ReMix:Terranigma "Aquamarine" 4:18

By mv

Arranging the music of one song...

"A Place to Return To"

Primary Game: Terranigma (Enix , 1995, SNES), music by Masanori Hikichi, Miyoko Takaoka

Posted 2005-03-29, evaluated by djpretzel

If you're familiar with mv's work, you probably wait for each new mix with Pavlovian anticipation, as he's got a track record of four excellent arrangements to date, with this marking his fifth. He's consistently covered different pieces from different games with a style that blends groove-based jams with silky smooth textural work and world music influences. With great results. Here Xavier sets his sites on Terranigma:

"This one is a remix of the famous "Crysta" village tune from Terranigma, the mood doesn't really deviate from the original track, it's rather laid back, peaceful. The remix benefits from new original parts, some light deviations from the original melodies and some subtle embellishments. The aim clearly was to make something relaxing - almost sleep - music, while still remaining melodic in a game-music-sort-of-way (heh)."

This is actually a bit more sentimental than what we've heard from the ReMixer in the past, but he works the tear-jerking, montage-ready, pastorale ballad gig quite well, with tasteful nature effects - the babbling brook, birds, what almost sounds like a swing or bench creaking; just a very serene, content feeling. Shire music, pre- or post-fellowship, when the Hobbitfolk are going about their leisurely, agrarian lives, with nary a dark thought or lingering doubt to trouble them. And such. Piano, harp, bass pizzicato, minimal percussion, lovely mandolin strumming, what sounds like a harmonica or bandoneon, legato strings, french horns, a subtle choral patch, xylophone, a more glockenspiel-flavored bell patch, and a sparsely but beautifully articulated acoustic guitar fill out a long laundry list of seamlessly integrated components. That's a pretty formidable array of instruments, to be sure, but they're all used at just the right moments, as augmentation or to round out a melodic passage, so rather than seeming crowded or overblown, the instrumentation instead is intimate, familiar, and very cohesive. This mix perfectly captures the feeling of being not just in any old pleasant, quaint town, but specifically being somewhere familiar - being home, or somewhere as good as home - and all the positive connotations associated with it. Gorgeous.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2013-07-16 12:12:04

Wow, I've heard some game remixes that have made me cringe because they used wrong selection of instruments or turned something that should be relaxing into an up-beat trance or hip hop, often with some random tune in it that leaves you a bit confused to why it's there. This is absolutely beautiful though, spot on. Has the same relaxing melody that's in the game with enough changes to add more body to it without it derailing into a completely different tune altogether. The instrument choices - bang on. The ambient sounds - bang on. There's nothing bad I can say about this remix, it's just bang on and better than the original.

on 2011-04-15 12:09:52

A beautiful piece of work there. The tune has that melancholy feel to that just gives it a soul. great job here

on 2009-03-26 10:29:53

A beautiful original melody flawlessly presented. The subtle touches all over this mix are excellent.


on 2009-01-20 18:57:43

This is what one would here over the credits over some heartbreakingly sad movie.

Great job :nicework:, but this is definitely not for me.

on 2005-09-23 13:57:53

Terranigma had one of the most best gamemusic ever, and thanks to mv, they probably be the best gameremixes ever. The violine beginning at 2:32 was absolutely beautiful together with the piano, and the guitar...DUDE!

on 2005-06-13 15:09:23

I loved a lot of mv's work in the past, and this mix is no different. As far as I'm concerned it's the best Terranigma arrangement VGMix had to offer upon travelling there, and - even though I saw that the quality and theme diversity for this game's coverage has been upped quite a bit here - it has still managed to shine on as a great quality remix for this part of the site.

So I might as well rope in my VGMix review through all this -

Production techniques

Just like most other Crysta mixes I've heard on the web this is a chilled arrangement, although in this case mv has managed to reach out for a few country elements to match up with the essence of the original. Panning has really been emphasized with the overall atmospheric space and mood emphasis as shown right across the various textures, which has been shown with a fair amount of attention to emotive care. The choice of sounds are often of a high quality from this user, and with enough attention also granted towards the overall ambient processing towards the instrumentation we have a reflective enough setting to catch a wide range of interest. If anything I was hoping for the guitar to have a bit more reverb, but that's just me. Mind, I can say the sound levels are almost flawless for what they are and that have been showcased with some well executed EQs and sound placements throughout. So as a whole I can say that this is one of Xavier's better mastering downs that we've faced in a long while - something that reflects upon the Crysta theme almost perfectly, and definitely one to bear in mind when going through the track yourself.

Compositional structure

The track started off with some nice SFX work, thus reflecting upon the peaceful rural village atmosphere. This has then been emphasized further with some nice deep instrumentation as coming through at 0:19, which have managed to start showcasing much of Xavier's creative side through the chord progressions as gestured here. In terms of dynamics I found this to be a very sweet and reflective introduction as such; I can't pinpoint much to gesture at this point in terms of flaws, although if anything I may point on at hoping to bring in some wider proportions of the theme but that's probably me.

