It was sometime in the mid 90's. I was in grade school back then, and even back then I was a major introvert. Back then, I preferred a good book, or a nice video game to actually human interaction. Although come to think of it, things on that front haven't changed much.

That was when I first played Final Fantasy VI. Back then, I knew it as Final Fantasy III, and it was one of the very few role playing games I had ever been exposed to. (I think I might have played a few Dragon Quest (or rather Dragon Warrior) games on the original NES, and perhaps a couple others... But it was Final Fantasy VI that truly instilled a love of the genre in me.

For me, the story was great, but it was also the first time that I actually paid attention to a game's music. Yes, by this point, everyone was familiar with the Sonic the Hedgehog Green Hills music, or even the Super Mario theme, however this was the game that the music finally clicked. In particular, one song stuck out more than anything else. That one piece, was Aria di Mezzo Carattere. Or as I called it back then, "The Opera Song".

Since that day, I've been mildly obsessed with video game soundtracks. It was watching the credits after finally ending Kefka's reign of terror that I first learned the name to thank for this amazing experience. Since that day, the name Nobuo Uematsu has been a name that I equate with quality.

Once I was able to obtain a copy of the soundtrack, I listened to it on a near constant basis, until the day the discs were stolen. For me, it was the soundtrack for just about any of life's occasions. The soundtrack to Final Fantasy VI has been my go to when I need to focus on writing. In a very special way, this soundtrack encompasses, in my eyes the full breadth of human emotion. If I am every not feeling a specific scene I am working on, I immediately pull up a song from this soundtrack, and like magic, I'm back in the zone.

So pervasive is this soundtrack in my life, that I am listening to it on loop as I write this, and generally listen to it (or some other bit of Nobuo Uematsu's work) to sleep.

For this post, I'm including this version of the song for the video, because I rather enjoy it.

So, because I love this song so much, I'm going to give away 5 copies of the song "Aria di Mezzo Carattere". The first 5 people to fill out the form below will get the version of their choice.

Free stuff for you, and I get to share quite possibly my favorite song of all time with you. Everyone wins!

First Name is all I am looking for
Original or Video Games Live version (from the video above)