Daryl's Library - Final Fantasy CDs

Glossary of Terms

If there are any VGM-related terms that you feel should be here, please let me know.

~ C ~

CGI: computer-generated image. I often interchange this term with "FMV" (see separate glossary entry below). I have no clue how to explain either of them or what is the difference between them. ^_^;;;

coupling song: A CD single often has other songs in addition to the main featured song; those additions are usually referred to in Japanese as "coupling songs." On the single's cover, you may see the term "C/W." That means "coupled with." Such a term is usually -- but not always -- used when the single has only one other song (not counting karaokes).

~ E ~

EA: EverAnime. A Taiwanese bootleg company.

~ F ~

first pressing/first printing: The first print run of a CD. Actually, in terms of CDs, the word "pressing" is more accurate because CDs are pressed rather than "printed" like how a book is printed. However, I use these terms interchangeably on my site.

FMV: full-motion video. I often interchange this term with "CGI" (see separate glossary entry above). I have no clue how to explain either of them or what is the difference between them. ^_^;;;

~ G ~

game soft: A term the Japanese often use to refer to their video games. It's short for "game software."

~ H ~

hiragana: One of three different Japanese writing systems. The characters in this system have many curves and are mainly used for words of Japanese origin. Read more about this in my translation notes.

~ I ~

image song: A song, with or without vocals but most often with, that was inspired by the game but did not appear in the game. For example, the FFX-2 Vocal Collection songs sung by Yuna, as well as the ones done by Rikku and Paine, could be considered "image songs."

insert song: A song (most often with vocals) that appeared in the game but is not the opening or ending song. An insert song can sometimes be considered the game's "main theme," though not always. These type of songs are usually meant to accompany or illustrate a particular scene in the game. They may also be referred to as "image songs," but those terms are not quite interchangeable.

~ J ~

jewel case: The plastic containers that most CDs are packaged in. Most often refers to ones made strictly of plastic, rather than cardboard.

~ K ~

kana: What hiragana and katakana are collectively called. However, within Daryl's Library, I also include kanji in my usage of the term "kana." See the hiragana, katakana and kanji entries.

kanji: One of three different Japanese writing systems. This is a pictoral system, with characters taken from Chinese system. They represent concepts and ideas rather than sounds. Read more about this in my translation notes.

katakana: One of three different Japanese writing systems. The characters in this system have many straight lines and corners and are mainly used for words of foreign origin. Read more about this in my translation notes.

~ L ~

liner notes: Those booklets that come inside CD jewel cases. They often have things like photos, lyrics, production credits, etc.

~ O ~

obi: also called a "spine card." In the more widely known sense, obis are the wide sashes worn around the waist with a kimono. In terms of publishing, obis are slips of paper that usually come wrapped around a side of a CD jewel case. They also are included with many books and magazines sold in Japan. For more on obis, read my buying guide.

OST: original soundtrack. A collection of music found in a particular video game, anime, movie, TV series, etc. Often referred to as a "music score" or simply a "soundtrack" in the U.S. For some reason, Japanese companies love adding on the word "original." In katakana, it is spelled "ORIJINARU SAUNDOTORAKKU." However, many Japanese will truncate that second word to "SAUNDOTORA."

OSV: original sound version. Basically, an alternative name for "original soundtrack." Most early Japanese soundtracks were called "sound versions," whereas most, if not all, newer ones (generally after 1994) are called "soundtracks."

~ P ~

phone strap: also called a "wrist strap." A little strap that you tie onto your cell phone so that you can hang it on your wrist. (Such straps are also pretty nifty for a digital camera, as well.) Believe me, Japanese love their cell phones, which is why there are so many more funky cell phone accessories available in Japan. So cell phone straps often have favorite anime or game characters on them.

picture disc: A game disc, music CD, or DVD that has elaborate, usually color, artwork on it. Whereas most discs will normally have just the title of the game, album, or movie on it (in addition to other boring things), picture discs are much more fancy and colorful, and the art usually takes up the entire surface.

point card: Okay, so this isn't really a VGM term so much as it is an explanation of those point cards that you get in some Square Enix merchandise. SE started a program in late 2006 in which certain games, books, and CDs published by SE would come with point cards. Each card has a 16-character code. After signing up as a member on Square Enix's members site, you could then input those codes. Each merchandise was worth a certain number of points. You would attain higher levels of membership depending on the total points you had -- you started as bronze and would go on to silver and gold. Members could use the points to order stuff from SE's site, and your membership level would often determine how much earlier you could preorder special stuff when they came out, such as the FF7 special-edition PSP.

~ R ~

romaji: The Japanese term for the Roman alphabet. Taking the Japanese characters and turning them into Roman characters is called romanization. That term also refers to any non-Roman characters, not just Japanese; for instance, turning Cyrillic (Russian) characters into Roman characters is also referred to as "romanization."

~ S ~

SE: Square Enix. Square and Enix officially merged in April 2003 after months of rumor, talks, and obstacles to become "Square Enix." Since then, "Square Enix" is the name being printed on their CDs. In regards to Final Fantasy, the first SE CD was the FF11 Vision of Zilart soundtrack. Thereafter, the original Japanese CD releases are referred to by their "SE" versions on this site, unless of course they were released by a different company (most often Avex).

slimline: A type of jewel case that is about 75% as thick as a regular jewel case. The way that slimline cases are made makes them unable to have back covers, so you can see the CD inside. To make up for this, the CD will often have a colorful picture or other eye-catching design on it, and that part will usually be facing outward.

slipcase: Generally refers to any box-type covering separate from the jewel case and that you can slide the CD into. Usually made of thin cardboard, but some are made of plastic, like the first pressing of the FF10 soundtrack.

SM: SonMay. A Taiwanese bootleg company.

Smile Face International Records: A Taiwanese bootleg company.

spine card: see "obi."

SS: Squaresoft. On my site, I use the term "SS" to refer to the original Japanese releases of the Final Fantasy CDs, even though it's more technically correct to say they were published by NTT Publishing, Polystar, Digicube, etc. This term is used prior to the Square/Enix merger of April 2003.

~ V ~

VGM: video game music.

~ W ~

wrist strap: see "phone strap."

WSC: Wonderswan Color. The Wonderswan is a handheld console that was never released in the U.S.

Back to the main Final Fantasy CD page

Last revised March 25, 2008