I know that with every concert that we have, when we have the orchestra perform 'One-Winged Angel', for some reason or another that's the one that has the biggest reaction, and everyone sort of expects that to be in a Final Fantasy concert. I still can't figure out why. I know that I pushed everyone to his/her limits, but then it worked out in the end.
"One-Winged Angel" (片翼の天使, Katayoku no Tenshi?) is a musical theme from Final Fantasy VII. It is notable for the final boss theme and for being the first theme in the series to feature vocals. It was composed by Nobuo Uematsu.
"One-Winged Angel" is one of the most popular tracks of the Final Fantasy series. Its name refers to Safer∙Sephiroth, who has six white wings where his legs should be and a grotesque black wing where his right arm should be. Since its original appearance, the title is commonly used to refer to Sephiroth himself, and serves as a motif for the character (Sephiroth's original character theme from Final Fantasy VII is "Those Chosen by the Planet"). With Sephiroth's popularity, "One-Winged Angel" has received several arrangements and had several appearances outside Final Fantasy VII, never far from the presence of the villain it is associated with.
- 1 Development
- 2 Game appearances
- 2.1 Final Fantasy VII
- 2.2 Final Fantasy VII Remake
- 2.3 Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children
- 2.4 Crisis Core -Final Fantasy VII-
- 2.5 Final Fantasy XV
- 2.6 Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)
- 2.7 Theatrhythm Final Fantasy
- 2.8 World of Final Fantasy
- 2.9 Ehrgeiz: God Bless the Ring
- 3 Arrangement album appearances
- 4 Compilation album appearances
- 5 Live performances
- 6 Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances
- 7 Etymology and symbolism
- 8 Trivia
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 References
Development[edit | edit source]
"One-Winged Angel" broke new ground in the Final Fantasy series by being the first song with vocals. The developers experimented with the song and took the recording of it and reduced it in a way it would fit the game; Composer Nobuo Uematsu has mentioned that "One-Winged Angel" is a good example of an experimental song, or a result that they didn't expect from the beginning. Having composed many battle themes for the series before, Uematsu wanted to create something new and unique for "One-Winged Angel".
Nobuo Uematsu apparently got his inspiration for "One-Winged Angel" through Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho theme. Uematsu himself states it so in the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children special feature, "The Distance: Making of Featurette" on disc two of the Two-Disc Special Edition. Uematsu has also said he had wanted to fuse "musical styles of Russian composer Igor Stravinsky and rock musician Jimi Hendrix" with the song. Specifically, "One-Winged Angel" appears to be based on Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" in terms of form and orchestration, using the "augur chord", one of the most famous motifs Stravinsky came up with. Uematsu has also said he wanted to create something that would sound like '60s or '70s rock music performed by a full orchestra, and for the piece to have the same destructive impact as rock music.
It felt too boring to start the piece with an introduction, followed by melody A, melody B, a chorus and an ending, like most songs. I wanted to make something different, structurally. So without any preconceptions about how the song would turn out I wrote down two to four measures of music that popped into my head every day until I got about 20 to 30 different measures. Then I took those different pieces and rearranged them to fit together well. That process of placing these various two-to-four measure pieces of music is how I composed 'One-Winged Angel'.
"One-Winged Angel" is the only composition Uematsu has done with the "puzzle piece" method.
Uematsu had not been trained or been in an orchestra prior to composing "One-Winged Angel", but he wanted to keep the orchestral music atmosphere and be able to "rock it" and have a thick orchestral feel to it. He had samples of stuff he had prepared for the orchestra, but in the end he ended up just giving it over to them and seeing how they could perform it.
During the VOICES: Music from Final Fantasy concert, the encore piece was "One-Winged Angel" performed by both The Black Mages and the orchestra. Afterward Uematsu has stated: "At that moment, I knew that was the complete "One-Winged Angel". So I still think "One-Winged Angel" is a rock piece."
Game appearances[edit | edit source]
"One-Winged Angel" is the theme for the final battle against Safer∙Sephiroth. It was released as the sixteenth track of the original soundtrack's fourth disc.
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
Several verses were taken from the medieval poetry compilation Carmina Burana.
"One-Winged Angel - Rebirth" plays during the final battle, using the original lyrics. This version has four arrangements, with the third most resembling the original. The song was released as the 10th track on Disc 7 of the Final Fantasy VII Remake Original Soundtrack and was arranged by Yasunori Nishiki.
