Final Fantasy’s Prelude is Simply Genius | Game Score Fanfare

How Nobuo Uematsu embraced simplicity, and in 30 minutes created one of the most iconic pieces of video game music – Final Fantasy’s Prelude.

Game Score Fanfare is a show that celebrates music in video games, an aspect so overlooked as that’s often the point: to work without you even realising it’s there. I look at games through the lens of its score, discovering the unique perspective and roles that music can bring.


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The Prelude sheet music used in this video was by deviantArt user xxxplizit.

Footage from FF IX, X, XIII and XIII-2 is from the YouTube channel Shirakko. You gotta check out their gameplay stuff, the quality is exceptional (often 4K!), no watermarks or silly commentary. Just the pure experience. The channel was a life-saver for this video (getting HD PS3 footage is actually really hard!!)

Thanks to 8-Bit Music Theory for reading over the script and making sure I somewhat sound like I know what I’m talking about.

Interview with Nobuo Uematsu:
“Diggin’ in the Carts – The Role of Role Play – Ep 5 – Red Bull Music Academy Presents” from Red Bull Music & Culture

“Interview: Final Fantasy Brave Exvius composer, Noriyasu Agematsu” from GameAxis

Music featured in this video. All tracks composed by Nobuo Uematsu, unless otherwise specified:

0:00 – Prelude – Final Fantasy I
0:04 – The Prelude – Final Fantasy V
0:07 – The Prelude – Final Fantasy IX
0:10 – Loop Demo – Final Fantasy XII (Hitoshi Sakimoto & Nobuo Uematsu)
1:29 – The Prelude – Final Fantasy VII
2:30 – The Prelude – Final Fantasy II
2:41 – The Prelude – Final Fantasy IV
3:24 – Prelude ~ Discoveries – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (Masayoshi Soken & Nobuo Uematsu)
3:32 – Loop Demo – Final Fantasy XII (Hitoshi Sakimoto & Nobuo Uematsu)
3:44 – Prelude – Final Fantasy X
4:23 – Disquiet – Final Fantasy XV (Yoko Shimomura)
4:32 – The Sunleth Waterscape – Final Fantasy XIII (Masashi Hamauzu)
4:42 – Crystalline Chill – Final Fantasy XV (Yoko Shimomura)
5:15 – Stand By Me – Final Fantasy XV (performed by Florence & The Machine, original song by Ben E. King)
5:37 – Eclipse – Final Fantasy XIII-2 (Mitsuto Suzuki)
5:59 – Anxious Heart – Final Fantasy VII
6:53 – Prelude – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Noriyasu Agematsu & Nobuo Uematsu)
7:11 – Great Voyage – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Noriyasu Agematsu)
7:35 – Secrets in her Eyes – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Noriyasu Agematsu)
7:57 – The Ghostship (Phantom Forest) – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Noriyasu Agematsu)
8:09 – DUEL!! – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Noriyasu Agematsu)
8:20 – Moment of Recall – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (Noriyasu Agematsu)
8:56 – Prelude (Remix) – Final Fantasy VII Demo

Games featured in this video:

0:00 – Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls (GBA)
0:04 – Final Fantasy IV: The After Years
0:08 – Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles (Gamecube)
0:10 – Final Fantasy XII (PS2)
1:29 – Final Fantasy I (NES)
1:36 – Final Fantasy IV (SNES)
1:38 – Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
1:40 – Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
1:43 – Final Fantasy IX (PS1)
1:46 – Final Fantasy X (PS4 remaster)
2:24 – Final Fantasy II (NES)
3:24 – Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn (PC)
3:33 – Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age (PS4)
3:42 – Final Fantasy X (PS4 remaster)
3:52 – The Legend of Zelda (NES)
3:58 – The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo Switch)
4:23 – Final Fantasy XV (PS4)
4:31 – Final Fantasy XIII (PS3)
5:37 – Final Fantasy XIII-2 (PS3)
5:59 – Final Fantasy VII (PS1)
7:04 – Final Fantasy: Brave Exvius (iOS + Android)


JD Houshour says:

it just goes to show time and again how music moves the soul! thank you for the dedication and respect you have for these AWESOME games and the people who worked on them.

Khaotil says:

Wow, you talking about Exvius really caught me offguard – I didn’t even realised while playing the game that almost every track in the game is indeed based on the Prelude.
But yeah, Exvius got a phenomenal OST.

As always, very great analysis !

opalhat says:

Didn’t realize the Prelude was in Sunleth Waterscape til now

Stefano Lovecchio says:

Even if you spell “arpeggiare” in a terrible Italian, I loved this video so much. Thanks!

Yiwen Shen says:

This is an amazing channel!!!!!!!

Edmund Alyn Jones says:

Wow. Great video!

Ryon says:

Man the prelude definitely puts you into a mental state of calm excited fire.

Tony says:

What a perfect ending.

FFXV was great, but Battletoads had the greatest pause music of all time.

