There needs to be a Kingdom Hearts Symphony Orchestra!

Earlier this week The Legend of Zelda: Symphony Of The Goddesses Orchestra performed on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert ahead of their world tour, suggesting a growing interest in video game soundtracks arranged in symphony form. No longer do we have to pore over YouTube to listen to our favourite video game soundtracks, but can go to a theatre and marvel at the amazing arrangements that orchestra’s like Symphony Of The Goddesses are presenting. Last year saw the world tour of Final Symphony, with orchestra’s presenting the amazing music of the Final Fantasy series. Yet, despite these two massively adored franchises gaining the recognition for the fantastic music that accompanies their games and inspiring these concert tours, I feel that this new found venture is missing out on some of video game’s greatest music scores.

For those who are unfamiliar with the series, Kingdom Hearts is the unexpected mashup of the Disney and Final Fantasy worlds, combining the charm of the much loved Disney worlds and characters, and the pensive storytelling of Final Fantasy. As you can imagine you therefore get music that ranges from classic Disney to epic battle music that you would expect from a Final Fantasy game. With seven games in its main series, and many remasters, there are plenty of music pieces that could be adapted into a symphony. Plus, main composer Yoko Shimomura has created the music so masterfully so that most pieces have noticeable connections in key, motif etc. to link key characters and events, meaning that in many cases pieces could be strung together quite easily to make a fluid arrangement in symphony form. Some pieces of music from the Kingdom Hearts series were featured as part of the Symphonic Fantasies concert, which featured music from many Square Enix produced games. However, there are so many epic, and moving pieces from the Kingdom Hearts series that I feel it could only be done justice through a symphony concert of its own. But I digress, rather than me witter on about how much I love this series and its music, here are five pieces of music that I think make a compelling case for the creation of a Kingdom Hearts symphony orchestra tour.

  1. The 13th Reflection

  2. Vim and Vigor

  3. A Fight to the Death

  4. Dismiss

  5. Dearly Beloved

    (The main menu theme on every Kingdom Hearts game, go to 10:27 for my favourite rendition)

Thanks for reading! (And hopefully listening) If you’ve played any of the Kingdom Hearts series what is your favourite piece of music? What game series’ score would you love to hear at a symphony concert? Let me know in the comments!

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To Play or Not to Play

The Final Fantasy franchise is one that I find both intriguing and daunting. With fourteen games in its main series, and countless sequels, spin-offs and remakes, it would surely be a task to play through every game in this vast franchise. Herein lies my predicament. As someone who has had little experience with Final Fantasy (does Kingdom Hearts count?) I have wanted to play the much hailed series for a while. However, I have no idea where to start, or even if it matters where you start. With Final Fantasy VII, praised as one of the greatest JRPG’s, receiving a remake on the PS4, I feel that it will be a must to play both the remake and the original. I’m also quite keen on trying out the Final Fantasy X-X2 HD remaster on the PS4 as from what I’ve seen it looks like a pretty fun game. I suppose my biggest question though is whether it is vital to play every Final Fantasy game to be able to truly understand and enjoy any of the game in the series. Also, just a little background on my experience with JRPG’s, the only one I can recall playing was called Blue Dragon, a game I never completed because I got so tired of it’s linearity and monotony. I’m hoping that some of the Final Fantasy games won’t be like this, however a heads up would be great dear readers!

So I ask you readers to help me in my predicament. What Final Fantasy game should I start with to finally get into the series? Does it matter about playing every game or what order? As always, thanks for reading and I will be interested to hear your thoughts on my situation, and your experiences with the Final Fantasy franchise!