Development[edit | edit source]
Yoshinori Kitase asked Masashi Hamauzu to compose the soundtrack. The proposition was a surprise to Hamauzu, who was nevertheless eager to accept. The game's director, Motomu Toriyama, requested an orchestral and futuristic hybrid sound, but gave Hamauzu freedom to exercise his own style. The main tools used in producing the soundtrack were Digital Performer, orchestral samples by East West, and some standard software synth by Native Instruments, although a lot of live instruments were used, along with vocals in the many background themes of different locations.
Hamauzu's first compositions for Final Fantasy XIII were scores for the footage shown in events or game shows in 2006 and 2007 (notably "Blinded By Light"), and he didn't begin composing the full soundtrack until autumn 2008. The soundtrack was composed in a period of about one year. Parts of the soundtrack have been recorded with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra, orchestrated by Yoshihisa Hirano. The session was recorded in a concert hall and Hamauzu listened to it from the balcony, saying afterward it was sad there was no audience, since it was so beautiful.
The two worlds of Final Fantasy XIII, Cocoon and Gran Pulse, display contrasting musical styles. Hamauzu explains that Final Fantasy XIII was intended to be a long game, which in itself provided some challenges. He felt it was important for there to be variety to the sound design to maintain players' interests over a span of time, and that is why the themed motifs are reintroduced here and there as a kind of obbligato.
The lyrics for "Serah's Theme" and "The Sunleth Waterscape" were revised for the English localization, even though the original recordings were already in English, due to the opinion of the English-language staff that the lyrics needed to sound more natural to native speakers. Many of the vocals are performed by Mina Sakai, whom Hamauzu asked to perform some vocals for demo tracks and improvise some lyrics for them. Initially there weren't plans for several songs, but Hamauzu felt Mina's performance fit the game's atmosphere, which led to further recording.
"Sulyya Springs" and "Will to Fight" have English vocals, and while Mina and Hamauzu were preparing the demo track for "The Gapra Whitewood," Mina also sang in English, but after receiving the final draft of the lyrics, she was so preoccupied with getting the pronunciation and intonation right that she lost track of the flow of the melody. The lyrics were dropped and the two employed a fictitious language to regain the feel of the previous songs. In the last part of "Battle Results," which plays upon the completion of each battle, one can hear Mina counting numbers in the Ainu language.
Track list[edit | edit source]
Disc one (49:27)[edit | edit source]
- "Prelude to FINAL FANTASY XIII" (FINAL FANTASY XIII プレリュード, FINAL FANTASY XIII Pureryūdo?) - 2:55
- "FINAL FANTASY XIII - The Promise" (FINAL FANTASY XIII ～誓い～, ~Chikai~?) - 1:33
- "The Thirteenth Day" (第13日, Daijūsannichi?) - 0:54
- "Defiers of Fate" (運命への反逆, Unmei e no Hangyaku?, lit. Rebellion Against Fate) - 2:24
- Arrangement of "Blinded By Light." Plays during the opening as Lightning assaults the Purge train. The longer version, "Defiers of Fate (Palamecia Assault Version)" on the soundtrack plus, plays as a background theme at the Engine Room, Starboard Weather Deck, and Bridge Access Zones of the Palamecia. Also plays when fighting Attacus.
- "Saber's Edge" (ブレイズエッジ, Bureizuejji?, lit. Blaze Edge) - 3:14
- "The Hanging Edge"' (封鎖区画ハングドエッジ, Fūsa Kukaku Hangudoejji?, lit. Sealed Area Hanged Edge) - 3:26
- "Those For the Purge" (パージされる者たち, Pāji-sareru Mono Tachi?, lit. The Purged) - 3:05
- "The Warpath Home" (帰るための戦い, Kaeru Tame no Tatakai?) - 3:32
- "The Pulse fal'Cie" (下界のファルシ, Parusu no Farushi?) - 1:13
- Plays during the FMV cutscene where the Pulse Vestige is transported to the Hanging Edge.
