It’s the midpoint of Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood’s life, so it’s about time for me to add to the playlist! …Which I actually did four weeks ago or so, but who’s counting?
I’ve mentioned before that I tended to gloss over A Realm Reborn’s soundtrack; I simply never found the game particularly engaging until the story-telling improved. Between that and the fact that my first run of this dungeon saw me get held up by watching a cutscene and subsequently getting lost, I never paid much attention to the music. Indeed, the music may be the only redeeming quality of a long, draggy dungeon. From bombastic brass to haunting vocals, Penitus is evocative and a fine final dungeon theme.
A holdover from Final Fantasy XIV’s 1.0 era, Steel Reason is another tune I kind of tuned out. It wasn’t until mid-Heavensward when I really started to listen to it. I honestly want to say that the aspect of this song that stands out the most to me is how unique it feels. In a world of swords and magic, Nobuo Uematsu did a fantastic job of capturing the feel of fighting foes that wield advanced technology, from guns to armored walkers. Yet, it remains upbeat, as though even foes far above you can still fall.
“For the Sky”
For a change of pace, this is a theme I loved from when I first heard it. For the Sky perfectly captures the feeling of this time in the game’s story. When you have almost nothing, banished in a strange, war-torn land, still you drive forward.
“Even in our lowest low, we could cling to one thing: hope. Hope and the will to see our hopes realized. So did we enter Halatali, determined to save him, driven by the hope that, despite everything, there was still a chance to salvage this.”
“The Measure of His Reach (The Royal Menagerie)”
“Oh come ye wayward brothers,
bereft of hearth and home.
Beneath yon burning star there lies
a haven for the bold.”
This might be my favorite version of this song. I’ve always been a sucker for orchestral arrangements and this one is no different.
I’ve always been fond of this style of music. There’s something about the haunting female vocals that arrest me. The song fits perfectly with its fight: it is face-paced without being too upbeat, somber without being too depressing. A fitting theme to end a tragic and wicked life.
I suppose I’ll be back in a few months to give the music one last look before 5.0’s launch…