Yasunori Mitsuda Fanclub

The first piece of imported media I probably ever owned was a copy of the Chrono Trigger OST on CD, most likely ordered from the back pages of GameFan or a similar magazine at the time. This music has remained something of a constant in my life–to this day I still often find myself breezing through the three-disc soundtrack as my workday BGM (typically Blake Robinson's excellent and comprehensive synthetic orchestration).

Only in the last several years have I started to listen more closely to his post _Chrono Trigger_ work and it's been a real pleasure seeing his style grow and evolve. I would love to hear from the IC community about their favorite Mitsuda original works, live performances, reorchestrations, covers, remixes, or just interesting stories, facts, or experiences!

To start off, here is my favorite work of his, The Frozen Flame from _Chrono Cross_. Every version I have heard is beautiful in its own right, but this particular orchestration is one of the most evocative:


I am not very knowledgeable of music theory, but I highly recommend this video by [8-bit Music Theory](https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeZLO2VgbZHeDcongKzzfOw) if you would like to understand some of what made the _Chrono Trigger_ soundtrack so unique and memorable:


If any fans of the Chrono series music aren't aware of it, I would also heartily recommend tracking down the [Chrono Orchestral Arrangement Box Set](https://store.na.square-enix-games.com/en_US/product/570577/chrono-orchestral-arrangement-box-set-cd) to hear some of the most lush arrangements of these soundtracks yet.

I believe I have seen this brought up on the forum before, but I also _highly_ recommend listening to the 1995 release Chrono Trigger Arranged Version: The Brink of Time for some absolutely wild officially sanctioned acid jazz arrangements:


If you want a taste of what Mitsuda has been up to more recently, I'll refer you to some excellent _Xenoblade Chronicles 2_ tracks posted by @2501 in the [let's share some game music thread](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/9-lets-share-some-game-music/225).

Yep, I am no music theory person either but Chrono Trigger is in my top RPG soundtracks of all time! I‘ve heard that Mitsuda had a huge backlog of music that he composed and he just put them out there when Sakaguchi told him to compose the game! Also I heard he was hospitalized a bunch when composing for Xenogears because of overworking! It’s nuts!

His work on Chrono Cross is great too, but I had issues with the battle theme! It was a bit grating to the ears to me, and for years I couldn't forgive the game because of that screeching theme. But I quickly let go of my issues once I heard how it was originally, in Radical Dreamers! It's kind of okay in Radical Dreamers.

other than that, I am a huge fan of Mitsuda... my favorite track in Xenoblade 2 is the Leftherian Village theme..

And of course, this song gets me every time, from the Torna DLC. I feel like I can cope with people dying, listening to this song.


@X3N0Sbioz#25503 Yeah, I am in agreement re: the battle theme. I think the arrangement makes for a solid enough energetic track, but the specific lead instrument choices become grating (despite the sweet organ fills). The version on the orchestral box set I mentioned (track 3) is much better, but I still far prefer the more contemplative tracks from Cross. One of my other favorites, The Girl Who Stole the Stars, also seems to have a rendition on the Radical Dreamers soundtrack!


love mitsuda, he is a boss. never gotten through xenogears but still listen to this one a lot


sometimes put this one on when i'm feelin sad and want to feel even more sad


edit @X3N0Sbioz#25503 that Leftherian Village song is amazing

My one-time obsession with Mitsuda started a weird habit for me. Around 2009-2013 whenever I‘d get really into a game’s music I would seek out other games the composer had worked on. I got it into my head that I‘d appreciate the music more if I played the game it was attached to—as opposed to listening to the music by itself—which in many cases might prove true, although something eventually occurred to me: playing a given 40-hour game (these were always JRPGs, of course), which I was only into in the first place for the music, just to enjoy that music slightly more than I would ordinarily, probably wasn’t the best use of my time. Also grew to feel that the tunes should be enjoyable even out of their proper context.

That may be too much backstory just for me to say I got seriously into Chrono Trigger, loved the soundtrack, wanted to play other games Mitsuda had worked on, then spent the next decade not playing any of them. I found out about Xenoblade before Operation Rainfall and was disappointed that a western release at first didn't seem likely (now it's hugely popular all over the world, of course). I didn't care what sort of game it was beyond "JRPG on a modern console with music by Yasunori Mitsuda," I wanted to play it. I would later find out he only did one track in the game, but I preordered it anyway. The funny thing is I never even beat the game to hear the one song! But I did listen to it on Youtube.
A lot.


