- 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 V Mambo de Chocobo :: Review by Dave

Final Fantasy V Mambo de Chocobo Album Title: Final Fantasy V Mambo de Chocobo
Record Label: NTT Publishing
Catalog No.: N09D-016
Release Date: 21 January, 1993
Purchase: Buy at eBay


One of Final Fantasy V's characters was a yellow chocobo named Boco, and Final Fantasy V was the first Final Fantasy game where chocobos really began to play a major role in the plot. Bartz uses Boco to go from place-to-place at the beginning of the game and later leaves him with Faris' pirate group when he goes out to journey to save the world. Therefore, it was a pretty tactical decision from Nobuo Uematsu to release an album entitled Final Fantasy V Mambo de Chocobo in commemoration of the flightless, human carrying, bird. Final Fantasy V Mambo de Chocobo is a pretty cute album to have in your collection, but in all honesty, it is just a money making ploy from Square and NTT Publishing. The five tracks featured on this album could have easily taken the place of the filler tracks that littered the end of the Final Fantasy V Original Sound Version. After all, it is always nice to have some bonus material. The unreleased themes on this short album are inspirational to say in the least and the two remixes from Los Mambos Panchos and Snow Productions are pretty good too. Though I am cynical about Snow Productions' arrangement. Read on for my opinions of the tracks in the track-by-track review that follows.

Track-by-Track Review

1) Mambo de Chocobo (remix)

The original "Mambo de Chocobo" was one of those themes that was ridiculously underdeveloped and annoying to hear. Nonetheless, the theme has been arranged throughout the series and has featured in nearly every Final Fantasy game to date, despite the fact that it is both distasteful and worthless. In saying this however, the arrangements of the theme have grown better over time — this is excluding Final Fantasy X-2's version, "Chocobo," of course. This remix is detailed, precise, and definitely a better listen than the original, repetitive track. The arrangers, Los Mambos Panchos have given the track a Mexican style that is definitely an improvement due to the way that it links directly to the South American, Latin culture. The brass section rasp out a magnificent variation of the melody in this track as well as introducing a number of new, previously unexplored sections. A number of instruments gain a solo line in this track, but perhaps the most notable one is the solo trumpet. The trumpet scats over a simple piano line, increasing in passion and momentum as it proceeds, and just when you least expect it, it reaches for the highest ranges, only to come back down in a tongued flurry of excellence. The piano solo is just as impressive as it takes the simple melody to some great places. The revamped Latin feel of this track really works, and it is a wonder as to why something similar wasn't put to a piano stave for the Final Fantasy V Piano Collections. As arrangements go, this is one of the most impressive. It turns a virtually inaudible theme into one with flair and style, which, is most certainly, very hard to do. (10/10)

2) Mount of Sky Dragon (unreleased)

With the first track on the album being an arranged version, the three that follow are all unreleased versions that never made it to the Final Fantasy V game. Admittedly, this track isn't anything to yell about, but it has its moments of success nonetheless. The track starts off in a militaristic fashion topped with a playful melody, and although this may seem strange to hear, this is exactly how the classic pirate theme is made. In essence, that is what this track is, and despite how great it is, "The Dragon Spreads its Wings" beat it to the top spot to be selected as the theme that made it into the game. In many ways I prefer this version's playfulness and generally light attitude, but in reality, the sophistication of "The Dragon Spreads its Wings" was always going to put it on the top of the pile. Sadly, this theme actually beats a number of themes on the Final Fantasy V Sound Version, and my best guess is that a majority of Final Fantasy fans would have preferred to have witnessed this track than the eight "Piano Lesson..." tracks that littered the end of the album. In comparison to "Mambo de Chocobo (remix)," "Mount of Sky Dragon (unreleased)" has potential, but it needs to go one step further for it to be anywhere near the same standard. This is very much the same with the rest of Uematsu's tracks, which, despite being well structured and uplifting, sometimes fail to perform to the heights that they perhaps should. (8/10)

3) Opening Idea-Version.2 (unreleased)

