Many aspects of classic Final Fantasy games have grown iconic over the years, but few tug at the heartstrings quite like the soundtrack. When songs like the Prelude from Final Fantasy 7 come on, they can transport you right back to when you first played the original—so how did the team approach remaking the soundtrack for Final Fantasy 7 Remake?
In the latest Inside Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the developers delve into the work done on the remake's soundscape. The music in particular posed an interesting problem; beyond updating the arrangements and instrumentation, the Remake team wanted to re-think the general approach for using music in Final Fantasy 7.
"We decided that using a traditional approach for the music would feel dated for modern players," said Yoshinori Kitase, producer on Final Fantasy 7 Remake.
To change not just the music itself but how the player experiences it, Square Enix went with a dynamic soundtrack that responds to the in-game action. Emotions and tensions rise, and so does the music. When everything calms back down, the soundtrack settles down as well.
Mitsuto Suzuki, a composer on Final Fantasy 7 Remake, says the team used different tracks and arrangements, cross-fading them in and out during gameplay. While the music itself was the same, with the same melodies, tempos, and general composition, the team might need three tracks to shift between depending on what's happening in the game.
"It's like a really top-class DJ performance," said Suzuki, "getting it all to flow smoothly."
Final Fantasy 7 Remake is out tomorrow, April 10, for the PlayStation 4. Be sure to read up on our review of the first part of Final Fantasy 7's modern revision, as well as our recent interview with the developers about how they avoided playing favorites between Aerith and Tifa.