ReMix: Final Fantasy V 'Boss Key'

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Final Fantasy V

Our first norg mix AND our first primary arrangement of FF5 since 2011, this track is actually MUCH older, dating back to 2008. It's aged like a fine wine, though, and epitomizes the phrase "oldie-but-a-goodie," so hopefully our posting it six years after its original release on Dwelling of Duels will get it some much-deserved love from some new ears! The premise is simple: What happens if you mix Exdeath & Gilgamesh, and add on a heaping helping of BADASS prog rock/metal? norg's writeup is just as epic as the musical answer to that question:

"This arrangement was for the Dwelling of Duels "Boss vs. Hero" month. I wasn't planning on entering that month initially until I woke up at 4 in the morning and realized that Exdeath and Gilgamesh could be layered on top of each other musically and it worked. I tried it out in Cubase and found that it worked even better than it did in my head, so I built an arrangement out of it. The arrangement needed to drive from start to finish, so there is very little recovery time for the poor listener. My apologies in advance. The title "Boss Key" is probably only relevant to the four or five of us out there in our scene that remember when games came with boss keys that were hit to make it look like work was getting done instead of gaming. Anyone remember the boss key in Leisure Suit Larry? Best boss key ever.

Final Fantasy V is probably my favorite game in the series so far (and I just plunked down the money to get the iPad version of it and I'm playing it AGAIN for like the 8th time) and the soundtrack still gets me every time. I had been wanting to do something from that soundtrack for quite a while so the Boss vs. Hero month gave me an outlet (with a deadline) that worked really well. Once upon a time, I had taken up a dare from mooniniteG on The Shizz to make an album-length rearrangement of the entire FFV soundtrack and then of course OCR came up with 18 CDs worth of FFV music and I started to rethink my idea. Ultimately, I'll probably do it anyway just so I can say I did it and perhaps get that bug out of my system.

The most difficult part of the arrangement was figuring out the organ arpeggios in the beginning. I didn't have a good slow-down utility at the time, so I ended up finding the sheet music and just playing it from that. Everything else just kinda fell into place.

That's about all I can remember from back then; it was almost five years ago now that I did this arrangement and didn't submit it to OCR at the time due to the size and bitrate requirements. Larry Oji hit me up today and reminded me about the change in submission criteria, so here it is! I hope you guys enjoy it. (:"

I love this writeup because it's candid and old school and informative; I also love that Larry remembered about the encoding issue and hit George up for this very-most-epic of arrangements. Also, from someone who actually cares a lot about these things: this is a DAMN good mix title. There's a blistering amount of guitar, synth, drums, and general mojo caught up in this whirlwind; Larry writes:

"Much like mXenon's recent Kirby debut, anyone that likes their energy high-octane is gonna want this. norg beats down "Clash on the Big Bridge" and "Supreme Lord Exdeath" with his trademark prog combo attack of guitars & synths!

The dynamics here were awesome throughout and really made the track feel a lot longer than just 3 1/2 minutes. Lots of great, evolving, interpretive ideas that keep you engaged from beginning to end. Like George said, he made this a ways back for DoD, but whenever I hear arrangements that I know would easily make it to the site if they were just submitted, I like to hit up the artists! Besides, we're still waiting on DarkeSword to (finally) finish his track for The Fabled Warriors: Part 2 [/shakes gentle fist], so I can't think of anyone better than norg to fill the FF5 spot in our hearts until then. \m/"

Nice - Shariq's been called out twice now in the same writeup, more or less :) It's looking like FF5 Part Deux WILL be seing the light of day in 2014, finally. Maybe norg can help him out with the planned parts 3, 4, and 5, so we're not looking at a 2023 completion date for the whole enchilada. In the meantime, like Larry says, this 3'32" GilgaDeath/ExMesh prog-metal jam from 2008-era norg is still as fresh today as it was back then, and very much deserves your immediate attention!

djpretzel

Discussion: Latest 8 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
DimeTower
on 2014-03-17 22:51:04
My socks are off and papers are flying around the room! What an AWESOME meld of two sources!! I can't believe how well these came together - the end result is interesting, fresh, and kicks SERIOUS butt. If you even occasionally like hard rock, hard metal, or anything remotely approaching this, check this mix!! Wow!

Great job done here - I can't believe this almost went unheard (!!!!!).
Crulex
on 2014-03-16 11:57:46
Oh hell yeah! This is great in terms of aggressiveness and bringing that high energy impact that make these sources pop together. Very nice work, Norg.
BONKERS
on 2014-03-15 22:16:33
Man, I'm glad this is finally here. This song always blew my mind.:<
And glad there are more out there who have an obsessive love of FFV
Norg, I <3 you as always.
Liontamer
on 2014-03-14 23:45:03
Brandon Strader;960373 wrote: The youtube preview compression really brings out the flaws in this one, would recommend getting the mp3 instead :-P The low end really needed more definition, it's a bit of a mess between the kick, toms, and rhythms. I can barely make out the bass guitar notes at all (which is sad because Norg is known for rockin' the bass hard). Not sure why the kick has such a roomy sound as well which just seems to add to the low end mud. It's a great song though, but much shorter than I was expecting -- what was with the mention of the bitrate/length in the write-up if it was just a 3:32 length? :-o "didn't submit it to OCR at the time due to the size and bitrate requirements" this seems to fit into those requirements from before the change... maybe I'm missing something.

The bitrate was juuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuust a bit too high (193/194kbps) for the old standards, when 192kbps used to be the ceiling. :-)
Brandon Strader
on 2014-03-14 20:19:16
The youtube preview compression really brings out the flaws in this one, would recommend getting the mp3 instead :-P The low end really needed more definition, it's a bit of a mess between the kick, toms, and rhythms. I can barely make out the bass guitar notes at all (which is sad because Norg is known for rockin' the bass hard). Not sure why the kick has such a roomy sound as well which just seems to add to the low end mud. It's a great song though, but much shorter than I was expecting -- what was with the mention of the bitrate/length in the write-up if it was just a 3:32 length? :-o "didn't submit it to OCR at the time due to the size and bitrate requirements" this seems to fit into those requirements from before the change... maybe I'm missing something.
catnip
on 2014-03-14 15:43:14
Fantastisch. Über-great.
Seriously, though. Not a huge fan of proggy stuff normally, but I just finished FFV for the first time, and man, what a great game/homage!
timaeus222
on 2014-03-14 15:39:37
ROCK ON! \m/
djpretzel
on 2014-03-14 14:56:36
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