- 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 VIII Original Soundtrack :: Review by Tetra

Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack Album Title Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack
Record Label: DigiCube (1st Edition); Square Enix (Reprint)
Catalog No.: SSCX-10028; SQEX-10005/8
Release Date: March 10, 1999; May 10, 2004
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Final Fantasy VIII marked the second addition to the Final Fantasy series on the PlayStation. However, just like how Final Fantasy VII marked a new age in graphics for the series, Final Fantasy VIII marked a new age for music. While Final Fantasy VII has often been noted as sounding too "midi-ish," Final Fantasy VIII has a much more realistic sound, and some live recordings are used. Final Fantasy VIII's soundtrack has long been a favorite of mine, since it has some simply amazing tracks.

Track-by-Track Reviews

Disc One

1) Liberi Fatali

One word here: perfect. "Liberi Fatali" is how an opening theme should be. It gets attention very quickly, starting out with the ethereal "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" chant. When I first heard it (in the game), I wanted to keep playing to figure out what that meant. I never did find out (while listening to the track or playing the game), but I was served one of the greatest treats of video and music ever. "Liberi Fatali" is nothing short of a masterpiece in every way. It is superbly arranged, switching evenly between the chorus and orchestra. Each time the chorus is building in fury with its words, the orchestra is following, and each bit of music follows the FMV well. Simply an awesome track. (10/10)

2) Balamb GARDEN

What Final Fantasy would be complete without a town theme? Balamb Garden's theme marks the closest thing to a town theme in the early game. This theme exemplifies the garden perfectly: relaxed, light, cheery, and open sounding. "Balamb GARDEN" is also the first time one of the main musical themes of the game appears; one of many. This theme is a decent track to simply turn on, sit back, and relax to. (9/10)

3) Blue Fields

Yes, an "overworld" theme. Always need to have one of these. However, "Blue Fields" is a step down for Uematsu after he wrote the "FFVII Main Theme." "Blue Fields" is nowhere near as long, and has nowhere near the distinctly different sections. However, who cares? Uematsu's use of pizzicato strings to make the background while a con legno sounding echoing note holds the main melody together. Each entrance from a supporting instrument accompanies the theme well, and interest is maintained throughout. (9/10)

4) Don't be Afraid

For some reason, I just love this track. Maybe it's because of the percussion almost always playing on the off beats. Perhaps it is because the percussion plays a key role in supporting the melody. Heck, maybe it's just because Uematsu finally used percussion in a very effective manner. "Don't be Afraid" sounds more like a full band arrangement than a simple game music theme — and it suits the battles well. This is one battle theme I never got tired of listening to. (10/10)

5) The Winner

Most winning themes make me want to get out of the menus as soon as the familiar opening is heard. However, after the familiar opening, the following part is surprisingly good. I love the use of percussion and strings to make an interesting syncopated melody. I normally find myself getting to this track and just tapping my foot or moving to the rhythm. It has a great beat supported by the bass drum in the background; the strings make the chords, and the mallet percussion provides the melody. Simply: very nice. (9/10)

6) Find Your Way

Many people like this track, but I don't. It just doesn't seem interesting to me. Although in many cases there are lots of notes happening, it just seems boring. Plus, I'm not a fan of the chord structure that feels unsettling. If "cave themes" are made to make you feel uncomfortable and unsure, then "Find Your Way" does that perfectly. I, however, am not a fan of this structure. (7/10)

7) SeeD

Ah, yes, "SeeD." Definitely not my favorite track. I'll put it as simply as possible: this track works in the game, but that's about it. As a stand-alone track, "SeeD" lacks interest, and is overly long, while the musical parts are spread few and far between. A great track for Final Fantasy VIII, a bad track for the Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack. (6/10)

8) The Landing

Thump thump. What an ingenious way to start out a theme where the main character is about to get into large combat activity for the very first time. You can probably imagine his heart beating while this music is playing. After "The Landing" is finished building up to its climax, the real theme enters. This is one of the better themes Uematsu has created for this type of in-game situation. "The Landing" also makes use of some of the melodies used in "Liberi Fatali" - and if it has that in it, how can it be bad? (10/10)

