Posted 2009-06-30, evaluated by the judges panel

Let's keep right on truckin' - postin' pace has been pickin' up and judgin' should be gettin' in gear, too. It's so exciting I'm droppin' my G's left 'n right. On the topic of progress & excitement, I'm pleased and honored to announce the addition of OA as our latest judge. I'm sure listeners and artists alike will show him the same adulation, respect, and deference the rest of the panel has enjoyed for so long, or at least not kick/punch him repeatedly in the head. Mr. Luers is of course the director of the upcoming FF4 album project as well as a talented ReMixer. Beyond that, he's also been providing artists with a ton of great feedback on our ReMix Comments/Reviews forum. Oh yeah, he did the website for Summoning of Spirits, too. And the artwork/website for Thieves of Fate. He's also a dad, a great musician, and an all-around premuim person. He also invented the hovercraft and was the first man to scale K2 in under 45 minutes. He grows his own bacon. For all we know. It's possible. But even if he didn't, he still gets two thumbs up in our book, and should be an awesome addition to the panel, so give a warm welcome.

Right, then - ahead on our way! 9 out of 10 doctors will tell you that kids love the rich, creamy taste of Final Fantasy 6, but 'Cayenne' (aka 'Cyan') hasn't gotten as much love as 'Relm,' 'Kefka,' or of course 'Terra'. As a side note, we saw the full opera from FF6 performed at Distant Worlds on Saturday, and it rocked. Profusely - mad props to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for a very polished performance, and MAN are the acoustics in the Meyerhoff hall perfect. While we're on the subject of kickass, back to the mix: Prince of Darkness, aka Tony Dickinson, is here to give this theme some love, blues/rock style. His initial cut was a bad enough dude to win the June '08 DoD, but when he subbed it to us we did notice some snap, crackle, and pop issues of the non-cereal variety with the production. If we had to post it that way, we still might have, but fortunately PoD not only cleaned all that up, he summoned a 5th level Shnabubula to add some extra flavor. Larry sums these changes up:

"We later on sent Tony a copy of the judgments so he could read the production crits brought up and make some tweaks, which he addressed nicely. He also recruited Shnabubula to add some cool original comping wankery on top of some of the mellower sections. Tony mentioned that Sam cooked up his stuff in a matter of hours after offering to do it, so definitely props to Sam for some nice additions that further fleshed out the arrangement."

It's a great mix, and the production tweaks and extra bubula only made it greater. Here's the original submission email Mr. Dickinson sent in:

"This is only my second major video game remix released. I've always been the lurking type, developing my arranging skills deep in the shadows, and only doing something when I felt I was finally ready. This song was my second entry into the Dwelling of Duels competition (and second victory), and I had an overwhelming response. I've always loved really emotional-sounding tunes, despite me being mostly a mechanical, precise, heavy metal robot. With this song, I brought in all of the jazz and fusion influences I could muster and pretty much slapped it together as I went through it. Normally, I would do almost all of the arranging in a notation program, but this time I used more instinct in a more real-time setting.

I love this type of genre, because it also helped me express my bass skills more, considering bass is really my primary instrument; whereas, 99% of the time the guitar would be in the spotlight. It's not entirely out of the spotlight in this, of course, as it offers some of the most emotion in the solos."

So, I actually arranged this theme myself way back in 2002 for the KFSS Squaredance album. True story. This is... well, quite a bit better; I did a funky electronica thing that, while I still enjoy listening to it, hasn't aged all that well. I'm glad that, in addition to 'Cyanide,' we've now got a badass blues rock arrangement of this theme. Now, if you bother to read the judges decision, you'll notice there was quite a bit of disagreement over whether this arrangement is too liberal. The dreaded 50% rule was invoked and rebuffed, feelings were hurt, lives were lost, nations crumbled, and I even had to step in and say a few words. Because this mix does SOUND great, some of you may simply scratch your heads and dismiss judge concerns as hogwash and/or poppycock. We won't lose any sleep if you do, but we won't change our minds either - that arrangement is important, that a spectrum of interpretation exists that ranges from liberal to conservative, and that certain mixes will often test the extremes of either end of that spectrum. I'm absolutely convinced artists in this community could make fantastic original tracks, insert four seconds of the Mario theme on the end, and still have the result be something I'd enjoy listening to. Well, fairly convinced, at least. But tracks like that wouldn't be VGM arrangements, and at some point - while necessarily subjective - there does need to be meaning attached to that label.

In this instance, a rough majority (including myself) felt that there was enough Cyan here. It's an off-cyan, probably more of a turquoise in the end, but the hue is recognizable, if you'll pardon my extended metaphor. It also happens to be a fantastic piece of music with great performances, which certainly doesn't hurt, either. Blues & jazz are improvisational and meandering almost by definition, so it's difficult to draw a line in the sand when it comes to "soloing on top of chord progressions," which there is admittedly quite a bit of, here. It's the type of line-in-sand that's bound to move back and forth a bit, too, since each mix that enters its proximity is always going to be unique. Basically, for the judges panel, this mix was a beautiful headache, but for you, it's just beautiful. We welcome OA into our fold of thankless adjudicators - he's got this and worse to look forward to - and of course thank Tony (and Sam) for an awesome, improved debut FF6 mix that's a definite blast.



