Final Fantasy Music: Heir to Uematsu’s Throne

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I don’t always listen to game music, but when I do I prefer these two guys that most people don’t know.



Game music composer Nobuo Uematsu is a legend in his craft and played an undeniable role in Final fantasy‘s early success. Some of the warmest and fuzziest bits of nostalgia we have about FFthe golden days are pieces like “Matoya cave“,”Terra Theme“,”You’re not aloneLove theme“,”The other side of the mountain“, and countless others (throw your nostalgia in the comments). Confronted with limited gaming console technology for most of his career, the man has had to focus on memorable tunes to help create the atmosphere, and he did a hell of a job

Uematsu not being a Final fantasy The mainstay of recent years has been sad for the series, not only because it lacks its masterful compositions, but because the series needs a go-to guy for its music. I believe that a small step (among many others necessary) towards Final fantasy Going back to hitting the hits like before would be to have a dedicated musician on the team, in the same way that Uematsu was the obvious choice for over a decade. While Hitoshi Sakimoto did a decent job with FFXII and Masashi Hamazu deserves a hat tip for a good effort in FFXIII, they don’t have the power of so many others FF soundtracks.

I submit to you my two considerations for the heir to the throne of Mr. Uematsu. One of these two formidable composers should be Final fantasythe new master of music. First, meet Keiichi Okabe. It’s this guy:

Look at him. This photo was taken after he executed everyone in the room. Keiichi has worked on RPGs released by Square before, as he did the soundtracks for Lord of the Apocalypse and Deny. Cavia, the studio that developed the latter, no longer exists, so this free agent is a perfect and easy pickup for Square Enix. Cut a big paycheck to this man and let him bring you soundtrack bliss, Square.

If there is a strike against Okabe, it is because his history of being radical doesn’t go back to his entire career, as he tends to make unique pieces for random games which can be random. There were, however, bright spots. In addition, I find the second better than the first, and the work of man in general is constantly improving. It might be worth a try Final fantasy.

Let’s start by sampling his best work, the Deny soundtrack:

Deny: Kaine ~ Hi – More like the salvation of my playlist from bad tracks.
Deny: Emil ~ Karma – Fighting music for those who like fighting music.
Deny: Ashes of Dreams – Available in 4 languages, this dark voice theme perfectly captures the dark mood of its game.

This whole soundtrack is dynamite. Okabe’s other stuff isn’t quite Deny level, and its most recent Lord of the Apocalypse is responsible for UPS and low. It is for this reason that Okabe is not a spearhead for this work. Say hello to a perhaps stronger candidate, Takeharu Ishimoto.

Ishimoto has two Final fantasy original derived tapes to his credit, Crisis core and Type-0, both of which are part of my five favorite game soundtracks.

In my kickass Final Fantasy Type-0 review, I said, “If I was Johnny Depp and it was Once Upon a Time in Mexico, I would shoot a songwriter for doing something so great.” I invaded the place to the rhythm of “Sacred fire“and faces punctuated to the rhythm of”Three hours of fate“. Not a moment went by that I didn’t appreciate the music of Type-0, and the same can be said of Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII.

To be honest, a lot of good bits in Crisis core were remixes of Uematsu’s first-rate work on the Final Fantasy VII soundtrack, but the original was also very well done. At a time CC: FFVII and FFT0, Ishimoto uses a wonderfully blended mix of instruments and styles. Discover some solid tracks of the Crisis core OST:

Core of crisis: the afflicted – What is that violin there?
Crisis Core: Under the Apple Tree – Like who wouldn’t join SOLDIER if it played while the recruiter was talking?
Crisis Core: the price of freedom – Works like Crisis corethe main theme, a hellish song.
Core of crisis: desire fulfilled – A remix of the main theme of FFVII.
Crisis Core: a flower that blooms in the slums – A remix of the FFVII Aeris theme

I could go on and on with these two games. Ishimoto has also done some interesting things to Dissidia, The world ends with you, and pieces of Kingdom Hearts series which include Birth by sleep and Dream fall distance. This guy is already throwing the hits for Square, but hardly anyone knows his name. I think he’s ready to be in the spotlight as the official composer of Final fantasy titles from now on. Maybe he could do most of the battle songs and serious story moments while Okabe mostly deals with the terrain, dungeons, and city themes? I think it could be a winning combination.

Square, entrust Ishimoto or Okabe with the musical responsibilities of Final fantasy series. Let’s do this.


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