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Final Fantasy IX OST

Final Fantasy IX Original Soundtrack is a video game soundtrack. You will find the track list plus an extensive track-by-track analysis below the standard review. It is my hope that you will gain a better understanding of video game music by reading exactly what it has to offer as it is different from American film music.
Composed by:
Nobuo Uematasu

Arranged by:
Nobuo Uematsu

Additional arrangements:
Shiro Hamaguchi (Disc 4, track 22),
Kunihiko Kurosawa (Disc 1, track 1; Disc 3, track 22; Disc 4, tracks 3 and 4)

Programmed by:
Minoru Akao

(Orchestral tracks)

Orchestrated by:
Shiro Hamaguchi

Conducted by:
Koji Haijima

With the recent ups and downs in the series as of late, fans such as myself have been wondering if the Final Fantasy series would be able to get back on the right track. Not just fundamentaly, but musically as well. It may be hard to believe but Final Fantasy IX man have just proven to be the true need for the series: to get back to its roots. FFIX is, if nothing else, a simple and fun-to-play game, and the music that accompanies it is not necessarily geared towards enhancing emotions or even trying to overpower the listener, it simply functions as a fun and enjoyable backdrop to the amusing antics and exploits happening on screen. Bottom line: this is just a great bunch of music to listen to. It doesn't take much intelligence, but that's okay. It really doesn't have to.

Measuring up to other sound compositions in the rest of the series, part 9, while still not nearly approcahing the incredible mastery of mature thematics we've witnessed in Final Fantasy VI, Uematsu-San has created a soundtrack that I place slightly ahead of my previous second-favorite Final Fantasy VII and light years ahead of the previous round in the series, Final Fantasy VIII.

I'd like to take a quick recap of every FF score that the true fans have experineced so far:

Final Fantasy: The horrendously mediocre sound system that the NES was equiped with was simply not an excellent tool for composers to work with. With just three lines upon which to write including percussion, this highly under-developed tool did not provide the means to make a truly outstanding score possible. Never the less, the origin of Final Fantasy brought one fact to attention: This new composer of twenty-seven years was an absolute master of melody. The soundtrack included such favorites as "Matoya's Cave, The Prelude" and the ever popular main theme which has become a nostalgic staple ever since its inception in 1987.

Final Fantasy II: While not much different from the original, the second installment added some fine new themes to Mr. Uematasu's repetoir.

Final Fantasy III: Still similar to the previous scores, yet Final Fantasy III was a new direction for the series, this score replaced the few mildly pleasing tracks with a barrage of over forty in total. A monumental acievemnet for its time.

Final Fanatsy IV: A true turning point in the series. After being upgraded to the new Super NES, Final Fantasy brought forth cinema and broke new grounds in video game story-telling, and the upgrading of the sound system tested not only the melody skills of the composer, but his arranging skills as well. With a psuedo-pop flair, Mr. Uematsu made the music of the series into a true hit. Not just in Japan, but somewhat in the US as well. Final Fantasy IV is responsible for introducing many fans to the series.

Final Fantasy V: While not introducing anything astoundingly new, Final Fantasy V was another hit among fans. I personally don't think much of this soudntrack, but I place it just ahead of FFVIII because of its absoulutely bombastic thrill ride of an end credits march: "The New Origin."

Final Fantasy VI: The *absolute* culmination of everything that had passed and would come to pass in the FF series. Part VI is peppered with robust arrangements and nearly countless heart-breaking themes. All n