Final Fantasy XV: A Musicologist’s View

Final Fantasy XV

Final Fantasy (FF), as a franchise, can be praised for the musical accompaniments to its 15 games, all identifying with given environments and character progression. FF XV is unique to the series, boasting an open world where the player can travel by car and real time fighting mechanics which have originally been turn-based. What is also unique to this game is that the player can listen to music previous games and movies whilst exploring the open world; by foot and by car. What one will find is that most of the time spent playing the game will likely accompanied by music from previous games, keeping players occupied for the one to six minute drives between areas and quest points; including the Chocobo theme (which is the ONLY music you can listen to when riding a Chocobo).

The original soundtrack for XV remains mostly silent in the open world, except for occasional cues of short material in the open world, dungeon ambiance, and story orientated cues. This gives way for the use of the MP3 player and car radio (to play previous games’ material) without the player missing out on important semiotic cues. The conversations that occur between the team of four is important to the game’s lore and the relationship between the player and the game world. The, mostly, silent open world allows for the natural conversations that take precedence over music, as their relationship is more important for the player to understand than any musical accompaniment.

This relationship between original music, playable soundtracks, and vocality is an interesting balancing act for the game, something that FF has done well. The game offers a new perspective to the franchise in both its music and game mechanics, and works hard to create a believable environment and character progression for the player.

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