Final Fantasy II – “The Promised Land” (Nobuo Uematsu)September 29, 2010
Though I have never played the game (despite having Final Fantasy Origins on the PS1 and Final Fantasy I+II for GameBoy Advance), I have heard Final Fantasy II‘s main theme, “The Promised Land” several times and find it to be one of the most memorable themes from the series. The “Main Theme” is played on the overworld while walking around the map screen. The song has no connection with the beautiful choral piece, “The Promised Land” from Final Fantasy: Advent Children. This version is from the PSP version of Final Fantasy I+II. It is very close to the Final Fantasy Origins version.
“The Promised Land” is a little quaint, its main melody lightly tapping through short steps and holding long, hummable notes. This rendition is played with clarinet and later supported by strings. It’s a ballad sung in a thickly forested world where vision is obscured by fog and scoured by war. It is a wish for a world that’s perfect, a hope to cut through the mists and dark.
As far as arrangements go, Final Fantasy: Dissidia has an interesting lounge-style mix of the theme. More famously, there is also a vocal arrange of this piece from Final Fantasy Vocal Collections – Pray. The lyrics at times feel a little forced, the English words a little too clunky for the smoothly dancing meldoy; sentences break in the middle of a stanza, giving the text an awkward flow. The lyrics are also more about the game than anything of greater meaning. There’s a shorter version from Love Will Grow; both are sung by Risa Ohki, who has an absolutely beautiful voice.