The Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack is a four-disc compilation of the music contained in Final Fantasy VII. There are 85 tracks split over the four CDs with music composed, arranged, and produced by Nobuo Uematsu.
Called by Uematsu his "greatest harvest" in terms of creativity, the soundtrack, despite its length, was composed in a period of eight months, as opposed to the bi-annual period of producing that had become the standard regarding the previous original soundtracks. The Final Fantasy VII soundtrack was innovative in that it was the first game in the series to include a track with digitized vocals, "One-Winged Angel", which has been described as Uematsu's "most recognizable contribution" to the music of the Final Fantasy series.
Uematsu has said that the transition from SNES to PlayStation made him look forward to what he could do with the new hardware, and was happy they were able to experiment with things they hadn't been able to do prior to the development of Final Fantasy VII. One thing that came up in the early stages was that the developers wanted to include a theme song with lyrics, but it never really happened, apart from "The One-Winged Angel", but Uematsu doesn't consider this song as the game's theme song in the sense they had originally envisioned. Uematsu has also noted the part of experimenting with new ways to insert and apply music was the best thing to happen with Final Fantasy VII to him personally.
Despite it being possible to record CD quality music for PlayStation games, Square decided to do the music for Final Fantasy VII with the PlayStation's internal chip because as far as sound quality goes, the developers felt the hardware was more than capable with its higher dynamic range than the Super Famicom, and 24 simultaneous music output channels (the Super Famicom had 8), allowing for more complex compositions. Eight channels would be reserved for sound effects, leaving 16 for the music. The sound effects were recorded in the studio, but the music is all the console's internal chip putting less demand on the read access time of the CD-ROM; faster load times were prioritized over better sound quality.
The team wanted to have a soundtrack with no repeated music to mimic movies, although depending on the scene the tempo or the intensity might change. As Final Fantasy VII is a long game some music is repeated, but the overall goal was to make it as cinematic as possible in that regard.
From the first Final Fantasy up to Final Fantasy V the music had a European atmosphere, but Final Fantasy VI had started to break away from that, and Final Fantasy VII had a whole new image, one of "a dirty city of the future." Uematsu personally likes many different styles of music, and saw Final Fantasy VII as a chance to show parts of himself he hadn't been able to express before.
The field music (titled "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII") has a unique flavor compared to Square's RPGs of the past. Uematsu intentionally eliminated the uptempo meant to encourage the player to embark on a journey. Instead, some parts rise melodiously and some parts make the player feel insecure, creating various expressions within the same field of music. Uematsu hoped players would get a different feel from it compared to previous RPGs and has described it has this his own "experiment." A music theory analysis of "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII" was written by Video Game Music Academy in 2014.
He used keyboard and guitar for the basic compositions, and read the story and script as he composed. Due to the volume required of the soundtrack Uematsu worried he would run out of time. He'd first compose a theme, then program it in, and then revise it. There was no guarantee the PlayStation hardware would have the kind of sound he was looking for, and the sound quality was sometimes very different. For that reason there ended up being many unused songs.
Final Fantasy VII: Original Soundtrack peaked at #3 in Japanese music charts, the first time music from a game placed in hit charts in Japan.
The Compilation of Final Fantasy VII greatly expands the body of musical works of the Final Fantasy VII universe. Nevertheless, the most popular themes among fans remain a part of the original soundtrack, which include "Those Who Fight", "Aerith's Theme", "J-E-N-O-V-A", and the previously mentioned "One-Winged Angel".
The English track names have been adapted from the iTunes tracklisting.
Disc 1 (73:59)
- "The Prelude" (プレリュード, Pureryūdo?) - 3:12
- Plays during the introduction screen.
- "Opening - Bombing Mission" (オープニング~爆破ミッション, Ōpuningu ~ Bakuha Misshon?) - 3:59
- Plays before and after attack on the Sector 1 Reactor.
- "Mako Reactor" (魔晄炉, Makō Ro?) - 3:26
- Plays inside each of the Mako Reactors.
