For Macstorm: The Final Fantasies – IV
RPGamer’s longtime Editor-in-Chief Michael A. Cunningham sadly passed away this August, leaving an impossible-to-fill hole in the gaming community. To add to our previous tributes to him (and those of many others), contributor to and curator of our former Sound Test feature Francis Gayon, M.D. — aka Fermat’s Last Theorem — has very kindly provided us with a symphonic fantasy based on Final Fantasy IV, Mac’s favourite RPG. Originally requested by Mac but unfortunately not completed before his passing, we are pleased to at least be able to share it as a tribute to him.
Francis provided this message to accompany the piece:
Mac was, without a doubt, one of the nicest people I had the pleasure of working with during my brief stint as Sound Test Curator for this site. He was kind and patient, especially when he was showing me the ropes, and his passion for games and for the site were truly admirable.
Mac and I fell out of touch when I dropped the column (most irresponsibly, I admit), and I had only managed to get in touch with him again early last year. He told me about his illness then, and even asked if he could ask for a second opinion. I answered any questions he had about his illness, and regretfully told him that none of my friends who worked near him would be of much help as they specialized in fields different from what he needed.
Feeling impotent from a medical standpoint, I tried to comfort him the only way I could — music. I sent him a few of my newer compositions, including a symphonic fantasy based on tracks from the first Final Fantasy. I called it “The Final Fantasies – I”. He liked it quite a bit, and I promised to make him one for one of his favorites for the SNES, Final Fantasy IV.
Alas, my busy clinic schedule precluded me from finishing the arrangement before he passed. When I heard the news, I was filled with so much regret. I wish I had set aside more time so that he got to listen to it before the end. I decided then that “The Final Fantasies – I” would never be released so that Mac would be one of only three people who have ever heard the complete track (the other two being myself and a radiologist friend who I consult for various musical matters). By doing this, I hoped to give him something that was (almost) only his.
As for the promised arrangement, I decided to forge ahead and complete it in honor of Mac. It took quite a bit of time, as I was only able to compose during the weekends, and even then, there were a lot of interruptions.
Mac, here it is: “The Final Fantasies – IV”. I hope you hear this, wherever you are, and I hope it’s something worthy of you.
— Francis Gayon
We would like to thank Francis for his excellent tribute to Mac, one that we are certain he would have very much appreciated, and hope that everyone enjoys listening to it. We would also once again like to pass on our utmost thanks to all those who have offered their sympathies, messages of support, and tributes over the past few months.