Note: this is the domestic release of the Seiken Densetsu 2 OSV. With exception to packaging, this is the exact same soundtrack. The domestic version is now much harder to find compared to the import release, which still has reprints circulating through most online stores.
You’ve gotta love old-school Square. Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 2 in Japan) was a classic game that was way ahead of its time, not only graphically but musically as well. This OST, which I’ve had for at least seven years, if not more, was one of the first OSTs ever released in America for the American version of a game. That means it had to be so good that Square was willing to bet some good money on its success in a generally RPG-ignorant United States.
A Hiroki Kikuta joint, this soundtrack reflects the colorful, vibrant world of SoM in tracks such as “Together Always”, a bouncy town theme that just shouts “let’s play tag and accidentally knock over an old gentleman carrying groceries.” “Dancing Animals” also brings home tons of fun as the theme accompanying one of the earliest appearances of moogles.
Then you’ve got the more solemn side of the game’s story, reflected in “Phantom and a Rose…” which is a perfectly touching way of booting the hero out of his hometown (those yellow-bellied villagers). Hook that up with a track like “A Wish…”, the most evocative rendition of the silence of eternal winter next to the actual silence itself, and you’ve got your sadness covered.
And for all you fans of bumbling cronies, there’s “A Curious Happening”, representative of the Scorpion Gang and their repeated attempts to derail our heroes and steal the Mana Seeds for themselves. Pure slightly-malevolent aural fun for the whole family.
Particular to the Secret of Mana Soundtrack is the use of bells and dark, solemn pianos, all rendered as well as the SNES sound chip can make them (which, if you remember your old games is pretty dern spiffy for the time). Secret of Mana runs the gamut of emotion; there’s no dearth of either the ominous or the light-hearted, and the OST proves it. All fans of the Seiken Densetsu series, Square music, or Hiroki Kikuta should really dig through eBay to find a copy. Truly worth the thirty dollars I paid for it back then, and probably worth the money you’ll put down on it now.