Sunday Tunes III: Ex-Squaresoft Edition

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Published on July 23rd, 2018

Another week, another edition of Sunday Tunes. This time we’re listening to some of our favourite tracks from Squaresoft legends Hitoshi Sakimoto and Masashi Hamauzu.

Hitoshi Sakimoto

This fella needs no introduction if you’re a fan of Squaresoft games or JRPGs in general. He’s worked on juggernauts like Final Fantasy XII and Final Fantasy Tactics, as well as cult-classics like Vagrant Story and Valkyria Chronicles, just to mention a few.

He technically left Squaresoft way back in 2002, but has continued to work with them through his own production company Basiscape. Below are some of my favourite tracks of his.

Final Fantasy XII

I could do a whole post just about this game, but I’ll stick with a single track that just so happens to be one of Sakimoto’s own favourites – the CG intro song, which I think is underrated.

This is the orchestral Zodiac Age version.

Vagrant Story

This is a game I’ve always found fascinating on paper, but I think the battle system is a bit too complex and archaic for my tastes. Great art direction though, and even better music.

Valkyria Chronicles

And here’s a slightly more recent pick. I’ve owned this game for many years, but I haven’t actually played it for more than thirty minutes or so. Maybe I should fix that someday..

Masashi Hamauzu

Another ex-Squaresoft employee and all-time favourite of mine. He’s probably best known for his work on Final Fantasy X, the Final Fantasy XIII trilogy, and various games in the SaGa series. Like Sakimoto he has a very distinct musical style that you can recognize immediately.

After Nobuo Uematsu left the company in 2004, Hamauzu took over as the lead composer and spearheaded projects like Dirge of Cerberus and Final Fantasy XIII. More recently he’s worked on the 3DS duology The Legend of Legacy and Alliance Alive.

Final Fantasy XIII

I remember being really surprised when I heard the Final Fantasy XIII boss battle theme for the first time. It just sounded so.. different? I don’t quite know how to describe it, but the entire FFXIII soundtrack felt like a breath of fresh air at the time, even though I absolutely loved the previous games.

Unlimited SaGa

I got this game for xmas as a kid and found it absolutely bizarre and confusing. I didn’t understand the combat system, the overworld map looked like a board game and there were traps everywhere. Still, the music and art direction were sublime. Especially the battle themes.

The Legend of Legacy

This game released a few years ago on the 3DS. It’s another strange SaGa-esque game with some fairly dull and repetitive gameplay. I can’t really recommend it, but at least the combat system was fun.

More importantly, it has a nice and relaxing ambient soundtrack.

And that’s it for today! See you next week, maybe..?