Sunday 25 November 2012

Distant Worlds, Edinburgh Playhouse

It is nice to be at a video game event where the majority of attendants have put on their fancy clothes. Most people were either in full cosplay gear, suited up... or both, in the case of those dressing as "Turks" from Final Fantasy VII.

I knew the concert was going to be great when the first number started playing. It was the Final Fantasy Prelude. Initially just a solo harp playing, reminiscent of the early NES games, but it was eventually overlaid by the choir arrangement from the japanese Final Fantasy: Pray CD. Halfway in, the string parts added to the Prelude in Final Fantasy VII were incorporated, and at this point I must admit that sentimentality got the better of me, and I might have shed a nostalgic tear or two :)

After winding the composition down to its basic form again for the ending, the choir transitioned into Liberi Fatali from Final Fantasy VIII, complete with video from the game's intro sequence, giving the Edinburgh Playhouse a chance to shine both as a concert venue and as a cinema, the purpose for which it was originally constructed in 1929.

Subsequently, the conductor Arnie Roth addressed the crowd, presented The National Youth Choir of Scotland, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the evening's representative from Square Enix in attendance: Final Fantasy XIII composer Masashi Hamauzu.

After doing a short Victory Fanfare the orchestra continued with a moving rendition of the Zanarkand theme from Final Fantasy X.