One of my favorite characters from Chrono Trigger is Frog, a knight who, while on a quest to defeat the warlock Magus, was defeated in battle and transformed into a frog before the body of his comrade and the shattered sword of legend. Frog lives in exile, unable to show his face to the world of humans, but secretly continues his war against Magus. When Chrono and his friends are ambushed in Manoria Cathedral, Frog rushes in to their aid. However, after the princess is rescued, Frog returns to exile and will not return until the Masamune is forged anew. If, during your quest, you choose to fight Magus instead of take him on your team, Frog returns to his human from as Glenn, the green-haired knight. In Japan, Frog is known simply as ‘Kaeru’, which translates directly as ‘Frog’, but also could mean “to come home”, which is a wonderful play on Frog’s status as an exile. While a rather simple tune, it, along with the character, has become beloved to fans of the game through his humble confidence.
“Frog’s Theme” opens with a blaze of flute, trumpet, and drums, a nice medieval march. This short 15-second intro ends with a flurry of trumpets and a nicely-timed cymbal crash. The second segment is the main part of the song, a 30-second ballad played on a flute or tin whistle. The high pitch reflects Frog’s amphibious nature but also his pride and sorrow at his curse. The piece is still very comforting because it lets you know you have a close friend at hand. While the high notes would normally be hopeful and happy, they are played in a minor key, which communicates sadness and determination. This made the piece perfect for alignment with the Civil War song “When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again“, in an arrangement by Ailsean, which also used a minor key because it was based off the melody of an Irish antiwar song.
Note there are two versions of “Frog’s Theme”. The first was available on the Japanese soundtrack and contains a longer intro (shown above). The shorter one is only a 30-second loop with the main melody. This one was released on the Nintendo DS soundtrack. Read the rest of this entry ?