Saturday Symphony is one of our Periodicals, in which we discuss the pieces of video game music we love.
It may be a single piece, it may be a group of pieces, or we might talk about a general theme in video game music or a particular games soundtrack. In any case, the goal here is to showcase that video games have had some truly fantastic pieces of music, regardless of era.
As you might imagine with our Asian-centered website, we’ll try to focus on the video games of Japan, but sometimes video game music from elsewhere may prove just too tantalizing to pass up. Either way, we want you to enjoy the music of video games along with us, so sit back, relax, and bring along some nice headphones.
While discussing music pieces generally won’t require divulging spoilers, sometimes it may happen – when discussing a final battle piece for example, or if the music is that intrinsically tied to the story the game is telling. It does happen sometimes.
This week’s Saturday Symphony: The Singing Mountain
- Chrono Trigger was actually one of Mitsuda’s first games in which he composed music for.
- Mitsuda drove himself so hard creating the music that he developed stomach ulcers and was rushed to the hospital.
Released in 1995, Chrono Trigger was one of the most successful games from Square Enix. Just like all Square Enix games released around that time, the music never ceased to impress.
However, there is one thing that has always bothered me as a Chrono Trigger fan: there was something that never made it into the original SNES release. Since we are talking about music here, this song never made it into the final cut. Hear for yourself:
This song is called “Singing Mountain” by Mitsuda Yasunori. During the 90′s, when a leaked midi of the song was made available, it peaked my curiosity. A friend who actually owned the original soundtrack of Chrono Trigger then told me that when he heard that leaked midi, he realized that he heard the song in the third disc. Both of us realized that this song never made it in Chrono Trigger, no matter how hard we searched the game.
Nevertheless, “Singing Mountain” is one of the best, if not the best, pieces of music in the Chrono Trigger soundtrack. The song shrouds an ambient bliss that will make players feel both relaxed and solemn, even enough for strong men to cry manly tears. Yes, I said it, MAN-TEARS! The image this song gives the listener is a winter setting with a morning-clear sky. Listening to the chorus makes one feel like they are in a church, or even somewhere in a castle floating above the clouds.
Many may wonder where the song could have been played had it been included in the original SNES game. So far, given the order of the CD soundtrack’s list, the song was supposed to be played at an event or level right after you defeated Magus and get warped back to 65,000,000 BC but before entering the Tyrano Lair. In addition, there were unfinished maps of the supposed level that were cut from the game. If the listing was out of order, one could guess that a fitting location would be Death Mountain, when the player is sent on a quest to revive Crono. Unfortunately, that event uses a more generic dungeon track that has been heard in previous levels, thus hurting the mood build-up.
The remake of Chrono Trigger for the Nintendo DS saw the long-anticipated inclusion of “Singing Mountain”. The location of the music was one of the hidden levels in the game: Dimensional Vortex: Antiquity (12,000 BC). In this level, you are transported to an icy mountain similar to Death Mountain; befitting of the sorrowful music piece. Square Enix’s decision to finally include the song in the game made longtime fans extremely happy.
For those who want to spoil themselves and not wait to play Chrono Trigger for the DS, feel free to watch (WARNING: Contains spoilers!):