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The drumming in the Final Fantasy Pixel Remasters was done by a child genius

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At some point I reached an age where people more successful and talented than me started being younger than me too. It was all well and good when I was 20 years old and almost everyone younger than me was basically a child, but now the lead actors of phenomenally successful TV shows (opens in new tab) don't even remember the credit crunch. And now I have to come to terms with the fact that Yoyoka, the drummer on those hardcore Final Fantasy Pixel Remaster tracks, was around 11 years old when she performed them.

Yoyoka, whose full name is Yoyoka Soma, is a drumming prodigy from Ishikari, Japan, who you might already know from four years ago, when she went viral for crushing a performance of Led Zeppelin's Good Times Bad Times (opens in new tab). When she was, oh no, 8 years old

It appears that performance (among many others you can find on her YouTube channel) caught the attention of the devs at Square Enix, because the company brought her on during the game's development to contribute to 18 tracks across the remasters of Final Fantasy 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6.

Yoyoka posted about her involvement (opens in new tab) in the FF remasters a while ago, but it only came to my attention after an enterprising Resetera user (opens in new tab) dug up her video showcasing the tracks she contributed to. It's a little bit surprising that Square Enix didn't make more noise about hiring a memetic child prodigy to pep up its soundtracks for the remasters. I suppose that's a testament to her talent: she was enlisted for her abilities, rather than to gild a marketing campaign.

The remasters of the first six Final Fantasy games have, for the most part, gone down pretty well, even if they do make a few of the same stumbles (opens in new tab) that earlier, ill-fated touch-up attempts have made. Most of the complaints I've read have pertained to the fonts, though; I'm pretty sure the music has been a solid hit (opens in new tab).

In other FF news, Final Fantasy 16 is shaping up (opens in new tab) to be a medieval-themed political drama where you play the bodyguard of a prince named Joshua. The game's first trailer mentioned a PC version, but since then Square Enix have been laser-focused on only discussing the game as a "PS5 exclusive". We'll probably get it eventually, but we might be waiting a while: Final Fantasy 15 took two years to land on our shores after it came to console. In the meantime, why not wax nostalgic about the hairstyles of FF past (opens in new tab)?

News Writer

One of Josh's first memories is of playing Quake 2 on the family computer when he was far too young to be doing that, and he's been irreparably game-brained ever since. Since then, his writing has been featured in Vice, Fanbyte, and the Financial Times. He'll play pretty much anything, and has written far too much on everything from visual novels to Assassin's Creed. His most profound loves are for CRPGs, immersive sims, and any game whose ambition outstrips its budget. He thinks you're all far too mean about Deus Ex: Invisible War.