This is a nice short set of interviews with Yoshitaka Amano and Kazuko Shibuya, the two people most responsible for the look and feel of the characters in Final Fantasy I–VI.
I’ve been following Legends of Localization’s run through Final Fantasy VI loosely throughout the process, as they examine three translations of the game and compare them to one another.
They recently posted an overview conclusion, and I found the results somewhat surprising given the comparisons they ran earlier on Final Fantasy IV:
We’ve looked at four different translations of Final Fantasy VI in great detail and compared each one with the original Japanese script. Each version has its own pros and cons in terms of gameplay, presentation, content differences, and so on. But in terms of translation only:
I feel that the Game Boy Advance translation of Final Fantasy VI is unquestionably the best translation out of all of them, by far.
The post itself has a lot of well-written explanation as to why. After seeing this, I went looking to see if there was a translation patch that ported the GBA script over to the SNES ROM, as there is for Final Fantasy V, but I was unable to find one.
I’m currently running through EarthBound on stream, and after finishing that, I may turn my attention to some of the Final Fantasy series I have not yet completed. VI is in that list, so I have some thinking to do regarding which translation to use for my run.
I’ll put the embed player right here at the top for you now, so you can turn this on while you read my thoughts on this album.
You can leave this tab open and enjoy it, because the whole album is streamable without purchase if you like.
Final Fantasy IV is a special thing for me. It came along at just the right time in my life and with such a special mix of Things Done Well that it became very formative. It set the tone for pretty much ever console RPG that followed, and there are some things it’s done that haven’t yet been eclipsed.
It’s still very playable, with some of the best-designed systems in an RPG.
But what pushes it into iconic is the multi-layered set of leitmotifs used by Nobuo Uematsu to give it its musical punch. The main overworld theme, used in various settings at various times, and woven into every battle theme in subtle ways. The Theme of Love. There are themes for specific characters and themes for specific locations. For the first time I can remember, some themes have variations that play after the main theme finished its first loop.
It has a style that is all its own.
All of this is captured wonderfully in this album. I have some of the CDs that accompanied the guitar sheet music books published in Japan, but those recordings are simple reductions. Reyes’s work is full of adaptations and thematic flourishes on themes you recognize, and it’s done in a classical style that allows you to start the album and let it flow in the background.
Every theme selected for this album is well-represented and arranged and played with deftness. I can’t think of a single thing I’d eliminate, and the original track to close the album fits quite well and is a welcome addition. I am perfectly OK with the decision to skip adapting both the Prelude and Prologue themes, which have been done to death at this point when there are other, more worthy selections that have landed here, like “Golbeza, Clad in the Dark” and “Within the Giant.”
Give it a listen; buy it on Bandcamp. It’s another great album from Scarlet Moon Records, and I hope it sells well enough to encourage more albums like it, because my only regret is that there isn’t more to listen to.
That’s a lot of colons for one game title, but I’m happy this is seeing an NA release. It’s essentially a double-dip, but seeing an eShop logo in the final bit makes me happy; I’ve never liked that the first Theatrhythm was cart-only and I’ll probably bite on this one just because it’s a digital copy.
There’s a news post and some great images on Andriasang regarding the recently-announced 25th Anniversary box set for the Final Fantasy series that’s hitting Japan before the end of the year.
I don’t care enough about this to wonder if it’s getting a US release, most especially because I own all of the games in the series in one form or another—and because some of the decisions are a bit odd—but there is no denying that the disc art focusing on the Amano artwork is fantastic.
As I said, there are some moderately bizarre choices in the lineup. It’s clearly meant to be Sony platform-focused, but for example choosing the PS1 editions of 1, 2, and 4 when there are arguably superior PSP versions is odd—as is doing a UMD for 3. It seems to be limited to mainline releases, so no X-2, XIII-2, on IV complete.
The cool thing here is the revelation that there is going to be a PSP release of Final Fantasy III, which I have for my DS but have never finished it. It’s probably not receiving a US release, but it sounds like there’s an English-language option for it so importing is an option. It’s basically the DS version, but sharper-looking and devoid of touch controls, as it should be:
I love the option to select the original soundtrack demonstrated near the end of the video.
This is a strong review of Final Fantasy XIII, and it’s chock full of harsh language, but if half of this is true, I’ll be waiting for FFXIII to get cheaper before I buy it.
You guys know my love of Final Fantasy. You know how excited I was when Final Fantasy XIII came out on March 9th. I’ve probably mentioned my ridiculous college thesis on TR a dozen or so times. As nerdy as I am, there’s not a lot of things I consider myself a total lunatic for, but Final Fantasy is definitely one of them.
And yet, although it pains me, I must admit hate Final Fantasy XIII. Hate it. Hate it hate it hate it hate it hate it.
Oh, I tried to deny it. Tried to tell myself I was enjoying it. That it would pick up. That I could finish the main story even if I decided to skip the side quests this time. But I can’t. I’ve played through 25 hours (and completed Chapter 9, FYI) and I cannot subject myself to another minute of “playing” this horrible, horrible game.