Join us as we take an audio tour through the FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE soundtrack, and examine how it supports and enhances the RPG.
By Duncan Heaney

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE has a sublime soundtrack.

Okay, as statements go, that one’s up there with ‘water’s a bit wet’ - it goes without saying.

But we want to say it anyway, because the tracks don’t just hold up as memorable music, they also tell us a huge amount about the game itself.

You can see - or hear - what we mean for yourselves - the original FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE soundtrack is available for preorder on the Square Enix Store and can be purchased digitally now on services including iTunes, Google Play and Amazon.

The standard edition soundtrack features seven discs-worth of music, that span the entirety of the game. To celebrate the release, we thought it would be interesting to take a tour through each, and highlight a couple of the tracks that stand out to us - and why.

Disc 1

It’s impossible to talk about FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE without referencing composer Nobuo Uematsu’s soundtrack for the original game. The new game has quite a legacy to live up to, and fortunately, it more than delivers.

2 - Midgar - City of Mako

From the moment the opening cinematic of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE was released, many fans felt excited - and yes, relieved - that the game’s music was in good hands.

In many ways, this track feels like a statement of intent for the entire FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE experience. It’s faithful to the original, but layered with new elements that give it a distinct feel of its own.

The addition of choral elements add tension and mystery, and make the swell to the now-iconic opening theme feel genuinely epic. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel a teensy bit emotional the first time I heard it - and I know I’m not alone.

20 - Main Theme of FFVII - Sector 7 Undercity

The music of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is lovely to listen to, even if you never played or heard the original tracks.

That said, if you have heard the originals, it’s fascinating to see how they’ve been incorporated into the newer game.

In the case of the Main Theme of FINAL FANTASY VII, which plays while Cloud explores the Sector 7 slums, it’s a remarkably faithful interpretation, evoking similar feelings of both peace and tension.

It was a stand-out piece of music in the original game, and it’s every bit as effective here.

Disc 2

As well as tracks inspired by the original game, FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE features a tremendous amount of completely original music - and there are some great examples on Disc 2.

3 - Johnny’s theme

I’ve talked before about my love for Johnny - a hilariously self-defeating resident of Sector 7 that someone here at Square Enix HQ perfectly described as a ‘brash and bumbling himbo’ (a phrase I will keep stealing until they notice and tell me to stop).

Yoshinori Nakamura has written an original theme for the character and it’s a fantastically funky piece that perfectly captures the character’s unearned bravado and complete lack of self-awareness.

18 - Ignition Flame

Things get more serious with this incredibly exciting boss theme. In this part of the game, Cloud faces off against the speed-freak SOLDIER Roche, and this track masterfully heightens that drama and intensity.

It’s utterly unique among the rest of the soundtrack, but the way it incorporates familiar musical themes makes it fit in perfectly. Definitely one of the most purely exhilarating tracks in the entire game.

Disc 3

FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s soundtrack is not merely accompaniment - it’s an integral part of the storytelling, just like the action and dialogue. Without it, the game wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective - and the following two tracks provide a perfect example of this.

14 - The Airbuster

Not only is this a blood pumping banger of a track, it also perfectly captures the sense of excitement and escalation of the fight it accompanies. It also provides a perfect example of how the composers tell a story with the music.

As the name implies, the track plays over the team’s battle with the Airbuster - the pinnacle of Shinra’s robotic weaponry. The music alone tells you everything you need to know about the structure and flow of the battle.

As the track progresses through the phases, it increases in intensity, as the bot becomes increasingly belligerent. The sound gets fuller and fuller, adding in strings and choral elements - the sense of epic scale in vividly apparent.

Finally, it takes a turn for the triumphant, as the team fights back against the metallic menace before culminating in a loud, violent climax. It just works absolutely brilliantly.

18 - Flowers Blooming in the Church

Aerith’s theme is one of the most iconic tracks in the entire FINAL FANTASY series, and the new game does it justice.

This track plays during Cloud’s unplanned visit to the Sector 5 church, and provides a full introduction to everyone’s favorite local florist.

But this track has another purpose. It appears after a sustained period of action, full of tension, dramatic plot developments and high-energy battles. It provides both Cloud and the player with a much needed sense of peace and reprieve.

Disc 4

One of the most impressive things about FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE’s soundtrack is how varied it is. The tracks encompass a myriad of musical styles - even the same basic track can be presented in wildly different ways to great effect. The following two tracks illustrate this perfectly.

