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Final Fantasy VI – “Shadow” (Nobuo Uematsu)

September 21, 2010

So I thought it was time for another ninja theme. Here we have Shadow’s Theme from Final Fantasy VI, a nice little ditty that deserved to be developed a little more. Shadow is a ninja and a bounty hunter. According to Edgar, “He’d slit his momma’s throat for a nickel!” (O_O) He’ll join your team in a couple points, but likes to leave if the money’s not in it. There’s another point where he’s on a flying island and you can either leave him there to die or wait for him and he’ll show up at the very last second. If you take him, you can learn a little bit more about his past, which involves leaving an island of magicians and an ill-fated train robbery. He eventually sits back and lets the apocalypse take him out of regret.

The original version of “Shadow” is very minimal, with a nice guitar, Jew’s harp, drums, and flute. It’s got a certain kind of hollow loneliness to it, the sort of thing you’d expect from a solitary ninja – but also a cute infusion of spaghetti western. That’s really all the instrumentation that’s needed, and each one is given a turn at taking the lead. The track is kind of asking for a bit more development though as its 45 second length is asking for a bit more development, though the variation of a few simple notes and the rarity of the song seems enough to warrant a shorter tune. This also probably helps make it more memorable.

There have been a decent number of remixes, including a version by K. Praslowicz which uses a heavy, hollow rock guitar and goes on for perhaps a little too long, and “Cast a Lonely Shadow” by Journey of Sols from VGMix 2.0 which arranges “Shadow” and “Terra” into a nice orchestral piece (lacking only in sub-par synths, but still tight in composition, something that quite a few tracks on VGMix 2.0 seemed to have – which was great as it allowed the composers to get a lot of feedback on their music).

Anyway, the Final Fantasy VI soundtrack is available for purchase on iTunes, which is great considering the original was out of print for awhile and usually set people back about $50 when it wasn’t.

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