Final Fantasy Friday: The Opening Act

A Final Fantasy (et al) post to welcome you to the glory of Friday (if you don’t have weekends off then may this hopefully brighten the midst of your work week) with more located here!

Beginnings are important. Our initially impressions of a story no matter the format/media not only shape how we see it, they’re also a major deciding factor in whether we’ll continue at all.  There’s a reason I have a “passed-based-on-sample” shelf on my Goodreads list.

Final Fantasy is well known not only for its phenomenal openings, but the music that goes along with it.  In fact without such music, the beginning of the games would not have remotely the same amount of impact.

What is your favorite opening theme?

This is a no-brainer for me since my favorite opening theme belongs to my favorite game, Final Fantasy VII, but it exists in good company.  Now, prior to VI (or V, I can’t make a judgment on that one yet), the opening theme to Final Fantasy was the song that’s become synonymous with the series.

Frankly, this ubiquitous masterpiece would’ve been good enough for me.

Adorable side note.  I started playing this, and Cid (my cat) popped his head up from his little bed.  I told him this music is as ubiquitous to the series as his name is :p  Uh oh…I drew attention to myself, and now it’s time to bother me.  Be back in a moment; petting the purrbot

I also must mention how Final Fantasy IX has a “cold opening” where the game starts with the action prior to the opening theme and title, which are always chill inducing.

I’m just as amazed as Vivi.

But of course FFVII gets the gold for me in terms of the music.  It’s possible this is only because of the awe inspiring Distant Worlds version, though the clay they were working with was already prime quality.

If ever there was a melody that put you in the mind of where you were at the moment, the “Opening~Bombing Mission” is that song.  Without even knowing what the game is about, those nine beats at the transition (1:17) tell you that you’re about to take the train ride of your life, and the creeping low tone piano speaks of clandestine dealings and underground activities.  The crescendo at the end of the first verse builds until you envision a mighty locomotive that sweeps you along to an unavoidable destiny where madness, regret, rue, and glory will tangle together until there isn’t an in between.  There is truly no getting off this train.

What’s your favorite opening theme?  Let’s discuss in the comments!


Note: I realized this is kind of my replacement for the Question of the Week; it’s just more Final Fantasy based lol.  I think eventually I’ll incorporate other gaming related questions into it, but I’ll still call it Final Fantasy Friday since that’s what it stems from, and there’s an extremely high probability that my answer will involve Final Fantasy anyway 😉

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28 thoughts on “Final Fantasy Friday: The Opening Act

  1. Awesome music! And that candle… I’m amazed at the amount of light that it produces.

    Oh, I could blather on about music forever, but besides my obvious choice which still just makes me smile when I hear it, I really like the opening theme for Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3, and the Twilight Princess Theme. Oh! And I also really like “An End, Once and For All” from ME3, which isn’t an opening them, but… it’s a closing them so that’s a nice bookend 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE the Twilight Princess theme. It’s so perfect and atmospheric for the game. Have you ever heard the song “Reignite” by Malukah? It’s based on that theme from ME. She’s this awesome singer/songwriter who pens words to tons of video game songs. She’s done Dragon Age and a few others. Her voice is so haunting and distinctive.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Isn’t she?! I think Skyrim made her an NPC in one of their games because she’s written words to a bunch of songs from there, too. She’s a wandering bard or something like that. Or maybe there were going to? You never know what you can believe on the internet hehe. They definitely should if they haven’t though.

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Is there even any question that Star Wars has the most epic theme ever? Like there wouldn’t be Final Fantasy without Star Wars (maybe…they take a LOT of inspiration from it. It would be very different without Star Wars we’ll say that). Harry Potter has a great opening theme and music, too. I just started whistling the theme.

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  2. Definitely FFX for me. I think we talked about this ages ago, but with FFX being my first FF game, I remember popping the game in at the tender age of 16 and being entirely captivated and moved by that piano music. I needed to play the game. And I did play it for at least 100 hours. And when that music came up later again in the game, I cried (what else is new?) I’ve also got a soft spot for the first FF’s opening accompanied by its wall of text on that blue background. There’s something about those 8-bit bleeps and bloops that warms my heart.

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    1. It’s such a subtle opening, and really showcases how well Squeenix uses in media res, because when you replay X, you realize that at the point of opening is after a bunch of hard truths have been revealed (about Yuna, the summoner’s sacrifice, Sin, etc.). It makes it so much more poignant and tear inducing. Like you realize what they’re all thinking at that moment around the campfire. A good opening doesn’t have to be flashy and ostentatious; it just has to make an impact.

      The original FF’s opening just brings a rain of nostalgia! That song is so iconic now.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. X is so, so heartbreaking. Your explanation reminded me above of the end of the first Terminator movie and why it made me cry (re: when Kyle Reese has a photo of Sarah Connor and you find out the answer to his question about what she was thinking in the moment the photo was taken…makes the whole movie so much sadder!)

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Now I’m going to have to watch the first Terminator movie again, because I do not remember that. We always seem to catch Terminator II and III and I get so annoyed at the end of III (I think it’s the one I’m thinking of…with Claire Danes), because it really brings it home how much humanity messed up. We created Skynet!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Let me know what you think when you do watch it. I might have just been having an exceptionally emotional day that day, but it’s super sad to me either way.

            I haven’t seen the third Terminator movie, only the first and second. I will keep your thoughts in mind when I finally get around to it. I’ve got a miserable headache, so movie night sounds like a good idea.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. I think Terminator came out at a time when I had no interest in “scary” movies, and I saw the terminator and that’s what I classified it as hehe. Now I realize their more action movies than scary, though the implications are scary.

              Aw, I hope the movie helps your headache. Those are no fun :\

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  3. It so easy to aggro those purrbots! 🙂

    I love FFVII’s opening theme too, but my favourite is most definitely the FFXIII intro scene music. It starts off with a quiet Metroid Prime-ish beat, and then it goes all awesome epic journey, finishing with the same quiet beat at the end. It also gets me right in the feels and makes me want to weep like a lost child… 😦 So beautiful and inspiring! *sniffs*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yasss, I love the opening to FFXIII, too, and it is definitely a tearjerker. I downloaded a bunch of Final Fantasy music a year or so ago, and it was part of it. Final Fantasy is really good at properly using crescendos, building the music up. It’s quite an emotional roller coaster.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not at all! One of my friends said Star Wars and Harry Potter! I figured the people who played and were familiar with Final Fantasy would use one of them, but people who aren’t are more than welcome to talk about openings that really stuck with them! Zelda has such amazing and iconic music. Koji Kondo is just as talented as Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy’s composer). There hasn’t been a Zelda yet whose music I didn’t love. I haven’t heard of Aion!

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  4. IX for sure, for that “cold opening” and because it’s IX! But I also have to say that XII has my favorite version of the Final Fantasy main theme. And it has gorgeous visuals to accompany it too. Worst opening is whatever was going on in X’s opening…

    Liked by 1 person

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