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Nobuo Uematsu Splitting With Square Enix

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the got-to-love-them-black-mages dept.

Role Playing (Games) 93

FreyarHunter writes "According to Gamespot, Nobuo Uematsu and Square will be separating. Nobuo was the person responsible for the mostly awe-inspiring music for the Final Fantasy games. The report indicates that he will be moving to a company called "Smile Please". While this was first thought to be a rumor it was later announced on Uematsu 's fansite that it is true. He states that it isn't "quitting", but more of a graduation. There are hints in this article saying he will still do work for Square, but at his own pace. The good news is that he still plans to write more music for video games, perform more concerts, and produce the second Black Mages Album."

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93 comments

JACK DANIELS SI NOT BOURBON, COCKSUCKER!!!1` (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700571)

Black Mages (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700584)

I'm glad to hear they're making a second album. I bought the first album, and have to say that most of the music doesn't get old. Of course, it takes a Final Fantasy addict to say that...

Say What Now? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700598)

I ran the usual suspects (Google, etc.) but I can't find any good info on Black Mages. I mean, WITHOUT it being a video_game_walkthrough.txt.

So what is this "First Black Mages Album?" Anyone have a link to a site with some samples? I know _I_ love the music, and would be interested in hearing more.

-theGreaterUninformedPublic.

Re:Say What Now? (1)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700877)

It's an excellent disk, definitely worth getting. For the most part the tracks are good though some drag and one is LONG, they're good overall. My only complaint was that my favorite song (FF III(us) battle music) wasn't really turned into anything interesting, just slowed down some. Still reccomend it though, and i'm excited to hear there's a second album coming out

Re:Say What Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10701599)

The Black mages album is a compilation of some Final Fantasy music. You can get that CD here [gamemusic.com].

Re:Say What Now? (1)

arodland (127775) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701886)

It's a CD with mostly-live-performance mixes of various Final Fantasy battle themes. The quality varies, but personall I think that "The Decisive Battle" and "Force Your Way" are enough to make it worthwhile. "Force Your Way" is the main battle theme from FF VIII; it's not the strongest in the original, but the remix is sweet.

Re:Say What Now? (4, Informative)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702826)

I'm surprised no one's given a link to his (English) homepage [square-enix.com] yet. He's popular enough that Square-Enix's homepage [square-enix.com] contains it as one of nine navigational links on the top of their page! (His Japanese site [square-enix.co.jp] is, not surprisingly, far more up to date.)

His site includes an English webpage for the Black Mages [square-enix.com] with more information, including two official samples (requires Flash).

If you're interested in purchasing the disc, I would highly suggest using Froogle [google.com]. You can get it for quite a bit cheaper than the $20 people have been linking to.

Now for my brief review:

If you aren't into Final Fantasy and Nobuo Uematsu's music, the disc is nothing special. It sounds like "80's synth" music. Most of the music has no meaning unless you can tie it in with the game when it played, so if you haven't played the games that go along with the music it's nothing special. If you are into Final Fantasy music, though, this disc is excellent.

If you have the complete Final Fantasy soundtrack for every Final Fantasy from I to XI (guilty, excluding X-2), then you should go get this disc. It's worth the money, and you'll enjoy every track. (Except, possibly, Dancing Mad. It's long and practically straight from the game.)

If not - then it's probably not worth it.

(Also, there are previews for the second disc on his Japanese site [square-enix.co.jp]. Thankfully the site is half-English. :) Note that they're webpage doesn't return proper MIME types for the Windows Media files if you're using Firefox.)

80's synth music indeed (3, Interesting)

bani (467531) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704619)

reminds me of the vacuous big hair metal bands of the 80's.

For something different, Machinae Supremacy [machinaesupremacy.com] instead. Nothing beats screaming guitars backed by a SID6581...

Not only that, MS have free downloads in ogg format...

Re:Say What Now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10706425)

I disagree-- Even if you've only heard a few songs from a couple of games, you can still love the others.

I heard the black mages album before I played ff7, 8 or 9, and every time I get into a large boss battle, I'm like 'YES! BOSS BATTLE MUSIC:DDDDDDDD' especially in ff7.

Mostly if you're into *any* type of rock, and possibly have some exposure to final fantasy, you should enjoy it:)

I'm quite excited that there will be another^_^

Also-- doesn't Dancing Mad have about four different versions? It seems like it anyways. . . Clash on the Big Bridge is still probably the greatest:)

Re:Say What Now? (1)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 9 years ago | (#10706661)

If you're interested in purchasing the disc, I would highly suggest using Froogle [google.com]. You can get it for quite a bit cheaper than the $20 people have been linking to.

