That’s My Jam is a weekly feature where one person from the Selective Hearing staff goes to wax poetic about music that is pivotal to their musical tastes. Whether that would be an album, a song, or anything in-between. We all had to start somewhere. This week: Faye Wong’s Eyes On Me.
- Eyes On Me
- Red Beans
- Eyes On Me (Instrumental)
Released February 2, 1999
On the Lunar Base, the player finds out that after defeating Edea, her sorceress powers (given to her under final boss Ultimecia’s possession) were passed to Rinoa. Under Ultimecia’s control, she uses Rinoa to unlock the tomb of another sorceress, Adel.
Due to Seifer (obeying Ultimecia willingly) triggering an effect called the Lunar Cry, countless enemies, including Adel, travel from the Moon to Earth. Once this occurs, Ultimecia releases her control over Rinoa, leaving her to die in the middle of space. Squall forgoes the escape pod from the Lunar Base to go save Rinoa.
He eventually finds her floating in space, quickly losing oxygen. He gets a hold of her and can provide her oxygen from his suit. Now both Squall and Rinoa are aimlessly floating in space, then in a serendipitous event, they come across the Ragnarok flowing around as well. They make their way into the ship and use the autopilot to return to Earth.
Instrumental versions of the song played before this scene, but this scene in Final Fantasy VIII was the first time the player heard the song in its original form. It’s an overtly sappy, heavy-handed love ballad. But for FF8, for Squall and Rinoa, it’s perfect. Despite moments of Engrish, Faye Wong does a fantastic job singing in English. Coupling this song with Squall and Rinoa embracing their love for one another, it’s easily one of the best moments in the game.
This is my favourite Final Fantasy game. Spanning four disks for the original Playstation, it had me hooked all the way through. Memorable characters such as Zell and Laguna and a bombastic story are only fit for Final Fantasy. Even Triple Triad was a great distraction between plot points. The junction system is divisive, I understand. But, I embraced it and found it engaging and worth investing time into.
I also realize Squall is laconic and depressed about himself and the world for most of the game. But, when he opens himself up to Rinoa on the Ragnarok, that all changes. Others may have been relieved that it took him this long to get out of the funk, but I was happy that he got out, period. Sometimes it takes something drastic as the person you love drifts in the void of space nearing their death.
When Rinoa sits in Squall’s lap as they head back to Earth, knowing that she has been labelled a sorceress, they both realize they must face judgment. But for those few moments on the ship, just the two of them together, everything else doesn’t matter. That scene wouldn’t have been as poignant without Faye Wong’s Eyes On Me.