Final Fantasy VII Returns #SciFiSunday

Few things loom as large in the collective gamer memory as Final Fantasy VII. Even for those who do not regularly play Japanese Role Playing Games (JRPGs), the environment, story, characters, gameplay, and soundtrack of Final Fantasy VII will forever be remembered. Even now, I can hear the music playing. Like 70’s Doctor Who, the incidental music — the walking around music, or just chatting music — is as iconic as the big Final Fantasy themes, all written by composer Nobuo Uematsu.

It may be that the new high def remake of Final Fantasy VII can create the same emotional highs and great memories, but perfectly updated graphics doesn’t always make a perfectly updated experience. Polygon had an oral history of the development of Final Fantasy VII that brings out the whole story of this classic game. From here’s composer Nobuo Uematsu from the Polygon oral history:

I was thinking, “OK, the normal approach won’t exceed what I did for Final Fantasy 6.” So a normal tune or classic track wouldn’t accomplish much. And I had pulled out “The Rite of Spring” by the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky, and normally just listening to a track doesn’t help me. But I just sat there and kept listening to that track and started thinking I wanted to make a wild, classic tune.

So after that, I started — I would go into the office and just record a couple phrases that came into my mind. Like in the morning, I would come into the office and record the phrase that pops into my mind. And I just kept doing that for two weeks. And after two weeks, I had a lot of random phrases piled up. Then I took those as puzzle pieces and tried to line them up in an interesting order to make sense as a track. That was a totally new approach for me. … This was the only time I ever used that approach. It was almost like a gamble — it could have turned out great, or it could have turned out horribly.

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