- "Anxiety" (不安な心, Fuan na Kokoro?, lit. Anxious Heart) - 4:00
- "Tifa's Theme" (ティファのテーマ, Tifa no Tēma?) - 5:23
- "Barret's Theme" (バレットのテーマ, Baretto no Tēma?) - 3:22
- "Hurry!" (急げ!, Isoge!?) - 2:25
- "Lurking In the Darkness" (闇に潜む, Yami ni Hisomu?) - 2:26
- Plays at the plate interior and several underground areas.
- "Shinra, Inc" (神羅カンパニー, Shinra Kanpanī?, lit. Shinra Company) - 4:13
- Plays during cutscenes involving Shinra Electric Power Company.
- "Let the Battles Begin!" (闘う者達, Tatakau Monotachi?, lit. Those Who Fight) - 2:38
- Plays during all normal battles.
- "Fanfare" (ファンファーレ, Fanfāre?) - 0:53
- Plays after winning a battle.
- "Flowers Blooming in the Church" (教会に咲く花, Kyōkai ni Saku Hana?) - 5:09
- Plays in the Sector 5 Church, and in Aerith's house.
- "Turks' Theme" (タークスのテーマ, Tākusu no Tēma?) - 2:20
- Plays in any room or cutscene the Turks appear in.
- "Under the Rotting Pizza" (腐ったピザの下で, Kusatta Piza no Shita de?) - 3:21
- "The Oppressed" (虐げられた民衆, Shiitagerareta Minshū?) - 2:34
- "Honeybee Inn" (蜜蜂の館, Mitsubachi no Yakata?) - 4:22
- Plays in the Honey Bee Inn.
- "Who... Are You?" (お前は…誰だ, Omae wa... Dare da?) - 1:20
- "Don of the Slums" (スラムのドン, Suramu no Don?) - 2:10
- Plays in Don Corneo's Mansion.
- "Infiltrating Shinra" (神羅ビル潜入, Shinra Biru Sennyū?) - 3:51
- Plays in the Shinra Headquarters.
- "Fight On!" (更に闘う者達, Sara ni Tatakau Monotachi?, lit. Those Who Fight Further") - 3:22
- Plays during boss battles.
- "Red XIII's Theme" (レッドXIIIのテーマ, Reddo XIII no Tēma?) - 1:26
- Plays when Red XIII introduces himself to the party.
- "The Chase" (クレイジーモーターサイクル, Kureijī Mōtāsaikuru?, lit. Crazy Motorcycle) - 4:47
- Plays during the motorcycle minigame.
- "Dear to the Heart" (想いを胸に, Omoi o Mune ni?) - 2:11
- Plays on multiple occasions, most notably when the party first leaves Midgar, as well as in some towns and during some cutscenes involving the entire party.
Disc 2 (63:34)
- "Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY VII" (F.F.VIIメインテーマ, F.F. VII Mein Tēma?) - 6:31
- First theme on the world map.
- "On Our Way" (旅の途中で, Tabi no Tochū De?) - 3:42
- "Good Night, Until Tomorrow" (お休み,また明日, Oyasumi, Mata Ashita?) - 0:08
- Plays during a rest at an inn.
- "On That Day, Five Years Ago..." (5年前のあの日, Gonen Mae no ano Hi?) - 3:09
- Plays on multiple occasions, most notably during the Nibelheim Incident flashbacks and Cloud and Tifa's night under the Highwind before entering the Northern Cave.
- "Farm Boy" (牧場の少年, Bokujō no Shōnen?) - 2:53
- Plays in the Chocobo Farm.
- "Waltz de Chocobo" (ワルツ・デ・チョコボ, Warutsu de Chokobo?) - 0:35
- Plays when the chocobos dance at the Chocobo Farm.
- "Electric de Chocobo" (エレキ・デ・チョコボ, Ereki de Chokobo?) - 3:44
- Plays during a battle encounter with a chocobo and during the snowboarding minigame.
- "Cinco de Chocobo" (シンコ・デ・チョコボ, Shinko de Chokobo?) - 3:24
- Plays while riding a chocobo on the World Map.
- "In Search of the Main in Black" (黒マントの男を追え, Kuro Manto no Otoko o Oe?) - 3:02
- "Fort Condor" (鷺の砦, Sagi no Toride?) - 3:51
- Plays during fights at Fort Condor.
