This is a sponsored post presented by Square Enix.
There aren’t many games where muting the sound effects is a good idea, but sometimes a musical score is so good that it demands to be consumed without distraction, sans grunts and huffs and puffs. That's precisely the case for Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn's orchestral score. The audio expands and enhances the sense of grandeur and diversity communicated by the narrative and its key locations.
Many MMOs have excellent soundtracks, of course, especially recent ones with fat budgets. To an extent, they have to. With players dedicating so many hours to quests, raids and forming friendships, a repetitive and/or dull soundtrack would be reason enough to stop playing... or, at least, turn the audio off altogether and eliminate what should be a key component of the game.
A Realm Reborn's balance between remixes of classic Final Fantasy tracks and brand new additions makes it as much about discovering the new as it is a celebration of the old. It subtly connects Final Fantasy XIV to its heritage.
There are some of the best A Realm Reborn musical moments.
The Crystal Theme (Rebirth)
As synonymous with Final Fantasy as the series' trademark font or the appearance of a character named 'Cid', the Crystal Theme has become the beacon signalling the commencement of a new game. Heard on A Realm Reborn's main menu screen, the music accompanies you as you create that first character and make crucial decisions that shape your journey to come.
A Realm Reborn's edition of the Crystal Theme is dubbed 'Rebirth' on the game's official soundtrack, hinting at both the creation of a new character and Final Fantasy XIV's personal reincarnation from failed MMO to thriving community.
Crystal Theme as is appears in FFXIV: A Realm Reborn
Crystal Theme from FFVII
Crystal Theme from FFIX
Wailers and Waterwheels (Gridania by day)
The forest nation of Gridania is, naturally, one of the greener and more visually welcoming corners of Eorzea and it has the calming, gentle music score to match. 'Wailers and Waterwheels', which soundtracks Gridania by day, precisely matches in tone the nature of the area's more peaceful inhabitants - a people that enjoy a deeper union with their natural surroundings.
It's the kind of thing you could easily listen to while enjoying a lazy weekend with a good book.
Wailers and Waterwheels, Gridania by day
Sultana Dreaming (Ul'Dah Night Time Theme)
If Gridinia is best enjoyed by day then Ul'Dah is a place of the night. Encapsulated by desert, the fortress-like confines of the city are given a more mystical and exotic presence thanks to the combination of piano and wind instruments that form its 'Sultana Dreaming' theme.
With an intense selection of foes awaiting you beyond the city walls if makes sense to enjoy the dreamy music before stepping out onto the sand.
Sultana Dreaming, Ul'Dah by night
Under The Weight (Primal Titan Boss)
If you prefer your music a little less classical and a lot more raucous, you could do worse than 'Under The Weight', the theme that accompanies the fifth and final stage of the Primal Titan boss fight. There are four tracks assigned to the prior portions of the fight that slowly build in intensity, culminating in this.
Under The Weight, Primal Titan Boss
Final Fantasy II Battle Theme Remix
Nostalgia is a powerful force. That sense of reconnecting with another time and place is something many will have felt when playing through A Realm Reborn Ul'dah story arc, presented with a remix of the main battle theme from Final Fantasy II. A lot of players probably didn’t recognise it, but others were transported straight back to that top-down fantasy world.
The FFII Battle Theme
The FFII Battle Theme Remixed for FFXIV
Eorzea de Chocobo
What’s a Final Fantasy game without Chocobos? There have been many themes that escort an appearance from a Chocobo and/or a ride on one throughout the series' history and A Realm Reborn's 'Eorzea de Chocobo' is one of the finest. (Given that the game's maps are often are on the bigger side of enormous, that can only be a good thing.) The whimsical nature of this track is enough to restore a smile to your face after a gruelling death or harrowing scene.
A Realm Reborn's Eorzea de Chocobo
FFVII Edition of the same track
The Land Burns (Thanalan Battle Theme)
As far as Final Fantasy battle themes go, 'The Land Burns' is pretty diverse. This helps to prevent the Thanalan region's numerous battle opportunities becoming stale too quickly. It might be a stretch to say that you find yourself initiating a fight just to hear the music, but The Land Burns is a contender for A Realm Reborn's most involving battle theme.
The Land Burns, Thanalan battle theme
Ruby Sunrise (Costa Del Sol)
No journey through A Realm Reborn's world of Eorzea would be complete without a stop off at Costa Del Sol, the seaside resort town of piers, sunbathers and peculiarly dangerous crabs. The 'Ruby Sunrise' track that punctuates a visit to the small community is of a less dramatic and grandiose persuasion than the majority of the game's music, providing space for a relaxed breather before setting back off on the hard road.
Apparently, it makes a lot of people want to dance…
Costa Del Sol's Ruby Sunrise theme
The music featured in FFVII vision of Costa Del Sol was very different.
This is a sponsored feature presented by Square Enix.