ReMix:Secret of Mana "Things We Didn't Know" 6:37

By Vampire Hunter Dan

Arranging the music of 4 songs...

"Danger", "Fear of the Heavens", "Into the Thick of It", "What the Forest Taught Me"

Primary Game: Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES), music by Hiroki Kikuta

Posted 2010-09-29, evaluated by djpretzel

Mr. Barnaba writes:

"Hello. I'm writing to submit an arrangement/remix of mine called "Things We Didn't Know." This is an orchestral arrangement of pieces from the SNES game Secret of Mana: "Danger," "The Boy Aims for Wild Fields," "Angels' Fear," and bits of various other themes."

Very informative! So I have to take a second and reiterate that meeting Hiroki Kikuta at Otakon this year was awesome and a highlight of my ten years running the site. We actually got the chance to sit down and talk with him and Hiro, with Hiro translating, and it was clear that both of them are passionate about VGM and have respect for fans and ReMixers as well. At one point, Kikuta was talking about OCR and actually air-guitared the main riff from 'Dragon Song', and it was... rather magical. Mr. Brandon Bush flied in on his flammy and joined us not ten minutes later, so it was cool to see the two of them meet - one of those crystallizing meta-moments I couldn't even imagine fifteen years ago, when game composers were magical wizards who lived in the sky, wrote great music, but did not walk among us, etc.

I was thinking recently that, for being a pretty big name in VGM, Kikuta hasn't actually composed that many huge game soundtracks. But listening to him speak during his Otakon panel, and really analyzing what he accomplished with Seiken Densetsu's 2 & 3, it's even clearer to me that those soundtracks alone justify the praise he receives, and more. They are masterworks, I feel, that have stood the test of time, cover a huge dynamic range, and stand as singular examples of craftsmanship & artistry.

Someone should really, you know... do a Seiken Densetsu 3 project... ahem...

But on to VHD's mix... at around 6'40" in length, the ReMixer takes his time to develop this orchestral and choral opus and weave themes in with intelligence & craft. The dynamics in the intro alone establish a polished feel, with excerpts of familiar melodies taken and re-purposed as motifs, and delicate care paid to transitions and cues. Dan's moved away from using much reverb, which only works because his samples are pretty solid, and (more importantly) he wields them with control and finesse. There was a moment at 4'02" when I was afraid the transition would seem tenuous, but then an isolated church bell rings out, followed by an oboe solo, and the segue is natural. The ending comes on string and might punctuate over-enthusiastically, but it's certainly the end to a fulfilling journey that pays tribute to many of your favorite Mana themes in one coherent package that is all synergy and zero medleyitis. Excellent, epic, and beautifully orchestrated work from Vampire Hunter Dan.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-06-04 15:37:26

Whoa. All I've got to say. Masterfully arranged and executed.

on 2012-11-17 18:56:07

Very impressive and one of my favorite arrangements on the site.

on 2012-09-19 11:37:42

The vocals near the beginning reminded me of a movie, and it certainly has the build-up of one. Fantastic. Very adventurous as it picks up, and I love the dramatic elements of this ReMix. Sweet violin playing, that was cool. Seriously, words don't do this kind of epic piece justice. Simply incredible to listen to. Great work VHD!

on 2012-01-22 06:01:54

Uh yeah... I'm not going to list the many positive things about this because I actually think I'd fall short of doing it justice.

Vampire Hunter Dan is just a special dude. The caliber of this mix is ridiculous. Damn him for being so good. Pure talent and a sublime ear for classical arrangement.

Standing ovation.

One of my all time favourites. That is all.

I hope I properly conveyed that I thought this mix was decent.

on 2011-04-03 19:31:38

Woah. What an awesome piece of work. This song kicks ass in terms of just how much stuff it goes on in it without it feeling like it's inconsistent. I give it 5 out of 5 rabites. Congratulations on a fine piece of work

on 2010-10-26 22:11:15

Absolutely phenomenal.

on 2010-10-20 04:08:12

When I day dream....I day dream of video game movies....I make them so much better in my head than Hollywood ever could.

Secret of mana is one of my favorites to do this with.

Usually to a theme.

This is the tune I use..from the game.

I must now make my mind movie better to accomodate.

Great theme...great arrangment...great remixer.

Martin Penwald
on 2010-10-16 07:23:06

VHD delivers once more. Production is top-notch. Furthermore, I absolutely agree with what other posters have said before; the chorus is used expertly in this song, whether it's in the first minute or at the end of the remix.

2:15 onwards is particularly interesting, not least when compared to Shnabubula's Dueling consoles, i.e. an approach with very different instruments. The strings, while there only for a short time, are magnificent; I wish there would've been more of that.

One of the best orchestral pieces on OCR IMO.

on 2010-10-15 08:26:56

Posting a review to anything VHD puts out seems nonsensical. It's going to be awesome and worth the long play time. Although, I preferred Shnab's take on a couple of the themes here, although that's like comparing a Picasso to a Van Gogh.

This is very much the Van Gogh of that fight, to make it clear. Rather than try to see the sources from every angle at once, this highlights the inner beauty of it, bringing that out and not getting caught up in the unimportant details. A beautiful rendition of a beautiful soundtrack!

Although, I still have to play these games through. I can never seen to get the discipline to follow them to completion...

on 2010-10-10 07:11:23
Someone should really, you know... do a Seiken Densetsu 3 project... ahem...

Ahem, yeah, someone should. More ppl should join, actually. VHD had a great mix going a while back but unfortunately didn't have time then to finish it. Dude, when you do have the time... ;)

Anyway, impressive work from VHD as always. Easy to get lost in this track, partly because it's a bit long, partly because it's a bit awesome. Hard to think of anything else to say, as when you stop to listen you're just carried along. Excellent track, highly enjoyable, has a flavor of epic. :D

on 2010-10-06 08:20:01

Cannot go wrong with Seiken as source material :)

Thanks for sharing this one, I really like it.

on 2010-10-05 21:15:07

I love the delayed doubling of the clarinet melody by the piccolo around 2:50. This is very SOM-esque, yet realized in a fresh way, and a brilliant example of bringing out elements from the OST as Bahamut mentioned.

The piece is constantly changing, almost spastic at times, but never to the point of losing focus. Very nice!

Vitor Machado
on 2010-10-03 17:51:52
Oh that's great! :)!!

I only get to know about projects when they hit front-page, I'm not exactly an avid OCR forumer. :mrgreen:

on 2010-10-03 10:29:40
Care to explain?

One step ahead of you: :wink:

on 2010-10-02 23:02:57

Another beautiful remix by VHD. Love the way it seems this mix can't build any further past about 2:20, then manages to do exactly that.

There is a lot of great music here, but for me, no other artist here is as consistently top notch. Then again, I definitely am biased in favor of orchestral pieces.

Sources Arranged (4 Songs)

Primary Game:
Secret of Mana (Square , 1993, SNES)
Music by Hiroki Kikuta
"Fear of the Heavens"
"Into the Thick of It"
"What the Forest Taught Me"

Tags (8)

Time > Duration: Long

File Information

8,463,111 bytes


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