ReMix: Final Fantasy VIII "Devotion & Deception" 6:40

By Derek Oren, Jeremy Robson

Artist Links
classical collab duration-long lyrics-existing orchestral resubmission strings vocals-male woodwinds
Arranging the music of 2 songs...

"Blue Fields", "Liberi Fatali"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VIII (Square, 1999, PS1), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2009-05-31, evaluated by the judges panel


Jeremy Robson & Derek Oren have certainly become a familiar duo; while Robson was always great by himself, their teamwork has produced some epic, unforgettable moments. Now they set their sights on FFVIII, with a dualistic arrangement of 'Blue Fields' (with some 'Liberi Fatali') that juxtaposes two different takes on the theme as devotion and deception, respectively... hence the title. Gotta take the time to send some props out to Siamey, who kept the FF8 love alive in 2008 - if orchestral ain't your thing but you love yourself some 8, check that action out. This is a bit of a change-up for J&D, as it does involve some Asian instrumentation that blends in with traditional symphonic components nicely. Jeremy lays it all out:

"After completing the second part of the Cantata for Dancing, Derek and I decided we should take a break from the serious Final Fantasy 6 nonsense and do something different. Derek suggested Final Fantasy 8, so I quickly jotted down a Kaoru Wada-inspired arrangement of Blue Fields and Liberi Fatali with intent on using traditional Japanese instruments combined with orchestra. This was back before Christmas 2007. We worked on it on and off over the months perfecting the instrumentation, listening to soundtracks like Okami, Inuyasha, and Samurai 7 for inspiration.

In the end there were two ideas: a gentle reworking of Blue Fields for small orchestra accompanied by Japanese instruments, and a fast-paced version of the theme punctuated by the well-known "Fithos" chant. In the first half the Blue Fields theme is first stated in its original form with some harmonic and contrapuntal modifications and then the strings take over to do some variations. After the choir comes in and the music reaches its peak, an ambiguous ending slowly fades out telling us that it's not over yet. We've been deceived! Suddenly things have taken a turn for the exciting as the orchestra takes us through another variation of the Blue Fields theme in a more heroic setting.

Overall this piece represents both Derek's and my devotion to game music and we thank OC ReMix for giving everyone the opportunity to express similar kinds of devotion in the form of remixing/arranging game music. Nowhere else do you see the same level of fan involvement without blatant commercialism and exploitation, so doing this is entirely our pleasure."

Truly classy. Derek added:

"Final Fantasy VIII is the most underrated game of the franchise. Lots of people ask me why I love the game so much and here's why: The storyline is very unique and full of twists and turns. The CG cutscenes were unbelievable for the time period. And last but not least the music that went along with the game is the most beautiful soundtrack of a Final Fantasy to date. And in tribute to this fantastic game and this beautiful soundtrack we needed to raise the bar and release something just as beautiful. Jeremy and I hope you enjoy this piece."

I haven't heard too many folks hail FF8 as the series' finest hour, musically, but it's definitely true that it's underrated. I think what killed it for me was the extensive, nested menu system... I spend enough time doing software development and administration as a job that when I play games, I don't want to experience the pain of navigation that is as complex, or moreso (Coming Soon: Eclipse the Video Game!!). Never had any issues with the overall aesthetic and more dramatic, interpersonal approach it took... FF7 was a damn hard act to follow. But I digress; you won't have a hard time hearing where the devotion leaves off and the deception picks up... it's not medleyitis, but rather an intentional bifurcating of the arrangement into two thematically different sections. Okay, you caught me, I just wanted to say "bifurcating," there... but it IS true, nonetheless. Also, dichotomy and chiaroscuro. There, done. Kaoru Wada is some excellent inspiration.... I caught the first few episodes of Samurai 7 (best part), but I'm a huge, huge fan of Gilgamesh in particular; the "deception" half of this arrangement reminds me of some of its OST. Fantastic anime I wholeheartedly recommend to anyone looking for something VERY different from the norm. This was actually a resub because, initially, the first half wasn't as good as the second. Andy writes:

"Great mix. I didn't get the chance to vote on the first sub but I was basically in agreement with everyone else about the first half being weaker compared to the second (mainly some of the strings sounding choppy and not legato.) This iteration, however, is definitely stronger in that department. I'm glad Derek went back to it."

One highlight for me was the chromatic descending string pattern at 5'01" as counterpoint to the choral chant - fantastic stuff, right there. There are plenty of other moments - sweet ascension into the upper register beyond where I was expecting at 2'48", for instance - and (as expected based on precedent) Jeremy & Derek generally make excellent use of their extended runtime to pack in a serious musical wallop. These guys don't do anything halfway; each new submission represents a lot of carefully refined, calculated, and meaty arrangement. They've delivered another opus with this mix; great stuff.

djpretzel

Discussion

Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
avatar
cheema201
on 2012-07-10 02:37:04

The "Deception" part of this song is absolutely unbelievable... WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had goosebumps... I turned the speakers up... by the end of this song it almost brought me to tears of joy from the brilliance

To both remixers, just wow... This is something people would happily pay to listen to

Chuck this one on repeat, and enjoy

Loved it!

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darkcodemonkey
on 2010-09-06 23:01:08

This one's a little different compared to the FF6 remixes the did previously, but still very impressive. When the song picks up, I can definitely hear an okami sound to it, and the choir is as amazing as usual. I can't wait to hear the next remix they do together, if they do one. Great work you two.

