Cyberdrive

Final Fantasy fans, does this sound familiar to you?

7 posts in this topic

As iconic as the Final Fantasy series soundtrack is, I've always made the argument that its hard to judge if you've played the games because you have to ask yourself; "Was this song REALLY that good or was it the associated emotion from the games plot that makes me like it?"

The soundtrack is also highly derivative.  Jenova's theme "J-E-N-O-V-A" from Final Fantasy VII is clearly, at the very least, "inspired" by the ending theme to the film "Blade Runner", which was scored by Vangelis. The motiv from Sepiroth's theme "Those Chosen By The Planet" sounds eerily similar to parts of "Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary" (a synthesizer version was used as the intro to Stanley Kubrick's film adaptation of "A Clockwork Orange")

And now I think I've found yet another one:

I know the intro in this song is almost identical to a final fantasy song, but I don't remember which song or game.  Anyone have a clue?

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15 hours ago, Cyberdrive said:

As iconic as the Final Fantasy series soundtrack is, I've always made the argument that its hard to judge if you've played the games because you have to ask yourself; "Was this song REALLY that good or was it the associated emotion from the games plot that makes me like it?"

 

The inverse could be equally true, maybe you like some games more because they had a really kickass soundtrack.

 

Not recognizing anything immediately from the youtube. It'd also have to be something pretty substantial for me to call it highly derivative, this kind of thing was super common among old school game composers. David Wise's DKC scores for instance have a bunch of recognizable but minor homages and Koji Kondo's Epilogue for LTTP seems almost obviously inspired by Uematsu's Prologue from FFIV. Minor snippets can be a tasteful shoutout depending on your point of view, if it's not obvious enough to even pinpoint the track I'd doubt it's a rip off

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There's practically no melody to that.  Lots of ambience, with the occasional 5-note motif (which is just a 3-note scale, up and down).  One could probably find dozens of movie and game scores with extremely similar segments.

Funny thing is, Brandon's example is similar again.  Sure, a small section of it is similar to a small section of the FF1 battle theme, but again, it's 3 notes up and back down, in a standard scale.

And yes, the FF soundtracks really are that good.  My wife has played hardly any of the games, but loves the soundtracks.  I loved the soundtracks to FF 2, 3, and 5 as soon as I heard them, before they were localized even in fan translations; I loved playing the Sky Gardens and Fantasia tracks in Chocobo Racing because of the music, despite never having heard them in any other context.  Many of my favorite games, when I listen to the soundtracks by themselves, I'm just not that impressed--I actually enjoyed FFX-2 quite a bit but wondered the whole way through why the soundtrack was such garbage, all of a sudden for the series.

Although interesting fact, Uematsu has been quoted as saying that he didn't feel his own music was that interesting.  He felt he was writing the same sort of things over and over again, and didn't understand why people loved it so much.  Probably because he did use such simple, though evocative, techniques.

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It is quite common for composers of any kind to quote other composers or themselves.

For example John Williams was heavily inspired by Gustav Holst's Die Planeten when he wrote the Star Wars Soundtrack. Carl Orff, who's most famous for his take on the Carmina Burana (Chants from Beuren) quoted his own works multiple times. Those kinds of things can be used by a skilled composer to invoke certain feelings in the listeners and to remind them of other stories.

So if Jenova theme was taken from Blade Runner, maybe it was done because of their similarities: FFVII and Blade Runner both have this gritty Cyber Punk style and both tackle difficult subjects.

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