Final Fantasy Friday: The Key of “F”

Final Fantasy Friday

Sometimes I pick what I’m going to post for the week based on if I can come up with a clever post title.  Once I climb over that hurdle, it’s all smooth sailing.  So I’d meant to post another Final Fantasy Character Assessment, because I’m on vacation this week and next, but *loading excuse* I ran some errands that got me home by six, and I have a loooooong list of items still on my to-do list, so this is what you get.  Also consider I spent eight hours yesterday working on an essay for the FFVII 20th anniversary so shaddup will ya :p

What’s your favorite Final Fantasy album?

The Advent Children OST.

Years ago, AOL Radio used to have a Final Fantasy channel that I’d list to all day long, and nearly every day they’d play a song entitled “End Credits,” which claimed to be from Final Fantasy VII.  Now I know what the end credits to FFVII sound like, and I have the FFVII OST, so I was quite confused to hear this beautiful, ethereal song claiming that title.  Not to say the original end credit music isn’t par excellence, but the song in question would bring tears to my eyes (especially starting around 3:38 until the end).  Eventually, I discovered it was the end credits to Advent, and I immediately bought the album.

This is probably one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.  The way the music flows is like a leaf or (more likely) a feather on the wind.

I also love “Aerith’s (grumble…hate having to use that spelling, but that’s what the title of the song is) Theme,” “Tifa’s Theme,” and of course Advent’s version of “One Winged Angel,” which I’ll end up speeding to if I’m driving.  “Across the Wasteland” is so desolate and dark; “Water” is bittersweet and haunting, “Black Water” shows off a heavy metal aesthetic that fits perfectly with the cyberpunk dystopian nature of the game/film; “Sign” is so eerie; “The Promised Land” is one of those songs I learned the words to immediately so I could sing along in Latin; and “Tenrai~Divinity I” is a song I attempted to learn the words to, but could never find a proper source.  The only song I really don’t like is the album’s version of “J-E-N-O-V-A,,” though I do love other versions of that wildly complicated melody such as the original OST’s and The Black Mages’ rendition.

What’s your favorite Final Fantasy album, or, if not FF, what’s your favorite video game album?  What makes it your favorite?  Is it one or two particular songs or the whole package?  Let’s talk more VG music in the comments!


Final Fantasy Friday: Light Motifs

Final Fantasy Friday

We’ve been without a music question for far too long, and since it’s a bit too late for me to do another character assessment (alas!).  Those take a momentous amount of time.  I think I did the last (and first) one in around three hours.  I’ll probably do quite a few in the weeks to come since I’ll be on vacation, so you should leave your suggestions for whom I should do next in the comments!  I was planning on going through every character one game at at time starting with IV, but you all should know by now, my position can be swayed, and I try to keep my minions followers happy 😉

What’s your favorite character theme?

Now, I could say Sephiroth, since “One Winged Angel” could be considered his leitmotif, but he technically has another song associated with him, “Those Chosen By the Planet,” which is the one you first hear in the basement of the mansion with the bells and the drums that sound like a beating heart (a common feature in VII’s music for an eerie but obvious reason).  Then the bass drops, and what’s been appropriately dubbed “the music of evil” comes through on an organ with strings in the background.  Give a listen to this version here.  The organ is replaced by sepulchral voices, but this in no way diminishes the effect (in fact it’s possible the organ in the original game is supposed to represent such voices).

OWA became his leitmotif as the song most associated with him, but since I can use Sephiroth and his song as an answer for favorite final boss music, I can give another answer here (I just couldn’t resist talking about him for a little bit :p)

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 9

Day 1

<–Day 8                                                                                                                  Day 10–>

Day 9: Saddest game scene.

You know what I have to mention first…the first game scene to ever completely shock me, that was not only sad as fuck, but also became sadder when you found out more information about the creator.  But like most instances of death, it’s not really the act itself that’s sad, it’s the burial when you’re forced to reflect upon and deal with the reality of it.

This is universally considered one of the most if not the most iconic scene in video game history, which either grants it laud or earns it the derision that some give to what’s popular.  Knowing some of the background of what more than likely inspired them to go in this direction, I unequivocally would tell those deriding it to fuck off.  Ironically, I did not cry when I first saw this.  I was in too much shock; however, there are other scenes from other games that did bring me to tears.

In Child of Light when Aurora delivers some devastating news to a little girl, she plays the most beautifully plaintive song on her flute.  The child understand what truth is being conveyed, and she begins to weep.

Finally and surprisingly, Super Paper Mario’s ending, which I wrote a brief post about, made me cry my eyes out.  I did not expect that from a Mario game.  Even the end of Chapter 8 made me a bit misty.

What game scenes have brought the tears for you?  Let’s discuss and don’t be shy.

<–Day 8                                                                                                                  Day 10–>




30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 8

Day 1

<–Day 7                                                                                                                    Day 9–>

Day 8: Best soundtrack.

Noooooo!  The impossible question D:  There are so many good soundtracks, and I believe I addressed this question before myself on one of my Final Fantasy Fridays.  There I named FFIV as the game in the franchise with my favorite soundtrack, but VII has many honorable mentions, VI is the game that fully got me into soundtracks in the first place, and Final Fantasy in general just has amazing music.

You can’t talk about soundtracks without bringing up Legend of Zelda, because Zelda is just as good as Final Fantasy when it comes to the music.  Most of the songs on my YouTube writing/editing playlist are from those games.

This medley has gotten me through many an editing session.

This is the best version of Kakariko Village you’re ever going to hear.

This is the most serene song every composed.

This is obviously just a sampling of wonderful music.