- "Face It Later" (逃げてもいいの, Nigete mo Ī no?, lit. It's Okay to Run) - 0:55
- "Snow's Theme" (スノウのテーマ, Sunō no Tēma?) - 3:48
- "The Vestige" (異跡, Iseki?, lit. Ruins) - 2:48
- Plays at the Pulse Vestige and Taejin's Tower Palisades.
- "Ragnarok" (ラグナロク, Ragunaroku?) - 3:47
- "In the Sky That Night" (あの日の空, Ano Hi no Sora?) - 1:24
- Arrangement of "FINAL FANTASY XIII - The Promise." Plays during flashbacks of the 11th day (with the exception of Hope's flashback).
- "Promised Eternity" (永遠の誓い, Eien no Chikai?) - 2:24
- Plays during the cutscene where Snow proposes to Serah. It is also heard when Vanille encourages Hope to follow after Snow in the Pulse Vestige. A brief reprise is heard when Lightning watches Hope sleep in the Vile Peaks. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays during the cutscene in the Bresha Ruins at 5 AF where Alyssa Zaidelle reveals she survived the Purge.
- "Eternal Love (Short Version)" - 3:27
- Plays during Snow and Serah's scene near the fireworks in the Japanese version.
- "Lake Bresha" (ビルジ湖, Biruji-ko?, lit. Bilge Lake) - 4:11
- Background theme for Lake Bresha.
- "The Pulse L'Cie" (下界のルシたち, Parusu no Rushi-tachi?) - 1:37
- Plays in Lake Bresha when Lightning, Sazh, Hope, and Vanille see PSICOM looking for Purge survivors.
- "Eidolons" (召喚獣, Shōkanjū?) - 2:50
Disc two (55:50)[edit | edit source]
- "Blinded By Light" (閃光, Senkō?, lit. Flash) - 2:55
- The main battle theme of Final Fantasy XIII. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Vile Peaks at 200 AF as the background theme and the battle theme of New Bodhum at 700 AF. It is also in Serendipity when the slot machine is in Victory Mode and a number of the game's new music tracks feature the motif of "Blinded By Light." In Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, "Blinded By Light" is used as the game's main theme, as Lightning is the game's main character and sole player-controllable character. The battle themes "Crimson Blitz" and "Savior of Souls" are both variations of "Blinded By Light." The theme is also present in the tracks "Last Resort," "Song of the Savior," "Humanity's Tale" and "Epilogue." The original theme can be heard in Luxerion Cathedral's Altar of Atonement.
- "Glory's Fanfare" (栄光のファンファーレ, Eikō no Fanfāre?) - 0:08
- The victory fanfare.
- "Battle Results" (バトルリザルト, Batoru Rizaruto?) - 1:15
- Plays after "Glory's Fanfare."
- "A Brief Respite" (つかのまの安息, Tsukanoma no Ansoku?) - 2:08
- "Cavalry Theme" (騎兵隊のテーマ, Kiheitai no Tēma?) - 2:38
- "Escape"(脱出, Dasshutsu?) - 1:59
- Plays before the end of Chapter 3.
- "Crash Landing" (撃墜, Gekitsui?, lit. Shooting Down) - 1:04
- Plays during the final cutscene of Chapter 3.
- "Daddy's Got the Blues" (アフロブルース, Afuro Burūsu?, lit. Afro Blues) - 4:28
- Heard during the start of Chapter 4, when Sazh talks to Vanille after Hope leaves. Later, it plays when Sazh tells Vanille about Dajh in the Sunleth Waterscape.
- "The Vile Peaks" (遺棄領域ヴァイルピークス, Iki Ryōiki Vairu Pīkusu?, lit. Abandoned Land Vile Peaks) - 3:02
- "Lightning's Theme" (ライトニングのテーマ, Raitoningu no Tēma?) - 2:26
- Lightning's leitmotif. An arrangement of "Blinded By Light," it's first heard during her assault on Snow in Lake Bresha, and later when she tells the others of her plan to destroy the fal'Cie Eden, when Hope forms Operation Nora, when she reveals why she changed her name, and when Fang explains how l'Cie brands work in Palumpolum. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Vile Peaks during certain story events.
