By MajorMitch 8 Comments
I really like a lot of the music from Final Fantasy IX and feel that its unique soundtrack often gets overshadowed by the other giants from the franchise. One of my favorite songs is Freya’s Theme.
I’ve also heard this song called Gizamaluke’s Grotto, as that’s the area of the game where it plays. For unknown reasons, Alexandria has invaded Burmecia, and you pass through this grotto as you head towards Burmecia in hopes of discovering some answers. As such, there is a fair amount of tension in the air- there’s a lot of uncertainty that makes the entire situation uncomfortable. What kind of shape is Burmecia in? Did Alexandria really attack another friendly nation? Why would they do such a thing? The song plays up these feelings, and doesn’t have much resolution in its threads. The notes are hollow, failing to offer up any kind of easy transition- this is not a forward moving song in the slightest. Its motifs seem confused and aimless, which does a fantastic job at expressing the overall tone at this stage in the game.
And yet, for as much as Freya’s Theme seems to represent uncertainty, it also represents possibility. While the majority of the song struggles to go anywhere, there is a single, subtle segment (starting around 1:50 in the above video) that manages to turn the song on its head. For a few seconds, the instrumentation and pitch of the notes change ever so slightly, becoming brighter and more upbeat. This seems to suggest that just because you don’t know what lies ahead doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad. It’s entirely feasible that Burmecia is just fine after all. Perhaps uncertainty and possibility are opposite sides of the same coin- equally viable yet totally contradictory ways of looking at the same situation. Freya’s Theme seems to take this idea and run with it. The entire time you’re in Gizamaluke’s Grotto your characters are wondering about Alexandria and Burmecia, simultaneously fearing the worst and hoping for the best.
Freya’s Theme does something that a lot of the best songs in the Final Fantasy series do- it highlights what would otherwise be a fairly subtle plot device in an entertaining way that also guides my thoughts and emotions. I absolutely love it when a cool, well written song that’s already fun to listen to manages to be something memorable in its own right. Freya’s Theme does just that.
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