Sep 182013


Guest Brent Weinbach helps us relive the glory days of the Seiken Densetsu series, from Final Fantasy Adventure to Legend of Mana.

Boyz II Mana and other puns await


0:00:00 – Fear of the Heavens (Secret of Mana)

0:13:03 – Endless Battlefield (Final Fantasy Adventure)

0:13:46 – Seeking the Holy Sword (Final Fantasy Adventure)

0:15:17 – Believe in Victory (Sword of Mana)

0:31:46 – A Curious Tale (Secret of Mana)

0:33:14 – Dancing Animals (Secret of Mana)

0:34:33 – Danger (Secret of Mana)

0:36:43 – Flight into the Unknown (Secret of Mana)

0:38:14 – Prophecy (Secret of Mana)

0:48:14 – Did You See the Ocean (Secret of Mana)

0:50:22 – Color of the Summer Sky (Secret of Mana)

0:51:45 – The Oracle (Secret of Mana)

0:53:31 – Leave Time for Love (Secret of Mana)

0:58:23 – Nuclear Fusioin (Seiken Densetsu 3)

1:01:37 – Swivel (Seiken Densetsu 3)

1:03:25 – Can You Fly, Sister (Seiken Densetsu 3)

1:05:16 – Meridian Child (Seiken Densetsu 3)

1:17:21 – Legend of Mana (Legend of Mana)

1:19:40 – Pain in the Universe (Legend of Mana)

1:22:59 – The Darkness Nova (Legend of Mana)

1:39:00 – The Second Truth from the Left (Secret of Mana)

  21 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 53 – Legacy Mana Hour”

  1. Mana oh mana, I can’t wait to listen.

  2. Oh man, this’ll be a good one. I havn’t played a mana game since Legend, but I do love the ones I have played. I just wish we could get a release of Seiken Densetsu 3 here. In a world where Earthbound is on the virtual console, anything is possible right?

  3. It’s a Legacy Cross-over WHUUUUTT??!?! Love it! =)

    I do like the focus of this episode, Mana has an amazing score and deserves more press than it gets.

  4. Just so you know, FF Adventure was the first Final Fantasy I ever played. I think ‘Endless Battlefield’ is more ingrained in me than any other FF song.

    Even though it isn’t even an FF song….

  5. They actually released the soundtracks for Secret of Mana and FF3 on CD in the States, they’re probably the only game music I ever bought here.

    I never owned a GameBoy, but I borrowed one and loved FF Adventure. I went halves with a friend to buy Secret of Mana, it must have been $60 or so when it came out, which was a lot when we were working at Burger King in the early 90’s. It’s too bad the series seemed to trail off after that, it had two games I loved, then I mostly forgot about the series after that.

    Why no mention of using Secret of Mana songs as bed music on podcasts? It must pop up more than any other, was it just on TalkRadar, or does it continue, I can’t remember?

    I tried listening to Legeacy Music Hour a while ago, but it was dryer than Laser Time productions, I guess, so I haven’t kept up. I’ll have to look for the one with Brett and Chris, though, this one was good, and Brent was interesting. He seems to love game music, but doesn’t know as much about certain aspects of it that Brett (and Laser Time listeners) know about, while he knows more about other aspects that Brett doesn’t know about. Who’d have thought there was that much to know about old game music?

  6. Whoa! Kenji Ito did Shadow Hearts? I never expected that game to get a mention on here. I loved Shadow Hearts Covenant on the PS2. Never played the original or Shadow Hearts 3. But dang, number 2 was good.

    Now about Secret of Mana, I’ve never played any of these games, but really enjoyed the music. I agree with you guys about the Uematsu influences – a lot of the music sounds Final Fantasy-y. In particular, one of the melodies in Meridian Child sounded really, REALLY close to the final fantasy main theme that repeats at some time or another in every FF.

  7. God Dammit, listening to the Legend of Mana title theme gave me fucking chills. Legend of mana is actually the first Mana game I had ever played, and I was too young at the time to properly remember it now, (was probably 12-13 at most) but when I heard this song again, it stirred memories and nostalgia from that time.

    It’s moments like that which makes this show so special and important to me. I love VG music and I have plenty that I listen to this day, but there’s a lot that I had either forgotten or hadn’t properly appreciated it when I was young, and when I listen to it again thanks to a show like this, it’s something really special. And of course, it’s also great when I discover great new songs as well! Such as secret of mana’s “Prophecy”

    So again, thank you Elston for this show, I promise you it never goes un-appreciated 😀

  8. Elston: After listening to you on LMH 151, and regarding Local on the 8s tunes, I did some research. The dude you want to look for is Trammell Starks (tons of stuff on YouTube); album’s called “Music for Local Forecast”. Classic TWC tunes from 1996, when weather was weather.

