Music to My Ears: Dancing Mad

I’ve only covered one song from Final Fantasy VI before, and that seems like an oversight. Let’s work on fixing that.

I think the temptation when I started this series years ago was to avoid some of the obvious picks out there. Gee, One-Winged Angel sure is a good song, right? Have you ever heard of that little known indie darling One-Winged Angel? So in an attempt to be cool and counterculture, I basically ignored some songs that should have been there from the beginning. Case in point: Dancing Mad.

This is the final boss theme from FFVI, and it’s one of the best pieces of video game music ever written. We could do a weekly post about a stellar Nobuo Uematsu composition and not run out of material for decades. The seventeen-minute piece is split into four parts, one for each stage of the fight. The finale is a perfect encapsulation of Kefka as a villain — a frenetic organ darts about the beginning until there’s a slowdown and build back up at the halfway point.

I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia talking or if the technical aspects of this are really that impressive, but I’m always amazed at what certain soundtracks were able to achieve in the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. It’s one of the reasons why I love Chrono Trigger, but there are several other outstanding examples: FFVI, Secret of Mana, Donkey Kong Country, the early Sonic games. Building a soundscape like this with the limited soundfonts of the era is kiss-your-fingertips good.

Dancing Mad

Music to My Ears covers soundtracks or individual songs from video games. You can view all posts in the series by clicking here.

One thought on “Music to My Ears: Dancing Mad

  1. i think it’s both technical and nostalgia that impress when it comes to old game tracks like this. The track is fabulous from a musical perspective, but also, the SNES had a special sound for music. It’s why all these RPGs and other notable titles always sounded so deep and heavy to me and carried so much weight. Super Metroid to this day impresses me on so many levels with it’s sound track.

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