Hiroki Kikuta (born August 29, 1962) is one of the more eccentric video game music composers. His discography has not been very long, but it has been punctuated by extremely notable works, especially the music of ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana''. His early game music work was for Creator/SquareSoft, but after he left, he branched out into game design, founding the company Sacnoth (later renamed Nautilus) which developed the ''VideoGame/ShadowHearts'' series. In addition to game music, Kikuta has also composed some anime soundtracks. While at Sacnoth, Kikuta fiercely resisted ExecutiveMeddling from publishers -- this earned him something of an AuteurLicense reputation, whether or not he actually deserves it.

!!Anime Music
* ''TheAdventureOfRobinHood'' (1990)
* ''TheLegendOfSnowWhite'' (1990)

!!Video Game Music
* ''ChouBukyoTaisen'' (2004): {{Vaporware}}.
* ''ConcertoGate'' (2007, along with Creator/KenjiIto): Kenji Ito had composed ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyAdventure Seiken Densetsu]]'', and Kikuta composed the second and third games.
* ''VideoGame/{{Indivisible}}'' (2018)
* ''VideoGame/{{Kaijinki}}'' (2006)
* ''VideoGame/{{Koudelka}}'' (1999)
* ''VideoGame/NidzumaWaSailorFuku'' (2005)
* ''VideoGame/SakuraRelaxation'' (2005)
* ''VideoGame/SecretOfMana'' (1993): His first video game music composition, and by far his most recognized work.
** Samples: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=45UNgxi2Gd4&hd=1 Leave Time for Love]]"[[note]]AKA Give Love Its Rightful Time[[/note]], "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jshaqzPXaA Flight into the Unknown]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wwsyJ6DP7A Into the Thick of It]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ab3xENvUyd8 Meridian Dance]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3-qxHGz0zc Calm Before the Storm]]" [[note]]AKA Orphan of Storm[[/note]], "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcpB_ygKSBM Secret of the Arid Sands]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKRjFDRnh4Y The Dark Star]]"[[note]]AKA Star of Darkness[[/note]], "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KKHBtHTTss Danger]]".
* ''VideoGame/SeikenDensetsu3'' (1995): Something of an EnsembleDarkhorse in his work as the game was never officially released outside Japan (though it's playable as a fan translation). It's generally considered a worthy followup to ''Secret of Mana'' (both in terms of his soundtrack and in terms of the game itself); sometimes both are considered better than their predecessor, but as a direct consequence of NoExportForYou it's not as commonly known. (The game's name, 聖剣伝説3 in kanji, literally translates as Holy Sword Legend 3.)
** Samples: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcEtqY6BePQ Angel's Fear]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4V2g4tXYxeg Electric Talk]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV0ec134lh4 Few Paths Forbidden]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUwi41c-xTI Frenzy]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcgW8FaTpjo High Tension Wire]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lX6W_6pqUDA Powell]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnr1W1Ww-9E Whiz Kid]]".
* ''VideoGame/ShiningHearts'' (2010)
* ''VideoGame/SoraNoIroMizuNoIro'' (2004): An {{Eroge}}.
* ''VideoGame/{{Soukaigi}}'' (1998). Another EnsembleDarkhorse in his discography. While this game was not a commercial success (as perhaps evidenced by its current lack of a TV Tropes page), was (again) [[NoExportForYou never released outside Japan]] (a common trend with his work, as thus far only ''Secret of Mana'' and ''Koudelka'' have seen exports), and is considered fairly average overall, his work on its soundtrack is very highly regarded. The fact that it was one of the first games to use entirely live instrumentation probably helped a lot; it helped to show what game soundtracks could do when instrument sample quality was no longer an issue. In fact, when this game is even remembered at all these days, it's usually for Kikuta's soundtrack. (The game's name, 双界儀 in kanji, means Twin Dimensions.)
** Samples: "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5tQZtN7eSk Broken Memory]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WO7nSb9evnQ Quake]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ-2H45WTaw Ancient Power]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gceva3eF3k Fire Wire]]", "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Ex7QYUJvbA Lovely Strains]]".
