Legend of Mana — Hometown Domina
One of the most indispensable tropes of the fantasy adventure story is the peaceful, pastoral hometown. Whether it’s Tolkien’s shire or Arni Village from Chrono Cross, the country village that’s far from immediate danger is a classic setup to contrast the purity and safety of a world with the darkness that is inevitably about to encroach.
In Squaresoft’s Legend of Mana, the town of Domina acts as your protagonist’s home base for the entirety of the adventure, and while Domina is far from the only city that you can visit, it’s unquestionably the most comfortable and inviting. Yoko Shimomura’s superb score welcomes you to a community that is happy to have you as their neighbor (even if it is inhabited by such bizarre characters as a person-sized bird, a creepy beetle-guy, and… this thing).
I often find myself humming or whistling this tune in my classroom at times when my students are happily at work on research or art. It makes me feel that I am at home, and while adventure may be just around the corner, it will be waiting for me when I wish to set upon the path to danger and excitement.