- "Sazh's Theme" (サッズのテーマ, Sazzu no Tēma?) - 3:25
- Sazh Katzroy's leitmotif. Plays during the Scrap Processing zone in the Vile Peaks.
- "March of the Dreadnoughts" (ドレッドノート大爆進！, Doreddonōto Daibakushin!?, lit. Breaking Into the Dreadnought!) - 2:31
- "The Gapra Whitewood" (ガプラ樹林, Gapura Jurin?) - 2:45
- Background theme for the upper areas of the Gapra Whitewood. It is first heard upon reaching the ruins in Lake Bresha. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays as the background theme of the Archylte Steppe during rainy weather.
- "Tension in the Air" (緊迫, Kinpaku?) - 3:28
- Background theme for the lower areas of the Gapra Whitewood, and is the theme played in the Vallis Media before the fight with Alexander.
- "Forever Fugitives" (果てなき疾走, Hatenaki Shissō?, lit. Endless Dash) - 1:50
- Heard during the FMV cutscene of Snow's flashback of Serah's capture by Anima on the 12th day. Contains elements of "The Promise," "Snow's Theme," and "Blinded By Light."
- "The Sunleth Waterscape" (サンレス水郷, Sanresu Suigō?) - 3:46
- Arrangement of "FINAL FANTASY XIII - The Promise." One of the few location themes in the series to have distinct English lyrics. Background theme for the Sunleth Waterscape. Reappears in Final Fantasy XIII-2 alongside its new theme, first during the cutscene where Serah and Snow explain what theme parks are to Noel.
- "Lost Hope" (見失った希望, Miushinatta Kibō?) - 2:58
- Plays during Sazh's flashback of the 5th day, when Lightning has her revelation in Palumpolum, and when Jihl Nabaat reveals the truth about Vanille in Nautilus. Contains elements of "Vanille's Theme."
- "To Hunt L'Cie" (ルシ狩り作戦, Rushi-gari Sakusen?) - 2:40
- Background theme of the FMV at Palumpolum where Snow and Fang save Lightning and Hope from PSICOM. Contains elements of "Blinded By Light" and "Forever Fugitives."
- "No Way to Live" (希望なき闘争, Kibōnaki Tōsō?, lit. Hopeless Conflict) - 2:04
- Arrangement of "Snow's Theme." Plays when Snow frightens off a crowd of people in Palumpolum, and when they later return as an angry mob. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Bresha Ruins at 5 AF when Serah and Noel are arrested.
- "Sustained by Hate" (恩讐の果て, Onshū no Hate?, lit. The End of Love and Hate) - 2:38
- Arrangement of "Hope's Theme." Plays during Hope's failed attempt on Snow's life in Palumpolum, when Snow apologizes for Nora's death, during Hope's speech at the end of the Fifth Ark, and when he summons Alexander in the Vallis Media. Reprises of it play during the scenes where Hope tells Lightning about Nora in the Gapra Whitewood, and Lightning tells Hope to visit his dad in Palumpolum. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in Academia at 4XX AF, when Hope reflects on his past.
- "The Pulse L'Cie" (グラン-パルスのルシ, Guran-Parusu no Rushi?, lit. Gran Pulse L'Cie) - 4:12
- Arrangement of "Fang's Theme." Plays during Fang's flashback of the 5th day.
- "Serah's Theme" (セラのテーマ, Sera no Tēma?) - 1:30
- Arrangement of "FINAL FANTASY XIII - The Promise." Serah Farron's leitmotif. Plays during the flashback of Snow and Serah at the fireworks festival (localized versions). It also plays during Snow's flashback of the 7th day when Serah reveals her branding as a Pulse l'Cie, the cutscenes where Lightning apologizes to Snow in Hope's place, and the compiled flashbacks of the 11th day before the party leaves for Gran Pulse. The only character theme to have lyrics.
