In the past I have compared remix tracks to the original, sometimes going as far as saying I prefer the remix track over the original. Yet I have never done a side by side comparison of two songs and today on Beyond Audiodome, I plan on doing that.
Cyan has always been one of my more favourite characters from Final Fantasy 6 due to his backstory. He was a knight to the kingdom of Doma and when he made his debut. He appears defending his homeland from the Gestahlian Empire by taking the fight to them. He didn't order a retreat or had his castle sink into the earth, he took the fight to the heavily armoured enemy and won. Of the cast from Final Fantasy VI, he is indeed the most flawed of them all.
Cyan's Theme reflects the characters nature. Like him, the song is noble and reserved. It gives a sense of dignity with the character. Edgar's Theme is more proud while Locke's theme is more adventurous. These are good attributes, but these sort of characters tend to outweigh the more reserved, dignified characters such as Cyan. As much as I enjoy the previous listed themes, I have always found Cyan's Theme to be far more inspirational. Listening to the track, I have always visualized some knight wandering the countryside protecting the people from harm.
Then I discovered the Hyadain version.
Hyadain's version of the song is so much better then the original. In this version, Cyan is painted as more of a troubled man with pain and chaos in his heart. Within the first 10 minutes of his introduction, his family is taken from him and his kingdom is destroyed. What happens to Cyan is that, while retaining his noble speech, becomes a man driven in the pursuit of vengeance. After the worlds end, he finally gives into his grief and closes himself off from the world. He also takes the identity of a dead man and mail flowers to his lover under the man's name. That's why I enjoy the song as it doesn't reflect Cyan's noble status, but the one of a tortured man who in less then an hour lost everything he has ever had.
When it comes down to it, which song is more inspiring, the classic retro track or Hyadain's tune. I am going to have to say that Hyadain's cover wins out. When I hear the song I visualize a warrior carrying the weight of a lost kingdom on his shoulders. He has withdrawn from the world, only to strike those who have wronged him. He is a knight without a liege to follow. The Hyadain cover emphasizes exactly what is going on in Cyan's heart and how after the end of the world, he has lost the will to live. When the team finds him, he is living a lie, trying to fill the hole in his heart.
When I began Beyond Audiodome, I never wanted to compare a cover track to the original source material in a manner such as this. As great and professional sounding these tracks are, they are still done by fans of the series and it's not fair to have their work compared to the original. However, with Hyadain, I had to make a exception. His rendition of Cyan's Theme is so hauntingly beautiful, it deserved to be ranked along side Uematsu's original composition. It is fantastic and I have to say I prefer this version of the song. The Hyadain cover is some of the few songs that I think is far superior to the originals and perhaps some time later I can discuss which songs I think is better then the original.
You can find the Hyadain cover on Youtube.
This is Daimo Mac and I am lost in the music.