"Blinded By Light" (閃光, Senkō?, lit. Flash/Glint) is the main battle theme of Final Fantasy XIII and one of its most prominent tracks, its theme being a leitmotif for the main character Lightning. It was the first piece written for the game, created for the E3 debut trailer in 2006. It was composed by Masashi Hamauzu, who wanted to create something with a catchy melody without being too straightforward. Unusual for a battle theme, it features violins as the main instrument accompanied by strong percussion.
- 1 Development
- 2 Game appearances
- 2.1 Final Fantasy XIII
- 2.2 Final Fantasy XIV
- 2.3 Final Fantasy XV
- 2.4 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy
- 2.5 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
- 2.6 Final Fantasy Record Keeper
- 2.7 World of Final Fantasy
- 2.8 Mobius Final Fantasy
- 3 Arrangement album appearances
- 4 Live performances
- 5 Compilation album appearances
- 6 Behind the scenes
- 7 References
Development[edit | edit source]
The main melody and chords came to mind almost instantly, but I rearranged it many times. Originally the main melody phrase was 4/4 bars, but it seemed too repetitive even for chords and backing, so I decided to have 3/4 bars in order to add some things. On top of this, I asked Mr. Yamazaki to add a taste of rock music to it, and I don't think we could add such a sense of speed without him... I am so proud of my best buddy! I rearranged it so many times after that, but I could still not create something definite. When I brought a tune burnt on CD back home, my little daughter came to me saying "you should add a flute sound to it", thinking there were high tones missing in the tune that I created. Since then, I added a soft violin tone with an octave high to it and then it sounded like it worked perfectly. Also, I was originally considering adding a B-melody for further development to it, but thinking that gamers play hundreds and thousands of battles, I came to the decision it would be simpler to go straight into the climatic part. After all these twists and turns 'Blinded By Light' was born.
Masashi Hamauzu in Final Fantasy XIII Original Sound Selection liner notes
Game appearances[edit | edit source]
"Blinded By Light" is the most prominent battle theme with numerous arrangements. It is the first track of the second disc on the Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack.
An extended version is used as the battle theme for the majority of the game. The original, shorter version is used for battles in the first three chapters, as well as battles in the Mah'habara Subterra. The extended version was included in the Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack PLUS as the fifteenth track.
Arrangements include the background theme of the introductory movie sequence "Defiers of Fate," which is later mixed into a battle theme for the Palamecia. "Defiers of Fate" is the fourth track of the soundtrack's first disc, while its mix is included in the Original Soundtrack PLUS album as the fifth track. The character theme of Lightning is a piano arrangement of "Blinded By Light," and is the tenth track of the second disc of the original soundtrack. "Yaschas Massif," the fifth track of the fourth disc of the soundtrack, is a bossa nova arrangement of "Blinded By Light" and serves as the background theme of the eponymous location.
The motif of "Blinded By Light" is included in "Forever Fugitives" and "To Hunt L'Cie," the fifteenth and eighteenth tracks of the second disc, which play during Snow's flashback of Serah's capture by Anima and the ambush at Palumpolum respectively; "Dust to Dust," the background theme of Oerba; the character theme of Fang; and its climax is included in "Determination," the theme for the ending cinematic.
"Blinded By Light" plays as the background theme in the Vile Peaks 200 AF and in the Serendipity slot machines when the player is in Victory Mode, and also as the battle theme for New Bodhum 700 AF. It also plays during the Beginner's Primer summary for Chapter 1.
The Final Fantasy XIII-2: Original Soundtrack also contains a quantity of new tracks that pay homage to "Blinded By Light."
Arrangements of "Blinded By Light" include Lightning's new personal theme, "Lightning's Theme ~Unprotected Future~," distinct from the original character theme due to its slower pace. It plays when she meets with Noel and her sister, Serah, at New Bodhum 700 AF, and later as the background theme. "Warrior Goddess," "Etro's Champion," and "Tears of the Goddess" use "Blinded By Light"'s structure, but the two latter tracks also use its pace and have distinct climaxes. "Warrior Goddess" plays during the first battle against Caius Ballad, while "Etro's Champion" plays during the first battle against Chaos Bahamut and as the battle theme for a Dying World 700 AF. "Tears of the Goddess" plays during the cutscene which shows Lightning's arrival in Valhalla and becoming Etro's protector.
"Divine Conflict," "An Arrow Through Time," "A World Without Cocoon," "A Fading Miracle," and "Etro's Gate" refer to or include parts "Blinded By Light's" motif. "Divine Conflict" plays during the scene where Lightning saves Noel in Valhalla and during the aerial fight against Chaos Bahamut, and "An Arrow Through Time" plays when Lightning asks Noel to find Serah and he leaps into the Time Gate. "A World Without Cocoon" plays in New Bodhum 3 AF when Serah meets Mog and learns that Noel met Lightning in Valhalla. "A Fading Miracle" plays during the cutscene in New Bodhum 700 AF, where Lightning tells Serah and Noel about Caius's plan to make Cocoon fall and turn the world into another Valhalla. "Etro's Gate" plays during the cutscene that shows Lightning's fate after the events of Final Fantasy XIII. All of these tracks were composed by Masashi Hamauzu.
The Final Fantasy XIII-2: Original Soundtrack PLUS contains a rearrangement of "Blinded by Light" titled "yuza_050", which plays when Noel, Serah, and Mog arrive in Valhalla.
