Final Fantasy VI Remastered Soundtrack: Disc One
Catalog Number: JOY-725
Released On: April 30, 2013
Composed By: Nobuo Uematsu
Arranged By: Sean Schafianski
Published By: Joypad Records
Recorded at: Unknown
Format: Digital
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01 - Opening Theme
02 - The Mines of Narshe
03 - Awakening
04 - Locke
05 - Battle Theme
06 - Fanfare
07 - Edgar and Mash
08 - Kefka
09 - Mt. Kolts
10 - Returners
11 - Shadow
12 - Troops March On
13 - Cayenne
14 - The Unforgiven
15 - The Phantom Forest
16 - Phantom Train
17 - Wild West
18 - Gau
19 - Serpent Trench
20 - Kids Run Through the City Corner
21 - Under Martial Law
22 - Celes
23 - Save Them!
24 - The Decisive Battle
25 - Metamorphosis
Total Time:

Orchestral rearrangements are by far my favorite reinterpretation of video game music. They render a depth in melodic variation that enhances the tunes by leaps and bounds. Naturally, I had high hopes for Sean Schafianski's remastering of Final Fantasy VI. One more soundtrack to the ever growing list of Final Fantasy music remakes, but do the songs surpass the originals?

First, I must state that the main difference between the original orchestral and this remastered version lies in the use of actual recordings for the original and a remixing program for the rearrangement. Perhaps this might not matter to most, but I find the music delivered by the program rather flat due to the lack of vibration and rounding off of the notes. The effect is most glaring in long, drawn out melodies, but mostly undetectable in the staccatos. Regardless, this is hardly grounds for chucking a great remix aside.

Locke's Theme starts out strongly, with a heavy string melody and some accompanying brass for support and bass. In contrast, the original has a horn holding the top notes with strings as support and brass for bass. As a result, the remake reminds me of soaring across the overworld in the airship, with nary a care but for adventure.

Edgar and Mash bursts in with bright trumpets and a solid bass line that ramps up the grandiosity of Figaro castle. Sean seems to have a soft spot for strings, as they show up almost everywhere, lending a smoothness that binds the pieces together. If a live orchestral version of this existed, I would be willing to fly across the world for it.

The strong brass and percussion bass in Wild West gives it a menacing beat as the accented strings chime in, reminiscent of the hostile Veldt where Gau lives. A lone flute occasionally pops in, like a glimpse of a bird flying across the sky. Needless to say, this is another keeper.

Overall, the remastering carries a lighter and smoother feel due to the strings and toned down bass. Although some songs seem quite similar to the original, such as The Phantom Forest and Celes, there are enough unique gems to warrant picking up a copy. Final Fantasy VI fans should definitely not miss out.

Reviewed by: Luna Lee