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Here it is, the official, original soundtrack to 1997's record-breaking RPG classic, Final Fantasy VII made by Squaresoft. Created by veteran video game composer Nobuo Uematsu, the FFVII OST spans across 4 compact discs, averaging about 20 tracks each and adding up to a whopping 85 in total.. thats 4 and a half hours of recreational wonder. This is the real deal, the reason why more and more video game publishers simultaneously release soundtracks (The Limited Edition of 'Dark Souls' is a prime example). However not many people hold video game scores in high regard, the fact that they only really cater to those who enjoyed the game and go on further to hunt down the original music. It goes without saying that Final Fantasy VII is nothing without its soundtrack and vice versa. For me, FF7 was my first FF game and the most influential video game that undoubtably made its mark - I acquired this soundtrack several years later solely to reminisce, for around £30 brand new on eBay back in the mid 00's. So best not to consider this product unless you have experience with the game or just plain love MIDI file instrumentals.. That said, this review is based on the products involvement with the game and its fans, not a stand alone review.
Straight out of the sleeve, the OST comes in a reactor like design with background stills from the game and a small booklet for you to peruse. Its in Japanese but it has some nice images and character illustrations in there. The order of songs is as you experience them in game, so its fitting that the very first song on the massive album is 'The Prelude', an introduction that, looking back, pretty much says "You have no idea what is about to happen". Only heard on the New Game/Continue screen (and after game completion) is a soaring, bubbling, crystal like sound of synth goes up and down the scales, gaining more momentum each time, eventually met with cellos and violin like sounds that raise this song up in stature. The song is largely based on the older FF intros, seen as far back as games on the Nintendo systems. Straight after that is the song that officially starts the game known simply as 'Opening - Bombing Mission'. This track accompanies the initial FMV that greets you in a new game, flashing the title and sharply forces you into battle with rife drum loops, a high tempo and even more orchestral noises mimicking entire string sections and also a bit of brass. Conveniently, the whole of the first disc is based on one location in the game - Midgar - a gigantic conglomerate metropolis, polluted by the company that runs it.
Throughout the discs are the character themes, each one helping you gain further insight on the characters personalities. Some, like 'Tifa's Theme' are fairly slow paced, with echoed bells and delicate woodwind melodies, others like 'Barret's Theme' are more heavy on the brass section and feel like the beginning of a big mission. A common fan favourite, and well recommended theme would be that of Aeris (or Aerith), whose theme occurs a couple of times, changing drastically later on. The first disc sets also has the many tracks you'll get used to hearing in the game, such as 'Let the Battles Begin!' the general fighting music for the random encounters, and 'Fanfare' should you manage to be victorious. You truly get all the songs head in the game, that means you get songs reminding you of all the places you've been, the landscapes you trekked across and enemies and rivals you encountered along the way. Another famous song is 'Fight On!' known mostly as the boss theme - its the first song to feature are rock sound with guitars (synthesized but still..). While there was nothing bad about the tracks that led up to this one, its still refreshing to hear as it reminds you of the major battles you fought in throughout the game. 'Crazy Motorcycle' is a top example of escape music in style - I'd recommend looking this one up, even better if you find the FMV sequence that accompanies it.
Like the way the disc began, it ends brilliantly in 'Dear to the Heart', a farewell to Midgar, wandering song that doesn't feature much in the game, but is treasured all the same. Disc 2 ushers you in to the games world map song labelled as 'F.F.Vii Main Theme', one of the longer songs and one of the best - again its well recommended, perhaps with far greater urgency than any of the others, its orchestral journeying magic with ups and downs and only a glimmer of hope left in its ending. Theres a reason why it was made to be heard over and over again on the world map - it never gets old. The second disc starts to fill up with a few chocobo songs that are fine a few times but get a bit irritating being overly jolly. There are a few shorter tracks as well that last from 10 to 30 seconds, like the brief interlude heard when characters rest or sleep and the games game over music. Like the first though, it has an almighty boss song in 'J-E-N-O-V-A' - a storming, pupil widening race against the clock. Admittedly I have skimmed over some less memorable songs, but it largely comes down to personal preference as what may have been exciting for you (as a gamer) could be mediocre to the rest. The 3rd disc, probably my favourite list of songs, showcases all kinds of music mentioned (character themes, environments, FMV's and one off experiences).
