Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds

In the backpack right now: Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market
On the ipod: The Frames, Keepsake

We live in a strange and ever interesting world. Wednesday night, my friend invited me to the symphony, whom were performing the music of the Final Fantasy video games. I was curious to hear it, as the series has been a part of my life since high school, since the first game was released on the original NES. I stopped playing at some point, when I realized that the games were taking ever more hours to beat, and that was time I could be spending reading or writing. Still, I kept up on the series.

Wednesday’s concert included giant video screens showing footage from the games. What surprised me was how much I remembered of the footage they showed, and how good some of the music was once it was taken out of its 16, 32, and even 64 bit context.

Each game, and its cut scene movies or music evoked a very specific memory: escaping away into combat and exploration of continents when high school had me depressed. They showed the trailer for FF 8, whose main character, in the form of a giant face, followed me through Dublin the first time I went to Ireland. Strangely, I never played FF 7, the one most people seem to best remember, but I saw the movie Advent Children this summer when I went to see Colorado’s Black Canyon, an amazing piece of landscape I’ve always wanted to explore.

I was surprised how excited the crowd was to hear the guest conductor name each track. I’ve always known video games had music, it just never occurred to me that it could have such fans.

The symphony did an amazing job, bringing a full chorus to handle the vocals on the more operatic pieces, and I’ll confess that hearing the opera sequence from FF 5 made me break out in a huge grin. I’m sure that a few of the classically minded musicians resented playing material from such a source, but it speaks to the uniqueness of our age when a genre as young as video games can be translated through a media as old as classical music.

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