OCRemix has been covered here before as one of many sites where you can legally get free music. The catch, of course, is that the songs on OCRemix are remixes of popular video game soundtracks. You won’t find Pink Floyd or Taylor Swift here; however, you might be surprised to find that there are still tons of professional quality tracks for you to enjoy – even if you don’t like video games!
This list will cover remixes for Chrono Trigger, one of my favorite RPG games of all time, but one thing to keep in mind is that you can enjoy this music without ever having played the game. Maybe you’ve never even heard of it. That’s fine. Music is music, right? And even though these songs are based on video game tracks, that doesn’t mean they sound like video game music. Trust me on that.
“Subterranean Opus” [Creeping Through the Sewers]
I wasn’t sure whether to sort this list in best-first or best-last order, but I’m so excited to write about this song that I think I need to start with the best. “Subterranean Opus” is a track that caught me completely off guard. I have a playlist of many OCRemix songs that I listen to on a somewhat regular basis, but before today I’d never heard of this song. Boy, I was really missing out.
“Subterranean Opus” was composed by Zircon, who just happens to be one of my favorite electronic composers. I had no idea that he started his career remixing video game songs but, looking back, it makes sense. You have to listen to this song and get at least to the 1:25 mark. That’s when things start to bump and sway with a beautiful mixture of hybrid orchestra touched with a Spanish flavor.
This song sits at the top of my list – not only for Chrono Trigger but all OCRemixes in general – for the high quality sound and the skillful rearrangement that injects many different musical styles while maintaining the heart of the original.
“Wind Scene Concert Paraphrase” [Yearnings of the Wind]
Here’s another song that elevates an original track up into the heavens by revitalizing it with the soul of a new genre. Based on “Yearnings of the Wind,” which you might also know as “600 A.D. Wind Scene”, “Wind Scene Concert Paraphrase” is one of those tracks that brims full of emotion, passion, and energy – even though the song itself is quite soft and mellow. It just feels alive.
It just goes to show that you don’t need an orchestra of instruments to create beautiful renditions. “Wind Scene Concert Paraphrase” is just one man on one piano creating sophisticated music using nothing more than creativity, hard work, and love. He was able to infuse the original wind song with a jazzy feel that warms the heart and relaxes the muscles.
“Dream of Zeal” [Corridor of Time]
Every good video game – just like every good movie – has that one tune that always pops into your head when you think of it. Most of the time, it’s the theme song. If I were to mention Harry Potter, I think we all know which song you’d be thinking about. Similarly, when it comes to Chrono Trigger, “Corridor of Time” (which you may know as the “Theme of Zeal”) beats out all other tracks as the iconic theme.
There are dozens of “Corridor of Time” remixes available on OCRemix and many of them deserve high praise. But in the interest of not flooding this article with more than one remix of the same track, I chose “Dream of Zeal” to represent.
It captures the essence of the original while adding a new layer of life on top. The sound samples may not be the best, but you have to consider that this remix was released nearly four years ago. Even still, it’s held up to time well and remains as one of my favorite Zeal remixes.
“Far Away Memories” [Outskirts of Time]
This remix of “Outskirts of Time” has such a homey, comforting quality about it. The choice of samples and the actual rhythm-melody combination evoke some real imagery – as if I’m strolling through a sunset countryside on a long, empty road. “Far Away Memories” is aptly named and I applaud the composer for creating such a fresh take on the original track.
“Behind the Sealed Door” [Sealed Door]
When you name a song “Behind the Sealed Door,” you inherently charge the composition with an aura of mystery. Smartly, the composer allows this mysterious feeling to pervade this remix and I think he did a great job in maintaining the original track’s soul while taking it in a whole new direction (compare it to the original “Sealed Door” and you’ll see what I mean).
There’s a dark and haunting quality to this song that I love and it’s balanced with a strong rhythm that keeps it from delving too deeply into somber territory. The piano is both light and gloomy – an interesting paradox – which provides further balance. Around the 1:30 mark, there’s a transition that incorporates a notably bright Final Fantasy melody, but it eases back into the eerie around 3:17.
Music is inherently subjective so there’s no doubt that some of you will read this and disagree with me. That’s fine with me. If I had the time and space, I’d expand this list to ten, fifteen, or even more songs because there are just so many Chrono Trigger remixes on the OCRemix site and they’re all lovely.
If there’s a Chrono Trigger remix that you think belongs in the top five, please share them in the comments! I’d love to hear your thoughts.