Final Fantasy VI by Sebastian Deken
Release Date: July 13, 2021
Terra the magical half-human. Shadow the mysterious assassin. Celes the tough, tender general. Kefka the fool who would be god. Each of the many unforgettable characters in Final Fantasy VI has made a huge impression on a generation of players, but why do we feel such affection for these 16-bit heroes and villains as so many others fade? The credit goes to the game’s score, composed by the legendary Nobuo Uematsu.
Armed with newly translated interviews and an expert ear for sound, writer and musician Sebastian Deken conducts a critical analysis of the musical structures of FF6, the game that pushed the Super Nintendo’s sound capabilities to their absolute limits and launched Uematsu’s reputation as the “Beethoven of video game music.”
Deken ventures deep into the game’s lush soundscape—from its expertly crafted leitmotifs to its unforgettable opera sequence—exploring the soundtrack’s lasting influence and how it helped clear space for game music on classical stages around the world.
Sebastian Deken is a writer and musician born in St. Louis, Missouri. He studied music and French literature at Washington University in St. Louis, then went on to receive his MFA in nonfiction writing from Columbia University School of the Arts. He currently lives in New York City with his husband, Brett White.
"If you’re at all interested in video game music or are a huge fan of FFVI and Uematsu, then this latest release from Boss Fight Books is absolutely worth your time. [...] I fell in love with FFVI all over again and relived it through the music because of this book." - RPGFan
"Remarkably well-researched. [...] Even if you’re a more casual fan of Final Fantasy or games in general, Deken’s Final Fantasy VI makes for an illuminating read on both a gaming classic and the evolution of music in the medium." - Mobile Syrup
"I learned so much. I can tell you what chests to leave for the World of Ruin, all of Sabin’s blitz combo inputs or how to earn infinite experience early on but never realized how vital the game’s music is as a whole." - Obilisk
Excerpt: The Believer
More Reviews: Goodreads