9) Starting Up

Neat track. The bass part at about 0:47 is one of my favorite "VGM moments." I really wish Uematsu would have continued this track and made it into a full-length piece. He has a great start on it. The use of low string bass and background percussion make an "industrial" feeling. It fits the FMV, too, as this is a time while machinery is beginning to work finally. "Starting Up" sets the scene and builds up a climax to perfectly transition to "Force Your Way." My only complaint about "Starting Up" is its short length, but, it would not have worked any longer or any shorter, either. (10/10)

10) Force Your Way

First it was "Find Your Way," now it's "Force Your Way." Unlike "Find Your Way," however, I liked this track. I liked it a lot. "Force Your Way" is upbeat, moving, and makes surprisingly good use of synth. Plus, who doesn't love the "arpeggios on steroids" in the background? This track once again makes great use of percussion to support the melody, as well as a moving, pumped-up bass line. (10/10)

11) The Loser

Ah yes, a boss fight is your most likely time to die, so, of course, here is your 'death anthem'. "The Loser" starts out with a rather pretty, melancholy string chorale, and transitions to the famous crystal theme. This is the only use of the crystal theme in Final Fantasy VIII, but it is worth it. The theme is used well, and Uematsu makes it work as a defeated theme. The occasional entrance of synth vocals in the background prevent "The Loser" from becoming an overly happy theme, which is probably a good thing, since being killed isn't a happy time! (9/10)

12) Never Look Back

I'm a sucker for good percussion parts in tracks, and once again Uematsu wins me over with this percussion part. I also love the bass line for some reason. Because of the percussion and bass line, I can't review much about the melody, since those two parts are the only things I listen to. However, when I force myself to listen to the melody, I realize this is a good track. I think it is hit-and-miss for personal preference. You will either love or hate this track. (8/10)

13) Dead End

This track is much like "Starting Up." It is a situational piece for the game, but once again, Uematsu pulls through with a nice track. I love how it builds and then drops out into a theme that sounds nice and adds length. Like "Starting Up," Uematsu chooses to end "Dead End" on an anxiety-building chord. "Dead End" builds perfectly up to its climax at the very end, leaving this to be another great track on the first disc. (9/10)

14) Breezy

This is most likely Uematsu's greatest town theme. By using only guitar and a synth part, he creates one of the most soothing themes ever. He also makes great use of Major 6th chords to make this track not overly happy, but also not sad either. The guitar harmonics near the end of the track are a very nice touch, also. (10/10)

15) Shuffle or Boogie

An interestingly named track, to say the least. It can be interpreted a few ways, also. But enough about the title, onto the track. Once again, I love the use of percussion and the bass line. I would sometimes find myself playing the card game just to listen to this track. It seems to be a nice track, although most likely another hit-or-miss regarding personal preference. (9/10)

16) Waltz for the Moon

Uematsu once again proves his composition versatility, creating a lovely waltz. "Waltz For the Moon" is not a bad track to simply turn on and start dancing to... if you're into that type of thing. Of course, Uematsu had to make sure to slip in another motif from the game, the "Eyes on Me" melody. It is hidden, but in one part, the melody comes out very prominently. (10/10)

17) Tell Me

I find this to be another situational track, much like "SeeD." It works very well in the game, but aside from that, it does not work very well. The remix of the "Balamb GARDEN" theme is a nice addition, but there's something I'm not overly fond of. I'm not sure what I don't like about this track — as it has most of the characteristics I like, but, for some reason, I am simply not a large fan of it. (8/10)

18) Fear

It puzzles me why the Training Area theme is so late in the Original Soundtrack, since I normally go there immediately after receiving Shiva and Quetzalcotl at the beginning. I am ambivalent towards this track. While it does have a neat cymbal part and a cool triangle part, I'm just not a fan of the chord structure. If I had a little more music theory background, I could tell you why I don't like it, but, unfortunately, I cannot. "Fear" does not live up to its title, though, as it hardly strikes fear into anyone that hears it, nor does it sound scary. Another hit-or-miss regarding like/dislike. (6/10)