And then at 0:45 the music then showed an incorporation of the main theme itself. And it's here that I managed to notice a lot of warmth to the source material as well as a good amount of grace taken right through that aspect of the mix. While it can be argued that it followed the original a bit too closely, which can somehow be a light mark down for some, I personally feel that this was able to reflect upon the arrangement in a more conservative and well rounded fashion than some other incorporations of the theme that I have heard so far. So yeah, this isn't a bad start methinks.

The second proportion of the track then made its arrival from 1:33 onwards, and it's there that they have still managed to maintain a light amount of truth to the original. I found a fair amount of fresh material from the 2 minute mark given the inclusion of the harmonica (?) and overall instrument swelling in time towards the climax's entrance from 2:30. While not the most involving incarnation of that section of the source, I still feel that the wider scopes from that particular segment have still done well to rope in a strong amount of dynamic interest here.

And from the 3 minute mark mv has shown his creative side once more with a light acoustic guitar solo performance alongside the moods as shown within the closing proportion here. This in turn was lead well into a finishing sequence that involved a lot of the quieter instrumentation coming back into play and involving a thoughtful and atmospheric closure all the way through to the final plucked bass string and choir chanting. While not as "climatic" as what I've previously witnessed from him (and in fact I feel the bass velocities could have been a bit softer on the attack to match with the theme intensions), it has still worked in providing a sweet and well gestured closure.

As far as I'm concerned I actually found this to be one of mv's best works to date, and that has been shown with a great combination of atmospheric production techniques, reliabilities to the source material and enough creative garbs to be able to add to the scopes of the source on that ground. There's barely much i can find wrong with this at all, although I still feel a little bit shaken over the slightly harsh attacks on the ending sequence, although that could be nothing more than a nit-pick.

But yeah, it's still a good mix to check out; more high quality work from mv, and definitely worth noting if you're a fan of the game. We need more material from him in the future :D

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2005-04-18 06:33:40

I'm a huge fan of Terranigma. This captures the story perfectly. Perfectly! I'm not sure where to begin. I'm not really sure how to express it, without spoiling what happens in the story. The story though - incredible. And this reflects it perfectly. Perfectly! Did I say perfectly? Perfectly!

on 2005-04-12 05:39:09

Hello all,

I'd like to thank everyone for the positive feedback, and of course DJP for gracing me with another direct posting. :)

I took note of every comment/critique and will definitely try to deliver a new remix soon, hopefully better!

on 2005-04-09 16:11:34

I too would like to hear a remix of the somewhat melancholy song that plays during the waterfall discovery scene in the Ra tree (?), or the 'resurection of the world' song, uh. The one that gets played when you complete each tower? Terranigma, while no Secret of Mana, did have some pretty good tunes I'm sure I've forgotten most of by now.

That aside, this is a very beautiful mix. It gives me a feeling of 'coming home;' returning to a place you once lived and possibly cared for quite a bit, after a long, hard journey. Looking around the familiar scenery, and realizing how much you've changed, and how little this place has. I very much like the use of instrumentation, the slowly building opening, the first small crash at 0'44, the bigger crash at 1'00, and the monumentally joyful build and crash around 2'31. This song develops, and grows, slowly painting more and more of this mental picture of returning home. Like all the best OCR remixes, I don't associate this song with the game much at all (even though the feelings it evokes in me do fit the end of the game perfectly), but rather small pieces of life.

on 2005-04-07 23:57:41

I really like this mix, seems quite fully realized. The very start reminds me a bit of Enya's style. Lot of deapth here.

As a side note... I do wish more of Terranigma's tracks would get remixed. I really like some of them, but I see so many remixes of this town song. Even a remix of a remix of this song!

Its not a bad song, its quite endearing. This is probably my favorite rendition of it. But there are some other great tracks in the game that deserve attention. I'd like to see someone find a place for that simple yet sad tune you first hear in that plant room with the waterfall (been so long since I played it, I can't remember where exactly, but you hear it a few times in the game). Or the opening/ending themes. I used to just listen to the original versions in winamp, I liked them so much.

on 2005-04-07 12:33:45

mv is so awesome it's not even funny. This song is absolutely beautiul, 10/10 easily.

on 2005-04-06 21:29:45

Absolutely beautiful. It reminds me why I got into OCR in the first place. I just can't get over the emotion, the beauty and brilliance of this mix. HIGHLY recommended, definitely a 10/10.

on 2005-04-04 00:51:56

mv, never cease to amaze me. A lovely remix/touch up of the original piece for Terranigma, a piece that was one of my favorites. The instruments suit each other very well... a top notch piece, I must say. 9/10

By the way, mv... tis MasterLeoheart from the vgmusic forums. Nice job ;)

Less Ashamed Of Self
on 2005-04-03 14:09:11

I think I've determined something about this song.

If anyone hates it, they hate it for the wrong reasons.

on 2005-04-02 00:23:24

On first hearing I wasn't sure what to think. But after hearing it a few more times I'm pretty impressed. The original was pretty mellow, but this mix takes it to a whole new level. I like it -- it does what it's supposed to. The various instruments help keep the peice lively while maintaining the relaxed vibe.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Terranigma (Enix , 1995, SNES)
Music by Masanori Hikichi,Miyoko Takaoka
"A Place to Return To"

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