Final Fantasy III | Crystal Room

Amazing VGM: The Cave Where the Crystal Lies (Final Fantasy III)

The Final Fantasy series is to amazing video game music what Donald Trump is to the KKK; something celebrated. A series that extends to over 50 games and nearly every one of them has at least a decent soundtrack and many of them are exceptionally awesome. Thus far I’ve only had two Amazing VGM entries from this series, one from the beloved Final Fantasy VII and another from the not so beloved Final Fantasy: Mystic Quest. Today’s entry comes from the much less talked about Final Fantasy III, the original Famicom one to be precise.

This song is among one of the first that you hear starting up Final Fantasy III, and what an impression it makes. I love the NES and 8Bit music as much as the next girl, but even I will admit that this type of harmony is rare in NES soundtracks. This track truly feels magical and serene. This has probably been said a number of times, but Nobuo Uematsu is a fucking genius. Final Fantasy I and II did have some phenomenal tracks in them but the technical quality of Final Fantasy III’s ost was outstanding.

First let’s start with that melody, the way that those notes echo occur because the sound channel is turned on and off rapidly to create a sense that there is more than one note playing at the time. This creates a harmonic effect not present in some of the arrangements of the the track and really show how well Uematsu used the NES hardware to his advantage.

I think this track is otherwise self explanatory. There is something especially dreamlike and serene about this song. It’s so soothing and indicates the presence of something worthy of awe. That’s basically what the crystals are in Final Fantasy III, or most Final Fantasy games for that matter. While Final Fantasy I through III were lacking in the narrative department, they were really effective at drawing players in with their enchanting setting and world, myself included. Tracks like this really do help with that sentiment.

But I suppose it is fair that I take a look at the arrangements of this track, starting with the one from Final Fantasy III on the DS and later systems.

I do think this is an alright arrangement that is good in its own right. It certainly carries the same mystical air to it as the original NES track. I do think it could have been arranged better though. The echo like effect in the original track is gone here, as I just pointed out, and instead the most noticeable section is the baseline. The choir certainly does add to the track a bit and this one is still nice, but I don’t feel it as strongly as the original.

But of course there are some arrangements of this track that I will talk about… in a future piece. Sorry, I want to keep Amazing VGM pieces fairly short considering how many articles I have in pending (that’s why there weren’t as many VGM pieces lately) so I’ll just stick to the ones that were actually in Final Fantasy III for now. Anyway see you next time.

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