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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII

Hamauzu and VGO dicuss FF: Lightning Returns soundtrack

5:00 PM on 06.12.2013 // Audun Sorlie

Exclusive reveal

Square's lineup at this E3 has been among the best in show, with Final Fantasy XV, Kingdom Hearts III and Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII tearing up the show floor. We managed to sit down with Masashi Hamauzu and Shota Nakama to talk about the soundtrack for Lightning Returns, and we can now exclusively reveal that in addition to having Hamauzu doing the music for the upcoming title, Video Game Orchestra will be orchestrating and recording the soundtrack at their studios in Boston.

"This was absolutely THE dream gig.  I grew up playing the 'FF' series and have always loved them - I can recall so many great memories.  I had never imagined I would be working on FF back then but I am incredibly, overwhelmingly happy that I did" Nakama says on his involvement as orchestrator and producer for the orchestra, before adding, "I received the music in April from Hamauzu-san.  After that it was pretty much lock myself in my room writing scores everyday for hours."

Hamauzu himself was very much involved in the recording process as well. "I monitored most of the sessions online, but I also traveled to Boston to be there first-hand. There was no one else I wanted for this project, my first request for SQEX was to work with the VGO forLightning Returns."

When speaking about the musicians used for the game's 60 minute plus score, Nakama states, "We carefully selected the musicians for this recording because this is Final Fantasy - it has to present the highest quality.  Not only that, we had to select the musicians who LOVE the music.  Mainly the musicians were in their 20s-30s, the ones who grew up playing games.  So naturally you can hear more emotions in the performance - joy, sadness, passion, and all kinds of things. Also the two engineers I had for this project, Falk and Alvin, were absolutely fantastic.  They instantly understood what Hamauzu-san and I wanted from the music, and they just made things happen, you know?"

Nakama also responds with excitement when asked if Lightning Returns would become part of their touring live show lineup, quickly answering "Absolutely!  We would LOVE to do that!"

Be sure to check back for more news on Lightning Returns, and check out the game when it releases on February 11, 2014.

Audun Sorlie, Contributor
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A Norwegian journalist and published author, specializing in video game music and salami. Having lived in Brazil, United States, and Europe, he has been featured in many magazines around the worl... more   |   staff directory

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