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Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors ~I.Wind – “A Healer’s Touch ~Theme of White Mage~” (Level 99, Avaris)

September 12, 2010

OCRemix has numerous arrange projects going on in the background, the latest of which is Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors. A five-part project lead by Darkesword, the first album, Wind, was released today to great fanfare. It’s a pretty slick album with high production values and a wide variety of musical styles – though it’s really Western style of vgm mixing (particularly with the electronica pieces). While I find myself very pleased with the first four tracks (and “Vessel of the Void ~Theme of Exdeath~”), the remaining part of the album is too heavy on the electronica side for my tastes. My top pick has to be “A Healer’s Touch ~Theme of White Mage~” by Level 99 and Avaris (though “The Path to Glory ~Theme of Bartz~” stands out for its rock mix by Sixto Sounds (who also did “Ken’s Theme” from Blood on the Asphalt).

Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors ~I. Wind

“A Healer’s Touch ~Theme of White Mage~” contains a unique arrange of the “Prelude” with a glorious acoustic guitar and celestial bells, something that hasn’t really been associated with the harp-heavy theme. The rest of the track contains arranges of “The Day Will Come” which also has plenty of thematic connections with Final Fantasy VII music, particularly “Aeris’ Theme”. I’m actually surprised at how recognizable Nobuo Uematsu’s musical style is, just by listening to his second SNES soundtrack. Anyway, this is peaceful town music, folksy-type stuff you’d expect to hear during the calm part of the journey, with wood smoke rising through the chimneys and old folks rocking on lazy chairs and friendly people. A nice home-like quality to it.

In all honesty, Final Fantasy V‘s soundtrack (1992) had some pretty impressive music, such as “Death Battle at the Big Bridge” (better known as “Gilgamesh”), and included some themes that became more widely recognized through other games. Take “The Book of Sealings”, better known as “One Winged Angel” (arranged here as “Little Black Book ~Theme of Black Mage~”). Most people don’t realize the track was not original to Final Fantasy VII, but made its debut in Final Fantasy V (though obviously not without the live choir).

While the game has a good soundtrack – and I also love its job system (especially since it gives me something new to work on each battle) – the narrative was a bit too sprawled and unemotional for me. This arrange album though has gotten me interested in the whole soundtrack again as each piece has its own ethnic flavor, similar to Vurez’s Intercontinental Warriors. As with most of the Final Fantasy music, Final Fantasy V is available through iTunes at an affordable price. Beats the heck out of importing.

Lastly, I have to say poor Bartz. He’s the most unfortunately named hero in game history. While the American PS1 re-release gave him the acceptable name of Bartz, he has the unfortunate luck to be called ‘Butz’ in Japan. Someone didn’t quite think this through on the Square side.

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