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Chrono Trigger: Brink of Time :: Review by C819Strife

Chrono Trigger: Brink of Time Album Title: Chrono Trigger: Brink of Time
Record Label: NTT Publishing
Catalog No.: PSCN-5024
Release Date: June 25, 1995
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


I played Chrono Trigger a while back and all aspects of the game exhilarated me. It took the three things that I loved best — Games, RPGs, and Science Fiction — and placed them in a neat sort of game that gave me an equal share of each. Well, since this review isn't about the game, I will get right into the arranged jazz soundtrack known as Chrono Trigger: The Brink of Time. It is a masterpiece of an album, although some beg to differ on account of the original tracks not being in this particular style. I believe that all ten tracks were done nicely and each track was great in its own way.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) Chrono Trigger

Other than the fact that this track opens with no real music, "Chrono Trigger" delivers with a lasting impact. The track has a great funky beat at the beginning, and changes a bit into the piece (after the part that says, "It's the beginning of a new and excitingly different story") and resumes its original beat and tempo to finish off the piece. Every part of the original track appears in this arrangement, including an extended ending part. This is a great track with an outstanding replay value. (10/10)

2) Secret of the Forest

A great relaxing tune that has a catchy beat and a great jazz guitar for the melody. "Secret of the Forest" has a strong bass line that compliments the percussion and guitar alike. It is a fun piece to listen to that stays quite true to the original piece. The bongos (or whatever they are) in the middle of the piece really add to the whole "forest" theme. A pleasant guitar solo finishes off this particular track. While not the biggest easy-listener piece on the soundtrack, one could still fall asleep to its lull. (9/10)

3) Zeal Palace

A strange piece that has an invigorating bass line for the first half of the track. I cannot say much for this piece other than that it possess an array of strange sounds placed at odd places. It almost sounds like a jam session with a constant bass line. It picks up pace somewhere around the middle of the piece and then drops back down to the original element. It reminds me of acid jazz or something. (7/10)

4) Warlock Battle

This arrangement of "Battle with Magus" is rather strange indeed. It becomes immensely satisfying around the 0:43 mark with a James Bond-ish feel that leads into a squeaky and whiny sax solo. The piece is good for the "sneaky" person, but may not satisfy all with the saxophone solo. It is intentional squeaking and honking that really caught me by surprise the first time I heard it. I do think it strays a bit too much from the original around 3:20. A good piece nonetheless. (8/10)

5) Chrono Corridor

What begins as a faithful arrangement of "Corridors of Team" leads into a bouncy-feeling rendition of it. Something about the background guitar and the percussion keeps me listening to the end. This particular track sounds quite exotic from the middle to the end with its funky background guitar and solos here and there. If this piece were remixed it could definitely be played in a club of some sort. Even if it doesn't catch you in the beginning, you will be hooked to it by the conclusion of the track. (9/10)

6) Undersea Palace

This track begins very silently and peacefully and then transforms into an "evil racing piano" type thing. If the guitar, trumpets, and percussion played alone, I would have thought I was at a bullring. Even so, this piece delivers mixed feelings because there are so many styles thrown into the arrangement. The "evil racing piano" does not get boring because it is not in the foreground enough to be an annoyance. Overall, a great track that does sound quite evil. (8/10)

7) World Revolution

When this track comes on, you will know it. If you do not easily fall out of your chair, you will at least open your eyes wide. The reason for this is because this track starts with an ultimate BANG. In my opinion the loudest and craziest piece on the soundtrack, "World Revolution" makes a great and upbeat arrangement of the original. This time, some sort of guitar replaces the trumpet solo. The piece changes midway into a quarter note infested sax solo that does justice and sounds great. Then, it takes a tropical turn and finishes off with an extremely fast-paced sax solo again. The ending is rather abrupt, but it still delivers satisfaction. (9/10)

8) The Brink of Time

The title track is the easily the most laid back on the entire soundtrack, though what it has to do with a breakfast plate is beyond me. As the shortest piece on the soundtrack, this piece does not sound too inviting at the beginning but has a nice smooth solo throughout that really makes you want to take a snooze (in a good way). This is a great piece, but it is a shame that it was so short. (8/10)

9) Guardia Millennial Fair

This is a quiet piece that sounds rather nice, but just isn't prominent enough for me. The bass chords really add a "twangy" feel to this Medieval tune. The piece turns a bit more Spanish throughout the third minute of the piece (2:00+). It then returns to a soft-style. I really cannot pick a strong climax, but I can say that the piece is pretty true to the original. An easy listener, but pretty boring if you ask me. (9/10)

10) Outskirts of Time

The closer to this great soundtrack almost sounds like a country piece that really gives you the sense of a "goodbye." It changes to a jazzier feel near the middle and then returns to the western style. Near the end, the piece plays a short rendition of "Chrono Trigger", and again returns to the country feel to finish the track off once and for all. This is a piece I definitely fall asleep to but it wouldn't be my choice for a lullaby. (7/10)


Well, there you have it. Each track on this soundtrack delivers a distinct and unique feel that all comes together to form one noteworthy soundtrack. I would recommend listening to a few samples before buying, though, to see if this is an album that would satisfy you. In my opinion, though not the strangest soundtrack to be released by Square, it is still up there. Give it a listen and see what you think. You may be surprised to find it catchy and pleasing.

Overall Score: 9/10