The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Soundtrack Sounds Different So Far, But in A Good Way

The Final Fantasy 7 Remake Soundtrack Sounds Different So Far, But in A Good Way

The new orchestral compositions of familiar tunes sound great so far.

Everyone knows the Mako Reactor music. The almost marching band-like steady drum backing it; the howls of instruments falling in line of a haunting choir. In the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the familiar music chimes in when Cloud and the members of Avalanche who hired him are exploring the Mako Reactor. It's not as dramatic as the original, but there's something unique about the new orchestration.

We've already heard slivers of memorable the renditions of iconic Nobuo Uematsu-composed tunes in trailers ("Opening - Bombing Mission," "Aerith's Theme," the Final Fantasy 7 theme obviously), but our recent look both hands-on and hands-off was the first time we've heard how the music feels within the game. Gone are the MIDI-like virtual instruments; now we have legit cellos.

The Mako Reactor music, which appeared in both demos, was the most striking to me. It's a subtle rendition too. Gone are the swells that made the original so memorable, but somehow, it works anyway. It feels as if it's been toned down as to not overpower the light banter between Barrett and Cloud, among other conversational moments. Where JRPG soundtracks used to be bombastic because, in truth, they were the only sound communicating the mood and how characters feel in a time before voice acting was a thing, in Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the music doesn't need to do that heavy lifting anymore. It can linger in the background, while still offering a melody to get stuck in your head.

It makes me excited to hear what other tracks from the score are like in the remake. Does "It's Difficult to Stand On Both Feet, Isn't It?" still have its comedic horn blasts? Will "Stolen Materia" use actual flutes? It's all a mystery for now.

When the Final Fantasy 7 Remake was originally announced, Nobuo Uematsu's name was conspicuously absent from the returning staff list. Since then though, producer Yoshinori Kitase confirmed in an interview in May 2018 that Uematsu is working on the music for the remake at some capacity; my guess is a consulting one, rather than full composer. Yet later in 2018, Uematsu announced that he's taking an indefinite break from composing. It's possible that his work on Final Fantasy 7 Remake is very minimal and already concluded.

Still, even without Uematsu officially at the helm, the refreshed soundtrack for Final Fantasy 7 Remake isn't sounding to just be the original soundtrack but now with an orchestra; after all, that would be boring, right? It's the same qualm I had when people were up in arms about the action combat shown first in 2015 (and again this year). Why would you want to play—and in this case hear—the same exact game as the original when the original is readily available? That would be boring! In expanding the world, the characters, Midgar into its own standalone game, and the tunes of the soundtrack, Final Fantasy 7 Remake really is shaking up the most beloved JRPG of all-time in refreshing ways.

We'll see if Square Enix changes too much when Final Fantasy 7 Remake is out in March 2020 for PlayStation 4.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Caty McCarthy

Features Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's official altgame enthusiast.

Read this next

Yoshinori Kitase Weighs in on the Possibility of a True Final Fantasy 8 Remake

Kitase's happy to work on Final Fantasy 7 again, but he'd sooner pass the torch for #8.

Final Fantasy 7 Everything We Know

This is our guide to the Final Fantasy 7 Remake on PS4, including the release date, box art, gameplay trailer, and more.

Final Fantasy 7 Remake Has a Classic Mode For Proper Turn-Based Combat

You don't need to worry about all that newfangled action combat.

New Final Fantasy 7 Remake Trailer Gives us HD Don Corneo

Say hello to the Don, President Shinra, and more.

How Final Fantasy 7 Remake's Battle Music Goes in Unexpected Directions

So long repetitive battle themes, I'll see you in therapy.

More Opinions

Blizzard's Very Bad October Just Keeps Getting Worse

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Blizzard's ban on Hearthstone player Blitzchung catches the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Baldur's Gate's Complex Interface Translates Surprisingly Well to Switch

Beamdog's Infinity Engine collections find great ways to bring those games to consoles.

Luigi's Mansion 3 References One of the Best Horror Films of All Time

Crazy things can happen when your back is turned.

Is Darth Maul in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order? There's Strong Evidence For It After the Latest Reveals

Dathomir is in Fallen Order, and that could mean the return of the Baddest Man in the Galaxy.

More on PlayStation 4

Final Fantasy 14's Nier: Automata Raid Gets a Release Date and a Ton of New Details

Final Fantasy 14 continues to consume all things Square Enix.

Blizzard's Very Bad October Just Keeps Getting Worse

THIS WEEK IN BUSINESS | Blizzard's ban on Hearthstone player Blitzchung catches the ire of Republicans and Democrats alike.

Baldur's Gate's Complex Interface Translates Surprisingly Well to Switch

Beamdog's Infinity Engine collections find great ways to bring those games to consoles.

Return of the Obra Dinn's Creator Reminisces on Getting Its Iconic Style Just Right

"After working on non-graphical stuff for so long, I took a moment to reflect on what I had with the visuals. It wasn’t great."

How a Rookie Speedrunner Revitalized Dragon Age: Inquisition by Beating It in Under 30 Minutes

One discovery changed the run entirely, and revitalized the scene along with it.

7 Horror Games That'll Scare You Without Breaking the Bank This Halloween

You won't find anything in the $40 to $60 range on this Halloween horror list.

More Action Games

Control's New PC Patch Forces You to Launch Through the Epic Games Store [Update: It's Being Fixed]

An Epic representative tells USG that DRM and store authentication decisions are up to developers and publishers.

Microsoft Claims Xbox Game Pass Subscribers Play More Games and More Genres

The average Game Pass user is apparently playing—and buying—more games than they used to.