Distant Worlds: Music From Final Fantasy
It was magical.
They opened with the Hymn of the Fayth from Final Fantasy X, which was absolutely beautiful, and went into the greatest boss battle music of all time, One Winged Angel from Final Fantasy VII. That piece of music needs to be heard live. Wow!
Each piece of music was introduced by Arnie Roth, the conductor and a wonderful violinist. He performed alongside Nobou Uematsu during Dark World from Final Fantasy VI (check the link out for the particularly excited fan in our audience). The Battle Medley of music from V, VII and X was brilliant, especially when the choir struck victory poses during the fanfare. "Answers", from Final Fantasy XIV was so moving, as was "Zanarkand", from Final Fantasy X. The arrangements of Final Fantasy VI's character themes went together so nicely, too. And they made use of the Royal Albert Hall's epic pipe organ for Kefka's theme, Dancing Mad. I was seated very close to it, so I really felt the full force of such a magnificent instrument. We were even treated to newly arranged pieces from Final Fantasy IX. And, after some encore treats, they ended on the "Chocobo Theme", complete with video montage. It was brilliant! Nostalgia win.
|Pictured: LOADS of Final Fantasy fans|
In December 1997, my eldest brother came home from university with his PlayStation and a copy of Final Fantasy VII which, at the time, had the best graphics EVER.
No, really! Best graphics of ALL TIME...
...eh, it was a simpler time...
Anyway, after my brother let me play a bit of his save (he was just about to go to Wall Market), I knew I needed to give this game a go myself.
On December 14th 1997, a love (*cough*obsession*cough*) was born. I completed the first disk two weeks later (although I didn't complete the entire game until Easter, due to lack of PlayStation). Beating Demon Gate on my birthday is a particularly fond memory. Man, defeating that thing took all of Christmas! And, of course, THAT moment of the game happened and it was the first time I cried at a videogame.
|Reading a diary I kept between the ages of 11 and 16 is, um, interesting?? ^^;|
The stories we love the most resonate with our lives. When I played Final Fantasy VII that first time, I was going through some big changes. I was new to senior school, and a bit lost in how huge it all was. I had a hard time making friends, and I didn't really want to let go of the one friend I had, even though she was moving on, being far more socially skilled than I was. But then Final Fantasy VII came along with a main character who was every bit as socially inept and lost in things as I was. And suddenly, I had my inspiration to keep going. Thanks to Cloud learning to accept who he really was, and being surrounded by people who accepted him, I realised that I could be myself, too, and I'd find new friends who'd accept me for the person I am.
I will always love this game, and the hope and inspiration it brought me as a child, and still brings me as an adult. It helped me through tough times, taught me to never give up (handy, when you're querying ;)) and it led me to a room the size of the Royal Albert Hall, full of people who would definitely accept me for the fangirl I am.
So, yes, Distant Worlds was one of the best musical experiences of my life, and if you're a Final Fantasy fan, check out their website and find a concert near you! I can't wait to go again and experience different pieces from this series (and more from VII, of course ;))