Thursday, July 24, 2014

Themes of Final Fantasy

This post is essentially a response to Jaconian's inaugural Midi Week Singles post on the 'main theme' from Final Fantasy.  I got to thinking that the Final Fantasy series has more than enough content to pay tribute to, and I have more than enough thoughts and warm fuzzies to generate another post.  

When listening to the posted theme, two ideas entered my mind.  The first being:  wow, the tones are actually pretty grating.  While the melody is appealing, the actual sounds kind of hurt my ears.  I think perhaps the NES soundchip is better suited for quick, action themes, than for sustained notes.  That said, the theme to Mega Man 3 is one of my favorite nes songs. 

My second thought was that this is not the only song competing for the title of 'Final Fantasy Theme.'  There's also the song from the opening credits of Final Fantasy 2 (IV) and the select screen of FF3 (VI) and the opening theme of FFVII.  And that's the song I want to showcase today.   I took a minute to listen to versions of the song from the above listed games, and I realized that my favorite is definitely that from FFVI.  Take a minute, if you care to, to listen to one rotation from each of these games.  

This is the game that started a new tradition in Final Fantasy games.  At least for American gamers.  I haven't checked in with the Soundtracks to the Japanese sequels.  I'll save that for another day.  Or, you're welcome to check it out on your own.  Youtube is free, afterall.  

Here the song is called "Final Fantasy 3 Prelude."  I just love that MIDI flute!  Of course, I appreciate that FFIV introduced the song and FFVII introduced a much finer music processor.  But that little... what do you call it- grace note?  -On the flute in the FFVI theme really brings it home for me.  

Finally, FFVII, probably the most hotly anticipated Final Fantasy title for me.  By this point I was intimately familiar with the US releases of the series and knew what to expect.  I thought the designers do a good job drawing me into the game with this intro.  

Other points of note:  

FFVI does not use the 'Prelude' theme during the title sequence.  Instead, it has it's own awesome cinematic intro with haunting trailing piano.  The title theme doesn't show up until the game select screen.

FFVII was basically the *last* Final Fantasy for me. I didn't play 8 until nearly a decade later, and by that time, several other Final Fantasy games had been released.  I had completely lost touch with the series.  But the period between the release of IV(91), VI(94) and VII (97), I waited with baited breath for each game.  More than any other series, perhaps.  (Zelda and Mario being high level competitors.  )

The Final Fantasy Main Theme from Jaconian's post is probably the more iconic theme, akin to the Zelda or Mario main themes.  However, it is harder to find, peppered across the series at key moments.  Incidentally, the Final Fantasy VI version is also my favorite, because of the drums. But boy, they made you wait for it in that game!  

Watching these videos and listening to these songs has really brought me some wonderful nostalgia.  Warm Fuzzies! Everywhere!  I want to play these games again!  Or... maybe just visit them.  Videos and music do a pretty good job of that.  


P.S. many thanks to Jaconian for inspiring this post.  I hope I didn't step on any of your ideas. Also thanks to coffee for providing the necessary manic energy.  

P.P.S.  This post comes on a Thursday.  Due do a changing work Schedule, Thursdays may be a more frequent posting day for me.  

1 comment:

  1. You know, I don't think I realized how much the Prelude was slowed down for FF VI and I agree that the grace notes in VI's Prelude make the song a lot better.

    I remember finishing FFVI and when the credits began to roll, I had become okay with the fact that the "Main Theme" wouldn't be in the game, but when it did show up 18 minutes into the closing credits, it made the wait worth it. And god damn those timpanis (albeit MIDI timpanis)!