Final Fantasy score gets its due at the concert hall

Final Fantasy games have an interactive role-playing format, which immerses players in the journeys of its heroic protagonists. These journeys are interspersed with music throughout, much like film music. As a result, “you don’t just watch a game. You play it, you feel it, you embody it, ”said Melanie Fritsch, professor of media and cultural studies at Heinrich Heine University in Düsseldorf, Germany. “Sometimes people start to cry when there is a good time in a game that is played well with the music.”

Because of this emotional connection, the influence of these scores extends far beyond the games themselves. Since 2007, there have been over 200 official Final Fantasy concerts in 20 countries, according to Square Enix, the company behind the game.

At the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics this summer, athletes marched to songs from popular games such as Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the Hedgehog and Final Fantasy, music described by its organizers as “a party. essential to Japanese culture which is appreciated around the world. “

Uematsu, now 62, single-handedly composed the first nine parts of Final Fantasy’s sheet music, creating music that remains a nostalgic rabbit hole for many fans. A self-proclaimed musical omnivorous without formal musical training, Uematsu’s work draws influences from an eclectic mix of progressive rock, Led Zeppelin, Elton John, Celtic and classical music.

But video game scores have often been rejected by mainstream classical music enthusiasts. Even in Japan, the birthplace of modern video game music, “until after the millennium it was considered a lesser type of music,” said Junya Nakano, 50, co-composer of the soundtrack for Final. Fantasy X.

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