Disc three (1:03:28)[edit | edit source]
- "Can't Catch A Break" (父ちゃん奮闘だぁ!, Tō-chan Funtō dā!?, lit. Daddy's Gonna Fight!) - 5:20
- "PSICOM" (サイコム, Saikomu?) - 1:02
- Plays during the opening FMV cutscene in Palumpolum, and during the first fight against The Proudclad. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Vile Peaks during certain story events.
- "Hope's Theme" (ホープのテーマ, Hōpu no Tēma?) - 3:30
- Hope Estheim's leitmotif. Plays during his flashback of the 11th day, in the Vile Peaks when he explains his story to Sazh and Vanille, and in Palumpolum when his father, Bartholomew, accepts Snow's apology for his part in Nora's death.
- "This is Your Home" (おまえの家はここだ, Omae no Ie wa Koko da?) - 2:16
- Arrangement of "Hope's Theme." Background theme for the Estheim Residence in Palumpolum.
- "Atonement" (償い, Tsugunai?) - 4:24
- Arrangement of "Snow's Theme." Plays during the cutscenes where Snow awakes after nearly being killed by Hope and carries him up a ladder in Palumpolum. Also heard at the Fifth Ark when Snow and Lightning talk about Serah, and later when Snow decides to honor Serah's wish to save Cocoon, and during the brief reunion with NORA in Eden.
- "Vanille's Theme" (ヴァニラのテーマ, Vanira no Tēma?) - 3:00
- Oerba Dia Vanille's leitmotif. Plays during the cutscene where Vanille and Sazh prepare to rest in the Vile Peaks. Also plays upon entering the Sunleth Waterscape, during the cutscene in Palumpolum where Lightning and Hope promise to protect each other, after Hope tames his Eidolon, and when she talks with him in the Yaschas Massif about their "promise" to see Gran Pulse together.
- "The Final Stage" (刻限, Kokugen?) - 0:42
- "The Pompa Sancta" (ポンパ・サンクタ, Ponpa Sankuta?) - 2:12
- Background theme for the FMV of the Pompa Sancta.
- "Nautilus" (歓楽都市ノーチラス, Kanraku Toshi Nōchirasu?, lit. Amusement City Nautilus) - 4:58
- Plays upon arriving in Nautilus. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Sunleth Waterscape at 300 AF when riding the giant Enlil.
- "Chocobos of Cocoon - Chasing Dreams" (コクーンdeチョコボ～夢をみようよ～, Cokūn de Chokobo ~Yume o Miyō yo~?, lit. Cocoon de Chocobo ~Let's Have a Dream~) - 2:57
- Plays at the Nautilus Park's area of chocobos, and during the first visit of the Font of Namva in the Archylte Steppe. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Racing Reception of Serendipity. The song shares similarities with "Let's Have a Dream" from the Chocobo no Fushigina Dungeon Original Soundtrack.
- "Feast of Betrayal" (偽りの饗宴, Itsuwari no Kyōen?) - 3:17
- The battle theme for Nautilus. Also plays as introduction to the Gran Pulse fal'Cie, Atomos.
- "Eidolons on Parade" (夢の終わり, Yume no Owari?, lit. The Dream Ends) - 3:36
- Plays during the cutscene where Sazh confronts Vanille outside the Fiendlord's Keep and Brynhildr appears. Contains elements of "Vanille's Theme."
- "Test of the L'Cie" (ルシの試練, Rushi no Shiren?) - 2:23
- "All the World Against Us" (世界の敵, Sekai no Teki?, lit. The World's Enemy) - 1:16
- Plays during the FMV cutscene where Vanille is escorted by soldiers with Sazh in a coffin as Nabaat watches.
- "Game Over" (ゲームオーバー, Gēmu Ōbā?) - 1:15
- Plays during the Game Over screen. It also plays when Sazh points his gun at Vanille again after defeating Brynhildr and in the area just before the entrance to Orphan's Cradle.
- "Primarch Dysley" (聖府代表ダイスリー, Seifu Daihyō Daisurī?) - 3:03
- Plays during the newscast featuring Dysley at the end of Chapter 3, the cutscene where Dysley (Barthandelus) tells the party to destroy Orphan on the Palamecia, and where he explains the Door of Souls in Eden.
