Sunday, April 22, 2018

Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version

This reviewer definitely has fond memories of Final Fantasy VI for the Super NES, released in North America on the system at the time as Final Fantasy III due to many titles in the storied franchise not crossing the Pacific, along with global ignorance of said other entries of the series. Even before this reviewer could identify Japanese roleplaying game composers over a decade later, in the game’s case typical Final Fantasy franchise musician Nobuo Uematsu, he definitely appreciated the music, very much on par with movie soundtracks and the like.

The soundtrack in many respects pays homage to other music, in and out of the roleplaying game genre, with the opening theme, for instance, giving a nod to “Thus Spake Zarathustra,” which many will recognize as the main classical theme to the cinematic classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. The World of Balance overworld theme, doubling as protagonist Terra’s motif, shares a baseline with Gustav Holst’s Mars movement of his “The Planets” musical pantheon, and “Slam Dance,” the music played in Zozo, bears resemblance to Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther theme.

As is a plus in most soundtracks, most characters have their own themes, which are remixed in the ending theme, also featuring the main theme of the series, after which is the harpist prelude that plays on the saved game screen. Overall, this is definitely an ideal JRPG soundtrack, and very much one of Nobuo Uematsu’s best albums, with only a few minor low points such as the digitized voices that occur during the operatic tracks which sound like gibberish. Even so, JRPG enthusiasts are definitely obliged to give this masterwork a listen.

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