Whether you love Final Fantasy VI for being a slobber-knocker of an RPG that ended a 16 bit era in style or you prefer Final Fantasy XV for its tale of camaraderie between brothers, there’s one idea that all Final Fantasy fans can easily reach a consensus on: The franchise has some chuffing good music. Mostly the work of longtime Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu and in later years Hitoshi Sakamoto, Masashi Hamauza and Yoki Shimomura, Final Fantasy is as easily defined by its music as it is its visual themes of crystals, Chocobos and unwieldy swords.
Sweeping orchestral arrangements, tender string symphonies and bombastic fusions of other genres are just some of the hallmarks of the audio legacy of the series, with each core game and spin-off adding something magical to the musical table. While the idea of best Final Fantasy soundtrack is subjective, it’s hard to deny just how good Final Fantasy VII’s score was at the time.
Benefitting from enhanced CD clarity, the audio was a massive step up from previous hardware that had to make do with the chirps and beeps of 16 bit era consoles. Even better, hearing that composition performed live by a seasoned band, may just be one of life’s greatest pleasures. Unless you attended FINAL FANTASY VII – A Symphonic Reunion last night, a showcase of music that was an absolute disaster according to fans.
The idea was simple: Final Fantasy VII’s soundtrack, performed live by an orchestra on the eve of E3 2019. What could possibly go wrong? A LOT! According to fans who attended the event, the majority of the concert didn’t even feature a single pluck of the strings or a quick toot of some brass but rather relied on MIDI files being broadcast through the venue. To give you an idea, here’s what Sephiroth’s One-Winged Angel sounds like in MIDI form:
Now compare that, to an actual orchestra playing the theme:
Now imagine listening to digital files of the music, for more than two-thirds of the show:
To add even more insult to injury, ticket prices began at $77.77 for this event, which may have been the biggest rip-off since the invention of printer ink cartridges. It’s a shame because last year’s Final Fantasy concert was the exact inverse of this event, a stunning love letter to the franchise that featured top-notch performances from musicians and left many a fan buzzing with joy once all was said and done.
What a rip. For a fistful of dollars, it would have been cheaper to grab a Spotify subscription and listen to the recently released catalogue of Final Fantasy soundtracks in the comfort of your own home.
Last Updated: June 10, 2019