The final Final Fantasy to receive the pixel remaster treatment, Final Fantasy 6 was released on February 23. Many things remain as they were in the original game, including the fact you can suplex a train (which wasn’t a sure thing, as a tweet from two weeks before launch showed a version in which the Phantom Train didn’t flip over). One thing that has changed is the famous opera scene, which received a visual overhaul, with the 2D characters in front of 3D backgrounds à la Octopath Traveler, and vocals in seven languages.
In a recent promotional video (thanks to RPGSite for the translation), original composer Nobuo Uematsu explains that he suggested the idea of adding vocals to Square Enix “half-jokingly”, not expecting it to actually happen. “I thought it would be impossible or difficult,” he said.
On hearing this suggestion, the remaster’s producer then went to Yoshinori Kitase, the original’s co-director, to ask what to do. As Kitase explained in the video, “So I replied ‘You should listen and do everything that Uematsu said.’ I was the key figure behind the scenes!”
Celes, the party member who sings in the scene, is an ex-military general who gets caught up in the performance rather than an opera singer. A vocalist was chosen with that in mind, Uematsu said, “someone whose vocals didn’t seem 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 the woman he was dating. But he wasn’t lying, he did end up marrying her and they had a baby.”
Uematsu found out that Square Enix had followed through on his suggestion when the publisher sent him versions of the audio in seven different languages. “No matter what language it was,” he said, “even when I couldn’t understand [the language], I still couldn’t help getting overflowed with tears.”