On February 23, Final Fantasy 6 was released, the last Final Fantasy to receive a pixel remaster tweet two weeks before the launch showed a version where the Ghost Train did not roll over). One thing that has changed is the famous opera stage, which has undergone a visual overhaul: 2D characters against a 3D backdrop a la Octopath Traveler and vocals in seven languages. In a recent promotional video (thanks RPGsite for translation), original composer Nobuo Uematsu explains that he pitched the idea of adding vocals to Square Enix “half-jokingly” without expecting it to actually happen. “I thought it would be impossible or difficult,” he said.
Hearing this suggestion, the remaster’s producer went to Yoshinori Kitase, co-director of the original, to ask what to do. As Kitase explained in the video, “So I replied, ‘You should listen and do whatever Uematsu said.’ I was the key person behind the scenes!”
Celes, the member of the party that sings on stage, is a former military general who is passionate about the performance, not the opera singer. With that in mind, a vocalist was chosen, Uematsu said, “someone whose vocals weren’t like an opera singer, but more like a musical singer.”
Uematsu also explained that the lyrics were written by Kitase, who wrote them as “a love letter for a woman he was dating. But he didn’t lie, he ended up marrying her and they had a baby.”
Uematsu learned that Square Enix followed up on his offer when the publisher sent him versions of the audio in seven different languages. “No matter what language it was in,” he said, “even when I couldn’t understand [the language] I still couldn’t hold back my tears.”