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P-Vock's Music Box: Reborn

Hello and welcome back to P-Vock's Music Box. Everyone loves a comeback story. A rags-to-riches triumph. When someone down on their luck is able to turn it all around and become something remarkable.

In honour of Final Fantasy 16 finally releasing, I have the perfect one for you.

Allow me to introduce you to the critically acclaimed MMO with a free trial that goes up to level 0 and includes the award-winning expansion, Heavensward, Final Fantasy XIV.

When FFXIV launched, to call it a disaster is putting it mildly. It was unfun, broken, and uninspired. It was easily one of the worst received things Square Enix has ever done at launch, which is saying A LOT for a company that has peddled NFTs, created scummy microtransactions in games to the point no one bought them, and hired the creator of Sonic the Hedgehog to make a garbage game right before he wound up in prison (look it up). There was no hope for the game. They basically just had to scrap it and move on.

This is when Naoki Yoshida, the legendary Yoshi-P, decided to kill the world and resurrect it in glorious fashion.

WHAT AN INTRODUCTION. The state of this world is positively abysmal, and the Grammy-worthy song known as Answers lets you know. The tone is tragic and depressing. The lyrics are unflinchingly brutal. The composition is as memorable as it tear-inducing.

This is how Square Enix killed the world of Final Fantasy XIV before rebooting it with A Realm Reborn.

Fast forward to today and it is arguably the most beloved game on the planet with constant updates and new content, a beloved story, a thriving community that is entertaining as it is welcoming, and even more incredible music.

The only track I had ever heard from XIV for years was Torn from the Heavens, this Behemoth of a boss theme that has not left my head for years. A beautiful example of a piece of music that tells you absolutely everything you need to know about a situation. Masayoshi Soken has received widespread acclaim for his work on the many tracks in XIV's ever-expanding library, and I think Torn from the Heavens alone makes a case for him being an all-time great composer of music.

When I first heard it in a medley, I thought it was a general composition for the series as it alludes to one of the most known tracks in the series, the prelude. When I found out what it was from and first heard it in the game, my jaw hit the floor in my room so fast and loud I got a noise complaint from my downstairs neighbour.

So what if I told you it's arguably not even the best boss theme in the game?

With a name like Fallen Angel, you know you're in for something climactic and epic.

The opening harpsichord, that ominous choir, that bass, and those high-pitched piano keys combine to create an ominous and imposing collection of sounds.

Who knows what awaits you? Just how are you going to be made to suffer? Just how big is the challenge before you?

All you hear afterward is two simple words, "Now Fall."

I don't know if they're talking to you as if that voice represents the boss, the boss as the voice represents you, or the bass as the voice represents the composer because HOT DAMN THAT DROP.


Even if I knew what I was talking about when it came to music, I would not be able to properly dissect this jam and give each moving part the respect it deserves. Not only is this an award-winning piece of legendary music, but it once held a record for the most original elements in a piece of video game music ever.

It's imposing, epic, triumphant, motivating, and captivating. It is the boss theme to end all boss themes. It is Fallen Angel, and it is a masterpiece.

Final Fantasy XIV is a game I have fallen in love with so hard, in large part thanks to a friend nudging me to play as he knows I have a huge love for the series as a whole. The intriguing world, terrific customization, wonderful story, welcoming community, and outstanding score create a game that I can't keep away from for too long.

Final Fantasy IX will forever be my favourite in the series, but I firmly believe this gem will come really close to that title as I eventually sink hundreds and hundreds of hours into it.

Soken is back to compose for the now-released FFXVI and I cannot wait to hear what instant masterpieces are waiting for me in that game. But for now, I hope this quick look into the first bit of FFXIV was memorable and enjoyable for you.

Thank you so much as always for checking out my nonsense, and I hope to catch you back here next time with another suggestion from my Music Box.

Stay Brutal!

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