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Chrono Cross – “Scars Left by Time” (Yasunori Mitsuda)

July 16, 2010

“Scars Left by Time” is one of Yasunori Mitsuda’s best works – and also one of my favorite pieces. Keeping in line with his Asian and Celtic influences, Mitsuda combines the shakuhachi flute with acoustic guitar and Western rhythm on string quartet reinforcing the theme of the ocean and romance. “Scars Left by Time” presents a rousing dance, with an introduction full of mystery and a wonder for a time long past – or perhaps out of time, and a body of passion and adventure, an invocation to the game’s rich atmosphere. I am particularly impressed by the combination of poetry and music in the game’s introduction; “Scars Left by Time” seems aware of itself and its place within the art world.

Chrono Cross – “CHRONO CROSS ~Scars Left by Time~” (Yasunori Mitsuda)

Chrono Cross was Yasunori Mitsuda’s return to the well-respected series’ second installment. Now with over half a decade of experience under his belt, Chrono Cross ended up being one of Mitsuda’s masterpieces. The success of this song was also due in part to Mitsuda’s use of actual instruments, particularly in “Scars Left by Time,” the game’s opening movie theme. For this reason, it is hard for me to recommend any arrangements, simply because the original version is so perfectly – almost effortlessly – done. I am also impressed by Mitsuda’s decision to name each of the three discs in the soundtrack, a move which I think underscores his artistic vision for game music – that music should be something fun to listen to outside of the game rather than just enhancing the game experience.

Yasunori Mitsuda’s work is available for purchase from practically every place that deals in vgm imports. CD Japan has decent prices (the album will still set you back about $40), but if you’re buying from a dealer other than a well-known retailer, keep your eye open for off-brands like Sonmay and Ever Anime – these are pirated copies whose proceeds never make their way back to the composer. Hopefully Yasunori Mitsuda will be able to release his music on iTunes or some other electronic distribution system, as even though the music is well worth the effort, the high prices of importing specialized music is discouraging to many would-be consumers.

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