Oct 092013


Fifteen rockin battle themes from eleven different Final Fantasy games. Buckle up!

Download Now

0:00:00 – Prelude (FFIV)

0:12:23 – Battle 1 (FFI Origins)

0:13:59 – Battle 1 (FFII)

0:15:26 – Boss Battle (FFIII)

0:22:51 – Battle 1 (FFIV)

0:24:37 – Boss Battle (FFIV)

0:26:55 – Battle Against Gilgamesh (FFV)

0:29:21 – Dancing Mad (FFVI)

0:51:24 – Jenova (FFVII)

0:53:54 – Birth of a God (FFVII)

1:06:10 – The Man With The Machine Gun (FFVIII)

1:08:59 – Force Your Way (FFVIII)

1;20:31 – Battle 1 (FFIX)

1:23:08 – Final Battle (FFIX)

1:28:31 – Normal Battle (FFX)

1:35:23 – Fight On (Dissidia FF)

  30 Responses to “VGMpire Episode 55 – FF Battle Jams”

  1. YES! This is the episode I have been waiting for for a long time. Man with the Machine Gun and JENOVA were the BGM of my youth. Keep up the good work on these episodes, Elston!

  2. Ah nuts. You left out Atma Weapon from FF6.

  3. Dancing Mad FTW!

  4. Yay! Thanks again Brelston : ) Im so glad FF III is getting some love, most people I know overlooked it : (

  5. Oh yeah! FIFTY FIVE!!!

    Am I the only one who kinda dislikes “Dancing Mad”? I mean, within the game, I agree it’s amazing, but I consider it to be rather annoying to listen to, though maybe it is because I dislike meandering, dissonant tunes in general I suppose. That, and the most listenable part of the song is basically an arrangement of Kefka’s theme, which I consider to be a far better track to begin with.

    Otherwise, fantastic episode mister Elston! definitely enjoy these Rocktober episodes, and can’t wait to check out the other two! ^^

    • I love Dancing Mad, though I wish for the soundtrack they wouldn’t have repeated everything, and cut the length in half. The Retronauts podcast about prog rock told us that the drum part at the beginning of the Kefka part of it was taken from a Gentle Giant song, I think. Maybe it was a Camel song. Go listen to that podcast, anyway.

  6. Since you guys talked about it for a while, the boss gauntlet before Kefka represents his ascension to godhood, and a lot of people believe it plays out the stages of The Divine Comedy along the way, starting with hell (bid demon thing), then purgatory (the mass of people and monsters), then heaven (the two angelic figures, modelled after statues of Jesus and Mary after the crucifixion).

    I love the way Jenova has this otherworldly space vibe to it, could be nostalgia talking but I think 7 had its own unique sound, probably because they were still figuring out how to use the PS1, it’s in this weird place between 16-bit and the later ones where you could tell what the actual instrument was.

  7. Battle on the Big Bridge (/Against Gilgamesh) and Man with The Machine Gun are two of my favorite battle songs in any Final Fantasy. Fierce Battle from six would’ve made it the perfect episode, but you already did that one before so it’s cool.

    Perhaps they have such a strong impact with me because they are used so sparingly in the games. They make those moments in the game feel more unique and important than other boss fights and battles.

  8. Hey Brett the VGMpire posts aren’t appearing on the main http://www.LaserTimepodcast.com site. I don’t know if you’re aware of that or not.

  9. I love that you keep bringing up Theatrhythm; I picked it up just hoping to have something a little EBA-y to play and ended up loving it. All of the multitude of FF7 products and fanboy-ism had me at a point where I had essentially thrown it out (even though it was my first actual Final Fantasy). I get Theatrhythm, play through the game sets happily, get to FF7… instantly remember just how much I loved that game.

    It’s pretty much the perfect package of nostalgia and even gave me an appreciation for the games I’ve never (or barely) played. Total recommendation to anyone who likes Final Fantasy.

    More personally, thanks for putting in all the work you put into curating these game music experiences. All the extra information and stories work together to dredge up memories of me playing some of the games, and give me a feel for how it must have felt to play the games I’ve never touched. …I guess kind of like what I said about Theatrhythm, but without the adorable character graphics.

  10. Brett, believe me – this show is very much appreciated. I loved this episode – it really started my morning at work off on a great note. I was grinning like an idiot at my desk while listening to your conversation about FF9. I love that game too and sometimes it’s fun to just hear someone else gush about something that you love. I like how in the first episode most of your conversation was about the early Final Fantasies and in this one you talked a lot more about 8 and 9.

    It’s funny, I never thought about how different FF9’s character design is from Tetsuya Nomura’s character design. Now that you mention it, it does hearken back to the wispy, sort-of-feminine character designs from the earlier FFs.

