Hiroki Kikuta’s Composition & Program Secrets
February 1, 2022
This is excerpted from an article that was originally published in Japanese at i-mezzo.net. It was translated by Sevon and posted here with permission.
Mr. Kikuta’s Twitter has many other behind-the-scenes notes about [Secret of Mana].
It says "SAMPLE"! I got this around the time development was finished and the game went on sale!
During the development of [Secret of Mana], I marked how the data should be organized directly on the sheet music. [AMAZIN] was the internal file name for [The Penultimate Truth]. This was done for every song and after the details were checked, I input the actual data.
[Hiroki_Kikuta]: A single track would switch between strings → brass → bass tones in that order. I had to manually set all the changes, of course. [yuki_snowstars]: I'm excited to see these precious documents...! ！ ！ The SFC had 8 channels to work with, so this is how it was done...! ？
You can compare this against the track list on the [Secret of Mana] OST to see the original file names. Most of them were fairly literal, but it's interesting seeing them now. By the way, I brought an actual SFC to the recording studio and used it for recording the CD tracks.
Here's something interesting! These were some of my ideas for track names when I was making the [Secret of Mana] OST CD! I'd completely forgotten about these and some of the names were completely different, like [Always Together] used to be called [Come With Me]! [The Oracle] used to be [Evil God]!
Sevon's Note: [Only the] ones that are significantly different [are listed here]: 2 [Spy in the Dark] | dark | [The Dark Star] 6 [Town Where the Wind Vanishes] | chant | [Premonition] 11 (illegible) | synerg | [Eternal Recurrence] 12 [The Oracle] | kecha | [Evil God] 20 [Reaching Tomorrow] | | castle | (is actually [Orphans of the Storm]) 21 [Eight Strokes of the Bell] | wind | [Rainbow Corridor] 28 [Come with Me] | step | [Always Together] 39 [Clear Night] | jender | (is actually [Pure Night]) 42 [Labyrinth] | kinds | (is actually [The Holy Invasion])
Music data for the SFC is completely separated into different tracks and there aren't any concepts like measure numbers, so if I made a mistake, it was a pain to go back and fix it. That's why I absolutely made sure there weren't any errors before making the final build.
The Super Famicom was released in the era when speakers were separated into left and right and stereo TVs were the norm. Stereo produced beautiful sounds and I thought it was important that the music in [SoM] also take advantage of this, so I manually coded the fine details for each instrument, whether they should be played on the left or right speakers. (^□^