Latest 15 comments/reviews; view the complete thread or post your own.
on 2015-08-20 06:25:11

The guitar work is top-notch. Good work guys!

on 2011-04-04 02:29:11

Really into this mix, and all others like it, at the moment. Layers of jazzy complexity smothered with golden, guitar-honey. Easy listening with as much depth as you desire. Just a great combination of styles.

I can't really fault this. I;m reading conflicting reports that it does and does not sound like the source material. I'm not too familiar with the track in question, but I'm pretty sure its the foundation of the mix itself and that's enough to convince me. In that light, the level of writing and arranging is absolutely breathtaking and my hat is off to PoD for tackling an arrangement with such grandiose ambition. It well and truly delivers on that ambition, and I'm more than happy to regularly listen to this one in future.

on 2010-12-08 23:10:53

I really enjoyed the style of this arrangement. Great job guys!

on 2010-03-21 23:22:54

This track is great to listen to!!! I'm a little annoyed that the 50% rule almost prevented me from hearing this, maybe I'll pay attention a little more to the songs the judges deem unworthy. I hear Cyan all over it and I'm glad I was able to add this to my favs. Thanks to Prince of Darkness and Shnabubula, I love this mix! :smile:

on 2009-12-22 01:24:26

I could have sworn I'd commented on this before.

This is one of those instances that give me faith in the panel - this mix is one of the best I've heard in this genre, and even though it's pretty liberal that doesn't stop me from enjoying it one bit less! I think it would have been a huge shame if this one hadn't made it onto the front page, even though it was available in DoD form. Shnab's soloing was a nice touch on top of the DoD version, too, so I had that awesome little gem to appreciate too!

Also, the judge's decision thread was crazy to read! :tomatoface:

on 2009-09-24 17:20:02

What the hell? I don't even like Cyan's theme, but I've already played this remix five times in a row. What a marvelous interpretation! It adds so much more energy to the original without losing any of the emotion. I'll have to check out your other remixes.

Martin Penwald
on 2009-07-19 16:19:02

I don't know, but I just cannot get into this remix. The guitar and the jazzy rest are very nice if looked at seperately, but for me, they just don't get along too well. The guitar is way too much in the foreground, drowing out the awesome, laid-back jazz.

Not a bad remix by any stretch of the imagination; simply not my cup of tea.

on 2009-07-17 02:46:16


Hands down. Sadest music in game has become "listinable" that doesn't sound negative but more of a positive point of view making it the best sound track arranged ever for ff6.

Guitar... ALL THE DAMN WAY. Absolutely amazing!

on 2009-07-10 22:15:01

I think this track is fantastic. Wonderful interpretation of the source, and just awesome to listen to. The judges decision thread was a pretty interesting read, and I would be curious to dig up the old version to hear what they were talking about. I know in my position this would have been an easy yes.

Great work!

on 2009-07-08 16:01:00

great work!

new version with Shnabubula really gives it a new light! compared to the old one ^^

on 2009-07-03 18:13:14

This mix is great! There's always room for a well done jazzy mix on my playlist :) . I am a huge fan of FF VI, but don't remember this particular tune very well. It doesn't matter, though, because this piece easily stands on its own :) .

My playlist of awesome songs thanks you!

on 2009-07-02 04:21:51

I remember hearing this track back when it was up on DoD - what a great rendition of Cyan's theme!

And for those of you looking for more PoD on OCR - he has a great track on the DKC 2 project (based on tough source material too!). If you want more of him in general, check out his YouTube videos or his DoD stuff.

Nobbynob Littlun
on 2009-07-01 20:06:14

This rendition brought to mind a sort of... Detective Cyan image. In fact, I was compelled to sketch such an image!


Leather cuirass-trenchcoat hybrid + chin that can cut glass = Yes!

EDIT: In regards to the ongoing debate... this actually sounds more like a ReMix of the second half of Cyanide, than of the Cyan theme itself. This probably isn't really the case, but if it were, I figure ReMixes of Remixes would certainly be within OCR's scope. Or do we need to put up an OCRemixRemix site? -_-;

on 2009-07-01 18:36:44

Epic stuff- PoD is one bad mother.. *shut yo mouth*

Just talkin' bout PoD...

Adding Sam's soloin makes it even more awesome, great work.

on 2009-07-01 17:26:47

Well this was definitely one of those "listen to it once then come comment on it cause it was so cool!" type of mixes. Cyanide is one of my favorite mixes, so I don't think it's any surprise that another guitar-wielding Cyan mix did the trick for me again. This time it has a lot of other elements too which I definitely enjoyed as well, but there's no getting around the driving force of the guitar.

Personally I can't say I struggled with finding the source, maybe it's just because I'm a hardcore FF guy who played FF6 over and over back in the day, but this felt like any other mix to me as far as the source mostly being there, and occasionally dropping off for some solo work (which is usually a big part of the fun with these mixes), but still, not getting too lost, imo.

Sources Arranged (1 Song)

Primary Game:
Final Fantasy VI (Square , 1994, SNES)
Music by Nobuo Uematsu

Tags (5)

Electric Guitar
Origin > Collaboration
Origin > Competition > Dwelling of Duels

File Information

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