Game music of the day: Secret of Mana

Welcome to GamesRadar's daily blast of all things pertaining to the ever-growing field of game music. Each post will introduce new sounds, games, composers and fan-made remixes of gaming's greatest aural achievements.

June 29, 2010

Game: Secret of Mana

Song: Did You See the Ocean?

Composer: Hiroki Kikuta

Above: "Did You See the Ocean?" from Secret of Mana

Where to even start? The Super NES masterpiece captured the minds of millions around the world with its colorful graphics, epic story and refined battle systems, so it's tough to even think of an adequate introductory sentence. Summarizing the music, which is easily one of the most beloved OSTs in all of gaming, is equally difficult - no one song is the best, but they're all among the strongest stuff to come out of the 16-bit days.

The track I chose, "Did You See the Ocean?" comes in rather late, and is something of a remix of the tune that plays in the game's opening field areas. It's faster and has more of a dance kick to it, and to me connects both the beginning and the end of the game by referencing the low-level paths you used to tread.

Above: "Prophecy," also from late in the game

If you played through the whole game you're going to recognize this one for sure. It's the third and final tune that plays while you fly around the world map on the back of your pet dragon Flammie. More importantly, it's setting up the climax, the final battle of the game with one of the most ominous, foreboding VGMs I can think of.

Finally, here's a standout Mana remix from our pals at OverClocked ReMix and The OneUps. Stumbled across this one way back in 2003, not long after I discovered OCR in the first place. Great example of someone taking a lesser song (A Bell is Tolling) and reworking it into something lavish.

It's sad to see the original composer, Hiroki Kikuta, hasn't done much in the game music realm since the 16-bit era. In fact, other than some Japan-only titles, the only other game he's scored that was released in the US was PS1's Koudelka. We all remember that one, right?

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Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.