I was on the forum I work at last night with someone who was asking about music and wanting vocals. I recommended the Final Fantasy vocals with such songs as “Eyes On Me”, “Melodies of Life”, “Otherworld”, “Real Emotion”, and “1,000 Words.”
For those interested in listening to the awesomeness of Final Fantasy Music, I recommend this site: http://rgonots-sylph.net/radio/playing.html It’s my understanding, and if I’m wrong I apologize, that the guy behind it is a Christian as well.
So getting back to my story, my friend was a bit surprised so the first thing I did was link her to “Eyes On Me” on YouTube, which was the main song in Final Fantasy VIII. After a few more songs, she was stunned at what she’d been missing.
She even said that these games are works of art, and I agree. Video games are modern stories that are interactive. Some of them are more detailed and beautiful than others. You probably won’t find the poetry in Super Mario Brothers on the original Nintendo that you find in a game like Final Fantasy IX for instance.
I noted to my friend that I find Final Fantasy music very moving. The vocals are songs that I can carry with me and their connection to the story makes them even more powerful. I can picture the battles of Zidane for his love Garnet as I hear “Melodies of Life.” I can picture taking on darkness to save the world if I hear “Otherworld” from Final Fantasy X. (And heck, I used to turn on my PS2 every morning just to watch the intro to Final Fantasy X-2 that had “Real Emotion” being sung. Anyone who watches that video will immediately know why.)
This goes for even the instrumental music alone. The battle music has a way of sparking my soul for action. If you ever see me humming some tune you don’t recognize, it could be from a video game. It’s a way of me reminding myself of the adventure of life. Imagination is the portal that allows me to step into a reality beyond myself.
That’s what got me to where I told this friend the stories of the games. It is my conclusion that in some way, each of the main villains in Final Fantasy wants to be God or at least take on one of his attributes. In Final Fantasy VIII for instance, Ultimecia wants to compress time into one moment making her the only being in existence. In many other games, it’s the drive for power or immortality. In the very first one, the main villain uses the four fiends of elements in order to create a loop so he will live forever.
Now I don’t approve of everything in the Final Fantasy games, but I said they draw me into something beyond myself for a good reason. I’m a guy and like most guys, I like action and adventure. Take the mildest guy you can find and somewhere in him, I believe there is someone who is wanting to fight, someone who is wanting to be the hero, someone who wants to make a difference in the world.
The Final Fantasy series though seeks to tell the stories and while I cannot agree with the answers normally, I am thankful that at least the questions are being asked. In the world of Final Fantasy, naturalism is the odd worldview out. It is a wonder where right beside great technology of the time, one can find magic and wonderful creatures. These two aren’t seen as contradictory. The soldiers with guns and with swords both must be prepared to deal with flames firing from a wizard’s hands.
The world would be more from a pagan worldview, and yet, I consider that a good thing. C.S. Lewis was once told by a friend that this friend feared England was returning to paganism. C.S. Lewis gave an answer that he certainly hoped it was. When secularism is in charge, there is no opening for the supernatural. The pagan, however, is essentially pre-Christian as pagans were the ones reached with the gospel in Gentile territory.
The worldview of Final Fantasy at least believes that there is such a thing as good and evil. There may be hard times deciding which side something falls on, but the reality is not questioned. There is also the belief that good will triumph, but that man is incapable of fighting that battle on his own. He will need more powerful help usually from creatures more powerful than himself.
That is where I get into that idea of something beyond onesself. Every hero in Final Fantasy knows he’s caught in a battle bigger than he or she is. They are simply ordinary people usually who are out to make a difference. Now you’ll find some unusual abilities and gifts and legends amongst the heroes at times, but by and large, they’re the simple who are out there using their abilities to make a difference.
Isn’t that what many of us want? We want to go out and make a difference and if we cannot go out and do so now, we at least get an idea of what that could consist of. We may not be able to fly to a place like England today, but if we were to read stories about England, we could easily imagine what it would be like to be there and when we get there realize that it’s better than our imagination thought. (And I hope it is when I make it there someday.)
So do I love the Final Fantasy games? Yep. I have less time for them now, but I am thankful that I can sometimes get time to think about what it means to really make a difference in the world, but all the while realize that the game of my life that I play in hoping to make a difference every day, is far more exciting than any story that somebody else could write.