#1
I wrote this post for another forum I go on. Read the start bit before you bitch about it.

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As many of you know, I am a huge fan of Nobuo Uematsu. "But Dan!", I hear you ask, "Who is this musical genius?"

From wikipedia (roughly): "Nobuo Uematsu, (born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese composer of video game music, and one of the most well-known, prolific, and versatile in the field."

That's him in a nutshell.

He has written music for over 30 games, and has been involved in many more, but his most famous works have come from the Japanese RPG series 'Final Fantasy'. He has an enormous range of styles, composing anything from huge orchestral peices, soft ballads and the like, to thumping techno peices and ragtime jingles. As well as the basic soundtracks to the game, he has also arranged many of the peices for piano, released in 'piano collections' albums.

There's not must use just spouting off things to you, you've got to listen to his work to fully apreciate the genius that this man is.

Currently I only own the sountracks to Final Fantasys 8-10, so they'll be what the music is from, but this still gives a huge range of pieces to choose from, so you're bound to find something you like!

I'll admit I got a bit carried away choosing tracks... It's too hard to limit yoruself to just a few!

For more information and a full list of games he's worked on, you can read his wikipedia article here.



Overture

This is the first peice of music you hear in the game, over the menu screen.

The track.

Liberi Fatali

This track appears at the start of the game, over the opening sequence. It's name translates roughly to 'Fated Children'.

As it appears in the game.

The track on it's own.

Don't Be Afraid

This is the 'battle theme' in Final Fantasy 8, appearing in almost every battle.

The track.

Find Your Way

This is the 'cave' theme in the game, appearing in various caves you explore.

The track.

SeeD

This track backs a breifing session at the start of the game. It's title refers to the special forces group the main protagonists belong to.

The track.

The Landing

The meaning is fairly self-explanatory when you watch the video. Be aware that the track itself is longer than the video, so you can go check them both out to get the full experience. This video is the first thing you see at the start of the Final Fantasy 8 demo, and was the first taste of Nobuo I ever got.

The track as it appears in the game.

The full track.

Starting Up

Again, fairly self-explanatory.

The track in the game.

The track on it's own.

Force Your Way

This is the 'boss battle' theme for the game.

The track.

Dead End

This peice is at the finale of the first 'mission' of the game.

The track as it appears in the game

The track.

Breezy

This music is the background music in a small town near to the 'school' where you start the game.

The track.

Shuffle or Boogie

This is the music for a card game, called 'Triple Triad', you can play within the game world.

The track.

The Man With The Machine Gun

At certain point in the game you experience a kind of flashback, where you control other characters. This is the battle theme from those flashbacks.

The track.

Julie

This is the theme of the flashback character's love interest. It's basically a piano arrangement of the theme song 'Eyes On Me', but it's still beautiful as a stand-alone track.

The track.

The Mission

This is the music in the background of your second 'mission' of the game, which takes place on a train.

The track.

Succession Of Witches

This is the theme of your initial nemesis, an evil sorceress.

The track

The Stage Is Set

This backs the third 'mission' you have to complete - assassinating the sorceress.

The track.

Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

This is another theme for the sorceress. The title refers to the vocal line running throughout the theme, which is those 4 words. They also apear in other tracks, most notably the opening peice, Liberi Fatali

The track.

Fragments Of Memories

This is the background music for a sleepy little village you visit in the game.

The track.

Drifting

This peice I feel is one of the best in the game. It occurs when you are in a ship of sorts, with no power, and are, as the title suggests, drifting, with no hope or knowing where to go. You can really feel the helplessness this piece implies, and it's what makes it special to me.

The track.

Odeka Ke Chocobo

Chocobos appear in all the Final Fantasy games, and this peice is an arrangement of the 'Chocobo Theme', which has appeared in all Final Fantasys so far. Chocobos are essentially large, flightless birds, which you can ride on to get around faster.

The track.

The Oath

This is another of my favourite peices. The string arrangements on it are immensely powerful.

The track.

From the piano collections album

Slide Show Pt 2

This is a lively ragtime piece, though I can't remember where it appears. I couldn't find the track straight from the OST, but the piano collections track is almost the same.

Arranged for the piano collections album

Dance With The Balamb-Fish

I can't remember where in the game this appears, but it appears to be at some sort of dance...

The track.

Eyes On Me

This is the theme song from the game, sung by Faye Wong. As with the other Final Fantasy games, it is the basis for a lot of the other tracks in the game.

The original song, put to a montage of scenes from the game

Arrenged for the piano collections.

The song performed live by Faye Wong

Mods de Chocobo

This is another arrangement of the Chocobo theme, this time more guitar-oriented.

The track.

Ride On

This music appears when you are riding in the airship you gain later in the game.

The track.

The Castle

This is the music in the castle you explore near to the end of the game.

The track.

As is appears in the piano collections.

Ending Theme

As you can probably guess, this is the music played over the ending cinematic to the game. As the track is over 13 minutes, it has had to be split up. This peice, as with all Nobuo's ending themes, is absolutely incredible.

The track part 1.

The track part 2.

WARNING: Do NOT watch these if you ever plan to play Final Fantasy 8.

As it appears in the game part 1

As it appears in the game part 2

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The Place I'll Return To Someday

As with the Overture from Final Fantasy 8, this is the first peice you hear in the game, over the menu screen.

