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Music of Final Fantasy XI

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The music of the MMORPG Final Fantasy XI was composed by Naoshi Mizuta along with regular series composer Nobuo Uematsu and Kumi Tanioka. The Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack, a compilation of almost all of the music in the game, was released by DigiCube in 2002, and subsequently re-released by Square Enix in 2004. Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack was released by DigiCube in 2003 after the release of the Rise of the Zilart expansion for Final Fantasy XI, and re-released by Square Enix in 2004. Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack was produced by Square Enix in 2004 after the release of the Chains of Promathia expansion, and in 2005 Square Enix published Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel, a collection of arranged tracks from the game performed by The Star Onions, a group composed of Square Enix composers including Naoshi Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka and Hidenori Iwasaki. Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack was released by Square Enix in 2006 for the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion.

In 2007, Square Enix released the Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack Premium Box, a collection of all of the previously released albums, as well as the as yet unreleased Final Fantasy XI Unreleased Tracks and Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI, an album of unreleased music from the game and its expansions and an album of piano arrangements of music from the game, respectively. After the release of the fourth expansion for the game, Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess Original Soundtrack was released in 2008 by Square Enix. Additionally, in summer 2008 another Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI album, completely separate from the previous piano collections album, will be released by Square Enix.

The music has received mixed reviews; while reviewers have praised some of the associated albums such as Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack and Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack, other albums, such as Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack and Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel, were not as universally liked. Several songs, especially "Distant Worlds", remain popular today, and have been performed numerous times in orchestral concert series, as well as been published in arranged and compilation albums by Square as well as outside groups.

Creation and influence[edit]

The music of Final Fantasy XI was scored by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka.[1] Composer Yasunori Mitsuda was also asked to contribute, but he was busy scoring Xenosaga.[2] The expansion packs were scored by Mizuta alone after Tanioka left to pursue other projects and Uematsu left Square Enix, although their names remain in the credits for those albums due to the inclusion of versions of songs they had previously composed for the game. The opening of the game features choral music with lyrics in Esperanto.[2] According to Uematsu, the choice of language was meant to symbolize the developers' hope that their online game could contribute to cross-cultural communication and cooperation. He also noted the increased difficulty of scoring a game for which there was no linear plotline, a major change from the previous Final Fantasy games. It was the first game in the series for which he composed while he was no longer a Square employee.[3] New music has been employed for special events, such as a holiday score titled Jeuno -Starlight Celebration- which can be heard in the city of Jeuno each mid to late December since 2004. Some of the game's music has been released on iTunes for download, such as the vocal "Distant Worlds", which was released on the Japanese iTunes Music Store on September 13, 2005, having been put in the game in a July 2005 patch.[4]

Albums[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack
Studio album by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka
Released June 5, 2002
May 10, 2004 (re-release)
Genre Classical, Electronic,[5] Video game soundtrack
Length Disk 1: 56:01
Disk 2: 55:56
Label DigiCube
Square Enix (re-release)
Producer Nobuo Uematsu

Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack is the soundtrack album of Final Fantasy XI. The album contains musical tracks from the game, composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka. The soundtrack was released on June 5, 2002 by DigiCube with the catalog numbers SSCX-10069-70, and re-released on May 10, 2004 by Square Enix with the catalog numbers SQEX-10017-8. The album spans 51 tracks over two disks and covers a duration of 1:51:57.[6]

Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack reached #25 on the Japan Oricon charts.[7] It received mixed reviews by critics, with Ben Schweitzer of RPGFan finding it to be a "strong" album, if "slower" and "more repetitive than previous Final Fantasy scores".[6] Liz Maas of RPGFan enjoyed the album, advising any fan of the series, even if not of the game itself, to buy the album.[6] Joe Schwebke of Soundtrack Central, on the other hand, found it to be "a collection of bland melodies, dull chord progressions, and aged tapestries of musical technique" and, while praising the sound quality, termed it overall a "disappointment".[8] Chris of Square Enix Music Online, however, felt that while it was "not instantly likable" that it had "the potential to become a favorite with multiple listens".[9]

Short sample of "The Federation of Windurst", "Hume Female" and "Recollection" — 158 KB

Problems playing this file? See media help.


Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album of the Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart expansion. The album contains musical tracks from the game, composed by Naoshi Mizuta and Nobuo Uematsu and arranged by Naoshi Mizuta. The soundtrack was released on May 21, 2003 by DigiCube with the catalog number SSCX-10093, and re-released on September 23, 2004 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10034. The album spans 19 tracks and covers a duration of 70:12.[1]

Final Fantasy XI Rise of the Zilart Original Soundtrack reached #53 on the Oricon charts.[10] It was well received by critics such as Patrick Gann of RPGFan, who called it "a solid OST" of "well-developed compositions".[1] Chris of Square Enix Music Online agreed, terming it "a very well-produced soundtrack" and "a consistent and fitting effort".[11]

Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack[edit]

Kumi Tanioka composed and arranged music from Final Fantasy XI and some of its expansions, and is also a member of The Star Onions.

Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album of the Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia expansion. The album contains musical tracks from the game, composed by Naoshi Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka, and Nobuo Uematsu and arranged by Naoshi Mizuta and Kumi Tanioka. The soundtrack was released on November 17, 2004 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10041. It covers a duration of 78:20 over 24 tracks.[12]

Unlike the first expansion soundtrack, Promathia was not received well by critics, though it reached #57 on the Oricon charts.[13] Patrick Gann expressed himself as "disappointed" and said that the album was full of "boring, repetitive string-work" instead of Mizuta's usual "strong, raw instrumentation".[12] Chris of Square Enix Music Online termed it "the least accessible Final Fantasy XI soundtrack" and disliked its "grating synth use", but also termed it "an excellent in-game accompaniment".[14]

Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel[edit]

Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel is an arranged album of tracks from Final Fantasy XI and its expansions, performed by The Star Onions, a group composed of Square Enix composers, including Naoshi Mizuta, Kumi Tanioka and Hidenori Iwasaki. The album was released by Square Enix on August 24, 2005 under the catalog number SQEX-10050. The album consists of newly arranged versions of songs from Final Fantasy XI and its first two expansions. The album contains 10 tracks and covers a duration of 53:21. The majority of the tracks are smooth jazz, with the exception of Awakening and Blessed in Her Glorious Light - The Grand Duchy of Jeuno, which encompass electronica and gospel respectively.[15]

The album received widely varied reviews by critics and reached #55 on the Oricon charts.[16] Mike Wilson of RPGFan termed it a "high caliber soundtrack" and said that it was full of "extremely well done" tracks.[15] Ryan Mattich of RPGFan was slightly less impressed, saying that while "each track is a masterpiece", that the album as a whole lacked cohesion.[15] Chris of Square Enix Music Online was much harsher towards the album, finding it to be "fundamentally flawed" due to a lack of coherence and disliked several of the tracks, especially the ones arranged by Mizuta.[17]

Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album of the Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion. The album contains musical tracks from the game, composed by Naoshi Mizuta and Nobuo Uematsu and arranged by Naoshi Mizuta. The soundtrack was released on May 24, 2006 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10072. It covers a duration of 64:48 over 21 tracks.[18]

Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack was well received by critics, with Patrick Gann describing it as "wonderful", and saying that "nearly every song has its own memorable feel".[18] Chris of Square Enix Music Online agreed, terming it "a solid mixture of continuity and change".[19] It reached position #50 on the Oricon charts.[20]

Final Fantasy XI Unreleased Tracks[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Unreleased Tracks is a collection of Final Fantasy XI music composed by Naoshi Mizuta that had not been released as part of any of the official albums for Final Fantasy XI or its expansions. It spans 18 tracks and covers a duration of 50:43. It has not been released as a single album, but rather can only be found as part of the Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack Premium Box, which was released on March 28, 2007, by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10093.[21] Final Fantasy XI Unreleased Tracks was well received by critics such as Patrick Gann, who said that it was an album full of "interesting pieces".[21]

Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI[edit]

Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI is a collection of Final Fantasy XI music composed by Nobuo Uematsu, Naoshi Mizuta, and Kumi Tanioka and arranged for the piano by Kaoru Ishikawa. It spans 10 tracks and covers a duration of 38:42. It has not been released as a single album, but rather can only be found as part of the Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack Premium Box, which was released on March 28, 2007, by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10094.[21] The album received varied reviews by critics. Patrick Gann termed it "excellent" and praised the technical skills of the performers, though he disliked the short length of the album.[21] Jillian of Square Enix Music Online, on the other hand, was "disappointed" with the album, finding the arrangements to be "simplistic" and the performances, while good technically, to be lacking in passion.[22] The box set reached #35 on the Oricon charts.[23]

Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess Original Soundtrack[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album of the Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess expansion. The album contains musical tracks from the game, composed by Naoshi Mizuta, as well as three bonus tracks containing songs from the Treasures of Aht Urhgan expansion that were not included in the soundtrack. The soundtrack was released on the April 23, 2008 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10113 and spans a duration of 77:44 over 25 tracks.[24]

Final Fantasy XI Wings of the Goddess Original Soundtrack received mixed reviews from reviewers, with Patrick Gann saying that "It is consistently good, but rarely is it mind-blowing". He did, however, praise Mizuta, saying that "Mizuta has grown...to the point where I imagine he can take on nearly any project".[24] It reached position #47 on the Oricon charts.[25]

Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI (2008)[edit]

Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI is a collection of Final Fantasy XI music composed by Nobuo Uematsu and Naoshi Mizuta, arranged for the piano by Kaoru Ishikawa, and performed by Ayumi Iga and Kasumi Oga. It spans 11 tracks and covers a duration of 41:30. Although it has the same name as the album from the Final Fantasy XI Original Soundtrack Premium Box, it is an entirely separate album. It was released on June 25, 2008 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10117.[26]

The album was well received by critics, with Patrick Gann praising its "high-quality arrangements, and extremely high-quality recording and production value".[26] It made it to position #25 on the Oricon charts and remained on the charts for four weeks.[27]

Sanctuary[edit]

Sanctuary is the second arranged album of tracks from Final Fantasy XI and its expansions by The Star Onions. The album was released by Square Enix on May 20, 2009 under the catalog number SQEX-10143. The album consists of newly arranged versions of songs from Final Fantasy XI and its first four expansions. The album contains 11 tracks and covers a duration of 52:40. The majority of the tracks are new age, combining the smooth jazz of their previous album with strings, funk, and classical.[28] Sanctuary reached #60 on the Oricon charts.[29] It was well received by Patrick Gann, who termed the arrangements as strong and balanced, and called the total album a "lovely little surprise".[28]

Memories of Dusk and Dawn[edit]

Final Fantasy XI 8th Anniversary: Memories of Dusk and Dawn is a compilation album of tracks from the game and its expansions. It was released on May 12, 2010 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10191.[30] The tracks were selected through a vote by fans, which ended on March 8, 2010.[31] The album has 27 tracks and has a length of 1:18:32. The majority of the tracks have appeared on previous albums, with only some music from the PlayOnline service as newly released.[30] Memories of Dusk and Dawn was noted by Gann as a good "best of" album, but of no use to fans of the music who have other albums from the series; it reached #27 on the Oricon charts when released.[30][32]

Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin Original Soundtrack[edit]

Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin Original Soundtrack is a soundtrack album of the Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin expansion. The album contains musical tracks from the game, composed by Naoshi Mizuta. The soundtrack was released on March 27, 2013 by Square Enix with the catalog number SQEX-10362 and spans a duration of 50:08 over 13 tracks.[33] An additional EP, Forever Today: Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin OST PLUS, was released for the Seekers of Adoulin expansion by Square Enix on November 11, 2014. The EP was released digitally only and has a catalog number of SQEX-50055. It also contains music composed by Mizuta, and spans a duration of 31:34 over 8 tracks.[34]

Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin Original Soundtrack received tepid reviews from reviewers, with Derek Heemsbergen of RPGFan calling it "a fine demonstration of how Mizuta has evolved as a musician", though he described several of the tracks as "safe" and "not the best".[33] It reached position #125 on the Oricon charts for one week.[35] Forever Today: Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin OST PLUS received better reviews, with Patrick Gann of RPGFan terming it a "digital-only nugget of goodness" containing a few solid tracks by Mizuta.[34]

