The music of “Chrono Trigger” continues to evolve after 15 years

"Chrono Trigger" box art

Box Art from the SNES game "Chrono Trigger"

Since “Chrono Trigger” was released in 1995, it has been widely regarded as having one of the best soundtracks on a video game. It helped spur the scene of video game music remixes and has had many iterations over the years. The soundtrack by Yasunori Mitsuda, originally in just 16-bit audio, still contends with full orchestral music heard in today’s games and has a large cult following in the video game scene.

One of the most notable renditions on the soundtrack is the acid jazz album Chrono Trigger Arranged Version: The Brink of Time. The album was released just over three months after the game and features ten remade tracks. Initially, the album had very mixed reviews with critics claiming to either love it or hate it. Personally, I enjoyed this acid jazz arrangement of the soundtrack quite a bit. It has all the workings of an enjoyable acid jazz album mixed with memorable songs that incite great memories. The choice of acid jazz seems like an obvious one simply because the sounds used, if not emulate, at least do justice to the original 16-bit sounds.

Yasunori Mitsuda arr. DJ Ali Haeri – “Kingdom Trial” remixed with “1, 2 Step” by Ciara feat. Missy Elliott from Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1

Yasunori Mitsuda arr. DJ Ali Haeri – “Underground Sewer” from Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1

Yasunori Mitsuda arr. Daniel Floyd – “Morning Sunlight” from Chrono Symphonic (2005)


Another of the great renditions is The Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1. The mixtape originated as a joke amongst DJ Ali Haeri and his friends about creating a stereotypical hip-hop mixtape. The album contains 10 “clubbed” up versions of “Chrono Trigger” songs mixed with a capella vocals from popular hip-hop artists such as 50 Cent, Young Jeezy, Ciara, and Kanye West. The mixtape, released in 2005, has three versions, the first being the most stereotypical and satirical of the three. It features the mixed-up tracks, DJ’d by the fictional DJ Epoch. The inclusion of DJ Epoch is the only element that sets versions one and two apart, but it really makes a difference. DJ Epoch was introduced to give it that authentic “annoying DJ” feel. These mixes even include obnoxious introductions to the songs, complete with an over abundance of delay and echo. The third version of the mixtape is an instrumental mix, and is personally, the most enjoyable. The 16-bit sounds are directly translated into bass thumping hip-hop.

When “Chrono Trigger” was released for the Nintendo DS in 2008, we heard several beautiful orchestral arrangements and even a few unreleased tracks. If you are looking for a great compilation of all the 16 bit tracks directly from the game with a few extras, this is the album for you. The Nintendo DS release soundtrack spans 3 discs and includes 78 songs, totaling nearly 3 hours of pure “Chrono Trigger” goodness.

Last but certainly not least are the wonderful symphonic renditions that can be found on the unofficial, download only album, Chrono Symphonic. This album was released on the website OverClocked ReMix in 2006 and features 25 of our favorite “Chrono Trigger” tracks. The songs contain intricate full symphonic scores and a lot of dynamic variance. Not only does this track shine as a remix of the tracks, but as a symphonic album as a whole.

Chrono Trigger will have it’s 15th birthday in just a few weeks — March 11 to be exact — and even after so long, it is still sitting pretty as being one of the most loved and heavily remixed video game sound tracks of all time. So in honor of Chrono Trigger’s upcoming birthday, this one goes out to Yasunori Mitsuda. Without him, we would be devoid of so much of our favorite music that has come from video games in the last 15 years.

If you want to download either Chrono Symphonic or any of the versions of Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1, just click the links below.

Chrono Symphonic
Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1
Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1 (No DJ)
Chrono Trigger Mixtape, Vol. 1 (Instrumental)

2 Responses to “The music of “Chrono Trigger” continues to evolve after 15 years”

  1. Rockin’ out to these remixes!

  2. Justin Freid says:

    Thanks for the post.
    Here’s what might be called a remix if Wiz Khalifa actually credited the classic SNES game:

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