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Caves of Narshe Forums > 2017 Regalia Playlist Championship > F4: #4 Balance is Restored (FF6) v. #13 Trisection (FFT)


Posted by: Rangers51 12th December 2017 15:16
The ending theme from Final Fantasy VI, Balance is Restored, has rarely struggled in this competition other than when it was up against another FF6 track. Trisection, meanwhile, has won some blowouts and some tight races from round to round, grinding them out when needed to become likely the darkest horse in the race.

I don't think I'd ever heard the ending theme to Final Fantasy VI called by the name "Balance is Restored" until setting up this competition, but it makes total sense. This track is kind of a cheater's favorite, I think, since it mashes up so many wonderful themes into an overture. But, that doesn't take away from just how good it is, a song that is very much greater than the sum of its parts and composed perfectly to address the visuals it accompanies.

If you want a game's soundtrack that is mainly about war, Final Fantasy Tactics is where you go. As one of the many themes that play over the top of individual battles in the game, you're introduced to Trisection as soon as the swords come out, and it immediately sets the tone.

Posted by: Rangers51 12th December 2017 15:57
Visit here to view this matchup on the Regalia website or listen to these tracks.

Posted by: Glenn Magus Harvey 14th December 2017 03:46
Balance Is Restored is a solid track, calling back a variety of important tracks in the rest of the soundtrack, and lasting about a whole 20 minutes, with a wealth of material.

But, Trisection has much more concentrated impact. The bold melody, the changing meter, the shifting tonalities...both tracks have them but Trisection has them in one tiny package that also brings all of them together under one roof, rather than connecting many roofs.

Boiling this down to fundamentals, if you simply ask me which track I like better, which one just gives me a bigger "spark" of emotional inspiration, it's Trisection.

I certainly wouldn't be sad about Balance Is Restored winning the championship, as it'd be an excellent summary of what an FF game is about.

Trisection, though, boils it down to the essence -- a dramatic and thrilling story, tense and strategic gameplay, and a rich soundtrack.

So my vote goes to Trisection.

Posted by: BlitzSage 14th December 2017 17:01
The problem with Trisection for me is criticizing it. It's not a bad song. It's really good, well-constructed, etc. etc. But it's strangely bland to me. It's a good track, and it's epic, but it has no uniqueness to it. I'm sure the game has a great story, great strategy, etc. But the song doesn't really tell me anything about what the game is. It's basically [insert epic music here].

Each track in FFVI, not just Balance is Restored, has a level of uniqueness to it. The song isn't just great because it's in a great video game; the music adds character to the game.

Posted by: Galsic 15th December 2017 17:39
Quote (BlitzSage @ 14th December 2017 12:01)
The problem with Trisection for me is criticizing it. It's not a bad song. It's really good, well-constructed, etc. etc. But it's strangely bland to me. It's a good track, and it's epic, but it has no uniqueness to it.

Balance is Restored is mostly references to other tracks in FF6, but Trisection is the one that lacks uniqueness? Uh.......ok dry.gif .

My problem with BiR is that, since it references so many other different tracks, it lacks it's own thematic direction, and really requires its associated scene to make any sense.

FFT is set in a region embroiled in war. Trisection, along with many other tracks in the game, has a military feel to it. You can hear it in the drumline style percussion, in particular. Even without playing to a battle, it's unmistakably a track that evokes an epic struggle of some sort, which is happening all over in FFT's story. How is that a song that says nothing about what FFT is?

I always try to judge these tracks on their own merits, with no consideration for how they're used in game, first. I listen to Balance is Restored, and all I get are all the other tracks it references, many of which I don't even particularly care for. Trisection, otoh, is a bold and thematically consistent track that has left me with the kind of visceral reaction that I always seek out in music.

Posted by: BlitzSage 15th December 2017 21:19
Quote (Galsic @ 15th December 2017 13:39)
Balance is Restored is mostly references to other tracks in FF6, but Trisection is the one that lacks uniqueness?

It's the ending theme, which means it's the summation of the game. And it's done in a unique 22-minute arrangement. Placing those songs together in a way that makes sense is a major accomplishment.

Quote (Galsic)
FFT is set in a region embroiled in war. Trisection, along with many other tracks in the game, has a military feel to it. You can hear it in the drumline style percussion, in particular. Even without playing to a battle, it's unmistakably a track that evokes an epic struggle of some sort, which is happening all over in FFT's story. How is that a song that says nothing about what FFT is?


For the most part, it sounds just like music that could in a Smash Bros. menu screen. It's epic, and very well-made. But a warlike, military setting is not very original. The song, out of context, tells me nothing about the kingdoms at war, the culture, the characters, etc.

Quote (Galsic)
I listen to Balance is Restored, and all I get are all the other tracks it references, many of which I don't even particularly care for.


If you don't like many of the tracks in FFVI's OST, I don't know what to tell you. I certainly don't understand that. And for Uematsu to build two 17+ minute arrangements back-to-back, especially for the time, was bold.

Posted by: Galsic 15th December 2017 22:34
Quote (BlitzSage @ 15th December 2017 16:19)

It's the ending theme, which means it's the summation of the game. And it's done in a unique 22-minute arrangement. Placing those songs together in a way that makes sense is a major accomplishment.

I get all that, and I wasn't arguing against any of that. But how does that make the track itself, which strings together a bunch of other recognizable tracks, more unique than a track that...well, doesn't?

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The song, out of context, tells me nothing about the kingdoms at war, the culture, the characters, etc.


Do songs really have to be that specific about things to evoke adequate feelings and ideas? And, out of context, I could argue BiR says even less than Trisection, especially if you're not familiar with the tracks referenced.

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If you don't like many of the tracks in FFVI's OST, I don't know what to tell you. I certainly don't understand that.


I meant the songs referenced in Balance is Restored. I agree that FF6's soundtrack, in general, is great!

The rest of your arguments are all subjective. It could be that we have vastly different tastes and judge things by different standards and criteria. So be it.

Also...

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...what?

Posted by: BlitzSage 16th December 2017 04:43
Quote (Galsic)
Do songs really have to be that specific about things to evoke adequate feelings and ideas? And, out of context, I could argue BiR says even less than Trisection, especially if you're not familiar with the tracks referenced.


They don't have to be. I said at the beginning that it was a good track. Very good. All I'm saying is that if you put that in any fps, fighting game, or whatever with an orchestral score, you probably wouldn't notice it. I would argue that the sound palette for FFVI is unique, but it's hard to argue that anyone would know which game it came from if they had no frame of reference. That can't happen; it is impossible to listen to these pieces out of context.

Like you said, it's subjective. I might feel differently if I played the game or listened to the rest of the soundtrack for Tactics. It just doesn't bring me in. I can think of several video game songs that I heard before playing that got me interested in the game. It just seems like a good track.

Quote (Galsic)
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Quote (Eagle Caller)
...what?


You all look alike on my screen.

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