While Final Fantasy VII is not my favorite game from the series, it does possess some very memorable music. Chief among these is the anxious, driving boss battle theme, known as “Those Who Fight Further” (更に闘う者達). I’d go so far as to call it the most well-known JRPG battle theme, which is why I thought it worthy of a full-scale piano remix.
Several hours into my arranging, it became apparent that there was no way to do the song justice by using a single piano. So two were required. This is an arrangement for four hands on two pianos, and frankly, it would probably be easier as six hands on three pianos. However, because this is a synthesized arrangement (e.g. not recorded live) I got away with mixing it in a manner that is probably impossible for just two people to play. Exciting!
Credit for the original composition goes to the great Nobuo Uematsu. I also based this arrangement off a MIDI version of the track downloaded from rpggamer.com.
Bonus: if you’re in the mood for some nostalgia, here’s a 10-minute video of every boss battle in the game. :D
Note: The original version of “Find You” can be found here.
Today’s download digs deep into the archives of an old video game project I was involved in (circa 2002). The original version of this song is a simple orchestral theme led by an oboe melody (linked at the top of this article). The game called for an action sequence using the original song, but it didn’t really fit; the original mix is slow and unassuming, which isn’t generally what you want accompanying an action sequence.
As an alternative, I put together this demo of the theme remixed as an orchestral march. It retains the instrument mix of the original, but the oboe is moved to a supporting role while the melody is taken over by a trombone.
Because this was just a demo, it’s only two short movements separated by a key change. Though the video game project dissolved before reaching completion, I enjoyed the opportunity to show off the versatility of the original theme.
“Find You” is another return to the roots of classic RPG music. Originally designed as a main theme (or main character theme), this song was probably my first real non-battle orchestral theme. The melody itself is purposefully short and simple, and the three levels of orchestration (duet -> trio -> epic) are pretty standard for an RPG theme. The counterpoint between the oboe and brass in the final section worked out particularly well, and – fun fact – this song spans almost the entire physical range of the oboe.
Some have said this song sounds familiar to Braveheart; in retrospect I suppose it does. Another friend mentioned that it would have fit well in FF6. I’m still looking for a game deserving of this great little song…and hopefully I’ll someday find a home for it.