That's if you're buying a bootleg, I'm assuming? The first Black Mages album-- the real deal Japanese import, mind you-- set me back around $25 (and that was only a slight markup from the exchange rate at the time, too).

I wouldn't suggest going the Froogle route and check out Play-Asia.com, GameMusic.com, and other reputable sites instead. That way, you can be sure you're getting official, sanctioned Square-Enix music.

Re:Say What Now? (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 9 years ago | (#10707917)

I got my copy for $15, including shipping. As far as I can tell, it's a 100% legit copy. It could have been an overstock or something, bringing the price down. Prices on merchandise I can verify "normal" prices on seem to be about right from the site I bought from.

Re:Say What Now? (1)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 9 years ago | (#10730727)

An overstock seems unlikely. Hmm... I'd recommend you check it out [anime.org.uk].

And that album was one of the last ones released on DigiCube; it should have the DigiCube logo and the price in yen (2,500) on the packaging, along with other little telltale signs. If it's from SM, Ever Anime, or another label, it's definately a bootleg.

Not the same (1)

loubrush (588838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700608)

The games just wont be the same, his music had such a great atmosphere. The music helped me through so much exam revision!

Re:Not the same (1)

0racle (667029) | more than 9 years ago | (#10706662)

FF Tactics, parts of X and X-2 were not done by Uematsu but the atmosphere did not suffer at all. Personally I feel that Tactics was one of the best in the series, and the change in the style of the music went well with the change in game play. Square has shown that they can find good people to continue on with what they've built up, so I doubt there is much to worry about.

Re:Not the same (1)

Kyokugenryu (817869) | more than 9 years ago | (#10709673)

I went back and played FFIV anf FFVI over the past month or so. I can't imagine the music being done any better than by Nobuo. He won't realle be missed at Squeenix because he's just another casualty. If this were old Square, it'd be huge, but Squeenix doesn't give a damn about quality anymore, so it's no big loss.

Remembrance (1)

FiReaNGeL (312636) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700623)

I remember playing Final Fantasy I as a kid... and I especially remember the music (I still can play it in my head, haven't played in 10 years). I can say the same thing for most early FF games... the music was wonderful, especially when you consider the limited sound capabilities of the original NES.

Is there a soundtrack of some sort regrouping the most popular FF themes? I find it to be very relaxing...

Re:Remembrance (4, Informative)

lav-chan (815252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700780)

There are several albums that 'regroup' the various music, although most of them are arranged or orchestrated.

'20020220 music from FINAL FANTASY' is a two-disc recording of the February 2002 concert performed by the Tokyo Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra. It's got music from all the FF games from the first to the tenth, although the later ones (especially like FF8) get more play time than the earlier ones.

'Final Fantasy 1987-1994' is a collection of songs taken from various arrange albums (like Celtic Moon and Dear Friends) during that period.

There are also 'N Generation' and 'S Generation', which are North-American collections of FF songs broken into two periods (the 'N Generation' being the Nintendo period and the 'S Generation' being the Sony one). I think some of the songs on these are arranged, but i'm not sure.

'FINAL FANTASY SONG BOOK mahoroba' is a vocal album with songs from different Final Fantasy games being sung by Manami Kiyota.

If Vocal Collections count, there are two or three of those, and, while they're entirely arranged and have added lyrics, they're probably my favourite albums out of all the ones i've mentioned so far. They're pretty rad.

And then the only other ones i know of are the 'POTION' albums (there's two of them), which i think are just compilations of arranged versions of the most relaxing songs from Final Fantasy.

Re:Remembrance (1)

loubrush (588838) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700890)

I wish these were easy to find in the UK.

Re:Remembrance (1)

lav-chan (815252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701335)

They're not particularly easy to find anywhere outside of Asia. The best places, i think, to get them are cdjapan.co.jp [cdjapan.co.jp] and amazon.co.jp [amazon.co.jp], who both ship internationally. AnimeNation [animenation.com] and GameMusic.com [gamemusic.com] have video-game music as well, but i'm not sure if they ship internationally, and (at least in the case of GameMusic) they can be a little over-priced.

There are also places like Yahoo! Japan's auction thing and SoundtrackCentral's Marketplace [altpop.com], where you can buy them second-hand.

