A pretty huge difference in terms of game mechanics between Brave Frontier and Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius is that in FF:BE, you are able to move your character around in exploration maps as well as through towns, cities, and villages. One such traversable area in FF:BE is the Royal Capital Grandshelt, which shares a musical theme with the Arena. “The Imperial Capital” is a dark, looming track, with dramatic chimes, suspenseful strings, and a touch of hope near the end. Brave Frontier also happens to have an Imperial Capital, called Randall, whose musical theme is much more melodious, emotional, and tranquil. The main differences between these tracks lie in tonality, harmonic complexity, and register focus.
Let’s first take a listen to these very different Imperial Capital themes.
“Imperial Capital Randall“, from Brave Frontier:
“The Imperial Capital“, from Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius:
- “Imperial Capital Randall” (BF) is in a major key, while “The Imperial Capital” (FF:BE) is in a minor key. The main difference between major and minor keys is the third note of the scale, which in a major key is a major third (ex: C to E), whereas the third note of a minor scale (no matter what kind!) is a minor third (ex: C to Eb).
- “Imperial Capital Randall” (BF), in terms of chord progression and quality of chords themselves, is a lot more complex than “The Imperial Capital” (FF:BE). There are simply more types of harmony, besides just major and minor, found in the BF theme, which doesn’t necessarily make the track better than the one in FF:BE. One could even argue that “The Imperial Capital” (FF:BE) is more straightforward or clear for this reason.
- “Imperial Capital Randall” (BF) focuses a lot more on higher pitches, especially showcased between 0:25 and 0:46, where the piano takes a solo, exclusively playing in the higher register. This higher-note focus gives the piece an overall more delicate feel, as opposed to “The Imperial Capital” (FF:BE), which focuses primarily on lower pitches. The main melody of FF:BE’s theme is carried by low brass, then low- to mid-register strings. Toward the end of FF:BE’s capital theme, the strings and brass do climb a bit higher (hence the aforementioned “touch of hope”). Overall though, the lower register makes for a darker atmosphere.
What similarities did you hear between the pieces? Were there any differences you found that I didn’t talk about? Share your thoughts in the comments below!