October 25, 2011
Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Chrono Cross, Flute, Music, Percussion, Squaresoft, Strings, VGM, Video Games, Yasunori Mitsuda
*In case you missed it, here’s Part I
For your convenience, I’ve reinserted the video:
I would suggest listening and watching one more time straight through so that you re-familiarize yourself with everything. Also, before I get into the analysis, I’d like the reader to see how I personally broke down the form of the piece for the sake of this analysis. If anyone has a better suggestion on how to organize it, please let me know—this is certainly not the end-all-be-all!
– Section A: “Introduction” (0:00-0:57)
– Section B: “Transition” (00:57-1:14)
– Section C: “String Melody” (1:14-1:49)
– Section D: “Breakdown and Ending” (1:49-2:22)
Cool. Now, let’s pick up where we left off. In less than a minute’s worth of music we listened to an enchanting, nostalgic, and, at points, childlike musical intro that set up not only the coming of an exciting display of PSX CGI power and adrenaline-pumping music, but also for the gamer for what he should expect out of the entire game’s soundtrack. We took note of Yasunori Mitsuda’s very present bass, dancing flute, and moving acoustic guitar, which all combine to enhance and reveal a folk flavor in his music.
Cue :56. A suspended cymbal roll comes from behind the flute, which turns and lands on a note that stings the downbeat of what I will call the “transition.” Suddenly, when the listener only had a few instruments to take in before, a flurry of sounds comes to him or her all at once and s/he is whisked off at full-speed. The important part about the transition is its ability to rush the listener forward and get him or her caught up in the moment using rhythm. Yes, the tempo speeds up, but it is not tempo alone that perks the ears and does the engaging. It may take the listener many-a-repeat to catch all of the elements that help drive the music forward, but they are worth fishing for and catching.
October 19, 2011
Acoustic Guitar, Bass, Chrono Cross, Chrono Trigger, Eddie Gomez, Flute, Music, Nobuo Uematsu, Squaresoft, VGM, Video Games, Yasunori Mitsuda
I remember hearing about a sequel to my then-favorite game of all time when I was in middle school and not knowing how to handle myself. Finally, after years of dreaming up my own stories about the characters in Chrono Trigger, Squaresoft would finally continue the epic tale themselves, setting in stone what would happen to the Chrono universe. Sure, my tales would be rendered obsolete, but that didn’t matter—how could anything be better than the original creators’ minds?
Originally, I thought that I first learned about the game via demo. I bought Vagrant Story for PSX, which included the demo disc, but according to Wikipedia, that game was released on May 15, 2000, and Chrono Cross was released on August 15, 2000. I was dumbfounded by these dates because I remember waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting for this game to come out. Three months didn’t make sense to me.
Then, I saw that the game was released in Japan on November 18, 1999, almost a year before the North American drop date. That made more sense: I had likely read about it a year or more prior, got ultra psyched, and then suffered for so long that my memory wouldn’t allow me to remember such times. It’s nice that the feeling of eternal wait can be explained practically instead of with the excuse that time seems to flow for children much slower than it does for adults (which was my back-up excuse). Anyway, I had picked up Vagrant Story because it was a new Squaresoft game and not because I was expecting a demo. But as soon as I read that such a thing was included, I squirmed all the way home and popped that disc in ready for action and…!