Chrono Trigger – Undersea Palace (Yasunori Mitsuda)November 8, 2009
Here is a classic track from the Chrono Trigger soundtrack (1995). This one was composed by Yasunori Mitsuda, my favorite vgm artist. It is one of the key points in the game where the players must travel to the bottom of the sea and destroy the Mammon Machine which is going to raise a giant monster from the depths to destroy the world. The evil queen, Zeal, is in charge of the project, while her sister, Schala, is an unwilling pawn. The “Undersea Palace” theme incorporates elements from both of their themes, particularly Zeal’s (“Zeal Palace”).
“Undersea Palace” is pretty dynamic, and has a definite ‘lava’ feel to it (though the level itself isn’t specifically a ‘fire dungeon’). It suggests we are heading towards the final showdown, though there is actually a big chunk of the game later. This is actually the final moments before one of the main characters suffers a fatal end, and so on further playthroughs, it attains a certain level of foreshadowing and melancholy that is only hinted at in the first. (I actually just picked this one because I got back from seeing Where the Wild Things Are, which is a pretty amazing film).
The track is available from Chrono Trigger Original Sound Version, released in 1995 and reprinted in 2004 (I’m lucky to have an original print), but was recently re-released on the Nintendo DS, Chrono Trigger DS Version Original Soundtrack. I prefer the SNES sound chip over the DS.
An interesting note about the soundtrack is this was Yasunori Mitsuda’s first composition role. As a result, he worked very hard on this, so much that he became sick, and more experience composer, Nobuo Uematsu, had to finish up a few of the remaining tracks for him. Mitsuda now is a well established composer, and was the first major composer to go independent.