Music of Final Fantasy VI

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The music of the video game Final Fantasy VI was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu. The Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version, a compilation of all the music in the game, was released in Japan by NTT Publishing in 1994 and re-released by Square Enix in 2004. The album was released by Square Co./NTT Publishing in North America in 1994 under the name Kefka's Domain. Selected tracks from the official soundtrack were later released as part of the Music From FFV and FFVI Video Games album that was included with the release of Final Fantasy Anthology, and two EPs were produced containing character theme tracks entitled Final Fantasy VI Stars Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. A special orchestral arrangement of selected tracks from the game, arranged by Shiro Sagisu and Tsuneyoshi Saito, and performed by the Milan Symphony Orchestra, was released under the title Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale by NTT Publishing in 1994 and 2004, and a collection of piano arrangements, arranged by Shirou Satou and performed by Reiko Nomura, was released under the title Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI by Square/NTT Publishing in 1994 and by NTT Publishing in 2001. Additionally, a single containing unused and remixed tracks from the game was released as Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks by NTT Publishing in 1994.

The music received very positive reviews, with reviewers finding it to be one of the best video game music soundtracks ever composed. Several pieces, particularly "Terra's Theme" and "Aria di Mezzo Carattere", remain popular today, and have been performed numerous times in orchestral concert series such as the Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concert series, the Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy series, and the Orchestral Game Concert series. Music from the soundtrack has also been published in arranged albums and compilations by Square Enix as well as outside groups.

Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version[edit]

Final Fantasy VI Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released March 25, 1994
July 1, 1994 (Kefka's Domain)
October 1, 2004 (reissue)
Recorded Sunrise Studios
Genre Ambient, Chiptune, Classical,[1] Disco, Electronic, Game, Synthpop,[2] Techno[1]
Length 58:00 (disc one)
57:18 (disc two)
72:03 (disc three)
Label NTT Publishing
Square (Kefka's Domain)
Square Enix (reissue)
Producer Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy VI Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album containing musical tracks from the game, composed and produced by Nobuo Uematsu. The album was originally released through NTT Publishing on March 25, 1994 under the name Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version and the catalog numbers PSCN-5001~3, and was later re-released by Square Enix on October 1, 2004 with the new name and catalog numbers NTCP-5001~3. The soundtrack spans three discs and has a combined duration of 3:07:21.[3] The soundtrack was also officially released in the United States by Square/NTT Publishing under the name of Kefka's Domain on July 1, 1994. This version of the album is the same as its Japanese counterpart, except for different packaging and small differences in the translation of some track names between the album and newer releases. The album has a catalog number of SQ108.[4]

Ten tracks from the soundtrack, comprising all of the character themes for the required characters of the game, were released in a pair of EPs entitled Final Fantasy VI Stars Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. The CDs were released in 1994 by NTT Publishing with durations of 13:04 and 11:54 and catalog numbers of N09D-023 and NO9D-024, respectively.[5][6] Additionally, thirteen tracks from the soundtrack were included in a bonus CD titled Music From FFV and FFVI Video Games that shipped with Final Fantasy Anthology on October 5, 1999.[7] The soundtrack was again released as part of the Final Fantasy Finest Box by Square Enix on March 28, 2007 under the catalog numbers FFFB-0004-6 along with the OSTs of Final Fantasy IV and Final Fantasy V after the game was ported to the Game Boy Advance.[8][9]

Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version sold 175,000 copies as of January 2010.[10] The album was very well received by critics. Ben Schweitzer of RPGFan claimed that "almost every track here is truly a very good, or even a great composition."[3] Issac Engelhorn of Soundtrack Central agreed, claiming it to be the best video soundtrack ever, a sentiment Jon Turner and Nick Melton of Soundtrack Central agreed with.[11] Patrick Gann of RPGFan claimed that the "Dancing Mad" track contained some of the "most astounding music ever created on a keyboard" and highly recommended the soundtrack.[3]

A new edition of the soundtrack, Final Fantasy VI Original Soundtrack Remaster Version, was released by Square Enix on September 3, 2013. This version is similar in length to the original soundtrack release. Despite the name, the album features the original Super Nintendo version of the music, rather than a more modern synthesizer sound. The album has the catalog number SQEX-10387~9, and its 61 tracks have a duration of 3:07:47. Andrew Barker of RPGFan stated that the differences between the original release and this version were "minor and barely noticeable", but that all of the praises for the original music still held true.[12]