    Along those same lines, here in Louisville, KY (where I live), there was a cable channel that had a half-hour show that just showed local obituaries. I don’t know how I ever ended up watching it but the music was out-fucking-standing–very similar to Local on the 8s stuff. Don’t know if a similar show aired in any other markets, but I’d love to find some clips of that again. In retrospect I feel kind of ghoulish for enjoying (and taping) the obits so much, but the music was really good.

  9. Just trying to clarify some stuff with my little knowledge: The GBA had both a Zilog Z80 processor (the same used on the original Gameboy and GBC) and a PSG to run Gameboy games.
    You could use them on your GBA game, but, why would you do that?
    The GBA, just like the SNES, doesn’t has a “sound chip”, by normal means. Instead, it just has a pair of 8-bit DAC, what means you can do, basicaly, whatever you want in regards to audio (respecting, of course, the limited resolution of these DAC and the limited space you had to store sound data).
    It’s not only possible to play samples from the memory, but it’s also possible to create a software that emulates sound hardware from other systems, like the Sega Genesis or the Gameboy on the GBA.
    So, they probably didn’t sample sound from the Gameboy’s PSG, because they used just a square wave. They’re pretty easy to generate in software.
    Brett, please stop saying that Harmony of Dissonance sounds like NES, because it doesn’t. It definetely sound like a 8-bit sound chip, but not like the 2A03. It not only has waveform that the NES couldn’t generate, but it also has too many voices and multiple drum samples playing at the same time.
    But even the waveforms the NES could generate don’t sound like they’re coming from a NES.
    I was thinking why the Harmony of Dissonance soundtrack is so 8-bit. I think that they created a software synthesizer that generates sound using math functions, so they could save the sample space in the cartridge for something else. Or they could just have decided to do music in that style…
    And, yes, the GBA is way more powerful than the SNES, at least in regards to CPU power.

    From: a big fan
    To: the Vgmpire guys

  10. I just listened to the Legacy Music episode with Brett and Chris, and it’s quite a bit different than the VGEmpire setup, playing fewer songs and spending more time talking about each one. I think this one’s a little more chatty with Brett and Chris than the standard show, but it was interesting chatter. And when Brent mentioned the NES gamepak sleeves, it occured to me that with all the podcasts I’ve heard people talking about NES games, I hadn’t thought about those sleeves in probably 20 years, and it kind of blew my mind, these little aspects of gaming that you can forget about.

  11. The term “feels” is so overused, but I can’t help but apply it here: that ominous growl followed by the piano in “Fear of the Heavens” is just so incredible that I feel moved every time I hear it. All the feels.

    I definitely agree about Secret of Mana being one of the greatest SNES games out there. Just wish it could’ve gotten a better translation (wasn’t Woolsey only given 30 days to translate it? Crazy).

    Kikuta really is a musical genius. Great selections here, I love “Into the Thick of It” and “Did You See the Ocean.” I also particularly love the tropical nature of “Distant Thunder” and “Together Always.”

    “Danger” is one of the best JRPG boss themes out there. It’s so furiously frantic, and as a drummer that double-bass drumming is something I hope to one day perfectly replicate (along with “Steel and Snare,” good God that drumming is impossible). And that slap-bass. So good. I like that you guys talk about how the track starts off desperate and then makes a turn-around that instills a sense of hope. Those are the perfect types of boss themes in my opinion.

    “Prophecy” is wonderfully epic. I remember flying around with Flammie forever just because of how incredible it was in unison with the thunder. Glad you guys went over “Meridian Dance” and the several references of it found within Seiken Densetsu 3.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve heard the SoM credits music…wow, REALLY damn good. I recall being pretty moved by the end as well, Brent.

    I remember getting really hyped up on Sword of Mana because I had never played through Final Fantasy Adventure. While the GBA remake is tight, I wasn’t too big on the pacing or its easy difficulty. I also felt cheated when I discovered that the “multiplayer” in the game was just some weaksauce trading system and not a full-fledged 2-player co-op mode via link cable.

