Music

“Liberi Fatali” lyrics (Final Fantasy VIII)

“I think it will be a shame if we won’t be able to cry as we play our own game.”
-Nobuo Uematsu

 

 

Finally, the black sheep gets a little love.

I might not be the biggest Final Fantasy VIII fan out there, but I can respect a lot of things in it, one of which is yet another stellar soundtrack by the man, the myth, the legend, Nobuo Uematsu. As his work with the soundscape of Final Fantasy developed, he began to experiment with the new technology that made itself available to him, namely, the PlayStation One. What he began in Final Fantasy VII, he continued in VIII, setting choral and orchestra front and center for the opening cinematic, and a resonant and haunting theme called “Liberi Fatali”.

You might be surprised to know that there’s a lot of faux-Latin in what otherwise sounds like a Catholic mass turned action set piece. “Liberi Fatali” roughly means “Fated Children”, but it’s not proper Latin; evidently it ought to be Liberi Fatales in order to be correct.

So too, the female choir which chants the opening lyrics of the track, “Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec”, aren’t actually saying any real Latin, either. Sure sounds like Latin, right? Turns out “Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec” is just an anagram (words formed by rearranging the letters) of “Succession of Witches” and the word “Love”. Pretty genius if you ask me! Uematsu, or more specifically Taro Yamashita and Kazushige Nojima who penned the lyrics to this track, captured the general “sound flavor” of Latin with what are essentially gibberish or nonsense words, or more properly riddles masking the themes of the game.

Here’s the full translation of the song’s lyrics, including the actual Latin. I endeavored to find the most accurate and literal translation I could.

Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec
Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec

Excitate vos e somno, liberi mei
(Wake from your sleep, my children)
Cunae sunt non

(Your cradles are gone)
Excitate vos e somno, liberi fatali

(Wake from your sleep, fated children)
Somnus est non

(Your rest is gone)

Surgite
(Arise)
Invenite

(Search)

Veni hortum veritatis
(Discover the true garden)
Horti verna veritatis

(The garden of vernal truth)

Ardente veritate
(Fiery truth)
Urite mala mundi

(Burn the evil of the world)
Ardente veritate

(Fiery truth)
Incendite tenebras mundi

(Light the darkness of the world)

Valete liberi
(Prevail, children)
Diebus fatalibus

(In the fated days)

Fithos lusec wecos vinosec
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec
Fithos lusec wecos vinosec

 

 

Well-Red-Mage-Black-sm
-The Well-Red Mage

 

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Categories: Music

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7 replies »

  1. Bravo! There’s a lot to dig into here with the lyrics of the songs, the language and translation issues, the accompanying music and visuals… Every summer, I get to thinking about the Chrono Cross opening. Though I know that’s not Uematsu/Final Fantasy, I feel like it’s in the same conversation here somewhere

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! I found that there are quite a few different translations out there for Liberi Fatali, but you can really trace some accuracy differences between them, for instance, some are more notably literal while others paraphrase but the problem is they aren’t explicit about it most of the time.

      The Chrono Cross opening is one of my favorites across all the PS1!

      Like

      • FF8 has my favorite battle theme, “Force Your Way”, which I love partly because it sounds so much like an old ELP song. I’ll also throw in “One-Winged Angel” for nostalgic reasons. Hearing it takes me right back to my childhood, and I still don’t know if that’s weird.

        Liked by 1 person

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