Soundtrack Saturdays: Kingdom Hearts – Simple And Clean

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Kingdom Hearts before. It’s one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, and for good reason; it’s a huge, sprawling crossover that spans not only the Final Fantasy series, but also almost every major Disney movie. Yeah, it’s as epic as it sounds. The first game alone featured places from Alice In Wonderland, Hercules, Tarzan, Winnie the Pooh, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Peter Pan, and references to many others.

Shown above is the HD version of the original game’s intro, complete with its catchy trance remix of Hikari (Simple and Clean) by Utada Hikaru. The slower instrumental version is also an excellent, chill tune. With Kingdom Hearts III currently in development, who knows what the next soundtrack will be like. I’m betting on awesome.

In the meantime, you can find the full OST for the first Kingdom Hearts here.

Good gaming, good music.

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Rain, Rain, Come And Stay

Hey, folks. Today’s Daily Prompt is all about weather. Specifically, how it affects your mood. This might sound strange, but I prefer rainy weather over everything else. Rain is typically associated with gloom and sadness, but I look forward to it. The sound of drops hitting a roof is soothing and peaceful. There’s a leak in the gutter over my bedroom window, so I always get treated to the splatter of a miniature waterfall. Rain is one of the easiest ways to see nature at work. As a child, I was fascinated by the way clouds were formed and how they reflected even larger natural processes. Seriously, if you have some time, read up on meteorology and geophysics. Or physical geography in general, for that matter. It’s fascinating stuff, and rain is just one reminder of it. A lot of people gripe and refuse to go out, but I almost always walk in the rain. Armed with my trusty umbrella (nicknamed Masamune due to its size), I’ll gladly stay outside. But if it gets too stormy, I know when to quit. I’ll just head back inside, grab a book, and enjoy the noise.

On the other hand, I dislike hot weather. It’s stifling and suffocating; it slowly steals all my energy and leaves me yearning for sleep. Growing up, summer meant 100° Fahrenheit or higher every day. When you have to walk four miles a day to get to and from school, the last thing you want is a broiling sun looming over you! That I routinely have nosebleeds in hot, dry weather doesn’t help. It’s all a matter of perspective, though. I went down to Chichen Itza about a dozen years ago. While it was definitely an epic, bucket-list-entry experience, it was also about 120° there! After that trip, I never complained about heat waves again. Besides, it gives me a rare, but legit excuse to indulge in ice cream. As long as there’s a decent breeze involved, I can shrug off sunlight and keep moving. Spending more time on urban exploration and photography has given me a much greater appreciation for sunny days.

One other note: I’m nearly 30, but I’ve never seen snow fall. I blame it on being from the Bay Area. I’ve camped out under thunderstorms in the Sierras. I’ve walked through hail on my way to school. I’ve gotten a little frostbitten in Paris. I’ve briefly walked on snow on Mt. Diablo. But I’ve never actually touched snow as it’s falling from the sky. I wonder how that would make me feel…

Man At Arms: Sephiroth’s Sword (Final Fantasy VII)

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Any fellow gamer geeks remember Sephiroth’s huge Masamune sword from Final Fantasy VII? This blacksmith shows that it’s no longer limited to just video games…