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Kingdom Hearts -Final Mix- Additional Tracks :: Forum Review

Kingdom Hearts -Final Mix- Additional Tracks Album Title: Kingdom Hearts -Final Mix- Additional Tracks
Record Label: Walt Disney Records
Catalog No.: SQCD-40001
Release Date: December 26, 2002
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Written by Chris

After the release of Kingdom Hearts in Japan, America, and Europe, the executives of Square Enix, being the awful people they are, decide to re-release an improved version of Kingdom Hearts called Kingdom Hearts Final Mix. While all the new features and scenes added made this new release seem fine and dandy on the outset, there is a major problem — this version of the game was to be released only in Japan. In other words, we Europeans and Americans were never to get to see this version of the game unless we decide to emigrate.

Yoko Shimomura was commissioned by Square Enix to create four tracks to accompany the additional scenes for the game and an album, Kingdom Hearts -Final Mix- Additional Tracks. Constituting just under 15 minutes of music in total, with half the tracks being arrangements and the other half being original compositions, it is a purchase that only a die hard VGM fan is likely to make. Nevertheless, the music deserves analysing, so, to start, here are some background details on each track:

1. One Winged Angel (from Final Fantasy VII) - This track is played during the Platinum Match with Sephiroth, as well as during the Cloud versus Sephiroth scene. This was originally composed by Nobuo Uematsu for Final Fantasy VII, but has been arranged especially by Shimomura.

2. A Night on the Bare Mountain - This track is played during the boss fight with Chernabog at the End of the World instead of "Guardando del Buio." This overture was originally composed by Russian composer Modeste Mussorsky, and like "One Winged Angel," has been arranged specifically for Kingdom Hearts Final Mix by Shimomura.

3. Disappeared - This original track is played during the fight with Unknown for a new scene in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix at Hollow Bastion.

4. Another Side - This track is played during the Deep Dive secret ending movie, which can be released after beating the game 'fully'. You need all 101 Dalmatians, you need every Ansem Report, you need to have locked every world, and you need to beat every Cup entirely. That takes some doing, huh? However, the American version is a shorter version of this theme and does not entirely reflect what Shimomura has created. Yeah, it sucks.

Yeah, I'm angry at the executives at Square Enix too, so don't get too mad at me, okay?! I think it'll just be best if we move swiftly on and get right into the nitty-gritty details of each track, don't you?

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) One Winged Angel (from Final Fantasy VII) (Written by Terraguy)

What a great battle track. Starting off with symbols and a lot of strings creating the mysterious effect with the piano creating a strange melody that shows another mysterious side, the track opens strong. Then, when the vocals break in, all hell breaks loose. The creepy vocals add very well to the track's battle effect, and the feeling of desperation sets in. The use of drums and more cymbals, with bells, add to the immense effect of "hurry hurry". A great battle track, and something to keep people immersed in the track easily. (10/10)

2) Night on the Bare Mountain (Written by Hanta)

We've frequently seen this translated as "Night on the Bald Mountain," which is incorrect. This track is particularly famous for being used in Disney's Fantasia and returns in Kingdom Hearts Final Mix (and the American version of Kingdom Hearts) as a boss theme, arranged by Shimomura to fit in with the rest of the game's soundtrack. The arrangement remains fairly faithful to Mussorsky's composition with Shimomura utilising a synth orchestra with some good results. Admittedly, this is a track made to be played by an orchestra but Shimomura does get away with it using nice strong brass instruments and woodwinds but the synth violins are a little to be desired. This a strong and dramatic yet mischievous piece that Shimomura manages to translate well into the game and is suited to the battle it's played in. (9/10)

3) Disappeared (Written by Totz)

As monsieur Chris has said, this track is played in the fight against the Unknown in Hollow Bastion. Unfortunately, since I don't live in Japan, I can only imagine what the fight must be like: I imagine the Unknown starts off very calm, very controlled, but as soon as we annoy him (aka beat the living daylights outta him), he gets all mad and stuff. But him/her/it being slow in the beginning doesn't mean the battle isn't frantic. Heck, look at Sephiroth. He slowly walks toward you, but his huge Masamune can pretty much hit you every single time. And look at the track that's played when you fight him. There are no slow moments. Maybe the beginning, but the fight hasn't started yet. But I digress. A lot. "Disappeared" perfectly represents that battle in my mind. It starts off kinda mysteriously, then it goes all out and gets really agressive. And although the bass line is very repetitive, the track really kicks in at 0:56, and surprise, surprise, there's a piano in there. All I'm saying is that the track is good. Damn good. Shimomura did good. And that means it's great. (9/10)

4) Another Side (Written by Terraguy)

This track played during the secret movie in Deep Dive, like Chris said, and boy, did it rock! The track helps majorly. Starting from a low and soft/sweet piano theme to a few vocals coming in, it gives a strange sense of foreboding. Then it continues in the same sense, becoming a tad repetitive, until 0:53 when a cello starts a deep four-note phrase which sets off drums, strings, and the rock beat. The piano plays small little harmonics in between, and the overall feeling is just, "Wow." Then at 1:25, a swooping melody from strings and a flute create a perfect sense of a interlude while still keeping the main rock theme underneath. Then, reverting straight back to the drums as a bass line, the track is well put together to create action. At the end, all instruments disappear except for vocals and piano, which creates the ultimate feeling of "what's gonna happen next?!" Overall great track. When in the movie, it could have been synchronised a tad better, but as a track, it's a great track for battles and the unknown coming. (9/10)


Written by Chris

Kingdom Hearts musical extras are very nice and there's no denying that pretty much all items on this album are good or excellent. However, purchasing this long out-of-print album would require extensive eBay searching before you're greeted by a hefty price tag. I don't think this is worth it for just four tracks. The newly released Kingdom Hearts Original Soundtrack Complete Box features these pieces along with the scores for Kingdom Hearts, Kingdom Hearts II, Kingdom Hearts Re:Chain of Memories, and Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix. It goes at quite a price, but around the same as this album for fifty times as much material. So if you really want these tracks and like Kingdom Hearts in general, said album is the definitive purchase, not this one. (5/10)

Written by Totz

There's really not much to say. The album boasts only four tracks, half of which were already in the original game. So the only new additions are "Disappeared" and "Another Side," which are both excellent tracks in their own right. As a fan, I couldn't have asked for more (actually, I could. I could ask them to not make Kingdom Hearts Final Mix Japan-exclusive, but what the hell), but if you're just mildly interested in the game, this is not worth it. (6/10)

Average of Summary Scores: 6/10