"One-Winged Angel" was rearranged for the movie, to play during the final battle between Cloud Strife and Sephiroth. This arrangement is titled "Advent: One-Winged Angel", and was meant to be the main focus of the film's soundtrack. Notable from any past iteration of the piece, this new version features an orchestral performance accompanied by The Black Mages, arranged by Shiro Hamaguchi and Kenichiro Fukui, and new lyrics by Director Tetsuya Nomura. This theme was released as the ninth track from the second disc of the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Original Soundtrack.
For the movie's extended cut, Advent Children Complete, the song was again redone and titled "Advent: One-Winged Angel - ACC Long Version", and features new orchestration. Since the scene during which the song plays had been lengthened, a new passage was added toward the end. It repeats the song as heard from 1:29–2:15, without the Latin chorus and metal band accompaniment. This new arrangement of "One-Winged Angel" was released as the twelfth track of the Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children Complete Reunion Tracks album.
In the commentary for Advent Children, Nobuo Uematsu says that the previous orchestration never quite felt right to him and, by contrast, the combination of orchestra and metal sounds seemed to be what the piece required all along. Uematsu noted various rock bands that had performed their songs with an orchestra, and failed, and stated that because "One-Winged Angel" was written for neither an orchestra or a rock band, the two styles ended up meshing well for the song's remix.
There is a dispute concerning the official translation of the Latin lyrics and another, more literal translation of the first and last stanzas. Whether or not the official translation of the song conveys the same message as its literal translation is a matter of opinion.
Lyrics[edit | edit source]
"Vengeance on the World (from FFVII "One-Winged Angel")" is an orchestral arrangement by Kazuhiko Toyama. It plays during a flashback sequence where Sephiroth battles Genesis Rhapsodos, and the Sephiroth boss battle at Nibelheim along with "The Iron Beast". This new version is half the length of the original version, and features a shorter introduction leading into the vocals much earlier.
This remix focuses on the song's orchestral elements, providing a contrast between it and Genesis's themes, "Black Wing Unfurled" and "The SOLDIER Way", which focus on rock elements.
Dissidia Final Fantasy (2008)[edit | edit source]
"One-Winged Angel -orchestra version- from FINAL FANTASY VII" is an orchestral arrangement from Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Tracks. It appears as one of the two default Final Fantasy VII battle themes. It is the second track of the Dissidia Final Fantasy Original Soundtrack second disc. Although the lyrics are the same as usual, the melody has bars from the Advent Children version.
"One-Winged Angel -orchestra version- from FINAL FANTASY VII" can be automatically selected for battles including Tifa Lockhart, Sephiroth or Cloud Strife, or taking place at Planet's Core.
The Dissidia Final Fantasy arrangement and the original PlayStation version can be bought from the shop for 3,600 gil.
The original version of "One-Winged Angel" was selected as the Battle Music Sequence for the Final Fantasy Series play. The game's director, Ichiro Hazama, has noted that "One-Winged Angel" was one of the two main songs the team was told to include when the development on the game was started. The other song was "Clash on the Big Bridge".
"Advent: One Winged Angel" appears in the iOS release as a BMS. It is notably the longest song, with 973 triggers and lasting approximately six minutes.
The theme is included in Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Compilation Album.
The original "One-Winged Angel" is a BMS. "Advent: One-Winged Angel" appears as both the Event Music Sequence for Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children and as a stand-alone DLC BMS track, the latter having fewer notes than the original Theatrhythm but still being one of the longest songs. It also appears on the Best of Theatrhythm Final Fantasy Curtain Call album.
"One-Winged Angel" is a playable Battle Music Sequence purchased from the song store for 5 sound medals.
"Advent: One-Winged Angel" plays whenever Sephiroth is summoned via Champion Medal. Once the Medal is obtained, it can also be selected as a normal battle track, under the title "Champion Theme: Sephiroth".
The original version of "One-Winged Angel" plays in the cinematic ending for all of the playable characters from Final Fantasy VII (Cloud, Sephiroth, Tifa, Vincent, Yuffie and Zack). The ending is a montage of FMV scenes from Final Fantasy VII.
