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- "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."
- —Nobuo Uematsu
Dancing Mad (妖星乱舞, Yōsei ranbu?, lit. "Wild dance of a charming star") is the theme that 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 game's 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 shortened the overall length to approximately ten to twelve minutes long.
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 draws on a distinct similarity to Bach's "Preludes and Fugues" and more prominently Handel's "Messiah", which is prominent due to Kefka's ascent to godhood, becoming a godlike figure himself. In addition, the second movement has beats that are similar to circus music. The first, second, and portions of the fourth stanzas also have synthesized vocalizations (actual lyrical vocalizations in some renditions).
As forementioned, "Dancing Mad" is the theme used for the final battle of Final Fantasy VI. Notably, each of its four movements are used for each of the three battles against the final tiers of monsters at the end of the game, the final movement corresponding to the ultimate confrontation with Kefka, the God of Magic.
"Dancing Mad" is the fourteenth track of the third disc of the Final Fantasy VI: Original Sound Version and of the Kefka's Domain - The complete soundtrack from the Final Fantasy III video game 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.
The last tier of this track has been included as a bonus BGM in Dissidia Final Fantasy. To acquire it, Chaos must be defeated in the storyline and the player must purchase the track for 500 PP. "Dancing Mad" can be heard in fights against Final Fantasy VI characters on Inward Chaos or be the default choice for fights against Kefka or Terra.
Kefka's ultimate weapon in the game is also named "Dancing Mad".
As with all themes from the original Dissidia, "Dancing Mad" reappears in Dissidia 012. Its cost has been reduced to 150 PP from the PP Catalog, and is now available from the start.
"Dancing Mad" appears in its original version in Square Enix's rhythm game. It is a secret song the player must unlock while playing, and uses the battle background against Kefka during the final battle.
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. Director and producer, Arnie Roth, said about the theme: "'Dancing Mad' is a major opus of music that [...] cries out for a fully fleshed out symphonic score".
"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.
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 Scene 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 Battle"
- "Struggle for Freedom"
- "Nascent Requiem"
- "Rise of the White Raven"