- "Fighting Fate" (宿命への抗い, Unmei e no Arai?) - 2:28
- Boss battle theme against Barthandelus.
- "Separate Paths" (ルシたちの想い, Rushi-tachi no Omoi?, lit. Feelings of the l'Cie) - 2:42
- "Setting You Free" (継ぎゆく意志, Tsugiyuku Ishi?, lit. Inherited Will) - 2:17
- "Desperate Struggle" (死闘, Shitō?) - 3:49
- "Mysteries Abound" (神秘, Shinpi?) - 2:41
- Plays as the party arrives on The Fifth Ark, and again on Gran Pulse while Vanille reads the synopsis of her and Fang's crystal stasis from a Cie'th Stone. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays as the background theme for the Tile Trial Temporal Rifts.
- "Will to Fight" (Choose to Fight?) - 4:20
- Plays during the cutscene of the 13th day and is the background theme for the Fifth Ark and the Faultwarrens. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays as the background theme of the Archylte Steppe during stormy weather.
Disc four (1:15:21)[edit | edit source]
- "Fang's Theme" (ファングのテーマ, Fangu no Tēma?) - 3:32
- Oerba Yun Fang's leitmotif. Plays as the background theme for Lightning's party while onboard the Palamecia, and during the FMV cutscene of the party's arrival to Gran Pulse.
- "Terra Incognita" (異境大陸グラン-パルス, Ikyō Tairiku Guran-Parusu?, lit. Foreign Continent Gran Pulse) - 2:18
- Plays during Vanille's narration of Gran Pulse.
- "The Archylte Steppe" (アルカキルティ大平原, Arukakiruti Daiheigen?) - 4:25
- Background theme for the Archylte Steppe.
- "Chocobos of Pulse" (パルスdeチョコボ, Parusu de Chokobo?) - 4:18
- Plays while riding a chocobo on Archylte Steppe.
- "The Yaschas Massif" (ヤシャス山, Yashasu San?) - 2:11
- Background theme for the Yaschas Massif. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in Academia at 4XX AF.
- "Memories of Happier Days" (優しい思い出, Yasashī Omoide?, lit. Tender Memories) - 3:13
- Arrangement of "Vanille's Theme." Plays during Fang and Vanille's reunion on the Palamecia, and later during Vanille's flashback of the 9th day. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Sunleth Waterscape at 300 AF when Serah tells Snow and Noel about the time she turned to crystal, and when Vanille and Fang appear to help Serah escape her dream in the Void Beyond.
- "Sulyya Springs" (スーリヤ湖, Sūriya Mizūmi?) - 3:25
- Background theme for the Sulyya Springs and the beginning of the Faultwarrens. Contains elements of "Vanille's Theme." In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays as the background theme of Oerba at 300 AF.
- "Taejin's Tower" (テージンタワー, Tējin Tawā?) - 3:08
- Theme for Taejin's Tower. Also plays in the Pulse Vestige after Lightning and Sazh encounter Ghouls and during the first enemy encounter in the Fifth Ark.
- "Dust to Dust" (色のない世界, Iro no nai Sekai?, lit. Colorless World) - 3:49
- "The Road Home" (帰郷, Kikyō?, lit. Homecoming) - 1:07
- Plays when the party boards the airship supplied by Barthandelus to return to Cocoon. Contains elements of "Vanille's Theme."
- "Start Your Engines" (カウントダウン, Kauntodaun?, lit. Countdown) - 3:23
- Arrangement of "Eidolons." Plays during the FMV cutscene of the party with their Eidolons in Eden.
- "Eden Under Siege" (動乱のエデン, Dōran no Eden?, lit. Turbulent Eden) - 2:33
- Background theme for Eden.
- "The Cradle Will Fall" (終焉の揺籃, Shūen no Yōran?, lit. Cradle of Demise) - 3:58
- Background theme for Orphan's Cradle.
- "Born Anew" (降誕, Kōtan?, lit. Birth) - 2:59
- Plays during the battle against Orphan in its first form.
