Nobuo Uematsu On How He Composed Final Fantasy’s Iconic Main Theme

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Square Enix is welcoming submissions to participate in a Final Fantasy 30th anniversary fan tribute video, and, to help kick it off, they have asked legendary composer Nobuo Uematsu to talk about the inspiration behind the now iconic main theme.

“In the beginning when this was the first track I made, I didn’t create it with the expectation that it would become the Main Theme, just that it was going to be the opening for Final Fantasy,” Uematsu explains.

“Apparently it became popular amongst staff, and it was used again for Final Fantasy III which was well received. So then everyone was like, let’s just make it the Main Theme, and so it was used for the different titles thereafter.”

He added that it wasn’t a melody that he had difficulty in writing, sharing that he felt it reflects his own character.

“I actually didn’t struggle that much at all when making it. It sounds a bit self-praising but I always feel like the track feels like it’s flowing, and that it really reflects a certain part of my character.

“I felt that I was at least able to represent the musical world of the first Final Fantasy, in the universe of the game. The fact that, in the end, this is still being used for the Final Fantasy series makes it feel to me that this became the face of the series in its entirety.”

As to how the theme has evolved over time, Uematsu explains: “At first it was for a Famicom, and was made with only three sounds. Then for the Super Famicom, there were eight different sampling sounds, so the sounds we could use increased, and the track did still need some tweaking.

“For the PlayStation version, we tweaked it further, and I think it was for the second title for PlayStation when the theme plays at the ending of Final Fantasy VIII that I felt that it was finally complete as a track. I have not changed anything since then.”

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After starting out with a Yellow Game Boy and a copy of Donkey Kong Land, Alex once hid in his room to play The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time one Christmas. Now he shares his thoughts on Nintendo Insider, keeping track of everything to do with Nintendo.

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