Bored and wanting to listen to the opening song of the game again, I went and looked it up on Youtube complete with lyrics.
And reading it, I realized just how much more meaning the song has now than it did before. Not only is it a synopses of the plot itself, but also of the game's rocky history as it stands.
WARNING WALL OF TEXT BELOW AS I GO INTO DETAIL SKIP THE SPOILER IF YOU DON'T LIKE OVER-ANALYZING.
The opening chorous is the voice of the players. Crying out for the ruin that was the game's first release. This theme sort of continues as you listen on. It really does represent the pain woe and anger of the base in summary by the first paragraph
'I close my eyes, tell us why must we suffer
(We the playerbase look away in shame, why was this done to us?)
Release your hands for your will runs asunder
(Let the game go[die] you won't be able to fix it.)
My legs long tired, tell us where must we wander
(We tired of the state of games, and hopping back and forth between games of the genre yet to find a home, where do we go now that we've suffered this dissapointment?)
How can we carry on with redemption beyond us'
(How can we keep hope in you (Square Enix)with this tragedy unforgivable?)
The second and third paragraphs is SE's initial response. An appeal form them to the players for hope.
'To all of my children in whom life flows abundant
To all of my children to whom death hath passed his judgment'
(To everyone, those who are still with us, and those who have moved on from the game.)
The soul yearns for honor and the flesh the hereafter
(We desire to make amens for the faith we have lost, even though we work to exhaustion.)
Look to those who walked before to lead those who walk after
(This can be taken multple ways, about the new design team being composed of members that have worked on multiple past projects, or to look towards that remember the difficulties FFXI had in the beginning.)
'Shining is the land's light of justice
Ever flows the land's well of purpose
(The cries have been heard, things will be set right.
This game means as much to us as it does to you [the players]. There's still reason to hold on.
Walk free, walk free, walk free, believe,
The land's alive, so believe'
Let go of the burdens and anger, and have faith once more.
The game, the world, is living and changing, so have faith it'll be set right.
The following section to me, is representative of the disjointed conversations between players and developers. That struggle we've been having to have a clear discourse between the two groups. Both groups are trying to say the same thing: We want the game to improve, and they can't leave things the way they are. Given how ambiguous this section of the song is, I'm not going to try to create a translation
'Suffer [feel] (me) Lonely [face] (me) Weakness [teach] (me) Evil [Fear] (me)
although[feel] (me) one must [face] (me) stumble [teach] (me) listen [speak] (me)
(Although we) [speak] we (might) [tell] them (we must) [tell] them (land of) [hope] hope
(Mother) [hope] hope (father) [wish] with (every) [wish] wish(has a) [roam] home
(we must go) [roam] go (listen) [roam] go (suffer) [roam] home (sanctum) [swim] leap
(And as) [speak] we (wander) [sleep] sleep (answer) [sleep on] sleep on (on)'
Now this comes SE's ongoing message. Their perspective and truths, as well as their plea.
'Now open your eyes while our plight is repeated
(We're giving this another shot, please give us another chance)
Still deaf to our cries lost in hope we lie defeated
(It'll all mean nothing if you don't, and we'll be beaten even as we're hopful for the future)
Our souls have been torn and our bodies forsaken
Bearing sins of the past for our future is taken'
(We know this is an uphill battle, and we're working from a damaged relationship. We'll never be as successful as we could have been getting it done right the first time, we bear this constantly.)
'War, born of strife these trials dissuade us not
(Even so, we will not give up on trying to fulfill the promise we broke.)
Words without sound these lies betray our thoughts
(The constant internet buzz and rumor mill saying that this game is dead without recovery, though not true, reflect our fears)
Mired by your plague of doubtful and cheap lore
Judgment binds all we hold to a memory of scorn
(With our past burning us still, and the stories of our failure still circling around like buzzards it puts a dampening on everything we're trying to keep alive and improve.)
Tell us why, given life, we are meant to die? help us in our cry!'
But answer this? Why not turn it around? Why does a world with such potential have to be scrapped? Help us , we wish to fix this too.
The second chorus section is much more unified. To me, it's symbolic of the efforts of the player-base and developers finally working together, running more or less now on the same page. There still some disagreements and it's still faintly disjointed, but the message now is unified.
witness (we) suffer (we) grovel (we) reason
(we) follow (we) struggle (we) wander (we) listen
(we) whisper (we) shoulder (we) addle (we) weather
(please) answer (you) answer (me) answer together
The last paragraph is the answer, the conclusion from both SE and their supporters.
My life is a riddle to bear rapture and sorrow
To listen to suffer to entrust unto tomorrow
In one fleeting moment from the land doth life flow
Yet in one fleeting moment for the new leaf doth grow
In the same fleeting moment thou must live, die and know
(We are the ones to watch this ever present question, bearing both the good and the bad.
To watch and to strive on as we entrust the hope of this game to it's future.
The game's existence is but new, and it shows glimmers of it's potential.
But it has but little time left for it to turn over a new leaf and become what it was meant to be.
And in that time, we must decide is it worth it? Is it not? And to know our personal answer to the question this entire struggle has presented us. )
(Boy that was long.)
Anyways, this opening song has taken on much more meaning for me than simply another epic track for a Square Enix game. It's become a chronicle for the struggles this game is trying to pull itself through.
The Development team has this one chance to turn this around, and if they succeed, this song will become an anthem of perhaps the best story of Redemption and comeback this genre has known, and be a memerable as a story as the song is itself.
But that future isn't here yet. It was stolen from us before and it can happen again, and as described in the song, it's now an uphill battle.
One way or another, the song was almost prophetic in how it's lyrics described this struggle before it even happened. Let's just hope this story has a good ending.
Edited, Nov 1st 2011 4:38pm by Hyrist