Be careful buying soundtracks from eBay, though -- there are a lot of bootlegs sold there. Some of the auctions do warn you (if you know what to look for), but some of them don't even do that. But if you ever see anything about EverAnime or SonMay, they're bootlegs.

Re:Remembrance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703121)

'Final Fantasy 1987-1994' is a collection of songs taken from various arrange albums (like Celtic Moon and Dear Friends) during that period.

I have the 'deluxe' version of that album, it comes with a little book containing various blog-like entries by Uematsu. Especially funny was the one where he described his attempt at learning English.

Re:Remembrance (3, Informative)

Aash (130966) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700873)

Is there a soundtrack of some sort regrouping the most popular FF themes? I find it to be very relaxing...

Final Fantasy: The Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and Chorus Perform The Music of Nobuo Uematsu [amazon.com]

There's also a bunch of other soundtracks for the individual games at Amazon, though they're mostly imports.

Re:Remembrance (2, Informative)

Carlos Rodriguez (136019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701536)

A word of warning: the album mentioned above sucks. Big time. I wish I had read these [altpop.com] reviews [rpgfan.com] before wasting my money... (and yes, it is the same album - "Perform the Music of Nobuo Uematsu" is "A Musical Tribute" repackaged and with one extra and sucky track).

You'd be much better with "The N Generation" and "The S Generation" albums - compilations of songs from several arranged japanese albums. They were domestic releases, so finding them at decent prices through eBay is not too hard. Heck, I've seen new copies of them in my local SamGoodie: look for them in the soundtrack section.

If that doesn't work, then your best shot is going to Animenation.com or some other import store and look for the compilation albums. lav-chan's suggestions are pretty good (I'd go with 20020220).

Re:Remembrance (2, Interesting)

The boojum (70419) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701243)

I know others have mentioned it in this thread, but do have a look at OCRemix.org [ocremix.org] and VGMix.com [vgmix.com]. Both have some very nice remixes of FF music. (OCRemix even has a remix [ocremix.org] of the FF6 theme in homage to Uematsu from Jeremy Soule, composer for quite a few recent games.) Finally, for the original stuff, I'd suggest having a look at Zophar's Domain [zophar.net]. One of the reasons I still use WinAmp and not iTunes or such is for the SNESAmp [alpha-ii.com] plugin to play the SNES SPC files.

This sounds like a good thing for the industry... (2, Insightful)

kirk444 (513147) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700628)

It sounds to me like there's a good chance that some of his music can show up in a wider variety of work now. To me, this can only mean more games with fantastic music. If there's one thing that can add to a game, it's music and the environment it can help create. Seems to be a win-win all around. (I assume it's too late for half-life 2 to get some, eh? 'kidding')

Re:This sounds like a good thing for the industry. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10701807)

But what about the graphics!
-r

Great! (-1, Offtopic)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700631)

In the news: Bush and Kerry fight like two one armed blind men. On an important note: Nobuo Eumatsu has moved onto a new company "Smile Please" Aka. "Say Cheese"

Square is still the best (1)

piett134 (713199) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700660)

I'm still a squaresoft fanboy! Although my fav RPG's were the older ones, like FF3, Secret of Mana, and from Nintendo, Earthbound. Do you Opine?

Re:Square is still the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10705748)

Well, since you asked for someone to opine...

It's not Squaresoft anymore. It's Square Enix, headed by Yoichi Wada, and as many around here have said, there is little left of the Squaresoft you rememember. Square is basically dead; there is not much left from the early era.

I'm sure this will get modded into the basement, if only because there are a lot of people inhabiting the InterWeb who have little to no experience with the old games. I'm tempted to offer, as a relative comparison (pardon the fruity pun), the old Apple and the post-NeXT Apple just to show the disparity. I don't mean to say that post-NeXT Apple is bad, for I believe that they rock; this "same company" is now just extremely different. (Hell, I'm typing this from a PBG4 with Panther.) But it shows the magnitude of the change that has occurred at Square (Enix).

What sets Square Enix apart from Apple-NeXT, though, is that SE has stopped taking lessons from the past. With Apple, a maestro (Steve Jobs) returned and brought new ideas to the company. Whereas with SE, Wada is systematically jettisonning the Square A Team. I think they are all gone now, in fact. Sakaguchi, Amano, now Uematsu. Nasir left a long time ago.

Best to realize that this just ain't Square anymore.

