Final Fantasy VI Piano Collection – The Mystic Forest (Nobuo Uematsu)November 2, 2009
Slight departure from last week’s dailies. This one is a Nobuo Uematsu piece from Final Fantasy VI. The game was originally released for the Super Nintendo in the US as Final Fantasy III (1994) because episodes 2 through 5 never came out in the States until recently. This is a piano arrangement of “The Mystic Forest.” Nobuo Uematsu, the man behind the music of nearly the entire series, arranged the song for the album Piano Collections Final Fantasy VI (1994). The album was reprinted in 2001 and is still available through CD Japan.
The track is haunting and melancholic, reflective of weeping tree branches among crystal rivers reflecting shafts of sunlight. The entire game has a score this beautiful. If there is a downside to this particular composition, it is probably the short little trill added at the end.
The track first plays in the forests outside of Domo Castle. The forest is a transition area. At this point, the characters have just witnessed the massacre of the castle by poison and are fleeing imperial forces. The forest is filled with monsters as well as a phantom ghost train that leads to the netherworld… After this point, the track plays in other forest areas, but the entire sequence from the party’s split at the river and subsequent reunion later on is my favorite part with some of the best storytelling of the game.
Nobuo Uematsu is one of the best known composers of videogames. He is responsible for most of the famous Final Fantasy series and has composed more than two dozen games over his prolific 24 year career. He has since left Square Enix and is now working independently for his company Smile Please while performing with his rock band, The Black Mages.