'Lifestream' the song that follows the description of the Gaia philosophy, is one of my all time favourites, which is surprising because it is quiet, slow paced and simple - atmospheric. It gets better instantaneously as the next track 'Great Warrior' is a fan boy addiction. Anyone who has played the game remembers it as it only plays once through the games entirety. Since you've stuck with me for almost a thousand words, it won't surprise you that this is another song I urge you to check out. 'Cid's Theme' is what you'd imagine to be the soundtrack if you were to save the planet from certain destruction, its full of vigor and duty with deafening harmonised trumpets, snare drums and a super catchy melody to make this a badass theme.. a bit like the character I suppose.. Unfortunately the best disc has the worst songs too, with the victory and defeat tunes from chocobo racing, yet again a source of frustration. Thankfully, 'Interrupted by Fireworks' helps you forget the dross with magical imaginary, pagoda skylines. The final disc, shortest disc has the rarest, most scarcely heard songs on it, as the game would reach its pinnacle. Some songs are re-workings of others, with a different intent and others are largely FMV related. The final handful of tracks are based on the dying moments of the game, boss locations and battles, especially the most well known boss theme in video game history 'One Winged Angel' (which is features real vocals) and its crudely underrated counterpart 'Birth of a God'.
'One Winged Angel' is a swirling vortex of violins, cut off by the Romaji vocals, sang with real verve for the games main antagonist, Sephiroth. Imagine a meteor hurtling through space, destroying planets in its wake, colliding with the sun and causing it to super nova - that rather adequately describes the song. All thats left after this is the the ending FMV score 'The Planet's Crisis', the longest of all the songs at over 8 minutes long, and the 'Staff Roll' of credits at the very end of the game. To describe the first is to mar the occasion of the games end and the 2nd is a frequently occurring instrumental that appears on many FF games. Despite all the songs being made via MIDI sounds, the soundtrack is still a shining light amongst the dark and dreary background music heard in the new games today.. and it needed to be with a game that had no voice, only script.. I hope I haven't bored you too much and maybe peeked your interests even slightly with my nostalgic ramblings, as I have had a blast re-listening to the pure escapism that is Final Fantasy VII's Original Soundtrack.
Final Fantasy 7 has always been my favourite game in the series, thanks to both a touch of nostalgia and also the little things, like the sublime art style and hugely memorable soundtrack from series legend Nobuo Uematsu. Although his work that has followed has also been amazing, this is his best, in my opinion, reinforced by the fact that this album is now quite rare and very expensive to get a hold of!
It would be difficult to review all FOUR discs in any real depth on here, so I will talk about some of my favourite tracks from the CDs instead:
"The Prelude" is the credits song that's very serene and beautiful. It is understated but any discerning FF fan will identify with it. It builds up slowly but stays quite subdued and is a signature of the game.
"Opening ~ Bombing Mission" is also extremely memorable as it plays during some of the game's more intense moments and although the electronic style may seem a bit dated now, it is undeniably well composed and gets the pulse going!
Tifa and Barrett also have their own recognisable themes on this disc; Tifa's is serene with a melancholic bent while Barrett's is almost military-esque and upstanding sounding. They both play regularly throughout the game.
"J-E-N-O-V-A" plays, unsurprisingly, when Jenova attacks, and has a wonderfully high-pitched beat that permeates throughout the drum beats and electronic areas.
"Continue" occurs when you're killed and taken to the "game over" screen. It is only 37 seconds long but is a beautiful reprise of the opening credits music.
A strange track is "Costa Del Sol", which plays when you wind up in the eponymous area, and it is quite different from most of the other tracks on this set. It is more playful and relaxing.
In line with the other signature tunes, "Cid's Theme" is very upstanding and noble sounding, evoking a degree of emotion and again having a military-type sound to it.