Track listing[13][14][15]

A short medley of "Celes's Theme", "Terra's Theme" and "Dancing Mad"

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Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale[edit]

Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released May 25, 1994
Length 54:33
Label NTT Publishing

Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale is a collection of orchestral arrangements of Final Fantasy VI music composed by Nobuo Uematsu and arranged by Shiro Sagisu and Tsuneyoshi Saito. It was initially released through NTT Publishing on May 25, 1994 under the catalog number PSCN-5004 and subsequently re-released on October 1, 2004 under the catalog number NTCP-5004. The arrangements are performed by the Milan Symphony Orchestra, with vocal performances by Svetla Krasteva. The album spans 11 tracks and covers a duration of 54:33.[16]

Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale was well received by critics, though not as well as the other albums of music from the game. Daniel Space of RPGFan found that, while he was pleased with the album as a whole, there were issues with the track selections and arrangement quality that detracted from the album.[16] Adam Corn of Soundtrack Central found that, while not without flaws, the album was "interesting and entertaining".[17] Patrick Gann concurred, saying that while there are a few minor arrangement issues, the overall quality of the album is great.[16]

Sample of "Aria di Mezzo Carattere"

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Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI[edit]

Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released June 25, 1994
Length 41:23
Label NTT Publishing

Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI is an album of music from Final Fantasy VI composed by Nobuo Uematsu, arranged on piano by Shirou Satou and performed by Reiko Nomura. It was first published by Square and NTT Publishing on June 25, 1994 with the catalog number PSCN-5005. It was subsequently republished by NTT Publishing on July 25, 2001 under the catalog number NTCP-1003. The album spans 13 tracks and covers a duration of 41:23. The original release included a hard-cover piano score with all pieces from the album.[18]

The album was well received, with Daniel Space of RPGFan terming it an "amazing CD".[18] Sigmund Shen of Soundtrack Central concurred, calling it "an impressive CD" and "a must-have".[19] Gary King of Soundtrack Central termed it "simply astonishing" and "a CD that really no collector should be without".[19]

Sample of "Terra's Theme"

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Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks[edit]

Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released April 25, 1994
Length 20:46
Label NTT Publishing

Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks is an EP released on April 25, 1994, through NTT Publishing with the catalog number PSDN-6101. It is composed primarily of unused or remixed tracks for Final Fantasy VI, including exclusive unused vocal track "Approaching Sentiment", as well as a remixed version of the Final Fantasy IV track "Troian Beauty". The CD spans six tracks and covers a duration of 20:46.[20]

Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks, while not as widely reviewed as the other Final Fantasy VI albums, was seen as "very neat" by Patrick Gann, who especially liked the "Techno de Chocobo" track.[20]

Sample of "Approaching Sentiment"

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Legacy[edit]

Uematsu was personally very pleased with the way that the soundtrack for Final Fantasy VI turned out, and has said in interviews that he felt that "with the satisfaction and excitement I felt after finishing that project, I thought I had reached my primary goal, and could quit doing game music with no regrets."[23] He stated in the liner notes for Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI that he intended the music to be emotionally moving, and entreated the listener not to think about the music, but to feel it.[24] He also feels that the title track for Final Fantasy VI was the most challenging track he has ever made.[25] As for Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale, on the other hand, Uematsu has said that he was "not satisfied with this album at all", due to the deviation it took from his original visions for the music due to his lack of personal involvement in the arrangements.[26] Although he did not feel that the album was a poor one, saying that if he said nothing no one would ever know of his dissatisfaction, he felt that it was not what he would have created if he had "defend[ed] the image of each piece".[26]

The Black Mages, a band led by Nobuo Uematsu that arranges music from Final Fantasy games into a rock music style, has arranged four pieces from Final Fantasy VI. These are "The Decisive Battle", "Battle", and "Dancing Mad" from The Black Mages, published in 2003, and "Darkness and Starlight", based on "Aria di Mezzo Carattere", from The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight, published in 2008. A lyrical version of "Kids Run Through the City", sung by Risa Ohki, appears on Final Fantasy: Pray, a compilation album produced by Square. Additionally, a lyrical version of "Relm's Theme", sung by Risa Ohki and Ikuko Noguchi, appears on Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow.