- "Sinful Hope" (罪深き希望, Tsumibukaki Kibō?) - 3:44
- Plays when Fang transforms into the incomplete Ragnarok.
- "Fabula Nova Crystallis" (ファブラ・ノヴァ・クリスタリス, Fabura Nova Kurisutarisu?) - 2:40
- Arrangement of "FINAL FANTASY XIII - The Promise." Plays in the Pulse Vestige when Serah is crystallized, during Snow's flashback of the 7th day when he promises to help Serah, during Vanille's flashback of the 1st day, and in Orphan's Cradle when the party recalls various flashbacks of their journey, and while Orphan tortures Fang. In Final Fantasy XIII-2, it plays in the Yaschas Massif in 1X AF when Serah, Noel and Hope plan to stop Cocoon from falling in the future.
- "FINAL FANTASY XIII - Miracles" (FINAL FANTASY XIII ～奇跡～, ~Kiseki~?) - 2:49
- "Focus" (使命, Shimei?) - 2:21
- Plays during the scene where the group's brands turn white before they fight Orphan in its true form.
- "Nascent Requiem" (生誕のレクイエム, Seitan no Rekuiemu?) - 5:03
- Plays during the final battle against Orphan. Contains elements of "Vanille's Theme."
- "Determination" (決意, Ketsui?) - 3:22
- Plays during the ending FMV when Fang and Vanille transform into Ragnarok and crystallize Cocoon.
- "Kimi ga Iru Kara (Long Version)" (君がいるから (Long Version), Because You Are Here?) - 6:22
- Plays when Lightning, Snow, Hope, and Sazh awake from crystal stasis (Japanese Version). In the English Version, Leona Lewis' "My Hands" (4:13) plays instead. This song is not on the official soundtrack, but is available on her second album, Echo.
- "Ending Credits" (エンディングロール, Endingu Rōru?, lit. Ending Roll) - 4:42
- Plays during the end credits. A reprise is first heard during the FMV cutscene between Snow and Lightning at the Skyreach in the Sulyya Springs.
Music samples[edit | edit source]
Limited editions[edit | edit source]
The limited edition of the soundtrack is packed with a special box case. It contains an artbook of the game characters' CG and illustrations, and a fifth disc, which is the Drama CD on Final Fantasy XIII Episode Zero -Promise-, voiced by the characters' voice actors and actresses. The drama CD focuses on the first story called "Encounter." The album also contains the audio drama's script in Japanese.
The Final Fantasy XIII Limited Collectors Edition (for both Xbox 360 and PS3), which was exclusive to PAL territories, includes a selection of the composer's favorite tracks, complete with his comments and notes on each track. It was supplied in a slipcase with a sans-serif font XIII, which had the depiction of Lightning on the cover. It is titled Original Sound Collection.
Liner notes[edit | edit source]
Hamauzu's comments on selected tracks[edit | edit source]
These liner notes are included in the Original Sound Selection CD bundled with the European limited collectors edition of Final Fantasy XIII. Masashi Hamauzu's comments were originally posted in Japanese on Square Enix's official website for the soundtrack.
- 1. "Prelude to FINAL FANTASY XIII"
For this piece, I had a marching tempo demo version, but it sounded too cheerful and it was rejected (the only piece rejected for this project), as the team wanted to renew the image of FF and I was yet to grasp the game's outlook. 10 months passed and we were at almost the end of development...it was then that I remembered another slow tempo version that I had previously written and I thought it would be the perfect match. So, I made a quick adjustment without touching the chord and sub-melodies, and it was perfect! I suppose my initial inspiration wasn't too off (laugh). Afterward, I hurried and arranged another piece which is now played in key scenes.
- 2. "FINAL FANTASY XIII - The Promise"
Just like "Prelude", I was feeling my way around as I wrote this piece since the world of FF was yet to be revealed. I had about four demos and by incorporating ideas from Mr Toriyama (the Director), I made one arrangement to another to form the piece. So I feel that Mr Toriyama and I wrote this together. At the end, we asked Mr. Toshiyuki Omori to turn it into orchestrated piece by adding harp to the intro piano part and also changing the outro sound from synthesizer to strings. He actually said that the synthesizer wasn't bad at all, but it was the first one to be played in the demo version and I insisted on the live instruments.