* ''VideoGame/TenninSoKitan'' (2006)

!!Tropes present in his work include:
* DarkReprise: There are a few. "I Won't Forget You", a minor-key rearrangement of "Fear of the Angels", is a notable one. Sometimes he'll also throw in a more subdued version of a theme that doesn't entirely qualify as ''dark'', but certainly isn't as triumphant as the main version. "Angel's Fear" from ''Seiken Densetsu 3'' (note the different title) and "Breezin" both qualify as examples of these for "Fear of the Angels".
* DiegeticSwitch: In ''Secret of Mana +'', probably meant as a tribute to ''Music/WishYouWereHere'' - Kikuta's usage of the trope is very similar to Pink Floyd's.
* EpicRocking: Some of his tracks, while qualifying, still aren't extreme examples even by video game standards; for instance, there are several on the ''Seiken Densetsu 3'' soundtrack[[note]]specifically, "Ancient Dolphin", "Female Turbulence", and "Electric Talk"; "Another Winter" and "Weird Counterpoint" would also be around five, as would "Pure Land" from ''Secret of Mana''[[/note]] that would be around six minutes if they were looped properly (most of them fade out after about one and a half playthroughs), and then the final battle song "The Sacrifice, Part Three" (8:05) and the final credits song "Return to Forever" (8:39) are even longer. But ''then'' there's the arranged album ''Secret of Mana +'', which consists of a single 49:27 track. To be fair, it's something of a medley of ''Secret of Mana'' and ''Seiken Densetsu 3'' songs (interestingly, since the latter game wouldn't even be released for nearly two years afterwards).[[note]]There's no official list of what songs are included, but the ''Seiken Densetsu 3'' songs seemingly include "Secret of Mana" (starting at about 6:43), "Ancient Dolphin" (18:08 and again at 32:22), "Meridian Child" (22:50), "Weird Counterpoint" (26:48), "Return to Forever" (34:18 and again at 44:35), and "Obsession" (40:42). The ''Secret of Mana'' songs include "Fear of the Angels" (3:17), "The Boy Heads into the Wilderness" (9:36), and vague elements of "Steel and Snare" and "Where the Wind Rests" at various points (the former seems to be merged with the "Boy Heads into the Wilderness" passages and the latter with the "Return to Forever"). However, some of these are so radically different from their appearances in the games as to be almost unrecognisable, so this list should be considered a work in progress. Incidentally, if you rip the CD as a disc image with software like X Lossless Decoder or Exact Audio Copy, you will get a cue sheet that has fifteen indices. Most of these correspond to significant stylistic shifts within the music, but a couple of the musical shifts are not included in it. Also interestingly, different pressings appear to have slightly different indices; there are at least three known sets of indices. See discussion [[https://vgmdb.net/db/albums-discuss.php?id=722 on the VGMdb forum]].[[/note]]
* EverythingIsAnInstrument: ''Secret of Mana +'' takes this practically UpToEleven. In particular, it commonly uses dial tone as an instrument - something of a case of TechnologyMarchesOn for younger listeners, probably, since people who only use cell phones may never actually hear dial tone.
* GratuitousEnglish:
** The ''Seiken Densetsu 3'' songs only have English titles, which is particularly inexplicable because the game itself was never even officially released in English (to this day, the only available English version is a fan translation). Many of the titles are grammatically correct, or at least not that far off (e.g., "Religion Thunder" = "Religious Thunder" or "Thunder of Religion"; Japanese adjectives are... [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_equivalents_of_adjectives quite different from English ones]], and by syntactic definitions, the language technically doesn't even have them), but there are a few, like "Axe Bring Storm", "Faith Total Machine", and "Hope Isolation Pray", where it's not entirely clear what the intended meaning of the title was.
** This also holds true for ''Soukiagi'', which, again, wasn't even released outside Japan (and thus far, this one hasn't even had a fan translation to English). Most of these only have one- or two-word titles, though, and "Die on Destiny" is the only one that sticks out as particularly ungrammatical.