19) The Man with the Machine Gun

Once again Uematsu makes a powerful battle theme. "The Man With the Machine Gun" is one of Uematsu's best battle themes ever written. He chooses once again to make heavy use of synth, while also keeping the bass line moving. However, the percussion makes this track really good. The continual syncopation gives this track a very nice feeling. Uematsu is able to make a rather upbeat battle theme — and it represents Laguna and his companions perfectly. "The Man With the Machine Gun" is a track which is just good to listen to and tap your foot. (10/10)

20) Julia

Ah yes, the woman Laguna admires oh so much. Her piano theme is a wonderful piano arrangement of "Eyes on Me." I would say it is my favorite arrangement of the theme, as it is not overdone, hidden, or anything. It is simply presented in its piano format, and it is nice. (9/10)

21) Roses and Wine

I find this track cute, for some reason. The synth holding the melody just sounds funny, and I don't know why. Guitar serves a nice supporting role, as does the bass guitar. This is not a track I listen all the way through, but I listen to it for its first time through. Not the best track on this Original Soundtrack, but it is interesting. (6/10)

22) Junction

I didn't like this one. Really. Uematsu already made a track of synth in the background with arpeggios going over top ("Breezy"), but this track does not work. It reminds me of "The Nightmare's Beginning" from Final Fantasy VII. "Junction" is not a great stand-alone track, unless you're into the unsettling type of music. (5/10)

23) Timber Owls

First off, I must say, the wood blocks in the background to make a clock sound is a really nice idea. Making such extensive use of the pizzicato strings adds a nice touch, too. Uematsu once again pulls through with a wonderful town theme — a great way to end off the first disk. (9/10)

Disc Two

1) My Mind

Once again Uematsu goes for the background synth chord structure with a light melody over top. However, this time his background chords are warm and welcoming instead of cold and unsettling. He chooses to once again use the "Eyes on Me" melody, and works rather well. However, if I wanted to listen to "Eyes on Me," I would either turn on "Julia," or go to the real thing. (7/10)

2) The Mission

Another situational track. It works well in the game, but not too well outside of the game. Uematsu once again makes sounds to mimic what is going on in the game, however, and in this case, it is the strings making a train-like sound. I just don't really like that sound. The game had the additional support of having the screeching of the train and some dialogue to read or a task to perform, but unfortunately while listening to this as a standalone track, neither are present. On some days I like to listen to "The Mission," while on others I can't stand it. Another hit-or-miss track. (6/10)

3) Martial Law

A great theme once again. Whenever Uematsu uses percussion, I normally like his tracks. It rounds out his themes and makes them seem more wholesome. Only three words can describe what I have to say about this: I like it. (9/10)

4) Cactus Jack (Galbadian Anthem)

Yes, this is definitely an anthem to show the greatness of Galbadia. It sometimes reminds me of a chorale. Definitely an interesting track to listen to. It is not a march, it is simply an anthem, and it works well. I can imagine the leader of Galbadia speaking over the top of this anthem about world unity and peace. (7/10)

5) Only a Plank Between One and Perdition

Odd name! Once again, however, a good bass line and a decent percussion part save this track. The melody also has an anxious feeling to it, which in most cases I do not like, but in this case, draws me in. Uematsu makes a wonderful string melody near the beginning, and my only problem is lack of volume. (7/10)

6) Succession of Witches

This is the track where I first realized Uematsu's overuse of a chord progression: and it is at the very beginning, each time the theme goes through. Each time, all of the chord is kept the same except one note, and the note goes up by two half steps, then down a half step. This progression is extensively used in anything where 'Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec' is used, and also used in other Final Fantasy games, such as Final Fantasy IX's "Vamo Alla' Flamenco," where the progression is Am, Am+5, Am6, Am+5, Am. Aside from the chord progression, this is a much more mellow version of "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec." However, I find I prefer the true "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" version. Unfortunately "Succession of Witches" is a track where it is nice, but simply another arrangement, and if I wanted to listen to this theme, I'd go to the real use of it. (7/10)

7) Galbadia GARDEN

I really didn't like this track. While it has a percussion part and a bass line, the lack of distinct melody for a long time and the chord structure turn me away from this track. It strikes me as uninteresting and boring. After getting lost during the mission on Disc Two, I especially came to hate this track. I will not review much more of it, because I have a very strong personal bias towards hating this track. Listen to it and come up with your own opinion. (2/10)

