Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV

Musical Score By: John R Graham

Main Theme By: Yoko Shimomura

Distributed by: Square Enix

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Kingsglaive Final Fantasy XV is a CG motion picture based in the world of the popular video game series, Final Fantasy.  In Kingsglaive, King Regis of the magical realm of Lucis (Sean Bean) commands elite soldiers called the Kingsglaive.  Using their king’s magic, Nyx (Aaron Paul) and his fellow members of the Kingsglaive fight to protect Lucis against the empire of Niflheim.  As the empire threatens to overwhelm Lucis, King Regis is left with an ultimatum: marry his son to Princess Lnafreya (Lena Headey), a captive of Niflheim, and surrender his lands to the empire.  But, even though the king concedes, the empire is not yet satisfied.  Seeking world domination, there is only one thing that stands in the Neflheim empire’s way – the Kingsglaive.

                The musical score of Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV was created by American musician and composer John R. Graham.  Studying singing and orchestral writing in his youth, Graham began his musical career by singing and performing in bands while studying orchestral music.  His first film score was composed for Full Contact.  Since then, Graham’s composing credits include Bitch Slap, My Brother's War, Alleged and more.

                According to Graham, like the video game series, this film “generates much of its energy through opposites. It blends magic and technology, the real and unreal, tolerance and intolerance.  I was brought into write filmic music that would inhabit the world of the film, a counterbalance to Yoko Shimomura’s beloved music for the Final Fantasy game series…I ended up writing about 100 minutes of music which I hope conveys this simultaneous light-and-dark feeling and underlines the contradictions of the characters, the plot and even the lighting of the film.”  Thus, the musical score is orchestral mixed with electronic sound.  The score often features choral pieces.  Female vocals produce an ethereal or mystical sound while male vocals represent a call to battle or are used for dramatic flair.  Faster paced and louder percussion and horns speak to action while the background strings and woodwinds speak to the emotions behind the battle.

                The Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV Soundtrack is quite a dramatic listen.  I found myself wondering just what was going on in this film and how it ties in with the realm of the Final Fantasy video game series.  Fans of the video game are going to love the music found on this soundtrack, whether or not they enjoy the film.  Definitely worth the listen!


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