Final Fantasy X’s Theme Song ‘To Zanarkand’ Wasn’t Originally Intended For The Game

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If you ask any Final Fantasy fan what their top five favorite songs in the franchise are, there’s a 99 percent chance one of them is “To Zanarkand” from Final Fantasy X. However, it turns out, it wasn’t originally intended for the game. 

This news comes from Audrey (aitaikimochi on X, formerly Twitter), a mega Final Fantasy fan, Twitch streamer, and CEO of Aitai Japan Inc., who translated a recent interview between Weekly Ochiai and Final Fantasy X composer Nobuo Uematsu, whose credits also include One-Winged Angel and Aerith’s Theme from Final Fantasy VII and so much more. In that interview, Uematsu revealed “To Zanarkand” originally began as a piece for a French flute player, meant to be played during a recital. 

“‘To Zanarkand’ was actually not meant to be the theme for Final Fantasy X,” Uematsu tells Weekly Ochiai, as translated by Audrey on X. “There was a flute player from France who originally asked me to write a song for them to play during a recital. When I wrote the piece, I thought perhaps this sounded a bit too sad for a recital. So I set it aside for the time being. 

“Sometime after, when I was making the score of Final Fantasy X, I was falling behind all the while the producers were hounding me. So since that flute piece was unused, I just kind of meekly handed it to them. They listened to it and said, ‘Yes! This is brilliant!'” 

In retrospect, it’s wild “To Zanarkand” wasn’t originally composed by Uematsu for Final Fantasy X because it fits the game’s themes so well, nailing the somber and sad tone present throughout Tidus and Yuna’s journey in Spira. 

For more about Final Fantasy music, read Game Informer’s exclusive four-part series on composer Masayoshi Soken’s score for last year’s Final Fantasy XVI:

After that, read Game Informer’s review of Final Fantasy X/X-2 HD Remaster


What’s your favorite Final Fantasy theme song? Let us know in the comments below!





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