8) Unrest

This one sounded way too much like the "Galbadia GARDEN" theme. I didn't like it the first time, and I don't like it the second time. Repeating this theme was a bad idea. (4/10)

9) Under Her Control

This is nice. Uematsu puts in his first jazzy style track of the game. However, this track faces a personal bias much like "Galbadia GARDEN" did. Unfortunately, I managed to get myself lost in this city too, so I listened to it way too long at once. Again, listen to it and come up with your own opinion, or read other reviews. (7/10)

10) The Stage is Set

I like the intro, and I also like the actual theme. The timpani rolls are a nice touch. While the synth instrumentation makes this theme seem dark, it is actually rather bright sounding and nice. It has a distinct broadness to it, while also having a sense of urgency to it. Of course, "The Stage Is Set" also makes use of the "Liberi Fatali" anthem again, so of course it is good! (9/10)

11) A Sacrifice

Creepy! While I do not like to listen to it by itself, I do appreciate its structure and purpose within the game. The progression I remarked on in "Succession of Witches" is once again used here heavily. (5/10)

12) Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

Only four words are said throughout this track, so I find it hard to believe I like this track. What I do love is how the music effectively trades off between the "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" chants to orchestra, and back and forth. The vocals are not overdone, and neither is the orchestra. It does have a dark feeling, but, in this case, I like it. Maybe it's because of the neat sounding drums in the background. The orchestra breaks are rather nice, though, despite any problems with the vocals. Of course, the infamous chromatic chord progression is used here once again. (7/10)

13) Intruders

I can't say I liked this once, but I also can't say I didn't like it. It has some neat moments, but it is rather thin in the orchestration. Once more instruments come in, some depth is added, and the track becomes a little more interesting. "Intruders" slowly builds in interest until it has to loop again. Despite the melody being in the bass line, it is decent to listen to. Uematsu chooses a rather odd way to make this track loop (a fade out), but he does make it work. A neat track, but another hit-or-miss on whether or not to like it. (7/10)

14) Premonition

This track makes me feel very uncomfortable. It works in the game, but it does not work outside the game, unless you're about ready to kill someone. However, at some points, I seem to hear the "FFVII Main Theme" melody come in. Once "Premonition" finishes its opening suspensions, it drops into a halfway decent theme, mixing both the "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" melody and "Liberi Fatali" themes. It is definitely not Uematsu's best work, but it also isn't too bad either. (8/10)

15) Wounded

Basically, take the first minute of "Premonition", play it on a heavy organ, and you have "Wounded." The similarities are striking. This track is definitely not one I like. Very very unsettling, it definitely only works in the game. (1/10)

16) Fragments of Memories

After all of the dark themes before it, this gem of a track appears. It has a music box style to fit the situation perfectly. I love how it is titled "Fragments of Memories," and the melody itself is fragmented — lacking a clear connection between the notes. The music box style for this track works very well, and leaves this track as one of my favorites. (10/10)

17) Jailed

This track definitely made me want to break out of jail... because I don't like it. Uematsu once again uses the fragmented background, but it doesn't work as well as it did in "Fragments Of Memories." This track turns into being rather boring and puts me to sleep from a lack of interesting parts. Also, the entrances around 1:00 don't seem to fit, it almost sounds like two different tracks going on at once. This feeling serves a purpose in the game, but outside of the game it gives this track a rather unlikable quality. (3/10)

18) Rivals

"Rivals" is not necessarily bad, it's just not something I like. It works well as background music, not as predominant music. (4/10)

19) Ami

Another hidden gem inside of Disc 2. "Ami" is a wonderful version of the "Balamb GARDEN" theme, and I normally consider the "Balamb GARDEN" theme to be an arrangement of this track instead of the other way around. I love this track. There is something to be said about simple, nice, piano tracks. (10/10)

Disc Three

1) The Spy

While the electric bass part is rather cool, I don't like the melody at all. The cymbals work good, but neither the cymbals nor bass fit much with the melody. Although, that's not to say this is a bad track. It's still rather enjoyable to listen to, regardless of some problems. (6/10)

2) Retaliation

Another situational track like "Starting Up" and "Dead End." Once again, Uematsu shows his brilliance by creating a track which both fits the FMV well, but is a great standalone. It also flows into the next track, "Movin'" rather well. One of the successes of "Retaliation" would have to be its full arrangement and having much more than just a few instruments present. (8/10)

