The music box, or orgel as it’s known in Japan, is quite a lovely sound. While I’ve always appreciated the chromatic tones, I’ve to this day not fully understood just why it’s so popular in Japan, but I’ve tended not to question it as many of favorite game soundtracks have benefited from a music box arrangement now and then.
This album continues that tradition, as was given away as a pre-order bonus for a Final Fantasy XI collection in Japan. So how does Final Fantasy XI’s music transition into the orgel format? Find out below.
First, as a pre-order bonus disc, it is short. It clocks in at just under 13 minutes in length, covering six popular themes from the series. Given that they only picked six, they did a pretty good job of it, covering the main theme (“Vana’diel March”), the theme of Jeuno, “Whispers of the Gods,” “Arciela,” and a personal favorite of mine, “Mog House.”
The arrangements tend to be vibrant and full, or perhaps even energetic to a degree. The quality of the sound is very bold, and the squeeking of the music box can be heard from time to time.
If you love the original versions of these themes, there’s no reason you shouldn’t also enjoy these versions, as they stay pretty true to their original counterparts. If anything, I think the arrangements are perhaps overly ambitious, recreating the originals almost too closely. I tend to find orgel music pretty relaxing, and while I’d say this album is also relaxing to a degree, the business introduced by these faithful recreations is more conducive to excitement than relaxation.
Still, I’ll take orgel music any way I can get it, and I’d love to see more Final Fantasy music done up this way in the future. Knab the disc if you see it on the used market.