For the final installment of the series, we are going to be looking at two “field themes” from Brave Frontier and Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius. I initially surmised that field themes were exclusive to FF:BE because BF does not include any exploration maps. However, I have come to the conclusion that in BF, although the pre-boss battle stages do contain enemies that you must defeat, the atmosphere–created by the music–is more similar to a field theme (music that fits the climate/terrain/environmental features), without the usual characteristics of a battle theme (up-tempo, fast-moving chords, strong bass line).
This particular article will potentially be a bit more interesting in terms of comparison, just because the two tracks are not necessarily parallel within each game. The reason for why I picked each track from each game is actually because it was the first track that really truly grasped my attention.
The track from Brave Frontier is called “Lost Palace“, and while it does make an appearance in the last section of the Atharva map, I actually first heard it during the special Halloween event Unholy Tower. It has an absolutely enchanting, ethereal quality to it.
Something about the music in Brave Frontier that really strikes me is the occasional sparseness. I feel that many composers often have many, many tracks going on at once—in terms of instruments, effects, etc.—which certainly is not a bad thing at all, but sometimes it is even more powerful when there are only two or even one track going at once.
The track from Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius is from the Windy Heights West Exploration, “Odyssey“. I remember first hearing this track while I was driving; I had entered the dungeon then decided to put my phone into my dashboard dock, and just let it play while I drove home. I let the music play, and was so overcome by the sheer majesty.
I absolutely love the rumbling bass in the beginning, with the solo flute on the main melody, which then gets passed around to French horn, piccolo, entire string section… I think my favorite part about this track—ironically, compared to what I just said about BF‘s “Lost Palace“—is the grandeur and simply massive sound. The main melody is continuously being passed around between sections, and it just has such a large-scale beauty to.
“Lost Palace” and “Odyssey” are so different in so many ways:
- “Lost Palace“…
- is fairly slow, at 68 BPM—movement within each instrument is also slow
- has somewhat sparse instrumentation, especially from 0:28 to 0:41
- overall has a very gentle, mysterious feel
- includes lots of metallic percussion (celesta, glockenspiel chimes/tubular bells)
- is at a mid-tempo speed, at 90 BPM, though right off the bat the low stringers are moving at a pretty fast rate
- has instrumentation that is quite lush, with lots of treble, bass, mid-register, and harmonies throughout the entire piece
- overall has a steady, valiant feel
- incorporates the standard orchestral sections: strings, winds, brass, percussion—nothing too out of the ordinary
Even with all of these differences, each of these pieces has a very special place in my heart, simply because of my initial thoughts upon hearing each one. Isn’t that what most of us experience with music anyway though? 🙂