- 3. "Defiers of Fate"
This is derived from the earlier version of "Blinded By Light", which was the first FF13 piece I wrote for E3 back in 2006. The original plan was to create a B-melody by evolving the E3 "Blinded By Light", but I ended up not adding anything, because I didn't think it was ideal for battle music to take a long time to get to the climax. But I had this B-melody stuck in my head and wanted to use it somewhere... so part of it is incorporated in this piece.
- 4. "Saber's Edge"
I laid a live orchestra over a programmed orchestral piece that was almost completed. I've used quite a bit of this "lay-over" technique for this project, but because this style is rarely done, it wasn't easy for us to reach the recording stage. Some of the percussion was programmed, but for majority of the instruments I had an arranger who would orchestrate them or adjust the scoring. By mixing the expressive live sound and the large scale programmed orchestral sound, I could match the grand world of FF. When I was making demos, people often said that the programmed elements were good enough because I made them in great detail. In hindsight, I think the combination of live and programmed sounds worked quite well.
- 5. "The Hanging Edge"
It's the piece we played live at a game event in 2008. As I was given the direction to use "hybrid music" for FF13, "Blinded By Light" was a consolidated piece of violin solo, guitar and orchestra (and more), while this one is based on strings, piano and synthesizer. For a hybrid piece, it seems like the live feel of it is too overwhelming given the arrangement and number of the tracks. However, by adding a minimal mood, it comes closer to the synthesizer side, which I think creates a good balance For these minimal 8 minute string and 16 minute piano pieces, I kept the rough sound of the initial random play and developed from there. The delayed "whang!" of the piano sound just before the loop is used from time to time, which could almost give the impression of it "almost not being able to catch up with the tempo", but it's all intentional. This is my favorite part (laugh).
- 6. "The Vestige"
The backing chorus is actually a recording of my daughter Aya's voice. I had her sing for a demo, but I ended up using it. Since I was told that FF13 has various dark scenes especially in the beginning of the game, I wanted to create a mood of light tension here. By writing using conventional minor sounds, it would sound tacky and too heavy, so I deliberately tried to use chords which could sound neither major nor minor.
- 7. "Promised Eternity"
I recorded the MIDI sounds whilst I watched the relevant scene in the game being played out, so it was a real-time process. There were moments, as the piece was coming together and the movie was reaching its climax, that I was so moved I was almost trembling...(laugh). At 0:57, I intentionally set the chord like that. That's the kind of thing I like...
- 8. "Lake Bresha"
This track is using all programmed sounds except the violin solo. By adding just one acoustic violin, it reduces the "wow factor" significantly. I really enjoy work like this. It was originally a 90 second piece, but just before the recording, I thought the loop was too fast for a field track, so I quickly wrote the development part.
- 9. "Eidolons"
All summoned creatures in FF13 are cool which made me really excited creating a tune for them! I originally thought to mix orchestra, guitar and drums in one piece and then cut out any unnecessary parts, however it turned out to be quite interesting and well-balanced, so I decided to use it as is. I especially like the "pounded out string" sound which looks like it's ignoring the basic tune when it comes back to the introduction. Mr. Saito finally added some acoustic guitar, then it was completed. We have many ace guitarists in the SQUARE ENIX Sound Division!
- 10. "Blinded By Light"
This tune is the first piece, created for E3 in 2006 when we revealed FF13. I remember that I worked hard on this piece in order not to let people down. I tried to create something which can deliver the sense of the game and have a catchy melody without being too straightforward... then finally, ensure to repeat the highlight part of the music.
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.
Sheet music[edit | edit source]
Published by KMP Music Publishing, the Final Fantasy XIII Original Soundtrack Piano Solo Sheet Music book contains piano arrangements for 33 pieces from the Final Fantasy XIII: Original Soundtrack.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]