Listen to this.
Relaxing, isn’t it. For those of you who don’t know, Secret Of Mana was a 3 player action Role Playing Game made for the Super NES CD (which many of you know as the Playstation). It’s one of Square Enix (but at the time, Squaresoft) highly rated and beloved RPG of the 16 bit era and still is considered as a classic this very day. Composed by Hiroki Kikuta, Secret Of Mana soundtrack rivals one of it’s own company series Chrono Trigger and Nintendo’s The Legend Of Zelda: A Link To The Past.
Each track in Secret Of Mana brings a smile or a soothing emotion to your ears. What makes this particular song calming, is how simple the arrangement it is. You didn’t get anything like this in a lot of 16 bit games and say what you will about Final Fantasy III/VI, A Wish was a song you can leave on and just rest to after something stressful.
So why is all of this important?
Easy. Some compositions in games can do wonders to the body. It’s just not setting the tone of the story or environment. It not only can get you hype and make you feel ready for battle. It can actually help you sleep or make a romantic dinner more lovely. Sure, it’s nerdy but video game music does more than what players think. Why do you think The Legend Of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses is favorable among people? Even if you don’t like classical music or the game itself, you can hear the beauty of the live instrument being warming to you. It can provide that breath taking feeling and make you realize that video game music has a beautiful connection to the listener.
Our very own Matthew Keul, is very knowledgeable about music (check his blog and videos out). Being very descriptive and informative, he presents the feel and the mood each track that is on the record. When listening to a song in Secret Of Mana, you can hear some of the jaunting music that may make you laugh and feel good. A spooky temple will have this heavy bell theme that makes it nerve wracking but it fits. A Wish though, which takes place in a ice land in the game, gives a window shopping, holiday vibe. Simple, clean, and a track not many talk about. Its use though for a general purpose can help you sleep, make a massage relaxing, easy to do a piano cover (while adding your own arrangement or improvising), and might even get a baby to calm down.
Just as Streets Of Rage 2 soundtrack still stands out today and could be played in any club scene, the power of video game music can range anywhere and do the same as artist and producers work of today. The fact that only gamers can recognize it compared to any common person is kind of sad. Here in America, video game compositions don’t get expose unless it’s Mario or The Legend of Zelda. Surprisingly though, only Mario stand out unless you want to count the Pokemon cartoon theme?
So I ask you all, what is your one video game composition that does more than just something you listen to? How would you expose it to those you think may appreciate it?