Music of Final Fantasy I and II

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The music of the video games Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy II was composed by regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu, who would go on to be the exclusive composer for the next seven Final Fantasy games. Although they were composed separately, music from the two games has only been released together. All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II, a compilation of almost all of the music in the games, was released by DataM/Polystar in 1989, and subsequently re-released by NTT Publishing in 1994. Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy, an arranged album of music from the two games by Katsuhisa Hattori and his son Takayuki Hattori was released by DataM in 1989, and re-released by NTT Publishing/Polystar in 1994. Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack, another arranged album, this time by Nobuo Uematsu and Tsuyoshi Sekito, was released in 2002 by DigiCube and again in 2004 by Square Enix.

The music was well received by critics; reviewers have praised the quality and power of the original pieces, and reacted favorably to the arranged soundtracks. Several tracks, especially "Main Theme" and "Matoya's Cave", remain popular today, and have been performed numerous times in orchestral concert series, as well as having been published in arranged and compilation albums by Square Enix and outside groups.

Concept and creation[edit]

When Uematsu was working at a music rental shop in Tokyo, a woman working in the art department for Square, which would later become Square Enix, asked if he would be interested in creating music for some of the titles they were working on, and he agreed. Uematsu considered it a side job, and he did not believe it would become any sort of full-time job. He said it was a way to make some money on the side, while also keeping his part-time job at the music rental shop.[1] Before joining Square, he composed music for television commercials.[2] While working at Square, he met Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, who asked him if he wanted to compose music for some of his games, which Uematsu agreed to.[1] Sakaguchi gave him a few instructions, such as that the game needed a "battle" music and a "town" music, but left the remainder of the composing to Uematsu, aside from informing him of the specific technical limitations of the Famicom.[1] Several pieces from Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II have been reused in different forms throughout the series, especially the "Prelude", "Battle", "Victory" and "Chocobo" themes.[3][4]

All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II[edit]

All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released February 28, 1989
March 25, 1994 (re-release)
Genre Chiptune, Classical, Electro, Electronic,[5] Game
Length 62:32
Label DataM/Polystar
NTT Publishing (re-release)

All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II is a soundtrack album of video game music from Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II, composed, arranged, and performed by Nobuo Uematsu. It spans 49 tracks and covers a duration of 62:32. It was first released on February 28, 1989, by DataM/Polystar, and subsequently re-released on March 25, 1994, by NTT Publishing. The original release bears the catalog number H25X-20015, and the re-release bears the catalog number PSCR-5251. Tracks 1 and 49 are arranged versions of tracks which appeared in both of the games, tracks 2-21 are from Final Fantasy I, and 22-47 are from Final Fantasy II. Track 48, "Dungeon", was composed for Final Fantasy II, but was not used in the game; it was later used in Final Fantasy VI under the name "The Magic House".[3]

All Sounds of Final Fantasy I•II was moderately well received by critics such as Ben Schweitzer of RPGFan, who felt that it had "the same power today that it had 18 years ago", although he also felt that it was much weaker than Uematsu's later works with many of the themes "simplistic and undeveloped". Patrick Gann of RPGFan, on the other hand, praised the album for what he considered to be good music and the rush of nostalgia it brought with it, and was especially pleased with the two arranged tracks.[3] Aaron Lau of Soundtrack Central agreed with the sentiments expressed by Gann, and stated that the arranged tracks alone were worth buying the album for.[6] Romil Balibalita of Soundtrack Central, however, felt that while the soundtrack was good, it was "only worth one or two listens" and recommended it for fans of the original versions of video game music.[6] Nick of Square Enix Music Online said that the album was "an acquired taste" and recommended it primarily to fans of Nobuo Uematsu interested in his earlier work.[4]

Short mix of "Welcome to F.F.World" and "Farewell! F.F.World" — 144 KB

Problems playing this file? See media help.


Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy[edit]

Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released July 25, 1989
March 25, 1994 (re-release)
Length 39:49
Label DataM
NTT Publishing/Polystar (re-release)

Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy is an arranged soundtrack album of music from Final Fantasy I and Final Fantasy II, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, arranged by Katsuhisa Hattori and his son Takayuki Hattori, and performed by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra.[7] It spans 7 tracks and covers a duration of 39:49. It was first released on July 25, 1989, by DataM, and subsequently re-released on March 25, 1994, by NTT Publishing/Polystar. The original release bears the catalog number H28X-10007, and the re-release bears the catalog number PSCR-5253.[8] The music itself is a recording of a concert given by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in the Gohanda temporary hall in Tokyo.[9]

Symphonic Suite Final Fantasy was very well received by reviewers, with Patrick Gann saying that "the music itself is brilliant" and that "the arrangements are stunning" while remarking not only on the nostalgia inherent in the music but also the combination of the choir and orchestra.[8] Other reviewers such as Chris and Simon from Square Enix Music Online agreed, terming the album "an orchestral masterpiece amassed with some of the best quality and most subtle attempts of arranging available in the Final Fantasy series' discography" and "technically accomplished and on scale that was rarely done at the time of making", respectively.[10][11] Isaac Engelhorn of Soundtrack Central also enjoyed the album, calling it "wonderful" and his favorite Final Fantasy arranged album, although he did take issue with the length of the album, as well as the sound quality.[7]


Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack[edit]

Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by Nobuo Uematsu
Released October 23, 2002
September 23, 2004 (re-release)
Length Disk 1: 55:11
Disk 2: 47:19
Label DigiCube
Square Enix (re-release)

Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album of video game music from the PlayStation version of the games, Final Fantasy Origins. The soundtrack contains versions of the original game music arranged to take advantage of the PlayStation's sound hardware. The tracks were composed by Nobuo Uematsu and arranged by Nobuo Uematsu and Tsuyoshi Sekito. It spans 65 tracks on two disks and covers a duration of 1:42:30. It was first released on October 23, 2002, by DigiCube, and subsequently re-released on September 23, 2004, by Square Enix. The original release bears the catalog numbers SSCX-10071-2, and the re-release bears the catalog numbers SQEX-10032-3. The first disk contains music from Final Fantasy I by Nobuo Uematsu, while the second disk contains Final Fantasy II by Tsuyoshi Sekito.[12]

Final Fantasy & Final Fantasy II Original Soundtrack reached #87 on the Japan Oricon charts and was well received, with Luc of Square Enix Music Online approving of Tsuyoshi Sekito's influence on the arrangements and recommending the album to hardcore fans of Final Fantasy.[12][13]

Tracklist


Legacy[edit]

The Black Mages, a band led by Nobuo Uematsu that arranges music from Final Fantasy video games into a rock music style, have arranged two pieces from Final Fantasy I. These are "Battle Scene" from the album The Black Mages, published in 2003 and "Matoya's Cave" from the album The Skies Above, published in 2004. They have also arranged a track from Final Fantasy II, "Battle Scene II", in their The Black Mages album.[14][15] Lyrical versions of "Matoya's Cave" from Final Fantasy I and "Main Theme" from Final Fantasy II, sung by Risa Ohki, appeared on Final Fantasy: Pray, a compilation album produced by Square.[16] Additionally, lyrical versions of "Main Theme" from Final Fantasy I and "Finale" from Final Fantasy II, sung by Risa Ohki and Ikuko Noguchi, appeared on Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow.[17]

The music of Final Fantasy I and II 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 several pieces from the games.[18] Additionally, several pieces from the games were performed as part of a medley by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra for the Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy concert tour,[19] while a different medley of tunes from the two games were performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy concert series.[20] "Main Theme" from Final Fantasy I was performed at the Press Start -Symphony of Games- 2006 concert in Tokyo.[21] A concerto suite of music from Final Fantasy I was performed on July 9, 2011 at the Symphonic Odysseys concert, which commemorated the music of Uematsu.[22] Independent but officially licensed releases of Final Fantasy I and II music have been composed by such groups as Project Majestic Mix, which focuses on arranging video game music.[23] Selections also appear on Japanese remix albums, called dojin music, and on English remixing websites.[24][25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mielke, James (2008-02-15). "A Day in the Life of Final Fantasy's Nobuo Uematsu". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2008-05-30. 
  2. ^ "N's profile". Square Enix USA. Archived from the original on 2009-03-12. Retrieved 2008-06-01. 
  3. ^ a b c Gann, Patrick; Schweitzer, Ben. "All Sounds of Final Fantasy I - II". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  4. ^ a b Nick. "All Sounds of Final Fantasy I & II". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2008-05-10. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  5. ^ "Nobuo Uematsu – All Sounds Of Final Fantasy I•II". Discogs. Retrieved 7 August 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Lau, Aaron; Balibalita, Romil. "Final Fantasy I & II, All Sounds of". Soundtrack Central. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2008-07-21. 
  7. ^ a b Engelhorn, Isaac. "Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite". Soundtrack Central. Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  8. ^ a b c Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  9. ^ Uematsu, Nobuo. "Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite Liner Notes". Final Fantasy Music Online. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  10. ^ Chris. "Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-08-27. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  11. ^ Simon. "Final Fantasy Symphonic Suite". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-06-16. Retrieved 2008-07-25. 
  12. ^ a b Dragon God. "Final Fantasy I & II OST". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  13. ^ "ファイナルファンタジーⅠ・Ⅱ オリジナルサウンドトラック" (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  14. ^ (February 19, 2003). The Black Mages. DigiCube. SSCX-10080
  15. ^ (December 22, 2004). The Black Mages II: The Skies Above. Universal Music. UPCH-1377
  16. ^ (June 25, 1994). Final Fantasy: Pray. NTT Publishing. PSCN-5006
  17. ^ (November 25, 1995). Final Fantasy: Love Will Grow. NTT Publishing. PSCN-5041
  18. ^ "20020220 - Music from FINAL FANTASY". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-20. Retrieved 2007-04-01. 
  19. ^ "Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy - Album Information". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  20. ^ "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. 
  21. ^ "Press Start -Symphony of Games- 2006". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-09-20. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  22. ^ "Symphonic Odysseys Program". Symphonic Odysseys. Archived from the original on 2011-07-08. Retrieved 2011-07-08. 
  23. ^ 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. 
  24. ^ "Game: Final Fantasy (1987, Square, NES)". OverClocked ReMix. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  25. ^ "Game: Final Fantasy II (1988, Square, NES)". OverClocked ReMix. Archived from the original on 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 

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