Final Fantasy XVI has been revealed to include a so-called “Mini Soken system” that edits the OST of the game and adjusts volume in real time to match the pace of each player’s gameplay. Fans have been expressing awe at the new technology as well as appreciation for its cute name.
In a recent interview for Natalie.mu, Masayoshi Soken, the composer for Final Fantasy XVI, went into details regarding the newly released title’s sound and OST. Masayoshi Soken is an eminent video game composer and sound designer working for Square Enix. Soken had previously worked on the OSTs of the Final Fantasy XIV titles.
According to the interview, over 300 tracks were written for the grand OST of FFXVI, with even cutscene-specific tracks being prepared. The devotion to the sound of the game is already evident through this fact, but there is a certain addition this time around – the Mini Soken system. These words were first mentioned by Soken in a livestream right before FFXVI was released.
When asked to elaborate on the meaning of these words, Soken explained that it was a name he had thought of on his own in order to describe how sound works in FFXVI, as going into a legitimate explanation of the system would likely turn into a long, academic discussion. He envisions the system as a mini version of himself being installed onto peoples’ PS5s along with the game, working hard in the background to make real time adjustments to the tracks and volume in order to match each user’s unique style and speed of playing.
As the information was revealed, players had a “that’s what that was” moment as they recalled their experience playing FFXVI, marveling at the way the music complimented their playing. Many also couldn’t help but notice how cute Soken’s naming sense was, loving the idea of a mini Soken residing in their PS5s.
Soken added that the Mini Soken system is different from interactive music, which follows various phases of battle, and he invited users to pay special attention to the last Eikon Boss Fight of the FFXVI demo, as the effect of the Mini Soken system can be easily understood in this part of the game.
According to Soken, the goal of the Mini Soken System is to make the player feel like the music always hits at the right time regardless of their play pace, as well as to create a feeling of synchronization of the music and scene sequence.
With that said, Soken firmly prioritizes player experience above all in his work and expresses his wish for players to not concentrate on the particulars of the music and experience the game holistically, with sound being just one of the elements that contributes to immersion.