RPG Classics Mailbag
Before I start: People have been sending (or trying to send) me attachments: pictures, music, and whatnot, in their submissions. Let me make this very clear: DO NOT send any attachments unless you ask me first. In fact, don't send ANYONE online any attachments unless you get their permission first. Some of us still chug away with 28.8K modems, and taking an extra 10 minutes to an hour (or more) to download their mail really bites. Now we can start.
Welcome to our musically-challenged mailbag, where we see who's tone-deaf and who is the electronica version of Mozart. And of course, depending on who reads this, anyone can fall into either or both categories, which is what makes this such an involving topic. Thanks to Macc for providing the vast majority of non-FF MIDIs here; anything not linked couldn't be found ANYWHERE. *pause* Ahem...
Er? ... What cue?
Sigh... look, can't you read? It says right here on the cue card... "So, what's your opinion, then?" Listen, if you can't hack the job...
Hell no I can't hack the job! I never wanted to come here!
Looks like you still failed to read the contract, huh.
Says here if I decide you can't hack the job, I can do something that makes plot holes look like a high-five. The only way to leave is in several million pieces.
You BET !*grins evily...Avenger Auto-Cannons(Notice the 's') in hands*
So what was that about missing your cue?
Er... so, what's your favorite music... er, boss?
Wow, Ozzie, never thought you'd take an interest! The truth is, although I'm a stolid FF fan and have a huge website dedicated to it, and while Yoshitaka Amano, and the composers for FF Tactics and Mystic Quest as well, have done some great stuff, and many tracks do stand out in my mind, I've never actually enjoyed all the music straight through any FF game (besides for FF6 and, to a lesser extent, FF9). I think that Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger/Cross, Xenogears) and Motoi Sakuraba (Tales of Phantasia/Destiny, Star Ocean) do a better job at that. CT probably has my favorite all-around music, with Star Ocean 2 a close second. But my favorite video game track is probably Battle With Gilgamesh (FF5), followed by Schala's Theme from CT and Last Castle from FF Mystic Quest. And my favorite vocal tune by far is "Small Two Of Pieces" from Xenogears. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's take our first caller! Derek Allen, you're on the air!
Hiya Cid! This last question is a real toughie but I think i've narrowed down the competition quite well. First off, most playstation Rpg's are nixed because they have very crappy music. Take FF7 and 8 for example! Bland and tasteless music, Chrono Cross has a pretty good music theme, but lack of a good final battle tune nixes it as well. FF2 has pretty a decent music theme, but that was done better in FF6, so that leave FF6 and....Chrono Trigger!!! These two have awesome sounding music, and it fits the story of both games. So let's break it down so we can declare a winner shall we? Chrono Trigger's music has a better quality to it, it seems a little clearer than FF6's as well. However FF6 seems to stick in your mind more, and every tune is better than the last, right up to Kefka's tower and the final battle itself. Chrono Triggers music is a little more upbeat and lively and seems to get you into the game more, while FF6's music seem's a little more louder and more vibrant than CT's. The defining point however is this, FF6's music fit's the emotions that the game is trying to convey better than CT does. I know this is up for debate, but it is my opinion.
P.S. Cid, I hope you never leave rpgclassics, because if you do, the rest of us well be stuck wait an eternity for someone to update the site! =D
You nix an entire game because it doesn't have a final battle tune? O_o I thought the second-to-final battle tune was unbelievable. And I also think that while FF6 does fit emotions well, there aren't too many of them around (it's usually sad in tone) and the few upbeat tracks don't actually make you feel upbeat. Whereas CT can do both well. But there's my bias again *slap!* so we'll continue on with LiteYear.
*Gate appears in the middle of the room*
Will you stop doing that! This isn't a room and you can't appear in the middle of it!
