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Thread: The most overrated JRPG score

  1. #31

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    Come on Fynn, that's arguing in bad faith and you know it. If that's the way you want to play it please tell me where exactly this fits in with FFVI's opera:


  2. #32
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Obviously, that's what they play during the intermission where you go out to play video games


    But yeah, I'll admit that one doesn't fit, but that's pretty much the only case in the entire soundtrack - which cannot really be said for FFIX, where you get tons of medieval forms in the Place to Call Home Arrangements (with the Ipsen castle theme being a cool example of hoquetus), then you've got all those romantic Memories of Life arrangements, but then you've got the weird Black Mage Village, the bloopy world map theme, the very techno'y Hildegarde theme, Ukulele De Chocobo...

    I feel one soundtrack has a bit more whiplash than the other.


    Still, as you read all this, keep in mind that IX's OST is up there with V, VI and VII as soundtracks that I consider to be Uematsu's best

  3. #33

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    And Slam Shuffle, and Spinach Rag and Johnny C. Bad and Mog's Theme.

    And also bear in mind that the scope of the IX soundtrack is larger, with over double the number of tracks. During which I would argue that even though there are certainly differences in style from piece to piece, the structure of those pieces and their use of familiar melodies, instrumentation and chord structures worked together to reinforce the games core themes:

    - Memory
    - Identity
    - Home

    So yes, Black Mage Village is weird and out of place - much like the Black Mages themselves. They are artificial creations and are trying to make a home for themselves and learn what living means, it makes perfect sense that the music in that village breaks from the style used from long established societies like Burmecia and Lindblum. And Black Mage Village incorporates Vivi's Theme, helping connect the listener to the fact that he is one of them, that he belongs, that he has a home. Freya gets a similar treatment with the Burmecia Theme. A Place To Call Home... well, these arrangements are all associated with a literal ancient alien world. I think it's right to be so distinct from what you hear in Lindblum or Alexandria.

    Melodies of Life is the song of Madain Sari and the summoners - it's played in a romantic style for Dagger because she is a princess of one of the great, cultured kingdoms of the world, Alexandria. The style is vastly different when it's used in Eiko's Theme because she's a child of Madain Sari. But when they come together, they play the same melody. So there's another example where I consider the 'whiplash' between two styles as something that helps reinforce the characters, their stories and the themes the game is exploring.

    This isn't the case with everything of course. Just like with the examples I gave for VI, there are a selection of tracks in IX that don't really fit in anywhere. But, as with VI, I consider them by far the exception. VI's soundtrack tries to tie as much of it's soundtrack together under this metacontext of the opera, where as much of the OST tries to fit in with this idea of being an opera as much as possible, and I respect that. IX has a different approach. IX looks at various different styles of music and asks how it can use those styles to reinforce the story it's trying to tell.

    And similar to what you said, don't interpret this as me trying to rant at you. I just feel strongly that IX is more carefully crafted than you perhaps give it credit for, and those are some of the reasons I believe that.
    Last edited by Fox; 08-06-2019 at 01:22 AM.

  4. #34
    Newbie Administrator Loony BoB's Avatar
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    I guess cohesiveness doesn't really matter to me if the songs just aren't that amazing. Also, having heard Dancing Mad played at Distant Worlds with a fancy organ, it still didn't move me in any way (the opera scene done live with opera singers admittedly was awesome though, but the OST version is meh). I think that's the main thing for me - while playing FFVI, I don't recall remembering the music for any reason other than it putting me to sleep. All the others since managed to do better, as did V.
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  5. #35
    Huh? Flower?! What the hell?! Administrator Psychotic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loony BoB View Post
    I guess cohesiveness doesn't really matter to me if the songs just aren't that amazing. Also, having heard Dancing Mad played at Distant Worlds with a fancy organ, it still didn't move me in any way (the opera scene done live with opera singers admittedly was awesome though, bit the OST version is meh)
    As I was at that Distant Worlds performance I can comfortably tell you that's because the organist was awful and played a load of wrong notes. I was cringing a little bit and it was thoroughly disappointing.