So what game has the best soundtrack?  Ironically, impossible for this music lover to answer.  I can hear the merit in any great composition.  Not only that the music perfectly fits whatever mise en scene it’s been written for.

What game/game series do you think has the best soundtrack?  Discussion time!

<–Day 7                                                                                                                    Day 9–>

Final Fantasy Friday: The Opening Act

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!

Beginnings are important. Our initially impressions of a story no matter the format/media not only shape how we see it, they’re also a major deciding factor in whether we’ll continue at all.  There’s a reason I have a “passed-based-on-sample” shelf on my Goodreads list.

Final Fantasy is well known not only for its phenomenal openings, but the music that goes along with it.  In fact without such music, the beginning of the games would not have remotely the same amount of impact.

What is your favorite opening theme?

This is a no-brainer for me since my favorite opening theme belongs to my favorite game, Final Fantasy VII, but it exists in good company.  Now, prior to VI (or V, I can’t make a judgment on that one yet), the opening theme to Final Fantasy was the song that’s become synonymous with the series.

Frankly, this ubiquitous masterpiece would’ve been good enough for me.

Adorable side note.  I started playing this, and Cid (my cat) popped his head up from his little bed.  I told him this music is as ubiquitous to the series as his name is :p  Uh oh…I drew attention to myself, and now it’s time to bother me.  Be back in a moment; petting the purrbot

I also must mention how Final Fantasy IX has a “cold opening” where the game starts with the action prior to the opening theme and title, which are always chill inducing.

I’m just as amazed as Vivi.

But of course FFVII gets the gold for me in terms of the music.  It’s possible this is only because of the awe inspiring Distant Worlds version, though the clay they were working with was already prime quality.

If ever there was a melody that put you in the mind of where you were at the moment, the “Opening~Bombing Mission” is that song.  Without even knowing what the game is about, those nine beats at the transition (1:17) tell you that you’re about to take the train ride of your life, and the creeping low tone piano speaks of clandestine dealings and underground activities.  The crescendo at the end of the first verse builds until you envision a mighty locomotive that sweeps you along to an unavoidable destiny where madness, regret, rue, and glory will tangle together until there isn’t an in between.  There is truly no getting off this train.

What’s your favorite opening theme?  Let’s discuss in the comments!

Note: I realized this is kind of my replacement for the Question of the Week; it’s just more Final Fantasy based lol.  I think eventually I’ll incorporate other gaming related questions into it, but I’ll still call it Final Fantasy Friday since that’s what it stems from, and there’s an extremely high probability that my answer will involve Final Fantasy anyway 😉

Final Fantasy Friday: Traveling Music

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 was going to just do a “What’s your favorite airship?” which is a perfectly adequate question that I intend to answer, too, but I also started pondering the airship music, and I think it’s a good addition to ask.

Favorite airship…well the Invincible from Final Fantasy IX is pretty bad ass, though there is that annoying detail about how it *spoiler* destroyed Dagger’s entire village and was partially responsible for her mother’s death. *end spoiler*  It also has that creepy eye that would be absolutely horrifying to see above you,

*shits self immediately*

but it is a technological marvel.  If I were going into battle, the Invincible is the ship I’d want.

Also the ship can travel between dimensions.

Hm.  I wonder if the red “eye” on the airship is somehow tied to the red light in Garland’s chest…

I had to listen to all of the airship themes, and I enjoyed many of them (including Final Fantasy VI’s “Searching for Friends,” the theme for the World of Ruin), but only one gave me chills, and that’s none other than Final Fantasy VII’s “Highwind Takes to the Skies.”  It’s a rehashing of Cloud’s Theme, which is also the Main Theme, and what better song for flying than one based on Cloud :p

What’s your favorite airship and airship theme?  Let’s discuss in the comments!



Final Fantasy Friday: Time for a Random Battle

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!

Final Fantasy is world renown for its music, which I’ve covered here, here, here, and many other places.  The title is a bit misleading as this is open for both battle and boss music, but not final boss music (we’ve already discussed that in a prior post).

This is another tough one for me.  So tough that I need to abscond to YouTube to listen to a sample of each.


I’m torn between IV and IX for the Battle Music.  They’re both so epic and reflect the more fantasy nature of their games.  I love that “uplifting” phrase in IV and the strings in IX (forgive me for my lack in music terms.  I’ve sung for many years, but was piss poor at theory).

I’m even more capricious on the Boss Battle Themes.  IV wins again though with the continuation of the fantasy theme in its music.

But I also love VII’s more rock/metal-esque sound, which fits perfectly with the game’s aesthetic.

It would seem this should be the end of the debate, bur Final Fantasy is always complicated and has more than just the standard Battle and Boss (and Final Boss).  It would be a travesty to leave them out as some of these selections are the best music the series has ever given us.  One of them is the music played during the battle with the Atma Weapon in Final Fantasy VI

…and the other is Jenova’s Theme.  I abhor and fear that abomination with a passion, but there’s no doubt its music is brilliant.  There are at least three melodies going on at once, and it twists your mind in knots trying to divine and unwind them.  Nobuo Uematsu is a master of the meta in music whether he realizes it or not.

If I ever listen to the above song while driving, I somehow find myself going at least 80 mph, as if I”m trying to outrun something…

Note: The same thing happens during One Winged Angel, especially the Advent version, but that’s because that song kicks ass.

So I suck at answering questions.  If I had to pick a Battle Theme, it would be Final Fantasy IV, and if I had to pick a (regular) Boss Theme, it would be have to be FFIV as well.  VII is a very close second.

Hopefully, you can be more…decisive than I am 😉