In case you haven’t noticed, I am doing a sort of Halloween themed question series for the month of October, and quite a few motifs in Final Fantasy lend themselves to the frightening. Per that vein we’re going to explicitly talk about musical motifs in asking…
What is the spookiest music?
Let me attempt to find the creepiest song in my most well known games.
Opening with Final Fantasy IV, I think “Golbez Clad in Dark” is a really safe bet. I mean, it has both the villain’s name and dark in the title!
It goes along with the “Tower of Zot” music, too. I have to give mention to some of the moon music: “Another Moon” and “The Lunarians.” Anything (literally) otherworldly is a good bet for insta-eerie
For Final Fantasy VI I think it’s definitely the “Fanatics Tower.” Discordant harmonies and regimented drumbeats are always good for a scare.
I’ll throw in “Omen” as an honorable mention, though it’s not particularly scary to me, it still follows a “horror” pattern. Plus it sounds like gothic church music, which is also what I say about parts of “Dancing Mad,” making a nice musical bookend in VI to go along with VII’s visual and musical one.
Okay, so my beloved Final Fantasy VII. There are quite a few songs that can stir up the willies, but I think “Those Chosen by the Planet” takes home the gold…or perhaps silver as it were 😉
To be honest, the vast majority of songs on VII’s soundtrack encompass an eerie vibe, which is highly appropriate for the game’s narrative. Most of the music is dark. For pointed examples: “Mako Reactor,” “Shinra Company,” “Who Are You,” “Chasing the Black Caped Man,” “Forest Temple,” “Trail of Blood,” “The Nightmare’s Beginning,” and “You Can Hear the Cry of the Planet.” When a song is lighter, it’s quite a marked event. Even character leitmotifs have a more somber air, the exceptions being Aeris’s Theme (…sort of. Her song is written in D major, but even the second phrase slides into the minor key) and Yuffie’s, which is very bouncy to reflect the character’s nature (if I’m thinking of the correct song, “Descendant of Shinobi”).
Final Fantasy VIII’s “Lunatic Pandora” adds an outer space vibe to its melody, and there’s a disjointedness alongside the disharmony of the song.
“Compression of Time” has a similar cadence if not purposely the same cadence at a slower tempo, which would make sense.
I think I have to give the creepy prize to “The Extreme” though, which starts off with spectral voices almost mocking the opening “Liberi Fatali,” and then the creeping melody that puts one in the mind of a giant spider resolutely stalking you…it’s prey (I think the same thing about “Jenova’s Theme” from FFVII, only the abomination is coming faster D:)
Though Final Fantasy IX is by no means the lighthearted romp its cuteness deceives you into believing, I was hard pressed to find too many overly dark songs. The one that stands out pointedly punctuates one of the darkest parts of the game, when Zidane and co traverse the Iifa Tree, and discover it’s not it’s not the Tree of Life they believed.
That’s going to be all from me (I wanted to go through X and XII, but I’m tired and have more to do), but I want to hear from you! It’s more than likely I missed some really good, creepy music, and since eeriness can be subjective, I’d like to know what you think. Non-Final Fantasy peeps, you know the drill, as well. Let me know what music creeped you out in the games you’ve played!