The internet has waited long enough for a review of all Chocobo Theme songs.  Luckily the internet has prepared a video just for this purpose.

Section 1. Comments.

FFII.  Simple and jangly.  The basic awesome melody is there with few extras.  But definitely sowing the seeds of greatness.  This is the work of a budding genius.  I imagine this as the Chocobo Band’s first album, recorded for $700 over a weekend in a garage.

FFIII.  Actually a downgrade from II.  I think maybe they didn’t know what they had on their hands.  Sounds like they tried to go lo-fi and work just on the melody. Perhaps some music intern took over or it was overlooked by an unconscientious producer.

FFIV.  Here’s where things take off.  I’m pretty sure this was my first exposure, in the American “FFII”.  The tune has been filled out and grown into something special.

FFV. Some kind of tropical remix.  It’s a little goofy, but I appreciate where they’re coming from and it keeps its essence.

FFVI.  Brilliant.  The Chocobo Theme at its self-aware peak.  Someone lovingly crafted this who knew their way around a Chocobo Theme.  The sparse melody has been fully realized and built into a colossally layered electronic beast.

FFVII. A kinder, gentler Chocobo Theme.  I’m not sure of the context here–were the Chocobos drugged?  Or were they shooting for a gentle denounement from the glory of FFVI?

FFVIII.  Another where I wonder if I’m missing some context.  If I had to guess, I’d say this is heard when the hero discovers a playable version of FFII in an old barn.

FFIX. Are all the Chocobos old in this one?  You can’t ride a Chocobo to this music.  You put it out to pasture and start explaining to the kids that Old Chocy might not be with us much longer.

FFX. Complete unrecognizable and hideous. Is this a bad Saturday morning cartoon theme?  This is some kind of crime.

FFXI. Something about this one is a little off.  I like the idea but it’s oddly out of tune.  Or they’re meddling with the formula.

FFXII. Pretty great, ambitious orchestral version.  A true revival.  Complex and mature.  Kudos.

Section 2. Rank. Subjective but undoubtedly correct.

  1. FFVI
  2. FFIV
  3. FFII
  4. FFXII
  5. FFVII
  6. FFV
  7. FFIX
  8. FFIII
  10. FFXI
  11. FFX

Section 3. Actual research*.

Composers: Nobuo Uematsu has sole credit for the score in games II-IX. FFX and FFXI have two other co-composers and FFXII is entirely some others. I also found out that there is a whole Chocobo video game series in which the music is composed by one of the FFX composers.  Considering FFX has the worst Chocobo theme, I’m not as excited about this as I should be.

*I’m going to go ahead and assume that wikipedia is crushingly accurate when it comes to video game information and not check any other sources.  Wikipedia also makes it clear that I have a lot to learn about the Chocobo Theme