Game Music

Arrangement of the Week: Prancing Dad

March 11, 2016 | | 1 Comment Share thison Facebook Arrangement of the Week: Prancing Dadon Twitter

AOTW Rock

Like many JRPG fans out there, I have a soft spot for the Final Fantasy series. Even though I haven’t played all of the games in the franchise (it’s on the bucket list), I have enjoyed listening to the soundtracks from composer Nobuo Uematsu. He’s created some amazing battle themes, and one of my favorites has to be the three part final boss theme to Final Fantasy VI “Dancing Mad.”

There have been some great covers of the battle piece and they are probably some of my favorite game music covers. Today we’re looking at a progressive metal cover from artist Prince of Darkness, which combines the final boss themes from Final Fantasy VI and VII in a track called “Prancing Dad.”

There are two things that make this cover stand out from other interpretations. The first is the commitment to creating a full hybrid synth/rock/orchestral sound. The track has plenty of energetic guitar solos and fast paced drumming to be sure, but that makes up only a portion of the mix. The orchestral instruments in particular are really well arranged, to the point that I could easily envision the remixer creating an alternate orchestra only version. The well balanced addition of the rock and synth elements however builds a quite powerful progressive metal sound that’s perfect for the source material.

The second thing that drew me to this cover is the switching between material from “Dancing Mad” and “One Winged-Angel.” A majority of this occurs in the middle of the track, before transitioning to the final movement material of “Dancing Mad.” Besides producing some contrast in the piece, this creates a tense and longer build up to the track’s progressive rock finale. As a result, when the remix finally launches into this final section, it feels like an even bigger pay-off. The result is an brilliant cover of some of Nobuo Uematsu’s most well known boss battle music.

Have any favorite covers, remixes, or arrangements of music from the Final Fantasy series? Let us know in the comments below. You can check out Prince of Darkness’s “Prancing Dad” on OC ReMix.

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