Produced by Mark Seibert and Jeff Hall
Reviewed by Sir Launcelot du Lake
At last a game company has decided to release a soundtrack collection, and what better company to do so than Sierra, whose musical scores are probably the most engaging part of their games. This collection of 20 tracks were selected by the composer, Mark Seibert, and comes from King's Quest V, Codename ICEMAN, Police Quest II, Conquests of Camelot, Quest for Glory I, Conquests of the Longbow, and the love ballad from King's Quest VI (the only piece with vocals here). The booklet accompanying the CD includes comments by Seibert on all his pieces.
The collection begins with 7 tracks from Kings Quest V, which incidentally received the most representation. The first 2 pieces, King's Quest V Theme and Graham's Theme, are reminiscent of what one would expect to find in a Walt Disney production, underscoring the wholesome, family-oriented image of Sierra's games in general. Strings and horns play a major role throughout. The influence of Seibert's training in the classical guitar in his style can be seen in the remaining tracks, particularly Dark Forest, and Crispin's Theme, which has clarinet accompaniment. The section on King's Quest V ends with Closing Sequence, the longest track at 6:03, which recaps all the themes of the major characters.
Moving on to Codename ICEMAN and Police Quest II, the style decidedly becomes more of techno-pop, with percussions standing out. Both Whitney and FunkQ are the tunes played by the band in the bar. Being a die-hard romantic :-), Love Theme/Morning and The Magic Meadow from Quest for Glory I were my favourite pieces, with their soothing, ethereal motifs. The Police Quest II Theme is included as it was one of the first pieces that Seibert composed for Sierra.
The rest of the pieces are written in the medieval style, with the guitar, flute, and clarinet being the major instruments. The Magic Meadow is the one which Seibert gets the most mail, and it also happens to be his father s favourite, so there was no question of it going in. The Opening Sequence of Conquests of the Longbow actually had words to it, but Seibert eventually decided against adding the vocals to this album.
The CD ends with the love theme of King's Quest VI, Girl in the Tower, with vocals by Bob Bergthold and Debbie Seibert, Mark's wife. The song was composed with some of the motifs from the original Cassima's Theme from King's Quest V. I wasn't really impressed with this duet when I first heard it, but it kind of grows on you. It is quite a reasonable attempt, considering this is the first song to actually come with a computer game. With the extinction of disk-based games drawing near, one can expect this to become commonplace, and perhaps even challenge for Academy Awards in a decade's time or two :-).
I'm a little disappointed some of the scores from the Leisure Suit Larry series were not included, and it is a little surprising nothing else from King's Quest VI made it. Space restrictions, I suppose, or perhaps they weren't written by Seibert. Well, wait for volume 2, I guess . Overall, Sierra fans would probably want to get this CD, it showcases some of the best from a company known for its superb musical scoring. Let's hope other publishers who have great soundtracks, like Origin, will follow suit in releasing these delectable collections This review is Copyright (C) 1994 by Sir Launcelot du Lake for Game Bytes Magazine. All rights reserved.
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