Hamauzu named "Etro's Champion" his favorite piece from the soundtrack, because he had put a lot of thought into it; Hamauzu composed the track right after the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami and in a meeting with the game's director, Motomu Toriyama, he had asked Hamauzu to write a battle song that would encourage the listener. Hamauzu had an idea flash in his head right then and there of a song in a major chord, with a chorus that involved a melody with half notes that sounded as if taking one step at a time to climb to the top.
"Crimson Blitz," the song featured in various trailers, contains the vocal segment of "Blinded By Light" played during concerts of IMERUAT, with "Will to Fight" mixed into it. "Crimson Blitz" is composed by Masashi Hamauzu and was released on iTunes in promotion of the game. "The Savior" is another song modeled after "Blinded by Light" composed by Naoshi Mizuta with classical and electronic elements. Like "Crimson Blitz," "The Savior" was released on iTunes to promote the game. "Crimson Blitz" is the main battle theme of Luxerion, while "The Savior," called "Savior of Souls" on the soundtrack, is the main battle theme for the Wildlands.
"Blinded by Light" is used as a leitmotif throughout the soundtrack, as the composers wished to reinforce the game's emphasis on Lightning as a character. An orchestral rendition of "Blinded by Light" appears during the credits, and samples of it are used in "Humanity's Tale," the theme for the ending cinematic. It makes a last appearance in "Credits ~ Light Eternal," where "Blinded by Light" plays directly after "Caius's Theme," and is the longest segment of the track. A reprise of "Blinded by Light" is heard in the mid-section of "The Doomed Soul -Caius and Yeul-" and in "Noel & Yeul ~The Promise~."
In the Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII Retro-spective trailer, a 16-bit version of the theme appears.
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
- A flash breaks darkness
- Face a dying world
- All for a new world
- Souls are lead to their final salvation
The Dissidia 012 arrangement is a default battle music. The Dissidia NT arrangement, as well as the original PlayStation 3 version, can be bought from the shop for 3,600 gil. The arrangement from Final Fantasy Record Keeper was available as a Dissidia Summer Festival Live bonus.
"Blinded by Light" is available as a bonus Battle Music Sequence, available as an Encore track. A rearrangement of "Blinded by Light" plays as the background in the Challenge section. Both are included on Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Compilation Album.
"Defiers of Fate" was selected as the Event Music Sequence for the Final Fantasy XIII Series Mode, and is also playable as a Battle Music Sequence exclusively as a Dark Note. This Dark Note can only be played at the Chaos Shrine mode. This theme also appears on the Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Compilation Album.
"Etro's Champion" is a bonus Battle Music Sequence available as downloadable content.
"Blinded by Light," "Defiers of Fate," and "Etro's Champion" is Battle Music Sequences, while "Crimson Blitz" is introduced as a BMS for Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. All songs are available in the base game. "Crimson Blitz" also appears on the Best of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call album.
"Blinded by Light" is a playable Battle Music Sequence. It is available to the player by default.
The Final Fantasy Record Keeper arrangement of "Blinded by Light" is also playable as a Battle Music Sequence. It is available to the player by default.
"Blinded By Light" incorrectly plays in a select few Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy VI Core Dungeons instead of the music associated with the aforementioned games.
A new arrangement called "Prismelody: Blinded by Light" plays when using Lightning's Champion Medal.
The lead movement of "Blinded By Light" plays rapidly as the "Lightning: FFXIII" card is invoked. This card was offered as part of the Lightning Resurrection Challenge and carries the Thunderfall ability, which for 3-4 Wind orbs unleashes multiple concurrent hits against one target.
Arrangement album appearances[edit | edit source]
A piano remix combining "Blinded by Light" with "Lightning's Theme" was included. It starts off with the silent and melodic "Lightning's Theme" before changing into the faster "Blinded by Light." It is the first track of the album.
The theme appears in the 8-bit arrangement album featuring tracks from several Square Enix games. It is the third track in the album.
"Blinded By Light" is the thirteenth song of the final track of this album, "Battle Medley 2012 (Final Fantasy I – XIV)," arranged by Hiroyuki Nakayama.
"Blinded By Light" is incorporated into the medley titled "Battle Medley 2 (Fight On! ~ Blinded by Light ~ Assault)" (バトルメドレー2（更に闘う者達～閃光～襲撃）, Batoru Medorē 2 (Sarani Tatakau-Sha-Tachi ~ Senkō ~ Shūgeki)?) which was arranged by →Pia-no-jaC← and Nobuhiko Kashiwara.
Live performances[edit | edit source]
An orchestral arrangement of "Blinded by Light" conducted by Arnie Roth and performed by the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra is present on the third Distant Worlds album. It was originally performed in Tokyo in November 2010. It was the sixteenth song of the concert's line-up and is the fifth track of the second disc of the concert's recording.
A live recording of "The Promise - Blinded By Light" from at the London premiere of the concert of the same name on February 15, 2014, conducted by Arnie Roth, is included on this album.
A concert recording of "Blinded By Light" appears on this album.
Other[edit | edit source]
IMERUAT, a music group founded by Masashi Hamauzu and Mina Sakai, performs a vocal arrangement of "Blinded By Light" during their concerts.
Compilation album appearances[edit | edit source]
Final Fantasy XIII Original Sound Selection[edit | edit source]
"Blinded By Light" was included on the European Collectors Edition of Final Fantasy XIII.
"Blinded By Light" was also included in this "best of" type vinyl album. It is the third track of Side B.
W/F: Music from Final Fantasy XIII -Gentle Reveries-[edit | edit source]
"Yaschas Massif" was included in this "best of" type vinyl album. It is the third track of Side B.
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
A sidequest in Final Fantasy XV: Episode Prompto is called "Blinded by White."