Shadymissionary says:

im sad only one track from FFXIV was referenced. Torn from the Heavens and A Fine Death use the prelude sooooo nicely

WeskersPlayhouse says:

Ive always thought one of the best things about this series is how it has not one but two fantastic themes it can use game after game and neither one gets old

Lord Giles says:

How do you think about the NieR-Scores and the Xenoblade 2 Music?

antonco2 says:

Yes! I’ve een saying this all these years! Something I also like is that you can’t whistle this song, just try

Mister Apple says:

The fact that it’s a prelude and made entirely of arpeggios kind of reminds me of Bach’s Prelude in C from the Well-tempered clavier. I wonder if that was an inspiration? Also, the best pause music is obviously the pause music from Mario Strikers Charged, come on.

Vivyan Sarlas says:

I honest to god never realised that the Zanarkand song had the prelude in it. Oh my god.

Allen Tomaszewski says:

Thank you for your work!

Veytro says:


Jonathon Garcia says:

Didn’t Nobuo Uematsu himself say the Prelude was his biggest mistake? That if he had known Prelude was going to be popular he would have worked harder on it. I think I remember hearing something about that.

Gaspoov says:

I never really cared about Prelude, I was always more of a Prologue guy. I watched this video, and now I actively dislike it. It got sooo repetitive, the same chords over and over, I don’t know if I even could listen to Brave Exvius soundtrack now. Which is a shame, because it sounded like right up my alley. Oh well.

Demian Raziel says:

Wow I’ve never imagine that you play exvius, me too! By the way you should consider giving a chance to mobius final fantasy also for cellphone, it has an amazing soundtrack, I actually like it more than exvius, but that could be a matter or personal taste, but I don’t think it will dissapoint you, specially considering that one of my other favorites final fantasy soundtracks are FFVIII and you seem to love it.

By the way and if it’s not much to ask, could you do a bit more on FFVIII? There are so many themes there that I love, from the ones of battle like The man with the machine gun, Don’t be afraid, to some of the calm ones like you alredy did with Fishermans Horizon, or Breezy, I don’t know, that soundtrack means a lot to me.


Joshua Daniel says:


stoneroses8818 says:

FF12 version of the prelude is my fav.. That choir in the background sounds so good

NE0SPACE says:

Ok, seriously tho. FFBE is a genuinely good game, dispite time being mobile.

Just…. Just listen to the Phase 2 Chamber of Arms boss theme. It’s amazing. The story is on part with most final fantasy games, but takes it’s presentation in a more episodic manner. The developers are awesome people. It’s just a good, long-running game.

The best part is that it’s entirely FTP, and I’m speaking from experience.

Middle 8 says:

Another fantastic video, I always end up appreciating video game music so much more by the end. Simply genius.

Big Fronch says:

Wow. I have heard and hummed along with Anxious Heart countless times yet never realized that bit was the prelude. It seems so obvious when it’s pointed out. Like yeah, of course it’s the prelude. It’s so obvious! Yet somehow I just never realized it.

Average Willow says:

OOF feels good when another youtuber releases a video talking about the same game(s) and brings up the point that FFIV added a counter melody to the prelude IN THE SAME DAY as a GSF talking about that exact thing. I’m of course talking about Projared btw.

Baku Haku says:

Projared would approve of this video.

A Giant Monkey says:

I loved the video, thank you my friend.

mukiovatai says:

this video was Excellent

dirtybanana3 says:

I walked down the aisle at my wedding to ff7 prelude

theycallmezs says:

good video. thank you for making this. without it, i never would have truly understood the impact that the prelude has had on the entire series.

Katie Veres says:

So XIII did had a prelude but didn’t sound like it at first.

fadeddreamss says:

Prelude is such an important track for all the fans that I think the main theme can be missing, but is the prelude isn’t there, it won’t be a final fantasy game. I love the analysis you did and all the examples given. Seriously this song is genius and it could only come from one of our modern genius composers, Uematsu-san. says:

I just found your videos. Love the Final Fantasy-related content. Keep up the great work!

ozane93 says:

Do Lost Odyssey or Halo please.

Nick Wallette says:

The entire time watching this video I kept thinking about my favorite version of prelude. Then in the final minute of video, I hear those distinct jazzy tines and the syncopated shaker. YES!

I am convinced it was that song on a PS1 compilation demo disc, with a preview of FF7, that got me hooked on RPGs for life.

SotNist says:

google search: “song that goes do do do do do do do do”

google results: did you mean Final Fantasy Prelude?

zCasanova says:

Your FF content is on point – please keep it coming

Cynic Blaze says:

4:40 nah you don’t just get to say that and then think i won’t hit you back with digimon world 4’s ost

PADAWAN beats says:

you deserve ten billion subscribers

daplatinumstriker039 says:

Subscribed, I love your analysis. Keep it up!

dtmuffinman says:

Outstanding video, as always.

Tomás Palazzi says:

a video about Xenoblade Chronicles please! One of the most beautiful sagas and music in video games these days…

NarutoMakunouchi says:

Interestingly enough, I was playing FFBE while watching this vid lol. When you mentioned getting goosebumps when the FFBE theme played… yes, I too got goosebumps when it played in your vid – I love FFBE music! 🙂

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