ReMix:Final Fantasy VI "Prologue" 5:29

By bustatunez

Arranging the music of one song...

"Opening Theme"

Primary Game: Final Fantasy VI (Square , 1994, SNES), music by Nobuo Uematsu

Posted 2013-07-01, evaluated by djpretzel

It's here. It's finally here!

We're extremely proud to announce the availability of our 40th arrangement album, Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin!!

The production of this album has been an epic journey unto itself, to rival that of the very game whose music we set out to honor. I think there has been a sense among site staff and fans alike for a long while that OC ReMix would inevitably do an FF6 album at some point; the question was simply who, when, and how. Things began to crystallize when McVaffe visited and we got to talking about him heading up such an album with zircon. With Andy & Mike at the helm, steering the project using a methodology similar to Voices of the Lifestream, we'd finally found the right leadership, the right moment, and the right approach to take on one of the true goliaths of VGM. The idea to kickstart the album opened up new possibilities and facilitated a physical production run while at the same time introducing new complexities and challenges that we grappled with for large portions of last year. We are grateful to everyone who backed the fundraiser, and now that the digital release is upon us, the physical albums will be printed and shipped as soon as possible! Andy writes:

"I’ve wanted to direct this album since before I even started the 2007 Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream project, but it was not until 2011 that the decision was made to finally do it. We had talked about an FF6 remix project among site staff for some time, and we all agreed that given how legendary the game and soundtrack are, it had to be done right. When I heard that McVaffe was also interested in such an endeavor, I knew it was time to make it happen. Mike was truly one of my biggest inspirations as an aspiring musician and remixer - I remember listening to his huge catalog of arranged and original music and being awed by his technique and range of styles. When we started talking about the album project, it was clear we were on the same page musically, and thus Balance & Ruin was born!

The sheer level of musicianship on this project is something I never expected when we first started out. Of course, we had personally invited many talented arrangers at the outset, opening it up to the greater community via two remix contests. But the sum of the project goes far beyond that. Maybe it was the success of the Kickstarter that motivated people, the collaboration which we constantly encouraged between artists, our shared love for the game and original soundtrack, or some combination of these things. Whatever the cause, every single artist gave their absolute best for Balance & Ruin - with the calibre of musicians involved, both established and newcomers, that is saying quite a bit!

It’s been about ten years since I first joined the OverClocked ReMix community and began my career as a musician. It’s where I developed my skills, built a fanbase, met many good friends, colleagues, and even my wife, Jillian. Co-directing this project has been a pleasure, but it’s also my way of giving back to this community, and the greater community of game music fans as a whole. I’m very lucky to have had the opportunity to be involved, and to work with some of the most talented musicians I know to produce a project that I believe will set a new standard for video game music arrangements."

McVaffe adds:

"Having been part of the OverClocked community since its humble, orange/yellow beginnings, this project was very personal to me in so many ways. In addition to having a deep connection to nearly every note of the source material, the roster of contributing artists was staggering. It included several folks like myself, who have been around and watching the community grow since the late ‘90’s. As well, it included some phenomenally talented younger artists whose talent-to-age ratio is downright scary. And as the drafts and songs started to slowly trickle in over the months, Andy and I would bounce ideas and comments back and forth and it was abundantly clear even early on - this project was going to be something very, very special.

So at the end of this journey I’m certainly feeling a bit of relief, but moreover I feel incredibly grateful. Grateful to be included in this amazing compilation, grateful for all the absolutely kickass music that these artists have worked so hard to put together, and that in the process we were all able to help out the site somehow. It was incredible to have been involved with a project featuring music which has been such a huge inspiration to me personally throughout the years. In all, the whole process has been quite the journey, and luckily I’ve had amazing, uber-talented friends along for the ride."

I'd like to applaud these two gentlemen for doing a completely badass job of directing this massive, no-compromises undertaking; they've done the community, artists, game, composer, and themselves proud. Now let's check out our first flood mix! What better way to begin than at the beginning? bustatunez (Wilbert Roget, II) takes on the opening theme in fully majestic, symphonic fashion:

"The first time I played FF6, I remember being surprised and even intimidated by the dark, serious tone of its introduction. I was still new to RPGs, and this game made a profound impression right from the start with its remarkably dramatic opening. When asked to arrange this piece in a cinematic style, I decided to stay fairly close to Uematsu's original form. Instead of creating a new piece based on his melodies, I decided to ask myself, "What would Uematsu have written if he had the resources of a full symphonic orchestra?" That question influenced all of my interpretation decisions. Even the more unusual moments in my arrangement, such as the Debussy-esque piano solos and dissonant brass harmonies, came about by recognizing the musical genres and constructs that Uematsu was almost certainly referencing in his brilliant original work.

