Well, usually when you make a song it's two to three minutes in length, you have the introduction, the main part and the ending. But... for 'Dancing Mad' I didn't really put a stop on it, so I kept on working on it, working on it, working on it and that really let the song... you know... I got to play around with it for something like fourteen minutes, and it's really one of my favorites.
Dancing Mad (妖星乱舞, Yōsei ranbu?, lit. Wild dance of a calamitous star) plays during the final battle of Final Fantasy VI. It was composed by Nobuo Uematsu and features a synthesized pipe organ as the leading instrument. The theme is divided into four separate "movements", which play during the four separate tiers, or battles, against Kefka Palazzo.
Interwoven with "Dancing Mad" are the opening theme "Omen", during the first and last movements, as well as portions of "Catastrophe" in the first movement; Kefka's theme, during the third and last movements; and Kefka's unmistakable laugh, after the closing section of the last movement before it repeats itself. At nearly eighteen minutes in length in its original version (with each movement played through twice), "Dancing Mad" is the longest track recorded as a boss theme in the series. Some later remixes shorten the overall length to approximately ten to twelve minutes.
The second movement features an organ cadenza, and has a baroque feel due to the fugal nature, which fits in with both the visual ideas in the three tiers in the final boss, but also the various allusions to renaissance and Gothic art throughout the game. It is similar to Bach's "Preludes and Fugues" and Handel's "Messiah". During the battle Kefka has ascended to godhood. The second movement has beats similar to circus music. The first, second, and portions of the fourth stanzas have synthesized vocalizations (actual lyrical vocalizations in some renditions). In the lead up to the fourth tier, the music grows louder and more ominous, until a synthesized choir starts chanting "Kefka" as he descends to confront the party.
The TOSE rendition used for the Advance release, while overall the same, sounds slightly different with a slightly higher pitch to the vocalizations in some instances, and also having a more bouncy tone in the fourth stanza.
"Dancing Mad" plays for the final battle. Each of its four movements are used for each of the three battles against the final tiers of monsters, the final movement corresponding to the ultimate confrontation with Kefka, the God of Magic. The entire final boss gauntlet has become known as the Statue of the Gods.
"Dancing Mad" is the fourteenth track of the third disc of the Original Sound Version and of the Kefka's Domain album. Its arrangement by TOSE for Final Fantasy VI Advance was released as the fourteenth track of the Final Fantasy Finest Box collection's sixth disc.
A remixed version plays during the boss fight against Kefka, and its phases play during each sequential order of the Statue of the Gods. The fourth stanza will only play if the battle's the difficulty mode is set to Savage. It is similar to the original version, although with more natural percussion instruments and choirs. The fourth stanza also has techno-rock playing in the standard theme.
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)Edit
The last tier of "Dancing Mad" is included as a bonus background music. To acquire it, Chaos must be defeated in the storyline and the player must purchase the track for 500 PP in the PP Catalog. "Dancing Mad" plays in fights against Final Fantasy VI characters on Inward Chaos, or as the default music for fights against Kefka or Terra.
"Dancing Mad" can be bought for 150 PP from the PP Catalog, and is available from the start.
A new rock arrangement is a default theme, and the fourth portion of the SNES version can be bought from the shop for 3,600 gil.
"Dancing Mad" appears in its original version. It is a secret Battle Music Sequence track unlocked through Rhythmia, and uses the battle background against Kefka during the final battle. The theme is included in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Compilation Album.
"Dancing Mad" is a Battle Music Sequence track.
"Dancing Mad" is a playable Battle Music Sequence purchased in the song store for 5 sound medals.
Arrangement album appearancesEdit
A piano arrangement by Hiroyuki Nakayama of this theme is included in this album as its eleventh track.
"THE BLACK MAGES" LIVEEdit
The Black Mages's arrangement of "Dancing Mad" from their debut album was performed live at this 2003 concert that took place at Shibuya-AX and Kanagawa University, of which it was the tenth song of the line-up.
"Dancing Mad" was arranged as an orchestral piece with added lyrics in Latin and included on the orchestral concert tour Distant Worlds II, and is the sixth track of its live recording's album. They were also used for Earthbound Papas' second album (Nobuo Uematsu's band).
Latin lyrics and translationEdit
Despite the album having a booklet, no official lyrics of "Dancing Mad" are known to be published, and the following is merely a transcript.
Allusions to KefkaEdit
- Diem terrore // Diem magnae // Diem milites // Diem barbarus (Day of terror // Great day // Day of soldiers // Barbarian day) - Kefka was created as a weapon of war and driven insane by being made the prototype Magitek Knight. He took part in various acts of carnage, in particular the Siege of Doma, and more infamously the end of the world.
- Vorto! // Diem! Flammus! // Nova! Caelum! (Swap! // Day of flames! // New Heaven!) - Kefka caused the end of the world by misaligning the Warring Triad.
- Res ad impetus // Res liberali novate // Res atria nam // Res adventura principi parto (Things to attack // The renewed freedom // Matters for the court // Things that will come as the prince leaves) - Kefka murdered Emperor Gestahl in his bid to obliterate the world. After being left insane, he lacked self-control over his actions.
"Dancing Mad" was included on this concert performed by the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Arnie Roth held in Tokyo, in November 2010, and is the of fourth track of the second disc of its live recording album.
Compilation album appearancesEdit
This theme was included in this compilation of Square Enix battle themes from Nintendo-console titles released between 1985 and 1996. It is the fifteenth track of the album.
Appearances outside Final Fantasy mediaEdit
Lord of Vermilion Re:2 FAN KITEdit
A remix of the last tier of this track is included on the Final Fantasy VI medley as its conclusion.
References in other mediaEdit
- Dancing Mad was given as the name for a panel discussing RPG music for the 2014 Penny Arcade eXpo Prime.
Notable remixes in three parts, by Jeremy Robson and Derek Oren and waxingeloquent, of the theme were made available at OverClocked ReMix. "Cantata for Dancing" features a vocal arrangement with Latin lyrics.
- "Cantata for Dancing: I. Mors ego sum mortis", Jeremy Robson & Derek Oren, OC ReMix
- "Cantata for Dancing: II. Fuga Kefka", Jeremy Robson & Derek Oren, OC ReMix
- "Cantata for Dancing: III. Sprach Kefka", Jeremy Robson & Derek Oren, Soundclick
- "Dancing Madly (First Form)", waxingeloquent, OC ReMix
- "Dancing Madly (Second Form)", waxingeloquent, OC ReMix
- "Final boss theme"
- "Battle Theme 2"
- "Battle to the Death"
- "The Final Battle" (Final Fantasy IV)
- "The Final Battle" (Final Fantasy V)
- "One-Winged Angel"
- "The Extreme"
- "The Final Battle" (Final Fantasy IX)
- "Final Battle" (Final Fantasy X)
- "Their Resting Place"
- "Struggle for Freedom"
- "Nascent Requiem"
- "Unseen Abyss"
- "Almighty Bhunivelze"
- "Rise of the White Raven"