    As a footnote to your FF7 conversation: You guys were basically right on JENOVA. She was an alien who tried to destroy/consume the planet long before the events of FF7. She was defeated, fossilized, and later discovered by Shinra. Shinra used her cells in a bunch of experiments. Sephiroth was injected with her cells while still a fetus – so although he did have a human mother, he sees Jenova as his true mother. So yeah – Sephiroth’s mom, basically.

  11. Thanks for putting these together!!! It’s great getting your input on this great music and final fantasy in general. I have only played 7 and 10, so you have inspired me to try 4, 6 and 9. I’m really looking forward to trying them out, especially since I love Super Nintendo and RPGs in general. Btw dancing mad reminds me of the Super Mario RPG music

  12. What’s Henry saying about FF3 copying Dragon Quest with the job system? What is Final Fantasy 1 if it’s not a job system? You choose your jobs, and make a team, you can’t switch them on the fly but the roots are in the original FF.

    Figures you would choose Battle on the Big Bridge for FFV when the regular battle theme is astounding too. And choosing all the remixed PSP/DS songs over the original Famicom songs, I did not want to hear the FF1 PSP song, that’s not the song I know and love.

  13. Brett, we need to have a talk.

    I was sitting there in my car, wondering to myself, “Which two battle themes will he play from Final Fantasy IX? Obviously he’ll play Battle 2, since it’s among the best songs in the game and easily the best battle theme. I guess it’s a tossup between Battle 1 and Messenger of Ruin. There’s no way he’ll play Last Battle, there isn’t a person alive that likes that song!”

    And you know what happened next?

    You went and played that crap.

    Now, to be fair, I could see playing it as a joke, a rare demonstration of Nobuo at something other than his best, but seriously? Forum threads across the Internet (yes, the whole Internet) are full of arguments over how that song (yes, that specific song) was one of the worst things Nob ever wrote, wholly inappropriate for a last boss battle and ultimately anti-climactic when taken in context with just about everything that happened before. But still, I can forgive choosing to play it if, and only if, you had played Battle 2 as well. But that’s the worst thing about this whole situation.

    You didn’t play Battle 2.

    I’m unsubscribing.

    Of course I’m not unsubscribing, this episode was awesome! Just like how I had last week’s episode to keep me company on my long drives out of state, this episode kept my reflexes sharp while I was weaving through inner city traffic. As always, I love hearing about where you and your cohosts were in your lives when the games the songs came from were released. I get a nostalgia kick, great music, and quality conversation every time a new episode shows up on my phone. Here’s to another FIFTY-FAAAAHHHVE episodes!

    P.S. That Pacific Rim theme is pretty great! Would you consider doing a podcast special (independent of any specific show) where you look at some of the best music to come out of the movies of the year? Kickstart it, put it up on Bandcamp or something, I’d pay money for that.

    • Huh! I actually like the FFIX Final Battle! The 2 minutes of groaning aren’t good, but it’s such a bizarre, whacked-out song (sorta like Dark Lich song in SoM) that I like it. Also, while Battle 2 is certainly good, for some reason it doesn’t speak to me like Battle 1. Of course now we’re just discussing which songs we love the least 🙂

      Thanks for the comment! Always love seeing a big comment that prompts a reply!

    • Dark Messenger is probably my favorite FF battle theme, but I’m actually glad Brett chose Final Battle. I wonder if the song is hated because the boss itself is so dumb and out of nowhere. For myself, I found myself really appreciating the song on this hearing. Although I love hearing my favorites on VGM, I kind of like when Brett gives the spotlight to some of the weirder, non-obvious songs. I liked hearing Birth of a god over One Winged Angel for the same reason.

  14. And Rocktober continues to deliver unto me music to distract me from my boring job. I’m one of “those people” who never got into the FF series, but this music is making me want to dip my toe in. Maybe I’ll look into 14.

  15. *crosses fingers* Please let there “Theme of Love” and “Love Grows” show up in an episode, please let them show up in an episode….

    Battle music is one of my great loves in video game music and Final Fantasy has the some of the best out there. Dancing Mad, just…man. I’ve got no words for how brilliantly operatic it is. Good show as always, guys, can’t wait for the rest of Rocktober!

  16. FF9 is dear to my heart. probably the best battle music out of the lot. I played FF8 when it came out.. even managed to beat it, yet, its the game i remember almost nothing about.. (except for maybe a few cut scenes)

  17. thanks for the tunes brett 🙂

  18. The games after FFVIII start blurring for me (10 stands out). Definitely when the decline of the series started in my mind. However the FFIX battle music lit a fire in my mind. I knew every second of that song, so must have played it alot.

  19. very awesome!
    loving the battle music ep.
    it made me realise just how much of the Bmusic i was neglecting and/or ignoring because i was either being totally stressed out by the battle or just because my memory lapsed and i thought “oh this is just the same music as in the older game.” you just notice the wonderful variations and twists on familiar themes.