It hit me in the right way at the right time and now I'm nostalgic for it. I never got very into Xenoblade, but the song exists independently of the Xenoblade media entity.

I posted this rearranged track from Xenogears (which I just bought in advance of the PS3 store shutting down) in the game music thread:

Arr. Youki Yamamoto

Hardly played any Chrono Cross, but I did get far enough to hear this:

I am not too cool to post an unchallenging rearrangement of the very popular Chrono Trigger song everybody knows. Saw this video back when it was posted in 2009 and listened to it many times.


@X3N0Sbioz#25503 I had issues with the battle theme! It was a bit grating to the ears to me,

!!! Yes! I agree! Don't like it!


@X3N0Sbioz#25503 Mitsuda had a huge backlog of music that he composed and he just put them out there when Sakaguchi told him to compose the game! Also I heard he was hospitalized a bunch when composing for Xenogears because of overworking!

Weird, I always heard the hospital story attached to his work on Chrono Trigger—not to dispute your point here, of course, I don't know anything. The guy has clearly pushed himself a bit hard for his craft...


I, too, have not played Xenogears despite absorbing quite a lot about it through cultural osmosis. I've been meaning to at least try and experience the entire soundtrack, though there are a few tracks I listen to regularly. This one is on my chill music rotation and I especially love how it sounds like a very clear stylistic transition point between Trigger and Cross:


and don't even get me started on feelings of melancholy from these songs...I go through such a journey of emotions every time I hear To Far Away Times:


@captain#25527 Don't worry, your story is not as unusual as you think, Chrono Trigger is also the only Mitsuda-scored game I think I have put a significant amount of time into… I have Xenoblade Chronicles 1 and 2 sitting around for a (highly theoretical) rainy day, a digital copy of Chrono Cross that I am fairly certain I will never complete, and enough self awareness that I know I personally would be better off reading about Xenogears than actually playing it. It really is an interesting phenomenon, having come to enjoy the bulk of this music mostly divorced from its intended context. Honestly, at this point hearing the music in said context would probably be jarring and maybe even dissonant compared to my own imagined meaning!

I'm going to Chrono Cross-post some tracks I had in the Cool Cover Songs thread–these reprisals of Chrono Trigger themes in the sequel are just too incredible:




Woah, it‘s the opposite for me! I don’t know how far or how much you know about Xenogears, but there‘s a track that I listen to often, and it’s the theme for the land of Solaris! I feel like no one would really listen to that song without the context of the game.

Well, throughout the game you are introduced to this mystical land of "Solaris." Like, what can you imagine thi splace to be? Throughout the game, the environments has been just a standard RPG setting, it's like Chrono Trigger before entering the Kingdom of Zeal. So perhaps in your mind you would think SOLARIS is the Kingdom of Zeal! Is it a floating continent with majestic waterfalls, lush trees, sublime architecture, unfathomable futruistic technology? The protagonist's love interest, the beautiful and mysterious Elehayym (or just Elly) is from Solaris, so it must be this kind of elysium! But nope! You enter Solaris and it's just pretty much capitalistic America. There's npcs in this town that is aware of these big issues but they just don't care and go on about their day, and show off their newest toys. It reflects the absurdity of existence in this capitalistic society of high and low classmen and I especially listen to it when I am in the state of thinking that of "wow nothing really matters at all and everything in life is just so silly!":


And then there's the most underappreciated track in the whole game, and my personal favorite, "Shattering Egg of Dreams". In this small little cutscene, there's like fire everywhere, and you see Grahf, who is actually the main protagonist, watch ,Elly, and himself as Fei, but as a ghostly incarnation, and he's just watching those two embracing each other as they escape for shelter. It's just super convoluted to explain, but if you understand what's going on it could be this very powerful moment about this kind of "transcendent romantic love"!


Ultimately I think Xenogears is this convoluted epic love story, though it overly romantices love and how it can transcend to different times, space, and incarnations! It's just a bunch of crazy ideas just mashed into this one thing, with beautiful music.

I understand if you guys don't want to play it though, it's easy to get lost, there's no mini map, they give you a compass! And there's a lot of desert and just a bunch of sand everywhere. And even later on, there's a sewer level that just keeps dragging on. And the platforming controls could be frustrating. But I liked this game a whole lot, and what kept me going was that I felt like I HAD to play it since I really liked the Xenosaga trilogy!

I'm fully on board with the Chrono Trigger and Xenoblade soundtracks - the former being one of the first I ever got too. The OC Remix tribute album is incredible too and highly recommended for a loving tribute.

