Want Final Fantasy V Remixed Music? OCR Has Us Covered! (+FFV Thoughts/Rant)
Leaked from their panel during PAX 2010, OverClocked ReMix revealed their next free-to-download tribute album: Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors. Try saying that three times fast. Not exactly a surprise since their work on Final Fantasy IV awhile back was really solid. On the other hand, this album is atypical for two main reasons.
First off, who played Final Fantasy V? Seriously…aside from the millions of Japanese fans (and Jarrod Nichol)? This installment is perhaps the least known one of all (the ROM fan-translation doesn’t count). That record used to be held by Final Fantasy III, yet its remake on the Nintendo DS was successful worldwide. Final Fantasy V still has very little recognition outside of Japan: the original SNES version made it overseas for the first time under the PS1 compilation “Final Fantasy Anthology“, which included the superior Final Fantasy VI. Those 350000 copies were definitely not because of FFV, and even if you wanted to play it, horrendous load times, outdated visuals and iffy localization stood in the way of tolerating it. The Game Boy Advance re-release fared better critically (mostly due to the solid translation by Nintendo of America and modified graphics), yet its release was fairly limited compared to the enhanced GBA ports of FFIV and FFVI, both of which already had North American releases on the SNES. In short, me and millions of other die-hard fans aren’t exactly touched by the game’s nostalgic factor. Besides, from what I’ve read about it…it really sounds like a transitional leeway game to the awesomeness that is Final Fantasy VI. Not saying that it’s a bad game, but I have a feeling that it’s not as strong as the installments released before and after. Correct me if I’m wrong, fans. I’ve yet to see someone claim that he/she loves Final Fantasy V more than IV or VI.
I will say this though: Nobuo Uematsu may be one of the key people to FFV’s charm. Being the nerd that I am, I’m familiar with two music tracks of the game despite never playing it: “Lenna’s Theme” and “Clash on the Big Bridge”. As project director Shariq “DarkeSword” Ansari says, Lenna’s Theme (a.k.a. Raina’s Theme, a.a.k.a. Main Theme of FFV) is arguably one of the most beautiful pieces that Uematsu composed in his career.
The “Dear Friends” version is something I stumbled upon a decade ago during the productive boom of share-file programs. Still brings a tear to my eye.
As for Clash of the Big Bridge, it’s the very track that introduced me to cover band The Black Mages years ago, an official group by Square-Enix music composers lead by Uematsu himself. I couldn’t believe that such an idea existed back then, but when I stumbled upon their official page hidden in the depths of Square’s old site, I became a fan at that instant.
You can really tell that Uematsu was aiming for a progressive rock vibe upon listening to the original version. Looks like–I mean, sounds like he finally went for his true vision with The Black Mages rearrangement, right? That battle theme is so addicting. Makes you wanna bump into people and headbang!
Getting back to track here, another atypical factor of OCR’s latest creation is that for the first time they’ve divided the release into batches…this calls for a catchy slogan: “Five Characters. Five Legends. Five Albums. One Game!” Smart, eh? Thus in actuality, only the first batch has been released today, comprised of 9 tracks by OCR’s finest remixers such as the project director himself, zircon, and Sixto Sounds. On one hand, it’s sort of disappointing to get a mini-album in OCR standards when most people are used to more than 20 tracks per album. I do understand why Shariq has decided to do this though. One big problem with big OCR releases is that a lot of good tracks don’t get enough breathing room and decent ones may slip through the cracks. This is exactly what happened with the Final Fantasy IV and VII albums among a few others. Even though the overall reception is positive, the work isn’t truly appreciated. By going for small doses of mini-releases with extra development gaps between each part, listeners will get more than enough time to really appreciate each remix. I like this idea a lot and I sense that directors of upcoming OCR projects will take note.
Here’s Sixto Sounds’ version of FFV’s Main Theme. Very different to what I originally expected, but that’s OCR for you. Good stuff as usual. I LOVE this dude’s guitar playing! We get a face-melting solo towards the end. I really hope Sixto is working on the rearrangement of “Clash on the Big Bridge”, but knowing OCR we’re bound to see the old switcheroo and have an orchestral-based remix of a bad-ass battle theme. Actually, that’s not too bad of an idea. I’m curious to see someone pull off a believable calm version of “Clash”.
Once I get to my laptop, I’m downloading this torrent and putting the playlist on repeat. Don’t forget to do the same. Remember: it’s free!
By the way, welcome back to the world of directing, Shariq. Last album you had your hands on was also one of OCR’s first works: Kirby: Rise of the Star. Well, there’s that Metroid album which is an unofficial project…but hey, who am I to complain?
- Link’s Awakening: Threshold of a Dream is Now a Reality Thanks to OC ReMix!
- YouTube Performer of the Day: Crescendo playing “To Zanarkand” on Handbells!
- OCR Has Some Serious Monkey Buisness to Do: DKC2 ReMix Album!
- Could it Be? OCR Castlevania Tribute Album Released!
- YouTube Performer of the Day: Monkey Kong
- Humans + Gears: Xenogears ReMix Project Released!
- Dwelling of Duels September 2009 Results: Rareware Month
- Dwelling of Duels August 2009 Results: Free Month!
- Dwelling of Duels July Results: Password Theme!
- Final Fantasy IV Fan-Made Music Album Released!