I saw Distant Worlds last Friday, and it was amazing. I'd heard from a lot of people that it was going to be really good, but I had kind of been trying to keep reasonable expectations and all. It was just unbelievable, though, like on a lot of levels: this is the music from a series of games I have been playing for over 20 years now
, well over half my life,
and I listened to them in a gorgeous ballroom-type setting thing surrounded by people from the internet
that I met through these games
who are now some of my closest and best friends in the world. It's a little mind-blowing when I put it that way. No wonder
I got a bit emotional.
The show opened with the Opening: Bombing Mission from FFVII, and that was definitely a "get chills" type thing: novel_machinist
were the first people I met in person through fandom, [mumble] years ago, and we all met through FFVII and cosplayed really shitty Turks at our first convention and there they were sitting right in front of me: LULZ, to put it in the vernacular. Can I use any more colons: WE'LL FIND OUT.
Other highlights of the show for me:
- The fucking battle music from FFVIII. What the everloving fuck: why did this make me cry? But it did. I think it was the moment I realized they were using the footage from the scene in Dollet where they're running from that giant monster and Quistis fucks it up with the machine gun so that Squall can escape. I have unhealthy feelings about this game.
- On that note: EYES ON ME. HOLY JESUS. Sobfest over basically a Squall/Rinoa songvid. I absolutely loved that singer.
- and on that note: MAN WITH THE MACHINE GUN. Will I ever not love this song in its entirely? JFMC.
- There were two pieces from FFIX, and even though that wasn't my favorite game, I'd forgotten (a) how poignant and pretty the music is and (b) that the game can still pack an emotional punch with some of those visuals.
- FFIV's Theme Of Love. It's a beautiful song from my favorite game. I probably would have liked a little more music from FFIV - they did a medley from I-III that was amazing and made me tear up a little, and it would have been nice to see the same for FFIV; it has the kind of very repetitive music I think would be suited for a medley. Then again I'm a little prejudiced about this game.
- Zanarkand. Fucking Zanarkand. I cried so hard at this one. The visuals were just really well done - people cry, and Yuna dances - and personally I think it's top five one of the most beautifully emotional songs in the entire FF series.
- THE OPERA FROM FFVI. I wasn't sure how this was going to play out, but I was hopeful, and it was absolutely amazing. The singers were phenomenal, and they put little clips of the Opera House from the game up in-between the singing parts, and I got pretty emotional seeing Locke running around in the rafters and Edgar and Sabin sitting in the chairs ("Why is everyone singing?") and all of that. Again, nostalgia time: my brother Jim and I pooled all our money to buy FFVI (FFIII!) when it came out and we played the hell out of it and we still joke about it. My brother: came to the Distant Worlds concert. I'd already been crying, but I sobbed at the fricking opera.
(Side note: am I the only
old person one who still wants to say, "Oh my hero / so far away now / will I ever see your smile"? I know they re-wrote/re-translated the opera in other releases of the game and in FFVI Advance and all, but the original translation will always be the one in my head.
- Terra's Theme is still like top three pieces of music forever, although they ruined it a little by playing credits through it. Maybe I'm just bitter because MY FAVORITE.
- The entire crowd singing SEPH-I-ROTH was a really good note to end on: I've never really been able to adore Sephiroth like most of the fandom, but One Winged Angel is still awesome music, and having the crowd sing was an awesome way to end on a good note with a badass game and a badass villain without taking itself too seriously. It was pretty awesome.
The rest of the weekend was an exhausting blur of internet friends and alcohol. Just take a look at this: safety_caesars
and I drove out on Thursday to pick up deadcellredux
, then met justira
on Friday and crankyoldman
late Fri / early Sat. That's a lot of Final Fantasy. And a lot of booze.
It was a great weekend and an amazing show. Coming back to a day of meetings starting at 5AM (the day; 6:20 for the workday) was kind of like a punch in the face.