* MusicalPastiche: An awful lot of ''Secret of Mana +'' comes across as an attempt to answer the question, "What if Music/PinkFloyd had composed a video game soundtrack?", from the very David Gilmour-esque guitar solos to the use of sound effects and transitional passages (particularly the radio static at about 34:10 transitioning to a sample of "Return to Forever" sounding as though it were being played through a radio speaker before full instrumentation begins fading in). Kikuta has, to the surprise of probably no one who's ever heard the album, cited Pink Floyd as his single biggest musical influence, so it's pretty clear he's paying them tribute.
* NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: He has stated that he is not particularly concerned with genre when composing, with the result that many of his compositions resemble several different genres mashed together. This is likely a major factor in his distinctive style.
* ProgressiveRock: A fan of the genre since childhood (he credited Music/EmersonLakeAndPalmer for inspiring his interest in music in the first place), and it's a conspicuous influence on some of his works. In particular, ''Secret of Mana +'' unambiguously belongs to the genre, and the ''Soukiagi'' soundtrack is often categorised as a work of progressive rock despite its relatively short compositions. His appreciation for the genre was actually part of what got him his job for Square in the first place, as he and Creator/NobuoUematsu bonded over it in his interview. He cites Music/PinkFloyd as his single biggest musical influence and stated that prog rock/jazz fusion guitarist Music/AllanHoldsworth was the musician he would most have liked to collaborate with.
* RearrangeTheSong: In addition to the typical video game {{Recurring Riff}}s, there are several arrangement albums for ''Secret of Mana'' and ''Seiken Densetsu 3''. ''Secret of Mana +'' is a particularly bizarre example that incorporates ElectronicMusic, ProgressiveRock, and {{ambient}} influence and runs as a single track (and, unusually for this trope, includes melodies from the latter game almost two years before its release; see EpicRocking above). There are more traditional examples as well, like the ''Seiken Densetsu 25th Anniversary Orchestra Concert CD''.
* RecurringRiff: A frequent video game trope, and his work is no exception. An incomplete list:
** "Fear of the Angels", the main theme for ''Secret of Mana'', gets rearranged several times over the course of his two contributions to the series ("I Won't Forget You", and then from ''Seiken Densetsu 3'', "Where Angels Fear to Tread", "Angel's Fear", and "Breezin", among others).
** "The Boy Heads into the Wilderness" from ''Secret of Mana'' also gets reused as "Did You See the Ocean?" and, in ''Seiken Densetsu 3'', "Electric Talk".
** In ''Seiken Densetsu 3'', "Innocent Sea" and "Innocent Water" are two different arrangements of the same melody.
** One of the melodies from "The Meridian Festival", the final boss music for ''Secret of Mana'', got reused for "Meridian Child" in ''Seiken Densetsu 3''. Something of a TriumphantReprise.
** "Holy Invasion" and "Prayers and Whispers" from ''Secret of Mana'' use the same melody.
** "Farewell Song" is a subdued rearrangement of the more triumphant "Delicate Affection" (both from ''Seiken Densetsu 3'').
* ShoutOut, [[TitledAfterTheSong Titled After the Band]], LiteraryAllusionTitle: Seemingly a quarter of his song titles with more than one word are examples of these tropes. Amongst them are "Literature/WhereAngelsFearToTread" (which actually comes from a line from Alexander Pope, "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread", making it a LiteraryAllusionTitle twice over), "Literature/HeartOfDarkness", "EternalRecurrence", "Literature/TimeEnoughForLove" (or possibly "[[Literature/BookOfEcclesiastes A Time]] [[Music/TheByrds for Love]]" - it can be credibly translated as either), "Literature/TheLongGoodbye", "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Return_to_Forever Return to Forever]]", and so on. Some of these may not actually be obvious to English-speaking audiences because the official English translations don't match the source material ("Heart of Darkness", for example, was translated in the American soundtrack release as "In the Dead of Night", but the song's Japanese title, "闇の奥" ["Yami no oku", literally meaning something like "The Inner Depths of Darkness"], matches that of the most common Japanese translation of Conrad's novel. The same goes for "Time Enough for Love"; "愛に時間を" ["Ai ni jikan o"] was used for Heinlein's novel in its Japanese translation).
* UncommonTime: Like many other game composers, he uses this trope frequently. "Crisis", the boss battle theme from ''Secret of Mana'', is probably his best known example.