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Phils Game/Pop Music Similarities #135 - Meridian Hank


Featuring Trials of Mana / Seiken Densetsu 3 and Hank Williams.

Greetings fellow game music lovers,

there is an RPG series that I didn't make many entries until now although it has been pretty prominent for the last 30 years or so with more than adozen entries: The Seiken Densetsu series, aka Final Fantasy Adventure aka XXX of Mana.  

Thus today we have a song from the third part of the series, which infamously was not officially released in the western hemisphere back in 1995 and could only be played via emulator. The kanji walls of text made progress somewhat tedious until Neill Corlett released a translation patch years later (the game had a hard to deal with Huffman compression which took endless research and work on additional tools). A remake has been released at the beginning of 2020.

The song I want to introduce has the title "Meridian Child" and is played near the beginning of the game when your main character finds his/her resolve and makes their way towards Judd:

Now this is the point where you will start calling me crazy: There is a song by U.S. country musician Hank Williams called "Cold, Cold Heart" from 1951 which, despite being a different genre and using very different instruments, has a curvature that reminds me a lot of the one from the Meridian Child sample:

I really have to start hearing more mystical music then I could probably produce more Mana samples.

Sunday more Xenogears!

Phil out.

Update 12/09/2020:

A small update from a sampled I had forgotten about: There is an old english/scottish traditional song called "The Gay Goshawk" from which both progressions may have evolved:

Update 21/09/2020:

Ok, I think the song is actually early 20th century marching music. I found some songs from that era that have sequences similar to Meridian Child's:


Julius Fucik - Das Siegesschwert

Fucik - Broddenritt

A lot of 50s music still uses sequences from old march music, so this would also explain the similarity with Hank Williams.

- https://www.destructoid.com/blogs/PhilsPhindings/ https://www.reddit.com/user/PhilsPhindings

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About PhilsPhindingsone of us since 5:50 PM on 01.21.2019