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Final Fantasy I – “Matoya’s Cave” (Nobuo Uematsu)

September 27, 2010

So Final Fantasy is getting a bit of love here these days. Today’s 8-bit Monday goes WAY back to the original Final Fantasy (1988). The series began with four unnamed warriors’ quest to find the four elemental orbs and bring order back to the universe. The whole soundtrack is pretty well composed, which is pretty surprising for the mega-blockbuster series’ humble beginnings with a soundtrack inspired by classical music. Within are three major tunes that have appeared in nearly every game since: the “Prelude,” “Opening Theme,” and “Victory.” I’ll give these tracks their day sometime, but for now I want to focus on one of the more popular themes from the game (which has plenty of good music), “Matoya’s Cave”.

With a 31 second loop, “Matoya’s Cave” is pretty short, though about average for an NES track. The track is pretty fast-paced, and with a well-developed melody to make up for the short length. The piece is homely, with easy notes and little major leaps about the scale, which makes perfect sense as Matoya’s Cave is a safe house of sorts located deep in the middle of monster country. Matoya is a witch who has become blinded since her special crystal eye was stolen by an evil wizard; once she gets her eye back, she finds the party too ugly to keep around and kicks them out!

“Matoya’s Cave” has seen quite a few mixes over the years, including The Black Mages II as a rock arrange and Final Fantasy Vocal Collections I – Pray as a French pop song. In contrast to the original is “Matoya’s Grave“, a beautifully sorrowful arrange by deim0s from OCR.

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