Why is the Chrono Trigger music so awesome?

Anyone else remember the SNES game “Chrono Trigger”? And how freaking AMAZING the soundtrack was? I can’t believe they made such an amazing score for a video game! The pieces are memorable, dramatic, well composed, and lend the perfect atmosphere to the game. I recently found an orchestrated version of Crono’s theme, but I’m not having very much luck finding much else. I’d buy a soundtrack if it existed, but I’m guessing if it does, it’s probably only in Japan.

So… am I alone in my madness, or does anyone else remember this amazing game and its unbelievable soundtrack?

Chrono Trigger MIDIs at VGmusic.com
Chrono Trigger remix MP3s at OverClocked Remix - This game has 49 remixes on that site, near the most, if not the most, of any game.

But to be honest, I never really got into it. I think it was the Battle music specifically which turned me off, because you hear it so often, and it got pretty repetitive. Nevertheless, it’s kind of fun to revisit these. :slight_smile:

Oh, and also, my favorite Chrono Trigger remix on OCRemix is (currently) #47 - What Hath Thou Done with This. It’s near the end, so you may not hear it unless I point it out.

Maybe i’ll go play it again…

Yasunori Mitsuda is the composer of the music for Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, and probably more soundtracks. AnimeNation is one store that specializes in this sort of thing. The one I would get would be the three-cd set.

However, a word of warning. Bootleg CDs (along with DVDs) from either Hong Kong or Korea are still pretty rampant. It appears that AnimeNation sells legit CDs (I’m basing that on what I know about the catalog numbers used, and the fact that I get a hit using that catalog number at CDJapan. Also on the fact that the prices in both places are about the same.) It is possible that both are selling the same version of a bootleg CD, but I doubt it. Another possibility–if AnimeNation is actually selling bootlegs–would be really good copies of the original, or that the bootleggers have become less blatant. Without being able to see a physical disc, I am inclined to give AnimeNation the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, my point is you can’t tell for sure without first buying something from a domestic online retailer or getting lots of testimonials from people (I would suggest the forums at Anime On DVD, as people there really, really hate bootlegs.) However, once you have gotten your order or are at a brick-and-motor store, stand in the mall, etc., there are a couple really easy indicators. Bootleg CDs in general can be harder to detect just by description than bootleg DVDs, but a dead giveaway is if the CD is marked either EverAnime or S&M (which has a full name, but I don’t remember it.) For that matter, almost anything marked either Anime or Anime will be a bootleg, with the exception of AnimeTrax, which is run by ADV and is a legit company. Most other giveaways require the physical item, such as shoddy printing.

The thing is, unlike the HK bootleg DVDs, these things are good quality. Before I knew about bootleg CDs, I had already picked up CDs for Chrono Cross, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Serial Experiments Lain, and Ghost in the Shell. The printing on all of them looks good (I believe it’s pretty much a direct rip of the album cover and insert), even including an obi, and I don’t hear any problems with audio quality. If it wasn’t for AoD, I would never have known these were boots. So, basically, do the right thing and buy the offical CDs. They may cost a bit more, whether you order from Japan or a legit company here in the US. Or, if you’re looking for anime soundtracks, look at AnimeTrax or Pioneer Music (which might be renamed along the lines of Geneon Music soon, I’m not sure) for a legit domestic release.

All right. Now that all’s that out of the way, I would suggest playing Chrono Cross. It’s on the PS1 and it’s cheap now. Lots of gameplay.

Also, if this is the kind of music you like, at least to some degree, also go look up Nobuo Uematsu’s stuff. He’s best known for his work on the Final Fantasy series.

slight hijack: I think some of the best music I’ve heard on SNES (in addition to Crono Trigger) would be Donkey Kong Country 1 and 2. Barely sounds like midi at all.

Wow. Soundtracks do exist, but they’re a little pricey.

CT does have awesome music, and I have a soft spot for the song from Donkey Kong Country 1 with the pizzicato strings and marimba (usually in the treetop city levels).

Yasunori Mitsuda also did the music for Xenogears, which also has a phenomenal soundtrack. You should check it out.

The soundtrack from the other SNEs game ‘Terranigma’ is really gorgeous at times too. ‘‘Elle’s Theme’’ comes to mind immediately.

Wow… thanks for all the info, guys! I may invest in the CDs, I think it may be worth it. The remix site wasn’t bad… but I wish they were all as faithful to the original as the 600 A.D. piano theme that’s on there. Still some awesome stuff.

Chrono Trigger music is great, as well as a ton of other SNES music. It’s a shame game music doesn’t have more mainstream appeal, because from personal experience many people like it, but never bother to go download or buy it. Of course, buying it is a bit of a hassle since most game soundtracks never make it outside of Japan.

All the manufacturers have to do is make the game CDs listenable. Tribes for the PC worked just fine in my CD player, if I remember right. And a couple different games have had music in MP3.

But that doesn’t work for consoles, I suppose.

GMRyujin, that’s not always practical, especially in lengthy RPGs, because CD player compatible music (sometimes called Redbook audio) uses a LOT of data, and they simply can’t fit decompressed music along with the game data.

Speaking of Redbook, that reminds me of Total Annihilations killer soundtrack. What a great game.

I downloaded 600 AD in piano and am listening to it right now. Wow, this song is really good! I’ve set it to loop in Winamp and I’m not sick of it at all. Is there anything else similar to this you would recommend?

All very true. Maybe if they were smart, they’d release some kind of “Limited Special Edition” version that came with a CD soundtrack. Though I have a hazy memory of someone doing that.

I’ve got it on SNES AND on Playstation. The Playstation re-issue comes bundled with FF4, and has some absolutely amazing movies and extras in it. Even if you’re not into the FF series, if you have a Playstation, I recommend picking this game up. The bundle is called Final Fantasy Chronicles. It’s for the PSX/PS1, so you’ll need a PS1 memory card if you have a PS2.

Right now I’m replaying Chrono Cross, which is a sequel to ChronoTrigger. The starting song is wonderful, and I keep trying to write lyrics for it.

They did that with Final Fantasy Anthology, and they picked the WORST soundtracks from each of the two games in that bundle (FF5 and FF6). They didn’t, for instance, pick the song that Celeste sings when she’s impersonating the opera singer. Darned if I can remember the title of it now.

I do indeed have a Playstation, and I’m into the FF series anyway (admittedly I’ve only played ((and loved)) the “american” FF3). I think I’ll get it. I have Chrono Cross, but haven’t gotten quite into it yet… shame on me!

As for my OP… I ended up finding a link to all the MIDIs of the game, and upon relistening to them (as a music composition major in college) I’m impressed that as I child I was enjoying and subconsciously enjoying music of this quality–and, frankly, complexity.

A bunch of these are doing cool things, in terms of musical complexity. Balthasar’s theme switches from 5/4 to 6/4, a bunch of these are in 3/4, and outline really weird chord shapes. I wonder if Mitsuda worked these out on guitar first?

Speaking of which… maybe I’ll transcribe some of these to guitar and see what my band feels about doing little instrumental covers between songs and stuff! Heh, not bloody likely… but you never know.

Speaking of musical complexity in video game music… anyone ever won a VS match in Mario Kart 64? The victory music is in 11/4. When a fellow music nerd and I first heard this, we laughed our asses off. Ahh. Video game time signatures.

“Aria de Mezzo Caterre”

I still remember that. Gott im Himmel, I’ve played that game more than any other single-player game in my life.

No one has mentioned Nobuo Uematsu’s awesome classical-style themes from Final Fantasy 6. I utterly and totally love Locke’s theme. Its wunderbar.