  20. Best month ever.

  21. Oh God, the “55!” was perfect.

    I’ll have to disagree with Chris about the battle themes in FFI-III, I totally dig the melodies and FF3’s boss theme is especially great for how it picks up towards the end.

    FF4’s boss music is still one of my favorites. So dramatic and desperate-sounding. I had the weird pleasure of hearing Culex’s Battle Theme prior to the original, so my mind was kinda blown away by the whole thing. “The Dreadful Fight” and “The Final Battle” are damn swell too, and are some of my favorite FF tunes to drum to.

    FF5’s “Battle on the Big Bridge” is still one of my favorite FF tunes of all time. I remember actually making a separate save on my PS1 memory card after finishing the Big Bridge part and going back to a previous save just so I could hear this music again. Also, Hitoshi Sakimoto’s orchestral version of this track in FF12 is REALLY, REALLY GOOD! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K4M5ivckBPQ

    I’d say that FF5 also possesses one of the most underrated final boss themes in the series. Both “The Decisive Battle” and “The Last Battle” are brilliant, with some cool change-ups and melodies. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KMqc_5lljM

    FF6 is just phenomenal, too. I really didn’t have an appreciation for “The Fierce Battle” until this podcast’s RPG battle sampler episode. Also, I’d wager that The Black Mages’ cover of “Dancing Mad” is even more amazing than the original. It’s very faithful to its SNES counterpart, and avoids the awkward loops of the OST’s version. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v5ADPB5NrZw

    I have an equal love for FF7’s battle and boss themes. I like how the battle theme uses some industrial hammer-to-anvil sounds in it, really fits in with the whole pseudo-futuristic setting in the beginning. And the backing orchestra on top of the synth playing in the boss theme gives me chills every time. That’s not even mentioning The Black Mages version. So good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzFh9GuE0rA

    FF8’s stuff is great, too. I love the keyboard patches in “Force Your Way,” a lot of it is reminiscent of Emerson, Lake & Palmer (which I’m pretty sure Nobuo Uematsu was heavily influenced by in many ways…ever wonder where the chocobo theme came from? Listen to ELP). “The Man with a Machine Gun” is still tops for me, though. Can’t stop playing it in Theatrhythm.

    Also, I thought the moaning in FF9’s Final Battle was perfect. The mellotron used in there is very reminiscent of King Crimson. It was weird, creepy and after the drums and synth kick in it’s such a badass shift in tone.

    Has anyone listened to the remastered version of the FF10 Battle Theme that’s going to be in the HD version? I’m pretty impressed by it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDgJZ5XKCA4

    I also want to say that FFX’s “Challenge” theme is its best boss theme next to Seymour and Braska’s Final Aeon. Very heavy and intense. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDdDaZuMWko

    And I know this has only been focusing on 1 through 10, but I must say that I’ve grown to like FFXI’s first battle theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sgi4NBhL3GM as well as FFXIV: ARR’s Ul’dah Battle Theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hVq0pAnYuk . 14 also apparently has a comically groovy remix of FF2’s battle theme. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UFC-IVheRw

    And thank you for not including “One Winged Angel.” It’s a masterpiece, no doubt, but monstrously overplayed. I don’t mind being seen as a VGM snob when saying that 😛

    If any of you share the same sort of hyperactive joy I have for the FF series’ battle themes, I wrote 3 features focusing on the battle, boss and final boss themes from FFI through XIII. Give ’em a read sometime!

    Liner Notes
    FF Battle themes http://www.pixelitis.net/features/liner-notes-x-the-battle-hardened-themes-of-final-fantasy
    FF Boss themes http://www.pixelitis.net/features/liner-notes-xi-final-fantasys-boss-music-means-business
    FF Final Boss themes http://www.pixelitis.net/features/liner-notes-xii-no-one-winged-angel

  22. Great show!
    I’ve been a fan since the very beginning and have loved and listened to every episode!
    I look forward to every episode each other week.

    Keep up the good work Brett (and friends)
    You make my life a lot more bearable when i can drown it out with you guys and great game music!
    I feel like I’ve been friends with you guys since way back in the TalkRadar days.

  23. They actually just added the Final Fantasy 3 boss theme to FF14 and it’s pretty good

    But not nearly as good as the jazzed up Final Fantasy 2 battle theme you get during one of the story missions. I LOVE the clips of the original chip version spread in it.

  24. I re-downloaded all for of these episodes not two days ago. You guys were talking about how prohibitively expensive a remake for FF7 would be, and it reminded me of just how unlikely it was to happen.

    And then yesterday, I was almost brought to tears with the confirmation of my dream actually happening. Fucking cheers, I’m re-listening to all of these episodes multiple times this week in celebration!

  25. […] an incredible soundtrack from legendary games composer Nobuo Uematsu, whose tunes can be heard in this dope episode of VGMpire. But contrary to its subsequent success, Final Fantasy was only green-lit after the success of […]

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.