Final Fantasy VI Balance and Ruin

"Uematsu's classic themes finally get more of the great arrangements they've always deserved." Highly Recommended

Listen Now (Album Sampler)

Previewed Tracks

  • 00:00 A Fistful of Nickels (Shadow)
  • 01:43 Wild Child Ballad (Gau)
  • 02:38 Johnny's Got That Funk (Johnny C Bad)
  • 03:45 Event Horizon (The Day After)
  • 04:42 Savage Triumph (Wild West)
  • 06:13 Gestahlian Sonata (The Empire 'Gestahl')
  • 07:33 Now Is the Winter (The Mines of Narshe)
  • 08:38 Ascension of a Madman (Kefka)
  • 09:47 La Montaña de los Caballos Jóvenes (Mt. Koltz)
  • 11:13 Full Speed Ahead (Setzer)
  • 12:15 The Megiddo Brigade (Devil's Lab)
  • 13:20 Bad Octopus (Save Them!, Grand Finale)
  • 15:19 There's Nothing Like Flying (Blackjack)
  • 16:24 Mogstradamus (Mog)
  • 17:21 Pure Essence (Relm)
  • 18:49 Go-Go Gadget Gonkulator (Gogo)
  • 20:01 The Narshemellow (Umaro)
  • 20:58 The Endless Stair (Fanatics)
  • 22:10 Tastes Like Victory (Fanfare)
  • 23:06 Fiddlesticks Rag (Spinach Rag)
  • 24:12 river of sine waves (The Serpent Trench)
  • 25:14 Idle City Street (Kids Run Through the City)

Rankings

Artist Credits

Tracks

366 minutes total

Disc 1 (73 minutes)

  1. Prologue (Opening Theme) [5:28]
  2. Now Is the Winter (The Mines of Narshe) [4:17]
  3. Remember (Awakening) [4:06]
  4. Smoke and Clouds (Locke) [3:21]
  5. Polemos (Battle Theme) [10:25]
  6. Tastes Like Victory (Fanfare) [2:46]
  7. Castles in the Sand (Edgar & Sabin) [4:35]
  8. Ascension of a Madman (Kefka) [3:22]
  9. La Montana de los Caballos Jovenes (Mt. Koltz) [5:16]
  10. On the Run (The Returners) [4:53]
  11. A Fistful of Nickels (Shadow) [3:28]
  12. Camp Kefka (Troops March On) [3:18]
  13. Stone Drum (Cyan) [3:07]
  14. Toxic (The Unforgiven) [3:26]
  15. De Nuit (The Phantom Forest) [3:36]
  16. Gobble, Snarf, Snap (Phantom Train) [3:35]
  17. Savage Triumph (Wild West) [3:33]

Disc 2 (70 minutes)

  1. Wild Child Ballad (Gau) [3:15]
  2. river of sine waves (The Serpent Trench) [2:34]
  3. Idle City Street (Kids Run Through the City) [3:28]
  4. Courage, Failure, Rosebud (Under Martial Law) [3:05]
  5. Bad Octopus (Save Them!, Grand Finale) [4:29]
  6. Train Suplex (Decisive Battle) [2:57]
  7. There Will Be Blood (Metamorphosis) [3:19]
  8. Terra's Resolve (Terra) [4:38]
  9. A Simple Flip Can Change Fate (Coin Song) [4:04]
  10. Electro de Choco (Techno de Chocobo) [4:38]
  11. Reverie of the Broken Phoenix (Forever Rachel) [4:17]
  12. Slam Davis (Slam Shuffle) [4:47]
  13. Fiddlesticks Rag (Spinach Rag) [3:26]
  14. The Nightmare Oath (Overture) [4:31]
  15. The Impresario (Opera Sequence) [8:48]
  16. Till We Meet Again (Aria de Mezzo Carattere) [3:33]
  17. Full Speed Ahead (Setzer) [4:31]

Disc 3 (68 minutes)

  1. Flava de Chocobo (Techno de Chocobo) [3:52]
  2. Johnny's Got That Funk (Johnny C Bad) [3:20]
  3. Gestahlian Sonata (The Empire 'Gestahl') [6:08]
  4. The Megiddo Brigade (Devil's Lab) [3:06]
  5. There's Nothing Like Flying (Blackjack) [4:15]
  6. Mogstradamus (Mog) [3:11]
  7. Aggressive Blue Magic (Strago) [5:00]
  8. Pure Essence (Relm) [3:09]
  9. Illusionary (Another World of Beasts) [4:25]
  10. Black Genesis (New Continent) [5:35]
  11. Meditations on an Apocalypse (Catastrophe) [2:58]
  12. Evisceration (The Fierce Battle) [3:13]
  13. A Tranquil Rest (Rest in Peace) [1:51]
  14. Elegy for a Ruined World (Dark World) [10:42]
  15. Event Horizon (The Day After) [4:05]
  16. Blackjack's Breakup Bossa (Blackjack) [2:43]

Disc 4 (70 minutes)

