japantoday– “Final Fantasy” is a series that values tradition. Within its worlds, rideable birds remain as viable a means of transportation as cars or motorcycles, and there’s no killer robot too powerful that a suitably skilled warrior can’t take it down with a really big sword.
And now, in its latest tip of “Final Fantasy’s” hat to the classic way of doing things, developer Square Enix is releasing a collection of music from “Final Fantasy IV” on vinyl.
“Final Fantasy IV-Song of Heroes” is a double-sided record containing four pieces of music from the 1991 role-playing game, “The Red Wings,” “Theme of Love,” “Battle 2,” and “Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV.” The A-side features modern arrangements of each, and the B-side preserves them in their original form, as they sounded when put out by the Super Famicom’s/SNES’s S-SMP sound chip.
The record’s cover consists of a beautiful illustration by original “Final Fantasy” character designer Yoshitaka Amano of protagonist Cecil and his companions Rosa, Kain, Edge, and Rydia (sorry, dark knight fans, Cecil appears in his paladin form).
“Final Fantasy VII” (which has also gotten some vinyl love) is largely recognized as the biggest turning point in the series, since it’s when the games made the jump from cartridge to CD, “Final Fantasy IV” was a major milestone as well, especially in the sound department. As the first “Final Fantasy” on a 16-bit system, it was also the first whose soundtrack was able to recognizably approximate real-world instruments, as opposed to the more computerized beeps and buzzes of earlier video game hardware.
“Final Fantasy IV-Song of Heroes” is priced at 3,850 yen, with shipping scheduled for Aug 25. Pre-orders are open now through Amazon Japan (here) and Square Enix Japan’s online shop (here), and the company says the record will be available through its North American and European stores as well, though no pre-order pages exist for them as of this writing. Oh, and don’t worry, the cost includes an MP3 download code for the collection as well, since no matter how much you might prefer the warmer, more organic sound of vinyl, lugging your record player and speakers with you on the train is a public transportation faux pas.