Re:Square is still the best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10707548)

Augh! It's FF6 damnit. You know, just the other day one of my friends downloaded FF3 for the NES because of people like you. He told me he didn't get what all the fuss was about; no wonder. FF6! FF6! FF6! (And Seiken Densetsu 2, Mother 2 while we're at it -- though in those cases it's more acceptable since there is no risk of confusion, it still hurts your claim of oldschoolage.)

Video Game Music - Remixed (5, Informative)

dostert (761476) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700678)

Hope this isn't offtopic, but it is on my mind (since I'm listening to it at work). This website: http://www.ocremix.org/ [ocremix.org] posts remixes of classic titles. I especially like the Chronotrigger remixes, but it has A LOT of Final Fantasy remixes as well. Most of them are a big salute to Nubuo Uematsu's original mixes. Hope the people who care enough to read this article enjoy the remixes as much as I do.

Re:Video Game Music - Remixed (4, Informative)

isd_glory (787646) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700836)

Additionally, if you're new to the whole ocremix scene, I'd recommend checking out this [ocremix.org] remix.

Jeremy Soule [jeremysoule.com], the man behind other notable game soundtracks such as Neverwinter Nights, Icewind Dale, and Morrowind, put together a very nice arrangement of one of Nobuo Uematsu's works. In a geeky sort of way, its pretty cool to see one good composer pay this sort of homage to another.

Re:Video Game Music - Remixed (1)

sik0fewl (561285) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701880)

You just made my day. I headed straight to Dragon Warrior and I just started listening to the first song and it's great. I can see me wasting a lot of time here.

Caught yourself? (1)

Kazrath (822492) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700691)

Have you ever caught yourself humming some of those old games music. For me probally Super Mario bro's for the origonal NES is my most common. And now evertime I hear somone with their Cell phone ringing its like "Guess that game!"

Re:Caught yourself? (1)

kaos.geo (587126) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703089)

Have I ever? Try "Pyjamarama" "City Connection" "Manic Miner" and I could just go on for a while

Frist pso7 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700715)

be treated by yolur of busines5 and was

Thank you Nobuo.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700807)

...and may your future be as shining as the legacy you leave behind at Square. While many think that he is overtated, Uematsu's music has had a great effect not only on gaming music, but on the gaming industry as a whole. In movies John Williams is known for his scores, as is Leonard Bernstein for musical scores, but nobuo may be known as one of the first VG composers to reach fan status. I think that this alone says a lot about gaming.
On a second note, I hate to see him go, but I really don't think that Square has anything left for him anymore.

FF3 (1)

gandell (827178) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700831)

I'm no longer a gamer, but I most enjoyed Uematsu's work in the 16 bit gaming era. Unless I'm wrong, he composed the theme to FF3 (FF6 Japan), which is one of the most soulful, beautiful themes I've ever heard in a video game (although my wife insists it's the Zelda theme...shame on her). I guess my question is this: What exactly is Smile, Please? A gaming company?

Re:FF3 (1)

Moonchen (452105) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700920)

This is so true.

With Nobuo reduced involvement, Final Fantasy X's soundtrack was considerably worse than the previous games in the series. Fortunately, Final Fantasy XI had a decent soundtrack. I anxiously await the release of Final Fantasy XII, but have many doubts about whether it can carry on the tradition of the great soundtracks that Final Fantasy is known for.

Re:FF3 (1)

Shadwhawk (561728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701309)

He essentially composed every piece of music in games 1-8. I'm not at my own computer right now, so I can't look at the MP3 credits, but I think he started collaborating on 9, and something like a third to a half of the music in FFX wasn't his.

Re:FF3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10703125)

And yet, collaboration with Nintendo's composer (whatever his name is) gave us the SMRPG soundtrack. Huh.

Spelling.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700871)

Kinda important when it's the guy's name. Nobuo Uematsu. Not Nubuo.

FF won't be the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700897)

All I can say is that the FF series won't be the same (I mean, the X-2 tracks... most of them were down-right horrible).

I had to read that title 3 times... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700918)

...before I was convinced it was in english.

Unfortunate but.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10700929)

Yasunori Mitsuda (music from Chrono Cross and Xenogears) is waaay better at producing music IMO

Japanese Jobs (4, Interesting)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700935)

One thing to note for Japanese jobs - people in Japan do not job jump as much as we do in the US. In Japan - moving around too much (company to company) is bad for the resume. So when someone leaves a company - it tends to be a big deal.
Ahh FF1 - still my favorite all time...Though FFX is tied or a close second...have yet to play FFX-2, and I won't play FF online due to the monthly membership costs and the fact that they delete your account if you neglect to pay for one month.

Re:Japanese Jobs (1)

Rirath.com (807148) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702025)

FF1 and FFX? Good grief man, how does that happen? Now, don't get me wrong... FFX is a far better game than say, FF8 or FF9, both of which aren't half bad on the grand scale of console RPGs. And FFX-2 is even better if you're a member of the target audience. But for the love of buster swords man, get yourself a copy of FFVI and FFVII.

Re:Japanese Jobs (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702133)

lol...I liked six and seven...i couldn't stand 8... 9 is not bad (playing it now - though the side quests can be insane)....
But the reason I love 1 so much cause it was the first one i played - i really liked it. My friend sat beside me - he had the huge map and would navigate and tell me what to utilize on the monsters - we played this game for hours on end :D
Maybe it was because i was in junior high and remember it more fondly...obviously todays games are better in graphics/music/story/etc...but still ---FF1 always holds a soft spot for me :D

Re:Japanese Jobs (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702369)

Actually, it's 3 months...but not trying to convince you....it's too much of a time sink as I know first hand:)

I had a good feeling! (1)

Tebriel (192168) | more than 9 years ago | (#10700977)

This can only be a good thing. Not only can he do what he wants, now, but he can also still accept work from companies that he wants to do. We still could see more Final Fantasy games with his work, but that's entirely up to him.

As it is, let the man take a break from the obligatory contractual work for a while and see what happens. He can only get better.

Sad to see him go, but ... (5, Interesting)

isolationism (782170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701100)

... You can't say there wasn't warning. In the past few games he's been passing off more and more of the music to other artists. The argument that this is so only because the games are becoming bigger isn't particularly true since you've been seeing four-disc Final Fantasy soundtracks since FF VII and three-disc soundtracks before that.

Frankly, I love Uematsu's work but I'm happy to see him move on to other things and pursue his own interests and goals; I think he's earned the ability to do it. Besides, I see him doing for Square Enix' Final Fantasy music what Amano has been doing all along for their character design: Inspirational pieces from which the main themes are based (particularly those melodies that recur throughout the game, like the Zanarkand theme from FFX or Melodies of Life from FFIX).

Here's to more "inspired by" or arranged albums like The Black Mages, Pray, Love Will Grow, and Celtic Moon, too (I was disappointed at the offering in this department for Final Fantasy X; maybe now it will come out of the woodwork). It sounds to me like Mr. Uematsu retains some rights -- or still has very good relationships with Square Enix -- to continue re-recording those old works, which suits me plenty fine.

Mist Walking (2, Interesting)

Carlos Rodriguez (136019) | more than 9 years ago | (#10703963)

I saw it coming too... Another sign was Sakaguchi leaving Square to create Mist Walker [gamespot.com]. Sakaguchi had expressed a desire [rpgfan.com] to work with old pal Yoshitaka Amano, so I figured that a collaboration with Uematsu wouldn't that far behind, as well. Uematsu going freelance would give him the possibility to work with Sakaguchi without him burning bridges with Square. Chances are Mist Walker's first project will have Uematsu onboard.

(and that said, I wouldn't be surprised if Uemeatsu collaborated in Final Fantasy XIII - Square has no problems working with freelance composers).

Re:Mist Walking (2, Interesting)

isolationism (782170) | more than 9 years ago | (#10705052)

Indeed; in the same vein, another perhaps less-recognised name (but in this humble poster's opinion, that which belongs to a more favourite artist than Nobuo Uematsu) would be Yasunori Mitsuda, most notably of Chrono Cross/Chrono Trigger and Xenogears (and the subsequent Xenosaga) fame (as well as a few little songs here and there, including several in Tobal No. 1).

As Mr. Mitsuda has shown, you can be a free agent and write music for Tsugunai but still come back to Square Enix should they ever decide to create a successor to the Chrono- series. Fingers crossed.

Information from his recent concert (1)

echocharlie (715022) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701104)

There's a very nice link on the Square Enix USA [square-enix-usa.com] site with information about a concert of Umatsu-san's music held a few months ago on May 10, 2004 in LA. It includes pictures and a review which I found very very informative. It includes a picture of the man himself, and it's nice to match a name to a face.