- "Rufus's Welcoming Ceremony" (ルーファウス歓迎式典, Rūfausu Kangei Shikiten?) - 2:09
- Plays during Rufus's welcoming ceremony, the marching minigame and from there on after in Junon until Part II.
- "It's Hard to Stand on Both Feet!" (二本足で立つのも難しいものだな, Nihon Ashi de Tatsu no mo Muzukashii Mono da na?) - 3:23
- "Trail of Blood" (血の跡, Chi no Ato?) - 4:04
- "J-E-N-O-V-A" (J-E-N-O-V-A, [missing rōmaji]?) - 2:18
- "Continue" (つづきから, Tsuzuki Kara?) - 0:31
- Plays upon a Game Over.
- "Costa del Sol" (太陽の海岸, Taiyō no Kaigan?, lit. Sun Coast) - 2:23
- Plays in Costa del Sol.
- "Mark of a Traitor" (裏切り者の烙印, Uragirimono no Rakuin?) - 3:33
- Plays in North Corel.
- "Mining Town" (炭坑の街, Tankō no Machi?) - 3:03
- Plays during Barret's flashbacks at Corel.
- "Gold Saucer" (ゴールドソーサー, Gōrudo Sōsā?) - 1:55
- Plays in the Gold Saucer.
- "Cait Sith's Theme" (ケット・シーのテーマ, Ketto Shī no Tēma?) - 3:24
- Plays when the player first meets Cait Sith in the Gold Saucer and during prominent scenes featuring him.
- "Desert Wasteland" (砂の流刑地, Suna no Ryūkeichi?) - 5:42
- Plays in the Corel Prison.
Disc 3 (73:24)
- "Cosmo Canyon" (星降る峡谷, Hoshi Furu Kyōkoku?, lit. Valley of the Falling Stars) - 3:38
- Plays in Cosmo Canyon.
- "Lifestream" (生命の流れ, Seimei no Nagare?, lit. Stream of Life) - 4:10
- "The Great Warrior" (偉大なる戦士, Idai naru Senshi?) - 3:22
- Plays during scenes in Cosmo Canyon when Red XIII discovers the truth about his father.
- "Descendant of Shinobi" (忍びの末裔, Shinobi no Matsuei?) - 3:00
- Plays upon meeting Yuffie and during prominent scenes with her.
- "Those Chosen by the Planet" (星に選ばれし者, Hoshi ni Erabareshi Mono?) - 3:39
- Sephiroth's leitmotif, it plays during the dragon battle at the start of the flashback to the Nibelheim Incident, at the Shinra Mansion in Nibelheim, and during the final fight with Sephiroth. The theme has ominously chiming bells and beating drums, and later a choir chants with some rising guitar strings.
- "The Nightmare Begins" (悪夢の始まり, Akumu no Hajimari?) - 2:58
- "Cid's Theme" (シドのテーマ, Shido no Tēma?) - 3:02
- Plays when meeting Cid and during prominent scenes featuring him.
- "Steal the Tiny Bronco!" (タイニーブロンコを奪え!, Tainī Buronko o Ubae!?) - 1:19
- "Wutai" (ウータイ, Ūtai?) - 4:27
- Plays in Wutai.
- "Stolen Materia" (マテリアいただき, Materia Itadaki?) - 1:37
- Plays when Yuffie steals the party's Materia.
- "Win / Place / Show Chocobo!" (本命穴チョコボ, Honmei Ana Chokobo?, lit. Place Chocobo) - 1:50
- Plays in the Chocobo Square of the Gold Saucer.
- "Fiddle de Chocobo" (フィドル・デ・チョコボ, Fidoru de Chokobo?) - 2:57
- Plays during the Chocobo Racing minigame, and in Mideel when near the White Chocobo.
- "Jackpot!" (大当たりぃ~, Ōatarī~?) - 0:44
- Plays if the player wins a chocobo race.
- "Tango of Tears" (涙のタンゴ, Namida no Tango?) - 0:47
- Plays if the player loses a chocobo race.