3) Movin'

"Movin'" is simply a neat track. I like how it transfers between its two melodies, and it also has a background percussion part similar to "Starting Up," which gives it an industrial, machinery-like feeling. When the snare drum comes in, the feeling of industrial militarism is once again felt. However, "Movin'" is not a militaristic track, and is not intended to be, which gives it even more power. (10/10)

4) Blue Sky

Situational once again - the melody which comes in at about 10 seconds sounds like something heard before. When the full melody comes in at about 25 seconds, a hint of "Eyes on Me" is present. "Blue Sky" fades away nicely, but not necessarily on a happy note. Much like the previous situational tracks, Uematsu chooses to end on an unresolved chord. (7/10)

5) Drifting

"Drifting" reminds me of the "long tone" exercise I do on my clarinet, where I take a deep breath, play a note and increase from ppp to fff for 8 counts, and then back down. "Drifting" builds up, then builds back down slightly. It almost reminds me of "Adagio for Strings," except "Drifting" doesn't heavily rely on strings. "Drifting" is simply a mourning piece, but yet very pretty. (8/10)

6) Heresy

While "Drifting" was a mourning piece, "Heresy" is mourning also, but in a completely different style. Instead of long held out strings, "Heresy" is composed of a fragmented organ part. I can't say I like it, though. The fragmented organ part simply does not appeal to me. (4/10)

7) Fisherman's Horizon

Once again Uematsu makes a wonderful town theme. This track perfectly suits the relaxed, laid-back feeling the town represents. It is pretty, thin, but yet also warm. Whatever instrument holds the main melody is rather soothing in style, and the background piano synth suits it nicely. "Fisherman's Horizon" is simply a beautiful track. (10/10)

8) ODEKA de Chocobo

Old school style! It's back to the Super Nintendo generation of chocobo themes! And for some reason... I absolutely love this track. It's just so darn catchy in its 8-bit style, although it does get rather annoying after a multitude of listen-throughs. (9/10)

9) Where I Belong

This track is rather cool because from the first notes, you can imagine saying "Where I Belong" to those notes. However, it quickly drops out into another, slower version of "Ami." While I like "Ami," I would prefer the stripped down piano version at the end of Disc Two. "Where I Belong" has a much different feeling by not using the piano, however, and it is nice. (8/10)

10) The Oath

"The Oath" is rather pretty. Once again Uematsu makes a track with a chorale feeling to it. Much of the structure resembles that of "Drifting," except "The Oath" has a much more happy feeling to it. I especially love the chord resolutions found throughout. Each transfer of the melody from different instruments keeps the track flowing, and interesting. (9/10)

11) Slide Show Part 1

I always laugh when I hear this track, because it is meant to be comical. It leads perfectly into "Slide Show Part 2," and I will focus more on Part 2 instead of Part 1, since Part 1 is only a placeholder until Part 2 breaks out. (8/10)

12) Slide Show Part 2

Uematsu returns to the old western piano style seen in Final Fantasy VI with "Spinach Rag" and "Johnny C. Bad" in this track. I must say that I love it too. I'm always tapping my foot when I hear this track. Although simple in its structure, it is nice. The walking bass line fits well with the sixteenth note melody running over top. It also effectively uses the A B A structure, and I think I like the B section more than the A, as it centers around a much lower note and chord, giving it a darker feeling. (10/10)

13) Love Grows

It's chorale time again. Allow me to simplify this track: "Eyes on Me," baritone solo version. "Love Grows" is nothing more, nothing less. (7/10)

14) The Salt Flats

Uematsu begins taking a step into the odd with "The Salt Flats." Unfortunately, I don't follow him in that step. While "The Salt Flats" has a certain amount of minimalist perfection to it, I've never been much of a fan of this style. It simply seems empty to me. "The Salt Flats" works in the game to give the empty feeling of the Salt Flats, but I can't say it works well outside of the game. (4/10)

15) Trust Me

Another version of "Ami," although "Trust Me" takes a while to get into the theme. "Trust Me" is better suited to be called "Ami ~ Clarinet Solo Version." Then again, I'm a clarinet player, so I like this track. The background bell-sounding part does get rather annoying after a while, though, as does the airy pipe. (7/10)