Ok, I don't know how you managed to mess this up, but you somehow did. So, before I continue: (Insert Cid Messed Up below)
You read my chart backwards. I proclaim myself the ultimate evil, and put myself at Rank #1. That means, the lower the number rank, the more evil you are. Sheesh. Not that hard to interpret. Mabye I should adminsider an IQ test and watch Ozzie and Evil Cid fail. (Cid won't fail because he's too smart, and Lunaris won't fail because he's so cool that I will overlook the numerous typos.)
No, look, you've gone and gotten mixed up. You sent me TWO lists of evil, you complicated SOB you, and we were all referring to the second one, the so-called "global list of evil", in which Ozzie came in somewhere in the millions (although I still don't know what all those points stand for). And Ozzie wouldn't fail the IQ test because it's not in his contract to take it, and Evil Cid would cheat. Not to mention that Ozzie and Evil Cid are both alteregos of the same guy, so there's no real point, is there?
Now, about your topic. It's a pretty good topic, but you're leading into evaluating every last detail of an RPG. If this keeps up, topics may spring up like which RPG has the best monsters, which RPG has the best ending, or best story of an RPG. Can you try to get someone to come up with something that is a little different?
Not in the least. I hope I never sink that low. Music is a constant source of contention among fans and I want to bring discussions out about that. Frequently music has nothing at all do with the game (some people buy the soundtrack without ever playing the game). And I've got quite a few more topics on hand, although I still need more corny ones, and I don't think I can do another Battle Royale, whatever Megaman X thinks.
Ok, on to the topic. I have taken all SNES RPG's (because the N64 doesn't have any, and all PSX RPG's I've played suck (FF7, FF8, FF9, Chrono Cross, Legend of Dragoon (I think that's what it's called)) [Find out where this guy lives! -ed.] that I have played and rated there music into categories. The games nominated were SMRPG, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger, Earthbound, Lufia 2, FF4, FF6, Zelda 3, and Super Metroid.
Best Minor Boss Battle Theme - FF4
Oh, and all those links you did 2 mailbag's ago we really helpful. Maybe you should create links to all the songs so we can hear them. (Or tell everyone to go to www.vgmusic.com) *Does his nifty gate thing and disappears*
Before anyone says anything, I decided to do this a LONG time ago. And we don't need vgmusic.com when we have Macc! And that list was most definitely too specific. Talk about ME dissecting RPGs too much, hah! RP Trian gives a short but sweet entry now.
The answer would be..."Eternal Wind" from FF3j for favorite. I like to
thing the "Rogue" in RP Trian signifies something, and that tune matches up
to the word perfectly. A nice
looking-for-something-semi-sad-yet-remaining-upbeat melody indeed.
There's an interesting pick, and one I definitely agree with. Feathy will proceed to give us the lowdown on people who actually like PSX games.
Yay! Thank you, Cidolfas! I've been waiting for this topic to come up for such a long time! Not many people really like video game music, but I do. I collect music from all my favorite games. Anyway, on to the question. My favorite music in any game has got to be One Winged Angel. You know, the Sephiroth final battle song? I've memorized the words and found out what they meant and found out where the words are from! My second favorite song is probably the Zelda song. Most people aren't going to put that as their favorite, but it is still a great song written such a long time ago, and it has been changed and remixed so many times...it's great. Now, what is my LEAST FAVORITE song? This one's easy, it's the battle song in Mario RPG. GOD that song is so damn annoying after the first five minutes. It doesn't even sound like a battle song, it sounds like a stupid happy march! Another song that totally sucks is the Fanatic's Tower theme from FF3/6j. Every single time I heard that song I wanted to destroy my SNES. You had to listen to the stupid thing for such a long time! It repeats about every 10 seconds and only consists of a fake voice going "Ohhhhhh ohhhhhhh" and some bells. Well, that's my two cents. Please please please print this, you should see my collection of video game music on mp3. I have over 250 rpg songs (crazy isn't it?) on mp3. See you next week.
