by Kei Eng
Dawn... In the light of day, the tower of the Dragon rises up, as the thick mist disappears into the turning blue sky. Tycoon castle reveals its shape. This, in fact, is the original introduction scene to Final Fantasy V.
It was last winter when Mr. Sakaguchi gave me this 150-page thick scenery. Since then, New Years had passed, snow had melted turning into rivers, and spring came and went. While fireworks boomed up in the summer sky, the crickets chirp had faded when fall came about. And now, the deadline is up. For the FFV team members, everything seemed like a wind blowing from another world. As we brought out a masterpiece to the world from that octopus-shaped, sushi-packed torture room, we asked ourselves, "Can we really fight 24 hours?" And the answer was, "We will fight 8,760 hours!! Huff, huff, huff, huff."
"Whew! How about some tea?"
"Huff, huff oh, thanks."
Thus, this was one of the many situations in making the game. My first job is to read the scenes carefully. Everything starts here, reading everyday, again and again, until I've memorized it.
Hmm, okay. Hmm, oh, I get it. Yes. Oh yes, hmmm.
NO! I was sleeping!!?
Afterwards, I start listing up songs that is needed for the game. This is the toughest part. Counting my memos, I find that more than 100 songs is required. Noooo!! I'll have to reduce it to 50, and that is this album. I wanted to put it all on a single CD, because kids don't have much money, but... Forgive me! The quality is much better than FF4's now. Oh, speaking of quality, Mr. Akao again programmed the music for me. Say something, Akao.
Uematsu: Akao? Hey, say something. Oh, wait. There's no space left.
Akao: (sob). That's okay I'm just a little.
Uematsu: Hey, don't cry, Akao. Here. Wipe your tears, and let's go get something to eat. I'll treat. Um. How about some natto rice?
Interview with Nobuo Uematsu and Yoshitaka Amano 9/21/1992
AMANO: It's interesting how children like my kids, who don't seem to be interested in music at all, like to go to musical concerts based on video games.
AMANO: And they're listening to game music, even while studying. That's why they acquire a sense of melody. Knowing melody is an important thing. Knowing a melody will eventually lead them into orchestra, pulling them into orchestra, and pulling them into a wider variety of music.
UEMATSU: Kids who are not interested in music may like a certain song in a game, and may eventually begin to like the music itself.
AMANO: Yes, and when devices such as the Famicom put graphics, sound, and text into one, everything seems to be like a scene from a movie. It's like the Chocobo Theme, for example, where the image of a Chocobo comes into your head immediately.
UEMATSU: Don't you think it will nice if, like, kids in elementary school now, would group up as college students and talk about Final Fantasy, remembering a small part of their childhood?
AMANO: It's possible it would happen. There's no doubt that such a series like Final Fantasy has the effect to stick in one's head.
UEMATSU: Yeah, like: La la la~. Do you remember this song? Oh, hey, it's the FF1 City Theme, isn't it?
Graphics and Text Coming Together As One
AMANO: Nobuo-san, how do you come up with a song? I know there's a certain theme attached to them, but...
UEMATSU: Theme. You mean like melody? If I were to make, say, 50 songs, I get all the titles first. Then, I start composing.
AMANO: Sure, like following the scenery.
UEMATSU: Its pretty easy, when there's a script to follow. You understand the meaning of a song, and you try to create something that relates to such.
AMANO: Don't poems automatically give you a melody of a song?
UEMATSU: Not always, but sometimes. Short words are often times better than long stories.
AMANO: Graphics, too. Remember Dawn? You never saw my pictures, while I never listened to your music, but the two came together as one. It might be a normal thing, but it sure felt strange to me.
UEMATSU: Yes, the title can be nothing BUT Dawn.
AMANO: Yes, I am a painter, while you're a musician. We both based that for Dawn, and the result became one.
* Dawn/1991, was an exhibit, based on Final Fantasy. Mr. Amano displayed his art works, while Mr. Uematsu composed the exhibit's background music.
A Prodigy Enjoying Music
UEMATSU: Yoshitaka-san, tell me about your tastes in music.
AMANO: Hmm. I don't know for sure. I don't really like picking a certain thing from something that has such wide variety.
UEMATSU: So, you're really into any kind of genre?
AMANO: You could say that. As for my works, I draw alone. There's a sense of music, even when there IS no music. My image expands, while I find a song that suits my emotions. Do you see? It's like when your music paints a certain image.
UEMATSU: Yes, I understand.
AMANO: Do you have any certain types of genre in your music?
UEMATSU: No, I like almost any kind of music, for I'm a prodigy for enjoying music. There are two types of people: one that makes a conclusion on a song, and one that goes into a song, exploring the true meaning of it. For me, I have the abnormal ability to enjoy any type of music, so there are no songs that seem bad.
Looking Out For More of the Two's Combined Works
UEMATSU: By the way, how are your new works, now that they're on LD (laser disc)?
AMANO: It's the first time my pictures ever turned digital.
UEMATSU: Is it a moving picture?
AMANO: I don't know for sure. I heard that there are some effects zooming up, though. We're trying to choose the background music now.
UEMATSU: Are any of my songs in it? (laughs)
AMANO: Of course!
UEMATSU: I'm looking forward to the completed work, then!