I'm glad that this theme wasn't used as the opening theme to the game, as not only is "Ahead on Our Way" a much more sophisticated theme, it has a long lasting melody too that could be manipulated in a gross number of ways. (This is evident in the mass of tracks on the Final Fantasy V Original Sound Version that adopted the theme as their main melody). "Opening Idea-Version.2 (unreleased)" would have been a track that Uematsu created, developed for a short while, and then discarded. Indeed, there is nothing wrong with the ideas that the theme contains, but rather the way that everything is integrated instead. The melody is the first thing that we hear, and to be truthful, it is hardly hard hitting or memorable in the least. To me, the theme resembles a love theme, as with its harmony moving softly and slowly, the idea of a growing passion is the first thing that comes to mind. The frequent shifts to a minor key suggest otherwise, however, and it could also be interpreted as a theme to commemorate the death of a loved one. Indeed, the theme is motivating, but hardly adequate for an opening scene, a scene that is supposed to motivate the player for an emotional journey filled with conflict and strife. The simple harmony in this track means the attention is placed upon the melody, and the truth is that it just doesn't perform as well as "Ahead on Our Way." On the whole, this is an interesting theme, and perhaps if it was intended for something different, it might have been a good choice in the game. (7/10)

4) Flying Ship-Version.2 (unreleased)

The shortest theme on this compilation album is surprisingly good. As any airship theme should, "Flying Ship-Version.2 (unreleased)" has a promising melody accompanied by a motivating accompaniment, and although the accompaniment isn't as effective as later airship themes may have featured, it seems to get the job done in this case. Nonetheless, this theme needed to be better than "The Airship" to be accepted on the final score for the album, and the sad thing is that it fails to reach the same level. Uematsu was looking for a theme that had a much more inspirational melody and a sense of drama in its accompaniment. Personally, I think that the melody in "Flying Ship-Version.2 (unreleased)" is much better than in "The Airship," but the truth is that it lacks the power. If Uematsu developed this theme a bit more, then it would have definitely made it into the game, and although "The Airship" is a fine piece of music, I can envision myself in the skies with the airy nature of this track a lot more. Indeed, one of the faults of the track is its time and how it runs out of steam all so soon, and since "The Airship"'s melody was easier to manipulate, the outcome was inevitable. This is a surprising theme from Uematsu, who let the melody get the better of him here. (7/10)

5) Final Fantasy Megamix

This track is undoubtedly the worst on the album, despite the fact that it has some impressive sections. The first Final Fantasy theme to be heard is "Ahead on Our Way," but with the arranger shoving in some unnecessary sections at random intervals, the experience is destroyed. "The Prelude" is played for a short while as the arranger than moves back into a rendition of "Ahead on Our Way" complete with a drum kit and a high pitched synth screeching. I have no idea why, but this theme just seems to want to leap into something very similar to the content on the Tobal No. 1 Remixes Electrical Indian. Truth be told, it doesn't have the same level of skill or motivation. The next theme to be heard is "Mambo de Chocobo," but this is clouded by the same drum kit and some annoying trumpet additions in the background. Strangely enough, the arranger then switches to "Victory Fanfare," which is one of the most annoying themes from the original album. Nonetheless, Snow Productions then play "Final Fantasy" over the top of this for a short while, and it makes the experience a lot more bearable. The section around the 3:40 section is the best in the track. However, it is here that the only real sense of musicality comes in as a piano plays a great rendition of a heartfelt track in the original. Apart from this, I find this arrangement to be both inappropriate and disturbing. (5/10)


On the whole, this is quite a good album despite its size. It is certainly quite interesting to see the quality of the themes that didn't quite make it to the Original Sound Version, and apart from the one bad arrangement, it is generally quite a fulfilling experience. Nonetheless, no matter what the album holds, it is hard to see it as anything else other than as a marketing ploy from Square and NTT Publishing. As I said earlier, these themes would have been much better placed at the end of the Original Sound Version, where I am sure that they would have been hailed as inspirational tracks. The title track of the album, "Mambo de Chocobo (remix)" was performed to a high standard, and it proved to be one of the most enlightening arrangements of a Chocobo theme to date. If you are going to buy this album, but it for this theme alone, but otherwise, it isn't really worth the money.

Overall Score: 5/10