Awesome Video Game Music: Blinded by Light

Regardless of how you feel about Final Fantasy XIII on the whole (it seems to be a popular game to give a hard time), it had some pretty darn good music. One of my personal favorites is, surprisingly enough, the battle theme, Blinded by Light.

Blinded by Light starts out simply enough, as it’s very similar to most Final Fantasy battles theme openings. It kicks off with a low, steady beat that proves to be the driving force of the entire song. It’s very emblematic of a war march in a way, and does a great job at mentally prepping the player for the battle ahead. As it goes on it begins to slowly add in more layers, ultimately giving it a lot more texture. First are the horns, which I really dig. They execute a lot of long, sustained notes that are great for building tension. There’s some semblance of a melody here as well, but that’s ultimately the violins’ job. They slowly work their way into the song, and if the drums and horns are the backbone, the violins are the heart. They initially dance around the other instruments, only to eventually break free into a wonderful medley that’s clearly the song’s apex. This is the battle at its most intense state, and this section is extremely catchy and exciting.

I really love this part of the song, and the choice of instrumentation is a big reason why. It’s a distinct sound that not only defines the Final Fantasy XIII soundtrack at large (and help set it apart apart from the other Final Fantasy soundtracks), but it also gels really well with the general aesthetic Final Fantasy XIII is going for. It’s all very light and free; even when crazy stuff is going on it’s not all giant explosions and wailing guitars. Final Fantasy XIII’s tone is a lot more subdued than that, and that nature is represented very well in its soundtrack, battle theme included. That’s the goal of any good video game soundtrack, and one that songs like Blinded by Light work towards splendidly. That it also manages to be a great sounding song that’s fun to listen to makes it even better.

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3 Comments
Posted by MajorMitch

Regardless of how you feel about Final Fantasy XIII on the whole (it seems to be a popular game to give a hard time), it had some pretty darn good music. One of my personal favorites is, surprisingly enough, the battle theme, Blinded by Light.

Blinded by Light starts out simply enough, as it’s very similar to most Final Fantasy battles theme openings. It kicks off with a low, steady beat that proves to be the driving force of the entire song. It’s very emblematic of a war march in a way, and does a great job at mentally prepping the player for the battle ahead. As it goes on it begins to slowly add in more layers, ultimately giving it a lot more texture. First are the horns, which I really dig. They execute a lot of long, sustained notes that are great for building tension. There’s some semblance of a melody here as well, but that’s ultimately the violins’ job. They slowly work their way into the song, and if the drums and horns are the backbone, the violins are the heart. They initially dance around the other instruments, only to eventually break free into a wonderful medley that’s clearly the song’s apex. This is the battle at its most intense state, and this section is extremely catchy and exciting.

I really love this part of the song, and the choice of instrumentation is a big reason why. It’s a distinct sound that not only defines the Final Fantasy XIII soundtrack at large (and help set it apart apart from the other Final Fantasy soundtracks), but it also gels really well with the general aesthetic Final Fantasy XIII is going for. It’s all very light and free; even when crazy stuff is going on it’s not all giant explosions and wailing guitars. Final Fantasy XIII’s tone is a lot more subdued than that, and that nature is represented very well in its soundtrack, battle theme included. That’s the goal of any good video game soundtrack, and one that songs like Blinded by Light work towards splendidly. That it also manages to be a great sounding song that’s fun to listen to makes it even better.

For additional information on this blog, or to view other entries, click here.

Posted by ESREVER

Hah, this is a good one. I thoroughly enjoyed this game and played it to completion. (My first Final Fantasy!) I heard the Houston symphony play this and a ton of other FF music live at a Distant worlds concert in July. It was pretty amazing.

Gah, the bit that starts at 1:00 always gets stuck in my head afterwards. Can't wait for FFXIII-2! The music in that one has taken an... interesting turn.

Keep up the awesome musical analysis!

Posted by MajorMitch

@ESREVER: Oh wow, I've heard Distant Worlds recordings before, but never been to one live, that's really awesome! The part at 1:00 always gets stuck in my head too, and I still love that part, which is crazy when you think about how much you hear it in the game. That's a sign of a really listenable song.