Final Fantasy Friday: Favorite Soundtrack

A Final Fantasy (et al) post to welcome you to the glory of Friday (if you don’t have weekends off then may this hopefully brighten the midst of your work week) with more located here!

I am doubly thankful today is Friday and I was able to work from home.  I’ve been sick with something for two weeks or so, and I’m wondering if it’s the flu mitigated by the flu shot I got back in November.  I’m also asthmatic.  Such a bad combination if that’s the case.

Anyway, as I continue to stall on my Final Fantasy Astrology series, I have another FF question for you all.

Which Final Fantasy has your favorite soundtrack?  Would it surprise you to find out mine is Final Fantasy IV?

final-fantasy-iv

While my favorite song of all time is from another game (that’s going to be another question, so I’ll leave it for you to ponder), FFIV has the best music overall (in my opinion).  The Overworld, Baron Castle, the battle music, the boss music, the ending theme/credits, and so many others.

What Final Fantasy soundtrack resonates the best in your ears?  Let’s discuss the genius of Nobuo Uematsu (or Hitoshi Sakimoto if XII has your favorite music) in the comments!

P.S.  I’m also a fan of Koji Kondo, the composer for Legend of Zelda.

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42 thoughts on “Final Fantasy Friday: Favorite Soundtrack

  1. This is something very hard to hammer down for me, but FFIX had an excellent and really diverse soundtrack! Terra, Black Mage Village/Vivi’s Theme, Garnet’s Theme and the music from Treno really stuck out to me. I also found the opening music from FFX completely memorable, and I’ll never forget the first time I heard that song. I was mesmerized by it and immediately set out to find sheet music. It took me months of practice trying to figure it all out, but I played it so much and so often that even though I haven’t played it in years, if I sat down at a keyboard right now it would still come out okay.

    The music in FFIV was pretty good, too. I mentioned recently my love for the final battle music, and I can see myself running to that music if I was actually a runner 😛

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that FFIX incorporates ragtime music and has a leitmotifs not just for characters but for places. It has such an eclectic soundtrack!

      I have the sheet music for Zanarkand, too! I haven’t practiced in over a year though, and I was trying to learn Aeris’s Theme first. I think Zanarkand might be a little easier. Aeris’s Theme has these evil, evil triplets. I had this pipe dream of learning to play one of the songs well enough to record myself playing on YouTube. I’ve seen a few videos of that, but I’d really need up my play game!

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  2. FFIV has one of the best 16-bit soundtracks for sure! In fact, the battle theme for IV is my favorite in the series. My favorite overall soundtrack has to be FFIX! My favorite song in Final Fantasy is You’re Not Alone, period. The song itself is amazing, and the scene that it’s used in is one of my favorites in the game. The other songs I love from IX are the Battle Theme for its callback to the 8-note bass opening to classic battle songs, The Place I’ll Return to Someday, Those We Must Protect, Roses of May, and of course, Melodies of Life (and any place it’s used including the world map). I love the medieval music after a couple of games with sci-fi elements. FFIX’s music contributes a huge part of why I love IX. Other great soundtracks are VI, VII, VIII, X, and XV. Basically, anything Uematsu has touched is great, and I adore Shimomura’s XV soundtrack too. I love talking video game music, haha.

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    • I’m so happy there are orchestrations of IV’s music, because it lends itself so well to that treatment.

      I had a feeling IX was going to be your favorite soundtrack :p But I can’t blame you at all. I like how eclectic its soundtrack is and how each city has its own leitmotif along with the characters. That part where You Are Not Alone plays is one of the best turning points I’ve ever seen in a narrative. Like honestly, I’m trying to think of another story where the hero finds out he’s supposed to be the destroyer of the world he was born on, and this is the (supposed) culmination to his quest to find out his past. That. Is. Brutal. It’s the utter antithesis of the way the game is portrayed as cutesy and fun with the big-headed characters, and it’s absolutely brilliant, because it throws you for such a loop. IV had a huge twist insofar as Cecil finding out he’s fighting his own brother (and IX does a similar thing), but FFIX twists the knife in that Zidane was supposed to help his brother destroy the world. They’ve never done anything like that before where you play the hero who was supposed to be the villain, and it takes his friends to slap some sense back into him, which is why You Are Not Alone is so powerful.

