Final Fantasy VII has been legendary for more than 20 years. One aspect of the game that makes it so beloved is its unique and engaging musical score.
When Final Fantasy VII Remake was announced, it seemed as if it would be a no brainer that songs from that score would be updated for a modern audience and included in the game.
Boy, was it ever!
The music of Final Fantasy VII Remake is a triumph in every way, and the composers who had to adapt one of the most iconic game scores of all time recently reflected on the experience.
Music Supervisor Keiji Kawamori spoke a bit about the expectations players had for this game and adapting it in a way that would please them while also drawing in new fans.
“Before the whole team started production on the sound and music and all that, I made sure to go back and listen to the original soundtrack just to reconfirm what made the soundtrack so great in the beginning,” he said. “Obviously, it’s not just going to be people who have played the original playing the remake, but new players as well, so we wanted to be able to take what inspired the original songs that captivated so many people 23 years ago and bring that to new players as well.”
He went on to discuss how changes in technology over the last 23 years led to some incredible changes for the game’s music.
“Back with the first game, it often used these sound chips of PlayStation 1. Obviously, these chips didn’t have much RAM and we had to store files. They couldn’t read certain waveforms individually. They had to put everything into resident memory, so they weren’t exactly as rich as they could be now.”
Kawamori said that he wanted to preserve the special sound that helped shape the original game. Of course, adapting the work of the living legend of Final Fantasy music, Nobuo Uematsu, is no simple task. The remake’s composer, Mitsuto Suzuki spoke at length about the challenge.
“It was certainly awesome to have the opportunity to do this,” he said. “And as for what to do with the arrangements themselves, each arrangement was kind of based on a specific direction and purpose that had already been laid out, so we knew where we were going with it.”
At the same time, Suzuki had to juggle that direction with the original sound that Uematsu created in the 90s. But he did not want to just reproduce the veteran composer’s work and strove to make it his own at the same time.
This is most evident when Suzuki restructured the music for Wall Market, adding in drums and an extra flair, which reinvented the familiar tune.