"Debut" is another favourite of mine: it primarily plays on the game's first disc, when you're trawling the slums to dress up for Don Corneo. It is quite funky and a really fun tune.
"Hurry Faster" is a sped-up reprise of the track "Hurry" on disc one that heightens the intensity as things get desperate. A great adrenaline-pumper.
This review doesn't really do the album justice: it is so densely-packed, and although pricey, is worth any FF fan's money.
Final Fantasy 7 when released was lauded as the greatest RPG, indeed the greatest game of all time. This belief has held up over the years and is still known as one of the greatest of all time.
One of the defining elements of the game itself was the soundtrack. The soundtrack was written by legendary Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu. This classic set features 4 sperate discs with roughly 20 tracks on each disc. Each track is faithful to the original game and somehow manages to capture the intense emotion and story that made Final Fantasy 7 what it is today. On of my favourite tracks is Aerith's theme. This haunting melody produces the same emotions in my as did one of the most haunting scenes of the game (no spoilers here).
There are dozens of classic tracks on this game including, Highwind, golden saucer, escape from midgar, and of course the track from the final battle between Sephiroth and Cloud.
Overall this set is well worth a look if you even a modest fan of the game, and even if you're not the raw emotion contained in these discs may be enough to persuade you to go and pick the game up for yourself. Ebay is your friend :)
It is almost impossible to play through Final Fantasy VII without not only acknowledging the music but also enjoying a great deal of it as well. It helps to evoke emotion during times of sadness, fills us with optimism and some of the tracks are just plain insane.
Composed, arranged and produced by Nobuo Uematsu, the soundtrack consists on 85 tracks, which span over 4 disks. Every tune you hear in the game is available on this soundtrack and there are definitely some which will always stand out.
As with all good game soundtracks, all of the characters have their own designated theme (whether official or not) and these are some of the more memorable tunes on this soundtrack. Tifa's theme is sweet, full of nostalgia and has just a little melancholy in it, Nanaki's is a version of the Cosmo Canyon theme- tribal drums, wind instruments and a real feeling of nature. While I won't go on to list every character theme and list adjectives to describe each one, I will say that Nobuo has done a fantastic job of creating instantly recognisable themes and highly fitting themes for each character.
Undeniably though, the most famous track not only from this soundtrack but potentially to date (composed by Nobuo, that is) is One Winged Angel. It plays during one of the final battles you will have to do in the game and is theatrical in how over the top it is. Possessing a Latin chorus, it is dramatic, fantastical and terroristic. It has also become Sephiroth's theme tune (although unofficially).
I won't rave about how great each track is though. There are some cringe-worthy ones (Honey Bee Manor is monumentally great at making me cringe) and there are some themes, which are just adapted slightly to fit a mood (the chocobo themes and all the derivations of it). However, these are just tiny glitches on an otherwise perfect soundtrack.
If you have played Final Fantasy VII and cannot get enough of it then I would suggest trying to get hold of this soundtrack. It is hard not to feel nostalgic about playing the game when listening to this soundtrack and can be liked even by those who know nothing of the game. Although it might not be as orchestral as his later soundtracks or asb eautiful as the Final Fantasy VI soundtrack, it is worthy of all the positive attention it receives.
I got my copy of this album from Ebay as it is a little hard to find on other online retailers. However, if you like game music and have money to spare then this might be a nice little investment.
A fine soundtrack, for a superb game, but from me this only receives 3 stars, and I shall tell you why in anecdotal form.
Back when I was a nipper in 1997, I received a postcard advertising the "long-awaited Final Fantasy sequel". If memory serves, it actually sported the picture that the soundtrack does, but anyway. Being the adventurous type (and the owner of a brand spanking new PlayStation), I went and paid £45 of the best money I've ever spent. What a game. To know more, go read the 100 reviews on it, that in itself should tell you how phenomenal that the game really is.
