Music and Ambience in Final Fantasy X

Lirael

I love to read and discuss pretty much anything!
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#1
Although we have a thread for the music, I want to dedicate another to the ambience certain pieces in Final Fantasy X create. The topic came up in one of my posts yesterday and I wanted to explore it in more depth. It should be very interesting to see how the music affects everyone else's perception of locations within the game. =)

Listen to the following pieces and cast your mind back to the setting. What does the music tell you about the place? How does it make you feel? Is the city friendly? What is life like there? Who lives there?

Besaid
Luca
Mihen Highroad
The Blazing Desert

Try to avoid looking at any other posts before you create yours. You can add a couple of pieces if you so wish! =)

I shall put my comments in a spoiler. I don't want to influence anyone else. ;)

Spoiler!
 

Catnip

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#2
Besaid
This is one of my favourite themes of any Final Fantasy game ever. The beat is so innocent, but has an assertive side to it that's so subtle. I don't think it quite suits the Isle of Besaid given it's context and how it's viewed as a peaceful home in the game, but I have no complaints. Especially since there's a rich feel of nostalgia attached to it. The innocence that I mentioned earlier reminds me of the children that play by the beach. The beat reminds me of the tropical environment, and there are parts in the song that remind me of the soothing waves that swim by the white sands. So I suppose, in ways, it does match the island. Just not the village, but that one has its own theme anyways.

Luca
This one is pretty good! I never really appreciated it until now. I'm used to just running around Luca trying to get from one place to the next, and it taking hours...not really. It does suit the bustling town of Luca, I think. It has it's calmer parts, but also sounds busy and ongoing, just like the city is.

I actually really enjoy this one, wow. I never fucking noticed. I'm just gonna sit here and listen to it for a while before moving on to the next one.

Mihen Highroad
Haha, oh this one. For fuck sakes. It's got a bouncy rhythm that is just so chocobo. That's what this theme reminds me of. It fits though, since that's a pretty major transportation method on this road. Then it transitions to this part that puts the fun beat on hold to make room for itself. It's a dedication; a seriousness reserved for the statues and summoners that cross the path, before getting right back into the fun.

The Blazing Desert

This one is excellent. It's one of the ones I think suits the area spot on. There's a background sound in it that reminds me of sand blowing in the wind, hitting other grains as it passes by. It's the sound of sand running through an hourglass, and there's a tick in the music that creates an urgency for a specific need. In this, it's water and shade, two things the hot sun above refuses to grant you.
 

Trommnorse

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#3
Besaid is also one of my favourite locations in the game and one of the best pieces of the soundtrack. Uematsu's piece fits the atmosphere of the island perfectly, the sunlit beaches, blue skies and the ocean, peaceful people living there, all the tropical features that we associate with holiday-like serenity.

Luca is less peacefull both when it comes to what happens there in the game and regarding the music. In FF i strive for this very special atmosphere first and foremost, the thing I feel when travelling Besaid, for instance. I like Luca but there's this action-packed moment of the game and so I am not overly fond of this particular moment in the game.

I would, however, like to add to the abovementioned locations/pieces of music another one: Guadosalam with the song of the same title, probably one of the best in all the FF soundtracks, the beauty of which is particularily evident in the piano version of the song. Now this is this remarkable, sweet ambience that is so great and heart-warming in FF X...
 

blakstang98

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#4
I really like this thread idea. I think the music in this game almost always captured the setting nicely.

Besaid - It has a very peaceful sound. It displays the peaceful nature of a small village that rests on an island that's basically off the grid. A place that's mostly safe because of these aspects.

Luca - This is one that also has a peaceful feel to the sound. This is one example of a theme that didn't match it's setting. This theme fits something different. Being the sort of entertainment capital of Spira, it should have more hype to the theme. The blitzball music (the menu screens and in-match) would be more fitting, in my opinion.

Mihen Highroad - A theme that fits it's land. It's also has a nice calm demeanor to it, but not necessarily a peaceful one. And given it's place, that's perfect. A nice quiet area, but with enough stories along the way to say danger can still loom.

Blazing Desert - It's a calm theme, but gives a somewhat tense feel. In the story, there is sort of an unknown aspect to it, with everyone separated and not knowing where they are or how they ended up there. It fits in that it's sort of a calm before the storm type thing. You don't necessarily know that when you're there exploring, but it ends up being that.

I'll add a few of my own.

Someday the Dream Will End - One of my personal favorite themes in this game. It has such a somber sound to it, and with every cutscene you hear with this theme, it fits perfectly. And to use this as the theme in Zanarkand is also spot on.

Yuna's Theme - Another theme with a sad sound. And knowing that she's taking on a pilgrimage to her death, it makes total sense. It also has a gentle feel to the theme too, which is also Yuna all the way.

The Advancers - The 1st time you hear this theme, it packs a punch. I always remember this scene vividly and love how this theme just hits. So after you take down Seymour the 1st time, Jyscal and the other Guado's aren't happy. You explain yourself and he does a bunch of yammering about how you're going before the Grand Maester, yada yada. Then Tidus says "You're not letting us go, are you?" right when this theme hits and it is so perfect. An action theme that signifies that you're not fugitives.

People of the Far North - Funny enough, when I 1st heard this theme, it reminded me of a theme in SSX for the "Uncharted" track. Ironic considering they both involve snowy mountains. This theme has a concern to it with some determination. Again, matching what it is in the game, knowing once you get past the peak is the final destination (or so originally believed).

I could seriously go on for most of the soundtrack, but I'll leave it at that.
 
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