16) Silence and Motion

Now Uematsu has truly stepped into the realm of oddness. "Silence and Motion" has a certain amount of weirdness to it that I cannot say I really like, but if you're a fan of minimalism, you may find this a hidden gem. I don't really like the weird laser spacey things going on in the background. The melody is nice, though, it reminds me a little bit of Final Fantasy IV. (4/10)

17) Dance with the Balamb-fish

For such a strangely named track, this is rather nice. It has a waltz feeling similar to "Waltz for the Moon," although this track is not written in 3/4 time. As the name implies, it is a nice track to dance to, although I certainly hope not with the Balamb Fish! Most of this track is well written, and it transitions to the 3/4 time rather well, although this part is not the focus of the track. Once again, Uematsu makes great use of thick orchestration to produce a pretty dancing track. (10/10)

18) Tears of the Moon

Another odd one. I cannot remember if it is supposed to be situational or not, because I do not remember well where this track comes in in the game. Since it does not loop and is only 1:14 I will assume it is another situational. However, this track lacks a certain cheerfulness or happiness that previous tracks have held. It ends again on another suspended, unresolved chord like previous situational tracks. (5/10)

19) Residents

Yet another odd track. Although, the syncopated parts draw me into this track for some odd reason. It eventually gets moving into a rather odd, intriguing melody and rhythm. Give this track a chance before turning it off - you may actually be surprised. (4/10)

20) Eyes on Me

Ah yes, the first prominent use of a vocal theme in a Final Fantasy game. I like the intro, and I like the flute break in the middle. I don't really like the vocals since "Eyes on Me" is rather overused throughout Final Fantasy VIII, however if you're a fan of the vocal themes, then you'll like this one. I prefer the instrumental versions, though. (7/10)

Disc Four

1) Mods de Chocobo (Featuring N's Telecaster)

This track rocks! Uematsu uses a rock organ for the main recognizable chocobo theme, while keeping a very upbeat background. I prefer to tap my foot to this one also. The organ and vocals suit this theme well, and the guitar break near the end of the track (beginning of loop) caps off a great track. "Mods de Chocobo" is quite possibly the best chocobo arrangement ever. (10/10)

2) Ride On

First things first, I must say the flute part that runs from 3 seconds to 6 seconds is rather neat, because the track does not feel like the sixteenth notes should be going that long. Once "Ride On" transitions into the real airship theme, an almost jazzy feel enters with the use of electric bass to accent the chord changes. However, the heavy use of synth to hold the melody keeps it from being very jazzy. I love the use of arpeggios which enter around 1:00, and love how this track effectively builds into its loop. (10/10)

3) Truth

Once again back to the "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec" theme. Truth is better suited to be called "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec ~ Harpsichord Version." However, it is not fair to call it a harpsichord version when other parts do enter later. I can't say this is one of my favorite tracks to listen to, but it is one of them that I listen to every so often since it does have its hidden gems inside. Unfortunately, most of the time it feels rather thin, as there is rarely more than two instruments playing at one time. (5/10)

4) Lunatic Pandora

Back to the weird stuff again. This track, while almost entirely synth, definitely does not appeal to me. It takes forever to get past its opening, however, once its past the opening, it falls even more into weird! I cannot tell what type of interval Uematsu is relying on to hold his theme, but it is interesting. The melody sounds happy because of its interval, while the background makes it seem more like a dirge. Only a lunatic could have written this track! (Sorry, Nobuo!) (5/10)

5) Compression of Time

Although the opening to this is some weird kind of muted trumpet-sounding synth, it's neat. The bass part is surprisingly powerful, and although overpowering at times, fits rather well. However, the synth muted trumpet continually playing in the background gets annoying. The arpeggios which eventually enter are a nice touch, but they are not enough to save this track. (4/10)

6) The Castle

Now, this is awesome. The Castle reminds me of the "Main Theme of Final Fantasy VII," as it does not simply have one part to it, or even two. It has a multitude of parts, all of which work well when strung together. Ultimecia had a very dark and powerful castle, and the organ part which enters about 26 seconds in gives that type of feeling to the gamer. The flute which enters and flows through the chords is again a nice touch. When the organ switches off into the light organ, "The Castle" turns into a more interesting track. "The Castle" shows Uematsu's ability to make a track go a long time without actually looping. Each part of "The Castle" has its own distinct style and tone, and I love it. (10/10)