My other goal was to unify the piece thematically as much as possible among the various sections. There are two main motives I used, the "destroyed world" theme ("Bb C Db") and, of course, Terra's theme. I preview both of them before their main entrances, and make reference to them throughout the piece in several places, in order to add more cohesion to the track as a whole. Lastly, I'd like to give a HUGE thank you to Jeff Ball and Sebastian Freij (AeroZ) for their solo string playing on this track and on my Gau arrangement, "Wild Child Ballad". The kinds of nuanced expression that these tracks needed simply wouldn't be possible with synthesizers; Sebbe and Jeff's performances brought life and human emotion to both of these remixes.

I'm very proud of our work, and I hope you enjoy this arrangement and all of Balance and Ruin!"

From the initial build & dramatic crashes that follow, Will sets the stage perfectly with a piece that is large, in charge, and establishes a certain gravitas & depth; you're in for a long trip, but like the Allstate dude says, you're in good hands. McVaffe comments:

"Can you say "epic"? The opening theme to Final Fantasy 6 as you power on your SNES has to be one of the most exciting and foreboding title screen songs of all time. Not only does this arrangement capture that feeling, but it expands on it as well, adding some extra body and interest to the original theme. The production is sublime, and the track provides a great introduction to the rest of the project."

Long mixpost is long, but this is a moment where I'd personally like to step back and express my deep pride at what our community has been able to accomplish. I've been running the site for over thirteen years, and while the individual moments and day-to-day operations are what actually keep the site alive, it's nice to have milestones & towering, monolithic goals that, when finally completed, offer a cathartic sense that we have made a dent in the world, that we've collectively pooled our resources to bring something deserving & worthwhile into existence, and that our blood, sweat, & tears will be remembered and appreciated. This album is a juggernaut, representing a level of creativity, diversity, quality, and scope that reflect the awesome capacity of our collective efforts.

Will's kicked us off, but there's FAR more to come, as Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin presents a vast arsenal of amazing music by a talented group of guys & gals, all paying tribute to the work of Square Enix and Nobuo Uematsu! Please help us spread the news about this album, and enjoy!



Latest 12 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-12-03 14:30:29

The opening of Final Fantasy VI always made my jaw drop at how atmospheric and truly cinematic it's opening was. This remix captures it's mood perfectly and beautifully.

on 2015-12-03 12:32:58

What an astonishing orchestral piece! It totally feels like something playing during the prologue of some epic/heroic movie. Love how strong it becomes at around 3-minute mark. Great track :)

on 2013-11-18 16:31:27

Fantastic work, the first minute made me tear up.

on 2013-07-18 06:33:00

Great intro for a great album! The quality sound of orchestra is really bluffing!

on 2013-07-16 08:21:55

This is a weird comment, maybe, but I think one of the most powerful silences I've ever heard is at 4:28. Gives me chills every time.

on 2013-07-16 08:21:18

It has the feel of a theme to a massive tv adaption, a la the intro to HBO's Game of Thrones.

It's pretty damn amazing ;)

on 2013-07-02 14:44:46

By 2:40, I feel that sitting is disrespectful. n_n'

Amazing music... -_-

on 2013-07-02 02:59:20

At 0:22 I dropped my stomach on the floor.

on 2013-07-02 00:37:14

An incredible opener. I am blown away. The quality! My god! I am absolutely swept up in the emotion and feel that is brimming throughout the piece. I am ready to download the album without a second thought.

Props to everyone. Just... wow.

on 2013-07-01 23:40:17

A worthy opening act for the massive FFVI album. I could not have asked for a better intro. Well done!

on 2013-07-01 15:52:57

This is grand and cinematic and epic beyond words! It really captures the feeling the I believe the original meant to long, long ago, and the perfect way to kick off this long awaited album. That brass kicks loads of ass and I totally dug the march in the middle with the main melody weaving in and out of it. An amazing ReMix that carries a lot of power in it's production and arrangement quality for sure. Bravo!

on 2013-07-01 12:45:25

What did you think? Post your opinion of this ReMix.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square , 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu
"Opening Theme"

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