Archive for the ‘Video Game Music’ Category

Koji Kondo’s Ocarina of Time breaks from video game soundtrack mold

The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time was an industry changing video game released on the Nintendo 64 in 1998, and with it, it brought in a wave of 3D action adventure games. Since its release, Ocarina of Time has been praised for its ability to work new aspects into a beloved franchise — by changing from a top-down adventure to a fully 3D environment while staying true to the core gameplay.

Not only has it remained in gamers’ hearts for the last 12 years, but the music is still one of the most popular video game scores ever released. Koji Kondo has composed some of the most recognizable video game music, including every game in the Legend of Zelda series as well as every Super Mario game released to date. The game is notable as being one of the first games to incorporate music as a main function without being a rhythm or beat game.


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)