Friday, May 31, 2013

TOP Track #1 - "Battle with Magus"

This is it! We made it! Coming in at #1 across two separate tournaments and hours upon hours of listening and judging music - "Battle with Magus" is the supreme champion of Music May 2013! This result did surprise me, but I'm by no means disappointed. It is a fantastic song, and a fantastic moment in video games as I detailed in my countdown last year - "The First Battle with Magus"

That article goes into great detail into what an amazing game Chrono Trigger is and what a great character Magus is within the game. As I've said, we really tried to step back away from nostalgia and assess each song on its own merits, but that's no easy feat. Particularly challenging when you're talking about something as amazing as the battle with Magus. If you've read that article I linked, you know it's one of the most impressive moments in gaming that I've ever personally experienced, so to wipe it from my mind when listening to this song is close to impossible.

The beginning of the song is dark and brooding, but quickly launches you into a frenzied fight for your life. The pacing is phenomenal. You're really pulled into the majesty of the situation. You know just from listening to this song that there's a lot on the line. Magus is not a push over. He means business, and you just got in his way. I think the way the music syncs up with the fight is one of the driving reasons that it made such a lasting impression on me, and goes to show what Mitsuda is truly capable of as a composer.


Ah - the initial fight against Magus. Where do I begin? It might be my favorite battle in the history of gaming. Chrono Trigger is a fan favorite due to the way it weaves a brilliant engaging story throughout different time periods. It's never more prevalent than the quest to restore the Masamune, which culminates fantastically in the battle with Magus. As TOP mentioned before, this seemed at the time like it might have been the game's finale. Thankfully, Mitsuda Yasunori crafted this masterpiece to fit the occasion. 

This track begins slowly and eerily to remind you that you are in the presence of an all-powerful wizard who might be responsible for the end of the world. A chill runs down my spine every time I hear the black wind howl. Suddenly (timed perfectly in-game as Magus accepts the player's challenge), the beat picks up and we are treated to a battle score that I can only describe as epic. In the background, a Mystic laughs (or perhaps, moans?) as you try to keep up with Magus's changing guards and endless attacks. This was one of those exhilarating fights that got your adrenaline pumping hard, and to me, it proved that Mitsuda could stand toe-to-toe with Uematsu Nobuo when it comes to battle tracks.

Lastly, I'd be remiss not to mention the final confrontation atop the Black Omen. If Magus is in your party, you are treated to a goosebump-inducing dialogue between him and his deranged mother. Instead of "Boss Battle 2" that normally plays during this altercation, you get to hear Magus's theme once again ... causing another adrenaline-fueled engagement. It truly makes the moment seem much more personal to the player. I love it!

- Deez

Derivative Tracks

No comments:

Post a Comment