Anyway, I'll fastforward a bit for you. It's 2006, and I fancy picking up the game again. I still love it, a little dated but hey. My brand spanking new PlayStation still works, why not? Having not touched the game for nearly a decade, I'm reminded of so much by listening to the beautiful music - some of Nobuo Uematsu's finest work that I've heard. Around this time, I'm getting into making short films, and I decide I want to use some of the games music into a short I'm doing. So onto iTunes I go, and carefully select which of the 85 songs I'm doing. Figuring out that I'd spend more downloading each of the individual songs than just buying the lot, I get the full album, and I'm rather torn on that decision.
Don't get me wrong, like I said - some of Nobuo Uematsu's finest work, and certainly some of the most memorable. Listening to it still reminds of being a child playing what still is one of my favourite games, with all the emotion that the game evoked from me. But that is exactly the point - I've paid 20 of the Queens finest pounds, and I'm listening to very dated MIDI files. Complex MIDI files, yes, but essentially electronic squeaks and whistles. If memory serves, according to the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children special features, Mr. Uematsu was reluctant to do a score for a game that he couldn't use real instruments on, but having seen the quality of the story and the thought that had gone into it, agreed on the condition he could get at least one properly recorded (One Winged Angel - music from the final battle with Sephiroth, and very good it is too!!). Even this song has synthesised components, but it still sounds fan-TANGO.
So now here, almost a full 10 years after the game was released. All the technical advances we have made with data compression and storage, and we're getting 85 MIDI files. You only have to have watched the Advent Children movie to see what Nobuo really is capable of. Outstanding work, with a real orchestra. One Winged Angel again takes the biscuit.
Now at this point, I am thinking "But if you had got anything other than what was in the game, you'd STILL only give it 3 stars." Meh. Perhaps. But having searched, the closest I can find to a proper orchestral soundtrack of some awesome music is a 19 track (compared to FFVII OST's 85 track) with some good selections on it. Really not what I want, but probably still worth a listen.
One of the spectacular features of this soundtrack though, is that every... EVERY peice of music is on here. Even the music when you die, the music when you sleep, and the music when you win a battle (which was the music I downloaded it for anyway :P).
I guess I should apologise - I've set out to give a good review, but I've ranted a bit about how annoyed I was. I'll say this to finish with - if you're wanting to hear some good music with quite naff quality sound for the sake of nostalgia (or in my case, creativity), this album is extrmely expansive and fairly priced on iTunes. If you're wanting to hear what Nobuo can really do with a composers baton, go watch the film or try this short orchestral soundtrack.
Final Fantasy started off on smaller consoles like nintendo and the likes, moving up slowly, gradually, until finally it reached the Playstation with it's seventh installment, Final Fantasy VII.
Most possibly the best rpg of all time according to online voters on the gamefaqs community. It is on the top of lists almost anywhere you look where rpgs are in regard.
Final Fantasy VII is incomparable to any other game of its kind, and even its siblings, FFVI and FFVIII cannot match up to it's true, unique, original splendour.
The story is unique, a dark side to all rpgs, with twists and turns you would never be able to guess, never be able to grasp. Even playing through a few times you can find new and exciting things that you had never expected before.
This game has been taken, and something called "The Final Fantasy VII compilation" has been set up by the makers who are making prequel games on other consoles, mobiles, and of course the Advent Children movie which is based off the game.
The characters are deep and able to elicit feelings and sympathy from the players.
So what can I say about this soundtrack which contains 4 wonderful CDs full of the best music I have ever heard, ever listen to, and ever will hear.
For me, personally, there is an emotional bonding with the music.
You know when you hear something at a certain time of your life, and then when you hear it again memories of that time come back to you? That's what happens with me and Final Fantasy 7's soundtrack.
So then it's just me, it's my personal experience, so it's not truely good music, huh?
Around the same time, I played Final Fantasy 8, and its soundtrack, suffice to say was no where near as good as this.
The soundtrack of FF7 is not repetitive at all, even though there's so many different tracks, for different screens, different occasions in the game and so forth.
Battle music is different from Boss music, which is different from roaming-around music on the world map, which is different from the heart-touching music that plays right before the end of Disc 1 of the game *tears swell* You know what I'm talking about, I'm not going to spoil anyone's game if they do not know what happened.
In any case, I've read in magazines that on that particular scene, the music was so sensational, so heart-warming, so tender that even grown men cried at that scene - I read that in a Playstation magazine nearer the time in a review about Final Fantasy 7.
