The Final Fantasy IV Pixel Remaster OST and Everything Wrong with It
A Very Angry Rant, Part 1
Editor's Note: This rant was contributed by LordFizzlebeef and is being posted "as is". All angry bile is preserved as originally written... because it's funny. Also, while we'd love to link directly to the Pixel Remaster sountrack, currently there isn't an official posting for it accessible outside of Steam and the game itself. If you are interested in listening along you may have to purchase the soundtrack officially or find the sparing tracks unofficially posted on YouTube.
I was told to do this. It's their fault I'm doing this. Let's begin.
Track 01: The Prelude
50 fuckin seconds to get to the melody drop. But it's actually pretty fine when it gets there. The instrumentation lulls you into a false sense of security for the rampant bullshit that will await us.
Track 02: The Red Wings
LIstening back to this with a critical ear, this SHOULD have been the first sign of danger. It's WAY too staccato at the beginning. And the horns can't manage to power through the fuckin crash cymbals, which bury large parts of the preamble. Once it gets into motion, it's fine but there's a lot of spots where it feels almost discordant. This is also the first track to feature that fuckin Drunk Trumpet. I can hear him. He's taunting me. Then he goes away and we have an okay section with the harp, then real actual strings (WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU LOT FOR BATTLE 2 FUCK), then we hit the loop.
Track 03: Kingdom of Baron
Not enough strings. Not NEARLY enough strings. Like, this should have been Warning Sign #2. This track needs AT LEAST three times the instruments I'm hearing. Did we run out of budget? Did Baron Castle have some layoffs? Did the county shut them down and this is people skyping in their parts from home? Look, if we're at the big badass castle of the evil fuckin empire I just want some fuckin STRINGS and a brass section that is more than a very shy trombone, maybe a french horn, and a Trumpet currently attending AA meetings (which is good for him, he needs that kind of stability in his life).
Track 04: Theme of Love
The oboe preamble is a weird choice. But outside that? Unambiguously like this track. They did a great job with it. Genuine enjoyment. Strings and flute working great, harp great as backup. Transition to clarinet keeps it from being repetitious. 9/10, if that oboe at the start was something else, or they did something else with it we'd have hit a 10/10 with this.
Track 05: Prologue
All is well until 1:15 in. Trumpet is beginning to show signs of falling off the wagon. He's really expressing himself, he's got confidence he doesn't need and the rest of us should not be subjected to. I was never a big fan of this track, so the fact that the remake can muster a "fine" is honestly good enough for me, but the instrumentation is feeling... not up to the melody it's sourcing.
Track 06: Welcome to Our Town
Look, I know they have to pick a direction to go in with the town theme, because the original is vaguely celtic, so fuck it let's go the rest of the way, I don't begrudge them for staying in their lane, I just wish that Smashed Celtic Guitar would stop being such a bad influence on Drunk Trumpet. He's clearly the troublemaker that came into town looking for impressionable young brass section members to corrupt with his big city livin' ways. Also what's with this fuckin bridge section like 55 seconds in? It's perfectly setup to have, like, I dunno, literally anything spotlit as a solo instrument. Did Smashed Celtic Guitar guy pass out? Somebody should go check on him.
Track 07: Main Theme of Final Fantasy IV
I loved this track when I first heard it, but I don't think I gave it the full listen through, and I should have. Drunk Trumpet is here, and he is here to stay. Ruining 1:30 for a chunk before stumbling back to the bar counter again. 8/10, -2 points for that fuckin jazz trumpet horseshit.
Track 08: Battle Theme #1
What in the cream frosted fuck is going on here?? Drunk Trumpet is clearly meandering around the stage, and it seems like we had a LOT of band members quit recently. Where's like, I dunno, the fuckin base line? Why is there a weird ass organ here instead of strings? Who turned down the volume on the drumset? I have questions and I need answers. 1/10 fuckin gross.
Track 09: Fanfare
What is this jank ass horn section combination going on, it sucks, why does it suck, I need to put my finger on why it sucks, oops oh well guess the loop's over.
Track 10: Enter Fat Chocobo!
OH LAWD HE COMIN' Chocobo's theme is uhh, weirdly appropriate I think. Also does anybody use this thing????
Track 11: Chocobo Chocobo
What the fuck is the saxophone doing here?!
Track 12: Into the Darkness
Again with the weirdness in the preamble, this time it's too I dunno, reverby? Xylophone is a good addition, but I wish the strings and flute would agree on who gets to be the more forward facing instrument because it feels like dad made the kids take turns being in the spotlight every other measure, and I wish they would just fuckin pick who the favorite child is.
Track 13: Battle 2
OKAY WHAT THE LITERAL ACTUAL FUCK. Look what they did to my poor boy. This fuckin sad violin. This fuckin Drunk Trumpet. The fuckin one-note fisher price babby's first guitar in the background. Fuckin baseline sends his regards from a neighboring state cause he ain't in this fuckin lineup. Drums are clearly here for the paycheck and just hoping to not get noticed and picked on. THIS FUCKIN ORGAN WHY DID YOU BRING IT I'm gonna just chalk that up to Drunk Trumpet wanding over and just wiping his fuckin greasy bar food stained mitts up and down the fuckin keys. This was the track so bad it brought my whole playthrough to a screaching halt and I hate it so fuckin much. FF2 is better than this. Mystic Quest is better than this. FF13 is... okay it's on par with this. We aren't even missing the forest for the trees we're missing the forest to enable our brass section's fuckin jazz and substance abuse habits. Everything going on here is so against the spirit of everything else going on in the pixel remasters that I cannot fucking fathom how this got let through.
Track 14: Bomb Ring
Oh hey we found the fuckin string section. I guess they all overslept because this feels lethargic as shit instead of like, ominous. Like a really scary fat guy in a trench coat slowly shuffling towards you. This bass guitar has some weird ass choices in notes as well, I feel like he's just freestyling because he saw Drunk Trumpet and knows that you can do anything and not get fired. Flute is now acting out too. okay what. WHAT. What the fuck is all this bullshit after 1:00. Our scary fat guy in a trench coat stopped to let out a real long winded fart, and now he's winded and catching his breath. There isn't even slow motion tension anymore, it's just cacophony. Cacophony tracks can be great. This is so far away from what they're aiming for I can't believe this also got greenlit alongside fuckin Battle 2. DId nobody just tell fuckin Nobuo "no" or did he let his fuckin grandson do a couple tracks for funsies???
Track 15: Rydia
SOMEBODY GET THAT DUDE'S RECORDER SOME CLEANING SUPPLIES, FUCKIN STAT!
Thus concludes chapter 1 in "what the fuck is this FF4PR OST". Join me at some point to finish this bullshit.