7) The Legendary Beast

I love how the chords around 14 seconds build tension, then drop out into real battle theme. Uematsu once again uses a flute to hold the main melody, and once again he uses it well. "The Legendary Beast" has a similar feeling to "Movin'," as it uses the snare drum and pipe bell in a very similar fashion. The trombone chords around 1:18 are a neat touch. Overall, "The Legendary Beast" is a very good battle theme for not being overly cranked up on the tempo marking. (10/10)

8) Maybe I'm a Lion

Allow me to say one thing: "HYAH!" The part around 9 seconds into this track is the most interesting thing added into a track I have ever heard. While it seems like it will be a rather boring track initially, it builds into a much more interesting track once the bass part leads into the real melody. (9/10)

9) The Extreme

Despite how this track begins, it is not another arrangement of "Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec." The acoustic guitar solo works well to build up tension until another part comes in to add slightly more tension. Piano adds a little bit more tension into the track, as do the accompanying strings. Vocals add even more tension and uncertainty to this track, and when everything drops out even more interest is present as the chord structure modulates. However, the piano and guitar build up to the top climax and this track takes off in tempo. Uematsu finally makes use of the fast moving bass line present in previous game battle themes to help this track keep moving. Percussion helps the track remain unified again, while arpeggios also work well within this track. Each chord and melody transfer work very well to keep "The Extreme" building until it reaches what seems like a climax, yet restarts the build up. Eventually it breaks back down into the piano melody heard earlier in a sped-up version. "The Extreme" then keeps repeating, producing a heart-pounding final boss theme. (10/10)

10) The Successor

Only three words describe this track: "This is nice." At 33.5 seconds, the chord progression I mentioned earlier comes in again. After it is fully modulated, it is switched into a broken chord and a real melody comes in over the top. "The Successor" is a refreshingly new track, as it does not distinctively repeat any melody heard earlier in the game. Octave differences make this track work well, with the rather low bass arpeggios and very high solo part. Around 1:50 "The Successor" seems to have a rather happy feeling to it. A welcomed part is the fact that "The Successor" is not meant to loop, and therefore is a complete 3:39 track, which makes it great for playing solo (if you like creepy sounding piano pieces.) (9/10)

11) Ending Theme

The beginning of this is very tense, but does a good job of representing Squall's lost mind. It transitions into a full-length version of "Eyes on Me," and I have already stated my opinions on the track. 7:03 marks the entrance of the famous "Final Fantasy" theme, my favorite theme ever composed by Uematsu. Although this section repeatedly repeats the same theme, because of how each part builds on top of the other, listening to the same theme for almost three minutes does not seem boring. This track benefits from being played by a full orchestra, as the bit of personal style and flavor definitely make this track into a much better piece of music. The ending of the "Ending Theme" marks a transition back to the "Liberi Fatali" themes, and there's definitely nothing wrong with that. The "Ending Theme" ends very well because of this, making this ending theme one of the best ones ever. (10/10)

12) Overture

I never have figured out why this is the last track on the Original Soundtrack, but it is. This track has a style unlike anything else on the soundtrack, and I find it more intriguing than tracks such as "Compression of Time," as it is just... weird. The entire track has a fragmented feeling to it aside from the melody. I don't really know what to say about this track because it's just... interesting. Give it a listen through and write your own review for this track! It definitely relates to personal preference. (N/A)

Overall Summary

The Final Fantasy VIII Original Soundtrack has always been a favorite of mine, despite a few tracks, which are simply annoying and hideous. Many very nice and soothing melodies are found here, and there is also a drastically contrasting style throughout the tracks. Uematsu begins to try different things with his music, as present in many of the tracks I marked as "weird" or "odd." Some of the discs are hit-and-miss with the good tracks, but they are all still decent tracks, even if you don't necessarily like to listen to them. However, like it or love it, this Original Soundtrack is a welcome addition into the Final Fantasy music collection..

Overall Score: 9/10