Arrangement album appearances[edit | edit source]
An orchestrated arrangement of "One-Winged Angel" by Shiro Hamaguchi was included in the Final Fantasy VII best-of music album. Some versions of the album contain a hidden pregap track accessed by rewinding from the start of the album. This track is an instrumental version of "One-Winged Angel".
A piano arrangement of the theme by Shiro Hamaguchi and performed by Seiji Honda is included on the Final Fantasy VII iteration of Piano Collections as the eleventh track.
"One-Winged Angel" appears on this Final Fantasy 25th Anniversary arrangement album.
Compilation album appearances[edit | edit source]
The orchestral version of "One-Winged Angel" from the Final Fantasy VII: Reunion Tracks was included on this album as the eight track.
"One-Winged Angel" is included on the fifth disc of this collector's edition set.
"One-Winged Angel" is included on the fourth disc of this collectors' edition.
Live performances[edit | edit source]
"One-Winged Angel" is typically performed as an encore on the Final Fantasy concerts.
"One-Winged Angel", performed live by Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, is included on this concert record album.
"Advent: One-Winged Angel" was included on this concert, preformed by The World Festival Symphony Orchestra conducted by Arnie Rothand The Black Mages, at the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, California on May 16th, 2005.
"One-Winged Angel" was performed by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in this live orchestra concert recording.
"One-Winged Angel" is included on this live recording of an orchestral concert, performed by the Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra and conducted by Arnie Roth held in Tokyo, in November 2010. Instead of being the encore, "One-Winged Angel" opens the concert.
Vanafest 2012[edit | edit source]
"Advent: One-Winged Angel" was performed by the Earthbound Papas at the 2012 edition of Vanafest, the Final Fantasy XI Festival.
A live recording of "One-Winged Angel" from at the London premiere of the concert of the same name on February 15, 2014, conducted by Arnie Roth, is included on this album.
Final Symphony[edit | edit source]
"FINAL FANTASY VII Symphony in Three Movements" is a symphony arranged and orchestrated by Jonne Valtonen for the Final Symphony concert series. The first movement of the symphony, titled "Nibelheim Incident", is based on Sephiroth. The 3-note motif of Sephiroth is used throughout the first movement as an element of structural integrity. In the final phase "The One-Winged Angel" emerges before gradually distorting as all of the earlier themes are gradually built on top of each other. This distortion is a reflection of Sephiroth's internal chaos as he becomes aware of his past. In the end of the movement things slow down. As Sephiroth is reborn, the familiar pulse is heard "in almost spiritual context".
Non-Final Fantasy guest appearances[edit | edit source]
"One-Winged Angel" was remixed by Yoko Shimomura twice for the series, playing in superboss battles with Sephiroth in both Kingdom Hearts and Kingdom Hearts II, as well as playing during his fights with Cloud in cutscenes. The remixes of the theme feature shorter intros, leading almost immediately into the Latin vocals, and the vocals as a whole are more prominent than in the original version. The HD ReMIX versions for the PS3 each remix the two versions with enhanced vocals and instrumentation.
Sephiroth's trailer, itself titled "The One-Winged Angel!", features "Advent - One Winged Angel" as the backing track. The final notes from this song were also used as Sephiroth's victory theme. The original rendition from Final Fantasy VII was also included as a bonus track.
Etymology and symbolism[edit | edit source]
The name of the theme refers to Sephiroth's appearance in the final battle, as well as his role in the story.
angel. In the non-canonical pseudepigraphical work, the Testament of Solomon, a one-winged demon named Abezethibou is summoned by King Solomon. Abezethibou is shown to have a single red wing, this mutilation symbolizing his fall from heaven, following his betrayal of God to serve the Prince of Hell, Beelzebub.A one-winged angel specifically refers to a fallen
Sephiroth's "One-Winged Angel" incarnation and its six white wings nod to the angelic description of Seraphim in Isaiah 6:2: "Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two they veiled their faces, with two they veiled their feet, and with two they hovered aloft". However, the name and title "One-Winged Angel" owe themselves not to these six white wings, but to the seventh single black wing.
Allusions to the character[edit | edit source]
- Original version
- Estuans interius // Ira vehementi // Estuans interius // Ira vehementi // Sephiroth // Sephiroth (Burning inside // with violent anger // Burning inside with // violent anger // Sephiroth // Sephiroth) - Sephiroth was driven to madness out of rage due to his mistaken belief that he was the last living Cetra and that the humans had abandoned them to their fate.