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auronapern
on 2010-04-18 10:39:59

How is it that I have not found this piece earlier? It's very good! I admit the first half had me bopping along, but when the second half busted out, I was hooked.

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Martin Penwald
on 2009-06-21 15:25:55

Starts off with one of the most memorable melodies of FFVIII (probably because you get to hear it over and over and over in the game), which is a good way to start off a remix IMO. I do agree that it sounds somewhat fake, though that is not too much of an issue.

Fairly relaxing first part that picks up a bit at 2:25. Still radically different from what follows at 3:15. The latter half is much more dramatic, and the choir samples definitely add a lot. Digging the instrumentation here.

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derako
on 2009-06-15 20:35:19

Well I've applied the update to the version on my website. It's as good as it's going to get so if you've been waiting to download or comment you can do it now. Thank you all for your support and also look for the 3rd movement of the "Cantata For Dancing" series in the WIP forums very soon.

Musically yours,

-Derek-

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Mtlbro
on 2009-06-09 03:07:43

Love the arrangment guys :))) PLacing on my mp3 player now

First half does sound kinda stifled compared to the rest of the piece, perhaps second half has better samples . . idk

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Duo
on 2009-06-06 13:12:29

This piece is incredible. This is my favorite track put up since bLiNd's "Jade Catacombs".

It seems your intention at contrast was carried out very nicely and provides a greatly epic experience, and I would hope that a good orchestral piece like this could set the tone for more work from FFVIII like it. The source material in that game is incredible, and you guys did it great justice.

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derako
on 2009-06-04 10:45:26
Pretty nice stuff, good variations and lots of interesting bits throughout. Some of the early parts seemed to be lacking in modulation and felt a little bit overly synthetic, but this is enjoyable listening. :-)

Yeah the 1st half was difficult with samples. I'm still trying to focus my talents in that area. It's definitely the hardest area to sample in.

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ZealPath
on 2009-06-03 00:28:12

Since I love to hang around in the WIP forums (oh wait, guess that's the "Workshop" now), it's really nice to see something that was kicking around there for months, if not the better part of a year make it to the front page.

I actually hadn't listened to too many WIPs of this particular track and have to say that I'm really impressed with the finished product. It certainly starts innocently enough, not veering a whole lot from the course of the original, but once it turns to the dark side, this track gets very interesting, suddenly we have an "evil" version of Blue Fields topped off with some always-welcome "FLWV" chants. Those chants were one of my favorite parts of FFVIII's soundtrack, and including them here definitely helps to give the piece some more power.

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DaBubba
on 2009-06-02 05:02:21

I've loved this piece ever since it was a WIP, but I have a confession to make: when I listen to it, I skip ahead to about 4:00 so that I can enjoy the truly excellent second half. The reworking of Blue Fields at around 6:10 is just amazing. "Deception" indeed -- a decent-enough piece in the beginning hides a truly perfect piece after!

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Sil
on 2009-06-02 01:03:03

I got the abrupt transition idea from listening to the 3x3 Eyes OST. I wanted to get a soundtrack-ish feel without having to make two separate tracks, but that's kind of what it is in the end.

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derako
on 2009-06-01 21:53:15
I thought the transition into the second part was too abrupt. I think it probably could have flowed better than it did.

Thanks for your comment. If you read Jeremy's rundown in the summary you'll see that we didn't transition it on purpose. It was suppose to feel like the end of the piece after the first half. Hence the "Deception" in the title.

-Derek-

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LuigiFan
on 2009-06-01 21:13:45

This here is some good stuff. Couple of things threw me off - the first part sounded a bit too fake for me. The Japanese sounds were a nice touch, but they didn't sound very authentically Japanese, you know? Once I got past that though, the arrangement sounded nice. The other thing was that I thought the transition into the second part was too abrupt. I think it probably could have flowed better than it did. Again, minor issues, and overall it's a very enjoyable piece. Keep up the good work!

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OA
on 2009-06-01 14:06:45

Pretty nice stuff, good variations and lots of interesting bits throughout. Some of the early parts seemed to be lacking in modulation and felt a little bit overly synthetic, but this is enjoyable listening. :-)

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Lucentas
on 2009-06-01 11:12:12

Once again, another stellar arrangement from the Dream Team, the Two-o Duo, the Power Hour, the I-Can't-Think-of-Another-Flattering-Nickname-for-Derek-and-Jeremy!

The Cantatas blew my mind--this did the trick quite nicely as well.

I have to admit, the source tune was one of my favorites in the soundtrack because I felt like it had so much potential as a great orchestrated piece, and you two have just about hit the proverbial nail on the head with this one. Great job.

Sources Arranged (2 Songs)


Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VIII (Square, 1999, PS1)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
Songs:
"Blue Fields"
"Liberi Fatali"

Tags (9)


Genre:
Classical
Mood:
Instrumentation:
Orchestral, Strings, Vocals: Male, Woodwinds
Additional:
Lyrics > Lyrics: Existing
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Resubmission
Time > Duration: Long

File Information


Name:
Final_Fantasy_8_Devotion_&_Deception_OC_ReMix.mp3
Size:
6,270,070 bytes
MD5:
7b84927c5fb280efc0389513cf0a4238
Bitrate:
123Kbps
Duration:
6:40

LATIN:

Tempestas

Excitate vos e somno, liberi mei
Cunae sunt non

Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

ENGLISH:

Tempestas

Wake up from your sleep, my children
Your childhood years are gone

Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

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