- "Debut" (初舞台, Hatsu Butai?) - 2:37
- Plays during the play at Gold Saucer.
- "Words Drowned By Fireworks" (花火に消された言葉, Hanabi ni Kesareta Kotoba?) - 3:01
- Plays on the Round House ride in Gold Saucer during the date scene.
- "Forested Temple" (樹海の神殿, Jukai no Shinden?) - 3:51
- Plays in the Temple of the Ancients.
- "Listen to the Cries of the Planet" (星の声が聞こえる, Hoshi no Koe ga Kikoeru?) - 3:51
- Plays in the Forgotten City.
- "Aerith's Theme" (エアリスのテーマ, Earisu no Tēma?) - 4:55
- "Buried in Snow" (雪に閉ざされて, Yuki ni Tozasarete?) - 4:54
- Plays in the Great Glacier.
- "The North Cave" (北の大空洞, Kita no Daikūdō?) - 7:15
- Plays in crater at top of world and is second and final theme when walking on the world map.
- "Reunion" (リユニオン, Riyunion?) - 3:46
- Plays when Shinra finds the Promised Land.
- "Who... Am I?" (俺は…誰だ, Ore wa... Dare da?) - 1:34
- Plays in Mideel after Cloud is found.
Disc 4 (68:56)
- "Shinra's Full-Scale Assault" (神羅軍総攻撃, Shinra-gun Sōkōgeki?) - 2:43
- "Attack of the Weapon" (ウェポン襲来, Wepon Shūrai?) - 2:46
- Plays during Weapon appearances.
- "The Highwind Takes to the Skies" (空駆けるハイウィンド, Sora Kakeru Haiwindo?) - 3:46
- "Secret of the Deep Sea" (深海に眠る秘密, Shinkai ni Nemuru Himitsu?) - 4:10
- Plays on the submarine.
- "Provincial Town" (偏狭の村, Henkyō no Mura?) - 2:20
- "From the Edge of Despair" (絶望の淵から, Zetsubō no Fuchi kara?) - 4:30
- Plays in Mideel when Cloud is hurt, and in Rocket Town after Meteor has been summoned.
- "Other Side of the Mountain" (山の向こうに, Yama no Mukō ni?) - 2:32
- Plays when Tifa realizes Cloud's deepest memory when both are submerged in the Lifestream.
- "Hurry Up!" (もっと急げ!, Motto Isoge!?) - 2:51
- "Launching a Dream Into Space" (宇宙への夢, Uchū e no Yume?) - 3:10
- Plays when the party is launched into space.
- "Countdown" (秒読み開始, Byōyomi Kaishi?) - 0:49
- Plays during the rocket launch cutscene.
- "Open Your Heart" (心開けば, Kokoro Akeba?) - 2:57
- Plays during non-battle scenes in Fort Condor.
- "Mako Cannon - The Destruction of Shinra" (魔晄キャノン発射～神羅爆発, Makō Kyanon Hassha ~ Shinra Bakuhatsu?) - 1:28
- "Judgment Day" (最期の日, Saigo no Hi?) - 3:54
- Plays when descending the Northern Cave to face Sephiroth.
- "Jenova Complete" (完全なるジェノヴァ, Kanzen naru Jenova?) - 3:56
- Plays during the battle with Jenova∙SYNTHESIS.
- "Birth of a God" (神の誕生, Kami no Tanjō?) - 3:57
- Plays during the battle with Bizarro∙Sephiroth.
- "One-Winged Angel" (片翼の天使, Katayoku no Tenshi?) - 6:54
- Plays during the battle with Safer∙Sephiroth.
- "The Planet's Crisis" (星の危機, Hoshi no Kiki?) - 9:44
- Plays in the ending.
- "Ending Credits" (スタッフロール, Sutaffu Rōru?, lit. Staff Roll) - 6:19
- Plays in the credits.
The credits are all written only in English. The Chorus credits are for One-Winged Angel.