Heh, Future Trunks also wrote in about the SMRPG battle theme, and I think they're right - several hours of it definitely gets on your nerves. I couldn't resist printing this, it sounded like the world's last stamp collector asking to be printed on a letters column doing a one-time bit on stamp collecting. If that makes any sense at all. Speaking of controversy, let's go to Jenny McDonald, no relation to Ronald McDonald (hopefully!)
Hi Cid, and welcom to my boring, unwholesome, intellectual, snobby, horrible, paranoid lecture.
The best music in my opinion, in any game, is...
The worst music is in FF: Mystic Quest. But then again, that is the worst game ever...
Hah! I didn't need no stinking game to invent my image!
Then what would you have been, exactly?
I coulda been a contender... sigh...
Anyway, anyone who has read my favorite music themes up top knows that FFMQ, while a quite crappy game, had kick-ass music. (The FF Compendium has two MP3s from the FFMQ soundtrack which are unbelievable.) I would do a You Messed Up, but since it's an opinion and not a fact, we'll have to settle with You Disagreed With Cid, which doesn't carry nearly as much panache. Speaking of messing up, we return to I Abibde.
My apologies for being picky about my posting name in the previous Mailbag, since I was not aware that Lunaris and Ozzie had, with assistance from a digital artist, been preparing a "Cid Messed Up!" sign for such a triviality as I had pointed out.
Whaddaya mean you're surprised? What else do I have to do on my day off?
Shall we try for getting your ass kicked?
That said, I am very picky about my video game music. My favorite battle music is "Femmes Fatales" (Parasite Eve I) by Shimomura Yoko (family name first, given name last, as done in Japanese), since it combines opera with techno to create a fine sense of a duel between ancient Evil (Mitochondria Eve) and modern Good (Aya Brea). My favorite non-battle music is "Theme of Rena" (Star Ocean: The Second Story) by Sakuraba Motoi, who is, quite possibly, the best of the video game music composers, even taking Uematsu Nobuo into account. The song, a combination of dream, fantasy, and memory, is hauntingly beautiful, particularly in its arranged format, and it fit the scene for which it was played perfectly. The worst battle music I have ever heard belongs exclusively to Dragon Warrior I, the normal battle music for which says to me: "You are fighting one monster, but you are going to have to fight 1,467,324 more monsters to gain your next level." The worst non-battle music I have ever heard is the much-hated "Blue Fields" (Final Fantasy VIII), which says to me: "There is no need to make the background music exciting because you are going to be building levels for at least forty hours before you can advance into the story." Bear in mind that I am being very general about my musical tastes here, since I have a favorite final boss theme, a favorite romance theme, a favorite character "image" theme, and so on and so forth.
By the way, you may have noticed by now that I am not really a Final Fantasy person. In fact, all of my favorite video role-playing games were not created by Squaresoft. Instead, I have a bias in favor of games by Tri-Ace (Star Ocean: The Second Story and Valkyrie Profile) and Sega Genesis role-playing games (the Phantasy Star series, the Shining Force series, and Traysia). I am also one of the few people alive who thoroughly enjoys Thousand Arms by Atlus Entertainment.
Oh, in case you have not yet heard it (not likely): All your base are belong to us.
No, no, no... most of my base are still belong to me, last time I checked. I think Lunaris's base are belong to you, though.
And all your Aurums are belong to me. I gotta copyright my stuffs, you KNOW ? !
Anyhoo, now I like this guy, since someone else mentioned Star Ocean 2. You get a smiley face. With glasses. 8-) I disagree with Blue Fields, though - true, it wasn't exciting, but it was fairly relaxing, and you should never have had to level up in FF8 at all to get through anything, since the monsters and bosses level up with you. You seem to have extra talents in forced monotony, heh. Let's go back to... well, er, take it away! [Warning: FF3/FF6j spoilers!]
Hey Cidolfas! Its me again! Remember, the one who had yet to think of a cool sounding name? Well, from now on and forevermore, you shall refer to me as...
