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Guitar Collections - FINAL FANTASY IV (Review)

Guitar Collections – FINAL FANTASY IV (Review)

November 8, 2018 | | 2 Comments Share thison Facebook Guitar Collections – FINAL FANTASY IV (Review)on Twitter

I’ve had my eyes on FFIV’s Guitar Collections for a long time, and I’m proud to make this my first purchase to Scarlet Moon Records after reading Jason’s articles for so long and thereby being inspired to become a VGM article writer like him. I only wish I wrote as much as he did!

Anyway, I am not familiar with William Reyes, and I’m not sure if I should be. But I really like what he’s done here; Scarlet Moon has surely picked the right man for the job. And what a great, fantastic job it is! In this review, I will cover tracks that stand out to me.

I am great fan of FINAL FANTASY IV, it is my favourite FF game next to 12 and 14. I remember playing 100+ hours on the remastered PSP version, and that basically was my childhood Naturally, the music has been pretty much seared into my mind. I swear, if I ever hear that random encounter battle theme again… Surprisingly, “Battle 1” is not an arrangement on this album.

Once an organ dominated track, “Golbez – Clad in the Dark” is a great, successful re-arrangement of the original. One thing to note is that, like Benyamin Nuss’s piano covers that I covered on GameLark, Reyes takes the liberty of expanding and breathing life into the originals. I find that Reyes has struck a balance between expressing his own musical voice and staying close to the original pieces. So, when you listen to this album, your expectations are met!

On “Fight 2”, I have always loved the chords of this boss theme. It’s so catchy, so great – and the original always makes me excited regardless of how much it was used in the game. But for this rendition? Oh, it’s perfect – it’s everything I wanted it to be! Because I was a great fan of the driving melody, I was always curious to see how this transitioned on guitar – to see if it was a blood-pumping piece like the original, or a mellow reinterpretation.

I am pleased to say that it is both; William effortlessly weaves in the battle and interlude parts and creates this amazing arrangement which hit all my expectations and then more.
The final piece is a laid-back, breathing life and lengthening from the snappy original.

Guitar Collections FINAL FANTASY IV by William Carlos Reyes

“Rydia” made me tear up a bit… I have always liked the original song, but this is the most intimate arrangement I’ve ever experienced of the track. As the liner notes say, this is a song for a girl who’s friends and family were killed by the protagonist of the game. Her innocence is shattered, and this arrangement really brings forward the grief. But it’s almost bitter-sweet in a way, as she still has her whole life ahead of her – and it reflects on how she changes in the game, as she grows up.

On “Another Moon” – this was an unexpected track covered for the album, and I’m surprised by the dissonance here. Certainly creative, and wasn’t what I was expecting at all.

I recall Jason saying on an interview with Uematsu, that he would really like to hear “Troian Beauty” adapted at Distant Worlds, and I’m sure he’d be happy to know that this track was included in the album.

All throughout the album, are great track choices – mostly tracks that don’t get covered often, and I’m glad to see it. If you’re a fan of Final Fantasy music in general – of course you will love this, it’s some of the oldest, but best music Uematsu has created. Not to mention, the original piece titled “The Crystals” at the end is a nice splash of originality by Reyes that make me want to seek out his music and covers more. I know that I will certainly keep an eye out on future Guitar Collections albums.

If you wish to have a listen yourself, you may buy the album on Bandcamp here, and download it in any form you like. It’s only $10 ($12 for me, since VAT is a bane to my online purchases), cheap – and well worth it. Throw a couple more bucks in there if you wish to support Scarlet Moon Records and their future endeavors. Enclosed with the album are high quality, well crafted album scans including: liner notes, track listing, cover notes, and more. Good stuff. I’m looking forward to more.

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