Uematsu Final Fantasy

Chapter 4: Thus Spake Uematsu: Satirical Parody in the Opening Sequence to Final Fantasy VI (Richard Anatone)

This page provides the supplemental figures for book chapters 1-7, 10, and 12.

SectionMusicAccompanying VideoDoremi score
1Rising 4th, fanfareDescending sky; title screen‘Opening Theme #1’
2Piano preludeTitle screen‘Opening Theme #1’
3‘Catastrophe’Backstory, accompanying vignettes‘Opening Theme #1’
4Wind sound (diegetic)Dialogue between Wedge and Biggs with Terra presentn/a
5Cyclic ThemeOpening credits; Wedge, Biggs, and Terra marching to Narshe‘Opening Theme #2’

Supp 4.1. The various sub-sections within “Omen.” Although their names were Wedge and Vicks in the North American release, “Vicks” was changed to “Biggs” in the GBA version.

Culturally favored characteristics withinThus Spake Zarathustra introductionCulturally disfavored characteristics within Final Fantasy VI introduction (‘Omen’)
Ascending gestureHidden descending gesture
Consonance Dissonance
Brighter modes Darker modes 
Natural (overtone series)Unnatural (stacked perfect 4ths)
Consonant and timbrally bright fanfareDissonant choir chant
Timpani affirmationNo affirmation

Supp. 4.2. Comparison of the culturally favored and disfavored characteristics found within Strauss’ nature motive and Uematsu’s introduction to ‘Omen’ in Final Fantasy VI.

Resides primarily in Phrygian modeExpressive use of Neapolitan harmony
‘Omen’‘Phantom Forest’
‘Catastrophe’‘Serpent Trench’
‘Battle Theme’‘Floating Continent’
‘Unforgiven’‘Dark World’
‘Phantom Train’‘The Day After’
‘The Veldt’‘Gogo’ (leitmotif)
‘Under Martial Law’‘Umaro’ (leitmotif)
‘Emperor Gestahl’ (leitmotif)‘Last Dungeon’

Supp. 4.3. Tracks within Final Fantasy VI that use Phrygian mode and Neapolitan harmonies. These tracks comprise approximately 28% of the entire soundtrack. 

Supp. 4.4. The first measures of Tier 1 and Tier 2 of ‘Dancing Mad,’ showing ascension from C to D in the bass, foreshadowed in the opening measures of ‘Omen.’ Musical motives associated with Kefka first appear overtly within the ‘Second Tier,’ including the march topic, the obsessive rising and falling semitone, and the choir’s seeming laughter.

Supp. 4.5. Nobuo Uematsu, Final Fantasy VI, ‘Kefka,’ mm. 90-99, the climax before looping back to the beginning.

Expected characteristics of the rising fourth motiveCharacteristics within ‘Omen’
Series of 4 notesSeries of 6 notes
Fast tempo Slow tempo
Faster durations (sixteenth-notes through half notes)Whole notes
Rock music accompanimentCompletely unaccompanied
Tonal attributesComplete sonic saturation
No thematic importanceThe only theme stated

Supp 4.6. A list of the exaggeration or distortion techniques Uematsu applies to his rising fourth motive as heard in ‘Omen’.

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