Tyrant Despot! Mwa ha ha ha (Its a long inside joke between me and my friends, don't ask).
Anyways, Tyrant Despot here has an opinion to express about music in games. Since I am irrevocably obsessed with Final Fantasy 6, I naturally choose the best song from that game. While the game had fantastic music all around, I have an odd choice for the best song from the game: the Overworld Music in the World of Ruin after you get the Falcon. What? He must be off his rocker, you say? Well, lets put in into perspective here. At that point in the game, you had just been repeatedly bombarded with extremely melencholy moments. The world goes to hell after Kefka screws with the Godesses. Cid dies taking care of Celes. The parents of the children in Mobliz all die trying to save the town. And to top it off, you finally learn the sad story of Setzer's best friend and maybe true love, Daryl. On top of all THAT, the music of the overworld at that point was just wind and some minor chords. All seemed lost... until the Falcon was found. A fragmented world was again accessible, and an attack on Kefka's impervious fortress became possible. The world's best and last chance was available. And the music that went with the appearance of the Falcon... gorgeous. It is beauty, hope, and desparation all rolled into one to provide the perfect backdrop for the rest of the story. If I had to give it a name to characterize it, I'd call it "The Dusk of Our Last Hope". [It's actually called "Searching For Friends" - ed.]
Hmm... hows about a worst song? How about the Boss Music in FF8? (Sorry, I'm an FF guy). Anyways, that was EXTREMELY unfulfilling. It was random, stupid sounding, and didn't strike up and fear in you like the FF6 or FF7 boss music did. The FF8 boss music just sounded like a throw-away song.
Like I said in my last message, I think music is one of the most important RPG elements. It's what makes a game great.
See now, there's a nice extended explanation of why he liked the tune he picked, something almost no one else sent in. You should feel all nice and warm inside. Our next contestant is... well, you just have to see this guy for yourself.
Greetings my dark brethren, I laid my eyes upon last weeks mailbag, and i found it quite interesting. This is the first mailbag I have ever seen, and this is the first one i have ever wrote into. I read through last weeks entries on the specified topic and agreed on many of the perspectives. Although most seemed to show distaste towards the Junction system I thought it was one of the most creative systems Square has injected into their games. Anyway, time to get on with it. And next time you make an evil supremacy chart throw me in as 30,000,000. That's what my power level is as well. No one can dream what I make come true. An evil, pure yet sick, lies within waiting for one with such fearsome prowess to awaken the inner pain, debilitating my soul, a wraith's insinuation.
Themes from rpg's, brings back memories. I have been invovled in rpg's ever since I was three, when i used to crank up Final Fantasy with my bro. That game had some groovin tunes, especially the battle theme, i still like them. To find the absolute theme in a game, this takes time to think about. I have played many rpg's over the few years, since i have been summoned from the abyss. One of the best sound tracks for a game was Final Fantasy Anthology. I love that song for Zozo, it's a classic. Another great had to have been the classic Frog music from Chrono Trigger. Very inspirational.Well here comes the chart off all time great themes straight out of Lea MondŤ.
I love all these themes, especially the movie accompanying the Vagrant Story theme, nice pic also. Near perfection. The One Winged Angel, Sephiroth, though extinguish's all other's life forces. When i first got to Sephiroth, I actually paused my game, and started doing homework, just so i could listen to it. I even have it on my own custom C.D. I just can't get enough of the evil gospel sound. Killer. I suggest gettin this song for yourselves. If you choose wisely, you shall yet keep on breathing, if not i shall smite you with my 440c stainless steel Katana, The Apocalypse.
The dark wind begins to howl, alright i'm ready.---Magus. Well i believe that I've thrown my two cents out there instead of taking it back, as I have seen before. Well i'll send my Godly mail now. Here comes the pain, my Deciples.
