The lights are on
Any RPG worth its salt is accompanied by a solid soundtrack. The Secret of Mana soundtrack is as vast as it is captivating. It encompasses haunting melodies, tribal beats, and Celtic-inspired tunes to transport players into a grand adventure. Hiroki Kikuta, the composer for the game, combines sounds unusual to 16-bit games such as woodwind instruments and polkas to transport players to a fantastical world.
Here are just a few of our favorite songs from The Secret of Mana.
"Fear of the Heavens"
The stirring title theme of The Secret of Mana begins with the otherworldly bellows of whales. Then, a fragile piano melody plucks out the first notes of a huge, sprawling adventure. Combined with soft background strings and a timid bass line, "Fear of the Heavens" acts as a perfect, beautiful prelude.
If the game's title theme is an example of how soft and romantic the soundtrack can be, this boss theme is the antithesis. Frantic strings and driving double bass drums combine to deliver boss music like only Square Enix can deliver.The slap bass breakdown in the middle offers listeners a brief, semi-triumphant respite from the nonstop chaos of the song.
"Secret of the Arid Sands"
This song is the perfect theme to accompany a quest through the desert. The steel drum-style percussion offers an exotic backbone for the mysterious melody. The 16-bit clapping accent also gives the song a '90s flavor that I adore.
The final boss music for The Secret of Mana is appropriately epic. Similar to "Danger," it begins with fast-paced drums, melody, and bass line that fits the importance of the battle. The chaotic tune eventually gives way to a soft, hopeful string melody near the middle.
This song is a great example of how chill the game's soundtrack can get. The interesting drum line mixes up playful cymbals and sporadic double bass bursts. The soft, synth melody invokes a sense of both calm and uncertainty, which is a good accompaniment for exploring unknown territory.
These are just some of my favorite tracks from The Secret of Mana. For more analysis of the game's broad, beautiful soundtrack, I suggest checking out episode 81 of The Legacy Music Hour podcast. Here, Brent Weinbach and Rob F. Switch dig into The Secret of Mana's huge playlist with some insightful and humorous commentary.
Email the author Tim Turi, or follow on Twitter, and Game Informer.
My all-time-favorite! The soundtrack still gives me goosebumps
Great subject for exploration. I love SoM and its music. I actually own the OST and it's well worth the $30 I paid to import it at the time. "Mystic Invasion", as highlighted above, is certainly an excellent theme, but I'd have to give "A Wish - Crystal Forest Theme" the nod as my personal favorite.
I was just getting track from SoM for my blog XD Great ost. Althought i think sequel had better tracks ;)
Those are some good beats.
Play Fear of the Heavens and Mystic Invasion at the same time. I think it sounds pretty cool.
FFIV, FFVI, Chrono Trigger, Super Mario RPG. Just to name a few with great soundtracks. I also loved the music in "Zombies ate my Neighbors". Thought I'd throw in there haha.
The Secret of Mana, loved the game and the soundtrack as a child. I'll definitely need to revisit it sometime soon.
Just reading the header for this article I instantly knew who wrote it. SoM had some great music and visuals to go along with it. I loved the art direction of both senses in the games.
It's funny how music can stick with you. Not having played Final Fantasy VI or VII in years, I still could pick out the notes of many of the songs on my guitar from memory. About a year or two back I bought the orchestral songs and was surprised that I had been correct in my blind picking. It says a lot for the composer, Nobuo Uematsu in this case, that such instrumentals can have such hold.
I remember having the song in the dessert town stuck in my head for about a month after I replayed this 2 years ago. The upbeat you already saved that town tune.
rpg's are great but they seem too time consuming compared to new games now that only take 8-12 hours to play.