Sunday, January 30, 2005

Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon

Credits: 1991 Nobuo Uematsu, Máire Bhreatnach, NTT Publishing, STARC STUDIOS

FFIV: Celtic Moon CD
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Original Soundtrack

Track Listing:
  1. The Prelude
  2. Prologue...
  3. Chocobo-Chocobo
  4. Into the Darkness
  5. Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV
  6. Welcome To Our Town
  7. Theme of Love
  8. Melody of Lute
  9. Parom & Polom
  10. Giotto, the Great King
  11. Dancing Calcobrena
  12. Mystic Mysidia
  13. Illusionary World
  14. Rydia
  15. Troian Beauty

Awe-inspiring! >>> by skysenshi

Forgive me if I seem to be grasping for words to describe this soundtrack. It's been years—nearly a decade even—that I have played Final Fantasy IV. Though I think that Final Fantasy really started with IV, completely disregarding the first three annoying FFs, I never realized that they could come up with a CD this good. With SNES being able to play only MIDIs, FFIV music is understandably primitive.

But not this album.

I had forgotten what FFIV sounds like, but this brought me back to my early days of RPGaming. Recorded in Dublin Ireland, and with Celtic instruments such as Irish harps, timber flutes, tin whistles, accordions and fiddles, how much more Celtic can you get? Don't ask me to identify which sounds happened where in the game because I won't remember. I can just give you a slight overview on some of the tracks.

The Prelude. You've already heard this in many Final Fantasy intros, but Celtic Moon's version, with the Irish harp and that haunting flute makes this quite a nostalgic experience. Prologue, on the other hand, is known now as the "Theme After The Ending Theme" in the newer Final Fantasies. It's essentially the same music you hear playing after recent FF credits, but this one segues to beautiful Celtic bridge that may lull you to sleep with its sweetness.

Chocobo-Chocobo is still the same familiar Chocobo theme you've loved using as ringtones, except this one will want to make you dance. Irish jigs anyone?

Into The Darkness...well, I don't much recall where this was played. If this were a BGM in caves, I don't recall it being this slow. It sounds sinister in a way I can't really describe. It doesn't sound dark. It sounds like you're being tempted into darkness by soft waltz music. It's as if you know there's something evil out there, but you just can't help but love being held in its enchanting grasp.

Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV. Ah. I'm pretty sure this is the song that plays when you're flying your ship. It is exhilirating, fun and fills you with a sense of adventure, much like what Cecil, Rydia, and the rest of the gang felt when they were traveling all over the world map.

Welcome to Our Town...yep. It sounds like one of the BGMs played in one (or some) of the towns you visit. It's basically gives you a feeling of comfort and a tinge of sadness. It starts becoming upbeat somewhere in the middle. Again, I am thinking of Irish jigs. It slows its pace again near the end, as if you should be in relaxation mode after a good amount of excercise.

For some reason, Theme of Love doesn't make me think of falling in love but rather despairing in love. It sounds really melancholy; just listening to it puts me in a bout of depression. Melody of the Lute seems to have been drawn from an old classical music, given a bit more life in this CD. It's the sort of melody you'd hear from a music box.

I'd just have to comment on Dancing Calcobrena. Though I know Kefka was from FFVI (FF6), this sounds more like it's Kefka's music. It makes me wonder which villain in FFIV had this for his signature piece. You can basically waltz to it, but it sounds so kooky it can only be carried by an equally kooky character.

Mystic Mysidia is another kooky track brought to you by the Town of Mysidia. It's lighthearted and strange. Can't say anything more about it.

Two more tracks I believe that bear mentioning are Rydia and Troian Beauty. Ah, who can forget the lovely child-summoner Rydia? This is perhaps the only track that has vocals in it, although they seem to be synthesized. Despite that, you'd just have to be in awe of how graceful this sounds. Troian Beauty must be referring to some damsel that lives in the Town of Troia. Well, whatever it stands for, I think it would be a perfect dance tune to waltz your partner with. Troian Beauty sounds very much similar to the BGMs you'd hear from the newer game, Xenogears.

Overall, I am extremely satisfied with Final Fantasy IV: Celtic Moon. I am a Celtic music lover myself and this one just went high above my expectations. I'm quite sure there are some people who can appreciate this CD despite not having played FFIV. Surely, Nobuo Uematsu can't do anything wrong.

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