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Music Spotlight: Final Fantasy Tactics, Ovelia’s Theme

DevinRogersMusic Spotlight is a series that aims to draw attention to video game music and its impact on the narrative, gameplay, immersion and emotion of video games.  If you enjoy what you hear, you are encouraged to play the games the music comes from and experience first-hand how it is used.

In this entry, we take a look at the track Ovelia’s Theme from the game Final Fantasy Tactics for the PlayStation.

**Please note there are minor spoilers below regarding the character of Princess Ovelia.

Final Fantasy Tactics has a very intricate plot with a large cast of characters, and the story can be difficult to explain for those unfamiliar with it.  At a top-level, the kingdom of Ivalice falls into chaos when its king dies.  Two warring factions vie for the regency, with the king’s adopted daughter Princess Ovelia becoming a pawn in the fight for the throne.

Ovelia is a very tragic character.  She is only 15 at the story’s onset, and she is used as a tool by multiple parties throughout the game.  Although many characters fare far worse than Ovelia’s ultimate fate, it is still sad to see where her story ends.

Ovelia’s Theme does a fantastic job of representing Ovelia’s character and the circumstances that surround her, especially towards the beginning of the game.  The track begins with a cheerful melody, illustrating her young, innocent nature.  She lived a large part of her life in a monastery, and I always imagined her theme as a reflection of her strong faith.  When this music plays, she is typically safe with her friends and reflecting upon the events unfolding in the world with hope for the future.

As the track goes on, however, it becomes slower and more melancholy, foreshadowing that the hope Ovelia prays for isn’t a reality.  Ovelia’s Theme is more powerful on repeat playthroughs of the game when you know what is coming.  It is also succeeded later in the game by a darker version called Ovelia’s Worries, which is even more melancholy.

Of the two, I feel Ovelia’s Theme stands out due to its initial upbeat tone.  Though there are a handful of light-hearted and bouncy tracks in Final Fantasy Tactics, a majority of the game’s music is dark and urgent.  Ovelia’s Theme is a light in the darkness, one that as a player I fought to keep kindled throughout the campaign.

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What are your thoughts on Ovelia’s Theme?  Are there other tracks from Final Fantasy Tactics that you enjoy?  Let us know in the comments!

Also, be sure to check out our other Music Spotlights!

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