- Atlus
  - Capcom
  - Cave
  - Falcom
  - Irem
  - Konami
  - Microsoft
  - Namco Bandai
  - Nintendo
  - Nippon Ichi
  - Grasshopper
  - Sega
  - Sony
  - Square Enix
  - Western Games

  - Castlevania
  - Chrono
  - Dragon Quest
  - Final Fantasy
  - Kingdom Hearts
  - Mana
  - Mario
  - Megami Tensei
  - Mega Man
  - Metal Gear
  - Resident Evil
  - SaGa
  - Silent Hill
  - Sonic
  - Star Ocean
  - Street Fighter
  - Suikoden
  - Tales
  - Ys
  - Zelda

  - Masashi Hamauzu
  - Norihiko Hibino
  - Kenji Ito
  - Noriyuki Iwadare
  - Koji Kondo
  - Yuzo Koshiro
  - Shoji Meguro
  - Yasunori Mitsuda
  - Manabu Namiki
  - Hitoshi Sakimoto
  - Motoi Sakuraba
  - Tenpei Sato
  - Yoko Shimomura
  - Koichi Sugiyama
  - Masafumi Takada
  - Nobuo Uematsu
  - Michiru Yamane
  - Akira Yamaoka

Home Contact Us Top


Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections :: Review by Moses Rose

Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections Album Title: Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections
Record Label: NTT Publishing
Catalog No.: N38D-010 (1st Print); NTCP-1001 (Reprint)
Release Date: April 21, 1992; May 23, 2001
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Final Fantasy's Piano Collections series is a hub of minor controversy. While some complain that the early Piano Collections are too simplistic — each piece simply a piano verbatim of what is contained in the game — others feel the direct translation a refreshing, organic way to enjoy already well composed music.

I am ambivalent towards the Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections. Some pieces, played with virtually no arrangement from the original, sound quite nice and relaxing. They are simple, yes, but beautiful in the effortlessness fashion in which they are performed. Others, however, become unnerving and grating to the senses. Often, after the first loop, a piece needs emphasis and the only way to communicate this is apparently by hammering the keys fortissimo. This, needless to say, becomes very taxing. Fortunately, the Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections, for the most part, does not feature this flaw as much as Final Fantasy V's.

Track-by-Track Reviews

1) The Prelude

The standard menu music and a Final Fantasy trademark, I was looking greatly forward to the Final Fantasy IV piano rendition of this piece. I regret to say that I am disappointed by the arrangement of it. One of the few tracks to actually receive much manipulation, it is fragmented and halting, especially during the first minute or so. The piece's most recognizable feature are the arpeggios that play ceaselessly in the background of the entire song. The chord progressions give "The Prelude" its dreamy and ethereal atmosphere that makes it so memorable. The arpeggiation is done completely differently in Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections. The first half of each arpeggio is played, there is silence, and then the first half is played again. This is played in the background while the actual melody, which remains unaltered, plays in the front (as with the original). The huge change made in the arrangement is very, very jarring on the senses, however, and despite that the piano lends itself perfectly to "The Prelude" and the melody remains the same, this piece is devoid of most of the original's beauty.

2) Theme of Love

A bit on the sappy sweet side, the piece is very slow, sentimental, and emotional. It begins slow and soft, and then builds a bit through the second loop. It is enjoyable, but because of the slowness of this piece and the fact that there is not much interpretation from the original on the Original Sound Version, after the first loop the track begins to drone on and become a bit dull. Enjoyable as background music, "Theme of Love" is not bad, but neither is it incredibly inspiring.

3) Prologue

The other precedent setting track originating from Final Fantasy, "Prologue" is for the most part splendid on the Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections. It must be noted, of course, that the melody of "Prologue" is itself already grand, and that in itself is probably what makes the piano rendition a worthy listen. There is again no manipulation of the original track with this piece, and so that mandates, as seems to be the law with these piano collections, that the end of the piece be played in fortissimo. With "Prologue" it's not quite as obtuse as it can be on slower pieces, however, because the theme is meant to build. So the harshness of the playing at the end is actually appropriate. Indeed, this piece is very enjoyable to listen to.

4) Welcome to Our Town!

"Welcome to Our Town!" is an average and forgettable town tune that makes for good background music (as it is supposed to). This is one of the few tracks that is arranged a bit-and quite well too, might I add. There is a bit of an intro before the opening of the melody that sets the appropriate mood for this relaxing piece. The melody remains unaltered, however. Nothing grand, but enjoyable to listen to.

5) Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV

"Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV" is the overworld music of the game. This piece was excellently done in the game, and it is well done in Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections. The soundtrack presents the theme as upbeat adventure music with a hint of intrigue; the Piano Collection version is slowed down, especially at first, to create a mysterious, dreamy feel. This dreamy feel then builds to a climax. The climax is fair, if a bit hard on the ears because it's played fortissimo. A very beautiful interpretation to an already beautiful song with a harsh ending, this piece is still very nice.

6) Chocobo-Chocobo

This is the compulsory "Chocobo" track that can be found on all of the earlier Final Fantasy Piano Collections. The "Chocobo" theme tune is well known among Final Fantasy fans and so I need not describe it. This rendition is basic-with little deviance from its origins and few risks. It is a fair track if you like the "Chocobo" theme.

7) Into the Darkness

"Into the Darkness" is a dismal and moody piece akin to Final Fantasy VI's enchanting "The Mystic Forest." It starts off very quiet and stays quiet except for seeming short bursts that sound as though they are 'breaking through' the rest of the piece. This method of short bits of loud works well to communicate the kind of trapped feel of this piece. It works well. Because of its subdued sound, it does not fall prey to the seemingly impetuous pounding found in some of the other tracks and is able to maintain its gloom throughout. It is indeed a beautiful piece.

8) Rydia

"Rydia" is a nice track with a lighter tone to it. With a soft melody however, the track becomes a bit mundane and is quickly relegated to background music. "Rydia" is pleasant, but not at all outstanding.

9) Melody of Lute

"Melody of Lute" is a dreamy, ethereal piece that reminds me personally of one of those red and white spinning tops — the ones that never have a beginning nor and end. That, I suppose, is an odd way to describe a piece, but its simple flowing melody reminds me of that. Not exactly a dismal piece though, "Melody of Lute" is certainly a melancholy tune well suited for looking out a train window at passing, frozen, (perhaps lightly snowy), fields of gray. "Melody of Lute" did receive a bit of reconstruction for the Piano Collections version of the piece, but this I believe is to be expected. The piece from the soundtrack really is quite a short tune and without changes it would have become rather dull rather quickly.

10) Golbeza Clad in the Dark

This is the villain music of Final Fantasy IV. With its repeated war-like background and pointless melody, "Golbeza Clad in the Dark is one of the few uninspired tracks on this album. Quite mundane and taxing, it becomes very difficult to listen to after about 30 seconds and needless to say, I have only listened to it through a couple of times.

11) Troian Beauty

"Troian Beauty" is yet another of the simply extraordinary pieces to be found on this album. Dismal and dreary with a hint of hope, this piece's rising and falling melody is abundantly enchanting in its simplicity. Without much variation from the original, this track still manages to steer clear of the hammering that some of the others are made to suffer. The Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections is worth purchasing if only for this track, in my opinion.

12) The Battle

"The Battle" is an arrangement of the final boss battle music of Final Fantasy IV. It starts off with a fairly long intro sounding vaguely of "Prologue". It then transitions into its second movement, a fast paced, jazzy sounding section which calls for intelligent action. The third section is a bit more suspenseful and foreboding; this segment suggests the most danger and strife. The fourth movement of the piece, the last, is the most positive at first. This positive mood soon breaks away into one of conflict though and climaxes the end. "The Battle," though not the finest of Uematsu's boss battle music, is enjoyable to listen to if only for the variation of its many movements on this album.

13) Epilogue

"Epilogue" features fragments of the "Main Theme," "Troian Beauty", and "Theme of Love" first before evolving fully into "Prologue." Material original to "Epilogue" emerges after the devolution of the "Prologue" portion. This fifth and last movement feels really like a processional drum roll and, though not necessarily rousing apart from the game, it is understandable why such a section would be warranted. A bit slow moving and difficult to follow, "Epilogue" is not a poor track, but not grand either.

14) Theme of Love (ensemble)

This could be considered a bonus track. As the name indicates, "Theme of Love (ensemble)" is "Theme of Love" performed in strings by a chamber orchestra. Though there is piano featured in the song, the strings carries the melody entirely. I will concede "Theme of Love" sounds much better performed in this manner. Though it might be construed just as sappy as the piano version, the strings make it considerably more restful and calming.


One of my favorite albums, the Final Fantasy IV Piano Collections album is comprised of predominantly good tracks with a number of excellent ones. Consisting of principally gloomy, melancholy or relaxing pieces, I recommend highly this album to anyone who prefers music with a more dreamy air to it.

Overall Score: 8/10