ReMix:Chrono Trigger "Predetermination" 4:21

By Tyler Heath

Arranging the music of one song...

"Chrono Trigger"

Primary Game: Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu, Noriko Matsueda, Yasunori Mitsuda

Posted 2005-01-09, evaluated by the judges panel

Unknown gives us a mutating, orchestral arrangement of Chrono Trigger that spans a fairly significant range of tempos in its four minutes and twenty seconds. While I love the very artistic ending that doesn't resolve perfectly and fades out with church bells ringing in sort of a prologue vibe, let's start at the beginning: Ty opens with a cinematic progression of string swells, then at 0'30" brings in a cool percussive vibe that actually has some latin elements thrown in, with deep ensemble pizzicato strings and later brass coming on the melodic part. The shakers here establish a martial, shuffling feel, but at 1'26" that's interrupted - gracefully - for a slower, deliberate refrain. There's mucho snare rolls and cymbal work to help these sorts of transitions along, but it's always done tastefully. A broader range of winds, additional brass, etc. are brought in for further fun, along with some choral patches, as the source material is repositioned and blended adeptly. zircon writes:

"The arrangement is absolutely superb - VERY nice usage of tempo changes, variation, bridges, and original sections, among other things. There is also a great structure present that keeps the listener interested with plenty of changes to dynamics and layering. At first, I felt that the climax might have arrived too soon in the piece, but on further listens, I found that I actually like the creative approach Ty took with the middle to ending passages. It's not what one would expect from a dramatic orchestral piece, but it's well-executed and really works."

while zyko succinctly adds:

"it has plenty of arrangement, variation and is well executed in all facets."

... can't argue with that. I can see the initial, seemingly groove-focused feel of the mix throwing some people off who might be expecting something more consistently toe-tappable, but it's to Unknown's credit that he can throw in such passages and assimilate them into a larger whole that is more amorphous and dynamic.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2009-12-04 11:29:53

Pretty cool shift in the backing chords for this, and a lot of really good additions, both immediately noticeable and subtle. Production was clean and pretty well balanced, and there were lots of good hints at source even in the more liberal parts. Really nice stuff, check this one out. :-)

on 2007-03-05 12:41:39

I really like how the song rolls in out of the basic intro. Very well done.

on 2005-10-05 20:12:55

I am so tired of Chrono Trigger remixes. Remix Chrono Cross!

I really dig this mix... and all of unknown's stuff, really.

Solid arrangement, tonal balance and emotive force. I can't complain much... except for some of the brass... I don't like brass. And the climax is different than expecting. Like your get to the top of the roller-coaster and just roll straight ahead.... It's different; not bad.

on 2005-10-02 09:19:50

I liked the intro, and how it kicked back in at 2:10. I also liked your drum samples :wink: I also liked the way you used the strings around 3:00. What kind of message are you trying to send with this mix?

on 2005-10-02 04:32:39

Great mix, loved it, but it does kinda remind me of Chrono Cross, with that whole military thing near the beginning. The first tempo change hit me as a bit of a surprise at first, but it works, works very well. and the ending fits it just perfectly. Keep up the good work!

PS - a note to this "dude"

Too bad that the mixer is Unknown, because this

one was mindblowing! Dude!

Don't know if you intended to sound like you actually thought the mixer was not known, but if you look at the profile of the mixer, Unknown is the alias of a mixer, Tyler Heath, who is one of my faves

on 2005-09-12 12:41:47

Too bad that the mixer is Unknown, because this

one was mindblowing! Dude!

on 2005-03-06 18:18:01

Real late on my reply, but meh.

I think the song's great. It's very powerful. Full of emotion.

man, I really come off as an ass in this post.

Nah. They really insulted your work. What can you do? So what if the ending wasn't uber climatic? It doesn't hurt the song too much. If you just listen to it without devoting 100% of your attention to it, you don't even notice. I think the ending's fine, personally. It's smooth. Now, if you took it and had drawn it out for 30 seconds more, maybe I'd agree, but you didn't, so very nice work.

At first I didn't like the transitions very much, but they really grew on me. Now it's a whole new story. I think it was because I was so into the impacting smooth sound before 2:50 (I think around there). Though now I don't really mind them.

Like I've said before, the song is very powerful. You must have some pretty good equipment in order to generate something that sounds like it could be in an actual PS2 game like this.

Look forward to hearing more.

on 2005-02-27 10:29:04

I'm late in posting anything on this song. I should have the day it was released on the site because it continues to rock my world to this day.

