By Jeriaska . July 20, 2008 . 9:34am
When the musical score for Final Fantasy IV debuted in 1991, videogame audio was at a turning point in Japan. The game's inclusion of a theme of love attempted to approximate an emotional moment on the newly released 16-bit hardware. History suggests that composer Nobuo Uematsu pulled off the experiment. For many players the song remains a puller of heartstrings, suggesting that videogames have since been on their way toward maturing into an artistic medium with emotional resonances.
With the remake of Final Fantasy IV approaching for the Nintendo DS, it might be a good time to mention that three of Uematsu's longtime collaborators have joined the composer in updating the theme on live instruments. The maxi single "Tsuki no Akari – Final Fantasy IV Theme of Love" that was released in Japan includes an arrangement by Final Fantasy X's Junya Nakano, aided by synthesizer operator Hirosato Noda. The two have put their experience with electronic music to use in fashioning a theme of love manageable on the DS sound card.
Kenichiro Fukui, keyboardist for the Black Mages Final Fantasy rock band, also arranged an orchestral version of the tune, using violins, cellos, and an ocarina. The lyrics for the vocal track, now called "Moonlight," have been penned by the original scenario writer Takashi Tokita. To find a vocalist for the new version of the Final Fantasy IV theme, Square Enix held a talent search drawing 800 applicants. A professed fan of the series, 25 year-old Megumi Ida was selected, and offered a remarkable performance imbued with feeling. The Hokkaido-born vocalist is featured in a music video on a DVD insert packed with the CD single, which can be viewed below. The video cuts between Ms. Ida's performance and computer-generated scenes of Cecil, Rosa, and Kain on a balcony of Baron Castle.
Images courtesy of Square Enix