Just as an example...
If anyone here knows "Tifa's Theme", which plays in the beginning of the game, when Cloud and Tifa see each other again after so many years, being the childhood friends they were, they naturally were happy to see one another.
The music is slow, sad, we have flutes, xylophone, in very touching, tender notes, some instances reoccurring - it has a longing feeling to it, as if the scene is of oppression, misery, but in a nostalgic, somehow "i'm going to survive, I'm still content" way.
Because they're in the slums, and Tifa runs her bar, called the 7th Heaven and the place isn't exactly luxurious, but they make do with what they have. The music has a humble feeling to it, just the way the scene, the mood, the atmosphere is.
When you play the game, and listen to the music, you would definitely say that no other music, no matter who composes it afterwards, would ever fit with that, except Nobuo Uematsu's genius "Tifa's Theme".
The theme also has this sad hint in it because we learn that Tifa fancied Cloud when she was young, but never said it, and he was in love with Tifa as a young boy, but thought she wasn't interested, and so promised her under a shooting star that he would become something big, join "SOLDIER" (elite force of midgar) and rescue her if she was ever in trouble.
This music plays when they have a flashback to that time, in their hometown, near a well, under the starlit sky, and she waits for him impatiently - and becomes sad when he says he has to leave town to join SOLDIER.
So...that was just Tifa's theme I gave examples of...when you go further into the game many such themes and background scores come that are extremely befitting the situation, tone, mood and atmosphere.
For example, when you go to the Cosmo Canyon - a tribal place with red-indian like people living on a red/orange canyons - the music reflects this as there are drums, flutes, and music that sharply reflects that of the Native American Indians.
I listen to Final Fantasy 7 music whilst writing stories, concentrating on homework, as it relaxes, soothes, and is soft. Of course there are those that are rough, sharp, quick, dramatic and battle music of course, but most of it is soothing.
I recommend anyone to at least once listen to Final Fantasy VII's music, _at least once_ - if you can get your hands on the OST.
My husband, who's never heard of Final Fantasy 7, heard the tunes once on my PC and really liked them, despite not knowing where they came from, and that showed me that anyone can enjoy the music, regardless of game knowledge or experience.
I also enjoy FF6's sad, melancholic music, but FF7 beats them all.
That's all I've to say, thanks for reading.
One of the most popular video games of all time, Squaresofts Final Fantasy VII was the first in the roleplaying Final Fantasy series to be released on the superior PlayStation console. With access to a greater potential game size and intricacy, not to mention 3-D graphics (albeit a little primitive), Final Fantasy VII still stands high above its sequels in terms of playability and addiction. Oh yes, and it also has the best soundtrack.
Nobuo Uematsus score was an integral part of the playing experience, its low-tech synthesised melodies and blips, as well as occasional ventures into grander territory, remaining memorable and nostalgic. Across the four discs in this collectors set, there is a surprising lack of repetition, especially as the free-roaming nature of the gameplay meant that areas could be revisited and re-heard a tedious amount of times. So while Fighting (the battle music) permeates every step of the game, here it is only given the relative importance of two and a half minutes. The only track repeated in full is the spooky Who Are You? from disc 1, repeated as Who Am I? at the end of disc three, a wise decision in keeping an element of audible storyline across the chronologically arranged collection.
This collection of 85 tracks is taken directly from Nobuos original compositions, meaning theres no editing, adaptation or (god forbid) MIDI conversion. While this means that the apocalyptic A One-Winged Angel, clearly the highlight of the game musically and a fitting almost-finale, will always sound a little pathetic in light of its very basic 16-bit attempt at Wagner or Orff, fans of the game could never be more pleased. The good thing about the basic synthesised soundtrack is that nothing stands out too much, as in Final Fantasy VIII where the high production sung introduction put the rest of the music to shame.