Composed, Arranged and Produced by Nobuo Uematsu
- Sound Programmer: Minoru Akao
- Sound Engineer: Eiji Nakamura
- M.A. and Recording Engineer: Kenzi Nagashima
- Sound Effects: Yoshitaka Hirota, Yuichiro Mori, Mitsuhiro Iwadate and Minae Fujisaki
- Chorus: Soprano; Matsue Fukushi[nb 1] and Minae Fujisaki / Alto; Kazuko Nakano and Saki Ono / Tenor: Toru Tabei and Daisuke
- Hara / Bass; Toshizumi Sakai and Masashi Hamauzu
- Director: Kensuke Matsushita (DigiCube)
- Mastering Engineer: Masaaki Kato (Sunrise Studio)
- Art Direction: Tadashi Shimada (Banana Studio)
- Design: Tadashi Shimada and Norie Kadokura (Banana Studio)
- Sales Promotion: Saiko Fukui (DigiCube)
- Project Supervisor: Tadashi Nomura (SQUARE)
- Co-Executive Producer: Hirofumi Nakamura (DigiCube)
- Executive Producers: Hisashi Suzuki (DigiCube), Hirofumi (DigiCube)
Presented by DigiCube
- Japanese name: 福島 真津恵?, credited as Matsue Fukushima in the English credits of Final Fantasy VII. Wife of Masashi Hamauzu.
Liner notes (translated from the original Japanese)
There is one thing common in all the Final Fantasy games. None of them are complete. All of the games are results of staffs from all around the world trying their 200% effort and ambition. Too much ideas are packed in, while the game becomes blurred and unfocused. New ideas are being incorporated, but only dry and arid works come out. I think that is what we need to focus on to improve right now. Still, as a staff of SQUARE, I really don't think it is a big problem in the long run. If I were to compare it with a plant, the FF will be a plant given premium nutrition, water, and light without the care of a gardener. The branches will just extend in their own way, in any direction. A spring clean-up is necessary. The Final Fantasy series is nearing its spring clean-up. The flower might blossom in the next work, or maybe later. Though, we are confident that we will someday present you a COMPLETE work.
Well, speaking about the incompleteness of Final Fantasy, the music in it is not an exception. Still, I have put out everything I have right now so I began to see what I really need to work on in the new environment. It think that was the greatest harvest this time. Let me thank every staff, every SQUARE member, my family, and friends. I am also grateful to you fans, from the bottom of my heart. Thank you very much.
A limited edition of the Final Fantasy VII: Original Sound Track was also released. The set includes illustrated liner notes with several pictures of Uematsu's workspace, various CG and battle shots from the game, messages from Nobuo Uematsu, Square producer Tadashi Nomura, and Digicube music director Kensuke Matsushita, and a discography, alongside several pages of text. The set comes in a black box with the Final Fantasy VII logo engraved on a thin metal plate.
The Final Fantasy VII limited edition soundtrack is one of the rarest Final Fantasy soundtracks.
Published by DOREMI Music Publishing, the book contains Asako Niwa's piano arrangements for the music on the Final Fantasy VII: Original Soundtrack, arranged to sound as much as possible like the originals on the piano. The difficulty level is beginner to intermediate.
- "Rufus' Welcoming Ceremony" makes a cameo appearance in Final Fantasy IX in the Evil Forest. It also briefly appears in Final Fantasy X.
- An excerpt from Haydn's "The Creation" is played in President Shinra's office as Sector 7 plate collapses.
- When asked to name his favorite three tracks from the soundtrack, Nobuo Uematsu named the overworld theme, the Desert Canyon theme and Aerith's Theme.
- The original 1998 trailer of Final Fantasy VII features a piece of music called "Final Encounter" by Steve Baker that isn't featured in the game or soundtrack.
- Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Tracks
- Piano Collections: Final Fantasy VII
- Final Fantasy VII Vinyl Limited Edition
- Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children OST
- Before Crisis -Final Fantasy VII- & Last Order -Final Fantasy VII- OST
- Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII- Original Soundtrack
- Dirge of Cerberus -Final Fantasy VII- Original Soundtrack
- Final Fantasy VII Interviews - Squaresoft Collector's Video 1997
- Final Fantasy VII – 1997 Developer Interviews
- Final Fantasy VII Interviews - Squaresoft Collector's Video 1997
- EGM2, August 1997, interview with Nobuo Uematsu