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Alternate World Final Fantasy Composer - Part 1, FF4

JormungandJormungand MemberFull Members
edited June 2014 in Square Enix
***This thread series is purely for fun.***

Pretend you're in an alternate universe where Nobuo Uematsu was not the de facto FF composer--at any time he could've quit, become a Buddhist monk, or been kidnapped by aliens. What would Square have done? We will look back at contemporary internal staff during the development of each FF title, and think about who could best fit the needs of FF's music.

Why start with FF4?
During the development of FF1-3, Uematsu was Square's only full-time composer. So, no poll is needed for these three. :)

Things to keep in mind:
-The game itself remains exactly the same.
-Assume Squaresoft only draws from internal staff.
-Pick who you think would fit the role best. For example, my favorite composer of these four is Kikuta, but I feel Kawakami would fit FF4 better.
-If you plan to continue participating in these polls, try to challenge yourself to pick a different composer each time.
-Try to only consider each composers work up until the point of the game's development, but don't disregard their later work. This is obviously a challenge when so little is known about certain composers' early works.
-Try to pick composers for reasons of music style alone. For example, do not discard Ryuji Sasai just because you really like FFLegend 3's soundtrack and putting Sasai on FF4 would mean it would never get made.
-We are assuming only *one* composer will work on FF. Muse about teams if you like below.
-If you don't know a composer, do take this opportunity to familiarize yourself before voting.

So, it's 1991 and the development of the first Super Famicom/Nintendo Final Fantasy entry is full-steam ahead! Who will write the music?
Ryuji Sasai (b. 1961) was hired to help ease the growing pressure on Square's small sound staff in 1991. Up to that point he co-composed for Xak and its sequel. Sasai was also, and remains to this day, an active bass guitarist. Sasai is best known for co-composing FF Mystic Quest, focusing on battle and dungeon themes. Sasai's style is highly rock-oriented, leaning particularly toward what one might describe as "fantasy rock". His style borrows heavily from experimental rock groups throughout the 70s and 80s. Mr. Sasai will be around through FF7.

Yasuhiro Kawakami (b. ?) was hired around the same time as Sasai and for the same reason. Up to that point Kawakami composed for several games including Shinobi, ESwat: City Under Siege, Scramble Spirits, Tetris Arcade, and more. Kawakami is best known for co-composing FF Mystic Quest, focusing on town and dungeon themes. He is especially fond of varying his chord progressions and harmony, and his melodies tend to feel very nostalgic. His work in FFMQ and Chocobo's Mysterious Dungeon 2 is very ballad-like. Mr. Kawakami will be around through FF8.

Hiroki Kikuta (b. 1962) is in the same boat as the above two. Up to that point Kikuta had written music for anime (and also illustrated manga). Kikuta is best known as the composer of Secret of Mana (Seiken Densetsu 2) and Seiken Densetsu 3. He is heavily influenced by progressive rock, particularly Pink Floyd. His harmonic style is especially unique in the game industry, as is his eclecticism in mixing genres. Mr. Kikuta will be around through FF7.

Kenji Ito's (b. 1968) first job was co-composing FFLegend 2. He is best known for his work on the SaGa series. Ito tends to prefer writing fast-paced, synth-driven rock-inspired music, anime-inspired orchestral music and, by his own admission, "easy-listening" music. Mr. Ito will be around through FF11.

Please share your thoughts below!

(this thread will be cross-posted @ vgmdb)


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