The Final Fantasy role-playing video game series began in 1987, but the game’s 7th installation quickly became the bestselling game in the series, earning a permanent place in the hearts of fans. They really hit it out of the park on VII, with a rollercoaster storyline, compelling characters, vivid graphics and imaginative world-building that arguably has not been surpassed by any RPG before or since. Part of the game’s stunning visual beauty is thanks to composer Nobuo Uematsu’s decision to revert to MIDI quality digital sounds to save load times, after he had initially planned to record a CD-quality score with vocals (how Japanese is that). Regardless, his potent songwriting prowess cuts straight through the digital brass and flat drums of the game’s score. Without context, it might not sound like much, but if you’ve spent hours of your life tearing through Midgar, fighting Shinra and riding Chocobos, you’ll be instantly transported to a better time in a better place. The intro screen song (“The Prelude”) and victory screen theme (“Fanfare”) in particular have been rattling around the cobwebs of my brain for more than 20 years now, and upon revisiting, the more tempered FM synth meditations (“Anxiety,” “Who… Are You?,” “Dear To The Heart”) are pretty evocative as well. Some of the melodramatic cues (“Infiltrating Shinra,” “Lurking In The Darkness,” “In Search Of The Man In Black”) seem to have been inspired by Angelo Badalamenti’s various Twin Peaks work. The second disc includes selections from the soon-to-be-released 2020 remake of the game. The full tracklist has yet to be announced, but even if both discs are blank, this is an essential purchase for fans of the game.
- 2x 180g picture disc vinyl (please note: actual pressing color and packaging may differ from mock-up photo)
- includes select tracks from both the original Final Fantasy VII soundtrack + new 2020 remake
- music label: Sony Masterworks 2019
reviewed by Avalanche Effect 07/2019