Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Lesson Learned from Final Fantasy VII

In the great debate on which Final Fantasy is the best - a debate in which everyone’s opinion has merit and should be respected - my vote is for FFVII.  I realize these days it can feel like a bit of a cliche to like FFVII but I’m not here to argue that today.

However, a little background if I may: For me, I consider Final Fantasy VII as the first serious game I played - molding my little mind and shaping my decisions as to the type of games I gravitate towards now.  I did have the amazing Commodore 64 in all its Bruce Lee, Summer Olympics and The Last Ninja glory but in between that beauteous thing and my Playstation, I did little gaming other than playing with mango seed dollies.


And so after 60 hours of wonderment, struggles on top of train cars, cross-dressing, laughing at Elena rolling down that snowy hill and quietly crying when Red XIII found out the truth about his father; it all came down to that moment when Sephiroth descended from the heavens with his one wing and lorded over my party.


I felt a rush of excitement and then, I was paralyzed.

There are a couple of reasons why I hesitated killing Sephiroth:

1.  I found him infinitely cooler than Cloud.
2.  I was so mesmerised by his final form Boss Theme music that I couldn’t kill him.

Certainly, the music throughout the entire game was riveting - expressing extreme emotion accompanied by text and really voicing what could not be acted through non-existent voice work or expressionless blocky faces.

If not for Nobuo Uematsu’s expertly crafted soundtrack, the weight of Cid’s dashed dreams into space would not have felt so heavy.  The Gold Saucer would not have been so fantastic a theme park (except that blasted Kupo Nut Moogle game.  That thing was the pits!).  The death of the little Flower Girl would not have been so hilarious (alright, I just made that up - it was sad for most but I laughed.  I was not a fan of that pink clad thing).

When “One-Winged Angel” started up though, I almost died.  Literally, that piece of music was so good I forgot to move because I was listening to it and Sephiroth did things to hurt me.  It was all part of a Master Distraction Plan on his end, I’m sure.

I eventually snapped out of it and started spamming Knights of the Round which made the fight so easy and disappointing quite frankly, but for all the hell I went through to get that Golden Chocobo, then okay, fine.  I still think they made Sephiroth all wussy at the end after drilling into my head that I should fear this super bad-ass of a being, but let me not anger the blood this early in the morning.

For years after and of course now, the soundtracks to the games I play have become one of the things I look forward to the most when diving into a new world, and an integral part of any gaming experience - a sentiment I am sure most, if not all of you, share.

While these days I sometimes have internal debates as to which Boss music and Final Boss music I think is the best (is it “One-Winged Angel” from Final Fantasy VII or is it “Dancing Mad” from Final Fantasy VI? Maybe "Blasphemous Experiment" from Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together which is super bad-ass? And lately, I’m partial to the end boss battle for Persona 3 too...); there is one thing I have been taught from all of this: finish my games.

Even if it might take me that much longer to finish a game now than it did when I was younger, the rewards could be worth it.  Not only will I probably get the satisfaction of a good conclusion while seeing the credits roll after hours of all that damned hard work but I’ll also probably be in for a treat in the final fight’s music.
Alternately though, there’s always that chance for serious disappointment in a game’s conclusion and/or the final boss music.

It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

That said, let’s talk guys!

What’s your favourite boss and/or final boss music and why? Which songs disappointed you? Who are your favourite composers (because wow did Uematsu open up my world to so many other great ones too. Meguro, Mitsuda, and Sekito are ones coming to mind at the moment)?

And because I all think you should be blasting it first in the morning (or uh, first thing in the afternoon or on the morrow as per your time zone), a present!

Currently listening to: "Lights Out" by Mindless Self Indulgence.  Oh, yeah...I blasted my "One Winged Angel" already.  Now I'm trying to convince myself to go to this show next Tuesday.

Currently thinking: If you've wandered over here, you should also wander over to where other cool kids hang out too: TAY Classic .  You know you want to!

The Original Article was posted on April 11, 2013 on tay.kotaku.com.  The link to the article may be found at the following:  http://tay.kotaku.com/a-lesson-learned-from-final-fantasy-vii-471891710

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