed these in-game tracks featuring outsourced arrangements in recent games. Unfortunately, Fujisawa passed away in 2005 (RIP), but Takahiko Ishikawa and Tomoyuki Asakawa also produced some great New Age arrangements for Falcom in the past, so these two could also work (on the flip side, Singa might actually be fine for a Piano Collection). Yonemitsu is probably busy working with his buddies from SuperSweep, but I suppose he'd be interested if Falcom reached him (same for Namba/Terashima). Falcom already has Megumi Sasaka as idol girl to sing OPs/EDs/vocal tracks, so no Shoko Minami or Rie Sugimoto. I do miss Icarus Watanabe's manly voice and energy, though, he was great. Dunno what Kishimoto is up to these days; his VGMdb profile says he was behind the OP and ED themes for some random anime adaptation from 2012.

A revival of Falcom's gold arrange period from the late 80s/early 90s would be amazing, but if possible, I'd rather have Falcom find new (but competent) blood for that than relying on contracted musicians from almost 30 years ago (that Falcom got access to thanks to their partnership with King Records via the Falcom Label, which no longer exists). Other than that, a 3-CD album would probably be more safe and realistic. All I'm asking at this point, though, is to keep Singa the hell away from Cold Steel III.

Last edited by 《J》; Jul 5, 2017 at 04:50 AM.
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Old Jul 5, 2017, 04:00 PM
Ramza Ramza is offline
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J -- thank you. That's a lot of information.

I had *no idea* that Michio Fujisawa died ... a whole 12 years ago! I don't suppose you know the exact date? We should update the artist page

I don't know what new folks Falcom could bring in. If they surprise us, cool. But I'd love to see *some* of the old guard return.

And agreed, Silver Will should be something Falcom's not allowed to touch for at least another five years. Too many arranges, too many of them not as good as the original and the first SAV, and maybe the vocal from Second Chapter.

OK, so... I think I might try writing up a short letter in English and have a friend make a Japanese version, and then maybe post it somewhere that people can "sign" the letter? And then twitter-spam Falcom with the URL? What do you guys think...
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Old Jul 10, 2017, 11:21 AM
Jodo Kast Jodo Kast is offline
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I think that's a great idea, Ramza. My breakdown of the 6 discs would be identical.
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