- Advent Children/Advent Children Complete remix
- Noli manere, manere in memoria // Noli manere, manere in memoria // Sephiroth, Sephiroth (Do not remain, remain in memory // Do not remain, remain in memory // Sephiroth, Sephiroth) - Sephiroth vows he will "never be a memory" upon being defeated. He intends to retain his will in the Lifestream after nearly being absorbed by it.
- Saevam iram, iram et dolorem // Saevam iram, iram et dolorem // Sephiroth, Sephiroth (Raging anger, anger and sorrow // Raging anger, anger and sorrow // Sephiroth, Sephiroth) - Sephiroth was driven mad and desires revenge against Cloud. It may also allude to his initial mistaken belief of the Cetra being betrayed by the humans that drove him to madness in the first place.
- Veni, mi fili. Veni, mi fili Hic veni, da mihi mortem iterum Veni, mi fili. Veni, mi fili Hic veni, da mihi... (Come, my son. Come my son Come here, give me death once more Come, my son. Come my son Come here, give me... ) - Sephiroth created the Remnants of Sephiroth, in particular Kadaj, to act as a vessel to recreate his body after his second defeat. He plans to turn Gaia into a new meteor to repeat what Jenova had started.
- Noli manere in memoria Saevam iram et dolorem Ferum terribile fatum Ille iterum veniet (Do not Remain In memory Raging Anger And sorrow Brutal Terrible Fate He will come again) - Sephiroth's revival.
- Mi fili, veni, veni, veni, mi fili (Qui mortem invitavit) Mi fili, veni, veni, veni, mi fili (Poena funesta natus) Mi fili, veni, veni, veni, mi fili (Noli nomen vocare) Mi fili, veni, veni, veni, mi fili (Ille iterum veniet) (My son, come, come, come, my son // He invited death // My son, come, come, come, my son // Painful tainted birth // My son, come, come, come, my son // Do not call // My son, come, come, come, my son // He will come again) - The lyrics sung in the background allude to the horrific nature behind Sephiroth's creation by Professor Hojo, how Sephiroth was destined to bring death and destruction, as well as his eventual return.
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- In Kingdom Hearts Final Mix, Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories and Kingdom Hearts: Re:Chain of Memories, "One-Winged Angel" appears as a Keyblade for Sora known as the One-Winged Angel. It is one of the more powerful Keyblades that can be obtained, and is modeled after Sephiroth's Masamune. In Final Mix, it is obtained by defeating Sephiroth, while in Chain of Memories and its remake, it can be found in the Room of Rewards.
- Defeating Sephiroth Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 ReMIX unlocks the "One-Winged Angel" trophy. In Kingdom Hearts HD 2.5 ReMIX, players will receive a PSN trophy titled the "One-Winged Angel" after defeating Sephiroth.
- The melody of the lyrics "Sors immanis, et inanis" is derived from Sephiroth's theme, "Those Chosen by the Planet". The melody of "Veni, veni, venias, Ne me mori facias" near the conclusion of the piece may also be derived of the accompanying instrumentation that follows the signature motif in Sephiroth's theme.
- The source of these same lyrics is derived from Carl Orff's "O Furtuna".
- The theme is featured in a Robot Chicken skit that parodies Final Fantasy VII. Here, the only lyrics featured is the word "Hamburger" played comically when Sephiroth appears in the skit.
- Due to difficulties hearing the exact lyrics, various listeners have composed a myriad of misinterpreted lyrics of the song, some of which can be viewed on YouTube.
- Motomu Toriyama said that "Caius's Theme" from Final Fantasy XIII-2 was meant to surpass even "One-Winged Angel".
- In the video game Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory, "One-winged angel" is the name of a quest client.
- Aggrotech band Reaper uses samples from "One-Winged Angel" in their song "Daemon" on their 2005 Angst EP.
- Professional wrestler and avid video game fan Kenny Omega has named his finishing move after the theme.
See also[edit | edit source]
- "Battle Theme 2"
- "Battle to the Death"
- "The Final Battle" (Final Fantasy IV)
- "The Final Battle" (Final Fantasy V)
- "Dancing Mad"
- "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"
[edit | edit source]
- Alexander Pushkin's The Prophet (Full text).
References[edit | edit source]
- Tread at the WordReference forums