    I have to disagree about the combat in Seiken Densetsu 3, I think it was much improved over Secret of Mana’s. Granted, I liked being able to freely use your weapon in SoM, but the wait time for your weapon meter to hit 100% and the wonky hit detection haven’t aged well. I mean, I don’t mind as much as those who’ve played the game with me do, but SD3 did away with that and I think it felt better as a result. Still, I’ve never finished the game. Hope to do it someday (really needs a Western release…).

    Legend of Mana I’ve never finished either, and while it strayed from the formula like crazy, I think it’s something I can appreciate a lot more now then I did back then. It’s incredibly non-linear for its time. And the music is just ridiculously good, one of my favorite Shimomura albums for sure. Glad to see that people in the comments agree with how stellar it is. I particularly like the vocal “Song of Mana” track. I think it’s sung in Swedish.

    “Pain in the Universe” is a regular boss theme…I want to say “The Darkness Nova” is a final boss theme but I never actually got that far. Someone requested that I do this theme for VGdrum and while I’ve drummed to it I haven’t recorded anything. It’s SO DAMN GOOD, THOUGH! Those harmonies are just mind-blowingly great. “Marginal Beast” is another great battle track…although it sounds like it’d belong better in Parasite Eve.

    Choice quotes: “Punch cars… (PERFECT!)” and “Boys II Mana Densetsu…” I’m frickin’ dyin’ heah!

    Appreciate the mention, btw 😉 Glad you enjoyed my SD3 picks, there’s some great stuff in there.

    FINALLY: Everybody keep their eyes on the Spectrum of Mana fan music project…it’s releasing on Sept. 28th! My long comment is done.

  12. I thought it was smart idea to cross promote podcasts this week.

    I completely forgot about legacy music hour, so it was nice to be reminded. Also, I love hearing two people who are really knowledgeable and passionate about something as obscure as classic video game music share their knowledge.

  13. […] Guest Brent Weinbach helps us relive the glory days of the Seiken Densetsu series, from Final Fantasy Adventure to Legend of Mana. LISTEN NOW […]

  14. Totally meant to comment on this after listening to it… but I usually only listen when I’ve got other things to do, so I forget.

    This was overall a great episode, aside from the Legend of Mana segment being kind of weak. I probably wouldn’t have noticed if Legend of Mana wasn’t my absolute favorite in the series. It has its flaws (the combat is sort of clunky being the main one) and doesn’t have quite follow the usual story format… but it has an unbelievable amount of charm.

    All of the backgrounds have a beautiful, watercolor style, the music (obviously) is incredible, and it experiments by making you a part of lots of other people’s story rather than being the center of your own, which works because of all the character and charm in people you meet as you watch their stories progress (and often help them along). I’ve played it through at least a half-dozen times, although probably quite a bit more than that.

    So, I enjoyed the episode, even if it was a bit frustrating to sit there during the LoM section when all of you were talking about how you didn’t really know much about it. Made me realize again just how much passion I had for LoM… and also how almost nobody played it (it’s one of those games I’ll never sell).

  15. This was actually one of the first episodes I listened to and I’ve been meaning to comment on it because I don’t remember if you guys mentioned the Secret of Mana Genesis album. Hiroki Kikuta recently went back and remastered the tracks for this game. They aren’t remixes persay as they use the same MIDI groundwork as the originals, but he really enriched the sound of each track. I wish he had done more, but what’s there is definitely worth checking out.

  16. Oh! And one last thing, there’s an arrangement album for Final Fantasy Adventure too called Re:Birth / Seiken Densetsu. Most of the tracks are from Adventure, but there’s a few from Children, Sword and Dawn as well.

  17. Beautiful music and well done episode. I did find the lack of “In the Thick of It” slightly disappointing, but I guess the fact that it is one of the more well-known tracks excuses that.

    The funny thing about Secret of Mana is that I have a really hard time going back to it, but sometimes the music is reason enough to give it another go. (I think in general this game just got eclipsed by Chrono Trigger in my memories, but I still had a lot of fun playing through SoM as a kid.)

    Incidentally, if you haven’t heard “Essence: Music of Mana,” I highly recommend it. I haven’t found a good way to get the album itself, but the whole thing is on YouTube. Here’s a link to a playlist, and specifically the “Into the Thick of It” track, because I just love this song to death:


  18. 3 great tastes that go great together: Brelston, Mana, and Weinbach.

    Mana does not live on Brett(or Brent) alone, you know.

  19. […] After a brief hiatus, LMH is back and posting about twice a month. We had host Brent Weinbach on the show back in 2013, and by sheer chance it was for one of his favorite games – Secret of Mana! […]

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