By MajorMitch 0 Comments
A staple theme in Japanese RPGs is the "town" theme. You know the extremely chill, peaceful music that always plays when you're visiting a small, uneventful town off the beaten path? Yeah, that song. I like that theme in most JRPGs. It's subdued nature is a nice contrast, and a nice break, from the otherwise constant barrage of overly epic melodrama that defines the genre. One of my favorite examples of this practice is Fisherman's Horizon from Final Fantasy VIII.
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The town of Fisherman's Horizon (which is a great town name by the way) is about as isolated as towns get. It's basically a city floating on the water out in the middle of the ocean. Getting there is extremely difficult, and once you do get there you realize that was the intended effect. It's pretty clear that the town's inhabitants enjoy being separated from the rest of the world and its complications, though they're generally nice people who are receptive to visitors as long as you don't cause any trouble. As such, Fisherman's Horizon ends up being a restful pit stop during your adventure. It's a time to relax and reflect on what's transpired thus far, and the song does a great job at fueling that notion. It also has a very "human" quality to it. The people of the town are low-key, simple folk, and the tone of the song represents that perfectly. These are the kind of people that draw great pleasure from the simple things in life, and it's nice to see that idea supplemented so well with great music.
The other thing I like about Fisherman's Horizon is the simple fact that it's a beautiful song. It may be harder to appreciate in its original format, but if you listen to the orchestrated version I posted above, I think you'll agree. With the correct instrumentation and sound quality, it's a treat for the ears. And that's really the secret to a song like Fisherman's Horizon. More than anything else, it's just a great, relaxing song that's a pleasure to listen to.
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