There's no gettin' off this train we on 'till we reach the end of the line.
"Endwalker" is the edited main theme version while "Endwalker - Footfalls" is the version used in the full-length opening trailer. Both versions will first be released as part of the Endwalker 7-inch Vinyl Single.
The main theme was revealed with the full trailer of Endwalker. The trailer follows the Warrior of Light walking on the Moon while the Scions of the Seventh Dawn fight against the impending destruction of Hydaelyn orchestrated by Fandaniel. The trailer's narration is Emet-Selch's description of the Final Days of Amaurot, which is paralleled by the conflict between the Scions and Fandaniel.
The main theme begins with an initial, moody segment featuring the main vocalist referring to his "heart of amber", and an instrumental section with electric guitar. The song starts to pick up in energy and hope with the introduction of background vocals, some of which are taken from the Dravanian passage of "Heavensward". This passage transitions into the main vocalist singing the chorus of "Storm of Blood". As the main vocalist wails, the lyrics become layered at this point, and the next instrumental section is more symphonic, featuring string instruments rather than the guitar. After more background vocals praising the ideal of hope, the main vocalist sings the chorus of "Shadowbringers" before arriving at the climax of the song, in which the main vocalist belts out lyrics vowing to "forge ahead" no matter what enemies he faces. The background melody also features a remix of "Torn from the Heavens", so that every expansion of Final Fantasy XIV to date is featured in the main theme. According to Masayoshi Soken, the main theme uses chords that most guitar players do not use.
The official lyrics of the main theme have not yet been released.
Behind the scenes
The main theme was composed by Masayoshi Soken, with lyrics written by head of localization Michael-Christopher Koji Fox and head of the writing team Natsuko Ishikawa. Main vocals were provided by Sam Carter, the lead singer of the band Architects, while background vocals were provided by Amanda Achen. The instrumentation was performed by The Primals. Carter said that he was "[r]eally proud to have been a part of this" after the trailer was released.
A fragment of the main theme was released with the teaser trailer. The lyrics of this version were muted and muffled, and only three minutes of the six-minute long theme were released at the time. After this teaser was released, Alex Moukala and Husky by the Geek released a remix of the main theme that they called a "Boss Theme Imagined", which Soken praised as "すごい" (sugoi?, lit. amazing).
The main theme received praise from music critics who do not typically review video game music. Rock magazine Loudwire wrote that the main theme was "epic" and describe Carter's performance as a "full-belting vocal giving listeners a broad view of his range"., while Rock Sound said that the trailer looked "absolutely stunning" and praised the builds, emotions, and "spiraling melodies" of the main theme.
- Square Enix (May 14, 2021). FINAL FANTASY XIV: ENDWALKER Full Trailer. YouTube. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021.
- Alex Moukala (March 25, 2021). Final Fantasy XIV's Composer Reacts to our Cover!. YouTube. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021.
- Square Enix (14 May 2021). FINAL FANTASY XIV DIGITAL FAN FESTIVAL 2021 - Day1. Twitch.tv. Archived from the original on 15 May 2021.
- Sam Carter (May 15, 2021). Sam Carter Official Twitter. Twitter. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021.
- Alex Moukala (March 22, 2021). FFXIV Endwalker - Boss Theme Imagined (ft. Huskybythegeek). YouTube. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021.
- Chad Childers (May 16, 2021). Architects’ Sam Carter Sings New ‘Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker’ Theme. Loudwire. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021.
- Jack Rogers (May 17, 2021). Architects’ Sam Carter Has Leant His Vocals To The Theme For ‘Final Fantasy XIV: Endwalker’. Rock Sound. Archived from the original on May 23, 2021.