For those of you who are more musically inclined, you can actually purchase sheet music of piano scores [ffmusic.info] of his work.

This is sad (1)

moronga (323123) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701134)

So that's pretty much it for the old Final Fantasy team. Hironobu Sakaguchi, the director, is no longer with Square-Enix. Yoshitaka Amano, who did the character designs through FFVI, has been doing just logo designs lately. And now Uematsu is leaving. :(

Re:This is sad (1)

ShadeEagle (153172) | more than 9 years ago | (#10708339)

First Uematsu quits smoking as his new years resolution, then he quits Square Enix later this year.

COINCIDENCE?

Who cares (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10701174)

Someone wake me up if/when Wavemaster [wave-master.com] splits up.

The Geeky Confession (1)

Omniscientist (806841) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701223)

His music really brings back memories of being a little kid, they really hit you at the right spot. For as simple as his music really sounds (due to the capabilities of SNES and such), my nerdiness here must admit that our friend is the Mozart of video game music! Even to make those sounds, would be quite difficult, and the sequence them just right would take alot of work. As much as I hate to see him leave Square, I really can't say I have heard much from him since the early Final Fantasy, but I hope he goes on and makes some great music for some other great games.

Uematsu is founding Smile Please. (5, Informative)

Webapprentice (608832) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701274)

Uematsu has basically decided to go freelance.

Many ex-Square composers are now freelance.

Yasunori Mitsuda (Chrono Trigger, Chrono Cross, Xenogears, Xenosaga, etc.)

Hitoshi Sakimoto (Final Fantasy Tactics, Breath of Fire V, Gradius V, Final Fantasy Tactics Advance, etc.)

Yoko Shiminoura (Legend of Mana, Parasite Eve, Kingom Hearts, etc.)

Kenji Ito (Romancing Saga, Saga Frontier, etc.)

Re:Uematsu is founding Smile Please. (1)

Kadmium (679058) | more than 9 years ago | (#10708890)

IIRC, Jeremy Soule (arguably the number 1 composer in the games industry) also used to work for Square.

Okay... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10701288)

Who's splitting a square what now?

You can get more info about Black Mages here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10701365)

Nobuo Uematsu [gamemusic.com] is the bomb! He has single handedly created the video game music industry. If there is ever a video game Grammy, he should be awarded one! I wish him great success at his new company. And keep making awesome game music!

You can get information about the Black Mages at: http://www.gamemusic.com/cgi-bin/WebObjects/GMOSto re.woa/wa/ProductDetail?pid=11033&cid=1001&did=101 [gamemusic.com]

Can't blame him for leaving (3, Insightful)

rfunches (800928) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701450)

Over the past few years Uematsu has been "phased out," if you will, from the Final Fantasy series. He didn't do much for FFX (there were two other composers on the game as well) and IIRC had no involvement on FFX-2. Other than the "Memory" song and the harp prelude in FFXI, Uematsu was only listed as producer. For FFXII I don't even think he's involved (please correct me if I'm wrong). He obviously wants to do other projects -- a few years ago, the CD "Phantasmagoria," and now the Black Mages album -- and is probably taking a hint from other high-profile game industry names (composers, producers, the head artistic people) leaving the large corporations like Square Enix and forming their own small, independent companies, and working on a freelance basis. Uematsu gets more time to produce what he wants with his name on it when he wants, and Square Enix still gets their Uematsu music, just on a freelance basis.

Re:Can't blame him for leaving (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10705090)

I believe Uematsu composed one song for FFX-2, and I know he's composing the main theme for FFXII.

Re:Can't blame him for leaving (1)

May Kasahara (606310) | more than 9 years ago | (#10706630)

Yeah, you're right-- he's written the main theme for FFXII. He's done a new piece for FFVII: Advent Children as well.

Re:Can't blame him for leaving (1)

cyways (225137) | more than 9 years ago | (#10709999)

Uematsu is listed as the sole artist for about half the works in the four-disc FFX CD set and a collaborator on many of the remaining tracks. So I don't think it's fair to say, "He didn't do much for FFX."

What would really be cool... (1)

shigelojoe (590080) | more than 9 years ago | (#10701534)

I don't know how common (or practical) collaborations between composers are in the game industry, but it would be really cool to see a teaming up of Nobuo Uematsu and Akira Yamaoka (of Silent Hill soundtrack fame) on a game soundtrack. Having Uematsu's soulful sounds mixed with Yamaoka's darker, more foreboding work would be perfect for a horror-based RPG.