  1. A Glimmer of Hope (Searching for Friends) [4:21]
  2. Go-Go Gadget Gonkulator (Gogo) [4:10]
  3. Katabasis (Epitaph) [4:43]
  4. 13th Floor Demonstration (The Magic House) [5:12]
  5. The Narshemellow (Umaro) [3:50]
  6. The Endless Stair (Fanatics) [3:44]
  7. Trauermarsch (Last Dungeon) [12:36]
  8. Demon, Fiend & Goddess (Dancing Mad) [7:43]
  9. Ending Suite (Ending Theme) [15:42]
  10. Humble Beginnings, Great Expectations (The Prelude) [8:10]

Disc 5 (85 minutes)

  1. Omen: I. Black Dawn (Opening Theme) [13:04]
  2. Omen: II. Terror March (Opening Theme) [8:17]
  3. Omen: III. Daydream (Opening Theme, Battle Theme) [7:51]
  4. Omen: IV. Polemos (Battle Theme) [10:28]
  5. Following Forgotten (The Mines of Narshe) [3:32]
  6. Royal Blood, Fraternal Love (Edgar & Sabin) [4:37]
  7. Bass of the Returners (The Returners) [5:55]
  8. Dark Blue Substance (Cyan) [4:01]
  9. Savage Dance (Wild West) [3:11]
  10. The 6th Kingdom (Terra) [5:02]
  11. Slam Shufflin' (Slam Shuffle) [5:17]
  12. Jidoorian Rhapsody (The Wedding) [4:27]
  13. Strange World (Another World of Beasts) [5:40]
  14. Umaro's New Groove (Umaro) [3:28]
  • Released Jul 1, 2013 by OverClocked ReMix (catalog no. OCRA-0040).
  • Free fan-arranged album for Final Fantasy VI produced by OverClocked ReMix.
  • Detailed release notes and credits at VGMdb.

Reviews

Uematsu's classic themes finally get more of the great arrangements they've always deserved.

Highly Recommended

Editor's review by Adam Corn (2014-11-05)

"Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin" is the 40th album by fan-arrangement community OverClocked ReMix, and their most ambitious production yet. Seventy-four tracks, six hours of music, and - thanks to a highly successful Kickstarter - a $150,000 budget... all to arrange the game soundtrack many consider the best ever. The project was accompanied by no small amount of hype and in many ways the results live up to it. Final Fantasy VI fans finally have creative, impressively produced arrangements for dozens of classic themes that have long begged for them, and it's all a fan effort free to download and enjoy.

The sheer variety among the album's five discs is almost ridiculous. I genuinely believe there may not be another soundtrack that matches it in that regard. A moody jazz arrangement of "The Mines of Narshe" and flamenco guitar of arrangement of "Mt. Koltz", both of which fit their respective locations like a glove. An orchestral arrangement of "Kefka" that holds its own against the several professional ones made. New Wave vocals for "Fanfare" and "The Returners", an old-timey klezmer take on "Phantom Train", and a raging rock rendition of the Veldt's "Wild West". And most especially, an epic, spaghetti Western-inspired arrangement for the game's lone sword-slinger, "Shadow". That's just a sampling from the first disc.

A handful of themes from Final Fantasy VI tend to get most of the love whenever new arrangements are produced. "Terra", "Kefka", "The Phantom Forest", "Dancing Mad", of course the opera. But there are so many other fantastic pieces from Final Fantasy VI, and the great thing about Balance and Ruin is it gives every one of them an arrangement, many of which do justice to the originals, even if sometimes in a much different style. "Gau" gets a pretty acoustic arrangement - complete with that essential cello - that matches the innocence of the character. Uplifting trance meets soaring New Age synth for "Setzer". One of the game's zaniest villains gets an equally eccentric rock arrangement for "Save Them!", while one of the catchiest themes gets a delightful dose of electronic funk in "Johnny C Bad". The piano arrangement for "The Empire Gestahl" brings more drama than anything from the official Piano Opera albums, and minor yet memorable character themes like "Gogo", "Umaro", and especially "Mog" get creative arrangements every bit as endearing as the originals. Even "The Serpent Trench" gets a cool piano-and-synth bit.

The main issue with the album is that with every track being arranged by different artists, the quality varies widely. That's nothing new among fan-arranged projects, but with 74 tracks altogether it means listeners will likely have a few more tracks to wade through that they don't like to find the ones they do. Those who do so will find their patience well rewarded. In my own case I have 34 tracks either four or five starred, for over two hours of highly enjoyable arrangements based on one of the all-time great OSTs. And being a free fan-made effort, you have only your time and your bandwidth to pay. (For those who find either at a premium, I recommend starting with the third disc, which has the highest ratio of hits, then working back from the beginning.)

Final Fantasy VI: Balance and Ruin might not match the original soundtrack in its amazing consistency, but in imagination and creativity it often makes a strong case, and that is saying a lot. As a tribute to Nobuo Uematsu's masterpiece it's a gift to its many fans and a tremendous success.

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