      Whew…hehe, I love talking video game music, too as it fits into the narrative :p

      FFIX also has my favorite version of the Final Fantasy song. It plays at the end after the Japanese version of Melodies (which is the one I prefer). I can’t wait to replay and review IX. I already have some notes taken for it to make sure I don’t leave out important points!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I so look forward to your replay and review of IX! I already love reading your description of the big IX twist moment. Orchestrated music of any of the games are great. I love going to the Distant Worlds and A New World concerts whenever I can. I love the orchestrated version of You’re Not Alone from the Tour De Japon years back. I think my enjoyment of the IX soundtrack and and the game itself go hand in hand. The great parts of the game make me appreciate the music, and the wonderful songs help elevate my feelings of the game itself. It’s a wonderful cycle for my favorite FFIX!

        Liked by 1 person

        • I’ve been to Distant Worlds twice, and I would definitely go again. They always play One Winged Angel usually as the encore. The second time I went, they had the audience sing the lyrics. For about a week I had pipe dreams about singing opera, legitimately taking voice lessons. I used to sing classically, so it wasn’t *utterly* farfetched. I think the next concert is in Montreal, but there was one in either New Jersey or NYC not long ago either.

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    • Ah a person after my own heart! Final Fantasy VII is my favorite Final Fantasy, game, and story of all time! I love One-Winged Angel, Aeris’s Theme, Tifa’s Theme, and a bunch of others. The Distant Worlds version of Opening~Bombing Mission is utterly sublime. I picked IV as my favorite soundtrack because there are maybe only one or two songs I didn’t like at all, and nearly every other song on the soundtrack I really enjoyed. VII has my favorite song(s), but overall I like more songs on IV’s soundtrack.

      I have not, but I intend to! Initially I was very lukewarm on the idea of XV, but I saw people whose opinion I respect and trust say wonderful things about it, so I’m in! I’m doing a major Final Fantasy (re)play project, and I’m currently up to IV, buuuut I kind of got out of order since I’m playing World of Final Fantasy, and I promised another friend I’d play XIII if not next then soon, but I’m happy that XV has received such rave reviews. Squeenix was on some shaky ground for a while, and since they make my favorite series, I want them to continue making good games.

      Liked by 2 people

    • FFIX is super popular in nearly every category! I think its soundtrack is probably the most eclectic of the series. Most of them seem to follow a sort of classical model, but IX throws in a log of ragtime and other genres. It fits the game perfectly and gives me a bunch of songs to strive to play :p

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s such a crap shoot with it! They have to plan it based on the flu virus or viruses they think will be most prevalent, but if you happen to get hit with one of the bugs they weren’t planning for, oh well, you have the flu. It does make it not as virulent I suppose, and it’s always better to get the shot than to not get the shot, but getting sick is annoying :\

      Liked by 1 person

  3. To be honest, I’ve only played the first six Final Fantasy games, though I’d say you can’t really go wrong with any of the soundtracks from the SNES installments.

    Hope you get better soon. Being sick is no fun at all. Seems like there’s been quite an annoying bug going around lately.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s nothing to sneeze at! I didn’t play any of the games before VI until years later. When I played VI it was still considered III because of the numbering issue. I wish I still had my SNES cartridge. Not that I’d ever sell it, but they’re going for an astronomical amount now. Tbh FFVI was the game that really got me into video game music. I used to make multiple save points in order to hear certain songs.

      I’m wondering if it’s a flu or something like that. I’ve been hearing a bunch of people complain about chest congestion. I did get a flu shot, which may be mitigating the sickness, but I’m also asthmatic so anything I get always turns into a chest cold D:

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I had childhood asthma and I needed to use a puffer thingy when I was a young kid. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to grow out of it. There’s nothing scarier than feeling like you can’t breathe 😦 I truly hope you get better soon and figure out what you’re struggling with.

