In Nobuo Uematsu’s online diary at PlayOnline, he revealed that Final Fantasy IX would hold a total of about 160 tracks. However, later that month, information was released that the four-disc Final Fantasy IX OST would only contain approximately 110 tracks. What would happen to the rest of these tracks was anyone’s guess, though many theorized that Square planned to make more money with some sort of Final Fantasy IX OST part 2…Well, this CD is it.
These tracks were actually pulled out of the original OST tracklist for one special reason, they were orchestrated. These were the songs that played during CG Sequences, with an exception here or there. Because most of these tracks are live recordings, this is about the closest there ever was to an FF IX Arranged CD. Note, however, the last few tracks are new tracks, arranged as such. Tracks 36-38 are known as the “Ancient Music” arrangements, featuring programming by “KALTA,” who is well-known for his work in Xenogears: CREID. At the very end, there is this 7 minute version of Melodies of Life, which features few instruments and a calm feeling throughout. Of major notice is the piano, which gets a solo inbetween the last few chorus repeats. This is by far my favorite version of Melodies of Life out there today.
RPGFan’s FF IX OST review also mentioned tracks found on previous Final Fantasy games. FF III (the NES one, not to be confused with VI) got a track on this CD, “Doga and Une.” This was probably my favorite song from that FF, and it received an incredible remake on this CD as track 31. The track right before it was actually mentioned in the OST, though fans weren’t sure if this song would be published on any other CD. The song comes directly from Final Fantasy VII, though the sound quality is minorly improved from the original version.
Because this is the “orchestrated” music, the finer stuff found on most OSTs, these songs are definitely my favorite. They have great dynamics, some songs are fast while others are slow, and you are left feeling in the mood for great orchestrated goodness. However, since these songs were for CG scenes, most of them are a minute or under. That’s no reason not to buy this CD, though. If the FF IX OST let you down, and felt like it was missing something…this was that thing missing. Be sure to pick this up if you enjoy Uematsu’s music at all. This CD can be purchased at many places, especially thanks to the Square Enix reprint. It is also available digitally through multiple online retailers.