The Gamer’s Theme – The Black Mages / Earthbound Papas

This edition of the Gamer’s Theme will touch on a much more well known musician and composer – Nobuo Uematsu. Nobuo is a legend in the video game industry, having composed music for many venerable japanese series, most notably final fantasy. If you’ve ever heard Theme of Love, Dancing Mad, One Winged Angel, or Melodies of Life – you’ve heard his work. He was responsible for the music of the first 10 final fantasy games, but that isn’t what we’re here to talk about. We’re here to discuss his two bands – The Black Mages and the Earthbound Papas.

The Black Mages were formed by Uematsu and 2 other composers from Square-Enix. Their claim to fame was taking famous Final Fantasy themes, such as Dancing Mad and Opening – Bombing Mission, and recomposing them with a progressive metal sound. They released 3 albums, “The Black Mages” “The Black Mages II – The Skies Above”” and “The Black Mages III – Darkness and Starlight”, all of which saw great success and showed unbelievable talent. Also, for anyone who wants to hear the full ‘Dream Oath Opera’ from Final Fantasy 6 performed as an Opera – the last album contains a 15 minute long track ‘Darkness and Starlight’ which is just that. Truly a worthwhile experience for any FF6 fan.

After disbanding the Black Mages in 2010 over contractual issues with Square Enix, Nobuo reformed his band as the Earthbound Papas and has since released one album “Octave Theory” containing a wide variety of remixes of tracks that were composed by Uematsu from games such as BLue Dragon, Final Fantasy, and others. The album is quite hard to come by in NA, but I have listened to snippets here and there and strongly look forward to getting to experience more of it.


Hope you’ve enjoyed our second ‘Gamer’s Theme’ article, spotlighting the “Black Mages” and “Earthbound Papas” – Nobuo Uematsu’s two bands.


Written by: Sean

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