    I haven’t played many Final Fantasy games yet, but I still can’t choose a favourite soundtrack. The epic music seems to be a highlight for the entire series. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I grew out of my strawberry allergy (thank goodness. I love those things), but the asthma didn’t manifest until around the age of eight, when, well, I wasn’t believed about it for a few years. That sucked let me tell you :\ I hope so, too. I want to start jogging again in the spring, and you can’t do that with bad lungs.

      Final Fantasy really revolutionized the game music scene! I honestly believe it’s one of the main reasons that genre is on the map.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. There are but pieces of the 4 strains of dead virus in the flu to help your body recognize and fight the virus. You can however, get a strain of flu not contained in the current vaccine. Scientists begin planning the most common strains of flu for the impeding season 6 to 8 months in advance because it takes time to produce mass amounts of vaccine. In that time period, the flu virus can mutate and come flu season, you have a new strain that is not covered. It’s a large scientific gamble every year. You can however, feel lethargic one to two days after receiving the vaccine.
    These are the lectures you get when friends with someone in pharmacy. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh trust me I know that! I’ve made this argument many times to people who are antivaxxers (ughhh…). You can get the flu if the vaccine you received didn’t include the particular flu strain you contracted, but the vaccine can help shorten the duration and potency of your symptoms.

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  7. I’m going to cheat and say Final Fantasy XV. Not only did it in itself have a stellar OST (Calling for Rain is so goooood), but has a bit of everything from all of the numbered entries. I’d say FFVII is easily the most memorable for me, along with FFX. Final Fantasy Type-0 is also way up there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t think it’s cheating! FFXV is a Final Fantasy, and the fact that it has a smattering from all the other numbered entries makes it even more appropriate.

      I think I picked IV because one, the music is just universally fantastic, and two, it’s so often forgotten and underrated, which is a shame. I’m pretty sure Type-0 is on my backlog somewhere.

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  9. Oooo FFIV! I forget about that too often when thinking over ff soundtracks, but you’re right. Its a superb one. Very classy.

    8 has some wicked tracks. 9 is good. 10 is iconic (though it has dips I feel) and 6 is masterful (although the regular battle theme always grated on me hahaha)

    Unsurprisingly i’m going to settle on 7 as my favourite. Its the CD I’m most likely to stick in my player when I’m in the mood for some ff music. Moreover, it compliments the game so damn well (form and function are hand in hand here – every piece serves a purpose, complementing the story or setting or character that it represents.) Ff7 is my fav ge in the series, perhaps in ever, and the music is a big part of that. Holding my thougths in my heart, interrupted by fireworks, cids theme, Cosmo canyon, its all so good!

    Shout out to crystal chronicles by the way. What a fabulous ost.

    Liked by 1 person

    • FFIV is so underrated and it makes me sad. Final Fantasy as a franchise is just brilliant with music soundtracks, and it was the first series that really got me into game music (though there are quite a few games prior that I now love). I think the single digit FFs have the best music because it’s mostly Nobuo Uematsu, and yeah, I agree with you about X. Suteki de na and To Zanarkand and definitely wonderful songs, but the soundtrack isn’t as ubiquitously good as the prior ones.

      VII is my favorite game and story of all time, and you’re right about how it complements the game. Some of the music is so dark and suspenseful, and it fits certain scenes just brilliantly. My favorite Final Fantasy song is on VII’s soundtrack for my favorite character of all time, Sephiroth (One-Winged Angel), so it has a special place in my heart. I love the forlorness of Cid’s Theme, and the horror of Jenova’s. I love how Cosmo Canyon has definite Native American inspirations.