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 "Distant Worlds" in the album Darkness and Starlight, published in 2008.[36] Uematsu continues to perform certain pieces in his Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy concert series.[37] The music of Final Fantasy XI has also appeared in various official concerts and live albums, such as the Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy concert tour, where "Opening Theme" and "Distant Worlds" were performed as a medley by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra,[38] while "Ronfaure" was performed by the New Japan Philharmonic Orchestra in the Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy concert series.[39] Selections of music from Final Fantasy XI also appear on Japanese remix albums, called dōjin music, and on English remixing websites.[40]

References[edit]

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  3. ^ Fahey, Rob (2005-02-25). "Focus On: Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu". Gamesindustry.biz. Archived from the original on 2006-08-18. Retrieved 2006-08-15. 
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  7. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI Original Soundtrack (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  8. ^ Schwebke, Joe (2003-04-02). "Final Fantasy 11 Original Soundtrack". Soundtrack Central. Archived from the original on 2012-08-26. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
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  10. ^ ファイナルファンタジー ⅩⅠ ジラートの幻影 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. 
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  12. ^ a b Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia OST". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  13. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI プロマシアの呪縛 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. ^ Chris. "Final Fantasy XI Chains of Promathia Original Soundtrack: Review by Chris". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
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  16. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI−Music from the Other Side of Vanadiel’− (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
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  19. ^ Chris. "Final Fantasy XI Treasures of Aht Urhgan Original Soundtrack: Review by Chris". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  20. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI アトルガンの秘宝 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. 
  21. ^ a b c d Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy XI OST Premium Box". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  22. ^ Jillian. "Final Fantasy XI Premium Box Piano Collections: Review by Jillian". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 
  23. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI Original Soundtrack PREMIUM BOX (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  24. ^ a b Gann, Patrick. "Final Fantasy XI Crusaders of Altana OST". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-06-04. 
  25. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI アルタナの神兵 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. 
  26. ^ a b Gann, Patrick. "Piano Collections Final Fantasy XI". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2008-07-11. 
  27. ^ ピアノ・コレクションズ FINAL FANTASY XI (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  28. ^ a b Gann, Patrick (2009-06-18). "Sanctuary ~ Final Fantasy XI Music from the Other Side of Vana'diel - The Star Onions". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  29. ^ Sanctuary/THE STAR ONIONS (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  30. ^ a b c Gann, Patrick (2010-06-05). "Final Fantasy XI 8th Anniversary - Memories of Dusk and Dawn". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-01-16. Retrieved 2010-06-15. 
  31. ^ Corinth (February 2010). "FFXI 8th Anniversary – Memories of Dusk and Dawn". JPButton. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  32. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI 8th Anniversary −Memories of Dusk and Dawn (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-06-24. 
  33. ^ a b Heemsbergen, Derek (2013-04-02). "Final Fantasy XI: Seekers of Adoulin OST". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  34. ^ a b Gann, Patrick (2015-01-30). "Forever Today: Final Fantasy XI Seekers of Adoulin OST PLUS". RPGFan. Archived from the original on 2015-02-11. Retrieved 2015-02-11. 
  35. ^ FINAL FANTASY XI アドゥリンの魔境 オリジナル・サウンドトラック (in Japanese). Oricon. Archived from the original on 2013-04-25. Retrieved 2013-04-25. 
  36. ^ (March 19, 2008). The Black Mages III: Darkness and Starlight. Sony Music Distribution. DERP-10002
  37. ^ Schnieder, Peer (2005-05-11). "Dear Friends: Music from Final Fantasy". IGN. Archived from the original on 2013-02-04. Retrieved 2006-03-01. 
  38. ^ "Distant Worlds - Music from Final Fantasy - Album Information". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  39. ^ "Album Information - Tour de Japon: Music from Final Fantasy DVD". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on 2012-04-15. Retrieved 2008-02-22. 
  40. ^ "Sony Playstation 2 Music - A-F". VGMusic.com. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2008-04-01. 

External links[edit]