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.