I regularly listen to the Xenoblade Chronicles 2 soundtrack, with the Gormott track being one of my favourites.


@X3N0Sbioz#25551 Wow, what an interesting subversion, thank you for recounting that. I clicked on the video after reading your description of Solaris and this track perfectly captures what I was imagining.

I want to find specific tracks to recommend later but I was surprised by some of the tracks in “Another Eden”, the mobile game he is composer for. I did listen through the whole soundtrack in one session while doing other stuff and some of the tracks made me stop and pay attention!

Completely forgot to post one of my favorite renditions of the Chrono Trigger main theme (and one of the reasons I even considered creating this thread in the first place). This is by Hyperduck SoundWorks, off of Chrono Trigger: Music for Twenty-Five Games:


Big time Mitsuda fan over here. Back when people had custom ringtones on their phones, mine was the battle theme from Chrono Trigger.

Dreams of the Shore Near Another World remains one of my favourite pieces of music to this day, and I am on record as saying that the battle theme from Xenoblade 2 is _the best_ JRPG battle theme there is.

But people don't talk about the Inazuma Eleven DS games' soundtracks enough! There's a lot of good boppin' around upbeat Mitsuda work in there!


So this is the first MP3 I ever downloaded on a computer: https://youtu.be/ine3_jdQIIs

Mitsuda is and has always been my favorite game composer by leaps and bounds: his sentimental themes epitomize the romance of a great RPG in my mind, but compared to other masters of that style like Uematsu and Sakimoto who takes their cues from cinema and rock, his compositions also have an ethereal spaciousness to them that works wonderfully with video games’ unique capacity to evoke an imaginary space, a living otherworld. imo his themes also excel at evoking a sort of elliptical, contradictory emotions beyond the usual RPG themes of straightforward heroism, danger, etc. - loss in nostalgia, melancholy in happiness, bitter memories in happy moments.

He’s like the Howard Shore to Uematsu’s John Williams. Kinda.

Here’s some slightly less-known Mitsuda stuff:

_Kirite_, a concept album he made with _Chrono_ and _Xenogears_ writer Masato Kato: https://youtu.be/PZv1A4EL8Jc

_Deep Labyrinth_, a mobile/DS game he scored, also a collaboration with Kato: https://youtu.be/kYhewRCoSyI

_Sailing to the World_, the score to (I believe) an obscure PC game never localized in English: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_lJF6XZnEBZMdkbDGShYjTt7DZcN3Sr9m4

“Silver Leica”, a single he produced for a collab album with several other big Japanese game composers. It sounds very much like an ending theme to some RPG classic that never was, and incorporates vocals by _Chrono Cross_’s late Noriko Mitose: https://youtu.be/VsqWwmhcp_Y

@LeFish#25596 Mitsuda actually didn’t compose the Gormott theme! That was one of the game’s four other composers, clearly following Mitsuda’s style.

Here’s a playlist of only the pieces in that game’s massive soundtrack that Mitsuda composed. Mostly it’s cutscenes and a couple of late-game town themes! https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJp7r74odQo9k3Xf_doDW-SmKf-cqinNd


My older friend who gave me his old PlayStation in middle school to play Chrono Cross called the main battle theme in that game “the bar mitzvah song”, and with that in mind I’ve always found it more amusing than obnoxious lol

_Radical Dreamers_ in general has a marvelous OST (and the game itself is an odd little gem worth emulating!). Some pieces were recreated for _Chrono Cross_, but a few highlights weren’t. Lynx, for example, has a boss theme that inexplicably didn’t make it into _CC_: https://youtu.be/Eo1r_BapDP8

And the intro, in general, is one of the best on the Super Famicom: https://youtu.be/TvL4dqDzpDE

So I've been listening to this song for years, knowing very little other than the fact that it appeared in a 2002 Taiwanese RPG called The Seventh Seal: The Resurrection of the Dark Lord.


Today I put on an auto generated youtube playlist of Mitsuda tracks and, lo and behold, this _exact_ song comes up, but this time listed as originating from a 2002 Mitsuda album called _Sailing to the World_.


I guess I just never thought to read the full YouTube description, but yeah, it turns out these are tracks he originally composed for the above game and later compiled and released as an album. I can definitely hear his style now that I know what I'm listening to--recommended listening!

I was thinking about Yasunori Mitsuda again and noticed nobody posted his Mario Party music, please give this a listen:


don‘t think anyone’s posted this one yet…melody is gorgeous


@kory shevat came up on my mix today. that melody that hits at about 1:05 is so good