PrintE-mail Written by Nick Spacek

Upon dropping the needle on Ship to Shore's release of the Largrange Point soundtrack, one wonders just how the music to an 8-bit game for the Nintendo Famicom can sound so amazingly full. Honestly, the music on Lagrange Point rivals the likes of such 16-bit scores like Outrun, and it's all due to a chip inside the cartridge -- Konami's VRC7 sound generator integrated circuit.


The whole story behind the Lagrange Point score and how it came to be so high quality is told in Jeremy Parish's quite excellent liner notes. It's fascinating to see how a pretty standard RPG for an early system ended up with one of the most dynamic scores of the time.


Parish refers to the music as stunning, and concludes his liner notes with the statement that "sometimes, game music is good enough to transcend the game that contains it; Lagrange Point's soundtrack transcends its entire platform." It's absolutely true - there's not a cut on this LP which won't find the listener positively agape at some point.


"Wandering Journey" really demonstrates the absolute range of this music: it's high, low, bouncy, and positively infectious. Even a brief piece like "Music Box of Sadness," with a simple melody and not a lot of flash, is entrancing. The music to this 1991 video game is all over the map, from exciting to quiet to pulsing to melodic, and it never gets tiresome.


This compilation may not be entirely all of the music from the Famicom game, but given the care and skill with which these 22 cuts were curated, one can forgive the omission of a couple seconds-long cues. The folks at Ship to Shore have once again dug deep to find an absolute gem, and this one absolutely gleams.


Lagrange Point is available on vinyl from Ship to Shore, and comes in three varieties: clear with purple streaks, purple marble, and clear with blue streaks. We've the first type, and it both sounds and looks amazing. It's exactly the sort of record one pulls from the sleeve and immediately holds up to the light in order to ogle and admire. The jacket artwork is straight out of 1991, but cleverly so, and combined with how good the music is, Lagrange Point is an absolute winner.




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