First off: The actual line from Chrono Trigger is: "The black wind begins to blow... Okay, give me your best shot... If you're prepared for the void!" And it sounds way better in its original form. Second: I've never seen anyone as full of himself as you are. It's quite comical, in its way. Lighten up. Third: Er... was there a third? Oh, yes: Who says video games don't make you sound intelligent? Imagine, most people would think by this guy's handle that he's a Shakespearean expert (Romeo Guildenstern, huh?) instead of only playing one Squaresoft name that stole the names from the original Bard. There ya go. Next up is Megaman984, who manages to name all the best music without mentioning a single game I've actually played. This probably because I don't own a Dreamcast.
My favorite theme? IT would probably have to be the opening and closing theme to Skies of Arcadia. That piece of music just seems to capture the heart and sould of the game. When I hear it, I'm automatically reminded of the whole adventure theme of SoA. It just seems to capture it really well.
Albert Odyssey: Legend of Eldean has probably one of the best soundtracks IMO. All of the music is beautiful and stays with you. No one theme stands out like the one in SoA, but the music is still excellent.
I personally think that Grandia II has the worst music. Something about electric guitars just doesn't seem to go with an RPG. Maybe it's just me, but I prefer classical music and themes in an RPG. To Grandia II's credit though, the vocals were done very well despite the fact that they're poorly pronounced Portuguese.
In short, classical music good, poorly played electric guitars, bad. Thank you, and until next time, the balcony is closed.
I can't say much about this because, as I've said, I am clueless. So we continue to our perennial SNES fanatic, Megaman X.
This mailbag entry is brought to you by...MENTATS! Who needs memory anyway? (C)
Seeing as I'd prefer not to dwell on sucky music (would you?) I'm simply gonna list my top 5 picks for Music track themes from RPGs and why. Note: As was expected, they're all SNES tracks. Did you expect anything else from moi? If you did, you are a fuel.
#5: Super Metroid: Norfair Tracks (Red Brinstar, Norfair, Ridley's Lair).
Yes, I'm still counting it as an RPG, especially when my (delayed) Super
Metroid shrine comes out. Anyway, these tracks was awesome...the chanting
really made you fell like you were in hell. Red Brinstar was especially
great, for a reason I can't really say...It wasn't Norfair but real close,
the feeling was the same.
And, the rightful winner of the mailbag...
#1: Lufia 2 wins! With: Platform themes (the Theme of Labyrinth, tower and Shrine, the Forest theme, the Divine Shrines theme and the Doom Island theme). And all the Battle themes! With the highest quality music I've ever seen, it instantly made me a Natsume Fan (as if Harvest Moon wasn't enough for me). 'nuff said.
Err...gotta go...the Mentats are...kicking in...oy...
I dunno... SNES tunes are great up to a point. But to say that no PSX game has good music is just plain silly. Being an Enix Whore, you should have included Star Ocean 2, to say the least. There's just only so much you can do with an SNES game. Anyone who's heard the Chrono Cross soundtrack can attest to that. Although the FF games haven't actually gone past that too much, which is a bone of contention many people have with Nobuo Uematsu. Let's head on to Sorcerer.
Before I go onto the mailbag, I DID NOT mis-spell a quarter of the last mailbag entry! Only maybe, half of the quarter, or 1/8(I think) :P
And your point is?
Anywho, your question was something like "Whats your favorite game song"? And even if it wasn't, it is now ^_^ . Ok, That's a good question, and one I have actully given a lot of thought to. I have come to the conclusion that my favorite two game songs are: The Aeries song from FF7 and Time Scar, the opener to CC.
In my opinion, the aeries song is Nobuo Uemtseu (no clue on how to spell his last name) at his best. The song starts out slow, ends slow and speeds up slightly in the tempo somewhere inbetween.
Time Scar, is just a plain kick-ass song. The usage of the viola, or fiddel or whatever the hell that instrument is, is used profoundly throughout the entire game, the battle themes, opening etc.. This is probably my favorite song in any game, ever. And I mean that.