When those drums hit...I start bobbing my head. It makes me want to get out of my seat and mamba (or try to) my ass off. The word I think of when I try to describe this song is "primal" until it starts to get less groovy and softer. I don't have any qualms with this or the ending at all. This conveys a sense of hopelessness for the cause they're fighting for or something similar I can't place my finger on.

Excellent work. You continue to be one of my favorite remixers. :)

on 2005-02-13 18:44:04

While the trumpet sound isn't exactly "characteristic" of a trumpet, the sound isn't bad either, I've heard a simular sound out of a real trumpet before (being a trumpet player myself.) I think the patch suits the song wonderfully, midi-ish sounding or not (which to me that's a not because midi-ish trumpet sounds like crap.)

I really liked the progression of this entire song, the beggining is very pretty, and the end too. The middle section is very fun to listen to for me with the nifty strings and percusion, and like I said I like the lead trumpet and the way it was mirrored by other instruments, it really adds to the sound.

I think in the entire song the only change I would personaly make is bringing out the bass drum hit at 2:40. But that's probably a matter of stylistic taste. And spending years with band directors that would have done that had we been playing a song such as this.

Er anyway... nifty song I like it and sometimes want to listen to it several times before moving on to the next.


Nobbynob Littlun
on 2005-02-03 02:59:51

Reminds me a lot of Chrono Cross as well. Maybe it is just the kind of progression it goes under, or maybe it has bits of the tune, I played both games too long ago to remember.

Brass at 2:08 is kinda flat sounding. Probably would be okay with better samples, but with the ones you've got, try working around it in the future :( Maybe on the upper bound of their notes, quietly slip one in at a higher register for a little umph... I don't know.

Watch out at 2:50, with those strings moving up to higher notes their synthishness stands out more. Perhaps cutting back on volume, having two of those strings going in a chord with different vibrato - I don't know. They're your samples, it's up to you to :)

Good rearrangement, tempo changes (which is uncommon, takes some initiative/inspiration). I liked it.

Tyler Heath
on 2005-02-01 22:29:56

I don't understand at all how there could have been a huge brass-'n-kickass finale at 3:17. I also don't understand why you (SixthFlyingMan, SpaceDrake) refuse to view the song as a progression as opposed to a single idea. Chrono Trigger is full of development, full of change and evolving characters/plots/emotions. I was trying to capture that concept of change, and to claim that Chrono Trigger was comprised entirely of seven heroes traipsing through time on a whirlwind adventure is arrogant and ignorant. I wrote the ending that way on purpose, and I could honestly care less about how you think I should have written it.

So maybe write out how you think it should have gone, send me a sample, and then I might think about changing it. Maybe.

man, I really come off as an ass in this post.

on 2005-02-01 18:10:08

Some people here are, IMO, too locked into the "must have a BIG FINISH!" school of composing. Low-key endings are good too.

Would this mix be "better" if it had a brassy finale at 3:17 and then dropped down to the current ending?

(I love it as-is. The first bit made me think not so much of Halo as certain passages from Princess Mononoke, and the rhumba-ish mix of the main melody is a real toe-tapper.)

ella guro
on 2005-01-18 20:27:40

For the most part, I really liked this. The ending (contrasting to what some other people feel in this forum), especially, adds to the depth for me and makes it feel like a more ...thought-out arrangement. The percussion is also a good addition, and it gives everything a little more flair.

I do have an objection with the way the main melody has been changed. I understand it's done to fit the progression, and part of my objection has to do with being so accustomed to the way the original is. But the change makes me wince a little bit every time I hear it. But in the end, it doesn't detract much from a pretty excellent mix. Good work, ty.

on 2005-01-18 20:25:06
Am I really the only one here who thinks the song really suffers due to the ending? :?
No, you're not. I mean, after all, 2:42 thru to the end... Yeah, that REALLY carries across the image of seven heroes, transcending even time itself to vanquish an alien beast as it prepares to wipe humanity off the face of the earth. Come on! Where's my big, climactic, heart-pounding, holy-frickin-crap-thats-awesome ending? No, it goes out with a whimper and a fart, not the whistle, bang and lightshow that would do justice to the rest of the piece...

If not for the horrible ending, this piece would be on my hard drive now. Good job on the rest of it though.

on 2005-01-17 19:48:29
Am I really the only one here who thinks the song really suffers due to the ending? :?

I think so...

Anyway, this entire song is superb. There's so much diversity and energy to it. I absolutely love it, and I can listen to it on repeat for a good long while. Great stuff.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Chrono Trigger (Square , 1995, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu,Noriko Matsueda,Yasunori Mitsuda
"Chrono Trigger"

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