Music to My Ears: Unite, Descend (Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles)

I’m surprised I’ve never written about this song or this game. I think on a certain level I just assumed it happened a long time ago, back when the site first started. Turns out: nope! So here we go.

Unite, Descend (aka Unite Descent) is the final boss theme from Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, a fun little gem from the GameCube era that lots of interested parties missed because of its ludicrous setup. Just like The Legend of Zelda: Four Swords Adventures, it utilized up to four GameBoy Advances and four connection cables to play the game. The upside to this was that you could have your own little screen for equipment or a map. The downside to this was that it was patently insane, prohibitively expensive and hard to see in the dark if you didn’t have the light-up version of the GBA.

So, you know, pros and cons.

Still, as a co-op aficionado, I loved both of those games. Crystal Chronicles allowed you to work together to create big, beefy spells and topple gigantic foes. The trick to keeping everyone on the same screen was filling the world with miasma, then giving you a bucket that protected you in a small radius. Smart game design, even if it felt a little claustrophobic at times.

Over time you could craft better equipment, send letters to your family and tell stories around the campfire at the end of each cycle. Eventually you end up revisiting locations a bit too much, but when you get to the final stretch of the game, the story and the fun both ramp up significantly. And then, you face this final boss, and this theme kicks off with a bang.

It’s a cool organ solo to start, before the percussion and the wind instruments kick in. Then it’s additional layers that make everything sound even better. Down the road a choir shows up to make its presence known. All of this is happening while you fight in a bright skyscape with ripples coursing out from beneath your feet, trying to protect the memories you built with your party over time. It’s neat thematically and it’s a challenging fight, especially if you’re not overleveled.

This is kiss-your-fingertips good. If this game somehow slipped under your radar back in the early 2000s, check out this song and maybe give the remaster a look when it comes out next year. I’ll certainly be giving it a try, and if FFCC follows through on its potential, maybe a whole new group will get to enjoy it now.

Unite, Descend (Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles)

Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.

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