4 - The Oppressed - Beck’s Badasses

I bet you weren’t expecting FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE to include any ska. And yet here we are - and somehow it works!

Beck’s Badasses are a collection of minor nuisances that you’ll encounter throughout the game. What they lack in brains, they make up for in enthusiasm and that off-beat style is reflected through this equally off-beat track.

5 - Due Recompense

This track uses the same melody, but it couldn’t be more different stylistically.

Making an electronica version of ‘The Oppressed’ from the original FINAL FANTASY VII is another unconventional decision - on paper it sounds like unhinged madness.

Yet again though, it works brilliantly creating a fantastically fun and upbeat atmosphere as Cloud and Aerith navigate some of the scummier parts of Midgar’s slums. It also reinforces just how varied and surprising this new game’s soundtrack really is.

Disc 5

Let’s talk about tone. The story of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE goes to some pretty wild places, and takes the player through the full gamut of emotions - excitement, anger, fear, stress, sadness… the list goes on. The following two pieces of tracks are perfect examples of how the music helps create very different feelings for the player.

6 - Train Graveyard

People don’t come around the Train Graveyard often. And not just because of the monsters, but… because of the stories. Everyone seems to think that the train graveyard is haunted.

This area is dark, and spooky and the music reflects that superbly. The simple repeating melody is contrasted by a deeply ominous, discordant background to create deep unease among players.

14 - Fight for Survival

In contrast, this track is all about stress and panic. Things are looking bad for our heroes, as they desperately race to avoid tragedy.

The stakes have never been higher, and those feelings of desperation and urgency come through strongly through the music.

It’s another powerful piece in a soundtrack full of them.

Disc 6

The composers clearly had a lot of fun making some of these tracks - and it shows. There’s real imagination and creativity across the whole soundtrack. To illustrate what we mean, the next two tracks feel like the composers having a particularly good time.

5 - Wild de Chocobo

We can’t talk about FINAL FANTASY music and not mention at least one chocobo theme. I mean, that would be kweh-zy.

This is a great one though. So high energy! It warks… er, we mean works brilliantly!

10 - Scarlet’s Theme

A rare vocal track, Scarlet’s Theme is a genuinely great song. It’s easy to imagine reclining in a velvet chair, drinking a glass of something strong and cold (maybe a Cosmo Canyon), and just letting the sultry melody wash over you.

And then you look at the name, and remember who it’s about - Scarlet, a dangerously ambitious Shinra executive who uses employees as footrests and cares more about results than health and safety. When you think about that, how could it not raise a smile?

Disc 7

The final collection of tracks takes us through to the story’s climax. The obvious highlight here would be One Winged Angel - it’s one of the most famous tracks from the original game after all. But that seems a bit obvious, so let’s choose some other tracks that are worth highlighting.

5 - Midgar Expressway

This amazing 10 minute track really goes places.

It accompanies a thrilling multi-stage chase scene as Cloud and his compatriots race down a Midgar highway, Shinra in hot pursuit. The shredding guitars and pounding drums drive home (pun shamelessly intended) that sense of motion.

It’s also worth highlighting for the clever way it incorporates the game’s previous themes from the reactor theme from the opening of the game, to battle and boss themes, directly into the track. It’s like a recap of the game’s major musical moments - all done at 90 miles an hour!

12 - Hollow

FINAL FANTASY VII’s original composer Nobuo Uematsu has written a new theme song for FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE - and it shows that he hasn’t skipped a beat.

Performed by Yosh from Survive Said the Prophet, it’s a powerful song that really speaks to the themes of the game. It’s a rousing and emotional way to complete this exploration of FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE and it’s music - but we should let the artists have the final word:

We hope you enjoyed this tour through FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE by way of its music. The soundtrack’s available to buy now digitally on music services, including iTunes, Google Play and Amazon, and can preordered physically through the Square Enix Store.

Of course, you can also experience all these tracks in the game itself. FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE is out now for PS4:

And here’s another great way to listen to the music from the game: live! The FINAL FANTASY VII REMAKE Orchestra World Tour is coming to cities in the USA, Canada, UK, France, Spain, Thailand and more!

To see a full list of concerts, please visit: https://ffvii-remakeconcerts.com/.

Finally, what are your favorite music tracks in the game? Which pieces of music perfect say ‘FINAL FANTASY VII’ to you? Let us know on social media: