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OCRA-0057 - Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors ~II. WATER~


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Final Fantasy V had an amazing, yet underrated soundtrack. Normally, a Final Fantasy OCR album would consist of arrangements of the entire soundtrack. DarkeSword does things differently with Final Fantasy V. Instead of arranging the ENTIRE soundtrack, the album is split into five smaller parts, with each part representing a specific element and specific characters. Part 1, Fire, was released in 2010. Part 2 came out last month. Very long wait to hear these nine tracks. And the result of that wait is one of the most creative arrangement albums on OCR.

Track 1: La Princesa de Taikun –Theme of Leena-
By Sixto Sounds
Source Track: Leena’s Theme 

It’s difficult to put into words how great this track is. What it boils down to is that it’s Final Fantasy V music remastered for a modern audience with mariachi and chiptune influences abound. Some of the chiptune pitch bends were a little off-putting for me, but that doesn’t ruin the experience of listening to the track for me. It’s one of the most unique music style combinations I’ve come across recently, and that alone makes this track worth a listen.

Track 2: Micker Cripper Mime –Theme of Mime-
By Mazedude
Source Track: Moogles’ Theme

This track is a weird one for me. I did not like the distorted guitar. Sounded way too MIDI for my tastes. Everything else was very unusual (but still tolerable) for my tastes,  but perhaps that was the intent? DrakeSword stated in the directors notes how for a theme to represent someone that is known for copying others it sounds very unique. Yeah I can totally see that. It does a good job representing what the Mime is as him/herself, and not as someone else. It tells a good story, but it’s not something I’d want to listen to on its own.

Track 3: The Observer –Theme of Time Mage-
By halc
Source Track: Cursed Lands 

I could not think of a better genre to suit a time mage more than dubstep. halc brilliantly uses dubstep to represent the time altering abilities of a time mage without going overboard or taking any clichéd production routes (like intentionally changing the tempo of the track just for the hell of it) to represent someone with the ability to control time. On its own, from a production standpoint, this is oddly one of the more chilling dubstep tracks I’ve heard on Overclocked. And I don’t know if halc intended for this to happen, but the endings somewhat abruptness perfectly captures the other ability of a time mage, the ability to stop time. Brilliant way to incorporate a character.

Track 4: A Silver Light Shines –Theme of Mystic Knight-
By DarkeSword
Source: Dungeon 

This is a nice blend of a traverse through a mysterious dungeon, and the brave warrior who traverses that same dungeon. The dungeon theme was one of my favorites from the original soundtrack. What is achieved with this arrangement is that it doesn’t deviate from the mood of the original, while simultaneously adding a sort of excitement to the original. It’s almost comparable to Yasunori Mitsuda’s style of composing dungeon tracks.

Track 5: Remembrance –Theme of Cid-
By prophetic music
Source: Sorrows of Parting 

The evolution of this track (IE the slow percussion to the fast paced percussion and beats) does a good job exemplifying the start of an invention from Cid, to the finished product, while the rest of the music does a good job emphasizing the curiosity Cid may have of how this invention he is making. Or it could represent him studying a subject, and by the end of the track, he has come to master the subject. Final Fantasy V’s Cid. Then we get to the latter half of the track, where everything slows down. Perhaps to signify the transition to another invention or subject? It’s a very complex, and almost thought provoking arrangement.

Track 6: BZKR –Theme of Berserker-
By Sixto Sounds feat. Jeff Ball
Source: Battle 1 

In an album where genres and music styles are meshed into very different and unique combinations, it seemed very contrasting to include a hard rock arrangement of a Final Fantasy battle theme, something I’ve heard many times before. Thankfully, a violin is incorporated into this track to keep it from being a pure hard rock arrangement. I do wish that the violin could have been balanced just slightly so that it wouldn’t sound like the guitars are trying to drown it out. It’s not a terrible track, I just wish there was a better emphasis on the violin parts.

Track 7: Eternal –Theme of Red Mage-
By Brandon Strader
Source: Unknown Lands 

For this track, I’m not so sure how the red mage is incorporated into this track. Maybe it’s because the Red Mage is a hybrid warrior of sorts. And hybrid, would be the best way to describe this track. Also to match the “hybrid” theme, it seems like the first half of this track is very chill, while the second half of this track is more exciting. Very interesting, and enjoyable production work here. And to be expected from a Brandon Strader track, the guitar work here is excellent.

Track 8: The Wander –Theme of Summoner-
By RiverSound
Source: A New World 

The world is merged. Alone stands the summoner as he/she sweeps the battlefield with great creatures of power. At least that’s the story I get, as everything sounds so isolated at first. But as the track progresses, the track sounds more and more hopeful. The sweeping effects do a great job capturing the summoners power of….well, summoning. But the bottom line is, the production work here portrays hope in an almost hopeless situation in a beautiful way.

Track 9: See You Next Time –WATER-
By DarkeSword
Source: The Prelude 

Argh this track frustrates me. It’s so beautiful, but at the same time it’s so short (it’s still good though). There’s not a lot that can be said about this track. It’s simple, well produced, pretty, and leaves you wanting more. And more will come when the Fire album is released.

Overall, this was a very fascinating album. These artists cleverly did things that are generally difficult to achieve, or they did things that I didn’t think would be possible in an arrangement. It’s so experimental, and definitely worth a listen at least once. All of it. Even the ones I kind of griped at. This album does an excellent job exemplifying the motto “try something at least once.” And besides, it’s short, if you love video game music and OCR albums, you can afford to listen to this album at least once.

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FFV always had that mystique as the game you couldn't play without jumping through hoops, at least until its eventual GBA release. Its music doesn't hit me with the same strong "memories of being a carefree teenager" as other FFs do, and as a result I didn't ever think of it making much of an impact on me. And then I listen to this album and I'm like, oh yeah, that game DID have some good music! There are a few solid "hell yeah!" bits in here, especially for me when the battle music really kicks in at :20 in track 6 and the whole section from 2:00-3:00 in track 7. I also think this interpretation of the FF prelude music is the perfect version of it. If there's ever a third part to this series, I'm sure I'll enjoy that too.

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