Now that I think about it, though, how many horror-based RPGs are there? I can only think of a handful; the Parasite Eve series, which appears to be defunct, and the Shadow Hearts series.

Re:What would really be cool... (1)

lav-chan (815252) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702941)

Composers collaborate all the time, but normally they kind of stick with their own kind. (e.g., Square composers will do work together, but it's more rare to see like a Square composer and a Konami composer doing something.) I don't know if that's because of pressure from the company the composers work for or if it's just they're more comfortable with their, um, co-workers, but yeah. I suppose if it's the former, it would be more likely for Uematsu and Yamaoka to get together, but i'm not holding my breath.

Re: Collections of FF/Uematsu Music (1)

WoNY (443777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702780)

www.boxtorrents.com
has a roughly 6.3 gB torrent containing all of the final fantasy music for every game, movie, tv show, etc. including the black mages vol. 1

if anyone is interested.

Omens of DOOOOOM! (2, Interesting)

realityfighter (811522) | more than 9 years ago | (#10702910)

If I recall, this is how LucasArts started sliding too. Their best composer left just as the games started going downhill...

don't want to create an acocunt (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10702971)

I may be in the minority here, but good riddance.
He's been slipping ever since ff8, creating more and more songs per album, and less and less worthwhile ones.

What used to be an entier soundtrack filled with great melodies has been replaced with one or two awesome songs and 50-60 forgettable ones.

I think the newer generation of squaresoft composers are pretty much freelance (Kenji Itou,Hitoshi Sakimoto,Youko Shimomura,Hitoshi Sakimoto), and either thats the way square enix wants things run, or that's what musicians are looking for.

Good game console music (1)

viewtouch (1479) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704108)

If you want good videogame music, you can't pass up Yasunori Mitsuda's work (Xenogears, Xenosaga).
The review of Xenosaga's music is at
scoresounds.tripod.com/xenosaga.html
The CD of that music is at ()
www.lik-sang.com/info.php?category=264&product s_id =4837
Many feel that Xenogears-Xenosaga is a better Final Fantasy than Final Fantasy is. Xenosaga 2 is due in February and will include Xenosaga 1 player info importing. Xenosaga 3,4 & 5 are planned.

Re:Good game console music (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10706338)

Xenosaga's music is reasonably impressive. It's a shame the game is such dreck, as are frankly so many of the console RPG games. I like the characters, but the writing and voice-acting is pure after-school cartoon stuff, with annoying high-pitched voices, with dialog sounding essentially like pre-teens. And I swear I've seen the heroine of Xenosaga in a hentai before...

Color me unimpressed with Final Fantasy for the same reasons. If I could play them with Japanese audio and english subtitles, then maybe I could get into it. But when I compare most RPG's in the FF vein with the production values in RPG's like Baldurs Gate II, Beyond Good and Evil, or heck, Grand Theft Auto, I just give a little bit of thanks that I waited and picked the games up for a song instead of wasting $50 of my hard earned cash on it.

Please, someone recommend a decent RPG with characters I can actually stand?

Re:Good game console music (1)

Azrael Newtype (688138) | more than 9 years ago | (#10707942)

Yes, Xenosaga 2 is due in February, but the music isn't being done by Mitsuda. Yuki Kajiura (.hack//SIGN, Noir, Aquarian Age) took over for the latest one, and from what I've heard (the movie OST is already out), it's pretty damn excellent. Mitsuda also did the Chrono Series music (minus a few songs in Chrono Trigger that are a Uematsu done)

What is the big deal? (2, Insightful)

Chuu (307073) | more than 9 years ago | (#10704785)

Like many around here, I have stacks and stacks of RPG's that I've played through (and still playing, just picked up Dragon Quarter) through my life, but I just cannot understand why people put this guy on a pedestal. While a lot of his music is good, a lot of it is essentially elevator music. Also, have you heard some of the stuff that he has put out seperate from video games? I once gave a listen to his album 'Phantasmagoria,' and it was quite awful . . .

Re:What is the big deal? (1)

FreyarHunter (760978) | more than 9 years ago | (#10709599)

He's an icon... that's just about it. People don't really ever hear the name of the other composers.

Omod up (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10705327)

they are Come on Let's keep to = 36400 FreeBSD the project to Systems. The Gay project faces a set getting together to wasn't on Steve's show that *BSD has AMFERICA) is the

fi8st post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10705994)

to have t>o decide
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