  6. #36
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    xD Glad I wasn't the only one who thought it was off!
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  7. #37
    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I've honestly never heard a live instrumental arrangement of Dancing Mad that I felt did justice to the piece. There is always one movement that is really good and then two others that are blah, especially the third movement which is my favorite part. Closest might be the Black Mages version, but I've never cared for the Distant Worlds version.
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  8. #38

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    i wonder if FF VIII's score had been from a game with less divisive gameplay/story if it would be considered one of the strongest OSTs by more people. i really liked some of the music, like the band performance of "My Mind" (one of the better themes - guess it's a shorter version of Eyes on Me? though it sounds like the weird instrument sample from An Idiot Abroad) but because i wasn't super engaged in the characters or world it was music that would have been better in something i cared more about - so maybe most of the bigger fans of this OST were already fans of Squall and Co? though I have seen some people saying the OST was great but game was trout too.

  9. #39
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Well, I love VIII and think Squall is the best protagonist, but the OST is pretty much FF bottom tier for me. It's mostly the arrangements though, since I tend to like orchestrations of Man with the Machine Gun far more than the original, for example. Other than the occasional blood-chilling Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec moment, there's just a lot of weird, goopy sounds all around and it just... doesn't sound very pleasant to me, tbh

  10. #40

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    Actually the general weirdness of FF VIII (both the gameplay and score) kind of remind me weirdly of FF II.

  11. #41

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    I understand the "weird, goopy" sounds comment for Esthar and maybe a couple other things, but not for the soundtrack as a whole. Mostly it seems like a pretty mellow soundtrack to me.

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    I quite enjoyed the variety of music in FFVIII. The different songs set different moods for the various moments/locales, and I can't remember thinking "urgh this song is trash"... maybe Deling City at a push. But the likes of FH, Balamb (both garden and town), Ragnarok, Man with the Machine Gun, Liberi Fatali and more? I like 'em.
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    Memento Mori Site Contributor Wolf Kanno's Avatar
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    I enjoy VIII, but I'm not the biggest fan of the OST. I feel when you look at certain tracks individually, it's a nice soundtrack overall. Yet, when I listen to the score as a whole piece, I find it difficult to pay attention because I feel the OST is just too pedestrian. There is a nostalgia to the Balamb Garden theme, but the track is kind of dull as a musical piece and I tend to zone it out after the first loop. The OST has a similar problem that Chrono Cross' score has for me, which is that too many pieces blend together and the overall score feels a bit monotone with a few exceptions to jolt you back to being awake.
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  14. #44
    Radical Dreamer Fynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf Kanno View Post
    I enjoy VIII, but I'm not the biggest fan of the OST. I feel when you look at certain tracks individually, it's a nice soundtrack overall. Yet, when I listen to the score as a whole piece, I find it difficult to pay attention because I feel the OST is just too pedestrian. There is a nostalgia to the Balamb Garden theme, but the track is kind of dull as a musical piece and I tend to zone it out after the first loop. The OST has a similar problem that Chrono Cross' score has for me, which is that too many pieces blend together and the overall score feels a bit monotone with a few exceptions to jolt you back to being awake.

  15. #45
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    Since this is now the FF VIII OST debate thread, personally I find VIII to have pretty superb sound direction. The OST never fails at capturing and supporting what's going on perfectly, and in the way whereby when you hear the relevant track on the soundtrack it immediately replays the scene from the game and associated feelings with it in your mind. It helps that VIII has close to zero generic dungeons (except for that smurfing desert prison) so there's always something memorable to associate the tracks with as well. And the style of the tracks works wonderfully to support this. I probably wouldn't like VIII's OST as much on the whole if it wasn't attached to VIII, but together they form a whole that's greater than the sum of its parts and it feeds back into just listening to OST tracks on its own, at least for me. Though I will admit VII for instance has this even better on the Disc 1 OST, VIII has more unique tracks overall.

    Also I smurfing love all manner of witch-themed tracks, sue me.

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