I was absolutely elated when Square Enix announced a new Final Fantasy Theatrhythm game during the Tokyo Game Show last year, as there's been a Final Fantasy music game shaped hole in my life for the best part of a decade. I played the pair of Theatrhythm 3DS games to absolute death back in the day, and was hoping that Squeenix's newfound PC love-in would mean I'd be able to write about it non-stop when Theatrhythm Final Bar Line comes out on February 16th. Alas, that joy was immediately curtailed when I saw FBL wasn't, in fact, coming to PC at all, and would remain a Switch and PS4-only game for the foreseeable future. But that's okay, because YouTuber Gloomhonk has created the perfect antidote to my Theatrhythm woes in the form of their brilliant Trombone Champ rendition of FF VII's Those Who Fight Further. Come and have a listen.
We've written about Gloomhonk's creative Trombone Champ mod videos before, but I felt this one deserved special mention. Just look at Cloud, Barret and Tifa parping away on their little trombones! And the surprise at 2.15? Just perfect.
Gloomhonk's employed several mods to help bring this version of Final Fantasy VII's battle theme together. There's NyxTheShield's Midi2TromboneChamp mod, which lets you create custom charts from your own MIDI files, and legoandmars' TrombLoaderBackgroundProject, which lets you create custom backgrounds. For the video above, they've also made excellent use of TomDatBot's AutoToot mod, which lets Trombone Champ effectively play itself.
Credit where credit's due, though, as Gloomhonk's also made another video of their Those Who Fight Further chart without the aid of AutoToot, which you can see below. It's... quite a bit wonkier than the assisted version, but as someone who spent a not insignificant part of their life subjecting her parents to endless violin practice caterwauling over the years, I think it still has a unique sense of charm all to itself.
The four-lane battle mode was always my favourite part of the original Theatrhythm and its sequel Curtain Call (mostly because Final Fantasy's battle music is just inherently better and more exciting than the tracks they used in their field and event modes), so seeing these themes take on new life in games like Trombone Champ just fills me with great happiness, especially when the backgrounds are so well choreographed. And until Squeenix see sense and bring Final Bar Line to PC, I think videos like Gloomhonk's are probably about the closest we're going to get to a Theatrhythm-like experience on our old desktops.
Have you spotted any more good Final Fantasy or video game-themed Trombone Champs out there? I need to start compiling a proper playlist of these things, stat.