P.S. I ran spell check on this one. Make fun of my spelling again why donCHA!!
P.P.S Thats what Lunaris is for!
Exactly! So why're you usurping his position? Let's see, making fun of you again: "mis-spell", "anywho", "whats", "actully", "inbetween", "fiddel"... That's pretty funny, hahahah... okay, okay, I'll stop being perfectionist... next I have the very strangely named Girly Twit (I can't believe I just printed that), who's a first-time writer and so I am powerless to resist.
Hi Twit !
I'm new at this
I never really pay much attention to the music until it gets stuck in my head and i can't get rid of it, and then everyone stares at me as i am humming stupid themes from games like Pokemon and Secret of Evermore.
Actually, the music I really like is the one that plays in FF8 when you play Triple Triad. Its really cool, or maybe i think so because the card game is the best thing in the whole game.
The most annoying music has to be Edea's theme. What the heck are they
saying anyway? Must be in Japanese or somethiung. And theres like a whole
hour of hearing that in the background at the end of disk one. I can't stand
Can't think of anything else.
Ah yes. Never played Pokemon (a fact I am immensely proud of) but if the rest of the franchise is that annoying, I can imagine how the music is. O_o We end off with one more first-timer, KupoMoogle007 ("The name's Mog. Er... MOG Mog. Yeah...")
I can't really decide what my favorite RPG music is (it's like saying my heart is more important than my lungs). However, FF7 had some great music throughout and Aeris's theme song really stays with me. I mean on a daily basis, whenever my mind wanders, those three beginning notes come to me, and the floodgates open. From the same game though, I hate Yuffie's theme, mostly because it reminds of what a selfish annoying bitch she is.
Okay, to be fair, this was attached to a longish e-mail, so that's why it's so short. A lot of people love Aeris' theme; Squaresoft has a poll up for Japanese speakers at their website, asking them which FF tune they'd most like vocalized, and Aeris' Theme is winning by a landslide (according to www.thegia.com). OK, that just about does it for today. Next week's topic was sent in by I Abibde.
Given the evolution of the console-based role-playing game, is it right to call such a thing a "game" in the contemporary world, or is the term "interactive story" more appropriate? What aspects of the aforementioned evolution do you think have made the term "game" obsolete, if you agree?
This is especially relevant now, when Square's PS2 game The Bouncer has been released, and it's mostly FMVs. Some folks hate this, while some just consider it more of a demo than a real game. Which is it? Does it really matter? Do you think this will be an entirely new genre, with our normal "RPGs" being evolved alongside it, or will the two genres merge? Comments to be sent in to email@example.com, with no attachments. And, just to annoy the hell out of Lunaris, we finish off with another horrendous song parody of another song I've never heard of, by T.G. Flintedge.
I'm gonna get you after that......
Since the Mailbag is about music, you were asking for this. You is one of my favourite songs. (The sad thing is that sentence is grammatically correct.) Ya gotta post this man!
*his eyes becomes totaly red-blooded...As he grab a few Mini-cannons and Rocket Lauchers*...I'm...ready......
Itís Game Arts who makes everyone keep listening
GYAAAARRRG !*start shooting mercilessly at some passer by and destroying some buildings, all loudlly*
Could you stop that? Let's give the guy a right to drive people insane, yes?
Remmeber...your..next.... ! ! ! *maniacly walk troward Ozzie, weapons in hands*
AAAUUUGH! Crazy homicidal badly-dressed psychopath! *runs away at Warp Gilgamesh*
Ahem. We now return you to something which it is not our fault if you turn homicidal after reading.
Itís Game Arts who makes everyone keep listening
Well Squaresoft has some great songs too
A - denotes a held sound
Okay..smarty pants...First of, DONT CALL ME LUNA ! Seconde...Why the hell should I use a Shotgun ? Rocketlauchers and Assaults Rifles all the way !....And I beat you a Perfect Dark ! ! !