With all of the background music being structured as a loop to play for as long as the game players actions dictate, every track fades out after an appropriate time that rarely exceeds four minutes. This is a perfect time to enjoy every aspect of the tracks, but it does mean that you cant stick the track on repeat to pretend youre playing the game. But surely thats asking for the moon on a stick; if youre that desperate, you can probably get hold of a second hand PlayStation console and a copy of the game for less than youd pay for this soundtrack anyway.
However great these CDs are, they cant be played to death, or sometimes even listened to in one sitting. Theyre not party material and dont even think about having them on in the background when trying to work: if youre an obsessive fan of the game (and lets face it, who else would buy the soundtrack?) youll likely find it too charming to ignore.
Stand-out tracks for me are the haunting theme of Sephiroth, seeming oddly hidden away on disc 3 under the ambiguous title Those Chosen By the Planet, as well as the fun and bombastic Cids Theme, excellently reprised as a contradictory melancholy acoustic song later on. Cosmo Canyon, the most entertaining background music, opens the third disc while the onslaught of boss music ends the collection in music the same way as it does the game.
The best and most useful piece of merchandise for the biggest video game of 1997, this is sadly also among the most expensive. Yes, all the music can be heard by playing the game, without dialogue over the top or cuts that provide the main argument for owning a film soundtrack, but this is well produced to be a satisfying and definitive collection. Nobuos pieces are all so true to the mood of the story at all times, and the lack of repetition is incredible.
Casual fans of the game would be appalled to see people not only listening to the music as they play, evidently failing to notice the mute button on the television, but even going out of their way to hear all of this annoying stuff again. 4 CDs of it. But if Final Fantasy VII taught us anything, its that we should stand up to such oppression: the little people with funky hair really can make a difference.
And that whoever designed the character Tifa really needed a cold shower.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Opening: Bombing Mission
3 Makou Reactor
4 Anxious Heart
5 Tifa's Theme
6 Barett's Theme
8 Lurking in the Darkness
9 Shinra Company
12 Flowers Blooming in the Church
13 Turk's Theme
14 Underneath the Rotting Pizza
15 Oppressed People
16 Honeybee Manor
17 Who Are You?
18 Don of the Slums
19 Infiltrating Shin Ra Tower
20 Still More Fighting
21 Red Xiii's Theme
22 Crazy Motorcycle
23 Holding My Thoughts in My Heart
Disc #2 Tracklisting
1 Ffvii Main Theme
2 Ahead on Our Way
3 Good Night, Until Tomorrow
4 On That Day, 5 Years Ago
5 Farm Boy
6 Waltz de Chocobo
7 Electric de Chocobo
8 Cinco de Chocobo
9 Chasing the Black-Caped Man
10 Fortress of the Condor
11 Rufus' Welcoming Ceremony
12 It's Difficult to Stand on Both Feet, Isn't It?
13 Trail of Blood
14 J - E - N - O - V - A
16 Costa del Sol
17 Mark of the Traitor
18 Mining Town
19 Gold Saucer
20 Cait Chit's Theme
21 Sandy Badlands
Disc #3 Tracklisting
1 Cosmo Canyon
3 Great Warrior
4 Descendant of Shinobi
5 Those Chosen by the Planet
6 Nightmare's Beginning
7 Cid's Theme
8 Steal the Tiny Bronco!
10 Stolen Materia
11 Racing Chocobos - Place Your Bets
12 Fiddle de Chocobo
13 Great Success
14 Tango of Tears
16 Interrupted by Fireworks
17 Forested Temple
18 You Can Hear the Cry of the Planet
19 Aerith's Theme
20 Buried in the Snow
21 Great Northern Cave
23 Who Am I?
Disc #4 Tracklisting
1 Shinra Army Wages a Full-Scale Attack
2 Weapon Raid
3 Highwind Takes to the Skies
4 Secret, Sleeping in the Deep Sea
5 Parochial Town
6 Off the Edge of Despair
7 On the Other Side of the Mountain
8 Hurry Faster!
9 Sending a Dream into the Universe
10 Countdown Begins
11 If You Open Your Heart...
12 Makou Cannon Is Fired
13 Judgment Day
14 Jenova Absolute
15 Birth of God
16 One-Winged Angel
17 World Crisis
18 Staff Roll