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Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Sound Selection :: Review by Chris

Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Sound Selection Album Title: Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Sound Selection
Record Label: Square Enix
Catalog No.: Promotional
Release Date: January 29, 2009
Purchase: Buy at ebay


The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Sound Selection was a promotional album enclosed with pre-orders of Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time. It features a major theme from each of the four titles in the Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles series composed by Kumi Tanioka. It includes the only theme from My Life as a King so far released on CD, though the other themes are present on their respective game's soundtrack releases. The themes reflect how each Crystal Chronicles title has continuous elements, but is also subtly individually characterised. Let's see how...


"Endless Sky" is the instrumental version of "Kaze No Ne" from GameCube RPG Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. The original was an outstanding vocal theme featuring ethnic vocals, ancient instrumentation, and a memorable melody. The instrumental version blossoms from a simple recorder introduction into an ensemble interpretation of the melody featuring wistful woodwinds and gliding strings. Though it stays quite close to the original, novel additions such as glockenspiel passages hint at the playful nature of the game. While quite short, this is still a great introduction to the unique early instrument music characteristic of the Crystal Chronicles series.

"Ring of Fates Medley" is a thematic tour of the soundtrack to the DS RPG Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Ring of Fates. It incorporates numerous different melodies from the game. After opening with the fragile harp arpeggios of "The Beginning", it incorporates the wistful flute melodies of the game's opening theme and soon develops into a triumphant orchestral main theme. It takes plenty of twists and turns along the way, since it incorporates several action themes, but eventually returns to the opening theme. It feels a bit crammed together since it only lasts for 3:39, but is still an enjoyable way to expose the music from the underrated score.

The "Main Theme" of the otherwise unreleased score to the WiiWare simulation Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: My Life as a King portrays the character of King Leo. The fragile harp introduction and light-hearted melodies hints at the character's youthful nature, though there is also a regal feel created by the classically-oriented woodwind work in the subsequent section. As the theme develops, there are some pretty impressive twists with transitions occurring from slow tranquil moments to dark buildups all the way to a vivacious peak. There is little special here musically or thematically, but it is nonetheless a very nice way to portray a character and the regal influences differentiates the score from its predecessors.

The "Main Theme" of the Wii and DS multiplayer title Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: Echoes of Time hints at a exotic new direction for the series. The theme is inspired by South American instruments in order to characterise the influences of an ancient Inca world. It features several jubilant flute melodies presented above rustic guitar lines and bustling congas. The actual melody isn't as well-defined as other main themes in the series, likely due to its irregular phrasing and somewhat clumsy initial idea. Nonetheless, by incorporating evocative guitar solos, more lyrical passages, and even a serene conclusion, the theme develops into a colourful and enjoyable introduction to the soundtrack.


The Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Sound Selection is a promotional album worth cherishing. It shows how all Kumi Tanioka's scores in the Crystal Chronicles series are personal, organic, and colourful ones. However, it also shows how the composer has carefully characterised each game to portray their worlds and characters. It depicts the wistful early instrument performances of Crystal Chronicles, the dramatic synthesised orchestrations of Ring of Fates, the regal classically-oriented aura of My Life as a King, and the exotic tribal direction of Echoes of Time. Evidently the series has already developed a history worth celebrating.

Overall Score: 7/10