It actually comes from the piano version
, which I know better off the top of my head than the actual score for practical reasons :V
I’ll see what I can/should do about it (the original indeed uses strings... strings that aren’t quite loud enough to count as melody). The reason for cribbing off the piano arrangement in some spots is that the song does not
split into NES voices very well. Uematsu got to use a whole orchestra on the PSX hardware, and what does he do? He puts in a big-ass virtual trumpet section and tells everyone else but the virtual flutists, cellists, violists, violinists, and percussionists to go home! Okay, there’s an electric guitar in there somewhere, but he only plays a couple of notes near the beginning. You can’t hear him.
The boss music will be much easier to track in that regard (in case someone else is willing to do it before I get to it); there is a clear bass-line, a clear treble line, and a clear mid-section, and that will translate to the NES very well.
EDIT: Yeah, now I remember why I didn’t do it. I did try making it accurate, but the more technically accurate options I tried sounded too muddy; not quite as energetic as making marcato chords. And that’s what matters in this song the most: energy. I’d post comparison samples, but it’s a bit tough to do and I’ve got homework and snow shoveling on the backlog.