Uematsu continues to perform certain pieces in his Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concert series.[27] The music of Final Fantasy VI has also appeared in various official concerts and live albums, such as 20020220 Music from Final Fantasy, a live recording of an orchestra performing music from the series including "Terra's Theme".[28] In 1994, "Aria di Mezzo Carattere" was played as "Love Oath, Maria and Draco" by the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra for the fourth entry in their Orchestral Game Music Concerts series. Additionally, the aria was also performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy concert series.[29] Independent but officially licensed releases of Final Fantasy VI music have been composed by such groups as Project Majestic Mix, which focuses on arranging video game music.[30] Selections also appear on Japanese remix albums, called dojin music, and on English remixing websites.[31]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Nobuo Uematsu – Final Fantasy VI: Original Sound Version". Discogs. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  2. ^ "Nobuo Uematsu – Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version (Taiwan)". Discogs. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Gann, Patrick; Schweitzer, Ben. "Final Fantasy VI OSV". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  4. ^ Thomas, Damian. "Final Fantasy III: Kefka's Domain". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  5. ^ "Final Fantasy VI Stars vol. 1". ffmusic.info. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  6. ^ "Final Fantasy VI Stars vol. 2". ffmusic.info. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  7. ^ Gann, Patrick. "Music From FFV and FFVI Video Games". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-03-25. 
  8. ^ Tjan, Mark. "FF Finest Box". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  9. ^ Square Enix Music Online. "Final Fantasy Finest Box - Album Information". Square Enix Music. Archived from the original on 2012-07-19. Retrieved 2008-04-23. 
  10. ^ "『FF XIII』サウンドトラックが初日TOP3入り" (in Japanese). Oricon. 2010-01-28. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2010-02-03. 
  11. ^ Engelhorn, Isaac; Fornaca, Zack; Lau, Aaron; Melton, Nick; Turner, Jon. "Final Fantasy VI Original Sound Version". Soundtrack Central. Archived from the original on 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  12. ^ Barker, Andrew (2013-11-03). "Final Fantasy VI OST Remaster Version". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-11-05. 
  13. ^ English titles taken from the album's iTunes release. Retrieved on 2008-04-04.
  14. ^ "Final Fantasy VI Original Soundtrack". ffmusic.info. Archived from the original on 2012-07-16. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  15. ^ "SQ108: Kefka's Domain - The complete soundtrack from the Final Fantasy III video game". vgmdb.net. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  16. ^ a b c Gann, Patrick; Space, Daniel. "Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-03-01. 
  17. ^ Corn, Adam. "Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale". Soundtrack Central. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  18. ^ a b Gann, Patrick; Space, Daniel. "Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  19. ^ a b King, Gary; Shen, Sigmund. "Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections". Soundtrack Central. Archived from the original on 2012-08-06. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  20. ^ a b c Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  21. ^ "PSDN-6101: Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks". vgmdb.net. Archived from the original on 2012-05-25. Retrieved 2009-01-07. 
  22. ^ "Final Fantasy VI Special Tracks". ffmusic.info. Archived from the original on 2012-08-29. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 
  23. ^ Uematsu, Nobuo (1995-12-12). "Gun Hazard Original Soundtrack Liner Notes". Chudah's Corner. Archived from the original on 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  24. ^ Uematsu, Nobuo. "Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections". Final Fantasy Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  25. ^ D., Spence. "Nobuo Part 2". IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-02-06. Retrieved 2008-07-26. 
  26. ^ a b Uematsu, Nobuo (1994-03-21). "Final Fantasy VI Grand Finale". Final Fantasy Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2008-04-07. 
  27. ^ Schneider, Peer (2005-05-11). "Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy". IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2006-03-01. 
  28. ^ "20020220 - Music from Final Fantasy". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  29. ^ "Album Information - Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy DVD". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  30. ^ Rzeminski, Lucy (2002-07-02). "Project Majestic Mix: A Tribute to Nobuo Uematsu - Gold Edition". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2008-08-13. 
  31. ^ "Game: Final Fantasy VI (SNES)". OverClocked ReMix. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2008-04-04. 

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