Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

While on the Topic of Music...

I thought I would provide a pointer to my favourite yet remix of my favourite piece of music used in a video game - Neil Benjamin's Far Away Memories, a cover of To Far Away Times, from Chrono Trigger. (click on the download tab on that link to download). If you like the tune, it's possible to find a number of great variations on it with a bit of effort - particularly enjoyable is a version with lyrics, sung half in Japanese, half English (from another ocremix project). The process of adapting music for that medium (or vice versa) seems like it would be really interesting - I'm sure that translating songs from one language to another must be difficult, but to actually need to simplify the music itself (or to attempt to go the other way and extrapolate/improvise it to the complexity of normal music) is something else entirely. ... I suppose this might not be a concern anymore with video games often coming on media that have the space to store compressed PCM audio...

And on the topic of games, when I've had time I've been enjoying playing Final Fantasy V for the gameboy. I tried playing it in the distant past using an N16 ROM, but my Japanese wasn't (and isn't) good enough to make it easy to play untranslated. Its basic game engine feels very similar to Final Fantasy IV, even if some of the story elements made their way strongly into FFVI (which had a really great engine that, AFAIK, never was used again in an RPG). I can see why the game never made it to the United States during the initial run of the series - it's more complex than the other FF games, and the Japanese videogame industry (probably based on good market research) generally made games simpler and easier when porting them for American audiences, also meaning a lot of RPGs never made it over here. Apparently the number of Americans (then?) that like a good, complex game is too small a part of our gaming demographic. Those few people who did like complexity enough were, amusingly, often the right people to leave out (non-Japanese おたく, as it were), because they let themselves in by patching ROMs with homebrew translations and attempting to read Japanese (I did a bit of each).

Tags: music

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