The track.
#2
Feel My Blade

This piece occurs during a performance of a play at the start of the game. The first half of the peice displays a dramatic part, but when swords are drawn it slides into a more dramatic tone.

The track.


Vamo Alla Flamenco

The first time you hear this piece it appears during a sword-fighting minigame during the play mentioned earlier, later on it appears again in another mini-game.

The track.

Frontier Village Dali

Another small village peice.

The track.

Ukele Le Chocobo

Another arrangement of the Chocobo theme, this one plays when you are riding around on one.

The track.


A Face Unforgotten

Another slightly creepy piece, you hear it in a scene where one of the main character's love interests shows up.

The track.

Theme Of The Tantalus

Tantalus is the theatre troup/theives guild the main character belongs to.

The track.

Eternal Harvest

This short piece is the accompianment to a dance.

As it appears in the game

The track.

Arranged for the piano collection.

Ambush Attack

As you can guess, this gets played at a point when you are attacked by an army of black mages.

The track.

Loss Of Me

This peice is the theme to one of the characters - a female general of one of the faction's armies. The piano arrangement of this is especially beautiful.

The track.

Arranged for the piano collection.

Eiko's Theme

In the game, Eiko is a 6-year-old girl who has lived on her own since her village was destroyed.

The track.

Salamander's Theme

Salamander, called Amarant in the European release, is a big, burly, introverted character, who initially plays to win and only cares about himself.

The track.

Slew Of Love Letters

This occurs at a scene involving a love letter being delivered to the wrong recipient... many time.

The track.

Tetra Master

As with 'Triple Triad' from FF8, this game also has a card game, 'Tetra Master'.

The track.

Protecting My Devotion

This track plays while the afore-mentioned general and another character are battling to defend their queen from a horde of monsters.

The track.

The Airship, Hildagarde

As with 'Ride On' from FF8, this peice plays while travelling around in the airship.

The track.

Secret Library Daguerro

Funnily enough, you hear this piece in a secret library...

The track.

Arranged for the piano collection.

Terra

At one point in the game, you travel into a different dimension. This is the backing music for that.

The track.

Bran Bal, The Soulless Village

The music from a village in said otehr dimension.

The track.

Arranged for the piano collection.

You're Not Alone!

This track appears in the other dimension, but I'm not exactly sure where, as I haven't got that far in the game yet...

The track.

Arranged for the piano collection.

Melodies Of Life

This is the theme song for this game, sung by Emiko Shiratori. The piano arrangement for this is another exeptionally beautiful one. The song was recorded with two different sets of lyrics, in Japanese and in English. I personally think the Japanese version is a lot better.

The Japanese version of the song.

Arranged for the piano collection.

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This is the first game in which someone other than Uematsu composed some tracks. He still did the majority, though.

To Zanarkand

'To Zanarkand' is the main theme that runs through this game, a solo piano peice that, in some form or another, appears in loads of tracks.

The piece put to a montage of scenes from the game

Otherworld

This is the only heavy metal track I've heard in a Final Fantasy game, it appears in the opening cinematic.

The track as it appears in the game

The track.

Enemy Attack

Premise is pretty simple... A part in the game where you get assaulted by the main enemy for the first time. This wasn't composed by Uemtsu, but it's still a great piece.

The track.

Blitzball Gamblers

After you get attacked by the main enemy in the game, you get knocked out, and wake up on a beach on a desert island, where you meet a team of blitzballers, the main sport in the game.

The track.

Besaid

This is the music played in the background on the desert island. This also wasn't composed by Nobuo, but I couldn't leave it off.

The track.

Spira Unplugged

This is a nice acoustic guitar peice put together. Spira is the name of the world the game is set on.

The track.

Auron's Theme

Auron is on of the most badass game character you'll ever come across. This is his theme.

The track.

Rikku's Theme

Rikku is a bright, lively teenage girl, who is an expert at working with all things mechanical. This is her theme.

The track.

Pursuit

This is the music at a point where you are getting chased. Don't listen to this if you're worried about anything at the moment, it'll just make you more nervous. This is another one not composed but Nobuo, but I love the sense of urgency it creates.

The track.

The Truth Revealed

This comes at a big revelation in the game.

The track.

Assault

I'm sure you can guess what this involes. Another one not by Uematsu, but it's still good.

The track.

Via Purifico

In the game the Via Purifico is like a maze under a castle, where plenty of monsters dwell. If you get out, you live.

The track.

Suteki Da Ne (Isn't it wonderful?)

This is the theme song for this game, sung by the Japanese singer Ritsuki Nakano, known as RIKKI.

The track.

The orchestral version that appears over the end credits of the game.

Servants Of The Mountain

The Ronso are a race of humanoid lion-time creatures, with horns on their foreheads. They guard a sacred mountain, Mount Gagazet. This is their theme, and is another not by Nobuo.

The track.

Challenge

This is a theme when you're fighting a boss. The intro is pretty crazy. Not by Nobuo, but I love the trippy intro.

The track.

Ending Theme

This is an amazing peice. Absolutely incredible. The ending to this game is one of the few things that has got me close to tearing up, and that's in no small part to the music.

The track.

As arranged for the piano collections

WARNING: Don't watch this is you ever plan on playing the game

As it appears in the game

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So there you go! A beginners guide to Nobuo Uematsu. You can take your time with this, go in, pick and choose the tracks you want to listen to, but make sure you listen to them all eventually... It may seem daunting, but it is worth it!