If you’ve followed the blog long enough, you know I love live performances of video game music. I have love it even more when it is music from some of favorite games from the Final Fantasy series. So I was pretty excited to have tickets to the Final Symphony which took place at the San Diego Symphony during Comic-Con. While the performance didn’t start until 8PM, I got the theater at 6:30PM, just in time for a Q&A with Final Fantasy creator, Hironobu Sakagutchi. Accompanied by a translator and a moderator, Sakagutchi spoke about his early days working on the Famicom (Nintendo Entertainment System), the people he created relationships with over the years such as Akira Toriyama (Dragon Ball creator) and artist Yoshitaka Amano. The translator had a difficult time explaining some of the technical terms that Sakagutchi was speaking about, often leading to an awkward response. The panel lasted an hour and a half with the audience being able to ask questions as well. This part of night was the most memorable for me as an opportunity like that won’t come around often, if ever, again.
Next up was the performance and it was not what I had expected at all. As most video game symphonies go, it’s a straight performance of the musical tracks from the game but that was not the case at Final Symphony. The performance was crafted out of the music from each game and blended into something new, almost a medley of sorts. You would hear parts of the performance you immediately recognized but weaved into something new. It was interesting and still enjoyable, just a much different experience than I was expecting. The night ended with two encores and an audience that gave an standing ovation more than once. As I was leaving, I spotted Sakagutchi just hanging out and because I knew the opportunity would probably never come around again, I asked for a photo from the man who created one of my favorite gaming series of all time.