"Blinded By Light" (閃光, Senkō?, lit. Flash) is the main battle theme of Final Fantasy XIII and one of its most prominent tracks, its theme being a leitmotif for its character Lightning. It was the first piece written for the game, created for the game's E3 debut trailer in 2006. It was composed by Masashi Hamauzu, who wanted to create something which would have a catchy melody without being too straightforward. Unusual for a battle theme, it features violins as the main instrument accompanied by strong percussion.
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.
Template:Listen Although Final Fantasy XIII uses several battle themes for its encounters, "Blinded By Light" is the most prominent, and there are also arrangements and inclusions of its theme in the Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack where "Blinded By Light" is the first track of the second disc.
An extended version of "Blinded By Light" is used for the second part of the first battle against the Manasvin Warmech. It was included in the Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack PLUS as the fifteenth track.
Arrangements of this track 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 the game's protagonist, Lightning, is a piano arrangement of this theme, 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 "To Hunt L'Cie", the eighteenth track of the second disc, which plays during the ambush at Palumpolum; "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.
Template:Listen "Blinded By Light" reappears in Final Fantasy XIII-2, playing 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~", which is distinct from the original character theme due to its slower pace tune and 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 of the game against Chaos Bahamut and as the battle theme for a Dying World 700 AF. "Tears of the Goddess" plays during the cutscene which shows her 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" reference 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 which 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.
An arrangement of "Blinded by Light" by Mitsuto Suzuki is included in Dissidia 012 as "Blinded By Light -arrange- from FINAL FANTASY XIII". It is the twelfth track of the game's original soundtrack second disc.
"Blinded by Light" is available as a bonus Battle Music Sequence, available as an Encore. An original arrangement of "Blinded by Light" plays as the background in the Challenge section of the game.
"Defiers of Fate" was selected as the Event Music Sequence for Final Fantasy XIII's 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.
"Etro's Champion" is a bonus Battle Music Sequence available as Downloadable Content
Arrangement Album appearances
A piano remix combining "Blinded by Light" with "Lightning's Theme", was included in Piano Collections: Final Fantasy XIII. 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 song 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.
Live Orchestra performances
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.
Compilation Album appearances
Final Fantasy XIII Original Sound Selection
"Blinded By Light" was included in the Original Sound Selection CD 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 the Side B.
W/F: Music from Final Fantasy XIII -Gentle Reveries-
"Yaschas Massif" was included in this "best of" type vinyl album. It is the third track of the Side B.
- IMERUAT, a music group founded by Masashi Hamauzu and Mina, performs a vocal arrangement of "Blinded By Light" during their concerts.