Jokes aside though, it's time that I get a bit more serious this time around. I'm here to share a small tale of mine; for the hopes that one day, this legendary enigma will surface once again to grace our souls with his beautiful melody.
Zohar002. That screen name alone gives me chills. There is so much irony to that name; and yet, it feels justified while exuding a mysterious air. Sit around the campfire folks, because I'm about to tell you the mysteriously brief legend about the greatest video game cover pianist of all time.
This international man of mystery (YEAH BABY!) first debuted onto YouTube on August 4th, 2007 with his cover of "Corridors of Time". For those who don't know, it's one of the musical masterpieces from Chrono Trigger. Be a fancy bear, and watch his performance below.
His technique is absolutely flawless. His hands move like water. He flows as eloquently as woman's gentle touch. And I'll admit it, those are some sexy ass hands. But what makes this cover even more impressive is that the sheet music for this piece was originally intended to be played by two people!
Personally, "Corridors of Time" is my favorite track from Chrono Trigger. In essence the music effortlessly complemented the exotic and mystical setting. I can literally visualize the floating kingdom while listening with my eyes closed. Zohar002's cover was so emotional, compelling, and powerful that it actually brought tears to my eyes; and it wasn't for nostalgia's sake either. His cover was just that beautiful. What made him truly special was his unique delivery while still staying true to the original at the same time. I call it, "uniqinal" (fusing words! I've done it again! Buahaha!).
I referred to him as a man of mystery (SHAG-A-DELIC!) because no one knows who he is. Rumor has it that he is actually the legendary musical composer, Yasunori Mitsuda! There hasn't been any proof to that yet, but I could understand why it might be him. For starters, he has the physical sheet music either on display or is using it in his videos. Another reason why he might be Mitsuda, is because the sheet music for "Corridors of Time" is absolutely brutal to learn and master; which makes sense because he did compose the music himself. It is said that he worked so hard at composing the 54 tracks for Chrono Trigger that he developed stomach ulcers and had to be hospitalized!
Given his unrelenting love for his own music, I could see why Zohar002's absolutely flawless performance and mastery of that track alone gave speculation for his potential identity. His country of origin even says Japan on his Youtube channel! But the biggest irony (and potential giveaway) of all lays within the screen name itself. The root word "Zohar" is an extremely important term from the legendary JRPG, Xenogears. Mitsuda was also the musical composer for that game. Go figure, eh?
His cover of Xenogears's "Shevat, The Wind is Calling", is another peerless cover. Although the flute and percussion gave the sense of coolness and urgency to the original track, Zohar002 filled that crucial gap with his soothing strikes of the keys. Be a fancy bear yet again, and watch his performance below!
His performance is perfect! It's as if the music was his own to begin with. Xenogears's music is already one of the most beautiful, emotional, and compelling soundtracks I have ever heard. Zohar002's uniqinal (haha!) tribute glorifies it.
Oh, and if Chrono Trigger and Xenogears weren't enough for you, he has also done a cover for Final Fantasy 6 and Star Ocean 3.
Over the past 5 years, he has gained a massive following of fans and viewers on YouTube; over fifteen million to be exact. He has inadvertently inspired millions to make covers of their own. I'd go as far as saying he is reviving the classical art of music itself to the younger generation of viewers out there.
Unfortunately, he disappeared without a trace 4 years ago. He is sorely missed by all of his fans, including me. And honestly, I don't think this man gets enough credit for what he does.
Because of the mystery surrounding his identity, no one knows where he is, where he's been, or what he's been doing. I'm well aware that life happens, but if someone this gifted and talented can create such beautiful music for the world, why stop abruptly? It almost seemed as if he appeared for a particular purpose, and left once he accomplished his goal; whatever that was.
There are so many questions that are still left unanswered today. Who is Zohar002? Why did he appear and disappear so abruptly? Will he ever come back? Is he the legendary Yasunori Mitsuda?
He may forever be a mystery to us all. But there is no mystery about his legacy, his mastery of his craft, and his deep appreciation for the arts. He will always be an inspiration to all video game music lovers out there.
Zohar002 is a true enigma.
See you Space Cowboy.