Turns out my fawning over the music from the last three Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake videos has paid off, because the fourth video in the series is all about the score and sounds. Real talk: I came brutally close to overdosing from the constant dopamine rush I experienced while watching this one.
The fourth Inside Final Fantasy VII Remake video featured Music Supervisor Keiji Kawamori, Sound Director Makoto Ise, and Composers Mitsuto Suzuki and Masashi Hamauzu (who was apparently handpicked by legendary Final Fantasy composer Nobuo Uematsu himself). Each described the challenges and goals they had while remixing what is arguably one of the most iconic video game soundtracks of all time.
To summarize: it wasn’t as simple as rearranging Uematsu’s score and calling it a day. Damn near every track from the original Final Fantasy VII has multiple arrangements in the remake, all built to crossfade with one another and to fit the tone of the scene (to include the battle theme mixing with the area theme to create a more dynamic track). It’s some truly impressive work, and much of the video highlighted this effort by playing the new tracks next to their original counterpart.
Sound design wasn’t skimped on either, and Makoto Ise shared how the team developed an original sound management system they call MASTS, which allows the game to intelligently pick and filter sounds based on what’s happening, to include minor movements and bones shifting. Ise described how difficult it was to get the sounds in the game right while honoring Final Fantasy VII thanks to the modern remake presenting new challenges, such as variable camera distance.
It’s all amazing stuff, and the new tracks certainly sucker-punched my nostalgia in a good way. I gotta admit my grin stretched behind my skull when the Final Fantasy Prelude (Crystal Theme) opened the video, and as Aerith’s theme faded in I found myself watery-eyed (man, I am not emotionally ready for certain scenes). I’m a supreme nerd for Final Fantasy music. I’ve been to Distant Worlds in Dallas, and a couple of my Spotify “Daily Mixes” have been irreparably corrupted by my obsession (seriously, Uematsu may be the legend, but ya’ll have been sleeping on Final Fantasy XIV’s Masayoshi Soken). I had to watch this video twice, because I couldn’t focus on the subtitles the first time around.
Just two more days….