As of this week, Chrono Trigger is 20 years old. If you ask me to choose between it and Final Fantasy VI for Best SNES RPG, I’ll probably just start sobbing in confused indecision. And if you ask me which game has the better soundtrack, I’ll start bawling tears of blood. I simply cannot choose.
I can, however, highlight some of the best tunes from Chrono Trigger (spoiler: The whole game). In honour of this wondrous RPG and its two decades of existence, I’d like to present The Singing Mountain, a barely-used song that only officially appears in the game’s Nintendo DS re-release as part of a bonus dungeon.
The original SNES dungeon that The Signing Mountain belonged to didn’t make the final cut. It belonged to the Prehistoric era, and the developers figured they had enough shenanigans going on in that time period.
I guess I won’t argue. Some of Chrono Trigger’s eras seem a bit under-served compared to Prehistoria. 12,000 BC deserves so much more content than it actually has (especially since as a kid, I was obsessed with the idea that Schala was hidden somewhere on the icy ruins of the map). Still, talk about a lovely song gone to waste.
I believe the Singing Mountain dungeon was originally supposed to be visited after Chrono’s death, which seems apt. Singing Mountain is a very melancholy piece, but at the same time it’s restful and restorative. It’s exactly the kind of easy listening you need after watching your party leader get blown to bits and scattered across the currents of time.
By the way, Singing Mountain resembles the ending theme for Miyazaki’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky. So we have inspiration from classic anime, Pink Floyd, progressive rock, and any number of other musical genres. No wonder Chrono Trigger’s soundtrack kicks.