      I haven’t listened to Crystal Chronicles (or played it yet)! I’ll have to check it out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • FFIV is definitely underrated. I find myself pushing it on people like, ‘no, seriously, play it dammit play it, why won’t you just play it, its important!’ Something about it just doesn’t call out to people I know in the same way other games in the franchise do. I’m not really sure why that might be. I got into it right away when I was a kid and thoroughly enjoyed it.
        Also, how do you think the DS remake held up to the original? Just out of curiosity.
        Its good to see someone else so happy to just gush about FF soundtracks. These things deserve so much love.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Seriously, it needs to be played. It was the first Final Fantasy to have a legitimate story, and they hit it out of the park. I think FFVI is so popular because it was the first SNES one and FFIV was for the NES, so it kind of was left by the wayside. I didn’t play it until I was well into my 20s, and I was so pissed I’d missed out on it. It may very well have been my favorite over VI, considering I like IV better than that now.

          I haven’t played the DS version yet! It’s on my backlog though. I have played the PSP version, and I really liked it. The graphics update serves it well, and it’s also a little bit easier than the original, which is quite challenging tbh.

          Have you heard the Distant Worlds CDs? I’ve been to two of the concerts and it’s absolutely magical. I love how many different soundtracks there are, too. The piano collections et al. I could do nothing but listen to FF for days on end. I actually need to listen to the second Final Symphony now that I’m thinking about it so I can review.

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          • The original really is challenging. *confession* when I was younger I got to the very last dungeon in the original but couldn’t finish it because of the random encounters were so hard! It wasn’t until I played the D’s remake that I finally finished the game.* the name distant worlds rings a bell but I’m not quite sure what it is. And oh, man, I love the piano collections! Its great that we can hear so many interpretations of these wonderful tunes

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            • It took me four times to beat Zeromus when I played last! No shame at all. I’ve also never completed FFVII on my own even though its my favorite game and story of all time. So there you go with confessions 🙂 The PSP version is so much easier than the original, and I was curious if the DS’s version was as well. I still need to play that one.

              Distant Worlds is a series of traveling Final Fantasy concerts! I first saw them in Baltimore about five or so years ago then in New York. http://www.ffdistantworlds.com/

              They have two (?) CDs out now, and the music is par excellence. There’s also a concert called Final Symphony, which I’ve reviewed her. It’s amazing as well, but more interpretive. They take the music and expand on it. It was written by a bunch of German composers and preformed by the London Symphony orchestra. I bought the second one a few weeks ago, but I haven’t had a chance to put it on my computer let alone listen to it.

              And of course there’s YouTube, which has ALL the Final Fantasy music in any iteration you could imagine. I’m also a huge fan of Legend of Zelda music. The only reason I like Final Fantasy better is because its my favorite franchise. Koji Kondo is just as brilliant a composer as Nobuo Uematsu ♥

              I have a goal to teach myself Aeris’s Theme on the piano/keyboard and record it. I was working on such a few years ago, but alas, the time. I need to be able to practice every day for at least a month, and I just don’t have that time commitment :\

              Liked by 1 person

              • Oh really? Is that because you find a particular part of 7 really hard? Can I ask what? It always interests me to see what stumps different people!

                And wow, thanks for all of that information about distant worlds. I will look them up properly. (And of course check out YouTube!)

                You like Zelda music too? I rave to that stuff. So good. Moreover, that franchise is so good for matching music to gameplay. Oot is so big and booming and hummable – it spurs you on to greatness – then MM is so brooding and uneasy, and WW so playful and adventurous! The newest installment, botw, is amazing to me, also, because its so careful and restrained, with whispers of recognizable tunes surfacing in the background in the same way that the ruins of a bygone village may pop up on the landscape, incomplete, but unerased, like ghosts from a past hyrule. Aaa man – soundtracks!!! What am I even saying. Hahaha!!

                Aeris’ theme is a classic. That would be a hell.of a song to be able.to play. But yeah, like you said. How do you commit yourself to that kind of practice? I hope you find the time in the future 🙂

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                • Well the first time I wound up missing the Key of the Ancients, the item you get from the submarine quest, and the second time I played, I think life just got in the way. Since I’m playing/replaying all of them to review, I’ll eventually get to it. I’m on V now, so it’s not far away!

