Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Lonely Overworld

I spent most of yesterday humming a song from a video game I haven’t played in years. It’s the music that plays in Final Fantasy VI when you’re in the overworld — that is, the larger map that you travel around in to get to towns, dungeons and other locations. And it wasn’t until I’d mentally played and re-played the song yesterday that I realized it bears a passing resemblance to “The Lonely Shepherd,” the Zamfir song that plays at the end of Kill Bill: Vol. One.

I hear it, anyway.

The Final Fantasy song also happens to be the theme song of Terra, the game’s main character during the first half, which seems strange to me since there’s a more appropriately morose, contemplative version of song that plays during her scenes. In the second half of the game, Terra becomes more of a supporting character, and the lead character more or less is the game’s other female lead, Celes. (Terra? Celes? Terrestrial and celestial? There’s symmetry here, my English major brain tells me.) The overworld theme in this half starts out downright mournful, to the point that you’d sometimes just want to get the hell off the map screen to escape it. But there’s a pop song that reminds me of even this track: “In the Forest,” from The Coral’s 2003 album Magic and Medicine.

This seems relevant at the time.

Video game music, previously:


  1. You might be interested in this more recent arrangement of Dark World: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8p1CkrUXE0Y

  2. In the early 2000s I was watching an ant documentary when I noticed that they had used Terra's theme for some of the background music. It was strange, made even stranger that this nature doc repeatedly quoted the Qur'an and explained that God was behind all of nature's variations.