The horned people of the North, the Ronso, rule the mountains of Spira. The mighty tribe is proud and noble but full of sorrow, which fits the tone of Final Fantasy X and protagonist Tidus' doomed fate.
When you travel to the tribe's home, the base of the sacred mountain of Gagazet, the Ronso initially bar your way until convinced of your conviction. Only the worthy are allowed to climb the sacred mountain, because to journey to its heights is to undergo a spiritual journey of understanding.
Climbing Gagazet is the last barrier to Zanarkand, Tidus' ancient home. It is also the final veil before the game's greatest and most poignant reveal: You are not who you think you are.
Composer Masashi Hamauzu powerfully conveys this sense of spiritual longing mixed with dread and sadness in perhaps the most evocative track in FFX. While often in the shadow of the popular To Zanarkand, People of the North is by far the most haunting.
It's not necessarily an easy song to listen to, but you can't help but sit mesmerized by the raw power of Hamauzu's melancholy melody.
Reminiscent of Asian film soundtracks like Hero and House of Flying Daggers, the strings carry the haunting melody that fills the mountain sequence with a vague sense of loss and finality. Yet underscoring the chorus is a delicate bed of piano that brings a hopeful note to the piece.
The measured percussion and clashing symbols add a plodding rhythm, a feeling of moving forward, as you doggedly climb the snow cliff faces of the mountain.
The vibrato of the strings stirs deep emotion, as each step brings you closer to the truth you desperately seek…but dread to know.
This piece is expanded from Five Final Fantasy Song to make you Cry.