Nobuo Uematsu, the Final Fantasy composer known as “the Beethoven of game music,” has recently composed the music for the upcoming Apple Arcade exclusive Fantasian. Sadly, this may be his last full game soundtrack, according to Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi.
“Before we approached him to work on Fantasian, he was going through some health issues, and there were concerns if he was going to be able to compose everything or if was it even possible for him to work on this,” Sakaguchi recently told MobileSyrup.
The composer finally managed to compose Fantasian’s entire 60-piece orchestrated soundtrack, though it could be his last major musical contribution to a game. Uematsu, who has an undisclosed illness, may contribute individual pieces to future projects, but Sakaguchi that Fantasian “might be his last record.”
“On a positive note, he poured his heart and soul into [Fantasian. For me, when I heard it, it almost made me tear up a little bit, because it was a very big moment in both of our careers,” Sakaguchi said.
Uematsu, 61, has worked with Sakaguchi for 35 years. They began collaborating at Square, where they remained until 2004 when Sakaguchi founded Mistwalker. Uematsu has also composed music for Blue Dragon (2006), Lost Odyssey (2007), Away: Shuffle Dungeon (2008); The Last Story (2011); and Terra Battle (2014).
In addition, his game compositions have been performed at numerous concerts, and in 2013, he was inducted into Classic FM’s Hall of Fame. He has also appeared five times in the top 20 of the annual Classic FM Hall of Fame. In 2012, Aerith’s Theme, written by Uematsu for Final Fantasy VII, was voted No.16 in the annual Classic FM (UK) Hall of Fame top 300 chart.
Fantasian is reportedly coming soon to Apple Arcade, the iOS subscription service which offers unlimited access to over 100 games for $4.99/£4.99 per month. The RPG features over 150 handmade dioramas that combine physical environments and 3D characters.
In an interview with GQ this week, Sakaguchi said the game was inspired by 1994’s Final Fantasy 6, which he had picked up three years ago with his colleagues at Mistwalker. “It reminded me how much I enjoyed the genre. and made me realise that, wow, I did a really good job of creating a very wholesome experience back then,” he said.
“[Fantasian] was about returning to those origins, and I know technology has changed immensely over the years, but I think there’s still some core values you can extract from an experience like that,” he added.
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