                  Omg I LOVE Zelda music. Most of the music on my editing playlist is from Zelda. There was a concert around my area not too long ago, the Symphony of the Goddess, or something like that. I couldn’t make it, but I’m sure I could get the music on CD. I absolutely love that video game music is being seen now for the art it is, and I’m hoping that bolsters games even more out of the bastard medium some people still think they fall in.

                  I was initially only going to watch a let’s play of BOTW, but numerous friends’ posts have convinced me to play it. I usually watch Zelda games, since I’m not as good as action-y RPGs/dungeon crawlers, but I’ve heard/seen enough to want to give a go myself.

                  Aeris’s Theme was actually not too difficult, well, parts weren’t too difficult. There’s a passage in a latter part that has triplets, and I’m just not skilled enough to do that. I was going to end my rendition of the song before that. YouTube is a fantastic place to look up people playing it so you can get an idea on the best fingering. I had to do that with Tifa’s Theme, too, which I worked on a bit as well. There’s this trill that stretches almost an octave, and it’s really challenging. I’ve got pretty long fingers, and it was still a (literal) stretch.

                  I used to play piano! I started taking lessons when I was five, but stopped when I was fourteen. Still nine years of playing leaves a mark. I was never good at reading music even when I was in choir, which I did all throughout grade school and college. I usually just memorize the song so I don’t have to read the music hehe. I’ve actually heard there are professional singer/songwriters who have the same issue. I’m hoping I find time, too. It’s really just a matter of finding an hour out of every day, and right now I just don’t have that.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Oh you’re replying them all? Cool! Hope you’re enjoying ffv. I didn’t finish that one (I love the battle system and job system but I wasn’t keen on the plot and characters).

                    Yeah, game music is slowly being recognised more. Those zelda etc live concerts are certainly helping game music’s image! Lol, I still remember in school when my teacher and class mates once made fun of me for saying my favourite music was game soundtracks. Well, who’s laughing now? (Probably still them…)

                    BOTW is a tricky beast. Very enjoyable, superbly designed, but really complex sometimes. Something that should be experienced first hand for sure. If possible, I recommend playing with another person!

                    You sound super passionate about music. I hope you can find more time to really dig into playing those tunes you love 🙂

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                    • It’s a lengthy project as you can imagine hehe. I think I started two or three years ago at this point, but it’s still worth the time. FFVI was my first one and FFV is the one I know the least about.

                      Let them laugh. They don’t know what they’re missing! Game music is the new “classical,” and if any of them remain in the music sphere, they’ll be playing or singing it soon.

                      I didn’t know you could play BOTW with someone else actually. Does it make it a bit easier?

                      I wish I had more time for music. Alas, it’s taken a bit of a back burner for that reason and my voice has been hit or miss due to the asthma medicine I take. I can’t sing without breathing, but the medicine that helps me breath also messes up my throat. It’s a Catch-22 D:

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                    • Well, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier to play botw with another person, i suppose, (if only because you may occasionally bicker over where to go and how to accomplish something!) but it certainly can be helpful to pool your talents with another player. Like, me and my partner think in quite different ways, so we approach puzzles differently and see things or think of things that the other night not. Also, he’s more playful so he finds more secrets than me and uncovers creative ways to kill enemies, but I’m more tenacious a fighter so enemies that might scare him off spur me on. I dunno. I’ve always liked playing single player games with someone else. 🙂

                      Oh, I’m so sorry to hear that your medicine affects your throat like that. That must be rather frustrating for you! I’m not a singer (outside of karaoke at least!) so i cant imagine the difficulties involved in having to take care of and manage your voice.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • Yeah true, I don’t play very well with others hehe, but it’s nice that there’s that option for those who enjoy that kind of thing! I used to love watching my roommate play Zelda. She’d play, while I’d try to help her out with strategies. I remember we were supposed to study for a psych exam, but instead we played Zelda for ten hours; it was glorious.

                      It’s quite annoying, but I have my good days and my bad days. It’s been better since I switched to a non-powder inhaler. I love karaoke! I have this pipe dream that I’ll one day be discovered at one lol.

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