Hello, and welcome to my review/listening guide of the first disc of Final Fantasy IX: Worlds Apart, the remix album from the sonic wizards over at OverClocked ReMix!

I’ll be going through, track-by-track, and rating them on a 1-5 “Zidane Scale”, along with giving a few thoughts on why I rated them so. You can listen along on SoundCloud or download the album yourself at ff9.ocremix.org!

Moguo’s Knife Party (Over the Hill) Benjamin Briggs

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A BEAST start to the album. So funky, with some delicious little ska influences towards the middle… Guh. Glorious. 5 ZIDANES.

Sjá, Minn Heim (A Place to Call Home) M-H

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Before I begin, let me mention that I used to be super into hard rock/metal, and these days I’ve come to start feeling the opposite. However, I enjoyed this remix. I liked how it’s not super overwhelming with the intense guitar, and stays true to the melody throughout.

Black Mage Master (Vivi’s Theme) The Dual Dragons

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Oh jeez, more metal. Again, I actually enjoyed this music, but… it didn’t sound very Vivi to me, y’know? The tone was all wrong. Even at his angriest, I don’t see Vivi in the light I felt this song was portraying. Good music overall, but I think you need to keep the tone of the song, and the character the song is about, in mind when you remix.

Canaries and Hurricanes (Swords of Fury, Behind the Door) Fishy

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Remember when I was talking about tone before? THIS song is perfect for some super-sweet metal guitar, and I think Fishy nailed it. It’s dramatic. It’s epic. It captured the tone, along with being a damn good song in general.

Vamo alla Django (Vamo alla Flamenco) AndyP, Fishy feat. Dan Bryant

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Hahaha. I don’t even know how to begin describing this song, except it was three great guitarists just chillin’ and bangin’ out some Vamo alla Flamenco. I’m going to contradict myself here, and say, regardless of tone, listen to this one.

Lunar Rebellion (Court Jesters) IanFitC

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Damn. Yum. This song was deliciously creepy, and fit Zorn and Thorn perfectly. I felt the foreboding. The faithfulness to the source material earns this baby a sweet 5 Zidanes.

Knight-wit (Steiner’s Theme) ch4rl33

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In case you’re still reading, this is so perfect Steiner; plodding, yet the remix makes it super upbeat and danceable. I’m picturing a cyber/steampunk FFIX spinoff with Steiner as the main character and this as the title music. Get on it, Squeenix.

Prima Variations (Prima Vista Orchestra) Calum Bowen

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Damn. This song… definitely had some variation in it. It was all over the map, but I enjoyed it. Not a must-listen (who am I kidding, they’re all must-listens; it’s Worlds Apart, for Christ’s sake), but it’s… good.

Doomed Lovers (Tragic Love) Brandon Strader

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Another song where the epic power metal is completely appropriate, in my opinion. Super tragic, super intense. Loved it.

t.r.e.e. (Danger in the Forest) Ross Kmet

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I like the direction that Ross Kmet took this song. I’m no musician, so I can’t speak to the intricacies of composition, but I thought it sounded good, and it kept that creepy, somewhat dangerous feel that the Evil Forest is supposed to have.

Exploda (Battle 1) Cyril the Wolf, Fishy

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Like the battle music itself, it’s repetitive, epic to a fault, and is ingrained in the mind of anyone who’s played this game.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. FIVE ZIDANES.

Bossa de Victory (Fanfare) Calum Bowen

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This was a bold move, and one I didn’t think would work when I first listened. A minute in, though, I was sold. Calum Bowen pulled it off. Well done. This one gets me groovin’.

The Throes of Death(guise) [Battle 2] Gario

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Really interesting how Gario would carry the melody with this slow… weird… tone… thing (again, not a musician), but there was always that frantic shizz goin’ on in the background, a reminder that you’re never safe when you’re listening to this boss music.

Corra! (Run!) Dr. Manhattan

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A perfectly good remix. It didn’t blow my socks off, and was a liiiiiiiiittle slow and laborious at times for something that’s called “Run!”, but yeah. It was good.

Memories of Dali (Village of Dali) Jean Of mArc, Solveig Giffin, Christine MacIsaac

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When I first heard lyrics, I gasped and was ready to ruffle the shit out of my feathers. “Hurr durr I’m a purist fuck this stupid singing shit SHE PRONOUNCED CHOCOBO WRONG god damn these lyrics suck ass”

And, y’know, the lyrics… weren’t great. But they told a story. And the story meshed with the story of Dali, and added a layer of underlying sadness in the music that I had never noticed before. In the end, I think they added something that, without them, would have been sorely missed.

Birth Under a Blue Light (Zidane’s Theme) Knight of the Round

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… Well, there had to be one clunker, right?

It took me 3 listens to even tease out the melody of Zidane’s Theme in this remix. It was far too heavy-handed, and I just didn’t get it. If there’s one track to skip on this disc, it’d be this one. End with the super-sad “Memories of Dali” instead.