Patrick Gann
RPGFan Music: FFVI Piano Collections Arranger Revealed
A 21-year mystery finally reaches its conclusion.
09.13.15 - 11:37 AM

For decades, VGM lovers have struggled with one of the strangest omissions in Square's music catalog: what happened to the "arranger" credits for Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections?

Without a name to go on, there have been many speculations made. Some, including myself, thought it may have been Shiro Satou, who had arranged the Piano Collections for Final Fantasy IV and V. Others believed it to be the work of Shiro Hamaguchi, who had done the Piano Collections and orchestral arrangements for Final Fantasy VIII, among other works. Then there was the "performer is the arranger" argument. Pianist Reiko Nomura performed for FFVI Piano, and only for FFVI Piano. Some thought she may have arranged the music herself.

Finally, there was a school of thought that argued the arrangements were the work of famed composer/arranger Shiro Sagisu. Sagisu, the composer for the original Neon Genesis Evangelion TV series, also did the arrangement for FFVI's orchestral album "Grand Finale." The track selection for Grand Finale and the Piano Collection had a fair bit of overlap, and stylistically, there were some similarities in the arrangements.

This weekend, at the Final Symphony II concert in London, Uematsu was asked during a Q&A about this very question. Uematsu confirmed that the latter of the four theories were correct. He stated that it was, indeed, Shiro Sagisu, the arranger of Grand Finale, who did the arrangements for Final Fantasy VI Piano Collections.

There remains the mystery of why Square left out the arranger credits, and whether or not it was intentional. Uematsu did not comment on this.

(Disclaimer: I did not personally attend the London show. This information was shared via fellow writer and founder of Blipico, Nikolas Broman. More details from the Q&A session will be posted there in the near future.)